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Re: Some FT background stuff (guidelines for writers)

From: Thomas Barclay <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 15:59:50 -0500
Subject: Re: 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...

Space is NOT emptier than southern Saskatchewan. I've been there. If 
you look in the dictionary under 'empty', that is what you see. 

That being a given you would probably have the
> clock of your centre of operations, which is 99% likely to be on

Why? We have a number of time schemes, which can be converted to GMT. 
Why not just have another "Universal Biological Time" (UBT) based on 
a 25 hour clock. Computers don't reckon in human time, and they 
wouldn't reckon in this new human time either, but they could easily 
convert to either. 
 Ask any AI expert and they'll tell you were quite a way
> away from a working AI system for something as complex as ACM. I think
> they're being very optimistic about 20 years.

Yep, and in 1949, I think it was Turing said they'd only ever need 
four or five computers in the entire world. Oops. We totally fail to 
estimate progress correctly especially where tech is concerned. I 
have a classmate doing PhD AI work. They are a long way from having 
AI fighters, but not 300 years necessarily. And BTW, computerphobes - 
computers are here to stay, they will continue to grow in utility, 
ubiquity and economy. And I can see a future AI that can beat a human 
pilot due to the fact it can follow option trees (like chess) down 
300 moves, with 1000 permutations, within microseconds. The more we 
make microprocessors capable of, the more practical even brute force 
solutions are, and there is no reason that in the future one cannot 
conceive of a fighter capable of outflying a human ace (the human 
with all his intuition etc. still follows subconscious patterns which 
can be evaluated and acted on) and a good AI with a good 'brain' 
could easily best the human in thought, and definitely in reflex or 
capability to take Gs. (Humans can take about 9 in suits.... a 
computer can probably take 40Gs .... that makes up for a lot of 

HOWEVER, that might not be interesting for our gaming purposes, and 
we're here (or wherever) to have fun (I'd guess) and not to predict 
the future and live it. 

> PFFT. If you ask me, organic/nano 'cyberware' is much more likely to
> around than silicon by the 24th century. Does raise a question about
> weapons in general though. If your dreadnaught main 'core' is actually
> whalloping great organic brain sort of thing, no reason for an EMP
pulse to
> affect it.

Can you say 'brain tumor'? Look at how low power they are trying to 
make cell phones, CRTs, TVs, and radio and x-ray equipment. Why? 
Humans and EM do not mix too well. Only in super vast quanity will EM 
kill you outright, but a small amount can cause long term problems 
like cancer and other diseases. 

> >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
> for the RAF.

And in the parts of the war where one side or the other did not have 
technical superiority to such an extent that pilot Q was irrelevant, 
the better pilots still won. And part of piloting is 'selection'. 
Some people innately have flying skills, others not so. 

 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
> physical processes involved though I don't think you could rush.

Hmm. I can have machines operate my muscles. (I have had in physio), 
so it seems you could build a 'muscle memory conditioner' to teach 
(maybe while sleeping) the muscles the needed moves. 
Tom :)

Thomas Barclay
Software Specialist
Police Communications Systems
Software Kinetics Ltd.
66 Iber Road, Stittsville
Ontario, Canada, K2S 1E7
Reception: (613) 831-0888
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