Sunday, November 15, 2020

Hard Scifi Setting Notes - Homesteaders and Size References

Skyhooks or Inertia Bank Tethers are interesting to me because its created a paradigm where I'm trying to conserve Inertia. I'm not thinking of reaction mass, I'm thinking of inertia and how as much as possible I can conserve it. 

  • Like most Logistics Infrastructure - Entities will be building and maintaining these Inertia Bank Tethers continuously. 
  • The more tethers there are, the more frequently people can Schedule transit between two points. 
  • Even in Cislunar Space having 10s of tethers in early 2100 can be expected. The way train tracks and roads exploded into the modern age, there will be thousands by 2200. 


  • Homesteaders - would be communities who found a cluster of asteroids or meteorites that can be mine - not just for their valuables but purely for their Mass. Artificial Gravity Calculator Imagining <1g habitats for 
  • They would be the Maintainers and Owners of various Tethered Inertia Banks. A spinning tether about a KM more long, made up of several megatons of steel - 
    • Buying and Selling inertia
    • Intercepting Inertia of Rogue Material if the Cost vs Value is profitable. 
    • Accumulating mass, inertia, and  material to make the Cost to Travel to X or the Cost of this 
    • They are like Stops prior to the Highway (like in the Plot of Disney Pixar's Car, Radiator Springs). 
    • They may be tethered to a habitat that has accumulated material and inertia (I can imagine converting the inertia to Heat or Energy).  
  • In the Beginning, Corporations would fund these tethers, overtime after 100+ years and millions of megatons of Inertia Banks and Tethers arise it becomes a Mom and Pop for the Outer regions, and Corporation control the most Popular/Frequented ones. 

It is just as easy to move Material from Psyche 16 to Jupiter as to earth depending on the Orbital Position. From 2200 to 2400 (the time several main Tether stations were created), Mega Corporations and Nations may be rising and falling during the entire duration of mining Psyche 16. 

Inner Ring Concept (shelved)

A habitat ring under 1km or hundreds of meters below the surface of the Moon or Ganymede... it doesn't work. 
  • Reason.
    • 1G habitat and Work and Live near the Planetoid. 
    • Saves Reaction Mass 
  • Why it doesn't work.
    • Bigger the Ring, the More Angular Momentum - the energy needed is exponential as Mass Increases and Speed requirement Increases. 
    • Fragile and Major Catastrophy. Anything hitting it will generate a lot of energy and damage. Its better to have Many Smaller O-niel cylinders and Tori (Torus) than One large Ring that can convert a little matter to a LARGE amount of damage. 
  • Workarounds.
    • Tethering 1G Cylinder Habitats (60m Diameter or Larger Habitats).  
    • Begin with one Habitat tethered to the Moon, and then build it up in Shielding and Protection as it Takes Materials from the moon and moving along the tether. 
    • More Tethered Habitats can Sprawl from these the first Tether. 
    • More Habitats and Industries Tethered along different points of the Planetoid. 
    • various Inertia Bank Tethers and Chains managing the Inertia of the Orbital commutes - Taking inertia from incoming and Transfering the Inertia to outgoing. 
    • Various inertia bank and Tethers along with point defense systems capture and redirect material that are big enough to harm the Habitats. A network of Interia Banks with Reaction mass/Delt-V budgets. 

Key Concepts

  1. Tethered 1G Spinning Habitats
  2. (IBT) Interia Bank Tether Homesteaders (a 10+ mega tons of Inertia)
  3. Smaller IBT Clusters near habitats to catch and capture inertia from dangerous material (less than a megaton of Inertia). 

Sizes and Perspective

I'm imagining the Chains and Links of a Tether to be scaled by Container Modules, Trains, 10k ton ships like the Liberty, and Cargo Vesselss (400m). Human reference model is from  CG Trader (can't find the name of the maker, anyway the link shows you where I got it). Here is my blend file if it may help you better visualize. 

the 2 x 2 cube. 
A 58ft Cargo Container 16m

A Train Module 24m

A liberty Ship 135m
and a Modern Cargo Container 400m

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Diversity and Acknowledging Different and Dissenting ideas

So I was talking with my brother, who used to run a larp, and he talked to me about how difficult it was to be a person of color in the gaming industry. 

Background Preface (can skip)

the family business has more female managers than male managers, we are a matriarchial company in Construction and Manufacturing which was shocking to people who know engineering is typically a Boy's Club. 

We used to move back and forth between the USA and Philippines, until we decided on our permanent residential status. Then of course my work makes me encounter our unskilled helpers who earn 200usd/mo and very much aware of the economic costs and status of people in the company - from unskilled clerks and laborers to college grads and most working-class Filipinos. I learned to check my privilege as Filipino upper management. 

I don't know if you notice I write about my work and how It relates to gaming and gaming and how it relates to work. 

Diversity and Different Points of Views

Gaming is an exercise of Modeling - you can model People with Empathy and you Can model Reality with Systems, Simulations, Case Studies, Mechanics, Etc... But in the end, we always have some crucial element missing, some element that makes us remember it's just a game - and that is our blind spots, our biases, our expectations, and what makes us who we are. 

As people, we have blindsided and biases. that is a permanent bug of the limits of our mental capabilities and the human condition. It's not a bad thing - it's a fact of life like mortality, our ability to only work with the "visible spectrum", and the limits of our medium of communication.  Our limitations remind me on how we need each other and that needing other people is not a bad thing. 
It's not a bad thing to need help, its not bad to give help, it's not bad to want a similar point of view - but it's also not bad to challenge our points of view. 

I'm currently undergoing an Internal Audit at work and always remember that the Unknown and uncertainty is where improvement lies - because a better system will be always not the status quo - the concept that the Horizon will move as we move towards it. 

Diversity - Differences in POV/Experience/Values, etc... is important to discover what connects us and what reality we share. You cannot find something "universal" unless you have a larger and larger sample size. you cannot have a "human experience" if you cannot little by little accommodate and acknowledge the experience of other humans. The push for diversity is the push to be able to be interconnected. 

We would want interconnection because we want to make decisions that both allow us all to benefit (Liberties) and prosper, while at the same time avoiding harm. The feedback mechanism 

How this relates to gaming?

Gaming: the world-building and role-playing and System Designing make TRPGamers have a lot of interests that relate to being able to tackle Diversity and find common ground, allow for dissent and difference of ideas and world views yet still agree on universal truths/realities, as well exercise the empathy and system thinking that allows us to approach the scary topic and world of being able to relate, be sympathetic, and find common ground with people of different worlds. 

Of course, I'm speaking of TRPGamers who kinda find the humanistic philosophy and science part of their identity. Those who have a concept and word association of being a TRPGamer - game theory, psychology, systems thinking, world-building, economics, demographics, simulations etc... concepts unified by being a TRPGer. 

There is playing TRPGs and there are people who grew up with it and see it as something else, the way some people see basketball, sports, hobbies as part of their identity. 

Work blog 

I can talk about this in the work or life blog, but those blogs all draw from my Gaming Blog. From the game and wanting to run and play particular games - life and work kinda interconnect. You can say its my framework for how I see reality. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Good Cop/Bad Cop is Dividing Attention

Realizing that Good-Cop/Bad-Cop is a tactic meant to Divide Targets resources. When you are making a decision and trying to predict your outcomes. Creating two sets of outcomes based on two different personalities is harder than creating a set of outcomes for One personality - either good or bad. You can better foresee the outcomes if you're dealing with one Speaker/Target/Claimant/Customer/Client etc... 

So as a GM I would require some Social skills to employ "Divide and Conquer" or "Flanking Attacks" or "Good Cop and bad cop". A Clueless person about how the tactic works more likely will waste the tactic. At least one of the two is skilled. 

Next is that I will use Advantage or Boon or apply the Inverse modifier: Bane or Disadvantage to the person who is under this circumstance. 

Imagine yourself with your friend who you know well enough to know his/her tells, strengths and weaknesses. You're in a negotiation and advance a point of discussion that complicates the opposing party. it doesn't have to be a really good argument, even a bad argument works fine, as long as it Divides the Targets attention then it prevents the target from successfully arguing his case by building up credibility or strong arguments. 

This can be reversed, a skilled negotiator will use every negative point against the two people who are arguing against him. Dictating the pace and managing from an advantage position (the burden of proof is on the other party;  one party has to make more effort per argument). 

The same Biomechanics fighting multiple Opponents requires can be said about the Speech and Conversational Pacing mechanics - you have to be an expert in taking the weaknesses and flaws of one of the opponents to give the attackers obstacles. 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Can Science Storytelling be Engaging?

Near Earth Prospects Doing some TRPG musing - How do I run a 2050-2100 TRPG setting without a lot of prep and with believable world-building? 

For feedback. 

0) The goal would be - an immersive world-building of how a new space race gets started and stories of the PCs and how their actions moved nations or a world towards this virtuous cycle.  

1) one objective would be - bringing more and more computational power to detect near-earth objects. the adventure would be breaking down the "projects" the processes into stages and phases where players roll and role-playing key moments of both physical, mental, and organizational challenges that can change the outcome of a project. 

I can frame Projects - the social and organizational physics and anti-patterns like an adventure - i'm just not good with the details of it - I can make guesses. 

From - helping a Politician person pass a bill that would fund the science, to the Technicians launching the new sensor or module.  

2) After all that data (an Arms race of Sensors) - some have detected Near-Earth Approach objects that can be redirected to NE orbit for the future. The Organizational Forces that  

This is where Traveller-like 4 year terms come in handy as a Parallel mechanic of how the PC's year turns out. Players roll up a stable of characters. Sessions are 2-hour sessions role-playing a scenario in this "gold rush" of Near earth object claim staking. 

Scenarios from Espionage (because we don't all see the same objects and likely prospects), to Planning and Preparation - creating the facilities that would capture it, as well as the Conditions by which Claims are agreed. 

3)  The gold rush - this would be assuming (The plot of Delta-V lolz) 

a) a large number of prospects, 

b) the ability to nudge these prospects into accessible reach 

c) details to hold and keep claims and materials

d) the ability to capitalize these materials 

Worldbuilding, even if the Gamers don't have all the time and resources to produce all that research. Just the handy "Pillars"/Rules of thumb of science, logistics, and organizational physics that make a believable (deeply flawed outcomes but the pros are still better than the previous status quo to some but not all; example how the majority of the world think space science is useless and a waste of time and money and have an image of scientists part of a grand conspiracy). 

What would be the List of "Cool" hard science stuff players would like to see in such a game? Where they don't mind the handwaves and just want to imagine characters caught up in it? 

Example. as a 3rd worlder, I'd like to see world-building where now there are more tiers of Technical Specializations brought about the space race. The livelihoods such create means we would be mobilizing so many economies to produce basics as more advanced nations invest in something only they can invest. Advanced economies make Space Infra and the other Economies rush to fill the "comparative advantage". The number of jobs and requirements outpace the fears of Automation. In the storytelling, you still have people demonizing and creating their conspiracy narrative and A LOT of people still believing this - the conflict the PCs encounter. That economic shift raises the education and amount of information a person has access to in the world (Human Dev Index go up).

In such a story, if the GM were to make adversaries it is all the competing interests, special interests, willful ignorance, conspiracy theories, propaganda, monopolistic/rent-seeking parties, who are at odds with the PCs and players. The Status Quo and how lucrative it is and how much more it can be SQUEEZED for maximum profit is the adversary of the PCs and how it taints them and how the PCs may embody these forces. 

Whatever the adversary is - imagine how twisted and complicated the setting can be that they are Cautious Allies or Cooperative Enemies, poisoned gifts, or dangerous stepping stones etc... 

you may observe that my association of concepts are 

Science = Fact-Finding/Understanding = Discovering Cognitive Dissonance /Flaws in Every Concept = But still making sure parties and stakeholders are in a Net Positive = Humanistic Goals. That the flaws and adversaries are not in External Parties but we have such Hipocracies and manage these demons. A lot of gray and neutral tones - but slivers of brilliant colors and darkness. these outline a picture of a world we shape in a TRPG - we rehearse and reinforce for our own closure and understanding. 


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Visualizing Hard Scifi Settings - Tethers.

Visualizing a freighter carrying hundreds of tons of material cargo in 2200. It deposits its cargo by having the cargo drift out of its wake and get slowed up and caught in several tethers several times as it approaches its destination. Hundreds of tons of cargo material with enough Delta-V for emergencies get caught up by tethers kilometers long transferring inertia to it and slowing down.

Studying and 

This happens a couple or several times depending on the mass of the cargo.

Eventually, cargo modules (which have some propulsion) being caught in the orbit of its destination and it's rounded up at a low Delta-V cost.

The inertia captured is used to propel new cargo for the freighter as well as a reaction mass module to give it enough Delta-V to correct.

In Ganymede, a foundry is being equipped and expanded to produce a ring habitat to allow it to create 1G spin habitat close to the surface (2.6k km) so as to be a short commute to the many underground agricultural modules that produce food for the hundreds of million humans that live in the belt and moons. Producing food for Psyche 16 - the largest manufacturing station.

A Much earlier and smaller ring was created in its northern pole which has a bit of 0.1g drift that is why they will make one in the equator where the drift will be opposite of the Artificial Gravity/Centrifugal force. 

The foundry is necessary for the mass drivers and creation of more inertia bank tethers that is needed to reduce the Reaction Mass Delta-v cost traveling between points of interest.

Millions of people developing the technology to feed billions of people, so that billions more can accelerate the development of the infra that makes space travel safer and cheaper.

A migrant laborer who journeyed from the earth with her family 6-8 months on a spin gravity freighter was being trained to add to the demand for technicians, scientists, logistics, etc... To move their family into a world where the skills and ingenuity is crucial in running an intrastellar economy.

Its like the feeling of the plane decelerating to fly instead she and her family feel the tether arresting and decelerating them for the next tether till their velocity is around 10m/s from hundreds of km/s.

The feeling of a plane acceleration and deceleration - several times as the ships are caught by the inertia tethers to be accelerated or slowed down. It combines the feeling of a Plane and a Cruise ship. 20130819 Sci-FI Notes

2050 to 2500 is not a terrible era if it was purely Intrastellar. Imagine building the infra for billions of humans to travel safely. Imagining if FTL was developed much much later. I can always adjust the Interstellar Wars Timeline by 200-300 years.