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Old 06-18-2019, 12:01 PM   #81
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
IThat makes the idea that Edward Kennedy could have done it in 1972 seem even more optimistic.
1977. The OP wants Teddy Kennedy to win in '76.

Although, blocking the McGovern Commission and its' "reforms" that bascally created the modern primary system would be a big change.

The dates being used are generally too late. The big changes in 77 still lets the Vietnam War and Watergate happen. A mass revival of optimism after those too events is not likely to begin in 77. I think Oswald needs to get pushed down the stairs so the first of the moden Kennedys can do all the magic stuff.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:02 PM   #82
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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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."
Back when I was a younger and less experienced GM (this was before I heard of GURPS!), I ran an outer space campaign. At one point the question arose of whether a particular orbital maneuver could get the characters where they needed to go. The player who was playing the navigator had actually studied astrodynamics a bit. So for an hour, he and I discussed orbital ballistics, while the other players sat there bored to tears. . . .

A lot of "man versus nature" stories have the failing of having technical solutions. if the players aren't knowledgable, this reduces to "roll the dice." If they are, it turns into long discussions of technology. If you have mixed players it's bad for everyone. "Wiring diagram" SF is one of the hardest subgenres to roleplay entertainingly.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:04 PM   #83
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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The dates being used are generally too late. The big changes in 77 still lets the Vietnam War and Watergate happen. A mass revival of optimism after those too events is not likely to begin in 77. I think Oswald needs to get pushed down the stairs so the first of the moden Kennedys can do all the magic stuff.
I based a campaign on that, long ago. My take was that Kennedy wasn't that strong a supporter of civil rights, and Johnson wasn't in the White House and couldn't appeal to the memory of a martyred president. So there were widespread riots before the 1964 election, and the country went even further right (though under Rockefeller rather than Goldwater).
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:08 PM   #84
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

Could we move away from a political argument that can only shut this thread down and back to the politics of Sol-1.

I agree that many American agents of Infinity would be attracted to Sol-1. And not just Homeline Americans. Picture an American where there was a WWIII and America lost. Or any parallel where America just got to start to show its stuff and got nipped in the bud. Or just an America where freedom failed and was crushed. An America going to the stars in glory would be profoundly seductive.

Add into that, the fact that in this scenario many other nations would be having golden ages. A stable prosperous democratic Iran would likely be going through a Golden Age culturally. An Iranian culture is attractive and magnificent at its best. Iran might be taking the West along on its new Gold Age.

India would be booming in this world too. If you've ever heard Bally Sagoo then you might have some idea of what Sol-1's pop music might sound like.

Now, there would be those opposed to this new American Century. Terrorism would be a threat if only because many dreams would be obviously dying as they failed to compete for dreamers. Certainly dictators and oligarchs would have no love of this new world. As more people became aware of what was possible, if they lived in a democracy, neither oligarchs nor dictators could rest easily. They'd be quick to fund disruptions. Cultures that reject change would find themselves stretched to the breaking point and might fall violently apart.

These seem to me to be better elements to explore.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:31 PM   #85
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The flaw in that is that it isn't difficult.
Well, I'm comparing the space research facilities to a land facility where the researchers leave each night to go home. The latter has far more methods available to conduct espionage - falsified credentials, social engineering, honeytraps, blackmail, and even compromised personal computers (if the researcher is able to take work home with him) are all much easier to pull off if the research is done in a building where people enter and leave daily. With research done in SPAAAACE, it's likely the researchers essentially live in the same building as they do their research, and don't really have the option of leaving from time to time for entertainment or whatever (which even those who live "on-campus" on Earth would likely have the option of). So, it's instantly harder to place an agent in a position where he or she can even try to compromise security, since you need some legitimate reason for them to go into orbit in the first place, and then go to the research facility after that. Honeytrapping a researcher to get blackmail material (which you can later use to get him to install a backdoor in the facility's network), for example, is a lot harder when your agent can't "just happen to meet" him at the bar he goes to every Friday night.

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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.
It had been a while since I read the story, so I took a quick gander at it. The supply closet is where the cargo he was delivering was, and it was a relatively small cargo (some medical supplies for a 6-man expedition). As the EDS's are for general use and not custom-built for every mission, it makes sense the closet to have enough extra room for a teenage girl to fit. One would expect such a closet to lack many hiding places, however, and for the pilot to check it before leaving (both to double/triple check that the cargo is present and properly secured, and to avoid having to, y'know, horribly murder someone), but then the story would be an uneventful trip after he explains to the girl that trying to tag along will mean she'd die.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:10 PM   #86
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It had been a while since I read the story, so I took a quick gander at it. The supply closet is where the cargo he was delivering was, and it was a relatively small cargo (some medical supplies for a 6-man expedition). As the EDS's are for general use and not custom-built for every mission, it makes sense the closet to have enough extra room for a teenage girl to fit. One would expect such a closet to lack many hiding places, however, and for the pilot to check it before leaving (both to double/triple check that the cargo is present and properly secured, and to avoid having to, y'know, horribly murder someone), but then the story would be an uneventful trip after he explains to the girl that trying to tag along will mean she'd die.
On one hand, there are arguments to be made against the implementation of the story's premise, and people have gone over them many times. But on the other hand, much of the response to the story has been not to its implementation, but to its basic point: to the idea that it really can happen that you have to make a dreadful choice to avoid a worse one. I think that if the story had done a more careful job of setting the situation up to make the death inevitable, the reaction might have been even stronger.

Heinlein wrote a classic "cold equations" story around the same time: "Sky Lift." In that one, there's a research base on Pluto that needs medical supplies. They have ships capable of continuous thrust for the entire trip, so they can get there quickly. But each day they take will mean more deaths, and they'll reach a point where it goes to mass deaths. So they send the pilots out at a hellishly high acceleration, and at the end of the voyage one is dead and the other is physically and mentally ruined. And it ends with the medical officer saying, "You used up one man, and you saved <some much larger number>"—and making it plain that it isn't the dead man he was thinking of. And it's clear that Heinlein wants the reader to think that the commanding officer made the right choice.

Of course you can say that the situation is different: It's not inevitable that the pilots will die or be crippled. But it's certainly foreseeable. And the girl in "The Cold Equations" doesn't fight; she agrees to do the right thing and step out the airlock to save seven other lives. So there seem to be parallels.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:41 PM   #87
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Heinlein wrote a classic "cold equations" story around the same time: "Sky Lift." In that one, there's a research base on Pluto that needs medical supplies. They have ships capable of continuous thrust for the entire trip, so they can get there quickly. But each day they take will mean more deaths, and they'll reach a point where it goes to mass deaths. So they send the pilots out at a hellishly high acceleration, and at the end of the voyage one is dead and the other is physically and mentally ruined. And it ends with the medical officer saying, "You used up one man, and you saved <some much larger number>"—and making it plain that it isn't the dead man he was thinking of. And it's clear that Heinlein wants the reader to think that the commanding officer made the right choice.
That seems a bit more feasible, although I must admit it seems odd that the mission was a success, as I wouldn't expect the ruined pilot to be able to land the craft (obviously the dead one can't), and there was no reason to even send a manned vessel if the craft doesn't need a pilot to land. The version seen in The Expanse arguably works better, although it's reliant on superscience - there's a superscience-cloaked, continuously accelerating projectile heading toward Earth, and it can only be detected well enough to direct the nukes in pursuit from rather close to it. Captain Holden's Rocinante is close enough, but matching acceleration with the projectile in order to keep it in sight will produce sufficient G-forces to likely cause fatal damage to the crew by the time the nukes will reach and destroy it. Naturally, the captain has a rather important choice to make.

Of course, I think part of the point of Cold Equation situations is that there isn't any real choice. In Godwin's story, the choice is between the girl dying, and the girl dying (alongside the pilot and the expedition). In Heinlein's story and The Expanse, there very much is a choice.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:44 PM   #88
whswhs
 
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That seems a bit more feasible, although I must admit it seems odd that the mission was a success, as I wouldn't expect the ruined pilot to be able to land the craft (obviously the dead one can't), and there was no reason to even send a manned vessel if the craft doesn't need a pilot to land. The version seen in The Expanse arguably works better, although it's reliant on superscience - there's a superscience-cloaked, continuously accelerating projectile heading toward Earth, and it can only be detected well enough to direct the nukes in pursuit from rather close to it. Captain Holden's Rocinante is close enough, but matching acceleration with the projectile in order to keep it in sight will produce sufficient G-forces to likely cause fatal damage to the crew by the time the nukes will reach and destroy it.
I forget how the landing was handled, but Heinlein isn't assuming any significant level of automatic control. This was written around 1950, and one thing Heinlein did not tend to foresee was smart spacecraft.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:18 PM   #89
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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Originally Posted by Žorkell View Post
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.
No Great Society or No Vietnam war would be required.

Alternately a more tax tolerant and higher trust US could manage it.

The US broadly can't collect more than about 20% of GDP as federal taxes, usually less for any length of time . The colloquially called Hauser's Law appears to be true and a facet of the Laffer curve

if enough revenue could be collected, distributed in a highly productive and wealth generating way, the stagflation mostly caused by US money printing and currency devaluation would not be a major issue

A caveat though, the 1970's oil shock would also naty inflationary effects
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:05 PM   #90
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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Well, I'm comparing the space research facilities to a land facility where the researchers leave each night to go home. The latter has far more methods available to conduct espionage - falsified credentials, social engineering, honeytraps, blackmail, and even compromised personal computers (if the researcher is able to take work home with him) are all much easier to pull off if the research is done in a building where people enter and leave daily. With research done in SPAAAACE, it's likely the researchers essentially live in the same building as they do their research, and don't really have the option of leaving from time to time for entertainment or whatever (which even those who live "on-campus" on Earth would likely have the option of). So, it's instantly harder to place an agent in a position where he or she can even try to compromise security, since you need some legitimate reason for them to go into orbit in the first place, and then go to the research facility after that. Honeytrapping a researcher to get blackmail material (which you can later use to get him to install a backdoor in the facility's network), for example, is a lot harder when your agent can't "just happen to meet" him at the bar he goes to every Friday night.

.
Given that these research installations are part of a massive offworld industrial network. I'm quite certain the stations will have bars and support personnel.
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