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Old 04-25-2019, 07:05 PM   #31
Astromancer
 
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Default Re: What do you think the Long Night was like?

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
The analogy I was making was the comparison of whether Onasis freighters could have survived assuming a world without a naval monopoly. The Long Night trade I am picturing is not like Venetian. It is like Hanseatic, or even Viking where the merchants make up their own law as they go along. All very heroic and all, but if in fact navigation is reasonably safe merchants who do not have to take that into account can prosper.
Agreed, if merchants can trade safely, they will. One of the reasons the USA gets called an "empire" is that we have created a world trading system. That we don't restrict its use solely to our own benefit argues against the lable. But the 3I is proud to be an empire. If they create a safe space for trade, they would be careful to make sure they got most of the substantive benefit.
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Old 04-25-2019, 09:39 PM   #32
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Default Re: What do you think the Long Night was like?

The problem is this...

During a time period in which there are no seeming "empires" in evidence (during the Long Night), what happens to the trade?

Most importantly - the duration of the Long Night suggests that there was no "unified" government anywhere. There used to be (in the form of the First Imperium), then there wasn't. It is the "then there wasn't" Phase that is not so clear.

How difficult would it have been to strike up a NEW pocket empire after say, 500 years time? If they had starports capable of building new ships, they would have built the new ships. If they had new ships constantly being built, they would have expanded their trade venues, and thus, become a pocket empire. What kept them from becoming MORE than just a pocket empire and become the new Third Imperium instead of having to wait until the Sylean Empire does just that?
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Old 04-25-2019, 09:41 PM   #33
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Default Re: What do you think the Long Night was like?

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Why 17 centuries of dark ages in light of how modern technology seems to accelerate things?
The short, inconvenient, unsatisfying answer? Because Traveller is steeped in older models of science fiction, before the Singularity was even a twinkle in a pundit's eyeball. Technology simply hadn't moved that far along the exponential growth curve when Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein were setting the tropes; heck, Asimov directly appeals to the slow, ponderous model of history in Foundation, and it's only The Mule who disrupts Harry Seldon's plans there, not any kind of technological innovation and disruption.

It's a wholly unrealistic model given a modern vantage point; but that's because it's a future from the past. Our own literature is likely to look similarly short-sighted in fifty years or so.
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:21 PM   #34
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Default Re: What do you think the Long Night was like?

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During a time period in which there are no seeming "empires" in evidence (during the Long Night), what happens to the trade?
Trade probably still existed just at a lesser scale, given the poorer prospects and lesser security of the period. On-planet trade obviously continued, though to a smaller degree in a population with fewer people and less leisure. And it's not hard to imagine a few gypsy-like free traders continuing to ply the routes between worlds, though probably on small routes constrained by safety and familiarity.

We know there were pocket empires: The Sylean Federation, the Chanestin Kingdom, the Terran Mercantile Community / Old Earth Union, the Dingir League, the worlds of the Vilani Main, the Geonee Confederation, the Suerrat Republic, the Lancian League, the Vegan Polity, the Darmine Corporate, the Luriani Protectorate, the Sydymic Empire, the Zeda Alignment, and perhaps the Dynchia Comitia. And, no doubt, others as yet uninvented and uninserted into canon.

Why did none of them burst forth and establish a grand empire as did Vland and then Sylea? Most simply, because the story requires that it be so. Or perhaps, for the same reason that the "First Reich" of the Romans, "Second Reich" of the Holy Roman Empire, and "Third Reich" of the Nazis, or the Napoleonic Empire, were oddities rather than common occurrences among all European countries. Europe has never been dominated by Romanians, or Serbs, or Walloons. Why not, we might ask? Simply because, through accidents of location, resources, history, and culture, they never became imperial powers. Why shouldn't it be the same in the imaginary history of Traveller?
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