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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:53 am 
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Aquarium Exhibit
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The original beanstalk must have been using some rotational assistance, or they wouldn't need a counterweight station past geosynchronous orbit, as footnoted here.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:59 am 
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Rick wrote:
***Is this assumption wrong? Could a beanstalk also work from say, one of the poles?****

The only possible benefit to building a beanstalk at the poles, in terms of getting to and from orbit, would be bypassing atmospheric interference. Which, when you've got cheap enough energy for single-stage-to-orbit, never mind unifield shields, is pretty close to no reason at all.

The whole point of a beanstalk is making use of the planet's existing rotational speed for a boost to orbit. If your beanstalk is at such a high latitude that it's upper end is within one planetary radius of the rotational axis, you'd most likely be better off just launching in an easterly direction from sea level at the equator.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:09 pm 
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A possible mechanism for Red, RedHACK, and other nanobot-based "memory write" technologies: http://www.iflscience.com/brain/long-te ... s-afterall

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:39 pm 
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Irashi wrote:
I have a question. How did amorphs evolve from memory storage devices?

Evolution by natural selection requires that there be a replicator, which has a less than perfect copying fidelity. Errors in the copying process are mutations, these are random but the mutations are selected (naturally) depending on their utility for the survival and continued propagation of that particular replicator in that particular environment.

In all life on earth these replicators are the DNA (or RNA in viruses) that make up our genetic code. For about 3.5 billion years all life on earth consisted of single celled organisms, until the Cambrian explosion 500m years ago in which multicellular organisms appeared. Each cell in those organisms are all clones to serve the interests of the same replicator, though there would be symbiotes and parasites in there too, over time becoming seamlessly melded with the replicators of the original host. So a multicellular organism would be a kind of colony for replicators of many different origins, over time.

When it's time to reproduce a multicellular organism the germ cell is created with a random mixture of half of the genetic information from the previous cell through the process of meiosis, from which a new organism is constructed after fertilizing another such germ cell.

So what would serve the role of the replicator in a long term carbo-silicate storage device? And how would there be enough selection pressure to drive the process of blind selection to take it from a jar of goo to a sentient being like schlock which. Also once reaching that state apparantly stops evolving in a physical way altogether, according to schlock's talk about the birds and the bees, his species doesn't exchange codes for gross physical structure, only personality information.

Also I'm wondering, if life forms in the galaxy use the same kinds of replicators as us and the same amino acids as we do, how do different species stop their immune systems from being completely overwhelmed by trillions of previously unencountered species of bacteria upon setting foot on another world, ala War of the Worlds?

Actually, nanotech might be the easy answer to that last one...


I think the original memory storage devices were designed to eat damaged units and copy their contents, probably as an outgrowth of the "biomemes" they use to communicate with each other, probably how copies of data were passed on. Their ability to consume just about anything was probably a sales point--"Why use power to store your data? Out new memory devices will eat your trash as well."

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:02 pm 
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I think their physical forms haven't changed much, mostly just the data ("personality information") stored in them. They obviously have some way of copying data, and it must be imperfect.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:46 pm 
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I suspect the laws of unintended consequences . . . the evolution is an unintended consequence of the way they were intended to scavenge damaged memory.

Or maybe just that something didn't work as it was intended at all . . . and nobody realized in time what was happening.

--FreeFlier


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:47 pm 
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Re Oofan memory foils

I'm pretty sure that the foil memories are natural. In http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2015-05-13 Commodore Karl Tagon said "Through a quirk of Oafan biology their memories are inscribed in scrolls of foil made from their skin."

It's pretty clear that the foils contain the Oafan memories stored as patterns on the foil. Therefore, memories consume area on the inside of the Oafan.

This correlates with the idea that older Oofans are bigger, since the area of the inside of the balloon capable of holding memories grows at the square of their radius.

That means that assuming that they accumulate memories linearly with time, their radius would grow at SQRT(time) -- they grow fast when they're young, but as they get older they grow more slowly... as you go from time 1 to time 2, they grow by 1.4, from time 24 to 25 they grow by only 0.09, and that gets slower and slower.

In general, a person who is twice as big (by radius) is four times as old...

The other thing that comes from this is, without injury resulting in loss of skin, an Oofan can't forget anything. Assuming that they're using some sort of diffuse redundant write error correction (equivalent to RAID 5 or 10) even minor skin injuries don't result in memory loss.

Additionally, this implies that if the foil graft is imperfect, with diffuse write and error correction, the graftee still gets the full, correct memories. You'll need substantial damage to the foil, or only transplant fragments of foil instead of the entire foil or large intact pieces of it.

That seems to be consistent with the statement here http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2014-11-28 "I have three sets of memories ... the third is fragments of a 50 thousand year life that ended around eleven million years ago."

Meld-Minister Miamumla isn't as huge as the librarian appears to be. Apparently, in their early experiments with foil transplants, they had not yet perfected a method of inflating the recipient to accept the full foil memories of the donor, so Miamumla ended up with "fragments." On the other hand, the librarian seems to be of substantially larger radius than Miamumla, and so there's every reason to believe that the clone will have the full memories of the librarian.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:09 pm 
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One thing I was wondering about amorphs... if they were intended to function as highly redundant storage mediums, could they still contain the data they were originally storing before they came self aware? Could Shlock or another amorph hold millenia-old secrets in the form of "junk dna" or something?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:03 pm 
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grahamf wrote:
One thing I was wondering about amorphs... if they were intended to function as highly redundant storage mediums, could they still contain the data they were originally storing before they came self aware? Could Shlock or another amorph hold millenia-old secrets in the form of "junk dna" or something?

I think someone brought this up a few months ago.

Though the literal bits might be diluted such that Schlock only has small fragments in his memory (maybe a few words from someone's scientific paper).

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:12 pm 
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Any left-over memories could also be heavily integrated . . . that is, just part of his basic knowledge with no recognition of where that particular information came from.

After all, what need would Schlock have for the exact meaning of "son of a saddle" in Chaucer's English? (Or the equivalent.)

. . .

That would make a useful deus ex machina for introducing a needed really obscure fact, however.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:13 am 
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Safari Exhibit
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RickBoatright wrote:
Assuming that they're using some sort of diffuse redundant write error correction (equivalent to RAID 5 or 10) even minor skin injuries don't result in memory loss.
I think even minor skin injuries usually result in "losing sacred lift-breath" and "expiring". :(

RickBoatright wrote:
Apparently, in their early experiments with foil transplants, they had not yet perfected a method of inflating the recipient to accept the full foil memories of the donor, so Miamumla ended up with "fragments."
Or they gave Miamumla memories from the very first skin they found, which they opened, exposed to the air, and severely damaged.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:24 am 
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Surely a race that could build the world also has skin patch kits available. Additionally don't forget that the librarian said that this was the fourth time he been revived so clearly previous incarnations civilizations had patch kits

Ken_g6 wrote:
RickBoatright wrote:
Assuming that they're using some sort of diffuse redundant write error correction (equivalent to RAID 5 or 10) even minor skin injuries don't result in memory loss.
I think even minor skin injuries usually result in "losing sacred lift-breath" and "expiring". :(

RickBoatright wrote:
Apparently, in their early experiments with foil transplants, they had not yet perfected a method of inflating the recipient to accept the full foil memories of the donor, so Miamumla ended up with "fragments."
Or they gave Miamumla memories from the very first skin they found, which they opened, exposed to the air, and severely damaged.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:02 pm 
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If its helpful here are the specs on the devastator class ships.

https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2004-08-24

1000 meter annie plants.


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