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The bubble moved sluggishly when the tube was inverted, and broke up into many small ones when it was shaken. You'll be pleasantly surprised and emotionally recharged by their responses," said Hokemeyer. With millions of people searching the internet daily it is only inevitable there are website networks available to assist in finding the perfect partner. Testani graduated from Spanish River High School in

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Much death and destruction ensue. T he dating game for those 50 and older is not played by the rules of days gone by. Every man gets a key. The guy is looking for the formula while the woman is interested in the process, which is why she talks and exchanges. She has a curtain of long, curly black hair that makes it difficult for me to spy whether or not he's begun to kiss her. Grant shot him an amazed glance.

Hawaii releases redacted recording of missile alert drill The state of Hawaii is releasing an audio recording of the drill it was running in January when an employee mistakenly sent cellphone and broadcast French court issues mixed ruling in Facebook nudity case A French court has ruled that Facebook failed to fulfill its contractual obligations by closing without prior notice the account of a user who posted Stone tools from Kenya give early glimpse of human behavior Stone tools from ancient sites in Kenya are giving a glimpse at the emergence of some key human behaviors.

Fertility clinic failures forge lost legacies, heartbreak Unexplained storage failures at fertility clinics may have cost couples their best chance for children.

Sri Lanka lifts Facebook ban after anti-Muslim violence ends Sri Lanka's government has lifted a weeklong ban on social media that was imposed because of concerns that it was being used to fan anti-Muslim Theranos CEO accused of defrauding investors The blood-test company founder agreed to settle with state security regulators for half a million dollars. Washington state moves to protect endangered killer whales Washington state is pushing to protect endangered killer whales with longer-term efforts to boost their food supply and improve their habitat.

Microsoft finds few gender discrimination complaints valid Only one of gender discrimination complaints made by women at Microsoft was found to have merit, according to unsealed court documents. YouTube tries to crack down on conspiracy videos YouTube says it is cracking down on conspiracy videos, though it's scant on the details.

Lack of evidence put Hawking's Nobel hopes in black hole Stephen Hawking was a brilliant physicist, but he never got a Nobel Prize because no one has yet proven his ideas.

New nickname for Pluto-explorer's next target: Investigations begin into Ohio fertility clinic malfunction Investigations are beginning into an Ohio fertility clinic where thousands of frozen embryos and eggs may have been destroyed. Stephen Hawking, best-known physicist of his time, has died Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist whose brilliant mind ranged across time and space though his body was paralyzed by disease, has died at Hawking defied ALS to become pre-eminent physicist Word by painstaking word, Stephen Hawking produced a masterwork of popular science that outlined his vision of time, the universe and humanity's place Police improve social media skills, raising worries by media As more law enforcement agencies improve their social media strategies, some experts worry that it allows police to bypass questions from traditional Hawking never won a Nobel despite big ideas Stephen Hawking had one of the most brilliant minds in science, but he never won a Nobel Prize.

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes charged by US regulators with elaborate, years-long fraud Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes charged by US regulators with elaborate, years-long fraud. Google to ban cryptocurrency and related advertisements Google says it is going to ban advertisements for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, as well as related content like trading advice and cryptocurrency Walmart plans on expanding grocery delivery to metropolitan areas Items would be delivered by Walmart or outside service like Uber.

France to sue Apple and Google for abusive practices France's finance minister Bruno Le Maire says he will take legal action against Google and Apple for abusive business practices, a move that could Sri Lankan government urged to lift block on social media Sri Lankan activists and journalists are demanding the government end a weeklong shutdown of several social media sites now that anti-Muslim violence President Trump proposes military space force President Trump says Tuesday he wants a military space force that would be the orbital equivalent of the Army, Air Force and Navy.

First lady convening tech companies to tackle cyberbullying First lady Melania Trump is bringing together tech giants to talk about ways to fight cyberbullying and promote Internet safety. Behind the Broadcom deal block: Rising telecom tensions Behind the Broadcom deal block: Rising global telecom tensions. Design error may have caused SpaceX rocket explosion in Government-nixed deals over the years President Donald Trump has blocked Singapore-based chipmaker Broadcom from pursuing a hostile takeover of U.

Amazon recalls portable chargers on reports of fires, burns Amazon is recalling , AmazonBasics portable chargers after reports that they can overheat and cause fires or burns. Trump blocks Broadcom takeover bid for Qualcomm Trump said the proposed combination would protect US national security. Apple expands into journalism The tech giant announced it's acquiring 'Texture,' a digital magazine service.

Navy's Red Hill analysis concerns environmental regulators Environmental regulators are raising concerns about the way the Navy has been evaluating the risks posed by further potential leaks from giant fuel Skulls show women moved across medieval Europe, not just men Skull study said to be evidence that women also migrated long distances across medieval Europe, not just men. US scientists study impact of uranium in Grand Canyon region Scientists gather soil, test wells and collect toads and rodents to better understand the impact of uranium mining in the Grand Canyon region.

President Trump blocks Singapore-based Broadcom's takeover of U. Trump administration violated law over smog findings A federal judge says the Trump administration violated federal law when it failed to meet a deadline to identify all parts of the U. Fertility-clinic breakdowns baffle experts, upset couples Simultaneous refrigeration failures at two fertility clinics in San Francisco and suburban Cleveland have damaged or destroyed potentially thousands Meanwhile, you will NOT have the best equipment for the period of 2 through 8 years.

In combat, there are few prizes for second place, and none at all for what you would have had next year. There are, however, persons not of good will who will muddy the waters: They are poltroons ; and alas, their name is legion, for they are many.

In the real world there are always bugs and glitches to deal with, which slows things up. Not to mention the time required training the troops in how to use the blasted things. The classic cautionary tale is Sir Arthur C. Clarke's famous short story Superiority , which is required reading in some courses taught at M.

My take on the story is:. Voltaire said "Perfect is the enemy of good". Shakespeare said "striving to better, oft we mar what's well". Aristotle spoke of the Golden Mean to avoid extremes in any direction. The big applications were, usually, in the form of big weapons to fight big wars on tremendous scales. The situation was now both serious and infuriating. With stubborn conservatism and complete lack of imagination, the enemy continued to advance with his old-fashioned and inefficient but now vastly more numerous ships.

It was galling to realize that if we had only continued building, without seeking new weapons, we would have been in a far more advantageous position. There were many acrimonious conferences at which Norden defended the scientists while everyone else blamed them for all that had happened. The difficulty was that Norden had proved every one of his claims: And we could not now turn back — the search for an irresistible weapon must go on.

At first it had been a luxury that would shorten the war. Now it was a necessity if we were to end it victoriously. The research process is also more complicated than one would think. In reality it has quite a few phases. Technology readiness level is a scale used to measure how close a new technology is to being ready for actual use in the field on a real mission.

In the old almost unplayable tabletop game Star Empires each player had a limited number of research teams, symbolized by playing counters. Each one could research a single advance, some army weapon, artillery weapon, spacecraft weapon, missile warhead, warship type, etc.

If the tech advance was of difficulty One, you'd assign it to research team Alfa, pay the initial research cost, and place Alfa's counter on Research Flow Chart One in the square marked "S" for "start". Once the team has managed to traverse the flow chart to the space marked "F" for "finish" your interstellar empire would own that tech advance, and would instantly be able to start cranking out the new weapon from your factories.

Each turn, for all research teams with counters on the flow chart, you'd pay this turns research cost for that unit, and roll a ten-sided die.

Examining the square the counter is currently occupying, you'd find the out-going arrow with the number rolled and move the counter accordingly. Some loop back to the same square so the team does not move. Others move to a new square. If the new square is the F square, the team is successful. And if the square is a little skull-and-cross-bones symbol, the entire team is killed in a lab accident and removed.

Next turn you'll have to spend money to recruit a replacement research team. If, however, your research project is of difficulty Four, you'll have to use the flow chart below.

This shows why game designers in the s were desperate for somebody to invent personal computers. There were intermediate complexity flow charts for difficulty Two and three, but this is insane for a manual tabletop game.

A common failing of with those who write future histories is a failure to take into account Future Shock , that is, the rapid progress of technological advancement. Refer to the "Apes or Angels" argument. Consider that one hundred years ago the paper clip had just been invented, Marconi had invented the wireless radio, the Wright brothers had invented the airplane, and the latest cutting edge material was Bakelite.

Assuming that technology continues to advance at the same rate, all of our flashy technological marvels of today will look just as quaint and obsolete in the year And in , they will look like something made by Galileo.

Remember, this assumes that the rate of technological progress remains the same. The evidence suggests that the rate is increasing. Authors who do not want to deal with such break-neck advances in technology will have to invent a way to put on the brakes to progress. When it comes to futures histories in various SF novels, the main failing I have noted is a failure of scope.

While you may read novels with orbital beanstalks , immortality drugs , virtual people living in digital cyber-reality , nanotechnology , transhumanity and post-humans , Dyson spheres , teleportation , zero-point energy , matter duplicators , time travel , cloning , and cyborgs ; you almost never find an individual novel that has all of these things although Greg Egan's DIASPORA comes close, and the Orion's Arm project comes even closer.

This is because future history SF novels are not meant to predict the future, so much as they are meant to illuminate a specific point the author is trying to make. Star Trek is considered by many to be the public face of SF, it's flagship. I hold by my belief that to retain that title it needs to take it up a level: Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape- descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea. A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.

Naturally, the more specific the details of your future technology that you describe in your SF story, the bigger the risk that it is going to sound quite silly in the decades to come. This is called "Zeerust", and of course TV Tropes has a page devoted to it just chock full of entertaining examples and associated tropes food pills, jet pack, video phone, flying car, etc. It starts out so good. It predicts air-traffic controllers, the 22nd century as being dominated by the energy crisis, it even has the hero finding a recorded message on his video-telephone.

Then the reader's willing suspension of disbelief crashes and burns as the hero pulls the wax cylinder out of the video-telephone, puts it in the replay unit, and places the needle on the groove. And then there were the slide-rules in a short story by A. Van Vogt, complete with a radio link to the ship's computer. In "How to Build a Future", John Barnes suggests as a rule of thumb one shouldn't try predicting technological advances past years or so.

I need not tell an SF audience that technological advance has dramatic effects. As you can see in figure 2, this gives a fairly credible situation: This gave me as much information as I really wanted: To envision the surges, I use a rule of thumb that has no justification other than gut feeling. So from the viewpoint of , 90 percent of the gadgets of the roughly Manhattan Project through Apollo Project boom would be imaginable indeed, some, like TV, were abortively available in the previous boom.

But 10 percent lasers, nuclear power, transistors would be absolutely incomprehensible—magic. I further arbitrarily assume that the major discoveries for the next surge have all been made as of today.

The graph shows a major surge in the s and s, Surge Zero, which should deploy everything in SF that seems pretty likely right now. Does that feel like a real explosion in the brain, like Bruce Sterling or William Gibson at their dazzling best?

Surge One must be an immense extension of everything in Surge Zero, plus a 10 percent addition of things that work according to as-yet-undiscovered principles.

Surge Two must be extensions on everything in Surge One including the 10 percent of magic plus 10 percent new magic. And Surge Three … well, you see where this gets to. Realistically, the world should be half magic.

Evolution is a remarkable designer. After all, it designed us, and every other living thing we know of. It wasn't long before artificial intelligence researchers tried implementing evolution using computer software. Thus was born the science of the Evolutionary Algorithm. You create a data structure which acts like a gene, start with an enviroment populated with random genes, let them perform for a while, evaluate which were best at doing the task, delete the low performers and replace with new randoms, cross-breed the rest and throw in a few random mutations, and do a fresh cycle.

In Doctor Adrian Thompson had the brainstorm of using such evolutionary algorithms to design hardware. Thus was born the science of Evolvable Hardware.

Since an algoritm instead of a human mind is doing the designing, the result tend to be somewhat alien. Thompson's started with a field-programmable gate array FPGA , which is basically a "programmable" integrated circuit. By sending special commands the user can change how the internal components are connected actually how they are "virtually" connected, but don't worry about that. This was a bit of a challenge for the poor evolvable hardware algorithm. Humans build circuits to do such detection using some kind of electronic clock, but the FPGA has none.

It would have to evolve the equivalent of a clock. Halfway through the evolving, it was approaching a solution, but the output was weird. But this was was outputting "fuzzy" values. A human engineer knows that a FPGA is a digital on-off device so it designs with that in mind. But the algorithm doesn't know that so it designs pragmatically.

It worked with what the FPGA could actually do, not what it was supposed to do. Part of the FPGA had been programmed with a circuit which was not connected to the main circuit. Thompson figured it was superfluous and removed it. And the FPGA promptly lost the ability to tell the two waves apart.

Thompson added the superfluous circuit back in, the FPGA started working again. Thompson eventually figured out the cursed superfluous circuit was influencing the main circuit through electromagnetic coupling. It works, but it is very very alien. Which is one of the reasons why Dr. Thompson's technique is not used today.

For contractual and legal liability reasons chip designers want designs that they understand and can test rigorously. Neither of which is true of the weird designs created by Dr. A final problem was when Dr.

Thompson loaded the program arrangement from the algorithm into an FPGA of the same type it didn't work! They used two genetic algorithms to create two different antennae, then tested to see which was better.

Genetic Algorithm 1 was a standard which created non-branching antennae, that is, the result looks like a twisted piece of wire. Genetic Algorithm 2 was a new one evolving "rod-structured robot morphologies", that is, the result looks like a little tree.

The puppeteer ship was a robot. Beyond the airlock the lifesystem was all one big room. Four crash couches, as varied in design as their intended occupants, faced each other in a circle around a refreshment console.

There were no corners. The curved wall merged into floor and ceiling; the couches and the refreshment console all looked half melted. In the puppeteer world there would be nothing hard or sharp, nothing that could draw blood or raise a bruise. The hyperdrive shunt ran nearly the length of the ship, beneath the floor. Louis had to recognize the machinery from first principles. It was not of human manufacture; it had the half-melted look of most puppeteer construction. It seemed he was slated for a long trip.

Apparently the term was coined by Charles Fort. Wikipedia also has an impressive list of multiple discoveries. Kevin Kelly calls it Technological Inevitability , the concept that some inventions are meant to be. The scientist does not want the invention falling into the hands of the military of any and all nations because it would be a horrific war weapon.

Most of the novel is about the desperate efforts of the scientist to keep it secret and the desperate attempts of all the militaries of the world to seize the secret. Much death and destruction ensue. But the punch line comes when the invention is independently discovered by scientists all over the world. It seems that for the world it has become "Daleth Effect Time". When the time is ripe for certain things, these things appear in different places in the manner of violets coming to light in early spring.

A period of time when many inventors all over the world, despite isolation from each other, and with no contact with each other in any way, begin inventing a similar technology with a coincidental commonality of ideas. The invention of the steam engine didn't occur in only one place but was invented independently and in isolation by many inventors all over the world.

Another example of steam engine time includes the independent invention of the aeroplane by people in isolation from each other in many different regions of the world, leading to arguments about "who" invented the aeroplane first.

In his book New Lands, Fort wrote: Ptolemy demonstrated the mechanics of the steam engine, and there was nothing technically stopping the Romans from building big steam engines. They had little toy steam engines, and they had enough metalworking skill to build big steam tractors.

It just never occurred to them to do it. I was just the first person who put it together in that particular way, and I had a logo for it, I had my neologism. The actual phrase was first coined by the collector of weird, Charles Fort, in , who wrote in his early fantasy novel Lo!: A social growth cannot find out the use of steam engines, until comes steam-engine-time. Steam-engine-time is another name for technological determinism, which is another way to say simultaneous independent invention, Turns out simultaneous parallel discovery and invention are the norm in science and technology rather than the exception see my previous post.

When it is steam-engine-time, steam engines will occur everywhere. Because all the precursor and supporting ideas and inventions need to be present. The Romans had the idea of steam engines, but not of strong iron to contain the pressure, nor valves to regulate it, nor the cheap fuel to power it. No idea — even steam engines — are solitary. A new idea rests on a web of related previous ideas. When all the precursor ideas to cyberspace are knitted together, cyberspace erupts everywhere.

When it is robot-car-time, robot cars will come. One of the first comprehensive lists of multiples was put together by William Ogburn and Dorothy Thomas, in , and they found a hundred and forty-eight major scientific discoveries that fit the multiple pattern. Newton and Leibniz both discovered calculus.

Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace both discovered evolution. For Ogburn and Thomas, the sheer number of multiples could mean only one thing: They must be in the air, products of the intellectual climate of a specific time and place. Some space opera writers are fascinated with the romantic concept of star conquerors charging out of their interstellar star ships on horseback, waving long-swords. While cinematically interesting, the concept is obviously scientifically silly, surely somebody advanced enough to run an FTL starship can manage to cobble together a laser pistol or a submachine gun.

Note this trope is somewhat incompatible with the concept of tech levels , that is, a linear path of technological achievements. To use it you must instead use the concept of a tech tree , one with really long short-cut to starship technology. A related notion is a high-tech interstellar empire threatened by "barbarians" waiting in their FTL longboat starships at the rim of the empire. Just like a galactic Roman Empire.

One wonders about the tech assumptions though. Either starships are relatively cheap ponder the idea of "barbarians" fielding aircraft carriers as a comparison or the smallest feudal units are pretty good sized. There are several related entries on the TV Tropes website: Forsooth, many have written begiling tales of swordplay laid on Mars, not to mention Venus and assorted extra-solar planets.

The trouble with most of these stories, including Fox's, is that the authors try to combine two incompatable elements. For one, they want the glamor of antiquity.

Therefore they fill their imaginary worlds with impenetrable jungles, fearsome monsters, glittering palaces, haughty emperors, beautiful princesses, sinister temples, villainous priests, cowering slaves, deadly duels, gladitorial combats, ghastly ghosts, frightful demons, lethal magic, gallant steeds, and of course a lavish assortment of swords and other hand-to-hand weapons.

But, at the same time, the writers want to cash in on the fictional appeal of super-science. So, along with this display of picturesque archaism, they mingle elements from the technological present and future: At this point, pop goes the illusion they have striven so hard to build up.

For, their fictional milieu is as anachronistic, or technologically incongruous, as it would be to have a contemporary American businessman wear Gothic armor to his office or light his cigarette by rubbing sticks. True, such incongruities do exist in the real world. Today you can see a Peruvian Indian jogging along on his mule and holding a transistor to his ear. Even when these things are disturbed, the people may eventually adopt the new discoveries when they get used to them.

To judge by the record of our own species, most people are not conservative about adopting more effective methods of killing their foes and getting from place to place.

In recent centuries, for instance, primitive people who found themselves fighting Westerners did their damndest to obtain Western weapons. In the wars of the Peruvian Indians against the Conquistadores, many Indian chiefs went into battle wearing armor looted from dead Spaniards. Once the primitives had enough guns, they quickly shelved their bows and spears. The Plains Indians made little use of either in their wars with the whites in the s and 80s The last I know of was on 20 March , when Sandeman's cavalry detachment charged a Japanese position near Toungoo, Burma.

Needless to say, Sandeman and his gallant Sikhs were all killed before the could get within slashing distance My point is that people who have weapons like radar-sighted, aluminum-alloy, radium rifles of Burroughs' Martians, with ranges of hundreds of miles, would not fool around with swords and spears, as Burroughs' people do, any more than the Plains Indians did when they got rifles.

Nor will they go galumphing around on thoats, gawrs, drals, or other beasts of burden when the equivalents of automobiles and airplanes are available.

Remember how quickly the Plains Indians adopted the horse So, if you really want to build a convincing fantasy world, If it is the ancient, pre-industrial world, that's fine; if the contemporary world, that's fine; if a world of super-science, that's fine. But don't mix them, unless the older technology is shown as crumbling before the new, as it always has, or unless the older activity is preserved in the form of a sport e.

First, he modestly omits one legitimate way in which you can put your superscientific hero in a sword-swinging type of sitiuation. That's when, because of shipwreck, secrecy, technological blockade, or whatever, said hero has to get out and mingle with the backwards natives oops, I mean underdeveloped patriots! John Brunner is of the opinion that at a bare minimum, a technologically primitive culture can only utilize high-tech items from a more advanced culture if they have some people who are "cobblers.

Or things can be easy if the high-tech items are ultra-advanced indestructable self-repairing technology that any moron can use. Speaking as one who misguidedly thought that writing swords-and-spaceship stories was easy it used to be, but then I started asking awkward questions of myself , I read both Sprague de Camp's "Range" and Poul Anderson's comment theron with considerable interest.

I got to the point where the latter was accusing the former of modesty in omitting the Krishna-type situation as a legitimate means of mating these ingredients, and realized that Poul was doing the same in his turn There are two more ways, not examined in detail in the Amra discussion, in which this paradoxical situation can arise. First, and right under our noses, is the one implied by the horse-doesn't-need-United-Steel argument in respect of modes of transportation.

We've had it in scores of After-the-Bomb stories. Modern technology requires an interlocking structure of cohesive and cooperative enterprise in which a catastrophic milieu would vanish and might not appear in its original form One can select out from a body of techniques a certain rather limited group which are within the competence of a single man or a small team — for example the Afghan rifles — and provided one condition is met those techniques can then survive as folk knowledge The condition which must be met is this: I mean by that someone who will make do — who can cut through the fog of traditional methods which surrounds most modern technology and see that even if such-and-such isn't available, so-and-so will do the job.

What do those Afghans put in their rifles? Maybe — if they have a source of supply from a factory. But for all their handcrafting skill, I don't see them processing nitroglycerine over a cooking fire. More likely, they're packing their cartridges with a rather inefficient black powder.

In your post-nuclear-holocaust situation, to give a parallel instance, you'll be able to keep cars and jeeps moving provided you have somebody around who can bake the gas out of wood, or compress methane boiled off by stable-dung, and plumb a gas-supply into the induction manifold using scrap tubing and insulated tape Situation One aforementioned is a catastrophic one, during which for a comparatively brief time a maximal range of incongruities coexist Let's consider Situation Two now; it's far more stable and leads to many more promising consequences.

For my investigations into this area, I can thank Poul — hence my comments about his own excess of modesty.

He had a delightful scene in a Planet yarn years back, where a sword-swinging spaceman argued that the stars couldn't be light-years apart because he could get from one to the other in a week or two. He'd set up a borderline case of the item under consideration: And the reason why this hasn't been examined more closely in the previous articles in Amra is probably because on Earth it's occurred only rarely and over a small area for a short space of time.

To the quick of the ulcer: In the story just referred to, and in heaven knows how many more of that sort, the inheritors are the derelict descendants of a star-spanning galactic empire. For instance, it takes the resources of a major industrial power to crash a can of instruments on the moon, or to operate an eighty-thousand-ton ocean liner or a fleet of jet aircraft. Unless something incredible happens, and I don't mean a faster-than-light drive, it's going to take the resources of an industrialized planet to maintain a spacefleet.

A galactic empire will contain so many planets so highly industrialized and so densely populated that some part of it will survive any major crash and probably make the whole shebang into a galaxy-sized parallel with present-day Earth. How do we get the local planetary populations down to peasant-agriculture numbers? How do we reduce the odds against knowledge of fifty-percent-plus are of contemporary star-flying technology disappearing altogether over an entire chunk of the galaxy?

I got it clear in my mind that the ships were surviving because they were built to last, while planet-bound engineering was mainly the product of the inhabitants, isolated on the fringe of the galaxy, and probably a century or two behind the state of the art at the Hub when the empire collapsed which brings me approximately level with Asimov in his Foundation stories, though he was using the argument to a different end.

And then I got it, belatedly because as I said the Earthside parallels are extremely rare. I can only think of such instances as people mining ancient monuments for building stone and lacking either the patience or the skill to square a true block themselves when the store runs dry.

Suppose the early explorers of the galaxy find caches of starships belonging to a vanished race, in such enormous quantities that they can spread across the stars like seed from a puffball.

You can go as far and as fast as you like; you don't have to take a cross-section of Earthside technology in every ship; and when you get where you're going you start with the local resources only. Maybe you don't make a very good job of it. In that case, when some next-door system gets into an expansionist mood you rather welcome being taken over and garrisoned by legionaries who bring advanced medicine we should have invited Mrs.

Jones who knows first aid! But at no point does human knowledge of the borrowed technology catch up with the application of it. This is no surprise though — out of the next hundred people you see drive past you, how many do you think could change a spark plug or grind a valve? In certain previously advanced areas of the galaxy understanding will be achieved; maybe humans get to the theory underlying the stardrive To build the tools to build the machines to apply the theory, and that may take generations.

Many men — risking indictment as warlocks or sorcerers—had tried to probe the secrets of the Great Destroyer and compute the speed of these mighty spacecraft of antiquity. Some had even claimed a speed of , miles per hour for them. But since the starships made the voyage from Earth to the agricultural worlds of Proxima Centauri in slightly less than twenty-eight hours, such calculations would place the nearest star-system an astounding two million eight hundred thousand miles from Earth — a figure that was as absurd to all Navigators as it was inconceivable to laymen.

In The Warlock of Rhada by Robert Cham Gilman, one thousand years after the fall of the first galactic empire , warriors are armed with swords and ride horses, but by golly the starships still work. The starship Gloria in Coelis , grounded on the sandy plain to the west of Lord Ulm of Vara's keep, was ancient. Though the men who presently flew her were the wisest of their time, they had no really clear notion of how the vessel operated, when it was built or how fast it traveled. From time out of mind, the Order of Navigators had trained its priests in the techniques of automated starflight by rote.

Even now, as the Gloria's two million metric tons depressed the soil of the Varan plain, the duty Navigators on the starship's bridge, were chanting the Te Deum Stella, the Litany for Preflight, this ritual being one of the first taught to young novice Navigators on the cloister-planets of Algol. Though the three junior priests on the bridge were chanting the voice commands that activated the immense ship's systems, in fact only the propulsion units sealed after manufacture in the time of the Empire responded.

The priests did not know that the vessel's life-support systems and its many amenities had ceased to function more than a thousand years earlier. The interior of the starship was lit by torches burning in wall-sconces, water and food were stored aboard in wooden casks, and the ship's atmosphere was replenished not by the scrubber units, as originally intended, but by the air that was taken aboard through the open ports and hatchways.

The starships were capable of almost infinite range, for the engines operated on solar-phoenix units. But the length of any star voyage was limited by the food and water supply and by the fouling of the air by the hundreds of men and horses of the warbands the starships most often carried. The bridge had been depolarized, and from within this consecrated area where only a Navigator might pass, the duty crew could see the squat towers and thick walls of Lord Vim's keep.

The warband, almost a thousand armed men, was mustering on the plain below the north tower, preparing to file into the vaulted caverns within the kilometer-long ship. Brother Anselm, a novice who spoke with the heavy Slavic accents of the Pleiades Region, had the Conn.

This honor was a small one, for the ship was not under way, but the engine cores were still humming from the recent voyage from Aurora, and Anseim, a fervent young man, imagined that the voice of the Holy Star was in them — and speaking directly to him. He half-closed his eyes and chanted, "Planetary Mass two-third nullified and cores engaged for atmospheric flight at minus thirty and counting. Brother Gwill, a thinly made and sour young Altairi, made the response, pressing the glowing computer controls in the prescribed sequence.

In spite of himself he could not suppress a shiver of anticipation. At Energy Point Five, the power of the cores was fed into the lifting system and the vast star ship would begin to lose mass.

The tonnage that interacted with planetary gravity to give the ship its great weight when at rest would begin to dissipate into a spatio-temporal anomaly, changing the molecular structure by reversing the atomic polarities of all matter within the Core field. The men who designed and built the starships understood this effect only imperfectly, and the Navigators who now flew them across the Great Sky understood it not at all.

But the visual and physical effects of the change in matter within the Core fields was spectacular and awesome. As the Null-grav buss was activated, the skin of the ship would begin to shimmer and glow, surplus energy accumulated by kinesis and radiation from the Vyka Sun expending itself as light and molecular motion until the starship actually began to move.

It was a sight that created consternation among the common folk of all the Great Sky, and even Navigators, who were accustomed to the phenomena, gave thought to the miraculous and holy nature of the great ships that were their domain. Anselm murmured to Brother Collis, "Gloria in Excelsis, let the ship's pressure rise to ambient. He pressed the prescribed buttons on the Support Console and waited the required thirty heartbeats. Nothing happened, nor did the young novice expect anything to happen.

The display screen remained dark. The three priests made the sign of the Star and Anselm in dictated that Brother Gwill should make the Query. The novice punched in the coded sequence that was one of the first things memorized by all Navigators and meant, in effect, "Are we where we should be?

The ship's computer flashed its reply on the display-screen: Province of Vega, Area 10, Aldrin. In spite of their familiarity with the ways of the holy starships, the three novices felt a tingling thrill at the appearance of the strangely shaped sigils in the ancient Anglic runes of the Empire. They had only the vaguest notion of what the ship meant by addressing them in these mystical words, in these phrases of the ancient world.

But the background color on the display screen was the Color of Go — emerald green — and that told them that the Gloria in Coelis was, once again, ready for flight. The Rhadan warlock Cavour Early Second Empire period once suggested that starships could attain velocities in excess of , kilometers per standard hour. Not only did he run the fatal risk of the displeasure of the Order of Navigators by these calculations in an earlier age he would have been burned , but he earned the derision of his contemporaries.

His computations, based on the known elapsed time for flight between the Rimworlds and Earth, resulted in a hypothetical diameter for the galaxy of 12,, kilometers. Even Cavour, a learned man for his day, was shaken by this immense figure, and recanted. Interregnal investigators, such few as there were, believed that a figure of , kilometers represented the exact diameter of what they called "The Great Sky.

For an even more unbelievable solution to the "sword on the starship" problem, read Harry Turtledove's "The Road Not Taken". It was a rude shock when they found that a couple of simple experiments could have given them the key to contragrav and the hyperdrive three, four, even five centuries earlier.

What's that race that flew bronze ships because they couldn't smelt iron? And every species we know that reached what the old Terrans would have called a seventeenth-century technological level did what was needed — except us. With attention focused on them, too, work on other things, like electricity and atomics, never gets started.

And those have much broader applications — the others are only really good for moving things from here to there in a hurry. With a chuckle, Chang said, "We must have seemed like angry gods when we finally got the hyperdrive and burst off Terra.

Radar, radio, computers, fission and fusion — no wonder we spent the next two hundred years conquering. After the fall of the first galactic empire , after the dark ages , comes the re-birth of the galactic empire. But it will take some time before the reborn empire's tech level reaches that of the old empire. During that period, any first empire technology that survives will be highly prized, since it is more advanced than current technology.

Blaine was searching for something to say when Whitbread gave him his opportunity. At first Blaine saw only that the junior midshipman was doing something under the edge of the table - but what?

Tugging at the tablecloth, testing its tensile strength. And earlier he'd been looking at the crystal. Whitbread looked up, flushing, but Blaine didn't intend to embarrass the boy. Our crystal is something else.

It was cut from the windscreen of a wrecked First Empire reentry vehicle. Or so I was told. It's certain we can't make such materials any longer. The linen isn't really linen, either; it's an artificial fiber, also First Empire.

A " cobbler " is a local person who can adapt stranger's high technology to the lower tech base of the locals. So local Afghan tribesmen observed stranger Europeans armed with rifles. When the Afghans tried to make their own rifles, the cordite used in the bullets was beyond the capablilities of the Afghan's tech base. So an Afghan cobbler adapted the concept by using easy-to-make gunpowder instead of cordite. The main reason to harvest cobbler technology is in order to create space barbarians for fun and profit.

The era of scientific expansion was followed by the era of commercial aggrandizement. Merchant adventurers began to appear in the sector. They ignored Paradox, which had nothing to make a profit on, but investigated the inhabited globe in the nearby system. In the language dominant there at the time, it was called something like Trillia, which thus became its name in League Latin. The speakers of that language were undergoing their equivalent of the First Industrial Revolution, and eager to leap into the modern age.

Unfortunately, they had little to offer that was in demand elsewhere. And even in the spacious terms of the Polesotechnic League, they lived at the far end of a long haul. Their charming arts and crafts made Trillia marginally worth a visit, on those rare occasions when a trader was on such a route that the detour wasn't great. Besides, it was as well to keep an eye on the natives. Lacking the means to buy the important gadgets of Technic society, they had set about developing these for themselves.

The bottling of his fur might have made Witweet impressive to another Trillian. To Harker, he became a ball of fuzz in a kimono, an agitated tail and a sound of coloratura anguish. One of our awkward, lumbering, fragile, unreliable prototype ships—when you came in a vessel representing centuries of advancement—? Why, why, why, in the name of multiple sacredness, why? The port was like nothing in Technic civilization, unless on the remotest, least visited of outposts.

After all, the Trillians had gone in a bare fifty years from propeller-driven aircraft to interstellar spaceships. Such concentration on research and development had necessarily been at the expense of production and exploitation.

What few vessels they had were still mostly experimental. The scientific bases they had established on planets of next-door stars needed no more than three or four freighters for their maintenance. Thus a couple of buildings and a ground-control tower bounded a stretch of ferrocrete on a high, chilly plateau; and that was Trillia's spaceport.

Two ships were in. One was being serviced, half its hull plates removed and furry shapes swarming over the emptiness within.

The other, assigned to Witweet, stood on landing jacks at the far end of the field. Shaped like a fat torpedo, decorated in floral designs of pink and baby blue, it was as big as a Dromond-class hauler. Yet its payload was under a thousand tons. The primitive systems for drive, control, and life support took up that much room. Between the vessel itself, and the service manuals aboard, we have that in effect.

Surely, to beings whose ancestors went on to better models centuries ago—if, indeed, they ever burdened themselves with something this crude—surely the interest is nil.

I will state you remained aboard by mistake—". Dolgorov said, "Not even your authorities can be that sloppy-thinking.

Your people weren't in the electronic era when the first human explorers contacted you. They, or some later visitors, brought you texts on physics. Then your bright lads had the theory of such things as gravity control and hyperdrive.

But the engineering practice was something else again. When you finally got an opportunity to inquire, you found that the idealistic period of Technic civilization was over and you must deal with hardheaded entrepreneurs.

And the price was set 'way beyond what your whole planet could hope to save in League currency. That was just the price for diagrams, not to speak of an actual vessel.

I don't know if you are personally aware of the fact—it's no secret—but this is League policy. The member companies are bound by an agreement. But take your case on Trillia.

You had learned in a general way about, oh, transistors, for instance. But that did not set you up to manufacture them. An entire industrial complex is needed for that and for the million other necessary items. To design and build one, with the inevitable mistakes en route, would take decades at a minimum, and would involve regimenting your entire species and living in poverty because every bit of capital has to be reinvested.

Well, you Trillians were too sensible to pay that price. You'd proceed more gradually. Yet at the same time, your scientists, all your more adventurous types were burning to get out into space.

You saw you couldn't go directly from your earliest hydrocarbon-fueled engines to a modern starship—to a completely integrated system of thermonuclear powerplant, initiative-grade navigation and engineering computers, full-cycle life support, the whole works, using solid-state circuits, molecular-level and nuclear-level transitions, forcefields instead of moving parts—an organism , more energy than matter.

No, you wouldn't be able to build that for generations, probably. You could use vacuum tubes, glass rectifiers, kilometers of wire, to generate and regulate the necessary forces.

You could store data on tape if not in single molecules, retrieve with a cathode-ray scanner if not with a quantum-field pulse, compute with miniaturized gas-filled units that react in microseconds if not with photon interplays that take a nanosecond.

They couldn't copy that, but they might invent a reciprocating steam engine turning a screw—they might attach an airpipe so it could submerge—and it wouldn't impress the outsiders, but it would cross the ocean too, at its own pace; and it would overawe any neighboring tribes.

His tail switched back and forth. The idea comes from an excellent brain. But why could you not simply buy the plans for resale elsewhere? Some of those weren't near industrialization, they were Iron Age barbarians , whose only thought was plundering and conquering.

They could do that, given ships which are practically self-piloting, self-maintaining, self-everything. It's cost a good many lives and heavy material losses on border planets.

But at least none of the barbarians have been able to duplicate the craft thus far. Hunt every pirate and warlord down, and that ends the problem. Or so the League hopes. It's banned any more such trades. He cleared his throat. The price of certain things is set astronomical mainly to keep you from beginning overnight to compete with the old-established outfits.

They prefer a gradual phasing-in of newcomers, so they can adjust. There's a total prohibition on supplying their sort with anything that might lead to them getting off their planets in less than centuries.

If League agents catch you at it, they don't fool around with rehabilitation like a regular government. A rope is reusable. He stared into their stoniness. I expect to enjoy my work. They'd learn about a sale of plans, and then they wouldn't stop till they'd found and suppressed our project.

But a non-Technic ship that never reported in won't interest them. Our destination is well outside their sphere of normal operations.

They needn't discover any hint of what's going on—till an interstellar empire too big for them to break is there. Meanwhile, as we gain resources, we'll have been modernizing our industry and fleet. We don't need you much. I'd soon as not boot you through an airlock. Remember the difference between Unobtainium and Handwavium:. We can't build a physical example of it, but insofar as we can postulate that it can be built at all, the laws of physics say it would behave like thus and so.

It flat out violates laws of physics. We're waving our hands and saying pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Science fiction authors can make up handwavium on their own with no help from this website, it ain't that hard. As long as you are not scared of RocketCat and his dreaded Atomic Wedgie. The main problem is keeping it internally consistent within its own made-up rules, and dealing with unintended consequences.

It is a big help if during the design phase the author focuses on effects not causes. This was a totally silly sci-fi idea when I was a young man. The idea was since a pocket transistor radio could pick up music broadcasts from radio stations with no wires invovled wirelessly , perhaps it would be possible for an engine to pick up electricity broadcast from a power station with no wires involved.

The technical term is Inductive Charging or Wireless power transfer. Nikola Tesla found out the hard way the drawback to this little scheme. The lions share of the power radiates into the wild blue yonder and is wasted, since Tesla's attempt to channel the energy into standing waves around the entire globe was an utter failure.

This means the inverse square law is your enemy. True, there was lots of work done in the s on transmitting power with beams of microwaves aimed at rectennas. However, while this was wireless, it was not a "broadcast. Until everything changed in when some geniuses at M.

You sometimes see this used to charge smartphones, by laying the phone on a "charging mat". For now, broadcast power seems to have made the jump from pure handwavium into fringe unobtanium. The main practical problem is how does the power company determine who tapped some power, so the company knows where to send the bill?

A dull, hopeless anger took hold of Jenkins. He detested the complacent aristocracy of the Interplanet directors, despised the sordid greed of the Mandate bureaucrats, and bitterly scorned the cynical schemes of his uncle. All humanity, it seemed to him, impelled by its confusion of ignorant fears and blind desires, was somehow involved in a monstrous conspiracy against the bright dream of the Fifth Freedom.

The engineering problems of the Brand transmitter were solved long ago, but the human difficulties loomed gigantic, complex beyond solution. The great barrier to human progress stood revealed as the nature of man himself. It can still bring peace and freedom to the people of the rocks—and all the planets.

Your rebellion has failed to break that monopoly of power. But there is another way to do it, with a new power-source—the seetee drift! That will mean economic freedom, and economic freedom will create political freedom.

Our Freedonia plant can set you free of the Mandate and also from the rule of your own Party leaders. But he towed them into place. He aligned them, with painful care. Groggily, swaying at the task, he tightened the connections and brazed them with condulloy metal. He inspected the assembly, tested all the circuits, and straightened triumphantly in the chafing confinement of his armor. Awkward now in the powered suit, he missed the high control platform. He plunged on past it, fumbling feebly at the control studs, toward the untouchable metal of the upper hemisphere and the red signs that warned: The steel rails of the terrene barrier caught him.

His trembling fingers found the studs again, and he alighted at last on the platform. Abruptly ill, he vomited again. Darkness came down upon him, and he thought he was blind. He lay a long time, merely clinging to the platform rail, until he found that he could see again. Nearly too weak to move the stiff armor, he drew himself erect. He waited for his head to clear, and make meaning come back to the gauges and controls before him.

He pressed buttons and pulled switches. A green indicator light told him that the Levin-Dahlberg field was functioning. The fuel-milling machines ran silently in that airless space, grinding terrene and seetee rock to dust. Separator coils refined the fuel, and paragravity injectors metered it into the reaction field. Matter was annihilated there, but Jenkins saw no frightful fire. He heard no ultimate crash. He was not destroyed. For the reaction field contained that raving energy, and converted it into a silent tide of power flowing in the condulloy coils.

Meter needles crept over, as that river of tamed energy flooded higher. They steadied, as full output of the generator built up the power field extending beyond the far sun to the limits of the solar system.

They dropped back suddenly, as the full potential was established and automatic relays shut off the flow of fuel. Swaying over the board, Jenkins pressed one final button. Fever was burning his body. Unquenchable thirst consumed him. He felt the drip of unstaunchable blood from his nose.

Illness crushed him down, until only the cruel stiffness of the armor supported him. Yet he clung to consciousness, and tried to listen. Those triumphant words came faintly from the speaker in his helmet, spoken in the deep voice of old Jim Drake.

A red photophone light was flickering on the board, and his mind could see the powerful automatic photophone and ultra-wave beam transmitters above, sweeping every rock and planet in the ecliptic with that recorded announcement, as Freedonia turned. Jenkins vomited again, into the rubber bag beneath his chin. Sweat was clammy on his body, and the vast, untouchable machines beyond the barriers blurred and dimmed.

But there are men too blind to see the good. There are a few selfish men and women, anxious to preserve their cruel old monopoly of power, who will attempt to stop the Brand transmitter. We beg all common men, everywhere, not to let that happen. Eagerly, he opened the box.

He found a small light bulb and another tiny gadget made of insulating plastic, sheet copper, and a few turns of wire. Peering at it, he caught his breath. Anxiously, he twisted the bulb into the gadget. It lit—and its tiny glow was enough to show him the illimitable might of the Brand power field, pervading all the planets of man. It was a searchlight, probing feebly into the misty splendor of a new human era. Now look at it this way: To give a rather broad example, take a power broadcast.

A ground car will pick up that power and translate it into energy for propulsion, a radiant unit will convert that same power into heat, and so on. Suppose this telepathic broadcast reacts on different types of brains in different ways.

Let us assume, therefore, that it doesn't touch the Norms but plays hell with what we call a Delink-type brain. In short, again drawing a parallel with a power broadcast, the Delink-type brain converts that broadcast into lawlessness….

He thought that if he lifted it above his head ten times a day while it was little, he would build up his strength gradually until he would still be able to lift it over his head when it was a full-grown animal.

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He stared into their stoniness. Article - Got a Minute?

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There is no simple escape from this dilemma.

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Don't decide for yourself. Dating back to the Orichalcum that was all the rage in Atlantis, to what level do you unlock dating on hollywood u Wolverine's indestructable Adamantium bones, fiction is full of marvelous materials that would be oh so useful if we could only lay our hands on some. For now, broadcast power seems to have made the jump from pure handwavium into fringe unobtanium. This will leave more money in the hands of the taxpayers, and allow more investment in the nation's economy. Man found in a cardboard box as an speed dating mansfield uk reunites with birth family Bill Gillespie spent most of his life wondering who his birth parents were.