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Old 05-26-2018, 02:38 AM   #11
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Default Re: THS 2120!

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post

But if 20 years just means faster computers and so forth, not too much will be different.
Is Science Fiction the same now as in the late 1990s? If not, then new themes and ideas could give us a radically different setting.
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:46 AM   #12
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Default Re: THS 2120!

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Is Science Fiction the same now as in the late 1990s? If not, then new themes and ideas could give us a radically different setting.
My impression is that attempts to reimage an SF work based on different 'modern headlines' to be a net negative effect, because it results in a clash between the 'base' of the work and the 'fašade' that's built on it - with the new fašade becoming not an organic extension of the base, but an afterthought, a retrofit.
E.g. the rebooted Star Treks feel like if the authors can't decide for what feel they're going; the attempts to rewrite Star Wars into the age of cynicism* resulted in Rogue One looking as if it wants to retroactively declare that the original trilogy was written by an unreliable narrator; the officially-not-rebooted prequel of Deus Ex feels like it's from some very different setting; Alien prequels produce the same effect with their EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture look.

And when it comes to THS, I fear that the onset of the grimdark age of cynicism* will mean that any attempts to re-write THS will result in grave damage to the thing that made it special even back in the day: technological optimism.

* == In the new sense of the word.
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Old 05-26-2018, 06:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: THS 2120!

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
My impression is that attempts to reimage an SF work based on different 'modern headlines' to be a net negative effect, because it results in a clash between the 'base' of the work and the 'fašade' that's built on it - with the new fašade becoming not an organic extension of the base, but an afterthought, a retrofit.
E.g. the rebooted Star Treks feel like if the authors can't decide for what feel they're going; the attempts to rewrite Star Wars into the age of cynicism* resulted in Rogue One looking as if it wants to retroactively declare that the original trilogy was written by an unreliable narrator; the officially-not-rebooted prequel of Deus Ex feels like it's from some very different setting; Alien prequels produce the same effect with their EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture look.

And when it comes to THS, I fear that the onset of the grimdark age of cynicism* will mean that any attempts to re-write THS will result in grave damage to the thing that made it special even back in the day: technological optimism.

* == In the new sense of the word.
Then clearly we need both a Transhuman Space reboot and a setting that both explores and critiques the Grimdark trend.
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Old 05-26-2018, 09:39 AM   #14
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Default Re: THS 2120!

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Then clearly we need both a Transhuman Space reboot and a setting that both explores and critiques the Grimdark trend.
For a spherical reboot in a vacuum, here are some things I'd argue in favour of:
  • Pick a date when the major divergence in the timeline occurred, and pick it in the past, probably best somewhere around the 90s.
  • To make sure the rebooted setting doesn't age rapidly (which would warrant a re-reboot too soon), make sure not to steal any major themes, conflicts or extrapolations from headlines of the last 10-20 years.
  • We're giving the world 20 more years to develop. Use that to andvance/upgrade the bits of tech that most need upgrading. Since the setting's title is Transhuman Space, make sure that the technologies pertaining to transhumanism and space travel/life/etc. are at the top of the list. It's extremely embarrassing that Eclipse Phase is the one where the civilisation honestly calls itself 'transhumanity' and not 'humanity' because in EP the overwhelming majority of citizens of the solar system are transhumans or not human at all, while in THS the number is pretty modest.
  • Make a clear decision about the level of various fields of tech and stick to it.
  • Either admit that Mars is blatantly TL^ (which would sadly result in ditching the hard-sci purity seal completely), or fix it.
  • Pick five to ten hot issues that are incredibly divisive for the society and argued about in 2120, but which nobody in polite society would dare to discuss in 2100. Make sure none of these issues are talked about today, either because even admitting to think about them is a grand faux pas, or because they are inapplicable to modern life, or because a majority of people have no idea about these things and are unlikely to become informed for many decades.
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:49 AM   #15
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Default Re: THS 2120!

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
TouchÚ. And I'll accept non-inclusion of HEDM if THS2120 gives a 'full go' to all the genies that newer (particularly 4e) THS books and articles tried to push back into the bottle (purely optical computing, actually TL9-TL10 memetics, polykeratin etc.).
I actually have nothing against HEDM. Include it if you like. I just don't think it's mandatory.

After that I have to say that I had noticed no pushback against "purely optical computing" and am uncertain what effect it might have if included.

I don't know what "actually TL9-10 memetics" might be either. Would it be the dull academic study of the creation and transmission of ideas without the "Voodoo mind control" aspects? I'd be in favor but that seems unlikely for you.

Polykeratin is SillyTech and TS has too many silly elements already.
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:06 AM   #16
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Default Re: THS 2120!

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
After that I have to say that I had noticed no pushback against "purely optical computing" and am uncertain what effect it might have if included.
In older THS books, computers/shells/etc. are described as outright not caring about surge attacks. In newer books, you notice that they are described as merely a bit more resistant than older tech, and even that only for military models:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TS141
Computer technology uses optical systems with molec-
ular memories and processors
[ . . . ]
Being optical, all computers are immune to electro-
magnetic pulse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shell-Tech 17
Resistant to Electrical Pulses and
Surges (+3)

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I don't know what "actually TL9-10 memetics" might be either. Would it be the dull academic study of the creation and transmission of ideas without the "Voodoo mind control" aspects? I'd be in favor but that seems unlikely for you.
Toxic Memes describes mechanics for memetics that are at least useful (though they seem to have a hard time competing with TL8 presidental elections with heavy TL8 propaganda); then a Pyramid article came out which made memetic campaigns barely able to make someone willing to make a modest monetary contribution to a cause.
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Old 05-26-2018, 01:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: THS 2120!

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
In older THS books, computers/shells/etc. are described as outright not caring about surge attacks. In newer books, you notice that they are described as merely a bit more resistant than older tech, and even that only for military models:






Toxic Memes describes mechanics for memetics that are at least useful (though they seem to have a hard time competing with TL8 presidental elections with heavy TL8 propaganda); then a Pyramid article came out which made memetic campaigns barely able to make someone willing to make a modest monetary contribution to a cause.
CPUs in TS in 4e probably are still optical. It's the things that are connected to them that can't be all optical like sensors and actuators and other such items. Just a little more realism for 4e.

Comparing memetics to Presidential campaigns unfavorably ignores that all but one challengers for a political office fail and the rules are set up so that one of them has to win in the end.

I expect that what a truly scientific study of memes would show was that almost all advertising and propaganda doesn't work.

The 3e version of Memetics Skill which boosted your ability will other Social Skills was maybe realistic and at least somewhat useful. The 4e version of a (apparently) learnable Talent is kind of kludge-like.

If you really want rules for Voodoo Mind Control use any version of that you like. I've never had any use for any of them and that is probably why I've never noticed your issues.
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: THS 2120!

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
For a spherical reboot in a vacuum, here are some things I'd argue in favour of:
  • Pick a date when the major divergence in the timeline occurred, and pick it in the past, probably best somewhere around the 90s.
  • To make sure the rebooted setting doesn't age rapidly (which would warrant a re-reboot too soon), make sure not to steal any major themes, conflicts or extrapolations from headlines of the last 10-20 years.
  • We're giving the world 20 more years to develop.
Might I suggest having the Challenger not explode. Reagan supports space because it looks good. Have Christa McAuliffe be a highly charismatic champion of spaceflight and exploration. A second generation of fully reusable shuttles is approved by Congress in 1992. Clinton pushes space as a unifying vision. Obama, successfully pushes for asteroid contact flight and the USA establishes mining rights on the asteroid which is rich in rare earths.
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:59 PM   #19
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Default Re: THS 2120!

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
CPUs in TS in 4e probably are still optical. It's the things that are connected to them that can't be all optical like sensors and actuators and other such items. Just a little more realism for 4e.
Of course we don't know what TL10 sensors are like - perhaps they are as different from electronics as electronic sensors differ from TL5 sensors. Trying to retcon stuff just produces inconsistencies. If Mars doesn't deserve a retcon, then this definitely doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Comparing memetics to Presidential campaigns unfavorably ignores that all but one challengers for a political office fail and the rules are set up so that one of them has to win in the end.

I expect that what a truly scientific study of memes would show was that almost all advertising and propaganda doesn't work.

The 3e version of Memetics Skill which boosted your ability will other Social Skills was maybe realistic and at least somewhat useful. The 4e version of a (apparently) learnable Talent is kind of kludge-like.

If you really want rules for Voodoo Mind Control use any version of that you like. I've never had any use for any of them and that is probably why I've never noticed your issues.
Rules are set up that one wins in the end. But notice that it's not unusual for a single candidate to pick 50% of the vote in the first vote, negating the need to even run the second tour.

And yet we have tens of percent people rallying behind single candidates (the ones with the most successful propaganda campaign). As opposed to there being hundreds of candidates and an overwhelming majority of the vote split between those who have less than 1% each. So even at TL6-TL8 it seems to hold some decent effectiveness. Something 1-2 TLs higher should be better than TL8, particularly when the setting pays so much attention to how much of a breakthrough the invention is.

Saying that something is very powerful and a big deal and then having the rules not match the setting is just wrong.

(The removal of the skill bonus has more to do with purely system-design decisions; I agree it's clumsy but keeping it as-is wouldn't fit in the updated system either.)
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Old 05-26-2018, 06:49 PM   #20
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Default Re: THS 2120!

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post

So even at TL6-TL8 it seems to hold some decent effectiveness. Something 1-2 TLs higher should be better than TL8, particularly when the setting pays so much attention to how much of a breakthrough the invention is.

Saying that something is very powerful and a big deal and then having the rules not match the setting is just wrong.
I thought you were making sideways allusions to the US Presidential system and particularly the last cycle but that seems to be not the case.

As things stand at the current time in the Real World advertising, propaganda and electioneering are not part of any science at all. Creation of an actual Science that worked in these areas would have unimaginable results. Perhaps similar to a TL4 practitioner of humoral Esoteric Medicine looking at TL8 scientific medicine.

Creation of functional and scientific social sciences is something that probably ought to be possible in theory but hasn't happened yet and i have no idea how to model it for rpg purposes.
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