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Old 08-15-2009, 10:06 AM   #141
Figleaf23
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Default Re: Sectors of an Ultra-Tech/Bio-Tech economy

One thing I don't understand about this setting is the Empire's inexplicable prejudice against mass death.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:44 AM   #142
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Default Re: Sectors of an Ultra-Tech/Bio-Tech economy

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Originally Posted by Figleaf23 View Post
One thing I don't understand about this setting is the Empire's inexplicable prejudice against mass death.
What an odd statement. Anyway I don't think it's very germane to this thread either, so I answered it here.
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:00 PM   #143
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Default Re: Sectors of an Ultra-Tech/Bio-Tech economy

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What an odd statement. Anyway I don't think it's very germane to this thread either, so I answered it here.
'Twas just a joke, but I'll take a look at the other thread.
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:43 PM   #144
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Default Re: Sectors of an Ultra-Tech/Bio-Tech economy

I should probably preface this by saying that I'm not familiar with the setting or with economics to a great degree, but the discussion of what they ship from planet to planet made me wonder about how they ship it and who makes those particular widgets.

Does the Empire's control over the manufacturing of spacecraft extend to Surface-to-Orbit craft or non-starships? If so, then I would think that the non-starship spacecraft manufacturing could be a specialization of one of the Suite worlds. Actually, if the demand was high enough, one world could specialize in things like spaceplanes and another in spacecraft that operate in the absence of an atmosphere. And Tau Ceti could manufacture the arrays for laser launch facilities, if that's a feature of the setting. Along with the lasers for laser-ignition fusion, if that's something they use in the setting.

The other thing that I noticed in the list of planets in the Flat Black Wiki was quite a few of them seem to be below TL 6. If these planets participate in the economy through the production of agricultural goods, they would probably need to import vehicles to move goods from the production areas to the spaceport -- although the image of a three masted sailing ship pulling up to a laser launch spaceport has a certain appeal. Of course, this might be an export market for planets of lower TLs, too.

Also, there's the people that run all of these machines. I assume they will have to be trained in how to fly a spaceplane, run a giant laser, and so forth, and so they'll have to head to whatever planet provides the TL10 vocational training. While the travel times are long for tourist trips in the current sense, a few months travel, a few years training, and a few months travel back home (or to a new planet) could turn into a sizable income for that particular person. Unless these are all run by AI, in which case, theres probably a lot of people programming those AIs.

And then there's spare parts. I wondered if, with all these planets separated so far, imported goods that break down will need to have parts replaced, but rather than ships a container of spare widgets, not knowing which ones will be needed, one planet could specialize in the production of various types of mini-factories. Then the spaceport has an array of mini-facs, purchases licenses for whatever spare parts they need, and just imports the mini-fac version of inkjet cartridges. So, one sector to specialize in could be the manufacturing of, um, manufacturing devices.

I'm not sure if any of this helps, but I hope it does. I have a feeling some of it is radically incompatible with the setting assumptions.
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:01 PM   #145
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Default Re: Sectors of an Ultra-Tech/Bio-Tech economy

Let me throw another one out there, just for grins. I'm no expert in chemistry, but this kind of world has some interesting RPG possibilities:

High-chlorine atmosphere. Chlorine has a lot of interesting uses in manufacturing, including production of polycarbonates and polymers. It is also toxic to a great many living things, due to its tendency to bond with water to form hydrochloric acid chlorine is a great disinfectant. Might not a planet with a chlorinated atmosphere be useful in making plastics, and other products that require food-grade antibacterial sterility? Chlorine is denser than Earth-type atmosphere, so it would tend to collect at lower elevations; perhaps chlorine would concentrate in caverns and valleys, and there would be a more breathable atmosphere in the hills and mountains.
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:23 PM   #146
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Default Re: Sectors of an Ultra-Tech/Bio-Tech economy

Fish, you're being very helpful in this thread.
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:06 PM   #147
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Default Re: Sectors of an Ultra-Tech/Bio-Tech economy

Thanks! I'm no expert in either technology or chemistry or physics, but I do have a gamemaster's interest in creating distinct, unusual words for the PCs to visit. :)

Ooooh, oooh! I thought of another possible use for a chlorine planet. Chlorine can be used to form aqua regia, also known as nitrohydrochloric acid, which can be used to dissolve gold. Since gold is a valuable catalyst in nanoassembly, and since even today, substances such as aqua regia are used to liquefy gold so it can be leached from tailings in strip mines, it's cheaper to get gold there on that planet, the chlorine won't hurt the environment!
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Old 08-15-2009, 05:59 PM   #148
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Default Re: Sectors of an Ultra-Tech/Bio-Tech economy

The Suite might have specialist biotech products based on the original biota of the planet.
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:29 PM   #149
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Default Re: Sectors of an Ultra-Tech/Bio-Tech economy

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The Suite might have specialist biotech products based on the original biota of the planet.
I considered rummaging through alien genomes for useful bits of nanomachinery to be more of a TL9 approach. In the Suite bioengineers understand genetics, biochemistry, histology, embryology etc. well enough that they can design what they want from first principles.
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:03 PM   #150
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Default Re: Sectors of an Ultra-Tech/Bio-Tech economy

I have a tangential question for you about Ultra-Tech economy, Brett, concerning the value of human labor.

If a company were to use androids or bioroids as laborers including the cost of production, housing/storage, training/deep learning, food/energy, medical/repair, and so forth, do you expect this would drive down the cost of human wages doing the same job? Or do you expect bioroids/androids would be cheaper in the long term?

I'm thinking about an Ultra-Tech scenario in which a system-wide asteroid mining conglomerate is doing just this: they use some bioroid labor in order to artificially deflate the cost of human wages. Can you imagine this as a viable scenario? To me, it suggests I would have to declare that bioroids are cheaper, but not much cheaper than humans. The margin is small enough that humans could compete with bioroids for jobs if they took lesser wages.
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