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Lam Lause

Kardaschev: The Lonely Oddessy

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Lam Lause    3

{Hello Comrades! This is a new roleplay topic with a focus of science and futurism, and meant to highlight the struggles which may be faced in reaching the state of an advanced civilization. Not just the bare requirements for life to exist, because those might be quite common as far as we are aware, but also on the social struggles which may act as barriers in preventing it from advancing. Common topics will be the Fermi Paradox, post scarcity societies, transhumanism, and technologies which either may exist, or which already exist but have been unable to reach their true potential. For those interested in detailed and well made presentations on these topics, Isaac Arthur on YouTube has no small amount of information available to peruse at one's leisure at:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCZFipeZtQM5CKUjx6grh54g

Videos from his channel are likely to be referenced frequently, and are refreshingly free of bias. Realism is a secondary aim of this roleplay, and it is my hope that this will be fun, informative, and increase public enthusiasm for science and future progress.

Please feel free to voice all questions, and for the purposes of roleplay all out of character comments should be bracketed like {so} or like (so). 

Thank you for your time, and have fun exploring the universe!}

Edited by Lam Lause
Edited for superficial typos.
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Freien    104

We wanted to restart that thread since... forever. Glad that someone did. I don't have experience with RPs and such, but you can count me in.

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Lam Lause    3

Glad there is interest so far. I'll leave this here for a few more days so people can have a chance to look and check out what it's about, maybe answer some questions, then I'll get to posting an introduction.

Edited by Lam Lause

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Lam Lause    3

Little bit of an update and bump to show that this isn't going to be abandoned so quickly.

For the purposes of this roleplay, we shall be presuming that Earth has an orbital ring structure with an associated space elevator, but has not yet gotten around to building a Dyson structure.

Of course those with a basic understanding of tensile strengths or other areas of physics may  already be raising eyebrows - how does the ring avoid collapsing under it's own weight, ditto for the elevator, and how does the elevator not whip through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds if it's hanging from an orbital ring?

We're gonna cheat a little is the answer. First is the initial ring, which is not even a true structure, but a simple length of conductive wire encircling the earth but spinning at the appropriate speeds to avoid collapsing under gravity. This could be shipped up by rocket in segments, or could have been created with asteroid or moon mining operations and shuttled over with the benefits of low gravity and no atmosphere getting in the way.

Let's say our 'wire' is a cable about four inches thick, and encircled the Earth at an altitude comparable to the ISS. Plugging in the math and rounding out some numbers for simplicity and to avoid scaring off the less analytically inclined will give a total weight of wire equaling one and a half million tonnes (Imperial), the equivalent to about 500 fully fueled Saturn V rockets, or 200,000 adult African elephants. Not very extreme as far as megastructures later in this series are likely to go.

So now we have our spinning wire. What to do with it? Simple really. Give it a magnetic charge, and you can simply 'hang' our space elevator from it with electromagnetic levitation and drop it into the atmosphere, where it will remain stationary as the structure itself is not moving with any orbital velocity even if the wire is still spinning. This might cause the wire to deform and dip a bit lower towards the ground, but can be compensated by spinning it faster - the net momentum of the system is what keeps it all up, not the momentum of individual parts. But now we can easily travel to and from near earth orbit with comparatively little effort.

See Isaac Arthur's video here for a more in depth description of the prior: 

 

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Lam Lause    3

Ahah. There is not a set story if that's what you mean. This is potential look at the future, with a lens of realism hopefully.

I strongly encourage people to see more of Isaac Arthur's videos, both for their learning value and for the thoughts they can provoke. We aren't just looking at the future of technology though, but also the future of ourselves.

As mentioned there is an orbital ring structure already for the ease of travel - it's certainly a lot more practical to take an elevator that doesn't burn tens to hundreds of tons of fuel every time. But effortless travel is only the very first implication of an advanced civilization. Even if we presume fusion power has not been mastered already, there is effectively limitless energy from the sun and both the low effort of zero G and the higher output from having no atmosphere to absorb the sun's rays. And when you have enough energy, you can brute force just about anything.

 

But being able to achieve anything isn't the only topic here. I got a bit derailed - this is about our future, not merely the future of science. Although they may be linked, it is important to recognize what makes a person a person, because the clear and obvious boundaries can shift.

And oh yeah, I guess immortality is a thing too if you try hard enough.

Edited by Lam Lause
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Lam Lause    3

It is not - although I suppose you can see a couple of the themes if you squint hard enough. No extraterrestrials would have been detected by this time in the RP, nor has any major nuclear conflict occurred on earth as Posadists advocate for, though the potential for some usage of nuclear weapons in space still exists - especially as nuclear energy is one of the most attractive options for early interplanetary flight.

 

You guessed it, time for another Isaac Arthur video: 

 

 

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Lam Lause    3

No. It would be more accurate to say that as of the current time the world would be in a second cold war of sorts instead. Essentially, a good deal of posturing by engineering the greatest feats of technology, since an actual war would be too devastating for anyone to feel comfortable taking the risk.

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