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Old 09-18-2009, 06:08 PM   #1
RyanW
 
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Default Conservative terraforming, what changes?

If you were to back off of the Mars terraforming projections to a more conservative level, what else might that change about the setting?

The most obvious issue is the Duncanites. Would they have been forced into exile for starting a process that wouldn't show significant effect for hundreds of years? They had plenty of other philosophical differences with the rest of the system, so it could be switched to another trigger issue, if desired. Any suggestions?

Anything else that might have to be modified to work with such a change?
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Conservative terraforming, what changes?

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
If you were to back off of the Mars terraforming projections to a more conservative level, what else might that change about the setting? The most obvious issue is the Duncanites. Would they have been forced into exile for starting a process that wouldn't show significant effect for hundreds of years? Anything else that might have to be modified to work with such a change?
Slow Mars terraforming
- I don't see a large scale settlement on Mars if the process is slower. Science bases, sure, but not a huge colonization effort.
- without resources spent on Mars, if space competition continued, I'd probably see a larger Chinese presence in Saturn (with them and the US having competing bases) or in and around Luna. The competition around Saturn would probably be more interesting and necessary if want to justify the large military presence. If not, scale back the space fleets to orbital space.
- Without a huge colonization on Mars, the "Martian Triad" group would not exist, or would move to wherever else - possibly Earth orbit or Junk Jungle - that China went.

Ducanites
- If the Duncanites did initiate such a process and it was irreversible but slow (centuries) I would say "yes" - it was the initiation of the *process* that was objected to, not the time required. However, if the process was slow enough, it might be reversible and hence no terraforming might have been done.
- If it was irreversible, I think people would be MORE annoyed with the Duncanites, since the annoyance for fast-terraforming was mitigated by the fact that many saw a terraformed Mars as a "good." But a terraformed Mars several hundred years from now (or whatever) will have less appeal: for many it will seem the Duncanites were fanatics whose actions had no practical value.
- Given that most of the Duncanites are specified as being somewhat practical and business oriented despite their ideology, it is possible they would agree, and have never initiated a terraforming action under these circumstances. Or that the ideologues among them would did would not have been able to win the support of the more practical elements. Result: no successful Duncanite society.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Conservative terraforming, what changes?

In other words, boring.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Conservative terraforming, what changes?

The long lived and AI assisted Duncanites should be long term contingency planners. A slow terra-forming of Mars is still helping to solve the “all the eggs in one basket” problem. The gray-goo scenario is still on the table for Earth with the fractured world power bases and fifth wave _individuals_ capabilities.

Wouldn’t the Duncanites deciding they knew what was best for the species be just as infuriating to the rest of humanity? Duncanites setting themselves up as transhuman gods amongst men surely is at the very least "interesting". Think "Seventh Heaven" where the Duncanites see themselves as the ascended.

I am also not clear that there was a Duncanite "business proposition" in the Mars terraforming project, unless it was an old fashioned land grab?
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Conservative terraforming, what changes?

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Originally Posted by thtraveller View Post
The long lived and AI assisted Duncanites should be long term contingency planners. A slow terra-forming of Mars is still helping to solve the “all the eggs in one basket” problem. The gray-goo scenario is still on the table for Earth with the fractured world power bases and fifth wave _individuals_ capabilities.

Wouldn’t the Duncanites deciding they knew what was best for the species be just as infuriating to the rest of humanity? Duncanites setting themselves up as transhuman gods amongst men surely is at the very least "interesting". Think "Seventh Heaven" where the Duncanites see themselves as the ascended.

I am also not clear that there was a Duncanite "business proposition" in the Mars terraforming project, unless it was an old fashioned land grab?
[1] Yes.
[2] Yes
[3] What I meant was that the Duncanites (driven by ideology) were supported by a fair number of more practical individuals (who went on to found the various Duncanite corporations). These individuals were people who, while ideological, were also interested in seeing results. Had the Duncanite terraforming plan been far slower I suspect the Duncanite movement would have been smaller and after their exile would not have taken on the semi-commercial and libertarian character that it developed.
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Conservative terraforming, what changes?

So slow terraforming Duncanites would more likely end up classical SF trope shady background patron organisations (like Charles Stross' Eschaton, or Larry Niven's Protector, Eclipse Phase Firewall, et al). Which I assume TS was trying to avoid. Secret masters on their asteroid base (TM).
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Old 09-26-2009, 03:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Conservative terraforming, what changes?

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Originally Posted by thtraveller View Post
So slow terraforming Duncanites would more likely end up classical SF trope shady background patron organisations (like Charles Stross' Eschaton, or Larry Niven's Protector, Eclipse Phase Firewall, et al). Which I assume TS was trying to avoid. Secret masters on their asteroid base (TM).
Oh, maybe. Or it's possible that the ideologues would be joined by the more practical types in exile and things would proceed as written.

The Duncanites were in the setting from the beginning but the Mars of IN THE WELL is pretty different than originally planned. In the original draft of TS [that is, well before the playtest and the decision to split Deep Beyond and Transhuman Space into two books], the Ares Conspiracy was discovered in 2051 and it wasn't until 2067 that China decided to go ahead with terraforming, having decided that the Ares Plague release meant that the hope of finding life on mars was compromised.
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Last edited by David L Pulver; 09-26-2009 at 03:49 AM. Reason: clarify original draft
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