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Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot. 
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Literally freezing humans (and most organisms) causes permanent tissue damage; the damage can be reduced by quick-freezing, but I'm not sure it can be eliminated entirely. "Hypersleep" in most settings (2001/2010, Alien/Aliens, Avatar, etc.) is usually not literally "freezing" the subject but rather putting them into some form of cold-temperature hibernation. You can see from the displays that they still have brain and cardiovascular activity.

Some settings like Niven's Ringworld series have temporal stasis fields that literally put an organism in suspended animation, but Umiak don't have the technology for anything like this. But I'm not sure that even that would work... detection of the mental signature is more or less instantaneous and therefore might not be dependent on the flow of time.

An Umiak will still be detectable by a Farseer even if it is sleeping or hibernating or anything similar, short of actually killing it. Telepathy in outsider requires that there is some sort of physical characteristic to consciousness; Farseers aren't detecting brainwaves or thought, they're detecting the physical presence of the mind.

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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Arioch wrote:
An Umiak will still be detectable by a Farseer even if it is sleeping or hibernating or anything similar, short of actually killing it. Telepathy in outsider requires that there is some sort of physical characteristic to consciousness; Farseers aren't detecting brainwaves or thought, they're detecting the physical presence of the mind.


And humans can't be detected because they have no mind to speak of. :P

Really, though, the implication thusfar has been less that the humans don't have a physical structure that can be detected, and more than their minds naturally (or unnaturally) deflect telepathic intrusion, including long-range senses. Maybe instead the Umiak have found a new species (or even a cybernetic modification) that allows them to have a mind that does not have that same physical characteristic.

I'm still kind of betting on enslaved Loroi brains-in-jars arrayed into some kind of psychic defense shield, but that just seems like something the Umiak would be gross enough to try.


Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:16 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Ahhh awesome two new pages. Amazing hard sci-fi webcomic. Thank you "arioch".


Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:12 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Siber wrote:
So. Some possible explanations of this come to mind.


Some of these are plausible, but we know too little of the hidden truths about this, in particular the distant past -- which surely influences the present.
The big background questions are 1) What is the role of the "Well of Souls" black hole? 2) Why did some past master species create blue skinned variants of existing naturally evolved species? 3) The imagery of the "Historians" is clearly "evil" by the tropes of webcomics, what exactly is their angle?

I personally think that the human ship was destroyed by a third party, which may be the Historians or some other as yet unknown player. So far it is pretty obvious that both the Umiak and the Loroi are fast-reproducing highly advanced species and that must be scaring a lot of their neighbours and not so neighbours.


Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:23 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Arioch wrote:
Literally freezing humans (and most organisms) causes permanent tissue damage; the damage can be reduced by quick-freezing, but I'm not sure it can be eliminated entirely.


Yes. If you say that this is not possible in Outsider that is completely fine. Of course I do not know every detail of your world & can only guess how the Umiak might have tricked the Loroi. & of course I don't want spoilers ;)


Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:35 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
I think I've convinced myself that Beryl's shocked expression is either from:
a) [much more likely] the realization that the Umiak are able to penetrate Loroi defenses much more than she had assumed and that this problem is beyond just the current system
b) [more humorous and I think there is some truth here] the realization that she will likely die before getting to call Captain Jardin by his first name or shake his hand. I wonder if the dynamic between Beryl and Alex will change if they get out of this one. (Edit: This is not to suggest that any of this is driven by romantic feelings.)


Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:14 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
You could still use a fleet which is automated to a very significant degree. Farseers detect concentrations of minds at distance, they can't, say, pinpoint a single shuttleful of folks at interstellar distance, IIRC.

You could probably get a fleet down to below the critical threshold if you wired a few specialists directly into it and had them remote-controlling robots to do maintenance and stuff.

Also, if Farseers detect the physical presence of brains, that raises the question of how, when Loroi brains and, say, Umiak brains are almost certainly extremely different - topographically if nothing else. The only way I can see that working is if the Soia engineered everybody's brains to have some kind of specific structure that allows psychic contact, which Humans, as naturally-evolved sapients, would not have;
However, this also raises the question of how Loroi can detect and psychic with naturally-evolved nonsapient life, such as the fauna of Perrein, which IIRC they are more than capable of.


Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:17 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
You could still use a fleet which is automated to a very significant degree. Farseers detect concentrations of minds at distance, they can't, say, pinpoint a single shuttleful of folks at interstellar distance, IIRC.

This is incorrect; Farseers can detect a single Umiak mind, if it's the only mind in a star system. What they would have trouble with is distinguishing it amongst other minds nearby.

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Also, if Farseers detect the physical presence of brains, that raises the question of how, when Loroi brains and, say, Umiak brains are almost certainly extremely different - topographically if nothing else.

Again, Farseers are not detecting the physical brain; they are detecting the mind, or consciousness itself.

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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Arioch wrote:
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
You could still use a fleet which is automated to a very significant degree. Farseers detect concentrations of minds at distance, they can't, say, pinpoint a single shuttleful of folks at interstellar distance, IIRC.

This is incorrect; Farseers can detect a single Umiak mind, if it's the only mind in a star system. What they would have trouble with is distinguishing it amongst other minds nearby.


Okay, that's kind of OP.

Arioch wrote:
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Also, if Farseers detect the physical presence of brains, that raises the question of how, when Loroi brains and, say, Umiak brains are almost certainly extremely different - topographically if nothing else.

Again, Farseers are not detecting the physical brain; they are detecting the mind, or consciousness itself.


That seems to be a straight-up contradiction of what you said earlier.
A mind which has been cryo-frozen is not conscious. It's been suspended; there's no consciousness to detect, because there's no activity going on in the mind.


Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:41 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
A mind which has been cryo-frozen is not conscious. It's been suspended; there's no consciousness to detect, because there's no activity going on in the mind.


Total suspension of the processes that make up the mind would require a level of cryo-freezing that would surely cause irreparable damage.


Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:50 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
You are thinking of the mind as the 'consciousness'. A mind can become unconscious but it will still be there. My understanding is that the Mind in outsider is 'tangible' and as long as it exists then it can be detected telepathically. Freezing the vessel of the mind may freeze the consciousness but the tangible sensation of the mind that is detectable through telepathy is still there to be detected.

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Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:53 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
That seems to be a straight-up contradiction of what you said earlier.
A mind which has been cryo-frozen is not conscious. It's been suspended; there's no consciousness to detect, because there's no activity going on in the mind.


The in-game explanation was that non-damaging cryogenics is not technologically possible in the outsider universe or at least the Umiak don't have that technology.
It is true that "Umiakcicles" - as Arioch put it so nicely - would be literally dead & therefore undetectable, but if you argue that you would need days to revive & regenerate possible tissue damage, then of course it would be useless.


Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:43 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Arioch wrote:
Again, Farseers are not detecting the physical brain; they are detecting the mind, or consciousness itself.

That seems to be a straight-up contradiction of what you said earlier.
A mind which has been cryo-frozen is not conscious. It's been suspended; there's no consciousness to detect, because there's no activity going on in the mind.

Telepathy in outsider requires that sentience itself has some physical, persistent property; it's not the physical brain or the brain activity, but some sort of metaphysical state that exists from moment to moment. I'm not sure how to explain the theoretical end of it without writing an essay, which I'm not going to do right now, so I'll tackle it from the practical end: it's not a practical possibility for an Umiak to simply "suspend" its mind in the way you describe. A brain which has been literally frozen is dead; the mind is destroyed. It's possible to have sufficient technology to bring a dead brain back to life (or even build a new one from scratch) and thus create a new mind with the same memories; however, the Umiak do not possess such technology.

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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
I wonder if Loroi religious zealots could conclude that since humans have no detectable mind, they have no soul. Great, now I'm gonna have to scour the threads and extras for references to Loroi Religion.


Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:55 pm
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Quazel wrote:
I wonder if Loroi religious zealots could conclude that since humans have no detectable mind, they have no soul. Great, now I'm gonna have to scour the threads and extras for references to Loroi Religion.

Fortunately the Loroi don't have a conventional religion.

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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Arioch wrote:
Telepathy in outsider requires that sentience itself has some physical, persistent property; it's not the physical brain or the brain activity, but some sort of metaphysical state that exists from moment to moment.

Something something fourth spatial dimension?

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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Hālian wrote:
Arioch wrote:
Something something fourth spatial dimension?

I think there are a number of useful ways to visualize it. There's an element to it though that should be deliberately mysterious; "this is something that the ancients had mastery of but we really don't understand today."


For the sake of clarity, perhaps quote the original post instead of what appears to be your take on it?

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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Arioch wrote:
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
You could still use a fleet which is automated to a very significant degree. Farseers detect concentrations of minds at distance, they can't, say, pinpoint a single shuttleful of folks at interstellar distance, IIRC.

This is incorrect; Farseers can detect a single Umiak mind, if it's the only mind in a star system. What they would have trouble with is distinguishing it amongst other minds nearby.

Is that amongst any minds or amongst minds of the same species? For example, do they have any issues detecting Rigai Mozin when he is on board the Tempest?


Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:25 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Hālian wrote:
Arioch wrote:
Telepathy in outsider requires that sentience itself has some physical, persistent property; it's not the physical brain or the brain activity, but some sort of metaphysical state that exists from moment to moment.

Something something fourth spatial dimension?

I think there are a number of useful ways to visualize it. There's an element to it though that should be deliberately mysterious; "this is something that the ancients had mastery of but we really don't understand today."

Geomodder wrote:
For the sake of clarity, perhaps quote the original post instead of what appears to be your take on it?

Sorry, that was my error: I hit the "edit" button instead of the "quote" button. I have restored Hālian's original post.

inxsi wrote:
Is that amongst any minds or amongst minds of the same species? For example, do they have any issues detecting Rigai Mozin when he is on board the Tempest?

Individual minds are more difficult to resolve from amongst a group nearby, especially at great range, whereas a lone mind is like a candle in a great dark place. The Farseer on board Tempest would have no difficulty detecting the presence of Mozin aboard the same ship, but another Farseer in a different system might have some difficulty identifying a single Barsam mind amongst ~800 Loroi.

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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
The single biggest problem for the Loroi, regardless of whatever the Umiak have found out, is that they very likely broadcast the capabilities of their farseer network 100% of the time, and never made the Umiak have to guess about whether or not they'd been spotted. Of course they may not have had the luxury to introduce any fudge factor in that, but now they'll pay the price. In other news it would be a valuable piece of information however to blast a ship open and see what corpses stream out, as I very much doubt that this attack isn't decades old in the making at the minimum.


Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:33 am
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Post Re: Page 124 and 125, interesting times afoot.
Just noticed that Talon's suit lights up as she sits down in the pilot's seat. Great attention to detail.


Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:57 pm
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