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> The yellow school bus, plus ca change?
Daddy's Litt...
post Sep 9 2010, 01:47 PM
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I know much of SR is set in urban areas but there are suburban areas too. Since most people work for subsidiaries of AAA's rather than directly a lot of people may not know who they really work for so will not be in corporate enclaves. Cheaper for the corp that way.

Will the yellow school bus still be rolling through the American morning to pick up children? My girls are too young for school yet but driving into work in the morning I see packs of kids standing on corners waiting for the bus. I had a horrible feeling looking at it. That a creature who wanted children could just pull up with a bus a minute or two earlier for the real bus, on they get like lemmings and off he goes. The ease with which I think it would work is frightening.

Slave labor, black mail, blood sacrifices or a distraction while you go after a single target.



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kjones
post Sep 9 2010, 02:01 PM
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The only reasons that I could think of as to why this wouldn't happen are:

Instead of making your kid wait for the bus, put them in their own auto-pilot-ed drone vehicle. Safer and more convenient, this is what I imagine the upper middle class have for their children. (Upper class have private tutors.)

How common are pure VR/AR schools? I imagine they're a hell of a lot cheaper to run than the regular sort.

So I imagine the yellow school bus being a common fixture in lower-midde-class/middle-class neighborhoods. Maybe it's autonomously piloted - which would make kidnapping a bus full of schoolchildren all the easier.

Thanks, you just made me feel all creepy for coming up with this...
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CanRay
post Sep 9 2010, 02:12 PM
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Mid-dle class? What is this Mid-dle class you speak of? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

Yes, the School Bus will likely still be around. Schools are, as social interaction is important for the development of a child. But AR Schools will likely be becoming more popular, so it might be dying. VR, less popular. Especially after the Technomancer/AI Scare of 2070.

Tutorsofts designed to teach a person "Everything they need to know" would be quite common in AA-AAA Corporations. They can gauge the intelligence of the person in question, and provide feedback on how much to invest into the child's education. Standard intelligence with no exceptional areas = Functionally illiterate ("Icono-Literate" is how I'm describing it), but good at repetitive or boring tasks (Factory Worker, Security Guard, Ect.). High intelligence or an exceptional area = Higher education.

Also, in the discussion about the ShadowSkool, we talked about the Skoolbus.
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Daddy's Litt...
post Sep 9 2010, 02:13 PM
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I know we can think of auto drones and home school through VR as possible but I wonder if that would be common. There is a cultureal element about the kids going off to school that I cannot see changing too easily. My area is semi-rural semi suburban. Developments of 100 houses nestled between dairy farms, a block of condos next to a corn field. I cannot see this changing so easily. If nothing else working parents will need a place to send their children.

I have two small girls. Think how creeped out I am.
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kjones
post Sep 9 2010, 02:16 PM
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QUOTE (Daddy's Little Ninja @ Sep 9 2010, 09:13 AM) *
I have two small girls. Think how creeped out I am.


Don't be ridiculous. Nothing like this could ever happen in real life!

checks to see how much a used school bus costs

$40,000? Oh, dear lord.
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CanRay
post Sep 9 2010, 02:22 PM
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Actually, in a different game, we looked up the costs of a used School Bus and was able to find one for only a few thousand.

Of course, it was over twenty-years old... But in that game, we were only transporting people on a one-way trip.
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pbangarth
post Sep 9 2010, 02:28 PM
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QUOTE (Daddy's Little Ninja @ Sep 9 2010, 10:13 AM) *
I have two small girls. Think how creeped out I am.
Get to know your bus driver and bus number. Get the kids to know your bus driver and bus number. "If it's a different driver, kids, get mommy or daddy to talk to him."
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kjones
post Sep 9 2010, 02:30 PM
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I think there are a lot of people in this world who would pay a couple grand for a busload of children. In the world of SR, there's probably even more.

However, you have to consider that there are measures in place to handle these sorts of things. IRL, this wouldn't work because nowadays every kid has a cell phone. A clever bus driver could lie and say something like "The bus is breaking down, we need to go to a garage!" and buy himself a little time, but I think that it wouldn't be too long before word got out, and the school would get very worried when the bus didn't show up on time. (My brother is a teacher, and they take anything involving missing kids very seriously.)

In the world of SR4, I suspect that buses would be tracked even more closely, since it's so easy to do - GridGuide and whatnot. And you'd have to turn off or jam every kid's commlink. I'm not saying this is impossible, merely that it raises the bar.
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jaellot
post Sep 9 2010, 02:58 PM
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I, too, have 2 small girls. I'm honestly contemplating home school, but we fortunately live close to all the various schools so we can drive them. Though some mornings I wouldn't complain if the younger one got kidnapped. They can't bring her back for at least a couple of days though...

As far as In-Game concerns, RFID tags. Tags for the kids, tags for drivers, even retinal scan/biometrics to make sure the driver is the right one. This would also correct any issues of kids getting on the wrong school bus, even. For the lower class, well, the corps don't really care, yeah? Especially for the SINless. As it was said in Mel Brooks' "History of the World: Part One"- Fuck the poor!

Also, I remember reading somewhere in one of the books where training a worker cost more than slapping some skillwires in, so the same could be said for children. Slap a chipjack in their noggin and let them slot what they need to know. It would explain better (at least for me) why literacy is nonexistent and everything is iconographic.
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Daddy's Litt...
post Sep 9 2010, 03:13 PM
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I am more thinking of the kids in the morning. At the end of my development there are maybe 8-9 jr high kids who wait for a bus. They are trying to look cool and jaded and it is funny. They troop onto the bus and off it goes. A different bus gets the grade school kids. They wait on another corner. I doubt the kids notice the driver and if they did see it was osmeone new he could say "bert's out sick today." and would they notice? would they care? A little sporific and off we go.

The morning bus is the trick because the parents will not be looking for the kids for hours, until school gets out and if they do not get to school, teachers will assume the kids are sick and will bring a note the next day. It will not be until the late afternoon the parents will get worried and by then, well you can go a long way by then.
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Doc Chase
post Sep 9 2010, 03:16 PM
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I recall Sprawl Survival Guide said that education was largely Matrix-based by '63 for anyone with the tech, since all anyone would have to do is log into the central server to get their lessons and assignments for the day.

Anyone who didn't was pretty much school of hard knocks.
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suoq
post Sep 9 2010, 03:19 PM
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QUOTE (Daddy's Little Ninja @ Sep 9 2010, 07:47 AM) *
That a creature who wanted children could just pull up with a bus a minute or two earlier for the real bus, on they get like lemmings and off he goes. The ease with which I think it would work is frightening.

The problem is, it's not a smart thing to do for a creature that wants to live. It's only a smart thing to do for a creature that is going to die or intent on dying.

Regardless of the dystopia, things like this are NOT good for business. The creature that makes this fatal mistake is worth every penny dead.

So the school bus goes on because it's stupid to mess with kids unless you want to die.

Note that though it goes on, it probably still goes on without seatbelts and with a good amount of body so if you're following the discussion on car collisions, it's probably a complete deathtrap under the rules.

--------

Re: Matrix Based Education. I think if you expect kids to grow up in an analog society, you need to get them into analog social groups to learn analog social skills. Even if much education is matrix based, kids need to get around other kids. Locally, even homeschoolers get their children together to socialize with other children on a frequent basis.
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TheScrivener
post Sep 9 2010, 03:32 PM
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I think you're underestimating the diligence of school administrations and the paranoia of all things child-related. It's been a dozen years or so since I was in jr high, but I still distinctly remember a teacher with a clipboard out every day, marking off the buses as they arrived, noting the numbers and the drivers. Nothing those folks do is not recorded, and a driver hitting a stop totally empty of children would radio in the anomaly instantly. So while the trojan-bus idea might let you grab a dozen or so kids from one stop, you'd be on law enforcement's radar within 20-30 minutes, the window between when kids show up at the bus stop and when the real bus shows up and radios in that the kids are missing. That's today; 2070 tech is a whole extra level of surveillance. Today, there are programs for kids' cellphones that give parents an alert if the kid is somewhere they aren't supposed to be; this is only going to get more sophisticated. You only need one or two kids with this activated on the bus before the school and the 'Star get calls.

The important thing to remember is - there's no limit to paranoia when it comes to children, and whatever nightmare scenario you're thinking of, there's someone else who's obsessed over it, and too often (though not as often as some think) someone who's experienced it. While it might be an interesting idea for a law enforcement runner team to go up against, it's more suited to an organized, regimented team than a single anonymous pedophile.
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Doc Chase
post Sep 9 2010, 03:42 PM
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QUOTE (suoq @ Sep 9 2010, 03:19 PM) *
Re: Matrix Based Education. I think if you expect kids to grow up in an analog society, you need to get them into analog social groups to learn analog social skills. Even if much education is matrix based, kids need to get around other kids. Locally, even homeschoolers get their children together to socialize with other children on a frequent basis.


Well sure. I don't thinkt he school cares where the students are as long as they're checking in to do their work. A child care place would probably be the preferred holding cell for munchkins until they're older to congregate at approved Edyou-Kayshun™ centers.
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suoq
post Sep 9 2010, 03:53 PM
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QUOTE (Doc Chase @ Sep 9 2010, 09:42 AM) *
Well sure. I don't thinkt he school cares where the students are as long as they're checking in to do their work. A child care place would probably be the preferred holding cell for munchkins until they're older to congregate at approved Edyou-Kayshun™ centers.
The point is, children are still being gathered in single locations. If the school bus works for school, it can also work for any regularly scheduled munchkin holding cell.
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Doc Chase
post Sep 9 2010, 03:59 PM
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QUOTE (suoq @ Sep 9 2010, 04:53 PM) *
The point is, children are still being gathered in single locations. If the school bus works for school, it can also work for any regularly scheduled munchkin holding cell.


Sure, sure. Part of me is just wondering if any non-corp holding cell is going to put forth the budget to bus these kids in and out, or just make the parents drop them off and pick them up like at a daycare.
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CanRay
post Sep 9 2010, 04:09 PM
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QUOTE (Doc Chase @ Sep 9 2010, 10:59 AM) *
Sure, sure. Part of me is just wondering if any non-corp holding cell is going to put forth the budget to bus these kids in and out, or just make the parents drop them off and pick them up like at a daycare.

But wouldn't that be neglecting the Corp to have time with the kids?
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suoq
post Sep 9 2010, 04:16 PM
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QUOTE (Doc Chase @ Sep 9 2010, 09:59 AM) *
Sure, sure. Part of me is just wondering if any non-corp holding cell is going to put forth the budget to bus these kids in and out, or just make the parents drop them off and pick them up like at a daycare.

1) It's a service you can charge for.
2) If you're bidding on an enclave contact, it's a selling point.
3) You'll need the buses if you go on field trips anyway (yet another selling point).
4) Buses means the kids are OUT when the facility closes. (No more late pickups.)
5) If they exist, they can be used by the players and the GM during a game to make the game more fun.
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Doc Chase
post Sep 9 2010, 04:19 PM
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QUOTE (CanRay @ Sep 9 2010, 05:09 PM) *
But wouldn't that be neglecting the Corp to have time with the kids?


...

You have me there, though the Nandroid would probably walk them down if it was an enclave.

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post Sep 9 2010, 04:24 PM
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QUOTE (Daddy's Little Ninja @ Sep 9 2010, 02:47 PM) *
I know much of SR is set in urban areas but there are suburban areas too. Since most people work for subsidiaries of AAA's rather than directly a lot of people may not know who they really work for so will not be in corporate enclaves. Cheaper for the corp that way.

But the vast majority of workers will not live in a nice suburban neighbourhood...or even send their kids to school. Cyberpunk economy is early 20th century capitalism at its worst, sprawling masses of replaceable worker drones without any rights (don't like your job? Well, there are 500 other people in line for it. Same story if you suffer a work accident). The nice suburban life is reserved for loyal (and useful) corp employees, and those will be watched by their loving mother corp - that is, watched more than the average person is watched anyway.


QUOTE
Slave labor, black mail, blood sacrifices or a distraction while you go after a single target.

I dunno, sounds like lots of work if you can just snatch a few squatter children off the street in the Barrens...

And in real life, without white slavery and blood sacrifices, it gets even more pointless - if you want to worry about your children, worry that they catch a lethal flu while waiting for the bus in the rain. That's about a gazillion times more likely (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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TommyTwoToes
post Sep 9 2010, 04:57 PM
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QUOTE (Doc Chase @ Sep 9 2010, 11:59 AM) *
Sure, sure. Part of me is just wondering if any non-corp holding cell is going to put forth the budget to bus these kids in and out, or just make the parents drop them off and pick them up like at a daycare.

Remember that government isn't gone, it just subcontracts out all its services to various corps.
The school is likely run by one corp, the school busses may be by the same one, maybe by a trucking company, or maybe by the company that holds the rest of the city's public transport contracts.

As to the kids not getting on the bus, seems like the schools might provide a low level agent for the kids comlinks. The agent could
  1. Monitor their location
  2. verify that the drive and bus are legit
  3. Track and report on absences
  4. update school records on grades, profciencies, cafeteria use, library use...
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Manunancy
post Sep 9 2010, 07:47 PM
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QUOTE (Daddy's Little Ninja @ Sep 9 2010, 05:13 PM) *
The morning bus is the trick because the parents will not be looking for the kids for hours, until school gets out and if they do not get to school, teachers will assume the kids are sick and will bring a note the next day. It will not be until the late afternoon the parents will get worried and by then, well you can go a long way by then.


Even without the tracking some others have mentionned, one kid failing to show up won't raise many eyebrows. A busload missing will. The age-segregated busing makes it even more obvious since youy won't be missing a random sampling but an age bracket that will put most of the absentee in the same classes.

Depending on what the abductor has in mind it might be too late, but you can expect enough media frenzy to make sur the cops bump the case into the 'top priority, call in everyone thant can walk and let's get this manhunt running to it's sucessful conclusion before we look bad in front of the cameras' category.

Basically that sort of trick is definitively doable, but the repercussions make it far less desirable than it sounds. As some mentioned earlier, there's plenty of kids nobody gives a damn about around the barrens, so unless you specificaly need healthy middle class kids, why bother ?
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Daddy's Litt...
post Sep 9 2010, 08:13 PM
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I wasn't thinking of hitting an entire route, just one stop along the route. The bus driver will have to keep rolling to get to his next stop even if he calls in that there was a problem at spot #X. sure you can grab kiddies from the sprawl but these would be healthier and there would be less well armed security forces in close proximity.

I did say I was thinking outside the sprawl. And as for what the world will be like, Philadelphia's taxes have killed off a lot of business in the town, but there is a ring of office parks and facilities just around the city, just outside its tax field. I think this would be very common for corps. RL a mile from my house is one of Merk's largest facilities. It keeps local taxes low but there are a couple of roads that are nearly impassable in the morning due to the traffic.

On the plus side I feel better about my RL children. Of course on Tuesday two Philadelphia bus drivers took over 5 hours to completer their runs and never called in.
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post Sep 9 2010, 09:22 PM
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QUOTE (TheScrivener @ Sep 9 2010, 12:32 PM) *
I think you're underestimating the diligence of school administrations and the paranoia of all things child-related. It's been a dozen years or so since I was in jr high, but I still distinctly remember a teacher with a clipboard out every day, marking off the buses as they arrived, noting the numbers and the drivers. Nothing those folks do is not recorded, and a driver hitting a stop totally empty of children would radio in the anomaly instantly. So while the trojan-bus idea might let you grab a dozen or so kids from one stop, you'd be on law enforcement's radar within 20-30 minutes, the window between when kids show up at the bus stop and when the real bus shows up and radios in that the kids are missing. That's today; 2070 tech is a whole extra level of surveillance. Today, there are programs for kids' cellphones that give parents an alert if the kid is somewhere they aren't supposed to be; this is only going to get more sophisticated. You only need one or two kids with this activated on the bus before the school and the 'Star get calls.

The important thing to remember is - there's no limit to paranoia when it comes to children, and whatever nightmare scenario you're thinking of, there's someone else who's obsessed over it, and too often (though not as often as some think) someone who's experienced it. While it might be an interesting idea for a law enforcement runner team to go up against, it's more suited to an organized, regimented team than a single anonymous pedophile.


Like building a wall around the town and send the kids far from home because the most likely person to kidnap one of them belongs to their families? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)
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CanRay
post Sep 9 2010, 09:25 PM
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QUOTE (Brazilian_Shinobi @ Sep 9 2010, 04:22 PM) *
Like building a wall around the town and send the kids far from home because the most likely person to kidnap one of them belongs to their families? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)

And what did we get? "Stranger Danger". *Shakes Head*
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