Stopping a technology from killing the conflict?:

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going through the posts the OP mentioned that the society would pretty much be post scarcity, so in retrospect not the same thing at all.

as to why someone would choose to fight when they didn't have too:
  • I'd guess in the cost-benefit-risk analysis, the risk and cost would be fairly small but the benefit could be slightly bigger somehow?
  • Or the other guys decided to fight and someone decided it was either fight back, run away, die, or surrender and the last three didn't make the cut?
  • or some kind of space morals are in place that dictate that they must?
  • the fighting guys decided to be jerks and fight with no reall cause?
  • prime directive sinanagins happend and now everyone is pissed?
  • etc.


edited 11th Mar '11 5:16:58 PM by GiantSpaceChinchilla

52 SilentReverence11th Mar 2011 04:49:33 PM from 3 tiles right 1 tile up
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The whole point of having off-site relativistic bombs is that you don't have to accelerate them relativistically from Me, to Camping Site, then rest, then accelerate relativistically from Camping Site, to You. I build/mount the bomb off-site with a civilizational dead-man switch. if you bomb me relativistically, the off-site base, perhaps in another solar system, is activated by the dead-man switch, then a relativistic bomb will be fired in response from Camping Site (which is essentially "somewhere else") to You. None of the bombs, in any direction, needs to ever stop or deaccelerate. Unless you know where the entirely of my relativistic arsenal is located (or better, what the dead-man code is), you are going to be counterhit no mater how effective your weapon is, and by pretty much the same amount of damage.

The only way I see that the use of such weapons between civilizations of similar Technology Levels wouldn't bring up Mutual Assured Destruction is if You first fire your relativistic weapon at me, then fire off a swarm of high-mass (higher than your planet) decoys to shield your planet / solar system from direct damage.
The whole point is that if you see it coming, you can stop it. If it's being built at a deep space outpost, you can see it coming. If it's being built on (or around) a planet with lots of orbital traffic already, you can't. If it leaves the planet's orbit, you can see it, no matter how fast it's moving.

[up][up]Most wars are fought over stuff. Whether it's money, or land, or resources, or whatever, people fight because they want stuff. In a post-scarcity society, everyone has enough stuff, by definition. So what's left to fight over?

edited 11th Mar '11 6:29:02 PM by NativeJovian

Most wars are fought over stuff. Whether it's money, or land, or resources, or whatever, people fight because they want stuff. In a post-scarcity society, everyone has enough stuff, by definition. So what's left to fight over?

Ideologies, treaties, something that is still scarce in a mostly scarcity free socieity, what's stopping them? (ie that their stuff might get broken? or that it's too expensive?), a humanitarian project that went spectacularly wrong, the players in the conflict knew each other hatefully and are willing to give war a try?

the point is that even if most wars are about resources then some wars are about other things. I'm no future-ism buff but haven't there been less resource wars as technology progressed? therefore wouldn't non-resource wars happen more often with higher technology/power-availability/whatever?

also, did I goof on the gravity shield thing?
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Have planets deploy defense systems that CAN kill such a ship. If they detect a dramatically blueshifted object at closer than safe distance, they nuke it in space. The would-be relativistic bomb becomes a relativistic rain of junk that lights up the magnetosphere and disappears in a flash.

Interdiction systems are funny.

Also, a post-scarcity society might well go to war strictly for the lulz. It's not like they're gonna run out of supplies, a luxury their opponents don't have, and a somewhat restless or jingoistic population might be all for it.

edited 11th Mar '11 6:53:17 PM by SavageHeathen

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Wouldn't that only work if there was a significantly large matter/antimatter interaction? otherwise one would get tiny bits of shrapnel (perhaps atom sized) traveling at large fraction of c?

edited for clarity

edited 11th Mar '11 7:34:25 PM by GiantSpaceChinchilla

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@ Native Jovian

Accelerate to some random spot in space. This the aliens will probably notice, which is actually a good thing, so they'll know that it's out there.

Turn on much smaller, invisible—if they exist, I'm no expert—thrusters. Have them go in completely random directions.
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Savage, that would make things worse. You've got a relativistic rain of junk on your planet, instead of one relativistic meteor. All that kinetic energy has to go somewhere.

@Jovian, it's almost surely impossible to shoot down a full-speed relativistic weapon (say, 0.99c) with any system I can think of. Any explosive would fail, because the time between the object passing into and then back out of range is longer than it takes to detonate the explosive. Lasers would have to be impracticably high-precision to not diffuse to the point of uselessness over such long ranges. Also, your bomb does not need to be spaceship-sized to cause a huge amount of problems. A (10cm)3 block of tungsten at 0.99c has a energy content measured in gigatons, with the bonus that it is invisible to radar except at very short ranges.

edited 12th Mar '11 3:45:40 AM by Yej

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Of course, there's no real need to destroy the projectile. Just blast it off-course. If you manage to alter its course far enough from the target, even a small deviation would throw it completely off. Of course, within the diameter of the solar system you'd need a pretty big explosion to push it far enough if it's a large projectile.
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How would you divert it?
Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
Well, a big explosion probably. Same way you would destroy it, except less so.

Or a big magnet, but then they'd just start making their missiles out of non-magnetic materials.

edited 12th Mar '11 4:30:20 AM by Schilcote

62 MajorTom12th Mar 2011 07:48:48 AM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
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^ A kinetic energy hit would deflect such a vehicle. No need for standoff explosions (given the scale of space would require nuclear warheads or something more potent).

Basically hit a bullet with another bullet and the first bullet is going to go a different direction.
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Well, there are reasons for war even in a post scarcity society...

1. Someone who isn't in power wants to be in power.

2. For the Evulz (especially since a human life being lost in a war is unthinkable in these times of lag free communication with virtually unlimited bandwith over interstellar distances and compact automated factories capable of building an army.)

3. It's not quite post scarcity. Everyone has as much energy as they need, but people always want more, even if they have no reason for wanting access to a tsar bomb's worth of energy (more like a few million in their solar system alone) every second. (most of that goes into interstellar travel anyway.). And while space habitats and terraforming have helped alleviate.

How does this sound for a form of interstellar travel?

Interstellar travel begins with a trajectory through a solar system to an interstellar vector seeded with dense clouds of hydrogen. On the initial acceleration to 10% of light speed, the ship is powered by a Bussard Ramjet, which uses a magnetic "scoop" to gather the hydrogen for fusion torches. To keep the craft's mass down, the products of the reaction are used directly for thrust instead of acting through an intermediate reaction mass.

Once the craft has reached the edge of the solar system, now traveling at 10% of light speed, it stars accumulating hydrogen from the interstellar medium. About a month later, the ships main antimatter powered engine, which uses the hydrogen as reaction mass. When the hydrogen is depleted the main engine turns off, and the magnetic scoop begins accumulating hydrogen. The ship accelerates to a final velocity of .50 c over several years, then coasts for several more. In the final leg of its journey, after depleting the antimatter, the ship rotates its fusion thrusters towards the destination and fires them. Because of drag caused by the magnetic scoop (which remains off during main engine burns) catching the extremely high velocity (relative to the ship) hydrogen particles, the ship decelerates fairly quickly.

edited 14th Mar '11 7:10:37 AM by Archereon

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Also, presumably there are devices that make this society post-scarcity? Those could be quite large, bulky, and expensive.

The person who runs the planet's only replicator would be in a position of considerable power, and that gives people a reason to fight over control of such things.
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There aren't quite matter replicators, but there are automated assemblers that can fabricate macro-scale devices from raw materials quite easily. While these aren't directly available to civilians, most products in this society are made through automated processes, with humans acting as overseers and designers.
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