10 Myths about Space Travel that make SF better

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Hobbit, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Pennarin

    Pennarin Registered User

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    My answer was in jest. A meta-joke.

    Your point was fine, don't worry.
     
  2. JunkMonkey

    JunkMonkey Registered User

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    While I agree with you Steven I think your list of examples is a bit dodgy. Clocks, batteries, and cellphones have all been put to use by 'terrorist' bomb-makers.

    Windmills I think you are pretty safe with.
     
  3. Steven L Jordan

    Steven L Jordan I like SF. SF is cool.

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    Terrorists can use anything. That doesn't make technology evil; it makes terrorists evil.
     
  4. JunkMonkey

    JunkMonkey Registered User

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    Yes, they use them to "nefarious" ends. Any technology can be used with evil intent. A rock is a rock. Use it to hold down documents on a desk and it's a paperweight, hit someone with it and it's a weapon. Doesn't make the rock evil. People is evil. (Well, some of us are.) Totally agree with you.
     
  5. Steven L Jordan

    Steven L Jordan I like SF. SF is cool.

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    10. You can travel in space without dying of radiation sickness.

    I do believe this issue is solvable. It may be that the only real value of the popular "electro-whatever field" generally used to protect spaceships will actually be to deflect or absorb undesirable background radiation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  6. Riothamus

    Riothamus Registered User

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    Yeah.Like terrorists are the only people who have ever thought to use technology to nefarious ends?I'm talking about governments, militaries, and any number of foolish trends that might arise out of it. Technology is not the only solution to every problem.Humans could survive without all of this, but we have chosen not to.I don't think we can go back entirely, but I do believe we should be more moderate in it's use.Just because you can make a planet killing weapon does not mean you should.Just because you have the means to implement a eugenics driven society does not mean you should. Just because the government has the ability to implement constant whole scale surveillance of societydoes not mean it should.Furthermore, just because you can create a large populace of sapient androids/robots does not mean you should.The ethical crapstorm that would be caused by such a thing would be best avoided.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  7. Steven L Jordan

    Steven L Jordan I like SF. SF is cool.

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    Keep in mind, this is a thread on SF space travel myths. The Apollo program was built directly on the research done with the V2 rocket. So nefarious tech can also be used for good ends.

    Moving on.
     
  8. SR_Seldon

    SR_Seldon SF Author

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    One of the hallmarks of good science fiction is to take one of these supposedly unsolvable problems and propose a solution. I won't talk about Hollywood because you can probably count on one hand the number of times they got it right. But SF authors have a long history of proposing thing might be possible long before they are. Verne and Wells started us off and lots of others have followed. I'd have to say that 1, 6, 8, and 10 from the original list are debatable. Several theoretical ways have been proposed to make FTL possible. They don't involve going faster than light, but by finding other ways of getting from point A to point B faster than light can. Aliens are not automatically going to be hard to communicate with. We need some common frame of reference and for any intelligent species that will necessitate math, physics and chemistry.

    Cheap energy all depends on what we can develop. Right now it seems impossible, but it doesn't have to remain that way. And it is very possible to travel in in space without dying of radiation. We need a certain amount of protection and we need to find more effective and efficient ways than we have now, but you can't discount that we will find something.

    SF is supposed to be scientific and optimistic about what we can do AND tell a good tale. It's about pushing the boundaries of what we can foresee while entertaining at the same time. Just look at where we've come in the last 150 years and what they said was impossible that we have actually done and accomplished. Given another 500 or a thousand years, what might we be able to do.
     
  9. daltonwolf

    daltonwolf Dalton_Wolf

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    I really have nothing to add to this post at all, other than to say it is the most enjoyable thread I've read in a while, and I've been to many forums lately. I just read it from start to finish and to see it's metamorphasis from the innocent list of 'this isn't possible but we accept it' to the pseudo-scientific explanations of 'this is how it might be possible and you don't know what you think you know' was a fun little ride. I also believe that we already know there is so much about the universe that we don't know, and we understand so much today that we didn't know just ten years ago, that it's really silly for us to take 5o year old theories as gospel at this point. But that is just opinion...I can't really back that up:)
     
  10. Siberian

    Siberian Too many books to read...

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    Gravity is not in any way caused by spinning, it has to do with mass (think Moon and tides). In fact, spinning ships would be a scifi myth.
     
  11. Rosie Oliver

    Rosie Oliver Registered User

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    You are right - it's centrifugal force giving the impression of gravity. Yes gravity is caused by mass. I might be wrong here, but the sub-atomic particles tachyons are directly responsible for gravity. if we could separate those out and find a way to control them, then we could have 'designer' gravity :D
     
  12. SR_Seldon

    SR_Seldon SF Author

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    Gravity is not, but artificial gravity is. That is why it is called artificial. It simulates gravity using rotation. Artificial gravity sans rotation has no basis yet is science. But, if SF writers keep writing about it, scientists will keep looking for a way to do it. That's one of the beauties of the genre.
     
  13. ian_sales

    ian_sales Registered User

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    No, not a myth. Spinning a ship would mimic the effects of gravity, but that doesn't make gravity mythical in such a situation. According to General Relativity, gravity is a product of the spacetime curvature created by mass, but that is incompatible with quantum mechanics so is unlikely to be a true picture of it.
     
  14. JunkMonkey

    JunkMonkey Registered User

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    As can be simply demonstrated using a bucket full of water and a rope.
     
  15. ian_sales

    ian_sales Registered User

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    Except there's no such thing as centrifugal force. It's a convenient fiction...
     
  16. Steven L Jordan

    Steven L Jordan I like SF. SF is cool.

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    Centrifugal Force is a real phenomenon, based on demonstrated laws of mass and motion. It is not gravity, but it provides a force effectively comparable to it. Its effectiveness in space has been demonstrated by the Skylab astronauts.
     
  17. ian_sales

    ian_sales Registered User

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    No, it' s a fictitious force. It either refers to the effects of inertia during angular motion or to centripetal force.
     
  18. Overgeeked

    Overgeeked Fishbowl Helmet

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  19. SR_Seldon

    SR_Seldon SF Author

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    Ian, you are confusing the matter. While you are being very precise in you terminology, you are not being very practical in as far as this discussion is concerned. Centrifugal Force is a lay expression for the force felt when spinning an object, such as a centrifuge, bucket on a rope, or those fun amusement park rides. The proper scientific name is centripetal force and is as valid for creating the illusion of gravity as the vomit comet or the space shuttle are for creating the illusion of lack of gravity (both are technically freefall). For most practical purposes, especially in fictional storytelling, the illusion is as good as the real thing.
     
  20. SR_Seldon

    SR_Seldon SF Author

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    Yes, quite fun. It is limiting in some ways, but it creates the very real possibility of an FTL robotic probe in the near future, possibly our lifetimes. New fodder for us SF writers to exploit.