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Drum

Humans In Space – Philosophically Theory Crafting

Humans In Space – Philosophically Theory Crafting

 

DISCLAIMER: The following is pure theory crafting and opinions. Probably only useful to someone wanting to write about Humans In Space, or maybe space sim lore. You have been warned - DRUM

 

I was having some idle thoughts about Humans In Space and the more I thought on it, the more questions arose. Nothing truly resolved. This is a long read, but I penned it with the hope that others have also thought along these lines and would like to share their conclusions.

 

Just taking our own solar system as a starting place, how would we interact once on a System Wide scale? Let us go a few hundred years into the future and assume we have Settlements In Space.

 

Right off the bat (even while ignoring nationalities), over time there will be cultural differences between a settlement in near orbit and one further out like at the moon. Once a settlement is in orbit around another planet or way out in the Asteroid Belt, these cultural differences would be even more pronounced, since the people living in them would be very isolated from anything going on Earthside.

Even here on Earth with current technology, villages and cities with mere hundreds of miles separation have significant differences in how they see the world, dialect, and how they treat their neighbors. The Internet has closed the loop on some of this, but the further you get away from large population centers, the more focused these differences can become.

Earthside government and conglomerate pressures will inherently fuel an Us//Them mentality, especially so if there is a huge time or monetary cost just to get to the Settlement.

 

Settlements will have a Threat Of Infection. Not just TO them, but also BY them. I imagine they will be rather sterile environments. But that will not stop some viral infection or other health risks from running amok among them. Even after some overwhelming biological infection runs its course throughout a settlement, any new comers will not have built up an immunity yet, and once infected they could well cause a mutated version of the same variety to again rampage throughout the Settlement. Same goes for people attempting to enter the Settlement. What sort of decontamination would be necessary for someone coming from Earthside after a Settlement has been basically isolated for decades? Or even for a Settlement dweller to return to Earthside or visit another Settlement?

I remember the vaccinations required just to go overseas in the military. This will be taken more seriously and on a much larger scale.

EDIT: Star Citizen has some lore in place for cross system contamination. (Dec 12,2015)

Spoiler

 

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/15092-Portfolio-BiotiCorp

Snippit: Not all of BiotiCorp’s innovations have been as successful as the Autodoc and Vitalus. In 2924, the company introduced a new anti-contamination chamber intended for use at landing zones to prevent off-world diseases and microbes from infecting local populations. The PurLyfe system was in use at customs centers for less than a month when the news broke that people being processed through the system were getting ill. It was revealed that the system had been too zealous and was removing helpful microbes along with the bad. BiotiCorp implemented a massive recall and terminated all sales and manufacture of PurLyfe devices. Despite the negative press, public favor remained with BiotiCorp for their swift handling of the problem and for the way the company rushed to help those affected.

 

The overall mental process of people who were born and raised in a Settlement would have to be taken into account. Say your Settlement was 10 miles in diameter with nice thick cement walls to keep off any solar flare dangers (think death star without the weapons). To walk the perimeter in one direction without side trips would be a road trip of over 30 miles. Factor in internal passages and areas, and this is one immense area to become familiar with. Someone not born and raised there would probably never really Know It. Lets face it, growing up some place is the best way to explore it. You crawl around and get into places adults would not. You discover shortcuts and vistas an adult who came there later would never see or experience.

 

The person who grew up in a Settlement like this would not really be able to get their head around the idea of living areas being flat. To their way of thinking, if you walk in one direction long enough you get back to where you started. Today.

The concept of stuff in the air like ice and water particles, or even the air itself blowing at huge velocities would be extremely terrifying. How could they ever really understand what it is like to See a horizon that is miles away and understand that when they get there the horizon will still be miles away? They will have videos and news feeds, to be sure, but I have seen pictures of Niagara Falls, and I have been there. They are not the same thing.

 

Why is that water moving, where are the pumps? Is something looking at me from that hole in the ground? What is that smell? I want to rest, where is the gravity free zone?

 

The reverse would also apply. Someone from ground side would probably feel constrained over time and wish for a gentle rain, or a mild wind blowing on them that was not mass produced.

Hell, just a chance to drink a beer while your soaking feet are being tickled by the minnows in the creek and wonder what is causing those bubbles out there, while flicking mud dobs at the frogs and keeping a weather eye out for snakes and gators. How do you realistically justify that much chaos to a Settlement dweller who would be accustomed to a very controlled world?

 

A Settlement would by its nature be very regimental and automated. There will be more to do, (just to stay alive), then the amount of people the Settlement could support would be able to accomplish. Higher education would be the norm and eventually morph into a cultural ideal. Everyone living in a Settlement would have to have a working knowledge of how it functions and be required to participate. Here on Earth, air is air. Unless there is an immediate local contamination, we give it no thought. A Settlement dweller could not afford to be so uninterested.

 

Someone raised in a more open society may see Artificial Intelligence as a threat, (and not just the Skynet thing, taking jobs away from people who need them if nothing else). Someone on a Settlement would see AI as a necessity though. Earthsiders would want restriction to make sure the machines did not run amok. Would a people who depended on machinery to live even consider the implications? After decades (or centuries), how would a population raised under these conditions react to someone who was not?

 

I can envision these complications within our own solar system after a century of Settlement isolation from the Earthside norms. Now stretch these thoughts to encompass the Verse.

 

It may get very weird out there. - DRUM out

 

 

 

Dragon-Knight, Auzten, VoA and 5 others like this

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It gets even stranger when you realise we'll probably be living radially in a rotating space station, so you could literally walk in a straight line and end up back where you started, you wouldn't even be walking a perimeter! 

 

The contagion thing was something I'd never considered, even if we assume chronically sick/infected people won't be coming aboard there's still the issue of people passively carrying pathogens that they've already built an immunity towards

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GREAT THREAD !!! :)  --- Another strange thing to ponder is .... right now many scientists are trying to compare the similarities of other species to the human condition.  Dolphins for instance have adapted a certain way by having certain freedoms with the ocean as their home (would humans adopt some of their characteristics - not physical but social)... inhabiting a water world?  Extensive studies have shown that even Ants share many social characteristics with humans - especially if you consider rapid colonization and spreading throughout the galaxy....

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Humans have a habit of repeating, infact every major culture present, is a reflection of those long lost.

As the UEE is essentially the representation of the majority of humanity, it is easy then to do a comparison with Rome, herself. They are both similar in predicaments, and has acted in the same way. Case in point is the treatment of the Tevarin, in which an enemy was not destroyed, simply defeated and absorbed.  The same treatment was most notable with the Greeks with the Roman defeating the Macedonians. as well as most of the other close neighbouring people of the Romans, bar the Carthaginians and the Jewish, who Rome had a bone to pick with, mainly just for the sake of picking at bones.

 

So, if we are to then to see them as Romans, well how different were the Romans from us. Answer is, not all that different. The only vast differences is the differation in speed of travel, distance of communication and expansion of empire. Even then, the Romans who were considered to be in the fronteir, were not all that worse then those who were in the heart of the kingdom, The same would apply with Star Citizen, even more with the massive difference in ability of logistics.

Many aspects as well, which are easily more noticable, to which you cover, can bee explored with looking at (not only Rome but) the growth of the mining industry today. For western civilisation, the mining industry is the essence of being in the fronteir, that as they essentially convert small rural towns, or create them, for the sole purpose of gathering resources. The issues arisen in this is the then greater pressure on the local environment for the better, or worse. By this I mean, not so much the natural environment, but the establish culture that is then massively altered to cater for the mass growth in population. Many of whome will experience other factors you cover, such the as the adaptation to local phenomenon (the difference in coming from a city to the northern states of Canada, or to the distant reaches of Australia) or the lifestyle change of the roster of miners, which here in Australia is something akin to three weeks working, to have the fourth off. Many use the fourth to then travel home for the week.
Also, those currently in the military is also another great example, which would then cover almost every point you raised, depending in which branch they enlist in.

In short though, humans are increidbly adaptable creatures, able to cope with any environment, alteration or encounter, and we have been doing so since we first became humans, our ancestors the same. It is the reason why we are such a successful species, dispite being so overly complex in structure, yet physically lesser than most other species of this planet, and our ways have barely changed the whole time, nor will they going into the future, unfortunately.

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Humans In Space and Galactic Time.

 

The Verse will have seconds minutes hours days months years to keep track of time. It would be necessary for everyone to maintain some rational concept of time. Schedules, shipments, travel, day to day activities, all would need some consistent terms of reckoning. But why would some obscure calculation devised here on Earth necessarily be the guiding factor? What would be the basis for Galactic Time?

 

Why would some colony that had a day of 30 hours and circled their sun every 200 days maintain some meaningless schedule that had a Day in it that was not 30 hours long? Or a year that was different than their 200 30 hour long days? What would be their drive to hold onto some mythical seeming time durations?

 

Even those who do not live on a planet would need some common terminology to keep track of things. Would they maintain a 24 hour Day? Wouldn't it be more practical for them to devise a metric relationship to time? Even if they still utilize 60 seconds as a minute, why not break it into Deca-day, milli-day, centi-day.

 

How do you rationalize to them why some months are longer or shorter than others? What is a year if you circle no sun, or do so in such a long period that it would take decades of earth rated timing.

What is even the purpose of a year if you have no seasons? For some remote Settlement out on the fringes somewhere, Day 36,280 from the time the Settlement was powered up would probably have more significance to them.

 

People being people, I would expect to see multiple time interactions as the norm. Local time versus Galactic time. Not really any different than our current time zones here on Earth, just on a much broader scale.

 

So the simple question of 'How Old Are You?', could well be answered by 'Local or Galactic?'

 

It may get very weird out there. - DRUM out

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Humans In Space – Raised By Wolves.

 

RP and Story aspects for characters can be twisted way beyond the pale if you allow some abnormal traits into the story line. It does not necessarily need to be a god like Deus Ex Machina snatched out of the air to Make It Fit. This post will explore some interesting ways to gimmick your history.

 

With known and unknown Aliens in the Verse, it's only a matter of time before some Humans would be raised in what we would consider a very unusual community environment. Possibly above and beyond just having non Human neighbors.

It is not a totally new concept. From Tarzan to Enemy Mine, a large number of movies over the years have examined and theory crafted examples of possible outcomes when one species raised another.

 

There are several areas in the Verse already where a child could get an unusual outlook on life if they were raised within a specific locale. Banu, Xi'an, Vanduul, Tevarin, Kr'thak, and even the prospect of being raised in a Pirate Conclave or Derelict Outpost would be unique.

 

There are many ways an infant could end up within a non-traditional community.

A Scholar who wanted to study an Alien race.

A Diplomat who was assigned to an Embassy within an Alien conclave.

A Missionary who wanted to spread the word.

A Trader or Miner who made it a family affair.

A Pirate who wanted a new life, but was still unable to live in UEE or sub-UEE space.

 

Any of these may well bring along the family or remain long enough to produce one.

Even with home schooling, the children would spend a lot of time doing the things children do, roam the neighborhood and spend time with their peers. These children may have a different outlook on the world, but to a large extent they would still Act Human.

 

How about infants that had no other Human interactions to guide them? To have Human children in an Alien setting without the above scenarios where an adult was present would require some inexplicable maternal instinct from an Alien, wouldn't it? Maybe not..

 

A freak solar or spaceship accident where the parents were killed off. If Aliens were the first on site, they could well see it as a chance to examine these Humans more closely. Taking the children to raise and study.

 

Humans outright captured for study could be fatally over tested, leaving only the children behind. They would tend to be more cautious with the children so as to not diminish the testing sources. Even the Vanduul would want to know more about Those Humans.

 

Slaves or forced labor could be allowed to reproduce, to replenish the stock if nothing else. These children would be raised by the conventions of their Masters if they were to survive.

 

Even that inexplicable maternal instinct could kick in, whereby a soldier got tired of the fighting and decided raise a child survivor of the other species. (unlikely as that seems)

 

Could a child raised under these conditions truly be considered still Human? Or would they seem more Alien than the Aliens?

 

They portray this (unlikely as that seems) dilemma well in the show Defiance, where an Irathient youth, Irisa, is misunderstood by her own people as well as her adopted father's Human species. Even she has difficulties seeing where her true loyalties are.

Nolan and the other soldiers becoming tired of the war and just stopping the fight to assist the remaining Votan survivors can be appreciated. Why Nolan did not just hand Irisa over to some Irathient family to raise is beyond understanding though, but thankfully he didn't and the entertainment value is welcomed.

 

It may get very weird out there. - DRUM out

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Humans In Space – Cultural Limitations of Technology.

 

NOTE: This example below was chosen for the simple reason that it is one of the farthest extremes of technological limitations because of History, Culture, Religion, or Governmental Regulation.

 

A lot has been said of why the Verse is not more advanced than Chris Roberts version of it, even with almost a millennium of Humans In Space. His version may not be wholly pessimistic.

The resistance of who humans are as a people versus where we would like to go is not going to allow many leaps and bounds of technology advancements that do not have immense social value. Immense social value is the key to acceptable promotion.

 

An example. With current technology and medical advances, we would be able to remove a brain and nerve stem from a severely disabled adult human and keep it alive. It does not take a lot of imagination to see this Brain-unit installed in a robotic styled machine with sensors and feedback probes for control. A machine that could be tough enough to move about on the ocean bottom. Even the vacuum of the moon or unbreathable atmosphere of another planet. How about a spaceship controller?

 

What isn't currently known is if this Brain-unit could recover from the trauma induced and eventually be able to control the new environment it found itself in. Sensory deprivation has serious risks, and this brain-unit will initially be as deprived as you can get. Could we keep them from going insane?

As in any live research, some subjects will do better than others. The large money also says it will not be successful every time, but with learned techniques from trial and error, a post operative recovery program could be developed to eliminate the risks. A real wild card research program, but not overall any different than current detraumalization recovery methodology and rehabilitation.

 

Will this happen? Not in our lifetime, nor probably your great great great grandchild's.

 

The issues here fall into myriad categories. The foremost is religious. Every fundamentalist sect of every known religion would go on a war footing if human souls, from their viewpoint, were transmitted into a machine. Even the non religious would be stirred, not by the soul aspect, but by the knowledge that Something, sort of human, would be alive for a century or so longer than them.

It is worth noting here that a key factor already present in Star Citizen could mitigate this somewhat. Finding another sophant species out in the Universe would have already caused immense turmoil in most of the current religions. Some may not survive it and new religions and sects would be created because of it. Even the merger of a like minded human and alien religion is not impossible.

 

Another category falls along morality, in and of itself. Just because we can do something does not necessarily mean we should. The counter argument to that would be the scientific advancement and raw knowledge that would be gathered using a Brain-unit mechanism, (dare we still call them a person?). Exploration and research in inaccessible areas. How about giving a broken person a chance to live a life with meaning?

Even something that has immense social value will be confronted by the ethical motive behind it, and likely face huge resources preventing realization. Sadly, we can look at our current space and stem cell research programs to see how well the scientific advancement argument persuades the masses.

 

The social value clause mentioned limits it to power, food production, disease control, and the like. It does not open the door for these Brain-units in our near future. Some select groups of people will try this or other questionable sciences anyway, even though the outcome appears bleak. Why? Because they can...

 

Disobedience to regulations, even if driven by necessity or having real application, will not overcome humanity as a mob though.

The villagers with their torches will be knocking at your door, a reality based Dr. Frankenstein ending.

 

That said, even control freak government regulation and religious dogma cannot keep up with the creative imagination and innovative freedom of the entrepreneurs and inventors in human society. Rarely are laws passed before the fact. Someone was killed before murder became a crime. On the research end, Laws, Rules, and Regulations are always playing catch up and fight the reality that the Genie can never be put back into the bottle. Once something is known to be doable, someone with access to resources will do it.

 

The Star Citizen Verse touches on this to a degree. Cybernetics and replacement limbs are in the darker, underworld parts of civilized areas in Star Citizen. That Genie is loose. What other spilled bottles are out there?

 

We can expect more as the PU expands and becomes a living world. A raid on a remote science base or illegal medical facility. Even the reverse cycle, the quelling of a religious or species insurrection caused by a specific scientific break through or manufactured commodity.

 

It may get very weird out there. - DRUM out

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Humans In Space – Evolution.

 

Insects, animals, and plants all come in various sizes and colors. Some species have minor changes, others vary greatly. A majority of this is from the environment that their ancestors resided in. There have also been epic kill offs from time to time, via cosmic radiation levels, tsunamis, climate changes, and even asteroid impacts. Many of the survivors of these events were changed by them. Humans are thought to be rather stable evolution wise, but that could change drastically once we are not all bunched up on one planet and in totally different environments.

 

Sickle Cell was always thought of as an aberration of the red blood cells and was restricted to certain people who had ancestors from specific low lying areas of Africa. By middle age, this blood defect has serious health complications for those who have it. It was not until researchers were looking for something entirely different that the truth came out.

 

Post WWII there was a massive project in the Pacific rim to eliminate Malaria. It was driven by the cold fact that as many troops were lost on the front lines in the Pacific from Malaria as combat. The magic of the day was DDT to eradicate and control the mosquitoes that harbored the disease. It was so successful that several decades went by without Malaria outbreaks.

 

Then DDT was outlawed due to environmentalists praising of a book called Silent Spring, (which later turned out to contain as much fiction as facts). Now some decades later, over a million deaths a year (mostly the infirm or very young) are again lost every year to this disease. The search for another, (non-DDT), solution sent the researchers to specific areas in Africa where, even though surrounding areas were heavily infected, Malaria was not a problem. After researching the diets, water supplies, life styles, and anything else they could reasonably test for a cause, it turned out that these villages had entire populations with Sickle Cell. The Malaria parasite cannot attach to a red blood cell with the Sickle Cell strain.

 

Evolution (via the strong survive tactic) had leveled the playing field against Malaria. Even though there are serious potential health issues from having Sickle Cell, you at least live long enough to reproduce. The process is long, and the results are not always pretty, but nature has a way of working things out.

 

Modifications to the Human Gene could well occur in space, but it would be a long process and naturally differ from area to area. Due to shortened travel times, migration, trade, and people just wandering around, natural selection should tend to average out over the entire Verse. Nature will again have a way of working things out. Maybe...

 

Could known or unknown radiations or even environmental hazards warp our genes and change who we are faster then anticipated? Could such a deviation be passed on to the children of those affected? Would an isolated outpost even be aware it was happening? An accelerated evolution forced upon us by the unknowns of the Verse?

 

Not all evolution is the same though, nor can it be measured with the same stick. Evolution occurs in a society or community model much faster then in a species. A generation rather than centuries or millennium. In space, it will go way deeper than the current dance moves or clothing styles.

 

If people lived in a system that had a Brown Dwarf or Red Giant as a solar centerpiece then sunlight would be in the magenta or dull orange ranges, and they would have a seriously different view on a sunny day. How long before their environmental lighting swayed towards the everyday outside lighting to prevent disorientation when going in and out of buildings? How long would this have to go on before it was the New Normal, and bright, yellow hued lighting the aberration? What would be the reaction for a new comer entering this society? Squinting FNG's anyone?

 

Now and again experiment conclusions have totally unlooked for results. A Prism Eyepiece experiment had such. The goal was to have subjects wear the eyepieces 24/7 to deduce how long your normal reflex and day to day reactions would take to compensate when your whole world was upside down. The results were in the 3-10 day category. So far so good. Then the weirdness set in. It took them just as long to return to normal when the prism eyepieces were removed.

It was astonishing how fast the brain could be reprogrammed, and even more extraordinary when it was realized that the programming got locked in just as quickly. A significant speed up of the evolution process.

 

So, even if they return home, those squinting FNG's may have no hope of not repeating the sequence. I can envision Light Addicts hiding in a closet with a bright light to get their Fix without being called weirdos. (you been hitting – I can tell by looking at your pupils !!).

 

It may get very weird out there. - DRUM out

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@Drum I think you and I are gonna have one hell of a conversation here! This might get exciting. I have thought about humans in space for a long time. Heck, I studied it in college. I have an aeronautical and astronautical degree focuses in rocket propulsion and spacecraft design. Ready?

Ok, to start off, I imagine humans in space really starting within the next 100 years. The start will be science experiments and research, something that has been going for some time now, obviously. But the game changer, which I'm really excited about, is the private sector taking over. Space X is just one that is starting to take off (pun intended!). Over the next several decades, you are going to see the private sector perform these contracts to send satellites and other unmanned craft that will be funded by the science and tech industries. Companies will be looking for ideas and fresh innovations from experiments that will push for profits. And amongst this model will be bids for the lowest price or better quality delivery system.

Then as corporations start to see the benefits of the space frontier I foresee a leap to mining for resources. This is probably 200 years away as technology will help bridge the gap of benefit to cost ratios. The moon is believed to be nearly 30% titanium, that's probably the start to build large spacecraft, and use the moon to launch from for minimized fuel cost to travel elsewhere.

Back home on Earth, the government funded projects will continue, but I assume they will be more militaristic in nature and all the civil progress will be private and public companies. The largest hurdle in advancement in space are the UN treaties in place preventing use of technology that would literally speed up the progress, i.e. nuclear engines. I foresee the general uninformed public will continue to slow progress over the next few hundred years based on morality of decisions made. A big one, mining the moon. Do we destroy what we view now as a sister world, a symbol of our world's night sky and save it for future millenia? Or do we leave it and let the children enjoy what nature has given us as our only moon?

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I think the moon is safe. Mining excavation would mostly be underground as was discussed way back when the Planetary Society was thriving (70's and 80's).

Added benefits to underground living and working is minimal Spacesuit Needs and built in Solar Radiation Flare safety.

 

The grandest endeavor, private enterprise wise, is better than Shovel Ready. It has been off the ground for more than a year now, and YOU can support it.

If you have a desire to make it a career, here is a link:

http://www.planetaryresources.com/

 

If you missed the kickstarter you can still put in a donation:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/arkydforeveryone/arkyd-a-space-telescope-for-everyone-0?ref=discovery

 

Very interesting proposal and completely doable today.

 

I have already sent a letter for Chris Roberts to examine this outfit. Hopefully he will offer support when he makes his billion bucks from Star Citizen.

 

Planetary Resources is the real life RSI.

 

It may get very weird out there. - DRUM out

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Very cool information. I would like to see Chris Roberts throw something that way.

Have you ever considered how human humans would be in prolonged space (biologically speaking)? I know that after generations of potential less than 1G flight will change humans entirely. They will not need the muscle mass or bone structure that is needed on Earth. If in less than 1G, humans would begin to evolve more "blob-like." Now that's getting weird! At the same time, our technology would develop to be nearly one with us, more to the point of being half machine, or cyborg like. These are interesting theories and I've always wondered how humans would adapt to space, especially when we cannot go far very fast.

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Have you ever played with the idea that in a few hundred years, or thousand we are all connected in a alternative reality. We have machines do everything for us, our basic instinct is out the window and we live for ever. Humans in space are only beeing simulated.

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A total Human Transformation should have some bearing if we want to project out a millennium or two for a story line.

 

This concept @Nord mentions has been around for a long time in various formats. It awoke anew with the name branding of the term Singularity in the late 50's by Von Neumann and has gained new traction with the advent of progressive AI attempts. It was a hypothesis about machine dominance by Alan Turing that probably started this speculation by the renowned thinkers of the 50's.

 

There are supposed tipping points to both AI and the Enhanced Intelligence (the EI that I used in my writing). Many writers have theory crafted scenarios, from S. Butler's Erewhon in the late 1800's (and their transition from fear of machinery taking over) to James Cameron's Skynet in the early 1980's (and their transition from fear of AI taking over). Most of these writings assume it will be abrupt and not foreseen as a danger until it manifests itself.

The thinkers of today are likewise in a quandary over Beneficial or Threat. It is probably impossible to tell without reaching that point of no return, but one thing is always held as a common truth.

Machines evolve faster than humans do.

 

I took a different approach to AI. My character was examining his new Memory Sorting and Total Recall abilities induced with his Nano-Tech (EI) implants and occasionally wondered if he was still Human, especially so because of his near magic seeming abilities to control very dangerous machines. If everything is picture perfect in memory, are you living a life or just recording one?

It also carried a frightening addiction, to the point where one felt less than complete and depressed without it. A machine related Alzheimer condition. Although it was not the main concept in the building of this character, I had some fun with it just because I could.

 

Some of the newer writings want to go metaphysical, to the point where we become liken to energy spirits. This will have to stay pure story craft until we really know that there exists an Alternate Universe surrounding us. For my part, I suspect that no matter how strange people may become, we will be staying human in form and recognizable as such

 

There are other (potential) threats of EI which are much more approachable with what we have on hand today. Since my writing, we now have a generation that has been immersed in technology their entire lives. A contemporary form of the EI theme? Are they less than complete without it?

 

It is beyond me to understand why you need a cell phone to sit next to a creek and fish or sit by the Ocean and listen to the surf. Understood or not, such mystery pervades a lot of our youngsters. Technology (as any other potential addiction) can indeed change who you are without your becoming aware of the transition. It will usually be someone outside the loop who will point things out.

As with any addictive behavior, it is up to the individual to accept a realization and come to grips with it, thereby controlling or dispensing the urges. There is no solution that works without the support of the afflicted. (bought any ships lately? Sorry, could not resist, heh heh).

 

Anyway, with the current state of the arts, Singularity is not to be feared, (but mind we keep a sharp eye on the Nano-Tech theatre of operations). Outlandishness is continually being thought up, written and published. Things that will not happen. Ever.

It's sole purpose should be to entertain and you do not need tin foil to avoid being compromised. I do not sit on the porch at night sipping a drink and worrying about how smart the Ocean is becoming, nor zombies coming out of the dark , and neither should you.

 

But still, It may get very weird out there. - DRUM out

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Have you ever played with the idea that in a few hundred years, or thousand we are all connected in a alternative reality. We have machines do everything for us, our basic instinct is out the window and we live for ever. Humans in space are only beeing simulated.

Oh yeah, without a doubt. I imagine that Augmented Reality will become commonplace in the next few decades. Google Glass is the first step to this. I expect all humans to have a device integrated with their brain probably in the next century. Could be interesting.

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Humans In Space – Who Sent Yah !?

 

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch/14016-Showdown

shows local hatred for a Xi'An family (POL's) who migrated to Fujin City in Centauri.

Not very different from contemporary mistrust of Foreigners. This gives some freedom and opens a path for a writer to discuss topics that would normally be taboo. It is wise to be careful though. Just calling out a group of people as a different Species will not give you protection from accusations of racial hatred or profiling (nor should it).

As was mentioned in Raised By Wolves, some unique story plots can be twisted together out of the interactions seen when examining various cultures//species clashing.

It is interesting that the Verse is not shying away from something that will probably always be an issue so long as Humans live in clusters. It is not always going to be the fundamentalists who strike blows to the established ruling class, and some troubles will be self-inflicted. If the rulers ignore this distrust of foreigners, they end up with tribal ghettos of displaced and unhappy people. Supporting and furthering it, could well lead to insurrection or even War.

 

Ahh, War. Warfare will probably be a safe topic for a lot of writers in the Verse. But what type of Warfare?

Charlemagne took huge risk one winter, by riding out and capturing some strongholds during the harsh winter months. This was not done in those days and the victories were easy, but the Winter weather was very costly in man and horse. Because of the losses, he did not repeat the performance. A Slow War was the normal approach. Necessary by the culture and technology of the times.

 

Slow War remained the way of the ancients, before and after Charlemagne. Crops needed planting and culling. Entire populations huddled down during the Winters and a stingy crop year meant people starved. A successful commander did not expect his troops to ignore the needs of their village, because even an Army needs to eat.

Modern Technology shifted this and today we do not see farming or Winter stopping the combatants.

 

However, a lot of the Verse is going to be frontier, and the Slow War methods may return in specific areas. Space itself adds to this. Even with our magical spaceships, there are still logistic barriers to getting troops on the ground and fed. The larger the army, the larger the issues. Just getting them all in one place at the same time is going to be aggravated by space travel.

 

Presently, here on Earth, there are concerns about Fresh Water being the next World War tipping point. Oil appears to be the Get It While You Can item, but this is deceiving. The truth remains that there is Oil in a lot of places.

Not so with water. 97% of Earth's water is not drinkable. 2% of the potable water is locked into our frozen poles. A fourth of the remaining one percent is utilized by Industry. Agriculture eats another, even larger slice.

A huge block of the estimated potable water resources are contained in Russia, Europe, and the United States. So not only do these areas already have the necessary infrastructure in place to utilize water efficiently, (something a lot of countries still struggle with), they also have a natural abundance to monopolize.

 

There are 195 Countries in the UN, plus many other places that are not designated as a County. If you count Countries as well as disputed lands (From China's 1.4 Billion people, to the Pitcairn Islands 60 people), the Country total is about 257.

It is easy to see that the Have Nots will vastly outnumber the Haves when it comes to water.

 

There are already studies that may doom beef for future generations. Beef is a very inefficient supply of meat when water consumption is examined. It may not concern us now, but when scarcity of water becomes a major concern, the water necessary to sustain grazing land and water for the animals could well be prioritized to more efficient areas.

What will we be eating in the Verse? It might not be Burgers as we know them. Eating a beef steak could well be a once in a lifetime achievement.

 

Boots on the ground to gather or protect a needed resource on our current planet Earth is a given. For the exact same reasons, pure territory grabs and the local attempts to repel the invaders will occur in the Verse. We can ponder For What?, and maybe weave an interesting story supporting the justification.

Water, Minerals, Farm Friendly Land, Cultural Differences, Power, Pure Hatred, and many other motivations that would seem whimsical, unless you were on the side that was without whatever the War was being fought over.

 

It may get very weird out there. - DRUM out

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Humans In Space – Dust To Dust (Death Of A Spaceman).

 

Burial means Placing A Body Into The Ground.

In some cultures it is not so simple and straight forward.

 

Mongolians, after a very strict ritual, allow dogs to eat the corpse.

In Tibet the corpse is dismembered, bones crushed and remnants scattered so animals can eat it.

In Bali the bodies accumulate until enough are available and then they are put into a float and burned.

Some Islanders keep the polished skull but bury the rest.

Madagascar digs them up every seven years to dance with them.

Even America has gotten into non-traditional methods. Your loved ones remains can be made into a synthetic diamond to wear.

These are all civilized places with very religious peoples. And yet some methods still sound extreme or bizarre.

 

Customs change also. When I was young we had Wakes. Someone sat up with the coffin at night to keep the spirits at bay. (I think it was so no one would come and steal the jewelry and gold teeth, but hey..). During the day the woman would be upstairs weeping while the men would congregate downstairs and get rather drunk. (There was a ruckus at a few when they wanted the lad downstairs for One More Drink and they had to be stopped from propping the corpse up for one last round).

This was not as crude a custom as it sounds. My brothers and I would be lurking around downstairs hoping for an unattended drink we could glom, and during those times we learned more about the family history than at any other gathering. Granted, the true nature of the stories that flowed about the deceased were probably not as epic as these drunken relatives related, but those things happened, so truth was embedded in those tales. Passing of a legacy by word of mouth.

Note: Enemy Mine excelled at this. The story devised a Legacy Transfer for an alien race in a very understandable and definitive manner, and in the process made it the driving force behind the entire tale..

 

Today the viewing is done at a funeral hall instead of the house, and at many you do not even go to the grave site to watch the casket lowered.

Sadly, today no one gets drunk and passes on the tales of their lives either. As the current elder in the family, maybe it is time to restart this ritual. All I have to do is convince my very catholic wife, heh heh.

 

In space it would be practical to just punt a corpse out of the airlock. But beyond the fact that this would pollute the travel lanes over time, it seems rude. Maybe with a trajectory towards a celestial body would be better in the long run. If of a Zen persuasion, some valid methods for putting the remains back into the cosmos may be feeding the corpse into a reactor or making compost for the settlement gardens.

 

A space settlement would inherently have to do something out of the ordinary. Living space is precious and cluttering it up with corpses will not be a choice. It is sort of creepy to think along the lines of a Soylent Green option, but everything else is recycled and used anew, so as outlandish as this seems to us, they may not be so squeamish about it on an isolated and survival dependant settlement.

 

We also have Alien Species to consider. What would be their manner?

Only buried on sacred grounds come to mind. An entire episode could be established for assisting in an Alien Pilgrimage to lay Gramps to rest in a respectful manner.

 

So how many alternate methods to burial are there really, while still respecting the deceased?

Simply exploring an unusual or different burial process could add some flair to a story or history.

 

It may get very weird out there. - DRUM out

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Humans In Space – Rags or Riches.

 

The Economy Model being presented to us when the PU rolls out will have areas building up as well as failing. Looking at ourselves (Humans) can assist us in understanding why this would be.

 

Human nature will not let us stand still. However, even with the amount of technological advancement produced by the endeavors to reach space, our own space programs have always had nay sayers.

Why are we throwing money into a vacuum when people are starving? On and on. The list is rather long on why we should Not. The short answer is always Because We Can.

I prefer to think of it as Because We Must. Having every single human alive living on one rock in the Verse is not a logical long range plan...

 

But logic is not always in play with human affairs and a colony or settlement would not be any different. The (logical) smart money would say: Go No Further!

Wait until a valid economy and self sufficient manufacturing and food growing processes are established, (complete with a population base to support all of this).

Sorry to say – ain't gonna happen..

 

Almost as soon as there are facilities to resupply and fuel up there will be ships heading Out There. For the most part (in the beginnings at least) these will be people who are just using the fringe area of civilized space as a jump off point. (Think St. Louis in the western gold rush and colonization days). These factions would not affect the colony or settlement overall and would actually be a boon economy wise.

 

By the second or third generation though, the restless and disillusioned will be packing their bags. Can you have a successful and self sufficient colony in that time? Very doubtful. There would be a need for incentives to stay put, as well as to bring in new blood. Each post will have different needs and wants. Some will do better than others. In the early stages there will be the haves (successful original settlers and enterprising new comers) versus the have nots (those less successful for whatever reasons). All heading in different directions with conflicting goals while consuming the limited surplus of commodities.

 

If there are opportunities in the area such as Tourism, Asteroid Belts or viable moons for mining, it would help to keep people in the general area, but even these type of enterprise would be a serious drain to a new colony that is just getting under way. Those who are stuck on the ground for whatever reason will not be in the game and poverty will settle in as limited resources are meted out to those who can afford them or just flat out need them more. Opportunism, exploitation, hate, distrust, revolution. Everything is on the table in the early stages of civilizing an area.

An amazingly rich story area, just examining daily life in such an environment.

 

Those that failed or are in the process of it, will have various degrees of poverty. Lack of educational opportunity, scarce commodities, expensive markup on pricing, lack of employment, black market crime and drug issues, all the conflicts and nitty gritty of civilization's downside. A lot will have to do with their location in the Verse, but exploitative conglomerates, unsound community models, corrupt leaders and//or warring crime syndicates could well overcome even the best location and intentions.

 

Even those that are successful will have the harsh side of being human to some point, but it would not be the norm and thereby somewhat hidden unless you wandered into the wrong side of town.

The new comers that are demanded and needed for growth will be poor and unfit to succeed unless it is done smartly. And just because a colony was successful would not necessarily mean they would remain so.

It will require smart CEOs or Politicians to remain lucrative. Being in charge may have you the flavor of the month today and on the first ship out tomorrow.

 

Rich or poor, any colony or settlement that was raided by Aliens or unscrupulous Humans, could well find themselves without the means to rebuild in a successful manner. Possibly not at all. The whole process is a dice roll, and the game is never over.

 

It will be interesting to roam the Verse and see the different degrees of poverty and success. Some will be apparent, others will mystify.

I am excited by the amount of detail and thought being introduced into the economic models.

Some interesting Avatar History or Story Writing can be brought forth within such a varied Verse.

 

Will the PU incorporate ALL aspects of Human Nature mentioned? Very doubtful, but they seem to be giving it a try, so we can hope.

And we are not alone in the Verse. Beyond Humans, the Banu Culture is sure to drive many stories. Even with the complications it would produce in a Human Culture, I always did relish the Ferengi mindset. Pure capitalists to the core.

 

It may get very weird out there. - DRUM out

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@Drum really enjoyed reading your posts :)

 

 

As i was reading the posts you got me thinking there is a really typical concept CIG created... 2 big warring factions ,an assimilated one ,2 "neutral"  and some unknown... sure things will get wierd.

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Really like the idea of this thread as well and I'll probably hop in tomorrow and edit my post to add more to it, but here are just some initial thoughts on this.

 

From your first post, it seems to me like you're talking about a settlement in the sense of either A: A space station or B: Settlement on a Non-Terraformed Planet.

In that regard, we can already say that at the least in Star Citizen, there will be many settlements on Terraformed planets where 'air is air', natural phenomena such as currents in the rivers, lakes and oceans, etc. pp.

 

As for the Threat of Infection, there is several things we have to consider here. Yes there would be the possibility that certain strains of bacteria or viruses occur in one settlement and are transported to another and possibly run rampant there. But you also have to consider the progress of medicine. By the time we colonize the stars, we may already have moved to the point of where we use nanobots to boost and enhance our immune system. Research in this field is already being done, from nanoparticles that deliver drugs to target locations, to nanoparticles being used to directly target cancer cells and eradicate them.

Assuming that we could advance nanotechnology to the point where we literally have tiny, 'smart' programmed nanobots inside our body, they would be able to handle most infectious bacteria or viruses regardless of where they come from. The bacteria or virus could not attack the nanobots because they aren't living cells that they adapted to attack and thus, they would not 'weaken' or tire out as our biological immune system does.

So this could possibly prevent a large sum of potential Threats of Infection.

 

Now to the knowledge of the area. Yes one learns the place they live and grow up in best to their memory, but we are already relying heavily on GPS and navigation tools nowadays. I would assume this only progresses further in the future and given tools such as the omniGlass and HUDs, I doubt anyone would ever get lost because they just have all the maps of the locations and are guided to where they wish to go.

 

As for the idea of people not being able to accomodate the thought of a horizon, a flat living surface etc. I doubt this would be a serious problem. Earth isn't a flat surface either, IF you do walk long enough in a straight lane, you will return back to the same space. Given the dimensions of an entire planet, this would take incredibly long though.

I have not seen many things, but my mind is still capable of processing, understanding, and realizing what those things are. Yes it is different to experience directly, but that would just be a huge source of tourism attraction. To give one example, many people have never gone skydiving. Do I understand what it incorporates, how it may possibly feel, what I may perceive while doing it? Yes, but until I go and do it myself, I will not have the full knowledge. So I doubt people would freak out at water flowing naturally or natural wind occurrence.

Considering that we are talking about a technologically, scientifically, and philosophically advanced state of mankind, I am sure they'd be taught the laws of physics, science in general, etc. that lead to these events.

 

 

I will leave it at that for tonight, but I shall return tomorrow to post/edit more on all this, I really like the idea behind this thread!

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Humans In Space – Dummies Need Not Apply

 

If a society lived on an island with an active volcano as a centerpiece, then sooner or later a group of smart people will decide that this is actually a bad thing and set out to find another island. The B personality types will hang around much the same as they do today with a drudge job. Some of the A personality types will hang around due to peer pressure, family, or maybe because they see an advantage filling the slots of those who are leaving. Some of these B types will also tag along to another island due to family and peer pressure. However, the exodus will be primarily the A type and good money says they are the thinkers, movers, and shakers of the population.

 

If the island finally blows up, then one can say this is another form of evolution at work.

But what happens if the island never disintegrates and melts into the sea? Now we have two societies who are alike and yet inherently different, since one is talent heavy.

It takes little imagination to realize that the group which left will do better in the long run.

 

Human society is a tad meager in frontiers these days. Your worth to society remains one of the few places you can easily push the limits and prove yourself in. If we examine the mind set of people who are ambitious and testing the boundary with high tech jobs versus those who are perfectly content to shove assembly line burgers out of a hole in the wall, well then, it is obvious who will be fetching a ticket to join a space expansion.

 

There has been a drain on talent with every human expansion. Space will be no different. Eventually there will be settlements and people living there who will not (or cannot) leave what they call home, but the core of these settlements will be derived from the talented ones who set off into the wild frontier a generation of so ago. The next exodus will not take as long. A history of human expansions has proven this.

 

Here at home, an unforeseeable social element is in play today. How it will impact things in the future has not been proven. It use to be that a talented person required a lot of self control, determination, and will to succeed. I remember as a child that we had three shelves dedicated to Britannica. This was our gift from parents who really wanted us to succeed in life and were willing to spend some effort to make it easier.

We use to have to KNOW things to be considered talented.

Today the answer is in your pocket. Just pull out your phone and Google the answer.

 

I sense the future impact will be less than some think. It derives from a statement I have repeated many times.

If Schools Made You Smart There Would Not Be A Dumb Person In America.

So having the answer at your finger tips remains not as important as your retention and what you do with that answer. You still require the drive to be more than you are.

 

What this all boils down to is understanding that those living OFF the core worlds will be very talented and astute. Even though everyone has a MobiGlas, a very small percentage of the population will have the ambition and capabilities to achieve this and go Out There. Just existing in such a demanding environment will take a lot of intelligence and skills.

They could well have a sense of empowerment over those left behind, even if only on a subconscious level. Maybe even rightly so.

Something worth exploring when deriving a story or Family background for the Verse...

 

It may get very weird out there. - DRUM out

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@Drum

 

I agree with a lot of yours words, though I have a few things that I would add to give you a little bit of my perspective.

I do believe that the talented, curious people are often the first to take part in the expansion, but while those may be the ones that discover new areas, a lot of population movement was not just by the talented. It was usually a heavier focus on avoiding jurisdiction, discrimination of some sort, etc. A good example of this was the US itself. The Puritans and a lot of other smaller denominations left Britain and Europe in general to avoid religious persecution and build a new life. There wasn't necessarily a disparity in talent and intelligence in the 'main body' of settlers. The bigger know how influx to the US was due to WW I and WW II I believe, where many of the scientists and experts fled Europe during or shortly after the Wars and continued their work overseas.

 

Now, in relation to your statement that those living off the core worlds will be very talented and astute. I actually would want to partly object to that. A lot of times, the so called 'low-life' actually thrives better in the off core worlds due to less regulations, less regard for luxury etc. and the fact that it is easier to maintain a simple, uniform lifestyle rather than an inventive, diverse, elaborate one. Think of the bandits and cowboys in the Wild West, I would argue that while some may have been very smart, there were probably a larger sum of people that would be on an even or lower level than the general, overarching population.

 

But it's all opinions anyway, just wanted to give my thoughts on yours.

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Responding to the original post, there's a book called Brute Orbits that looks at the issue from a forced-separation perspective; prisoners are simply loaded into nuclear-reactor powered hollowed out asteroids and sent into multi-decade orbits to cut down on security costs, but some go amiss and end up leaving the solar system - and can only be recovered after a few hundred years when technology has progressed enough. The prison population of all men or all women die out, but the ones with mixed populations end up having kids and in only about 3 generations they develop wildly different cultures.  At the beginning of each journey there is of course, because of no on-board security, killing, raping, a whiddling-away of those that do not fit into the dominant culture, and then it simply evolves on its own.

Now mix in alien cultures and you'll soon have planets where human wives bite their husbands heads off after mating.

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Humans In Space – Water Of Life

CIG teases us with some economic potentials to make money and I have just realized one that has been seriously underplayed.

WATER.

We have mining for Ore, but water should also be a huge commodity, especially for moons and non-planet based cultures and conglomerates. This was in fact driven home during the airing of The Expanse. Control of the water was a choke hold on all other commerce. We will need it to drink, make oxygen, industry, farming, etc.

Transfers in a solid (frozen) state would have some benefits beyond not wasting energy to keep it in liquid form, but unless we are shifting a small asteroid sized chunk, would it be worthwhile?

Could there be an economic value to filling a Starfarer with water instead of fuel (and a cheap method to keep it liquid) or an Orion with Ice Chunks instead of ore? In specific areas of the verse I suppose this could be true. It would require CIG to implement a water scarce market though.

Regardless, a story line could be derived from a need for water, even if SC does not see the reality of it. We will see war on Earth for water rights in our lifetime, so it is not far fetched to see the same once out in the verse.

 

It may get very weird out there. - DRUM out

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