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Old 02-06-2018, 09:39 AM   #21
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: Is TS optimistic or pessimistic?

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Originally Posted by Tom Mazanec View Post
There is a meme that science fiction is overly optimistic in the short run, but overly pessimistic in the long run (regarding speed of technological advancement). Is TS holding to this rule?
It is worth remembering that David Pulver has written that his goal in the setting was to create a setting which emphasized some themes (transhumanism, space advocacy, anime), tried to avoid blatantly contradicting what we know about how the world works (so no force screens or rubber-mask aliens), and was palatable to American gamers (so the geopolitics are conservative and the United States is still a powerful country throughout the setting, because getting the setting across is hard enough without making players adapt to a completely different geopolitical setup). It is not meant as a prediction of the shape of the future, because 4000 years of writing and science tell us that its impossible to know that.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:52 PM   #22
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Default Re: Is TS optimistic or pessimistic?

Changed geopolitics seems to be a source of complaints for all near future SF. Look at how many people can't accept the French in 2300 AD.
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:09 PM   #23
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Default Re: Is TS optimistic or pessimistic?

There are over 300 million Americans. It's not possible to make any sentence let alone setting palatable to most of us.
TS already has loads of changes from today creating a usually playable culture shock. At what point adding more changes becomes unplayable is going to be very individual.
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:56 PM   #24
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Default Re: Is TS optimistic or pessimistic?

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Then he failed in the "palatable to American gamers" goal. Many don't like the return to what looks like slavery with bioroids. And the US's position in the world has fallen substantially. Personally I think it is one of the more plausible parts of TS, you can see the start of some of this in today's US. But US based gamers have been very vocal in their complaints about it.
Arguing from a sample size of "me and my buddies vs. you and your customers" is probably not helpful, but I think he could have annoyed many more readers by giving the USA in Transhuman Space a role in world affairs similar to France or Brazil today, or by having it have ceased to exist during a struggle which seemed apocalyptic at the time but nobody cared much about in 2100.

After all, about half the great powers in 1900 no longer existed in 2000 (and the relative ranks of the survivors are very different) so it is likely that the top power in 2000 will be gone or much weaker in 2100.

I think that David Pulver specifically said that he chopped a zero or two off the time required to terraform Mars so that Mars would be available to have adventures in. I never looked at theories of terraforming, so I don't know which direction estimates have shifted in the past 20 years.
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:18 PM   #25
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Default Re: Is TS optimistic or pessimistic?

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Building or modifying a SAI and a LAI to disregard the law etc. would be mutually equivalent actions - both can be done, both are 'crippling' if you consider only Honesty-bound AIs to be 'whole'.
Not entirely; a SAI or LAI built with misfeatures still has to pass inspection before being confirmed and entered into the Xox registries, etc. Retrofiture to eliminate checks and balances typically causes curious gaps in functionality that a SAI is not supposed to have. LAIs already have limitations on their sapient behaviors, thus the acronym, so the change in user experience is a matter of degree rather than kind.


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If a jurisdiction considers sapience to be the reason for reason for granting rights, then LAIs are as sapient as SAIs. They're just aspies. But such a difference exists in humans too.
Not every jurisdiction or even any jurisdiction needs to have a single reason, and they can easily have different reasons for different grantees.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:02 AM   #26
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Default Re: Is TS optimistic or pessimistic?

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Originally Posted by jeff_wilson View Post
Not entirely; a SAI or LAI built with misfeatures still has to pass inspection before being confirmed and entered into the Xox registries, etc. Retrofiture to eliminate checks and balances typically causes curious gaps in functionality that a SAI is not supposed to have. LAIs already have limitations on their sapient behaviors, thus the acronym, so the change in user experience is a matter of degree rather than kind.
If you're referring to the description of black market AIs, I don't recall them stating anything like in the above paragraph. Or are you perhaps pointing at something else?
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:08 PM   #27
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Default Re: Is TS optimistic or pessimistic?

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Guess it will be a contest to see which we get first - miracle engine versus miracle material.
Miracle material almost certainly lets you build miracle engine, likely easier than building a beanstalk.
Depends on what the miracle material's properties are. A space elevator needs high tensile strength and low mass, rocketry needs things like extreme temperature and pressure tolerances and low mass, etc.
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Old 02-08-2018, 08:56 PM   #28
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Miracle material almost certainly lets you build miracle engine, likely easier than building a beanstalk.
Not quite. If we could find a way to make mass amounts of metallic hydrogen and use it for fuel, then there is our miracle SSTO engine. But it doesn't get us a beanstalk. If we could find a way to make large scale carbon nanotubes that meet all the requirements for a beanstalk, then we have our beanstalk. But it doesn't get our miracle engine.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:09 PM   #29
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Default Re: Is TS optimistic or pessimistic?

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Changed geopolitics seems to be a source of complaints for all near future SF. Look at how many people can't accept the French in 2300 AD.
People really complained about that? Given that Traveler 2300AD is a continuation of Twilight 2000 timeline and France was the only large European country survive WWIII intact, then it makes perfect sense that France would be a world leader. I kind of remember people passing on Traveler 2300AD because there really wasn't a lot of material published for it and the various aliens were very weird. There was the Kafer stuff, but if shooting bugs really wasn't you thing, then it was kind of meh. It was a good attempt at a hard sci-fi game.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:16 PM   #30
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Default Re: Is TS optimistic or pessimistic?

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I think that David Pulver specifically said that he chopped a zero or two off the time required to terraform Mars so that Mars would be available to have adventures in. I never looked at theories of terraforming, so I don't know which direction estimates have shifted in the past 20 years.
One of the bigger concerns about Mars is that its gravity may be low enough to be a serious health hazard. We won't know until we send someone there or we create a small spin habitat in Earth's orbit to replicate gravity on Mars.
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