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Old 08-26-2015, 07:40 AM   #28
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Heat Signature, Cloaking Device, and Stealth Hull

Originally Posted by safisher View Post
Actually, I'm not fighting to the death. I'm simply suggesting that there is some justification for being a little optimistic about there being the possibility. And the reason for that is because scientists are often wrong. Dead wrong in fact. The future is indeterminate, and using 2015 as the metric for 2315 or 3715 is more than a little conceited, it's lacking in vision.
Why would you be "optimistic" about stealth in space? It's possible or it's not. It's not like its presence or absence would substantially improve our future, or make it grander or more beautiful. I can see the point of being optimistic about FTL travel, or fusion power, or blue-skinned space princesses in cyclopean citadels, pining to be rescued from their six-armed, chitinous captors, but stealth in space is a wash.

I think the word betrays a bias, but the real problem here is how you're arguing. It would be like if there was a flash in the night and a house was destroyed. And someone claimed a UFO did it. When countered that this is nonsense, the person might say "Well, you don't know, it could be." I could almost see that argument, it's the sort of argument we might make for humanoid aliens: We have no evidence that they couldn't be, so they could be.

But what if we found an arsonist who confessed to putting bombs inside the building, and we found further evidence that this was done by human hands, and the UFO-fan snorted and said "Well, police have been wrong before, and confessions can be coerced. It's all a cover-up!"

Well... okay, sure, but at this point you're making claims in the face of evidence, with nothing to actually back it up. What makes your version more likely than the official story? Our evidence points very strongly towards stealth in space being impossible, and for current practical purposes, it's impossible. Thus, for a near-term sci-fi game, the statement "stealth in space is impossible" is perfectly, and based on our current understanding of physics, that won't change when we get to TL 9+, so it remains a valid statement that you can apply to any hard sci-fi setting (as hard sci-fi means "based on our current understanding of science.")

Which brings me back to the "optimistic" slip. I can see no reason to conjecture that there could be stealth in space unless you were heavily invested, emotionally, in there being stealth in space, but that seems an odd thing to invest so heavily in. Why fight this particular fight?

Do you disagree that a realistic depiction of space combat in the near future shouldn't feature stealth? Do you disagree that modern stealth technology has no real application in space combat? Do you disagree that barring a "miracle," an unknown unknown suddenly popping out, that there's no real way to change this in the future? Do you disagree we currently have no practical model for how this would happen, so it must naturally come from something we don't know, our "one miracle" of science fiction?

If you don't, then why are you arguing here? What are you trying to achieve? If you do, could you please elucidate exactly where you disagree?

Please don't be patronizing. And the reason why it matters it because all the "experts" like to run into threads like this and act like they, and only they (with their special secret knowledge) can determine exactly what the future will be.
I think this comment speaks strongly to how you feel about the situation. You feel that people who note physics (you complained about people criticizing your incomplete understanding of science earlier) are using "special secret knowledge" to prove you wrong, and when people try to connect, you feel "patronized." If an argument is made against your position, you dismiss it, rather than address it.

I think Atomic Rockets started out with the intent of trying to explain basic rocketry and such, which I enjoyed. There's plenty of use for education. It's now mostly the abode of small brains and fatbeards reciting their high school physic instructors.
Just to highlight.

No one needs science fiction to justify hard sci fi, but we'd be foolish -- and in fact many people are -- to not realize that art inspires science. That is fact. In addition, the greater degree of confidence in such and law, the more likelihood that it will be proven erroneous in some way, or that exceptions exist. That's the operation of normal science. Why so-called science experts can;t understand that is beyond me. Really? You can't imagine how stealth in space could work? How droll. Thank God Einstein and Newton and Hawking had more imagination than that.
Okay. You're right. Perhaps stealth in space is possible. Show us what it would look like. Explain how it would work.
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