I just found this:
It's another fictional timeline of Earth, think some of you will enjoy reading it.
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Edited by Jakob, 04 December 2015 - 02:31 PM.
I enjoyed reading it, though I think it's a lot more fictional than the one on here... I know both are, but this one seems less grounded in current trends, science and predictions. It was really entertaining though!
I'll also echo what Infinite said... How come there's no transhumanism or automation for centuries? It seems some technology is way too slow and yet social progress is quite quick. IRL it's the other way around.
I enjoyed reading it, though I think it's a lot more fictional than the one on here... I know both are, but this one seems less grounded in current trends, science and predictions. It was really entertaining though!
I'll also echo what Infinite said... How come there's no transhumanism or automation for centuries? It seems some technology is way too slow and yet social progress is quite quick. IRL it's the other way around.
One glaring thing they're missing out on is human synthesis. I get the impression (perhaps I'm wrong) that there will still be childbirth in the 24th century and beyond? I think that that will be a thing for Luddites only by the beginning of the 23rd.
All in all, though, I was fascinated by many things. It's inspired me to begin making a new and improved timeline of my own (those who have been around a while will know I did one about a year ago). This one will be far more detailed, and should be far more realistic in the technology, society, and especially geopolitics departments.
Can't wait to see it!
It's inspired me to begin making a new and improved timeline of my own (those who have been around a while will know I did one about a year ago). This one will be far more detailed, and should be far more realistic in the technology, society, and especially geopolitics departments.
While it's on my mind, here are some other thoughts...
Meanwhile, crime has thrived on the expansion of Humanity
This is in 2400. Why.
Seriously, how is there crime in 400 years? Does the technology seriously not exist to prevent this? I'm more open to this occurring in the outer colonies, where there might be less surveillance, but no...
organized crime within the inner colonies
How is there organized crime in the inner colonies?!
Also, why are people bothering to commit crimes?I can understand why people might have a motive for ideologically-motivated crime (e.g. terrorism), but a lot of this seems economically motivated:
while the outer colonies have become a frontier rife with black market trade and individual criminal activities like robbery and murder
So economically motivated crime either means that criminals are poor people wanting to make a living, or middle-class people trying to get more stuff.
Apparently, poverty is "extremely low" in 2415, so that probably rules out the first case, unless poverty suddenly dropped to almost nothing. So that leaves people wanting to get more stuff. But replicators would have existed for a quarter of a millennium by that point! So why would they? They could just take random waste or dirt and assemble it into whatever they want.
So, yeah, the vast, vast, vast majority of people should have neither the desire nor the ability to commit crimes by 2400 (unless it's a dystopia, which clearly isn't happening in the PRAXIS timeline).
yea Jakob dose have a point but piricy can still happen in thery
My name is Ron, and I am the lead writer/creator of the PRAXIS Universe. I'm extremely excited to see people reading and discussing the story we're gradually building. I am happy to answer any questions and discuss some of the suggestions you have.
For the record I would like to state that the timeline was built as a preliminary foundation to begin writing story arcs from; a sort of general backbone to build the smaller details off of. That said, I am currently in the process of writing the first novel for PRAXIS, and since it's inception I have come up with / been introduced to plenty of ideas and concepts, both new and old. Therefore, once the book is complete I intend to go back through the timeline and make any alterations that need to be made as well as new additions. In regards to it's incomplete feel, I understand that disappointment completely, however we (Quantum Ascension Studios) want to be careful not to spoil our own story arcs and plots for the future. Many of the cool technologies and ideas we have in mind will likely be introduced through the stories first and then implemented into the timeline where it will be considered canon.
Now to the fun discussion stuff.
- (Infinite and illykitty) Transhumanism.
This is a great example of where things will change somewhat in the timeline and I appreciate the suggestion, I do like the idea of PRAXIS being an open-source sci-fi, where not necessarily everything goes but new ideas can enhance its uniqueness. Firstly, Nanotechnology will be a major theme in PRAXIS. Medically speaking nanites will be used extensively for constant in-depth vital status of the body, extremely accelerated healing, total disease eradication, surgery, and myriad of other purposes that keep humans (and other species) healthy and living far longer than we do today. This is a nice way to integrate technology into people without altering their physical appearance and maintaining their overall "human" quality. Cybernetics and mechatronic integration with organics will exist as well, to the point of almost entirely synthetic individuals (such as Toyohisa Senguji from Psycho-Pass). However, to what extent this type of synthetic existence is preferred compared to natural biological individuals is unclear to myself and the co-creators at this time, namely because humans will have been artificially evolved by 2550 C.E. through genetic engineering and technology to live 235+ years, nearly invulnerable to disease, resistant to higher levels of radiation, able to withstand hunger & dehydration for longer periods of time, etc, etc. And while robot arms and legs can and will exist, the ability to biologically grow prosthetics into living tissue will be easily available in pretty much any normal hospital of the future, perhaps with carbon-fiber bone to give it that sci-fi feel (i.e. Michael's hand in the show Nikita) (Also this is something we're gradually accomplishing now, with 3D printing living tissue). In the end I do see there being a transhuman population, but it won't necessarily be something as drastic as "Ghost in The Shell". I do see though how IRL this will likely be a major advancement for humanity to entirely or primarily integrate with technology, and we are trying to establish real world elements and concepts into the PRAXIS Universe, even though there is a necessary fictional theme to it.
Also Artificial Intelligence will play a major role in the PRAXIS Universe, to the point that A.I.'s are very prevalent and seen as sentient individuals with conscious feelings and personalities, rather than tools/computers (Because we really don't need to see another sci-fi story where the A.I. revolts against it's creators) Many people will have a companion A.I. that they see as their friends/family, far beyond anthropomorphosis, though there will also be those less open-minded individuals who treat them like programs and/or slaves (and they wonder why it revolts against them). The point is, We liked how Cortana from Halo was portrayed, and we want to take it a couple steps further. The line between organics and artificial intelligence will definitely blur in areas.
- (Jakob) Crime and Piracy
Would there really be any crime in that far into the future? In a way, I agree with that sentiment, with basic needs of people pretty much free and taken care of and the vast majority of labor being automated with most people being in either comfortable supervisor roles or higher level - higher paying careers, like the military or sciences, would there really be any need for crime. Perhaps not. The problem with that concept is that if everything's wonderful for everybody, then where's the conflict. There would be no need for a badass Predator Corps (and I know no one has seen what they are capable of yet, but I promise it's coming) and thus the story would be more academic than cinematic. The obvious solution to that quandary is "bring in the Covenant", and while that may come in time (not definitive) It's not the direction we're going yet with PRAXIS. (Also as many Halo fans will know, before the covenant showed up, Humanity was fighting an insurrection which was the original reason for the Spartan II's existing, but nevermind that stuff). While we want PRAXIS to be a cleaner, more optimistic future than many bleak, gritty, dystopian sci-fi's would suggest, there still has to be an element of "bad" that makes the good people "good" so to speak. For every good, inspiring paragon there's always another evil, sadistic villain in the shadows; it's the all powerful motif that makes a story a story.
That said, let's be honest, we are talking about humanity here. There's plenty of stupid reasons for stupid people to do stupid things, past, present, and future. The intentions and goals might not be the same, but humans have always had a knack for violence and self-interest. And it doesn't have to boil down to something as cliche as pirates in space. Remember, space is really, really big and gives shady corporations all the hiding places they need to do illegal experiments and such for profit (cough...Weyland-Yutani...cough). A theme you'll notice with the first book when it comes out is that just because humanity has new, fantastical technology that makes life much easier and more prosperous, doesn't mean all of it's belligerent, greedy tendencies go away. And sadly, while I agree with you, Jakob, on why by 2400 there would still be amy crime, we could easily be standing in the 1600's wondering how there could ever be something as stupid as crime in the 21st century, when we would have the technology that allows any one person to talk any other person in the world instantly and for any person to get to the other side of the world in less than a day... we'd also be wondering what an internet and an airplane is... but, that's besides the point, lol. Just like there was no such thing as a computer hacker 50 or even 30 years ago, now there's an entire environment built around cybercrime and cybersecurity for humanity. It's hard to imagine what kinds of crimes could even happen that far in the future.
Anyways, part of the criminal element allows for those classic origin stories of the protagonists, that have something bad happen to them early in life and allows them to work past it and become a better person, etc. etc.
Thanks for critiques, guys. It's exactly what we need to fine tune our vision. Like I said, we're happy to discuss questions and suggestions.
If nobody minds (and if QA is still dropping by here), I did notice a few other peculiarities about the Narmalans.
The males, by contrast, are brutes that stand 3.5 meters on average (with a couple reaching 4 meters), can weigh in excess of 500 Lbs. and are obscenely muscular.
Looks like the Narmalans are about twice as tall as humans, then. Per the square-cube law, and assuming human proportions, that means they should be about eight times as massive as humans; considering that they're "obscenely muscular" and have extra arms and a tail, they should be at least ten times as heavy as an average human. Really, they should weigh at least three quarters of a ton, not just 500 pounds. Unless, of course, they have hollow bones and/or have muscles made from an extremely lightweight material.
Their shear size and extra appendages makes the possiblitlity of inter-species mating with either Humans or Lygarians unlikely, if not slightly disturbing.
Only slightly disturbing? (BTW it should be "sheer size" and "possibility".)
Aside from their immense strength, the Narmalans are fast, and with enough acceleration faster than Lygarians - though not as agile – making them living bulldozers.
Umm...doesn't the URDF have tanks? Even today, ignoring the technological improvements that must've taken place in the intervening 500 years, they can move at 40+ mph, which is (I'm guessing) far faster than a Narmalan. With the nano-fusion reactors introduced in the 2300s, you could also have nuclear-powered tanks that can travel thousands of miles without stopping, no? Tanks should also be more difficult to destroy than living creatures.
"Living bulldozers? Pfft!" (image source)
Im still waiting for them to update the timeline
Few more random thoughts, if you don't mind. They're in no particular order. I'll analyze the 2400s as well if anyone wants me to.
Melee combat has made a suprising [sic] comeback in close quarters engagements. because personal Kinetic Particle Shields have dramatically increased in strength since their inception nearly a century prior, Small Arms Weapons require more firepower on a target and therefore becomes much less effective. However, Kinetic Particle Shields aren't able to stop slow moving melee strikes like swords and knives, nor are their magnetic fields strong enough to stop and dissipate the super-heated plasma along plasma-bladed weapons.
Huh. I recall you saying that these shields can stop anything over 1000 meters per second. That's really good, because the molecules in air travel at only 502 meters per second (thanks Google!), allowing people to breathe, but it would also allow bullets from many of the guns we have today to pass right through. I can accept that conventional armor from that era would be unaffected by our 21st century bullets, but consider plasma weapons. If they can make plasma blades, why not apply the technology to bullets?
I get the Rule of Cool, of course, but if you want bladed weapons, there's still a way this could work: drastically reduce the minimum speed of objects that can pass through. In Dune I seem to vaguely recall that it's 6 to 9 centimeters per second; that seems ridiculously slow to me but 10 meters per second would be okay. Like Dune, this would of course mean that the air gets stale within a few minutes, but that makes for interesting situations on its own. For instance, combatants might wear a device that converts carbon dioxide back to oxygen, or they might have a chink in their armor, allowing air to pass through a small area (which could be located at a random location in the shield so that people don't know where to strike).
As an aside, I wonder what defenses are available against lasers? Or chemical, biological, or nanotechnological weapons? Since KPS shields are nanobot swarms, not energy fields as I had originally imagined, couldn't someone also develop nanobots that essentially "eat" a KPS?
This provides a psychological and emotional comfort for people to get away from the confines of military ship corridors and quarters.
Wouldn't a full-immersion virtual reality system be cheaper, more practical, and less vulnerable to attack? Everyone would know it's not real, but neither is the Atrium, really (holographic sky projectors, etc.). Plus FIVR would allow for much larger and more diverse "getaways" from reality. Less showy, but more practical, especially when there are thousands of people on board.
The population of hymans [sic] with ESA has now reached 30,000.
Only 30,000, out of billions? This is 200 years after ESA first manifested in humans. You say that it's purely genetic (caused by a "rare mutation"), as opposed to an environmental factor. In all that time, hasn't anyone figured out exactly which sequence of genes responsible? Or at least tried? It can't be that difficult, especially with the computers that must be available so far in the future (a common laptop in 2500 should be trillions of times more powerful than today's supercomputers). And if someone has figured it out, why aren't there loads of companies offering to create designer babies with ESA? Or is the military deliberately keeping the whole business under wraps?
Trying to uplift them technologically before they are naturally ready could have undesirable consequences.
That may be if it's mishandled (like doing it too fast or providing technological reform without social reform), but not doing so would cause billions of people (using the term loosely here) to suffer in primitive conditions for thousands of years, when they could instead have modern society, science, transportation, medicine, infrastructure, education, etc. They might be pretty angry about that if/when first contact occurs ("You helped a bunch of extinct species, but not us?!?!"). Plus it'd deprive humanity of a potential ally. Not saying that the United Republic is necessarily doing the wrong thing, but I think if this happened in real life, the matter wouldn't be so cut-and-dry; it'd be a very controversial and incendiary topic with extremely powerful arguments on both sides.
a compromise is made to dramatically limit the rate of planetary colonization and further improve on the Yellow Line colonies
How does that work? If even personal vessels have FTL travel (as they apparently did even in the 2200s), what's to stop a bunch of people saying "Screw it, we want to live in the Blue Line, you can't stop us!" They don't even need the PRAXIS to find these worlds; a decent space telescope would suffice. Even with our primitive 21st century telescopes, we can already identify potentially habitable exoplanets. I suppose the government has laws against it, which makes them sound a lot like the British passing the Proclamation of 1763. (I will be very impressed if this really is meant to be a reference to the Proclamation of 1763.) That said, this does sound like a serious infringement on individual rights, since it's not like anyone (even an alien civilization) owns those other planets.
By the way, it looks like by this point, there are slightly over 30 billion humans total and about 10 billion humans on Earth. That leaves about 20 billion on all the other planets, which there are over 700 of. That means that on average, each world should have fewer than 30 million people, which is very underpopulated. For comparison, it's been about 4000 years since Earth has had a population that low. What's more, most of the planets we've discovered thus far are considerably more massive than Earth, so should have more surface area to colonize. My point is that if the government really wants to fill up existing colonies before making new ones, then the population should be far higher, habitable planets should be a lot rarer, or the line should be drawn a lot closer than ~2k light years. Or some combination thereof.
it's most likely that the intelligent species evacuated their home planet immediately after the gamma ray burst, knowing the radiation would create long term cellular damage and mutations, and must have taken the PRAXIS with them.
I might well be wrong here, but don't gamma ray bursts travel at the speed of light? If so, then the mystery aliens wouldn't have noticed anything until the gamma ray burst had reached them, and by that point, it'd be too late; the radiation would already be there.
SIM is believed to only contain about 3,000 - 5,000 members with one goal very clear: the complete removal of United Republic Authority from the outer colonies. Because of this act of sedition, the High Admiralty Board deems SIM a Separatist organization which gives the military authority to use force to dissolve the insurgency: capturing members if possible, destroying them if necessary.
I'd always thought that in the distant future, humans would be far more willing to solve disputes with diplomacy and only use war as a last resort. It certainly seems from the 22nd century section that human civilization was going down that path. How come the SIM people aren't trying to sit down with the United Republic and talk it over? Or did they try to take their grievances to the government, only to be given the cold shoulder? Note that SIM isn't even being described as a terrorist group in the timeline; all they're saying is that they want independence. This is starting to sound like the British Empire again! (And SIM sounds like the American Revolution. 'It's absurd for a huge continent to be ruled by an island from 3000 miles away' = 'It's absurd for hundreds of star systems to be ruled by a small planet 2000 light years away') I do have to ask...is the UR meant to be the British Empire IN SPACE? (Again, that's pretty clever if it is.)
I assume the novel you're writing in this setting has something to do with SIM, judging by the time period? If so, there's potential for some really interesting gray-and-gray morality here. Why does SIM want to split away from the United Republic? Do they have irreconcilable political differences with the rest of the republic? Are they opposed to centralization and big government on principled grounds? Or do they believe that the United Republic is oppressing their planets in some way? Do they think that having a centralized interstellar government is harming their economy and their system's prosperity?
After centuries of research and development, military-grade particle cannons on massive scales are available. They have been in development for hundreds of years, but the power required for sustained particle beams has been too great to employ in a combat role.
Why so long? Outside of firearms, I can't think of many/any military innovations that took hundreds of years to go from development to military service. For instance, the first military aircraft showed up just 10 years after the Wright Brothers. The first nuke was dropped 3 years after the first working nuclear reactor. As for the power requirements what about nano-fusion engines from 200 years prior? Or what about wireless electricity? Set up a power station on a planet, set up a zero-point communication tunnel to a particle-beam cannon on a spaceship, and beam the electricity through in microwave form. (This is a real, albeit theoretical idea, BTW.)
Power concerns also didn't stop the installation of laser systems 50 years prior...
However, colonization begins to slow down as the number of known habitable planets is inhabited. Without the Map of garden worlds around Earth from the PRAXIS, humanity would have had to search blindly for stars that could be habitable.
As I mentioned above, once they have FTL, they shouldn't need a PRAXIS for this. Even today, we already have the Kepler telescope, and other things, which have done a good job thus far. Won't they have even larger/more advanced telescopes in the 2500s?
Alien woods and metals are often sought after for luxurious furniture and decorations.
I can see that some people would just have to have the "real thing", but wouldn't replicators make it pretty cheap to produce imitations that are accurate at an atomic scale? Also, there are only a few dozen metals on the periodic table, and none of them are alien. Unless you're talking about alloys or minerals.
Edited by Jakob, 05 April 2016 - 08:28 PM.
Round 2, 2400s.
In light of this a Tier 3 planet that is barely habitable and completely isolated from other colonized planets is selected for a massive high security prison. Tartarus - as it comes to be known - is a barren world with much of the planet in a volcanically active state, causing roughly 20% of the surface to be molten lava and choking the atmosphere with hazardous amounts of ash and soot.
This is pretty cool, but...a planet covered in molten lava wouldn't be "barely habitable"; it's be "non-habitable", seeing as it'd be hotter than Venus and all. Beyond that, I think it'd be more practical to have a large, cloaked, heavily guarded space station rather than try to build a prison on a Venus-like planet. Or an extremely deep bunker. Or just execute anyone who's so dangerous they can't even be on the same planet as regular citizens.
Meanwhile, crime has thrived on the expansion of Humanity; organized crime within the inner colonies, while the outer colonies have become a frontier rife with black market trade and individual criminal activities like robbery and murder, which in turn has lead to vigilante actions by many civilians.
I talked about this earlier, and it might be time to address it again. There is the question of motives I mentioned above--why rob someone if you have a 3D replicator and a bunch of dirt after all? That wasn't the only objection I had though: surely by 2400 surveillance systems will be so advanced that it'll be almost impossible for a person to commit any kind of crime at all. What's a criminal going to do about security drones, satellites, predictive algorithms, police robots, and so on and so forth?
I'll give you that organized crime can still exist, maybe. It could be possible for a sufficiently large and well-organized criminal group to operate with the backing of a large corporation or government agency. It's individual crime that has no business existing on a regular basis (though it can still happen here and there, since someone might beat the odds occasionally).
As piracy and crime continue to rise in the outer colonies, a push for strong military action is made. The URDF begins active search and capture or search and destroy missions against pirate ships and outposts in the outer colonies, in what becomes known as the Piracy Conflicts.
Hmm. Let's talk about piracy and trade a bit. This is quite interesting.
I found this link extremely fascinating.
I would assume that in real life, nearly all everyday interstellar trade would be virtual, at least if replicators exist. In that case, "piracy" would still exist, but they would be more like the internet kind--nerdy young men in their parents' basements, hacking into corporate databases to steal replicator blueprints. They'd also be a lot less centralized, and thus slightly more difficult to catch. The arms race between advanced hackers trying to break the system and interstellar corporations scrambling to protect their replicator files could make for a really neat drama. Not as flashy as a story about pirates chasing cargo ships in space, but harder (as in hard sci-fi, and as in harder to write in an engaging manner) and more realistic. A good author (much better than me, hehe!) could make something cool out of it all the same.
This becomes easier to do if you avoid having any replicators at all (unless the plot requires it for something). It's very difficult to make an economic system that has replicators and doesn't lead to all sorts of fridge logic like the stuff in this post. Or perhaps have restrictions on replicators. Perhaps a few government agencies and mega-corporations keep the technology secret. Or replicators are just too expensive to build. Or they require stupendous amounts of energy to replicate anything, making them useless for all but the most expensive goods. Be careful with that, though, or people will wonder why replicator technology doesn't improve for centuries.
But assuming you have a regular network of interstellar cargo ships, there are still a few points to consider. As per the point above, you wouldn't trade basic commodities like food and raw materials (unless they're something that's both really really rare and difficult or dangerous to replicate). This works well, because a planet where you can't locally produce enough resources for the population is one that you should probably just leave. What you would trade are extremely high-value industrial goods and luxury items (see the above link). These are good because these are the things pirates might actually want...if they were seeking to profit directly off the goods...
...I've read that modern pirates aren't interested in the goods themselves; they're interested in taking over cargo ships to get ransom money. Is that what these space pirates are doing? Continuing in the theme of pirates not directly profiting from stolen goods, perhaps they're backed by corporate or government agencies, making them more like privateers. Consider this scenario: Company X wants a monopoly on trade on Planet A. The problem is that Company Y is also heavily into trading on Planet A. So Company X hires criminals (or its own employees, or whatever) to shoot down all Company Y vessels that approach planet A. Company Y will eventually get the hint and cease operations on Planet A, rather than keep having billions of dollars worth of cargo destroyed. Now Company X has their monopoly. More radically, you could repeat this across the stars to run Company Y out of business entirely.
BTW if ships have FTL drives, why don't they just "jump" away as soon as they see a pirate ship? Can you even pursue someone through zero-point space, or is a new tunnel opened up everytime someone goes in? Come to think of it, why are the pirates using ships at all? Spacecraft move really really fast; it should be almost impossible to dock with a ship that doesn't want to. Unless they're aiming to destroy the target ship or something, the pirates should really be sneaking into the cargo ship (by sneaking, I mean getting jobs there, not trying something stupid like stowing away where they'll be caught by surveillance) and then taking over from the inside. (I got this tip from the Project Rho website) But if they must use a ship, it probably ought to be a drone, so the pirates don't get caught or killed if anything goes wrong.
While most Garden worlds maintain several agricultural facilities in skyscrapers, several green worlds are dedicated to acting as the bread baskets of the Republic and export fruits, vegetables, wheats & starches, and poultry for billions on a daily basis.
Having to transport food across interstellar space doesn't make much economic sense, and neither does having colonies that can't feed themselves. Rocket fuel isn't cheap, even if this is hundreds of years in the future. You don't want to be sending non-essential mass into space. Every planet should be able to produce the resources its colonists need for basic survival, at the very least, because, as I said, it's expensive to ship that stuff. It's cheaper just to build vertical farms and be done with it. This doesn't apply to rare delicacies, I guess, but there wouldn't be a huge amount of interstellar trade around that.
We should really be seeing an information-based economy, not a resource-based one. Physical goods shouldn't be the stuff with monetary value; data should. Food and water? A string of data to be fed into a replicator. Minerals, metals, and industrial chemicals? Another string of data. Machines, tools, and luxury items? Yet another string of data. Plants, animals, and even human beings? More strings of data. This doesn't even have to imply post-scarcity and the technological stagnation inherent to it: as long as the data is copyrighted and appropriately protected, money can still be made off it. (Money can also be made off the energy needed to power a replicator, so there's that too.)
I understand this makes for really strange worldbuilding, but if you want to avoid that, you should avoid having replicators.
Technology is being constantly updated and upgraded and it's hard to determine major discoveries because of the rapid yet gradual flow of technological evolution.
That's happening today, yet major breakthroughs are made every few years or so.
However, the fuel required is anti-matter, which is far more difficult and expensive to produce anti-protons and can only be effectively produced in massive particle accelerators, as such it can't be used as a primary propulsion system and because of this will only act as a secondary fuel injection system for rapid accelerations
I don't think using antimatter in this way is practical at all, because I've read it costs at least as much energy to produce antimatter as smashing antimatter into matter provides. This could work if people either "mine" antimatter from radiation belts or "recycle" it from industrial waste. There are also other ways antimatter could work, beyond simply slamming particles into antiparticles and making them go bang. See also this site, especially the "Antimatter Engines" section (Project Rho is cool.)
If one takes a melee weapon like a knife or an axe and can generate a powerful enough magnetic field around the blade, super-heated plasma can be sent through and contained by the magnetic field, since plasma is very electromagnetically conductive.
If you can do this to a bladed weapon, why not do it to a slow-moving bullet, as I mentioned in the last post? Also, this reminds me: I assume the military also still has regular knives, as they are pretty useful tools. I'm envisioning a handheld nanotech/claytronics block that can sprout an endless variety of tools and blades on demand by the user. Actually, I think things like that will probably be around in the late 21st century.
Obviously plasma at such high temperatures gives it the classic glow depicted in sci-fi. The color of the plasma is determined by the gases ionized as well as the temperature the plasma burns at. Carbons will have a green spectra, Oxygens and Nitrogens will burn yellowish orange, Sulfurs and Silicons will glow Blue, and Neons and Argons will give off a Reddish hue.
I could be wrong, but I thought it would be determined entirely by blackbody radiation/color temperature. But if you've done the research and say that the specific gas matters, I'll take your word for it. That aside, is there any particular point to using different gases, instead of just whatever is cheapest or most effective?
and builds dozens of different melee combat systems: knives, hatchets, maces, axes, swords, and even some more exotic weapons like Samurai weapons, Shaolin J-hook swords, and scythes on special requests.
Are all of these necessary when a single touch from a blade can melt the target? If so, what about having a generic blade that can use nanotechnology and claytronics to alter its shape? I guess this would require a magnetic field that can easily change its shape; I don't know if that's intended to be possible in the PRAXIS universe or not.
The Lygarians find appeal in funeral pyre cremations.
Something rubs me strangely about this. It'd make sense if these were the original Lygarians and it was part of their culture. (Except then, I'd find it a strange coincidence that they dispose of their dead in the same way as some human cultures do.) But anyway, they're not. Since they've been raised in human culture, I'd expect they'd tend to dispose of their dead in whatever way humans do, which I'm assuming is still burial.
Roughly 90% attend Olympus Military Academy under the Apex Program, thanks to it's full military funding and support.
Why do all the enhanced people want to join the military? If it's because of Apex, surely by now there are other schools that are tailored to the enhanced, right?
The URDF deploys 400,000 marines along with the Project Predator operators to secure population centers.
400,000 marines!! Considering the planet only has 7 million people, that's probably the amount you'd send if the entire planet declared war on the republic, not just a small faction. 40,000 would probably be okay, but even then, their presence might be a bit overbearing.
It takes about 9 months to eradicate the insurgents hiding around the planet, but the mission is deemed a success.
I guess I've brought this up once or twice, but what is the state of surveillance in the PRAXIS universe? Is the URDF extremely averse to using it (but not to sending colossal invasion forces to occupy planets), or has the technology stagnated? Where the the satellites and drone cameras with incredible resolution, the scanners that can gauge peoples' basic biological state, the computer algorithms that predict where insurgents are hiding? As futuretimeline.net puts it: "Crime is almost non-existent in these hi-tech cities. Surveillance is everywhere: recording every footstep of your journey in perfect detail and identifying who you are, from the moment you enter a public area. Even your internal biological state can be monitored – such as neural activity and pulse – giving clues as to your immediate intentions." (And that is only in 2150, not 2500)
Round 3, 2300s.
After light excavation, hundreds of skeletons of a humanoid species are found buried under decaying debris and dunes of soil. They appear to have been on average 7 feet tall and fairly slender, but their superficial [note from Jakob: I think you mean 'detailed'; you've just given a superficial description] description is hard to determine.
Ha, this is very interesting. I looked up Kepler 62f on Wikipedia, and it's considerably larger than Earth. Using Newton's gravitational formula and the figures on Wikipedia, I calculated that its gravity should be about 40% greater than Earth's, assuming Earth density. (If it's a water-dominated world, it could be less, but the Lygarians are not water creatures.) To consider the effect that this gravity would have, imagine yourself trying to walk around with a 60-pound weight chained to you. The human scientists on Kepler 62f are probably not having fun there! To the point, the aliens that lived there (the Lygarians) should've been having even less fun. I'm fairly sure tall and slender really does not work on planets with more gravity than Earth (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Stocky, heavily muscled dwarves with an average height of 5 feet would be more believable (again, assuming an Earth-like composition). This can be fixed, but it'd require making the planet about two-thirds the density of Earth, which would make it slightly less dense than Mars, the least-dense rocky planet in the Solar System.
What people will notice, however, is that the Lygarians are Rubber Forehead Aliens. That's a very, very strange coincidence, that the first alien civilization we meet should be so like humans (apparently not only in basic outline, but in facial features as well?). If I were a scientist on Kepler 62f, this would suggest one of three things to me: a really really bizarre case of convergent evolution (unlikely, especially with the Narmalans and the mystery species that discovered its PRAXIS and left, that's too much of a coincidence), or that both species were made by some greater intelligence. My pet theory is that the PRAXIS creators were the original "humanoids", and they went around the galaxy creating life in their own image (but tweaked a bit, so that any fledgling spacefaring races don't get suspicious when they see Human Aliens). Please let this be true!
While a foreign species attack was possible, it's theorized that the species had not discovered long range space travel, as there is very little debris in orbit comprised of primitive satellites.
Why does that preclude an alien attack? If anything aliens don't generally pick on civilizations their own size.
Kepler 62e is also searched. Though not a tier one garden world, a small colony built by the species is found. Skeletons of the species are found here as well with no radiation effects.
Assuming anything close to Earth density, the Lygarians should've been barely able to move on Kepler 62e, with its 60% greater gravity than Earth (assuming Earth density). Unless the planets in the Kepler 62 neighborhood are made of very lightweight rock and/or largely water, a 7-foot-tall slender alien race is unlikely to flourish there.
After searching, computer systems - obsolete by human standards - are found intact and jerry-rigged to accept power from mobile generators the research team brought with them.
How are the able to do this after 3500 years, exactly? The computers should be mostly rusted away or something.
With some work, the team is able to access what look like historical data, video and audio recording and photographs. The language, while similar to how humans speak, isn't understandable, however the video and photographs shed insight on what this species looked like. They were certainly human-like, different shades of green and yellow skin, tall, slender, and similar in head and facial features to that of humans.
Who would've been expecting their language to be "understandable"? I'd be astounded that it's even remotely similar to human speech.
Also, I guess they are genuine Rubber Forehead Aliens. Not one of the scientists is freaked out by this and/or sees how incredibly strange that is?
With this new surge in expansion, comes increased trade and commerce through out the United Republic. It becomes harder to maintain constant security around the hundreds of colonies, especially those beyond the Green Line, and that has led to increase in crime and piracy.
Surveillance, man, surveillance. Ramp it up and catch those suckers. Look at this post of mine. I'll quote the most striking part: "About 900 drones in the air at the same time with 50 gigapixel cameras could monitor movement over every part of the United States." This was 2014. Camera resolution tends to increase pretty rapidly: today's 2-megapixel smartphone cameras would've been state-of-the-art just 20 years ago, I think. In 2300, any old smartphone would probably have a terapixel camera, at least. My point is this: the URDF could have a fleet of just a few thousand drones that could likely monitor all human movement on an entire planet. AI algorithms could likely filter out which actions are suspicious or illegal and send the authorities in to investigate/detain/kill as appropriate. Also see my final comment in the previous post.
Sometimes, problems are best solved through subtlety and intelligence, not brute military force. This is true even today, and I think in real life, it'll be even more true in 300 years. The URDF is very good at brute force, but how good are they at intelligence gathering?
I alluded to the difficulty of committing crimes in this era in the last post. The only way I can really see it working is if an individual or organization has enough money to bribe the right officials into looking the other way. And in that case, the gains would have to be astronomical (no pun intended) otherwise they'd just go legit.
dissenters find the outer colonies a safe haven from government oversight.
Why do dissenters need a safe haven? What happened to free speech?
Because there were only a dozen samples to replicate the DNA from, randomized human genes are added to their genetic code. This is so that if the Lygarian clones are able to reproduce in the future, there won't be a degenerative reproduction cycle with so few of the species.
If this is a problem, why didn't Izanami gather more samples in the first place? Of course, I'm not sure how it got any samples at all, seeing as it was buried underground for thousands of years. It's not like she could just sprout a robot arm, reach up, and grab some DNA samples!
Aside from that, you shouldn't be able to splice human DNA into aliens. Even if we happen to use the exact same nucleic acid (gut feeling says it's unlikely, but not impossible), we shouldn't share a lot of our DNA with them. There's no reason why aliens on a big planet 1200 light years away should evolve the same genes as people a small planet here. This should be even harder than creating a humanzee. At least chimps are from Earth.
But even if they need extra samples, why not just copy the Lygarian genes a few thousand times and edit them to be different enough from each other that you have a stable population? I thought genetic engineering and biotechnology were the strong suits of science in the PRAXIS universe.
Everything about the Lygarians is screaming THIS IS NOT A COINCIDENCE!! in flaming red light year-high letters! (But perhaps that's intentional...)
For now 3-4 Lygarian-human hybrids for each separate sample will be given life, and their biological reference will be Neo-Lygarius-Sapien. They are born as infants of the species.
Interesting. Does this mean artificial wombs exist, or that they've been implanted in human mothers? If artificial wombs do exist, how come most, if not all, people aren't born that way? Seems inevitable to me that that's the way it'll go once these things become available.
The Lygarian clones have responded well to human parenting and education and it appears they are eager to rebuild their species as an extension from human society.
Not a single one of them feels like he or she doesn't belong? I'd expect that at least a couple would be miserable and despondent at the loss of their species, and not want to have anything to do with the creepy aliens (i.e. us). Consider how diverse human minds are. It's a common mistake, but aliens really shouldn't be psychologically homogeneous. And there's absolutely no xenophobia from any humans?
There could be a really good story here. Consider that the Lygarians are (or at least should be) actual aliens, not just tall humans with green skin and pointy ears (you know, floppy ears would be an interesting way to avert that overused trope), but perhaps not so alien as to be utterly incomprehensible. In other words, their psychology will be at least somewhat different, and possibly radically different from humans. This link might be helpful; one of the suggestions is to fiddle around with Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I'll use the Kyanah, in my alien invasion novel concept (that I'll admittedly probably never write), to explain. The Kyanah value love and belonging over safety and esteem over self-actualization (humans value safety over love and belonging and self-actualization over esteem).
This would mean that the Kyanah are willing to take massive risks to life and limb if it means someone will care about them. When Kyanah form any kind of bond with each other, they stick to that bond until the bitter end. Betrayal is considered a sign of insanity and is a worse crime than physical assault. Since they value esteem over self-actualization, peer pressure is common. They'd rather be honored and respected, than be themselves. Thus, they're pretty guarded--even among intimate relations--and not generally very talkative. If they don't like something, they'd rather just suck it up and deal with it, than lose face. Merge these aspects together, and you can conclude that participating in death-defying rituals together are how they profess true love. See what I mean about tweaking psychology? Humans are individualists at heart, these guys are not.
Imagine if Lygarian brains were wired like the aliens I just described. There would be a lot of angst and drama in trying to raise them. As a child, the main Lygarian character can't understand why his/her human companions aren't willing to join them in doing incredibly dangerous things (ie why they value physical safety over belonging), and concludes that it means nobody loves him/her. With love and companionship being so important, this would lead to deep depression (and if this is a dark and edgy story, suicide).
Now consider it from the humans' perspective. If they were smart, they'd already be on guard as soon as the Lygarians are born, watching for any sign that would make them incompatible for entry into human society. Their worst fears would be confirmed when they see the Lygarians and their endangering of themselves and everyone and how they care more about belonging than safety. Things would become very tense, the humans would be scared for themselves and their children, and the Lygarians' actions would probably be heavily restricted, which would make them unhappy. For extra angst points, go for some humans are bastards/humans are the real monsters and fantastic racism. Some people on Olympia are mistrustful, hateful, even abusive towards the Lygarians, especially when they learn how different they are psychologically. Someone decides that the Lygarians must be forcefully and brutally "conditioned" (read: "tortured") into conforming with human psychology. Of course, the Lygarian characters should have their own various flaws and moral failings, even if they are just children at this point. They should also have diverse personalities within whatever psychological framework you decide on (whether it's the one I laid out or something different).
So we could have a heartwarming-but-sad story about a human child and a Lygarian child growing up in Second Chance. They'd be distant at first, but over the years, they'd come to understand each other and eventually develop a deep and lasting friendship, but lose friends in their own species for it and in general make them miserable, though they'd have the small consolation of each other. A lot of the Lygarians will dislike the safety-loving humans, and I already described how the humans might feel about the Lygarians' psychology.
In a story like this, the Rubber Forehead Aliens might actually make some narrative sense, as it'd create a shocking dissonance (both in-universe and out-of-universe) between their human looks and their inhuman psychology. But if you want to make scientific sense as well, dial back their humanity to this level. Two legs, a torso, two arms, and a head with eyes/nose/mouth/ears are probably okay, but anything more than that (like exactly five fingers, facial features the same shape and size as humans', human-compatible sex organs [you don't do this with the Narmalans, which is good], etc.) are too much of a coincidence. Also maybe try playing around with their internal anatomy (bone structures, organs, etc.). Or if you don't do any of that, at least have characters lampshade how strange it is that the Lygarians are so humanoid to show the science-minded people you're aware of these things.
Needless to say, the Narmalans need to have their own psychology, distinct from humans or Lygarians, but there are 120 ways to rearrange Maslow's hierarchy (720 if you throw in self-transcendance).
Deconstructing the Lygarians took a lot of space, I'll end the post here so it doesn't break or anything.
The teachers explain mating to the Lygarian clones from a human perspective, since their sexual organs are similar to that of humans
This really, really shouldn't be happening (especially with the first alien civilization we meet). The number of coincidences are just far too high; we should not be compatible, let alone able to form offspring (let alone offspring that are fertile and not horribly deformed mutants). But since that's the way it is, this is the last time I'll mention it.
Because the Lygarians really don't know any better, they allow some of the scientists to study and observe them in intercourse
This is squicky. Though maybe it's not your intent to make it sound like this is okay from a moral standpoint.
whether Humans and other similar intelligent species can inter-breed and form hybrid species.
They can't. Sorry. This is the last time I'll mention it, I promise.
Because so few of the Lygarian Clones exist, new clones with randomized genetic code begin conception as well so that there will be a higher number and variety of Lygarians in the second generation. This second generation of clones should be much less flawed than any of the first generation Lygarians.
Why didn't they do this with the first generation?
When the few individuals do spend time in Olympus or other cities around the planet, the people look at the with awe and curiosity
...and mistrust and caution and possibly even fear and hatred. Look what we've done (and still do in some places, to an extent) to people of other races. And they aren't even a different species like the Lygarians! (I'm not saying that everyone should be closed-minded, but not everyone should be open-minded. Humans are diverse.)
Because the Lygarians learned human language - mostly English and some Mandirin & Spanish - communication with everyone is as smooth and fluid as talking to any other human.
How come their vocal cords are not only capable of human speech, but good at it? I can see them learning to read and write human languages, but speaking them? As I said, that takes vocal cords specifically designed for the task. Since they somehow have human DNA spliced in, I could believe something like "their vocal cords can make a passable imitation of human speech, just enough to be understood.", but not "communication with everyone is as smooth and fluid as talking to any other human."
The reports are investigated by government scientists, and these children are found to indeed have heighten awareness, but they are concluded to be rare mutations in the children's' genes.
I mentioned this a few posts back, but it really bugs me. Why can't the scientists just figure out which genes so that everyone can have heightened awareness and all the rest? The solution here is to make it environmental: it comes from how children were raised/educated, not genes. EDIT: Or to have the URDF deliberately censoring the secret to keep all the enhanced people to itself.
On Earth, Oceans have risen to 3 meters (about 10 feet) above the 2000 C.E. Level. However, global warming has begun winding down and the natural beauty of Earth has begun to return.
This sounds apocalyptic; likely hundreds of millions to billions of people should've died or been displaced by sea levels and the world should be a hellish furnace. If global warming hasn't "begun winding down" by the early 2100s or so, the Earth is toast.
And the garden worlds so far colonized have been relatively unaltered by humanity's expansion, mainly because buildings can now reach as high as three kilometers into the sky, allowing cities to be small in area size, but still support millions.
Arcologies! I really like this bit, because it means a planet can in principle support several trillion people while leaving most of nature intact. Overpopulation can go screw itself!
With their significant height and slender physique, they can comfortably run at 25 kilometers per hour and make 2 meter vertical leaps allowing them to be excellent at parkour and evasion.
Meh. With bio-augmentation and transhumanism, this wouldn't be that impressive in 300 years' time.
The M72A EMAR is the first Electromagnetic Assault Rifle that begins mass production to be the standard issue rifle of the URDF. This weapons uses a nano-core to power a railgun type system.
I could be way off the mark, but I think that handheld railguns will come in this century, perhaps as early as the 2040s. We don't need to wait for fusion, as long as we have some solid innovations in ultradense batteries (how many watts do you need? If these people are to be trusted, the answer is not very many; what you need is a really powerful capacitor) However, even if I am way off the mark, 2360 is way too late for handheld railguns if the limiting factor is power. I referenced this in another post: just beam wireless electricity from a power station through a zero-point communication tunnel (invented in the early 2200s in your timeline) and all your power problems are solved.
Olympia becomes a symbol of the military elite, and joining the URDF is considered both the highest of honors and the expectation from many parents.
Very militaristic society, eh? Who exactly is the URDF so keen on fighting at this stage, and why?
Some more comments about the Lygarians, aliens, and the 24th century.
Through advanced health management and incredible medical improvements, the average life expectancy of a healthy human is 112:M and 114:F, and the oldest recorded person has now lived to 153 years old.
That's only a 40% improvement in longevity in 300 years. Not exactly "incredible medical improvements"; "advanced health management" alone could probably do this with today's medical technology. (or "modest medical improvements" at most) Most eminent scientists and futurists believe that life expectancy will be almost unlimited by that point. I believe that may be too far-fetched, that longevity could well be a series of s-curves (or even diminishing returns) but there are too many technologies for life expansion to assume a mere 30-year increase in 300 years. Telomere therapy, gene therapy, cybernetics, medical nanobots, and a bunch more. For someone being synthesized in 2300, they should be able to expect a lifespan of two or three centuries at least.
On the opposite end of the lifespan, children are learning faster and becoming more intelligent at younger ages, thanks to genetic engineering and advances in technology, allowing them to intellectual and social maturity much earlier.
I really like this bit, and believe that in a good future (capitalist, expansionist, human-centric) this is the way we'll go. Follow it through to its logical conclusion and--in a thousand or more years--childhood ceases to exist, with people being physically, intellectually, and emotionally mature instantly or soon after creation.
Social programs exist to allow less fortunate people to get by in day to day life, due to the abundance of food and hydration and the massive number of construction projects occurring throughout the Republic. However, there is strict control of financial assistance to ensure large numbers of people do not abuse the system to fund their personal lives. The government offers many labor programs in which unemployed people can be temporarily hired to work on government projects - mainly construction or agriculture - in exchange for stipends.
With improved opportunities and education in the future (which you alluded to yourself), the number of poor and unemployed people is likely to be very, very small. In 2300, those who are, are likely going to be the sort who are just too lazy to do anything and/or spit on every opportunity that comes their way. (In other words, the sort who would rather just sit around and rot than do any actual work.) But that's admittedly a bit subjective, so moving on...
I struggle to see what jobs could be available in either construction or agriculture. Almost all jobs that will be available to people in 2300 are going to be incredibly hyper-skilled ones (but most people will be incredibly hyper-skilled, so it'll balance out. Hopefully.). Anything that doesn't take incredible levels of skill or judgement will be done by robots. And what business does a hyper-skilled, hyper-educated person have being poor and unemployed in the first place.
I guess I'm trying to say that these kinds of projects will just be done by robots in the distant future.
She provides the research team with pristine genetic samples of the Lygarian species, and asks that humanity attempt to revive the Lygarians. She wishes for a second chance to teach the species that she was assigned to so long ago.
It occurs to me: what's the point of doing this? By cloning Lygarians, we aren't reviving any lost history, culture, science, or any other knowledge. We aren't restoring vital components of an ecosystem, because their homeworld is broken anyway. We aren't significantly boosting the number of sentient minds. We aren't really giving anyone a second shot at life; the original Lygarians are all dead and we ain't bringing them back. We're essentially just creating tall, green-skinned humans. Why?
And what would the PRAXI structures have said, if I had been there, and told them what I just wrote above? Would they have insisted on it?
Here's how it might work better: the human researchers discover a group of cryo-preserved Lygarians, perhaps on the Kepler 62e colony. Maybe when their food ran out, they froze themselves in the off-chance that their species might rebuild itself and come save them. Suddenly, there's a real incentive to revive them: there are actual individuals of the species still alive; we're saving them from death and extinction instead of just creating people that look like them. More importantly, they, unlike the clones, carry a veritable treasure trove of history, culture, science, technology, and all that lovely stuff.
It's rested into position near the URDF' High Command in Olympus, where the Admiralty Board functions.
They made a portal leading from their most densely populated planet straight to their military command center? I thought Olympus was a "fortress world"; now it seems like anybody can just walk in from Earth.
One final note about designing alien minds, BTW. If you're up for a real challenge, consider leaving behind Maslow's hierarchy of needs entirely. Instead of switching around the priority of human needs, create a set of entirely alien needs and put them into a hierarchy. Also, consider what groups they form into (I assume that virtually all intelligent civilizations will be social or eusocial beings). Humans form nuclear families with parent-child relationships as the priority. What if the Lygarians and Narmalans are wired for non-nuclear family structures, or they form nuclei around something else?
In light of this the PRAXIS on Earth is excavated from deep within the Antarctic ice and moved near the United Republic Parliament building in Nairobi.
Why did they leave their own PRAXIS lying in ice for over a century?
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