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Old Sep 12 2007, 10:43 PM   #1
D. M. Domini
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Default Technology Stagnation?

I was just thinking of technology in the Talent universe - the stories, obviously, are typically about the Talent, and AMC explains away the lack of fancy technology in Talent homes due to Talents not liking automation for some reason. But I think that's a bit of a way out, so tech didn't have to be gone into in any depth.

In the early Talent books, the Pegasus ones, we see tech (more than we do in The Rowan, etc.). Stranding, liners, etc. But the later Talent books, which I've always estimated as having happened some ~300 years later, seemed almost a step back in technology. I guess part of it stems from the fact that The Rowan and Damia emerged from romance stories, basically!

What sort of technology in the time of The Rowan through The Tower and the Hive do you think they have? I'm rather surprised FTL hasn't been done, given it's obviously possible because teleports can do it, and since it heavily implied that at the time of the Rowan, Primes were rare, so you'd think someone would still be looking for a Talent-replacement if only to give the FT&T monopoly a kick in the balls. I guess plot restraints, sort of the what-do-dragonriders-do-after-thread? question...what do Primes do when FTL machines are common?...retarded the technology.

Heh, now I'm thinking of a far-set future where the macro kinetic Talents of the glory days of the FT&T are seen in some almost mythological light, the great bloodline dynasties of Reidinger, Raven, Gwyn, Lyon, etc. intermarrying to keep Talent strong, etc, with the more favored Talents shifting instead to, oh, empaths and telepaths, or precogs. Or something.

Or maybe biological manipulation tech starts to flower, and humanity becomes a race where *all* humans are Talented, in some way? So familes have their own Primes here and there who decentralize the spaceports so that clans/family-lines move themselves around?

...now there's an idea...

I meant to say something in this thread, but it's changed to pure speculation. Anyone wanna join?
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Old Sep 13 2007, 12:07 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Portalvast Magus View Post
I meant to say something in this thread, but it's changed to pure speculation. Anyone wanna join?
I was wondering if someone else would notice these little details. Well spotted Miss. I have to say that it is not because of a lack of technology that we do not see it or that we don't see it described in detail, I think the focal point of the story needed to be centered around the driving force of this culture and society. Talent.

Therefore it is merely understood that there is an advancement of technology in keeping with the span of time that has passed. Things are developed and evolve as they naturally would in such advanced societies. Ann did not focus on that aspect of things merely because she was telling a story about a particular group of people.....families....individuals.....

The technology is there, but it is subtle and understated because it is not the main element of this journey that we are taken on. Much as we would take something as simple as a computer or even a can opener for granted, so too do these people view such everyday things in their lives as merely tools ment to enhance daily tasks.

Consider also the colonial atmosphere of many of the lives we are shown. These people have had to readjust their way of living in order to accomodate the colonization expansion. So perhaps a new colony would not be afforded as many technological advances as much as a well established colony with liquid assets.

You can be sure that the Lyons are most likely not the only ones to hunt for their table on Aurigae. Likewise for Denebians who have always had the "do it for yourself" type of mentality.

As far as FTL technology, you can be sure that it would rear its head and probably has been in use in small capacities for one thing or another, however you must remember that these types of drives and systems...while advanced.....are simply not as effective or stable as portation is. Proven methods are often the longest used ones.

Very good thoughts though.....a very interesting line of speculation.

Technologically yours,

MMV
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Old Sep 13 2007, 02:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Technology Stagnation?

It's not really mentioned, but they would have pretty fast transportation, even if not FTL to get from one system to another without Talent assistance. It's also obvious that the Navy would rather trust its engineers than Talent, at least until they took out a few Hive ships.

The mere fact that Talents are said to prefer non-automated households implies that most people on Earth and on established colony planets such as Altair would prefer automation. However, it's not the highest priority for new colonies. And somehow I doubt that a planet with such an austere lifestyle as Capella would have the newest, coolest gadgets even if they could afford them.
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Old Sep 13 2007, 04:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Technology Stagnation?

You know, you're right, they likely do have FTL transportation, otherwise the Navy out there going it alone until Thian grew up and became Naval Prime would have been an exercise in uselessness. It's not instantaneous FTL transport like 'porting is, but it has to be fast otherwise they wouldn't be able to visit any system before the crew expired of old age.

So, in the Pegasus series, they had generation ships or something, right? I admit I only read Pegasus in Space once. Generation or hibernation ships, I think. Then, 300 years later, they have FTL that makes things faster, but not instantaneous. Something similar to Mrdini tech, because the Mrdini colonized 2 more planets without Primes.

That makes things more clear, yay!

I do agree colonies would generally not have the framework to have all the latest and greatest gadgets. What I do think, though, is that smart people would find a new niche to occupy on colony planets, so people with an entrepreneur spirit from *all* sorts of industries would likely set up shop on colony planets. And that those professionals who do decide to do that would likely flavor the new culture of the colony pretty deeply as well. So one colony might have all the latest tech in one area due to a startup that splintered off of the industry on an established planet, and having this particular tech or industry influences the culture, whereas a different colony planet might have had different professionals setting up shop.

Here's another question; how much governmental independence do the colony planets have? In The Rowan Isthia I think mentions a "charter", but in The Tower and the Hive the Nine Star League--now the Alliance--seems to have a governmental body of a sort. Is it just restricted to species-wide threats like the Hivers? Or can it enact other laws?

I'm guessing basic human rights are made law by the larger government, but the colony planets are left to work the details out by themselves. If they screw up, and they're still paying back their colonization debt, they probably have some sort of punishment or fine.
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Old Sep 15 2007, 06:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Portalvast Magus View Post
Here's another question; how much governmental independence do the colony planets have? In The Rowan Isthia I think mentions a "charter", but in The Tower and the Hive the Nine Star League--now the Alliance--seems to have a governmental body of a sort. Is it just restricted to species-wide threats like the Hivers? Or can it enact other laws?

I'm guessing basic human rights are made law by the larger government, but the colony planets are left to work the details out by themselves. If they screw up, and they're still paying back their colonization debt, they probably have some sort of punishment or fine.
The individual colony worlds would adhere to their own charters and laws defined by whatever governmental form is developed and agreed to on each individual planet. Keeping in mind however that there are certain regulatory conditions that have to be met to maintain an equalibrium throughout the Nine Star League (Commonwealth).

And yes Basic Human Rights would be dictated and enforced by The High Councils. The High Councils also have jurisdiction over consituent colonies and can choose to break ties with a colonial world if said world does not comply with basic regulatory mandates.

FT&T However is autonomous and makes its own dictates about how they interact with the colony worlds. This can sometimes lead to problems between FT&T brass and the High Councils, however, as we well know, a certain "backwater boonie" we all love and admire is quite good at smoothing ruffled feathers.

Governmentally yours,

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Old Sep 15 2007, 10:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Technology Stagnation?

They must be pretty independent, or else a warped world such as Capella would never have been allowed to develop. The only good thing that planet produced was Afra, and he too only after he had shed (or rejected from the start) about 90% of his early training.
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Old Sep 20 2007, 10:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Technology Stagnation?

I wouldn't go so far as to call Capella a 'warped' world. Different, yes. Harsher, yes, in some ways. Stricter. I think we have seen a lot of the negative sides to the planet--Afra was unhappy, Clairissa was a fantatic, and Capella herself had all sorts of odd quirks. Damia and Damia's children said they didn't enjoy the experience of going there, but it's going to be quite a change of culture for them, so I'm not surprised they didn't exactly enjoy it.
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Old Sep 21 2007, 02:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: Technology Stagnation?

To be fair, Anne's personalities usually do have odd quirks, and a good thing too. If they're too perfect, they're not interesting. The culture of Capella just gives me heebie-jeebies, in about the same way living in, say, a small town dominated by one strong faith would, where anyone labeled different would face a very hard time.
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Old Sep 21 2007, 04:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Technology Stagnation?

I grew up in a white, republican, conservative christian town and I grew up ok, so I don't really have the heebie jeebies about it; I can hide myself well enough.

Granted, much like Afra I got into reading and knowledge that probably wouldn't entirely have been approved of, had my guardians noticed. And I moved to a more liberal town right away when I could, lol.
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Old Jun 14 2008, 06:24 AM   #10
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Default Re: Technology Stagnation?

In the Rowan there's a line about how the towers basically transported the ships out past the solar system: when they're out far enough the ships activate hyper drives for the rest of the way: "Most of the heart system's freight and passenger ships required the gestalt lift beyond the system where the hyper or drone drives could safely be activated" The Rowan, Ace paperback edition, pgs 139-140. HOWEVER, that mode of transport doesn't get much support when the tower Talent also spends about half its time catching transports from other towers. So you could argue it both ways, actually.

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Old Jun 15 2008, 12:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Portalvast Magus View Post
Y

So, in the Pegasus series, they had generation ships or something, right? I admit I only read Pegasus in Space once. Generation or hibernation ships, I think. Then, 300 years later, they have FTL that makes things faster, but not instantaneous. Something similar to Mrdini tech, because the Mrdini colonized 2 more planets without Primes.
Actually, I think the first colony ship was actually ported all the way to the destination system by Reidinger the First. Who also transported it through time just to show it worked. Yeah, not sure how THAT'S supposed to work, but whatever . . .
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Old Jun 15 2008, 03:56 AM   #12
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They had started colonizing with hibernation ships from Padrugoi Station, that were on the way when Reidinger and crew 'ported the first colonists to Capella. So they weren't the first ones sent, but they did arrive first.

If you think about it, sending something away from you would take time effects into account, because you can only send to somewhere you know or you can see. For all the Talents knew, Capella could have gone nova in the intervening 40 years. Once you have a Talent at both ends of the line, this effect cancels out.
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