Oltux72

Economy of Elantris

24 posts in this topic

Does Elantris have an economy? What do they have to sell? That is pretty clear - mostly AonDor. But what do they buy? It could be argued that AonDor creates a kind of subsistence economy. It can feed you and Elantris itself provides housing and public infrastructure. So what could you want that AonDor cannot give you?

  • exotic stuff - travel is costly for Elantrians
  • travel
  • knowledge
  • services - AonDor can make your dinner, fix your clothes and heat your home, but not easily put your room in order
  • sex
  • fame
  • fashion

Anything else?

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Most economics is based on scarcity.  Considering how impressive and varied Aons are I do not think that scarsity is realy an issue in Elantris.  This leads me to believe that it functions more as a gift economy where Elantrains instead use their abilities to maintain important relationships via gift giving.

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31 minutes ago, Karger said:

Most economics is based on scarcity.  Considering how impressive and varied Aons are I do not think that scarsity is realy an issue in Elantris.  This leads me to believe that it functions more as a gift economy where Elantrains instead use their abilities to maintain important relationships via gift giving.

That makes sense when we talk about commerce between Elantrians. It breaks down when we talk about the rest of Arelon and Sel.

And what can Elantrians give to Elantrians? Art, exotic stuff and knowledge come to my mind.

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32 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

And what can Elantrians give to Elantrians? Art, exotic stuff and knowledge come to my mind.

Respect.  Being respected is a high priority for many humans.

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11 hours ago, Karger said:

Respect.  Being respected is a high priority for many humans.

In exchange for what? Things like open source software show that respect works, but you have to have something they pay respect for? What could that be? Again I arrive at arts and science. Sports?

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It may not take much effort to set up the aons around the city which provide a supply of unlimited fresh water, but it takes some effort and doing it displays some consideration. Simpler services like this could get you other things in exchange such as those you listed, and some respect.
One extremely valuable service you've omitted is healing. Most other things could be obtained by more costly means but if you need someone to cure you of the plague or fix your broken leg you don't have an alternative to Elantrians. Given how aons used in healing have a tendency to get into the complicated, you would expect that only some Elantrians would be proficient at healing in general or only in healing a particular issue such as fixing bones, whilst other unproficient Elantrians would only be good for fixing scrapes and the like.

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7 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

In exchange for what? Things like open source software show that respect works, but you have to have something they pay respect for? What could that be? Again I arrive at arts and science. Sports?

I meant I think that one way normal humans pay for Elantrais is respect.

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I have the quotes in mind (page 1, page 76, page 264, page 345, and page 347), but it will take me time to type them up. The implication the book gives is that Elantris was a "city of the gods" where anyone could come and receive healing, or wisdom of the Elantrians. They needed nor wanted for anything, so each Elantrian could pursue whatever activity gave them meaning. Galladon's father was a scholar who enjoyed research. People were not charged for healing. When Raodan takes over, as he is king and an elantrian as well, he changes the nobility into for all intents and purposes food distributors. As mentioned, some aons do require great training, healing being the big one. Elantrians can even mess up with healing and do more harm than good. If

Spoiler

soulcasting is an indication regarding producing food,

then it still needs to be spiced, and flavored, as well as training is required because if done incorrectly, the food is poisonous. This I would need to check, but don't even crafted aons only activate for an Elantrian and no one else? So selling plates of them would only accomplish in you having a plate with an aon on it. 

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On 17/06/2019 at 7:08 PM, Pathfinder said:

I have the quotes in mind (page 1, page 76, page 264, page 345, and page 347), but it will take me time to type them up. The implication the book gives is that Elantris was a "city of the gods" where anyone could come and receive healing, or wisdom of the Elantrians. They needed nor wanted for anything, so each Elantrian could pursue whatever activity gave them meaning.

If you are referring to basic needs, that seems totally accurate. But what about entertainment?

On 17/06/2019 at 7:08 PM, Pathfinder said:

Galladon's father was a scholar who enjoyed research. People were not charged for healing.

Were the Elantrians payed for healing though? Did the healers work because they were noble and nice or did they get some reward or recognition or both?

On 17/06/2019 at 7:08 PM, Pathfinder said:

When Raodan takes over, as he is king and an elantrian as well, he changes the nobility into for all intents and purposes food distributors.

This is well and good. But it eliminates most farmers. And New Elantris will need services. Armed forces, a geological service, spies ...
These people need to be paid.

On 17/06/2019 at 7:08 PM, Pathfinder said:

As mentioned, some aons do require great training, healing being the big one. Elantrians can even mess up with healing and do more harm than good. If

  Reveal hidden contents

soulcasting is an indication regarding producing food,

then it still needs to be spiced, and flavored, as well as training is required because if done incorrectly, the food is poisonous.

Raoden makes grain with no training. They did not try it. Nor would you notice poisons on a Reod Elantrian. But yes, you need cooks.

On 17/06/2019 at 7:08 PM, Pathfinder said:

This I would need to check, but don't even crafted aons only activate for an Elantrian and no one else? So selling plates of them would only accomplish in you having a plate with an aon on it. 

A plate any Elantrian can then use. AonDor turns everything into information, economically speaking. The development of a complex Aon can be arbitrarily hard. But once it is done, you can write it down or, even better, make molds. That is, it matters very little whether you make one copy of an object or thousands by use of Aons. Which opens up an obvious way of taxing Elantrians. Either you learn and perform some Aons useful to the public or you will be an activator for some hours per period.

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5 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

If you are referring to basic needs, that seems totally accurate. But what about entertainment?

That is what I said though. Whatever pursuits gave them personal meaning. So Galladon's father was a scholar. He pursued knowledge for knowledge sake. One of the rulers of Elantris was originally a sculptor. He could sculpt for the love of the craft. 

5 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Were the Elantrians payed for healing though? Did the healers work because they were noble and nice or did they get some reward or recognition or both?

It does not seem to be the case based on the book. The only thing preventing Iadon from taking Raoden when he was younger was the idea of going to the elantrians for help. But there was no mention of any money exchanging hands

5 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

This is well and good. But it eliminates most farmers. And New Elantris will need services. Armed forces, a geological service, spies ...
These people need to be paid.

I posted a response regarding merchants in another thread and you commented. A lot of what you are saying is covered in that. Aons are extreme complex and very few people have the capability to make the more complex ones. So Elantrians would not be creating full meals all the time. I would imagine it is more like basic necessities that taste bland. If you want good tasting food, you pay for it. If you are poor and have no money, you get aon created food. Farmers still make money. Lobsters were once considered garbage animals and given to prisoners. Now it is considered a delicacy. Just because food can be produced, does not mean all other food loses value, especially when the food produced is basic. 

5 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Raoden makes grain with no training. They did not try it. Nor would you notice poisons on a Reod Elantrian. But yes, you need cooks.

And you need spices to flavor it. 

5 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

A plate any Elantrian can then use. AonDor turns everything into information, economically speaking. The development of a complex Aon can be arbitrarily hard. But once it is done, you can write it down or, even better, make molds. That is, it matters very little whether you make one copy of an object or thousands by use of Aons. Which opens up an obvious way of taxing Elantrians. Either you learn and perform some Aons useful to the public or you will be an activator for some hours per period.

Depends on what you are replicating. Lets say you make a teleport aon string. Then you copy that string and place it elsewhere in the city. As far as we know there needs to be a original location modifer in the aon, that if you do not alter it for where you go, the whole thing fails or causes problems. So I do not think aons can be so easily mass produced. 

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1 hour ago, Pathfinder said:

That is what I said though. Whatever pursuits gave them personal meaning. So Galladon's father was a scholar. He pursued knowledge for knowledge sake. One of the rulers of Elantris was originally a sculptor. He could sculpt for the love of the craft.

That is nice for those people who provide their own entertainment. What if you'd like to see a play? The actors may play for the love of the art, but who sweeps the floor and cleans the toilets?

1 hour ago, Pathfinder said:

It does not seem to be the case based on the book. The only thing preventing Iadon from taking Raoden when he was younger was the idea of going to the elantrians for help. But there was no mention of any money exchanging hands

The administration of Elantris may reimburse the healers. Or let them deduct the time from taxes.

1 hour ago, Pathfinder said:

I posted a response regarding merchants in another thread and you commented. A lot of what you are saying is covered in that. Aons are extreme complex and very few people have the capability to make the more complex ones.

Make is an ambiguous verb in that regard. You can see in Raoden's masquerade that you can draw Aons you could never hope to understand or develop. Moreover, you can activate somebody else's Aon, if it is in material form, as the teleport plates tell us.

1 hour ago, Pathfinder said:

So Elantrians would not be creating full meals all the time.

Debateable. There may also be 'Aonic cooks' who make templates for full meals. It would be an interesting market. You might indeed eat something tasty. But with no variety.

1 hour ago, Pathfinder said:

I would imagine it is more like basic necessities that taste bland. If you want good tasting food, you pay for it. If you are poor and have no money, you get aon created food. Farmers still make money. Lobsters were once considered garbage animals and given to prisoners. Now it is considered a delicacy. Just because food can be produced, does not mean all other food loses value, especially when the food produced is basic.

Good point. But you still lose the income from years of rising prices.

1 hour ago, Pathfinder said:

 And you need spices to flavor it.

Yes. Though that may be possible. If you can make grain, why would any plant as such be a problem? That is an interesting question. Is there an Aon for grain? What do you get if you just use that, without modifiers.

(Roshar)

Spoiler

The comparison to soulcasting is unlikely to be apt. There is no mental aspect to the communication.

1 hour ago, Pathfinder said:

Depends on what you are replicating. Lets say you make a teleport aon string. Then you copy that string and place it elsewhere in the city. As far as we know there needs to be a original location modifer in the aon, that if you do not alter it for where you go, the whole thing fails or causes problems. So I do not think aons can be so easily mass produced. 

Raoden needed the distance and the direction. And he encoded that directly into the Aon. At least for teleportation we know that it works strictly by relative coordinates in the simple case. If you put the teleport stations at regular places in the city. you can cover most of the jumps with mass produced plates.

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20 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

That is nice for those people who provide their own entertainment. What if you'd like to see a play? The actors may play for the love of the art, but who sweeps the floor and cleans the toilets?

Do you remember the guy in the book Elantris that took such pride in cleaning the gunk away? Bringing out the beauty of Elantris?

20 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

The administration of Elantris may reimburse the healers. Or let them deduct the time from taxes.

That was never mentioned in the books nor in WoB

20 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Make is an ambiguous verb in that regard. You can see in Raoden's masquerade that you can draw Aons you could never hope to understand or develop. Moreover, you can activate somebody else's Aon, if it is in material form, as the teleport plates tell us.

But that is every single time you make a new Aon. 

20 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Debateable. There may also be 'Aonic cooks' who make templates for full meals. It would be an interesting market. You might indeed eat something tasty. But with no variety.

Not debatable. I showed you the WoB that said it is very complex. That the complex ones we see Raoden use are actually the simplest ones. That it takes weeks to figure out and write them out. And the people who can figure it out enough to do so are few and far between. 

20 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Good point. But you still lose the income from years of rising prices.

As per the WoB I showed you in another thread, there is interplay, but the level of complexity would prevent it from getting to that level

20 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Yes. Though that may be possible. If you can make grain, why would any plant as such be a problem? That is an interesting question. Is there an Aon for grain? What do you get if you just use that, without modifiers.

(Roshar)

  Reveal hidden contents

The comparison to soulcasting is unlikely to be apt. There is no mental aspect to the communication.

Why wouldn't soulcasting me analogous?

20 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Raoden needed the distance and the direction. And he encoded that directly into the Aon. At least for teleportation we know that it works strictly by relative coordinates in the simple case. If you put the teleport stations at regular places in the city. you can cover most of the jumps with mass produced plates.

The distance and directiong from where he was standing. If he stepped to the right, he would need to make new calculations. If he stepped behind himself. He would need new calculations. If you placed that aon in a different part of the city, you would need new calculations. 

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25 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Do you remember the guy in the book Elantris that took such pride in cleaning the gunk away? Bringing out the beauty of Elantris?

After ten years or longer? With otherwise divine powers?

25 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

That was never mentioned in the books nor in WoB

As already mentioned, we know little about the administration of Classical Elantris other than that it existed and appointed non-Elantrian officials in Arelon. Presumably those were paid.

25 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

But that is every single time you make a new Aon.

Technically, yes. But what does that mean? AonDor is special compared to other magic systems of the Cosmere that you need no idea what you are doing. If the Aon has a correct shape there will be an effect.

25 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Not debatable. I showed you the WoB that said it is very complex. That the complex ones we see Raoden use are actually the simplest ones. That it takes weeks to figure out and write them out. And the people who can figure it out enough to do so are few and far between.

You need one of them once per complex Aon. Then he can write it down. And the effort goes way down. In the end it is just a shape. Any culture that can pour metal can duplicate shapes. And Aons made out of wire do work.

Aons are like software. If you have it on a DVD you can copy it, even if you do not understand it.

25 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

As per the WoB I showed you in another thread, there is interplay, but the level of complexity would prevent it from getting to that level

Not really. Aons make quantity neigh irrelevant. Quality is extremely costly. Aons set a price ceiling on any foodstuff you have templates for. Elantris still has an economy. But not a classic economy. In fact our most modern economies are closer to it than classical industrial economies.

25 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Why wouldn't soulcasting me analogous?

You talk, well communicate, to the soul of the transformed object. The personality and knowledge of the operator is important. Aons, however, are repeatable. If the Aon has the exact same shape, it will work the same way. And there are ways to ensure that. See the teleport plates.

25 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

The distance and directiong from where he was standing. If he stepped to the right, he would need to make new calculations. If he stepped behind himself. He would need new calculations. If you placed that aon in a different part of the city, you would need new calculations. 

Not really. Only if you spaced the teleport places in an irregular grid. You could for example use a circle and space them at regular angles (that is mathematically equivalent to using polygons). Then you need one pattern for each distance in steps around the circle, but the rest is trigonometry and pouring metal plates. If you use concentric circles, you will need one set per circle and an additional set for hopping between adjacent circles. Problem solved. Mass production.

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1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

After ten years or longer? With otherwise divine powers?

Just use aon Ada.  Streets are magically clean.

1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

As already mentioned, we know little about the administration of Classical Elantris other than that it existed and appointed non-Elantrian officials in Arelon. Presumably those were paid.

They could have been payed in goods that Elantrians produced.  A sort of gift economy if you will.

1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

Technically, yes. But what does that mean? AonDor is special compared to other magic systems of the Cosmere that you need no idea what you are doing. If the Aon has a correct shape there will be an effect.

You need to think Activate at it really hard.  However if you are going to make a "template" food it will eventually taste bland because you will get no verity.  Imagine eating the same meal every day for weeks.  Also making a fully complex meal sounds like a waste of Elantrain time when they could be curing cancer.  There are a limited number of Elantrains and they can each draw aons only so quickly.

1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

You need one of them once per complex Aon. Then he can write it down. And the effort goes way down. In the end it is just a shape. Any culture that can pour metal can duplicate shapes. And Aons made out of wire do work.

Aons are like software. If you have it on a DVD you can copy it, even if you do not understand it.

Sure but then you need to store and distribute that food that you have created.  Generally the best food has a really short shelf life.

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3 hours ago, Karger said:

Just use aon Ada.  Streets are magically clean.

Do you have a list including that one?

3 hours ago, Karger said:

They could have been payed in goods that Elantrians produced.  A sort of gift economy if you will.

Yes, that will do externally.

3 hours ago, Karger said:

You need to think Activate at it really hard.

In fact it also seems to require physical contact. But that is doable and simpler than having to draw it from scratch.

3 hours ago, Karger said:

However if you are going to make a "template" food it will eventually taste bland because you will get no verity.  Imagine eating the same meal every day for weeks.

I see demand and scarcity. We have a market. We even have a differentiated market. If you want to eat something really new, you will need a human cook preparing an individual meal. At the very end of the scale, you can get staple foods for free. And there is a middle range with aonic templates.

3 hours ago, Karger said:

  Also making a fully complex meal sounds like a waste of Elantrain time when they could be curing cancer.

  1. Agains, I see economy of scale.Personal transport is quite cheap for Elantrians. Restaurants should be booming.
  2. Not every Elantrian can cure cancer. In fact, only a minority can do so. You should let them concentrate on it and provide for their other needs. Economy.
  3. Economy of scale. Making more food of the same kind at the same place is much cheaper for Elantrians. More reasons to have restaurants.
3 hours ago, Karger said:

  There are a limited number of Elantrains and they can each draw aons only so quickly.

If an aon is needed often and can be used without customisation, you will not draw it. You'll have it on template.

3 hours ago, Karger said:

Sure but then you need to store and distribute that food that you have created.  Generally the best food has a really short shelf life.

If you are talking about the general public of muggels, yes. But they can cook themselves.
If you are talking about Elantrians inside Elantris, no, this is not an issue. They can teleport. Only the distance to the next teleport facility matters. No need to distribute stuff, if you really want a service. You want to eat.

On summary it looks to me like Elantris does have an economy. But it is different from a conventional economy and there ist a vast gap between the external and internal economy. And I wonder what currencies they used.

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7 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Do you have a list including that one?

Ada is a real aon

8 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Agains, I see economy of scale.Personal transport is quite cheap for Elantrians. Restaurants should be booming.

Transport from Elantris is cheap.  Transport too Elantris costs just as much for them as it does for everyone else.

8 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Not every Elantrian can cure cancer. In fact, only a minority can do so. You should let them concentrate on it and provide for their other needs. Economy.

Not true.  Every Elantrian of sufficient education can cure cancer.  Considering they are functionally immortal they have ample time to study.  They should all be curing cancer.  Having them make restaurant food is a waste of time.

10 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Economy of scale. Making more food of the same kind at the same place is much cheaper for Elantrians. More reasons to have restaurants.

See above.  This is really kind of sad.  Instead of doing things that only they can do and that benefit the world at large you expect these people to work in restaurants.  Providing sufficient food is one thing.  Everyone needs to eat but I see absolutely no reason why on earth they should bother cooking for us.

12 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

On summary it looks to me like Elantris does have an economy. But it is different from a conventional economy and there ist a vast gap between the external and internal economy. And I wonder what currencies they used.

Of course it has an economy.  Scarcity still exists and they must find a way of managing limited resources. 

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28 minutes ago, Karger said:

Ada is a real aon

Sorry, this was not intended as a challenge. I am looking for lists as complete as possible.

28 minutes ago, Karger said:

Transport from Elantris is cheap.  Transport too Elantris costs just as much for them as it does for everyone else.

As is transport within Elantris.

28 minutes ago, Karger said:

Not true.  Every Elantrian of sufficient education can cure cancer.  Considering they are functionally immortal they have ample time to study.  They should all be curing cancer.  Having them make restaurant food is a waste of time.

If you are looking at this from a moral perspective, doubtlessly. Practically likely, no. Elantrians are not saints (and some will be plain stupid). Most will rather do art or scholarship or go for outright pleasure. And you want volunteers for medicine. A botched aon can do too much damage during healing.

And it is a city which needs to function. People need to eat.

28 minutes ago, Karger said:

See above.  This is really kind of sad.  Instead of doing things that only they can do and that benefit the world at large you expect these people to work in restaurants.

They are people. Would I personally value medicine, aonic scholarship or research into natural science more? Yes. Do I expect more than a minority to pursue them? No. People are people.

28 minutes ago, Karger said:

  Providing sufficient food is one thing.  Everyone needs to eat but I see absolutely no reason why on earth they should bother cooking for us.

Not us. Each other. And I admit, I am not going to say that being a cook is worse than being, say, a sculptor or a singer.

28 minutes ago, Karger said:

Of course it has an economy.  Scarcity still exists and they must find a way of managing limited resources. 

So let's explore that. Their scarcities are different.

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17 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Sorry, this was not intended as a challenge. I am looking for lists as complete as possible.

coppermind

17 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

As is transport within Elantris.

Most of the people who want food at any given time are likely not in Elantris.

19 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Most will rather do art or scholarship or go for outright pleasure. And you want volunteers for medicine. A botched aon can do too much damage during healing.

Even if they are not actually curing cancer Elantrains can do things other people can't.  Aonic research, scrying, weird artforms.  Paying a mortal for food sounds smarter.  Sure weird foody Elantrains probably exist but their hobbies are probably not everything they do with their time.

22 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

They are people. Would I personally value medicine, aonic scholarship or research into natural science more? Yes. Do I expect more than a minority to pursue them? No. People are people.

Given the time and opportunity I have a hard time believing most people would not choose to cure caner.  It is not like there is any rush.

23 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

So let's explore that. Their scarcities are different.

Sure.

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9 minutes ago, Karger said:

coppermind

Did you mean aon Ala?

9 minutes ago, Karger said:

Most of the people who want food at any given time are likely not in Elantris.

Yes. But that does not affect the economy of Elantris. The question of how this is organized still remains. We know that the nobles are tasked with distribution.

But what exactly does that mean? Does Elantris provide a constant stream of staple food? Or is this limited to emergencies? That looks like a political decision to me. What would be the implications?

9 minutes ago, Karger said:

Even if they are not actually curing cancer Elantrains can do things other people can't.  Aonic research, scrying, weird artforms.

Do they want to, though? Eventually most people will go for some kind of artistic, scientific or philantropical calling. However, I dare predict that the artists will be the largest group.

9 minutes ago, Karger said:

Paying a mortal for food sounds smarter.

You can argue that. So will the king run restaurants for Elantrians? If not, what do Elantrians, who like for example music, pay for those meals?

9 minutes ago, Karger said:

Sure weird foody Elantrains probably exist but their hobbies are probably not everything they do with their time.

Right. Maybe we should look at the share of the people who go into STEM fields or medicine among our student population, if given a choice. A minority. Do you tell people who would like to research and study Svordish literature to go and do something else, more relevant to the world? And if they disagree, how do you make them?

9 minutes ago, Karger said:

Given the time and opportunity I have a hard time believing most people would not choose to cure caner.  It is not like there is any rush.

Neither is there a pressing need. Elantris needs healers. But they had enough of them. New Elantris initially will not. So how do you encourage people to learn? Suppose you are king of New Elantris, how do you tax?

 

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9 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Did you mean aon Ala?

Miss typed.  Yes.

9 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Yes. But that does not affect the economy of Elantris. The question of how this is organized still remains. We know that the nobles are tasked with distribution.

But what exactly does that mean? Does Elantris provide a constant stream of staple food?

I would think so.  It would reduce the number of farmers required to avoid famine.

9 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

That looks like a political decision to me. What would be the implications?

Less farmers of grains and more of fruits and vegetables as well as livestock.  An influx into urban areas which will lower labor costs and help with modernization.

9 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Do they want to, though? Eventually most people will go for some kind of artistic, scientific or philantropical calling. However, I dare predict that the artists will be the largest group.

Why? 

9 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

You can argue that. So will the king run restaurants for Elantrians? If not, what do Elantrians, who like for example music, pay for those meals?

Have elantris as a hole charge the treasury for the survives they provide.  Negotiate annually and distribute that money to the individual elantrains so that they can pay for things.

 

9 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Right. Maybe we should look at the share of the people who go into STEM fields or medicine among our student population, if given a choice. A minority. Do you tell people who would like to research and study Svordish literature to go and do something else, more relevant to the world? And if they disagree, how do you make them?

9 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Neither is there a pressing need. Elantris needs healers. But they had enough of them. New Elantris initially will not. So how do you encourage people to learn? Suppose you are king of New Elantris, how do you tax?

Why bother with taxation?  No one has any income.  Also praise and give status to healers. 

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1 hour ago, Karger said:

I would think so.  It would reduce the number of farmers required to avoid famine.

That I don't understand. It is zero anyway, isn't it?

1 hour ago, Karger said:

Less farmers of grains and more of fruits and vegetables as well as livestock.  An influx into urban areas which will lower labor costs and help with modernization.

  1. Do you know that you want to modernize?  The empasize would be on Elantris itself, wouldn't it?
  2. How do you keep the countryside populated? They don't even have running water.
  3. Do you want a population you can quickly mobilize for war?
1 hour ago, Karger said:

Why?

How many famous engineers and scientists do you know? How many artists, actors and athletes? I suspect the ratio to be the same among Elantrians. Even more so, considering that many of the them will be artisans. If you drive peasants off the land, even more of them.

1 hour ago, Karger said:

Have elantris as a hole charge the treasury for the survives they provide.  Negotiate annually and distribute that money to the individual elantrains so that they can pay for things.

Is that desirable? Don't you want Elantrians to learn a marketable skill, respectively one that is beneficial to the community like healing, making supplies or aonic scholarship?

1 hour ago, Karger said:

Why bother with taxation?  No one has any income.  Also praise and give status to healers. 

You will have to provide public services that need Elantrians as workers: Defense, education and health car. A logical solution would be to go to a head tax and take labor as a substitute.

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11 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

You can argue that. So will the king run restaurants for Elantrians? If not, what do Elantrians, who like for example music, pay for those meals?

Elantrians do not need to eat. It would only be for the taste and sensation. The Dor sustains them

 

Questioner (paraphrased)

[Something about whether Elantrians are immortal or long-lived] 

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Elantrians have no physical limitations on their lifespan. The power will sustain them, but it's emotionally and mentally exhausting to be an Elantrian, so as far as immortality goes it's actually harder to be an Elantrian than other forms of immortality that exist in the cosmere.

GollanczFest London (Oct. 17, 2015)

 

 

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Ten

Are the Elantrians zombies? I've been asked this question before. The answer is a little bit yes, a little bit no. I very intentionally don't make any references in the story to them being zombie-like, and I certainly don't call them "undead." Both words bring a lot of baggage with them.

No, the Elantrians aren't "zombies." However, they certainly would fit the standard fantasy definition of being "undead." After all, their bodies aren't really alive, but they can think. Still, I resist comparisons to established fantasy traditions. I wanted the Elantrians to be their own genre of creatures. In the world I have created, they are simply "Elantrians." They are people who don't need to eat, whose bodies only function on a marginal level, and whose pains never go away. For the function they fill in the world and the story, I'd rather that they be compared to lepers.

That said, I always have wanted to do a story with a zombie as a main character.

Elantris Annotations (July 8, 2005)
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49 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Elantrians do not need to eat. It would only be for the taste and sensation. The Dor sustains them

 

Questioner (paraphrased)

[Something about whether Elantrians are immortal or long-lived] 

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Elantrians have no physical limitations on their lifespan. The power will sustain them,

That I would take to refer to aging only. We know for a fact that they can get sick and die from that.

49 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

No, the Elantrians aren't "zombies." However, they certainly would fit the standard fantasy definition of being "undead." After all, their bodies aren't really alive, but they can think. Still, I resist comparisons to established fantasy traditions. I wanted the Elantrians to be their own genre of creatures. In the world I have created, they are simply "Elantrians." They are people who don't need to eat,

Indicating that, if not for the Reod, Elantrians would need to eat.

 

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17 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Indicating that, if not for the Reod, Elantrians would need to eat.

They don't need to eat.  This has been established quite firmly.

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