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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:46 pm 
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Reptile House Exhibit
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What I'm hearing here is that the Toughs are going to need to massively recruit intellectual talent if they're to have any hope of tackling the problem before them. But...aren't they broke?

I hope that the Oafans aren't expecting the Toughs to do more than play a bit role in Project Save the Galaxy.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:51 pm 
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Monkey House Exhibit
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I disagree with her sentiment. It's rather like the old joke "if you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". While all of those fields may play some distantly connected part in the greater scheme of things, most are completely unnecessary to understanding why things went the way they did. A few more might be helpful in devising a plan to fix things, but I expect that will be bumping into Kevyn's area of expertise. Astrophysics for example is terrible for understanding history, but it's great for inventing time travel.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:16 am 
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Aquarium Exhibit
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When the history you're dealing with is so old the stars were in markedly different positions, you need astrophysics just to know where everything was.

(For reference, the first prologue of Book 19 happened 73 million years ago. The Sun orbits the Milky Way once every 225-250 million years. History that old requires backtracking a lot of celestial movement.)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:16 am 
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tryingtobewitty wrote:
When the history you're dealing with is so old the stars were in markedly different positions, you need astrophysics just to know where everything was.

(For reference, the first prologue of Book 19 happened 73 million years ago. The Sun orbits the Milky Way once every 225-250 million years. History that old requires backtracking a lot of celestial movement.)

And that's the easy part. The stars don't lie to you.

Humans (and I presume other sapient races) habitually lie about why they did something . . . assuming that they even understand why they did it in the first place!

--FreeFlier


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:40 am 
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Arctic Exhibit
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FreeFlier wrote:
The stars don't lie to you.


It’s possible that you may not have been introduced to some of the more exotic star types out there.

Picture, if you will, a star that does not have a stellar core. Instead, it has something slightly more exotic where that core would properly sit. Something exotic enough to make you question whether it’s a true star or not. With a neutron star for a core, it will look to the unassuming astronomer, like your typical star. Somewhere, millions of miles under the surface, lurks that speck of a neutron star, which astromers think they’ve detected in a few stars, through all that stellar mass.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorne%E2 ... kow_object

That, or possibly, the star is lying about it’s lying, having eaten something strange.


Consider also, the time a star was used to hide a really big bomb...
https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2002-07-30

Stars can lie directly, or be made to lie, indirectly.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:42 pm 
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Karfston wrote:
FreeFlier wrote:
The stars don't lie to you.


It’s possible that you may not have been introduced to some of the more exotic star types out there.

Picture, if you will, a star that does not have a stellar core. Instead, it has something slightly more exotic where that core would properly sit. Something exotic enough to make you question whether it’s a true star or not. With a neutron star for a core, it will look to the unassuming astronomer, like your typical star. Somewhere, millions of miles under the surface, lurks that speck of a neutron star, which astromers think they’ve detected in a few stars, through all that stellar mass.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorne%E2 ... kow_object

That, or possibly, the star is lying about it’s lying, having eaten something strange.


Consider also, the time a star was used to hide a really big bomb...
https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2002-07-30

Stars can lie directly, or be made to lie, indirectly.

Yup. It's going to take a team of astrophysicists just to work out which stars have been artificially changed by previously civilizations, and which are just natural phenomenon.

There is going to be a whole new field in the Schlockverse: archaeological astronomy.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:41 pm 
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Monkey House Exhibit
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I still don't think it matters much. If they were looking for why a single galactic civilization went extinct, the astro-geo-political-land-star-scape of the time might be relevant. Knowing who was unfriendly neighbors with whom can help to piece together the reasons they might have fought and even some of their methods. However, they are instead looking for a common thread across multiple independent civilzations millions to billions of years apart. The alignment of the stars probably 99.999% certain isn't going to be that thread, unless maybe they are talking about a galactic-scale "Red Star" and a completely different kind of "thread".


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:25 pm 
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Motortiki wrote:
Karfston wrote:
FreeFlier wrote:
The stars don't lie to you.


It’s possible that you may not have been introduced to some of the more exotic star types out there.

Picture, if you will, a star that does not have a stellar core. Instead, it has something slightly more exotic where that core would properly sit. Something exotic enough to make you question whether it’s a true star or not. With a neutron star for a core, it will look to the unassuming astronomer, like your typical star. Somewhere, millions of miles under the surface, lurks that speck of a neutron star, which astromers think they’ve detected in a few stars, through all that stellar mass.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorne%E2 ... kow_object

That, or possibly, the star is lying about it’s lying, having eaten something strange.


Consider also, the time a star was used to hide a really big bomb...
https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2002-07-30

Stars can lie directly, or be made to lie, indirectly.

Yup. It's going to take a team of astrophysicists just to work out which stars have been artificially changed by previously civilizations, and which are just natural phenomenon.

There is going to be a whole new field in the Schlockverse: archaeological astronomy.

It might be easier than that. Remember Eina-Afa had star charts that had huge mismatches with reality that was pinpointed to ancient wars on galactic scales.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:01 pm 
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Arctic Exhibit
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sotanaht wrote:
I still don't think it matters much. If they were looking for why a single galactic civilization went extinct, the astro-geo-political-land-star-scape of the time might be relevant. Knowing who was unfriendly neighbors with whom can help to piece together the reasons they might have fought and even some of their methods. However, they are instead looking for a common thread across multiple independent civilzations millions to billions of years apart. The alignment of the stars probably 99.999% certain isn't going to be that thread, unless maybe they are talking about a galactic-scale "Red Star" and a completely different kind of "thread".

Less "a common thread" and more "finding the pieces of the puzzle and where they go together". With part of the problem being that they've got several umpteen-trillion puzzle pieces, no clear indication right away which ones belong to which puzzle, and putting the whole puzzle together will require putting together a number of smaller puzzles and then figuring out what the picture the whole group makes.

Being able to piece together the astro-geo-political landscape of the time is going to be necessary because it'll help with deciphering whether the puzzle piece they're looking at is a cloud or a sheep.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:08 am 
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Monkey House Exhibit
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or a cloud of sheep!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:48 am 
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Arctic Exhibit
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sotanaht wrote:
I still don't think it matters much. If they were looking for why a single galactic civilization went extinct, the astro-geo-political-land-star-scape of the time might be relevant. Knowing who was unfriendly neighbors with whom can help to piece together the reasons they might have fought and even some of their methods. However, they are instead looking for a common thread across multiple independent civilzations millions to billions of years apart. The alignment of the stars probably 99.999% certain isn't going to be that thread, unless maybe they are talking about a galactic-scale "Red Star" and a completely different kind of "thread".


Hum.
If I read that, what I hear is ‘this happened a lot, therefore looking closely won’t tell us why.’ I hope i’ve misread that...


Galaxies are big things. Mind-bogglingly huge. https://www.schlockmercenary.com/strip/ ... 3894889612

The people living their, with their combined histories, don’t understand why the place repeatedly descends into chaos. You want as much information as possible about those past failures. Wars sound like one possible trigger, and geography plays a key role in why wars happen, and how they are prevented. The geography of a galaxy (stellar-ography?) will likewise be important. Even with the terraport, which in theory makes distances irrelevant, proximity still matters. Petey even acknowledged as much in the early days of his war with the o’benn — https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2004-09-04
The reason for this is simple - you worry first about the things in front of your nose. Not the thing so far away that light from it won’t reach you for another 50,000 years - heck, you could miss things the size of stars at that distance (see prior mention: mind boggling oh huge).

The question: a why does the galaxy repeatedly descend into an uncivilized state?
Are we looking at beasts consuming all the intelligent life? (dark matter critters?)
Are we looking at a tech that once discovered, guarantees the failure of civilization? (long guns?)
Or perhaps ... we’re looking at a tech that, once discovered, causes civilizations to vanish, more or less intact? (The all-star? The hidden shelter in the can-o-sky?)
Perhaps it’s something of a different problem? A civilization learns how to convert themselves to pure thought, shares it with the galaxy - everyone escapes the bonds of reality, but it leaves the galaxy a barren wasteland?
Or is it really as simple as the generic, nondescript: The galactic civilization is doomed to failure.
If it were that last one this would make for a story with an unfulfilling ending.

Looking at them the causes in a general sense, I see mostly ‘conflict did it’. I also recall mention of scarcity ending on several occasions, only to present a new scarce resource. The dark matter critters were made to combat scarcity, and like any half decent mad scientists creation, they escaped and caused problems. Wars are themselves usually fought over either property, or ideas. ‘I need what you have. Die, so that I can have it.’ Or ‘I don’t like how you think. Your existence is an abhorrence, so die that my peace of mind will be restored.’ Bugger, that all almost, but not quite, folds things up into a nice neat single cause.

...

I think i’m catching pieces of something, but I’m not seeing a coherent whole.

...

Could lack of scarcity be the monkey-wrench that triggers galactic failures?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:37 pm 
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Karfston wrote:
Galaxies are big things. Mind-bogglingly huge. https://www.schlockmercenary.com/strip/ ... 3894889612

The people living their, with their combined histories, don’t understand why the place repeatedly descends into chaos. You want as much information as possible about those past failures. Wars sound like one possible trigger, and geography plays a key role in why wars happen, and how they are prevented. The geography of a galaxy (stellar-ography?) will likewise be important. Even with the terraport, which in theory makes distances irrelevant, proximity still matters. Petey even acknowledged as much in the early days of his war with the o’benn — https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2004-09-04
The reason for this is simple - you worry first about the things in front of your nose. Not the thing so far away that light from it won’t reach you for another 50,000 years - heck, you could miss things the size of stars at that distance (see prior mention: mind boggling oh huge).


The problem with the whole vast galactic distances thing IMO is faster-than-light travel makes it largely irrelevant. Especially when you have a trans-light drive like the teraport, that can cross thousands of light years in seconds or less. That means even a threat 50.000 light-years away is potentially imminent if it has something like that teraport - by the time the light reaches you it'll be tens of thousands of years too late. Worse, without some kind of faster-than-light sensors you'll never see it coming.

Karfston wrote:
The question: a why does the galaxy repeatedly descend into an uncivilized state?
Are we looking at beasts consuming all the intelligent life? (dark matter critters?)
Are we looking at a tech that once discovered, guarantees the failure of civilization? (long guns?)
Or perhaps ... we’re looking at a tech that, once discovered, causes civilizations to vanish, more or less intact? (The all-star? The hidden shelter in the can-o-sky?)


This reminds me of such a threat in the Polity series of books by Neal Asher, called Jain technology. Jain tech is basically a Hegemonizing Swarm From Hell that assimilates entire civilizations, biont and tech both. Then the assimilated civilization collapses, leaving behind little eggs of concentrated Jain nanotech ready for some curious biont from a newly arisen interstellar civilization to find. The Jain tech egg then activates and assimilates the biont, who then goes on to attack and assimilate his or her entire civilization, which then collapses and goes to seed until another curious biont from another civilization comes along, rise and repeat.

In the Polity series it is discovered that Jain tech essentially wiped out their original creators (the Jain) and at least one other galactic civilization that arose after them, and furthermore, that it was designed to do so. One of the major conflicts in the series is preventing the human Polity from going out the same way when Jain tech is discovered by curious humans...

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:20 am 
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I remember that plot from when it was called Mass Effect.

(yes, I know, nothing new under the stars...)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:17 pm 
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Arctic Exhibit
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Doing some digging ...

https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2017-09-10

I’d be willing to bet that this is a clue-drop to the future course of the story, and the subject makes it relevant here.

I can fit it together with other possible clues, but they only lead me to silly ends. Except for one, which reaches instead an absurd end. It works thus:
The all-star is a civilization that dug a hole, climbed into it, and pulled the hole in after themselves. Oaffans did something vaguely similar, however the all-star group occasionally interferes in the outside world, hijacking bodies, sending out warships, etc, etc, to achieve their long term goals.
Let’s propose that it wasn’t just two civilizations to hide from the galaxy, and posit that a third civilization did the same. One that, like the psycho-bears, sees itself as superior to all other races, and will tolerate their existence only so long as those races not a threat to them, but once a threat appears, they send their own agents out to topple the civilization. The terraport and long guns are both new to the scene, meaning that things must now be toppled, soon, to ensure the continued safe existence of this shadow group.

As I’m the one proposing the existence of a faction that for all intents and purposes may rival the All-Star, I propose naming this shadow group the “Death-Star”. I did say it was an absurd idea, it merits an absurd name.


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