Traveller Store CotI Features New Posts Mark Forums Read Register


Go Back TravellerRPG.com > Citizens of the Imperium > General Traveller Discussions > In My Traveller Universe

In My Traveller Universe Detail what parts of Traveller you do (or don't) use in your campaign.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old July 5th, 2018, 10:29 AM
epicenter00's Avatar
epicenter00 epicenter00 is offline
Citizen: SOC-13
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 850
Gallery : 0
epicenter00 Citizen+epicenter00 Citizen+epicenter00 Citizen+
Default

I have some serious doubts about this 'post scarcity' economy in many of the forms that are discussed. I think it's possible, but many of these ideas feel a lot like those old 1950s films where they claimed with fission power, we'd have electricity "too cheap to meter." (Mind you, I'm sure that is possible, even today - but with market-based economies you couldn't pay for those reactors or their upkeep if it what was being produced was too cheap to meter.)

However, at the same time, I do wonder if humans will ever feel it necessary to leave our solar system for the reasons you describe (presumably until Sol starts to act up as it grows older, but that's so far in the future it as might well as be 'never' as far as humans are concerned). It's exceedingly unlikely we'll find a shirtsleeves world similar enough to our planet to settle. If any real estate in another solar system requires a spacesuit or domes or whatever to live on, why bother going there? We can do that right here.

But, I have some ideas why people would want to leave the solar system, even so:

1) Economy. Since the industrial revolution has developed, human development has been constrained primarily by resources. People will not produce more than can at least recoup the costs of production. There are examples of "resource gluts" in human history - but these are always temporary, until the markets adjust to the new supply. At some point, I think economies of scale will be able to react almost instantly to increased supply; the more we gather, the more we want because we can make stuff with it then we'll need more. We'll always find a use for stuff no matter how fast we gather it. At scales like that, we might exhaust our solar system's resources, or more likely, we'll decide we don't want to convert Mars or Jupiter into building material for our Dyson Swarm, the stuff in the Scattered Disc isn't worth the energy to gather, and we'll decide we're going to use those sungates to get stuff from elsewhere where it's closer the star so we can leech power from the star while doing our work.

2) Alliance Wars. Humans don't like to get along with each other beyond our "tribe." We might overcome this at some point, but what if we don't? These lofty ideas of Dyson Swarms or whatever assume that humans can be trusted to get along at some level. But what if we don't? It'd only take one "Solar System War I" between segments of the Dyson Swarm and the outer planets and so on to make a bunch of people decide maybe the solar system (the good parts) are too crowded and go puttering off to another star to gather their free solar power in the Life Zone there, far away from alliance politics of the Sol system, is the way to go.

3) Alliance Politics. Imagine a future where the entire inner solar system is more or less divvied up, either by groups exploiting it or perhaps set aside by treaty to be left untouched (or likely, both with some parts being exploited, others being kept). Yet, the solar system is divided into different rival groups. One hares off to set up a settlement to feed resources back the Sol system (while many are stuck in some romantic American view of colonies going independent, our Earth shows us there's plenty of cases of ways to set up "colonies" where the people there have no desire to be independent). The others realize the extra wealth this alliance is getting is problematic. Everyone else follows suit. It only takes one to do this, and everyone's going to follow suit.

4) Power. Yeah, fusion, Traveller's baby exists. But solar power is simply there for the taking and it's so easy to gather. But what happens on the day we actually finish our Dyson Swarm? Oops. We need more power for whatever project, maybe making the computer that we're using to solve how we can get around the Heat Death of the universe or whatever. Regardless, we want more solar power. So we hop off to other solar systems to build there, gathering the power there instead. In fact, humanity might feel it is a philosophical imperative - all those stars, blazing all this power and it's doing nothing.
__________________
"... to be truly happy a man has to live absolutely in the present - no thought as what's gone before and no thought of what lies ahead. But a life of meaning, a man is condemned to wallow in the past and obsess about the future."

Last edited by epicenter00; July 5th, 2018 at 10:47 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old July 5th, 2018, 11:33 AM
Adam Dray's Avatar
Adam Dray Adam Dray is offline
Citizen: SOC-13
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 826
Gallery : 0
Visit Adam Dray's Blog
Adam Dray Citizen+Adam Dray Citizen+
Default

Thanks for the ideas, epicenter00. A lot to chew on there.

At some point, exponential birth rates (doubling every 70-100 years) forces us to move somewhere. If we expand outward at that rate, we will cross the 100-planet mark within 500-700 years. Is it easier to just curb human growth rate than to colonize other earthlike planets? Is it easier to just build arcologies on the ocean or on the moon or on Mars?

How many times does Earth population need to double before we really have a crisis on the planet over space and resources?

Also, this assumes that we're finding earthlike planets that have similar amounts of colonizable surface. A water world offers little. A rocky superearth might offer 10 times the surface area of Earth; that can absorb overpopulation a lot longer than a planet comparable in size to Earth.
__________________
Grand Duke Rhylanor, SPIN 2717 Rhylanor/Rhylanor A434934-F
Count Junidy, SPIN 3202 Junidy/Aramis B434ABD-B
Marquis Tuwayk/Deneb 0339
Marquis Smoug/Lunion 1729
Marquis Rech/Lanth 2112
Baron/ess Rech/Lanth 2112
Knight of Deneb Junidy/Aramis 3202
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old July 5th, 2018, 11:45 AM
Adam Dray's Avatar
Adam Dray Adam Dray is offline
Citizen: SOC-13
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 826
Gallery : 0
Visit Adam Dray's Blog
Adam Dray Citizen+Adam Dray Citizen+
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straybow View Post
When you say "sungate" I'm thinking a megaconstruct that would be planetary GDP scale, 100+ trillion. When you say STL travel to another star, I'm thinking that cost would be comparable.
Sungates are 7- to 15-meter rings using edge technology involving superconductors and magnets. Each ring is quantum-entanglement-paired, molecule-by-molecule (where it counts), with its twin. They're not megastructures. They do use a lot of Thulium-169, but a modern world can produce enough metal for a new sungate in a month or two.

The STL travel for the sungate typically takes 5-10 years, depending on distance (3-7 ly). Missions beyond 7 ly seem to have diminishing success rates. Shielding from cosmic dust is the main problem that abends missions. Because of ansible technology, mission leaders know immediately when the mission fails and can send the next gateship.

Maybe it costs $1T to install a new sungate factory on a world, but I doubt it. You can ship the Thulium-169 in from existing mining operations, even through a sungate. Since sungates decohere when they pass through another sungate, they can only travel STL. So once you get to a new star, you start building a new sungate factory to reach the next star. If that costs $1T, why do you bother?
__________________
Grand Duke Rhylanor, SPIN 2717 Rhylanor/Rhylanor A434934-F
Count Junidy, SPIN 3202 Junidy/Aramis B434ABD-B
Marquis Tuwayk/Deneb 0339
Marquis Smoug/Lunion 1729
Marquis Rech/Lanth 2112
Baron/ess Rech/Lanth 2112
Knight of Deneb Junidy/Aramis 3202
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old July 5th, 2018, 05:01 PM
whartung whartung is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,641
Gallery : 0
whartung Citizen+whartung Citizen+whartung Citizen+
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by epicenter00 View Post
4) Power. Yeah, fusion, Traveller's baby exists. But solar power is simply there for the taking and it's so easy to gather. But what happens on the day we actually finish our Dyson Swarm? Oops. We need more power for whatever project, maybe making the computer that we're using to solve how we can get around the Heat Death of the universe or whatever. Regardless, we want more solar power. So we hop off to other solar systems to build there, gathering the power there instead. In fact, humanity might feel it is a philosophical imperative - all those stars, blazing all this power and it's doing nothing.
There was a fun analysis about energy use several years ago:

https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/07/g...-scale-energy/
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old July 5th, 2018, 08:53 PM
wellis wellis is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Walnut
Posts: 374
Gallery : 0
wellis Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
Sungates are 7- to 15-meter rings using edge technology involving superconductors and magnets. Each ring is quantum-entanglement-paired, molecule-by-molecule (where it counts), with its twin. They're not megastructures. They do use a lot of Thulium-169, but a modern world can produce enough metal for a new sungate in a month or two.

The STL travel for the sungate typically takes 5-10 years, depending on distance (3-7 ly). Missions beyond 7 ly seem to have diminishing success rates. Shielding from cosmic dust is the main problem that abends missions. Because of ansible technology, mission leaders know immediately when the mission fails and can send the next gateship.

Maybe it costs $1T to install a new sungate factory on a world, but I doubt it. You can ship the Thulium-169 in from existing mining operations, even through a sungate. Since sungates decohere when they pass through another sungate, they can only travel STL. So once you get to a new star, you start building a new sungate factory to reach the next star. If that costs $1T, why do you bother?
Considering you've mentioned before your setting having some gravitics, is there some sort of gravitic shield, in addition to ice and other ablstive materials, that can be used to shield the sungate probe ships as they're deployed to different star systems?
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old July 5th, 2018, 08:57 PM
Adam Dray's Avatar
Adam Dray Adam Dray is offline
Citizen: SOC-13
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 826
Gallery : 0
Visit Adam Dray's Blog
Adam Dray Citizen+Adam Dray Citizen+
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wellis View Post
Considering you've mentioned before your setting having some gravitics, is there some sort of gravitic shield, in addition to ice and other ablstive materials, that can be used to shield the sungate probe ships as they're deployed to different star systems?
Yeah, but it doesn't work as well as you'd like at very high speeds.
__________________
Grand Duke Rhylanor, SPIN 2717 Rhylanor/Rhylanor A434934-F
Count Junidy, SPIN 3202 Junidy/Aramis B434ABD-B
Marquis Tuwayk/Deneb 0339
Marquis Smoug/Lunion 1729
Marquis Rech/Lanth 2112
Baron/ess Rech/Lanth 2112
Knight of Deneb Junidy/Aramis 3202
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old July 5th, 2018, 09:06 PM
Adam Dray's Avatar
Adam Dray Adam Dray is offline
Citizen: SOC-13
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 826
Gallery : 0
Visit Adam Dray's Blog
Adam Dray Citizen+Adam Dray Citizen+
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by whartung View Post
There was a fun analysis about energy use several years ago:

https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/07/g...-scale-energy/
That's very helpful. I hadn't realized that energy consumption is ^10 where population is ^2. That's huge.

If the Main Sequence universe is weirdly full of Earthlike planets with a diverse biosphere, one major reason to go there is to extract fossil fuels, which are still a great way to port energy around (if you can't get fusion power).

At what point is it easier for a Kardashev-I civilization to go find another planet than to expand into the solar system to farm solar power as a Kardashev-II civilization?
__________________
Grand Duke Rhylanor, SPIN 2717 Rhylanor/Rhylanor A434934-F
Count Junidy, SPIN 3202 Junidy/Aramis B434ABD-B
Marquis Tuwayk/Deneb 0339
Marquis Smoug/Lunion 1729
Marquis Rech/Lanth 2112
Baron/ess Rech/Lanth 2112
Knight of Deneb Junidy/Aramis 3202
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old July 5th, 2018, 09:10 PM
wellis wellis is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Walnut
Posts: 374
Gallery : 0
wellis Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
Yeah, but it doesn't work as well as you'd like at very high speeds.
But can it still provide some shielding? Maybe weaken any impacts enough that is slows down the degredation of the ablative shielding on the probes so they can possibly travel further than 7 LY?
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old July 5th, 2018, 09:11 PM
Adam Dray's Avatar
Adam Dray Adam Dray is offline
Citizen: SOC-13
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 826
Gallery : 0
Visit Adam Dray's Blog
Adam Dray Citizen+Adam Dray Citizen+
Default

The thermodynamic argument builds the case that around 2300, we're starting to cook our planet at a very alarmingly increasing rate, and people can't ignore it anymore. If it takes 20 years to open the first sungate to Alpha Proxima, that's when people start to invest in that solution, rather than suffer brownouts and other "zero-heat-growth" laws.
__________________
Grand Duke Rhylanor, SPIN 2717 Rhylanor/Rhylanor A434934-F
Count Junidy, SPIN 3202 Junidy/Aramis B434ABD-B
Marquis Tuwayk/Deneb 0339
Marquis Smoug/Lunion 1729
Marquis Rech/Lanth 2112
Baron/ess Rech/Lanth 2112
Knight of Deneb Junidy/Aramis 3202
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old July 5th, 2018, 10:21 PM
wellis wellis is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Walnut
Posts: 374
Gallery : 0
wellis Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
The thermodynamic argument builds the case that around 2300, we're starting to cook our planet at a very alarmingly increasing rate, and people can't ignore it anymore. If it takes 20 years to open the first sungate to Alpha Proxima, that's when people start to invest in that solution, rather than suffer brownouts and other "zero-heat-growth" laws.
But wouldn't emigration to other planets and places innthe Solar System ease some of that issue? Before sending off a sungate to Alpha Proxima I mean.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Galactic for Mac help. Border Reiver Software Solutions 2 May 6th, 2009 01:01 AM
Galactic question Baphomet69 Software Solutions 4 April 2nd, 2007 02:11 PM
Seeking Galactic aramis Software Solutions 6 April 24th, 2006 12:57 PM
Galactic Help? parmasson Software Solutions 7 July 28th, 2005 12:22 PM

This website and its contents are copyright ©2010- Far Future Enterprises. All rights reserved. Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises .
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright (c) 2010-2013, Far Future Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.