Interstellar government in hard sci-fi.

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Q99
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Re: Interstellar government in hard sci-fi.

Post by Q99 » 2018-01-10 03:00pm

Sea Skimmer wrote:
2018-01-09 03:09pm
Agreed on that; and relatively little sci fi gives attention to what might happen if we had colonies in the oort cloud become significant powers. Now that we know that body includes stuff the size of Pluto it's pretty plausible for that to happen in the very long term and thus create a more interesting military and political geography then the linear alignment of the named planets.
Weirdly, one of the places I see this most often is pen & paper games, like Transhuman space or Eclipse Phase (I mean, not all the way out the the Oort, and Eclispe Phase has *some* FTL [mysterious gates they don't know the tech behind so everything else is hard], but still, developed systems).

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Re: Interstellar government in hard sci-fi.

Post by Swindle1984 » 2018-01-13 09:13pm

About the only plausible means I see for an interstellar government in an STL universe would be if everybody (or at least the majority) converted to Space Catholicism; forms of government, culture, language, etc. would be determined by the central authority of the Space Pope. Obviously there would still be local variations, but for the most part a large, conformist population would follow edicts from the Space Pope on Holy Terra. New technology would have to be approved by the Space Pope before being adopted, so there would be a wait of decades (at a minimum) before any colony that came up with something new was allowed to put it to use, and once the Space Pope approved, the new technology would be disseminated to the rest of the Space Holy Roman Empire via transmissions from Earth. Thus, all humanity, despite the distance of lightyears, is united in culture, language, government, religion, and technology by their love of the Space Pope, and all benefit from his glorious generosity as he informs them of what is best for them to know/do.

Except for those heretics on Space Plymouth Rock, they can go fuck themselves.

Actually, that could result in some amusing scenarios:

-Space Pope rubberstamps schematics for a new tractor design originating from Colony 359, transmits them to all colonies
-Followers on Colony 812 go through their daily ritual of looking at the tiny speck in the sky that is Sol and pray to Space Jesus, the Space Pope, and Holy Terra
-Followers on Colony 395 are disappointed to learn that their idea for cultural reform was rejected by the Space Pope, continue their lives as usual
-Word gets out that the Space Pope was overthrown by heretics and atheists, Sol is now run by a consortium of rationalist humanists and Marxists
-500 years later, clueless Earthlings are being bombed by enraged religious fanatics who set out to retake Holy Terra and reestablish the Space Papacy
-Meanwhile, the archbishop of Colony 573 declares himself the new Space Pope... as do the archbishops of a hundred other star systems
-Relativistic bombings for heresy, apostasy, and just plain being a dick begin, resulting in the 1,000 Year War
-The survivors of the war eventually convert to Space Protestantism and go their separate ways
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Re: Interstellar government in hard sci-fi.

Post by Guardsman Bass » 2018-01-30 01:34am

As has been brought up, effective immortality changes a lot of these scenarios. Having an interstellar theocracy becomes a real possibility when the priests ministering to the colonies over millennia are the same people who were trained back in the home system and then sent out (as long as they're not overthrown). So do immense interstellar projects completed over very long time-scales, and interstellar religious missions. Maybe the impetus for crewed interstellar missions in this setting is because it's considered holy to complete the thousand-year pilgrimage back to Earth, traveling from shrine world to shrine world along the way for your ship to be overhauled and refueled. Or it's a sign of status to be able to send an interstellar mission carrying holy artifacts to another system, and return holy artifacts back home.

Although I don't really believe that will happen. I think interplanetary colonization is going to be slow* and interstellar colonization even slower, and a big part of why folks will be joining the latter missions is specifically because they want to put some major distance between themselves and the solar system civilization(s). They're not going to be overly concerned with maintaining cultural or political ties with the home system.

* Barring a return to pre-modern and early modern population growth rates.
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Re: Interstellar government in hard sci-fi.

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2018-01-30 05:34pm

Ekumen from Le Guin's books - decentralized and more of mutually contributive bazaar with "some" oversight in just collective mediation of whatever conflicts there are and collective management of interstellar stuffs, the multilateral and "fair" operation of the networks considering how some societies might have more space-faring abilities than others... but planetary-wise its all mostly up to the locals who often don't even have singular planetary governments.
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Re: Interstellar government in hard sci-fi.

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2018-01-30 05:49pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
2018-01-30 05:34pm
Ekumen from Le Guin's books - decentralized and more of mutually contributive bazaar with "some" oversight in just collective mediation of whatever conflicts there are and collective management of interstellar stuffs, the multilateral and "fair" operation of the networks considering how some societies might have more space-faring abilities than others... but planetary-wise its all mostly up to the locals who often don't even have singular planetary governments.
Edit time limit caught up with me. The management of this and fair stuff includes the distribution of useful knicknacks, not only FTL systems but say unique tech from one planet can then be made available to the rest of the network (of course there'd be haggling and agreements), so while backwater ice world can now get rocketships, ice world's unique ice-tech can then be made available elsewhere.
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Re: Interstellar government in hard sci-fi.

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-02-01 12:29am

Australia has a number of native metal deposits we know where exploited for thousands of years before the bulldozer, chemical analysis could probably link them to stuff found in south west asia given enough effort. IIRC one such site is still the largest hole known to have been dug completely by hand. Such ready to forge metals would be one of the most likely sort of item for trade. Problem is since that region is almost all jungle I doubt all that much ancient metalwork exists for archaeologists to find, and anything in plain sight would have been melted down to make cannons or some such a few centuries ago, at which point you couldn't prove anything.
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Re: Interstellar government in hard sci-fi.

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-02-01 12:41am

Wrong thread
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