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Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread 
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
To be fair, Bellarmine was an exploration vessel and not a true combat unit. They were not expecting to be attacked, and were really not in any serious condition to respond to such an attack.

On a military vessel, the command center would be better protected and less vulnerable to depressurization. (Though in this case that wouldn't have prevented the ship from being cut in half.) It's hard to imagine a ship at this tech level functioning well if the entire crew has to work in pressure suits. I've watched some STS missions, and it took them like an hour during suited EVA to unscrew a bulkhead.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Apparently that's largely due to spacesuit gloves, which are difficult to work with as a result of their design. To a lesser extent, the rest of the suit also resists movement, making EVAs very hard work.

Those are both caused by gas-pressure design. Mechanical counter-pressure suits don't have this problem. They're way more flexible and don't have different layers rubbing against each other.

Whilst we don't have such suits right now, I'd be surprised if a civilisation with the Terrans' tech level couldn't build them.


And if its absolutely neccesary, they could just wear the suits with the gloves and helmets off until the pressure alarm goes off, at which point everyone puts them on.

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Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:05 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
This is the general theme across most of sci-fi involving space naval engagements and seems logical.

You generally don't see all the crew in spacesuits all the time or on battle stations because a) a space suit, armored or not, unnecessarily restricts movement and impedes communication, b) at the energy and damage levels involved, a ship that got damaged so badly as to loose most of the atmosphere is very unlikely still in a fighting condition or in one piece at all, c) if your power plant is hit, it's usually game over anyway, regardless if you are wearing a space suit or not, d) bailing out of a damaged starship during combat, in an escape pod or "out the window" in a space suit is also unlikely to result in survival with radiation and stuff exploding all around you, escape pods feel more like a psychological thing than true means of survival.

If your naval battles are expected to end with boarding operations rather than ships exploding, then yes, you usually have suited and armored marines on board to do the fighting as in the TCA's case thus far.

Note that the loroi are also not wearing space suits all the time, only lightly armored uniforms without helmets, because your ship will either blow up entirely, or be left disabled. In the first case it doesn't matter what you're wearing and in the second you will have plenty of time to get off and don't need a bulky and clumsy suit to hinder you. If the umiak were to board said disabled ship and you get into hand to hand combat with them, armor will only make you crunchy :)

*Edit*
Forgot to mention something. Noone in sci-fi wearing spacesuits onboard starships is the same as real life submarine crews not wearing diving suits when submerged. If something bad enough happens to the sub to require diving suits for survival, chances are everyone is already dead anyway and the sub is lost. Space would be very much the same.


Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:23 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
entity2636 wrote:
Forgot to mention something. Noone in sci-fi wearing spacesuits onboard starships is the same as real life submarine crews not wearing diving suits when submerged. If something bad enough happens to the sub to require diving suits for survival, chances are everyone is already dead anyway and the sub is lost. Space would be very much the same.


Submarines are known to spring leaks with sections partially or fully flooded, this is usually a good reason for drama in movies.

The loroi light armor could probably function as spacesuits in an emergency. maybe they have emergency gloves and an inflatable helmet (plastic bag) tucked away somewhere.

You can have REALLY nimble hands in space if you go with teleprecence control of a robot. We can make such today and they are improving. It is possible that Bellarmine had some but they was not used for simple things like plunging leaks.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:22 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
RedDwarfIV wrote:
I was reminded of a discussion I had earlier about the Donnager battle in The Expanse, where I noted that one of the points showing the Martians did not have the right mindset for a war was that even after Captain Yao announced battle stations, the majority of the crew wore fabric uniforms throughout the fight.

I noticed that the same was true of the Bellarmine. Despite calling for battle stations, the only people getting into spacesuits were damage control personnel.

This ends badly in both situations. On the Donnager, most of the crew are killed by railgun rounds causing loss of pressure. Only the marines and a few prisoners get spacesuits, which allows the boarding teams from a pair of frigates to overrun an entire battleship. On the Bellarmine, the entire bridge depressurises, killing the command crew. The only surviving crewmember is a damage control officer. If the entire crew had been wearing spacesuits, the Loroi might be talking with Captain Hamilton instead of Jardin.

Is this situation likely to change?


Nope, if the crew had been in pressure suits the attacker would have kept firing since they clearly did not want any surviving witnesses.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:32 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Sweforce wrote:
Submarines are known to spring leaks with sections partially or fully flooded, this is usually a good reason for drama in movies.


True, and that's why they, submarines and many surface ships also, are compartmentalized with watertight bulkheads. Same applies to sci-fi starships where emergency blast doors or emergency force fields, depending on franchise, are used to seal off compartments that have been breached. In fact, even our current day space stations are like that - modules are accessible through airtight bulkheads that can be sealed in case of a hull breach, which do happen occasionally due to micrometeors and debris.

Same is true for submarines, surface ships and starships - if the hole is small enough that you can easily plug it with whatever you have in your Emergency Hull Breach Kit or have laying around, you're not in any immediate danger of dying and are better off not being hindered by a diving suit or space suit, respectively. If the hole is sufficiently large, you're probably already dead from what caused the hole (submarine or starship) or will not have enough time left to suit up and the compartment has been sealed automatically from the rest of the vessel - a compartment will depressurize almost instantly (starship), or fill with water with such force (submarine) that it will be physically impossible to approach the breach.

In the Bellarmine case the damage was so extensive that almost every compartment was breached even with all the emergency bulkheads closed.

In my mind I tend to see various sci-fi starship scenarios and combat very similar to submarine warfare (very hostile environment that leaves very little margin for error and little chance of surviving a disaster, relying on sensors to see what's around, maneuvers in all 3D, etc.).

Also one must remember, that during war it is expected that people will die horribly and soldiers/ship crew are, to a certain degree, considered expendable. I mean no disrespect, I understand you are or were a soldier, correct?

Sweforce wrote:
You can have REALLY nimble hands in space if you go with teleprecence control of a robot. We can make such today and they are improving. It is possible that Bellarmine had some but they was not used for simple things like plunging leaks.


Yes, I'm fairly sure they would have something like that for larger outside repairs or inspecting the hull, but I don't see such a system used in an emergency due to startup time.


Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:44 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
entity2636 wrote:
Sweforce wrote:

Also one must remember, that during war it is expected that people will die horribly and soldiers/ship crew are, to a certain degree, considered expendable. I mean no disrespect, I understand you are or were a soldier, correct?


Not me, not really. We had, and are now reintroducing conscription. As of such all able bodied young men have an obligation to join for some mandatory basic training. This takes a couple of months, in my case nine.


Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:04 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
This is completely superfluous to story-related subjects, but I do wonder...

We have a good grasp on what 'Humaniti' is like in 2160, but we don't really know much about the years leading to it. Have you, by any chance, given any though to a Human-equivalent of the Loroi's timeline in the Insider? I mean, of course you did think about it, in an broad way, but I ask more regarding actual years/dates.

I'd love to know more about the milestones Humankind had before first contact with the Orgus. The invention of the FTL drive, the inception of commercial fusion, the colonisation dates of the Worlds of Humanity...

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Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:15 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
I have a few.

2048 First permanent Mars colony founded in Hellas Planitia
2086 First successful hyperspace jump to Barnard's Star
2088 First successful jump to Alpha Centauri
2092 First permanent outpost at Alpha Centauri A V (Alpha)
2099 Proxima colony established (Alpha Centauri B III)
2107 Formation of the Terran Colonial Authority; Scout Corps established
2110 First Aldean colony (Tau Ceti II)
2115 Aldean Crisis; tensions over the colonization of Aldea prompt the formation of the Colonial Fleet
2140 Esperanza colony established (82 Eridani VI)
2158 Contact with Orgus
2160 Contact with Loroi

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
I have a few.

2048 First permanent Mars colony founded in Hellas Planitia
2086 First successful hyperspace jump to Barnard's Star
2088 First successful jump to Alpha Centauri
2092 First permanent outpost at Alpha Centauri A V (Alpha)
2099 Proxima colony established (Alpha Centauri B III)
2107 Formation of the Terran Colonial Authority; Scout Corps established
2110 First Aldean colony (Tau Ceti II)
2115 Aldean Crisis; tensions over the colonization of Aldea prompt the formation of the Colonial Fleet
2140 Esperanza colony established (82 Eridani VI)
2158 Contact with Orgus
2160 Contact with Loroi


I notice that Alpha Centauri where not first despite being closest. I guess this could be due to Alpha Centauri being a difficult system (Double star + a far our companion Proxima) or they could have launched and failed (Event Horizon Scenario!) :o , The ship was delayed or they figured that Barnad's star was simply more interesting.


Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:27 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Yes, the multiple star nature of the Alpha Centauri system made it a more difficult target.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
Yes, the multiple star nature of the Alpha Centauri system made it a more difficult target.


Does Humanity have any history/legend like The Expanse's Solomon Epstein? Or any space analogue to the Flying Dutchman?

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Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:27 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
*ahem*

Arioch wrote:
I have a few.

2048 First permanent Mars colony founded in Hellas Planitia
2086 First successful hyperspace jump to Barnard's Star
2088 First successful jump to Alpha Centauri
2092 First permanent outpost at Alpha Centauri A V (Alpha)
2099 Proxima colony established (Alpha Centauri B III)
2107 Formation of the Terran Colonial Authority; Scout Corps established
2110 First Aldean colony (Tau Ceti II)
2115 Aldean Crisis; tensions over the colonization of Aldea prompt the formation of the Colonial Fleet
2140 Esperanza colony established (82 Eridani VI)
2158 Contact with Orgus
2160 Contact with LoroiScout vessel TCS Bellarine disappears while surveying unexplored systems beyond 40-Omicron2 Eridani. Fate unknown at this time.


Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:01 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
cacambo43 wrote:
Arioch wrote:
Yes, the multiple star nature of the Alpha Centauri system made it a more difficult target.


Does Humanity have any history/legend like The Expanse's Solomon Epstein? Or any space analogue to the Flying Dutchman?

CJSF


Considering the dangers of hyperspace jumps, especially when the technology is new and the extra risk of blindjumping into systems for the first time they surely must have. If the rest of the scoutships return Bellarmine may become one.


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
How healthy is the average Human in 2160? More specifically, do the better developed and richer nations still suffer from high rates in obesity, or has humanity effectively developed, introduced and maintained mandatory systems and programs into their societies to compensate for the decrease in vigorous labour and a surplus of high caloric foods found readily available to us in our own societies today? (Fast food joint's for example)

Would it be reasonable to assume that at some point, fast food chains and other big companies that aggressively advertise and sell unhealthy food items would be regulated more heavily 2160?

Basically a̶r̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶y̶ ̶f̶a̶t̶ ̶c̶h̶i̶c̶k̶s̶ is there a high amount of obesity amongst those not working in sectors that require/involve regular exercise and dieting (The Military for example).

Also, has the larger population on Earth caused a strain on agriculture? Or has our ability to cultivate land for growing food advanced to be able to tolerate so many Humans.

Finally, what is food like in 2160? Does the common peasant eat soylent green and synth foods, whilst the elite enjoy the rare delicacy of naturally grown food items?


Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:34 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Dorfington wrote:
How healthy is the average Human in 2160? More specifically, do the better developed and richer nations still suffer from high rates in obesity, or has humanity effectively developed, introduced and maintained mandatory systems and programs into their societies to compensate for the decrease in vigorous labour and a surplus of high caloric foods found readily available to us in our own societies today? (Fast food joint's for example)


More likely genetic engineering will have solved the issue some other way. As in, your genes will have been modified so that your body doesn't see the need to store a bunch of useless fat anymore.


Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:39 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Dorfington wrote:
How healthy is the average Human in 2160? More specifically, do the better developed and richer nations still suffer from high rates in obesity, or has humanity effectively developed, introduced and maintained mandatory systems and programs into their societies to compensate for the decrease in vigorous labour and a surplus of high caloric foods found readily available to us in our own societies today? (Fast food joint's for example)

Would it be reasonable to assume that at some point, fast food chains and other big companies that aggressively advertise and sell unhealthy food items would be regulated more heavily 2160?

Basically a̶r̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶y̶ ̶f̶a̶t̶ ̶c̶h̶i̶c̶k̶s̶ is there a high amount of obesity amongst those not working in sectors that require/involve regular exercise and dieting (The Military for example).

Also, has the larger population on Earth caused a strain on agriculture? Or has our ability to cultivate land for growing food advanced to be able to tolerate so many Humans.

Finally, what is food like in 2160? Does the common peasant eat soylent green and synth foods, whilst the elite enjoy the rare delicacy of naturally grown food items?

Outsider is a story about alien contact, in which the human character serves as the viewpoint character; he is us, and we need to intuitively understand his point of view. So it would counterproductive from a storytelling point of view to have him come from a horrific dystopian future Earth that we would not recognize; that's not what the story is about. So, for the most part, future Earth in Outsider looks very familiar.

Earth's governments are still divided into many different countries, each with different ideas about how to live, so there is no single answer to most of these questions. Due to the dangerous nature of high technology and the pressure of overpopulation, many governments will probably be slightly more authoritarian than what we're used to today, but I think the most successful and vibrant societies will tend to be those that value individual freedoms over group order. It's hard to imagine a government that enforces a proscribed diet and compulsory exercise regimens that doesn't look suspiciously like IngSoc from 1984.

People become overweight when they eat too much and don't exercise enough. Diet and daily routine are personal lifestyle decisions that I don't think the government should have any say in. Fast food and the like don't make these decisions easier, but they are not responsible for obesity; there are plenty of overweight people who never eat fast food. One of the pitfalls of socialized medicine is that if you make it the government's job to pay for health care, then you're giving the government a very strong incentive to tell people how to live their lives. However, as the cost of ultra-tech medicine continues to rise exponentially as the population ages, I don't think socialized medicine is sustainable. At TL9, you can essentially live indefinitely as long as you can afford the increasingly expensive treatments; this is not something that any society can afford for all its citizens... unless they strictly limit the size of the population... and then we're talking about Logan's Run style dystopia. And as a purely practical matter, I don't think you can change fundamental human behaviors through simple legislation. You have only to look at the failures of American Prohibition or the Chinese One Child Policy to see that even the most oppressive government has limited control over what humans choose to do with their own lives. Unless you really control people's minds, which brings us back to 1984.

All that said, I think obesity is something that any high-tech society will have to continually struggle with. I don't see any particular reason why humanity of 2160 should be more obese than the humans of today. People will still have to work, and some of that work will still involve some physical labor.

Larger populations put pressure on food supplies, but improved agricultural technology stays ahead. There is a limit, but I think there is a lot of room to improve; direct genetic manipulations are producing gains that will make the Green Revolution seem trivial by comparison. There will be the same sorts of foods as are available today, along with new items that may either be exotic delicacies or cheap fodder. I think other resources such as energy and fresh water are probably of greater concern.

boldilocks wrote:
More likely genetic engineering will have solved the issue some other way. As in, your genes will have been modified so that your body doesn't see the need to store a bunch of useless fat anymore.

Although gene therapy will be common as a treatment, I think outright genetic engineering of humans will probably still be illegal in most countries. So I don't think the fix is quite that simple.

Also, I'm not sure that particular modification would be a good idea. Fat reserves exist for a reason; a human species without the ability to survive interruptions in food supply is probably a species that won't survive for very long. Such changes would need to be done on an individual basis; I'm not sure any government has the authority to decide how humanity itself should change.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
It's hard to imagine a government that enforces a proscribed diet and compulsory exercise regimens that doesn't look suspiciously like IngSoc from 1984.


I'm not so sure about that. Any country where healthcare is distributed by the government has an incentive to ensure that citizens live healthily, as you said (or at least in a way that ensures that they require little healthcare during their life and then die as cheaply as possible.)
Given that countries with socialized medicine are already imposing sugar taxes on citizens I don't consider it unlikely that what you've described be brought about, and that it will be considered right and just in the popular mind that "everyone who is, after all, getting all this free stuff from the government should be required to make some minimal effort as well."
What a world, where the fat pride movement might be our best defense against Big Brother.


Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:26 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
boldilocks wrote:
More likely genetic engineering will have solved the issue some other way. As in, your genes will have been modified so that your body doesn't see the need to store a bunch of useless fat anymore.

Although gene therapy will be common as a treatment, I think outright genetic engineering of humans will probably still be illegal in most countries. So I don't think the fix is quite that simple.

Also, I'm not sure that particular modification would be a good idea. Fat reserves exist for a reason; a human species without the ability to survive interruptions in food supply is probably a species that won't survive for very long. Such changes would need to be done on an individual basis; I'm not sure any government has the authority to decide how humanity itself should change.


What cannot legally be done to humans probably will be a lot more legal to what we eat. Imagine a plant that produce sugar that are changed to still function as a sweetener but unrecognized by the body when eaten and just pass through the digestion system. Then cram that sugar into everything they put sugar into today in order to make it more palatable. Also, there has been for a century now been pressure to put sugar into food, not only to make it more tasty but also in order to get rid of it. We use oil to produce plastics but we also burn it as fuel. An alternative use for sugar may reduce the "need" for us to simply eat it.

My point is that healthy food will be more common, including with alteration. You future hamburger are big and tasty but the meat in it was never part of an animal but an artificially grown muscle tissue , mass produced for the food industry (we are on the verge on doing this today) and this technology massively offset the development cost for growing replacement parts for humans. So your heart is giving out? Have a new one, freshly grown from that tissue sample they took from you a few months ago.


Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:15 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Page 42.

Is Alexander being deliberately obtuse here? When he says that humanity knows of telepathy from "old stories" it sounds like he means ancient history. I don't know any historical story that even implies that humans ever had such powers.

Fantasy stories, yes. Fictional works of literature, yes. But not mythology (Greek, Roman or otherwise). There are some very vague bits of Japanese mythology that refer to Ishin-denshin, but I believe that's more about the concept of communication through unspoken mutual understanding.

L.


Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:04 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Luge wrote:
Page 42.

Is Alexander being deliberately obtuse here? When he says that humanity knows of telepathy from "old stories" it sounds like he means ancient history. I don't know any historical story that even implies that humans ever had such powers.

Fantasy stories, yes. Fictional works of literature, yes. But not mythology (Greek, Roman or otherwise). There are some very vague bits of Japanese mythology that refer to Ishin-denshin, but I believe that's more about the concept of communication through unspoken mutual understanding.

L.


Word of God is that he meant fictional stories, although it can be argued that some religious myths and their common understandings hint at telepathy.

In Christian understanding (at least in Greek Orthodox Christian understanding) God, the Saints and the Devil are able to 'speak' or show visions to individuals without anyone else hearing their voices or seeing what they are showing.

A well known Abrahamic myth that fits well with Outsider and human telepathy is the tower of Babel, where humanity was united and spoke only one tongue that everyone knew until God punished them for their hubris and made them forget that tongue and have humanity fragment since they could no longer communicate as before. Genesis also holds hints at telepathy since the animals obeyed Adam when he talked to them. When Christ revealed himself after his resurrection and before he ascended to the heavens the onlookers and his disciples all heard his words in their respective mother tongue so everyone could understand him.

It depends on how one interprets things and the texts.

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Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:41 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
dragoongfa wrote:
Word of God is that he meant fictional stories


Reference?

Quote:
, although it can be argued that some religious myths and their common understandings hint at telepathy.

In Christian understanding (at least in Greek Orthodox Christian understanding) God, the Saints and the Devil are able to 'speak' or show visions to individuals without anyone else hearing their voices or seeing what they are showing.

<snip>


Huh. Well, there's an angle I'd never considered. I'm faily up on my Christian belief/mythology but I'd never once considered that speaking in tongues could equate to telepathy. Similarly Adam's ability to speak to the animals I had always interpreted as literal speaking, a la C. S. Lewis and Narnia.

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Tue May 01, 2018 1:08 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Alex could have literally meant that the stories of telepathy/ESP were "old" from his point of view. Say in our very near future we (I know, unlikely) come to the consensus that these sort of things are bunk and not scientifically valid or whatever. That means "stories" of ESP and investigations into paranormal things like telepathy ended like 150 years ago from his POV. So .. old stories... He didn't say ancient or mythological, but there's certainly a lot of ambiguity there.

CJSF


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Luge wrote:
dragoongfa wrote:
Word of God is that he meant fictional stories


Reference?

Quote:
, although it can be argued that some religious myths and their common understandings hint at telepathy.

In Christian understanding (at least in Greek Orthodox Christian understanding) God, the Saints and the Devil are able to 'speak' or show visions to individuals without anyone else hearing their voices or seeing what they are showing.

<snip>


Huh. Well, there's an angle I'd never considered. I'm faily up on my Christian belief/mythology but I'd never once considered that speaking in tongues could equate to telepathy. Similarly Adam's ability to speak to the animals I had always interpreted as literal speaking, a la C. S. Lewis and Narnia.

Every day is a school day, thank you!

L.


Can't seem to find when and where Arioch said that but it was clear that there weren't any 'in universe' extra stories about telepathy. Barring the extra 150ish years or so humanity is still the same as us.

Religious understanding is weird since the tales were always meant to be easily accessible to the lowest common denominator of the believers. Saying that 'God' passed whatever God wanted directly into the minds of those deemed worthy is far more complicated than saying 'God' spoke to them and they were the only ones who could hear because God chose so. It all comes down to which kind of story was easier to understand at the time.

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Tue May 01, 2018 5:07 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Do human vessels (or any others for that matters) leave any kind of "jump trace" or other emissions that can be used to track when a jump took place and where it might have gone to?

L.


Thu May 03, 2018 8:44 am
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