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Old 09-13-2018, 01:56 PM   #1041
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

Right up there with the exceptionally weird but very well written fan-fiction crossing Stargate: SG1 and My Little Pony.
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:56 AM   #1042
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

So I revisited Duplicate from the OP. The problem, of course, is that it results in the near-term extinction of humanity. Here's an alternative that maintains the weirdness nicely.

On Duplicate, each and every human being has a 2% chance to split at some point during the year. Upon fissioning, a given person is replaced with that person as they were at half the age. A 20-year-old becomes two ten-year-olds, for instance.

This is statistically identical to normal human reproduction, as a pregnant person is initially one person with an average age of X, and then becomes two people with an average age of X/2. The other differences are surely trivial*.

Back to Duplicate, the new people remember everything the original did, but from the fission point onward are totally separate. This causes difficulties in everything from password protection to a 7 year old that is actually a former 80-year-old on lottery-winning run of luck.

The duplication event happens during sleep, and doesn't cause portal slice effects or other unintentional catastrophes. It's actually EXTREMELY smart, and on rare occasions has put both new people in safe places amidst scenarios would have killed the original person. And yet, no research has yet discovered any cause of fission events. Religion is as stumped as science, although a general acceptance of the event as a miracle is popular in most circles.

However, this is clearly a Malthusian crisis in the making, unlike the old-style human reproduction. While global population growth can slow and stabilize simply by reducing births, Duplicate has no way to prevent fission events, and they continue to increase the population by 2% annually.

All in all, I think this might be a good puzzle world for your intrepid heroes to visit. Who knows, maybe the effect works on outtimers, if you have a character in need of a change of pace.

*Sarcasm.

Last edited by PTTG; 09-18-2018 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 09-18-2018, 01:48 AM   #1043
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

That would make schools chaotic, and dating very dangerous in every conceivable manner.
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:48 PM   #1044
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

Schools would almost certainly not have segregation based on apparent age anymore, so only people less than 18 in experience would be in school to begin with. Assume than any fissions that happen before the age of four are effectively irrelevant (it's an apparent difference of less than two years after all).

That means 56% of students haven't had any fissions. Only 15% of students will fission during high school, for instance, which might be a bit troublesome I suppose. For every 1000 students that attend a high school, there's 300 who are apparently around 10 years old around graduation (a 14 year old freshman splits into two 7-year olds who age up to 10, and an 18 year old senior splits into two 9 year olds who get half a year older over the semester...).

I think it makes actual everyday life a bit more complicated. Drinking permits probably involve physical age, so you probably lose the right to drink if you're under 40 when you fission. 55% of people end up in that boat.

And only 1.6% of humans actually make it to 100 the first time around without fissioning (well, if they survive that long anyway). I think this implies that most people get at least one or two extra years. Of all the people who were alive when the phenomenon started, odds are good that maybe 80% of them are effectively permanently part of society yet not immortal. Weird, that.

Playing this could be very fun. Pick a modern celebrity -- you're one of their duplicates! Or maybe you just are them. It's philosophically ambiguous. Maybe ALL the PCs are duplicates of the same someone, although many of them are different ages.

Last edited by PTTG; 09-18-2018 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:31 PM   #1045
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTTG View Post

everything from password protection to a 7 year old that is actually a former 80-year-old on lottery-winning run of luck.
.
For an 80 year old to become a 7 year old (at least 2 7 year olds) would require multiple and improbable steps. The average person would fission only about every 25 years.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:07 AM   #1046
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

re Duplicate...

How long has this fission process been going on for? Surely it would mean that somewhere, the person (or their duplicated offspring) who was patient zero for this process would in theory have full memory of every noteworthy event since that time?
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:28 AM   #1047
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
For an 80 year old to become a 7 year old (at least 2 7 year olds) would require multiple and improbable steps. The average person would fission only about every 25 years.

Ok, the math on this is weird enough to be interesting.



A human has a "Half-Life" of about 34 years*: about every 34 years, they will split. The average time between splits is actually a touch longer: about 50 years**.



The 80 year old turned 7 year old is probably going to happen, especially given enough time. The hardest step is actually that first split: people will still continue to die, particularly at first, and an 80 year old will have a very good chance of dying of old age before he splits. I'm going to use a 9 year old for the next set of numbers to make the math easy: the raw chance of a given branch of an 80 year old becoming 9 is (.02)^4, or 1 in 6.25 million. This paper claims their were 70 million folks over 80 years old, so it happens, but rarely. But this doesn't consider multiple branches. The chance of a given 80 year old making one copy of himself that's 9 within 4 years is more complicated to determine, but essentially you can use double the probability at each step past the first, so there is likely 8 times more people than the raw branch method would indicate. That's still only 80 or so people in the first 4 years, world-wide.



Of course, as the population ages, more and more 7 year olds will have 80 years of experience. After 80 years, every 7 year old will be 80 or more.



At a certain point, the population gets young enough that people die at a lower rate, but there is a limit to that. With a long enough time, you may get an increase in lifespan as those who live longer have a higher chance of reproduction.



I ran a simple simulation and found out some interesting things:
  • the youngest children quickly cease to exist. I ran 800 people for 5 years and had exactly 1 four year old. Teenagers do seem to be pretty common though.
  • People continue to die of old age. The ratio seems to vary with average age of death. if the average is 70 people 1 death happens for every 2.5 splits, at average age 80 they die with every 3.5 splits.
  • The meat of the curve happens between 20 and 50. Which is a nice and productive range of life to be in, I think. That takes a long time to kick in though.
The Code is below. Its javascript.

Code:
var ages = [];
var deaths = 0;
var splits =0;
for(var i = 0;i<100;i++){
    ages[i]=i<=80?10:0;
}
function countPeople(ages){
    return ages.reduce((a,b)=>a+b);
}
function ageOfIndex(ages,index){
    var sofar = 0;
    for(var i =0;i<ages.length;i++){
        sofar+=ages[i];
        if(sofar>=index)return i;
    }
    return -1;
}
function runYear(ages){
    var count = countPeople(ages);
    var toSplit = 0;
    for(var i=0;i<count;i++)
    {
        if(Math.random()<=.02)toSplit++;
    }
    for(var i =0;i<toSplit;i++){
        var index = Math.floor(Math.random()*count);
        var age = ageOfIndex(ages,index);
        ages[age]-=1;
        ages[Math.floor(age/2)]+=1;
        ages[Math.ceil(age/2)]+=1;
        splits++;
    }
    for(var i =ages.length-1;i>=0;i--)
        ages[i+1]=ages[i];
    ages[0]=0;
    for(var i=70;i<ages.length;i++){
        //*
        for(var j = ages[i];j>0;j--)
            //if(Math.random()*30 < i-70)
            if(i>80)
            {
                ages[i]--;
                deaths++;
            }
            //*/
        if(i>100) delete ages[i];
        ages.length=101;
    }
    if(countPeople(ages)>5000){
        for(var i=0;i<ages.length;i++)
            if(Math.random()>.5)ages[i]=Math.ceil(ages[i]/2);
            else Math.floor(ages[i]/2);
    }
}
for(var i=0;i<5;i++)runYear(ages);



*Log(0.5)/Log(0.98)
** 34*LN(2) = 49.05
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:14 AM   #1048
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

Thanks, Eric! I was thinking this is a good scenario for big population sims...

Anyway, to explain how I got the 80-year-old-kid, I just considered one outlier: people who split every year for several years in a row. That's 0.02^4 for four years, which would reduce one's age by a factor of 16 (but since it takes four years, it varies depending on your starting age).

The percentage of the global population that is over 75 will be approximately 10% in 2030. That means 730M people in the range we're looking at. We can expect 117 very old people who become seven year olds about four years after the event.

Ashtagon, the idea is that it changes at a point in the near future. There's something to be said about the alternative, but keep in mind that means that EVERYONE remembers all of history. Or at least, remembers their perspective of it.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:15 PM   #1049
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

Reversion-3

The world of Reversion-3 seemed to have a similar history to that of Homeline until 1000 AD. After 1000 AD, human beings experienced a reduction in fertility of 99%, but they became effectively immortal. When killed, human corpses release a cocoon and then undergo a month long metamorphosis before the human is reborn as an infant of the opposite sex without any of the diseases or injuries of their previous life. While they experience near complete amnesia regarding their previous life, they retain their knowledge and their skills. While the rebirth may be stopped through annihilating the corpse or consuming the corpse, nothing else will prevent the rebirth.

It is now 1518 in Reversion-3, and the vast majority of the population benefits from over 500 years of knowledge and skill development. It is now TL8 (with TL9 space technologies), and the nations of Reversion-3 have invested heavily in space development. A Q7 timeline, Reversion-3 has drawn the attention of both Centrum and Homeline, though they are both very careful because its immortal inhabitants frighten both sides with their level of competence.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:37 PM   #1050
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

I would be very surprised indeed if a world made of people who were effectively born already having a complete set of TL 3 skills would be in any hurry whatsoever to move on to new technologies that would make their skills obsolete and require them to start from scratch.
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