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"The Theory of Interstellar Trade" - Page 2
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Thread: "The Theory of Interstellar Trade"

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    The Empire got too large to effectively communicate with its own frontiers. Many many times they tried to alleviate that problem. Splitting the Empire into four sub Empires, didn't work, again splitting into East and West, didn't work.
    It actually did work : the Roman Empire in the East survived the original Rome centered Empire by thousand years. Under Justinian the Great it even got back to the western shores of the Mediterranean sea.

    But the point you make is still valid. For instance Genghis Khan extensive territory conquest had a lot to do with his talent at organizing communications and logistics of his nomadic people thus being able to react to unrest all around the empire.

    I'm not convinced great religions are always related to centralized models. Islam isn't centralized, Judaism, Orthodox church, Buddhism aren't either. Still they're widespread. I don't really understand why it would matter much concerning our discussion about interstellar trade anyway.
    Au gibet noir, manchot aimable, dansent, dansent les paladins
    Les maigres paladins du diable les squelettes de Saladins.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by boulet View Post
    I'm not convinced great religions are always related to centralized models. Islam isn't centralized, Judaism, Orthodox church, Buddhism aren't either. Still they're widespread. I don't really understand why it would matter much concerning our discussion about interstellar trade anyway.
    I guess we got off on using religion to ensure interstellar traders would get a friendly, and possibly even obsequious, reception. (And possibly a tangent about interstellar organizations imposing their will on individual planets.)

    The idea of starships being mobile self-sufficient colonies trading with planets for information, goods, and services, though, is certainly workable. Ships could not only provide advanced technology, but extra industrial capability, mercenaries (particularly for unpopular or unstable planetary governments), and . Counting on a ship to arrive would be inadvisable, unless they have regular routes, but the arrival of a ship could quite literally make history.

    What would the ships get out of it? Something besides endlessly recycled air, water, and food. Also, if sustaining a religion among planets is hard, sustaining a religious or quasi-religious belief in endless travel and a duty to preserve humanity among a small group in a confined and dangerous environment isn't.

    While I never finished Cities in Flight, I like the idea of starships as itinerant workers. Colonies can talk to each other (over decades or millenia), and can pass along information about which ships aren't to be trusted. Like hobos, ships could leave "signs" at each system, perhaps as a beacon on the edge of the system, that advises subsequent ships about the sort of reception they're likely to get. Over time, reputations can build up, and systems visited "often" by ships could build up an infrastructure to make trade easier: ship reception stations, interstellar communication arrays, etc.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

  3. #18
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    Twenty years is a drop in the bucket. We have discovered an 'Earth-like' planet in what astronomers consider our back yard at mu Arae. It is a close 50 light years away.

    That would make near-FTL round trips a hundred years from earth, even assuming that the planet is habital (and it probably isn't).

    Our galaxy is 100,000 light years across and an estimated 1000 light years thick.

    The sort of social dynamics that would make 100 years round trips (or a 1000 or a 100,000) economical and viable seem completely outside the realms of humanity as we now know it. 'Cities in Flight' is interesting as speculative fiction -- but would you really trust thousand year old information that told a planetary culture is unreliable?

    Granted, thanks to transhumanist technology, humanity might very radically change in the not too distant future. Perhaps if someone were to perfect technology that made humanity effectively immortal a hundred years or even a thousand might not seem so long.

    Gary

  4. #19
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    teleportation is already a reality. here's a bit about it.

    basically, it turns out that the sci-fi people are right. "quantum entanglement" does work. the only catch is that the process destroys the original to create the exact duplicate elsewhere. now, this would work perfectly for information and communication. while it does not violate any law that the scientists can find, don't expect living things to be teleported anytime soon. so far it's been just single atoms.

    here are some more bits about it.
    Last edited by nijineko; 03-27-2008 at 05:55 AM.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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  5. #20
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    Entanglement is wild stuff. Quantum computing is getter farther and farther along. I think the largest quantum processor right now is 28-qubits; though it doesn't allow entanglement. The largest processor that can fully entangle it's information is 4-qubits.

    A fully entangled Quantum Computer means that, if it was running let's say 200-qubits, vs a normal computer, could, every clock cycle, do an operation on 2^200 or 1.6x10^60 machine states(!!!!), while a normal computer can only do 1.

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