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  • Astidcrisse: On that day in time, every problems will be solvable by reversing the polarity. Can't wait.


    In fairness sometimes reversing the polarity isn't enough. Sometimes you have to shunt power or reconfigure the frequencies.

    I spent an hour in horrific traffic this morning. I don't need warp drive. I just want a goddamn farking flying car! Fark!
  • Jument: In fairness sometimes reversing the polarity isn't enough. Sometimes you have to shunt power or reconfigure the frequencies.


    Don't forget about modifying the deflector dish to emit a tachyon beam/pulse. That works sometimes.

    Oh! And venting the Bussard collectors into space -- don't forget about that! It usually doesn't fix anything, but it looks pretty on TV.
  • PenguinTheRed: I am so ashamed that I got that reference.


    I did and I'm not ashamed, you shouldn't be either.

    /STNG for the win!
  • by then we would have invented/created an android that could put it back together in a minute? either that or C3P0 and be screweeedd
  • LaChanz: What did I miss? Is it Star Trek Day on Fark? I wish I had of known, I would have got you all something.


    [image from img513.imageshack.us too old to be available]

    How rude right? I went through all the trouble of baking for everyone. I hope you like cellular peptide cake.

    ...With mint frosting.
  • PlNG: I wonder when time became a mystical force in the universe when all it is is in fact a measurement of the rotational position of the earth in relation to the universe.

    Light or motion is not time.
    All that travelling faster than light is going to accomplish to "time" is you are going to leave an afterimage of yourself.
    I find it unfortunate that the current theoretical aspect of time is slowly replacing the true meaning of time, and all time really is is a fictional manmade crutch to put some order in the chaos life.

    When time has no meaning, do you still go to sleep at night?

    And before you come up with a snarky comment about the "future" I'm going to tell you that I call it an axis of probability.


    Your mistaking a unit of measurement with the thing it measures. A day is arbitrary, time is not. An inch is arbitrary, space is not.

    Time and space are part of the same thing, just like matter and energy are just different versions of the same thing.

    Traveling faster than light means a whole host of things to do with time. Look up the twin paradox, and that's not even traveling faster than light, just traveling near it.
  • RemyDuron: PlNG: I wonder when time became a mystical force in the universe when all it is is in fact a measurement of the rotational position of the earth in relation to the universe.

    Light or motion is not time.
    All that travelling faster than light is going to accomplish to "time" is you are going to leave an afterimage of yourself.
    I find it unfortunate that the current theoretical aspect of time is slowly replacing the true meaning of time, and all time really is is a fictional manmade crutch to put some order in the chaos life.

    When time has no meaning, do you still go to sleep at night?

    And before you come up with a snarky comment about the "future" I'm going to tell you that I call it an axis of probability.

    Your mistaking a unit of measurement with the thing it measures. A day is arbitrary, time is not. An inch is arbitrary, space is not.

    Time and space are part of the same thing, just like matter and energy are just different versions of the same thing.

    Traveling faster than light means a whole host of things to do with time. Look up the twin paradox, and that's not even traveling faster than light, just traveling near it.


    Ignoring 4 Corner Earth Days
    will Destroy Evil Humanity.
    I am organizing Children to
    join "Cubic Army of 4 Days"
    to convert Evil 1 Day Adults
    to 4 Day mentality existence,
    to serve perpetual humanity.
    Ignorance of 4 days is evil,
    Evil educators teach 1 day.
    1 day will destroy humans.

  • Ennuipoet: Sgygus: Iffen (faster than light-speed) warp drives were possible, aliens would be strolling up and down Main St already.

    Anyone intelligent enough to develop FTL travel is also intelligent enough to avoid a dump like Earth.

    /unless they've never seen the end of Casablanca, then they might pop in to pick up some movies.


    I wouldn't be so sure. We have come along enormously in the past 10,000 years in terms of technology. What we have today would look as impressive then as a warp drive would be to us.

    Yet we're still who we are.

    Who is to say that advanced aliens can't be total farkups too? Maybe they aren't visiting Earth because they're too busy fighting over religion, getting pregnant at whatever the alien equivalent of twelve is, and pooing themselves.

    Alternatively, they have both warp drives and holodecks; and their entire civilisation has collapsed as everyone spends their lives inside running virtual alien porn.

    Maybe they have come to secretly photograph us to use in their virtual sexual fantasies.
  • "Why would a warp drive race bother with us?"

    Ask any Native American about the Europeans.

    The assumption that technological advancement means social advancement (which is in itself impossible to define; one person's advanced utopia is another person's regressive hell) is simply not borne out by all human history. We're as far above, say, the Sumerians as a hypothetical space-faring race would be above us, and human nature hasn't changed one bit. Why assume aliens are any different? If "they" ever come to Earth, it will be because they see cheap labor, easy access to resources, or they find our arts and crafts "charming" and "quaint" and will happily trade us the cure for cancer in exchange for, say, Australia (they'll just take over the rest later) and snicker at our stupidity and simplicity. If we're really lucky, they'll set aside Deimos and Phobos as reservations for us. Then we'll open space casinos.
  • yes, I am also ashamed I got that reference, I always thought this one was ackward because of the Data-tasha Yar scene, though I was much younger at the time.
  • jdisse: What happens when you encounter an object in space at light speed? How would you avoid having your ship destroyed?

    Deflector Sheilds, duh.
  • Gordon Bennett: Alternatively, they have both warp drives and holodecks; and their entire civilisation has collapsed as everyone spends their lives inside running virtual alien porn.


    This. I don't know whether we'll ever figure out a way to travel or communicate "faster than light". I don't know what would be left of physics, or indeed reality, if we did. But I'm pretty damn sure we'll find a way in my lifetime to pipe what passes for experience directly into the brain, and/or get computer-assisted lucid dreaming. At that point, exploration (and reality) starts to seem a lot less relevant.
  • erewhon: UfarkHead: Believing in the possibility of warp speed that doesn't turn your stomach, make you feel like you just rode a paint mixer set on "stun" for an hour or kill the crew about 1% of the time is as ignorant and moronic as believing in creationism.

    FTFY.


    Do go on. (1%? Really? Not 10%, or .001%? 1% is better odds than the Shuttle.)
  • jfarkinB: Do go on.


    Well, it used to be more than 10%, but recent advances mean you only have about a 1% (of total transitions, not flights) chance of ending up looking like you went through a blender. That's worse on maiden voyages or after major drive updates, of course, older ships like the "USS Kamikaze" never seem to have an issue. It's a prestige posting. :D

    The intra-system ships aren't a safety issue anymore (the larger black triangles), but then they never try for a major decoupling from Einsteinian space. Although the test craft used to be worth a good case of radiation poisoning or a sudden crash when the drive failed, back in the late 70's, early '80s. OTOH, there's jack-all in system other than ore-bearing rocks worth going after. Well, lunar soil is supposed to be a world-class fertilizer, they tell me, and there's always the helium-3 thing.

    Star Trek would have had a lot different look if every time they hit warp 1 everyone was being shaken like rag dolls and barfing their lunch on the deck. Oh, and about three times a season you need a new crew.
  • erewhon: jfarkinB: Do go on.

    Well, it used to be more than 10%, but recent advances mean you only have about a 1% (of total transitions, not flights) chance of ending up looking like you went through a blender. That's worse on maiden voyages or after major drive updates, of course, older ships like the "USS Kamikaze" never seem to have an issue. It's a prestige posting. :D


    I guess just because you can't brag about it to us doesn't mean you can't brag about it to each other.

    The intra-system ships aren't a safety issue anymore (the larger black triangles), but then they never try for a major decoupling from Einsteinian space.

    I'm not sure I follow. Once you've got systems of any sort that can pop out of the light cone and then return, you've pretty much left causality sodden and gaping. So why don't you send out a ship around a CTC to pluck out the would-have-been-unlucky-1% crew right before the ill-fated transition? Too much paperwork?
  • jfarkinB: Once you've got systems of any sort that can pop out of the light cone and then return, you've pretty much left causality sodden and gaping.


    Meh. It doesn't work that way. There's two ways to do it, one only works in the small, and it's some sort of uncurled A-potential field trick that generates negative energy by elevating particles out of Dirac's sea, or some sort of crap. I'm not a drive physicist. Basically it digs a hole in the energy sea and you sort of fall in. But you can't get any real leverage that way because the universe wants to pop you out of the hole faster than you can dig it, so that's basically used to reduce effective mass and inertia in intersystem craft, you get the usual UFO like hovering, weird acceleration effects, less G force on the crew and so on. Although initially, it's also where they got the stories about the Philadelphia experiment due to other side effects they were trying to capitalize on.

    The other one was also invented by Einstein and von Neumann, and it involves Machian universes and whether or not the cosmological constant is zero, or if it's uniformly one value throughout space. Also for some reason whether the universe has negative curvature, and if it's rotating. Why, I don't know. The Machian universe part is comparatively straightforward, why the other bits matter requires you to be an egghead.

    The problem is more with slowing down than entering, the Mach Effect shield around the ship absorbs something analogous to entropy based on a product of the speed and duration of "warp" (they hate that term) and you have to bleed it off before you can go infraluminal, unfortunately, one mode of tau-shedding tends to generate oscillatory sharply-bounded time rate gradients which have sad consequences on living organisms. Don't do a lot for structures either.

    ;P
  • erewhon:


    Citation needed? Im lost.
  • erewhon: Meh. It doesn't work that way. There's two ways to do it...


    *snif* That's beautiful, man. I've got some TF waiting for you if you want it.

    If you don't write SF on the side, you really should.
  • jfarkinB: *snif* That's beautiful, man. I've got some TF waiting for you if you want it.

    If you don't write SF on the side, you really should.


    What, you think I'm kidding? :D

    Why do you think Gary McKinnon got in such trouble? NASA had some of the Naval intrasystem project info on NIPRNET. Bad mistake.

    (cracks knuckles) Ok. Here, I'm going to be in so much trouble for this if anyone believes it, but like I posted in a previous thread in 2004, all ya gotta do is tell the truth and no one believes it anyway. I did get a horrified comment from someone at the state dept but everyone on the thread blew it off.

    Einstein's first forays into general relativity were spawned by Ernst Mach's theories. Later, once GR was out, there were Machian universe solutions discovered, and although the deSitter model is more mainstream, the Machian universe is the way to go.

    In a nutshell, Mach had this for a thought experiment. If you were alone in a universe, with no other matter, what speed are you going? If you accelerate, what speed are you going NOW? Would acceleration in such a universe produce the normal effects of inertia? He concluded it would not, and his postulate was that the properties of "inertia" and "mass" were dependent on the existence of external matter, possibly mediated through the electromagnetic force with the photon as the exchange particle.

    The question becomes, if you could "make it didn't happen" by isolating yourself from the background history of the universe's EM, could you decouple your test mass from the Machian background 'drag' inflicted on it by the EM from distant stellar masses.

    The solution ended up involving one of those setups where you effectively slow the speed of light in a medium drastically, which is one reason why you always see the military and DARPA involved with the large scale projects involving that technology. You surround your test mass with a medium that has that property, and you spin it rapidly so that any em field penetrating it has to spiral in forever. If you've ever heard the term bandied about amongst the UFOlogists about a "magnetic field disrupter", that's what it's for, and why. Only you never hear why you'd want to disrupt a magnetic field, or why that would make something easier to accelerate. Until today. (tada!) It's a Mach Effect shield. No one on the inside uses the term 'magnetic field disruption' outside of reference to the ubiquitous rumor, though, and it's got jack to do with mercury plasma. The first ones were liquid helium, although it doesn't work nearly as well as later media.

    You'd think the structure containing the medium would protrude outside and defeat the purpose, but there's some sort of frame-dragging effect that deals with most of that, and at any rate you don't want to totally shield because if you could, you'd go simultaneous, it acts sort of like a skeg on a ski.


    Early on, they tried to do the intersystem stuff that way and it all spun unidirectionally, which is why you see 50's-60's "UFOs" doing that weird falling-leaf thing when they descend, it's gyroscopic forces vs the pilot/avionics trying not to scour the inside of the containment with the rotating delay medium. These days they contrarotate two annuli to compensate on the intersystem craft, and the intrasystem craft don't do that at all.

    In the small, it's also why you get the Podkletnov effect above a rotating superconductive surface (also why you don't get much of an effect). The rotating disk is acting as a halfassed Mach Effect shield, but it doesn't do a great job, and the fringe effects around the disk's edges nearly swamp any actual shielding from that direction. What they're seeing is less "antigravity" as "somewhat directional anti-inertia", although it kinda looks the same if you're not watching for the differences. If they made a closed superconductive surface, a hollow cylinder maybe, and spun that instead, you'd see a bigger effect inside.

    The thing with the cosmological constant has to do with how much ass you can get with a Mach Effect shield. In regions where it's relatively high, the expansion of space in that area acts as a drag that can't be shielded against. Where it's lower, you go faster. The issue is everyone thinks it's uniform, and it's not. Driving through spatial regions with non-zero cosmological 'constant' causes pseudo-acceleration inside the field which is quite handy for "artificial gravity", except where it's non-uniform and sort of "ripply" you get the paint-mixer effect. Which is pretty much all over, only some places it's worse, making your FTL experience a tooth-rattling one with used lunch accompaniment. (the CC non-uniformity is also why you get the Voyager/Pioneer anomalies, and why they're in different directions, but I digress)

    If the Universe weren't rotating, you couldn't do it at all, but with rotation there are exact solutions that permit FTL that way, I think it was some proof by Godel, but it BTFOOM how that works, you'd have to be a drive systems designer to understand it, and I've probably misremembered it anyway. I'm lucky to do simple tensors on a good day.

    Anyway, you get the external universe's EM drag sort of stuck in your Mach Effect shielding where you've been "delaying it"; you can't just cut it off all at once, and the faster you've gone and the longer you ran it the worse cutting it off gets, and that's where the happy part begins, because instead of emitting photons which is something you can deal with (hence the glow around craft using this), it wants to come out as oscillating time rate gradients. Time rate gradients cause intracellular shear forces if the gradient is sharp enough. It's not pretty, sort of a borscht-o-matic thing, mainly because the intracellular protoplasm streaming vectors (and intercellular micro-structure movements etc) aren't fixed WRT the ship's fields. You can sort of stop moving parts in the structure while you transition out, but you can't just stop the insides of your cells, and any motion relative to the gradient (the ship's structure is at rest relative to it) causes shear or stress forces. If the gradients are minor or have long slopes, no problem. Sharply bounded gradients are bad, even if the amplitude is small.

    The UFO community got it all wrong, the "tr3b" (not the actual name) doesn't use a Mach shield aka "magnetic field disrupter", that's old tech for small intersystem craft, it's smaller, simpler and more easily controlled to use the Aharonov-Bohm A-potential field shielding there. Which is, of course, how you fit one in a certain aircraft with anomalous "stealth", acceleration and handling characteristics, but I digress. I never really understood why they bothered doing that with an airframe when they were spending billions for Navy to end up with the endo/exo-atmospheric fighters (the "small" triangles).

    So, there you go. Now, see, you're thinking "Wow, this sort of hangs together in a spookily cohesive way, but it just HAS to be bullshiat, right?" Then you'll go look around, and read up on A-B potential fields, and why a deSitter universe is different from a Machian universe, and I think there's even one reference that they wish weren't out there that talks about deSitter drag on theoretical spatial distortion drives you might come across (they get it wrong - IIRC they say it prevents you from attaining FTL, it doesn't, just slows your speed and causes that pesky fluctuating pseudo-acceleration). Then you're gonna read up on the Podkletnov effect, and the "mfd", and damn if it STILL doesn't sort of hang together. You might even find a version of that rotating/non-rotating universe thing allowing for sneaking around GR. Sure, ol' Tom is just making it up. (why IS the military interested in delaying EM propagation?) Maybe it's all a well-thought-out shaggy dog story. Maybe.

    Of course, one day, late in some future thread, you probably will also think I'm making up how Kirtland's "laser weapon beam correction" works (hint hint - it's not adaptive mirrors) and why you need GuideStar for it to function, and I'll tell you it's done by tracing virtual photons backwards in time with a physics trick we stole from the "Russian Einstein". That'll be true too, but you won't believe it.

    /somewhere, a security guy at KAFB will be gnashing his teeth
    //and as we used to say in the Army, "this ain't no shiat"
    ///sleep well - "even now" (if that has meaning in this context) some Navy pukes are plying the nearby star systems and you're payin' for it, but you'll never get a whiff
  • sidebar:

    I should have started it off with the tiny bit of background info -

    One day in 1936, von Neumann, Godel and Einstein were discussing the ramifications of Machian universes at the IAS. The rest is history, just not history the way the books would describe it.
  • erewhon: jfarkinB: *snif* That's beautiful, man. I've got some TF waiting for you if you want it.

    If you don't write SF on the side, you really should.

    What, you think I'm kidding? :D


    Doesn't matter whether you are or not, or whether I think you are or not. You've got a good voice for this sort of thing. You could do a much better job of it than, say, Cleve Cartmill (new window).

    If it's not SF, and your superiors think people are taking you seriously, they're more likely to stop you, and then I don't get to read more fun posts from you. So, it's SF to me.

    So, there you go. Now, see, you're thinking "Wow, this sort of hangs together in a spookily cohesive way, but it just HAS to be bullshiat, right?" Then you'll go look around, and read up on A-B potential fields, and why a deSitter universe is different from a Machian universe, and...

    No, I won't. Well, yes, I will, but more to the point, I'll point a couple of friends at this thread -- friends with serious physics and math backgrounds, who've already spent quite a long time thinking about ways out of Einstein's cage. (One is still kicking himself for not publishing anything about an Alcubierre-style warp drive when he was first thinking about it back in the '80's.)

    I see a few things that look like inconsistencies to me, but they feel/smell more like gaps in my understanding than gaps in your story. I'd love to banter back and forth about it, but I don't want to do a complete threadjack. EIP if you feel like answering lots more ill-informed questions.
  • erewhon: Of course, one day, late in some future thread, you probably will also think I'm making up how Kirtland's "laser weapon beam correction" works (hint hint - it's not adaptive mirrors) and why you need GuideStar for it to function, and I'll tell you it's done by tracing virtual photons backwards in time with a physics trick we stole from the "Russian Einstein". That'll be true too, but you won't believe it.


    Actually, that sounds a lot like the phase-conjugating optics that I read about in SciAm back in the mid-80's. Not an adaptive mirror (at least not in any macroscopic sense), and it does sort of conceptually time-reverse photons. Seems like you'd start to lose if your transmission medium's characteristics change on a timescale comparable to propagation time, since you aren't really transmitting anything "backward in time", but I'm no expert.
  • jfarkinB: EIP if you feel like answering lots more ill-informed questions.


    The thing started a few years back when they started doing remakes of classic SF, and I brought up at the lunch table that we could re-craft "Forbidden Planet" by altering the characters into somewhat thinly veiled versions of some military guys we had worked with, and adding in a lot of oblique insider references to "current" technology of the sort you don't yet read about in SciAm (blatantly in some cases), to the point that you'd start getting loud governmental complaints about it. So we took some projects we knew about, guessed at a few we didn't based on rumor and published collateral, talked to some guys at NASA Advanced Propulsion there in town, and made a backstory that tied the coherent bits together and reframed the bits that didn't as plausible cover stories. Some of that above is true.

    Other stuff fits, it would be funny as hell if we hit another home-run with it like I did with the Sandia stuff back in 2004, but I don't know. Other parts of the framework are from another project which actually IS a big hairy deal but wasn't intended to be a propulsion system, it did, however, include a really nice origin story involving IAS that no-one knows about (well, not many people) and we figured we'd nab the thing and sort of slip the propulsion system in with sleight of hand, thus simultaneously gaining a "dammit, why did you talk about that..oh" from the superiors and starting a furor amongst the Montauk conspiracists (99% of their story is bs but it has that tiny kernel of real).

    Recast it as contemporary, get rid of the Captain Video crap, make it mixed Navy and AF (sadly), which makes the props and sets SO much simpler, and gives you the chance for a backstory that would have the ATS guys drooling. Actually, the Bellerophon ends up having launched in 1989, an ESA mission using the first gen drive system, like so many never heard from again.

    Sort of keep the Tempest framework, although maybe not as much as Adler did; naming half the characters after Shakespearian scholars was a bit much. Oh, and fix the bits that they cut out partially in the script - the Great Machine was for creating living beings, not just pizza delivery, and that was where the real problems came in, and about half the plot tension, I'm betting they were running out of money and just cut it short.

    You can set it up for a number of sequels, too, there's no reason to destroy the thing, or you could have them think it was destroyed, and there's a definite chance that Altaira is not real: Morbius created her using the Machine. Probably.

    Anyways, there's some arsehole that's doing a script, it's full of the usual political and eco diatribe, the Machine was for cleaning up pollution or something and Big Krell kept it from being finished and they all died of ecosystem failure or some such crap when their oil ran out. The usual contempo-preachy liberal thing without any entertainment value or larger point to make. I'm sure no-one would look at ours.

    But some of it is definitely real, we cobbed themes from a good dozen projects that are running.

    And the thing at KAFB, it's similar to but not identical to phase conjugation, you can actually reverse tau and look back over the "history" of the beam using a virtual photon trick. It has a lot of uses. One is a macro-correction trick for combat lasers that corrects aim as well as focus. There's many another, we've got a few project outlines done but it takes equipment I don't have...yet.
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