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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:11 pm 
Avisaru
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zompist wrote:
I'd expect to see single-issue voting, as well as technocratic boundaries to keep the electorate from being too stupid. (E.g. an initiative to simply cut taxes shouldn't be allowed, nor one based on ignorance.)

on what basis? do i behold the grim yiddish dybbuk-hand of asimov thrust out of the ground of your argument??


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:17 pm 
Avisaru
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Pthug wrote:
zompist wrote:
I'd expect to see single-issue voting, as well as technocratic boundaries to keep the electorate from being too stupid. (E.g. an initiative to simply cut taxes shouldn't be allowed, nor one based on ignorance.)

on what basis? do i behold the grim yiddish dybbuk-hand of asimov thrust out of the ground of your argument??


?
what use is an electorate unable to make intelligent decisions?

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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:21 pm 
Avisaru
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Rodlox wrote:
what use is an electorate unable to make intelligent decisions?

A Good Question.


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:02 pm 
Boardlord
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Pthug wrote:
zompist wrote:
I'd expect to see single-issue voting, as well as technocratic boundaries to keep the electorate from being too stupid. (E.g. an initiative to simply cut taxes shouldn't be allowed, nor one based on ignorance.)

on what basis? do i behold the grim yiddish dybbuk-hand of asimov thrust out of the ground of your argument??


It's nothing to do with Asimov, but plenty to do with the current absurdism of US politics. As just one example, some polls have found that people think that foreign aid makes up 25% of the federal budget, while it's actually 1.2%. So a proposal based on ignorance would be something like "Reduce taxes by 25%, to be made up by eliminating the foreign aid budget."


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:15 pm 
Avisaru
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I was more referring to the "technocratic boundaries to keep the electorate from being too stupid" -- where would it come from?

[Such' ihn überm Sternenzelt! Über Sternen muß er wohnen!]


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:40 am 
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zompist wrote:
I like the Swiss system very much. Collective leadership ought to be tried more often.

I prefer to at least have someone as first among equals myself, and I rather dislike the all-party nature of it - makes change far more difficult than it needs to be, in my view.
(While I recognise change is not always good, and needs to be quite difficult, stagnation is not good either, and the Swiss seem to have doe that a fair bit)
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I'm not opposed to PR, but I don't see it as a panacea either. It can lead to instability or to domination by minority parties. On the other hand our current politics is no great advertisement for winner-take-all constituencies.

Oh, it's not a panacea, by any means. But FPTP is quite indefensible, and other single-winner systems are little better. And there is evidence, for instance, that Green policies have been debated in government earlier in countries that use PR. And these things are the exception rather than the rule, and the same can happen with FPTP.
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But councils and parliaments— things that have to meet in one city— are 18C technology too, and I think we could do better, now that the electorate can be immediately and quickly consulted. I'd expect to see single-issue voting, as well as technocratic boundaries to keep the electorate from being too stupid. (E.g. an initiative to simply cut taxes shouldn't be allowed, nor one based on ignorance.)

I'm not so sure - while I'm in favour of direct democracy at a local level it gets extremely difficult to use the larger you get. Athens had a far smaller citizenry than most modern states, and yet getting anything done was a nightmare, though I accept that the Internet and so on makes things easier. And often when initiatives are allowed, things happen like a successful initative to raise taxes one day and a successful initiative to cut them the next, due to having questions with different biases. The Swiss idea of only allowing citizens to call a referendum on laws that have been passed by Parliament is better in my view, though constitutional amendments should require them automatically.
And how do you select the government with this approach anyway? Coalition politics are nigh impossible, and you end up electing an oligarchy who'll tend to all have the same opinions.


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:45 pm 
Lebom
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I'm just jumping into this discussion now, and I have a few of my own nitpicks:

RE: Interstellar war being made impossible by distance:

Likely true in the early days of your setting, but by the 50C, with thousand year lifespans and ships traveling at .95c, it becomes much less plausible. With a thousand year lifespan, each year would be approximately equivalent to a month for a person with an 80 year lifespan. At .95c, you also have a gamma factor of approximately 3.2, which means that a traveler experiences less than a third of the time an outside observer sees a trip to take.

(You get this wrong in the section on interstellar travel, which says "a trip that appears to take 10 years to an outside observer takes only 1.6 years for the passenger". The formula for the gamma factor is 1 / sqrt (1 - (v/c)^2), which for .95 c works out to 1 / sqrt (1 - (.95)^2) = 1/ sqrt (0.0975) ~= 1 / 0.31 ~= 3.2. The numbers in the interstellar travel section suggest a gamma factor of six, which would require a speed of approximately 0.986 c)

Anyways, with a speed of 0.95c, a there-and-back trip to Alpha Centauri will take, as seen by the traveller, a fraction of his lifespan equivalent to about an 80 day trip for us. As seen by his friends sitting back at home, it will take about 260 days equivalent. This is fairly close to the timescale (measured as a fraction of lifespan) for travel between the belligerents in the American revolution.

And given that your quickships power themselves with "the dark energy found in the void", it doesn't seem plausible that war should be any more limited by resources than it ever has been. (Plus, energy should be even cheaper than you're making it, given that restricting the technology that's being used to power these ships from being used for stationary generators isn't really plausible).

You probably won't have wars raging across all of Incatena space (which would still be a bit too big for that), but I can't see wars not happening between neighboring systems given the situation you describe for the 50C.

RE: Coldsleep on interstellar voyages.

Given that you mention having free-floating space habitats that seem to be self sustaining and not to have any dependencies on inhabited planets, I find it unlikely that coldsleep would really take off, especially for shorter voyages. It is of course, likely that you'd cut a lot of the stuff that would go into a habitat out of a ship, but if a person can comfortably live in a habitat for their entire life, they'll likely comfortably be able to live on a ship for a few years.

You say that "sensory deprivation is the kind term for the level of excitement on a long space journey", but with stuff like "the Vee", there should be no risk of boredom. Even modern storage technology is good enough that an archive of Wikipedia could fit in your pocket, so a moderately-sized room on an interstellar ship should be able to host a Vee environment, that, if not as large or diverse as you'd get when connected to a planetary network, should be quite satisfactory for the passengers.

RE: Socionomics.

You say "It’s no longer necessary to guess or moralize when confronted with economic or political problems." But even if you have a system that allows you to perfectly predict the sociological or economic results of a given action, or better, a way to determine the course of action that will lead to a desired set of results, you're still faced with the fact that there may well be differences of opinion on what the desired results are. Your problem with abuse by authoritarians may be somebody's response, according to the principles of socionomics, to a problem you refuse to see, especially if two different groups have diametrically opposed goals on a certain issue. You might see an ideal state of affairs. They might see a profound social problem in that you even *think* such a thing could be an ideal state of affairs. You may have a way, via socionomics, to solve the "problem" of people that think like that, but they may have a way, via socionomics, to solve the "problem" of people that think like you, and it may just come down to who has more leverage to apply socionomic principles on society. You may have a socionomic way of arriving at a compromise that will satisfy the vast majority of both groups, but a compromise might not be a desirable goal.

Look at it this way: The problem with Hitler was his perception of the *existence* of a "Jewish Problem", not the quality of his solution. The final solution would have been a good one *if there was a problem*. Not all problems in politics and economics are as severe as Hitler slaughtering the Jews, but the principle is the same: The best scientific way of arriving at a given set of results won't help you if your desired results are wrong. Abraham Lincoln, armed with socionomics, might do ten times the good that the real Abe Lincoln did. Adolf Hitler, armed with socionomics, might to ten times the damage.


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:55 am 
Boardlord
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linguofreak wrote:
(You get this wrong in the section on interstellar travel, which says "a trip that appears to take 10 years to an outside observer takes only 1.6 years for the passenger". The formula for the gamma factor is 1 / sqrt (1 - (v/c)^2), which for .95 c works out to 1 / sqrt (1 - (.95)^2) = 1/ sqrt (0.0975) ~= 1 / 0.31 ~= 3.2. The numbers in the interstellar travel section suggest a gamma factor of six, which would require a speed of approximately 0.986 c)


Yes, thanks for the correction. Yours is off too I think, because it doesn't take acceleration into account. Using this page and an acceleration of 1g (i.e. 1g for half the trip, -1g for the other half) I get 4.5 years of ship time. (However, this is still a poor model of how the acceleration would work.)

Quote:
Anyways, with a speed of 0.95c, a there-and-back trip to Alpha Centauri will take, as seen by the traveller, a fraction of his lifespan equivalent to about an 80 day trip for us. As seen by his friends sitting back at home, it will take about 260 days equivalent. This is fairly close to the timescale (measured as a fraction of lifespan) for travel between the belligerents in the American revolution.


Yes, this is why I combined STL travel with long lives. But time doesn't pass faster just because it's a smaller fraction of your lifetime! The average person is going to take only a few interstellar trips, if any.

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And given that your quickships power themselves with "the dark energy found in the void", it doesn't seem plausible that war should be any more limited by resources than it ever has been. (Plus, energy should be even cheaper than you're making it, given that restricting the technology that's being used to power these ships from being used for stationary generators isn't really plausible).


The dark energy is just a bit of handwaving really... without it, the energy requirements for things like colony ships quickly become absurd.

To be clearer: without the handwavium, the energy requirements for wide-scale interstellar flights are near-impossible. Of course I could add larger amounts of handwavium to make it common as dirt, but I don't want to do that. One, it's been done (cf.: most sf), and two, it leads to the Fermi paradox.

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You say that "sensory deprivation is the kind term for the level of excitement on a long space journey", but with stuff like "the Vee", there should be no risk of boredom. Even modern storage technology is good enough that an archive of Wikipedia could fit in your pocket, so a moderately-sized room on an interstellar ship should be able to host a Vee environment, that, if not as large or diverse as you'd get when connected to a planetary network, should be quite satisfactory for the passengers.


One of the trips described in my book is 28 ly. It's discussed in the book that one passenger is going to live it out normally, but it's also seen as quite eccentric! Would you like to have an airplane journey that lasts for half a decade?

Sure, you have Vee access, but only within the ship.

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You say "It’s no longer necessary to guess or moralize when confronted with economic or political problems." But even if you have a system that allows you to perfectly predict the sociological or economic results of a given action, or better, a way to determine the course of action that will lead to a desired set of results, you're still faced with the fact that there may well be differences of opinion on what the desired results are. Your problem with abuse by authoritarians may be somebody's response, according to the principles of socionomics, to a problem you refuse to see, especially if two different groups have diametrically opposed goals on a certain issue. You might see an ideal state of affairs. They might see a profound social problem in that you even *think* such a thing could be an ideal state of affairs.


Sure. But socionomics isn't intended as a value system. It can answer questions like "How do we prevent recessions, or mitigate one that got past us?" or "How can we reduce the crime rate?" These are political questions today, technocratic ones for the Incatena. But they're no help at all if a society doesn't care about general prosperity, or about crime.

As with most SF, the idea isn't to create the ideal state of affairs, but to create a plausible one and work out the consequences. Of course bad things are still possible. They have to be, otherwise there's no stories to tell!


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:28 pm 
Lebom
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zompist wrote:
linguofreak wrote:
(You get this wrong in the section on interstellar travel, which says "a trip that appears to take 10 years to an outside observer takes only 1.6 years for the passenger". The formula for the gamma factor is 1 / sqrt (1 - (v/c)^2), which for .95 c works out to 1 / sqrt (1 - (.95)^2) = 1/ sqrt (0.0975) ~= 1 / 0.31 ~= 3.2. The numbers in the interstellar travel section suggest a gamma factor of six, which would require a speed of approximately 0.986 c)


Yes, thanks for the correction. Yours is off too I think, because it doesn't take acceleration into account. Using this page and an acceleration of 1g (i.e. 1g for half the trip, -1g for the other half) I get 4.5 years of ship time. (However, this is still a poor model of how the acceleration would work.)


Yes, acceleration does change things up. For long voyages, though, assuming a limited top speed, it's effects will be minor.

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Anyways, with a speed of 0.95c, a there-and-back trip to Alpha Centauri will take, as seen by the traveller, a fraction of his lifespan equivalent to about an 80 day trip for us. As seen by his friends sitting back at home, it will take about 260 days equivalent. This is fairly close to the timescale (measured as a fraction of lifespan) for travel between the belligerents in the American revolution.


Yes, this is why I combined STL travel with long lives. But time doesn't pass faster just because it's a smaller fraction of your lifetime! The average person is going to take only a few interstellar trips, if any.


The average person in the age of sail didn't take many transoceanic trips either. I'm using fraction of lifetime as a (rough) metric for how short the trip has to be to make warfare work. I wouldn't expect a war to involve more than maybe four or five star systems with all the combatants within ten light years or so of each other, but I'd expect interstellar war to start becoming a problem as lifetimes passed the 500 to 1000 year mark with the transit velocities we're talking about.

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And given that your quickships power themselves with "the dark energy found in the void", it doesn't seem plausible that war should be any more limited by resources than it ever has been. (Plus, energy should be even cheaper than you're making it, given that restricting the technology that's being used to power these ships from being used for stationary generators isn't really plausible).


The dark energy is just a bit of handwaving really... without it, the energy requirements for things like colony ships quickly become absurd.


They become absurd *with* a dark energy drive. All you've done is inserted a technology that lets you get absurd amounts of energy for free.

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To be clearer: without the handwavium, the energy requirements for wide-scale interstellar flights are near-impossible. Of course I could add larger amounts of handwavium to make it common as dirt, but I don't want to do that. One, it's been done (cf.: most sf), and two, it leads to the Fermi paradox.


But if you have a system by which a ship can generate enough energy onboard to reach 0.95c without using any onboard fuel or propellant, you have to add *gargantuan amounts of handwavium* to explain why it *isn't* common as dirt. You've got a device that provides *huge* amounts of energy that is small enough to fit on an interstellar vessel. Why (without handwavium) isn't a scaled up version (or even a same-size version) being used in stationary installations to provide *gobs upon gobs* of energy?

This is why friends don't let friends use reactionless drives in their universes. (These pages deal with the weaponisation potential and internal consistency problems of such drives, but it doesn't take much imagination to take the same things that give them weaponisation potential and use them for power generation).

The most plausible proposals I've seen use power generating infrastructure at one or both ends of the trip to propel a vehicle that is too small to hold the powerplant needed to get it up to the transit speed in question.

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You say that "sensory deprivation is the kind term for the level of excitement on a long space journey", but with stuff like "the Vee", there should be no risk of boredom. Even modern storage technology is good enough that an archive of Wikipedia could fit in your pocket, so a moderately-sized room on an interstellar ship should be able to host a Vee environment, that, if not as large or diverse as you'd get when connected to a planetary network, should be quite satisfactory for the passengers.


One of the trips described in my book is 28 ly. It's discussed in the book that one passenger is going to live it out normally, but it's also seen as quite eccentric! Would you like to have an airplane journey that lasts for half a decade?


Not an airplane journey (I'd want a private cabin for anything over 24 hours or so), but if I was going to be living for a hundred decades and had a laptop, a library of various fun simulation programs, games, and lots of reading material I wouldn't mind it so much.

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Sure, you have Vee access, but only within the ship.


My question is if you need Vee access outside the ship. It might be able to hold a fairly large Vee environment in its own right. I have a 1.5 terabyte USB hard drive sitting on my desk. The casing is 7 * 4.5 * 1.5 inches. At that storage density, a 10 * 10 * 10 room could hold about 50 petabytes, which is 5 times the estimated size of the Library of Congress's collection as of 2005. Add in three millennia of technological progress, and said 10 * 10 * 10 room could probably hold a fairly substantial virtual world.

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You say "It’s no longer necessary to guess or moralize when confronted with economic or political problems." But even if you have a system that allows you to perfectly predict the sociological or economic results of a given action, or better, a way to determine the course of action that will lead to a desired set of results, you're still faced with the fact that there may well be differences of opinion on what the desired results are. Your problem with abuse by authoritarians may be somebody's response, according to the principles of socionomics, to a problem you refuse to see, especially if two different groups have diametrically opposed goals on a certain issue. You might see an ideal state of affairs. They might see a profound social problem in that you even *think* such a thing could be an ideal state of affairs.


Sure. But socionomics isn't intended as a value system. It can answer questions like "How do we prevent recessions, or mitigate one that got past us?" or "How can we reduce the crime rate?" These are political questions today, technocratic ones for the Incatena. But they're no help at all if a society doesn't care about general prosperity, or about crime.


I'd venture that even today a lot more political problems than we realize are the result of differences of goals rather than disagreements on what the effects of a particular action will be. It's quite certain that many of the issues that most determine how I vote basically break down to arguments on whether certain actions are criminal or neutral (possibly even criminal or virtuous).


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:43 am 
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linguofreak wrote:
I'm using fraction of lifetime as a (rough) metric for how short the trip has to be to make warfare work.


Well, why? One reason might be societal attention span: in the Incatena, people can be expected to live with the consequences of their decisions made 50 or 100 years ago, and I expect plans to be accordingly more long-range. That could facilitate war. But the same reason also acts against war, in that people will remember bad decisions for longer. (Basically, some disasters seem to occur once all the people who remember the last one die off.)

In addition, the logistics of interstellar war are not improved by long lives. Bringing materiel and troops is riotously expensive and communications are ludicrous even if you fight in the next star system. And the same logistic problem means it's hard to make a profit.

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You've got a device that provides *huge* amounts of energy that is small enough to fit on an interstellar vessel. Why (without handwavium) isn't a scaled up version (or even a same-size version) being used in stationary installations to provide *gobs upon gobs* of energy?


There could be many reasons. Maybe the dark energy isn't easily accessible in a large gravity well, or maybe it's dangerous to use there. Or maybe it's just more expensive than gas mining or planet-sized solar panels. Maybe something about the technology (like a ramjet) requires collection over enormous distances.

It's not a reactionless drive, so I'm not sure why you bring that up.

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The most plausible proposals I've seen use power generating infrastructure at one or both ends of the trip to propel a vehicle that is too small to hold the powerplant needed to get it up to the transit speed in question.


That might indeed be superior for routine travel, once you have the infrastructure. For exploration and for new colonies, the infrastructure won't exist on the other end, and I expect you'd at least want a craft that can handle its own deceleration.

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Not an airplane journey (I'd want a private cabin for anything over 24 hours or so),


And with that very reasonable preference you've increased the mass requirements by several tons. Not only would most people prefer to sleep through it, the transit company would prefer you do, too. But for a hefty additional fee, you can have your cabin...

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I'd venture that even today a lot more political problems than we realize are the result of differences of goals rather than disagreements on what the effects of a particular action will be. It's quite certain that many of the issues that most determine how I vote basically break down to arguments on whether certain actions are criminal or neutral (possibly even criminal or virtuous).


Well, my contention is that most of such arguments are going to sound barbaric in three thousand years, just as we look down on arguments that slavery is justified by natural baseness, that mental illness is moral depravity, or that plagues and earthquakes are the judgments of the gods. If no one knows how to cure syphilis, we moralize and create quack remedies. If can cure it, we just do that.

That isn't to say that there won't still be moral disagreements. There will be plenty. But many will be on different subjects.


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:49 pm 
Lebom
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zompist wrote:
linguofreak wrote:
I'm using fraction of lifetime as a (rough) metric for how short the trip has to be to make warfare work.


Well, why? One reason might be societal attention span: in the Incatena, people can be expected to live with the consequences of their decisions made 50 or 100 years ago, and I expect plans to be accordingly more long-range. That could facilitate war. But the same reason also acts against war, in that people will remember bad decisions for longer. (Basically, some disasters seem to occur once all the people who remember the last one die off.)


Not always true: Alot of the stuff that made WWII such a disaster happened because the people who remembered WWI *hadn't* died off.

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In addition, the logistics of interstellar war are not improved by long lives. Bringing materiel and troops is riotously expensive and communications are ludicrous even if you fight in the next star system. And the same logistic problem means it's hard to make a profit.


Wars rarely turn a profit. They generally happen either because of the perception that some even more unprofitable disaster will happen if they are not fought, or the delusion that they will turn a profit. The second may be averted by higher logistic costs, the first may well not be.

As far as the logistic costs of interstellar war, many can be averted by fighting your war at a slower pace, which you have time to do. Furthermore, people will develop more wealth over their lifetimes if they live for a thousand years, so a society might be rich enough to blow alot of money on a war even with the horrible logistic costs.

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You've got a device that provides *huge* amounts of energy that is small enough to fit on an interstellar vessel. Why (without handwavium) isn't a scaled up version (or even a same-size version) being used in stationary installations to provide *gobs upon gobs* of energy?


There could be many reasons. Maybe the dark energy isn't easily accessible in a large gravity well, or maybe it's dangerous to use there. Or maybe it's just more expensive than gas mining or planet-sized solar panels.


If it's that expensive you probably aren't building your transportation infrastructure with it. And what's going to make it so expensive?

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Maybe something about the technology (like a ramjet) requires collection over enormous distances.


None of these are showstoppers. Assume that our dark energy drive doesn't work in a large gravity well: That's OK, we just go out into the Oort Cloud and use our drive to accelerate a comet up to some obscene velocity. We then detach the drive and have it decelerate before it's too deep into the Sun's gravity well, and have it go pick up the next comet.

Meanwhile, we have a target in the comet's path. When the two hit, we get a really bright explosion. We have solar panels to collect the light, and some sort of mechanism to collect the kinetic energy from the debris (much of which will be plasma, so something with large electromagnets suggests itself).

Alternatively, attach your drive to a magnet and fly it through a bunch of wire loops. It will create a current in the loops. Take the power you get and beam it back in-system by the same means you use for transferring power from these giant solar arrays to planets.

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It's not a reactionless drive, so I'm not sure why you bring that up.


For one thing, "dark energy" drives in science fiction tend to be reactionless too. There are actually two types of consumables for a spacecraft engine: Fuel, and propellant (AKA reaction mass). Fuel is what you use to get your energy, reaction mass is what you push against (since you're in vacuum and don't have air or water or the ground to push against, you have to bring the stuff you push against with you). For chemical rockets these are generally the same substance (or rather, unburned fuel is your fuel and your products of combustion are your propellant), but that's not guaranteed for rockets in general. It's certainly possible that you could have a drive that uses "dark energy" to heat up some sort of reaction mass and spew it out the back, but it doesn't tend to be written into stories often, and propellant mass tends to be a fairly sizeable fraction of a vehicle's loaded mass (often over 50%), which makes your drive, with no mention of any kind of consumables used by the propulsion system outside of a star system, seem like a reactionless drive. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsiolkovsk ... t_equation

(Now, it's not a requirement that your propellant be carried internally, but you have to be pushing against something or other, or have something (such as sunlight in the case of a solar sail) pushing against you)

Also, "dark energy" drives, and other sorts of "free energy pulled from the void" drives, tend to have a lot of the same problems, in terms of the internal consistency of the technology in a setting, as reactionless drives, even if they aren't technically reactionless.

In general, I find it easier to justify having FTL in a setting than free energy drives, and easier to make up consistent make-believe-physics for FTL than for free energy drives.

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The most plausible proposals I've seen use power generating infrastructure at one or both ends of the trip to propel a vehicle that is too small to hold the powerplant needed to get it up to the transit speed in question.


That might indeed be superior for routine travel, once you have the infrastructure. For exploration and for new colonies, the infrastructure won't exist on the other end, and I expect you'd at least want a craft that can handle its own deceleration.


Different proposals deal with this in different ways. Some involve using a laser to propel a ship using a solar sail. When you reach the turn-around point, you detach the outer portion of the sail, turn the inner portion of the sail with the spacecraft around, and use reflected light from the outer portion to decelerate the inner portion. I'm not so sure of this solution, but it might work.

Another solution is, instead of using a sail, to use your laser to heat propellant on board the spacecraft and send it out the tailpipe. You can accelerate in whatever direction you want by pointing the tailpipe in the opposite direction. Other proposals involve using a relativistic stream of incoming dust or pellets to supply the energy that you use to heat your propellant, but the general concept is the same.

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Not an airplane journey (I'd want a private cabin for anything over 24 hours or so),


And with that very reasonable preference you've increased the mass requirements by several tons. Not only would most people prefer to sleep through it, the transit company would prefer you do, too. But for a hefty additional fee, you can have your cabin...


The mass of the cabin will add to the energy costs of transportation, but your drive pulls energy out of the void. Even if you manage to handwave enough to make energy expensive when not making interstellar flights, energy for interstellar transportation is cheap.

Furthermore, I'm not convinced that cryosleep, even if possible, would be reliable (ie. you have less than one person per flight dying on being put under or brought up), cheap compared to staying up all trip, less massive (the equipment might be quite heavy), or generally accepted even if safe (Quite a number of people are very fearful of being put to sleep for surgery while their body is kept warm. Being put to sleep and then frozen just to travel? No thanks).


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:59 am 
Boardlord
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linguofreak wrote:
As far as the logistic costs of interstellar war, many can be averted by fighting your war at a slower pace, which you have time to do.


I don't think that works... stuff happens quickly in a war, and things that do take a long time (sieges, blockades) burn through money.

Consider the war I described: the Douane couldn't get a fleet out until 15 years after Novorossiya declared independence. It wouldn't even learn whether its initial attack did any good for 8 years. And its enemy suffered under no such disadvantage (since it was right there). And that's as close as interstellar wars can get. You have almost no ability to manage the war, and you'd have great difficulty maintaining support for it.

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Furthermore, people will develop more wealth over their lifetimes if they live for a thousand years, so a society might be rich enough to blow alot of money on a war even with the horrible logistic costs.


Aged individuals may be richer, but that doesn't necessarily translate to higher GNP. That still has to come from increased productivity.

But you have a point, in that long-lived people might well be content to stubbornly let a low-scale conflict go on for a long time... not so much a war as a cold war. It might even simmer all the longer precisely because it's unwinnable. (Bolivia still maintains a navy, in case they ever get their littoral back.) Nonetheless, I still don't think it makes a lot of sense given the economics I've described: to a large extent colonization is a one-time extravagance, with nothing but ideas and luxury goods actually forming an interstellar economy. Playing by the rules increases everyone's income; being an interstellar terrorist means everybody loses.

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Wars rarely turn a profit. They generally happen either because of the perception that some even more unprofitable disaster will happen if they are not fought, or the delusion that they will turn a profit.


But under the conditions I've described, it's hard to imagine a great disaster coming from space. They can't invade you and, because they can't, they can't back up economic imperialism with force. International relations are just not a good analogy for the situation. All the international relations and wars we know were conducted under conditions where invasions were possible.

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Meanwhile, we have a target in the comet's path. When the two hit, we get a really bright explosion. We have solar panels to collect the light, and some sort of mechanism to collect the kinetic energy from the debris (much of which will be plasma, so something with large electromagnets suggests itself).

Alternatively, attach your drive to a magnet and fly it through a bunch of wire loops. It will create a current in the loops. Take the power you get and beam it back in-system by the same means you use for transferring power from these giant solar arrays to planets.


You must be a terror to the DM in D&D. :) Again, trying to be scientifically plausible, interstellar travel is going to be prohibitively expensive. I'm not interested in simply throwing out the problem with FTL or magic energy. All you're really convincing me of is that I should maybe pick a different kind of handwavium. (The book actually doesn't describe how it works at all.)

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That might indeed be superior for routine travel, once you have the infrastructure. For exploration and for new colonies, the infrastructure won't exist on the other end, and I expect you'd at least want a craft that can handle its own deceleration.


Different proposals deal with this in different ways. Some involve using a laser to propel a ship using a solar sail. When you reach the turn-around point, you detach the outer portion of the sail, turn the inner portion of the sail with the spacecraft around, and use reflected light from the outer portion to decelerate the inner portion. I'm not so sure of this solution, but it might work.


Some SF stories use this. Again, it works only if you have the infrastructure wherever you need to go. And I think it'd be rather worrisome to be entirely dependent on a laser back home continuing to work for decades on end.

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Even if you manage to handwave enough to make energy expensive when not making interstellar flights, energy for interstellar transportation is cheap.


It's not, that's the whole point. Lugging mass between star systems is hard, and doing it in a way to support a happy primate colony is harder. If I posited cheap energy I'd have the Culture, and Iain Banks has already done that.


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:45 am 
Smeric
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zompist wrote:
But you have a point, in that long-lived people might well be content to stubbornly let a low-scale conflict go on for a long time... not so much a war as a cold war. It might even simmer all the longer precisely because it's unwinnable. (Bolivia still maintains a navy, in case they ever get their littoral back.)

Or like India and Pakistan shelling each other across the line of control in Kashmir... If you use a small group of human professional soldiers / comanding officers and otherwise drones and robots, without mass mobilisation, you don't need a lot of support - and most people may even be to busy on the Vee to notice the war or to see the difference between that real war and the much more gory battle simulation that they're playing. As for most activities in complex societies, you'll need just a small group of very enthusiatic (and influential) people who want to keep the war going and a public that doesn't care enough to actually do anything to stop the war.


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:06 pm 
Lebom
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zompist wrote:
linguofreak wrote:
As far as the logistic costs of interstellar war, many can be averted by fighting your war at a slower pace, which you have time to do.


I don't think that works... stuff happens quickly in a war, and things that do take a long time (sieges, blockades) burn through money.

Consider the war I described: the Douane couldn't get a fleet out until 15 years after Novorossiya declared independence. It wouldn't even learn whether its initial attack did any good for 8 years. And its enemy suffered under no such disadvantage (since it was right there).


That's early on in your setting, with short lifetimes and ships travelling at .4c.

Later on, with thousand year lifetimes and ships travelling at .95c, you reduce some of those disadvantages. *Plus* the attacker gains the advantage of short warning times (at .95c, the defender only sees the attack coming for one twentieth of the transit time).

Also, there's going to be a lot of missile warfare. Those solar arrays are going to be huge targets for relativistic projectiles, and with the sizes you describe, they aren't going to be maneuverable enough to evade. Planets will be much the same, if one of the combatants is brutal enough.

You may well send troops as a cleanup crew after your missiles have crippled your opponent, and you're sure that his haven't crippled you.

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You must be a terror to the DM in D&D. :) Again, trying to be scientifically plausible, interstellar travel is going to be prohibitively expensive.


Certainly.

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I'm not interested in simply throwing out the problem with FTL or magic energy.


Well, that's kind of my problem: Your "dark energy drive" *is* magic energy, and it has to be handwaved a lot to prevent the magic from leaking into other aspects of your society. How many dark energy drives can you build for the cost of one "planet sized" or "million kilometer" solar array?

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All you're really convincing me of is that I should maybe pick a different kind of handwavium. (The book actually doesn't describe how it works at all.)


That's what I'm trying to do. Using a "dark energy drive" just makes you put in more and more handwavium to keep it from eating a massive hole in your plot, or transforming your society into something you weren't aiming for, or both.

And frankly, those million km solar arrays are going to get you quite a bit of energy as-is. Assuming they're at 1 AU out (they'd probably be built closer in), and are 50% efficient, the mass equivalence of the energy they'll collect in 1 year is on the order of 250 million metric tons. Even assuming, between energy being used for other things and inefficiency in your transfer system, that only 1% of that goes into accelerating ships, you've still got enough to put 1 Nimitz class carrier up to .95c every year. (And at 1 G, it takes about 1.8 years to get up to .95c).

EDIT: Is that million km a million km square? Million km radius? Million km diameter?

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That might indeed be superior for routine travel, once you have the infrastructure. For exploration and for new colonies, the infrastructure won't exist on the other end, and I expect you'd at least want a craft that can handle its own deceleration.


Different proposals deal with this in different ways. Some involve using a laser to propel a ship using a solar sail. When you reach the turn-around point, you detach the outer portion of the sail, turn the inner portion of the sail with the spacecraft around, and use reflected light from the outer portion to decelerate the inner portion. I'm not so sure of this solution, but it might work.


Some SF stories use this. Again, it works only if you have the infrastructure wherever you need to go. And I think it'd be rather worrisome to be entirely dependent on a laser back home continuing to work for decades on end.


It would. But if it's the only way to get a colony established, you might have to go with it, or else not build colonies. (Alternatively, you might have a laser or pellet stream for acceleration and some other drive for decel).


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:59 pm 
Boardlord
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linguofreak wrote:
Also, there's going to be a lot of missile warfare. Those solar arrays are going to be huge targets for relativistic projectiles, and with the sizes you describe, they aren't going to be maneuverable enough to evade. Planets will be much the same, if one of the combatants is brutal enough.

You may well send troops as a cleanup crew after your missiles have crippled your opponent, and you're sure that his haven't crippled you.


No, you can't send troops. Look at the Iraq war— 100,000 troops were nowhere near enough to secure a defeated, technologically inferior country which made up 0.44% of the planet's population. How many troops would be needed to secure a planet? How do you get them there when one ship is an extravagance?

Relativistic projectiles are scary, but require incredible accuracy. For instance, a trouble spot in my book is a planet 24 light years away. If I've entered this right in Wolfram Alpha, it subtends an angle of 0.000023 arcsecond from Earth. (And no guiding at the other end; pretty much the whole point of these weapons is how hard they are to deflect.) They're basically useful for terrorism, which is how I've presented them on the Incatena page.

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And frankly, those million km solar arrays are going to get you quite a bit of energy as-is. Assuming they're at 1 AU out (they'd probably be built closer in), and are 50% efficient, the mass equivalence of the energy they'll collect in 1 year is on the order of 250 million metric tons. Even assuming, between energy being used for other things and inefficiency in your transfer system, that only 1% of that goes into accelerating ships, you've still got enough to put 1 Nimitz class carrier up to .95c every year. (And at 1 G, it takes about 1.8 years to get up to .95c).


Interesting figures!

Your calculation only reinforces my point, though. A ship a year sounds like a lot, but it stands in for all interstellar travel, and there's going to be a preference for the actually useful types.

(As well, 1% sounds like a tiny percentage, but energy, like money, tends to be always in demand. The cuts the House Republicans are talking about, which seem like a pretty big deal, amount to less than 2% of the federal budget. Plus, do we want a massive comm laser in the inner solar system? If not, getting power out to where it lives might reduce the percentage even further.)


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:55 am 
Lebom
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zompist wrote:
linguofreak wrote:
Also, there's going to be a lot of missile warfare. Those solar arrays are going to be huge targets for relativistic projectiles, and with the sizes you describe, they aren't going to be maneuverable enough to evade. Planets will be much the same, if one of the combatants is brutal enough.

You may well send troops as a cleanup crew after your missiles have crippled your opponent, and you're sure that his haven't crippled you.


No, you can't send troops. Look at the Iraq war— 100,000 troops were nowhere near enough to secure a defeated, technologically inferior country which made up 0.44% of the planet's population. How many troops would be needed to secure a planet? How do you get them there when one ship is an extravagance?


Objections I might raise as to why Iraq is a bad example aside, the nature of your setting changes the game a bit:

First of all, my apologies: I used the term troops somewhat loosely. To clarify, I mean "manned military spacecraft". A military occupation of a system would likely more resemble the enforcement of a no-fly-zone or blockade than a traditional occupation. Much of your critical infrastructure is in space and likely highly automated. The invaders can likely comandeer it (or what survives after the initial relativistic bombardment and subsequent skirmishes when the invaders actually arrive) without setting foot on any planets or space habitats there may be if they manage to defeat local spaceborne forces.

They can also control who goes where, both in terms of domestic traffic and traffic into and out of the system. This is hugely important for space habitats, since even if self sufficient they are likely to need to send mining missions out every once in a while to gather raw materials to stay alive.

For habitable planets it's more of a nuisance, but will cut them off from the amenities of (futuristically) modern civilization.

For non-habitable planets, it will be somewhere between the case of a space habitat and a habitable planet, depending on technological assumptions. (Actually, under certain tech assumptions, the case for a non-habitable planet would likely be worse than for a free-floating space colony, but your setting does not seem to hold to those tech assumptions).

So you have ways of coercing cooperation if necessary, and even without the cooperation of the locals, you can likely control everything in the system that is important on an interstellar scale, and make sure that the locals don't interfere.

Your biggest worry is the locals' allies sending in military help from outsystem.

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Relativistic projectiles are scary, but require incredible accuracy. For instance, a trouble spot in my book is a planet 24 light years away. If I've entered this right in Wolfram Alpha, it subtends an angle of 0.000023 arcsecond from Earth. (And no guiding at the other end; pretty much the whole point of these weapons is how hard they are to deflect.) They're basically useful for terrorism, which is how I've presented them on the Incatena page.


I think you underestimate the guidability of such projectiles. At the speeds we're talking about, you're plowing through the interstellar medium fast enough that a magsail can give you a significant amount of acceleration (more than enough for course corrections). You can certainly hit any non-maneuvering target, and depending on the speed of the projectiles you may be able to hit some maneuvering targets too (the faster you go, the less time you have to react to evasive maneuvers on the part of the target. On the other hand, the faster you go the harder it is for the target's defenses to react to any jinking you do. It's time dilation that plays the biggest part here).

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And frankly, those million km solar arrays are going to get you quite a bit of energy as-is. Assuming they're at 1 AU out (they'd probably be built closer in), and are 50% efficient, the mass equivalence of the energy they'll collect in 1 year is on the order of 250 million metric tons. Even assuming, between energy being used for other things and inefficiency in your transfer system, that only 1% of that goes into accelerating ships, you've still got enough to put 1 Nimitz class carrier up to .95c every year. (And at 1 G, it takes about 1.8 years to get up to .95c).


Interesting figures!

Your calculation only reinforces my point, though. A ship a year sounds like a lot, but it stands in for all interstellar travel, and there's going to be a preference for the actually useful types.


Keep in mind that Nimitz class carriers are *big* ships, and that it's for *one* of these million km solar arrays (something in the wording you used makes me think there's more than one such array per system), and that it's the figure for if the array is somewhere around Earth orbit. Most likely it's going to be much closer than that, and the power figures for a given area of array will be greater, per the inverse square law.

Now, I also think that you're not likely to have million km solar arrays: You may well have an equivalent amount of collector area, but it's more likely to be spread out in lots of little arrays than a few big ones. (1 million km is not much less than the diameter of the sun). This would be for various reasons, both structural and defensive. (Smaller arrays are smaller targets and easier to move, thus will be less of a target for relativistic strikes.)

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Plus, do we want a massive comm laser in the inner solar system? If not, getting power out to where it lives might reduce the percentage even further.)


I doubt we'll need that big of a comm laser. When you have ships that travel at .95c, the latency difference between a courier and a laser beam isn't all that great, and a ship has *much* greater bandwidth. For the absolutely most time-critical stuff you might use a laser link, but I doubt that would have to be too powerful (at least compared to the equipment that's flinging ships).

This could both contribute to the onboard entertainment that a ship might have available and to the cost of a ticket. If the ship you're on is shipping a new Vee world to another system, you might get to make use of that Vee world in transit. On the other hand, there might be an opportunity cost to the ship owner to transport you instead of a chunk of data that could fit in an equivalent mass of storage.

Then again, you might find a lot of non-priority data shipped on slower ships than the typical passenger ship.

(In any case, I'd expect interstellar transportation to be a good chunk of the energy budget of such a society, my own estimate being at least 5%, just because it's probably one of the biggest things that's going to *need* energy).


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:52 pm 
Smeric
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Reading about sub-light-speed travel, I came across the expectation that a ship would need extremely powerful shields in order to prevent the ship from being destroyed by particles bombarding the ship at .95c.

What does a ship use to deflect or pass through fields of particles during a close-to-light-speed journey?

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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:58 pm 
Lebom
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On another subject: Is "Incatena" actually a word from a conlang in the setting? I presume if it is that it would be a futurized version of an existing lang.

If so, which one, (It sounds like something descended from Latin, maybe Spanish?) and what's the morphological breakdown?

(If I'm right about the Latinate origins it would seem to be "in" + "catena", which, from a couple dictionary lookups seems like it would come out something like "unchained"?)


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:47 am 
Boardlord
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linguofreak wrote:
First of all, my apologies: I used the term troops somewhat loosely. To clarify, I mean "manned military spacecraft". A military occupation of a system would likely more resemble the enforcement of a no-fly-zone or blockade than a traditional occupation. Much of your critical infrastructure is in space and likely highly automated. The invaders can likely comandeer it (or what survives after the initial relativistic bombardment and subsequent skirmishes when the invaders actually arrive) without setting foot on any planets or space habitats there may be if they manage to defeat local spaceborne forces.


I think you're underestimating the difficulty here. The present no-fly zone in Libya should be instructive: the number of plane, flights, and pilots and their cost is extremely high, and this is a tiny and two-dimensional bit of real estate. Plus the allies have a huge industrial complex and Libya doesn't. It's very hard to enforce any kind of blockade unless you have an industrial edge.

In your scenario, the invaded star system has its industrial complex right there, and building and maneuvering interplanetary vessels is going to be much easier than interstellar ones.

As well, you can hardly put in the same scenario that the infrastructure is both lightly defended and essential! If it's essential, it will be defended.

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For habitable planets it's more of a nuisance, but will cut them off from the amenities of (futuristically) modern civilization.


Well, that's another problem, even granted that a blockade were possible. What amenities are those? No one can be dependent on any outsystem resources-- materials, manufacturing, services, whatever. All interstellar trade is luxury goods; doing without them is only an annoyance.

(In the Incatena there's a healthy trade in ideas. You want the latest patents, fashions, Vee content, games, DNA, etc. You want to keep up with such things to improve your own quality of life, but stopping the supply can only really be an annoyance.)

(An interesting question, one I'm still working on, is how this is all paid for. I'm not convinced that money can be transported, given the constraints I'm working with.)

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I think you underestimate the guidability of such projectiles. At the speeds we're talking about, you're plowing through the interstellar medium fast enough that a magsail can give you a significant amount of acceleration (more than enough for course corrections).


Hmm, do you have some formulas on that? You've got higher mass and limited maneuvering time the faster you go, no? I've Googled this a bit but I'd love to get a better handle on the physics.

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Now, I also think that you're not likely to have million km solar arrays: You may well have an equivalent amount of collector area, but it's more likely to be spread out in lots of little arrays than a few big ones. (1 million km is not much less than the diameter of the sun). This would be for various reasons, both structural and defensive. (Smaller arrays are smaller targets and easier to move, thus will be less of a target for relativistic strikes.)


I'm pretty sure I was thinking of million-km-^2 arrays.


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:31 pm 
Smeric
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zompist wrote:
[(In the Incatena there's a healthy trade in ideas. You want the latest patents, fashions, Vee content, games, DNA, etc. You want to keep up with such things to improve your own quality of life, but stopping the supply can only really be an annoyance.)

(An interesting question, one I'm still working on, is how this is all paid for. I'm not convinced that money can be transported, given the constraints I'm working with.)


All you need is a credit system, with credit balances being tabbed and, on demand, confirmed, by a trusted institution or group of institutions. Even in our economy, cash money is becoming increasingly out-dated and in any case it's already tokens without material value; it can easily be a thing of the past in a hundred years or so. I can't imagine that in a few millennia, people will still expect to get physical tokens, except perhaps in play scenarios for the feel of it or in some separate habitat of "gold bugs" or people like that. This would even more apply to interstellar trade - if all people exchange are immaterial goods, they certaily won't insist on physical tokens as payment?


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:13 pm 
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or if you don't want to get rid of commodity money, which is probably sensible: energy, bandwidth, computer time, computer storage, antimatter, etc. which of these becomes the money standard in any particular vicinity is probably an exciting problem in Pretend Economics?


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:09 pm 
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I don't mean that any physical tokens need to be exchanged. Credits will do. But how do young colonies earn the credits?

The problem I'm seeing is with the trade balance. Earth has lots of goods that the colonies want, but what do they have that Earth wants? It's hard to think of something where they have a comparative advantage. All the things Pthug mentions would be more easily available in Earth's system.

One big thing would be information. Planets with their own ecologies, or with access to aliens, would have lots of information to trade. Lifeless planets, not so much, though their very experience terraforming and colonizing would provide new information.

They also have one huge resource— the ability to have lots of land and make lots of babies. Emigrating would be a luxury, but the fare might be credited to the colony.


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:44 pm 
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I'm assuming socionomics is going to revolve around a Jacobean understanding of macroeconomics?


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:33 pm 
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zompist wrote:
I don't mean that any physical tokens need to be exchanged. Credits will do. But how do young colonies earn the credits?

Are you *really* saying you would be happy to buy bonds from another planet that is centuries away, who provides nothing that you want, who you can do nothing about if they decide to default? And these won't just be simple "hey billy give me a dime i'll give you a quarter on friday" loans, these securities will be wacky tech-level-infinity AI-designed-and-monitored zottaexotics! Why would you *not* use something that is *actually* scarce because of the laws of physics for what few things you want to send across the stars? It is still going to be useful by the time you get there. Credit is just more stuff that is pseudoscarce because of some sort of Space Berne Convention saying that good chaps don't just steal information from radio chatter, or by going all Great Library of Alexandria, or whatever.

You can't even fall back on the terrestrial cushion that multiple circulating fiat currencies and government [or bank] bonds are fine because free markets ensure that these securities are priced sensibly with respect to each other! This is plausible when you have as well-connected and globalised an economy as we have, but you should be able to see where it falls apart.

And this isn't even taking *malicious* market-manipulation into account. I am the mayor of Spaceopolis and have been anticipating a shipment of Earthware for the past few decades. Over that time, I have been fucking with the Spaceopolitan Quid/Earthican Dollar exchange rate so that it will be prohibitively expensive for anybody who is not the sovereign authority of Spaceopolis to buy the Earthware. So I do and then a market crash results and everybody on Spaceopolis dies.

zompist wrote:
The problem I'm seeing is with the trade balance. Earth has lots of goods that the colonies want, but what do they have that Earth wants? It's hard to think of something where they have a comparative advantage. All the things Pthug mentions would be more easily available in Earth's system.

But those things I mentioned are *actually scarce*! These are not prissy "here is a secret! if you want to know the secret then slip a dollar into my garter!" entertainment quaternary-sector information-wanking stuff, this is IF YOU DON'T WORK, YOU DIE stuff!

So god, if this is how it turns out then I feel very sorry for the colonial administrators. Either you are going to be propped up by Earth on stilts that are centuries long, or you are going to be flooded with messages from Earth about how glorious it is to be rich and Terrestrial -- and not the nice stuff that is IP-bound that you have to pay for, no this is going to be *advertising*. PROPAGANDA.

zompist wrote:
They also have one huge resource— the ability to have lots of land and make lots of babies. Emigrating would be a luxury, but the fare might be credited to the colony.

There is no shortage of land in space. You may not like the aesthetics of people living in space habitats, but I do not see why the Incatenans wouldn't do it out of convenience.


Since space colonies seem to be such a terrible idea in the Incatenaverse, why do they exist anyway?


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 Post subject: Re: Incatena
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:17 pm 
Boardlord
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Pthug wrote:
zompist wrote:
I don't mean that any physical tokens need to be exchanged. Credits will do. But how do young colonies earn the credits?

Are you *really* saying you would be happy to buy bonds from another planet that is centuries away, who provides nothing that you want, who you can do nothing about if they decide to default?


I'm not happy with that being the colonies' main export, but sure, they're pretty good bets. Banks today will loan you a few hundred thousand dollars that won't be repaid for half a lifetime, and the US Treasury will sell you bonds of the same term. When lifetimes are ten times longer, such loans/bonds can be too.

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But those things I mentioned are *actually scarce*! These are not prissy "here is a secret! if you want to know the secret then slip a dollar into my garter!" entertainment quaternary-sector information-wanking stuff, this is IF YOU DON'T WORK, YOU DIE stuff!


But they're not things where a new colony has a competitive advantage. Energy is cheaper in an advanced system that can afford the infrastructure. The colonies aren't going to start out with lots of computers or antimatter generators.

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There is no shortage of land in space. You may not like the aesthetics of people living in space habitats, but I do not see why the Incatenans wouldn't do it out of convenience.


I'm not sure where you get this... there's plenty of space habitats.

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Since space colonies seem to be such a terrible idea in the Incatenaverse, why do they exist anyway?


The Incatena would say that it was a good investment... ultimately the colonies become large contributing economies. But they’re also just the extravagance that the Incatena chose to treat itself to.


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