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Some FT background stuff (guidelines for writers)

From: Jonathan white <jw4@b...>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 09:02:47 +0000
Subject: Some FT background stuff (guidelines for writers)

>>Space is REALLY, REALLY BIG. And really empty. In fact, it is even
>>(and emptier) than Canada...
>But not by much...
Jeez, that would make it as empty as Slough...

>is 25 hours; most humans work better on a 25 hour clock. On a
>starship, a clock is completely artificial. Unless the ship always
>docks at Earth, chances are they will be docking at a planet that
>doesn't have a 24 hour day. I could see a future where starships
>change to a 25 hour day for efficiency sake. Just a thought.
While ergonomically you are correct, I don't think we can overlook the
value of keeping a consistent clock throughout the fleet (presuming you
have trans-light comms). That being a given you would probably have the
clock of your centre of operations, which is 99% likely to be on earth..
>more nimble, with a longer crusing distance. The USAF believes that it
>will have a completely autonomous fighter by 2020, and that's an
The USAF also believed dogfighting was an obselete concept as soon as
developed guided missiles. Turned out then that they were wrong although
can be argued that's more true today with BVR f&f jobs, that's 40 years
after they said it. Ask any AI expert and they'll tell you were quite a
away from a working AI system for something as complex as ACM. I think
they're being very optimistic about 20 years. Maybe by the FT period you
might just about have them, but they're a long way in the future IMO.
>atmospheric fighter (it should be harder to design an autonomous
>atmospheric fighter as there are more variables). With that in mind,
>an autonomous vacuum fighter about 200 years later should be a given.
Regardless of this, it doesn't matter a damn to FT games whether the
fighters are drones or not. It's possible some fleets have drones and
have real pilots. Human pilots can be very predictable and drones can be
sneaky if programmed correctly.

>area. The extra weight to shield a fighter actually pushes it back so
>that human fighters have the advantage. Of course, scientists are
>working on this problem and expect a workable autonomous fighter in X
Then of course there is the problem of shielding your drones AI
from external interference. I'd love to know what a close detonation EMP
warhead would do to a pack of drone fighters :).

>yesterday you were a navigator. This allows for a cheap supply of
>untrained (uneducated?) pilots who--once they jack in--become a new
>Chuck Yeager.
Again the problem of course is predicability. If every pilot has access
exactly the same knowledge, every pilot will react to a given situation
more or less the same way. In combat of course this is A BAD THING. Part
the problem with these mass prdoced drones/pilots is getting the m to
in an individual manner.

>Of course, how is this cyberware affected by those gravitic
PFFT. If you ask me, organic/nano 'cyberware' is much more likely to be
around than silicon by the 24th century. Does raise a question about EMP
weapons in general though. If your dreadnaught main 'core' is actually a
whalloping great organic brain sort of thing, no reason for an EMP pulse
affect it. Although I see no reason why parts of a ship shouldn't be

>>the high attrition rate of fighter crews in combat, there is never any
>>shortage of willing recruits attracted by the "glamour" of being a
>Except that it still takes a good couple of years to create a fighter
>jock, unless computers are augmenting their training.
Depends on yor story. Didn't train them for very long during WWI. And
WWII/ Battle fo Britain there were some VERY inexperienced people flying
for the RAF. Deepnds how far your 'organic technology' goes. If current
theory of memorize things is true, nanomachines could actualyl re-wire
memeory to give you a new set of cognitive skills. Actually learning the
physical processes involved though I don't think you could rush.
All seems fair- but why not make 'yellow two' and 'orange' the same
state -
otherwise yellow two seems pretty superfluous.

>Question: how do interstellar communications work? Is there some form
>of "subspace" radio, or are packet boats (ala Traveller) the way to
>communicate over long distances? 
Hmm.. Current physics research implies translight communication is
feasible, much more than translight travel anyway, what with electron
tunnelling, particle spin reversion and things like that. I would say
translight comms was actually a requirement of any large interstellar
society - could the US manage it's fleets without radio?

"Reality never lives up to all that it used to be.."
	Beth Orton 'Best bit'
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