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Why does this look awful? Example of bad typography
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The example The lesson

Diaspora · Greg Egan

Chapter 1:


Konishi polis, Earth
23 389 025 000 000 CST
15 May 2975, 11:03:17.154 UTC


The conceptory was non-sentient software, as ancient as Konishi polis itself.

Its main purpose was to enable the citizens of the polis to create offspring: a child of one parent, or two, or twenty – formed partly in their own image, partly according to their wishes, and partly by chance. Sporadically, though, every teratau or so, the conceptory created a citizen with no parents at all.

In Konishi, every home-born citizen was grown from a mind seed, a string of instruction codes like a digital genome. The first mind seeds had been translated from DNA nine centuries before, when the polis founders had invented the Shaper programming language to recreate the essential processes of neuroembryology in software. But any such translation was necessarily imperfect, glossing over biochemical details in favor of broad, functional equivalence, and the full diversity of the flesher genome could not be brought through intact. Starting from a diminished trait pool, with the old DNA-based maps rendered obsolete, it was crucial for the conceptory to chart the consequences of the new variations to the mind seed. To eschew all change would be to risk stagnation; to embrace it recklessly would be to endanger the sanity of every child.