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Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread 
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
So if, as a hypothetical, the special committee for the Alien Contact Mission decided to sign a treaty with the Loroi, and, say, Guatemala decided (for whatever bizarre reason) that they preferred to be Umiak subjects and declared war on the Loroi


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Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:17 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
Unlike NATO, the TCA has its own independent military and intelligence gathering forces, and it's the TCA Scout Corps that is conducting the Alien Contact Mission; almost all information that Humanity has about the aliens has been collected by the Scout Corps, and the only means of communication with the aliens is through the Scout Corps' relays. As you can imagine, this information is classified. A report is made to the TCA council (in a similar way that classified reports are made by military or intelligence services to committees in the US Congress) so that it can make decisions, but this information is not supposed to leave the council room. There will be reports made to the various member governments and to the public, but these will be heavily redacted.


How independent is the TCA from governments of the nations that support it? I can't imagine that the leaders of the nations those council delegates represent would be happy with redacted reports...


Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:34 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Mr Bojangles wrote:
Arioch wrote:
Unlike NATO, the TCA has its own independent military and intelligence gathering forces, and it's the TCA Scout Corps that is conducting the Alien Contact Mission; almost all information that Humanity has about the aliens has been collected by the Scout Corps, and the only means of communication with the aliens is through the Scout Corps' relays. As you can imagine, this information is classified. A report is made to the TCA council (in a similar way that classified reports are made by military or intelligence services to committees in the US Congress) so that it can make decisions, but this information is not supposed to leave the council room. There will be reports made to the various member governments and to the public, but these will be heavily redacted.


How independent is the TCA from governments of the nations that support it? I can't imagine that the leaders of the nations those council delegates represent would be happy with redacted reports...


I had understood it was the public that received redacted reports, not the governments of member nations.
But you're right, it could be implied that both governments and public receive heavily redacted information.

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Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:59 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Mr Bojangles wrote:
Arioch wrote:
Unlike NATO, the TCA has its own independent military and intelligence gathering forces, and it's the TCA Scout Corps that is conducting the Alien Contact Mission; almost all information that Humanity has about the aliens has been collected by the Scout Corps, and the only means of communication with the aliens is through the Scout Corps' relays. As you can imagine, this information is classified. A report is made to the TCA council (in a similar way that classified reports are made by military or intelligence services to committees in the US Congress) so that it can make decisions, but this information is not supposed to leave the council room. There will be reports made to the various member governments and to the public, but these will be heavily redacted.

How independent is the TCA from governments of the nations that support it? I can't imagine that the leaders of the nations those council delegates represent would be happy with redacted reports...

The TCA is run by delegates from the member nations, and so it is representative in a sense. The member nations also control the TCA's purse strings, since the TCA does not itself have the power to print money or collect taxes. The TCA is not a federal government in the traditional sense, as its jurisdiction is very tightly defined, but within its narrow scope of Human interplanetary affairs, the TCA's authority is supreme.

California has multiple members on both the House and Senate Intelligence committees, and these representative receive detailed classified intelligence briefings. However, neither California's Governor nor state legislature has any authority to demand the same classified briefings; international intelligence is not the jurisdiction of the California government. California's government has to trust that its congressional representatives are weighing California's interests along with those of the entire Union, and that the California government will be informed of intelligence that directly affects them. And the government of California certainly doesn't have any say in when and how the United States goes to war.

The decision to go forward with the Alien Contact Mission and potentially commit Humanity to war was one that involved much debate at many different levels of government, from the TCA to the various member nations and their various unions and federations. However, once the consensus was reached that this was the way forward, the authority to conduct this mission and, potentially, make crucial decisions regarding the fate of Humanity had to be invested in the TCA. Ideally an alien delegation could be brought to Human space for a lengthy negotiation, but the planners realized that circumstances might require a decision to be made on the spot, hundreds of light years from home, and so the TCA's agents had to be endowed with the authority to make these decisions.

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Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:08 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
Mr Bojangles wrote:
Arioch wrote:
Unlike NATO, the TCA has its own independent military and intelligence gathering forces, and it's the TCA Scout Corps that is conducting the Alien Contact Mission; almost all information that Humanity has about the aliens has been collected by the Scout Corps, and the only means of communication with the aliens is through the Scout Corps' relays. As you can imagine, this information is classified. A report is made to the TCA council (in a similar way that classified reports are made by military or intelligence services to committees in the US Congress) so that it can make decisions, but this information is not supposed to leave the council room. There will be reports made to the various member governments and to the public, but these will be heavily redacted.

How independent is the TCA from governments of the nations that support it? I can't imagine that the leaders of the nations those council delegates represent would be happy with redacted reports...

The TCA is run by delegates from the member nations, and so it is representative in a sense. The member nations also control the TCA's purse strings, since the TCA does not itself have the power to print money or collect taxes. The TCA is not a federal government in the traditional sense, as its jurisdiction is very tightly defined, but within its narrow scope of Human interplanetary affairs, the TCA's authority is supreme.

California has multiple members on both the House and Senate Intelligence committees, and these representative receive detailed classified intelligence briefings. However, neither California's Governor nor state legislature has any authority to demand the same classified briefings; international intelligence is not the jurisdiction of the California government. California's government has to trust that its congressional representatives are weighing California's interests along with those of the entire Union, and that the California government will be informed of intelligence that directly affects them. And the government of California certainly doesn't have any say in when and how the United States goes to war.

The decision to go forward with the Alien Contact Mission and potentially commit Humanity to war was one that involved much debate at many different levels of government, from the TCA to the various member nations and their various unions and federations. However, once the consensus was reached that this was the way forward, the authority to conduct this mission and, potentially, make crucial decisions regarding the fate of Humanity had to be invested in the TCA. Ideally an alien delegation could be brought to Human space for a lengthy negotiation, but the planners realized that circumstances might require a decision to be made on the spot, hundreds of light years from home, and so the TCA's agents had to be endowed with the authority to make these decisions.


I think your second paragraph gets to the core of my confusion. In your example, CA is a semi-independent subunit of a federated union. Constitutionally, its delegated role is subservient in matters that affect the whole of the Union.

As you say, the TCA isn't a federal authority and is somewhat akin to a United Nations that can enforce its edicts. So, the TCA seems odd to me, as its member nations are wholly sovereign and yet can be bound in some sense by its direction. So, the CA::US analogy doesn't quite fit. But, your third paragraph clears things up - the TCA has been especially invested with the power to make the necessary decisions given the realities of their mission, which does go beyond the Alien Contact Mission. I don't know if this power is extraordinary, but it fits with the mandates given to explorers in times past. You never know what will have to be done in the moment.


Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:06 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Mr Bojangles wrote:
As you say, the TCA isn't a federal authority and is somewhat akin to a United Nations that can enforce its edicts. So, the TCA seems odd to me, as its member nations are wholly sovereign and yet can be bound in some sense by its direction. So, the CA::US analogy doesn't quite fit. But, your third paragraph clears things up - the TCA has been especially invested with the power to make the necessary decisions given the realities of their mission, which does go beyond the Alien Contact Mission. I don't know if this power is extraordinary, but it fits with the mandates given to explorers in times past. You never know what will have to be done in the moment.

I think you get where I'm going with this: there is no point in having an organization like the TCA unless it has the authority to do what it needs to do. In effect, this means that the member nations are not truly sovereign in the traditional sense; though it's treaty organization, in signing the treaty the member nations give up some small measure of their absolute sovereignty, at least when it comes to interstellar affairs. A better analogy would be a member of a confederation like the European Union. To join such a union is to give up certain rights that a truly sovereign nation expects: such as the ability to control who crosses your borders.

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Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:34 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
I think the obvious question is how important those various member states are and what kind of power they wield. Our idea as an audience on how such a thing should play out is informed by real life politics, where two or three superstates can dictate international politics. However we see several Outsider nations have broken away from their real world progenitors.

Are U.S.A./Russia/China still top dogs, have any of them been broken up, or have any other major entities arisen? Have any of them become larger or more powerful?


Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:43 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Jayngfet wrote:
I think the obvious question is how important those various member states are and what kind of power they wield. Our idea as an audience on how such a thing should play out is informed by real life politics, where two or three superstates can dictate international politics. However we see several Outsider nations have broken away from their real world progenitors.

Are U.S.A./Russia/China still top dogs, have any of them been broken up, or have any other major entities arisen? Have any of them become larger or more powerful?


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Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:31 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Jayngfet wrote:
I think the obvious question is how important those various member states are and what kind of power they wield. Our idea as an audience on how such a thing should play out is informed by real life politics, where two or three superstates can dictate international politics. However we see several Outsider nations have broken away from their real world progenitors.

The ups and downs of international politics tend to rest on situations that are difficult to predict over 140+ years, and since the specifics of Earth internal politics are not really relevant to the story, I try to be as vague about them as possible. I would like to think that the development of the rest of the wold will continue with nations in Africa and elsewhere coming into their own, but you never know what kind global catastrophes (plague, ethnic strife, resource shortages) will shape future outcomes. I think the Earth of 2160 will probably have suffered at least one major global pandemic.

Individual international cooperatives like the EU and NAFTA may come and go, but I think such regional cooperatives are probably where we will look for region-wide economic and political authority on the level that could affect the TCA. Keeping in mind current population and economic trends, I think the most important nation groups will be (in no particular order):
North America
South America
China
Indian Subcontinent
Asia/Pacific (Japan, Korea)
South-east Asia (Indonesia, etc.)
Africa
Europe
Russia

Probably about 5 of these groups will have one or more representatives with a veto on the TCA council.

Mars probably has two major influence blocs (Yinghuo and the Ares coalition), and the other colonies (Aldea, Alpha, Proxima, and Esperanza) probably each have one.

Jayngfet wrote:
Are U.S.A./Russia/China still top dogs, have any of them been broken up, or have any other major entities arisen? Have any of them become larger or more powerful?

I don't think Russia has been a "top dog" for some time now. Russia isn't even in the top 10 world GDP, and though they are still #9 in population, they are the only country in the top 10 with a falling population. Russia will probably be passed by Korea in GDP and by Mexico in population in 2019.

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Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:29 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Where is cabin on bellarmine?
Do loroi find any personal items?

P.s. Russia will collaps in a span of 5 years, there will be no such country in the future.


Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:32 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Zorg56 wrote:
Where is cabin on bellarmine?
Do loroi find any personal items?

The crew quarters are spread through the forward section on Bellarmine, in the area where you can see windows. There would have been sharp limits on how much weight in personal items each crewmember could bring on a deep space mission -- probably just a few grams -- mostly for rings and personal jewelry, or small-scale keepsakes. Most of a crewman's "stuff" would be digital information: music, pictures, books and letters, etc., which can be stored on Corps-issued devices. But yes, examples of all of this could potentially have been recovered by the Loroi.

Zorg56 wrote:
P.s. Russia will collaps in a span of 5 years, there will be no such country in the future.

I meant Russia in the sense of a region and population, rather than a specific government. Whether in future there is the same or a different government, or a collection of smaller governments, one hopes that the ~150 million people in that region will not simply disappear.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
Russia isn't even in the top 10 world GDP, and though they are still #9 in population, they are the only country in the top 10 with a falling population. Russia will probably be passed by Korea in GDP and by Mexico in population in 2019.

I doubts we can loose another 10 millions of population in just a year.

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Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:35 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
No, but Mexico gaining another 8-12 million doesn't seem to be out of range for them...

If they would find a way to end their Drug wars, that would go fast.

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Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:51 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Krulle wrote:
No, but Mexico gaining another 8-12 million doesn't seem to be out of range for them...

If they would find a way to end their Drug wars, that would go fast.

I don't know, at the rate mexicans are moving across the border that seems unlikely. Maybe if the US builds the wall and starts a large-scale deportation project if they close down birthright citizenship. (Especially if they do so retroactively.)


Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:57 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Laws applying retroactively are not seen favourably by federal courts.
It's just that the federal courts are often too slow in their verdicts to change the outcome of such actions.

Also, there are plenty of people moving into Mexico coming from Mexico's south border.
(not as many as Mr. Trump says, but still)

(BTW: I do agree that it's unlikely that Mexico will overtake Russia next year in the population numbers. IMHO, not even in 2020, but we'll see.)

Edit: Won't happen for quite a while:
Mexico development: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demograph ... and_deaths
About 123 415 000 inhabitants, and +1 500 000 inhabitants from birth/death.

Russia's development:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demograph ... After_WWII
About 146,842,402 inhabitants, and -130 000 inhabitants.

Also, this curve from the worldbank indicates it'll take a while....

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Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:13 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
With the rumors of the first crispr babies being born, I'd like to know about humanity in Outsider. Have they edited out objectively harmful genes or introduced clearly beneficial ones?

Did the members of the scouting mission receive special gene treatment, as whatever ethical concerns were brushed aside for this mission?


Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:10 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Werra wrote:
With the rumors of the first crispr babies being born, I'd like to know about humanity in Outsider. Have they edited out objectively harmful genes or introduced clearly beneficial ones?

Did the members of the scouting mission receive special gene treatment, as whatever ethical concerns were brushed aside for this mission?

Genetic engineering of humans beings is illegal in most Earth nations. There are a variety of medical gene therapy treatments that are legal, and a number of exceptions to the limitations on gene tailoring of babies that people will use to try to skirt the restrictions, and of course there will be people outright doing it illegally, but there is not widespread genetic engineering of human babies on Earth.

There are some genetic engineering experiments going on in the colonies, where Earth laws don't apply. But no, the members of the scouting mission are not gene tailored in any meaningful way.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Why genetic enginering was prohibited?
I doubt that some "ethical" reasons can stop corporations from making insane amount of money on parents who wants perfect child.


Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:43 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Zorg56 wrote:
Why genetic enginering was prohibited?
I doubt that some "ethical" reasons can stop corporations from making insane amount of money on parents who wants perfect child.


It's not as simple as "making insane amounts of money from rich parents".
The economic calculations for this requires that there is a large and sustained group of rich parents as a market
as well as, most likely, a multi-decade investment project that will remain a money-sink until those illicit markets can be accessed.
You won't be able to advertise, either, and the modern method of recouping investments for pharmaceutical companies, a pseudo-monopoly on the medical product for up to several decades won't exist, and the classical method of recouping them, access to mass markets with the 'middle-class model' won't exist either.
That's not really a recipe for a successful investment.


Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:02 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Zorg56 wrote:
Why genetic enginering was prohibited?

It's happening right now. It's already illegal or quasi-legal in most countries where it's possible, and it looks to me like more restrictions are on the way.

I think that's probably for the best. Engineering people will place all kinds of stresses (both seen and unforeseen) on society that we really don't need right now.

Zorg56 wrote:
I doubt that some "ethical" reasons can stop corporations from making insane amount of money on parents who wants perfect child.

That may be so, and that's why I said it is probably done in violation of the restrictions, but prior to popular belief, corporations do not make the laws.

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