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| |-+  General UQM Discussion (Moderator: Death 999)
| | |-+  Choose your path
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Poll
Question: You just freed your race from the Dnyarri. What do you do?
Path of Now and Forever (Kzer-za version)   -2 (9.1%)
Wipe out all sentient life   -1 (4.5%)
Wipe out all life, sentient or not   -2 (9.1%)
Wipe out all planets which might eventually harbor life   -1 (4.5%)
Like the PoNaF but with no battle thralls   -0 (0%)
Take all the sentients and put them on a Ringworld. Plenty of space but they'll never get off the thing.   -3 (13.6%)
Try to get over it, start a new Sentient Milieu   -12 (54.5%)
Other (elaborate)   -1 (4.5%)
Total Voters: 21

Author Topic: Choose your path  (Read 8853 times)
Halleck
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Re: Choose your path
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2005, 07:14:12 am »

Dunno, there must be cool ones from star trek. Also, wikipedia had a ringworld picture on the ringworld page. Also, I recall seeing pictures on the sci fi scale website.

EDIT: Ringworld: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/58/Ringworld1024x768.jpg
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Re: Choose your path
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2005, 11:51:39 am »

Whoa, seems like a lot of us don't know what it's like to wear an Excrutiator for months on end... 8 people vote for "try to get over it"! Tongue

(I can actually sort of guess why the Kzer-Za chose what they chose for, really..)
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Re: Choose your path
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2005, 11:36:22 am »

Quote
So then are they the same sort of thing, or do they have different purposes, like artificial environment versus energy collection?

The main point of either a Dyson sphere or a Ringworld was originally that people pointed out almost all of the energy from our Sun is "wasted", shooting right past the planet Earth out into deep space where it does no one any good (except that maybe some alien living on Algol 3 can see it as a star, make a wish on it, use it to calculate his horoscope or whatever.) Even if we lived on all the solid planets in the Solar System the vast majority, over 90%, of the Sun's light would be leaking right past us.

The amount of energy that reaches the Earth from the Sun is already tremendous by human standards, remember, and is the ultimate source of nearly all the energy we use in our civilization (excluding nuclear power), so can you imagine what we could do if we used 100% of the Sun's output rather than 0.001% like we do now? All those projects that seem like they'd take ridiculous amounts of energy -- like building a machine that could warp space and let us travel faster than light, or whatnot -- might not be quite so impossible then.

As far as plausibility, I remember reading somewhere that if you took all the mass of the objects currently orbiting the Sun and squished them together (mostly the mass from the gas giants) you'd have enough mass to, theoretically, make a Dyson sphere a few miles in thickness, although the thing would never hold together.

In theory a Dyson sphere doesn't get any hotter at any one point on the inside than Earth does (after all, think of Earth as just one tiny fragment of a Dyson sphere built at 1 AU's distance) and for something the size of a Dyson sphere the comparative mass of an Earth-sized "bump" would, I imagine, be negligible.

The question is what you're doing with all the energy you're collecting from the rest of the Dyson sphere -- how you're using it and/or safely dissipating it in such a way that the whole damn thing doesn't vaporize and kill you all.

By the way, on the Ur-Quan poll -- I don't think any of us would actually say that we'd prefer to go on a genocidal frenzy after that kind of situation. I think one of the strengths of the game's story, though, is that it drives home that:

1) We really do have absolutely no idea what the Ur-Quan went through, a kind of suffering of a *scale* that takes traumatic human events like the African slave trade or the Holocaust and goes beyond them (total slavery, mental and physical, for *millennia*; whole species the victims of genocide that they were forced to carry out by their own hands), and

2) Even if we did, the Ur-Quan are a different species and inherently different from us, and we can't really understand them. We're a social species with built-in, instinctive responses that make us feel empathy for others who are suffering, to feel safer in groups than alone, to want to sacrifice ourselves for a common cause. The Ur-Quan had none of that. Living in an organized civilization with laws and ranks and jobs and things is as hard for them as sitting on an egg immobile for six months on the Antarctic ice shelf would be for us.

So yeah, the Ur-Quan were crazy. Bleeding batshit insane. But you can't really *blame* them, can you?
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Re: Choose your path
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2005, 01:14:11 pm »

All those projects that seem like they'd take ridiculous amounts of energy -- like building a machine that could warp space and let us travel faster than light,
...or building a Dyson sphere. I imagine that would take a whole lot of energy (not to mention quite a bit of raw materials).

By the way, on the Ur-Quan poll --
Hey, hey, Art, cool down, will ya? Don't go ruining another perfectly good discussion by winning it.
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Re: Choose your path
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2005, 03:45:29 pm »

can you imagine what we could do if we used 100% of the Sun's output rather than 0.001% like we do now? All those projects that seem like they'd take ridiculous amounts of energy -- like building a machine that could warp space and let us travel faster than light, or whatnot -- might not be quite so impossible then.
Actually, the Earth only accounts for one 2 500 000 000th of the surface area of a Dyson sphere at the same distance (assuming my calculations are correct). In other words, we only get 0.00000004% of the Sun's radiation (and that's assuming we absorb 100% of every ray that hits Earth!). We are talking about ridiculous amounts of energy here, not just plain huge.
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Re: Choose your path
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2005, 04:07:33 pm »

I heard a scientist theorize that to "warp" space enough to move a craft to alpha centauri in a reasonable time frame, it would take all the energy the sun uses in it's entire lifetime. That is a more ridiculous amount of energy.
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Death 999
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Re: Choose your path
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2005, 04:35:21 pm »

Well, only using the Alcubierre drive. If you're content to merely coast along at 0.7c, it will take a much more reasonable amount of energy.

I agree with Art though. Is there a way for me to zap a poll entry and let those people re-vote?
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