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Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread 
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
GeoModder wrote:
Appearantly space can be found for extra crewmembers, since the Yorktown version comes with 95 crew.
I assume those extras are necessary for the added weapons.

Per the Insider, it lacks the extended fuel tanks of the original Bennet, which'd give you a bit of space for extra berthing and storage/magazines, along with the extra armor it got.


Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:23 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
folti wrote:
GeoModder wrote:
Appearantly space can be found for extra crewmembers, since the Yorktown version comes with 95 crew.
I assume those extras are necessary for the added weapons.

Per the Insider, it lacks the extended fuel tanks of the original Bennet, which'd give you a bit of space for extra berthing and storage/magazines, along with the extra armor it got.


Imagine that, sleeping between explosive fuel tanks! :lol:
I reckon part of the existing storage space was converted to crew quarters, and the fuel tanks converted to (weapons)storage.

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Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:40 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
GeoModder wrote:
folti wrote:
GeoModder wrote:
Appearantly space can be found for extra crewmembers, since the Yorktown version comes with 95 crew.
I assume those extras are necessary for the added weapons.

Per the Insider, it lacks the extended fuel tanks of the original Bennet, which'd give you a bit of space for extra berthing and storage/magazines, along with the extra armor it got.


Imagine that, sleeping between explosive fuel tanks! :lol:
I reckon part of the existing storage space was converted to crew quarters, and the fuel tanks converted to (weapons)storage.

Depends on the amount of reshuffling done with all the new gear added, some existing gear being replaced by newer models (which could go from being smaller/lighter for similar performance to more powerful and more bulky), and some other design quirks, like maybe the original design had some empty, or half filled-in compartments reserved for future refits like this.

Or it's the usual case of wartime refits, they deleted some comfort enhancing rooms/compartments, as the new ships are not intended to spend as much time away from base on a single patrol as the old ones did.


Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:31 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
danuis wrote:
The Bella had a crew around 160ish, right? Are these inflated numbers due to the special mission or very close to operating numbers? Why such a large number of crew in the first place - e.g, how low can a crew go?

No, the Bellarmine's crew was 80, which is normal for the class.


Whoops, my bad, how did that extra one get in there.

Related to this, earlier it was mentioned the Bella had prima-fide Diplomatic staff onboard; were they like, UN reps, TCA only? Did they have any protocol and plans in mind?


Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:51 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
danuis wrote:
Arioch wrote:
danuis wrote:
The Bella had a crew around 160ish, right? Are these inflated numbers due to the special mission or very close to operating numbers? Why such a large number of crew in the first place - e.g, how low can a crew go?

No, the Bellarmine's crew was 80, which is normal for the class.

Whoops, my bad, how did that extra one get in there.

Perhaps you thought Alex was saying there were 80 unaccounted for (which is the question Tempo asked), which would have put the total at 137.

danuis wrote:
Related to this, earlier it was mentioned the Bella had prima-fide Diplomatic staff onboard; were they like, UN reps, TCA only? Did they have any protocol and plans in mind?

There was a team of diplomatic specialists on board, drawn from a variety of sources, but Captain Hamilton was in overall command of the diplomatic mission. The TCA folks have watched enough Star Trek to know that you can't have diplomats trying to override the captain's authority in a crisis situation.

I'm sure they drew up all kind of potential scenarios and planned accordingly, but they had so little information (not even knowing which side they'd be talking to) that they knew any such plan would not survive contact with the enemy, so to speak.

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Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:35 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
So... the Orgus mentioned that the Loroi were telepathic. Did they also mention that some Loroi were telekinetic?


Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:12 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Mr.Tucker wrote:
So... the Orgus mentioned that the Loroi were telepathic. Did they also mention that some Loroi were telekinetic?

I think it's unlikely that the Orgus refugees had any detailed knowledge of what specific psionic abilities the Loroi had or how common they were.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Who is Alex favourite commander from history?


Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:24 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Werra wrote:
Who is Alex favourite commander from history?

Julius Caesar.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Is the terran plasma lance similar to the loroi pulse cannon ?


Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:47 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Daegondrake wrote:
Is the terran plasma lance similar to the loroi pulse cannon ?

Spoiler: show
It's sort of a middle ground between a pulse cannon and a plasma focus.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Are the Terrans building a Dyson swarm, or would that get in the way of the standard sci-fi trope of most people living on planets?

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Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:35 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
RedDwarfIV wrote:
Are the Terrans building a Dyson swarm, or would that get in the way of the standard sci-fi trope of most people living on planets?

I'm not sure what the one thing has to do with the other... but I think in order to have an actual need for a large percentage of a star's energy output, you have to have a level of superscience which would probably offer much more efficient ways to convert mass into energy.

So, no.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
RedDwarfIV wrote:
Are the Terrans building a Dyson swarm, or would that get in the way of the standard sci-fi trope of most people living on planets?

I'm not sure what the one thing has to do with the other... but I think in order to have an actual need for a large percentage of a star's energy output, you have to have a level of superscience which would probably offer much more efficient ways to convert mass into energy.

So, no.

Ah, maybe I've just been watching too many Isaac Arthur videos.

Dyson swarms don't just have to be power collection, they can be habitats too. They're also scalable, so you can have a small one, to collect a small percentage of a star's energy output.

And hey, the Terrans may have a lower tech level, but when you've got access to a huge amount of energy, you can afford to brute force things. Things like antimatter production. Not as good as Taimat, but could maybe get Terran ships useful acceleration. (I'm aware that the story is not about the Terrans sailing in to save the day, but I do like thinking about how they could do that.)

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Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:47 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
A common issue with many a Sci-fiction series when dealing with a "we want it to be in the future and humans have future tech, but we want the aliens to be more advanced than the humans", is that humans then often don't have advancements that we will likely have even in the near future.

I am not saying a Dyson Swarm is one of those techs, but realistically it should be within the tech level of the humans in the setting. The thing about such a Swarm is that it doesn't need to start out all encompassing, it starts very very small and builds over time.

The one that kind of surprises me, is the lack of implanted human neural interfaces.


Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:49 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Just because something becomes technologically possible doesn't necessarily mean that there's any compelling reason to do it.

It's true that I'm going to resist a lot of transhuman technology for humanity in Outsider because that's not what the story is about, but also because I find a lot of it personally repellant. Just because it may soon be possible for humans to transform themselves into posthuman monstrosities doesn't necessarily mean that most or even many people will. Society won't always bend for every new invention; sometimes one or the other has to break. We don't all have household atomic reactors or flying cars today, not because they're not technically feasible, but because they not a good idea.

But Dyson Swarms are a non-starter, because humanity has literally no use for such a thing. I don't think you start building even a partial version of something on the off chance that you might someday find a use for it. Especially when building that something involves cannibalizing entire planets and takes hundreds if not thousands of years.

Is humanity building solar collectors? Sure, in convenient locations near to where the power will be used and closer to the Sun to improve efficiency. Is this the same thing as starting a Dyson Swarm? No, it isn't.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
a neural interface isn't in an of itself monsterous


Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:52 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
We don't all have household atomic reactors or flying cars today, not because they're not technically feasible, but because they not a good idea.

You can have it when you take it from my suspiciously warm boron-lined garage!

Anyway, surely building a ring world would be done for the exact situation Alex is in.
"What's humanity about, you ask? Oh, let's go to these co-ordinates and I'll show you."
Basically it's like having a really sweet ride to help get you into Beryl's pants.
Or more seriously, prestige projects. I think if you had the capacity to build a ring world you'd have the capacity to just move the planets you'd have to cannibalize to build it into an earth-like orbit and then terraform them.


Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:23 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Pluses of having nuclear reactor at home at best questionable, pluses from hard cybernetics is obvious.

You will choose worker that works faster if you have a company, arent you?


Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:07 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Not if the costs and difficulties aren't worth the output of the worker. That's why the Romans never implemented the steam engine. Even though Slaves were just ubiquitous and more convenient.


Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:19 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Also there's a benefit to having ethnically homogenous or, in the future, technologically homogenous (ie, purely unenhanced), workforces.
Increases in productivity and workforce cohesion and inter-worker communication. Though there's draw-backs as well; increased workforce cohesion among workers who share ethnic interests (or who are united in being unenhanced) will have common cause, which may lead to increases in collective demands for better working conditions.


Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:39 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
More worried about all the spam and subliminal advertising that would get dumped past your mental ad blockers and defense programs.

Plus tracking not only your movements, but potentially what you think about. Direct targeted adverts to what you are randomly thinking about at the moment. Or calling the police when you randomly think about a crime (not going to do it, just pissed off for a moment).


Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:23 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
asaenvolk wrote:
a neural interface isn't in an of itself monsterous

The devil is in the details so to speak, especially in the long term.

How much it'll cost to maintain the thing, including regular software patches (you don't want to get it ransomwared, so until you pay up, you'll only see the goatse.cx album, and hear North Korean operas), how much it'll cost to replace it, if it needs and upgrade/the original vendor EOL'd it. How invasive will the surgeries will, not to mention things like rejection, or your nervous system don't wanting to cooperate with it, giving way to new and innovative neural diseases. Some of them would develop only years or decades after installation.

Remember, it'll be something that might be in place for decades, through most of the life of the individual.

We might reach a tech level in the future where it'd be like getting piercing, but expect the first few generations to be buggy as hell, as people are working out all the kinks, and bugs.
Zorg56 wrote:
Pluses of having nuclear reactor at home at best questionable, pluses from hard cybernetics is obvious.

You will choose worker that works faster if you have a company, arent you?

See the above. In the long term, you'll have to balance the costs of installing, and maintaining the cybernetics in the workers, including dealing with security issues, and occasionally dealing with replacements when they are let go/retire, plus all the health issues that can pop up, vs just going for robots, and more ergonomic tools/exoskeletons of which use you can train the baseline humans in a much shorter time, and you can more easily replace them if needed.


Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:22 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
We don't all have household atomic reactors or flying cars today, not because they're not technically feasible, but because they not a good idea.

Change the context and suddenly it does become a good idea. Take a Mars colony, for instance. Household atomic reactors would be useful because you don't have to periodically spend ages wiping off solar panels, they work at night, they work during dust storms, Mars is rich in heavy water so its easier to use unenriched uranium, and to top it all off, Mars gets a lot of radiation anyway so who cares if you get a little extra from the home powerplant?

As for flying cars, Mars has 1/3rd the gravity so you can have much longer range. Exactly how it flies may differ, as its probably easiest just to mount a hot air balloon to it rather than wings (which would need a very large wingspan, making them hard to stow when not in use.) Such a vehicle could get halfway around the planet in a week, and let you drive around when you got there.

So the question is, in what context does a Dyson Swarm become a good idea?

Arioch wrote:
But Dyson Swarms are a non-starter, because humanity has literally no use for such a thing. I don't think you start building even a partial version of something on the off chance that you might someday find a use for it. Especially when building that something involves cannibalizing entire planets and takes hundreds if not thousands of years.

I imagine it would be like cheap space launch. Once you have it, you're going to get all sorts of new uses from it. Dyson Swarms promise practically limitless cheap energy. Any industrial process or construction effort or scientific endeavour that is not being done because it would be too energy expensive would become possible.

There doesn't have to be any single most important thing that a Dyson Swarm is needed for, it could be used to improve humanity's progress across the board. But there is one thing that makes a Dyson Swarm priceless - defence. Neither the Umiak nor the Loroi could threaten a humanity with the power of a star at its back by conventional means. No fleet could survive jumping into a system that can just blast them with the Sun's collected output in a beam weapon.

That doesn't mean its invulnerable - if you can build a Dyson Swarm, they can build a Nicoll-Dyson Beam. But as you note, Dyson Swarms take a lot of effort to build. A lot more effort than just building a fleet. At some point, you've got to ask if the effort of doing it is worth wiping out one star system that annoys you. Also, with jump tech, you could actually see such a beam coming, giving you time to evacuate and launch a retaliatory strike. Not the perfect plan, but better than being wiped out for nothing.

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Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:50 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
While it is true that Dyson spheres/swarms on their own are not particularly useful to a civilization that has no need to use all of it, the idea that I've heard often is that this Dyson swarm would be built out of O'Neill cylinders, creating millions of citystates and micronations in almost infinite scalability and room for growth around a single star.

So in essence you don't build towards an end state, instead the end-state of the swarm is simply the moment your civilization stops expanding because of other reasons.


Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:36 am
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