Random notes and whatnot

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:40 am

So I ended up watching the royal wedding today. It was actually a lot more interesting than I thought it would be, though the beginning was totally the best part.

Why? The hats. Amazing. Some of them were the most ridiculously awesome things I've seen since the Sci-Fi channel's Dune miniseries (which inspired me to go fairly nuts in ase-verse uniforms' hats too). I really want to dress like a princess or duchess. Another cool thing was the glass cars, letting the crowd get a good look at the people inside as they drove by. And the Abbey was just so enormous and everything and everyone were so pretty and the carriages were pretty cool and fun to notice that British cops don't often wear guns, even here. Though I did see a couple packing rifles. I guess someone needs to be armed just in case, but everybody loves the royals! Everyone looked very happy, from the random people in the crowd right up to the bride and groom.

Another interesting thing is something I just realized today - the traditional chess piece for the bishop has a split head. I never knew why until I saw the bishop at the wedding... his hat has that same split! Just something fun to know.

One last thing before I get to my point... one of the things in the lesson reading was to not be haughty and to mingle with the commoners or something like that. Partially apropos considering who was getting married, but I couldn't help but laugh at it a little. Surely those cool cars were made of bullet proof glass. Even after the wedding, in the open carriages, the had like a whole army of guys riding with them. While it looked cool, I'm sure part of that was so one of those guys would catch a bullet for the prince if someone started taking shots at them.

So yeah, mingle with the common folk... as long as you have enough protection!


So anywho, the hats. One of the commentators on Fox News (where I was watching) said part of the reason the hats are so cool is because the rest of their dress is so conservative.

They want to get fancy with the fashion, but also have to wear traditional dresses. So, they express themselves most wildly in the next best thing - the hats.


Now, I don't know if the commentator was on target here, or of it's universal or just, ironically, another British tradition, but I like the idea.

But, it makes me wonder how well it could be applied to worldbuilding. If you dictate traditional dress, will people go just as over the top in other ways, expressing a desire to be unique? How would this go about?


Perhaps something interesting to think about to add some detail to your own settings.

(wow barely on point here at all. I guess it's just the little girl inside me who wanted to talk about the pretty wedding :) )
His Certifiable Geniusness, Adam D. Ruppe (My 'verse)
Marle: Lucca! You're amazing!
Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Somes J » Sun May 01, 2011 9:24 am

Destructionator wrote:But, it makes me wonder how well it could be applied to worldbuilding. If you dictate traditional dress, will people go just as over the top in other ways, expressing a desire to be unique? How would this go about?
I vaguely remember a story about somebody in Saudi Arabia who saw a woman in one of those head-to-toe coverings they wear buying some rather risque dress. The person expressed surprise at this and was told something to the effect of "what do you think the 'black ghosts' wear under their robes?" I can't remember where I heard it though.

In a society that tries to impose common uniforms on everybody I could see whatever you're allowed to accessorize (maybe socks or jewelry or whatever) becoming the articles that express individuality. I think I remember hearing that this happens in schools that enforce a student uniform (can't really comment beyond that though, having never attended such a school myself). That would be a neat humanizing touch for a depiction of a highly conformist society.

Come to think of it, this reminds me a little of something one of my literature professors said, while he was talking about 16th/17th century English sumptuary laws. He said that people from that time period would probably find very strange a society like ours, where a wealthy businessman and his lowest functionary would wear very similar clothing that would be distinguished only by subtle things like designer labels, cut and tailoring, quality of the cufflinks etc.. So I guess something similar already happens in our society, with indicators of socioeconomic status. It might be interesting to see somebody try to figure out the sociological factors that go into that.
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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Thu May 05, 2011 5:07 am

Another thing I saw on the internet and on tv that I think would be a lot of fun to do: Darmok and Jilad.

There's a TNG episode where Picard and an alien captain have a hard time communicating because their language is entirely metaphor. I really liked it, but you might think it's absurd...

But, while the episode did exaggerate the idea, we still have plenty of it in our own language and culture. Some things I remember hearing or seeing this week:


"tilting at windmills"

"whitewashing the fence"

"Horatio Alger story"


These are completely meaningless to someone unfamiliar with the source literature, as close to the Darmok episode as I can think of right now. There's so many Biblical references in culture I could probably list them all day. Interestingly, one of the big ones is a mistranslation - the virgin birth - which rumor has it is going to be changed in the Bible. Will kids 50 years from now look back on things like Darth Vader, inspired by the Christ story as we know it now, and mis-interprate the story? (Perhaps similarly to how much of Shakespeare's social commentary or comedy can fly right over our heads.)




These don't make much sense, and aren't from books... it's just something everyone from their respective culture knows. (Some of these aren't American in origin; I stumbled across some on the net. One is Arabic, one is from Farsi, one is Chinese)

"putting watermelons under his arms"

"it's not rocket science"

"That'd be like a chicken talking to a duck."

"The son of the duck is a floater."

"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."







When writing, I'm mostly of the belief that the magic dub should translate a lot of this stuff. This comes from my experience with things like Japanese films and games. Yes, this is flamebait, but I like dubs, and a good dub isn't a literal reading of the Japanese. A good translation figures out the message as a Japanese viewer would understand it, then translates that big picture to an American's cultural framework.

That way, an idiot like me can follow along without using much brain power.



But, sometimes, it's interesting to look at the original material, with the original idioms intact, and learn enough about the culture to understand them. The end result is the same, but it's just fun on its own.



If you do the full magic dub localization, your aliens can speak English, reference Tom Sawyer and the Bible or whatever. You wave you hands and the reader easily follows along.

Of course, the other way is fun too...


I'm thinking it might be a blast to write a work of fiction set in a fictional universe to do some worldbuilding flair. Place yourself as an author in their culture and write a story that makes sense to them. This is part of what's so cool about the TNG Darmok episode - they did that. It was a simple, generic story, but there's only so much they could do in an hour long weekly program. On the net, we could take the idea to 11. (hey another bizarre culture thing)


Then, when doing a regular 'non-fiction' story in the main setting, your characters can reference the fictional fiction with a lot of detail and have some real fun with it. Sure, writing a fictional novel just to reference it in another is pretty hardcore, but is it really any different than half the tech spec shit we all do from time to time?
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Marle: Lucca! You're amazing!
Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Mon May 09, 2011 6:45 pm

Posted on sfconsim-l:

http://bluemaxstudios.blogspot.com/2011 ... oller.html

It's like a gravity train on your space ships, an interesting idea, check it out.
His Certifiable Geniusness, Adam D. Ruppe (My 'verse)
Marle: Lucca! You're amazing!
Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

"I still really hate those pompous assholes who quote themselves in their sigs." -- Me

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Fri May 13, 2011 6:13 pm

Whoa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Akron_(ZRS-4)

The United States actually had a flying aircraft carrier!

Amazing. Eat it, UNIT.


(this post brought to you by a discussion of airships on sfconsim-l leading me to wikipedia and one thing led to another..)

Airships are pretty cool, and with modern tech, they are quite safe too...
His Certifiable Geniusness, Adam D. Ruppe (My 'verse)
Marle: Lucca! You're amazing!
Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

"I still really hate those pompous assholes who quote themselves in their sigs." -- Me

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Siege » Sat May 21, 2011 8:44 pm

Those things are hella cool... Unfortunately they're also mostly pointless. You can't send them over contested territory (because they'll get shot out of the sky), and if you're not over contested territory... Then why not use an airbase on land?

But yeah, as a proof-of-concept the Akron is very neat.
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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Mobius 1 » Sat May 21, 2011 10:17 pm

Siege, at this point, I'm pretty sure we should revoke your SHIELD avatar.
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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Heretic » Mon May 23, 2011 2:07 am

That link suddenly made me feel inspired.

I knew there a few airplanes which could house a few small mini-planes, but still, this stuff is awesome.
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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:12 am

So I tried to actually draw the A'millian Royal Inspector's badge today. I've had a basic image in my brain for a long time and wanted to put it down...

And my first attempt ended up looking like a flower.

The second ended up looking kinda like a Ferengi Marauder.


The flower is actually more accurate for what I have in mind! It's incredible how difficult I find drawing to be, even if I have a very detailed and/or very simple image to work off. The flower comes from my bad attempt to draw the seal on top with a much too thin connection to the banner at the bottom - things (not leaves!) sticking out that list the agent's rank.

I just realized if I measure the angles in my brain, I might be able to reduce it to a problem a protractor can solve...

and it looks moderately ok. If I actually measured the proportions it might be passable.


The next problem with actually making it happen is the Royal Inspector's seal is nebulous in my brain.


Pretty much every ASE government department has their own seals. Each share some elements - the same basic shape (round; so original!), some colors and some nebulous elements. Then they have a little something to stand out.


So one of the things I need is a group of symbols. While it strikes me as, again, unoriginal, one I've run with in my brain is a crown, a generic appearance like you see in Chess. Maybe boring, but it's something I can copy that fits and is recognizable.

Something with 'royal' in it's name tends to have a crown somewhere in it's own setup. The ORI (office of the royal inspector) badge has one on top.

(Having royal in it's name reflects something too - it means the position or organization reports directly to the king/queen. Contrast to ministries, which report to one of the king's underlings, "A'millian <something>" which serves the nation as a whole, and then any number of nobleperson's apparatuses and private entities which can go by any name. Some organizations are responsible to two or more bosses.

So "The Royal Inspector" reports directly to the king, and delegates his responsibility to deputies, who, in turn, may appoint special agents to carry out their duties. Senior deputies are called chiefs. Ultimately, though, their authority comes from the top guy, THE royal inspector, who is appointed by and answers to the king. This is in contrast to local law enforcement agencies who derive their power from either the local nobleman or the will of the people as directed by law.)



Anywho back to symbols. When you look at an agency seal in the real world, they are full of weird looking things that nevertheless have a long history behind them.

Lions, eagles, axes, leaves, all kinda mundane things, but with so much more meaning than they appear.



I was just looking at various American seals and something obvious jumped out at me: 13 stars. That's something I could take right now. 13 original American colonies... 7 original A'millian duchies.


oh and the worst part.... eventually fleshing out other countries too. Blargh, I have a hard enough time with one! Even ignoring most of it. (the space colonies are almost like a whole other country too)



Anyway it's getting late and I'm meandering. Back to the original topic, that protractor assisted badge looks moderately decent. A crown wearing egg atop an obtuse "V" like banner. Not the worst drawing I've ever done, but the incredible difficulty I have putting image to paper just makes me respect good artists even more.
His Certifiable Geniusness, Adam D. Ruppe (My 'verse)
Marle: Lucca! You're amazing!
Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

"I still really hate those pompous assholes who quote themselves in their sigs." -- Me

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:55 am

I just nailed down one of the names!

DXS - department of external services

You might recognize it from MacGyver. This is how I name a lot of things - something I like gets roped in and becomes something somewhere.


I've been pondering names for this for years. Been bouncing between making it part of ORI, a part of the military named OSP (office of special projects), or just outright stealing CIA or SIS.


But I was just thinking of contrasting it to the inspectors by emphasizing external intelligence and it struck me: go that way and steal from pay homage to Macgyver by going with DXS.

Victory!


So the government map looks something like this now: (+ indicates sub-level, - indicates second sub level, and * indicates third level)

HM The King

AKA "the state".

+ Office of the Royal Inspector

The Royal Inspector's primary job is to preserve His Majesty's (and, of course, the people's) trust in his subordinate organizations. The Inspector's secondary job is to provide criminal investigative support anywhere another organization cannot or will not have clear jurisdiction and capability.

Typical tasks include:
  • Internal audits of government departments
  • Random, uncover inspections of government offices or large corporations
  • Investigations into alleged misconduct (corruption, etc.) of a high level government official or police officer
  • Coordinating investigations and manhunts that cross several jurisdictions
  • Assisting local authorities in investigations they aren't equipped to solve - in some regions, the local deputy inspector is the only trained detective in the area
  • Performing all criminal investigations in space, remote military outposts, or foreign countries
  • Enforcing the law, protecting the innocent, and preserving the public trust
+ Royal Knight Service

The Royal Knights serves as a national general manpower pool, and are called in for a variety of tasks depending on need, ranging from patrolling streets to shoveling snow to fighting with and commanding armies. If someone starts a story with "one time, when I was with the RKS, ..." there's no knowing how it will end!

While more specialized services exist for most the Knight's traditional roles today, there are still some regions where royal knights are a daily sight, walking patrols on the streets and writing out parking tickets.

Typical tasks include:
  • Street level law enforcement. Any Royal Knight is able to enforce the law anywhere in the country.
  • Assisting other law enforcement agencies in special circumstances
  • Protecting the innocent
  • Rescues at sea and on land
  • Disaster relief
  • Defending the country from invasion or insurrection
  • Groundskeeping (maintaining the beauty of the King's lands is an important part of national pride)
  • Standing guard at government installations
+ Ministry of Science
+ - Department of Research

Science is an integral part of the A'millian society, and the government maintains a branch devoted to keeping it moving forward. Projects big and small are funded each year, some with a clear goal, and some just to see what happens.

- Department of Education

[not sure where this is best fit actually]

+ - Royal Space Exploration Agency

Originally created by the whim of a Queen to see what it's like out there, the RSEA today serves as a massive science project, an infrastructure project, and a defense project all at once.

Starfleet is not a military organization, but it still serves as the most visible means of force projection for the nation.

+ Ministry of Infrastructure

Where the Ministry of Science aims to always be moving forward, the Ministry of Infrastructure aims to build and maintain the most solid foundation possible for the country and it's people.

- Department of Transportation
- Department of Energy
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Communication


About as mundane as they sound, but notable is they manage to each turn a bit of a profit long term, in part thanks to work done (and costs sunk) by the science departments and by selling low level services (for example, selling crops or energy, but generally not going all the way up, e.g. grocery stores or restauants, with a few notable exceptions like the post office and...)

* Royal Broadcasting Commission

The department of communication doesn't just provide infrastructure, but also offers up services on top of it, including news, documentaries, educational and entertainment programs as well as emergency notifications (for weather, etc.).

Where the post office can guarantee your individual correspondence will reach the government and vice versa, the RBC gives the government, and others, an easy way to reach the masses.

- National Health Service

The most important piece of a country's infrastructure are its people, and it is they that the national health service seeks to maintain. Providing full, comprehensive coverage to every person in the country, the NHS has a presence almost everywhere. Aside from the guaranteed income, it's the largest expense - and asset - in the national budget.

- Department of Habitat Maintenance

The DHM went from minor organization to major necessity with the incorporation of space habitats in the nation. It's tasked with maintaining the people's habitat. On A'millia, that meant, in broad terms, protecting the environment. In space, it means that *and* a number of little tasks that would traditionally be the sole perview of other departments.

Maintaining hull integrity, docking clamps, solar mirrors, hab rotation, and more are all parts of space DHM divisions. These guys work behind the scenes to ensure the sun always rises on time.


+ Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Since all of (known to be inhabited) A'millia was united under one monarchy for most it's existence as a nation, the foreign ministry is actually one of the newest parts of the government.

It's jobs include: keeping the peace, restoring the peace should war break out, keeping tabs on other countries, and just about anything else that takes place outside their national borders.

- Department of Peace

The primary mission of the foreign ministry is to protect the peace, and this department is devoted to just that. It includes traditional style diplomacy as well as educational and human rights outreaches.

- Department of War

Should the department of peace fail, the department of war can be activated to bring about a violent (or threat of violence) resolution to tensions.

It's interesting to note that the country has very little in the way of a standing army. There's things that can be activated to become a military, like the royal knights, the starfleet, the navy, etc., but they all do other things in peace time and are called into service once when absolutely necessary, since doing so draws them away from their peacetime jobs.

The largest standing force under the department of war is the space fortresses and surface batteries. Before it can take control of anything else, a declaration of war must be enacted, allowing it to militarize other services.

- Department of External Services

And the new one - the DXS does a variety of foreign odds and ends. Intelligence gathering, advising foreigners, assisting A'millian subjects abroad, and sometimes even dirty work like assassinations and other extraordinary measures. It runs both covert and overt operations for king and country.



wow, liek always, the writeups take me forever! time to go.
His Certifiable Geniusness, Adam D. Ruppe (My 'verse)
Marle: Lucca! You're amazing!
Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

"I still really hate those pompous assholes who quote themselves in their sigs." -- Me

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:35 am

I'm way behind on my real work, but I really just can't bring myself to focus on it. (these facts are surely related!)

Instead, I find myself wanting to write random ass shit.


There's been a handful of things holding me back though:

a) Work. As much as I hate it, I've gotta get that shit done anyway, and it leaves very little time.

b) There's still a lot of details I'm not happy with, especially my nebulously un-original legal system.

c) Too many little plots in my brain

and the big one d) I'm actually not happy with the characters, and that's really bugging me.


first a tangent

the tour de france ended yesterday, and it was spectacular. Can such a thing happen in space habitats? Yea, sort of, you could go up and down them, all around, to form a respectable and varied stage. Could get a lot of varied landscapes and archecture, really seeing it all. But, it's still kinda like laps.

I'm sure I'd enjoy it and it'd be awesome, but such events might be a reason to keep planets around. Riding the perimeter of the A'millian nation on the planet would be a good 1500 miles - nice ride.


The author insert will have to ride that tour of a'millia at some point. Like the early days of the TDF, I'll just say it's open to individuals; no need to go pro. Drop out the first time. Then a training montage. Then actually finish it in like 150th place... and be fucking ecstatic about it. My god, it'd be awesome. If training in real life was as easy as a montage, oh hell yes I'd do it just for the personal satisfaction.




anyway characters


A good character story doesn't just have developed backstories and shit. Far more important to that (in my eyes anyway) is the interaction between them.

Everybody loves Captain Kirk, but the best moments weren't him alone - it was how he and McCoy and Spock all played off each other. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.


I'm bad enough at writing what's in my brain, but with this it's hopeless - it's very rare that I can get something like that going even in my head.

Sometimes, I can take two or three people and put them together in my brain and everything just flows. It's natural, consistent, everything I want. Sadly, those times never occur at times when I can remember it to write down!

But worse yet, it's rare that this happens.



The two characters I have the most consistent success with are (unsurprisingly) mr and mrs self-insert. What I did there is, of course, take a few elements of myself, split them off, excise my pure evil, megalomanical, misogynistic, sadistic, etc. streaks, (they are supposed to be the good guys) then exaggerate a couple things left in each. I did leave a handful of evil tendencies in though, like my racism*, to give an easy hook for big mistakes.

Then put that in the fictional setting, fast-forward through some time, and basically have it set.

* The character's not like a nazi or klansman, but rather a more subtle kind of racist based on some things I've observed in myself. If you said "some black kids moved in and of course got all the girls pregnant", it's not hard to see the fallacious connection being made there. That's my grandmother's kind of racism.

In myself, I find it's not really different at the core, but it's expressed much differently. I wouldn't outright say that, but if those events happened, some part of me wouldn't be surprised - it's the same thing, prejudice, but instead of being actual words, it's putting events through a kind of biased filter before getting to the brain. My superior intellect, naturally, catches this and corrects for it, but it's the kind of thing that has the potential to lead to bad decisions.

Taking it into a police story, say you have inconclusive evidence, this kind of bias would lead to "my gut says [the white guy] didn't do it", which through a false dilemma fallacy, leads to heightened suspicion of the other guy.



There's some desire in me to correct this in the character, but, it actually fits pretty well into some of the established story anyway.


-------


Anyway, I'm thinking I'll see about using this same pattern again for some other characters. One nice source of ridiculous flaws in myself is looking at past me.

One of the big differences between real life me and the self inserts is that they have always been much 'cooler'. That is, when faced with some bullshit, the self inserts have always been the kind to just smile and move on. (This is something I stole from my 6th grade teacher! I've tried to protray it in text with the word "indeed" mixed in with some irony, but it loses something from the simple facial expression from real life.)

I went through a period in real life though - about the time I was a newb on SDN - where I'd demonize whole groups of people and get all ridiculously animated about it, going off on annoying diatribes at the slightest provocation. (i've kinda come back to this to troll, but trolling is different than doing it spontaneously out of an overinflated sense of justice)

oh hell I've got an example in brain but can't think of the show it's from. I guess it's not too far to think of the scene from Star Wars in the bar. Luke is being ridiculous to that murderer, all like "I have a right to be here so fuck you" and then Ben is all calm and is like "this isn't worth the trouble." But that's not exactly it. oh hell maybe it will focus into detail later.

Oooh, maybe Scotty in the bar in the tribbles episode. Still not quite because it's provoked rather than spontaneous; Chekov didn't just latch on to some little thing and rant, he was being actively baited into it.


I was about to say always the young ones who do this, but one of my father's friends would sometimes go into almost yelling rants too. But at the same time, he's perfectly capable of just smiling or adding lols to opposite viewpoints; it depended on a lot of factors.



Anywho it's kinda like the difference between taking a big stand on EVERYTHING and not feeding the trolls.




I think if I take this, I can make the junior cop a little more distinctive. Some good cop/bad cop shit can flow right out of this naturally, they wouldn't even have to act it.



Then comes the tricky part again though: how to make the interaction awesome. I'm more often than not just annoyed when I recall my older ridiculous rants. Imagine having them in person rather than on the internet.

The ideal situation would be two viewpoints or two approaches to the same thing, that nevertheless manages to show mutual respect and a few light laughs. I don't think this angle is really ideal for it.


Looks like I'll have to add some other traits to even it out perhaps.



oh well, I'd better do that thing that i was supposed to do two weeks ago
His Certifiable Geniusness, Adam D. Ruppe (My 'verse)
Marle: Lucca! You're amazing!
Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

"I still really hate those pompous assholes who quote themselves in their sigs." -- Me

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:23 pm

Isaac Kuo again:
[...]
Orbital forts are NOT any more vulnerable to coilgun
fire than mobile spacecraft.

Really.

As I have noted many times before, it doesn't make sense
to dodge missiles.� It takes less mass to intercept them
with cheap defense drones, and even less mass to shoot
them with lasers (if you have them).� Whether you are a
nimble space fighter or a static orbital colony, your
optimal defense strategy against incoming kinetic weapons
is to shoot them with lasers (if you have them) and then
to intercept any remaining incoming with cheap defense
drones.

[...]

Dodging makes no sense.� Even if it can work once, it
requires more mass than cheap defense drones, and the
propellant expended is not reusable.� You won't have
enough propellant to do it a second time, unless the
enemy is generous enough to use missiles with ridiculously
poor maneuvering capabilities.

[...]

Me like. Space fortresses are awesome.
His Certifiable Geniusness, Adam D. Ruppe (My 'verse)
Marle: Lucca! You're amazing!
Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

"I still really hate those pompous assholes who quote themselves in their sigs." -- Me

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:14 pm

"You paint!?"

"Yeah, a little, here, take a look."

"... don't quit your day job."


I wonder if people would still say that after a few generations of true freedom. Even if you are a shitty artist, you could choose to do it full time, since you aren't forced to work to make money.

On the other hand, there are a lot of sayings whose original roots have been fairly forgotten over time (and quite a few butchered too - arguably including "I don't give a dam"). People still say them though.


Of course, there might be enough incentive to keep a job around anyway that it keeps the same idea just like today.
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Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:25 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/25/nyreg ... .html?_r=1

I wonder how many people would ride part of the way up something like a space elevator or floating coilgun launcher just for the view.

(tho the space launcher on amillia doesn't have as many towers around it; it's not in a big city like NYC. that might take some of hte fun out of it)
His Certifiable Geniusness, Adam D. Ruppe (My 'verse)
Marle: Lucca! You're amazing!
Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Siege » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:07 pm

Well, I'm not sure about that last bit. The view of the NYC skyline is awesome, but I doubt it's quite as awesome as being able to see entire continents stretch underneath you, the curvature of the planet you're on, the sun coming up over the horizon and that sort of thing.

'Course this also depends on just how jaded ubiquitous space-travel makes people to that sort of natural wonder.
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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:29 pm

I actually don't think space travel would affect that much. The reason is the planet would look pretty different from one mile up, twenty miles up, and three hundred miles up.

Even if you've spent a lot of time in the space station, the ascent would surely be all kinds of cool since you can take your time to see the changes, see more detail, etc.


The thought of going up these things actually scares the crap out of me. I don't like even standing on a stair platform, and watching roof scenes on tv makes my palms sweaty as hell...... but I'm sure it'd be all kinds of spectacular.


I also think looking up at an electromagnetic launcher would be cool too. This line that splits the sky.


The more I think about it, tourism can be a huge industry. Think about space colony people. They'd have all kinds of cool shit to see at home, including various Earth like things... but they'd probably never see an ocean. The sunlight may be different, the moon.

There's also all the old timey crap if you head north to the main amillian land. From the small family farms to the bigger castles, all kinds of man made fun. If you went to one of the old guard towers in the capital city, you can watch the sun rise from behind distant mountains, then turn around later in the day and watch it set into the seemingly endless bay of water. Or, see the almost endless forest or ice patches. All kinds of nature made fun too.

Sure, the habitats have sunrises, sunsets, bodies of water, mountains, fields, and so on, but the configuration just won't be the same. You won't have sun and mountains twenty miles off.


Of course, they'd also never see a hurricane or an earthquake, travel is dead easy, and there's plenty of amazing architecture up here too; the planet might be great to visit, but who'd want to live there?!?



====



I'm moving this other thing from sdn since it's way off topic there, but I want to say it anyway:
Junghalli wrote:I think mostly as a result of growing up poor
I actually think everyone should be poor. It's so much easier to keep your spending down if it simply isn't an option - you learn a lot from the experience and it shapes you to be a, here's my bias showing, but better consumer. Consumption is bad.

That's the biggest struggle I have with my sci fi utopia. Everybody there has a guaranteed income, regardless of age, race, or occupation.

If you had a family of six there, this free money would work out to... oh, in the ballpark of $32,000 for the household annually after taxes and required adjustments using my current system. (And the value of a dollar is arbitrarily pegged to real life so I can relate to it, realism be damned.)

That's a lot of money, a good 50% more than my family had in real life, including all the other stuff.


This makes doing the author-insert a bit of a pain, since he did not grow up poor in the same way; many of his experiences are very very different than mine, so I have to be extra careful about literally dropping myself in there.

And on one hand, that's great, a society where poverty has been outright eliminated is just awesome. But on the other hand, I think it takes a little something away from a person to not have these experiences.

I'm thinking his parents might just do what I'd do - artificially limit it. Sure, they could afford more luxury if they wanted to, but they don't want to since they think that teaches valuable lessons. I'd probably do the same with children in real life.
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Marle: Lucca! You're amazing!
Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:29 pm

Am I the only person who realizes that interplanetary transport
would be in loose groups of ships rather than isolated ships?
There are limited transfer windows which everyone will use at
roughly the same time.  This also applies to intermoon transport.
 
Because there are a bunch of nearby spacecraft, there's no
shortage of things to do or places to go during an interplanetary
journey.  The nearby spacecraft may include large permanent
habitats.

Isaac Kuo mechdan@yahoo.com
Logical.
His Certifiable Geniusness, Adam D. Ruppe (My 'verse)
Marle: Lucca! You're amazing!
Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:41 am

isaac kuo elaborates:



If there is a serious population in the Mars system, do you think
there is only going to be one manned ship per two years?

Or if there are serious populations in the Jupiter and Saturn systems,
do you think there is only going to be one manned ship per
two DECADES?



Certainly there are places to conduct such isolated journeys here on
Earth also--like mountain climbing on one of the myriad less famous
mountains.  But this sort of journey is the exception, not the rule.

My point is that you guys are blind to the most plausible situation,
and only looking at the stereotypical one based on ocean going
travel.



My point is that it opens up a vast realm of possible stories, which
you guys are blind to because you're not considering the implications
of orbital mechanics.
 
As for going from ship to ship--this is another example of how the
ocean going ship motif is blinding.  On the ocean, going from one ship
to another is a hazardous and unpleasant operation.  But in space,
there are no waves and spacecraft can dock easily.  This includes tiny
one person spacecraft--a person in an EVA suit.
 
There is plenty of opportunity to trade goods and services among
spacecraft during a journey, as well as plenty of opportunity for
travellers to visit various spacecraft for entertainment and just for
some variety.  There's a lot of room for people to be coming and
going.  It would be easy for someone to leave behind a small robot
or something, or something as old fashioned as poison in someone's
food/drink/air.
His Certifiable Geniusness, Adam D. Ruppe (My 'verse)
Marle: Lucca! You're amazing!
Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Somes J » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:01 am

Man, I meant to reply to this way long ago but somehow I never seemed to get around to it. Better late than never, I guess...
Destructionator wrote:I actually think everyone should be poor. It's so much easier to keep your spending down if it simply isn't an option - you learn a lot from the experience and it shapes you to be a, here's my bias showing, but better consumer. Consumption is bad.
I gotta say when I first read this my response was "oh my, I believe we have a satanist here."

Seriously I'm actually kind of torn on anti-consumerism.

Part of me thinks that consumerism is basically just an expression of the natural human tendency to seek pleasure and there's nothing fundamentally wrong with it at all, at worst it's instrumentally wrong (it's bad because resources are limited causing suffering elsewhere). And gets a bad taste from "everybody should endure some deprivation because it builds character" type proposals.

On the other hand part of me isn't without sympathy for the idea that consumption should be restrained. In my own sci fi I tend to imagine societies that are less consumptive than ours, and I wonder if maybe they're onto something. If nothing else, they run into less resource overconsumption/environmental issues than ours.

Man, one of the more interesting worldbuilding ideas I've gotten to date is that "all harm even of inanimate objects is bad" morality you suggested to me (I've seen Straha on SDN argue it a couple of times too). It fits great with that Vulcan-deconstruction world I thought up and it seems like a really interesting ethical system. I can imagine a lot of philosophical discussion around the question of whether this makes human existence and life inherently evil (since it requires destroying stuff) and the ideal universe is one in which nothing ever happens so nothing ever gets destroyed, which is equivalent to a state of maximum entropy, and the philosophical implications of that.
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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:16 pm

Somes J wrote:Man, one of the more interesting worldbuilding ideas I've gotten to date is that "all harm even of inanimate objects is bad" morality you suggested to me (I've seen Straha on SDN argue it a couple of times too). It fits great with that Vulcan-deconstruction world I thought up and it seems like a really interesting ethical system. I can imagine a lot of philosophical discussion around the question of whether this makes human existence and life inherently evil (since it requires destroying stuff) and the ideal universe is one in which nothing ever happens so nothing ever gets destroyed, which is equivalent to a state of maximum entropy, and the philosophical implications of that.
They would want to destroy the universe?

It makes sense, since if you destroy the universe now then there would be one brief period of extreme badness in which lots of things were destroyed at once, whereas if you wait for the universe to destroy itself then everything will be slowly broken down and the constituent parts will go on to form other objects, which will then themselves be destroyed, and so on for countless billions of years, so destroying the universe as quickly as possible would be better. On the other hand it would mean you would be personally responsible for a great deal more destruction and harm, so that's something you would have to think about.

It's also rather impractical.

All of the above is null and void if these people actually believe that maintaining/creating things is a good thing in addition to destroying them being bad. That in itself is probably another debate they might have, is it worth trying to preserve/create something they believe to be of value since it will eventually be destroyed, will that arguably be worse than it never existing at all? Or something.
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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Destructionator » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:59 pm

Somes J: I have like five emails from you in my inbox; I'm just as behind. New things need me to read and think though, which takes a lot more time than spitting something I already know.
speaker-to-trolls wrote:They would want to destroy the universe?
The thing here is this philosophy doesn't look at the sum of super long term consequences; it doesn't say "the ideal state is one with no destruction", but rather works on a more personal level: given a choice, you should prefer to create less destruction.


But, being more passive, it is a lot easier to take in moderation - you aren't looking to actively create some long term utopia, just live better yourself - and doesn't lead to as much weird logic.

By dealing more with the here and now rather than the future consequences, it is a lot easier to manage too. You don't need to be an all-seeing, infinitely knowledgeable God in every second of life to be "good". You just live your life and make some reasonable adjustments as you go.




A lively debate could be had with a few situations though:

1) there's an asteroid heading toward some random planet. You're in the area in your great starship and could take some time to help.

We can probably agree that they ought to choose to help. But, do you have a duty to help? This is a natural disaster; it is not your fault. But, since you're there, you do have that choice here and now...

If you say yes, what if you weren't planning to be in the area? Suppose you're out there, but you were planning to just go through deep space. If you took the scenic route through the solar systems, you'd have a better chance of spotting this. Should you take the scenic route?


I think this is getting too far away from the here and now choice we're concerned with, but I still think reasonable people could disagree on this. How far does it go?



2) Suppose there's a war, some big bullshit war causing lots of bad stuff. You're in your grand starship again. If you shoot a few photon torpedoes, you can put an end to it, probably fairly quickly. These primitives will surely cower before the Enterprise's power.

Does ending a war justify expanding a war?


I think not: the decision you're making here is to fire photon torpedoes. This might have the effect of reducing the sum of the long term badness... but your personal decision is to make it worse right now, and that's what we're looking at.

(Even the consequentialist view, where the ends justifies the means, is iffy here. You can't be sure that blowing things up is going to actually end the war; you might make things even worse in the long term, both in this situation and by accepting these means as legitimate; next time, you might use the same argument, biased to accept it, and be wrong there. It's a big gamble.)


I'm almost certainly on the "don't get involved" side now*, but if you asked me this a year ago, I might have said "not getting involved just enables more war". Arguments will surely fly.

* BTW if everyone made the personal choice to not wage war... there'd be no war. I know what you're thinking: "but then, it just takes one madman to conquer us all", but no, one madman can't wage war. It takes consensus to do it.

And besides, even so, being conquered is better than to start your own policy of killing. (tho of course some people make exceptions for self defense. hell i do sometimes on a personal level, but not so much a national one. The destruction of your country is a negative, sure, but not one that justifies the destruction of millions of lives.)

When it comes to war, just say no.
His Certifiable Geniusness, Adam D. Ruppe (My 'verse)
Marle: Lucca! You're amazing!
Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
Marle: Enough with the false modesty! You have a real gift! I would trade my royal ancestry for your genius in a heartbeat!

"I still really hate those pompous assholes who quote themselves in their sigs." -- Me

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Re: Random notes and whatnot

Post by Siege » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:39 am

Destructionator wrote:This is a natural disaster; it is not your fault. But, since you're there, you do have that choice here and now...
I'd say that yeah, the asteroid heading where it's headed is indeed not your fault... But if you have the opportunity to stop it and choose not to, then the consequences of that choice are on you. Simply being aware of the situation and in possession of a means to influence it makes you are at least partially responsible for the outcome, even if you choose not to do anything at all.

Does ending a war justify expanding a war?
This one I'm not so certain about. I think it depends on circumstances. Like, what war, who's fighting, what form does this expansion take, and so on. But generally if I were captain of the USS Pew-Pew and I arrived in orbit of a world where some dictator was busy conducting a properly genocidal war, then I would be inclined to use my killphasers to put a halt to it. If only because I'm not sure I'd be able to live with myself if I didn't try to do something to stop the murdering.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

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