Discussion World Forum  


Go Back   Discussion World Forum > Discussion Forums > Science

Science From your kid's science project to relativity, this is the place to discuss it.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #71  
Old Feb 12th 2013, 04:46 PM
Non Sequitur's Avatar
Non Sequitur Non Sequitur is offline
Official Forum Lutheran
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The Kingdom on the Left and the Right
Posts: 2,142
Default Re: Future Science & Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
In which case, I will have to address Shekib82's question about how the Churches will react to the proven existence of extra-terrestrial lifeforms (which will occur in my book-plan). As noted previously, I generally ascribe to the panspermia theory of life-diffusion in the galaxy, so I do expect lifeforms to exist on other planets (a statistically rare thing, but the universe is very large with lots and lots of zeros).
I personally feel that the Church of the future will look a lot more like Church that existed in the first to third centuries AD. So if you really want to extrapolate into a sci-fi story pick up a good history of the early church and find some cool ideas to carry forward.
__________________
Lighten our darkness.
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old Feb 12th 2013, 07:04 PM
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
Administrator
Herder of Cats
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,835
Default Re: Future Science & Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
I personally feel that the Church of the future will look a lot more like Church that existed in the first to third centuries AD. So if you really want to extrapolate into a sci-fi story pick up a good history of the early church and find some cool ideas to carry forward.
What makes you say that? Any particular sociological or epistemological reasons that the Church would turn back the clock on Augustine and Aquinas?

My general theory of history is that you can NEVER go back to anything.
__________________
Remember what the dormouse said: Feed your head!
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old Feb 12th 2013, 08:07 PM
dilettante's Avatar
dilettante dilettante is offline
Moderator
Resident Historian
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 3,082
Default Re: Future Science & Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
My general theory of history is that you can NEVER go back to anything.
That reminds me of one of my favorite (alleged) Mark Twain quotes: "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
__________________
kyrie eleison
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old Feb 12th 2013, 08:12 PM
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
Administrator
Herder of Cats
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,835
Default Re: Future Science & Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
That reminds me of one of my favorite (alleged) Mark Twain quotes: "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
Yes, that's a good way to put it.

Btw, I think Twain/Clemons was one of the most brilliant Americans who has ever lived.
__________________
Remember what the dormouse said: Feed your head!
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old Feb 12th 2013, 09:35 PM
Non Sequitur's Avatar
Non Sequitur Non Sequitur is offline
Official Forum Lutheran
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The Kingdom on the Left and the Right
Posts: 2,142
Default Re: Future Science & Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
What makes you say that? Any particular sociological or epistemological reasons that the Church would turn back the clock on Augustine and Aquinas?

My general theory of history is that you can NEVER go back to anything.
I guess I should have clarified . I did not mean in terms of theology. We can't, nor do I particularly think that we should, go back. I was thinking more in terms of situation that church finds itself in and in terms of structure. The early church found itself in a world that was not dominantly Christian and was fairly pluralistic. Roman society viewed Christianity in the early years as really irrational, largely foreign, and fairly annoying. Church membership was comprised mainly of women and slaves. Structurally the church was highly localized and only really came together on the biggest issues.

Similarly in near future I would expect many similarities. Society is becoming more pluralistic with mainline denominations being increasingly sidelined. Church membership is already primarily women. Perhaps it's not visible from the outside, but larger church bodies (synods, diocese, etc...) are becoming increasingly cash strapped and I would not be surprised if the local congregation has the most emphasis fairly soon. I expect that future 300 years of the church will have much more in common with the first 300 years of Church rather than the middle 1000 years.
__________________
Lighten our darkness.
Reply With Quote
  #76  
Old Feb 15th 2013, 07:39 PM
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
Administrator
Herder of Cats
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,835
Default Re: Future Science & Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
I guess I should have clarified . I did not mean in terms of theology. We can't, nor do I particularly think that we should, go back. I was thinking more in terms of situation that church finds itself in and in terms of structure. The early church found itself in a world that was not dominantly Christian and was fairly pluralistic. Roman society viewed Christianity in the early years as really irrational, largely foreign, and fairly annoying. Church membership was comprised mainly of women and slaves. Structurally the church was highly localized and only really came together on the biggest issues.

Similarly in near future I would expect many similarities. Society is becoming more pluralistic with mainline denominations being increasingly sidelined. Church membership is already primarily women. Perhaps it's not visible from the outside, but larger church bodies (synods, diocese, etc...) are becoming increasingly cash strapped and I would not be surprised if the local congregation has the most emphasis fairly soon. I expect that future 300 years of the church will have much more in common with the first 300 years of Church rather than the middle 1000 years.
Thanks for the clarification. And yes, I agree with your assessment, particularly because it dovetails with the metatrends in several other sectors as well - almost all large institutional organizations are in decline, suffering from a lack of trust or support from the members. These trends tend to reverse when you start looking at local scales (many local-based groups are increasing).

Btw, interesting comment about women and the church. No real surprise about that though - men are attracted to the church as a source of power, social prestige and/or good jobs. The churches haven't been delivering that for quite some time now, so it is no surprise that male involvement with the churches has been in relative decline (apart from the general decline).
__________________
Remember what the dormouse said: Feed your head!
Reply With Quote
  #77  
Old Feb 25th 2013, 09:09 PM
Dominick's Avatar
Dominick Dominick is offline
Globetrotter
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Dying Europe
Posts: 3,837
Default Re: Future Science & Technology

Missed this somehow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
So, that's the basic historical outline. No doubt there is lots of stuff that needs to be added and fleshed out. I plan to focus on the 24th century period, then the 26th and then the 31st century, since those are the key points where the ethics/philosophy stuff becomes very poignant.

Anyone have any comments, suggestions, ideas or criticisms, please feel free. I'm not trying to write a history of human society, but I do need a decent background setting for my spaceships to 'boldly go where no one has gone before...'

Essentially, my theme is a warning against utopias and the danger of unintended consequences of seemingly innocent acts.
As a backdrop for a science fiction story that will most certainly do. It's plausible. The emergence of battle droids and that line of evolution will in reality probably be much faster (all 21st century if you ask me) but that would probably upset the whole scheme.

What you perhaps should avoid are what I call futurological anachronisms. For instance, in Asimov's Foundation, someone buys a newspaper from a stand. That's absurd given that the story is set 12,000 years in the future. There are many more such implausible aspects in that story and I find it degrades the whole quality of the thing. The future should be internally consistent unless there's a very good reason for it not to be. John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar, although set in a very near future, is excellent in that respect.

Also, go easy on the mutants in the 28th century. While an all-out nuclear war certainly would produce mutations, the overwhelming majority of those would not be viable.

Just suggestions of course.
Reply With Quote
  #78  
Old Feb 25th 2013, 09:19 PM
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
Administrator
Herder of Cats
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,835
Default Re: Future Science & Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
Missed this somehow.


As a backdrop for a science fiction story that will most certainly do. It's plausible. The emergence of battle droids and that line of evolution will in reality probably be much faster (all 21st century if you ask me) but that would probably upset the whole scheme.

What you perhaps should avoid are what I call futurological anachronisms. For instance, in Asimov's Foundation, someone buys a newspaper from a stand. That's absurd given that the story is set 12,000 years in the future. There are many more such implausible aspects in that story and I find it degrades the whole quality of the thing. The future should be internally consistent unless there's a very good reason for it not to be. John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar, although set in a very near future, is excellent in that respect.

Also, go easy on the mutants in the 28th century. While an all-out nuclear war certainly would produce mutations, the overwhelming majority of those would not be viable.

Just suggestions of course.
Actually, with mutants, I'm more concerned about human-choice mutants rather than nuclear-war-produced mutants. I certainly agree that actually real mutants are unlikely to survive/prosper. I think humans will create self-induced mutations.

Seriously, if you could package the genes for animal-furry bodies, I'll bet some non insignificant proportion of humans would take it. That's what I mean when I refer to mutants so many centuries in the future.

And yes, I agree completely about the newspaper in Asimov's book. That's the kind of thing that drives me nuts. Seems like some sci-fi projects some technologies to advance, but then forgets about all the rest.

That's why I've been talking about the development of generic technologies - that's necessary for generic background material.
__________________
Remember what the dormouse said: Feed your head!
Reply With Quote
  #79  
Old Mar 14th 2013, 05:34 PM
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
Administrator
Herder of Cats
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,835
Default Re: Future Science & Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
You could broaden the range somewhat by supposing the development of terraforming technology somewhere along the way. That way barren worlds like mars could be made habitable even if they weren't that way naturally. Given the threat of hostile natives or alien pandemics, originally sterile terraformed worlds might be considered much safer than worlds capable of supporting their own native lifeforms.

Imagine humans in the 24th century sending off massive, automated terraforming arks that will land on barren or toxic worlds and begin altering the environment so that humans in the 26th century can land there and breath the air. It would be an enormous, long-term investment for some company or government, but the pay off would potentially be huge.

Maybe 24th century investors could contribute to the construction of the terraforming ark in exchange for guarantees that their great-grandchildren will receive land-rights on the new world once terraforming is complete. Assuming earth's own environment is falling apart by then, it could be tempting to invest in clean air and soil for your distant descendants.
I've been re-thinking this issue - mostly because I've been doing some number crunching with my future 'projections' and I think I will have to revisit the issue of terraforming.

The idea of 'wormholes' theoretically allows the idea of interstellar space travel to be possible. That's a central premise of my sci-fi framework. However, to keep the idea realistic, I think it is prudent to treat wormholes as relatively uncommon things (there is no 'wormhole subway system' spanning the galaxy). I've also made the assumption that wormhole 'connections' would likely be apparently random connections, without any relationship to distance or 'spatial neighborhoods', though they should be stable with respect to the two end points.

In order to get a sci-fi story going, it is necessary to have at least one wormhole connection located near our own solar system (likely somewhere out beyond Pluto's orbit). Exploring that wormhole would presumably take us to some other solar system, that may, or might not, have any orbiting planets, that may, or might not be suitable for human habitation. To reach another solar system, that first solar system we discover needs to have a second wormhole. Also, earth's own solar system has nine planets, and it is likely or possible that a majority of stars out there do not have any planets at all. So the odds are pretty heavy.

According to 'expert' predictions, the chances of finding a 'Goldilocks' type planet, suitable for the development and support of carbon-based lifeforms, is roughly 1% or 1 in 100 planets. Assuming that Earth's nine planet population as an 'average' then that means we'd probably have to explore eleven solar systems in order to find one decent or suitable planet for human colonization. Eleven solar systems would probably mean at least ten wormholes!

So that means we'd need a network of 10-12 wormholes (mini-subway system) just to have a very high probability of finding just one planet that is entirely suitable for human habitation. And if we do find such a planet, it is the most likely type of planet to be already 'occupied' by some carbon-based lifeforms. And if that is the case, we are faced with both a moral-ethical quandary and the likely danger of foreign bacteria and other micro-organisms (amongst other nasty surprises) that human antibodies have never encountered.

On this basis, I'm thinking that if humans are going to realistically establish a colony on another planet, we're going to have to do some terraforming of the likely more common 'not quite' perfect type planets. I don't see this as an either/or proposition - rather a combination seems most likely.

I still don't think that terraforming Mars is a likely scenario given the major problems (high radiation and low gravity), but I do think it likely that we would find planets that are 'close' to being habitable, merely suffering one or two deficiencies that could perhaps be addressed with human ingenuity and some large-scale chemical engineering. And that does open up the whole 'property ownership' issue.
__________________
Remember what the dormouse said: Feed your head!
Reply With Quote
  #80  
Old Mar 14th 2013, 05:37 PM
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
Administrator
Herder of Cats
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,835
Default Re: Future Science & Technology

And since we're on the topic of space travel...

In order to have sci-fi space travel via wormholes, I need to have a spaceship. Obviously, we'll be using robot/probes/drones to explore wormholes and do all the dangerous stuff, but eventually we are going to need a ship that will fly from Earth orbit out past Pluto, go through the wormhole, then fly across some other solar system to reach orbit around some new planet. Traveling at 1/1000th of the speed of light, still makes such a journey take at least a month - and that's pretty damn fast by human standards (roughly a million km per hour).

Realistically, that means any such journey is going to take at least a few months or even half a year, though over time I'm sure advancing technology would speed up the process. On this basis, I've been wrestling with the idea of a suitable spaceship idea. I just can't accept the idea of inventing 'artificial gravity' though you can simulate it with centrifugal forces if the diameter is large enough for human scale. That means any spaceship that looks like a spaceship is going to have a zero-gravity cabin issue to deal with. That may be all well and fine for specialist astronauts on the International Space Station orbiting earth, but I don't see how we can have space ships shuttling any substantial number of colonists to another planet on a six month journey in zero gravity. That might work at the beginning, but we will need larger ships that have 'simulated' gravity so human body-functions can function normally.

So now I'm thinking about giant spaceships that look like a Stanford Torus - mounting an engine in the middle axis. That design seems suitable for human habitation and can simulate sufficient gravity to make life semi-normal. It also makes large-scale immigration theoretically possible if you can load up 100,000+ people onto the ship for each journey.



It does seem rather awkward and unromantic from a 'Star Trek/Wars' perspective to have such oddly unconventional shaped spaceships, but I just don't see any other way to make it realistic and feasible (even if it is just sci-fi).

Any ideas out there about spaceships?
__________________
Remember what the dormouse said: Feed your head!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2008 - 2017, DiscussionWorldForum.com