Подлая антисоветская западная пропаганда

… за которую премию Хьюго дают.

Art swung his head around and stared at Nirgal, his mouth hanging open. “Explain to me what just went on there.”

“Well,” said Nirgal, feeling the benevolence of the kava flowing through him, “they were trading. We need food and fuel, so we were at a disadvantage, but Coyote did pretty well.”

Art hefted the white block. “But what’s this get nitrogen, and give nitrogen, and burn nitrogen? What, do you torch your money when you get it?”

“Well, some of it, yeah.”

“So both of them were trying to lose?”

“To lose?”

“To come out short in the deal?”

“Short?”

“To give more than they got?”

“Well, sure. Of course.”

“Oh, of course!” Art rolled his eyes. “But you … you can’t give too much more than you get, did I understand that?”

“Right. That would be potlatching.”

Nirgal watched his new friend mull this over.

“But if you always give more than you get, how do you get anything to give, if you see what I mean?”

Nirgal shrugged, glanced at Vijjika, hugged her waist suggestively. “You have to find it, I guess. Or make it.”

“Ah.”

“It’s the gift economy,” Vijjika told him.

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