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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:02 am 
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So a thought just occurred to me.

Why is it a surprise and that people have figured out the long guns again? And how is that tied to the rediscovery of the Teraport? It can't be. Because all a long-gun is is an extension of FTL communications.

FTL comms - the hypernet - opens a microscopic wormhole to another place to send information.

The long gun is simply a much larger application of this, opening a rift *centimeters* wide to fire fusing plasma through.

All the Teraport does is allow the guns to be *placed* anywhere.

The two technologies (long gun and Teraport) are only superficially similar, like an RC car and the space shuttle (they both have WHEELS.)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:24 am 
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I don't get surprise so much as recognition and resignation.
"They have discovered the end-guns again."
Someone always does, it's - as you say - an inevitable, logical progression. Just as we have "steam engine time", so do they have "long-gun time."
The difference being that one, reliably (at least up until now), ends galactic civilization.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:36 am 
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StClair wrote:
I don't get surprise so much as recognition and resignation.
"They have discovered the end-guns again."
Someone always does, it's - as you say - an inevitable, logical progression. Just as we have "steam engine time", so do they have "long-gun time."
The difference being that one, reliably (at least up until now), ends galactic civilization.


True, but it sounded to me during that rundown that they we're somehow equating the two. 'they're ripping holes in spacetime and rediscovered the end guns'. I should re-check that. But it seemed to me like they thought the two were equally bad.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:27 am 
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Kendrakirai wrote:
But it seemed to me like they thought the two were equally bad.

From a "starts a war that ends galciv as we know it" standpoint, they are equally bad.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:53 pm 
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evileeyore wrote:
Kendrakirai wrote:
But it seemed to me like they thought the two were equally bad.

From a "starts a war that ends galciv as we know it" standpoint, they are equally bad.

^^^ This. My understanding was that one (teraport) brought the ire of the DMEs, and one (long gun) brought isolationism and suspicion of the other baryonic-matter-sophonts in the galaxy. Yeah, either one of these situations can lead to the collapse of galciv, so either one is bad.

My second theory was that even though the two technologies may be unrelated, they can still combine to destroy galciv, because the lack of trade, alliances, and mutual trust among the baryonic civilizations made them even more vulnerable to the Pa'anuri.

Now, don't get me wrong, I did think there was a common factor to the technologies--mainly, the worm-holes. But even if the technologies are not related, the two social theories above are both really bad situations for your galactic civilization to be in.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:01 pm 
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Black Sheep wrote:
evileeyore wrote:
Kendrakirai wrote:
But it seemed to me like they thought the two were equally bad.

From a "starts a war that ends galciv as we know it" standpoint, they are equally bad.

^^^ This. My understanding was that one (teraport) brought the ire of the DMEs, and one (long gun) brought isolationism and suspicion of the other baryonic-matter-sophonts in the galaxy. Yeah, either one of these situations can lead to the collapse of galciv, so either one is bad.

My second theory was that even though the two technologies may be unrelated, they can still combine to destroy galciv, because the lack of trade, alliances, and mutual trust among the baryonic civilizations made them even more vulnerable to the Pa'anuri.

Now, don't get me wrong, I did think there was a common factor to the technologies--mainly, the worm-holes. But even if the technologies are not related, the two social theories above are both really bad situations for your galactic civilization to be in.


But all that said, you can't *have* a galactic civilization without FTL travel and communications, which requires the use of wormholes.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:10 pm 
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Actually even without the Pa'anuri threat teraports could lead to the end of galactic civilization. The first thing Petey did when he discovered it was plot galactic domination. Kevyn popped that bubble in short order. But a more militaristic faction who discovered the teraport and decided to keep it secret might have actually tried it.

Whether they succeeded or not would be besides the point as the ensuing war would likely devastate the galaxy. At best you'd have one dominate group ruling while everyone else plotted their demise. At worst you'd have multiple groups with teraports competing to rule the ashes.

Kendrakirai wrote:

But all that said, you can't *have* a galactic civilization without FTL travel and communications, which requires the use of wormholes.


Not strictly true. You can have galactic civilization without FTL if you're willing to wait out the travel times. A very prolonged and isolated one, but still civilization on a galactic scale. There are several scifi works that explored the idea. Though it's unlikely it ever occurred in the Schlockverse given the apparent ease of creating wormholes.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:21 pm 
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Wasn't Credomar a longgun project that predates the discovery of the current iteration of the teraport?

The base requirement tech just appears to be the ability to open up wormholes and then it's just energy requirements.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:31 pm 
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Chainlynx wrote:
Wasn't Credomar a longgun project that predates the discovery of the current iteration of the teraport?

The base requirement tech just appears to be the ability to open up wormholes and then it's just energy requirements.


Precisely, the long gun is (essentially) just a massively scaled up version of a hypernet node.

Also, a galaxy without FTL travel or comms wouldn't be a *galactic* civilization, just a collection of smaller civilizations. Look at Earth. Could you really consider us having a global civilization before travel and communication became a matter of a couple of days or weeks rather than months, or even years?

When a nation can rise up and fall before word reaches you of its existence in the first place, that's not a civilization.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:32 am 
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Kendrakirai wrote:
Look at Earth. Could you really consider us having a global civilization before travel and communication became a matter of a couple of days or weeks rather than months, or even years?


Ask Britain, or Spain. They were global civs with settlements across the ocean, and that was a several month round trip with a non-trivial packet loss.

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When a nation can rise up and fall before word reaches you of its existence in the first place, that's not a civilization.


Hmm. Go back to the age of the Greeks; when your fastest long-distance messenger is horse relays in established areas, and much slower at the fringe (same horse, has to rest)? Well, actually, that was probably faster than the sea crossing.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:30 am 
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keybounce wrote:
Kendrakirai wrote:
Look at Earth. Could you really consider us having a global civilization before travel and communication became a matter of a couple of days or weeks rather than months, or even years?


Ask Britain, or Spain. They were global civs with settlements across the ocean, and that was a several month round trip with a non-trivial packet loss.

Britain only conquered about a quarter of civilization at most, and now only has a handful of islands fully under it's control.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:44 am 
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grahamf wrote:
keybounce wrote:
Kendrakirai wrote:
Look at Earth. Could you really consider us having a global civilization before travel and communication became a matter of a couple of days or weeks rather than months, or even years?


Ask Britain, or Spain. They were global civs with settlements across the ocean, and that was a several month round trip with a non-trivial packet loss.

Britain only conquered about a quarter of civilization at most, and now only has a handful of islands fully under it's control.

And how many countries that have at least a cultural veneer from Britain? How many people speak english?

There's more than one type of global civilization.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:44 am 
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keybounce wrote:
Ask Britain, or Spain. They were global civs with settlements across the ocean, and that was a several month round trip with a non-trivial packet loss.

You have to delegate a lot. Governors of colonies have a lot of autonomy, and people have to think ahead a good deal.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:04 am 
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keybounce wrote:
Kendrakirai wrote:
When a nation can rise up and fall before word reaches you of its existence in the first place, that's not a civilization.

Hmm. Go back to the age of the Greeks; when your fastest long-distance messenger is horse relays in established areas, and much slower at the fringe (same horse, has to rest)? Well, actually, that was probably faster than the sea crossing.

And nobody in America or Australia ever heard a word about ancient Greece during its days of glory. Most likely large parts of Africa and Asia were also unaware of its existence.

I can agree that "global civilization" can be defined such that the British empire would qualify. I can also think of definitions that would make the British empire not be a global civilization. Greece definitely doesn't qualify.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:41 am 
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With interstellar distances, no faster than light travel or communication could means years, decades or centuries for a message to cross the distance at the speed of light, and longer still if you're talking about actual ship travel. That makes building a civilization between those distances difficult or even impossible to build.

For example settlements in star systems would need to be self-sufficient; no point calling for help when the distress call itself may take decades to get somewhere it can be heard, and a response would take more decades to arrive. By then the situation triggering the distress call will have resolved itself one way or another - including the death of everyone at that colony. And if a remote colony can't count on timely aid, why shouldn't it remain independent? Why join any empire/federation/republic etc based in another system years away, that may not even exist when a message arrives?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:55 am 
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The thing is that these are valid points, but a galactic civilization doesn't mean that everything is unified under one government. The current schlock verse has multiple nations, but I'd certainly say it qualified as a galactic civilization.

In the same way that our modern day earth qualifies as a global civilization despite there being multiple nations.

So yes each individual system might be independent and communications would crawl along at light speed taking decades or centuries for news to propagate. But it would propagate. Culture would be exchanged, maybe even some limited goods. With immortality, or just very long lives, people could even travel without it eating significant chunks of their lives.

It would move at a glacial pace, but it would be a civilization. If anything it would probably be more stable than most civilizations as any disasters would be contained to single systems. The loss of one node in the communications network wouldn't be crippling. And it would pretty much make wars impossible.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:28 pm 
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It seems we have differing views if what a 'galactic civilization' is. A civilization that spans a decent chunk of the galaxy, has trade, communications, and is *relatively* homogenous, particularly in terms of culture or with a standard language or two. What slower than light would result in would be, to me, not a single, or even small group of civilizations, but ones do vastly disparate you'd be hard pressed to call them the same species from one end of a colony sphere to the other. Linguistic drift would quickly make communication difficult or impossible. Technological drift would relegate some colonies to the relative dark ages while others would populate their entire star systems. That's not a civilization. That's a collection of planets that began from the same point.

The roman empire was able to exist as a civilization because they built roads. You could literally walk, in a matter on months, at a somewhat leisurely pace, from one end of the empire to the opposite. With horse drawn carriages or riding them? That time is cut dramatically.

Sea travel took many months, but much of that was going around minor nuisances like *Africa* in order to reach India. Couriers and single travelers had an easier time.

Also, couriers' so far as I'm aware, didn't often use the same horse the whole trip; they'd go to stations along the way, exchange their horse for a fresh one, and continue. Or, if it wasn't as vital it come from the same courier, just hand it off to the next courier in the chain, pony-express style.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:28 pm 
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My point is that a civilization built around STL travel would not have regular communication with the far reaches of the galaxy, but they would have regular communication with their neighbors. It would be slow communication, but it would allow for a regular exchange of information and culture.

So each race would basically have their homeworlds and their starting colonies talking with each other. Then the colonies would send out a second wave that talked with the first wave. Then a third wave and so on. Eventually colonization waves from two different species would meet, and you might have some limited conflict as one colonization team fought another, or they might work together to make a mixed colony. But it's unlikely it would spread beyond that given the logistics involved.

After enough time the entire galaxy would be colonized with each system talking to those in a ten to twenty lightyear sphere around it and passing information along. Cultures on different sides of the galaxy would be radically different in all likelihood, but the transition from one side to another would be gradual. Colonies only a few light years apart would be similar to each other, and not too different from those a few dozen light years away. Colonies a hundred light years away would not be very meaningful, but still close enough to transmit culture.

I would find it likely that the transition would be even finer than that. A civilization really concerned with providing interstellar communication at STL speeds wouldn't limit themselves to just systems, but spread artifical habitats and communication relays out into the space between stars until the habitats that belong to own system might actually be closer to those belonging to the next system than they are their home stars.

Individual civilizations with similar internal cultures would likely span no more than a few dozen light years. But they would be in communication with their surrounding civilizations and if they really wanted they could communicate with one on the other side of the galaxy.

Now whether they did or not would depend on the lifespan of the people involved. Ones with current human life spans probably wouldn't attempt to communicate beyond the local cluster. Information from the far end of the galaxy would only be interesting in the historical and scientific sense. On the other end of the scale a population of immortals could very well be pen pals with people on the far end. And if it takes thousands of years to exchange a response what does that really mean for a creature that measures their lifespan in millions of years.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:02 am 
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Arcanestomper wrote:
I would find it likely that the transition would be even finer than that. A civilization really concerned with providing interstellar communication at STL speeds wouldn't limit themselves to just systems, but spread artifical habitats and communication relays out into the space between stars until the habitats that belong to own system might actually be closer to those belonging to the next system than they are their home stars.

I'm hearing that war wouldn't be possible at this kind of range, but here we are, talking about something that sounds a bit like a Russian nuclear sub parked in a US harbour somewhere :)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:41 am 
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More like a Russian fishing boat parked next an American naval base. It's so hard to move stuff between systems that the defender would almost always have the advantage.

At worst you might be able to launch relatavistic impactors at your enemies, but they'd be able to see it coming and retaliate. Mutually assured destruction. Or possibly not even that if their tech is advanced enough and they see it coming in time to stop it.


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