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News: Paul & Fred have reached a settlement with Stardock!

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31  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life on: March 11, 2008, 07:01:44 pm
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if they aren't frozen, the distance they are traveling is probably fairly short, so they should have a decent chance of survival assuming nothing goes horribly wrong, which is always possible.

way to completely subvert the suppositions of the entire argument. This is irrelevant. We are talking about long intergenerational voyages.

way to quote me out of context.

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Vaccinations are useless against strands of diseases we know nothing about. Like those that have evolved to survive in a world with said vaccinations.

These have contradictory assumptions AND are irrelevant. First, "a world we know nothing about" has very little to do with an asteroid civilization, because they don't need to go to planets. They can do their own little closed loop thing.
Second, "a world with vaccinations"... Earth is such a world. Also, any world they go to wouldn't be, since they'd be newcomers.

Sorry for trying to use different vocabulary. I meant "world" as in dimension, universe, place of being, not as in a planet.

Let me ask you: would YOU like to leave the Earth to live on a mining platform and come back every 5 or 10 years [or whatever]? Would you do it once to see what it was like and not go back?

I've noticed that seem to be becoming very emotional about this, even to the point of questioning my intelligence, which I find most rude . But in the interest of preventing conflict and general unhappiness, I offer you this: I will shut up if you want me to.
32  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life on: March 11, 2008, 06:33:29 pm
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Death already covered this, but why exactly do you think that this is something unique to a asteroid civilisation? Your hardy crew of 50.000 or so flying through space in a small cramped tin with ransoned food, nowhere to go, and no chance of surviving even the slightest accident seems like a pretty good place for genocide, plagues and all manners of trouble.

I don't think that they are all going to butcher each other if they are cryogenically frozen. And if they aren't frozen, the distance they are traveling is probably fairly short, so they should have a decent chance of survival assuming nothing goes horribly wrong, which is always possible.
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Vaccination seems to work quite well.

Vaccinations are useless against strands of diseases we know nothing about. Like those that have evolved to survive in a world with said vaccinations.
 
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The idea is that when you "leave" on an asteroid civilisation, you'll be taking a lot of your friends and family with you. You'll be living and working together, spending your lives together. With a colonisation ship, you're isolated and have a clear goal that needs to be achieved, building a colony from the ground once you arrive in the far future.

That wasn't my point. I meant getting people to live in the asteroid cloud in the first place.
Would you like to leave your cozy home and be launched into space on a giant ship where you could float around inside a big cloud of space rocks surrounded by people you don't know? And in that giant space ship you would have to spend your entire life working like a dog so that maybe the 20th generation of your descendants [assuming you are allowed to have any and that they don't die] can live on some ugly little planet somewhere far away?

It seems to me that getting people to live this way would be just as hard at first as it would be to get people to live on a colony ship.


 
33  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: SC2 laws, copyrights, etc... on: March 11, 2008, 04:47:03 pm
Um, plagiarism maybe. 
34  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life on: March 11, 2008, 04:05:33 pm
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Genocide isn't going to make sense if you're all one civilization;

People will ALWAYS find differences to squabble over. It is nigh-impossible for humans to really be able to work together peacefully unless they have a common enemy or a common goal of significant importance. It doesn't matter what you do. People will even risk their own lives to screw each other over.
Even if these people have learned to live with each other for years, how do you know that their children or their grandchildren will do the same?

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plagues are things we can deal with here already,

Well, we think we can anyway. But just because you bombard a disease-causing virus or bacterium with antibiotics all the time doesn't necessarily make it harmless or "cured".

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I'd like to point out another point of Asimov's, that only an asteroid civilization would be likely to want to go. Who would want to cut themselves off forever, with no chance of return, with the way of life on the way being totally alien and unpracticed, and only your 50-greats grandchildren get to make it to the other end? No one. But an asteroid civilization brings everyone with them, and the way of life is fairly ordinary to them. That there is another end is just a bonus.

What about people who live on a planet that is so overpopulated as to make it incredibly unpleasant to live there? Or people who are seen as heretics or "inferior" people and who are persecuted by everyone whom they meet?

And on a similar note, if my possible reasons for leaving the homeworld are successfully contradicted: who would want to be launched into space and live in giant spaceships that float around in a cloud of asteroids, where they are trapped for their entire lifetimes and expected to  sacrifice nearly everything for the good of the fleet?
 
35  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Umgah Bridge fanart - work in progress on: March 10, 2008, 09:07:49 pm
Interesting. Good job with the Umgah so far, can't wait to see it with more limbs.


36  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Pinups on: March 10, 2008, 03:56:09 pm
Nice work, love the Thraddash power suit. But the Zebranky look too Pokemon-ish for my tastes.
37  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life on: March 10, 2008, 03:54:14 pm
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Also, please note that I know the scale of this idea and have the whole time. However, I am also of the mindset that if something is bigger and more complex, more can wrong. Never forget Murphy's law.  Smiley

Earth is a pretty big place too.

And look at all the problems it has! Genocides and plagues and George Bush, oh my!

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You still need to be able to recycle pretty darn well on your colony as well. Otherwise it'll be dependent on the "motherland" or fail pretty quickly. And you need to harvest resources from the planet.

Wouldn't the asteroid fleet have exactly the same problem when they colonized a planet? Since the assumption here seems to be that they both would need similar amounts of techno to do their respective jobs, then how would the asteroid fleet be better at colonizing a world? Sure, they might have more people and more initial resources, but sooner rather than later they would both be reliant on supplies from off-world. And any interstellar supply operation is not going to be easy.

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Build enough of your backup ships, and you'll get close to a splinter anyway, just without the asteroids.

Well, you wouldn't send a fleet of a hundred or so ships to colonize one planet, because that would be overkill.

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Well if we ignore the fact that we don't make them for the same purpose sure. It makes much more sense to make thousands of magical colony ships that somehow have all the tools necessary for terraforming and building a civilisation without risk of those critical tools breaking than making an steroid fleet. Unless you already have people living in the asteroid fields who'd like to leave.

If you have people floating around in an asteroid fleet all prepared to go, then I don't see any reason why you shouldn't send them. I may think colony ships are more efficient, but I'm not saying that we should ignore this idea altogether.
38  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life on: March 07, 2008, 05:02:14 pm
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Also, if you can afford to launch your/an entire infrastructure into space, I don't think anything is going wrong anytime soon and there probably is nothing beyond your reach.

That's kind of the point. No one has claimed that this is something that will happen tomorrow, or that it's going to be easy. Just that it is possible, feasible (as far as we know) and not as bad an idea as you think for a advanced civilisation to send out splinters like this.

Well, ok then. I was arguing on the basis that you thought all of this would be ultra easy even with more primitive [dare I say practical?] technologies. Since that wasn't your argument at all I'll stop with that for now.

Also, please note that I know the scale of this idea and have the whole time. However, I am also of the mindset that if something is bigger and more complex, more can wrong. Never forget Murphy's law.  Smiley

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Actually, it would be much more efficient. Think of it this way. At this moment in time, the human race possesses primitive space flight. We have lots of people crowding the planet. We are currently exploring the possibility of terraforming planets like Mars. If we had that capability, then we would be pretty much good to go for colonization of other planets.

Not really. Even if we could terraform a planet, we haven't got the resources or technology to transport a large enough amount of people there with enough resources to keep them alive (and we don't know how to freeze them yet). Any colonisation by ship is far into the future.

Nonsense. We could spread to other planets in our solar system [do you actually think I meant interstellar travel?] quite easily with the resources we have here. All you need to do is build a couple of ships, fill a few of them with supplies and tools and terraforming equipment and then just cram your huddled masses in there. They could arrive on Mars or even Titan in a couple of years.

Obviously interstellar travel is still not an achievement of humanity. But if we developed a slightly better form of propulsion and cryogenics [plus a few other things] it could be. And I'll bet that's still easier than developing all of the other recycling and asteroid harvesting methods. If we pursue the idea of colony ships we would be able to colonize other worlds much more quickly than if we spend a thousand years of hard research and hope nothing goes wrong until we can live among asteroids.

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The nearest star is 4.2 or so lightyers away, with current speeds you'll have to keep those colonists alive and well for a very long time, and if a single system on your wonderful ship fials they are all dead anyway.


Could you not send multiple ships? Or maintenance robots?

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Is "Oh well, I'm sure there are plenty more terraforming colony ships capable of sustaining huge numbers of humans for extended periods lying around for us to launch into space." a valid response?

Not really. You could build thousands of these for every one asteroid fleet you make. And if you are advanced enough to make magical asteroid fleets where nothing ever goes wrong I think you could do just as well with colony ships. Sure, colony ships might be riskier, but you can make them easier and they could still arrive at their destination more quickly than the "asteroid riders".

The logical conclusion would be to try both methods and see which one works out better, but obviously we can't do that. Not yet anyway.
39  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life on: March 06, 2008, 07:42:31 pm
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You don't lug it with you any more than the rest of the fleet. You launch together and all go in the same direction. It's not like the factory will have to taker a detour along the way and get lost, they'd all be travelling with the same velocity. And what kind of loss is this anyhow? An entire civilisation (say, he population of Earth or maybe a bit less) have launched themselves into space along with all the infrastructure needed to support them and enough pieces of rock to replace any raw material losses they might have for the next 5000 years.. They aren't going to lose their only can opener on the way.

My point isn't that it would be lost as in "it just floated off", but rather as in that it would be destroyed, damaged, would have crashed into something, lost life support, etc. while with the rest of the fleet.
Also, if you can afford to launch your/an entire infrastructure into space, I don't think anything is going wrong anytime soon and there probably is nothing beyond your reach.

Oh and I'm not talking about can openers. I'm talking about some kind of specialized gadget that is really hard to make and has some more important function [assuming that you need one]. And obviously they would bring spares if they could. But unless your colonists can see into the future, I don't understand how you could possibly plan out exactly what you will need for the next thousand years. Most things you could probably fix or build, but there are other things that you can't make.
 
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Not if you launch them out of the system into the void between the stars It's a very big place, and the odds are very much better that you won't meet anyone. Put it like this. If you live in a city, where do you meet the least people? A) in the city centre. B) in your car out in the suburbs or C) out in the wilderness where you drove your car?

So now we're talking about shoving asteroids around the Universe. So you float off into deep space with asteroid homes and sit around. Big deal. I doubt enough other asteroids will just happen to float by that you could just sit there indefinitely.

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If you ahev the technology to pump out loads of ships and colonists, I doubt it's going to be that more cost efficient to launch a small splinter civilisation with better chances of survival every 50 years than it's going to be to launch new colony ships every year and hope they don't break, run out of tools, die of infighting, meet hostiles etc.

Actually, it would be much more efficient. Think of it this way. At this moment in time, the human race possesses primitive space flight. We have lots of people crowding the planet. We are currently exploring the possibility of terraforming planets like Mars. If we had that capability, then we would be pretty much good to go for colonization of other planets.

All you have to do is crap out a bunch of ships, send them on their merry way, and maybe a few of them will set up other colonies. We don't need fancy fusion power, asteroid recycling, or space factories. We just need a concentrated effort on the part of the human race, so that the Chinese [or whoever] don't shoot down all of our ships. 

Of course, you will need scout ships to find suitable planets. But finding planets is way easier than finding asteroids, even asteroid clouds.

And why do colony ships need any tools other than those for basic maintenance?

And incidentally, if your sun is going to go supernova in a little while, even your evacuation ships wouldn't make it. Supernovas often destroy not only the system they occur in, but nearby solar systems as well.

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Well, until they run out resources anyway.

At which point they'll hopefully be in the next system ,or have found some more rocks floating around somewhere.

Or they will all be dead. Oh well. I'm sure there are plenty more complex infrastructures lying around for us to launch into space.
40  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life on: March 06, 2008, 05:46:21 pm
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Corruption and conflict are tolerable for such a civilization.

No they're not. For example, let's say someone is unhappy with the resource system, they get some people to support them and then take over a ship. The other colonists wouldn't like this, and they'd attack the hijacked ship. Negotiations might fail. Then the two sides would butcher each other until one surrendered. The result: a demoralized and potentially unruly populace, lots of blown up junk, and possibly not enough left to go around. This would lead to more conflict.

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A civilization that lacks tools?

My idea wasn't that they wouldn't bring tools, it was that these tools might be lost somehow and not easily replaced. The same applies to these "factories" you both say they would have. You know what a pain in the ass it would be to lug around a giant spaceship factory with you everywhere you go?

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Also, maybe it's a xenophobic civilisation that wants to be left alone?
Tell me again about why planets would not work for this.
Because it's too nearby? Mars, or even Pluto, is practically on our doorstep if you're capable of building an asteroid civilization.

And if you are capable of building an asteroid civilization, aren't the asteroids practically on your doorstep too?

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And what the Heck would they do if a spaceship breaks, accidentally or not, in a way that couldn't easily be repaired? Build a new one? Probably not since there would be few tools and nowhere to build it.

What would your colonists travelling by ship do if that happened? They'd have even fewer resources and less tools.

They'd all be dead. But the point is that you can pump out ships and cram them full of people more easily and with less cost than a giant fleet of asteroid-colonizers. 

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And with resources available they can repair almost everything.
Well, until they run out resources anyway.
41  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life on: March 06, 2008, 05:01:16 pm
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What kind of civilization would think that this adventure was worth it?

The kind that comes from an overcrowded/threatened/dying planetary system and just needs to get away?
But why asteroids?

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A spartan and careful civilisation, every couple just gets the two children.
Well, this might work for a little while, but if these critters are anything like humans [which they very well might not be] there will probably end up being all kinds of corruption, waste, and ultimately conflict. Whatever survives this inevitable mess will probably then pick up the pieces and make a another "careful" society, which will one day blow itself away too.  This process would probably then repeat until the asteroids run out of suitable resources. Then what?

And what the Heck would they do if a spaceship breaks, accidentally or not, in a way that couldn't easily be repaired? Build a new one? Probably not since there would be few tools and nowhere to build it. 

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Also, maybe it's a xenophobic civilisation that wants to be left alone?
Tell me again about why planets would not work for this.
42  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life on: March 06, 2008, 04:34:26 pm
What kind of civilization would think that this adventure was worth it? Even if each one of your spaceships was practically a floating city you'd overpopulate them all easily. That would lead to further complications. Unless you aren't implying that a whole civilization would live there, only part of one instead.
 
And with all of the technological advancements necessary for such an endeavor, wouldn't it be way easier to just colonize planets? Even if these planets would take thousands of years to get to it would still be cheaper, easier, and more efficient.
43  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life on: March 05, 2008, 10:07:12 pm
How could you have a civilization on an asteroid or a comet? They're tiny and airless. Even a whole cloud of them wouldn't warrant much of a civilization. And I don't think there would be enough resources to make any kind of colonization of an asteroid other than a small mining operation worth it.   
44  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: the problem on: March 05, 2008, 09:42:57 pm
Ah, thank goodness for that. I couldn't take it anymore.
But how do you tell the difference between a male and female Ur-quan?
And can you tell at all what sex it is if it hasn't used the bathroom recently?

And where did the Dynarri poop in the first place? The poor little critter wouldn't have been able to mind control anyone if it couldn't get to a toilet.
Or do Dynarri have unusually high bladder storage abilities? 
45  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: the problem on: March 04, 2008, 04:28:08 pm
...must reach....Taalo mind shield....NO! YOU'LL NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE! I'D RATHER DIE THAN GO TO AN ICE CREAM SOCIAL! NO! AAAAAAAGH!....almost there...Arg! Wait! Pain will....drive you out! *slaps face repeatedly* 
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