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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Even just beginning to imagine the troubles such a planet would have. Heatsinks, for one. Getting all that food in, and distributed, to feed all the people - then getting rid of the resulting waste. Not just food - water too. Air, maybe? Either import air, or have life support fit for a space station running planet wide.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Those things have precisely zero comparison to replicators. Replicators produce matter from energy, rather than shift matter around. We are children playing with Dublo bricks, thinking we're gods.
    The whole point of a replicator is first and foremost to be able to create anything using a single universal machine. We still need raw materials since there is no teleportation technology for the energy to mass conversion, but advanced matter manipulation is not unthinkable. I am also not quite sure, if the replicators from Star Trek truly create matter from energy and not simply use teleportation technology to change some matter into whatever is needed.

    There's more actually as we are already able to generate matter from energy even if it is on a limited scale. If we had some unlimited energy source, there is nothing preventing us from creating more of it and then have fusion reactors build heavier elements out of the hydrogen we initially produce. It is stupidly inefficient, but it is possible in principle.
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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post
    The whole point of a replicator is first and foremost to be able to create anything using a single universal machine. We still need raw materials since there is no teleportation technology for the energy to mass conversion, but advanced matter manipulation is not unthinkable. I am also not quite sure, if the replicators from Star Trek truly create matter from energy and not simply use teleportation technology to change some matter into whatever is needed.

    There's more actually as we are already able to generate matter from energy even if it is on a limited scale. If we had some unlimited energy source, there is nothing preventing us from creating more of it and then have fusion reactors build heavier elements out of the hydrogen we initially produce. It is stupidly inefficient, but it is possible in principle.
    As I said: Playing with dublo's.

    Of the two, I maintain we'll get FTL before we get replicators - while of course, my money would be on never getting either.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    As I said: Playing with dublo's.

    Of the two, I maintain we'll get FTL before we get replicators - while of course, my money would be on never getting either.
    Your opinon and it's fine. From my perspective, getting the effects of a replicator is at least within the scope of known physics, while with FTL there is no way of telling, if it is even theoretically possible.
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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post
    Your opinon and it's fine. From my perspective, getting the effects of a replicator is at least within the scope of known physics, while with FTL there is no way of telling, if it is even theoretically possible.
    No .. it isn't. Or - I can't claim to know it's outside the bounds of human science, I don't know everything that's inside said bounds. But I've heard absolutely no one make any sort of claim we had any idea how to shape energy into matter. And this is why I keep saying we're playing with dublos. We're clumsily trying to use our giant fat fingers to nudge very small things around. We are not, however, in any way, shape or form, creating a gin and tonic, glass and ice cubes and all - out of nothing but pure energy.

    So yea. My opinion.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Curious - is your system straight-up FTL travel anywhere? Because I know that I avoided that in Space Dogs (my swashbuckling space western TTRPG - see signature :P) by saying that warp travel doesn't work too close to gravity wells such as stars and even being really close to gas giants, as it "pops the warp bubble". In fact, gravity wells are the only way to get out of warp, and if you stay in warp too long you can't come back.

    So - interstellar travel is a series of shorter jumps between stars - which allows for things like resource poor star-systems to still have a few space stations to act as refueling stations and repair docks for any ships passing through.

    In Space Dogs, each jump normally has a 1/36 chance of you getting lost in the warp. (rolling snake eyes on the 2d6 roll for how many days the jump takes) Which - is actually a huge building block of the setting, as you can avoid that chance IF there is a warp beacon. If there's a warp beacon where you're jumping to, there's no risk, and if there's a warp beacon where you're jumping from, you can still turn around and go back on a roll of 1/1. But warp beacon technology is controlled by a single species, who are in many ways the de-facto controller of interstellar trade. A bunch of species figured out warp travel separately, but the risks of doing much without warp beacons is just too high.

    Of course - humans are the first (non-psycho) species with psychics - and psychics can get ships safely through the warp without a beacon. (Note: humans can only be born psychic if their mother traveled through the warp while pregnant)

    Anyway - too much of a tangent. I was just wondering if the ships can just aim directly to their target and go, skipping past dozens of star-systems, or if they had to go in smaller jumps.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    Curious - is your system straight-up FTL travel anywhere? Because I know that I avoided that in Space Dogs (my swashbuckling space western TTRPG - see signature :P) by saying that warp travel doesn't work too close to gravity wells such as stars and even being really close to gas giants, as it "pops the warp bubble". In fact, gravity wells are the only way to get out of warp, and if you stay in warp too long you can't come back.

    So - interstellar travel is a series of shorter jumps between stars - which allows for things like resource poor star-systems to still have a few space stations to act as refueling stations and repair docks for any ships passing through.

    ...

    Anyway - too much of a tangent. I was just wondering if the ships can just aim directly to their target and go, skipping past dozens of star-systems, or if they had to go in smaller jumps.
    What I'm doing is a rewrite/fix of Dungeons the Dragoning 40k 7e. a terrible terrible mash-up of a number of games written by a random person on 4chan as a joke and/or on a dare, back in 2011. In this case the relevant games are Spelljammer D&D + WH40K. The complete lack of play testing, limited proofreading, and amateur editing all show up particularly strongly in the space rules.

    It has the Spelljammer crystal spheres encapsulating star systems, an "astral space" unique to the setting in between the spheres (regular-space-with-colors, crystal spheres instead of stars, minimum 10-20 LYs apart, no galaxies, hard FTL limit), and uses the WH40K Warp to get around the FTL limit. Fluff-wise it has the spheres either with precursor tech portals or no way in or out, it seems uncertain and goes back and forth. Then you have to get into astral space to get into the warp and that's where the precursor-tech portals are, or maybe not.

    Mechanically it was originally a no-purpose roll to enter the warp or you used a portal, but only outside of a crystal sphere (probably). Then a static navigation roll where failure applied a -10 to the next roll. Then a piloting roll based on the distance travelled. Success by margins could halve, quarter, 1/8th, 1/16th, etc., the time required, while failure just doubled the time. Then you rolled 1d10 once (piloting success) or twice (piloting failure) on a chart that had an 11+ result on it, but there's no modifiers to the roll. One of those warp encounter results (like #9 or something) was, literally, WH40K daemon(s) invading the ship which could mean anything from the Aliens films xenos to half the crew being possessed to a daemon-god thing suddenly appearing on the bridge.

    My goal was to make all the rolls matter, have there be real benefits to having experienced crews, make convoys and fleets viable, and cutting down on some of the silliness where 1/10th of all trips got demon-whacked, 1/10th potentially took decades to reach their destination, etc., etc. From what I found on the early 19th century shipping and stuff was that a 1% general loss rate was OK for green and normal crews on normal trips, and OK for normal crews on longer trips.
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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    No .. it isn't. Or - I can't claim to know it's outside the bounds of human science, I don't know everything that's inside said bounds. But I've heard absolutely no one make any sort of claim we had any idea how to shape energy into matter. And this is why I keep saying we're playing with dublos. We're clumsily trying to use our giant fat fingers to nudge very small things around. We are not, however, in any way, shape or form, creating a gin and tonic, glass and ice cubes and all - out of nothing but pure energy.

    So yea. My opinion.
    Well, this is why I wanted to disentangle the replicator into two different things: creating matter out of energy (we can do that already, if ineffectively) and shaping matter in an almost arbitrary way. The second goal does not require anything aside from refinement of what we already know. Anything resembling a replicator will not happen anytime soon, but we will gradually get closer to something like that.

    On the other hand any kind of FTL is still heavily debated, if it is at all theoretically possible. We also know it would require some completely new physics to actually build.
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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Even just beginning to imagine the troubles such a planet would have. Heatsinks, for one. Getting all that food in, and distributed, to feed all the people - then getting rid of the resulting waste. Not just food - water too. Air, maybe? Either import air, or have life support fit for a space station running planet wide.

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    Well, the biological wastes could be shipped out to the farm worlds, and get processed on the way into fertilizers.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post
    Well, this is why I wanted to disentangle the replicator into two different things: creating matter out of energy (we can do that already, if ineffectively) and shaping matter in an almost arbitrary way. The second goal does not require anything aside from refinement of what we already know. Anything resembling a replicator will not happen anytime soon, but we will gradually get closer to something like that.

    On the other hand any kind of FTL is still heavily debated, if it is at all theoretically possible. We also know it would require some completely new physics to actually build.
    I simply do not agree. Sure, we can cause particles to pop into existance under very, very specific conditions. That is ... infinitely far from pressing a button and watching a gintonic materialise.

    Infinitely. It's not the same thing, not the same game, ballpark or ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm_Of_Snow View Post
    Well, the biological wastes could be shipped out to the farm worlds, and get processed on the way into fertilizers.
    Oh sure, all of it can be done. But the amount of work required seems .. you know, it seems like it would be easier and more effective all around to not put 100 billion people on one planet. Spread them out a bit, make it less of a logistical nightmare.

    Also, it's .. not a single point of failure, but a massive number of points of total collapse. It seems to me it would never grow to such a point, because some disaster would wipe it out long before.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Oh sure, all of it can be done. But the amount of work required seems .. you know, it seems like it would be easier and more effective all around to not put 100 billion people on one planet. Spread them out a bit, make it less of a logistical nightmare.

    Also, it's .. not a single point of failure, but a massive number of points of total collapse. It seems to me it would never grow to such a point, because some disaster would wipe it out long before.
    Well, ya, that's kinda Hari Seldon's point and the jumping off point of Foundation. The whole thing is completely unstable and close to collapse and about to usher in a 30,000 year long dark age.

    And... I mean, most modern cities are not self-sustaining. Not even close. They require a constant infusion of food and water and electricity from outside. And things do sometimes go wrong and people do sometimes die because there isn't enough food or the water gets cholera-infected or the power is out for weeks. But the usual response is "We will rebuild!" not "Oh no, we must all become rural farmers!" Cities grow for the same reason Trantor grew -- it's convenient to have all the people trying to work together in the same physical area.
    Last edited by Sermil; 2020-10-25 at 06:25 PM.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sermil View Post
    And... I mean, most modern cities are not self-sustaining.
    If you define the city as the borders of the city itself, that's every city ever.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    If you define the city as the borders of the city itself, that's every city ever.
    Yep. All Asimov did was expand that concept to a whole planet, and had the "outlying farms" that feed modern cities be "outlying planets" instead. And even with that, the whole point, as Sermil says, was that the system had grown past sustainability. That it was unsustainable is not a bug, it is the whole reason it was mentioned.

    (Also, the planet, like Earth, was mostly covered in oceans. When it is described as "covered in a single city", it does not mean every surface, only the solid ones)

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sermil View Post
    Well, ya, that's kinda Hari Seldon's point and the jumping off point of Foundation. The whole thing is completely unstable and close to collapse and about to usher in a 30,000 year long dark age.
    Not in the ways I meant, though. With that many people in one place, unable to sustain themselves, all sorts of disasters would be unavoidable. Anything affecting the supply side of things would cause famine. Anything affecting travel would cause famine. Even anything affecting logistics - such as a labor strike - would cause famine. Political unrest would cause famine.

    And that's just for the food supply.

    Everything else would be the same.

    Every moderately succesful nation that I know of goes out of it's way to (try to) be self-sufficient when it comes to critical supplies of food, water, electricity and so on. But here's the center of the Galactic Empire - and it's basically self-sufficient .. with nothing.

    Keep in mind though that I was making a joke. Trantor may be a prime example of unworkable infrastructure and logistics - but I was just pointing out what a drag it would be to be the janitor of the place.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Generally speaking, 1 in 7 ships were lost during the Age of Sail.
    Is this per voyage or per „lifetime“ of a ship?

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Berenger View Post
    Is this per voyage or per „lifetime“ of a ship?
    Also likely depended upon the length of the voyage. Going around Africa to China was a heck of a lot more dangerous than crossing the Mediterranean.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Berenger View Post
    Is this per voyage or per „lifetime“ of a ship?
    Just Checked

    Quote Originally Posted by Warwick University
    Shipping was central to the rise of the
    Atlantic economies, but an extremely hazardous activity: in
    the 1780s, roughly five per cent of British ships sailing in
    summer for the United States never returned.
    Against the
    widespread belief that shipping technology was stagnant
    before iron steamships, in this paper we demonstrate that
    between the 1780s and 1820s, a safety revolution occurred
    that saw shipping losses and insurance rates on oceanic
    routes almost halved thanks to steady improvements in
    shipbuilding and navigation. Iron reinforcing led to stronger
    vessels while navigation improved, not through
    chronometers which remained too expensive and unreliable
    for general use, but through radically improved charts,
    accessible manuals of basic navigational techniques, and
    improved shore-based navigational aids.
    So it looks like "per voyage", 1 out of 20 ships would be lost due to navigational errors or to storms on the run between the US and the UK. Gives me some appreciation for those people who came to the New World on the Mayflower; there was a not-inconsiderable risk that they would never arrive at all.

    Human psychology is a funny thing ; we tolerated those loss rates because we had to. Today, shipping is much safer, and I don't think you could even get insurance on a modern vessel with a 95% safety record. Thanks to six-sigma, modern safety performance is measured in 999 after the 99.9% decimal mark.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Berenger View Post
    Is this per voyage or per „lifetime“ of a ship?
    In the 1600s, per voyage. As Pendell noted, there was a steady improvement in safety (in the 17th century, the major improvement was coppering bottoms, which kept out shipworms and restricted the growth of barnacles and shipwrack, all of which eat into the hull).

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Just Checked



    So it looks like "per voyage", 1 out of 20 ships would be lost due to navigational errors or to storms on the run between the US and the UK. Gives me some appreciation for those people who came to the New World on the Mayflower; there was a not-inconsiderable risk that they would never arrive at all.
    That blurb noted the losses were for the summer. A QAD wiki check shows that it was an autumn trip.
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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    That blurb noted the losses were for the summer. A QAD wiki check shows that it was an autumn trip.
    I don't have a source in front of me, but I think Autumn would be more dangerous than summer, not less. As the season changes you would have cooler air being pushed down from the poles. And when cool air hits warm water, why , you get storms.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    I don't have a source in front of me, but I think Autumn would be more dangerous than summer, not less. As the season changes you would have cooler air being pushed down from the poles. And when cool air hits warm water, why , you get storms.

    Respectfully,

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    They probably didn't sail to America in Autumn. Usually ships only go in one good season and come back in the next, not just plow through blizzards to deliver socks (which was one of the major goods being shipped.)

    In the Mediterranean there were laws about sailing in summer due to the Sirocco, the scorching storms blowing off the Sahara. As ships got better these were relaxed (and ships got smaller,) but in the 1500-1600s the ships hung out in Italian harbors during Summer months.
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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    I don't have a source in front of me, but I think Autumn would be more dangerous than summer, not less.
    Never claimed it would be less (or more, for that matter). I just wanted to point out that the data and the conclusion were not correlated.
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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    You would be wrong. The Mayflower sailed from Plymouth September 16 and arrived November 19, finally finding a place to anchor on the 21st.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    You would be wrong. The Mayflower sailed from Plymouth September 16 and arrived November 19, finally finding a place to anchor on the 21st.
    I assume you mean that Tyndmyr was incorrect in asserting the Mayflower did not sail in Autumn?


    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee
    Never claimed it would be less (or more, for that matter). I just wanted to point out that the data and the conclusion were not correlated.
    I respectfully disagree; While the datum point I pulled was not for the autumn months specifically I contend that the safety of sailing ships in the time period was at least that dangerous; perhaps more so, given that the Mayflower sailed more than a hundred years before the datum point that I posted.

    I contend that the assertion -- those who sailed on the Mayflower were running a significant risk -- is not overturned if the passage should prove more hazardous than 1 out of 20 losses. Thus the correlation holds unless a participant can present evidence demonstrating that the hazards to the Mayflower were significantly less than I have asserted.

    Your witness, counselor .

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    I assume you mean that Tyndmyr was incorrect in asserting the Mayflower did not sail in Autumn?




    I respectfully disagree; While the datum point I pulled was not for the autumn months specifically I contend that the safety of sailing ships in the time period was at least that dangerous; perhaps more so, given that the Mayflower sailed more than a hundred years before the datum point that I posted.

    I contend that the assertion -- those who sailed on the Mayflower were running a significant risk -- is not overturned if the passage should prove more hazardous than 1 out of 20 losses. Thus the correlation holds unless a participant can present evidence demonstrating that the hazards to the Mayflower were significantly less than I have asserted.

    Your witness, counselor .

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    No stats have been provided for losses outside of summer. The Mayflower did not sail in summer.

    Motion to dismiss.
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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    No stats have been provided for losses outside of summer. The Mayflower did not sail in summer.

    Motion to dismiss.
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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    If memory serves, the Mayflower came close to sinking at least five times and probably only survived because one of the passengers had brought a screw jack along (there's always that one guy who spends his gold on the weirdest thing in the equipment list...). Interestingly, some historians used to theorize they found the edge of a late season hurricane. Other historians pointed out that it was far more probable that it was just the North Atlantic being itself.

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    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Just Checked

    Human psychology is a funny thing ; we tolerated those loss rates because we had to. Today, shipping is much safer, and I don't think you could even get insurance on a modern vessel with a 95% safety record. Thanks to six-sigma, modern safety performance is measured in 999 after the 99.9% decimal mark.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    Hmm I just though that there is also difference in general risk of living between then and now, for us 20% risk seams a lot because the risk that something bad happen to you right now is pretty low. The question is how high was risk back then just to stay put. As for Mayflower I think they were running from some kind of persecution so risk of not-traveling was also high.

    I think this is valid point for main topic: important is not only what is the risk of travel, but also what is the risk of "not-traveling"

  29. - Top - End - #89
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Raleigh NC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    It's not just safety. It's also a question of what you're willing to put up with in order to be "safe" in your parent society.

    To avoid all the real-world issues, let's make up a wholly fictitious example: Imagine that you live in a society which outlaws tabletop RPGs. You can be safe, prosperous even, but your only entertainment is cable TV. Being caught with dice in your home can mean anything from being dis-invited from the best parties all the way to disqualification from any job save menial labor.

    So. You can:
    1) Stay in this place in complete utter safety, prosperity even, provided you disavow apart of yourself that you believe necessary to your identity as a human being.
    2) Start a revolution and impose your own viewpoint on the majority which hates you.
    2) Travel to another continent, or another star, with like-minded people so you can live as you please, and the people you leave behind can live happily as they wish, even if it means risking your life.

    To some people, #3 is worth any risk.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    "Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid."

    -Valery Legasov in Chernobyl

  30. - Top - End - #90
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by asda fasda View Post
    Hmm I just though that there is also difference in general risk of living between then and now, for us 20% risk seams a lot because the risk that something bad happen to you right now is pretty low. The question is how high was risk back then just to stay put. As for Mayflower I think they were running from some kind of persecution so risk of not-traveling was also high.

    I think this is valid point for main topic: important is not only what is the risk of travel, but also what is the risk of "not-traveling"
    Planets full of isolationist monoculures would probably become common. Once those are established and fall behind more progressive societies trade to get access to things they are inefficient at making or don't have the technology for would help prop the trade system up.
    Last edited by Tvtyrant; 2020-10-27 at 12:06 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Vibranium: If it was on the periodic table, its chemical symbol would be "Bs".

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