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OtherworldlyInvader
Feb 10, 2005

The X-COM project did not deliver the universe's ultimate cup of coffee. You have failed to save the Earth.




Other way around, I'm going to nominate terraforming as the shittiest piece of garbage tech in science fiction. The time, material, and energy resources needed to terraform a planet is literally astronomical and at the end of the day all you get out of it is a planet with a carrying capacity probably somewhere in the single digit billions. For the same investment, space habitats could probably be built that permanently house trillions of people and they could enjoy a higher standard of living.

That's before you even wade into the quagmire of moral considerations. Most terraformed planets in sci-fi are depicted as having some sort of indigenous life, in which case terraforming is at best an unbelievably vast ecological disaster and at worst straight up systematic extermination.

IMO Gundam's idea of most people living in orbital cities clustered into the Earth/Moon Lagrange points is way more plausible than any of the takes on terraforming Mars I've seen.

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Worf
Sep 12, 2017




i would rather live in a dome

General Battuta
Feb 7, 2011

This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: you hurt it, you keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the posts from the screams.

OtherworldlyInvader posted:

Other way around, I'm going to nominate terraforming as the shittiest piece of garbage tech in science fiction.

*terraforms a big mountain range upwind of your bases so you lose all your nutrients*

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



I mean, if you're gonna call out sci-fi technology just for being scientifically implausible without absurd power and scale requirements, you'll never be happy with anything.

How about Plasmids from Bioshock? Radical genetic engineering that drives you insane along with granting superpowers, and in order to maintain the supply of slug juice, you gotta brainwash little girls to harvest and process it, but to protect the little girls, you gotta brainwash people and strap them into a diver suit.

Why did any of that sound like a good idea?

General Battuta
Feb 7, 2011

This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: you hurt it, you keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the posts from the screams.

It was the invisible hand of the free market answering a demand. Beyond any criticism.

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




I liked that terraforming in Player of Games was explicitly an idle pursuit for the deliberately rural with access to nearly unlimited power.

SlothfulCobra posted:

I mean, if you're gonna call out sci-fi technology just for being scientifically implausible without absurd power and scale requirements, you'll never be happy with anything.

How about Plasmids from Bioshock? Radical genetic engineering that drives you insane along with granting superpowers, and in order to maintain the supply of slug juice, you gotta brainwash little girls to harvest and process it, but to protect the little girls, you gotta brainwash people and strap them into a diver suit.

Why did any of that sound like a good idea?

I'm here to ask you a question: is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?

A Buttery Pastry
Sep 4, 2011

Delicious and Informative!
:3:


OtherworldlyInvader posted:

That's before you even wade into the quagmire of moral considerations. Most terraformed planets in sci-fi are depicted as having some sort of indigenous life, in which case terraforming is at best an unbelievably vast ecological disaster and at worst straight up systematic extermination.
Terraforming is the suburban lawn of sci-fi.

OtherworldlyInvader
Feb 10, 2005

The X-COM project did not deliver the universe's ultimate cup of coffee. You have failed to save the Earth.




It's not simply that terraforming is impractical, its that its a failure of imagination. Nigh limitless material and technological resources being used to produce... exactly what we already have today.

OtherworldlyInvader fucked around with this message at 21:06 on Jun 10, 2020

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006



As opposed to what, exactly? Even by Terran standards humans have an extremely narrow band of environmental conditions they do well in.

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

427 TOTALLY LEGITIMATE, DEFENSIBLE NATIONAL TITLES AND COUNTING


It was handled well in The Expanse, in which a well-disciplined, far-sighted centuries long terraforming project on Mars fell apart in a few short years once interstellar travel came around. Even the people that occupied New Sci-Fi Sparta went "lol why do this poo poo, hop on a ship and find a better planet"

Coolness Averted
Feb 20, 2007

oh don't worry, I can't smell asparagus piss, it's in my DNA

GO HOGG WILD!


Yeah this feels more like you're ranting about how dumb an idea "We'll just colonize space instead of investing in not ruining Earth" is and kind of super-imposing that over the concept of "Making inhospitable areas hospitable."
You're completely right that when talking about a setting where there's an abundance of habitable worlds and it's easier to travel between them than terraform it's just silly.

OtherworldlyInvader
Feb 10, 2005

The X-COM project did not deliver the universe's ultimate cup of coffee. You have failed to save the Earth.




mind the walrus posted:

As opposed to what, exactly? Even by Terran standards humans have an extremely narrow band of environmental conditions they do well in.

Trying to answering that is what makes science fiction so fun.

Taintrunner
Apr 10, 2017

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


GD_American posted:

It was handled well in The Expanse, in which a well-disciplined, far-sighted centuries long terraforming project on Mars fell apart in a few short years once interstellar travel came around. Even the people that occupied New Sci-Fi Sparta went "lol why do this poo poo, hop on a ship and find a better planet"

Oh hell yeah, this entire arc is great. That's honestly the best part of The Expanse, is that the situation keeps changing/evolving over time, and we get to see the political consequences of this actually play out. Never been a better time to start watching the best show on television!

OtherworldlyInvader posted:

IMO Gundam's idea of most people living in orbital cities clustered into the Earth/Moon Lagrange points is way more plausible than any of the takes on terraforming Mars I've seen.

You should really, really watch The Expanse then, because it has the most plausible take on terraforming Mars that would be right up your alley. Spoiler alert: It'll take hundreds of years and it sucks and millions of people are going to live and die on a brutal dust world in the hopes that maybe it all turns green one day.

Pennywise the Frown
May 10, 2010



Upset Trowel

OtherworldlyInvader posted:

Other way around, I'm going to nominate terraforming as the shittiest piece of garbage tech in science fiction. The time, material, and energy resources needed to terraform a planet is literally astronomical and at the end of the day all you get out of it is a planet with a carrying capacity probably somewhere in the single digit billions. For the same investment, space habitats could probably be built that permanently house trillions of people and they could enjoy a higher standard of living.

That's before you even wade into the quagmire of moral considerations. Most terraformed planets in sci-fi are depicted as having some sort of indigenous life, in which case terraforming is at best an unbelievably vast ecological disaster and at worst straight up systematic extermination.

IMO Gundam's idea of most people living in orbital cities clustered into the Earth/Moon Lagrange points is way more plausible than any of the takes on terraforming Mars I've seen.

All sci fi is different. Is there some specific amount of resources that are required to terraform a planet that's universal between all works of fiction?

In Aliens they just use a processing station that they set up on the planet and it makes the air breathable.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



General Battuta posted:

It was the invisible hand of the free market answering a demand. Beyond any criticism.

As far as a metaphor for a dangerous technology goes, I think the plasmids were brilliant. I mean, imagine if there was a technology that could make you actually accomplish all the impossible ideals of magazines, all you need is cash, oh, and it's addictive and the more you do it the more insane you become. I mean, socitey would burn itself down like that

GD_American posted:

Speaking of lovely pieces of garbage tech, what's the closest sci-fi analogue to the M2 Bradley :v:

It turns out the M2 is less lovely than its rep. It's a good vehicle for what it is, though aluminum construction isn't ideal for the forever war IEDs.

If it exists, though, I'm sure the Empire uses it. They really like their giant weapons, but the cost seems to be all the mass-produced stuff is worse than what scrappy rebels can procure. Actually, since we're on the Empire for a sec: bridges. Maybe don't have the bridge of your 20 km long super-star-destroyer just sticking out where an accident can take you out? CICs have been around for awhile

Worf
Sep 12, 2017




the second death star was sentient

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

427 TOTALLY LEGITIMATE, DEFENSIBLE NATIONAL TITLES AND COUNTING


Nebakenezzer posted:

It turns out the M2 is less lovely than its rep. It's a good vehicle for what it is, though aluminum construction isn't ideal for the forever war IEDs.

40 years of development, as well as rewriting the definition of "what it is" helped get it there. It's no longer the boat anchor on that legendary 60 Minutes segment, but it's still a pretty legendary failure in acquisitions.

Coolness Averted
Feb 20, 2007

oh don't worry, I can't smell asparagus piss, it's in my DNA

GO HOGG WILD!


Tulip posted:


Also going to submit "most of Warframe" for shittiest sci-fi tech. Of the 4 most impressive and incredible Orokin inventions, 4 of them became autonomous and revolted against the Orokin, including 2 that were explicitly weapons to protect the Orokin.

The orokin loving rule as the archetypical "bumbling empire that presented themselves as gods and hosed up everything they touched" nearly all of their terrible autonomous weapons were specifically made to counter one of the previous ones, and they rendered our solar system largely unrecognizable through vanity genetic alterations to hyper specialize everything into the equivalent of vanity purse dogs, which have all gone feral or neuroticly pursue what they still envision as their original purpose -now without the empire that originally crafted them to guide or rein them in.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



GD_American posted:

Speaking of lovely pieces of garbage tech, what's the closest sci-fi analogue to the M2 Bradley :v:

I couldn't really think of anything that had that kind of development hell, but there is the Dreadclaw, which has some similarities.



So on the left, is the Dreadclaw, the more advanced version of the space marine drop pod on the right in Warhammer 40k. These things have the primary purpose of taking an entire group of space marines from a ship up in orbit all the way down to the surface of a planet, ready to fight. A normal drop pod can take 12, the dreadclaw can fit 10.

What the dreadclaw has going for it is that it has flight engines that can take it all the way back up to the ship to get a fresh batch of marines. Theoretically it can go back and forth, ferrying marines to the battlefield. It's also armed and capable of providing fire support. It's got that sort of jack of all trades thing that the Bradley had going on.

The catch is that the dreadclaw had a mysteriously high rate of accidents killing its crew that nobody could really figure out until the Horus Heresy happened and it was revealed that something about their design was literally evil and their "machine spirits" were malevolently trying to kill their occupants. Maybe they did go through development hell back during the dark age of technology and manifested their creators' frustrations. Then the dreadclaws joined the heresy by going to 100% fatalities for the Imperium's marines, but still worked fine for chaos space marines. Or at least as well as anything the forces of chaos uses, so there's still fatalities, they just don't care.

Defiance Industries
Jul 22, 2010

A five-star manufacturer




Taintrunner posted:

You should really, really watch The Expanse then, because it has the most plausible take on terraforming Mars that would be right up your alley. Spoiler alert: It'll take hundreds of years and it sucks and millions of people are going to live and die on a brutal dust world in the hopes that maybe it all turns green one day.

The other thing that I appreciate about it is that the Martian terraforming project is portrayed not in terms of needing to expand the area they can live on Mars, but out of a tremendous envy for Earth. Specificially, an Earth that doesn't exist anymore because 30 billion people live on Earth now, and one of the largest expenditures in the planet's GDP is just keeping everyone from drowning in sewage. It's not practical, and it's not supposed to be.

Anyway my vote is any kind of mass-cloning speed-aging process. Your brains aren't gonna work, you're just gonna be a bunch of adult babies with guns.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Taintrunner posted:

Spoiler alert: It'll take hundreds of years and it sucks and millions of people are going to live and die on a brutal dust world in the hopes that maybe it all turns green one day.

I mean this is literally the basis of Fremen culture in Dune.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

~Everybody wants to be a cat~
~Because a cat's the only cat~
~Who knows where its at~


Ghost Leviathan posted:

I mean this is literally the basis of Fremen culture in Dune.

AGAIN, IT IS THE LEGEND :D

Stanley Tucheetos
May 15, 2012



Defiance Industries posted:

The other thing that I appreciate about it is that the Martian terraforming project is portrayed not in terms of needing to expand the area they can live on Mars, but out of a tremendous envy for Earth. Specificially, an Earth that doesn't exist anymore because 30 billion people live on Earth now, and one of the largest expenditures in the planet's GDP is just keeping everyone from drowning in sewage. It's not practical, and it's not supposed to be.

Anyway my vote is any kind of mass-cloning speed-aging process. Your brains aren't gonna work, you're just gonna be a bunch of adult babies with guns.

Speaking of cloning the Asgard cloning process has to take the cake. They basically cloned themselves infertile while also causing degredation of the cloned bodies the more they did it. It was so bad they all committed suicide while uploading their brains and telling humans good luck hope you can fix us.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Stanley Tucheetos posted:

Speaking of cloning the Asgard cloning process has to take the cake. They basically cloned themselves infertile while also causing degredation of the cloned bodies the more they did it. It was so bad they all committed suicide while uploading their brains and telling humans good luck hope you can fix us.

I'm reminded how this seems to be an oddly common thing with 'gray' aliens, Destroy All Humans has the protagonist's race be sterile from cloning after losing most of their population in atomic war.

The Asgard did at least basically will humans all their stuff.

banned from Starbucks
Jul 18, 2004






Jokes on them. Humans are just gonna use cloning tech to clone themselves with bigger dicks

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005








banned from Starbucks posted:

Jokes on them. Humans are just gonna use cloning tech to clone themselves with bigger dicks

CLONE BONE

Trast
Oct 20, 2010

Three games, thousands of playthroughs. 90% of the players don't know I exist. Still a redhead saving the galaxy with a [Right Hook].

:edi:


Stanley Tucheetos posted:

Speaking of cloning the Asgard cloning process has to take the cake. They basically cloned themselves infertile while also causing degredation of the cloned bodies the more they did it. It was so bad they all committed suicide while uploading their brains and telling humans good luck hope you can fix us.

They kept trying to extend the viability of their cloning to buy time to solve the problems. So by the time they figured out anything it was too late. There was an episode where they find some early Asgard locked in stasis that they hoped to make a cure out of. But I'm guessing they ditched the idea because the Asgard dealing with manpower issues helped to keep them from being an "I win" button for the SGC.

Stanley Tucheetos
May 15, 2012



Ghost Leviathan posted:


The Asgard did at least basically will humans all their stuff.

Too bad the USAF will never release any of that technology for the common good of humanity. It's been what 10 years now since the end of the show where humanity has the combined knowledge of the 2 most advanced species in the known universe? There's probably a file In there somewhere labeled cure for all human ailments that is conveniently ignored.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



GD_American posted:

40 years of development, as well as rewriting the definition of "what it is" helped get it there. It's no longer the boat anchor on that legendary 60 Minutes segment, but it's still a pretty legendary failure in acquisitions.

It could be that between modern procurement disasters and WW2 era procurement disasters have just changed what counts to me as a legendary failure

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

427 TOTALLY LEGITIMATE, DEFENSIBLE NATIONAL TITLES AND COUNTING


Nebakenezzer posted:

It could be that between modern procurement disasters and WW2 era procurement disasters have just changed what counts to me as a legendary failure

I mean, there's different criteria in the eras in lives or money. Inbetween tho, it's hard to beat hilarious disasters like the Sergeant York.

DrBouvenstein
Feb 28, 2007

I think I'm a doctor, but that doesn't make me a doctor. This fancy avatar does.


I've only seen the first few episodes of SG-1, so maybe someone can help me.

As was pointed out in that Stargate rant on page 1, when you dial a gate it send a weird death plume at the other end. Unless you just, like...put a rock in front of it? Ancient Egypt buried theirs so nothing could get through. I also remember the Stargate people saying in those first episodes that they have a ring that covers it up when not in use so no one can come through to murder us.

So how come SOMETIMES when you dial a gate, it will destroy anything in front of it, but other times a piece of loving tinfoil stops it?

And it's worth noting, in none of the episodes I saw does the team ever send a robot first, except like once. So how do they know they aren't all going to get smashed to nothing on the other end? Or maybe we're just supposed to know that anytime they go somewhere new, just assume they send a probe first off-screen?

DrBouvenstein fucked around with this message at 19:49 on Jun 12, 2020

General Battuta
Feb 7, 2011

This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: you hurt it, you keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the posts from the screams.

They routinely send MALP probes through first, don't worry.

The iris prevents the death plume from even forming, somehow? I guess? You'd think the iris would need to close right AFTER the death plume but...I dunno.

A Buttery Pastry
Sep 4, 2011

Delicious and Informative!
:3:


General Battuta posted:

They routinely send MALP probes through first, don't worry.

The iris prevents the death plume from even forming, somehow? I guess? You'd think the iris would need to close right AFTER the death plume but...I dunno.
Presumably the death plume has some sort of weakness, something it can't just penetrate/destroy. Like, lead, which is a pretty lovely metal if you're trying to build armor, is pretty loving good at the specific task of stopping radiation. Maybe there's a metal that absorbs death plumes?

Alternatively, the gate has some sort of sensor that registers a blockage in front of it that prevents it from even attempting a connection, as a safety mechanism.The iris literally just convinces the gate that it's burried.

General Battuta
Feb 7, 2011

This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: you hurt it, you keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the posts from the screams.

The last one would make a lot of sense except that there are multiple instances of inbound travelers just slamming into the iris and dying. Apparently the gate allows them to transit, but can't rebuild them on the far end. They just get spit out as random particles because gently caress you, the stargate hates you.

Coolness Averted
Feb 20, 2007

oh don't worry, I can't smell asparagus piss, it's in my DNA

GO HOGG WILD!


DrBouvenstein posted:

I've only seen the first few episodes of SG-1, so maybe someone can help me.

As was pointed out in that Stargate rant on page 1, when you dial a gate it send a weird death plume at the other end. Unless you just, like...put a rock in front of it? Ancient Egypt buried there's and so nothing could get through. I also remember the Stargate people saying in those first episodes that they have a ring that covers it up when not in use so no one can come through to murder us.

So how come SOMETIMES when you dial a gate, it will destroy anything in front of it, but other times a piece of loving tinfoil stops it?

And it's worth noting, in none of the episodes I saw does the team ever send a robot first, except like once. So how do they know they aren't all going to get smashed to nothing on the other end? Or maybe we're just supposed to know that anytime they go somewhere new, just assume they send a probe first off-screen?

Earlier in the show there's a bunch of SG teams and a common hook is "Other team hosed up and died/got captured or whatever" I just assumed the main protagonist group didn't get splatted but others did. Like in the movie wasn't a key plotpoint that it was literally a suicide mission and that's why O'Neill takes it? Though the show obviously changes that concept by specifically having characters be valuable and care when others die instead of shrugging it off.
I mean I completely agree the stargates are bad tech, but I also think the "Does the gate blow up poo poo in front of it or does it splat things going through it if there's an obstruction?" is based on how much of the gate is covered, like fully blocking the gate=splat the stuff coming through, big gaps, or far enough away=splat the stuff blocking. Do later episodes of the show mix things up?

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005








General Battuta posted:

They routinely send MALP probes through first, don't worry.

The iris prevents the death plume from even forming, somehow? I guess? You'd think the iris would need to close right AFTER the death plume but...I dunno.

That's exactly it, Carter explains early on that both the kawoosh and incoming matter need a tiny bit of space just above the event horizon of an incoming wormhole to form; the iris is calibrated to take up that space, without getting in the way of the wormhole itself.

They're actually really consistent about this -- in the episode "100 Days" the gate on the planet they're visiting is struck by a meteor while an outgoing wormhole is open, it's buried in the crater but the open wormhole causes the rock to be cut off right against the plane of the event horizon, just like an iris. Even radiation gets partially blocked by the iris, when they briefly open it to try an EMP against Anubis' gate weapon it lets the full energy through and drops their survival time even more.

Poopernickel
Oct 28, 2005

electricity bad

Fun Shoe

I like that the SG-1 canon name for it is the "kawoosh"

Machado de Assis
Dec 12, 2005



How did this get to page 5 and already mention a weapon from Star Trek without anyone pointing out what a piece of poo poo the bat'leth is

ThisIsJohnWayne
Feb 23, 2007
Ooo! Look at me! NO DON'T LOOK AT ME!




Because star trek is in itself a dumb idea. Don't talk about star trek because it's all just so absolutely dumb.

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Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




Machado de Assis posted:

How did this get to page 5 and already mention a weapon from Star Trek without anyone pointing out what a piece of poo poo the bat'leth is

Honestly I always thought it was kind of one of the little jokes of ST: Klingons are like many warrior cultures (e.g. Sparta) and are basically pure marketing that performs poorly in actual combat.

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