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I would presume much terraforming happens remotely -- seeding oceans and atmospheres with oxygen-producing baceria & the like.  50 years later, multicellular, and soil-bacterias, etc.  No colonists, maybe small science teams, probably visiting rather than resident, to adjust parameters.

I presume a hostile-environment colony would be pretty rare!  Occasionally maybe a crash-landing / stranding.  Some rare resource to be extracted.  The good ol' "prison planet" trope.  Etc...

But as for a merely "primitive" environment -- MANY reasons!  Some might go for the sheer room to move, from an overcrowded urbanscape to an empty wilderness.  Some might be fleeing debt, or crimes, or just "getting out of a situation" they don't like.  Some may move for their children, & later generations.

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On 7/2/2020 at 3:03 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

But, on the other hand, when I reflect on the real world, no government is paying for Mars colonisation, too expansive, no return on investment. And also almost want to go. Fair enough, why would you goon this god forsaken planet month away from anything, with nothing friendly to life?! 😮 

Well there are different factors at work here. In the real world, space exploration is beastly expensive, which limits the number of people who can afford it to mostly countires, large companies, and eccentric billionaires. Now the first two (governments and companies) have to answer to other people who contrl the purse strings, and can have shake ups in leadership every few years, which can change priorities.

 

Plus it is very risky, and takes time. We'll probably get there eventually, but it's more of a long term thing. We've really only been going into space for a little more than 50 years, so we're not really doing too badly considering. It's just that in SciFi, our tech is much better, in some cases impossibly so. 

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2 hours ago, g33k said:

I would presume much terraforming happens remotely -- seeding oceans and atmospheres with oxygen-producing baceria & the like.  50 years later, multicellular, and soil-bacterias, etc.  No colonists, maybe small science teams, probably visiting rather than resident, to adjust parameters.

Pretty much. At least that's what most real world terraforming plans for Mars look like. Of coruse in the real world there are other factors that might not apply in a SciFi setting. For instance the difficulties in getting something into space, fuel requirements, expense and so forth. But if they figured out a way to get objects into space cheaply, without needing so much fuel, as with many SciFi ships, the Terraforms could be a faster, more hands on affair.

2 hours ago, g33k said:

I presume a hostile-environment colony would be pretty rare!  Occasionally maybe a crash-landing / stranding.  Some rare resource to be extracted.  The good ol' "prison planet" trope.  Etc...

Yeah, People wouldn't go there with a reason. So either some sort of rare resource, scientific curiosity, or maybe religious or political reasons. 

2 hours ago, g33k said:

But as for a merely "primitive" environment -- MANY reasons!  Some might go for the sheer room to move, from an overcrowded urbanscape to an empty wilderness.  Some might be fleeing debt, or crimes, or just "getting out of a situation" they don't like.  Some may move for their children, & later generations.

I agree. It would be like getting your own, brand new planet. People would be free to set things up however they wanted, without having to deal with whatever restrictions that they didn't like on their home world.

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

... in SciFi, our tech is much better, in some cases impossibly so. 

I am acutely aware, personally, that EVERY generation tends to think its physics is "pretty much correct," and that we could therefore largely predict the range of future-tech.

So far, this has not been an accurate method of prediction.

I'm therefore less inclined to dismiss "Clarke-tech" and other forms of "Unobtainium" -- projecting centuries forward -- as being pure fantasy-based "Handwavium."

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nowadays theoretical nuclear physics (i..e the fundamental theory of everything) is at least 50 years ahead of its experiment.. and there is nothing much is left to discover...

Admittedly 90% of the universe is missing (dark matter, dark energy).... but it's doubtful we could do something with it....

Anyway.. that's not really the question nor the point.. we are already way in imaginary tech.. just trying to keep it... credible?! 😜

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

I am acutely aware, personally, that EVERY generation tends to think its physics is "pretty much correct," and that we could therefore largely predict the range of future-tech.

So far, this has not been an accurate method of prediction.

True, and that works both in terms of failing to predrict something, but also in terms of preducting things that (Still) haven't come to pass. Atomic cars for instance. 

1 hour ago, g33k said:

I'm therefore less inclined to dismiss "Clarke-tech" and other forms of "Unobtainium" -- projecting centuries forward -- as being pure fantasy-based "Handwavium."

Oh there is that, too. 

What I was referring to are things like ships not carrying enough fuel to get into space, or transporters. While we will no doubt make future improvements, some SciFI stuff is probably going to remain fantasy.

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25 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

... also in terms of preducting things that (Still) haven't come to pass. Atomic cars for instance. 

And flying cars (at least as routine "everybody" transport -- I know there are some moves toward quadcopter-based "Uber" &c in urban skyscraper settings, but that's aimed at Corp/exec use, I think, not really "family outings" or commuting to a factory making sprockets or operating machinery...) .

Edited by g33k

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On 7/3/2020 at 7:45 PM, g33k said:

And flying cars (at least as routine "everybody" transport -- I know there are some moves toward quadcopter-based "Uber" &c in urban skyscraper settings, but that's aimed at Corp/exec use, I think, not really "family outings" or commuting to a factory making sprockets or operating machinery...) .

Yeah. Technologically we're getting pretty close to being able to do it,, but economically it isn't viable for most people. For most people it's better to just drive 200 miles and use up 10 gallons of fuel, than to fly 200 miles and use up 25 gallons of fuel - and that's not even counting the increased cost to purchase, insure, maintain, and store said vehicle, or any of the other problems that go with aircraft. Putting a couple of hundred pounds of stuff in the trunk of a car might affect the acceleration, handling, and put a bit more wear on the shocks, but with a light aircraft it could prevent it from being able to take off. 

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3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Yeah. Technologically we're getting pretty close to being able to do it,, but economically it isn't viable for most people. For most people it's better to just drive 200 miles and use up 10 gallons of fuel, than to fly 200 miles and use up 25 gallons of fuel - and that's not even counting the increased cost to purchase, insure, maintain, and store said vehicle, or any of the other problems that go with aircraft. Putting a couple of hundred pounds of stuff in the trunk of a car might affect the acceleration, handling, and put a bit more wear on the shocks, but with a light aircraft it could prevent it from being able to take off. 

If the "car" is a quadcopter or other vtol, it becomes an interesting & even preferable option for the top floors of nearby skyscrapers.

And battery & other non-petroleum engines are getting better & better...  

None of which is George Jetson commuting to his factory job, and dropping his kids @ school as he drives... or flies..

 

Edited by g33k

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On 7/2/2020 at 2:49 AM, Atgxtg said:

Oh, and if you want to really keep the weapons tech under control, remember that the more high tech something is, the more that can go wrong. Imagine if some high tech society could generate a EM field and that it messed up most electronics. The military would have to use "obsolete" tech, as mechanical stuff would be reliable in a EM field. 

My suggestion is figure out what you want the setting to be like, then reverse engineer the reasons why it would have worked out that way.

Yeah, like Frank Herbert did with Dune. He wanted a universe where human factors were supreme: the Butlerian Jihad made "thinking machines" unacceptable to society. He wanted personal conflict with melee weapons: the personal shield rendered a soldier invulnerable to most projectile weapons and made using powerful laser weapons dangerous; atomic weapons retained their power but were also outlawed due to social convention.

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14 hours ago, Questbird said:

Yeah, like Frank Herbert did with Dune. He wanted a universe where human factors were supreme: the Butlerian Jihad made "thinking machines" unacceptable to society. He wanted personal conflict with melee weapons: the personal shield rendered a soldier invulnerable to most projectile weapons and made using powerful laser weapons dangerous; atomic weapons retained their power but were also outlawed due to social convention.

Yup. That sort of thing happens all the time with writing- not just SciFi. Mystery writers have to craft thier story in such a way that there is some sort of mystery, and then add in enough clues so that the detetive can figure it all out. It's really the same thing. Just logically working out what it takes to get the desired result. 

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15 hours ago, g33k said:

If the "car" is a quadcopter or other vtol, it becomes an interesting & even preferable option for the top floors of nearby skyscrapers.

And battery & other non-petroleum engines are getting better & better...  

Yup. IF someone has the money and is in the right location. 

15 hours ago, g33k said:

None of which is George Jetson commuting to his factory job, and dropping his kids @ school as he drives... or flies..

Nope,. and it's easy to see why. Just imagine millions of aircars flying around a big city during rush hour, and what the typical fender bender will be like at 1500 feet. 

 

In fact if you look at the Jetsons closely, you might start to wonder just why everything is on platforms up in the sky? IS ther something wrong with the surface of the planet that prevents people from ever going there? :blink:;)

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Ground squirrels, bazillions of them.  Cleaning up the environment turned out to be a mistake. It is no longer safe for humans to come closer than 80 feet of the surface (flying squirrels and all).   Law of unintended consequences.  

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