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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: jamesd on November 07, 2010, 04:11:12 pm

Title: Action?
Post by: jamesd on November 07, 2010, 04:11:12 pm
This Babbette story appears to be taking place in an LA shopping mall cafetaria, rather than in anarchic spacer society.

I have not seen any space for a while - where are people flying?  I don't see any micro gravity or milli gravity.

As for anarchism, the cool story related quality of anarchism is that it is the job of heroes to uphold law and justice, which is why cowboy stories and icelandic sagas are fun.

Not seeing any space, not seeing any heroes. 

In anarchy, should have heroes, and in space, heroes can fly.  Not seeing any flying heroes. 

There are lots of entertaining web comics featuring ordinary everyday people in an ordinary everyday environment, for example "Penny and Aggie" - lots and lots of them.  Do you want to be one more?

When I read old non fiction books, written by people who lived in places and times where the government was far away, the characters are twice as large as life, because making decisions that might well result in deadly violence, that sometimes did result in deadly violence, was part of their job responsibility.  Loyalty was more important, when part of the requirement was to avenge someone's death if he was wrongfully killed.   When the state is close at hand, people are tamer, and thus smaller.  The people in this story are people in an LA shopping mall.  They are not Daniel Boon nor Davey Crocket, nor Njal son of Thorgeir.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: SandySandfort on November 07, 2010, 07:32:12 pm
This Babbette story appears to be taking place in an LA shopping mall cafetaria, rather than in anarchic spacer society.

Hmm, I fail to see how "an LA shopping mall cafeteria" and an "anarchic spacer society" are mutually exclusive. People from Malaysia to Milwaukee like shopping malls. I can see no reason to believe they will not be popular in the Belt, as well. Also, from a dramatic standpoint, heroic actions against a banal background are all the more intense. Hitchcock explained and employed this principle more than once.

I have not seen any space for a while - where are people flying?  I don't see any micro gravity or milli gravity.

EFT is not about space, it takes place on different worlds. Ultimately though, EFT is about what all good science fiction is about, people. The only difference is the use of environments and situations to increase the impact of human actions. As for flying people, isn't that a bit of a cliché? We have upcoming arcs where there are amusement parks and such where micro-gravity will be a factor in the amusement, but it will still be incidental to the story. BTW, I don't recall any Kudos from you when various aspects of space, gravity, micro-gravity and zero gravity appeared in the arc that took place in SkyLand Theme Park and Resort at L4.

As for anarchism, the cool story related quality of anarchism is that it is the job of heroes to uphold law and justice, which is why cowboy stories and icelandic sagas are fun.

Nonsense. In a stateless society, it is everyone's prerogative to protect (or not protect) themselves, their family and whoever else they choose to protect, from aggression and other threats to their freedom. You don't need superheros, just the streak of heroism that exists in all of us. EFT heroes are plucked from the vast reserve of everyday heroes. We think that is "fun," but if you prefer cowboy stories and Icelandic sagas, knock yourself out.  :)
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: jamesd on November 08, 2010, 07:13:45 am
EFT is not about space, it takes place on different worlds. Ultimately though, EFT is about what all good science fiction is about, people.

Science fiction is about people that are dealing with strangeness, dealing with a world that is very different from that of the reader, though perhaps taken for granted by the characters.   In the current strips, they are not dealing with strangeness.

The only difference is the use of environments and situations to increase the impact of human actions. As for flying people, isn't that a bit of a cliché?

If you have action, exciting events, people will attempt to move quickly.  If people attempt to move quickly in microgravity, microgravity is indistinguishable from zero gravity.  They will fly.  They will act without regard to up or down.  If you depict a microgravity environment where people are not flying, you are depicting talking heads.

You don't need superheros,

Icelandic sagas and cowboy stories have heroes, not superheroes - but in microgravity, ordinary heroes will fly like superheroes.

And even if they don't fly, I would still expect more heroes and heroism in an anarchic society.  That is why the frontier and saga period iceland figure disproportionately in fiction.

if you prefer cowboy stories and Icelandic sagas, knock yourself out.  :)
Cowboy stories and icelandic sagas are based on real life anarchic societies.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: terry_freeman on November 08, 2010, 08:41:19 am
Sometimes ordinary things happen even in strange places - and the stories are worth telling nonetheless. Babette engaged in an ordinary sort of theft; the interesting point is that she recognizes it as such, and does not excuse it with "everybody does it" or "he wouldn't mind", but is grappling with ways to make Daddy-e whole in a responsible way.

This is the heart of the AnCap way of looking at things; it is a very human drama.

Perhaps, in a proper Western, a fairy godmother would leave a sack of gold to be discovered by Babette, but in anything approaching the real world, she'll have to work out her own solution.

I'm curious about Daddy-e and Daddy-b ... this suggests some form of polyamory, reminiscent of the "line marriages" of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress?

Title: Re: Action?
Post by: jamesd on November 08, 2010, 02:38:00 pm
Sometimes ordinary things happen even in strange places - and the stories are worth telling nonetheless.

The trouble is that this is an ordinary things happening in what looks like an ordinary place.

Ordinary things happening in ordinary places can be good stories, and there is a great pile of web comics featuring ordinary people in ordinary places doing ordinary things, but they are not science fiction.

The two big SF webcomics are Schlock Mercenary and Freefall.  Every strip in Schlock Mercenary shows aliens, and a most strips show spaceships and rayguns.  Freefall is quieter, but the major characters are an uplifted creature based on a dog and a wolf with a robotic brain augmenting its biological dog brain to human intelligence, a robot, and squidlike alien wearing an anthropomorphic animatronic environment suit and each story line is about the alien characteristics of one of them, except for the story lines about spaceships and terraforming.  There is never a story line in Freefall that could take place with humans on today's earth - either the background and the props are alien, or the plot problem is alien, and usually both.

Similarly, on a story about anarchists in space, I would like to see space and anarchy.

Title: Re: Action?
Post by: terry_freeman on November 08, 2010, 03:35:53 pm
Uh, Jamesd, the Babette arc is about anarchy.

It deals with a problem which most petty thieves in a statist society would ignore. In an AnCap society, people want to be more honest. We're still waiting for the resolution, but it probably does not involve one guy with a gun and a badge, another with fancy robes and a wig, and another with a locked room. Nor does it depend upon what a bunch of stuffed shirts (whose only qualification is a magic process called an "election") have declared to be "the Law."

Lacking those things, it is about anarchy, not about statism.

Title: Re: Action?
Post by: SandySandfort on November 08, 2010, 05:57:21 pm
Ordinary things happening in ordinary places can be good stories, and there is a great pile of web comics featuring ordinary people in ordinary places doing ordinary things, but they are not science fiction.

It's SF if they are doing those thing on a dwarf planet where gold is (one form of) money and there is no government to meddle in interpersonal relationships. Not every minute has to be spent doing science fiction things. I like spaceships, rayguns and aliens too, but I don't need to be immersed in them 24/7 to enjoy a good story.

So far, we have had burners, instantaneous communication, Belt mining, lasers (i.e., rayguns), a zero-g amusement park, people living on Mars and in the belt, lunar prisons, AIs and more to come. Shall I go on?

There have been plenty of traditional science fiction elements in EFT. There will be plenty more. There may be more odd planetoids, aliens, and FTL. However, their will also be more romance, mystery, humor and, yes, morality plays like the current arc.

The creators of EFT are giving our readers a more realist universe filled with a variety of story types and characters. Don't worry, there will be action, but not only action. If I can come up with a good "chick-flick" arc, be prepare to endure characters talking about their feelings.  (It could happen!)   ;D

The two big SF webcomics are Schlock Mercenary and Freefall.  Every strip in Schlock Mercenary shows aliens, and a most strips show spaceships and rayguns.  Freefall is quieter, but the major characters are an uplifted creature based on a dog and a wolf with a robotic brain augmenting its biological dog brain to human intelligence, a robot, and squidlike alien wearing an anthropomorphic animatronic environment suit and each story line is about the alien characteristics of one of them, except for the story lines about spaceships and terraforming.  There is never a story line in Freefall that could take place with humans on today's earth - either the background and the props are alien, or the plot problem is alien, and usually both.

Bully for them! That's why there are horse races...

Similarly, on a story about anarchists in space, I would like to see space and anarchy.

We will write what we write, because as Rick Nelson wrote:

   But it's all right now
   I learned my lesson well
   You see, ya can't please everyone
   So ya got to please yourself
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: jamesd on November 08, 2010, 10:53:25 pm
It deals with a problem which most petty thieves in a statist society would ignore. In an AnCap society, people want to be more honest. We're still waiting for the resolution, but it probably does not involve one guy with a gun and a badge, another with fancy robes and a wig, and another with a locked room. Nor does it depend upon what a bunch of stuffed shirts (whose only qualification is a magic process called an "election") have declared to be "the Law."

Lacking those things, it is about anarchy, not about statism.

On today's earth, the state would not get involved in the case of child stealing from her father, at least not in those countries I am familiar with.

The fact that her parents have a complicated marriage would have been science fictional in 1940, but not today.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: jamesd on November 08, 2010, 11:18:47 pm
Not every minute has to be spent doing science fiction things.
Yet I observe the two most popular science fiction webcomics, Schlock Mercenary and Freefall do do every minute doing science fictional things.

Similarly, all famous cowboy stories center around cowboys doing things that could only happen in an anarchic society, all famous icelandic sagas center around people doing stuff that could only happen in anarchic society.

The most popular Icelandic saga is the burning of Njal.  Njal prophesies that Gunnar will die if he kills twice in the same family.  How could that story line even exist in statist society?  Nothing that happens in the story of the burning of Njal could possibly happen in a statist society.   It contains a romance and a divorce - but it is a divorce where there is no government to enforce fair distribution of family assets, and a romance where marriage creates obligations to defend and protect.

The creators of EFT are giving our readers a more realist universe filled with a variety of story types and characters.

I don't think it is realistic that almost all scenes could happen under one gravity, and that furniture, tables, and desks are designed as if for one gravity.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: KBCraig on November 09, 2010, 03:59:53 am
So far, we have had burners, instantaneous communication, Belt mining, lasers (i.e., rayguns), a zero-g amusement park, people living on Mars and in the belt, lunar prisons, AIs and more to come. Shall I go on?

There have been plenty of traditional science fiction elements in EFT. There will be plenty more. There may be more odd planetoids, aliens, and FTL. However, their will also be more romance, mystery, humor and, yes, morality plays like the current arc.

Thanks for helping me realize why I have never thought of myself as an SF fan, but I do love much of the SF I've read. For me, it must contain the human element to be "real". Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Stranger in a Strange Land, Fallen Angels... all of those are great SF stories, but I love them because they're about people in SF settings, not SF with people involved.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: J Thomas on November 09, 2010, 06:34:33 am

I don't think it is realistic that almost all scenes could happen under one gravity, and that furniture, tables, and desks are designed as if for one gravity.

They had some of that at the very beginning. It might come up occasionally. Like, if they have a place where multiple people sit at desks, they could have the desks double-stacked and people jump five feet. And they could have things like 6-wall handball, and some sort of basketball where athletes occasionally jump 50 feet and then jump off the ceiling, and they have the disadvantage that they can't change direction while they're jumping.

You could have somebody set a timer -- they put a bell at a set height, and five minutes later it hits the floor and rings. They get upset when somebody else knocks it.

There's nothing wrong with having stuff like that as long as it doesn't interfere too much with the story.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: Bob G on November 09, 2010, 06:42:27 am
Similarly, all famous cowboy stories center around cowboys doing things that could only happen in an anarchic society, all famous icelandic sagas center around people doing stuff that could only happen in anarchic society.

And yet 99+ % of cowboying dealt with the mundanity of handling some of the stupidest animals on earth under the worst of conditions. Not much glamour in eating dust in the blazing sun all day, eating bad bacon and beans at dusk, and freezing your @$$ off all night long while waiting for the slightest thing to set your 'charges' off. The gunfight in the street at high noon, the range war, etc. were the exception rather than the rule which is what makes them remarkable. In portraying the day-to-day 'little' drama, Sandy et al. are actually giving a more realistic picture of life in the 'roids. Don't worry, I'm sure there are more exploding spaceships to come. The UW hasn't disappeared after all, they're just licking their wounds.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: macsnafu on November 09, 2010, 08:57:24 am
In anarchy, should have heroes, and in space, heroes can fly.  Not seeing any flying heroes. 

All stories have "protagonists"--whether or not they are "heroes" depends much upon how you define a hero, but strictly speaking, a story does not require a hero.

EFT is not necessarily a space opera.  I would say that EFT is primarily a story about anarchy in a science fictional setting or background.  Sometimes that background becomes more important to the story, and sometimes, it's merely background.  There are plenty of science fiction webcomics out there, like Moontown and Marooned, for example.  EFT is unique because it's about anarchy, not because it's science fiction.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: jamesd on November 09, 2010, 04:20:52 pm
I don't think it is realistic that almost all scenes could happen under one gravity, and that furniture, tables, and desks are designed as if for one gravity.

They had some of that at the very beginning. It might come up occasionally

Low gravity comes up occasionally as a special effect - as you would do if this was movie shot in LA.  Should be routine, everyday, taken for granted, and continual - as if this was a movie shot on location.  Anyone in motion or taking action should be flying or floating.

No one should walk - they should hop, skip, or run in slow motion.  The speed at which running or leaping is a more efficient gait than walking depends on gravity.  In Ceres gravity, walking is never an efficient gait.  Skipping would probably the normal casual slow way of getting about.

When one walks, at least one foot is in contact with the ground at all times, two feet are in contact some of the time.  When running, one foot part of the time, no feet part of the time.  In Ceres' gravity, anyone moving around would seldom contact the ground.

And similarly anarchy comes up occasionally as a special effect, rather than an everyday background to everyday life.  In a cowboy movie, everyone wears guns all the time, because everyone is responsible for maintaining order and justice.

In "Shlock mercenary", they are space mercenaries all the time.  In "Freefall", they are non humans with non human problems driving the plot all the time with a world in the process of being roboticly terraformed in the background behind them all the time.  In "Escape from terra" they look like they are on earth under a government most of the time, with anarchy and low gravity showing up once in a while as a special effect.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: jamesd on November 09, 2010, 04:57:17 pm
All stories have "protagonists"--whether or not they are "heroes" depends much upon how you define a hero, but strictly speaking, a story does not require a hero.

Anarchic settings, for example  frontier, early feudal, saga period Iceland, and heroic age Greece, are popular because they give more scope to heroes - heroism in such societies being a strongly demanded social obligation, rather than abnormal criminal act.

EFT is not necessarily a space opera.  I would say that EFT is primarily a story about anarchy in a science fictional setting or background. 

If it is about anarchy then there should be some dramatics.  Dramatics in space.  "Space opera" tends to imply large scale conflicts, between armies, space fleets, and entire species struggling for possession of entire planets.  If anarchy, should be individuals and small groups struggling.    The kingdom of Ithaca is represented as being about the size of a large farm.


Sometimes that background becomes more important to the story, and sometimes, it's merely background. 

But the trouble is that is not background.  The background of the Babette story looks like the cafetaria in an LA shopping mall.  Background should be milligravity, since they are in space, and people should be carrying arms openly, since anarchy.

Title: Re: Action?
Post by: terry_freeman on November 09, 2010, 06:07:24 pm
In today's panel, the two guys sitting in the audience are carrying openly. I'd expect just about everyone to be carrying; it's a personal choice whether to use a hip carry or something a bit less obvious.

I was thinking about chairs - in milligravity, there is no need for padding to cushion against the effects of gravity. One might want to pad edges against collisions. I'd expect grippy surfaces - something to grab onto, and possible something that holds one in place; otherwise, people would have to develop a habit of being very, very quiet with their body language.

Come to think of it, one might learn to instinctively balance all gestures about one's center of gravity. One hand forward, one back; one right, one left.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: ZeissIkon on November 10, 2010, 05:32:00 pm
people would have to develop a habit of being very, very quiet with their body language.

Larry Niven did this -- in that part of his Known Space future history set in the Solar System, and occasionally in later stories, one could identify a Belter by his lack of gesture (because gesturing in a singleship was likely to accidentally activate some control and potentially kill you, and locking the board might kill you if you had to maneuver or enter commands suddenly).  Personally, I envision something like chair surfaces with microperforations and mild suction (like an air hocky table with the blower reversed), beds with unobtrusive restraints, perhaps also suction based (less obvious than a Space Shuttle bunk/bag, but with similar purpose -- weighing a half pound or so wouldn't keep me in a bed, though with no pressure points I'd probably move a lot less during a night), and very little use of surfaces for unrestrained display of objects.  Living in Ceres would be a great deal like living in microgravity, except if you put something down, it'd stay where it was put as long as no one turns on a fan, and you'd have to relearn leaping through empty spaces because there's just enough gravity to make you land short/low.  Alternately, folks could adopt clothing with magnetic metal fibers in it, which would stick gently to a chair surfaced with something similar to "universal magnet tape" (which is covered with alternating poles less than a millimeter wide).  And, of course, there's always 1960s vintage hook-and-loop (big disadvantage is the hooks get clogged up with stray fibers and can catch hair, while the loops eventually break and lose their hold).  There might even be competing systems, though that could lead to annoying incompatibilities between guests' clothing and the host's furniture.

Even with stiction systems, I think gesture would be greatly reduced -- if a chair isn't too sticky to easily get out of, a broad gesture will still pop you up into the air.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: SandySandfort on November 10, 2010, 06:15:48 pm
If it is about anarchy then there should be some dramatics. 

JamesD, I notice your critiques are long on "shoulds," but short on justifications. Nevertheless, I suspect you think you understand how fiction works. Obviously, EFT is not as you would have written it. So we are back to horse races.

The Big Head Publisher and Director are always looking for well written content. I would love to see an example of your writing skills that would conform to your ideas of science fiction, heroism, anarchy, etc. I suggest  a "short, short story," 0 to 2000 words, or a short story up to 7500 words. You could write it whole cloth or set it in an alternate EFT universe. I suggest that Big Head run whatever you donate, as a fan fiction novelty. If your fellow readers, Big Head management and the EFT team like it, you might get a gig.

While we are at it, I suggest that Big Head periodically print fan fiction; maybe have a competition. Who knows? We may discover the next science fiction superstar!
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: quadibloc on November 11, 2010, 12:32:41 am
I'm perfectly happy to have "human interest" stories that tell me about how the world of Ceres works.

Fireworks in space won't necessarily be more significant than drama about events that matter to people for other reasons.

However, it turns out from the latest comic that something larger-than-life is happening. Babette, apparently, is shaping up to be a titan of industry - having spotted an opportunity, a niche no one was filling, and seized it.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: ZeissIkon on November 12, 2010, 05:25:23 pm
However, it turns out from the latest comic that something larger-than-life is happening. Babette, apparently, is shaping up to be a titan of industry - having spotted an opportunity, a niche no one was filling, and seized it.

Actually, if I'm reading today's strip correctly, Babette the younger apparently spotted multiple unfilled niches, and was willing to do dirtier work for less money (else someone else would have had those jobs) than anyone else in order to fulfill her difficult goal (repaying a 150+ gram debt, with interest, in a short time frame). I wonder if she'll still be willing to clean toilets (in 3% gravity, that promises to be a messy and potentially hazardous task -- she should be wearing more personal protective equipment than just a pair of rubber gloves) once she's working for her own monetary needs instead of to salve her conscience and restore her trustworthiness?
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on November 12, 2010, 11:00:25 pm
I wonder if she'll still be willing to clean toilets [...] once she's working for her own monetary needs instead of to salve her conscience and restore her trustworthiness?

I wouldn't expect her to do so -- at least not without a significant raise.  At this point she's "paid her dues" by demonstrating her strong work ethic, and she should be able to demand a higher price for her labor now or in the very near future -- as well as a much wider set of job opportunities to select from.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: ZeissIkon on November 15, 2010, 03:51:10 pm
I wonder if she'll still be willing to clean toilets [...] once she's working for her own monetary needs instead of to salve her conscience and restore her trustworthiness?

I wouldn't expect her to do so -- at least not without a significant raise.  At this point she's "paid her dues" by demonstrating her strong work ethic, and she should be able to demand a higher price for her labor now or in the very near future -- as well as a much wider set of job opportunities to select from.

Or, alternately, she could decide she likes being able to pocket substantial numbers of grams quickly -- enough so to keep doing the dirty jobs no one else is willing to do at the offered or negotiated rate; she might even find a way to hire someone to do some of the actual work for less than what she's collecting (say, recruit a bunch of 9-, 10-, and 11-year olds -- Earth years -- who have fewer opportunities to earn spending money but are perfectly capable of steering a brush) and thus become an entrepreneur, rather than a laborer.

Or, as you say, she might well find there are other, "better" jobs around that pay better and are less unpleasant and/or easier, and for which she has (now) the necessary skills...like Ceres Port Agent, which seems to be where we originally met her...
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: Scott on November 20, 2010, 12:25:53 pm
Quote
I was thinking about chairs - in milligravity, there is no need for padding to cushion against the effects of gravity. One might want to pad edges against collisions. I'd expect grippy surfaces - something to grab onto, and possible something that holds one in place ...

Sandy and I have been discussing that and have come up with a partial solution -- in the Belt, we have widespread use of a material called "Gecko" which is a low-tack adhesive. People have Gecko on the soles of their shoes, on table-tops, on chairs, etc. Our problem now is how to put some explication of Gecko into story dialog in such a way that doesn't seem awkward. I'm working on it.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: jamesd on November 20, 2010, 02:42:58 pm
Sandy and I have been discussing that and have come up with a partial solution -- in the Belt, we have widespread use of a material called "Gecko" which is a low-tack adhesive. People have Gecko on the soles of their shoes, on table-tops, on chairs, etc. Our problem now is how to put some explication of Gecko into story dialog in such a way that doesn't seem awkward. I'm working on it.

That explains why everything looks like it is happening in one gravity, but why not instead make everything look as if it was happening in space?
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: SandySandfort on November 20, 2010, 03:18:50 pm
That explains why everything looks like it is happening in one gravity, but why not instead make everything look as if it was happening in space?

Uh, because it's not happening in space? Happening on Mars or Ceres is no more "happening in space" than if it were* happening on Terra. "Space" does not equal "vacuum."

* WRITING TIP: Try learning and using the subjunctive mood. It will make you look educated and professional in your upcoming career as a writer:

 http://www.ceafinney.com/subjunctive/guide.html

Example:

"That explains why everything looks like it is happening in one gravity, but why not instead make everything look as if it were happening in space?"
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: jamesd on November 20, 2010, 06:19:54 pm
That explains why everything looks like it is happening in one gravity, but why not instead make everything look as if it was happening in space?

Uh, because it's not happening in space? Happening on Mars or Ceres is no more "happening in space" than if it were* happening on Terra. "Space" does not equal "vacuum."

Space implies miligravity or microgravity - space is when you are not standing on a planet.  Mars is a planet.  Ceres is not.

If you are subject to order one gravity, as the characters appear to be, you are at the bottom of a gravity well, which limits your ability to wander vast distances.

Space is a little like the wild west.  "Space" implies plenty of room.  The west was wild, when no fences, hence the hero rides off into the sunset.  In space the insignificance of gravity serves the same psychological function as the absence of fences.  The weakness of gravity, like the absence of fences, indicates freedom.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: SandySandfort on November 20, 2010, 10:40:14 pm
[Space implies miligravity or microgravity - space is when you are not standing on a planet.  Mars is a planet.  Ceres is not.

Okay, thanks for clearing that up for us. So according to the JamesDictionary, space "implies" (I guess it doesn't actually mean anything) So, when Ceres was discovered, it was considered to be a planet, anyone there would not have been in space. Then it was an asteroid, so they would have then been in space. And now it is a "dwarf planet." So, I'm confused. "Dwarf planet" implies (your favorite word) that it is some kinda "planet," but also not. I guess we have to observed someone on Ceres, so as to collapse its quantum state to reveal whether not the even happens in space. (Also whether the cat is dead or alive.) Please quit making shit up.

... "Space" implies plenty of room.  The west was wild, when no fences, hence the hero rides off into the sunset.  In space the insignificance of gravity serves the same psychological function as the absence of fences.  The weakness of gravity, like the absence of fences, indicates freedom.

I cannot wait for your novel, treatise on philosophy, textbook on semiotics, white paper on art appreciation or whatever fantasy you are harboring. Señor, all you have are opinions. Is that all you got?
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: MacFall on November 20, 2010, 10:52:05 pm
I only pay attention to critics if they can either do better than the work they are criticizing (e.g., Stephen King writing about Twilight), or if they can sufficiently entertain me in their critiques (e.g., The Nostalgia Critic (http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nostalgia-critic)). So far, I'm not impressed with James in either respect. I am fairly confident in my own writing ability, however, so I do look forward to critiquing some of James' own writing, which he surely has in high volume and quality.

tl;dr version: put up or shut up.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: quadibloc on November 21, 2010, 02:35:43 am
I happen to agree that it would be difficult, and distracting, to make the effort to show the people on Ceres always moving about in a manner that obviously and realistically reflects the lower gravity there.

It is true, though, that Ceres' gravity is substantially lower than that of the Moon, and so, if EFT were a movie instead of a comic book, either people would look funny all the time as they walked, or it would be unrealistic. The latter is more likely, simply because there aren't any convenient studios with 1/36th gravity (that of Ceres) let alone 1/6th gravity (that of the Moon) here on Earth.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: J Thomas on November 21, 2010, 10:53:36 am
I happen to agree that it would be difficult, and distracting, to make the effort to show the people on Ceres always moving about in a manner that obviously and realistically reflects the lower gravity there.

It is true, though, that Ceres' gravity is substantially lower than that of the Moon, and so, if EFT were a movie instead of a comic book, either people would look funny all the time as they walked, or it would be unrealistic. The latter is more likely, simply because there aren't any convenient studios with 1/36th gravity (that of Ceres) let alone 1/6th gravity (that of the Moon) here on Earth.

Yes. I did a very quick google search, Ceres is listed with surface g of .28 to .33 meters/second^2. I'll call ..3. So, say you drop something into a 30 meter hole. The first second it falls .33*1^2/2 meters. About half a foot. By the second second it has fallen 2 feet. By the third second it is at 4.5 feet. If you fall off the cliff and somebody's in reach, they have close to 3 seconds to catch you. If you manage to slosh your coffee upward, you may have several seconds to catch it before it hits anything.

You would have to lean far forward to walk with any speed. To actually run you would need to lean over *very* far. Maybe it would help to have roller scates on your hands? Or push with your hands too.... If you run while angled too high you would make long high leaps. And remember a strong human can jump around 90 feet up a cliff. For that kind of running you need high ceilings. So here you are, practically lying down while you run, and if you can figure out where to put your knees you can probably run faster than on earth, because much less of your energy goes to pushing up and so more can go toward going forward. The limiting factor may be how fast you can kick. When the floor is speeding past as fast as you can kick at it, you can't go faster. There's an issue how fast you can slow down. Run headfirst toward a wall and you may have to kick it pretty hard.

I expect sitting in chairs would be no problem. If you clench your butt it would only push you up a few inches, and you'd fall back down in less than a second. If you reach down to pick up something on the floor, about half your mass has moved but your center of gravity has not. You might rise a foot or so and then settle down over maybe a second and a half. I don't have it thought out but I can imagine that when you sit back up you might rise again. You pushed on the chair an extra amount, and it takes time for that push to be cancelled by gravity. You could brace your feet against the rotation.

it's no big deal if people bob up and down a little on their seats. You'd just get used to that. Given practice it wouldn't even matter that much in the extremely rare circumstance that somebody attacks you while you're sitting down. depending on where you were in your bounce cycle you'd just respond appropriately.

Title: Re: Action?
Post by: jamesd on November 21, 2010, 03:47:47 pm
Yes. I did a very quick google search, Ceres is listed with surface g of .28 to .33 meters/second^2. I'll call ..3. So, say you drop something into a 30 meter hole. The first second it falls .33*1^2/2 meters. About half a foot. By the second second it has fallen 2 feet. By the third second it is at 4.5 feet. If you fall off the cliff and somebody's in reach, they have close to 3 seconds to catch you. If you manage to slosh your coffee upward, you may have several seconds to catch it before it hits anything.

You would have to lean far forward to walk with any speed. To actually run you would need to lean over *very* far.

For any actions that are reasonably quick, the action will be performed as if in zero gravity.   You will fly.   You will not walk.  You will not run.  You might skip or hop if travelling over a large space like a corridor.  In any smaller space you will push off from your starting point, fly to your destination point, then decelerate at your destination point, as if gravity was zero.

If going from one side of the room to another, you will push off from one wall, and then halt by pushing on the target wall.

The speed at which one switches, has to switch, from walking to running depends on the gravity.  At low gravity, the slow pace is a slow motion run, not a walk. 

The walk/run transition depends on the square root of the gravity.  On mars, maximum walking speed is three fifths earth walking speed.  On ceres, one fifth earth walking speed.  No one is going to move that slowly, they will always move as if running in slow motion, or leaping superhero style.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: jamesd on November 21, 2010, 09:24:37 pm
[Space implies miligravity or microgravity - space is when you are not standing on a planet.  Mars is a planet.  Ceres is not.

Okay, thanks for clearing that up for us. So according to the JamesDictionary, space "implies" (I guess it doesn't actually mean anything)

Space is when you are not standing on a planet:  Thus "in space" means not on a planet.

So, when Ceres was discovered, it was considered to be a planet, anyone there would not have been in space.

Actually, back then, anyone off earth would be considered to be in space, and that usage is still standard usage outside science fiction, but in science fiction "space" usually means "off planet", rather than "off earth" - possibly because science fictional planets are apt to be unimaginatively and implausibly earth like - or perhaps it means "off earthlike planet" by the same reasoning.

I cannot wait for your novel, treatise on philosophy, textbook on semiotics, white paper on art appreciation or whatever fantasy you are harboring. Señor, all you have are opinions. Is that all you got?

What I have got is that your Ceres looks like an LA mall
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: jamesd on November 21, 2010, 10:07:22 pm
I cannot wait for your novel, treatise on philosophy, textbook on semiotics, white paper on art appreciation or whatever fantasy you are harboring. Señor, all you have are opinions. Is that all you got?

Walking speed on earth is a bit over one meter per second.  Most gestures, actions, and events take place at about walking speed.  It follows that if someone were to perform an action that involves moving less than six meters, on Ceres, he would perform this action as if in zero gravity.

If someone were to get up from a chair at normal getting-up-from-the-chair speed, he would then bounce into the air about one and half meters, roughly body height, and would not contact the ground again until he has traveled one or two body lengths from the chair.

Thus Ceres is, to fair approximation, a zero g environment for human actions.  On Ceres, you do not need to take the weight off your legs, so chairs are unnecessary, and the maneuvering necessary to get into and out of a chair will send you and the chair flying, making chairs inconvenient and dangerous.

When floating, the human body tends to relax into a semi fetal pose, with legs bent rather than straight, semi crouched.  I would expect this to be the normal position in Ceres in place of seating.  People would not stand up, but neither would they fall down.



Title: Re: Action?
Post by: SandySandfort on November 22, 2010, 10:12:32 am
I cannot wait for your novel, treatise on philosophy, textbook on semiotics, white paper on art appreciation or whatever fantasy you are harboring. Señor, all you have are opinions. Is that all you got?

Walking speed on earth is a bit over one meter per second....

Many thanks for your opinions.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: J Thomas on November 22, 2010, 12:17:57 pm
Yes. I did a very quick google search, Ceres is listed with surface g of .28 to .33 meters/second^2. I'll call ..3. So, say you drop something into a 30 meter hole. The first second it falls .33*1^2/2 meters. About half a foot. By the second second it has fallen 2 feet. By the third second it is at 4.5 feet. If you fall off the cliff and somebody's in reach, they have close to 3 seconds to catch you. If you manage to slosh your coffee upward, you may have several seconds to catch it before it hits anything.

You would have to lean far forward to walk with any speed. To actually run you would need to lean over *very* far.

For any actions that are reasonably quick, the action will be performed as if in zero gravity.   You will fly.   You will not walk.  You will not run.  You might skip or hop if travelling over a large space like a corridor.  In any smaller space you will push off from your starting point, fly to your destination point, then decelerate at your destination point, as if gravity was zero.

If going from one side of the room to another, you will push off from one wall, and then halt by pushing on the target wall.

The speed at which one switches, has to switch, from walking to running depends on the gravity.  At low gravity, the slow pace is a slow motion run, not a walk. 

The walk/run transition depends on the square root of the gravity.  On mars, maximum walking speed is three fifths earth walking speed.  On ceres, one fifth earth walking speed.  No one is going to move that slowly, they will always move as if running in slow motion, or leaping superhero style.

You are assuming there are no new forms of movement available, though you have noticed that walking is not practical.

If you can crawl in a way that puts most of the force sideways, which you can, then gravity opposes your up force. If you rise no more than 6 inches then you will be back in position in 2 seconds to make your next push. Lots of pushes instead of just one per long leap, and also you get lots of chances for course correction. Potentially much faster than big long leaps, and certainly more maneuverable.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: J Thomas on November 22, 2010, 01:43:26 pm

If someone were to get up from a chair at normal getting-up-from-the-chair speed, he would then bounce into the air about one and half meters, roughly body height, and would not contact the ground again until he has traveled one or two body lengths from the chair.

So you want to move forward but not up. That's doable.

Quote
Thus Ceres is, to fair approximation, a zero g environment for human actions.  On Ceres, you do not need to take the weight off your legs, so chairs are unnecessary, and the maneuvering necessary to get into and out of a chair will send you and the chair flying, making chairs inconvenient and dangerous.

So don't do it that way.

Quote
When floating, the human body tends to relax into a semi fetal pose, with legs bent rather than straight, semi crouched.  I would expect this to be the normal position in Ceres in place of seating.  People would not stand up, but neither would they fall down.

Maybe. I'd expect people to stretch a lot. It's true you could stand in a semifetal pose with your ass sticking out, and it wouldn't be tiring. On Terra the natural thing is for people to sit on the ground with their legs crossed, but some people sit in chairs. I get the impression it started out as a status thing -- there's a nomadic tribe where the king has a chair and nobody else does.

If you had a chair that was bolted to the floor with handholds, you could get out of it by sliding sideways and pulling down, so with practice you wouldn't bounce at all. Would people want that?

I really don't know what people would do, and it would depend partly on what was practical -- which is hard to guess without actual practice -- and partly on what customs developed. It seems unlikely things would look so much like Terra as they do in the comic, but why interrupt the story to make that look strange?

If at some point the story is about Belters who feel like they should break cultural ties with Terra, they might go in for strange stuff because it's different and they could say it's practical.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: SandySandfort on November 22, 2010, 10:55:22 pm
If at some point the story is about Belters who feel like they should break cultural ties with Terra, they might go in for strange stuff because it's different and they could say it's practical.

Or maybe they don't give a crap one way or the other. Why did the boring normal guy cross the road? Because somebody told him too. Why did the hippie cross the road? Because somebody told him not too. Why do Belters cross the road? Because they want to get to the other side, of course.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: J Thomas on November 23, 2010, 08:23:39 am
If at some point the story is about Belters who feel like they should break cultural ties with Terra, they might go in for strange stuff because it's different and they could say it's practical.

Or maybe they don't give a crap one way or the other. Why did the boring normal guy cross the road? Because somebody told him too. Why did the hippie cross the road? Because somebody told him not too. Why do Belters cross the road? Because they want to get to the other side, of course.

There are people doing silly things everywhere. There could be Belters who want to break cultural ties with Terra, who do silly things as a result. They might create a market for innovations that wouldn't get popularised otherwise. Some of those innovations might be very good and useful and would spread widely.

People come up with all kinds of crazy ideas. I would expect Belters to be practical and rein in the craziest ideas before they cost too much. Crazy ideas that don't cause much harm might spread as fast as anywhere else. So for example they could easily get astrologers who have giant arguments with each other about the correct way to do astrology when you aren't on Terra. I would expect some Belters might pay them pocket change for horoscopes, for amusement or to help them make decisions that they are mostly undecided by the evidence. I would not expect many Belters to pay much for that, and it might be that dedicated astrologers would be mostly hobbyists doing it in their spare time if they can't make a living at it. Would all Belters -- millions of them -- agree that astrology is bunk and so none of them do it? Probably not.
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: Plane on January 01, 2011, 07:54:21 pm
I would expect the mall to have handrails all over the place , brachiating across the ceiling might seem pretty reasonable as a shortcut to a six foot man who weighed ten pounds. Handrails at low leavels would help controll rapid motion ,especially braking. Is moveing rapidly and with poor controll going to be a sort of rudeness? A fellow who simply preferred to spend a lot of time hanging from the rafters upside down or sideways would have little disadvantage to a walker, provided that his strength and reflexes were up to it. In our present society the few who are able to climb up the facade of the building get locked up for it.Perhaps in the Ceries mega mall "meet me in the middle of the ceiling" would not be extraordinary.

I bet that depicting an economy of gesture is very difficult for a cartoonist, Comic caricters are dramaticly posed because this is a part of the comic language.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachiation


I havent seen pets yet , we discussed light gravity farm hogs in another thread , but I really wonder how cats and dogs would cope with adaptation to low or no Gs.Pet birds are probly well equipped to fly through the air with less effort.


Pests in space might have a problem. A fleas hop would throw it straight to the ceiling from wence it would fall as slowly as light dust, a roach would find its scuttle innefective ,rats might cope pretty well with low G, but extermination with extreme cold or low pressure or low O2 would be a mere adjustment of the lifesupport settings. Would bedbugs adapt and become known as pressuresuit bugs?


Eeew.



BTW I am kibitzing, not writing your comic for you, I enjoy your comic and I enjoy these comments pages .You are doing a good job with both as they are .
Title: Re: Action?
Post by: J Thomas on January 01, 2011, 09:09:07 pm
I would expect the mall to have handrails all over the place , brachiating across the ceiling might seem pretty reasonable as a shortcut to a six foot man who weighed ten pounds. Handrails at low leavels would help controll rapid motion ,especially braking. Is moveing rapidly and with poor controll going to be a sort of rudeness? A fellow who simply preferred to spend a lot of time hanging from the rafters upside down or sideways would have little disadvantage to a walker, provided that his strength and reflexes were up to it. In our present society the few who are able to climb up the facade of the building get locked up for it.Perhaps in the Ceries mega mall "meet me in the middle of the ceiling" would not be extraordinary.

Good thought!

I could imagine one-way traffic lanes. The floor could have pedals sticking out of it, that easily fold out of the way if you hit them as you pass them, but which then fold back out. If you push on one with your foot or pull on it with your hand, it resists so you can get a good solid push from it. The lane is one-way because if you try to go the other way the pedals are worse than useless.