Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Sky Captain » 2019-03-31 04:12pm

What if some artificially made unobtainium exists that is very difficult to produce, require Dyson Swarm level of power to manufacture so only fully developed star systems can afford to manufacture it in usable quantities. Say it is critically needed for FTL travel. A resource that important and expensive certainly would be worth fighting over. Naturally occurring elements are far too plentiful in space to be worth fighting sure, but artificial materials may be a different matter.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Jub » 2019-03-31 05:59pm

Sky Captain wrote:
2019-03-31 04:12pm
What if some artificially made unobtainium exists that is very difficult to produce, require Dyson Swarm level of power to manufacture so only fully developed star systems can afford to manufacture it in usable quantities. Say it is critically needed for FTL travel. A resource that important and expensive certainly would be worth fighting over. Naturally occurring elements are far too plentiful in space to be worth fighting sure, but artificial materials may be a different matter.
The questions then become:

1) Is an exotic material that enables hyperspace travel likely to exist IRL? This one's a pretty obvious no.

2) Is there any predicted exotic element that would require that much power to make? Also, no. Though you would need insane power generation to make large amounts of the stuff quickly.

3) Why do you need FTL travel if a local system has everything else you'd ever need? You don't.

4) Why would another faction waste their precious FTL jumps on fighting you when they could be exploring and expanding?

5) If you don't have FTL how are you fighting across a span of light years? If you do have FTL why waste it on a fight you don't need to take?

It just doesn't make sense.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Q99 » 2019-03-31 09:19pm

Only the worms make Spice, and the worms only live on Arrakis.


Since so much of FTL is fictional, there’s really no reason it can’t be super rare or super expensive. It’s hard to say ‘it doesn’t make sense,’ when you’re talking about the requirements for a fictitious technology with made up requirements to begin with.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Solauren » 2019-03-31 10:17pm

Actually, I honestly think the Borg see individual sentient thought as a problem, and assimilate people as a way of wiping it out without wasting valuable organic slave labor.
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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Jub » 2019-03-31 10:45pm

Q99 wrote:
2019-03-31 09:19pm
Only the worms make Spice, and the worms only live on Arrakis.
Spice is a physical thing made of matter. Anything made of matter can, under the right conditions, be replicated. Thus, spice can be replicated and thus is not rare.
Since so much of FTL is fictional, there’s really no reason it can’t be super rare or super expensive. It’s hard to say ‘it doesn’t make sense,’ when you’re talking about the requirements for a fictitious technology with made up requirements to begin with.
You can do more and less realistic FTL though. Things like wormholes and paired quarks are forms of FTL that are at least scientifically plausible. Wormholes, especially the naturally occurring kind, are rare and might be worth fighting over, but only if the other end leads to something better than what you already have locally. Even in that case, fighting over it is pretty pointless, so wormholes are not a resource to be fought over.

Paired quarks so only information can travel faster than light are not a naturally useful thing and thus aren't rare.

Rare resources designed only to make X place special and worth fighting over are a lazy writing crutch. If you want to write a war in your sci-fi make up a better reason why civilizations are sending troops across lightyears into prepared defenses or write something else.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Q99 » 2019-04-01 05:38am

You can, but it's not the only way, and the realistic ways to do wormholes and such would be pretty energy expensive themselves, rather unrealistically so to write off, so a lot of the stuff that does so ends up introducing some exotic material in the process to explain the low energy cost. If you're making wormholes without some major unrealistic handwaving, you're not using them casually or often.

And 'under the right conditions' is a keyword. If something takes a lot of effort to make, it's still valuable.

Schlock Mercenary for example has some resource limits in the materials used to make annie-plants (which I believe is short for annihilation plants) being very very energy intensive to make. They can be made with other annie plants, but it's incredibly hard to make enough to make a good-sized annie without one, so most civilizations start with a loner annie. And then once you have more you can make more, to be sure, but you need to use a lot of the power for other stuff so it's a balance of what percentage of your annies you want to focus on that. It's not a hard limit but it's still valuable and getting a ton of the materials frees up your current annies from the task. It sets rare of expansion, basically.


Plus story-wise, it makes for nice metaphor for resource conflicts- Dune would not be Dune, the massively influential story that it is, if people could just make spice. It'd miss the point.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Jub » 2019-04-01 01:25pm

Q99 wrote:
2019-04-01 05:38am
You can, but it's not the only way, and the realistic ways to do wormholes and such would be pretty energy expensive themselves, rather unrealistically so to write off, so a lot of the stuff that does so ends up introducing some exotic material in the process to explain the low energy cost. If you're making wormholes without some major unrealistic handwaving, you're not using them casually or often.
And why do you need them is the key question? A wormhole may get you halfway across the Galaxy and that's neat and all but a star system over there is, in the end, pretty similar to the star systems you already have access to. It'll be cool to study and you could potentially build really cool megastructures through the wormhole like a telescope with a galaxy-spanning distance between two lens clusters, but is that worth fighting a war over?

As for the exotic material, I think we can all agree that most of those are pure fantasy. After all, what does a wormhole care about one type of matter instead of another?
And 'under the right conditions' is a keyword. If something takes a lot of effort to make, it's still valuable.[/quoite]

Energy is cheap once you start to Dyson swarm around stars and effort is relative. What seems like a high effort to us may seem like a 15-minute wait to a version of us that can expect to live lives that take us out past the life of most main sequence stars. I'd like to see a sci-fi novel written about a version of humanity that has conquered the entire galaxy and how they live. Very slice of life, alien even though it's meant to be us. I think that would be cooler than pew-pew lasers, shields, and FTL.
Schlock Mercenary for example has some resource limits in the materials used to make annie-plants (which I believe is short for annihilation plants) being very very energy intensive to make. They can be made with other annie plants, but it's incredibly hard to make enough to make a good-sized annie without one, so most civilizations start with a loner annie. And then once you have more you can make more, to be sure, but you need to use a lot of the power for other stuff so it's a balance of what percentage of your annies you want to focus on that. It's not a hard limit but it's still valuable and getting a ton of the materials frees up your current annies from the task. It sets rare of expansion, basically.
Time only matters if you don't have effectively all of it and have competition for resources. Neither of which is likely to be true based on current observations of our galaxy. The fact is, even with a slow rate of expansion once you control an entire galaxy you're going to have a while before you reach the next one to start grabbing all of that matter as well. You'll have all the time you'll need to exploit your home galaxy so why rush?
Plus story-wise, it makes for nice metaphor for resource conflicts- Dune would not be Dune, the massively influential story that it is, if people could just make spice. It'd miss the point.
Go write mil-fic if you want to write wars about resources, I want some actual innovation in my sci-fi.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-04-01 03:35pm

Historically thats been true of new lands, one island is like another, but never stopped colonists who want to get away from their homeland.
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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Q99 » 2019-04-02 05:48am

Jub wrote:
2019-04-01 01:25pm
And why do you need them is the key question? A wormhole may get you halfway across the Galaxy and that's neat and all but a star system over there is, in the end, pretty similar to the star systems you already have access to. It'll be cool to study and you could potentially build really cool megastructures through the wormhole like a telescope with a galaxy-spanning distance between two lens clusters, but is that worth fighting a war over?
That assumes all star systems are 'pretty much the same,' there's no other benefits like, say, being able to study and use the biosphere of other worlds and the lifeforms therein (and that's a major resource, tons of biological knowledge), or establishing contact with other species and trading knowledge and proceeded resources with them, etc.. Gaining the ability to be the one to reach across the galaxy, or being the first to reach another galaxy, matters a lot.

Most SF with FTL has really cheap FTL- when that's the case, then you can also have stuff like, "Well sure, we could build a habitat out of asteroid materials or terraform Mars, or we could colonize these literally dozen other liveable plants for less energy."

As for the exotic material, I think we can all agree that most of those are pure fantasy. After all, what does a wormhole care about one type of matter instead of another?
Wormholes as buildable things is just about as fantasy to begin, especially building them with the resources in a single star system.

"No, you can't have a fantasy explanation for fantasy travel," is what I'm hearing.


Heck, let's not forget one major resource that's in many series- the resource of controlling the ends of the wormhole equivalents when they're naturally occurring. The ones who control the contact and travel routes control a lot.

Energy is cheap once you start to Dyson swarm around stars and effort is relative. What seems like a high effort to us may seem like a 15-minute wait to a version of us that can expect to live lives that take us out past the life of most main sequence stars. I'd like to see a sci-fi novel written about a version of humanity that has conquered the entire galaxy and how they live. Very slice of life, alien even though it's meant to be us. I think that would be cooler than pew-pew lasers, shields, and FTL.
Energy is cheap once you start to Dyson swarm relative to some stuff.... for most of our piddly stuff. For wormholes? No, not really. Every place I checked said there's not enough in our solar system to make one. Meaning your Dyson's sphere civ can't do it. Also there's some real questions whether it is possible at all.

The BBC for you- 'A wormhole useful for travelling would have to be big enough and last long enough to send someone or something through. The problem is that for such a wormhole, you would need more negative energy than the rules allow. And even if you could break the rules, you would need an enormous amount. As a very rough approximation, you would need the energy the sun produces over 100 million years to make a wormhole about the size of a grapefruit. No one knows how even an advanced civilisation could access that much negative energy.'

So we can't do it, and if we could, it'd take 100 million years output of a Dyson's sphere to make a tiny small one, and no-one knows how even someone that advanced could get the negative energy needed. It may or may not be possible at all, but even if it is we're probably talking well above your example there. Unless it's via some method we don't have any inkling of and would have to plain make up.


"I don't want to hear fantasy FTL stuff, I just want a novel about a version of humanity who conquered the galaxy with fantasy FTL stuff."

Now, make it slowboat, no wormhole galactic conquest and that'd be another thing. And sure, that'd be a cool story, but that doesn't mean, dun dun dun, that stories without that aren't cool or interesting too.

Time only matters if you don't have effectively all of it and have competition for resources. Neither of which is likely to be true based on current observations of our galaxy. The fact is, even with a slow rate of expansion once you control an entire galaxy you're going to have a while before you reach the next one to start grabbing all of that matter as well. You'll have all the time you'll need to exploit your home galaxy so why rush?
Wait, you're suggesting stories are more interesting if there's no competition? Odd flex.

I mean, aside from aliens- which can be quite interesting- you're also assuming single faction rather than splitting up and competing with each other.
Go write mil-fic if you want to write wars about resources, I want some actual innovation in my sci-fi.
Because you can't have original ideas tied to resources or military sci-fi with innovation? C'mon. Dune revolutionized science fiction for a variety of reasons, it was incredibly innovative, and that's just the example you're referring to. Nor is military the only use for resource stories by a longshot, how they transform societies and such can be a major storytelling usage too, a war could just be a small part of a larger tapestry. A society in change is often an interesting one.

Honestly this just seems like lazy grumbling- it's not the first time I've seen you spend a lot of effort complaining about things not being what you-personally view as realistic, and most of that is in turn being fine with the equally-fantastic stuff you're used to or advocating. Your own suggestions are no less fantastic than what you're poo-pooing and saying shouldn't be done.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Jub » 2019-04-02 06:56am

Q99 wrote:
2019-04-02 05:48am
That assumes all star systems are 'pretty much the same,' there's no other benefits like, say, being able to study and use the biosphere of other worlds and the lifeforms therein (and that's a major resource, tons of biological knowledge), or establishing contact with other species and trading knowledge and proceeded resources with them, etc.. Gaining the ability to be the one to reach across the galaxy, or being the first to reach another galaxy, matters a lot.
Even in the case of a unique biosphere wouldn't a war, presumably one fought over the system be a worse way of gain access to it than signing a peaceful research agreement and sending a team over?

Intelligent life, that's a tough question to answer but until we find it we should probably assume that other intelligent life will be difficult (if not impossible) to communicate with. We can't even effectivly communicate with other Earth species which may be intelligent enough for language, let alone true aliens. Why should we assume we'd understand aliens any more readily?
Most SF with FTL has really cheap FTL- when that's the case, then you can also have stuff like, "Well sure, we could build a habitat out of asteroid materials or terraform Mars, or we could colonize these literally dozen other liveable plants for less energy."
FTL is also more fantasy than sci-fi so...

Wormholes as buildable things is just about as fantasy to begin, especially building them with the resources in a single star system.
Where did I say they would be easy to build? I figured they'd be rare mega structures built by advanced factions or possibly found either naturally formed or created by some other faction that is no longer around.
"No, you can't have a fantasy explanation for fantasy travel," is what I'm hearing.
I'm a bit sick of fantasy sci-fi that only has fantasy elements to allow it to be analogous to modern ways of thinking. Give me so creativity FFS.
Heck, let's not forget one major resource that's in many series- the resource of controlling the ends of the wormhole equivalents when they're naturally occurring. The ones who control the contact and travel routes control a lot.
The assumes that anybody aside from researchers even care. The average person will have everything they could ever want or need in literally any system that matches their ideology. That's if we don't go fully digital and cease to view the galaxy/universe the same way as we do now.

Assuming modern humans but in space is boring and I want better from sic-fi.
Energy is cheap once you start to Dyson swarm relative to some stuff.... for most of our piddly stuff. For wormholes? No, not really. Every place I checked said there's not enough in our solar system to make one. Meaning your Dyson's sphere civ can't do it. Also there's some real questions whether it is possible at all.

The BBC for you- 'A wormhole useful for travelling would have to be big enough and last long enough to send someone or something through. The problem is that for such a wormhole, you would need more negative energy than the rules allow. And even if you could break the rules, you would need an enormous amount. As a very rough approximation, you would need the energy the sun produces over 100 million years to make a wormhole about the size of a grapefruit. No one knows how even an advanced civilisation could access that much negative energy.'

So we can't do it, and if we could, it'd take 100 million years output of a Dyson's sphere to make a tiny small one, and no-one knows how even someone that advanced could get the negative energy needed. It may or may not be possible at all, but even if it is we're probably talking well above your example there. Unless it's via some method we don't have any inkling of and would have to plain make up.
That's why I said it was plausible and more realistic. Try reading my posts instead of arguing against things I never said.
"I don't want to hear fantasy FTL stuff, I just want a novel about a version of humanity who conquered the galaxy with fantasy FTL stuff."

Now, make it slowboat, no wormhole galactic conquest and that'd be another thing. And sure, that'd be a cool story, but that doesn't mean, dun dun dun, that stories without that aren't cool or interesting too.
I never said I wanted wormholes, I brought them up as a more realistic method of FTL than most universes use. You put the rest of the words into my mouth with your own assumptions.

I'm actually far more for slow boat stories with the only FTL being data transmitted at low bit rates. You can argue that even the FTL comms are pure fantasy but it would make for a nice way to get an overview of the galaxy to a viewpoint character so I don't mind it as a plot device.

Wait, you're suggesting stories are more interesting if there's no competition? Odd flex.
I actually never said that either. I assumed the nobody would bother to fight a war if the only method of doing so was to slow boat forces over a span of light years unless they had a damned good reason to do so. There could be ideological wars where one side is trying to exterminate the other due to deeply held beliefs. There could also be wars of culture and ideas where both sides know military might will never work but politics and memetic warfare can flip entire clusters.
I mean, aside from aliens- which can be quite interesting- you're also assuming single faction rather than splitting up and competing with each other.
My first post in the thread proposes 4 factions splitting off an expanding to nominally control twice as many systems as they currently own every decade. Where did you get the idea that there would be no factions in my preferred sci-fi from?

As for aliens, I think they're often very difficult to write and almost none of them feel alien. They're all just human traits wrapped in a skin that varies from basically human to weird sea creature come intelligent being. I think I'd rather not have them in my fiction at all unless you want to write a first contact story that covers decades of each side slowly figuring out how to communicate and interact.
Because you can't have original ideas tied to resources
Not if your resources are basically magic and have no basis in even theoretical physics. You may as well write multiplanar fantasy instead at that point, it'll have the same level of science involved.
or military sci-fi with innovation?

Show me a good and genuinely innovative military sci-fi that's come out in the past decade?
C'mon. Dune revolutionized science fiction for a variety of reasons, it was incredibly innovative, and that's just the example you're referring to. Nor is military the only use for resource stories by a longshot, how they transform societies and such can be a major storytelling usage too, a war could just be a small part of a larger tapestry. A society in change is often an interesting one.
Dune was written in the 60's before we had a lot of current scientific understanding and includes a lot of pure fantasy nonsense to make shit work. You can easily find conflict even in a galaxy where resources are effectively a non-issue. You can easily tell a story about a changing society by looking at how technology and effectively limitless resources changed us and how radically different some factions became compared to others.

Tell a story about how the faction that chose to go purely digital and expand via massive server ships clashes culturally with the physicalists who maintain that each individual should have a physical shell that they primarily inhabit. Then tell of the sub-faction of the physicalists who restrict themselves to humanoid forms and are seen as fundamentalist Luddites by most people. The planet dwellers versus those who prefer space stations. The split evolutionary lines of the factions that stayed mostly biological the longest.

There's plenty that can be done with these ideas even if you restrict it to just a single system or small local cluster.
Honestly this just seems like lazy grumbling- it's not the first time I've seen you spend a lot of effort complaining about things not being what you-personally view as realistic, and most of that is in turn being fine with the equally-fantastic stuff you're used to or advocating. Your own suggestions are no less fantastic than what you're poo-pooing and saying shouldn't be done.
Looks at the thread's title... It seems to me that I'm answering the question 'Do resource conflicts in sci-fi make sense?' in a perfectly valid way. From a logical and hard sci-fi point of view, they don't make any sense and from a storytelling PoV they're often lazy crutches to tell a modern day fairy tale or paint a political allegory to some current or historical event.

That's not to say such stories have no merit but rather to say that such stories should be viewed for what they are instead of as proper science fiction. If you feel otherwise make a post about how resource conflicts making sense from a storytelling PoV and how sci-fi should be used a storytelling device to look at modern life through a new lens. I won't argue that such a viewpoint is valid, though I will argue that it's a very different form of sci-fi to what I'm currently into.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-04-03 02:45pm

The usa had no need to invade Vietnam but did. Northern ireland had no need for the troubles instead of a political process but did.
Puritans had no need to move to america, but did.
The Khmer rouge had no need to empty the cities into the countryside, but did.
There is no resource requirements for most of scotland to be owned by six people, but it is true.
There is mo resource shortage forcing mynmar to genocide but they did.

There was no resource reason for ww1 but it happened.

A synthetic substitute gap of a few decades created fordlandia and killed millions.
A food crop plauge in ireland drove millions abroad.
The gold rush of the Yucatan lasted a decade and moved thousands

And many other examples where history does not follow jubs rules
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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Sky Captain » 2019-04-03 02:59pm

Jub wrote:
2019-03-31 05:59pm
1) Is an exotic material that enables hyperspace travel likely to exist IRL? This one's a pretty obvious no.
If we talk about softish sci fi then fictional materials are perfectly acceptable as long as implications are handled consistently.
Jub wrote:
2019-03-31 05:59pm
Why do you need FTL travel if a local system has everything else you'd ever need? You don't.
Energy for example. If home star system already has developed Dysone swarm to a point that individual solar power stations start to shadow each other too much it would be beneficial to colonize and develop next closest star. If some sort of sci-fi technology require crazy blue supergiant powered Dysone swarm then those stars become precious resources because there aren't that much of them in our Galaxy. You could have a story about 2 Kardashew II+ civilizations fighting for a control of conveniently located blue super-giant.
Jub wrote:
2019-03-31 05:59pm
Why would another faction waste their precious FTL jumps on fighting you when they could be exploring and expanding?
Maybe they want to attack and eliminate other less advanced civilizations to reduce chances of future competition. If I had a telescope network that has detected signs of intelligent life in closest star system if I were paranoid I may consider sending a mission to eliminate them before they spread out in space. If leaving that civilization alone means next nearest star is twice as far away and lacks rich asteroid belt and terrestrial planets then fighting a war to get better resources and eliminate potential competitor before they become too advanced makes some sense.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Jub » 2019-04-03 05:16pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-04-03 02:45pm
The usa had no need to invade Vietnam but did. Northern ireland had no need for the troubles instead of a political process but did.
Puritans had no need to move to america, but did.
The Khmer rouge had no need to empty the cities into the countryside, but did.
There is no resource requirements for most of scotland to be owned by six people, but it is true.
There is mo resource shortage forcing mynmar to genocide but they did.

There was no resource reason for ww1 but it happened.

A synthetic substitute gap of a few decades created fordlandia and killed millions.
A food crop plauge in ireland drove millions abroad.
The gold rush of the Yucatan lasted a decade and moved thousands

And many other examples where history does not follow jubs rules
Yeah, because I said there could never be conflict in hard sci-fi...

"I assumed the nobody would bother to fight a war if the only method of doing so was to slow boat forces over a span of light years unless they had a damned good reason to do so. There could be ideological wars where one side is trying to exterminate the other due to deeply held beliefs. There could also be wars of culture and ideas where both sides know military might will never work but politics and memetic warfare can flip entire clusters."

It's like you didn't even bother to read my posts before making a strawman to fight. I'll be accepting your concession immediately.

-----
Sky Captain wrote:
2019-04-03 02:59pm
If we talk about softish sci fi then fictional materials are perfectly acceptable as long as implications are handled consistently.
Even soft sci-fi should explain why they can't be replicated elsewhere and why they only formed in vanishingly specific systems in unrealistically tiny quantities. Or, better yet, have a synthetic version and show why one side isn't able to keep up because they don't physically control a deposite and there's a time crunch.

Even then, you need to setup a reason for conflict and why you couldn't just trade for the resource to prevent war in the first place.
Energy for example. If home star system already has developed Dysone swarm to a point that individual solar power stations start to shadow each other too much it would be beneficial to colonize and develop next closest star.
You'd have very likely already started working on that before your Dyson swarm was completed. A civilization can do more than one thing at a time so exploring an outer ring of star systems, while colonizing neighboring star systems, while completing major infrastructure in your home star system can all happen at once. What's more, none of those things take FTL to manage.

Plus, that power ins't a unique resource and there may be other ways to squeeze more power out of your single star or squeeze more efficiency out of your tech.
If some sort of sci-fi technology require crazy blue supergiant powered Dysone swarm then those stars become precious resources because there aren't that much of them in our Galaxy. You could have a story about 2 Kardashew II+ civilizations fighting for a control of conveniently located blue super-giant.
The sounds pretty contrived just to have a war in your story. For starters, what are the odds that both factions have only that one star as an option? What does convieniently located even mean? Does that star even benefit the factions fighting over it as a whole if we assume neither side has FTL? What happens if, due to it being not perfectly centered one side gets there two decades before the other faction and finds it already claimed and defended? Do they then send a signal home to start building up for an attack which couold take another 50 years to arrive?
Maybe they want to attack and eliminate other less advanced civilizations to reduce chances of future competition. If I had a telescope network that has detected signs of intelligent life in closest star system if I were paranoid I may consider sending a mission to eliminate them before they spread out in space. If leaving that civilization alone means next nearest star is twice as far away and lacks rich asteroid belt and terrestrial planets then fighting a war to get better resources and eliminate potential competitor before they become too advanced makes some sense.
You know how you can do the same thing without a pointless war? Just claim all the systems close to the primative civilization and they'll never be able to expand. Even assuming FTL, if it's rare enough and difficult enough to discover they might not even start with any. Either way, they lose the race and you gobbled up all the systems a fledgling interstellar society could reach and stunted their growth unless they submit and join your faction.

I just solved your porblem without genocide in a way that could promote an interesting ethical debate.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-04-04 02:53am

Oh dear oh dear.
I was replying to a post where you claimed "why would anyone move out of the solar system anyway?"

The title of the op is resource crisis. Most of my examples are resource crisis, including Stas's fordlandia one which you dismissed at the time with "it takes decades to build a dreadnaught".

1) why so long? Given you seem to believe theyd have access to huge resources anyway.
2) why assume a cause and effect? The navy builds dreadnaughts steadily so they have one ready for the unforseen crisiswhen it launches. This was how the uk prosecuted the spice wars and drakes looting of spain using very slow boats indeed.
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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Jub » 2019-04-04 04:01am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-04-04 02:53am
I was replying to a post where you claimed "why would anyone move out of the solar system anyway?"
I literally never said that. My argument was that there's no point in warring over any specific system when you can claim one without a fight because 99% of systems are similar enough to be worth about the same to an advanced civilization.
The title of the op is resource crisis. Most of my examples are resource crisis, including Stas's fordlandia one which you dismissed at the time with "it takes decades to build a dreadnaught".
Do you even read what I write? I literally wrote:

"In any realistic sci-fi setting, it might take that long just to build the ships and reach the enemy,"

I factored in the time it would take an STL force to reach an enemy system. I never suggested that it would take decades to build a fleet. The rest of your questions are based around the fact that you haven't understood a word I've said and because you won't quote me properly your paraphrasing things for the dumbest possible interpretation.

From now on quote exactly what I said or fuck off.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-04-04 04:22am

I would be happy to, if you managed to keep your posts to short reponses without quotes scattered everywhere. Point by point rebuttal might swell your ego, but I really have better things to do then press delete on my phone button for five minutes to try and turn a discohrent flail into something I can quote without gumming the thread up.

"In any realistic sci-fi setting, it might take that long just to build the ships and reach the enemy," -> is literally meaningless since you have not specified where the enemy is. You might think you've taken stl to a different system into account. I assumed you meant 15 years to build a dreadnaught and five years to go there and fight. Why do I make tht assumption? becuase 20 years is not realistic for earth to alhpa centuri for something bigger then Project Starshot, and if we're talking about two systems that are not eartrh and alphaC but are much closer, then why not have a jounrey time of five years? You haven't bothered setting anything excpet in your own head, and then act outraged when we don't 'read exaclty what you meant'

On the other, what you literally said was:
"The average person will have everything they could ever want or need in literally any system that matches their ideology."
All of the examples I gave could be applied at a system level as well as a country one. Would you like me to spell them out in hard sci fi deatil for you?
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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Jub » 2019-04-04 05:03am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-04-04 04:22am
I would be happy to, if you managed to keep your posts to short reponses without quotes scattered everywhere. Point by point rebuttal might swell your ego, but I really have better things to do then press delete on my phone button for five minutes to try and turn a discohrent flail into something I can quote without gumming the thread up.
Point by point rebuttal is a staple of debate on this board. Either deal with that fact or don't engage in debates here.

I'm not required to change my style of posting because you can't be assed to put in the effort.
"In any realistic sci-fi setting, it might take that long just to build the ships and reach the enemy," -> is literally meaningless since you have not specified where the enemy is. You might think you've taken stl to a different system into account. I assumed you meant 15 years to build a dreadnaught and five years to go there and fight. Why do I make tht assumption? becuase 20 years is not realistic for earth to alhpa centuri for something bigger then Project Starshot, and if we're talking about two systems that are not eartrh and alphaC but are much closer, then why not have a jounrey time of five years? You haven't bothered setting anything excpet in your own head, and then act outraged when we don't 'read exaclty what you meant'
1) Note that I used the qualifier 'might' and am arguing a general idea rather than detailing how a hard sci-fi setting could be contrived to have a war in a shorter time frame.

2) Even in a dense stellar cluster, you might not be fighting over a system adjacent to the one where your fleet is. It could be a distance further because your frontier systems are still lacking the infrastructure to build and maintain the fleet. Such trips could be longer than decades.
On the other, what you literally said was:"The average person will have everything they could ever want or need in literally any system that matches their ideology."
What part of that statement was incorrect? The average American will never leave the country because they have everything they need at home. Even in the modern day people don't tend to travel unless they have a good reason to do so and a trip on our little ball of dirt won't usually take more than a day or two round trip.

When that same trip takes years and involves time dilation you need a really damned good reason to leave your local star system.
All of the examples I gave could be applied at a system level as well as a country one. Would you like me to spell them out in hard sci fi deatil for you?
Given that you can't read my posts, use quote tags, or spell the word detail I see little value in having you strain your limited mind in doing so.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Q99 » 2019-04-04 05:07am

Jub wrote:
2019-04-02 06:56am
ou know how you can do the same thing without a pointless war? Just claim all the systems close to the primative civilization and they'll never be able to expand. Even assuming FTL, if it's rare enough and difficult enough to discover they might not even start with any. Either way, they lose the race and you gobbled up all the systems a fledgling interstellar society could reach and stunted their growth unless they submit and join your faction.

I just solved your porblem without genocide in a way that could promote an interesting ethical debate.
And you also made a reason to fight, namely people who oppose that and wish to militarily stop this group from cutting everyone primitive off over resources, and now you've got, dun dun dun, a resource war, with the resource being those systems and who's hands they believe in. A good conflict, but certainly not a 'no resource war' conflict.




Really the whole long-story-short on this is you're laser-focused on your view being a better one, but just because you can come up with, that doesn't make it a better story, nor does it make it a more realistic one, and if it's not a better story or more realistic*, what's the point? Your science explanations are often wibbly-wobbly jello soft themselves, and your story explanations are often just transitioning from one resource conflict to another. I'm still super unsold about 'resource wars are bad storytelling,' especially as you presented a good reason for a resource war that sounds like a good story.



*And hard-SF is not inherently better to begin with, but the science is just as soft either way, so, yea.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-04-04 05:09am

I'm not really seeing why I'm required to change my style of posting to suit your histronics either.

your points 1 and 2 are irrelevant. You did not say what you meant and you accused me of misquoting. Please retract that, and actually specify the situation where fordlandia is irrelevant, or better yet, for your argument to hold water, show under what circumstances it is always irrelevant.

and since you cannot disprove my historic examples of people leaving countries for a variety of reasons including resource crises, and cannot show that these would not apply at sci-fi solar system levels, then I guess you are conceeding utterly?
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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Jub » 2019-04-04 06:17am

Q99 wrote:
2019-04-04 05:07am
And you also made a reason to fight, namely people who oppose that and wish to militarily stop this group from cutting everyone primitive off over resources, and now you've got, dun dun dun, a resource war, with the resource being those systems and who's hands they believe in. A good conflict, but certainly not a 'no resource war' conflict.
Isn't that an ideological war with the ideals being leaving space for the free expansion of less advanced civilizations? Plus, how would the other faction even know which systems you're colonizing and why without you telling them?

You're assuming pretty open motives and pretty good intel to set up a war which isn't even really about resources.
Really the whole long-story-short on this is you're laser-focused on your view being a better one, but just because you can come up with, that doesn't make it a better story, nor does it make it a more realistic one, and if it's not a better story or more realistic*, what's the point? Your science explanations are often wibbly-wobbly jello soft themselves, and your story explanations are often just transitioning from one resource conflict to another. I'm still super unsold about 'resource wars are bad storytelling,' especially as you presented a good reason for a resource war that sounds like a good story.
No, I'm focused on the OPs question which asked if resource conflicts in sci-fi make sense and choosing to do so from a hard sci-fi viewpoint.

I don't think I've made a science explanation except to say that wormholes and FTL communications could make sense in as plot devices in a harder than science fantasy sci-fi setting. I also haven't exactly made a ton of story ideas in this thread aside from pointing out alternatives to a shooting war which other posters seem to take as the default means of conflict resolution in sci-fi.

The resource war I presented was a refutation of the idea that the only way to secure resources was to conquer those that might someday expand outwards and claim them. You've spun that into a conflict which I never implied and are declaring it my idea.
*And hard-SF is not inherently better to begin with, but the science is just as soft either way, so, yea.
Umm, where did I say that hard sci-fi was better than science fantasy? I'm arguing that logically such conflicts don't make a lot of sense which is exactly what the OP asked.

As for how soft the science in hard sci-fi is, it may have some elements which won't come to pass but its much close to the realm of what is possible versus the pure fantasy of a universe with casual FTL, magic space rocks, and other pure fantasy elements.

-----
madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-04-04 05:09am
I'm not really seeing why I'm required to change my style of posting to suit your histronics either.
That's because your method has lead to you misquoting me and paraphrasing things in a way which twists my meaning to your advantage. It's dishonest and, by your own admission, lazy.
your points 1 and 2 are irrelevant. You did not say what you meant and you accused me of misquoting. Please retract that, and actually specify the situation where fordlandia is irrelevant, or better yet, for your argument to hold water, show under what circumstances it is always irrelevant.
I don't need to list every exception to prove that my statement is true in general. No argument holds for all circumstances especially when an author could contrive something highly unlikely to actually occur to tell a specific story.
and since you cannot disprove my historic examples of people leaving countries for a variety of reasons including resource crises, and cannot show that these would not apply at sci-fi solar system levels, then I guess you are conceeding utterly?
Given that my statement was about average citizens and wasn't a statement about a system as a whole I will do no such thing.

Also, use a fucking shift key or I won't be responding to you at all. Using proper English grammar is a board rule so it will be no concession if I refuse to debate somebody too lazy to capitalize words.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-04-04 07:14am

Jub, you are already not responding to me at all. You are making shit up, using vauge language and claiming that your vaugeness holds true for 'general examples'.

We're talking about interstellar war, can you point to a general example?
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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2019-04-04 10:10am

I like the clash of ideologies between interstellar vast but incomprehensibly different civilizations thing to be honest. Not everything has to be Space Iraq with Space Americans in Space Humvees going OSCAR MIKE DELTA TANGO OOORAHOOOAH LOCK THE STOCK BLOW MY LOAD pew-pew fighting for space oil.

Power and influence could be gained through sway over populaces, the ability to dictate the interstellar zeitgeist and influence wills... the proliferation of memes and the capacity to shape societies' volition. If these space civs are interconnected via hyperstellar cyberspace or whatever, or psionics, or if the leading powers just feel compelled to convert developing-civs to their side. Then with this as the resource, conflict can range from cyber-psionic missionaries preaching to lesser societies and sharing nanotech miracles, curing plagues or opening paths through hyperspace. Or flooding hyperwaves with awesome programming.

So maybe an empire losing the ratings war loses face and has no choice but to actually resort to actual warfare. Perhaps due to the fact that this is a clash of principles, their wars might have obtuse conventions - rationalizing sword-wielding superhumans meeting in fields, or banning atomics and WMDs so no "drop rocks from orbit," or necessitating a stake in the bloodshed so manned space fighters rather than endless drone swarms. With the capacity to mass-produce endless autonomous weapons and wage forever war, the clashing societies set pre-determined limits... including sending their own people, the heirs of their noble houses, to provide a stake to the fighting. This keeps audiences engaged, makes them believe that their leaders are truly fighting for a just cause instead of deploying billions of killdrones on a whim. It also makes for compelling programming! Superhuman combatants might be live-streaming their killing sprees in hyperwave - intergalactic warfare becomes the ultimate programming, reality television for the ratings!
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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Jub » 2019-04-05 08:42am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-04-04 07:14am
Jub, you are already not responding to me at all. You are making shit up, using vauge language and claiming that your vaugeness holds true for 'general examples'.

We're talking about interstellar war, can you point to a general example?
There is no real guideline for what will be possible in the future so it's hard to nail down specifics.

For example, we know the average distance between star in our Galaxy is 5 lightyears but how fast can we reasonably get our starships going to send people between two systems? Using a 1g constant acceleration/deceleration it takes about 1 year + distance in lightyears to reach any given star. So, assuming you can manage that or even 1 year or acceleration to reach C and 1 year of deceleration to stop at your target we're looking at a minimum of 6 years to reach the average star from the closest star system. If your fleet is further away, because, for example, the outer shell of your empire is still a frontier incapable of building a navy or supporting a fleet, the time to reach your destination goes up.

If your enemy is even a little close to the system than you are they'll arrive first and be able to shoot at you while you're in a less maneuverable deceleration burn. If you're far enough away compared to them they may even be able to set up some form of defenses that make your attack more difficult. This is an even greater issue when attacking already settled systems which all adds up to make attacks across interstellar distances costly, risky, and inefficient compared to settling unclaimed territory.

The problem gets worse if you're limited to 10 or 20% of C over distances of lightyears where you start to get multi-decade long trips between even nearby stars. This means that my statement of 'It could take decades to attack an enemy resource center' holds for long enough distances or slow enough transit speeds. Your counterexample whereby you assume the fastest speeds and closest distances is a nitpick done in poor taste.

-----
Shroom Man 777 wrote:
2019-04-04 10:10am
I like the clash of ideologies between interstellar vast but incomprehensibly different civilizations thing to be honest. Not everything has to be Space Iraq with Space Americans in Space Humvees going OSCAR MIKE DELTA TANGO OOORAHOOOAH LOCK THE STOCK BLOW MY LOAD pew-pew fighting for space oil.

Power and influence could be gained through sway over populaces, the ability to dictate the interstellar zeitgeist and influence wills... the proliferation of memes and the capacity to shape societies' volition. If these space civs are interconnected via hyperstellar cyberspace or whatever, or psionics, or if the leading powers just feel compelled to convert developing-civs to their side. Then with this as the resource, conflict can range from cyber-psionic missionaries preaching to lesser societies and sharing nanotech miracles, curing plagues or opening paths through hyperspace. Or flooding hyperwaves with awesome programming.

So maybe an empire losing the ratings war loses face and has no choice but to actually resort to actual warfare. Perhaps due to the fact that this is a clash of principles, their wars might have obtuse conventions - rationalizing sword-wielding superhumans meeting in fields, or banning atomics and WMDs so no "drop rocks from orbit," or necessitating a stake in the bloodshed so manned space fighters rather than endless drone swarms. With the capacity to mass-produce endless autonomous weapons and wage forever war, the clashing societies set pre-determined limits... including sending their own people, the heirs of their noble houses, to provide a stake to the fighting. This keeps audiences engaged, makes them believe that their leaders are truly fighting for a just cause instead of deploying billions of killdrones on a whim. It also makes for compelling programming! Superhuman combatants might be live-streaming their killing sprees in hyperwave - intergalactic warfare becomes the ultimate programming, reality television for the ratings!
So you're basically saying you want to see a sci-fi story where future wars are settled by battle royal where the leaders all send their eldest children to do battle so the average person knows how much is at stake. Of course, everybody keeps a bastard around just for wars and its an open secret that 'firstborns' are barred from ever holding leadership positions.

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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2019-04-05 11:43am

Jub wrote:
2019-04-05 08:42am
So you're basically saying you want to see a sci-fi story where future wars are settled by battle royal where the leaders all send their eldest children to do battle so the average person knows how much is at stake. Of course, everybody keeps a bastard around just for wars and its an open secret that 'firstborns' are barred from ever holding leadership positions.
Sure but with mecha or power armor or each prodigy-sire encased in some ultratech warmachine. And like to prove the supremacy of each ideological group's position, individual exemplars are sent... but it doesn't mean there's just one of each individual. Fleet or mass ground battles could occur with set numbers of copies of each prodigy-sire combatants networked to each other. And each prodigy might have a retinue of followers and adherents, glorified fans, who wish to earn favor or distinguish themselves and attain similar stature and so join the fighting.

So part battle royale, part gundam, part Twitter war where hot takes are mountain-smashing robot-punches and likes are like entire planets deciding to capitulate or change sides.
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Re: Do resource crises and conflicts in advanced sci fi settings make sense?

Post by Jub » 2019-04-05 12:32pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
2019-04-05 11:43am
Sure but with mecha or power armor or each prodigy-sire encased in some ultratech warmachine. And like to prove the supremacy of each ideological group's position, individual exemplars are sent... but it doesn't mean there's just one of each individual. Fleet or mass ground battles could occur with set numbers of copies of each prodigy-sire combatants networked to each other. And each prodigy might have a retinue of followers and adherents, glorified fans, who wish to earn favor or distinguish themselves and attain similar stature and so join the fighting.

So part battle royale, part gundam, part Twitter war where hot takes are mountain-smashing robot-punches and likes are like entire planets deciding to capitulate or change sides.
You could take the current US system and say that each Senator and Representative has to choose a champion to represent them in times of war. Across a galaxy, you could end up with the fabled hundred senatorial space marine legions each known for a different style of fighting. The representatives lead the grunts and captain the starships forming the backbone of the US Stelar Empire's fabled diplomatic corps. Slap stars and eagles on everything the way 40k uses the aquila and skulls and you could have a lot of fun with that concept.

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