Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby Vendetta » 2017-01-04 10:30am

vengence wrote:Step two : develop telepathy. We will then be able to communicate without them being able to listen.


Not sure whether that would work. Trisolarans are telepaths. That's why they don't understand deception and lies, they're all involuntary broadcast telepaths, it's impossible for a Trisolaran to think something without every other Trisolaran within 30-50m being aware of it as well.

They may in fact be able to intercept telepathy via sophon because that's how they themselves communicate.

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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby gigabytelord » 2017-01-17 08:47am

Can these sophons prevent accidental or random discoveries? There seems to be a slight misconception on how new technologies and forms of science are developed.

We don't just build big "science-y" machines for doing "the science" turn them on and just set back to see what happens when the "universal ethereal machine of science-y-ness" starts science-ing.

A scientist postulates a hypothesis, they then share this hypothesis with other scientists who then do their own calculations in order to see if their calculations match up with the scientist who came up with the hypothesis, if they all agree then the hypothesis becomes a working theory.

Now normally this is where you would build a big machine to runs decades of tests to confirm the theory, but you can't do that now because the results will apparently be scrambled all to hell and back. But what if you just skipped straight to the prototype phase?

I'll lay it out in another way. We have a theory that says this super-duper alien liquefying micro-mega machine space aids thingamabob will work this way if we build it that way using this other tech we already know. So we build it. No quantum computer testing that can be fucked with or scrambled by "sophons". We take the weapon out to the edge of the system, something that would be easily achievable if only we'd stop shooting at each other for more than five minutes, and test it the old fashion way. If it doesn't work do it again making minor adjustments each time until it does.
This entire "problem" seems to work on the assumption that we build things like the Hadron Collider to develop theories. When it's actually the scientists who actually develop the theories, and they generally do so using something as old as our civilization, a pen and some paper (or chalk and slate hey I'm not judging). The hadron collider is used to confirm already hypothesized theories in a 'safe' environment and so would any other mega science machine we build.
To reiterate, we use these machines to conduct these test safely and hopefully without damaging the environment (to badly) or killing (to many) people.

I'm pretty sure that instead of placing a glass ceiling on human technological development it would instead make advances more erratic and by extension more dangerous. Quantum physicist wouldn't be seen as boring people who spend all day staring at complex physics problems anymore they would be be seen as the science equivalent of daredevils. People who write up insanely dangerous tests and build im/possibly destructive devices. Seeing as you can't run proper tests anymore the only way to see if something works is to build a prototype and, well, push the big red button to see if the incomprehensible chalk and ink scribbles you've spent the last twenty years agonizing over actually meant anything.

We'd be back to the days when the only way to see if your "atom bomb" would work the way your calculations said it would is to build it and flip the switch to see what happens, and if your bomb ignites the planets' entire atmosphere and kills everyone then what does it matter? You're all going to die anyway when the aliens get here.

I'm seeing mathematics becoming a massively important skill.

Or I could just be really tired right now and I'm just rambling on like and idiot because I'm missing something obvious because this is somewhat confusing.

* Sophons are subatomic AI built using 1.5D photons. They can travel at the speed of light, allow instantaneous FTL transmission of information between Earth and the alien homeworld via entanglement, and can alter the effects of any reactions of experiment on the submolecular level.

That's not how quantum entanglement works.

This can't be used for offensive purposes, but it does means that they can sabotage the result of any experiment on the submolecular/subatomic level.

First of all does this even make any damned sense? First it says sophons "can't be used for offensive porpuses" then it says that they can used to "sabotage the result of any experiment on the submolecular/subatomic level". Okay I'm sorry but if these little fuckers can be used to make changes to the results of a "submolecular/subatomic" experiment (which by the way is an utterly redundant phrase, if sophons can make changes on the subatomic level then submolecular goes without saying) then that by definition means that sophons can change how subatomic particles function and by extension atoms. Think about that for a second, you could use sophons to increase the atomic weight of atoms which means you change how they function. Imagine all the uranium/plutonium on the planet suddenly increasing in mass just enough to make it go critical. This means that they can most certainly be used in an offensive manor.

Now let's say that's not what it means, let's say that it's not actually making changes to subatomic particles it's just stopping certain reactions from occurring by interfering with how various atoms, and by extension molecules react with one another. Okay then why stop at experiments? Why not use the sophons to stop the combustion process from occurring in combustion engines? Or stop electricity from traveling through circuits and down power lines? If you have the ability to actively sabotage and/or change the results of all science experiments all the way down to the subatomic level that means you are actively making physical changes to matter. Whether the changes are being made to the device being used to monitor the experiment or making changes to the experiment itself or even the data from the experiment once its been recorded to your hard drive a physical change is being made.

Do I even need to mention "The Sophons serve to let humanity know about the aliens plan, once they're discovered, by inscribing a message on the retina of every human on earth "You're Bugs"."

That's not just changing how atoms work that's changing the structures of entire molecules. You're literally rearranging them in such a way that the new structure is not only clearly visible but readable, and you're doing this to every human being on the planet... at the same time.

Here's another thing. How do we record data today? We mostly use magnets. Whether it's on a hard drive or flash drive or floppy disk they all share the same basic mode for recording data, 1s and 0s. Each digit on the drive is made up of a single microscopic magnet and the polarity of these magnets determine whether the data on it is read as a 1 or a 0 (you all obviously know this but hang on a second).
Let's say the way sophons interfere with experiments isn't by physically interfering with them (i.e. change how atoms/molecules work/interact) but rather by corrupting the data once it's recorded by randomly changing the polarity of magnets on your drive (never mind the fact that this is still making a physical change to a physical object). Again why stop there? How much of today's technology relies extensively on magnets of every size imaginable. You could damn near send all of humanity straight back into the stone age by simply reversing the polarity of every magnet in every computer, vehicle, or industrial device on the planet.

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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby Beowulf » 2017-01-17 06:23pm

gigabytelord wrote:Or I could just be really tired right now and I'm just rambling on like and idiot because I'm missing something obvious because this is somewhat confusing.


No... It's just that 3 Body Problem had about 2/3rds of a good book inside of it. And then fell off a cliff when it came time to reveal the mysteries.
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-01-19 11:25pm

gigabytelord wrote:Can these sophons prevent accidental or random discoveries? There seems to be a slight misconception on how new technologies and forms of science are developed.

We don't just build big "science-y" machines for doing "the science" turn them on and just set back to see what happens when the "universal ethereal machine of science-y-ness" starts science-ing.

A scientist postulates a hypothesis, they then share this hypothesis with other scientists who then do their own calculations in order to see if their calculations match up with the scientist who came up with the hypothesis, if they all agree then the hypothesis becomes a working theory.

Now normally this is where you would build a big machine to runs decades of tests to confirm the theory, but you can't do that now because the results will apparently be scrambled all to hell and back. But what if you just skipped straight to the prototype phase?
Then you build one monstrously expensive prototype per individual scientist's theory. This gets prohibitively expensive in a hurry, even before you worry about weird alien hacker-gods interfering with the prototypes themselves.

This entire "problem" seems to work on the assumption that we build things like the Hadron Collider to develop theories. When it's actually the scientists who actually develop the theories, and they generally do so using something as old as our civilization, a pen and some paper (or chalk and slate hey I'm not judging). The hadron collider is used to confirm already hypothesized theories in a 'safe' environment and so would any other mega science machine we build.

To reiterate, we use these machines to conduct these test safely and hopefully without damaging the environment (to badly) or killing (to many) people.
Well, in many cases you have to build such equipment to test theories at all. You can't test theories about genetics without building a lab that has the equipment to examine genes. You can't test theories about particles without the machines to observe particles.

And if you can't build machines at all, or cannot rely that the machines you build faithfully reproduce correct pictures of the natural universe, you can't perform experiments to test your theories. At which point you simply cannot do science.

We'd be back to the days when the only way to see if your "atom bomb" would work the way your calculations said it would is to build it and flip the switch to see what happens, and if your bomb ignites the planets' entire atmosphere and kills everyone then what does it matter? You're all going to die anyway when the aliens get here.

I'm seeing mathematics becoming a massively important skill.
Well, the problem there is that the people who designed the atom bomb actually DID use the most advanced computing technology of the day, and building better bombs keeps requiring better computers. If we're trying to be realistic about what scientific laws do and do not allow... We've realistically hit the limit of the technologies that a human being can understand in a simple way using crude analogies and math that can be done in the head. Designing more sophisticated stuff requires very complicated theories, which in turn mean we use computers to carry some of the burden of doing the thinking for us.

First of all does this even make any damned sense? First it says sophons "can't be used for offensive porpuses" then it says that they can used to "sabotage the result of any experiment on the submolecular/subatomic level". Okay I'm sorry but if these little fuckers can be used to make changes to the results of a "submolecular/subatomic" experiment (which by the way is an utterly redundant phrase, if sophons can make changes on the subatomic level then submolecular goes without saying) then that by definition means that sophons can change how subatomic particles function and by extension atoms. Think about that for a second, you could use sophons to increase the atomic weight of atoms which means you change how they function. Imagine all the uranium/plutonium on the planet suddenly increasing in mass just enough to make it go critical. This means that they can most certainly be used in an offensive manor.
I agree. For that matter, if they can write messages on the inside of people's eyeballs, why not just have them "write" solid blank blue screens of death on everyone's eyeballs so that all anyone can see is blue and they're all effectively blind and helpless. And civilization collapses because everything is blue and if we were green we would die.

Yes, it's an absurd example, but we're talking about an absurd level of capability. It shouldn't be limited to a single highly specific set of applications.
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby Vendetta » 2017-01-20 05:50am

I think the issue is that in the books the Sophons are limited to how much they can actively do at once . They can change a few people's perceptions, engage in communication with a specific individual, or interfere with the output of a supercollider or quantum computer because those things take relatively little effort to do because they're already highly sensitive.

They're much more powerful passively, they can watch everywhere including the contents of any computer's memory or hard drive, but they can do very little at once.

They just don't need to, because as long as they can block any advances in fundamental physics their probes, when they arrive, will be functionally indestructible (they're basically made out of Scrith, Larry Niven's fictional metamaterial for building Ringworlds with, and have some kind of inertialess drive that means they can describe perfect 90 degree point turns in space whilst moving at ~30-40km/s). The biggest nuke you can build won't worry them at all, nor will any relativistic projectile because they can avoid it trivially.

An attempted military solution is doomed to failure in this scenario.

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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby Knife » 2017-01-20 11:02am

Never read the books, so assuming these sophon's are just plot device to stop earth from developing phasers and warp drive type stuff. So...

Step one: Develop existing tech and ideas on next gen space craft. Start testing and prototyping craft with solar/mag sails, the fusion drive, NERVA, and even Orion and start launching and testing to see which one does best at what if at all.

Step two: Consecutively with step one, start launching missions to Mars, the Ceres, Europa, Ganymeded, Callisto, IO, Titan and other Saturn moons, Pluto, Haumea,Eris and other dwarf planets. Mission to assess viability to colonization and use in system wide defense.

Step three: Using chemical and newly developed space craft, colonize and create manned positions throughout the solar system. This will obviously take decades in not the first hundred years with an additional hundred years to grow and become as self sufficient as possible prior to the arrival of the probes. This leaves time to discover the amount/affect of the siphons and if spreading humanity out over a vast distance reduces their ability to perform their stated purpose.

Step four: Even if no new technology is capable of being produced with the expansion of the population into space, continue to build what ever type of space craft is best with existing technology to create a defensive fleet.

Step five: Prior to the arrival of the probes, launch small flotillas of space craft towards their probes to intercept prior to the system. Ships are rigged to self destruct in proximity of incoming vessels and judge effect. *some will fall of course a degree or two, some will malfunction and not get up to speed, some will not detonate and pass the target.

Step six: Continue step four and five while main fleet of aliens approach. Continue to build defensive fleet and defensive positions throughout the solar system. Launch major offensive as alien fleet enters system and begins to decelerate.

Step sever: (Secret plan) As a last ditch effort for the survival of the species if all other methods fail. Some portion of the final 'assault fleet' are actually outbound ships. Whether these ships are manned as a generational ship or 'sleeper' ship depends on the initial research 3-400 years ago with what works best. Instead of intercepting the enemy fleet along it's vector, the expedition's ships pass the alien fleet and continue to accelerate towards Alpha Centauri. The *malfunctioning ships from step five are actually robotic supply craft that are now strategically placed along the travelling path to Alpha Centauri providing additional fuel, air, water, food, etc... Mission to the enemy home world is to colonize if possible for last ditch plan for the survival of the species, but also for recon and intelligence mission on the aliens, culture, and tech. If colonization is possible, establish outpost for humanity and begin to fortify and develop. Research aliens for ability to defeat them. Further advance technology for new fleet. Over the years assess whether or not it would be better to go back to Sol and fight them or remain in new system and claim it as our own.

If colonization is not possible, leave it to mission commander if they want to come back, attempt a new system, or open all the air locks.
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby vengence » 2017-01-21 07:10am

Vendetta wrote:They just don't need to, because as long as they can block any advances in fundamental physics their probes, when they arrive, will be functionally indestructible (they're basically made out of Scrith, Larry Niven's fictional metamaterial for building Ringworlds with, and have some kind of inertialess drive that means they can describe perfect 90 degree point turns in space whilst moving at ~30-40km/s). The biggest nuke you can build won't worry them at all, nor will any relativistic projectile because they can avoid it trivially.

An attempted military solution is doomed to failure in this scenario.


The catch with relativistic projectiles is that they are actually really hard to avoid. Example. One gram of wrought iron accelerated to 90% the speed of light. Is the equivalent of 29 kilotons of TNT. And is the about the size of a grain of sand or a BB round. Doesn't seam like a lot but it will penetrate just about anything. And the stronger the metal its hitting the better because it slows the round down more allowing it to impart more of its energy on the target.

other issues is being able to spot a moving near light speeds in the vastness of space. While the fleet is moving at speeds as well. Even if they can spot it having to change course during a 400 year trip which burns valuable delta V ( the fuel required to get to the velocities and vectors needed). So you are stuck with the issue do you move your ship or not have enough delta v to decelerate enough to make it to earth.


Also the secret plot of relativistic cannons is that while ships can move their planet behind them cannot. using that as a threat may bring them to the negotiating table. If not blow up their planet, and their fleet. say a round a day for each ship should do the trick. Shoot the bigger ships first.

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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby Vendetta » 2017-01-21 09:43am

vengence wrote:The catch with relativistic projectiles is that they are actually really hard to avoid. Example. One gram of wrought iron accelerated to 90% the speed of light. Is the equivalent of 29 kilotons of TNT. And is the about the size of a grain of sand or a BB round. Doesn't seam like a lot but it will penetrate just about anything. And the stronger the metal its hitting the better because it slows the round down more allowing it to impart more of its energy on the target.

other issues is being able to spot a moving near light speeds in the vastness of space. While the fleet is moving at speeds as well. Even if they can spot it having to change course during a 400 year trip which burns valuable delta V ( the fuel required to get to the velocities and vectors needed). So you are stuck with the issue do you move your ship or not have enough delta v to decelerate enough to make it to earth.


It's actually quite difficult to spot anything in the vastness of space. Like a target to shoot at. The path of the Trisolaran fleet was only visible as it passed through dust clouds around their own system. Remember that the Trisolaran fleet is using an exotic inertialess drive, they're not using reaction mass, they're not burning delta V, they're exploiting an as-yet undiscovered physical principle and ensuring it stays that way with the sophon block.

Also, if you tried to calculate their position, they'd know you were doing it because they can passively read the contents of every computer on the planet in realtime. They can trivially avoid a projectile because they literally know exactly where it's going to be from the second you pull the trigger.

Also the secret plot of relativistic cannons is that while ships can move their planet behind them cannot. using that as a threat may bring them to the negotiating table. If not blow up their planet, and their fleet. say a round a day for each ship should do the trick. Shoot the bigger ships first.


Now there's a slight issue with that, which is implicit in the title of the first book*. The position of Trisolaris is very difficult to calculate because it's an n-Body problem in gravitational mechanics, which has sensitive dependence on initial conditions. You'd need to know precisely the positions of Trisolaris and its three suns, the precise velocity vector of the planet and their masses exactly or you'll miss.

* Which is technically wrong, it's actually a Four body problem.

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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-01-21 05:00pm

Once again, the Trisolarans would not be able to intercept communications if humanity moved towards a Zerg type civilization with biocomputers. Which means they would not be able to predict a possible attack by such a civilization.

I would also propose to simply keep hardening the biological lifeforms against space to make an escape from Earth possible. With enough bioengineering, it is a feasible task - at least for a science fiction story.

I think that because Earth had nanotechnology in the books, biotech is not necessarily stopped by the sophon block. In fact, biotechnology would be the most obvious direction of research as minds cannot be penetrated by enemy intelligence devices (sophons).

I kind of hold it against the author that the second book barely had anything similar as a plot. It was the weakest book in the series, could have been much better by introducing a solid plotline with bioengineering.
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby The Grim Squeaker » 2017-01-22 03:21am

K. A. Pital wrote:Once again, the Trisolarans would not be able to intercept communications if humanity moved towards a Zerg type civilization with biocomputers. Which means they would not be able to predict a possible attack by such a civilization.

That was the idea by one of the Wallbreakers, the Neuroscientist.
(Who did what I would have done [for the first half]. Take the money, translate it into an unlimited bioengineering fund, then come back after a century of progress with a hot scientist wife. That's the dream! :D).

I kind of hold it against the author that the second book barely had anything similar as a plot. It was the weakest book in the series, could have been much better by introducing a solid plotline with bioengineering.

There was too much authorial fiat, and some breathraking cases of humanity being full on retarded (I'm thinking of Rey Diaz in particular, and the fleet's arrangement in space). Also the handling of females.
That said, I really enjoyed many parts of it. I'd really recomend the books overall. (I still haven't read the last one).

Also, Obama liked it :D
https://www.tor.com/2017/01/17/barack-obama-books-the-three-body-problem/
The two discussed a number of books that have stuck with Obama, including Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem (translated by Ken Liu), and the transporting power of reading:

And then there’s been the occasion where I just want to get out of my own head. [Laughter] Sometimes you read fiction just because you want to be someplace else.

What are some of those books?

It’s interesting, the stuff I read just to escape ends up being a mix of things — some science fiction. For a while, there was a three-volume science-fiction novel, the “Three-Body Problem” series —

Oh, Liu Cixin, who won the Hugo Award.

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Exactly. The scope of it was immense. So that was fun to read, partly because my day-to-day problems with Congress seem fairly petty — not something to worry about.
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby vengence » 2017-01-23 09:23am

The Grim Squeaker wrote:
K. A. Pital wrote:Once again, the Trisolarans would not be able to intercept communications if humanity moved towards a Zerg type civilization with biocomputers. Which means they would not be able to predict a possible attack by such a civilization.

That was the idea by one of the Wallbreakers, the Neuroscientist.
(Who did what I would have done [for the first half]. Take the money, translate it into an unlimited bioengineering fund, then come back after a century of progress with a hot scientist wife. That's the dream! :D).


It seams from what the wikipedia says on the manner the neuroscience built a mind control device which was not ever used to it full ability. I think K. A. Pital was looking at something more along the lines of organic technology. like wetware computers.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wetware_computer


There is another concept that I thought bout that may tie in to finding a solution. Computer games and social media. The human mind is the most advanced computing system available today. and with the advent of the internet and social media every human computer has the ability to be networked together for problem solving purposes.


If you build an organic supercomputer. and connect it to the internet. have it create games and programs as its problem solving algorithm and distribute it globally through things like social media you get a computing system with near limitless capabilities.

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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby bilateralrope » 2017-01-23 09:38am

What stops them from killing the biocomputers ?

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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-01-23 11:29am

bilateralrope wrote:What stops them from killing the biocomputers ?

The fact that their fleet is very far away and they can't just off any person they like - not without the ETO, which was swiftly rooted out by humans. They're not gods, not by a long shot.
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby Beowulf » 2017-01-23 11:56am

K. A. Pital wrote:
bilateralrope wrote:What stops them from killing the biocomputers ?

The fact that their fleet is very far away and they can't just off any person they like - not without the ETO, which was swiftly rooted out by humans. They're not gods, not by a long shot.


Why can't they cause cancer? Or effectively cause radiation poisoning?
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-01-23 12:34pm

Beowulf wrote:
K. A. Pital wrote:
bilateralrope wrote:What stops them from killing the biocomputers ?

The fact that their fleet is very far away and they can't just off any person they like - not without the ETO, which was swiftly rooted out by humans. They're not gods, not by a long shot.

Why can't they cause cancer? Or effectively cause radiation poisoning?

Author fiat. Sophons can produce "miracles" to screw with humans, but they cannot kill directly. Well, at least in my recollection of the books, which is a bit dusty by now. Need to re-read these fragments to be sure. The explanation by Liu was that their interference is limited to the micro world.
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby Beowulf » 2017-01-23 12:55pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
Beowulf wrote:
K. A. Pital wrote:The fact that their fleet is very far away and they can't just off any person they like - not without the ETO, which was swiftly rooted out by humans. They're not gods, not by a long shot.

Why can't they cause cancer? Or effectively cause radiation poisoning?

Author fiat. Sophons can produce "miracles" to screw with humans, but they cannot kill directly. Well, at least in my recollection of the books, which is a bit dusty by now. Need to re-read these fragments to be sure. The explanation by Liu was that their interference is limited to the micro world.


I didn't read past the first book, mostly because I disliked the ending. But I recall that one of the Sophon's power is to cause light generation in people's eyes, in order to send messages. There's essentially no reason the Sophon's couldn't have done the same in people's brainstems with UV or higher frequency EM radiation. But then, considering one of the plans mooted is to drop Mercury into the sun, I don't think the author quite worked out details that should have been.
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-01-23 01:11pm

Yeah, but all they could do with characters from the first book was send scary messages... and that's it. They couldn't actually physically stop them from conducting research in any other areas than particle acceleration, which would have been a total cakewalk if they could just murder any inconvenient individual whenever they please. Which is why they needed to scare people, as there wasn't much else they could do.

I didn't write the books, so I have no idea why they work like that. As I said, I find their concept interesting, but the execution deficient in many ways (which are especially glaring in "Dark Forest").
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-01-23 09:58pm

See, the problem here is that the sophon's abilities run on bullshit. They have infinite ability to do very specific things (because the plot demands that humans be unable to do those things). But then suddenly they can't do the exact same thing three inches to the left. And so on.

They're not an enemy you outwit or outmaneuver. They're deus ex machina in a can.

So it's kind of pointless to speculate on how one would outwit them, because they have unlimited ability to interfere with anything that would actually work, and yet have comically limited ability to interfere with other things, even when it would be a more efficient way of doing exactly what they want to do, with exactly the tools they want to do it with.
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby bilateralrope » 2017-01-23 10:34pm

K. A. Pital wrote:Yeah, but all they could do with characters from the first book was send scary messages... and that's it.


That should still be enough to render any biocomputer useless.

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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-01-24 03:08am

bilateralrope wrote:
K. A. Pital wrote:Yeah, but all they could do with characters from the first book was send scary messages... and that's it.


That should still be enough to render any biocomputer useless.

No, it is not. Why would biocomputers be scared? The sophons also did not scare any of the Wallfacers (humans tasked with creating a plan to resist the Trisolaran invasion), and did not render them useless.

Based on this, any biological lifeform would be more than able to work against them without fear of espionage.
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby bilateralrope » 2017-01-24 03:13am

K. A. Pital wrote:
bilateralrope wrote:
K. A. Pital wrote:Yeah, but all they could do with characters from the first book was send scary messages... and that's it.


That should still be enough to render any biocomputer useless.

No, it is not. Why would biocomputers be scared? The sophons also did not scare any of the Wallfacers (humans tasked with creating a plan to resist the Trisolaran invasion), and did not render them useless.

Based on this, any biological lifeform would be more than able to work against them without fear of espionage.


It doesn't need to be scared to be useless. It just needs to be incapable of producing useful results. They can screw with the input. If the input is wrong, there is no way that the output can be relied upon. Garbage in, Garbage out.

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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-01-24 05:56am

Except that they failed to do so in case of humans. They managed to produce a visual effect on the retina, but it was not used to blind mankind en masse (which would render any human effort useless anyway).

I can only assume that they cannot do it in a prolonged fashon or mass attack affecting several organisms at once at all, otherwise their primary mission of eavesdropping and screwing with particle accelerators is failed.
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby vengence » 2017-01-25 10:33pm

correct me if I am wrong. It seams to me the Sophons are fairly limited in what they are able to do.

First: they can observe all electronic media. the limitation is they cannot observe information in human brains.
Second: they can interfere if experiments using particle accelerators.

I found note of only 2 Sophons used? is this accurate?

The bio computer train plays off the fact that the human brain is immune to the Sophons' omnipotent spy capabilities. It's capitalizing on the only real weakness the author gives us. The biocomputer like the brain would not be able to be hacked or the information on them observed by the sophons. It would function just like any other computer would except that it is made out of living materials.

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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-01-26 03:04am

Eventually Trisolaris flooded Earth with lots of sophons, but they remained just as ineffective as the original two.
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Re: Plan Earth's Defense! [3 Body Problem]

Postby vengence » 2017-01-31 12:30am

A follow up question. Would the sophons be able to intercept radio transmissions between bio computers? Keeping in mind an antenna has to be a certain legnth to be able to pick up a signal. All antennas on usable frequencies are much bigger than a few molecules. Or would that be handwaved away as superior technology?

Next if yes, then would they be able to follow a frequency hopping pattern? Thats where you jump between signal frequencies some hundreds of times per second using a pattern known only by the transmitters and recievers.

The next level would be could it the actual encryption on the signals. Would they be able to decrypt the transmissions when the keys are stored only in the bio computers that they cant hack? Standard ecryptions on signals often use 3 to 4 layers of encryption on the data, scrambling a single then scrambling the scrambled signal etc. This has an added benefit of protecting the signal from interference and data loss.

The next hurdle would be of understanding the coded language the computers use. Also only known to the computers. If you want to get real paranoid have them switch between a few regularly. The dead languages are really good as well as ones developed and used solely by the computers.

The last problem would be doing all of the above fast enough to actually be able to glean more then just small fragments of data from any one signal.

So are sophons powerful and smart enough to accomplish these feats?


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