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Old 05-14-2009, 09:36 PM   #11
Barenziah58
 
Join Date: May 2009
Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2
That people can't just go straight from the stone age to the 21st century is a real thing. The rate of technological advance in a game of Alpha Centauri is pretty radical.
I mean that the idear of tech level exsit only in role playing game and some other game, You can have cave men make than stream engine in the stone age.
I got into than verb fight with some people who said that cavemen didnot have than writen language. First it they wrote on leave,bark,or animal hide it is mostly they would survival the passage of time.Second the cave painting is also than form of written language. Third how long would the evidence survival that we have than written language last if we suffer than event which lead to the end of mankind,let say 50,000 years went by.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:43 PM   #12
Pragmatic
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

In order to have a written language (even pictographs), you need to have time to create writing. People who spend all their time hunting/gathering don't have time to invent writing. And even if they did, who would they share it with? The wandering band they meet in the forest?
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:58 PM   #13
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barenziah58
You can have cave men make than stream engine in the stone age.
No, you really can't. They don't have the knowledge of the materials necessary to create a steam engine. A steam engine requires a certain minumum material strength of materials, otherwise the steam will simply burst the vessel rather than doing useful work. Which, incidently, was the issue with the Heronian engines as well. There couldn't have been an industrial revolution based off of them in Classical Antiquity, because the material technology still didn't exist. They were toys, at best, capable of some very limited tricks (the "opening temple doors" thing depended on some very well-balanced doors).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barenziah58
I got into than verb fight with some people who said that cavemen didnot have than writen language. First it they wrote on leave,bark,or animal hide it is mostly they would survival the passage of time.
They did have clay and, as you yourself point out, they had stone walls which they could and did draw on. More importantly, the first farmers, in the Neolithic period, had all the same materials available to them (clay, wood, stone, etc.) that the later civilizations had, and yet we have no evidence of writing from them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barenziah58
Second the cave painting is also than form of written language.
Images need certain properties to be considered actual writing. They need to be regular, above all. If you put a picture of a man on a wall, you haven't written "man". At the very least, you need a standard form of that picture that can be duplicated by others. Cave paintings don't demontrate that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barenziah58
Third how long would the evidence survival that we have than written language last if we suffer than event which lead to the end of mankind,let say 50,000 years went by.
The problem is not that we have no examples of writing from 50,000 years ago. The problem is that we have no examples of writing from 8,000 years ago, despite having numerous artifacts that could have been written on. And then, all of a sudden, we have examples of writing appearing, and then spreading to other civilzations. If it were simply age eliminating examples, we should expect the examples to trail off slowly, with fewer and fewer examples as we go back in time, until finally it just fades away entirely. Instead, we have no writing whatsoever for thousands of years, and then suddenly a large number of examples all at once.

Last edited by Kelly Pedersen; 05-14-2009 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:26 PM   #14
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pragmatic
In order to have a written language (even pictographs), you need to have time to create writing. People who spend all their time hunting/gathering don't have time to invent writing. And even if they did, who would they share it with? The wandering band they meet in the forest?
Well, to be fair, hunter gatherers tend to have a short work day. Job security is a b*, though.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:31 PM   #15
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen
No, you really can't. They don't have the knowledge of the materials necessary to create a steam engine. A steam engine requires a certain minumum material strength of materials, otherwise the steam will simply burst the vessel rather than doing useful work. Which, incidently, was the issue with the Heronian engines as well. There couldn't have been an industrial revolution based off of them in Classical Antiquity, because the material technology still didn't exist. They were toys, at best, capable of some very limited tricks (the "opening temple doors" thing depended on some very well-balanced doors).



They did have clay and, as you yourself point out, they had stone walls which they could and did draw on. More importantly, the first farmers, in the Neolithic period, had all the same materials available to them (clay, wood, stone, etc.) that the later civilizations had, and yet we have no evidence of writing from them.



Images need certain properties to be considered actual writing. They need to be regular, above all. If you put a picture of a man on a wall, you haven't written "man". At the very least, you need a standard form of that picture that can be duplicated by others. Cave paintings don't demontrate that.



The problem is not that we have no examples of writing from 50,000 years ago. The problem is that we have no examples of writing from 8,000 years ago, despite having numerous artifacts that could have been written on. And then, all of a sudden, we have examples of writing appearing, and then spreading to other civilzations. If it were simply age eliminating examples, we should expect the examples to trail off slowly, with fewer and fewer examples as we go back in time, until finally it just fades away entirely. Instead, we have no writing whatsoever for thousands of years, and then suddenly a large number of examples all at once.
They fround some predyamic writeing than other object from before 3000 bce
egypt.Scienist expect the writing to be less complex than writing after 3000 bce it turn out the writing was just as complex. Many factor like burning builting can destory earler writeing that some people kept other natural distake will destory evidence of civilation. The lion with the human head was found to have being make between 13500 and 10000 bce.
Than stream engine can be make out clay pot with wood replace the metal apart it just wouldnot be as powerful as later one. Stonehegre turn out to be
than astror computer built to prefict future lumar and solar elip and act as than caladar.

Last edited by Barenziah58; 05-14-2009 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

So, for writing...aside from the impossibility of absolutely proving that something didn't exist (as opposed to establishing good evidence), we've pretty well verified that pre-literate human societies can exist, because they still do.

A very low powered thing that could be styled a steam engine might be buildable out of stone-age materials (I imagine hanging a crude aeolipile-type jet assembly from a cord, since you couldn't really make a bearing. I am not a mechanical engineer). I'm not sure what you think you could do with one, though, if it worked at all...

Stonehenge demonstrates that the fairly-ancients had good memory and could recognize patterns. Not sure why you think that says anything much about technology.
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Old 05-15-2009, 02:48 AM   #17
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barenziah58
They fround some predyamic writeing than other object from before 3000 bce
egypt.
Yes, I'm well aware that writing is several thousand years old. I certainly wasn't suggesting that the first time someone wrote something down was Gutenberg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barenziah58
Scienist expect the writing to be less complex than writing after 3000 bce it turn out the writing was just as complex.
Well, first of all, early writing was more primitive. Cuneiform, Sumerian writing, for example, was originally used for accounting, basically - counting things. It was only later that it was used to express more complex ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barenziah58
Many factor like burning builting can destory earler writeing that some people kept other natural distake will destory evidence of civilation.
How do you explain the sudden appearance and spread of writing, then? Did a fire burn all of the previous writing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barenziah58
Than stream engine can be make out clay pot with wood replace the metal apart it just wouldnot be as powerful as later one.
Yes. Specifically, it wouldn't be as strong as a human. Or a dog, probably. For the energy that it would take to keep such an "engine" fired, you could do far more work with your bare hands. Engines only become useful when they can deliver more power than that provided by muscles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barenziah58
Stonehegre turn out to be
than astror computer built to prefict future lumar and solar elip and act as than caladar.
Got a cite?
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:58 AM   #18
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

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Originally Posted by Barenziah58
Than stream engine can be make out clay pot with wood replace the metal apart it just wouldnot be as powerful as later one..
How would clay and wood retain any pressure?
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:38 AM   #19
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2
How would clay and wood retain any pressure?
By burying it under stone? ;)
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:57 PM   #20
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

Well, I think it's a brilliant resource, but I'm one of the credited playtesters, so I'm extremely biased.

Even with that disclaimer, I have to admit that as much as I love the game and the sourcebook, I can't recall ever seeing someone claim to have run a campaign in the setting. I remember lots of discussions of what people would do with the setting if they ran it, but no war stories about actual play sessions.
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