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Vasari Sins Backstory

Personal Writing

By on May 9, 2011 5:27:33 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

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I had toyed with the idea of pitching an actual backstory idea to Ironclad as it seemed they really had only a vague undefined one.  Recently I found an interview and Ironclad states they do have a definite backstory, i.e., they know all the "sins" of each faction and have a plan for them.  Bummer.

I had written up a little intro  treatment and it's going to waste otherwise...so I'm posting it here to show what an ubernerd-geek I really am.

The Vasari--Be Careful What You Wish For

The science ship Skreeta glided silently from out of  the glowing halo of interstellar gas that ringed the galactic center.  It’s crew slumbered near death in shielded state-of-the-art phasic stasis pods--safe from the scouring radiation of the aging core stars and long dead supernovae, dreamless and unaware.  The vast toroid expanse around the galactic center was long cleansed of all life--even stellar life--by the last great frenzy of annihilation and consumption of its sole resident--the super massive singularity at its core.

Eons past, this dark giant was birthed in the midst of swirling thick columns of star stuff.  Spiraling inward, faster and faster--drawn by their own mutual gravitational attraction--interstellar gases collapsed into a great dark press of  matter that smothered even the blazing fusion fires they ignited within themselves.  In time, even matter and space became unraveled and in a stupendous blaze of incredible brilliance the core clouds parted to reveal the great dark star that had been birthed within them. In a final halo of blinding light, this never-sun was quiescent as the last streams of matter from thousands of shredded young stars fell into its wide open maw.

The shock wave precipitated by this great annihilation rushed through space and scattered the stuff of new stars in every direction throughout a new galaxy.  Safe from the still radioactive hell of the center,  new stars formed in relative peace--each consuming enough matter  to grow and develop stably  and enriched by the feast of newly created elements sleeted off by  the first great  explosion that birthed them.  Clouds of  gas slowly accumulated and formed into protostars--themselves surrounded by rings of matter that in their turn finally morphed into the planets. On one of these planets was the birthplace of one of the universe's first forms of life.  A lifeform that in time would call itself and come to be known by the name, Vasari.  Still near the galactic core, the Vasari home world sat just behind remaining great sheets of gas that provided enough shelter from the  core’s radiation to allow life to form and evolve.  As time passed, these sheets of gas thinned in the stellar breeze and life on Vasari home adapted--becoming stronger and more tolerant of the extremes of radiation and temperature.  Life thrived and persisted against all odds and as the race of the Vasari rose to its feet, it found itself alone. 

In the Vasari night sky, the last embers of burning matter lit the diffuse cloud  light years away that surrounded the Dark Creator.  It’s brightness  was a beacon that convinced the Vasari they were not alone.  The dark star was mother and father and the only companion of the Vasari--its parent, protector and God.  In time, as rushing stellar winds of molecular gas scoured away at the surrounding clouds, other stars were revealed within the curtains of dust surrounding the Vasari home and their eyes turned outward--away from the core.  In their minds and hearts, the Vasari could hear the faint whisper of the great black sleeping sun saying  to them, “I made this for you--go, and possess!”.

...and they did.

The Vasari spread forth in a biological and technological explosion of their own making that touched the stars around them…and they then found they were not alone.  To the Vasari, the abundance of life they found near their home was like a gift from their dark heaven.  It seemed obvious to them they were to go and consume it as eagerly as their own parent had consumed its nearby suns.  The sparse conditions of the home world had taught the Vasari to be frugal and to wring the value from everything they could find and so they did with these other forms of life.  Biological and genetic experimentation, conscription as forced labor, personal servants and even conversion to food and fertilizer.  All needs of the Vasari were provided by the lives of those about them. And to the Vasari it was all as it they most fervently believed it should be.  Their  ascension to dominance over all other races was their paean to their Creator--the instrument of their might, named in its honor--the Dark Fleet.

Upon meeting the first resistors--a race that dared to challenge the Vasari right to dominion--the Vasari finally encountered a species with knowledge and power that nearly equaled and perhaps in ways even rivaled their own.  It shook Vasari beliefs and caused social chaos.  In a desperate effort to re-establish their faith in their destiny, the Vasari launched the full weight of the Dark Fleet against the bulwark fortress systems of the others.  The sheer brutality and ruthlessness of their assault so dismayed their enemy that within days they capitulated and offered themselves up to Vasari mercy.  Their surrender was accepted and followed by their immediate extermination.  To the Vasari, this was further evidence of divine aid and their right to rule the galaxy was no longer to be doubted by any among them.  Those who dared suggest doubt were cast bodily into the stars as sentence and homage to their Great Dark God.

As the centuries passed, Vasari understanding of science grew exponentially--propelled by the infusion of the knowledge of hundred’s of different cultures subjugated by their might.  In this time of intellectual growth, a very few Vasari began to openly suggest that perhaps their species was simply the recipient of chance…that there was no “God” and no divine destiny--only simple luck that had given them their position in the universe.  Such small seeds of doubt spread quickly through the nanite-infused neural net that connected all Vasari and it alarmed those who had risen to places of command and power through their prowess in conquest and rule performed as acts of devotion to their God.  A nanite-connected artificial intelligence had long ago been created to monitor those other races serving the Vasari and for the first time, this virtual intellect  was allowed access to the Vasari themselves.  As the Vasari debated, the AI was tasked by its leaders to observe and report notable cases of heresy or disloyalty amongst their own but as time passed, it was seen more and more as an advisor.  With loyalty programmed into its very essence, the AI was beyond suspicion and with its immense reach and knowledge it came to be considered wise and worthy of counsel.  When finally asked to assist in removing all doubt regarding the Vasari right of dominion, the AI, in its childlike literalness,  made a stunningly simple suggestion:

“Go to the core and see what is there.”.

This suggestion fanned the flames of Vasari imagination and it silenced all critics of the faith--none of whom could dispute the logic of the Great Mind.  These same critics were also cowed by the fervor of their compatriots and had no choice but to silently acquiesce without  further challenge.  Vasari true believers had no doubt that the trip to the core would reveal a greater plan for the Vasari--that it would prove their destiny.  Some even believed that they would meet the actual Creator and that they would be welcomed  by it.   Many were concerned that the representatives who reached the core must be pure in heart and mind and spirit--with no doubt within themselves--and the AI was tasked to find the individuals who were most worthy.  Its program functions were enhanced to allow it access to the very thoughts of the entire Vasari species within whom its nanites lived.  True to its integral programming, the AI did exactly as it was asked and assembled its selection of candidates for the great Core Expedition.  It was further decided that the AI would oversee the expedition as the crew and passengers onboard the exploratory ship would be far beyond connection range of the species' vast neural net.

And so, the construction of the science ship was begun.

The Skreeta was the physical embodiment of the AI universal...the Great Mind.  Possessing hardened shields, armor and powerful sensors the ship was constructed so as to be able to shape time and space--even reality itself--about its hull.  This ability was necessary to breach the great divide--to cross space and time and to reach the actual heart of the singularity itself.

Spun to fantastic speeds and highly charged by the millions of suns drawn into its great vortex, a region was theorized to exist within the singularity--beyond its event horizon--that was stable and visitable…even inhabitable.  It was there, it was postulated, that the seat of destiny…the place of the Dark Creator itself--would be found and Vasari divine right would be finally and eternally proven for all to see.

After decades of research and construction, the Skreeta was finally launched.  As it entered the last great cloud sheets between Vasari home and the core, communication was lost.  It was expected that hundreds of years might pass before a signal could be received and so the Vasari Empire continued on as it had always.  Those who would dissent, held their tongues now before the ever-present AI and only the highest ranked were shielded from its scrutiny.  Stability was the most prudent state and the leadership had now provided it through the ever-watchful eye of the Great Mind.  Should the Skreeta ever return--who could doubt that it would be anything less than proof the Vasari faithful were right?  Should it fail to return--then the hope and promise of its one-day return would always be present --a never ending reminder of Vasari’s divine destiny.  In either event, the Vasari way of life was firmly set and would never change.  What other race had ever dared to dream of sending a ship to heaven itself?  Could their ever be any doubt now of Vasari power and glory?

And so Vasari hubris opened to the door to Nemesis.

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May 9, 2011 11:24:57 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

i like the story dont stop

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May 10, 2011 4:25:54 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Ohnoooz!

That was the easy part.  It's work writing!

I can finish this I think as I "know the story".   Just the Vasari side though.  Someone else will have to do TEC and Advent.

I'll work on it. I'm actually working on a "real" book for the past three years but it isn't fiction so the dialogue and stuff is easier there.

I'm certainly no pro but thanks for the thumbs up! 

FYI--my one little thing I thought was neat was "Skreta" is Scandinavian for "Scream".

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May 11, 2011 2:39:47 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quite a nice read!

Now let me get on my correcto lenses and fix some things that didn't quite fit

 

Eons past, this dark giant was birthed in the midst of swirling thick columns of star stuff.

instead of "star stuff" use "star dust", this fits the picture you are trying to paint better because it is not ambiguous.

In a final halo of blinding light, this never-sun finally turned quiescent as the last streams of matter from thousands of shredded  young stars fell into its never closing maw.

instead:

"In a final halo of blinding light, this never-sun was quiescent as the last streams of matter from thousands of shredded young stars fell into its wide open maw."

This sentence doesn't reuse the same words and makes more sense with the imagery you are trying to make, and adds to the danger of the star.  Also it is more technically accurate, as a neutron star doesn't work like a white dwarf (which is like an ember).  Instead all the energy has already been used up in the supernova that formed it, the only source of energy it could provide is from gravity.

Some technical discussion as to how the dark star was providing the Vasari with energy would be nice, full of your great use of words of course  

Didn't they come from a volcano world?  They should be stationed close enough to the star so that the gravity of the star pulls enough on the core of the world to allow for constant heating of the planet via friction between differing densities of the planet(as with Io in our solar system).  Not as extreme as Io, but enough to provide an energy source and a thick atmosphere (heat retention) for abundance of complex life that was sure to evolve into the Vasari.  Also a form of bio luminescence would be a nice touch to add, as the Vasari would have needed to evolve eyes to see something other than darkness.  Remember that even at the core of the galaxy stars are spaced so far apart that the night sky wouldn't be much brighter than our night sky (from a point of low light pollution on earth).

Expanding upon the details of what caused the Vasari technological and biological explosion that allowed them to leave their planet would be a good way to add more to the story if you so desire to do so in the future.  If you look closely at your work you will realize that you start to explain this after the Vasari have already become space faring.  I think that this would be key in expanding our understanding of the Vasari.


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May 11, 2011 3:19:18 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Thanks.  Nice pointers.  I always need editors (this was a fast rough draft as a concept).

I didn't start out to really flesh out the whole of Vasari development.  I made statements to show they were in a rough place in the cosmic neighborhood and that it pushed their development--without getting into great detail.

The basic premise is they are the closest inhabitable world to the galactic core and the world in that galaxy to develop life.  In the spot I created for them they are near a supermassive black hole--a very "super-size" core singularity bigger than what we have here in the Milky Way.

During galactic formation, it would have been a supernovae factory and luck beyond imagining would be needed for life to make it there in any form.  I imagine them having to be "fast adapters" and that's where their biology took them.  I'd  give them a genetic faculty similar to  viruses/bacteria--where genetic information could be taken from organisms they consumed and incorporated into their own genes and I'd give them a chemical means to trigger those mutations at will--being able even to chemically abort them if they weren't favorable.  This would go a long way towards how they developed not only gravitic tech but genetic and nano-manipulation--it would be a natural for them.

The entire black hole worship start idea came from the use of "Dark Fleet" in the game and I tried to incorporate that--plus darkness will be a theme here--it gets darker.

I'd vaguely imagined their world orbiting a binary star with perhaps a blue giant and white dwarf paired.  I allowed for the white dwarf to always eclipse the blue giant with the Vasari home locked in orbit with it.  It gave them just enough shielding to survive the blue giant and then the blue giant in turn shielded them from the core supernovae (it's extremely unlikely to ever occur in real life).

Where they are would be extremely inhospitable and their world would be a pretty beat up but  rich place.  I might sit down with some astronomy books and see if I can work out a more plausible world for them.

I'll add your suggestions in tomorrow and see if I can drop in some other detail.  Thanks for the plug!

So what's your writing background?

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May 11, 2011 2:50:30 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Good ideas.  I took two semesters of astronomy from an excellent teacher so I have a firm understanding of the current theory.  Whatever I don't know I research myself to fill in the gaps, there is so much out there!

There are variations of neutron stars, only super massive suns at the early point in the universe would have the mass to form a singularity.  So black hole doesn't always = neutron star, a singularity = black hole.  A neutron star might(science has trouble finding one...) act as a black hole but have far less gravity as it has far less mass.  I enjoyed not seeing you write the common sci-fi flaw that black holes suck everything in...you can orbit them just like a normal star.  I know it sounds vague, but science is very vague on something that it is having trouble studying.  NASA has a mission in the works that as soon as it launches on the final space shuttle we will start to get an understanding of matter and antimatter.  Very cool times we live in, especially for astronomy.

My writing background is high school, some college, and lots and lots of forums, chat.  If you write a lot you get better at it, and I would like to think that I've written quite a bit on a lot of things.  One look at my google docs page with 40 essays (just in college) is enough to give me pause, and i've written a lot more on forums.  If you look at my posts they tend to be long and involved. 

Your welcome, keep up the good storytelling

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May 11, 2011 7:20:54 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Cool.

Yeah, black holes have gotten much more elaborate in just the past few years.  We went from galactic "annihilators" being the biggest to true "supermassive" classes.  In a rapidly rotating supermassive we have come to understand there can be a sort of "inner" event horizon beyond the actual "event horizon" and such holes were thought to not naturally occur with spins that great and we have since found examples and a mechanism where they can. One rogue hole tossed out of a galactic core after a near collision is moving through interstellar space at 30% the speed of light. Black holes have an upper mass limit and can "leak" energy and 'evaporate" over time.  They also are thought now to more likely be a folded/rolled/wrapped two-dimensional structure who's surface is what we perceive rather than just "solid objects".

Spinning, large radius, high mass black holes that deform their gravity into a toroidal shape can even allow for time travel.

Then you jump over to quantum discoveries and M-theory with multiple dimensions and infinite universes and its a wild, wild universe out there.

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May 11, 2011 8:08:06 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Do some research on scalar weaponry and similar technologies if you really want to see where modern physics is harnessing the lesser western known part of physics.  I definitely agree that there is a wild universe out there, and that star trek and star wars aren't a fantasy, more like an intuitive understanding of what can already be.  I would say the more science I study the more the "fake" technology of these stories becomes reality.

Do a search in google scholar and check out all the fun verbose articles on scalar wave technology.

I had an amazing dream where at one point I could see not only how the earths core interacts with the sun, but how the sun interacts with other suns and how they each serve as an anchor.  These suns are powered by the galactic core and these celestial objects are energy converters.  Just a dream, but I have been looking more into Russian supported Electrical Universe Theory, and they are quite persuasive.  Mainly the current theory on how the sun works is under attack, and this new theory seems to fit better with the current holes in our understanding of nuclear fusion.  Also, to deter any haters, science is a democracy.  It is composed of fallible people, who although brilliant in their specialization might not ever develop a healthy sense of asking about "why" they are doing something.  If you need proof of this I suggest researching Los Alamos, and biological weaponry.

Also, never underestimate the amount of money that is involved in maintaining the world view as it is, and realize that there is no money in things like free energy because those ideas don't support an aristocracy.

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May 12, 2011 1:14:32 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Arthur C. Clarke contributed to a book that is not listed in his official bibliographies and is no loner in print.  I believe the title was "Warfare in 2170" though that may have been a subtitle.  The book discusses possibilities of conceivable future weapons and one of Arthur C. Clarke's suggestions was a a dual stream matter-antimatter beam that if focused and accelerated properly would converge with the two beams cancelling one another out and resulting in negative mass.

He proposed this before dark matter and energy were ever theorized and based it on his understanding of mathematics at and discussions with scientists at that time.

The net effect was a beam with one-dimensional properties that theoretically could pass through matter with no hindrance.  Imagine a razor sharp piece of wire that can slice anything.

The only issues in the way that  he foresaw back in the 60's when the book was published were the amount of energy to power the two beams, the ability to precisely align and attune them them and the availability of antimatter along with a means to handle it.

In essence, the beam acted as a gravity beam--almost like a singularity drawn into a a string--and this was before "string theory".

I had kept this book until years ago when our basement flooded and it was lost.  I've not found it since.  He reminisces about his involvement with radar in WWII and being consulted for the Echostar satellite.

There was a Science or History channels program a few years back that looked at scientific breakthroughs that had been predated by science fiction devices and it was interesting in the program that there seemed to be a correlation between what science fiction "caught on" and then what parallel developments usually emerged within the next decade or two.

My personal "predictive theory" is that, ultimately, it is the quantum computer that will be the next breakthrough akin to nuclear power or the nuclear bomb.  I think it will change society and history once it has found it's niche and becomes ubiquitous.

At present, there is debate about not whether or not a quantum computer will be useful but  rather about how it will be useful.  I have a theory that it is going to be the key to AI and not in the way we think--and not necessarily in a completely good way. Without going into detail, I think the QC will be the first step to inventing technology we no longer are capable of fully understanding.

My secret  pet theory, mark me famous decades from now

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May 12, 2011 2:17:56 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

 I have been reading about how the quantum computer has already been built and is being stored in NORAD.  There was heavy investment in this during the early-mid 1990's and there has been plenty of time to research and develop a prototype.  From what I can tell, the corporate world is about 20+ years ahead of the civilian world in technology.  This time lag is essential for protecting powerful technologies from too quickly changing the population dynamics of a society so that absolute control can be maintained. 

For example: Cell phones with cameras have increased everyone's ability to capture information to such a degree that gives murderous dictators pause, as they can't play the same game now without the world watching.  Social stability/control is important enough that interested parties will lie to you about what is happening to maintain it. 

I remember growing up in the 80's and hearing discussion about how lasers were completely impractical and wouldn't work, because science was having difficulty perfecting them.

Also I would say that even the inventors of a technology usually don't know everything about it.  Usually the idea can be simplified by others who, after knowing that it is possible, can bring the sum total of specialized creativity to bear on the issue.  The hardest part is convincing the skeptics that something is possible. 

For example: There is a story about how the government hired an actor to be a genius kid that created an anti gravity device that he was going to demonstrate for some ceo's and military types.  The event was staged so that the kid would fly using some trick and then the device would explode, "killing" him.  Scientists were now asked to solve the problem, since a kid with basic tools created this device and had a better understanding of physics then all of these scientists combined.  Their egos shelved, they focused on the possibilities on how anti gravity could be created.  One scientist (while fishing) had a revelation about gravity and with this they were able to eventually develop a device that could just barely hover above ground. After the breakthrough, the scientists got to meet the actor.

 

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May 12, 2011 4:59:31 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quantum computing has had several (count dozens) of major breakthroughs just in this year.

Changing the states of atomic particles, encoding beams of light with storable information, physical storage of quantum data, the ability to flip states on demand and permanent and erasable data methods--that's just a few off the top of my head.  These were things so problematic as to have been practically impossible to develop even just three or four years ago.

If you ever played it online or got the "20 Questions" toy that can seemed to divine exactly what you are thinking off in 20 questions or less, that's what quantum computers will be on steroids.  Face and voice recognition, human predictive behavior, rapid sifting of mass, diverse data, economic and even military analysis and prediction along with genetic and engineering  benefits.

Once we get a fully capable and versatile base model (the ones now are protoypes and proof-of-concepts and they have to be locked away in shielded vaults to protect their data from being destroyed by stray cosmic particles) we can end up with a machine so smart that we won;t be smart enough to ask it the questions it can answer and I believe the moment will come when we make machines programmed to talk to quantum computers on a level humans aren't natively capable of.  When that happens, we are standing at a threshold in human development.

I don't think it will be true AI--at least not "humanity".  It will be a simulacrum--a purely logical and amoral "thinking machine" that can simulate sentience so well it is indistinguishable from the "real thing".  It won't matter that it isn't "'actual life", what will matter is that many will perceive it as such and how will humans as a whole respond to a seemingly devoted servant  who has godlike predictive powers and provides solutions to problems they haven't even imagined?

If you read about the "Great Mind" in my story above, this is the concept that I am using.  It could actually devrelop in real life one day in the distant--but not too distant--future.

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May 14, 2011 1:10:10 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Yes, the threshold of truly understanding information in a quantitative sense, something that we can do easily with gigabyte hard drive, but not so easily with things in the real world.  How much "information" is truly inside a single cell?  What sort of understanding of the interactions between energy, matter, and everything goes on in that microcosm, and how would you quantify it?  How does life actually make decisions that are logical, how does life "think" at the cellular level?  I truly think that since quantum physics has proven that intentions change outcomes with a direct cause and effect, that information is as potent of a force in the universe as gravity.  Understanding information and what or who is a very exciting field that is its infancy.  The internet is just an imitation of what truly exists in our universe, information that is all knowing and all existing.  It is as difficult as measuring the mass of air with a scale, science is going to have some fun with this problem.  Its nice that I use intuition and tap into this understanding of the universe from its source, science is going to have a long time deciding precisely how this is done.  After all, everything has been done before and science is on a quest of rediscovery.  Yes intuition can be proved wrong, but with enough information, intuition is called "genius". 

I personally don't want a machine to think for the human race, I believe it could limit the development of our souls.  I don't think of a soul as a ghostly object where we fly away overhead to a mystical heaven, instead I believe it is a part of us that exists altogether outside our mortal realm of understanding, that ties us in with the rest of the universe, and to god, whatever idea, energy or being he/she may be.

Most people want to shed responsibility as quickly as they can and therefore, if a machine can think for them, they will let it.  Its not laziness, nature encourages efficient use of energy, and brainpower is very resource intensive for the body to maintain.  Also, the measure of control that kind of computing power will give individuals in a "world government" the necessary ability to track anyone real time, to measure human interactions around the world and be the most invasive technology that has ever been developed.  Also considering neuroscience is advancing to interpret brain waves and what a person is thinking, whatever privacy we enjoyed in life will be nonexistent. 

If you could create a small particle that would exist in the entire world gathering data on all things(work something akin to a RFID chip, when scanned it would activate, and be tuned to a certain frequency), with processing power to manage that sort of data, you won't just have a "google earth".  You will have "real time GADZOOKS! earth".  Send out pulses to areas of the world where you want to gather information, all you would need to do is program the computer to recognize things as "people", sounds as "cars, words, laughter", and all the computer would compute it.  Perhaps I am overstating the power of these computers, but I believe it is well within the realm of possibility.

I would only trust god with this information, I would never trust a man or woman.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and absolute information is absolute power in a real military sense.

I don't know if i would want to live in that world, but it might not be bad...it depends on how good the trade offs are.  But then if you follow history, the trade offs will most likely not be in the favor of the common man, so we have a great deal to worry about.  Reminds me of my economics professor, trying to say that the "system isn't broke" and "the system recently broke" at the same time, not very convincing. 

 

Man this thread is getting long and sorta off topic...good convo though!

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May 19, 2011 6:36:03 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

o0

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May 19, 2011 6:36:36 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

References Touched

 

 

Quoting Wikipedia Vorlons babylon 5,


 Vasari Trip to Heaven (ref Vorlons)

Before recorded history

Over 1 mya, the Vorlons decided to build a jump gate to open a doorway to what they believed was the Well of Souls, the source of life. The gate which was built travels neither to normal space nor to hyperspace but to a "third" space. Thirdspace was inhabited by a violent telepathic species that posed a threat even to the Vorlons. The purpose of the thirdspace aliens was simply "wiping out all life that is not their own". They took control of many Vorlons with telepathy and in the ensuing battle, the Vorlons forced the aliens back into their own dimension, and sealed the portal. A group of Vorlons, still under the control of the Thirdspace aliens, captured the artifact and jettisoned it into hyperspace, hoping to recover it later.


 

Quoting Wikipedia The shadows Babylon 5,

Vasari (ref Shadows)

Some records indicate that the Shadows first achieved Hyperspace capability as far back as 100 mya, maybe earlier. Around this time the Shadows also became a major galactic power, exploring the universe and making contact with alien races. The first of these races was that of the being Lorien, who was the first of the First Ones.

The Shadows waged many wars with other ancient powers, including the Vorlons, Walkers and many more. The reasons for these wars are unknown, but some theorize the Shadows attacked out of fear of the telepathic talents of their enemies. In these wars the Shadows were defeated, but never destroyed. Retreating to Z'ha'dum, the Shadows went into hibernation for 1000 years before reemerging, a more powerful and learned force. It is believed that this cycle of defeat and adaptation laid the basis for the Shadows' ideology of "facilitated survival of the fittest," which they would later enforce on the younger races.

[edit] 10,000 years ago

Millions of years later, many younger races had begun to evolve on thousands of worlds and the First Ones realized that in order for these new sentients to succeed, the ancient races would have to move on. Thus many of the First Ones moved beyond the Galactic Rim, to explore the vast emptiness between galaxies and perhaps explore the numerous other galaxies throughout the universe. Several of the First Ones decided to stay behind and shepherd the younger races until they were fit to control their own destiny. The primary caretakers were the Vorlons and surprisingly enough, the Shadows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 19, 2011 9:14:08 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Yeah--scifi is interesting because it touches so many things that normally in life you don't. 

Quantum computing--and it's descendants that we really can't envision at present--has the potential (and I think it's a certainty) to change the world as we know it.  I just started reading Consider Phebas, by Ian M. Banks and it deals with a culture that's governed by "minds"--A.I.'s that decide for humans what's in their best interest.  They take care of the thinking and planning and people let them make all the decisions because they live in relative comfort as a result.

Pretty much my point here.

One of the main characters in the book points to the question of what happens when  the minds decide that people's problems aren't the problem--but that it's the people themselves who are the problem?

In the next few generations I don't think we will have autonomous true sentient machines that will unilaterally decide to hurt humanity--I think we will have such clever machines that they seem sentient and blindly following their advice might be catastrophic because they are machines and can't genuinely factor what being human is--but they may have the appearance of understanding.  A.I. could one day be the most amoral, truly sociopathic, charismatic genius the world has ever seen....and that isn't factoring in the human designers/users motivations, manipulation and influences.

I loved the Thirdspace movie--wish it had been a higher production theatrical release.  Very Lovecraftian and neat.  Nice surprise in B5.

The Vorlon-Shadow war was as epic as it gets.

So tell me, if you could have anything you want--what do you want?  I would have snidely answered, "Cthulhu".

 ...muwahahahahahaah.

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May 20, 2011 2:33:06 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Considering the news its been getting lately, I am certain we have already made a breakthrough in high-powered solid state lasers. The military has released video of large maritime objects being detonated from several miles away with a solid state laser and want all vessels to be armed with them by the 2020's. Google search Navy Solid State Laser and you should be able to find them.

Also, there is a group in Canada that has taken a completely out of the box approach to attempting cold fusion using wave harmonics to ram together fusion-able isotopes.

Quantum Computers=complete paradigm shift. Imagine a computer being able to predict your thoughts on a grand scale like Google predicts what you are trying to search for and completes what you are typing.

Completely agree with the establishment wishing to maintain control thus holding back technology. I remember reading in popular science back in 1994 that Bill Gates at that time had a prototype of a 2.0 Ghz processor when the average consumer PC was running 90-120 mhz. When asked why not make the faster model available, he said something to the effect of "Well the consumer needs to be slowly introduced to these things, we can't make a leap between mhz to ghz so drastically." Slowly introduced sounds alot like, well if I introduce more smaller upgrades along the way, I can make ALOT more money from these gullible people who always want the best computer available.

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May 20, 2011 7:13:21 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I couldn't agree more gamerlamb.

What scares me is that if the the rate of the technology divide between producer and consumer continues to increase, we might just have two civilizations on this planet, with one feeding(metaphorically) off the other.  If every invention is carefully created to make some billionaire more money, then you can definitely see the possibility of a sort of "knowledge" servitude/slavery system forming(or already formed...). 

Those who don't know can't protest. 

This makes me think the life expectancy of free speech is very very short. 

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May 26, 2011 11:09:03 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting sareth01,
Those who don't know can't protest.

I like that alot.

The problem is with Technology going the way it is going, the establishment can always allow the illusion of Free Speech but manage how mainstream that Free speech becomes.

We are actually already at the periphery of Science and Technology becoming a religion as Asimov pointed out so well in his Foundation series. Most people have no clue how their Ipad/Smartphone works and yet almost worship them. Go look at archived Youtube videos of Apple Trade Show's where Steve Jobs is announcing some new gadget, the people in the audience practically deify him in their obeisance.

 

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