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Old 06-18-2019, 08:12 AM   #71
Varyon
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Why would you not be shipping people into space?
Even with a mature space program, without superscience shipping people to space would be incredibly expensive, and maintaining them there would also be incredibly expensive, so there's a huge incentive to automate as much as possible, and to only send the best when you must have someone in space. Meanwhile, the people most affected by high unemployment rates are those working low-skill jobs, which are not the elites you'd be sending to space.

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In addition, cheaper energy, cheaper materials, and higher quality materials mean more jobs on the Earth, so the space economy adds to the overall economy, it does not replace it.
... How does replacing a significant chunk of the US economy with space-based production produce more jobs on Earth? Particularly considering, in your Sol-1, the US doesn't outsource (to other countries) production to nearly the same extent as in our reality?

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In the stated scenario, the US economy is larger because there are less inefficiencies caused by excessive banking deregulation, excessive health care spending, and regressive tax cuts. In addition, the distribution of wealth is more equal, as the several rounds of tax cuts that favored the wealthy would have not occurred.
Your political bias is showing very heavily here, and that's something that can be very off-putting, as already noted extensively in this thread.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:20 AM   #72
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

I am discussing economic reality. Deregulation of the financial sector allowed for asset bubbles to form in the 1990s and 2000s, leading the a recession that was almost as bad as the Great Depression. Regressive tax cuts throughout the world have contributed to increased governmental debt and economic inequality. Health care costs in the USA are over 20% of GDP, which is a proportion unsustainable for any sector of the economy, and the USA pays twice as much as any other developed nation for worse outcomes.

These were all avoidable and were avoided in the ATL because of better leadership in both the Republican and Democratic Parties. Without the Reagan revolution, the Northern moderates of the Republican Party retained sufficient power to moderate their party's platform, allowing for a fiscally conservative Republican Party to kept in check the more extreme spending of the Democratic Party. With the fiscal restraint of the Republican Party combined with the vision of the Democratic Party, the ATL ended up with a stronger and better America where partisan extremists on both sides are consider too crass to be given power. It is a return to the technocratic government of the New Deal.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:41 AM   #73
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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I am discussing economic reality.
That very statement is an ideological assertion. In fact, it shows not only that your campaign is pushing a specific ideological viewpoint, but that you cannot even consider the suggestion that there are other viewpoints. That's an even bigger warning sign.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:58 AM   #74
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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Why would you not be shipping people into space?
Because shipping large numbers of people into space with the resulting need to ship large amounts of air, water and plants is madness, even with an improved boost technology. At the same time however they simply don't have the technology to automate things all that much so we're pretty much stuck with the space opera paradigm. That's not a bad thing since space opera remains the best mode for gaming in space. Unfortunately good space opera requires a a threat and none exists.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:14 AM   #75
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Because shipping large numbers of people into space with the resulting need to ship large amounts of air, water and plants is madness, even with an improved boost technology. At the same time however they simply don't have the technology to automate things all that much so we're pretty much stuck with the space opera paradigm. That's not a bad thing since space opera remains the best mode for gaming in space. Unfortunately good space opera requires a a threat and none exists.
If we set aside the Democratic party line and view this as a science fictional utopia in the spirit of Heinlein's social-creditist Beyond This Horizon, the characteristic conflict for a utopia is Man vs. Nature. (Obviously you don't have Man vs. Society, and utopian societies tend to minimize Man vs. Man and Man vs. Self). You could even hit the players with "The Cold Equations" (though when Heinlein presented that scenario in Destination Moon, he had the other characters through all their surplus gear off the ship rather than have the radio operator stay behind, which is what I would expect player characters to do).
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:48 AM   #76
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Unfortunately good space opera requires a a threat and none exists.
To be fair, I think this worldline is meant to be the threat - namely, there's the risk of them developing parachronic technology off-planet, where Infinity will have difficulty reaching them to keep tabs on (and sabotage) their attempts to do so. There's also the threat of those sympathetic to such a utopia smuggling tech to it, which has a significant risk of exposing the Secret.

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If we set aside the Democratic party line and view this as a science fictional utopia in the spirit of Heinlein's social-creditist Beyond This Horizon, the characteristic conflict for a utopia is Man vs. Nature. (Obviously you don't have Man vs. Society, and utopian societies tend to minimize Man vs. Man and Man vs. Self).
An incoming asteroid could work well here, with the US needing to turn its power satellites into weapons to deflect the asteroid (or just slow its spinning enough the plucky, unlikely team of protagonists can land on and blow it up*), while dealing with the resulting problems on needing to basically turn off everyone's power for a while (including, perhaps, other powers trying to take advantage of the situation to knock the US off its pedestal).

*A horrible idea realistically, since you've basically just turned a slug into buckshot, but Space Opera. For a nod to realism, have them attach some sort of space drive to push it away. I believe there as a 365 Tomorrows story where humans attach a mass driver to an incoming asteroid to try and deflect it.

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You could even hit the players with "The Cold Equations" (though when Heinlein presented that scenario in Destination Moon, he had the other characters through all their surplus gear off the ship rather than have the radio operator stay behind, which is what I would expect player characters to do).
"Surplus gear" doesn't really jive that well with a "Cold Equations" sort of scenario, wherein you'd expect people to have the absolute minimum gear required. Of course, I haven't read Heinlein's take, only Godwin's, which has been (rightly IMO) criticized as "poor engineering" for having such a low margin for error (some of the criticisms I've seen have claimed there was no margin for error, but if that were the case jettisoning the girl wouldn't have helped, as her presence would have already ruined the mission).
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:40 AM   #77
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

I must note, by the way, that setting partisan attachments aside, the takeoff point seems to be "revive the agenda of the New Frontier." But what was that agenda? Space travel and technological advance, yes. But also opposition to communism: "Watchmen on the walls of world freedom." And also revitalizing the economy with tax cuts.

But there actually was a president who had all that, and who was even a charismatic Irishman. His presidency virtually was a revival of the New Frontier. Ronald Reagan's program may have been closer to John Kennedy's than Edward Kennedy's would have been, at least in the dimensions relevant to this scenario.

Yet with the benefit of eight years of further technological advance, he wasn't able to turn his ideas about going into space into a reality. That makes the idea that Edward Kennedy could have done it in 1972 seem even more optimistic.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:40 AM   #78
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To be fair, I think this worldline is meant to be the threat - namely, there's the risk of them developing parachronic technology off-planet, where Infinity will have difficulty reaching them to keep tabs on (and sabotage) their attempts to do so.
The flaw in that is that it isn't difficult. With all due respect to the entertainment value of traversing laser mazes in spy catsuits the odds are that they'd just be publishing the relevant research. Most of Infinity's monitoring of outworld physics is done in libraries, and this isn't even a setting with a significant paranoid streak to make things difficult. And if they wanted to sabotage experimentation the right way to do it is to plant an inside man, maybe a doppleganger and falsify the results or remotely compromise the computers with a worm. It's no more difficult in space than it would be on the ground. If you are trying to use flashy burglaries against elaborate security to do the job, you've already failed because they've already figured out that they're on to something and they aren't going to stop.



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"Surplus gear" doesn't really jive that well with a "Cold Equations" sort of scenario, wherein you'd expect people to have the absolute minimum gear required. Of course, I haven't read Heinlein's take, only Godwin's, which has been (rightly IMO) criticized as "poor engineering" for having such a low margin for error (some of the criticisms I've seen have claimed there was no margin for error, but if that were the case jettisoning the girl wouldn't have helped, as her presence would have already ruined the mission).
I just want to know why a vessel designed to such tight tolerances even has a closet. At least one that isn't full of the very cargo he was delivering.

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Old 06-18-2019, 11:45 AM   #79
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If we set aside the Democratic party line and view this as a science fictional utopia in the spirit of Heinlein's social-creditist Beyond This Horizon, the characteristic conflict for a utopia is Man vs. Nature. .
The problem with space's "nature" is that it's kind of boring because it's so hostile. There's one scenario: "Oh no, something has gone wrong with our life support. We should really fix that."
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:00 PM   #80
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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Yet with the benefit of eight years of further technological advance, he wasn't able to turn his ideas about going into space into a reality. That makes the idea that Edward Kennedy could have done it in 1972 seem even more optimistic.
I suppose the scenario assumes some economic moves that would counter or prevent the stagflation of the 1970s. What those would be I have no idea.
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