Self-training is so far the only way to get more experience, because the other techniques do not give anything.

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The first months after the mission to New Earth, we spent all our time on the ships, occasionally going to planets, studying the economy, trying to make connections.

Such science as financial markets was of great interest to us because our partners were not banks, but community banks set up specifically for this purpose. We could not pay for loans if we wanted to, but we wanted to be able to control the amount of them. To do this we had to make connections.

Although our work was almost exactly the same as that of the IAU, we considered ourselves to be the most recent representatives of humans and our planet to be the lowest level of civilization.

Of course, this view was mistaken. After a short period of operation on New Earth, it turned out to be quite suitable for life, although not of a very high standard.

Indeed, there was no reason why we should not move up the social ladder. Everything here was the same as everywhere else: people were born, studied, worked, and died. Those who once benefited from privilege could not leave their children behind, and the system adapted to this population usually worked well.

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We quickly learned that there were only two extremes, one costing practically nothing and the other requiring enormous effort and risk, but yielding good returns. In both extremes we saw a great advantage, but we did not allow ourselves to think about it yet.

The first chance came to us three months after the mission began. It must be said that almost all of our bankers, as well as the most desperate speculators knew of the existence of planets with a sufficiently high level of civilization and that we wanted to contact them so that their inhabitants could become familiar with our system. So a hail of complaints poured in against us.

They were wonderful beings-intelligent and kind. They spoke a language we could understand, they didn’t use credit cards, and they didn’t try to get advantages of trade from us.

They led a fairly normal life, which was not a happy one – you couldn’t ask for advice from a relative who was in prison for murder, could you?

But they not only took care of their children, they also hated each other. They were constantly feuding, fighting among themselves, and living as if they had many more years of life ahead of them.

Apparently, things were different in the New Earth United Republic.