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Re: Some FT background stuff (guidelines for writers)

From: Thomas Barclay <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 17:17:39 -0500
Subject: Re: Some FT background stuff (guidelines for writers)

> >capability to take Gs. (Humans can take about 9 in suits.... a 
> >computer can probably take 40Gs .... that makes up for a lot of 
> >skill). 
> That's where the 'gravitic compensators' come in. If you can overcome
> gravity I would presume you wouold have some system to reduce the
effect of
> G-Forces on the human system.

Hmm. I *suspect* that the reason unified field theory is escaping us, 
and the reason we've never seen evidence of an anti-graviton or 
something like that is that it DNE. It appeals to us to think that 
such a thing exists as a balance for gravity (just like 
positron/electron and other matched particles produce matched or 
counterbalancing forces in EM and other radiation domains), but that 
might just be us wishing. 

But it does make high G sci-fi and interstellar colonization more 
> I think (in game terms) the problem we have is that 'selection of the
> fittest' works VERY fast. If drone fighters turned out to be
> better than Human/Kravak flown fighters, you could bet within a couple
> weeks the majority on this list woudl be flying drone fighters with
> fleets.

Nah.... what do you think we are - a bunch of min-maxer tacticians? 
(Sarcasm meter on overload....)

 Having said that I have probably had more fun playing games where
> one side is significantly disadvantaged than with 'evens' battles. You
> have to set your victory conditions appropriately.

Yep. Mind you, its nice to have a chance to win, even if it isn't a 
good one. I like games where good clear thought and a bit of luck can 
compensate for at least a 1.5 to 1 advantage. 
> One would presume that if your ship computing core was something
> to an organic brain, you would ensure regular scans to detect such
> anomolies.

True. But such an organic technology might have expensive support 
requirements and hence such tumors translate in high cost terms. PLUS 
the brain is complex and do you really want to risk your core system 
going wonky while you are 100 LY from home. 

 Afterall, your PC does basically the same thing every time you
> switch it on.

Speak for yourself. Mine does POST tests, which rarely diagnose 
serious problems, and even high tech diagnostics often fail. The only 
real diagnostic tool you can depend on is your own human brain. 

> As to the effect of EM, a callous point to make might be that while a
> dose of EMR would kill a human pilot it's unlikely to do so before
> mission is over. With a drone craft any damage you do becomes evident
> fairly immediately.

Campaign considerations for any lenghty term whould make this pilot 
loss a problem. 
> Not sure there was that much selection going on and technological
> differences weren't apparent across the board, at least WWII.

Arguable back and forth. 

> they had some sort of aptitude test but it may only have been very
> simplistic. 'Flying skills' are actually a large subset f skills, some
> which are pretty hard to test for accuratley (in fact, I could go on
> how innaccurate most aptitude tests are even today, but I can tell
> all bored already).

Hmm. I think most militaries do a reasonable job of pilot selection 
and the testing is long and intensive. I'm not sure how you'd *rate* 
it though...
> >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. 

> THis is something that as of today we aren't sure about. We're fairly
> memory is encoded chemically within brain neurons, but physical skills
> arent' so sure about. When you get to the point where a function of  a
> skill is unconcious - for example when playing a musical instrument
> don't have to /look/ where your hands are as you know when they /feel/
> the right place - we aren't sure how (or indeed where) that's encoded.
> you, 300 years on we might.

We know there IS such a thing as kinesthetic memory. We know that 
this underlies much military training (to reduce actions to the 
physical/instinctual level). We know that these tasks eventually 
operate at a level you aren't aware of. (Ever walked away from your 
house, went back to check if you locked it? It was locked because you 
had such a habit of this that you do it automatically and you 
actually have to think to observe it - so sometimes you do it and 
then go "Did I do it? I don't remember..." Why?  Because it happened 
at such a low level conscious mind memory wasn't involved.) Now, 
whether we can use somnabalist teaching to condition muscles faster 
and more effectively than current 'waking' repetitions, well that is 
the question of the day....

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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