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Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:54 am
by CorvusCorax
This is kind of relevant.

It's an hour long, but... especially the ending quotes from the scientists and engineers are kinda interesting in the context of this comic.

Sometimes the future is closer than you think ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVvmgjBL74w

Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:51 pm
by CygnusX1
Ferdinand wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:37 am
I see two thrusters next to each other, take one out and the ship will start to veer off to the side. Maybe missing the station or glancing off.
It will start spinning, but as long as the thrust is parallel to the intended vector it will stay on that vector.
Naturally, as the ship starts rotating it will get much harder to keep the thrust in the right direction, but you can always simply turn it off.

However, if an explosion occurs, with most of its gases going sideways, it will change the trajectory.

I fear however, the ship controller will be able to make quick computations to adjust the trajectory accordingly, as long as any of the ship engines is working.
And even without the engines - if you are really desperate and have the ability to throw anything out from your ship at great speeds, you can adjust your trajectory. Such as (minor spoilers for those):
- Decompression ("The Martian")
- Guns ("The Expanse", s04e09)

If the engines go down, the Niobids can do one more crazy thing to avoid the collision: dock with the ship and then fire their own engines to steer it away. And hope the connection won't snap...

Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:39 pm
by CorvusCorax
The main issue is indeed taking both engines out would make it impossible for the destroyer to accelerate in a meaningful way - it could use remaining manoeuvring thrusters or artificial gravity/inertial dampeners to change orientation, (including fixing the off-center thrust if one engine is down) but with no engines it will remain on a colission course, it will just stop getting any faster than it already is.

Sadly it's most certainly already too fast.

What could help though is

1. take its main thrusters out

2. after engines are offline: ram it sideways - to change its vector - there's two ways to do it:
- 1. at high speed - which needs some time and distance to build up enough momentum. Then even a small ship could do the trick, but it would have to already have started its attack run - the closer the destroyer gets to its destination, the larger the change in vector would have to be, so there's probably no time for Niobe to do that. This will also likely destroy the ship that does it.
- 2. at low speed - basically docking speeds but without a docking clamp, simply use the hull to push. that will also cause damage, but much less, and primarily to the softer ship, so it makes sense to push at a soft spot. an area where previous impacts already peeled off the armor for example. Then fire up your own engines at full thrust and hope to change the course enough. Main risk is, if the destroyer still has point defense cannons, it won't sit still.

The destroyer might also try to fight either method with manoeuvring thrusters, so a tiny nudge won't do it.

Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:35 pm
by CygnusX1
I wonder what would happen if we tried engaging an FTL drive while very close to the destroyer?
Need to re-read how FTL works in this universe...

Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:38 pm
by Aegeus
CygnusX1 wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:35 pm
I wonder what would happen if we tried engaging an FTL drive while very close to the destroyer?
Need to re-read how FTL works in this universe...
I think the ship would basically just disappear without touching the destroyer?

I assume if it was possible to use a jumpdrive as a weapon than somebody would have done so - the Cirin suicide bomber would have set off his jumpdrive while docked instead of simply ramming the station. Or we'd see ships carrying "riftspace torpedoes" or something.

Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread (Thu 2020-09-03)

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:01 pm
by PO8
First of all, thanks as always, David, for Crimson Dark. It's one of my very favorite webcomics and I know it hasn't been easy for you.

So, yeah, it's fine that the Mazikeen argument was easier to write. That said, there's no reason whatsoever for Whisper to take it in good faith or engage with it. The Mazikeen have already shown themselves willing to lie, cheat and deceive to attain their goals: that 99%-chance argument is backed up by exactly nothing. Indeed, one might expect that the speaker is just stalling in the hopes that Whisper's transmission can be delayed until Espenson Station is destroyed.

Interesting problem, great story, looking forward to the grand conclusion of this chapter of the ongoing saga.

Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:22 pm
by CygnusX1
Possible Whisper's argument could go along the line:
Wisdom gives a certainly of physical survival at the cost of freedom of will. But for humanity - this is no survival. Survive free or do not survive at all - that's the goal of humanity squeezed into a single sentence.
As this core goal does not align with the goal of Wisdom - there simply cannot be any consensus.

Not to mention, some need to be killed as they cannot be augmented - but that argument wouldn't reach Wisdom at all, so I wouldn't even bring it up.

Also: the evolution of civilisations - that's a very chaotic process. Leaps forward, leaps backwards can occur along the timeline that you simply cannot predict, regardless of how clever and computationally powerful you are. So, whatever number Wisdom has, it is either flawed, or Wisdom is too sure of themselves to see an error.
And even if a catastrophe occurs - it will never be global! Some pockets of humanity are sure to survive!

Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 7:11 am
by bobismeisbob
How does hope stagnate progress? Hope for something better is what spurs on progress. Certainty in what you're doing is what prevents it.

Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:10 pm
by charles
Mazikeen's argument, and much of it's motivation, really mirror's VIKI's from the iRobot movie (yes I know there's books but their plot differs).

Viki also argued that from a completely logical point of view, it ruling over humanity to keep them safe from themselves was the obvious solution. Sure, a few die in the struggle to achieve the end goal of dominating all humanity for it's own good, but in the long run there will be less humans harmed and less chance for humans to create great harm for themselves.

it's not exactly all that different to an argument for capturing and caging a bunch of birds that are known to breed crazily during the good times then over eat and starve en mass so their numbers dwindle down to a fraction of their height, then they start the cycle again as the food recovers and their future flocks suffer the same severe starvation and population drop. Surely it is logical that all such birds should simply be caged and their breeding, strictly controlled. But as Sonny, the robot capable of ethical thought replied to VIKI when she said "Do you not see the logic of my plan?" Sonny: "Yes, but it just seems too heartless"

Really, against Whisper, the argument for exchanging freedom for security was never going to fly.
Craig: "Why not apply to be a controller? You'd be perfect."
Whisper: "No, too much stillness. I have legs now, I intend to use them."

Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread (Thu 2020-09-03)

Posted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:32 am
by Dhraakellian
PO8 wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:01 pm
Indeed, one might expect that the speaker is just stalling in the hopes that Whisper's transmission can be delayed until Espenson Station is destroyed.
Methinks Whisper was the one stalling, keeping the Mazikeen from more drastic action while it still had hopes of convincing her (just in case her firewalls weren't so good as all that—she can be cocky, but she's not stupid—and this also distracts the Mazikeen's bandwidth usage from probing for more vulnerabilities).
She had the resources to dedicate to the conversation until she had FTL comms access, as she was just waiting for Bob to finish analyzing the data she gave him.