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Old 01-28-2018, 06:35 AM   #11
RogerBW
 
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Default Re: Will the Space Colony children be the Startravelers?

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
With THS engines, any interstellar journey will take many generations. Even if you're confident you and your companions will stick to the mission, how about your sixth-generation descendants? You can't stick around to supervise them: there is limited life-support capacity.
This is one of the many reasons why infomorphs make more sense for STL interstellar, at least as crew (you can nanostasis the organics if you feel any need to take them along): they are signing up for the journey voluntarily, and there's no need to spawn new people with no choice about it.

They can underclock themselves while the boring bits are happening.

They don't need all that bulky heavy life support stuff.
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: Will the Space Colony children be the Startravelers?

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This is one of the many reasons why infomorphs make more sense for STL interstellar, at least as crew (you can nanostasis the organics if you feel any need to take them along): they are signing up for the journey voluntarily, and there's no need to spawn new people with no choice about it.

They can underclock themselves while the boring bits are happening.

They don't need all that bulky heavy life support stuff.
Now all you need is a rationale to send infomorphs. Or even one for organics to build more (and smarter) infomorphs than they actually need.
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: Will the Space Colony children be the Startravelers?

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Now all you need is a rationale to send infomorphs. Or even one for organics to build more (and smarter) infomorphs than they actually need.
Given that this is the Transhuman Space forum rather than the general speculation about the future forum, no, I don't think I do.
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:48 AM   #14
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Default Re: Will the Space Colony children be the Startravelers?

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Given that this is the Transhuman Space forum rather than the general speculation about the future forum, no, I don't think I do.
You still need a rationale for the first part even if you are assuming the second part as a given.
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Old 01-28-2018, 02:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: Will the Space Colony children be the Startravelers?

If an interstellar trip is to happen at all, which is its own argument in which I'm not participating, then I think the arguments for an all-infomorph crew are compelling.

If I were living in TS and had the resources, I'd be (a) looking at exoplanet data (when you have observers all over the solar system you have a really big synthetic aperture telescope), and (b) sending out Starwisps to promising stars to take a closer look. Neither of these needs the resources of a major economy to perform. Sending substantial hardware can come later, once one knows what's there, who can live there, and so on.
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:03 PM   #16
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Default Re: Will the Space Colony children be the Startravelers?

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This isn't, I'm afraid, correct. The Atlantic was first crossed by Christopher Columbus in 1492 because he was looking for a quick, and proffitable, route to the spices of the Orient. He hoped, as did his backers, for a very large return on their investment.

The fact that he discovered the Americas, with all their wealth was entirely accidental.
It still took time. Many early voyages lost money, or were simply lost, it took time.

Also, you seem to assume that only ecconomic motives and imperatives are valid. Cultures and subcultures have made choices from different motives.

As to tech. Could anyone in the year 1869 have accurately explained to an engineer how to get to the moon and return alive?

Besides, I'm not saying you have to go.
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:03 PM   #17
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Default Re: Will the Space Colony children be the Startravelers?

Governments could allow xoxxing but only if the copies go on a no-return trip to another star system. Anyone even slightly paranoid about "TPK" disasters happening to the solar system would consider it as a form of insurance.

Sending infomorphs would be many many orders of magnitude easier, safer, and cheaper than sending fragile meat-bags. Especially as THS people don't consider death "real" as long as a single copy exists somewhere.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:03 PM   #18
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Default Re: Will the Space Colony children be the Startravelers?

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Issac Asimov once wrote that he assumed that it would be those born and raised in space colonies, O'Neil's ideas on space colonies were a big hit then, would man the starships and colonize the stars. Planet born people wouldn't want to be cooped up for decades in a ship, especially with no guarantees about what's on the other end of the journey. However, for those born in Space Colonies, it wouldn't be such a change. Heck, some might see a star system without planets as an improvement.

Since THS has canonical Space Colonies and asteriod settlements, even in the Deep Beyond, then there are plenty of people who'd be glad to get on a generation starship. So, the setting, as presented, is only a decade or two away from being able to star travel. This would be flesh and blood travelers, not just A.I.s.

Since many people living beyond lunar orbit don't see themselves as Earth people, leaving the Solar System and its violent conflicts would be more attractive than staying. Which leads to two questions.

One, why wouldn't the third generation space colonists, if they thought it reasonably safe, treat it as a serious option?

Two, what technologies would be the key ones to start Star Travel in THS?

Yeah, I'm still hoping for Transhuman Stars.
The tech base of THS isn't really quite up to it. It's getting closer, the idea of a workable generation ship that could reach the nearer stars is something that would be visible on the horizon from THS2100, but they're not quite there yet.

They'd need a drive system that could impart a substantial velocity to a very large vessel/habitat, which means a lot of energy/power and/or lots of reaction mass.

It's been said that you can make a generation ship simply by putting a propulsion system on a long-term habitat. I've said that myself, and it's true, but only in a general sense. In practice, there would be a lot of details that needed attention to convert a long-term habitat into a viable generation ship.

Motive isn't hard. All you need is a group that really wants to get way away from some other group, for whatever good or bad reason. The same sort of motives that drove the Massachusetts Bay Colony would be sufficient, as would 'nationalist' dreams (we'll never have the whole solar system for ourselves, but we could some other System all to ourselves!).

But the technology isn't quite up to it, though if an effort was started in 2100 it might be possible by the 2020s. But that's not the big issue.

The big problem is that the existence of uploads and SAI makes biologicals going seem futile and pointless, and certainly non-competitive. The infomorphs can copy themselves to another star system at the speed of light, at the cost of sending only a basic cluster of receiving equipment and robots and teleoperated machines. For an infinitesimal fraction of the mass even the smallest generation ship would require, they could send a few tens of thousands of tons of machinery to another star and then 'travel' there by laser.

Once they upload into the machine at the other end, they can start utilizing the resources of that system for whatever they want. Robots build robots and so forth. They could even make biologicals one the other end if they want.

This is the underlying problem with much of THS as a setting, if you want 'x', involving biologicals or bioroids or whatever, you need to explain why it isn't being done by an infomorph instead.

If the THS setting lacked ghosts and SAIs, but the rest was similar, you'd probably start seeing some generation ships setting out by 2025 or 2050...except that it might make more sense to put the crew/settlers in suspended animation (which is within THS tech) instead of generation ships.

The suspended animation ship has several advantages over the genship: it can be much less massive, meaning it can travel faster or more cheaply at the same velocity, you don't have to worry about making sure you pass on the values of the founding group, you can pick the sort of people you want to arrive at the destination, etc.

Whether you'd see genships or suspension ships is hard to guess, it would depend on the details of the tech and the situation at the time which one made more sense. You might see both, under certain circumstances.

But add in SAI/ghosts and suddenly nothing makes any sense.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:11 PM   #19
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Default Re: Will the Space Colony children be the Startravelers?

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I don't mean to rain on your parade, as I too rather like the idea of Trans-Human Stars, but I can't think of any hard-science methods since Bussard ramjets have been proved impossible.
Proved impossible is a slight exaggeration, but proved probably utterly impractical is true enough. A working Bussard ramjet would likely need superscience of some sort to work at all.

But the Bussard ramjet doesn't really give Transhuman Stars even if it could be made to work. The problem is that it works Too Well for purpose, if it works at all. It lets you get your ships up to relativistic velocities, which opens up the stars, but also opens up nasty possibilities for grand scale destruction.

Also, even with Bussard ramjets, the presence of cheap reliable infomorphs still renders the presence of humans or bioroids superfluous at best.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:15 PM   #20
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Default Re: Will the Space Colony children be the Startravelers?

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It still took time. Many early voyages lost money, or were simply lost, it took time.

Also, you seem to assume that only ecconomic motives and imperatives are valid. Cultures and subcultures have made choices from different motives.

As to tech. Could anyone in the year 1869 have accurately explained to an engineer how to get to the moon and return alive?
Within the physics and engineering of 1869, interplanetary travel, even as far as the Moon, was of course superscience and handwavium. That's one reason I often take issue with the word 'realistic' in descriptions of SF, I think we often use the word wrongly.

But the THS setting is a specific set of technologies and situations, and evaluating star flight in 2100 for THS means starting from there.
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