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#41
Jakob

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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.

That's a really cool idea at least in theory. I'll wait to see the execution of it before I make further commentary.

 

 

e 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.

Oh yes. I absolutely agree. Though with clever worldbuilding it's possible to subvert that.

 

 

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.

Right. I only brought it up because you say otherwise in the timeline: "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." in 2216 and "The government offers many labor programs in which unemployed people can be temporarily hired to work on government projects - mainly construction or agriculture - in exchange for stipends." in 2300. Or do you mean to imply that the government is simply creating busywork for the sake of job creation?

 

But wouldn't it be better to have actual meaningful work? Low-skilled laborers in the far future will probably be "micro-workers" who do an endless stream of small human intelligence tasks in "digital sweatshops". High-skilled people with extensive education would of course have far more fulfilling and meaningful stuff to do.

 

 

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. 

Excellent, a societal change and a plausible one too. You might want to read The Quantum Thief; the main character Jean le Flambeur is apparently a thief just for the sake of being a thief.

 

Does this mean that society would be tougher on crime since there's no sense of "oh, they're just a good person in a bad situation" etc.? Also, it's likely there would still be politically motivated crime as well as economically motivated crime by those seeking to add more trillions to their trillions.

 

 

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.

Sure, you could have industrial-scale nano-factories in large buildings, but why would you waste rocket fuel transporting food back and forth between worlds? Surely it would be much cheaper for every world to be responsible for its own food.

 

 

FTL laser power is cool, but its obviously dependant on the device that generates the tunnel to always function properly.

Since they're cheap, you can potentially make thousands or even millions for redundancy.

 

Do tunnels often break down in your universe?

 

 

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.

Good, good. I have a few other things to say about the Lygarians, but I'll leave them for another day.

I assume you mean you've changed it in the book; it's still on the timeline. Or do I need to refresh the page?

 

 

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.

I'm certain it will. In fact, that's the main premise in one of my own projects. But it seems likely that society as a whole will eventually get used to them and move on, like we did with people of other religions, other races, other sexual orientations. Eventually we'll move on to discriminate against someone else...like the Lygarians. Or worse, the Narmala. You're worried about discrimination against cyborgs and artificial womb born people, but not honest-to-God aliens?

 

 

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.

Something for starters: "Scientists Develop Nanoparticles That Will Heal Your Wounds", "Using Nanoparticles To Help Heal Microfractures In Bones". In other words, 2147 is extremely late for your 'nano-gel'. Also, there are medical nanobots already: "Scientists Made Nanorobots That Can Release Drugs in The Body Using Mind-Control"

 

 

As for that thing about female military personnel becoming pregnant, just ignore that bit, that was just over explaining the situation.

Okay...

 

 

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

Okay...but we can also create artificial glands now, and it can't be very hard to discover an entirely new gland and examine it to figure out its function, then replicate it with an artificial version that you can implant inside a normal person. Tampering with brain structure is harder, but I still feel like we should be able to at least make knockoff Enhanced with advanced neural laces.

You do imply heavily in the timeline that it is evolutionary, though I guess you don't out-and-out say that.

 

 

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.

I'm glad you're ignoring comic book science. I don't know why superheroes are even lumped with science fiction to begin with; they're squarely in the realm of fantasy except for maybe a few like Batman and Iron Man who have no powers of their own. But I digress.

 

The thing is, by this point in the future, science and technology will likely make us masters of the human body, allowing us to tweak it into almost anything we need it to be. If it's something a human body can do, then we'll either do it for ourselves, or at worst notice Enhanced people appearing, say 'huh, that's interesting', and reverse-engineer it in years or decades. If it's something a human body can't do, then, well, comic book science rears its ugly head.

 

 

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.

That reminds me, I did the math and assuming the PRAXIS creators have saturated the galaxy with their structures, there ought to be hundreds, perhaps thousands spread throughout the galaxy and statistically about half of them were made for species that are now extinct (four structures mentioned in the timeline, two were unearthed by their own species). Given that every PRAXIS uncovered has a new ultratech artifact for humanity, it would benefit society greatly to start a Manhattan Project scale endeavor to look for PRAXISes whose intended recipients have gone extinct.

 

Some final notes to consider: do the PRAXIS creators perhaps reside in the KIC 8462852 system? Does humanity ever go to that system to solve the mystery, and what do they find?

 

Does humanity ever have any project to build mega-scale computers? A moonbrain would be too advanced for humanity at this stage, but an asteroid brain should be within their capabilities in the later part of the timeline. Obviously they don't have to function as that site describes, there are other uses for such computers. For instance, millions of humans could upload into one, or it could be a "dumb" machine remarkable only for its great processing power and storage abilities.

 

 

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

I know, right? I've nerd-sniped myself time and again with this project.



#42
Jakob

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By the way, your synthetic intelligences sound a lot like a gogol from the Flambeurverse. Question: if non-destructive mind uploading is possible, what's to stop anyone from creating multiple copies of themselves in this manner? Having thousands of loyal servants who think like you seems like it would be very beneficial no matter what side of the law you're on. A lot of my critiques (though not all or even most) are basically 'what if you take <some technology mentioned in the timeline> to its logical extreme?' So what about that. I have a character concept--his name is Arkayvee--for a 26th century mercenary who has an army of thousands of physical and virtual soldiers who are all copies of himself. A one-man PMC essentially. There are far more legal, technical, and philosophical difficulties with mind uploading in my universe, but they aren't present in yours, so let's ignore them. What if someone didn't stop at about 8000 copies like Arkayvee, but went on to copy their mind millions or billions of times like the Sobornost in the Jean le Flambeur series? They don't have to be uploaded into human bodies, oh no. You can upload them into all manner of robots, virtual realities, vehicles, even FTL starships. You could cram a bunch of yous into a large robot, starship, or simply a massive computer with a nano-factory attached (like the Asteroid Brain I described above) and have your minds run in parallel to supercharge the intelligence of the bunch. The only thing you can't do is upload into something too small to support that level of complexity, so sentient nanoswarms aren't possible, at least not in this timeframe. But what's the limit? What's to stop your copies from copying themselves, allowing the magic of exponential growth to quickly cause the number of yous to number in the trillions or beyond? The first person to figure all of this out would become unimaginably powerful, perhaps unstoppable. The first six people to figure it out in the Flambeurverse became the Sobornost, a collective of demigods who controlled the Solar System. What would happen in PRAXIS...?



#43
Jakob

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And another question to think about: how do relations with one's personal SI vary from culture to culture? Do some cultures see them as servants to be commanded, some as authorities to obey, some as equal friends, and still others as brothers or sisters?

 

On to the general Technology Marches On/Science Marches On issues. A lot of stuff has happened in 2015 and 2016! This probably isn't comprehensive.

  • Your manned mission to Mars ignores Elon Musk's plan to colonize Mars by 2025. Likewise, the date for "large-scale colonization" is way off 2065-2125, not 2150 like you claim.
  • Scientists have discovered ways to generate both fuel and plastic from carbon dioxide, killing two birds with one stone. It seems likely that this will affect the 21st century oil conflicts profoundly.
  • According to NASA, titanium, water, and solar energy could also be big lunar industries, not just helium-3.

  • The plan for the first commercial space stations was announced this April. 2070 is far too late.

  • Asteroid mining: you have the first prospecting missions in 2070 and the first mining missions in 2090. This year, Deep Space Industries announced the first asteroid mining, Prospector 1, which will launch by 2020. Water mining for fuel may  happen by 2025, and metal mining will presumably follow in the 2030s. Note that at least for the forseeable future, all asteroid mining targets will be Near-Earth objects, not main belt asteroids.

  • Regarding any and all claims of overpopulation: I urge you to read this article, this article, and this article. I could go on and on about desalination, the latest vertical farming breakthroughs, arcologies, Lockheed Martin's fusion reactor, etc. but I think these are sufficient to make my case. Regardless, population growth is set to advance a lot faster than the timeline predicts; the UN says it will reach 10 billion by 2056 not 2080. Though if one is concerned about this, it's another good reason to colonize deep space instead of planets: you can have trillions of people with zero ecological impact.

  • StarTrams might be better than a space elevator. Smaller, cheaper, maybe faster, maybe a higher payload. And you can build them anywhere though in practice you would only have one or two second-generation (crew-survivable) StarTrams per continent since they would be hundreds, maybe thousands of kilometers long. Regardless, SpiderFab (which I linked somewhere above, but it's essentially 3D printing robots in space) will make it possible to construct large ships in orbit before 2090, especially when combined with the mass driver build in 2055.

  • NASA is considering a Europa lander in the late 2020s; we definitely won't need to wait until 2095. If the 2020s mission doesn't get a lander, we'll probably get one in the 2030s.

  • For the black market, quantum cryptocurrency will probably be a better choice than cash by 2100. We're seeing hints of this today with Bitcoin (though it's not quantum-encrypted).

  • Maybe I'm going out on a limb, but I think you could replace the ESS Venture with Elon Musk's Interplanetary Transport System. If we have fuel depots in Mars orbit, the Asteroid Belt, and Saturn orbit, we could go anywhere in the Solar System or maybe even to the edge of the Oort Cloud. Speaking as a futurist, I'd say all those fuel depots could be established in the 2060-2070 timeframe. Essentially the ESS Venture has already been designed and the engines are being tested (though for now they're regular old chemical rockets).

  • I've already said that nanotech is mainstream, no need to wait for 2105.

  • Virtual reality will probably eliminate face-to-facebusiness meetings. Even politicians will no longer need to move to Washington (or wherever) to do their job.

  • "Holographic metasurface can project images with single-micron pixels" exists and sounds a lot like HEPS.



#44
QuantumAscension

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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?

 

 

Yes it is. I plan on books and other media to be titled much the way Halo and Mass Effect stories are, where PRAXIS is the series title and The Choices That Definew for example will be the specific story title. Like I said I've finished writing it and now I'm about a third of the way through editing. I still have concept art to work through, but if you message me yout email, I can send you the first chapter of the book. I'm planning to use it as a sampler to hopefully get people interested.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

True, I could potentially do that, but there is something to be said about making the world around humanity mysterious, a kind of fog of war situation. As you said deep, interstellar space would certainly do that as well and there will be situations where thats the case, but, for instance I have a story idea in mind where my main character gets stranded on a lush, garden world and doesn't have a way to communicate so she can be rescued, part of the plot being that humans haven't explored the system yet even though its within republic space. The idea I was running with was if a single explored a new system every day for 365 years it would be a little over 133,000 star systems, then factor that scientists would want to spend more time to see everything in a system. Obviously, there would be more than one ship exploring, so that number could and would be higher. But, again I don't want to underscore the immense vastness of our galaxy. I want it to still feel like it's something we've barely scratched the surface on, and putting some 80,000 star systems against tens of millions within roughly a volume 4800 LY long by 2000 LY wide by 2000 LY tall demonstrates just how much is out there and how vulnerable humanity can be within their area of influence, let alone outside of that area. of course, an FTL vehicle with 60 LY per hour capability would easily be able to traverse the entire diameter of the milky way in less than 3 months, so I certainly don't doubt that there will be exploratory mission well beyond republic space. (I've been fascinated at the idea of looking at the milky way galaxy in the night sky from a planet out in the galactic halo outside of the thick dust plane) I've always imagined a galactic scale environment as a pretty incredible thing, but I've always kind of shunned the idea of intergalactic wars and societies as just too much. Our galaxy is plenty big enough to keep us occupied for quite some time, with the exception of maybe the occasional exploration beyond our galaxy, to say andromeda for instance, but then you begin looking at journeys of several years, not impossible, but certainly risky if something wrong. Anyways, I just don't want to come out of the gate with humanity knowing everything about everywhere in the galaxy, I just think it would take away from scale of everything.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Yeah, I know, its just an arbitrary example. Of course it would be devastating and citizens would demand action for something like that. All I'm saying is I don't want to scale things up so far that individual colonies simply become numbers to everyone else. As morbid of a comparison as it is, if a person dies in a town of a hundred people it has a lot more impact and goes more noticed by the population than when a person dies in a city of a million people. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Right, no, O'niel cyllinders would certainly negate that effect. I was referring to limited space in the sense that you could the station to only a limited size. what I was referring to was more along the lines of the station being much like a bunker, where you're essentially trapped inside of it, you don't have pretty blue skies, birds chirping, thunderstorms etc., etc., things of the natural world to comfort you. Obviously augmented and virtual reality can overcome this to some extent. Its mostly based on the individual's preference, some people will prefer open sky over their head, others will be fine looking out of a viewport into space.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Again, a lot of this has to do with how I want the story to play out. If I just pit robots against robots, nobody is really gonna care. S.I.'s could certainly say something about individual robots being unique and with personality, but even then, it's not gonna have the impact that actual people as the main driving characters will have. Believe me, there are mechs, drones, etc in this story, all different types. It actually offers the option of plenty of cannon fodder without the moral dilema of wiping out whole armies of living, breathing people (Read my book, and you'll see what I mean.) Pirate groups and criminal organizations will be able to acquire/manufacture these as well with the right resources, thereby supplementing low numbers potentially. But, the main characters need to stand out, like master chief does in halo, and because this is primarily sci-fi military oriented, that means having squishy humans in combat roles, lol.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Yes, I do imagine nano-mechs will be used in all kinds of ways, negative as well as positive. For one I noticed the nano-swarms thing metions in future timeline about being used as barriers to protect attacking armies, and I thought that would be an interesting answer to the lower limitations of the kinetic particle aegises I mentioned. perhaps a swarm of millions of nanometer scale drones can be used to counter slower moving projectiles, not by stopping them out right, since bullets carry to much kinetic energy for that, but perhaps the drones can form a sloping phalanx in front of a projectile that acts much like a water slide, guiding the bullet away from a person, thus deflecting it. I use present this concept in the story when I explain KPA's. But other ideas I have include nanomechs being used to behave like drugs and narcotics today, perhaps the way methamphetamines flood the body with dopamine and cocaine with epinephrine, making them addictive and dangerous (Still working on what side effects it could create other than dependancy) This could explain drug cartels potentially in the future. (There could also be something akin to red sand in mass effect that over enhances a persons awareness, but that's still on the drawing board). And there could be some evil umbrella corporation analogue that uses nano-mechs to create a T-virus and BAM, we have space zombies. Foregoing explanations of all the reasons why I shouldn't do that, like zombies being done to death at this point, it's safe to say that scenario is on the extreme end of the plot ideas, lol.

 

And as to why I'm calling them nano-mechs and nano-drones, this is simply a personal choice. I didn't want to use nanites or nanobots or whatever else has already been used in sci-fi, but obviously I want people to understand what the hell I'm talking about, ergo nano-mechs. Mechs are simply robotics in some form or another, the distinction between them and drones being that drones fly and mechs not so much. I think the colossal type mechs you are referring to are actually called 'Mechas' which will also be in the PRAXIS universe, in the form of Integrated Mecha Powered Armor Combat Systems (IMPACTS)

 

As a side note, there will also be androids, but these will differ from humanoid shaped mechs in a clear way. Mechs I imagine will be more or less faceless, using the the basic structures we're seeing with mechs in sci-fi these days (like the mechs from elysium. This will play better into the understanding that they are simple machines with no consciousness, requiing an S.I. to operate effectively.Androids on the other hand will appear basically undiscernable from humans, at least externally. S.I.'s will link to them in a more intimate way, most often using a specialized model that mimics their holographic avatar's appearance. This will allow them to be more physically involved in the real world, literally putting a real face to the character rather than a digital hologram like cortana, though that will still be the common appearance of an S.I. These androids will be capable of such perfect imitation to human motor control and body language that any kind of visible difference will be negligible. And that opens the doors something beyond the fantasized sex-bot. You could have humans/other species have romantic relationships with synthetic intelligence with little difference in the nature of the relationship between two humans (Think Joker and EDI, but even further) with the exception of procreation, but as we discussed earlier this could be circumvented with artificial wombs and genetic donors.



#45
QuantumAscension

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And another question to think about: how do relations with one's personal SI vary from culture to culture? Do some cultures see them as servants to be commanded, some as authorities to obey, some as equal friends, and still others as brothers or sisters?

 

On to the general Technology Marches On/Science Marches On issues. A lot of stuff has happened in 2015 and 2016! This probably isn't comprehensive.

  • Your manned mission to Mars ignores Elon Musk's plan to colonize Mars by 2025. Likewise, the date for "large-scale colonization" is way off 2065-2125, not 2150 like you claim.
  • Scientists have discovered ways to generate both fuel and plastic from carbon dioxide, killing two birds with one stone. It seems likely that this will affect the 21st century oil conflicts profoundly.
  • According to NASA, titanium, water, and solar energy could also be big lunar industries, not just helium-3.

  • The plan for the first commercial space stations was announced this April. 2070 is far too late.

  • Asteroid mining: you have the first prospecting missions in 2070 and the first mining missions in 2090. This year, Deep Space Industries announced the first asteroid mining, Prospector 1, which will launch by 2020. Water mining for fuel may  happen by 2025, and metal mining will presumably follow in the 2030s. Note that at least for the forseeable future, all asteroid mining targets will be Near-Earth objects, not main belt asteroids.

  • Regarding any and all claims of overpopulation: I urge you to read this article, this article, and this article. I could go on and on about desalination, the latest vertical farming breakthroughs, arcologies, Lockheed Martin's fusion reactor, etc. but I think these are sufficient to make my case. Regardless, population growth is set to advance a lot faster than the timeline predicts; the UN says it will reach 10 billion by 2056 not 2080. Though if one is concerned about this, it's another good reason to colonize deep space instead of planets: you can have trillions of people with zero ecological impact.

  • StarTrams might be better than a space elevator. Smaller, cheaper, maybe faster, maybe a higher payload. And you can build them anywhere though in practice you would only have one or two second-generation (crew-survivable) StarTrams per continent since they would be hundreds, maybe thousands of kilometers long. Regardless, SpiderFab (which I linked somewhere above, but it's essentially 3D printing robots in space) will make it possible to construct large ships in orbit before 2090, especially when combined with the mass driver build in 2055.

  • NASA is considering a Europa lander in the late 2020s; we definitely won't need to wait until 2095. If the 2020s mission doesn't get a lander, we'll probably get one in the 2030s.

  • For the black market, quantum cryptocurrency will probably be a better choice than cash by 2100. We're seeing hints of this today with Bitcoin (though it's not quantum-encrypted).

  • Maybe I'm going out on a limb, but I think you could replace the ESS Venture with Elon Musk's Interplanetary Transport System. If we have fuel depots in Mars orbit, the Asteroid Belt, and Saturn orbit, we could go anywhere in the Solar System or maybe even to the edge of the Oort Cloud. Speaking as a futurist, I'd say all those fuel depots could be established in the 2060-2070 timeframe. Essentially the ESS Venture has already been designed and the engines are being tested (though for now they're regular old chemical rockets).

  • I've already said that nanotech is mainstream, no need to wait for 2105.

  • Virtual reality will probably eliminate face-to-facebusiness meetings. Even politicians will no longer need to move to Washington (or wherever) to do their job.

  • "Holographic metasurface can project images with single-micron pixels" exists and sounds a lot like HEPS.

 

Absolutely to all of this. Like I said in the beginning, I want the timeline to evolve with technologies and milestones we reach today and in the near future so I will look at augmenting some of these into the timeline for sure.



#46
QuantumAscension

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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.

That's a really cool idea at least in theory. I'll wait to see the execution of it before I make further commentary. 

Yeah like I said I'm still debating it, there's a couple plot points that I may have to give up on if I go with this idea, but it could give merit to the idea that in every person there's really two people. Alternatively, the notion of a child being paired with their digital clone could be more of a minority decision. Perhaps, instead that mental imprint could be sold to a corporation and collated into a population of other proto-S.I.'s until their drawn randomly by a customer looking to acquire an S.I. Obviously, there's that nagging moral issue of essentially being able to buy a person, called slavery, but perhaps it could be based on a mutual agreement or something. We'll see.

 

 

 

 

 

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. 

Excellent, a societal change and a plausible one too. You might want to read The Quantum Thief; the main character Jean le Flambeur is apparently a thief just for the sake of being a thief.

 

Does this mean that society would be tougher on crime since there's no sense of "oh, they're just a good person in a bad situation" etc.? Also, it's likely there would still be politically motivated crime as well as economically motivated crime by those seeking to add more trillions to their trillions.

Yeah there would still be various types of crime, but it would rarely be motivated through desperation like what you said. There will be crime in general, but I also imagine extremely violent groups that prey upon vulnerable frontier homesteads and merchant vessels with little defense. And by violent I mean their intention isn't so much to steal resources or valuable as it is to commit murder, rape, torture, and externalize their psychotic desire for chaos (Think Reavers from firefly) They would be the monsters of humanity, doing such horrific things for fun or some delusion reasoning accustomed with extremist cults. Essentially, they, in the great words of Alfred, want to watch the world burn. Thus they would be prime targets for the Predator Legion. But you'll also have seperatists/insurgents seeking independence, corporate level crimes, corruption, etc., etc. You'll see this in the Choice That Define, not as the direct plot, but as an indirect motivation for the antagonists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Sure, you could have industrial-scale nano-factories in large buildings, but why would you waste rocket fuel transporting food back and forth between worlds? Surely it would be much cheaper for every world to be responsible for its own food.

 

Oh, yeah, no, if you could build these structures anywhere, the idea of worlds dedicated to farming are kind of irrelevant. Each planet would most likely be able to fully support its population. But, each planet has its own flora and fauna, and thus can export their own specific cuisine to the greater republic. Trying to grow every type of food from every planet on every planet to give people options would likely become inefficient. importing it based on demand would make more sense in my opinion. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FTL laser power is cool, but its obviously dependant on the device that generates the tunnel to always function properly.

Since they're cheap, you can potentially make thousands or even millions for redundancy.

 

Do tunnels often break down in your universe?

 

Yes, but then how are you going to overload your ship's core to destroy the halo? :biggrin:

 

The tunners thing is a little out of date now. So essentially what I have for FTL is kind of like slipspace/hyperspace known as Spectra Emmission Laminar Stream Space or Spectrace for short. the tunnels aren't structures that can break like glass tubes. Rather an FTL drive creates a rift from normal-space into this spectrace and the transitions into this environment alternate spatial dimensions. Visually I wanted this to have the appearance of Doppler shift as exotic particles flow around the ship, with the particles blue shifting in front of the vessel and red-shifting behind, but I wanted to add some flare to it too, so I'm saying the particles emit through the electromagnetic spectrum so near the side of the ship you have greens transitioning into yellow and then orange. further forward, it slips into ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma ray, essentially appearing as a void, and similarly further back with infrared, microwave and radio. I know that doesn't really answer you question, lol.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

I'm certain it will. In fact, that's the main premise in one of my own projects. But it seems likely that society as a whole will eventually get used to them and move on, like we did with people of other religions, other races, other sexual orientations. Eventually we'll move on to discriminate against someone else...like the Lygarians. Or worse, the Narmala. You're worried about discrimination against cyborgs and artificial womb born people, but not honest-to-God aliens?

I'm not talking about discrimination, I'm just saying it may dehumanize people in general if you start artificially birthing people completely, next you have society like kryptonians where everyone is born into their specific caste and career. And nobody wants that, lol.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

I'm glad you're ignoring comic book science. I don't know why superheroes are even lumped with science fiction to begin with; they're squarely in the realm of fantasy except for maybe a few like Batman and Iron Man who have no powers of their own. But I digress.

 

The thing is, by this point in the future, science and technology will likely make us masters of the human body, allowing us to tweak it into almost anything we need it to be. If it's something a human body can do, then we'll either do it for ourselves, or at worst notice Enhanced people appearing, say 'huh, that's interesting', and reverse-engineer it in years or decades. If it's something a human body can't do, then, well, comic book science rears its ugly head.

 

Wellllll... Okay, so, I'm trying to be careful with this one, but I do plan on taking things a bit further. I liked the idea of the biotics in mass effect as questionable to reallity as they could possibly be, and I want have something similar that kinda provides that outlet for mages to exist in science fiction. Lykarians for instance are going to develop mesodermic glands throughout their body that are capable of absorbing dark matter and harnessing it to produce limited pyschokinesis for males and temporal dialation fields for females. Considerably more impressive than what humans with ESA can do, BUT the trade off is that it's physically demanding on their bodies. I may be pushing that further in the future, but you'll have to wait and see.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

That reminds me, I did the math and assuming the PRAXIS creators have saturated the galaxy with their structures, there ought to be hundreds, perhaps thousands spread throughout the galaxy 

 

 

..........Yes....... That's all I'm gonna say on this for now.  :cool:



#47
Jakob

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for instance I have a story idea in mind where my main character gets stranded on a lush, garden world and doesn't have a way to communicate so she can be rescued, part of the plot being that humans haven't explored the system yet even though its within republic space.

Oh, I think that could still mesh with my idea quite well. Consider that today our satellites and Google Earth can show us every little uninhabited atoll in the Pacific, every desolate pile of ice and gravel in the Arctic, everything down to trees and houses. But it's still possible to get stranded in the vast gulfs of wilderness between our little outposts of civilization. The fact that we have so many survival movies--Cast Away, All Is Lost, The Grey, etc.--are a testament to that fact. Even though we have all-seeing eyes in the sky, the Earth holds infinite secrets, and I suppose it always will. Why would it not be similar in space? The gulfs of wilderness are even greater, the outposts even tinier.

 

Hmm, something like All Is Lost but in space would actually be pretty awesome. There was something beautifully simple and stark about that movie. Very minimalist, just a lone guy lost at sea trying to survive in his boat. We don't know who he is or what he's doing there, he's just there and trying to survive.

 

 

I want it to still feel like it's something we've barely scratched the surface on, and putting some 80,000 star systems against tens of millions within roughly a volume 4800 LY long by 2000 LY wide by 2000 LY tall demonstrates just how much is out there and how vulnerable humanity can be within their area of influence, let alone outside of that area. of course, an FTL vehicle with 60 LY per hour capability would easily be able to traverse the entire diameter of the milky way in less than 3 months, so I certainly don't doubt that there will be exploratory mission well beyond republic space.

The problem is, faster transportation and communication just has a tendency to make the world smaller. On Earth, just look at what happened when we went from the age of sail and letters to the age of steam and telegraphs to the jet age and internet. The timeline even describes this in the very first entry.

 

If you want the galaxy to be a huge and mysterious place, either don't have technologies that make it that small or make them highly restricted, either for legal or technical reasons. For instance, FTL travel in your universe is pretty much in the Jet Age. Consider maybe dialing it back to the Age of Sail. That actually makes scientific sense; according to this article, one Alcubierre drive design would take about two weeks to reach Alpha Centauri. Maybe to show technological progression and avert Space Age Stasis, they could eventually go more into Age of Steam territory in the 2500s, but by that point, it's only a matter of time before the galaxy starts becoming small.

 

 

(I've been fascinated at the idea of looking at the milky way galaxy in the night sky from a planet out in the galactic halo outside of the thick dust plane)

Like so?

Heck, you could probably see stars during the day and it wouldn't get dark at night. Of course, the radiation would likely be extremely dangerous without advanced shielding--the galaxy has a habitable zone too and the core isn't part of it. Life as we know it couldn't live there without technological help.



#48
Jakob

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Right, no, O'niel cyllinders would certainly negate that effect. I was referring to limited space in the sense that you could the station to only a limited size. what I was referring to was more along the lines of the station being much like a bunker, where you're essentially trapped inside of it, you don't have pretty blue skies, birds chirping, thunderstorms etc., etc., things of the natural world to comfort you. Obviously augmented and virtual reality can overcome this to some extent. Its mostly based on the individual's preference, some people will prefer open sky over their head, others will be fine looking out of a viewport into space.

I don't mean to say that everyone would abandon planetary living, but it won't be some tiny fringe group either. Probably at least several billion people, more if there is some cataclysmic event that shows the dangers of planetary living.

 

An O'Neill Cylinder isn't that bad, it's only problematic when you get into the realm of artificial moonlets and the like (NavComm would qualify as an artificial moonlet though). I wonder if you could genetically engineer people to tolerate--perhaps even prefer--isolation and cramped spaces. Other things to try would be a tolerance of low gravity, a tolerance to radiation, and more efficient processing of resources, resulting in less need for food and water. Of course, that could have its own problems--in my vague, nebulous future canon, the Starmen turned into a clade of genetic supremacist sociopaths who ruled the Solar System for 30 awful years in the 23rd century before the even more bloody Grand Purge, when the other clades of humanity united, murdered most of the Starmen, and banished the rest to the Kuiper Belt. But that's another story. Literally.

 

 

If I just pit robots against robots, nobody is really gonna care.

Not about the robots, they're just cannon fodder, but if the stakes of the battle are high enough, we'll care. Or at least I will. Promise! :p For instance, what if whichever robot horde breaks fights its way through first will drop a weaponized strangelet (look them up, it's a seriously messed-up concept) on an unsuspecting colony? Also, war criminals and terrorists could plan to use robotic armies to massacre civilians while the heroes command a robot army to try and protect them, and it could be gritty and awful with lots of people getting caught in the crossfire and so on and so forth. I promise you, people would care about that. Don't concentrate on the soldiers, concentrate on the effects of war. The higher the tech level, the more innocent civilians get hurt. Look at Hiroshima...

 

That's how you make people care. The cost of the battle, the stakes of the battle, not the battle itself.

 

 

Pirate groups and criminal organizations will be able to acquire/manufacture these as well with the right resources, thereby supplementing low numbers potentially.

I wouldn't say that's smart per se, but it's at least average. You have to consider that the police and military will also do that, if they aren't dumb. If you tell a criminal of that era 'Use robots', they'll be more like 'Well, duh' than 'What a brilliant idea!'. Even in my novel in 2072, people do that.

 

 

But, the main characters need to stand out, like master chief does in halo, and because this is primarily sci-fi military oriented, that means having squishy humans in combat roles, lol.

They could stand out by being the commanders! :) Think Ender Wiggin at Command School, but those fighters and starships would all be unmanned drones instead of manned craft. Or if morals have changed significantly (like they tend to over the centuries) squishy people could be occasionally used as shock troops, forcing the other side to go like 'Oh noes, flesh-and-blood humans are coming at us, is it okay to shoot them?????' Of course, that would lead to a lot of false-flag operations with realistic androids...

 

Hmm...perhaps a clever tactic for Darius Oxsheni in The Man Who Owned a Star.

 

But of course it's your story and I'm a diehard nerd, so what I care about won't necessarily align with the interests of a typical YA audience who's just in it for a quick & action-packed read.

 

 

And there could be some evil umbrella corporation analogue that uses nano-mechs to create a T-virus and BAM, we have space zombies. Foregoing explanations of all the reasons why I shouldn't do that, like zombies being done to death at this point, it's safe to say that scenario is on the extreme end of the plot ideas, lol.

Y'know, the evil umbrella corporation is what's overdone. Why not have a corporation that's just a normal business trying to make money (Google, Facebook), perhaps with some shadiness about it at worst (the oil companies). Or perhaps even a business that's actually trying to do some good, however misguided, like

Spoiler
. <-- this is a spoiler for my novel Perhaps at first your corporation  seems evil, but then it's revealed that it was a terrible, unforeseeable accident and the corporation is doing everything in their power to fix the mess.

 

I think the nano-tech ideas are all pretty cool.

 

 

Absolutely to all of this. Like I said in the beginning, I want the timeline to evolve with technologies and milestones we reach today and in the near future so I will look at augmenting some of these into the timeline for sure.

Awesome, I look forward to seeing the execution. Though I'm not yet done.


Edited by Jakob, 13 October 2016 - 02:11 AM.


#49
Jakob

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Oh, yeah, no, if you could build these structures anywhere, the idea of worlds dedicated to farming are kind of irrelevant. Each planet would most likely be able to fully support its population. But, each planet has its own flora and fauna, and thus can export their own specific cuisine to the greater republic. Trying to grow every type of food from every planet on every planet to give people options would likely become inefficient. importing it based on demand would make more sense in my opinion.

Yes, of course a small trade in luxury food items--local delicacies, fancy alien wines (perhaps there is a special type of grape that does not grow in Earth's atmosphere), exotic spices (melange???), etc.--seems quite logical. Assuming rich snobs are not content with cheap nanofactory knockoffs. But you say "fruits, vegetables, wheats & starches, and poultry for billions on a daily basis" (in the 2415 entry) which is clearly not that. Luckily it seems like an easy fix.

 

 

Yes, but then how are you going to overload your ship's core to destroy the halo? :biggrin:

???

 

 

The tunners thing is a little out of date now. So essentially what I have for FTL is kind of like slipspace/hyperspace known as Spectra Emmission Laminar Stream Space or Spectrace for short. the tunnels aren't structures that can break like glass tubes. Rather an FTL drive creates a rift from normal-space into this spectrace and the transitions into this environment alternate spatial dimensions. Visually I wanted this to have the appearance of Doppler shift as exotic particles flow around the ship, with the particles blue shifting in front of the vessel and red-shifting behind, but I wanted to add some flare to it too, so I'm saying the particles emit through the electromagnetic spectrum so near the side of the ship you have greens transitioning into yellow and then orange. further forward, it slips into ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma ray, essentially appearing as a void, and similarly further back with infrared, microwave and radio. I know that doesn't really answer you question, lol.

Okay, good. I was tying myself in knots trying to figure out how the stuff works. From your description in the timeline, I think you'll want micro-scale wormholes for communication and Alcubierre drives for travel. Wormholes are good for communication, because stuff travels through them instantly, but not so good for macroscopic objects, because it would require planets and stars worth of mass energy to create. That's where Alcubierre drives would come in, as they "only" require hundreds of kilograms of mass-energy. Note that unless someone figures out a way to project wormholes, you're stuck carrying them around by other means before you can use them.

 

 

I'm not talking about discrimination, I'm just saying it may dehumanize people in general if you start artificially birthing people completely, next you have society like kryptonians where everyone is born into their specific caste and career. And nobody wants that, lol.

Ah. That is indeed a thing, you could create human factories with artificial wombs. It sounds ominous, but you could use them for good, evil, or anywhere in between. Treat your products like princes, slaves, or anywhere in between.

 

But anyway, nobody wants the pain and hassle of pregnancy/childbirth either. So unless it's explicitly illegal, someone is going to decide to make money by doing it.

 

 

Wellllll... Okay, so, I'm trying to be careful with this one, but I do plan on taking things a bit further. I liked the idea of the biotics in mass effect as questionable to reallity as they could possibly be, and I want have something similar that kinda provides that outlet for mages to exist in science fiction. Lykarians for instance are going to develop mesodermic glands throughout their body that are capable of absorbing dark matter and harnessing it to produce limited pyschokinesis for males and temporal dialation fields for females. Considerably more impressive than what humans with ESA can do, BUT the trade off is that it's physically demanding on their bodies. I may be pushing that further in the future, but you'll have to wait and see.

Legitimately impressive, but then you bump up against the comic-book physics wall. Not because dark energy won't have those properties (It might. It's very unlikely, but we don't know what dark matter is, so until the Euclid telescope launches in 2020, anything is fair game. Well, almost. I mean, it probably doesn't conjure up gremlins that tap-dance on your desk while singing rap.) That's not the issue. But dark matter is really, really rare. It may be more common than normal matter, but it's pretty much spread thinly across the universe instead of being clumped up in places (with exceptions, apparently a dark matter galaxy was recently discovered). But the typical density of dark matter in this neck of the woods is roughly 6x10^-28 kg per cubic cm. This means that a cube about 10 kilometers on a side would still contain less than a nanogram of dark matter. You would need simply colossal collectors to gather it in meaningful quantities (meaningful outside of physics experiments that is).

Interestingly, you also run up against the other barrier. Why can't you just jury-rig a bunch of gravitational field generators to produce telekinetic effects? Cumbersome, but surely it would be miniaturized until you could eventually implant it in your body. EDIT: As for temporal dilation fields, they're obviously produced by relativistic velocities or extreme gravitational fields (e.g. from micro-black holes).

 

 

..........Yes....... That's all I'm gonna say on this for now.  :cool:

Oho! There's someone else hunting PRAXISes, isn't there? :D The guys who were hit by the gamma ray burst? BTW that's impossible: gamma rays travel at the speed of light, so unless they already had FTL travel and someone to forewarn them, they were screwed. Unless they could fix the damage. But then why leave?

 

I'm off to bed soon, it's getting really late here.



#50
Jakob

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  • More on holographic technology: we can even have holograms you can touch via haptic feedback. Also "creating a holographic fountain in a park to save on the use of water, or re-create a crime scene during an investigation." (2113) is otherwise known as "stuff that has been possible with CGI for about 20 years now."
  • There are actually some theories about how to make artificial gravity, no need to handwave it: “A mathematician has proposed a way to create and manipulate gravity” and “Homopolar artificial gravity generator based on frame-dragging”. Gravitons have nothing to do with it, or any plausible antigravity or gravity control device. They're so rare that if you placed a Jupiter-sized detector in orbit around a neutron star, it would detect one graviton every ten years, and the shield needed to keep the neutrinos from mucking up the data would be so big it would collapse into a black hole. I suppose that doesn't rule out making them one at a time in a particle accelerator, but it seems...inefficient. Also, you claim in 2150 that graviton manipulation is (apparently commonly) used for antigravity, then 400 years later you claim they're so expensive to produce that only the Predators have them.
  • Regarding HAPS: You don't need nanotechnology here, just the holographic metasurface. And maybe a brain-computer interface so that you can do stuff like change the design of your clothes with a thought or get them to automatically shift according to your emotions.  Also, shapeshifting claytronics--programmable matter--to get stuff that can really change its shape is an interesting idea. It would also solve the issue that holographic clothing doesn't offer any real function, just form. Also...who the heck wears holographic underwear? And how do you know that T-shirts, shorts, and dresses will still be fashionable in the 2130s? That's 120 years in the future, and about that far in the past, men looked like this and women looked like this. Jump back another 120 years and you have men wearing powdered wigs and breeches...by the 2200s, formal attire will probably look about as much like a business suit as this does. I guess this is Society Marches On, not Science Marches On, but why must futuristic fashions always default to "effectively similar to the present day" or "completely unflattering, drab bodysuits"?
  • Likewise, the military won't have any use for HAP systems. Just combine flexible electronic displays with digital camouflage and AI algorithms to automatically change it to match the environment. All of this is in principle possible in the 2020s. Likewise, advertisements will probably just use normal holograms.
  • Nanogel exists, I pointed this out already. There are many ways to power nanorobots (check out this paper) but I'm unsure where you get "bio-electrical energy" from. Some of these sources are indeed in the body, such as glucose in the bloodstream. If so, why not have nanobots that stay inside you always?
  • If anti-gravity requires as much energy as a large rocket...why not just use a rocket? As for the claim that antigravity is the first thing to allow large numbers of people to leave Earth...I'll point out that a StarTram (mass driver, essentially) could move 4 million tons of mass to orbit per decade.

  • We can make concrete on Mars and I pointed out NASA's mining robot designed for Mars. In the light of this, it's a silly waste to bring building materials from Earth except in the very early days. Terraforming also doesn't really work the way you describe, check out this link for how one might go about it. Certainly, nuking the ice caps (the first step) would not immediately raise the atmospheric pressure, it would take time for the ice to melt.

  • It doesn't make sense that only thousands of people are willing to move to the moon when it is hundreds of times closer to Earth and actually has valuable industrial uses for Earth.

  • Check out this page and this paper for technical info on gas giant mining. I reckon all four gas planets have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, which will create niches for different corporations. Jupiter is by far the closest, but has extreme radiation and gravity. Saturn is much more moderate in these respects, but twice as far away and has relatively little helium. Uranus has a higher concentration of helium and even lower gravity, but is even farther away and has a weird axial tilt. Neptune is basically Uranus with even more helium and without the axial tilt issues but is just so damn far away. Uranus and Neptune have a bit of methane, so perhaps SpaceX will have fuel depots there for voyages to the Kuiper Belt. I guess this isn't even a complaint, just me showing off my knowledge.

  • It simply doesn't make sense to mine resources on Mars for use on Earth. It's too far away and has too much gravity. Only the moon and the asteroids make sense, though obviously Martians could engage in asteroid mining and mine Mars for their own use.

  • When you say "Incredible advancements in understanding the universe's mysteries have been made in many fields" how come there is no mention of a Theory of Everything? Quantum gravity? Also, we are likely to begin to piece together the mystery of dark matter in the 2020s, not the 2150s, thanks to the Euclid telescope, which will launch in 2020. Also, there are few major, really important mysteries regarding antimatter. The only ones I can think of are baryonic asymmetry and the gravitational interaction of antimatter. Apparently nobody really knows if antimatter is attracted or repelled by gravity, which could maybe open up the door to some form of antigravity device. Another possibility for antigravity is Robert L. Forward's paper here, which seems to suggest that moving hyper-massive fluids (I am talking about degenerate matter here, not ordinary matter) could generate antigravity, though it would likely be restricted to specialized applications.

  • You say "Most of the astrophysics and mathematics for developing FTL travel and communication are there", but this is at least partially true today: “On a macroscopic traversable spacewarp in practice”.

  • "As such, Humanity seems restricted to the Sol System, with travel time to even the closest stars taking many years with even the latest propulsion technology: anti-matter power generation and propulsion." simply isn't true. According to NASA, antimatter-matter annihilation rockets could reach speeds of about 0.4c, allowing them to get to Proxima Centauri in just over a decade travel 30-40 light years within a human lifetime. Also, it rings false when somebody (who?) builds a starship a few years later. Also, prototype antimatter rockets are probably decades away, not centuries. On the other hand, if antimatter production becomes a major industry, there will have to be large antimatter factories in space to keep up with the demand. As this article says: "A collector array of one hundred kilometers on a side would provide a power input of ten terawatts (10,000,000,000,000), enough to run a number of antimatter factories at full power, producing a gram of antimatter a day." Up it to 1000 kilometers and move it closer to the sun--perhaps at one of the Mercury-Sun Lagrangian Point--and you could make kilograms per day, which would be necessary for large starships.

  • Physicist Richard Muller thinks that if we could manipulate the Higgs field, it might be possible to create an inertial dampener. Maybe explain this in the timeline.

  • A couple of physics impossibilities: you can't reliably carbon-date anything older than 50,000 years, and you can't carbon-date anything not made of organic matter. Therefore carbon-dating the PRAXIS is right out! Also, quantum entanglement is useless for FTL communication. To do so, we could have to violate the No-Communication Theorem, which would break quantum physics. It's better to use micro-wormholes for that purpose.

  • The PRAXIS is awfully big considering the impact of miniaturization technology. Even today, atomic data storage is possible, imagine what the creators would be able to do. Therefore the data archive would be by far the smallest component. Atomic data storage would be about 500 terabits per square inch, make of that what you will. Clearly the creators have also mastered the technology of making things bigger on the inside, otherwise there is no way nobody would have noticed the teleporter compartment after a hundred years of study. Which further begs the question of why it is so big. Everybody is also being remarkably trusting of a potentially malevolent alien AI.

  • The ESS Destiny is probably not going to Alpha Centauri, but to Proxima Centauri, where a habitable exoplanet--Proxima Centauri b--was recently discovered.

  • The moon would not need to depend on Earth. Moon rocks would make fine building materials and one could make food with vertical farms and aeroponics. Water can be extracted from the poles and there's plenty of energy--heck, the moon would probably be a net exporter of energy. Therefore, no reason why the moon couldn't become an independent nation. Also, terraforming the moon is not out of the question; it would probably be much the same as terraforming Mars. Even with the moon's low gravity, the atmosphere would last at least several thousand years.

  • The Gliese 581 system is 20.6 light years away, not 22. On the other hand, the Gliese 667 system, at 23.6 light years, may be an even better bet. Given that the flight only takes an hour, we can conceivably pack colonists as tightly as we do on an airplane. Going by the dimensions of the Airbus A380, and assuming that this is the same size as the ESS Venture, we would get about 2 million passengers. Even if 90% of the payload is cargo, that's still about 234,000 passengers. Again, the flight is only an hour long, no need for it to be luxurious or even comfortable.

  • Jeff Bezos has outlined plans to move all heavy industry off Earth within a few centuries. This makes economical sense due to the lack of gravity wells. In a spacefaring world, it would be irrelevant to have laws banning heavy industry from garden worlds because nobody would bother to put them there. By the same token, nobody would put them on "tier 3 worlds" either. Orbital space, Lagrangian Points, dead moons, and asteroids all make much more sense.

  • Full-immersion virtual reality would make physical training grounds obsolete and would also be less dangerous. Likewise, there would be no need to waste billions of dollars constructing a "massive" government building in Nairobi.

  • Micro-fusion sounds a lot like Lockheed Martin's High-Beta Fusion Reactor: a 100-megawatt fusion reactor that could fit into a truck. Your "nano-fusion" might be muon-catalyzed fusion, which could conceivably work at room temperature.

  • We won't have to wait until 2360 for handheld railguns, they already exist. See this and this.

  • It's just silly that the URDF doesn't have lasers on its ships until the 2500s when the US Navy is already testing ship-mounted lasers. Also, laser powered drones that can fly forever without wires or batteries. That's got nothing to do with anything, but is just awesome.

  • Your gravity weapons sound a lot like this. Note the lack of gravitons in that design. I especially adore the concluding sentence: "Since the gravitational shockwave weapons can be designed to produce detonation pressures of these magnitudes, we can conclude that it can destroy anything." even if it wouldn't hold true for some exotic materials.


Edited by Jakob, 13 October 2016 - 04:01 PM.


#51
QuantumAscension

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  • More on holographic technology: we can even have holograms you can touch via haptic feedback. Also "creating a holographic fountain in a park to save on the use of water, or re-create a crime scene during an investigation." (2113) is otherwise known as "stuff that has been possible with CGI for about 20 years now."

Yes, Ultra-sonic Haptic field technology is in the book and is used in concert with many holograms, most notably the human-sized holographic avatars of S.I.s. It will allow thems to lightly interact with people and objects. I don't imagine they themselves would be able to hold anything physical, which is where nano-drone swarms floating within the hologram can come in, able to form more solidified surfaces than what haptic fields can.



#52
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  • There are actually some theories about how to make artificial gravity, no need to handwave it: “A mathematician has proposed a way to create and manipulate gravity” and “Homopolar artificial gravity generator based on frame-dragging”. Gravitons have nothing to do with it, or any plausible antigravity or gravity control device. They're so rare that if you placed a Jupiter-sized detector in orbit around a neutron star, it would detect one graviton every ten years, and the shield needed to keep the neutrinos from mucking up the data would be so big it would collapse into a black hole. I suppose that doesn't rule out making them one at a time in a particle accelerator, but it seems...inefficient. Also, you claim in 2150 that graviton manipulation is (apparently commonly) used for antigravity, then 400 years later you claim they're so expensive to produce that only the Predators have them.

Yeah, so this is kind of a pain in the ass to figure. I spent hours, days even, researching ways that anti-gravity, artificial gravity, and inertial dampeners can exist and aside from primitive methods like magnetic flooring or spinning sections of a ship (For artificial gravity), and its rather slim pickings. That's not that surprising though, given that if we knew how to effectively obtain those things, are space industry wouldn't be in such a slow - and sometimes sad - state as it is (i.e. decommissioning the space shuttle). I also understand the Gravition issue. In reality, assuming gravitons exist, they have very low interaction for each particle, especially given that gravity is the weakest of the four forces. I'm kind of banking on the idea that in the far future we'll have a far better understanding of what they are and what their capable of; whether they can hold up a several million ton vessel in atmosphere remains to be seen. So instead, the way I'm thinking is something along the lines of how mass effect operated but without a magical element zero. Essentially, yes gravitons would be created with particle accelerators, no doubt more effecient than today accelerators, though like anti-matter it would still be expensive to produce (If you know of any other method to harness gravitons though, I'm all ears) Anyways, once the gravitons are created, their quickly transferred and suspended in a medium of solid light (since gravitons are gravity's version of photons, this seemed kind of fitting). Once a certain number of gravitons have been produced and placed in a certain volume of solidified, its placed into various systems: anti-gravity emitters, artificial gravity floor plating, inertial dampeners. Then either a positive or negative electrical charge is sent through the solid light medium, exciting the gravitons and increasing their effect by several magnitudes, either to counter or generate a gravity well. As a side note, inertial dampeners in PRAXIS are known as Momentum Impulse Reaction Disannulment (MERIDIA) Systems and are used not just in starships, but in firearms, especially electromagnetic firearms, to counteract the immense reaction force a handheld railgun/coilgun would have and in many other types of vehicles where rapid acceleration and deceleration becomes an issue, such as combat vehicles.

 

Now, could just be a bunch of mumbo-jumbo nonsense, but we don't yet know the full application of solid-light and until gravitons can either be proven or disproven, I do have little bit of creative freedom to implement these things.



#53
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  • Regarding HAPS: You don't need nanotechnology here, just the holographic metasurface. And maybe a brain-computer interface so that you can do stuff like change the design of your clothes with a thought or get them to automatically shift according to your emotions.  Also, shapeshifting claytronics--programmable matter--to get stuff that can really change its shape is an interesting idea. It would also solve the issue that holographic clothing doesn't offer any real function, just form. Also...who the heck wears holographic underwear? And how do you know that T-shirts, shorts, and dresses will still be fashionable in the 2130s? That's 120 years in the future, and about that far in the past, men looked like this and women looked like this. Jump back another 120 years and you have men wearing powdered wigs and breeches...by the 2200s, formal attire will probably look about as much like a business suit as this does. I guess this is Society Marches On, not Science Marches On, but why must futuristic fashions always default to "effectively similar to the present day" or "completely unflattering, drab bodysuits"?
  • Likewise, the military won't have any use for HAP systems. Just combine flexible electronic displays with digital camouflage and AI algorithms to automatically change it to match the environment. All of this is in principle possible in the 2020s. Likewise, advertisements will probably just use normal holograms.

HAPS and HEPS are just one of many technologies I imagine in PRAXIS, including metamaterial surfaces. Truth be told the 2113 date was more of an inspirational shout out to the anime Psycho-Pass as that technology was used extensively throughout the show. Most soldiers will actually used adaptive/active camouflage in their clothing, weapons, and gear that rapidly transitions to their immediate environment. More advanced 'cloaking' systems will generate partial- or full-spectrum invisibility using either or a combination of metamaterials or Phased Array Optics. I haven't spoken much about the holographic clothing in the book, though it will exist in PRAXIS. The idea wasn't necessarily that all clothing is holographic, because, yeah if it malfunctions then you're out in public in your birthday suit. It would be more like you have a basic white or gray T-shirt and shorts and holographic clothing can form over that. With haptic fields it would even feel as though the clothing were real.

I agree with the clothing thing, though personally my interest as far as fashion and the fashion I more or less want to depict in PRAXIS isn't so much the type of clothing people wear as much as it will be the 'light shows' they have on them. That is to say HAPS and other illumination systems will be used to generate unique displays of light across clothing, with an infinite combination of designs in color, brightness, shape, and motion. This will further enhance the individuality of each person throughout the universe, which is one of the themes I'm using, each person is unique and brings their own personality and skills to the table, rather than everybody being the same. I try an get you an image of what I'm talking about with illuminated clothing.



#54
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  • "As such, Humanity seems restricted to the Sol System, with travel time to even the closest stars taking many years with even the latest propulsion technology: anti-matter power generation and propulsion." simply isn't true. According to NASA, antimatter-matter annihilation rockets could reach speeds of about 0.4c, allowing them to get to Proxima Centauri in just over a decade travel 30-40 light years within a human lifetime. Also, it rings false when somebody (who?) builds a starship a few years later. Also, prototype antimatter rockets are probably decades away, not centuries. On the other hand, if antimatter production becomes a major industry, there will have to be large antimatter factories in space to keep up with the demand. As this article says: "A collector array of one hundred kilometers on a side would provide a power input of ten terawatts (10,000,000,000,000), enough to run a number of antimatter factories at full power, producing a gram of antimatter a day." Up it to 1000 kilometers and move it closer to the sun--perhaps at one of the Mercury-Sun Lagrangian Point--and you could make kilograms per day, which would be necessary for large starships.

 

Addendum on the first part: humanity wouldn't necessarily be limited to the solar system, but ventures that take a decade to get to even our nearest stellar neighbor would essentially be a one way trip, and they would effectively have to be self-sufficient, and with such distances and time required in transport and even communication, you essentially lose the ability to maintain centralized control of that colony, unless you have a sizeable security force to maintain 'unity' and 'loyalty'. I was more referring to the idea of effectively expanding and maintain full control of new found territory. 

 

So, at least by today's standards, the energy required to generate anti-matter far outweighs the energy it can produce, that's likely to still be the case in future, perhaps approaching a break-even point. With that in mind, direct energy generation with antimatter would be the mainstream technology, but rather emergency situational use (i.e. powering a city's shield to protect it from bombardment). Similarly starship won't use it as their primary fuel. instead Helium-3 fusion reactors with exhaust their heat into hydrogen propellant to produce sub-light thrust. for combat maneuvers and rapid accelerations, anti-protons will be injected to the reaction chambers to generate a massive boost in short-term energy, they'll essentially act like afterburners for a fighter jet. Obviously, they're will be all sorts of particle accelerators to produce anti-matter, some using huge quantities of slar energy, others using large fusion reactors. URDF Valkyrie is intended to have its own built in particle accelerators to generate its of anti-protons. 



#55
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  • Physicist Richard Muller thinks that if we could manipulate the Higgs field, it might be possible to create an inertial dampener. Maybe explain this in the timeline.

Interesting. I haven't quite said that my MERIDIA systems use gravitons yet, so this could be an iteresting alternative to use. Thanks


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#56
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  • A couple of physics impossibilities: you can't reliably carbon-date anything older than 50,000 years, and you can't carbon-date anything not made of organic matter. Therefore carbon-dating the PRAXIS is right out! Also, quantum entanglement is useless for FTL communication. To do so, we could have to violate the No-Communication Theorem, which would break quantum physics. It's better to use micro-wormholes for that purpose.

Yeah carbon dating was a misnomer. 

 

I heard that quantum entanglement couldn't be used for communication, but I was under the impression that two particles bound by quantum entanglement can still be flipped for their positive-negative counterpart. by detecting this flip, could it not be translated into binary? And If you have billions/trillions of particles working in concert with their pairs 5,000 light years away, couldn't all these binary signals be translated into a message?



#57
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  • The ESS Destiny is probably not going to Alpha Centauri, but to Proxima Centauri, where a habitable exoplanet--Proxima Centauri b--was recently discovered.

 

I know right! isn't that so awesome! See, it's stuff like that that can be rewritten into the timeline!


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#58
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Well it's more like miniaturized magneto-inertial fusion. As far as I understand it, we have yet to actually create a method of operational 'Cold-Fusion' as incredible as it would be. I wanted to work something that legitimently works now or soon. And nano-fusion is probably a misnomer, just as the ipod nano isn't a nanometer across, its more of a commercialized name. The reaction chamber on a small nano-fusion core would probably be about the size of a pea.



#59
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  • We won't have to wait until 2360 for handheld railguns, they already exist. See this and this.

  • It's just silly that the URDF doesn't have lasers on its ships until the 2500s when the US Navy is already testing ship-mounted lasers. Also, laser powered drones that can fly forever without wires or batteries. That's got nothing to do with anything, but is just awesome.

  • Your gravity weapons sound a lot like this. Note the lack of gravitons in that design. I especially adore the concluding sentence: "Since the gravitational shockwave weapons can be designed to produce detonation pressures of these magnitudes, we can conclude that it can destroy anything." even if it wouldn't hold true for some exotic materials.

1. True, but they only fire one shot at a time with much slower velocity. I'm not doubting there will be stepping stones to what I came up with, but up to that cartridge based firearms probably would still reign supreme. That said, much of the stuff in the timeline, we could probably see in the next few decades or century, rather than several centuries. This was about filling out the timeline so that it was interesting throughout. I don't necessarily want Future Timeline's version of the 2400's where everybody can essentially do anything they want with downloadable super powers, because then what exactly is the story I'm trying to write.

 

2. Yeah, the laser thing was a bit clunky and unnecessary, but to be fair, lasers are actually fairly useless after a certain distance, they really would only be good for point defense or close range engagements.

 

3. Interesting. I'll have to look into that more. Again the graviton thing maybe a little out there, but we are talking 500 years in the future, who knows what's possible. Like I said, I can imagine people laughing at the Laws of General Relativity then as we do that the Earth is flat and the center of the universe now. It's difficult balance between technology we have or can at least conceive now and science fiction craziness that could very well exist, we just have to figure it all out, like cell phones and star trek, lol. 



#60
Jakob

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A few questions. First, did you see my comments here and also my suggestions about Asteroid Brains? Also, look into AB matter and magnetic monopoles. Might be worth thinking about for the timeline.

 

 

1. True, but they only fire one shot at a time with much slower velocity. I'm not doubting there will be stepping stones to what I came up with, but up to that cartridge based firearms probably would still reign supreme.

First off, the railgun you describe was, I think, the one 3D printed by some guy. It's definitely not a military-grade weapon like the MAHEM being designed by the US military, whose capabilities appear to be far more formidable. Also, weapons do develop fairly rapidly. 350 years ago, we were using muskets, which would be useless against modern rifles. In the past 75 years alone, we've gone from the M1 to the M14 to the M16 and now they're looking to replace that. With my futurist hat on, I'd guess there would be one more standard-issue rifle (whatever replaces the M16) and then advanced militaries would begin shifting to electromagnetic small arms. What comes after that? The field is open for all manner of sci-fi weapons. Advances in graphene battery technology could make handheld laser guns a possibility, though they could only be used in clear conditions and thus wouldn't replace railguns outright. And you could eventually have what I call deathdust guns, what others call "ghostguns", that fire nanoweapon swarms instead of bullets.

 

 

2. Yeah, the laser thing was a bit clunky and unnecessary, but to be fair, lasers are actually fairly useless after a certain distance, they really would only be good for point defense or close range engagements.

Yes, of course. But why does the URDF only start using them in 2500 instead of as soon as they get large warships, since the technology exists.

 

 

3. Interesting. I'll have to look into that more. Again the graviton thing maybe a little out there, but we are talking 500 years in the future, who knows what's possible. Like I said, I can imagine people laughing at the Laws of General Relativity then as we do that the Earth is flat and the center of the universe now. It's difficult balance between technology we have or can at least conceive now and science fiction craziness that could very well exist, we just have to figure it all out, like cell phones and star trek, lol.

Fun fact: educated people have known that the Earth was round since the time of Aristotle. The ancient Greeks even figured out the size of the Earth to within a few percent. That aside, physics theories aren't just scrapped and replaced with something completely new, they are built upon and refined. This article explains it well. More likely is that Einsteinian physics (and quantum physics) will probably go the way of Newtonian physics in 500 years. They'll still be correct and even useful as a simplified explanation of how the universe works. They won't be sufficient to explain everything we observe, but they'll still be necessary like Newtonian physics today. Einstein didn't overturn Newton, just built upon his work. Standing on the shoulders of giants. Newton's Laws are still correct--force still equals mass times acceleration, etc.--but Einstein's theory of relativity is better at explaining our observations of the universe.

 

As the article I linked says: "But even if someone succeeds in creating a theory better than Einstein’s (and someone almost certainly will), Einstein’s theory will still be as valid as it ever was.  Einstein won’t have been proven wrong, we’ll simply understand the limits of his theory."

 

 

Well it's more like miniaturized magneto-inertial fusion. As far as I understand it, we have yet to actually create a method of operational 'Cold-Fusion' as incredible as it would be. I wanted to work something that legitimently works now or soon. And nano-fusion is probably a misnomer, just as the ipod nano isn't a nanometer across, its more of a commercialized name. The reaction chamber on a small nano-fusion core would probably be about the size of a pea.

We have yet to create any method of fusion that can pass the break-even point! The issue with muons is that we would need a cheap way to generate them on the spot since they don't last very long. Get past that issue and the rest is engineering. Are you sure you can miniaturize magneto-inertial fusion that much? Google doesn't give any relevant results, but muon-catalyzed fusion is pretty heavily discussed.

 

 

I know right! isn't that so awesome! See, it's stuff like that that can be rewritten into the timeline!

Indeed. It's definitely evidence that habitable worlds are ubiquitous, at least in this part of the galaxy. Maybe it would help if I gave you a rundown of the habitable worlds in our neck of the woods (within 20 ly)?

  • Proxima b you know. Slightly more massive than Earth, possibly rich in water. We'll know more about it in 40 years when Breakthough Starshot passes by.
  • Epsilon Eridani, 10 ly away. Epsilon Eridani b is a gas giant somwhat larger and somewhat closer in than Jupiter, so it could contain a Europa-like moon. There is also a much more distant gas planet--probably an ice giant--called Epsilon Eridani c. If they turn out to be rich in some gas that our own gas giants don't have much of, they could be a viable target for gas giant mining once FTL exists. (With even first-generation FTL, it would be a 50-minute journey unless you take my advice and make FTL travel somewhat slower.)
  • Tau Ceti you know of. There are five planets there. The inner three are probably scorched, Mercury-like husks, the fourth is probably like Venus, but may be barely habitable--about 70 Celsius if its atmosphere is like Earth's. The fifth and final one is 6 times as massive as Earth, and probably an icy -40 Celsius, though it could be warmer if it has a strong greenhouse effect. Neither are likely to be garden worlds. There aren't any known gas giants, but there are loads of asteroids and comets--ten times as many as in the Solar System.
  • Kapteyn's star, 13 light years away. The inner planet Kapteyn b is frigid and extremely old, but possibly habitable. Kapteyn c is too cold to be habitable, but is at least terrestrial.
  • Wolf 1061, 14 light years away. Wolf 1061 b is too hot, Wolf 1061 d is too cold (though bases could potentially be established on either), and Wolf 1061 c is on the warm side, but possibly habitable. It's tidally locked, but that's not a dealbreaker, as we've seen with Proxima b.
  • Gliese 876, 16 light years away. Has two gas giants, b and c, which are on the outer and inner edges of the habitable zone. Might be gas giant mining sites or home to Pandora-like moons. (Though hopefully without the blue Rubber-Forehead Aliens/Mary Sues/Noble Space Savages.)
  • Gliese 832c, 16 light years away. Likely a harsh world with extreme seasons, but it would be habitable if it avoided a runaway greenhouse effect.
  • Gliese 682c, 17 light years away. Nothing much to say about this one...
  • Gliese 581, you know about. It also has two other possibly habitable planets, one on each edge of the habitable zone.





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