Jump to content

Welcome to FutureTimeline.forum
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Another Timeline...


  • Please log in to reply
104 replies to this topic

#21
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts

 

A new colony ship built by The I.S.C. able to carry 2000 colonists, departs for the second closest 'Garden World' , in the Gilese 581 System, 22 light years away.

Not even counting Tau Ceit, there are systems with potentially habitable planets at 13, 14, 16, 17, and 20 light years from Earth. Are all of these in fact non-habitable in the PRAXIS universe? If nothing else, they could be strategic colonies and possible terraforming sites due to their (relative) closeness to Earth.

 

 

But the U.N. has reserved this for special projects and denies proposals to colonize it.

Do you need not just one, but five planets for a military base?

 

 

Because FTL jumps are so fast, supplying these colonies is fairly easy and because the colonies begin building quickly, many people on an over-crowded Earth are eager to make a new life on this new frontier.

This is a common misconception, but a pet peeve of mine. If vertical farms, arcologies, space-based solar power, and fusion plants exist, then the Earth is not over-crowded.

 

 

The most important of these, is that mining and heavy assembly line industry will be prohibited on Tier 1 planets or Garden worlds. To preserve the countless species and biospheres on garden world's cities will consist of tall buildings that minimize the radial footprint created on these green planets.

Neither of these restrictions should be necessary. For one thing, assembly lines don't exist anymore, not with 3D printing and nanotechnology. Now, obviously mining and heavy industry will still be things. But most mining will likely be asteroid mining by this point. Why? Instead of mucking about, sifting aside rocks and dirt to get at the "good stuff", purchasing land, and complying with pesky environmental regulations, you have huge lumps of metals and minerals just floating around in space, ready for the taking by anyone. Heavy industry will likely be mostly in planetary orbit for environmental reasons--as the old saying goes, once you're in orbit, you're halfway to anywhere in the universe. There's no sense in sending raw materials down into a deep planetary gravity well only to have to haul out the finished products when you're done. BTW will star lifting ever happen in the PRAXIS universe?

 

As for buildings, arcologies are probably more efficient to construct than traditional cities, and easier on the inhabitants too, so they'll probably be built that way anyway.

 

I guess the idea of humankind's expansion to the stars being so heavily regulated just gets to me. I'd always hoped that when we have the technology for interstellar travel, we'll take advantage of the wealth of worlds out there in every way we can. But that's just me. Maybe not even how it would go in real life.

 

 

Humans can also work in mining and heavy industry for considerable hazard pay, making it tantalizing for many colonists looking for a hefty paycheck, despite the risks involved.

I'm not sure what humans would do in the mines that robots (who also don't need payment, comfortable temperatures, clean air, etc.) can't do better. The intellectual stuff, yeah, like prospecting for minerals and running a mine, but not hacking away with pickaxes. But if we do need human intelligence in the mines, why not have human miners remotely controlling mining machines from a safe distance?

 

 

There is a Garden World in the system as well as a small gas giant with a great deal of helium 3, along with 4 other rocky planets filled with resources necessary for ship construction.

There are five planets in the Tau Ceti system, not six, and the largest is only a super-Earth. I suppose it's possible that we will discover a gas giant there as well, but it seems like we should've noticed if there already is one.

 

 

With the formation of the URDF, it's determined that the military needs lots of room to work without civilian interference. Tau Ceti (12 light years from Sol) was reserved by the U.N. For special projects, now it's value becomes very apparent.

I guess? But this seems excessive.

 

Planets are big. Huge, in fact. And today, most military bases aren't that far (if I had to make a wild guess, I'd say several miles) from civilian settlement.

 

Why can't the URDF just have their bases, and, if they want to, set up like a 50-mile buffer zone around each and let the rest of the planet be colonized? The way it's set up now makes it sound almost a bit dystopian, the way it gobbles up incredible amounts of resources, squashes dissent, and acts so secretively about...everything. Apparently their bases are so secret that regular civilians literally aren't allowed to come within a trillion miles of them?

 

 

The planet is also twice the size of Earth and so the planet's gravity rests at 1.29 G.

Speaking as a bit of a planetary science buff, only one of Tau Ceti's planets has anywhere close to 2 Earth masses, and it is Tau Ceti b, the innermost one (and thus probably a scorched, Mercury-like husk). Tau Ceti e and f (the two planets that are most likely to be habitable in that system) are much bigger--4.3 and 6.6 Earth masses. Interestingly, according to Wikipedia [including one unreferenced statement] and Newton's gravitational formula, Tau Ceti e should have a gravity of about 1.33 G, so I'll assume that Olympia = Tau Ceti e.

 

 

Olympus will also be home to the URDF's Office of Defense INtelligence (ODIN) main Headquarters, where it can operate away from the prying eyes of the public.

Even the NSA doesn't need the whole planet to itself in order to keep its doings secret. Also, is the UR's intelligence agency a branch of the military then? Sounds like this universe is rather...militaristic.

 

 

Every planet Humanity finds and colonizes, especially the Garden Worlds, brings the discovery of millions of new species.

What's the protocol for colonizing a garden world (or any world with life)? Do they just march out of their spacesuits without any protection at all? If so, then the death toll from alien viruses and bacteria should be massive. Either there has to be a really intensive vaccination program before anyone is allowed outside without biosuits, or there's some seriously powerful transhuman upgrades available.

 

 

Large scale Electro-Plasma windows are availazle [sic] now. This will make hangers [sic] on large ships and stations much easier to board by small vessels and single ships.

How exactly do they work? I assume they --somehow-- keep the atmosphere from escaping in some manner which means that the air can't get out. But if air can't get out, neither can spacecraft.

 

 

Also, it's pretty well understood - after looking at mankind's history - that as the republic expands further and further away from Earth, some colonies are going to want to become sovereign. While semi-autonomy will certainly be allowed to ensure The United Republic doesn't become an empire like so many republics before it, the unity of mankind must be maintained. A massive and unmatched military force will discourage dissent and rebellion... hopefully.

This is wrong. The UR is acting exactly like an empire: suppressing dissent, responding to every threat to the empire with overwhelming military force, reducing transparency and accountability for the things that really matter (sounds like the military could do whatever they want and nobody would notice).

 

When you think about the American Revolution, you don't think 'Oh no, the unity of the British people was broken', do you? The sensible and diplomatic thing--especially in the enlightened age that is the 23rd century--to do is to grant independence to any planet that desires it. If I were the leader of the UR, I would probably set up a system whereby any planet with over 10 million colonists could hold an independence referendum.

 

Note that this doesn't mean that mankind's unity will be broken at all. Having each planet be its own nation doesn't mean that interstellar trade, travel, or amiable relations will cease. Look at the world today. Dozens of countries trade with each other. Immigrants travel from almost every nation to almost every other nation. Loads of countries are "friends" with each other. I guess you could argue that we aren't unified, but if you need military force to enforce unity, humanity isn't ready for unity.

 

The United Republic doesn't have to change how it acts, of course. This is interesting. However, it'd make more sense to portray it in any stories as a morally gray entity--flawed, but not evil per se--rather than painting it as a shining paragon of virtue. Unless the story is being told by a UR propagandist or some other unreliable narrator.



#22
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts

2100s, coming up.

 

 

English, Mandarin, and Spanish are the most prolific, spoken as either a primary or secondary language around the world and are more or less necessary to learn.

While I don't doubt that the number of languages will be greatly reduced by 2100, I don't think this is true either: we're probably only a few years away from perfect machine translation.

 

 

Nano-technology has evolved over the past century from theoretical science to full-fledged application in many fields, especially in medicine and health-care. Nanites can be injected directly into the blood stream, able to monitor the various body functions and perform specific tasks such as healing internal wounds or eradicating parasites & viruses.

This is coming far too late. Nanotechnology already has applications; it'll probably become a major feature of many industries starting in 25 years or less. Medical nanobots will probably be seen in this half of the century, for instance.

 

 

Virtual Reality has extended well beyond just the gaming community. It's used extensively for in everything from social media, social/political debate, various forms of education, many styles of entertainment and lifestyle activities, and even military training.

This is probably 50 years too late (75 years too late if you're talking about non-immersion VR). Virtual Reality already exists (Occulus Rift, etc.), it won't take that long for it to become popular.

 

 

Holographic Environment Projection Systems or HEPS are developed that can project large scale holographic environments over and around physical objects. The most obvious use is to generate an entirely different appearance of a room based around what furniture and items physically exist in said room.

Holographic television will exist in a few years. Will it really take another 90 to advance to this? By this point, we should likely have claytronic furniture that can actually alter its own shape (based largely on futuretimeline.net).

 

 

A side effect of this innovation is that the prestige of simply owning expensive possessions transforms into owning the actual, physical object instead of a holographic mirage.

I'm pretty sure that even today, owning a "holographic mirage" wouldn't count.

 

 

construction on the Singapore Line of the ICLS begins, running from Singapore to Hong Kong. This marks the last major addition to the ICLS worth noting.

Looking at the map, I'm surprised there isn't a line through India, as it's presumably still one of the most populous countries and likely (assuming future trends continue) a major economic power.

 

 

Major health advancements in genetic engineering and aging speed reduction has extended the average age expectancy to 94:M 95:F globally and the upper limit of age to roughly 130 years. As such the retirement age in most countries has risen to 75=80 on average. disease is in steep decline. All cancers, HIV, AIDS, and many other genetic or sexually transmitted diseases have been virtually eradicated, though immunizations continue to ensure that humanity doesn't lose defense from them.

I wouldn't call adding ten years to life expectancy over the course of 100+ years to be a "major" health advancement. Considering current trends, we'll likely see these kinds of life expediencies in the 2050s or so, rising to well over a century by 2100. Likewise, retirement age is likely to rise more quickly. The part about disease is probably pretty accurate and about in the right timeframe, though.

 

 

However, while the holographic projection can give the appearance of warm clothing like a sweater, they do nothing to protect the wearer from weather and temperature exposure, with a holo projection laid over a tank top for instance.

This is why nanotech claytronic clothing is a better option, and should likely be fairly practical by the 2130s.

 

 

Militaries find great interest in this technology for the use of camouflage, since standard uniforms can be inter-laced with HAP systems as well allowing for a soldier/marine to instantly transition from a desert pattern into a woodland pattern, an urban pattern into a snow pattern, etc.

Once electronic paper (or in this case, cloth) becomes widespread in the 2020s, it should become easy to do this; I am imagining intelligent uniforms with an electronic layer that automatically generates digital camouflage to suit whatever environment a soldier is in. In fact, this will be a component of the "smart armor" in my own timelines.

 

Beyond that, I thought cloaking technology was invented about fifty years back, in the 2080s. What's to stop soldiers from being completely invisible?

 

 

or trucks and lorries with advertisement logos can instantly change their appearance or project motion graphics.

This is electronic paper, which will likely reach the market in a few years, according to futuretimeline.net and most other sources.

 

 

3D replication is so common, almost everyone on Earth own some form of a portable miniature 3D replicator, along with a holographic communication device. This allows the creation of virtually anything small enough to fit in a hand. Even basic nutrients and proteins can be formed into edible crackers simply by using any inorganic materials around - including dirt or small rocks - which is broken down and rearranged on the molecular level, though this comes at the cost of taste. This - in conjunction with improved agriculture techniques - dramatically decreases world hunger, while at the same time decreasing waste products like plastic.

This does seem to come a bit out of nowhere, as nanotechnology is advancing fairly slowly in the PRAXIS timeline. However, if you have replicators, the economy is going to be drastically changed forever in a way that doesn't seem to happen in the timeline. Capitalism can fortunately survive this with some luck, but the economy would see a major shift--a sort of Commodity Crisis--from material things to data and information. Nobody will buy food; people will instead buy software files to "print" food. As replicators mature, there will be a fierce, probably decades-long battle between open source, closed source, and hackers, which could make the market look rather strange.

 

Of course, there are gonna be limitations to replicators, at least at first. For instance, it must require boatloads of energy, which costs a lot. Is it even economical to make replicator crackers? One other thing--molecular manipulation cannot turn inorganic material into organic material (where does the carbon come from?). For that, you need atomic-scale manipulation, aka femtotechnology. Thus, regular nanotechnology replicators should be limited to fairly simple transmutations, not something complex like rocks-to-bread. But if you can somehow do this, it shouldn't come at the cost of taste; it isn't hard to make some extra molecules that taste and smell nice.

 

Replicators are hard to write about. BTW, how come replicator technology apparently doesn't improve or scale up for almost half a millennium? How come there is no talk of creating buildings, spacecraft, and even human beings out of dirt and rocks?

 

 

a medical miracle is invented in the form of Nano-Gel. This is a gel comprising of thousands of Nanites, an Artificial Hemostasis Coagulant, and a number of Sterilizing Agents. Essentially when a severe wound or injury to the skin occurs, the gel need only be applied directly to and around the wound. The gel fills the entire cavity of the wound, and within seconds solidifies into a tough, but elastic coagulant.

Nanobots that can cure wounds are invented at least seven years (and probably a good deal more) after replicators? Something is off with the rate of nanotechnology development.

 

 

Anti-gravity in the form of graviton manipulation is harnessed. This will allow spaceships to hover in atmosphere or sub-orbital altitude without the need for vertical rocket propulsion.

Okay, but why are gravitons so expensive that the special forces (and nobody else) can only afford small-scale graviton-based weapons 400 years later? Space age stasis again.

 

 

       Children begin being born on Mars, becoming the first natural born citizens of Mars.

Only in 2160, after almost a century of permanent colonization on Mars? When you have hundreds of men and women living in a glorified tin can for years on end, some of them are inevitably going to...well, you know.

 

 

Knowing that the extremely valuable helium 3 resources on Luna will only last so long, preliminary mining surveys have been sent to the four gas giants of the Sol system to determine If helium 3 extraction from the dense atmospheres will be feasible and economically practical.

Jupiter is likely going to be very difficult to work with due to its intense radiation, while Uranus and Neptune are several times further away. Therefore, it's likely that virtually all helium-3 mining will be centered around Saturn. (Unless there are well-established colonies on Titania, Oberon, or Triton, which doesn't seem to be the case.)

 

 

Meanwhile, dozens of mining operations begin on Mars, able to ease the great amounts of demand on Earth's dwindling resources.

Shouldn't asteroid mining be extremely well-established by now, meaning that Earth's resources aren't in dire straits? In real life, there are already several companies making plans to begin doing so; the industry will probably take its first tentative steps next decade or the one after that.

 

 

Despite this a massive mission is planned to build a kilometer long colony vessel that can carry over a thousand people from around the world on board who all volunteer to make a 6 year journey to Alpha Centauri, in a bid to colonize a planet or moon.

They sink trillions of dollars into a multi-year interstellar expedition, but they don't even know whether they're going to a planet or a moon, let alone which planet or moon? BTW, the only exoplanet in the Alpha Centauri system is Alpha Centauri Bc, which orbits far too close to its star to be habitable. Of course, it's not impossible that another planet could be discovered there, but there aren't any known ones currently. And they should be absolutely sure that there is one before they go!

 

 

Inertial Dampening is invented. This creates a gravity field that allows spacecraft from single person fighters and transports to the largest military vessels to make rapid accelerations, decelerations, and course corrections, without the High G forces injuring the crew onboard.

Wait a minute...

 

If you're trying to accelerate and you create a giant gravity field behind your ship, won't it just cancel out whatever acceleration is provided by the ship's engines? One possible method of making ultra-high acceleration possible without crushing the people on board is to utilize a liquid breathing system. As explained in the link, G-forces are evenly distributed through a fluid, and fluids can't be easily compressed; therefore an astronaut with a suit that completely immerses them in a breathable fluid at the density of water could survive effectively unlimited G-forces. Cybernetics are another option here, as inorganic/metallic body parts are less likely to be smeared all over a spaceship at high G-forces.

 

 

A mining operation in Antarctica detects anomalous signals and radiation deep within the ice near the South Pole. It's unclear what the source of the energy is, but it isn't recognized by human databases. A research excavation towards the source begins

Has the PRAXIS been signaling constantly, or did it just start? If the latter, why now? And why was it put in just about the only place on land where there was a chance we'd never, ever look (i.e. the least hospitable continent)?

 

 

An entire catalog of Earth's species that have ever existed are identified, and genetic code and material samples of many species are stored here.

This means that the PRAXIS creators have been studying Earth (and presumably every other habitable planet) for literally billions of years. And how does it have data on any species newer than 175,000 years or so? (Or does it?)

 

 

From what the information indicates, dark energy can be harnessed to create ruptures in relative space that lead to a separate dimensional sub-space in which mass of an object and speed of light are not limiting factors, and allow apparent FTL without relativistic side effects.

Sorry, dark energy does not work that way--if our current understanding is right, it's much to diffuse to be collected in meaningful quantities by anything short of a godlike intergalactic civilization.

 

About FTL, there are scientifically plausible ways to make it work. The Theory of Relativity is absolute--no object with mass can travel faster than light. If you can't increase your speed, you must reduce the distance traveled, either by moving the destination closer to you (folding space), or by tunneling out a shortcut. The former is known as an Alcubierre drive; it warps spacetime itself by harnessing large amounts of negative energy (not dark energy). We can only create tiny amounts of negative energy in the laboratory, and current scientific understanding is that it would take the energy resources of a galactic civilization to produce enough for warp drives. Therefore, perhaps the secret that the PRAXIS shows humanity is a method of easily generating large amounts of negative energy.

 

The other solution, as I mentioned, is to take a shortcut; i.e. create a wormhole. This would mean that traveling to another solar system would require going through a gateway in a specific location, which could make for an interesting plot device. But wormholes may also allow time travel, which opens up not a can of worms, but a whole barrel of worms. If you don't want to explore the ramifications of that, it's best to stick to Alcubierre drives.

 

 

When asked about the A.I.'s origin or his creators, he simply responds with "information unavailable". It seems the creators of the structure and Daedalus, did not want to go into details about their own civilization, what happened to them, or the reason they gave Humanity this extraordinary gift, though the reasons can only be speculated. Perhaps they believed they should help humanity expand, but that mankind needed to find their own path of evolution, or perhaps they deemed it irrelevant for humanity to know. Whatever the reason for hiding the information, they have given mankind - and by extension all life on Earth - an immense promise for the future.

Why do the humans automatically trust the that thing anyway? They've got no way of knowing whether it's here to uplift them, or to manipulate them, or to destroy them. Certainly, the things acts very suspiciously--even manipulatively, in later centuries--and withholds information that could greatly help humanity. With that in mind, I'm surprised that so many centuries go by no one even considers trying to hack PRAXIS. Yes, it'd be a ballsy--and probably risky--move, and it might not work, but the benefits are huge: near-infinite amounts of zero-point energy, instantaneous teleporters, probably a detailed map of all civilizations and habitable planets in the galaxy, and who knows what else.

 

 

Dark energy by nature does not accumulate like matter, quite the opposite, it repulses itself on a quantum level. By manipulating dark energy to collapse on a designated point, it will eventually rebound and cause spatial distortion.

Wikipedia says dark energy does not react with any fundamental forces save gravity.

 

 

             Due to its close proximity to Earth, fairly small population, and utter dependence on the aforementioned planet, Luna never attempts to become an independent state, functioning more as a community of nations.

That's curious, because terraforming the moon is a definite possibility. It may even be more economical than terraforming Mars due to its proximity to the resources of Earth. I wonder why more terraforming isn't done in the Solar System itself.

480px-TerraformedMoonFromEarth.jpg

Terraformed moon. (Image source)

 

PS: Since this is when the PRAXIS structure shows up for the first time, there's something else I'll mention. If you're interested, check out David Brin's Existence. It features intelligent alien probes that

Spoiler


Edited by Jakob, 07 April 2016 - 07:22 PM.


#23
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts

Last round, 2000s.

 

The timeline is mostly pretty good until about 2035!

 

 

The United States' natural gas boom has spurred on a revitalization of the airship industry.

I'm not sure it's plausible that airships will become a thing again. Certainly possible, but we don't appear to be going in that direction now. Remember, 2025 is only 8.5 years away, and there's currently no talk of reviving airships AFAIK. More likely is that in the civilian sector, we'll see electricity-powered planes, a revitalization of supersonic passenger aircraft, and perhaps things like the 'Sky Whale'. (All of these things have been considered) And in the military sector, there might be hypersonic scramjet aircraft (though perhaps not as soon as 2025).

 

 

Determined to maintain economic and social unity, the European Union is reorganized into the European Federation, where countries like Germany, France, and Italy cease to be autonomous states in favor of being unified states under one flag.

This is probably very unlikely in this timeframe, barring a fantastically strange event on the world stage. If the EU changes fundamentally by 2035, it'll most likely be fragmenting and/or collapsing. Maybe if the EU does survive that, this could happen towards the last quarter of a century, in response to the formation of other super-states, though.

 

 

Legitimate artificial intelligence meanwhile is in prototype development.

This is probably about the right timeframe, but the timeline doesn't really explore the ramifications of this. It should result in massive, decades-long economic unrest, extreme technological unemployment, and so on. In a good future (which I take it you want the timeline to be), humanity and capitalism would pull through, but the education system would be changed forever: hyper-competitive, extremely fast-paced, incredibly broad and deep, with failure in anything being utterly unthinkable. The nature of education will also be changed, focusing on people learning to think and generate new knowledge, instead of just learning what's already known.

 

 

Saudi Arabia and Iran hold talks for the first time to work on an Official Alliance, despite their political and religious differences. This will not be an easy task after 60+ years of animosity towards one-another. But with oil on the decline and little else to export, many middle-east nations run the risk of becoming unsustainable.

It's possible, but as you point out, they've got extreme differences with each other. I guess they could join together under heavy international pressure, but on their own, it's unlikely they'd do this. And if Russia can build an economy around exporting oil in the 2070s, why can't the Middle East do it in the 2040s?

 

 

Within a decade most African nations become part of the African Confederation, though it's still a loose coalition of states with semi-autonomy still allowed by each former country, Johannesburg becomes the unofficial government center though other cities like Nairobi and Cape Town hold significant political sway.

I tried to emulate this idea in one of my own timelines, but as Eyalin--who lives in Nairobi--pointed out, there's a vanishingly small chance that the nations of Africa would willingly unify in the 2050s unless something really crazy happened. It's possible it could happen by force (either from other countries, or by a highly powerful and charismatic leader from within), though, but it would probably be highly unstable. The warlords won't be the problem; the common citizens will. If it were in the last quarter of the century, it might work slightly better.

 

 

wanting greater economic prosperity through trade and resource gathering, the United States, Mexico, and Canada form the United North American States.

This is probably the most unlikely super-state of all, especially as early as 2070 (though it may happen in the 22nd century). The United States is now (and by the look of the timeline) remains the most powerful nation on Earth (or at least tied for the position). What would they have to gain from giving up their sovereignty? It would likely take a seriously shocking swerve on the world stage for this to happen. They can form an economic alliance without merging politically, also.

 

 

A long awaited probe is sent to Jupiter's ice moon Europa to land on the icy surface and find a possible site for a future drilling area.

Russia has plans to send an unmanned lander to Ganymede as early as 2030. In fairness, that's not Europa, but there's no reason to assume that exploration of the Jovian system will stagnate for almost half a century. (Personally, I hope to see a manned expedition to Europa or Ganymede by 2060, but that's just me, and it may be too optimistic. Still, 2116 (the date you have for the first manned expedition) is probably too pessimistic.)

 

 

The next 20 years see the two super-nations in a political struggle and small scale proxy wars to absorb the remaining sovereign countries in Central America and the Caribbean Sea.

Sounds a bit imperialistic. How do the Central American and Carribean people feel about being absorbed? A world government is cool, but the fact is, not everyone will want one.

 

 

          There are now 4 super nations that span 4 continents respectively, all functioning under democracy. Public opinion no longer allows the creation of dictatorships, for those that still exist such as North Korea, their days are numbered.

Dictators don't really care about public opinion all that much; they seize power through propaganda, conspiracy, and/or military force. Not saying that any of these new super-states should be dictators, just nitpicking.

 

 

Other probes are sent to the asteroid belt in search of valuable rare earth minerals like gold, titanium, platinum, palladium, and cobalt, in the hopes of finding new sources of rapidly dwindling and much needed resources.

So there is asteroid mining after all! Makes me wonder why there are resource problems in the 22nd century. That aside, you don't need to go all the way out to the asteroid belt to mine asteroids. There are thousands, if not millions of near-Earth asteroids, each of them containing a trillion dollars' worth of precious metal. Mining of these, as I mentioned last post, is likely to begin within 20 years' time.

 

PS: Asteroid don't just contain metals; some of them also contain a lot of potentially valuable volatiles.

 

 

Androids with sophisticated virtual intelligence are now seen working amongst the human population in basic jobs such as package delivery, waste collection, and language translation.

I think you mean "artificial intelligence", not "virtual intelligence".

 

I rally like the concept of androids, they make for a lot of interesting plots. But these won't be their applications. Package delivery will be taken care of by drones (Amazon is experimenting with this already), and language translation will be done perfectly by apps in our phones and computers within a few years (we already have Google Translate; progress in machine translation will inevitably occur rapidly).

 

If these androids are intelligent, as you say, then perhaps some of them may desire rights. This could make an interesting premise for a plot.

 

 

Artificial Intelligence has now become commercially available, but the prohibitive cost restricts it to use by militaries and governments or large corporations.

In the previous sentence, you described intelligent androids commonly working among humans.

 

 

3D replication has shifted manufacture of day to day items from large factories across the world that have to set up large assembly lines to create specific types of goods into medium and small businesses across the world that offer “on the spot” production of virtually any tangible object, to the specific request of the consumer.

This is probably accurate, but why are there laws referencing assembly line production a century and a half later (see my post on the 23rd century), if assembly lines are going obsolete now?

 

 

Earth's population has reached 10 Billion and across the world many nations have put into effect child limit policies. Most nations limit it to 3 children, some of the more overpopulated nations like India and China restrict it to 2 children. Major health improvements across the world have made extended life expectancy a problem with overpopulation. As fertile land becomes harder to find without further deforestation, Urbanized Agriculture has been booming where skyscrapers are built consisting of dozens of floors, each with the sole purpose of growing crops.

Overpopulation isn't a problem when you have high technology. Especially if it's only risen to 10 billion. Child limit policies are also a flagrant violation of individual rights.

 

This is just a pet peeve of mine. It's sadly not even terribly implausible.

 

 

but there is a new concept of creating A.I. that has been discussed in the scientific community involving the duplication of the incredibly complex neural network of the Human brain as well as the social, psychological, and emotional development of A.I. Donated brains are being tested for the creation of artificial sentience, though this is a long way off.

And it apparently never arrives? Despite the fact that virtually all futurists predict it'll arrive before 2080?

 

If "the first true artificial intelligence" (from 2035) wasn't sentient, what did that term mean?

 

 

A new chapter begins for the Russian Federation, as it turns it's focus to the High-Tech and Robotics Industries.

Russia's main industry in the future will likely be food. However, this change will occur well before the 2070s, making me wonder why it was trying to cling to an oil industry in the first place.

 

 

Others act as airborne solar farms covered in solar sheets with power cables descending back to the surface.

What happened to space-based solar stations (from 2045) and wireless electricity? Unlike anything on Earth, they can operate 24/7 (except for repairs).

 

 

To achieve this, Hye spent the first three days as leader quietly ordering the arrests of any high ranking military personnel capable of standing up against her to maintain the old regime. Thanks to her actions, little resistance is made to contradict the supreme leader when she orders all military forces to stand down.

Unless NK itself has changed significantly, I doubt this would really work. Who exactly is going to obey her orders and arrest their own superiors? In reality, she'd probably find herself arrested and possibly executed, while a military dictator would grab power, starting a new dynasty. It's quite likely that the North Korean dictatorship will fall in this century, but it'll either be a gradual thing, with more modernization, democracy, and individual rights creeping in decade by decade, or it'll collapse due to international pressure (say, if China decides to stop propping them up, which is likely as China are apparently friends with the US by the 2050s).

 

 

This period shows immense progress in aerospace evolution. A global effort is taken to begin construction of a two kilometer tall international space station, dubbed Unity Space Station. Unity Station will operate in a geosynchronous orbit 14,000 kilometers off the surface.

According to Wikipedia, geostationary orbit (where a space elevator would likely reach) is actually more than twice that, at about 36,000 kilometers.

 

 

The International Space Agency is formed and based in Nairobi, and many private space companies create large facilities thereby adding to Nairobi's economic prosperity. In light of this, Nairobi becomes the official capital of the African Confederation, and Africa becomes much more closely bound by this national prestige.

This might be a more reasonable time to start an African Federation, as Kenya now has a huge space sector and other African countries will want in.

 

 

This process still takes time. To reach the asteroid belt even with the newest propulsion systems still takes 8-10 months to make a two way trip to and from the asteroid field. Even with dozens of corporate mining vessels now in operation in space, the progress is slow. For now the majority of minerals will be mined from Earth.

Near-earth asteroids, man! They're much, much closer, a few weeks' journey at most.

 


As hoped, the sublimation of dry ice in Mars' South Pole is enough to bring the atmospheric pressure at the planet surface's average altitude up to about 30 kilopascals, making the air pressure slightly thinner than at Mount Everest's summit. This means bulky pressurized space suits won't be necessary on the surface from this point on. However, obviously the air still isn't breathable yet and it's extremely cold, so thinner environment suits that still maintain oxygen and insulate heat will be necessary, but it will make moving around on the surface far easier.

Hmm, so terraforming is actually humming along really smoothly and quickly, then. It'd be interesting if they tried to terraform some more planets/worlds, for instance Venus, Luna, and possibly one or two moons in the outer Solar System. Not to mention nearby exoplanets such as Kapteyn b, Wolf 1061c, Gliese 832 c, and Gliese 682 c. You could explore how terraforming methods improve over the centuries. Perhaps by the 2500s, they use self-replicating nanobot swarms to generate or eat away planetary atmospheres, convert unwelcome gases into welcome ones, and generate greenhouse gases or cooling gases (like sulfur dioxide) as appropriate. Such terraforming could be completed in mere decades, not centuries, and would be relatively cheap too!

 

This would allow humans to stay relatively close to home at first, so that it'd be possible to keep humanity together with only sub-light travel in case of an emergency. (What if PRAXIS wants to divide up humanity so that we'd be easy pickings?) This is also how interstellar colonization would probably go in real life for the first few hundred years (until wormholes and later warp drives are developed). There's another reason, though. Remember what I said last post about it being very unwise to trust the PRAXIS completely? Well, my idea would be good insurance. If you don't fully trust the PRAXIS, it stands to reason to have a few colonies that Daedalus doesn't know about (and it presumably won't expect humans to head to Kapteyn b, Wolf 1061c, or any of the others, since it doesn't have them on its star maps).

 

PS: Another thing that would be smart to do is to transfer Daedalus from the PRAXIS to our own computers (without an internet connection, of course). We could tell him it's for safekeeping, but it'd be for humanity's own safety. This way we can control what information he gets and shut him down if things get truly dicey. Of course, it does without saying that you don't blindly trust an AI at all, what with the AI-box thing and all that.

 

 

Because the ICLS rail runs continuously through the incremental stations, technically a ICLS vehicle could run from Rio de Janeiro to Beijing in less than 4 hours, though it would need to decelerate significantly while traveling through stations since those areas are not void of air, and the air resistance at hypersonic speeds could cause collateral damage to both the vehicle and the surrounding station.

How does that work? Assuming that it's all one continuous tube, what keeps the air from spreading throughout the whole tunnel? And if there are doors or something, wouldn't the atmosphere just fly out into the rest of the tube as soon as the doors open? What makes sense is to have each vactrain line be a vacuum throughout. The trains would of course stop at stations, because that's the point of stations, but they'd essentially "dock" with a door on the edge of the tube, and there'd be an airtight tunnel running from the train to the station.

 

One last thing, all the way from the other end of the timeline.

 

 

With major improvements in cell regeneration - along with the optional use of cybernetics - human life expectancy is now about 180:M and 183:F with the upper limit at about 225, more than doubling the average life expectancy of humans of 2100 C.E. levels.

I know you talked about it above, but I still don't get why cybernetics are taking off in the 27th century instead of the 21st. They are likely to be even more effective at boosting strength, speed, toughness, and intelligence than mere bio-augmentation (some would say far more effective). There's only so much you can improve upon a squishy carbon body. They aren't going to make you look inhuman either (unless you want to). Medical nanobots in the blood don't have any effect on outward appearance, nor do inorganic organs with vastly more efficiency and power than "squishy" ones. Even things like artificial limbs can easily be coated in lifelike artificial skin if one wishes to look like flesh-and-blood on the outside. But who cares about looking flesh and blood when you have that kind of physical and mental power? It's surprising that even the military isn't making use of cybernetics; as I said, you're less likely to be physically destroyed if you're not entirely flesh-and-blood.

 

Some people, like Will and Yuli Ban, believe that transhumanism can confer demigod-like powers. I don't see that happening for several thousand years--like organic compounds, even metal/plastic/ceramics/nanotech have limits. But these limits are bound to be higher than squishy stuff.

 

Let's talk about life expectancy too. Even from my conservative standpoint, by 2600 the life expectancy for humans will somewhere between two and three times that. Like I said, cybernetics. They're more powerful than you give them credit for. By the 27th century, it'll probably be a question of 'How long can you keep putting stuff in your brain before it runs out of memory space and crashes?' I'll acknowledge that I'm not a qualified expert in such matters, but if you ask the qualified experts (futurists and scientists), they'll give you even higher numbers. Remember when I said people will probably live two to three times longer than you think they will? If you ask people like Will Fox, Ray Kurzweil, and Michio Kaku, they'll probably give you numbers between ten and a hundred times higher than what you have. That will be their low estimate; their high estimate will be:

 



#24
Pisiu369

Pisiu369

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 806 posts

Last round, 2000s.

 

The timeline is mostly pretty good until about 2035!

 

 

The United States' natural gas boom has spurred on a revitalization of the airship industry.

I'm not sure it's plausible that airships will become a thing again. Certainly possible, but we don't appear to be going in that direction now. Remember, 2025 is only 8.5 years away, and there's currently no talk of reviving airships AFAIK. More likely is that in the civilian sector, we'll see electricity-powered planes, a revitalization of supersonic passenger aircraft, and perhaps things like the 'Sky Whale'. (All of these things have been considered) And in the military sector, there might be hypersonic scramjet aircraft (though perhaps not as soon as 2025).

 

 

Determined to maintain economic and social unity, the European Union is reorganized into the European Federation, where countries like Germany, France, and Italy cease to be autonomous states in favor of being unified states under one flag.

This is probably very unlikely in this timeframe, barring a fantastically strange event on the world stage. If the EU changes fundamentally by 2035, it'll most likely be fragmenting and/or collapsing. Maybe if the EU does survive that, this could happen towards the last quarter of a century, in response to the formation of other super-states, though.

 

 

Legitimate artificial intelligence meanwhile is in prototype development.

This is probably about the right timeframe, but the timeline doesn't really explore the ramifications of this. It should result in massive, decades-long economic unrest, extreme technological unemployment, and so on. In a good future (which I take it you want the timeline to be), humanity and capitalism would pull through, but the education system would be changed forever: hyper-competitive, extremely fast-paced, incredibly broad and deep, with failure in anything being utterly unthinkable. The nature of education will also be changed, focusing on people learning to think and generate new knowledge, instead of just learning what's already known.

 

 

Saudi Arabia and Iran hold talks for the first time to work on an Official Alliance, despite their political and religious differences. This will not be an easy task after 60+ years of animosity towards one-another. But with oil on the decline and little else to export, many middle-east nations run the risk of becoming unsustainable.

It's possible, but as you point out, they've got extreme differences with each other. I guess they could join together under heavy international pressure, but on their own, it's unlikely they'd do this. And if Russia can build an economy around exporting oil in the 2070s, why can't the Middle East do it in the 2040s?

 

 

Within a decade most African nations become part of the African Confederation, though it's still a loose coalition of states with semi-autonomy still allowed by each former country, Johannesburg becomes the unofficial government center though other cities like Nairobi and Cape Town hold significant political sway.

I tried to emulate this idea in one of my own timelines, but as Eyalin--who lives in Nairobi--pointed out, there's a vanishingly small chance that the nations of Africa would willingly unify in the 2050s unless something really crazy happened. It's possible it could happen by force (either from other countries, or by a highly powerful and charismatic leader from within), though, but it would probably be highly unstable. The warlords won't be the problem; the common citizens will. If it were in the last quarter of the century, it might work slightly better.

 

 

wanting greater economic prosperity through trade and resource gathering, the United States, Mexico, and Canada form the United North American States.

This is probably the most unlikely super-state of all, especially as early as 2070 (though it may happen in the 22nd century). The United States is now (and by the look of the timeline) remains the most powerful nation on Earth (or at least tied for the position). What would they have to gain from giving up their sovereignty? It would likely take a seriously shocking swerve on the world stage for this to happen. They can form an economic alliance without merging politically, also.

 

 

A long awaited probe is sent to Jupiter's ice moon Europa to land on the icy surface and find a possible site for a future drilling area.

Russia has plans to send an unmanned lander to Ganymede as early as 2030. In fairness, that's not Europa, but there's no reason to assume that exploration of the Jovian system will stagnate for almost half a century. (Personally, I hope to see a manned expedition to Europa or Ganymede by 2060, but that's just me, and it may be too optimistic. Still, 2116 (the date you have for the first manned expedition) is probably too pessimistic.)

 

 

The next 20 years see the two super-nations in a political struggle and small scale proxy wars to absorb the remaining sovereign countries in Central America and the Caribbean Sea.

Sounds a bit imperialistic. How do the Central American and Carribean people feel about being absorbed? A world government is cool, but the fact is, not everyone will want one.

 

 

          There are now 4 super nations that span 4 continents respectively, all functioning under democracy. Public opinion no longer allows the creation of dictatorships, for those that still exist such as North Korea, their days are numbered.

Dictators don't really care about public opinion all that much; they seize power through propaganda, conspiracy, and/or military force. Not saying that any of these new super-states should be dictators, just nitpicking.

 

 

Other probes are sent to the asteroid belt in search of valuable rare earth minerals like gold, titanium, platinum, palladium, and cobalt, in the hopes of finding new sources of rapidly dwindling and much needed resources.

So there is asteroid mining after all! Makes me wonder why there are resource problems in the 22nd century. That aside, you don't need to go all the way out to the asteroid belt to mine asteroids. There are thousands, if not millions of near-Earth asteroids, each of them containing a trillion dollars' worth of precious metal. Mining of these, as I mentioned last post, is likely to begin within 20 years' time.

 

PS: Asteroid don't just contain metals; some of them also contain a lot of potentially valuable volatiles.

 

 

Androids with sophisticated virtual intelligence are now seen working amongst the human population in basic jobs such as package delivery, waste collection, and language translation.

I think you mean "artificial intelligence", not "virtual intelligence".

 

I rally like the concept of androids, they make for a lot of interesting plots. But these won't be their applications. Package delivery will be taken care of by drones (Amazon is experimenting with this already), and language translation will be done perfectly by apps in our phones and computers within a few years (we already have Google Translate; progress in machine translation will inevitably occur rapidly).

 

If these androids are intelligent, as you say, then perhaps some of them may desire rights. This could make an interesting premise for a plot.

 

 

Artificial Intelligence has now become commercially available, but the prohibitive cost restricts it to use by militaries and governments or large corporations.

In the previous sentence, you described intelligent androids commonly working among humans.

 

 

3D replication has shifted manufacture of day to day items from large factories across the world that have to set up large assembly lines to create specific types of goods into medium and small businesses across the world that offer “on the spot” production of virtually any tangible object, to the specific request of the consumer.

This is probably accurate, but why are there laws referencing assembly line production a century and a half later (see my post on the 23rd century), if assembly lines are going obsolete now?

 

 

Earth's population has reached 10 Billion and across the world many nations have put into effect child limit policies. Most nations limit it to 3 children, some of the more overpopulated nations like India and China restrict it to 2 children. Major health improvements across the world have made extended life expectancy a problem with overpopulation. As fertile land becomes harder to find without further deforestation, Urbanized Agriculture has been booming where skyscrapers are built consisting of dozens of floors, each with the sole purpose of growing crops.

Overpopulation isn't a problem when you have high technology. Especially if it's only risen to 10 billion. Child limit policies are also a flagrant violation of individual rights.

 

This is just a pet peeve of mine. It's sadly not even terribly implausible.

 

 

but there is a new concept of creating A.I. that has been discussed in the scientific community involving the duplication of the incredibly complex neural network of the Human brain as well as the social, psychological, and emotional development of A.I. Donated brains are being tested for the creation of artificial sentience, though this is a long way off.

And it apparently never arrives? Despite the fact that virtually all futurists predict it'll arrive before 2080?

 

If "the first true artificial intelligence" (from 2035) wasn't sentient, what did that term mean?

 

 

A new chapter begins for the Russian Federation, as it turns it's focus to the High-Tech and Robotics Industries.

Russia's main industry in the future will likely be food. However, this change will occur well before the 2070s, making me wonder why it was trying to cling to an oil industry in the first place.

 

 

Others act as airborne solar farms covered in solar sheets with power cables descending back to the surface.

What happened to space-based solar stations (from 2045) and wireless electricity? Unlike anything on Earth, they can operate 24/7 (except for repairs).

 

 

To achieve this, Hye spent the first three days as leader quietly ordering the arrests of any high ranking military personnel capable of standing up against her to maintain the old regime. Thanks to her actions, little resistance is made to contradict the supreme leader when she orders all military forces to stand down.

Unless NK itself has changed significantly, I doubt this would really work. Who exactly is going to obey her orders and arrest their own superiors? In reality, she'd probably find herself arrested and possibly executed, while a military dictator would grab power, starting a new dynasty. It's quite likely that the North Korean dictatorship will fall in this century, but it'll either be a gradual thing, with more modernization, democracy, and individual rights creeping in decade by decade, or it'll collapse due to international pressure (say, if China decides to stop propping them up, which is likely as China are apparently friends with the US by the 2050s).

 

 

This period shows immense progress in aerospace evolution. A global effort is taken to begin construction of a two kilometer tall international space station, dubbed Unity Space Station. Unity Station will operate in a geosynchronous orbit 14,000 kilometers off the surface.

According to Wikipedia, geostationary orbit (where a space elevator would likely reach) is actually more than twice that, at about 36,000 kilometers.

 

 

The International Space Agency is formed and based in Nairobi, and many private space companies create large facilities thereby adding to Nairobi's economic prosperity. In light of this, Nairobi becomes the official capital of the African Confederation, and Africa becomes much more closely bound by this national prestige.

This might be a more reasonable time to start an African Federation, as Kenya now has a huge space sector and other African countries will want in.

 

 

This process still takes time. To reach the asteroid belt even with the newest propulsion systems still takes 8-10 months to make a two way trip to and from the asteroid field. Even with dozens of corporate mining vessels now in operation in space, the progress is slow. For now the majority of minerals will be mined from Earth.

Near-earth asteroids, man! They're much, much closer, a few weeks' journey at most.

 


As hoped, the sublimation of dry ice in Mars' South Pole is enough to bring the atmospheric pressure at the planet surface's average altitude up to about 30 kilopascals, making the air pressure slightly thinner than at Mount Everest's summit. This means bulky pressurized space suits won't be necessary on the surface from this point on. However, obviously the air still isn't breathable yet and it's extremely cold, so thinner environment suits that still maintain oxygen and insulate heat will be necessary, but it will make moving around on the surface far easier.

Hmm, so terraforming is actually humming along really smoothly and quickly, then. It'd be interesting if they tried to terraform some more planets/worlds, for instance Venus, Luna, and possibly one or two moons in the outer Solar System. Not to mention nearby exoplanets such as Kapteyn b, Wolf 1061c, Gliese 832 c, and Gliese 682 c. You could explore how terraforming methods improve over the centuries. Perhaps by the 2500s, they use self-replicating nanobot swarms to generate or eat away planetary atmospheres, convert unwelcome gases into welcome ones, and generate greenhouse gases or cooling gases (like sulfur dioxide) as appropriate. Such terraforming could be completed in mere decades, not centuries, and would be relatively cheap too!

 

This would allow humans to stay relatively close to home at first, so that it'd be possible to keep humanity together with only sub-light travel in case of an emergency. (What if PRAXIS wants to divide up humanity so that we'd be easy pickings?) This is also how interstellar colonization would probably go in real life for the first few hundred years (until wormholes and later warp drives are developed). There's another reason, though. Remember what I said last post about it being very unwise to trust the PRAXIS completely? Well, my idea would be good insurance. If you don't fully trust the PRAXIS, it stands to reason to have a few colonies that Daedalus doesn't know about (and it presumably won't expect humans to head to Kapteyn b, Wolf 1061c, or any of the others, since it doesn't have them on its star maps).

 

PS: Another thing that would be smart to do is to transfer Daedalus from the PRAXIS to our own computers (without an internet connection, of course). We could tell him it's for safekeeping, but it'd be for humanity's own safety. This way we can control what information he gets and shut him down if things get truly dicey. Of course, it does without saying that you don't blindly trust an AI at all, what with the AI-box thing and all that.

 

 

Because the ICLS rail runs continuously through the incremental stations, technically a ICLS vehicle could run from Rio de Janeiro to Beijing in less than 4 hours, though it would need to decelerate significantly while traveling through stations since those areas are not void of air, and the air resistance at hypersonic speeds could cause collateral damage to both the vehicle and the surrounding station.

How does that work? Assuming that it's all one continuous tube, what keeps the air from spreading throughout the whole tunnel? And if there are doors or something, wouldn't the atmosphere just fly out into the rest of the tube as soon as the doors open? What makes sense is to have each vactrain line be a vacuum throughout. The trains would of course stop at stations, because that's the point of stations, but they'd essentially "dock" with a door on the edge of the tube, and there'd be an airtight tunnel running from the train to the station.

 

One last thing, all the way from the other end of the timeline.

 

 

With major improvements in cell regeneration - along with the optional use of cybernetics - human life expectancy is now about 180:M and 183:F with the upper limit at about 225, more than doubling the average life expectancy of humans of 2100 C.E. levels.

I know you talked about it above, but I still don't get why cybernetics are taking off in the 27th century instead of the 21st. They are likely to be even more effective at boosting strength, speed, toughness, and intelligence than mere bio-augmentation (some would say far more effective). There's only so much you can improve upon a squishy carbon body. They aren't going to make you look inhuman either (unless you want to). Medical nanobots in the blood don't have any effect on outward appearance, nor do inorganic organs with vastly more efficiency and power than "squishy" ones. Even things like artificial limbs can easily be coated in lifelike artificial skin if one wishes to look like flesh-and-blood on the outside. But who cares about looking flesh and blood when you have that kind of physical and mental power? It's surprising that even the military isn't making use of cybernetics; as I said, you're less likely to be physically destroyed if you're not entirely flesh-and-blood.

 

Some people, like Will and Yuli Ban, believe that transhumanism can confer demigod-like powers. I don't see that happening for several thousand years--like organic compounds, even metal/plastic/ceramics/nanotech have limits. But these limits are bound to be higher than squishy stuff.

 

Let's talk about life expectancy too. Even from my conservative standpoint, by 2600 the life expectancy for humans will somewhere between two and three times that. Like I said, cybernetics. They're more powerful than you give them credit for. By the 27th century, it'll probably be a question of 'How long can you keep putting stuff in your brain before it runs out of memory space and crashes?' I'll acknowledge that I'm not a qualified expert in such matters, but if you ask the qualified experts (futurists and scientists), they'll give you even higher numbers. Remember when I said people will probably live two to three times longer than you think they will? If you ask people like Will Fox, Ray Kurzweil, and Michio Kaku, they'll probably give you numbers between ten and a hundred times higher than what you have. That will be their low estimate; their high estimate will be:

 

 

I have to agree with the terraforming and colonizing part. Why would you want to expand that quickly? Wouldn't you want to focus on building up a colony and terraforming it before you expand to 100 other worlds?!!? This is probably why the rebellions happened in the yellow line because people were angry that resources were being put towards new colonies and not the colonies that are still relatively undeveloped. I also have to agree with you on life expectancy, I was really sad when I saw that the life expectancy was that low when I first read the timeline.  I also don't understand why humanity would throw away all ideologies and religions and just make super-states. Seems really unlikely. I'm not sure how this "story" will end. I guess we will just have to wait until the first novel/book is released. Im really interested in sci-fi novels. I could even write my own if I had the time/determination. 



#25
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts

Another interesting idea occurred to me while I was walking the dog.

 

 

              83 new Garden worlds, and 532 Tier 2 and 3 planets are mapped out within the Blue Line. However, the U.R. Parliament wants to hold off on the release of this data to colonization corporations and the general public for 20 years to allow outer colonies within the Yellow Line to further develop before diverting resources to new colonization. The URDF thoroughly surveys them over the next 20 years, in order to ensure that humanity won't steamroll over other species with intellectual capacity.

Okay, so the current method of colonization is a bit resource-intensive. However, there are other ways to colonize the stars.

 

Consider the idea of a Von Neumann Ship, essentially a self-replicating space vehicle utilizing the wonders of nanotechnology to create colonies wherever they land. Consider this idea:

 

The United Republic builds a series of 10 intelligent Von Neumann Probes. Each is launched towards a random star that humanity has not yet settled on, using faster than light travel to arrive there in a matter of days. If there are no planets in the star's habitable zone, the probe will simply find a barren rock somewhere in the star system and construct precisely 10 precise copies of itself, no more (to prevent them from wildly replicating and destroying the galaxy). This should be possible, unless Space Age Stasis is being played very straight, because replicator technology has existed for hundreds of years. These 10 probes will be launched to ten more random star systems, arriving several days later.

 

If there is a planet inside or only slightly outside the habitable zone, then interesting things will happen. If the planet is non-habitable (like Venus and Mars in our own Solar System), then our Von Neumann ship will create a swarm of self-replicating nanobots, probably using a local asteroid as seed material. These nanobots will be dropped into the atmosphere of the planet. If the atmosphere is too thick, the bots will eat some of it away; if it's too thin, the bots will create more by releasing gases from local rocks, water, etc.; if there are toxins in the atmosphere, they can be broken down by the nanobots; temperature problems can be resolved by generating large amounts of carbon dioxide or sulfur dioxide. In 2140, you state that rocks and dirt can literally be transmuted into edible food. If this is so, there's no reason why 400-500 years later rocks cannot be transformed into atmospheric gases; both require "only" atomic transmutation not necessarily mucking about with the properties of subatomic particles. Because these nanobots are self-replicating, they can spread across the planet and transform the atmosphere in, oh, I don't know, fifty years? To avert a gray goo scenario, they can be programmed to only replicate a specific, limited number of times (perhaps like 20 to 30, if each bot creates two copies of itself). When they are done with their task, they simply die. However, even if something goes horribly wrong, the worst that can happen is that an already-barren planet gets blanketed in gray goo; therefore "safety reasons" (the admittedly legitimate justification for not using self-replicating nannites on Earth) is not an issue.

 

Once the planet is rendered habitable, either through terraforming or because it was already a "garden world", the colonization phase begins. Robots and intelligent nano-replicators fabricate a city, either from local materials or captured asteroids. Then, the first several thousand colonists are created in artificial wombs, either from embryos carried on-board, or with replicator nanobots generating the zygotes. These children can be raised by human caretakers who have come along for the ride. Or, more realistically, they can be raised by human-like androids remotely controlled by humans (since there is faster-than-light communication). Or, even more realistically, these androids could be artificially intelligent and raise the human children on their own, with actual humans only providing oversight. While the colony establishes itself, our Von Neumann ship will construct its ten copies of itself and launch them out to the stars.

 

What is the point of this, you might ask.

 

There are several hundred billion stars in the galaxy. If each Von Neumann ship makes 10 copies of itself, then a mere eleven or twelve rounds of ship-replication would secure the entire freaking galaxy for humans. And what's more, this would require next to no effort on the part of humankind. The only thing the government would have to do is build the first ten Von Neumann ships! Therefore, the Yellow Line wouldn't revolt, because nobody would be diverting resources away from them. Assume that on average, it takes 50 years to terraform, and 50 years to get the colony firmly established. That means that in just a thousand years or so, a billion stars would be claimed by Homo sapiens sapiens. Another thousand, and we'd probably rival the PRAXIS creators in technological greatness and reach.

 

Speaking of PRAXIS, there must be an awful lot of those things lying around the galaxy. We found two unclaimed structures in an area 2000 by 2000 light years. The galaxy is 100,000 light years across. Therefore, there must be several thousand lying untouched, because the civilizations that they were meant for are extinct. Remember when Osris was impressed that humans activated three structures? Imagine what they'd say when humanity brought back a thousand Praxies!

 

Just an idea, but I think it's a pretty cool one, and more practical than what they're doing. EDIT: You could also have this be the backdrop for a novel. You can have a conflict between "conservatives" who want to colonize the stars "the old-fashioned way", and supporters of the new-fashioned "Von Neumann Procedure".

 

Other little nitpicks are below.

 

 

Izanami explains that it's able to create a portal to other PYRAXI Structures activated by the same species. This portal sends a person or object small enough to fit within the portal instantaneously to another PRAXIS.

I suppose they'd probably refuse, but it couldn't hurt to ask them how to create teleporters. Or at least investigate how they work. Maybe by "prove themselves", the AIs mean that they want humanity to reverse-engineer the PRAXIS... ;) (After all, curiousity, intelligence, and creativity are all wonderful things.)

 

 

2193 marks a new age in human history. The structure is secured by The U.N. with I.S.C. Military protection, and is henceforth called the PRAXIS (Pylon Reactive Anomolous Xenolithic Intelligent Structure).

What exactly is "Pylon" supposed to mean, anyway?

343px-Pylon_in_Franklin_Township%2C_Colu

                       "Do I look like an alien structure to you?"



#26
Pisiu369

Pisiu369

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 806 posts

A study has shown that walking increases the brains creativity by 50%. When i walk my dog i always try to figure out how we could communicate to aliens and what we could do to contact them. Also, why would you split the PRAXIS structures up if they can teleport? Wouldn't it be better to have them at special planets like Earth and Olympus? Why would you build a ship to put all 3 of them on?



#27
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts

I'd love to continue, but I'm not sure if QA or anyone else is still interested?



#28
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts

 

Through advanced nano-tech and new heat and radiation management materials, Nano-fusion is now possible, allowing for massive power supply from power cores that can fit in the palm of a hand. Life-spans vary depending on the size of the core and the amount of power drawn, but they are unmeasurably more powerful then even the best battery systems

Okay, this has bugged me for a while. No matter how small you make a fusion power core, it's still going to give off a hell of a lot of heat. Anyone trying to fit such a core in the palm of their hand would probably sustain third-degree burns at least. It'd probably take an entirely new state of matter to contain that level of heat. However, this is assuming that "nano-fusion" is simply "nuclear fusion reactors, but much smaller".

 

There's a much, much better way to do this. I was stumbling around on the web today and discovered the concept of muon-catalyzed fusion. This would make you "power cores" warm to the touch at the very worst; they definitely wouldn't burn your hand down to the bone. So in the 2360 entry, say that scientists have discovered a method of cheaply generating large quantities of muons, providing a portable source of room-temperature nuclear fusion at only slightly above room temperature. Bonus points if you can describe how the muon generators work in a scientifically plausible manner!

 

 

The first prototypes of small arms able to use electromagnetic firing mechanisms rather than propellant based munitions begin testing.

I finally found confirmation that this is coming way way way too late. Why? Prototype portable railguns already exist! It only hit the news in October 2015, so I guess this could be a case of TechnologyMarchesOn.

 

Here is a link. I'll quote the relevant part (the basic specifications).

 

An ambitious maker has built a partly 3D-printed railgun that can fire aluminum or graphite projectiles at over 250 meters per second (560 mph). No, this isn't Quake, but it's no janky, all-plastic gun, either. The "handheld" weapon houses six capacitors that weigh 20 pounds and deliver over 1,800 joules of energy per shot. And it indeed works just like a full-sized railgun, using parallel electrodes to fire an "armature" bullet. The creator, David Wirth, added an Arduino Uno R3 to monitor charging levels, temperature and other factors, and tweaked the rails after he noticed "plasma damage.""

Holy shit. I'm just as thunderstruck by this development as you probably are. I mean, handheld railguns in 2015...

 

560 mph is pretty sucky for a military-grade gun, but it's easy to see how within a few decades, the technology could be fine-tuned to create guns that fire bullets even faster than chemically propelled guns. Forget 2360! If one random guy can do this in 2015, the US military could easily be making military-grade models by 2040 or maybe even 2035! In fact, I'll go and make a thread about this, it's too amazing not to discuss.

 

 

A multi-national scientific excavation around the object begins and reveals the true scope of the object, roughly 600 meters in height it descends down to the bedrock. It's 200 meters long and 100 meters wide and comprised of 3 separated parts, in a sort of spire shape.

There's very little reason for it to be this large. Most of the functions we have observed are simply displaying loads of information, i.e. a computer archive. Do the PRAXIS creators not know about miniaturization? Surely they are thousands of years ahead of us, and their computational technologies must be far more advanced. Since there doesn't appear to be anything really computationally demanding in there (like quantum-level simulations of the Earth or something), then the PRAXIS ought to be a lot smaller, perhaps even the size of a large suitcase. I guess we could justify this if the other observed functions require massive amounts of machinery, but there's no reason why the computer archive would need an entire section of the structure, let alone the largest one.

 

 

Perhaps they believed they should help humanity expand, but that mankind needed to find their own path of evolution

If this were the case, the PRAXIS wouldn't be on Earth. Lemme tell you about a hard science fiction novel I really liked called Dragon's Egg.

 

In it, there is a civilization called the cheela, who live on the titular neutron star. Since their biology is based on nuclear reactions instead of chemical reactions (as ours are), they think, talk, live and die a million times faster than humans. This leads to them far surpassing humans technologically within the space of a week, and they go on to pass humanity their own knowledge. Except they don't just spoon-feed it in like the PRAXIS is doing. For instance, they put the secret to faster-than-light travel on a distant exomoon, presumably so that humans can refine FTL technology after they've developed a prototype version.

 

Why am I bringing this up? My point is that the PRAXIS ought to be placed on a nearby exoplanet (maybe in the Tau Ceti system?), with some kind of radio transmitter to attract human researchers. That way, the PRAXIS could only show them the key to perfecting interstellar travel after humans have figured it out on their own. That is if the PRAXIS creators don't want to spoon-feed civilizations.

 

 

Osiris says that the planet is known as Tanus, and species was called the Narmala.

You say this, and then go on to call them "Narmalans" for the rest of the timeline. Narmala is a better name for the species, as "Narmalan" suggests "of Narmala", which makes no sense, as they are from Tanus, not Narmala. There's a similar issue with the Lygarians--their name means "of Lygaria" (or possibly "of Lygar"), but they are from "Sedrat".

 

On the subject of linguistics, the timeline in general uses a lot of passive voice, which is a bit jarring and awkward. Active voice would connect people with actions, which would make things less confusing and bring readers more into the story. ("<Action A> is done" is what you currently have a lot of; "<Person/Group A> does <Action B>" would be better writing.) The best example of this is the sentence: "Disheartened by the idea that humanity will become a plague to the planets it colonizes, strict laws and regulations are established for colonization purposes." Who is "disheartened" here? The sentence does not say!

 

 

the First generation Narmalans have reached maturity. Osiris wasn’t joking about their rowdiness during childhood. From toddlers to teenagers the Narmalans – especially the males - were constantly playing and fighting with each other on a daily – if not hourly – basis. Thankfully, their violent tendencies didn't extend to the human and Lygarian children around them to a notable degree, much to the relief of their respective parents, because by the ages 10-12 the Narmalans were roughly 2 meters in height, towering over even most adult humans. The fighting between the Narmalans appears to be instinctual and pride-driven, like a matter of proving strength and endurance. On the other hand they are knowingly careful when playing with their much smaller human and Lygarian counterparts. Luckily by the time they’ve reached adulthood their aggressive behavior simmers significantly.

Okay. In a sense, I like this. You've managed to give these aliens different physiology and even marginally different psychology. Points for you. Even more points if you can explain how this psychology came about evolutionarily.

 

However, there's a minor problem. Why is it that both the Lygarians and the Narmalans reach physical maturity at exactly the same time that humans do? They are alien species, and 18 Earth years is hardly a special amount of time. How come neither the Narmalans nor the Lygarians mature at 10, or have their childhood drag on until 25 or 30? Also, how come they too are somehow capable of producing human language in their vocal cords? Wouldn't it be more interesting (and realistic) to have to find innovative ways to communicate with aliens, instead of just teaching them English? Or, more radically, what if either the Narmalans or the Lygarians used light pulses or chemical signals (pheromones) to communicate? What if they used an intricate form of sign language (the Narmalans could be this, with their extra arms, especially if they have extra fingers on each hand. Just give them powerful eyesight, a thin atmosphere on their home planet (making it difficult for spoken communication or chemical signals to propagate), and a large moon with a very high albedo (ice moon?) so that this communication is practical at night.) But we aren't thinking big here. What about communication by manipulating electrical pulses or magnetic fields? Or something so alien it seems completely insane to us! Lot's of potential for fascinating getting-to-know-the-aliens stories.

 

 

A few years from this point the Narmalans are introduced to alcohol, which as expected will increase their enthusiasm and rowdiness ten-fold.

Wouldn't it be more interesting if some other chemical had that effect on them, either instead of or in addition to alcohol? There's no reason to assume that aliens--with different biochemistry will react to specific molecules in the same way as humans. So why not have something else that has that effect on them. Perhaps piperine and isoeugenol act as highly powerful stimulants to the Narmalans--and thus black pepper and nutmeg make them high. It'd be a good way to flesh them out and make them less human-like--and explore the ramifications of such drugs.

 

 

Virtually all human diseases have been eradicated or diminished and vaccinations continue so that humanity doesn't lose defense against these illnesses.

This comes from the 2500 entry, but didn't you say the same thing around 2130?

 

 

Physically they appear to have been Bipedal like Humans and Lygarians, but this species was huge and brute-like by comparison, the biggest skeletons reaching 4 meters tall. Stranger still, they had 4 arms rather than two, 1-1.5 meter tails, and along with a primary pair of eyes they had a secondary pair that covered their flanks (clearly a defensive evolution to look out for predators).

wat

 

What kind of ungodly horrifying monster would be badass enough to prey on Narmalans??? It'd probably have to be about the size of a T. Rex to manage!

 

But that's assuming Earth ecosystems. Perhaps Tanus has a bit of a different food chain. So at the bottom are the plants, like here. The next level up consists of large herbivores. We can assume that the Narmalans are one of these these. But the carnivores on Tanus are of a different sort. Perhaps instead of lone carnivores attacking smaller prey like on Earth (cats and mice, etc.), a load of R-strategist smaller animals gang up and swarm the large herbivores, not caring if a few of their number die in the process of bringing one down. (I'm picturing dog-sized alien rats with fangs. Now that's scary...) This could continue all the way up the food chain, leading to the apex predators on Tanus being the alien equivalent of army ants.

 

Of course, you'd have to make some changes to their psychology to address this. For instance, they would be instinctual mistrustful and fearful of smaller animals (which could swarm up and eat them), and unconcerned by anything about their size or larger. Thus, they might be terrified of squirrels and relatively unconcerned by bears (much to the bemusement of humans). They would also have to have prey animal instincts in some plausible manner. But interesting world-building. Also remember the things I mentioned about Maslow's hierarchy of needs a while ago!

 

 

With major improvements in cell regeneration - along with the optional use of cybernetics - human life expectancy is now about 180:M and 183:F with the upper limit at about 225, more than doubling the average life expectancy of humans of 2100 C.E. levels. Lygarians have benifitted from these medical improvements as well having a life expectancy of 169:M and 174:F.

I though the Lygarians' natural lifespans were longer than humans'. How on earth did they suddenly end up with shorter lifespans? Or were they shorter to being with?

 

 

However living organisms are restricted to the planets they are found on as release of them on alien worlds could result in them being invasive species that can overwhelm original organisms. Only long known domesticated animals like cats and dogs can be kept as pets and moved to different planets

Well, that's pretty well-meaning. Unfortunately, it's a hopeless, lost cause. You're forgetting the smallest organisms--viruses bacteria (and to an extent fungi, molds, and other bizarre alien stuff). There's no practical way to sweep out all the microscopic organisms. Thus some will inevitably get loose on other planets and go around infecting things everywhere. Humans had better be prepared to step in and stop an ecological disaster at any time.



#29
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts

MOAR random notes and crap.

 

 

Duration variance is down to 1%, with destination drift of less than 50 kilometers. Minimal jump distance is less than 1,000 kilometers, allowing for interesting combat maneuvers

Interesting combat maneuvers. Also, interesting terrorist attacks.

 

Think about it. A spacecraft--up to hundreds of meters long--can travel around faster than light, allowing it to appear anywhere without warning. Absolutely anywhere. A group of terrorists could easily seize--or even buy--a commercial spaceship (let's say 500 meters in diameter so we have some hard numbers). They could quickly transport it to a point like 100 kilometers over an important government, military, or economic target. And there appears to be know way to stop them or even know they're coming (correct me if I'm wrong on either account). So anyway, said commercial spaceship uses its inertial dampeners (which have ~~somehow~~ existed since 2180 despite defying the laws of physics, but I'm working with what I'm given here) to rapidly accelerate to insane speeds.  Now, I don't know how fast your inertial dampeners let you accelerate, but let's say you can reach 100 kilometers per second by the time you hit the ground. For bonus points, use the super perfect cloaking technology that has been hiding stuff from people since 2280; then you won't even need the impossible dampeners, because you'll be able to get a good running start without being detected. For more bonus points, stuff the ship to the brim with high explosives.

 

I simulated the effects on Nairobi, since that's the United Republic capital. It is so not pretty.

 

My point is in your universe, 2500 is a time when any random terrorist could casually destroy the capital of the United Republic in one shot. Or destroy Olympia and cripple the military. Or, if we want to be really sadistic...

 

...smash your ship into NavComm Alpha. Undoubtedly, the impact will destroy it, smash it to pieces, and likely knock a lot of those pieces to the ground. The space station is 40 kilometers high and god knows how wide, so there would be a lot of really, really big pieces. We could be looking at an apocalypse devastating an entire continent, at the very least. But it gets worse...

 

...Have a read of the Kessler syndrome and the premise of Gravity. If it's a serious concern in the 20th/21st century, imagine how bad it must be in 2500. There must be millions of satellites and space stations floating around. When you destroy NavComm Alpha, you've created a lot of flying space debris that will smash into those satellites and space stations, creating more space debris, and so on in a chain reaction. Some of those pieces may also fall to Earth, ruining other continents. Best case scenario: Millions die and Earth's space capabilities are royally screwed for years (if not decades) while people struggle to clean up the mess. Worst case scenario: Falling space debris crashing and smashing onto every continent leads to billions of deaths and societal collapse on Earth. (You could also do this to planet Olympia to shut down the URDF for a few years...)

 

You know, I think this might be a good scheme for your Big Bad, Henry Dekker. This is why he'll be regarded as infamous. Just make sure to give him one hell of a good reason for it. (Does he believe the outer planets are being oppressed badly by the United Republic? Was he tricked and manipulated into doing the whole thing? Or something else?)

 

Let's talk about cloaking and stuff too.

 

 

Cloaking technology - in the form of optical, infrared, and thermal, radioactive and Electro-Magnetic invisibility - is available. Optical cloaking has been possible to do for nearly 200 years, but it is now possible to conceal the thermal signature of anything from a person to a starship, as well as the radioactive and EM field for the latter. This is prohibitively expensive to do, so only the most elite special forces and specialized stealth ships will be able to carry this technology. Corporations and PMC’s find the technology very helpful in keeping dark and even dangerous secrets from the government.

Hmm, okay. If a ship is cloaked in this manner, is there any detecting it? Could you release swarms of billions of nanobots in every direction and see if they hit something? (might be only useful if you suspect that something is hiding close by, but still)

 

Also, consider the stealth ships. If the entire electromagnetic spectrum is being redirected around them, how are they able to see anything?

 

 

but it will be built far out beyond the edge of Tau Ceti's Termination Shock where no one will bother venturing. Space is extremely vast, so the chance of anyone running into it this far out in the void is extremely minute.

So why not just build it closer to where all the actual resources are and use magic stealth shielding to hide it from prying eyes?

 

 

Despite the secrecy involved in the ship's construction, it's realized that sooner or later it will become known to the public.

So why keep it secret at all then, if they aren't too concerned about it and are specifically expecting it?

 

 

The entire project is overseen by only a dozen personnel supervising Mechs and Drones performing the construction. These personnel are all high ranking and each is sworn to absolute secrecy under penalty of death and serve extremely long deployments at the construction site on the edge of the Tau Ceti System.

I don't think you could keep that massive of a conspiracy with only a dozen people. Surely it would take a lot more than that just to design the ship!

 

Also, off-topic, but what happened to the Navy? (The real navy, not the space navy.) A lot of the planets seem to have oceans, so why is there no mention of a naval force. Did it become obsolete at some point?


Edited by Jakob, 02 May 2016 - 11:01 PM.


#30
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts

I know that nobody will ever care, but this is too much fun.

 

 

Global population has reached 8 Billion, half of which live in either China or India.

The math does not check out. That means 4 billion people live in China and India, which means at least one of them has a population of 2 billion in 2030. Currently, their populations are 1.37 billion and 1.28 billion, respectively, and there are 14 years left. Practically impossible, I would say.

 

 

Exo-suit technology is still in development but prototype systems are being field tested in both military and commercial applications. However, the most significant improvement for exo-suits is in the medical field. While bulky and power hungry, they provide those with spinal damage and amputations the opportunity to walk and perform normal activities again.

This is where we are today, not where we'll be in 2030.

 

 

The crew consists of an American Commander, Chinese First Officer, Russian Rocket Scientist, German Hydroponics Specialist, British Planetary Geologist, Japanese Astro-Biologist, Indian Psychologist, Brazilian Medical Specialist, French Astrophysicist, Australian Astro-Meteorologist, and an Egyptian Engineer Specialist. By choosing scientists from around the world to join in this mission, it sends a powerful message across Earth: this isn't accomplished by the U.S. or by China or by a any other singular nation, but achieved by Humanity as a whole.

Powerful message it may be, but it's also a total planning fail. Fact is, until you have a space elevator (or at least a launch loop), it's every kilogram you send into space is freaking expensive. Especially if those kilograms are people, because they need more kilograms of food, water, life support systems, and air (and space). My point is that you want to have the greatest scientific output for the smallest number of people. This means that people should serve multiple roles. Let's see: we don't need a separate psychologist and doctor; merge that role into one. Why do we have a rocket scientist on board, again? Their role is to build rockets, not to fly them. If we must have that role, merge it with the engineer. Same with an astrophysicist. Why is one needed on Mars? We can teach our biologist (or botanist? :p) how to do hydroponics, if that's how this mission is procuring their food (and if not, why do they have a hydroponics guy at all?). It's silly to have a commander and "first officer" (what is that, anyway? backup commander?) who don't do anything, so make them scientists and/or engineers. Our American commander can be the geochemist, and our Chinese first officer can be the tech guy (or girl). [Borrowing from The Martian here, sort of.] So here's what makes more sense:

  1. American commander and geochemist
  2. Chinese second-in-command and tech person
  3. Japanese biologist/botanist
  4. Indian doctor
  5. Australian weather scientist
  6. Emirati engineer (the UAE has plans to send a probe to Mars; Egypt does not, therefore it makes more sense that the UAE would be involved in this Mars mission too.)

40 percent less crew, and thus far lest wasteful!

 

Earth, geopolitically speaking, is beginning to corrode.

In what way? You write this, then describe the opposite in the maps.

 

Weary of lengthy and costly wars, The United States operates a new generation of Kinetic based weapons including land and naval based Railguns and Orbital Kinetic Rod Platforms as well as advanced infantry special forces units, unmatched air and space superiority in both manned and unmanned aircraft, and operates by far the largest and most powerful navy.

Yes, because buffing up the military is totally a thing that war-weary nations do.

 

 

Most terrorist groups have been eradicated, and because of China's advanced spy networks, those that remain can not operate effectively enough to do significant damage.

And several hundred years later, pirates and terrorists are popping up everywhere, causing chaos and destruction. How did the "spy networks" manage to become less advanced over the centuries, not more advanced?

 

 

         U.S. and China, as well as the European Federation have found a relative equilibrium in the geopolitical realm. While they still vie for international influence and have their specific issues, their relative comparability in economic, military, trade, and cultural capabilities actually works in favor of establishing a closer knit relationship. while it may sound like a contradiction to the archaic observer, when no one side is at an obvious advantage and can't control the rhetoric on an issue, it's much more reasonable for all parties to cooperate towards a common goal. This way of thinking allows the three leading nations to establish a long-lasting collaborative partnership.

The last time we had multiple roughly-equal superpowers, there was the Cold War and we were on the edge of nuclear war. What's different here, exactly? What exactly has changed geopolitically to allow superpowers to merrily work together like this?

 

 

the mass driver stretches to over 15 kilometers and is able to propel orbital and deep space capable vehicles out of Earth's gravity at a fraction of the cost of conventional rocket launch methods.

Um. Earth escape velocity is 11 kilometers per second, while orbital velocity in low orbit is about 8 kilometers per second. Therefore, assuming constant acceleration throughout this tunnel, we are looking at an average speed of 4-6 kilometers per second in the tunnel. Thus, spacecraft have 2.5 to 3.75 seconds to accelerate to orbital/escape velocity. This is an acceleration of 300 to 450 gees = not survivable. This makes so much more sense on the moon, where a 50-kilometer space gun could accelerate projectiles to escape velocity at a fairly survivable 5.8 gees.

 

If you want to make space access cheaper in the pre-space elevator era, and reusable rockets aren't good enough, you might go with a launch loop. Essentially, a giant maglev system 80 kilometers high and 2000 kilometers long to accelerate capsules to escape velocity with low acceleration. This could theoretically be done with today's materials. Hmm, maybe I'll add a launch loop to my own timeline!

 

 

Additionally Norway and Switzerland have also joined the European Federation.

Any reason why?

 

 

Meanwhile, privatization of the aerospace sector has led to the first small private space stations orbiting earth.

2070s, you say. A company called Bigelow Aerospace already exists, you know. Their specialty? "Orbital facilities [and] commercial space stations." Granted, they haven't built any yet, but they're serious and have the means to do so (just no customers). So why stagnate for 50 years. In my non-professional opinion, 2030s is more likely; there might well be dozens by 2070.

 

 

 

35 years have passed since the first Mars landing, and since then 16 more missions have occurred and the very early stages of terraforming are now beginning.

But no Mars base first? No first-wave colonists? Who is running this operation and why? Not impossible, just strange.

 

 

 

As Central America and Caribbean nations begin choosing to join the U.N.A.S. or the S.A.C., Cuba makes a surprisingly radical move.

Uh...okay? Why are these guys all peacefully rolling over, with their only concern being which imperialist group to join? Isn't refusing to join either an option? (Like, "We are a nation with our own culture, economy, and people, why would we want to be steamrolled over by either of you guys?") What do the citizens say? Why do the UNAS and South America even want these territories? Does the international community care? I'm no expert on geopolitics, but this is raising loads of questions.

 

 

 

 

If you want countries to merge (I take it you do, and can't fault you for that; merging countries are pretty cool) there's a way for this to make geopolitical sense. Perhaps all these Central American (and Caribbean) nations are concerned about exploitation and imperialism from the north and south. (Perhaps for some reason, both nations kinda want the territory.) So Central America (Guatemala to Panama) plus the Caribbean form the Unión Centroamericana del Caribe (Google Translate Spanish for Caribbean Central American Union). If you want, you can even have some kind of war (it'd be a good way to deconstruct the whole nations-merging-seamlessly trope), but be sure to give UNAS and SAC very good reasons to fight over Central America. (And the international community should react to this war, like they normally do)

 

 

Business men and women can leave New York in the morning for a meeting in Shanghai in the afternoon and be back home in time for dinner, a proposition inconceivable ten years earlier.

Impossible, yes, but not "inconceivable". Ten years ago, they were already building the line from Siberia to Seattle. Since these kinds of mega-construction projects take years of planning, they probably already had these other three lines in the works.

 

 

However, Russia begins moving additional military forces along the Chinese and European Federation borders. Whether this is just the rattling of sabres or the prelude to a two front invasion, its ultimate meaning becomes a mute point.

What in the world would Russia have to gain from invading either of these nations???? Honestly, they're probably just moving troops to defend themselves in case the EF and China decide to invade. (Also, it's a "moot point", not a "mute point".)

 

 

Meanwhile European air forces and military satellites make EMP strikes on Russian ground, naval, and air forces both along the Russian borders and strategic bases deep within Russia. At the same time, the UNAS uses its powerful long range naval Railguns and orbital kinetic rod satellites to hit military hard targets, including all known nuclear launchers and ICBM bunkers, as well as oil infrastructure where population is minimal.

Those would have to be some pretty damn "long range" railguns, since they can apparently fire for hundreds of miles. Why aren't you just using regular missiles for that? Railguns are substitutes for cannons (and eventually small arms), not surface-to-surface missiles.

 

And how come Russia doesn't have any of the little known things called anti-satellite weapons? Come to think of it, why doesn't every major country have 'em? If you've got to the point where there are kinetic bombardment satellites, there's certainly good cause to have specialized anti-satellite systems. And how is EMP hardening not a thing for Russia (or anyone else?). I get that EMPs might cause damage, but you can't cripple a proper military with that.

 

 

The attack lasts only a single night, but in that short period, the vast majority of Russia's military infrastructure has been destroyed or disabled, while at the same time keeping casualties minimal, less than 250 people are killed in the attack.

See what I said above? You can't just waltz into a country and cripple them in a few hours (unless it's one of these guys). Russia isn't going to just sit there, and it's a pretty strong nation (and apparently doing well economically). I get that they're fighting a losing battle (since three superpowers are ganging up on them) but they should realistically be able to hold out for months, not hours.

 

And why does Russia have no allies? Not one single ally! Look at this article, for one thing. Russia has several allies (yes, most have been absorbed into other nations by the 2070s on your timeline, but not all. Especially India. According to this Quora post, India is actually a pretty solid ally with Russia. India is also likely to rise as a superpower in their own right by that time. Who else would ally with Russia in your timeline? Let's see: according to the IB times article I linked at the beginning of this paragraph (here's the link again), 52% of Russians surveyed support improving relations with the Islamic world. In your timeline, much of that would be in the Republic of Arabia (which includes Iran, which Russia is currently friends with).

 

What I'm getting at here is that India and the Republic of Arabia should rush to Russia's defense when this "Twilight War" begins. That would actually make things a whole lot more interesting and realistic in my opinion, as would making the war last a reasonable amount of time (months, if not a couple of years). Combine it with the trouble going on in the Americas (I mentioned it above) and you get World War 3. You could even avert the all-to-common trope of World War 3 being an apocalyptic nuclear war and make it a relatively short, clean war with only limited nuclear exchanges (or none at all).

 

When you know at least a little bit what you're talking about, futuristic geopolitics is actually kinda fun! Huh, who would've guessed?

 

 

Russia accepts this, though feeling chagrin from such terms. However, in truth the intention of these demands isn't to embarrass Russia but rather for two territorial disputes that have been ongoing for decades without resolution to finally be laid to rest.

Or it could actually be just a big fuck-you to Russia, since they apparently aren't in any position for anything but an unconditional surrender, having simply twiddled their thumbs all night while the other superpowers destroyed their military. Smells just a bit like the Treaty of Versailles all over again...and you know what that led to. (This could be a really interesting concept in the right hands, a sort of history-always-repeats-itself thing.) Rather like the United Republic several hundred years later limiting  colonization of the Blue Line like the British banned settlement west of the Appalachians in 1763, which led to the American Revolution.

 

 

The ICLS becomes a truly global transit system when, in this year, construction begins on the Eurasia Line that runs from Beijing to Moscow to Paris. While such an addition certainly serves to boost the global economy, its construction serves as another purpose.

A "truly global" transit system that fails to touch four entire continents?

 

 

Still suffering the effects of the Twilight War, Russia holds a great deal of resentment towards the rest of the world, and remains in economic depression.

See, this would be an incredibly brilliant Treaty of Versailles parallel. Russia is pissed off, humiliated, and economically destroyed. Exactly like Germany in the 1920s. It's the perfect situation for a charismatic dictator to rise to power with promises to "Make them pay!". Obviously don't make this guy too much like Hitler, because it's unrealistic to simply transplant 1930s Hitler rhetoric into 2080s Russia, there's no real reason for a genocide here, and morally gray characters are more interesting to read about anyway. But some vaguely Hitler-y elements could be worth including.

 

 

Prior to the creation of a space elevator, shipping resources to and from orbit would have been too costly to make mining the asteroid belt practical.

Well, not mining the Asteroid Belt (as I've mentioned, near-Earth asteroids are far more practical), but there are actually a lot of plans to do this in the 2020s. They don't require a space elevator.

https://en.wikipedia...edirect_Mission

https://en.wikipedia...ission_schedule

https://en.wikipedia...pace_Industries

 

(My own timeline is going to say 2030s just to be safe, but YMMV.) Oh and what about the mass driver thingy from 2055??

 

 

minerals can be sent down the elevator, processed immediately in Nairobi, and sent back up as finished products for ship and station construction.

Oh, and you probably want to process asteroids in lunar orbit, not Earth orbit, so you don't have any terrible accidents.

 

 

. As hoped, the sublimation of dry ice in Mars' South Pole is enough to bring the atmospheric pressure at the planet surface's average altitude up to about 30 kilopascals, making the air pressure slightly thinner than at Mount Everest's summit. This means bulky pressurized space suits won't be necessary on the surface from this point on.

I'm not an expert, but I have a feeling it'd actually take quite a few years for this to have any effect. There is a lot of ice up there; it'll take time for it to sublimate.

 

 

Collaborative effort between China, Korea, and Japan begins on the Beijing-Seoul-Osaka-Tokyo or B.S.O.T. line of the ICLS. the line wraps around the Yellow Sea and and down the Korean Peninsula, stopping in Seoul, Korea, before continuing further south where the ICLS traverses an advanced, "Earthquake Proof" tunnel under the Sea of Japan before re-surfacing on the Japanese island of Honshu, proceeding to Osaka and ending in Tokyo.

South Korea and Toyko get a line, but India doesn't? It makes far more sense to have the Russian line go from Hong Kong to Delhi to Moscow instead of running thousands of miles across empty Russian steppe.

 

 

Australia and New Zealand merge to become Austra-Zealand

Why?

 

 

Since 2035, Earth has gone from being made up of nearly 200 nations, to just 15:

I count only 14.



#31
Pisiu369

Pisiu369

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 806 posts

You've pretty much criticise every single Sentence on that timeline by now.

 

Australia and New-Zealand will happen eventually, once they are both independent from the crown and both see the threats of south-east Asia.

Australia, New Zealand and the pacific islands will most likely merge. Papua New Guinea would either join Australia or Indonesia. My guess would be Australia since Papua'c culture is very similar to the Aboriginals and Papua was once a proposed 7th state of Australia, along with New Zealand.



#32
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts

You've pretty much criticise every single Sentence on that timeline by now.

Oh boy, wait till you see my new&improved spork. I'm almost finished, up to 2500 thus far. If anyone wants it, PM me your email address and I'll send it to you when I'm done.



#33
Pisiu369

Pisiu369

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 806 posts

 

You've pretty much criticise every single Sentence on that timeline by now.

Oh boy, wait till you see my new&improved spork. I'm almost finished, up to 2500 thus far. If anyone wants it, PM me your email address and I'll send it to you when I'm done.

 

What is it a spork of?



#34
QuantumAscension

QuantumAscension

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts

Hi, guys.

 

Jakob, man, I gotta say you have put in way more effort into this than I ever could have imagined, and I greatly appreciate it. As much as I would like to argue with many of your critiques and give you kudos for pointing out other ones that don't work for PRAXIS... well, it would probably require me to write that timeline's worth of words, possibly more, to even respond, lol. That said I still plan on making changes to the timeline, but it's still a little ways off. The book is finished and I'm working through the final edit, but I still have all the concept art I want in it to do too. I will take a lot of your critiques under consideration as I go through the timeline, as its important to always have a few other pairs of eyes on my ideas so that I don't sound like an idiot... which you have tried your damnedest do, lol. That said, there's gonna be fiction in this; the name of the overall universe is centered around an ancient alien artifact buried deep in antarctica, after all. The first two hundred years of the timeline was more of a scaffold to build the rest of the timeline on and admittedly is quite optimistic. 

 

I'm trying to find a good balance between sufficiently advanced technology and technology not so far out there that people can't relate it to anything and it just sounds like jibberish or magic. That was one of the drawbacks of Halo, as great as a story / game / universe as that is (it competes with mass effect as my favorite on a day-to-day basis) the technology feels somewhat lacking. Its like Humanity developed FTL "Slipspace" capability and almost nothing else {no mechs, no transhumans, still only a roughly 100 year lifespans}. While Mass Effect on the other hand is based entirely around a magical "element zero" that can SOMEHOW release dark energy to generate a field of more or less mass with little more than a light switch, despite the fact that based on our understanding of atomic structures, we've pretty much identified the entirety of the periodic table, with the exception of potential high mass, extremely short-lived, synthesized elements (Go ahead, Jakob, critique that nonsense!) (Again, Mass effect is an amazing game and you should absolutely love it!)

 

Anywho, I'm trying to use realistic systems and materials that we understand even now, like nanotechnology, tungsten carbide, A.I., fusion and electromagnetism, solid-light (yes, thats a thing now. how awesome is that. suck it forerunners) etc. etc., and push it to the limits, adding in more fictionalized things like enhanced sensory and FTL, and harnessing gravitons for anti-gravity and inertial dampeners. One of the difficulties with this is if you look at our exponential rate of technological development, in the next 500 years, we'll likely advance 10 times the amount we've advanced in the last 500. Hell, by then, the laws of general relativity could be laughed at, the way we laugh at people who think the earth is flat. so it's implausible to say what the future will really be like. Future Timeline is pretty academic about and it sounds accurate, but at the end of the day, it's based on trends that we can only conceive of right now.

 

let me know if ya have anymore questions or... lol, critiques  :biggrin:


  • Jakob likes this

#35
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts

Oh, hi! Didn't know you'd be back. Since I wrote this, I've been refining and tinkering with my criticisms a lot. If it helps, I can write out a TLDR version covering the biggest issues.

 

  • The near-complete lack of exploration. It almost seems as if humanity's natural desire to explore has been completely neutered. You say "They likely would never have found so many lush worlds due to the thick dust of the galactic plane and the randomness of planetary orbits around stars", but this isn't even true today--we've discovered 3000+ including hundreds that are terrestrial and dozens that are potentially habitable. And exoplanet finding missions will only get better not worse. Between now and the 2030s, we'll see TESS, CHEOPS, PLATO, ATLAST, and the incredible HDST, which can directly image Earth-sized planets from dozens of light years. (For instance, if Andridia exists, we'll probably find it by 2040 and photograph it too.) That's not even considering more "far-out" innovations we could see post-2040. For instance, you could use SpiderFab to construct absolutely massive space telescopes in orbit, or send a FOCAL probe out to the Sun's gravitational focus point at 550 AU. By the time they discover the PRAXIS, it's entirely possible that humanity has mapped out most of our part of the galaxy.
  • And then it gets worse after FTL is gifted by the PRAXIS. For instance, people suspect the thing might be lying about there being only 500 habitable worlds within 1000 light years. This suspicion is very reasonable; there are predicted to be 60 billion habitable (or at least terraform-able) worlds in the galaxy, so mathematically speaking the Green Line should have about 5 million such worlds. But nobody so much as lifts a finger to check even when they have FTL drives. By all accounts, nobody ever goes to a system not marked by the PRAXIS, and it's not like the thing said "All these worlds are yours, but ONLY these worlds. Attempt no landing elsewhere." (bonus points if you get the reference).
  • And then in the 2230s, FTL drives become cheap enough--about 200,000 Zephyrs or $2,000,000--that a modestly rich person could buy one or a few middle class families could pool their money together and get one. And inevitably some or more likely many private citizens will get curious and start wondering around (even being explicitly ordered not to for some reason will only stop the government, we humans have a thing for defying The Man.) I know if I had such a fast FTL ship, I would visit a new star system every weekend. Of course, if a government, corporation, or rich individual wants to explore as efficiently as possible, the best way to do that is to construct small automated Von Neumann FTL probes that will travel to every system, self-replicating with local material, and saturating the galaxy until every system has been fully explored. The galaxy could likely be mapped by the end of the 2200s and that's a conservative estimate.
  • You can resolve the third issue somewhat by making FTL ships far slower and/or far more costly.

I'll discuss some of my other main critiques tomorrow.

 

PS: Furthermore, absolutely nobody tries to go beyond the Green Line (and later the Yellow and Blue Lines) despite it not being that difficult to do so.


Edited by Jakob, 05 October 2016 - 01:41 PM.


#36
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts
  • Next issue: the lack of a sense of scale in spaceships. You're making a mistake that's very common in science fiction, and often bothers me. You might be aware of the Interplanetary Transport System that Elon Musk revealed last week: it's 120 meters long, 12 meters wide, and can hold 100 people. If we scale that up, we find that the kilometers-long ships you describe should be able to hold far, far more people than the timeline claims. Remember that when you increase the volume, you're not just scaling up length, but also width and depth. So if Ship A is twice as long as Ship B, it won't hold twice as many passengers; it'll hold about eight times as many (2*2*2 = 8 ).
  • The ESS Venture is the first example: it's described as being 500 meters long, which is way too big. Since it's about 4 times as long as Musk's ITS, it would have 4*4*4 = 64 times the volume and thus would be able to carry 6000+ people. Which is obviously a bit much for planetary science expeditions. The scale of the ESS Destiny is even slightly worse. It's 1000 meters long with 1000 passengers. If we again scale up the dimensions of Musk's ship, the ESS Destiny should have 8*8*8 = 512 times the people on board, or about 50,000 passengers.
  • NavComm Alpha and its brothers are senselessly huge. It seems to be 40*160*160 kilometers, or the size of a small moon! And yet you claim that it can only house 10 million people. Each "level" would have a surface area of 160*160 = 25600 square kilometers. If we take an extremely conservative estimate of 1 level per 100 meters, that comes out to 400 levels, so a total surface area inside of 10 million square kilometers--an area bigger than Canada. If even 10% of that is living space, we still have an area the size of Egypt. It should be obvious that Egypt itself has many times more than 10 million people, even though it is mostly empty desert. Assuming a fairly suburban 1000 people per square kilometer, we should be looking at a population of about a billion. Assuming dense urban populations, it'd be 2-3 billion or possibly as high as 5 billion. Reducing the size to something like 5 kilometers tall and 20 kilometers wide would make the 10 million figure quite a bit more believable. All the space stations in this timeline have this issue really: they're either too big or have too few people, depending on how you look at it.
  • Even the ICLS is not immune to the issue. The passenger system is described as being able to carry "hundreds" of people at a time. However even if "smaller" means a full ten times smaller than the freight line, it could still pull 7,000+ people. But this is an easy fix, just change hundreds to thousands.


#37
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts
  • 3. Failure to take full advantage of the resources of space. Mining is the most egregious example. For instance, in 2170, you claim that there are mining operations on Mars. That's all good and well--in fact, it'll probably begin even earlier; NASA just designed a robot to mine Mars--but here's the kicker: it only makes sense if you'll use the material on Mars. Why? Money. Mining asteroids is cheaper. Smaller gravity wells mean less expense on rocket fuel. But mining the moon is also okay due to its proximity to Earth. This shows up again when you claim that "heavy mining" is done on "tier 3 worlds"--but why would anyone want to? All that rocket fuel is expensive. In general, there is almost never any purpose in hauling commodities from one planet to another; either use them locally or use asteroids. (An exception would be helium-3 from gas planets.)
  • In general, it's rather strange that there is no mention of non-planetary living. It's speculated by many scientists and science fiction writers that you could either live inside a hollowed-out asteroid or use the material from an asteroid to build space habitats. There are many advantages to this. A good asteroid will contain everything you need: metals and rock to build stuff out of, organic compounds and volatile ices to make food, and probably some hydrogen that you can use for fusion reactors. The lack of gravity is not a concern when you can either make the asteroid spin or cover the floors in your "gravity plating". The low gravity means it is cheap and easy to escape. The lack of life means that you do not have to deal with alien diseases (as you surely would on a garden world unless you destroy the alien biosphere before colonizing). Most importantly, it's much safer this way, because you aren't putting so many eggs in so few baskets. If a cataclysmic asteroid hits a garden world with a billion people on it, all those billion people are going to die. Now imagine if those billion people are in a thousand hollowed-out asteroids. Only a million die from the impact.
  • Also, the URDF especially should take advantage of this. It's trivially easy to find a planet and extremely difficult to find a random space rock out of millions. Therefore if the URDF wants to keep itself secret, it shouldn't declare Olympia a "military dominated system" and park itself on the finest garden world in the galaxy. It should hide out inside hollowed-out asteroids in an obscure system that nobody knows or cares about, so that nobody will know where they are. They can even have secret asteroid bases in every system! I would recommend the 'HD 69830' system around a sunlike star 41 light years away. It's got an extremely thick asteroid belt and three gas dwarfs for fusion power, and no habitable planets. In other words, a perfect place to not be bothered.
  • Similarly, nobody ever takes advantage of the vast gulfs between the stars. Interstellar space is the perfect place to disappear and never, ever be found. Nobody is going to saturate the interstellar medium with sensors, so even if they could see you out there, they would be seeing where you were years ago, which is no problem if you keep moving. You can just FTL out to an interstellar comet (there are a trillion per cubic parsec) hollow it out, and live there using interstellar hydrogen for fusion fuel. And nobody will find you ever. This is, for instance, what the kidnappers in 2419 should have done. There is no way the Predators could have tracked them down if they were 5 light years from any world (there are other problems with the kidnapping though). And there are little things like no one taking advantage of the Lagrangian Points.


#38
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts
  • 4. The failure to use existing technologies in general. Lots of examples. For instance, strong AI is apparently developed around 2035, but there don't appear to be socioeconomic ramifications. Androids wouldn't have the applications described in 2070. Translation is likely to be done with disembodied translation apps, like today. Package delivery will be done with drones (like Amazon is doing) and waste collection will probably be done with self-driving garbage trucks or something. In general we won't give a human form to an AI unless that's an integral part of its function. Such as childcare/elderly care robots, customer service robots, and maybe skilled laborers like plumbers and electricians, who would need to handle tools and infrastructure designed for humans.
  • More egregious is the lack of automation. There is no reason why any humans would work in mining, construction, or agriculture when robots can do so far more cheaply and far better (no need for rest, payment, safe working conditions, etc.) Thus unless somebody is trying to create artificial work for humans, robots will dominate. If there is some physically dangerous task for which human intelligence is needed, it makes far more sense to either teleoperate (remotely control a robot) or use a brain-computer interface connected to a robot. This applies to the military too. We can argue until we're blue in the face about whether killer robots are moral or not (I think so), they are still going to come, and in decades, not centuries. According to one general, robots might replace a quarter of US soldiers by 2030. Short of alien space bats showing up, killer robots are eventually going to be incorporated into every advanced military. Automation won't just affect ground forces; it will serve to reduce the need for humans in military vehicles everywhere: land, sea, air, space. Fun fact: the new Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carriers will have about 1000 fewer crew than the Nimitz class carriers due to automation. Second fun fact: it used to take five people to fly a jet airliner, now it's down to two. It'll probably go down to 1 by mid-century (AI pilot, human copilot) and 0 by the end of the century. It's only logical that this trend would continue and the URDF will certainly adopt such technology or be outmatched by those who do. For instance, your "tiny skeleton crew" of a few dozen on the Valkyrie would actually be a very  reasonable size for the (human) crew when you take into account automation. Regular ships would have a handful or perhaps even none at all. Actually, once real-time FTL communication is developed, there's no reason for anyone to be on board at all, they can just remotely control it.
  • Other more minor issues about not using the technology you have. Nanofactories are developed in 2140, so why is there agriculture? The whole point of nanofactories is that it's cheaper to take a mess of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen and put that together instead of actually growing food. Transporting food between planets doesn't make much sense (because of the cost of fuel, you shouldn't colonize a world where you can't sustain food production) and it makes even less sense when you throw in nanofactories. And if you have FTL communication, you also have unlimited power supply. How? Laser power beaming. Run an FTL communication tunnel from a powerful laser to a ship or whatever. Beam laser pulses through the tunnel. Boom, no more power supply problems. Like, ever. If a power source exists somewhere in the UR, it can theoretically be utilized anywhere. I know you have artificial wombs because you used them to create the Lygarians, so why don't most people use them. The advantages are obvious, and the technology will be here within a few decades. Honestly, when that sort of technology exists along with presumably child care robots, things like "In the case of straight-sex couple - if a child is expected, then the mother must take maternal leave. Upon recovery from birth, the mother must then choose to leave her and partner's child with a guardian, transfer to an administrative position in order to maintain primary care of the child, or file for medical/honorable discharge." just come across as backwards and slightly sexist--so much for being an "equal and open" military. Though as I discussed, I don't know why there are any human combat roles left anyway.
  • And another major issue: the ESA people. You claim that this is the result of "genetic evolution" and describe them as "a symbol for human evolution", neither of which make sense when you consider how evolution actually works: random accidental modifications that just so happen to give specific individuals a better chance at reproducing. Well, that's how it works until you bring genetic engineering into the picture. Which brings me to the real meat of my issue with the ESA: why isn't any real research done on it? It seems like it would be trivial to within a few decades--years even--reverse engineer whatever genetic anomaly and sell it to any parent who wants it for their children. Yet by all accounts absolutely no attempt is made to do this, forcing humanity to wait for a few to pop up here and there. Then again, the abilities are not that impressive. Increased senses and the like could easily be accomplished with genetic engineering or cybernetic implants, and you could probably someday create an AI with psychometric abilities (and then fuse it with your own brain). By 2345, we'll probably be masters of our DNA, so it's hard to imagine a situation in which natural evolution could produce any impressive ability.


#39
QuantumAscension

QuantumAscension

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts

Again, you make a lot of good points, Jakob. I'll try to keep this fairly short. "PRAXIS: The Choices That Define" address some of them. For instance, the exploration issue; in that regard the timeline is extremely out of date. The volume of space that is considered within the humanities influence by 2566 contains tens of millions of stars. But to ever consider that "Republic-controlled space" would laughably erroneous. Humanity certainly doesn't stick to just the planets that the PRAXIS identifies. They explore roughly 80,000 star systems by roughly this point (both manned and unmanned). They inhabit over 1200 legally recognized colonies and have some form of presence in probably another 5,000 star systems at any given time, most of which are beyond the number of planets that the PRAXIS identifies. That doesn't include interstellar space which, as you said, is a fantastic place to hide things. and by the way "Habitable worlds" is a relative term. For one, as seen with Europa there will be planets with life that can exist outside of our definition of the habitable zone. Also the planets that the PRAXIS identifies would likely be very specific to humanities needs for long-term survival, so there will be 'Pandora' like planets that go un identified. But, even then, the PRAXIS could deliberately avoid identifying perfectly earth-like planets for mankind on some basis (i.e. there's another intelligent civilization there, etc). However, like I've said its a story, so I don't want to overdo the numbers much more than that because then a planet or star system loses it meaning and impact if people are everywhere; i.e. who cares if somebody destroy 40 colonies and 8 billion people over here if we have another 100,000 colonies (i.e. like Dark Matter from what I've gather from the first season of that show. Good show by the way, kind of reminds of firefly) So whether or not it's below what could really happen, I'm not planning on going much higher than that except through the progression of time in the story. Oh, and Olympia is the headquarters of the URDF, but rest assured there are plenty of secret military bases out among and between the stars. And there would certainly be stations and small cities inside of asteroids or simply just space stations, though with ship-based antigravity & space tethers and nanotechnology to combat disease, the appeal of limited space and isolation of such a habitat would be somewhat limited. And people aren't forbidden to go beyond the "lines" of Republic space, in fact explorations happen everyday, but with tens of millions of star to explore within those lines, combined with potential risks of going outside of the URDF navy's area of 'effective' protection, perhaps expansion beyond the lines would be slow. 

 

As far as the size of ships - tpopulation on board ratio, That's somewhat irrelevant in this context. The spaces on ships don't need to be crammed in like submarines. they can be more spacious, plus the ships also have to carry all the systems and supplies to carry those people, combined with proportionally large sub-light engines for rapid acceleration, hangers and flight decks, weapon systems, etc, etc. Those ships aren't like today's rockets that have to be designed to carry as much as possible in the smallest amount volume available, without exceeding weight limitations. More importantly, you actually answer one of your critiques with another one, and that is the number of people on such massive ships and the automation of everything. You used the Gerald Ford super-carrier as an example of this. kilometer long warships don't necessarily need to be crewed by many people, and the synthetic intelligence on board would most likely be able to operate the ship on its own for at least some amount time. So why have people on the ship in the first place? Well, I'll answer that question as well as the one you have about people still serving in the military, i.e. in combat roles. A fully automated military is a nice idea and, like you, I actually don't have any moral qualms about this. The issue is not moral, its strategic and tactical. What happens when your enemy hacks into your drones and mechs with their own A.I.s and shuts them down or worse, turns them against you? It sure would be nice if you had people around to fix the problem and protect your citizens, too bad you sent them all home. No matter how automated the world becomes, there should always be people behind the technology to act as a redundancy. This can also apply to your critiques about crime that far in the future; for all the security systems and survellience that the government will have, people with enough determination and resources will find a way to circumvent them, most likely through hacking with their personal S.I.'s (Think about the watchdogs games) And as for the NavCom stations, yes they would probably be able to hold more people, but remember that most of the space in those super stations is dedicated to massive interal pressurized docks and shipyard for starships.

 

Umm, let's see. Oh I'll mention nanotechnology. I probably didn't make it clear in the timeline, but nanotechnology will permeate and pervade much of human society and the way of life. That said, nano-mechs and nano-drones WILL NOT be able to replicate. The risk of a "Gray goo" type incident would likely make the capacity for nano-mechs to replicate outright illegal or highly relugated. That in and of itself would open the option for a plot in a future story.  

 

Correct, drones and autonomous vehicle would make bipedal robots somewhat unnecessary, that was more of a placeholder (I probably just watched "I, Robot" when I added that, lol) and how A.I. are described that early in the timeline isn't nearly as important as how synthetic intelligence (S.I.) exists in the 26th century. S.I. will permeate human society and they will be far more personal than how most A.I. are depicted. I liked how Halo explained how A.I.'s were created (i.e. mapping how the brain of a recently deceased person). I face a potential problem with that though, as human lifespans get longer and longer, less donors would be available to create S.I. And so I wanted to take it a step further. I'm still debating it, but I like the concept that when a child is born, their infantile mind is scanned and recreated on a digital realm. This mental copy then develops much like a persons mind, though significantly faster, and perhaps once a child reaches a certain age, they are given their matching synthetic intelligence, whereby they form a life-long companionship. The S.I. would gradually attune to that persons personality and eventually become a person's closest friend / family. For those whose S.I. 'die' during their lifetime or weren't afforded the opportunity to have their brains scanned at birth, S.I.'s could also be commercially available via corporations that clone brains from donated DNA. These S.I.'s will have rights and laws just like biological people, that protects them from 'harm'. This is where the difference between the sentient being and the machine comes in. A mech or drone or any other automated platform is a machine, a tool like any other. An S.I. can temporarily link to and 'drive' these machines for purposes where they need to physically interact with the world, i.e. mining. This avoids the stigma of enslaving the machines to do our bidding in a sense, with laws and mandates in place to ensure S.I.'s are compensated typically with money. That may sound strange at first, but these, S.I. are effective sentient just like people and thus they have their own personal desires, and among other things, currency could be used to purchase more data storage for them to process and maintain more memory.

 

I do make a point in the book that most people will have little work to do, perhaps a couple hours a week, if that, possibly in some sort of supervisory roles for the most part, ensure automated systems are functioning properly, that would give them the ability to pursue personal interests and venture into the virtual realm. There is a personal concern I do have about this, though. For all our talk about wanting to spend the rest our days in complete comfort and relaxation, human beings thrive on working and needing to feel necessary. It's hard to say what the implications would be if people no longer had to worry about responsibility, but I can't imagine it would be good. The best case scenario would be like Wall-e where people achieve nothing in their lives and life itself becomes monotonous and boring. If people don't have purpose, the value of their lives becomes questionable. But, that's just my thought on. Obviously, I don't see people working in factories or farms anymore, at least not in the conventional sense, but their will still be higher educational careers for people or simple jobs to keep people minimally busy and properly funded for their own personal interests. This could potentially be why crime and piracy would exist in such an advanced world. Some people just won't be satisfied by this relaxed way of living. It won't so much be a desperation for survival resources, as much as it might be a desperation for adventure, action, entertainment, wanting not to conform to society, etc., etc.   

 

The agriculture thing isn't overly important, but I still imagine food being grown or synthetically produced (such as lab-grown meats, but on a mass scale) in large towers. Fuel's pretty easy, Helium-3 and Hydrogen skimmed of gas giants would be pretty cheap and extensive resource, Helium-3 for pure Helium-3 + Helium 3 fusion reactions (which are completely aneutronic by the way) and hydrogen for propellant in starships and smaller vehicles. FTL laser power is cool, but its obviously dependant on the device that generates the tunnel to always function properly.

 

People being born in artificial wombs will be used and with biomedical advancements you'll not only have male-female reproduction, female-female and male-male reproduction available as well, the latter of which would necessitate an artificial womb or a surrogate mother (Unless we're talking about swartzanegger from junior lol.) We actually appear to be close to this now which is pretty incredible. however, I've redacted the idea that humans and Lykarians could reproduce to create a hybrid since the odds of it being possible without very extensive genetic augmentation simply would too astronomical. But, perhaps there could three-way children where one parent and a donor provide the majority of DNA and the parent of the other species could provide some of the compatible areas of genetic code. So, yes, artificial wombs will be available, but I want to be careful about using it. Just like full cybernetic enhancement of the body, artificial reproduction could potential dehumanize people, even if they retain the same amount of emotional personality as a fully biological individual. It part of the reason why I want to lean more on nanotechnology throughout the body, rapidly healing and protecting it from its environment, rather than outright amputating parts of their bodies and replacing them with robotic/cybernetic systems. As for that thing about female military personnel becoming pregnant, just ignore that bit, that was just over explaining the situation.

 

Lastly, Enhanced Sensory Ability, I'm playing that somewhat close to the chest until the book comes out. I will say the number of people that have it is closer to 200,000 people, but consider that the receptors and glands in their bodies go beyond simple genetic modification, at least as far as humans are concerned and natural evolution may not explain why they have what they have  :spiteful: . As for why they seem somewhat underwhelming, for one, I'm not trying to make a superhero ensemble like X-men or avengers. But, there is potential for it to go further than this. The constructs that reside in the PRAXIS wield technology that could look like magic to us younger beings. As Arthur C. Clarke said, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

 

Okay, welp I said this would short and instead I spent two hours writing it, thanks for the critiques, Jakob.


  • Jakob likes this

#40
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts

 

Again, you make a lot of good points, Jakob. I'll try to keep this fairly short. "PRAXIS: The Choices That Define" address some of them.

Is that the name of the  book you're writing?

 

 

For instance, the exploration issue; in that regard the timeline is extremely out of date. The volume of space that is considered within the humanities influence by 2566 contains tens of millions of stars. But to ever consider that "Republic-controlled space" would laughably erroneous. Humanity certainly doesn't stick to just the planets that the PRAXIS identifies. They explore roughly 80,000 star systems by roughly this point (both manned and unmanned). They inhabit over 1200 legally recognized colonies and have some form of presence in probably another 5,000 star systems at any given time, most of which are beyond the number of planets that the PRAXIS identifies.

Good. That's slightly better, but still low. On average, stars in the Milky Way are 5 light years apart. In 2500, you say FTL ships travel at 55 light years per hour. If you have but a single ship devoted to exploring new star systems, that's 11 new systems per hour, or one every 5 minutes, 27 seconds. A single ship at that velocity could travel to 80,000 star systems in a mere 10 months.

 

Obviously, we would want our probe to do something in each system. Let's say it deploys a swarm of nano-craft (non-replicating if you want) armed with an array of sensors. It'll release a bunch in every system, use laser sails to propel them on a flyby course past interesting targets, and move on. Let's say that with advanced miniaturization we can get them down to about a cubic centimeter and we drop 1000 in every system. Assume that the mothership has 1000 cubic meters of payload space, or a cube 10 meters on a side. It could carry 1000x1000x1000 = 1 billion nano-craft, enough to visit 1 million systems. Power is irrelevant, we can either beam it through a communication tunnel or program the mothership to collect hydrogen from gas giants en route.

 

Let's assume we've got $5 billion to kill on this project. $1 billion for R&D, $2 billion to build the nano-craft, and $2 billion to built a thousand small-ish FTL ships at $2 million each. If we plot their courses right, we can reach your figure in just 8 or 9 hours and all in all, we could explore a billion stars (0.25% of the galaxy) over the course of a 10-12 year mission. Perhaps closer to 30 or 40 years since this mission would probably be done in the 2240s with cruder FTL drives.

 

Of course, this figure becomes much higher if you allow for Von Neumann probes (self-replicating spacecraft). They would of course be strictly programmed only to use asteroids or dead moons, which makes sense anyway, because of gravity wells.

 

 

However, like I've said its a story, so I don't want to overdo the numbers much more than that because then a planet or star system loses it meaning and impact if people are everywhere; i.e. who cares if somebody destroy 40 colonies and 8 billion people over here if we have another 100,000 colonies (i.e. like Dark Matter from what I've gather from the first season of that show.

You say that like it's nothing, but assuming these are average-sized colonies, then in terms of the sheer ratio of deaths to total population, destroying 40 out of 100,000 colonies (perhaps with relativistic kill vehicles?) would be equivalent to the impact of 40 simultaneous 9/11-scale attacks on the United States, or perhaps a few nuclear terrorism attacks on major cities. The devastation would be just incredible.

 

In other words, ask yourself who would care if terrorists nuked New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Answer: everyone.

 

 

Oh, and Olympia is the headquarters of the URDF, but rest assured there are plenty of secret military bases out among and between the stars.

Good, good. Given that this is a military oriented timeline, it might be nice to hear about some of that. But I think there are clear advantages to having your headquarters be secret and also not wedged down a deep gravity well. Plus it would free up a prime garden world!

 

 

And there would certainly be stations and small cities inside of asteroids or simply just space stations, though with ship-based antigravity & space tethers and nanotechnology to combat disease, the appeal of limited space and isolation of such a habitat would be somewhat limited.

Limited space? There's more space in space (heh heh) than on planets. Check out this article. It would be fun to see humanity's progression from little things like Stanford toruses (10,000 people) to great big O'Neill Cylinders (several million people). Getting much bigger than that would probably defeat the point though.

 

And again, it's safer to put your eggs in a thousand baskets than one, and cheaper to live outside of deep gravity wells.

 

 

As far as the size of ships - tpopulation on board ratio, That's somewhat irrelevant in this context. The spaces on ships don't need to be crammed in like submarines. they can be more spacious, plus the ships also have to carry all the systems and supplies to carry those people, combined with proportionally large sub-light engines for rapid acceleration, hangers and flight decks, weapon systems, etc, etc. Those ships aren't like today's rockets that have to be designed to carry as much as possible in the smallest amount volume available, without exceeding weight limitations.

Elon Musk's ship would also be quite comfortable. In his own words:

 

"I just want to give you a sense of what it would feel like to actually be in the spaceship. I mean, in order to make it appealing and increase that portion of the Venn diagram of people who actually want to go, it's got to be really fun and exciting, and it can't feel cramped or boring. But the crew compartment or the occupant compartment is set up so that you can do zero-G games, float around. It would be like movies, lecture halls, cabins, a restaurant. It will be, like, really fun to go. You are going to have a great time."

 

Given that, I think it's an appropriate comparison to make.

 

 

What happens when your enemy hacks into your drones and mechs with their own A.I.s and shuts them down or worse, turns them against you? It sure would be nice if you had people around to fix the problem and protect your citizens, too bad you sent them all home. No matter how automated the world becomes, there should always be people behind the technology to act as a redundancy.

Hacking and information warfare are going to be a big concern whether or not there are squishy humans present. Unless your starships are Wooden Ships And Iron Men in SPACE, there are going to be computers and sensors on board. If autonomous systems are vulnerable to hacking, then so are these computers and sensors, which soldiers would be utterly reliant on them to know anything about the battlespace. I do not believe navies and air forces have relied on the human eye since World War II; today virtually all naval and aerial engagements take place at  beyond visual range. My point is, if you can hack the AI, you can just as easily hack the sensors and, I dunno, make them tell the crew that that friendly ship over there is actually an enemy. Also, humans themselves can be misled or corrupted.

 

But even if we concede that not having humans is a tactical disadvantage, there are huge tactical advantages as well as moral ones to offset it. Faster, more durable ships, more room for armament, the ability to engage in ethically questionable maneuvers, etc.

 

EDIT: You could also have a lot of robots that aren't connected to the internet and thus simply can't be hacked remotely. Either way, 40,000 crewmen is way over the top even for a ship the size of the Valkyrie. If I had to guess, I'd say 40-100 would be more reasonable.

 

 

This can also apply to your critiques about crime that far in the future; for all the security systems and survellience that the government will have, people with enough determination and resources will find a way to circumvent them, most likely through hacking with their personal S.I.'s (Think about the watchdogs games)

Yeah, but the fact that the government isn't even trying the most efficient solution (preferring to rely on brute military force instead) is odd.

 

And as for the NavCom stations, yes they would probably be able to hold more people, but remember that most of the space in those super stations is dedicated to massive interal pressurized docks and shipyard for starships.

 

I accounted for that by making the residential area only 10% of the total volume. But even at 1% your figure would be off by an order of magnitude.

 

 

Umm, let's see. Oh I'll mention nanotechnology. I probably didn't make it clear in the timeline, but nanotechnology will permeate and pervade much of human society and the way of life. That said, nano-mechs and nano-drones WILL NOT be able to replicate. The risk of a "Gray goo" type incident would likely make the capacity for nano-mechs to replicate outright illegal or highly relugated. That in and of itself would open the option for a plot in a future story.

For one thing, making something illegal isn't going to stop criminals from doing it. Nor is it going to stop the military from picking it up for both weapons and manufacturing, like militaries today stockpile nukes despite the danger. And there hasn't been an accident to date. There were  even proposals for peaceful nuclear explosions, e.g. for megascale engineering or spaceship propulsion. And finally, these experts may be able to assuage your fears. As they say: “So-called grey goo could only be the product of a deliberate and difficult engineering process, not an accident,” said Phoenix. “Far more serious is the possibility that a large-scale and convenient manufacturing capacity could be used to make incredibly powerful non-replicating weapons in unprecedented quantity. This could lead to an unstable arms race and a devastating war. Policy investigation into the effects of advanced nanotechnology should consider this as a primary concern, and runaway replication as a more distant issue.”

 

In conclusion, all nano-scale productions would probably have to have government oversight and Von Neumann bots wouldn't be special in any way.

 

BTW, what the heck is a nano-mech? Mechs are generally colossal! :p

 

I'll break off here, this is getting long.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users