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** The ARM police (the law enforcement agency of the [[OneWorldOrder United Nations]], regularly go on "mother hunts" for those people who illegally go over their reproductive limits.

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** The ARM police (the law enforcement agency of the [[OneWorldOrder United Nations]], Nations]]) regularly go on "mother hunts" for those people who illegally go over their reproductive limits.



** Also, people with undesirable genetic traits (such as albinism, bad teeth, bad eyesight, being cancer prone, early baldness, and so on) typically lose both of their original birthrights. (Such people can still purchase a birthright, or win one in the arena or the lottery).

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** Also, people with undesirable genetic traits (such as albinism, bad teeth, bad eyesight, being cancer prone, early baldness, and so on) typically lose both of their original birthrights. (Such Such people can still purchase a birthright, or win one in the arena or the lottery).lottery.


* The Pak. Humanity's NeglectfulPrecursors (and some times AbusivePrecursors ), with a [[EvolutionPowerUp bizarre metamorphosis]] into "protectors" driven by a [[ViralTransformation virus]] found in yams grown in soil rich in thallium. They are usually extremely hostile to humanity, since we mutated so much since they last saw us that [[UncannyValley we smell horribly wrong]]. Breeder-stage Pak are also known as Homo habilis, and descendants of abandoned breeders are fairly common across Known Space and beyond, and will all transform into protectors when exposed to the virus. Yes, even humans. "Protectors" who started out as H. Habilis or other more primitive primates [[UpliftedAnimal become highly intelligent and physically superhuman]]. Humans exposed to the virus, as they start out already sentient, become superhumanly intelligent and [[TranshumanTreachery effectively extremely alien, extremely nonhuman in their mental processes]]... and ''fanatically'' loyal to their gene line. When the last of a Protector's descendants dies (or at least becomes incapable of breeding), the Protector loses interest in eating and dies. Some Protectors are able to transfer their loyalty to more distant relatives (descendants of siblings, parents, grandparents, etc.) and remain alive for their sake, and a few rare individuals have been able to transfer it to the species as a whole.

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* The Pak. Humanity's NeglectfulPrecursors (and some times AbusivePrecursors ), with a [[EvolutionPowerUp bizarre metamorphosis]] into "protectors" driven by a [[ViralTransformation virus]] found in yams grown in soil rich in thallium. They are usually extremely hostile to humanity, since we mutated so much since they last saw us that [[UncannyValley we smell horribly wrong]]. Breeder-stage Pak are also known as Homo habilis, ''Homo habilis'', and descendants of abandoned breeders are fairly common across Known Space and beyond, and will all transform into protectors when exposed to the virus. Yes, even humans. "Protectors" who started out as H. Habilis ''H. Habilis'' or other more primitive primates [[UpliftedAnimal become highly intelligent and physically superhuman]]. Humans exposed to the virus, as they start out already sentient, become superhumanly intelligent and [[TranshumanTreachery effectively extremely alien, extremely nonhuman in their mental processes]]... and ''fanatically'' loyal to their gene line. When the last of a Protector's descendants dies (or at least becomes incapable of breeding), the Protector loses interest in eating and dies. Some Protectors are able to transfer their loyalty to more distant relatives (descendants of siblings, parents, grandparents, etc.) and remain alive for their sake, and a few rare individuals have been able to transfer it to the species as a whole.

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* {{Ambadassador}}: Speaker-to-Animals was an embassy legate of the Kzinti ambassador to Earth before being recruited for the First Ringworld Expedition. While he was (in Nessus' words) a 'tamed' Kzin, as one of the most diplomatic of his species [[spoiler: being the product of the Puppeteers' efforts to breed some sense of diplomacy into them by arranging for the Humans to win the First Man-Kzin War]], a 'docile' Kzin is still a three meter tall wall of carnivorous fury.
** Nessus, and perhaps several other 'mad' Puppeteers, also counts; while Nessus is still abjectly cautious and mildly paranoid most of the time, he not only was willing to go on the Ringworld Expedition despite immense personal risk, he faced down angry Kzinti on several occasions (starting in "The Soft Weapon", where he kicked Chuft-Captain and broke several of his rib-analogs). While he was not an ambassador as such, Puppeteers insane enough to travel by starship are so rare that any Puppeteer a human is likely to meet who is in good standing back home (unlike Hindmost during the Second Ringworld Expedition) will have plenary consular powers as well as negotiating authority with the General Products Corporation.


* ScienceMarchesOn: In the introduction to the ''Tales of Known Space'' anthology, Niven notes that Science was Marching On while he was writing:
--> You may feel that Mars itself is changing as you read through the book. Right you are. ... If the space probes keep redesigning our planets, what can we do but write new stories?

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*** And at the end of the story, the guy is thinking of going back and throwing a ''flag'' at it. From a "safe" distance. To watch what happens.


** It wasn't set on fire. It just had its frozen upper-crust ''detonated'', is all.


** Kzin: humans won the Man-Kzin wars, so they get to dictate what language is used for Earth-Kzin communications.

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** Kzin: humans won the Man-Kzin wars, so they get to dictate what language is used for Earth-Kzin communications. In any case, Kzin language is variously described as sounding like a catfight, a prolonged burst of radio static and similar expressions; no man is ever shown speaking it (apart from occasional single words) although the puppeteers can, if they wish


** Kdatlyno: were Kzinti slaves before being liberated by humans, so also didn't have a lot of leverage on the choice of language.

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** Kdatlyno: were Kzinti slaves before being liberated by humans, so also didn't have a lot of leverage on the choice of language. They are also deaf and blind in the human spectra, so quite HOW they communicate with others isn't explained.


*** For a truly wonderful example, the fifteenth Man-Kzin Wars collection has a story about how ''they'' were the ones who got the Jotok to try to uplift the Kzin as mercenaries, fully expecting that the Jotok would be either wiped out or enslaved by their new mercenaries. This served two purposes- first, it got the Jotok out of the way before they could discover FTL travel (which the Puppeteers had a monopoly on), and second was that they had heard rumors of a threat at the galactic core. They wanted a race of warriors to fight in case it was a threat to them, specifically. At the same time that they're doing this, they set in motion plans to accelerate the development of human technology in order to serve as a foil to the Kzinti, with the intention that whoever wins will be easily manipulated by the Puppeteers.



* EverybodySmokes: Particularly jarring to a modern audience in the first Kzinti story, ''The Warriors'': the story emphasises that this is the far future and humans at this point have changed enormously, developing a peaceful society to the point that even a minor act of violence is seen as a sign of mental illness -- yet the characters discuss this while smoking.

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* EverybodySmokes: Particularly jarring to a modern audience in the first Kzinti story, ''The Warriors'': the story emphasises emphasizes that this is the far future and humans at this point have changed enormously, developing a peaceful society to the point that even a minor act of violence is seen as a sign of mental illness -- yet the characters discuss this while smoking.

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* AgriWorld: The CityPlanet homeworld of the Puppeteers has four farm worlds dedicated to growing food for its enormous population.


** At one point in the history of Known Space, almost every crime is punishable by death, including multiple traffic tickets. The reason is due to the perfection of organ transplant technology. Once the government adopted "involuntary organ donation" as its official means of execution, all state executions are done in hospitals, and people started voting to make more and more crimes capital crimes to keep up with the demand for transplant material. This results in a massive, irreversible change in Earth's culture, as in Niven's universe, psychology is more nature than nurture; violence, deception and greed have a genetic basis (like real life genetics proved) that organ harvesting weeded out of the population, along with a great deal of humanity's self-preservation, self-motivation and self-interest. After a few generations of this, "flatlanders" are [[ActualPacifist pacifistic]], [[ExtremeDoormat completely obedient to authority]], and [[AntiIntellectualism rather stupid]]. This system collapses when artificial organs become cheap and effective, and by the year 3000, the organ-based death penalty laws have vanished, but the cultural impact was pretty much permanent.

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** At one point in the history of Known Space, almost every crime is punishable by death, including multiple traffic tickets. The reason is due to the perfection of organ transplant technology. Once the government adopted "involuntary organ donation" as its official means of execution, all state executions are done in hospitals, and people started voting to make more and more crimes capital crimes to keep up with the demand for transplant material. This results in a massive, irreversible change in Earth's culture, as in Niven's universe, psychology is more nature than nurture; violence, deception and greed have a genetic basis (like real life genetics proved) that organ harvesting weeded out of the population, along with a great deal of humanity's self-preservation, self-motivation and self-interest. After a few generations of this, "flatlanders" are [[ActualPacifist pacifistic]], [[ExtremeDoormat completely obedient to authority]], and [[AntiIntellectualism rather stupid]]. This system collapses when artificial organs become cheap and effective, and by the year 3000, the organ-based death penalty laws have vanished, but the cultural impact was pretty much permanent.


** At one point in the history of Known Space, almost every crime is punishable by death, including multiple traffic tickets. The reason is due to the perfection of organ transplant technology. Once the government adopted "involuntary organ donation" as its official means of execution, all state executions are done in hospitals, and people started voting to make more and more crimes capital crimes to keep up with the demand for transplant material. This results in a massive, irreversible change in Earth's culture, as in Niven's universe, psychology is more nature than nurture; violence, deception and greed have a genetic basis that organ harvesting weeded out of the population, along with a great deal of humanity's self-preservation, self-motivation and self-interest. After a few generations of this, "flatlanders" are [[ActualPacifist pacifistic]], [[ExtremeDoormat completely obedient to authority]], and [[AntiIntellectualism rather stupid]]. This system collapses when artificial organs become cheap and effective, and by the year 3000, the organ-based death penalty laws have vanished, but the cultural impact was pretty much permanent.

to:

** At one point in the history of Known Space, almost every crime is punishable by death, including multiple traffic tickets. The reason is due to the perfection of organ transplant technology. Once the government adopted "involuntary organ donation" as its official means of execution, all state executions are done in hospitals, and people started voting to make more and more crimes capital crimes to keep up with the demand for transplant material. This results in a massive, irreversible change in Earth's culture, as in Niven's universe, psychology is more nature than nurture; violence, deception and greed have a genetic basis (like real life genetics proved) that organ harvesting weeded out of the population, along with a great deal of humanity's self-preservation, self-motivation and self-interest. After a few generations of this, "flatlanders" are [[ActualPacifist pacifistic]], [[ExtremeDoormat completely obedient to authority]], and [[AntiIntellectualism rather stupid]]. This system collapses when artificial organs become cheap and effective, and by the year 3000, the organ-based death penalty laws have vanished, but the cultural impact was pretty much permanent.


* OhCrap: The plot of ''Protector'' runs on these.
** The Pak colonist protectors have a MassOhCrap when tree-of-life doesn't grow right in the colony.
** Phssthpok has an OhCrap when his native Valley of Pitchok is nuked and his life expectancy is now tied to that of his youngest granddaughter.
** The Pak protectors have a MassOhCrap when they realize [[spoiler:local space is becoming inhospitable]].
** Phssthpok has another one when he catches engine problems--and just barely has enough time to stop the ship exploding.
** Nick Sohl and Einar Nillson have one when they realize a local smuggler has taken it into his head to contact the Outsider himself.
** Jack Brennan and Einar Nillson have OhCrap moments when they realize they have this overwhelming urge to eat this unknown alien root.
** Alice Jordan and Nate La Pan have OhCrap moments with [[spoiler:Nillson's ever-worsening condition and ultimate death]].
** Brennan has one when he realizes what Phssthpok will do if he realizes humanity lacks the Pak's ChronicBackstabbingDisorder.
** Brennan has one years later when he realizes [[spoiler:the Pak have evacuated their homeworld and are coming here]].
** Truesdale has one when he realizes just what [[AntiHero Brennan's]] [[NecessarilyEvil plan]] for [[spoiler:the people of Home]] is.
** [[spoiler:The people of Home]] have a MassOhCrap when they realize that [[spoiler:whatever this new virus is, it's spreading itself intelligently]].

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* PsychicStarshipPilot: The Kzinti never obtained the mass indicator technology humans use to navigate hyperspace, instead relying on a few rare Kzinti who can see in hyperspace, and the Patriarch made a concerted effort to mate with their female relatives to ensure his family would control Kzinti space travel.

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* DangerInTheGalacticCore: The galactic core has already exploded, but the light won't get to human space for another twenty thousand years, so they're not particularly fussed about it.

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