Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL & DCPU

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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby croxis » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:13 pm

There was a short story I read as a kid. The idea was that there were three fundamental things every sentient race discovers. Fire, agriculture, and antigravity. For some reason humanity missed that last one. An alien race discovered Earth and, because humanity missed such a fundamental discovery, brought in an invasion fleet and army to invade and take over Earth. They landed their wooden space ships and attacked with their bows and arrows, and we responded with f-16s and icbms.

It makes for an interesting alternative universe like djetty and notch suggested where, at the dawn of the computer age, humanity discovered antigravity/ftl/whatever. Some argue that once the US/Soviet spacerace was scaled back the future brainpower that might of worked on the space program ended up working in other fields, such as computing. Had the space program continued those who developed the internet, sse2, smart phones, and facebook might of ended up working in the space program instead.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby mrout » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:40 am

Which is exactly what I've been saying the entire time.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby Talvi » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:42 am

Past a certain point, it doesn't make sense that certain technologies could be invented before others. For example, it would be possible to invent the wheel before the discovery of fire, but not possible to invent a grandfather clock before a wheel, despite the fact that neither or related - without the idea of a circular object rotating on an axle, you don't have the gears to make the clock work. Similarly, developing FTL travel would take an enormous amount of mathematical computations and simulations, of the variety that simply can't be done without computers...

But then there's also the rule of cool. Sometimes you ignore reality to do something that's really cool... and if we don't want there to be an actual reason, that's fine - just pull attention away from the fact that there isn't a reason, or make it cool enough that people simply don't care that there's not a reason.

Anyway, that's my two cents. I made another thread earlier with a fleshed-out version of the core background, with the hope that I could at least partially do away with the discrepancies, which I think I may have... partially, at least.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby mrout » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:02 am

but not possible to invent a grandfather clock before a wheel, despite the fact that neither or related


But they are related. You can't have clocks without cogs, and once you have cogs you have wheels.

Similarly, developing FTL travel would take an enormous amount of mathematical computations and simulations, of the variety that simply can't be done without computers...


Not necessarily.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby Talvi » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:40 am

mrout wrote:Not necessarily.

How so? I suppose you could just "find" the technology as the remnants of a technologically superior race, but that's horribly overdone.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby mrout » Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:17 am

Because there's no reason to assume that you have to do complex calculations to do FTL travel. That's just a trope. It's a common trope, but it's a trope.

FTL travel isn't real. It is, for all intents and purposes, magic. Yes, we justify it with our "One Big Lie" of having the ability to generate large amounts of exotic matter in order to have negative energy densities (I haven't done physics in ages - don't hit me if reading that hurt you mentally), but in the end questions like "Does it require extreme large amounts of computation to do FTL travel?" are ones we can answer however we like.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby Talvi » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:39 pm

Ahhhh, tropes. I can do tropes. I know Trope Fu.

As to it being magic, perhaps you're right on this count, but regardless of what the explanation is, we still ought to choose one. Not doing so is just bad writing, and akin to a version of Powers As The Plot Demands It, except applied to an entire species. Having the entire rest of the game be entirely realistic and leaving one element of the story unexplained is a Plot Hole, which is a sure sign of a writing problem. That's precisely what we're trying to avoid in this thread.

Yeah, I don't think travelling faster than the speed of light is at all possible, nor do I think gravity manipulation will ever be possible, and especially not matter replicators or "beaming" as a form of transportation, to list a few other things. It's considered an Acceptable Break From Reality. Even so, I, and most people, like there to be an explanation behind the technology in a particular story - and I doubt this could be considered Fridge Logic - people are going to come up with these questions while they're still playing the game. Asking, "How does Captain X manage to fly his ship around the galaxy so fast?" and being met with, "He just does" doesn't exactly help with the Willing Suspension Of Disbelief. The Rule Of Cool can help here somewhat, invoking the MST3K Mantra, but that mantra doesn't apply at all when you're trying to make the rest of the universe as realistic as possible. A work that strives to be serious in all areas can't leave one area unexplained without raising questions.

And no... your One Big Lie didn't really make much sense from a physics perspective. =P However, One Big Lie is supposed to do that, from what I remember... but you're also supposed to follow up whatever laws of physics you invent to logically work out the effect it has on the rest of the universe, and not just leave it as "this is how it works, now let's move on."
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby mrout » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:29 am

From a physics perspective - this is from talking with physics majors doing honours physics, and one PhD student (doing research on black holes and) in the last couple of days - it's not implausible. That's really all we'd need to create Alcubierre drives, at least from a theoretical perspective - the best kind of perspective.

I'm definitely not saying "This is how it works, now let's move on". Where did you get that idea? This is a discussion about whether or not you need to do complex calculations to do FTL travel. And I say: no. That's got nothing to do with your second and third paragraphs or your last sentence, unless I've missed something.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby Talvi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:18 pm

From a physics perspective, theoretically, you could create large amounts of "exotic matter" - i.e. negative energy, or energy with a negative density (working with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle), but you don't need specifically large amounts to create negative energy densities - if you have exotic matter at all, you have negative energy densities. That's what I was pointing out. I like the idea of negative energy, though. Theoretical physics don't bother me at all.

I was under the impression we were still talking about the technological discrepancies, and that's what my second and third paragraph was about. About that, you did indeed say "it's just so", more or less - perhaps they aren't discrepancies, we need to explain why they aren't, and for good reason. Regardless of whether we call them discrepancies or not, if we don't explain why we have one without the other, players will raise the question of "why" - just as a good number of people have been doing on this forum and others. That's more along the lines of what I was saying.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby KirksEchoingScream » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:28 am

What if the reason is that FTL technology fries all but the most rudimentary computers? Only the most simple and basic systems can survive spaceflight, so their ships are designed to only use what they can bring with them.

They do have more advanced computers in some places, and know how to build them, but it's not relevant to space travelers so there's no need to include them in the game.
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