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Old 05-05-2012, 10:40 PM   #71
dcarson
 
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Default Re: Clothing in Spaaaaaaace!

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Excellent question. Your guess is just as good as anyone else's, including the space medics, because we literally have almost no data on which to make an evaluation.

OTOH, when it comes to the effects of gravity when present but not at 1G, we have a tiny sampliing of short-term data at 1/6 G, from the Apollo missions, and...well, that's pretty much all we have.
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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
To be brutally realistic, the most likely optimal spot is probably 1G, because that's our native environment.
Actually there is a series of experiments where chickens were raised in higher G environments in centrifuges. This was long term, several chicken generations. One of the chapters in Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition has the data from this. They ended up healthier and longer lived than regular chickens.

Still very few data points. You could replicate the centrifuge experiment with small mammals to see if they react differently from birds fairly easily but less than 1 G but not 0 requires putting a large centrifuge in orbit.
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:13 AM   #72
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Default Re: Clothing in Spaaaaaaace!

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
That's fine as far as it goes. But it seems to go against the traditional space story which almost always has FtL and artificial gravity making a minimum of two implausibilities and two is rather more then one.
FTL and artificial gravity have become genre conventions. FTL is not counted against suspension of disbelief because it lets you more plausibly have stories with people on habitable planets, since RL space exploration has made SF readers very familiar with the inhabitability of our local solar system. Artificial gravity is likewise a very familiar staging convention of SF TV for budget reasons.

Of course, if you concentrate on these issues, making them plot devices rather than genre conventions, then they count again.

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Science fiction and fantasy both, yes. It's often called the "Unicorn in the Garden" rule, after the short story of the same name.
I've never heard it called this or particularly associated with fantasy when hanging with authors and critics. H.G. Wells wrote that he made a point of limiting himself to a single improbability in his more fanciful stories, and Thurber spoofed Wells at least one other time.
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:34 AM   #73
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Default Re: Clothing in Spaaaaaaace!

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FTL and artificial gravity have become genre conventions. FTL is not counted against suspension of disbelief because it lets you more plausibly have stories with people on habitable planets, since RL space exploration has made SF readers very familiar with the inhabitability of our local solar system. Artificial gravity is likewise a very familiar staging convention of SF TV for budget reasons.

Of course, if you concentrate on these issues, making them plot devices rather than genre conventions, then they count again.
Yeah I'd say FTL counts as like half an implausibility. You just can't tell a lot of stories without it and it's often a background feature rather than a change that drives the story. Budget concerns also trump the one implausibility rule to an extent. I'd say they still count to an extent but you can stretch to two or possibly even three seperate implausibilities while remaining within the spirit of the rule.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:49 AM   #74
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I remembered an example of symbolic use of clothing from the Enterprise TV series.

The early StarFleet uniforms of the Enterprise crew were very like the ones from the 1950s movie Forbidden Planet.

This metaphoricaly signalled the general retro themes of the show and specifically symbolized that we were in the 50s comapred to TOS 1960s galaxy. Clever.

Then T'Pol's Vulcan Space Service uniform was made from something that loked like brown tweed. I suppose there may have been some idea that an ancient and complex culture would insist on natural and textured fabrics. Or maybe it was only to make Vulcans look stuffy.

Whatever the purpose it didn't convey much of anything.

Then in the third season T'Pol resigned from the Vulcan service rather than leave Enterprise. She started wearing what I guess were supposed to be civilian outfits that were tight-fitting and made in various Day-Glo colors.

That worked because it recalled the 60s and T'Pol being from a 60s equivalent compared to the human's 50s equivalent signaled that she was from an culture more advanced than theirs. Clever again.

So formal robes and togas may be an attempt to indicate that certain group is ancient (and therefore hopefully wise) but they may also make the wearers look hidebound and backward-looking. This sort of fashion statement is used in this way in many SF flims and TV shows.

So people who don't want to look hidebound and backward-looking might avoid such things.

What would a person or group that wanted to look innovative and future-oriented wear? Maybe collor-changing jumpsuits that automatically deployed gloves and hoods to supplement their internal climate control systems in cold weather. Or even inflated bubble helmets for space.

See Rainbow and Morphwear from UT p.189. Then combine with a Space Biosuit and for 14% more than the cost of your spacesuit it's the only suit of clothes you'll ever need.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:10 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I remembered an example of symbolic use of clothing from the Enterprise TV series.
Excellent example (snipped).

In Babylon 5, the civilian clothes were intentionally crafted to be reminiscent of military uniforms. This was supposed to communicate that, following near-extinction in the Earth/Minbari war, humanity had become more militaristic. When the crew was fighting the shadow war, they got new uniforms, right? The clothes were crafted (in-universe and by the costume designer) as a meld between human and minbari fashion.

In Firefly, the interviews with the set and costume designers include a lengthy discussion of how costumes, weapons and living spaces were used to communicate the characters' personalities.

In real life, blue jeans were a social statement. It's easy to forget that for decades, they were blue-collar clothes for laborers. Adoption of jeans by upper-class college students was a political statement of solidarity with the workers. (The fact that jeans became expensive, exclusive, designer clothes, complete with buying them pre-faded and even ripped probably makes an inadvertent statement about how authentic that solidarity turned out to be.) The Che hats are a similar statement, this time denoting solidarity with radical, revolutionary politics rather than a social class. In both cases, the fashion was stripped of much of its political meaning by the time it hit mainstream culture and became a fad.

False brigandine armor was worn that didn't even have any armor value, just a coolness factor. Epaulets were big in the 80's, but I never saw anyone use them for their intended purpose. People often wear clothes from trendy sports that they never play. Schoolgirl uniforms became fetishized, and then from there went somewhat mainstream as yet another way of saying "sexy".

So this could find expression in trends in science fiction as well. I already used the example from Sterling of formalwear that is reminiscent of spacesuits.

Are we even a few years away from bulky single earings inspired by handfree sets? They'll be so gauche when implants come out, then kitsch retro a few years later (even for people who already have implants). Same for HMD's and handhelds. Haptic interfaces with gloves might lead to a return of the opera glove as a fashion accessory (and about time, I say!). Bioplas contacts (Ultra Tech) could lead to a new set of fashionable eye art, from colors to changing colors to sclera colors.

If power armor got big, the question is, what underwear do you wear inside your suit? Tights and leotards, maybe even with bulges that suggest a faux relief system, might suddenly become fashionable (even if they're ugly to our modern eyes). Sometimes it's a reaction against a movement or group. If replicants/bioroids are made, perhaps people will prefer less revealing fashions than they do today, simply to distinguish themselves from the slave class.

So to come up with cool sci fi fashions, you need a sense of what's going on, politically, socially, technologically, and culturally. You also need a sense of history so you can figure out what's coming into style, what's going out of style, and what's been out long enough to be pleasantly retro.

Wow, this was like ten times as long as I'd intended. So to sum up: Fred's example was really cool.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:51 PM   #76
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The visual vocabulary of most audiences takes artificial gravity for granted. I love science fiction, and a story where well thought out microgravity is the norm would be a bonus for me, but one needs to consider one's audience, I think.

If you are running a game for people who are pretty scientifically literate (specifically with regard to space travel), the absence of artificial gravity could be a pleasant little bonus. It offers opportunities for novel problem solving and grants some verisimilitude (which may get you off the hook with some other impossibility) (but probably not). For people whose relationship with space travel mostly comes by way of movies, freefall will probably be a distraction at best, and one that you need to keep reminding the players of at worst.
I take a somewhat (I think) minority view on this issue, though. For one thing, I don't find the presence of superscience per se unrealistic, for a story set more than a modest distance into the future, I find the absence of it unrealistic. That is, I consider it radically improbable that our current scientific understanding is the last word, any more than Daltonian atomic theory or Newtonian mechanics were that.

Which is not to say that anything and everything goes, only that some things do, and the 'impossibility' should be used consistantly and not be a universal solution to everything.

(Any more than our own technology is. We in 2012 live surrounded by huge amounts of superscience, as viewed from even as recently as 1912, and by sheer unadulterated magic as viewed from 1012 A.D., yet our technology still doesn't solve all problems.)
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:58 PM   #77
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Excellent example (snipped).

False brigandine armor was worn that didn't even have any armor value, just a coolness factor. Epaulets were big in the 80's, but I never saw anyone use them for their intended purpose.
Remember the miniskirt-legging combo? That alway struck me, objectively, as rather odd (wear a dress designed to show off the legs, and cover the legs anyway.)

Then there's the 'fur boots in summer' thing that was big for a few years, and of course the time-honored (and utterly useless) necktie.

Of course there's the habit of buying blue jeans with rips and wear marks incorporated into the design, to make the brand new jeans look old and worn.

Fashion is rational in a way alien to the theoretical purpose of the clothing.

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Old 05-06-2012, 03:07 PM   #78
Sindri
 
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Default Re: Clothing in Spaaaaaaace!

Excellent comments!

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
What would a person or group that wanted to look innovative and future-oriented wear? Maybe collor-changing jumpsuits that automatically deployed gloves and hoods to supplement their internal climate control systems in cold weather. Or even inflated bubble helmets for space.

See Rainbow and Morphwear from UT p.189. Then combine with a Space Biosuit and for 14% more than the cost of your spacesuit it's the only suit of clothes you'll ever need.
Biosuits are quite excellent. As are bubble helmets.

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Originally Posted by wellspring View Post
You also need a sense of history so you can figure out what's coming into style, what's going out of style, and what's been out long enough to be pleasantly retro.
I've heard of the 20 year cycle, has anyone claimed any other long term cycles? Also are there any standard reactions to features of previous fashions? Basically is there anything I can read to help me simulate long term fashion?

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
I take a somewhat (I think) minority view on this issue, though. For one thing, I don't find the presence of superscience per se unrealistic, for a story set more than a modest distance into the future, I find the absence of it unrealistic. That is, I consider it radically improbable that our current scientific understanding is the last word, any more than Daltonian atomic theory or Newtonian mechanics were that.

Which is not to say that anything and everything goes, only that some things do, and the 'impossibility' should be used consistantly and not be a universal solution to everything.

(Any more than our own technology is. We in 2012 live surrounded by huge amounts of superscience, as viewed from even as recently as 1912, and by sheer unadulterated magic as viewed from 1012 A.D., yet our technology still doesn't solve all problems.)
I kind of agree actually. While I think that we are approaching a scientific plateau it still seems odd for there to be no new stuff coming out of the blue from areas like quantum gravity so I think it's reasonable for there to be some superscience.

Last edited by Sindri; 05-06-2012 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:40 PM   #79
wellspring
 
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Remember the miniskirt-legging combo? That alway struck me, objectively, as rather odd (wear a dress designed to show off the legs, and cover the legs anyway.)
Not just odd. It strikes me as very, very sad.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:19 PM   #80
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Default Re: Clothing in Spaaaaaaace!

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Remember the miniskirt-legging combo? That alway struck me, objectively, as rather odd (wear a dress designed to show off the legs, and cover the legs anyway.)
Not that odd. Consider this the skirt/dress vs pants when looked at as feminine vs masculine. The look at from warm and mobility issue. Skirt + leggings gives back the mobility and warm while remaining a feminine outfit.
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