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Pop Sci-fi universes vs OA
(04-27-2017, 09:14 AM)Rhea47 Wrote: Which pop sci-fi universe could could conquer OA?

Spoiler: I can't think of any. Maybe the Culture from the Culture series of books but that's not pop sci-fi.

Bit of a dumb question but I have the mental image of a space marine from 40k screaming" For the emper.." (gets hit with a thunderbolt by angry S:6)  and I got to share it  Tongue

This question used to come up in the early days of the OA project - indeed there was once a 'vs' page on the website. Practically the first act of the OA Managing Board was to take it down. In our experience 'vs' discussions have a way of quickly degenerating into flame wars - and even when they don't tend to promote an adversarial 'mine's bigger than yours' approach to discussion that prevents the sort of creative collaboration that we like to have around here.

That all said, if we consider a vs discussion between OA and the various pop sci-fi universes, the first question that needs to be answered is 'what physics model is being used?'. Most vs discussions appear to ignore this question, assuming that the physics of each individual SF universe applies to the technology/inhabitants/etc. of the elements engaging in the vs conflict. So, Star Trek ships and weapons and such work at the same time that Star Wars ships and weapons and such work. But really, that wouldn't make much sense. The capabilities of each SF universe are based on the presumed physics of that universe and the two different physics models wouldn't be able to work at the same time.

Applying this to OA - if the OA physics model is used then most of the tech of most other SF universes either ceases to exist or operates at a much lower level of capability. To apply this to your mention of the Culture - in the OA universe, anti and artificial gravity generators can't exist. Neither does hyperspace, force shields, and so on. So, most of the tech of the Culture would either stop working or cease to exist - including the Minds, which use processors operating in hyperspace to do their thing. Of course, they might exist in some form using the science and tech that derives from the OA physics model - but in that case they would 'merely' be another civilization in the setting, presumably run by transapients much like most of the others. In fact, the Culture probably wouldn't need to change much from a social standpoint to fit right into the OA verse.

On the flip side, if the other SF universes physics model is used, then OA civilization would presumably have invented the relevant technologies (since the Culture setting seems to treat its tech as common and widely used) and would presumably still be possessed of superhuman intelligences. Noodling with the numbers for the performance of a Mind (there's a mention of it in Consider Phlebas), it works out that a Mind is roughly equivalent to a heavily augmented S3. Which would still leave it as more or less a clever bacterium by the standards of S4, S5, and S6 minds. Unless we presume that there is something in the physics of the Culture-verse that would preclude such entities from existing. However, the Culture-verse mentions (quite extensively in Look to Windward and The Hydrogen Sonata) that it allows the existence of the Sublimed (and then there's the Excession). While it's not clear what exactly the Sublimed are, they are apparently vastly beyond the Minds. So, depending on how we wanted to play it, translating the OA-verse into the Culture-verse might result in a Culture level Involved civilization that is actively supported and protected by some form of the Sublimed (rather than the Sublimed mostly vanishing from Galactic affairs as apparently usually happens).

Similarly, for other SF universes, if their physics model doesn't prevent the existence of superhuman intelligence, then presumably the transapients/archai could exist there in some form (or equivalent) and could advance the science and technology of that setting far beyond what has been achieved by the human level minds of that setting. Or deploy abilities the same as the 'more highly evolved' entities of that setting (think the Organians or other super advanced/evolved beings of Star Trek, for example).

I'm afraid I don't know much about the 40K universe, so can't really speak to it one way or another.

The upshot of all this is that it seems to me that a lot of vs debates leave out a critical question before they get started. And as mentioned, the downside of such discussions has moved us to avoid them as a matter of policy.

Hope this helps,


Messages In This Thread
Pop Sci-fi universes vs OA - by Rhea47 - 04-27-2017, 09:14 AM
RE: Pop Sci-fi universes vs OA - by Worldtree - 04-27-2017, 10:28 AM
RE: Pop Sci-fi universes vs OA - by Drashner1 - 04-27-2017, 11:23 AM
RE: Pop Sci-fi universes vs OA - by Rhea47 - 04-28-2017, 08:06 AM

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