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Old December 10th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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Default Future of 1977 -vs- Future of 2010?

... no longer wish to say anything on this forum, mods pls delete this message. ...

MODERATOR NOTE by Far-Trader - Sorry, I will not comply with your request where it means deleting the thread.

I'm disappointed that you couldn't have left your posts intact as your method and request is disruptive to the thread flow and the community. I have deleted your posts where possible as you have already edited them and the damage is done.

I would like to advise everyone I really Really REALLY
REALLY despise this type of leaving. If you don't like it here, fine, just leave, even ask for a ban if you don't feel you can trust yourself to stay away or participate civilly. And by all means edit anything you feel a valued proprietary claim to. But PLEASE for the love of whatever you hold dear don't do it this way just out of spite or malice or whatever drives one to this action.

Original Content Restored - Edit by Aramis:
Opening up a topic here that may or may not have been discussed here before - a quick look at the forum didn't turn anything up though.

I have seen reference that certain technological topics (specifically mentioned were Nanotech & Transhumanism) are considered "anathema" to the Traveller universe. That's been bugging me a LOT.

As we are all certainly aware, much of Traveller's technology is stuck in the 1970s and 1980s with inspirations going back to the 1960s.

I had a moment of this when a player was asking me to purchase "Commdots" to use as bugs. I looked in the book and it did indeed mention they could be used for that, but then I realized what they really were - BLUETOOTH HEADSET. I directed the player to another entry which was more appropriate for an electronic bug.

That got me to thinking - Commdot? Why not revise that in light of at least 2010 technology and call it a headset? But then beyond that is the lack of recognition of modern computing and networking in the system. Today almost everybody carries around a cell phone, and many of us have smartphones. I have a G1 running Android, and can access many programs and features that in Traveller I'd have to use several devices to accomplish!

Of course, the Internet as we know it wouldn't necessarily work well across interstellar distances. But couldn't the xBoat network "synchronize" planetary networks? For example, I could submit a "Google XBoat Request" to my computer for information not available locally, and it would send out requests just like a network broadcast on peer to peer, with a TTL specified in Parsecs (ie, only search up to 10 parsecs away) and in a few weeks, the information I was looking for is pushed back to my own computer using the xBoat network. Thus, I could request the latest economic figures from a system 17 parsecs away, without having to send someone in a scout ship there!

Of course, the concept is kinda there with various write-ups on imperial bank accounts and such, as well as the idea that if you've quit paying on your ship loans that the information will be passed around, but it doesn't feel "integrated" into the system.

Medically as well, it feels stilted. There are rules for regrowing limbs, which is obviously beyond current technology. Yet it is assumed that humans are just humans. Genetic engineering has uplifted Apes and Dolpins, but there are no options in character/race creation for genetically altered humans. To say that thousands of years from now we don't have this due to cultural conservatism is to ignore the fact that somewhere a pocket empire would be radical and go against the social norm, and that itself is a social norm!

Then we have the combination of nanotechnology and genetic/medical engineering together. Why would we have CommDots or even a "bluetooth" headset for a comm device a few metres away? Wouldn't/couldn't humans thousands of years from now have a subdermal, nano-bio-circuitry enabled communications device, which can directly interface with the brain's thought processes, visual and auditory cortexes, etc? So you can simply consciously request to know the latest economic data, and it would be downloaded into your brain, or at the very least, displayed directly to your visual cortex? Perhaps one could argue that the human mind simply wasn't ever able to be wired to accept direct knowledge downloads (that one would really screw up the game), but there's no reason we can't imagine with current technology being able to plug into the visual/auditory cortex to access data without need for screens or other such physical devices.

Ultimately, I don't see how these things are "anathema" to the setting - or perhaps the setting itself just needs to be refreshed. The idea of Traveller is still in place - travel and communication are limited by time, distance and high cost, leading to a fragmentation of authority in the future, which causes much conflict. That can remain in a key element of the setting. There's no need to ignore likely technological advances, however, or worse, even ones that we've already achieved.


Last edited by aramis; April 12th, 2010 at 03:15 AM.. Reason: User Request Denial Explanation
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