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Thread: The real science fiction

  1. #1 The real science fiction 
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    After watching most scifi series, and movies i was wondering what was really waiting for us. Which one is most truthfull of our future? Or are none of them truthfull?

    I'll give several examples.

    ----------------
    Star trek - Warp Drive, Many species in conflict, subspace and folding space, over 250 elements, particle weapons, transphasic weapons, replication technology, antimatter.

    Illogical, because there would be no gain in interstellar travel this way, simply on an economic view. All space travel would need to validate profit. Also warp travel seems impossible.

    ----------------
    Star gate - Hyperdrive, stargates, energy shields, particle weapons, railguns, biological engineering.

    Still not valid, as a hyperspace, where a tunnel of subspace is being created seems still impossible, same with the stargates. This would make a future like this impossible.

    -----------------
    Star wars - Hyperdrive, all out war of rebels vs empire, small ships attacking big ships.

    Not valid, a small ship could not pack enough punch to get trough a big ship. At least not with energy weapons. Taking in that the big ships have an according increase of shielding. This would make fighters only usefull against other fighers. Also, the economic concept. Building a ship takes time, and i doubt any of those could get the time to build a fleet, where nobody opposing them would find out.

    -----------------
    Avatar - No hyperspace, conceivable weapons (missiles, guns etc), one extra element.

    Seems most logical, however, erata would disagree. Humans would have destroyed their eco system. Somehow found an element that generates energy. Implausible. However, finding a place like that is biologically, and evolutionary impossible.

    -----------------
    My idea,

    Stasis will be our friend. Maybe later on even time dilation (using radiation, kinetic energy, or something like that). Colonisation using "sleeper ships", steered by robots, or by a small crew (dieing over generations). Building hyperaccellerators near stars, or gas giants to slingshot unmanned, robotic ships to their destination. Those ships would automatically start terraforming/building a colony.

    Problem i'm having with this, is that something must make our focus shift. Make us want to take the risk.


    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  3. #2  
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    If are interested in science fiction that actually makes plausible predictions about the future, quit wasting your time on Hollywood crap. Real science fiction is a written medium. Hollywood's attempts to imitate it are pretty pathetic. These shows and movies always make all sorts of ridiculous assumptions because it is cheaper to film the story if they just ignore the real world laws of physics. Writers don't have to worry about how much special effects will cost, its just as easy for them to write words that describe the real world as science fantasy silliness, and many do. Pick up some books by authors known for hard SF. Clarke, Niven, Heinlein, Sheffield, Bear, Stross, and so on.


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    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    I don't agree with you. Movies have to be thought trough. At least enough to make it look plausible. The special effects indeed are something that may limit the "realness" of the science fiction. But then anime should provide a different picture. But it doesn't.

    I have read some of those older works, but those are so outdated that they put the cellphone idea up where we also live on the moon, have cured all ails, and use laser based weapons. An other weird way is that some futuristic insights don't take war, greed, fear, and culture into the equation. Without these, even i could probably predict where we would end up.

    Anyway, the laws of physics are just laws. They are meant to be broken at some point. Or at least bent to its limit.

    I for one love to see some of the mass based laws broken. Where impuls could actually gain energy, by increasing mass, or by decreasing mass, then increasing speed, and increasing mass again. Also to create matter out of nothing, would be possible. If we bent the meaning of nothing (=no mass).
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Anyway, the laws of physics are just laws. They are meant to be broken at some point. Or at least bent to its limit.
    The laws of physics aren't laws the same way legal laws are laws.
    They're descriptive, not prescriptive.
    And you can't break (or bend) them.

    the meaning of nothing (=no mass).
    "Nothing" means a bit more than "no mass".

    In general I agree with danhanegan with regard to Hollywood SF vs. written SF.
    Hollywood cares more about the spectacle and the plot. Good written SF cares at least as much about the science as it does about plot.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    The laws of physics aren't laws the same way legal laws are laws.
    They're descriptive, not prescriptive.
    And you can't break (or bend) them.
    I am well aware laws of physics are something different then.. lets say traffic laws. I used the comparisment simply because i lacked a better example.

    There are laws, that on themselves can not be broken. But there will be exceptions. Contradicting laws, and if you go deeper into some of the properties of say, energy, there will be more variables. This makes it seem like you broke the law, but actually it was simply more complex then previously made up.

    I myself can not comprehend time being explained in seconds. Energy simply being joule, eV etc. Or gravity simply being g. There is more.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  7. #6  
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    I think the question is about interstellar travel - what will life be like when interstellar travel is commonplace?

    This is kinda like single-celled organisms asking what life will be like for them when walking about on legs becomes commonplace. The answer I guess - and hope - is that humans will be as essential to that interstellar future as cells are essential to complex vertebrates. Life graduates like that. So we may go on being human doing our human thing, unappreciative of our role as cogs in "greater animals" that operate on an interstellar level.

    In some ways we're already cogs that cannot appreciate or control the motion of greater entities we belong to.
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    The problem: space is big, mind numbingly big and our lives are pretty short compared to the travel times involved. Not wanting to consider how weird human civilization would be if we had to worry about massive time dilation effects limits limits our interstellar speeds to around 80% the speed of light (keeps the boost factor less than 2) and considering communication delays etc makes it difficult for me to imagine us moving much beyond our own solar system (or in other words, the species that eventually leaves earth and colonises the stars will not be recognisable as human today).
    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by river_rat View Post
    the species that eventually leaves earth and colonises the stars will not be recognisable as human today
    And yet the DNA owned by astronauts aboard ISS is nearly unrecognizable from DNA of the earliest bacteria. I'm suggesting we may endure basically unchanged but only as indispensable components of greater things. This seems the only way to beat evolution.
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    Which is 'Plausible' science fiction?

    Well how about "The Matrix"?, I know this possibly seems an unusual choice, because there are no worm holes, space ships, hyper drives, energy
    shields or vast alien empires.

    But what I think you do get, that could actually one day maybe possible, is a computer simulated reality that in which people can experience
    a digital version of the world without the physicality. I would hope though that with this senario we, being the human race, are indeed still
    in control of our own destiny, not merely batteries to be used by intelligent machines.

    As computers advance, and as we all become more dependant on them it seems possible that what we know as the internet today could evolve into
    something much more advanced and interactive, in all with the possibility of becoming something truely immersive.
    Ultimately this could lead to many, in an overpopulated world, living and experiencing many aspects of their lives in a computer generated
    fantasy that wouldn't require actual travel or physical objects.

    This type of senario may evolve in a number of ways from perhaps a way of holidaying without travelling, digital work places, virtual night clubs,
    a way for the sick or disabled to interact without ever having to leave home or even virtual prisons.
    This kind of virtual enviroment for the mind is an idea presented to us in the Matrix films and though clearly science fiction is an advancement
    of the way in which humans have progressed in our usage digital connectivity over the past few years.

    One of the most appealing aspects of this senario is the thought that everyone could plug into a world where they can experience anything they want
    without the same risks that would apply in physical world, perhaps jumping out of an aeroplane or attempting the land speed record, anything could
    be possible in the virtual enviroment without fear or risk. Gluttony won't be an issue, you could spending all eating vitual foods from around the
    world without worry about a ballooning waistline. The possibilities for human experience could potentially only be limited by the limits of human
    imagination.

    So to me this is a vision from science fiction that I think one day in the future could really become a possibility, I think the technology could exist and
    the desire to make it a reality could very well also come about.
    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
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  11. #10  
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    I really hope nothing like the matrix would happen. As a simulated reality, even how real it looks, is less appealing then reality.

    Interstellar travel could be still the thing to go. But indeed, if it takes 3 lifetimes to get to the closest habitable planet, what is the point. I'd say, anywhere over 5 months travel would be to long for a simple trip. 10 years max for a colonization trip, and if you just want to look someone up, i can't think of anything that takes longer then 5 days.

    Getting to lightspeed is not possible, without tricks that is. But are those tricks viable?

    I hope we figure something out, like a slingshot device breaking the lightspeed using a multi layered propulsion field. Each layer would have 95% of lightspeed in perspective of the other, but there are hundreds of layers. Getting basically up to infinite speed. As a part physicist i like the idea, but i doubt it's possible.

    Then we could colonize but every colony on another planet would grow to be a different species of human. If then a hyperspace device would be invented, i'd say we would be looking at a whole new level of intolerance, and war would be inevitable..
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by river_rat View Post
    The problem: space is big, mind numbingly big and our lives are pretty short compared to the travel times involved. Not wanting to consider how weird human civilization would be if we had to worry about massive time dilation effects limits limits our interstellar speeds to around 80% the speed of light (keeps the boost factor less than 2) and considering communication delays etc makes it difficult for me to imagine us moving much beyond our own solar system (or in other words, the species that eventually leaves earth and colonises the stars will not be recognisable as human today).
    I see this as pretty much inevitable, whether we reach the stars or not. The human species is rapidly developing technology that will eventually be usable to seriously augment itself. Nanomachines in the bloodstream clearing up disease agents and cancers, artificial coprocessors planted into the skull communicating to the natural brain and vastly speeding up data access and other intellectual abilities, the huge possibilities implicit in genetic engineering, and most likely additional tech we haven't even conceived yet. The pressure to take advantage of this tech will be huge, those who do not will essentially be "normals" living in a world of supermen. A few generations down the line, our descendants, at least some of them, may not be anything we would recognize as human.
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    This science fiction is really good i like it.
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  14. #13  
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    Good science fiction makes a prediction. The author is playing a game with his audience. He is saying, "If we allow this specific technology, event or change, then society will look like this." Here is my prediction re: interstellar travel. Humanity will do it. We will do it without any major leaps in technology, that is without FTL drive. We will do it by bulding cities in space. That is, economicly viable space based colonies that havest the vast amounts of matter and energy avaiable in the microgravity environment of interplanetary space. Eventually these "cities " will range out into the oort cloud and beyound. Eventually they will be closer to some other stars than they are to the Sun. The irony is that they will not care. The whole focus of society will be space based. Even if they found a perfectly Earth-like planet they would have only minimal interest. It would be only the idiot fringe and the crackpots who would want to live on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Good science fiction makes a prediction.
    Nope.
    They extrapolate.
    A prediction is this is what will happen.
    Extrapolation is this is what could happen.
    I can't think of any SF authors who'd claim they predicted anything (except retrospectively and relatively minor).

    We will do it by bulding cities in space. That is, economicly viable space based colonies that havest the vast amounts of matter and energy avaiable in the microgravity environment of interplanetary space.
    And be phenomenally fragile, with regard to raw materials, environment AND structure.

    Even if they found a perfectly Earth-like planet they would have only minimal interest. It would be only the idiot fringe and the crackpots who would want to live on it.
    We have an Earth-like planet 1 - it's overflowing with crackpots and the idiot fringe.

    1 In fact I'll go so far as to say that we'll never, ever, find one that is more Earth-like.
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    Aw Ducky, you are entirly too negative. However, to match your tone, how about we visualize a space based human society of the far furture that does find an empty world that humans can live on. What are chances that they pull an Australia? What better way to deal with your criminal element than to put them at the bottom of a gravity well without the technology to get out of it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Aw Ducky, you are entirly too negative.
    No I'm not.

    However, to match your tone, how about we visualize a space based human society of the far furture that does find an empty world that humans can live on. What are chances that they pull an Australia?
    Exceedingly slim.
    How is it going to be economically feasible to transport criminals that far?

    What better way to deal with your criminal element than to put them at the bottom of a gravity well without the technology to get out of it?
    Why not just stick them on a desert island?
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  18. #17  
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    For what it's worth, I hear Kip Thorne is doing a treatment for a new science fiction movie.

    Kip Thorne: physicist studying time travel tapped for Hollywood film | Science | The Guardian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    The laws of physics aren't laws the same way legal laws are laws.
    They're descriptive, not prescriptive.
    And you can't break (or bend) them.
    I am well aware laws of physics are something different then.. lets say traffic laws. I used the comparisment simply because i lacked a better example.

    There are laws, that on themselves can not be broken. But there will be exceptions. Contradicting laws, and if you go deeper into some of the properties of say, energy, there will be more variables. This makes it seem like you broke the law, but actually it was simply more complex then previously made up.

    I myself can not comprehend time being explained in seconds. Energy simply being joule, eV etc. Or gravity simply being g. There is more.
    You can try to violate the physical laws of the universe, but you'll be quickly apprehended by the logic police.
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    Star trek - Warp Drive, Many species in conflict, subspace and folding space, over 250 elements, particle weapons, transphasic weapons, replication technology, antimatter.

    Illogical, because there would be no gain in interstellar travel this way, simply on an economic view. All space travel would need to validate profit. Also warp travel seems impossible.
    False. Warp drive is possible, though either the technology has to get more efficient, or our means of generating energy has to increase dramatically. See: Alcubierre Drive. Or something like that. Replication technology... I am uncertain about. But in Star Trek, there is no economy. The point of life is to enrich oneself, therefore space travel has no economic value because economic value is nonexistent and moot. Space travel, even with Star Trek's technology, would provide incalculable boons to society, even without the discovery of entire other races.

    Star gate - Hyperdrive, stargates, energy shields, particle weapons, railguns, biological engineering.

    Still not valid, as a hyperspace, where a tunnel of subspace is being created seems still impossible, same with the stargates. This would make a future like this impossible.
    Meh. Dunno squat about what hyperspace and subspace actually technically mean, if there is any actual meaning. Most often, they're places where sci-fi writers get to break the laws of physics to make their tech possible.

    Star wars - Hyperdrive, all out war of rebels vs empire, small ships attacking big ships.

    Not valid, a small ship could not pack enough punch to get trough a big ship. At least not with energy weapons. Taking in that the big ships have an according increase of shielding. This would make fighters only usefull against other fighers. Also, the economic concept. Building a ship takes time, and i doubt any of those could get the time to build a fleet, where nobody opposing them would find out.
    False. The small ships rarely actually did any damage to the large ships in the first place, and the Rebel Alliance did still have some few ships that were capitol-class. Big ships do not necessarily have a proportional increase, though they have the potential for it. The Rebel Alliance did not and could not build its own ships. They bought, begged, and stole their ships.


    Avatar - No hyperspace, conceivable weapons (missiles, guns etc), one extra element.

    Seems most logical, however, erata would disagree. Humans would have destroyed their eco system. Somehow found an element that generates energy. Implausible. However, finding a place like that is biologically, and evolutionary impossible.
    Who's erata? Humans did destroy their ecosystem in Avatar. Finding a new element that generates energy is hardly implausible—think uranium 2.0. I fail to see how Pandora is biologically or evolutionarily impossible.

    My idea,

    Stasis will be our friend. Maybe later on even time dilation (using radiation, kinetic energy, or something like that). Colonisation using "sleeper ships", steered by robots, or by a small crew (dieing over generations). Building hyperaccellerators near stars, or gas giants to slingshot unmanned, robotic ships to their destination. Those ships would automatically start terraforming/building a colony.

    Problem i'm having with this, is that something must make our focus shift. Make us want to take the risk.
    Meh. Sorry to sound a bit rude, but that isn't even close to the full range of technologies that will be available to us at that time that could be of use. Seriously. Plus the other possibilities of what might happen, and the likelihood that all possibilities, if not most, will happen.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldritch View Post
    False. Warp drive is possible
    False.
    The Alcubierre Drive has serious problems - even IF we could actually get hold of the required energy source.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Aw Ducky, you are entirly too negative.
    No I'm not.

    However, to match your tone, how about we visualize a space based human society of the far furture that does find an empty world that humans can live on. What are chances that they pull an Australia?
    Exceedingly slim.
    How is it going to be economically feasible to transport criminals that far?

    What better way to deal with your criminal element than to put them at the bottom of a gravity well without the technology to get out of it?
    Why not just stick them on a desert island?
    I RESENT THAT COMMENT SIR DUCKY!!

    I live on a desert island 10 months out of the year!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldritch View Post
    False. Warp drive is possible
    False.
    The Alcubierre Drive has serious problems - even IF we could actually get hold of the required energy source.
    Interesting. What problems do you speak of?
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    Fi you check the "Difficulties" section of the Wiki entry...
    Just minor problems.
    Like not being able to navigate, frying the destination... things like that.
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