SandySandfort on September 27, 2010, 08:47:30 pm
[The "sophisticated Belters" of whom you speak rather qualify as hobby farm types. They might crank out food items or cut flowers of commercial value...

WOW! How did you so totally miss the point? Growing trees, grass and greenery in your home has nothing to do with "commercial value." Didn't you get the part about having a "back yard"? There nothing green and growing on Ceres, unless humans bring it there. Belters are not a new species. They are of the same people who started on the plains of Africa and moved to the forests of Europe, Asia and Americas. The home garden is for a family's personal enjoyment. Get it?

J Thomas on September 27, 2010, 11:12:14 pm
[The "sophisticated Belters" of whom you speak rather qualify as hobby farm types. They might crank out food items or cut flowers of commercial value...

WOW! How did you so totally miss the point? Growing trees, grass and greenery in your home has nothing to do with "commercial value." Didn't you get the part about having a "back yard"? There nothing green and growing on Ceres, unless humans bring it there. Belters are not a new species. They are of the same people who started on the plains of Africa and moved to the forests of Europe, Asia and Americas. The home garden is for a family's personal enjoyment. Get it?

Well, but he does have a point. It takes a lot of time and effort to have a back yard. You have to regulate everything. Every tiniest detail of your back yard has to be managed, and most people wouldn't have the time. So there's a business opportunity -- somebody can plant grass and charge other people who might want to come touch it. He could also have a lot of little rooms with grass growing in them, for people who want a private place to have sex lying in grass. Far more practical than people wanting their own backyards.

Similarly, it would be more practical for most people to eat at restaurants than have their own kitchens. Why buy raw food and try to cook it yourself, when it's obviously more efficient to have it done by a professional? Presumably it would be cheaper, too, without government interference.

And why have bathrooms with all the plumbing that requires, and the maintenance and cleaning of facilities, when you could instead buy baths etc from people who're good at providing them?

Cleaning? You load up your personal items into your backpack which you can then put in a locker if you want. They move the front wall , turning each room into something like a cell in a honeycomb. The rooms can then be cleaned with something like a modern carwash, inside out -- spray soapy water on all the walls, rotate the brushes to scrub everything, dry it off, and when all the rooms are done put the front wall back in place. Far more efficient than individual people cleaning by hand, particularly when each person's room has been built in the standard pattern. Everybody who shares a front wall with you would pick which cleaner gets the contract.

The pattern is clear. In a free market, people should spend their time doing whatever is their comparative advantage, and pay specialists to do everything else they want done.

;)

Oneil on September 28, 2010, 05:22:26 am
I like the story and can over look human nature, these people would try to make there home/world look like Tera.   

Besides, why now pick on the gravity (0.27 m/s2) issue at Ceres where a 90 kilogram man/woman has to rely on 2.52 kilogram's of down-force friction to move the same mass and inertia.  Yet no one made a peep about Bert or Ernie walking upright on Dactyl with gravity of approx (0.05 c/s2) where same 90 kilogram man/woman would have a huge 4.67 Grams of down-force friction to work with.

FYI, The body function I would live most in fear of in the Ceres or other enclosed low gravity habitat.  A big loud sneeze..  :-[

 

J Thomas on September 28, 2010, 07:39:28 am
I like the story and can over look human nature, these people would try to make there home/world look like Tera.   

Besides, why now pick on the gravity (0.27 m/s2) issue at Ceres where a 90 kilogram man/woman has to rely on 2.52 kilogram's of down-force friction to move the same mass and inertia.  Yet no one made a peep about Bert or Ernie walking upright on Dactyl with gravity of approx (0.05 c/s2) where same 90 kilogram man/woman would have a huge 4.67 Grams of down-force friction to work with.

If somebody used to be wrong and now they're right, don't blame them for being inconsistent.

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FYI, The body function I would live most in fear of in the Ceres or other enclosed low gravity habitat.  A big loud sneeze..  :-

That's a good point. A sneeze or well, anything. Something startles you and you push against a wall. You go sideways and your feet on the floor aren't enough to stop you, even if they're widely braced.

Unless your feet stick to the floor. You *need* your feet to stick to floors when you're standing still.

Or you could have something like velcro patches that you put on the back of your hands or elbows, to stick to walls or whatever whenever you want to be anchored. Ideally they should stick when you want them to stick and effortlessly release when you want them to let go.


SandySandfort on September 28, 2010, 10:49:55 am
It takes a lot of time and effort to have a back yard. You have to regulate everything. Every tiniest detail of your back yard has to be managed, and most people wouldn't have the time.

Your erroneous assumption invalidates your conclusion. This is not hypothetical. In contemporary America, people do spend inordinate amounts of time working on their yards and gardens. To assume that in a rich, technologically advanced society, home owners would have less free time to fiddle with their lawns and gardens, boggles the mind.

Please note, I have never said there wouldn't be commercial suppliers in the Belt, of every personal and domestic service. We have lawn and garden services now, but the vast majority of Americans enjoy monkeying in the yard. Why would they want to pay for someone else to have all the fun?

J Thomas on September 28, 2010, 11:58:18 am
It takes a lot of time and effort to have a back yard. You have to regulate everything. Every tiniest detail of your back yard has to be managed, and most people wouldn't have the time.

Your erroneous assumption invalidates your conclusion.

Yes, I was trying out the ideas, and when i was done it looked satirical to me and I put a ;) at the end which was not enough to show my post hoc meaning.

You shouldn't have to regulate every tiny detail in a patch of grassland any more than you would in an economy. If you arrange the inputs adequately you will probably get grass that satisfies you.

You probably won't get a lot of crabgrass unless you mow too closely, even if you planted some crabgrass. If you want to listen to or harvest grasshoppers, then introduce them. Otherwise don't. If you want to harvest seeds, let your grass (or alfalfa, or whatever) go to seed. No mowing needed. Or if you aren't interested in products to use or sell, but you want something to fiddle with in your spare time, it's right there for you.

If there is a product that people produce for sale from their backyards, probably a professional can make it cheaper. But if people do it because they want to, they won't mind selling below cost. They have fun producing stuff which they sell for pocket money, and the professional goes broke without even having the fun they have.

It can go every which way.

Brugle on September 28, 2010, 07:42:18 pm

Donald Kingsbury wrote _Courtship Rite_, a story about people living in an alien ecology where the only food that wasn't poisonous was the Eight Sacred Plants, honeybees, and human beings. He did a great job with the ritual cannibalism etc. Lots of people got grossed out and didn't finish the story. There were little jarring notes all the way through, even when you'd think you'd gotten used to it. Like, late in the story, a general puts his maps into a babyskin tube....


An excellent novel.

I read Courtship Rite a few months ago and was disappointed.  The cannibalism wasn't jarring at all, but I thought some of the rituals (not necessarily those about cannibalism) were silly.  Of course, people can do silly things, but I prefer novels where most actions make some sense (to me).  The unusual marriage customs seemed better thought out.  I thought Oelita disappearing into the wilderness was out of character, but perhaps I missed something.  Overall, to me the book seemed to be sloppily thrown together.

Then we get to the hard one.  Psychohistorical Crisis.  It beat El Neil's The American Zone (which I voted for) for the 2002 Prometheus Award.

Until I read your post, I forgot that Kingsbury wrote Psychohistorical Crisis.  It also disappointed me, but I don't remember why.  (I do remember thinking that The American Zone was the best of a weak set of finalists.)

the "trilogy" by Bear, Benford and Brin (which also averaged much better than Asimov)

I was very disappointed in the later Asimov Foundation books.  The prequel and at least one of the sequels had exactly the same plot: the hero is trying to solve a problem, has some adventures while waiting for inspiration, and finally realizes the solution which was painfully obvious all along.  In fact, in both cases the solution is one that I'd assume would occur immediately to almost anyone, so I tried hard to figure out what was wrong with it.  Blech!

After that experience, I didn't read any of the "B" sequels, but now that you say they are better I'm tempted to give them a try.  Do you recommend them all?

This was also touched on in Michal Flynn's novel In the Country of the Blind, which won its own Prometheus eleven years earlier.

I've liked some books by Flynn, and I don't remember reading In the Country of the Blind, so even if I did read it I might as well read it again.  Thanks for the recommendation. :)

wdg3rd on September 28, 2010, 10:36:18 pm

Donald Kingsbury wrote _Courtship Rite_, a story about people living in an alien ecology where the only food that wasn't poisonous was the Eight Sacred Plants, honeybees, and human beings. He did a great job with the ritual cannibalism etc. Lots of people got grossed out and didn't finish the story. There were little jarring notes all the way through, even when you'd think you'd gotten used to it. Like, late in the story, a general puts his maps into a babyskin tube....


An excellent novel.

I read Courtship Rite a few months ago and was disappointed.  The cannibalism wasn't jarring at all, but I thought some of the rituals (not necessarily those about cannibalism) were silly.  Of course, people can do silly things, but I prefer novels where most actions make some sense (to me).  The unusual marriage customs seemed better thought out.  I thought Oelita disappearing into the wilderness was out of character, but perhaps I missed something.  Overall, to me the book seemed to be sloppily thrown together.

I find most rituals in my own culture rather silly aside from social politeness to be silly.  (Including some of those -- saying "Oh, what a beautiful baby" when the instinct is to say "Can I get a banana for your monkey?").

It was his first novel (though he'd been writing short stories off and on for several decades -- mostly off, he had a day job teaching maths at McGill U).  I found few flaws, but I was turned onto it by a weird and wonderful woman (who was my second wife and her descent into insanity was no fault of mine that I know of).

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Then we get to the hard one.  Psychohistorical Crisis.  It beat El Neil's The American Zone (which I voted for) for the 2002 Prometheus Award.

Until I read your post, I forgot that Kingsbury wrote Psychohistorical Crisis.  It also disappointed me, but I don't remember why.  (I do remember thinking that The American Zone was the best of a weak set of finalists.)

As a voting member that year I got sent copies of all the finalists (they all happened to be from the same publisher, and since I'd already bought most of them, the dupes made great gifts).  I still haven't read Enemy Glory though some of my dearest friends have recommended it, because the print is too damned small and I won't yet admit to needing reading glasses.  Also, I feel that fantasy has no business in the Prometheus Awards except for weird shit like Vic Koman's The Jehovah Contract.
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the "trilogy" by Bear, Benford and Brin (which also averaged much better than Asimov)

I was very disappointed in the later Asimov Foundation books.  The prequel and at least one of the sequels had exactly the same plot: the hero is trying to solve a problem, has some adventures while waiting for inspiration, and finally realizes the solution which was painfully obvious all along.  In fact, in both cases the solution is one that I'd assume would occur immediately to almost anyone, so I tried hard to figure out what was wrong with it.  Blech!

After that experience, I didn't read any of the "B" sequels, but now that you say they are better I'm tempted to give them a try.  Do you recommend them all?

Yes, actually.  The only better thing could have been to bring the fourth member of the San Diego cabal in, but Vernor Vinge's name wouldn't have matched.
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This was also touched on in Michal Flynn's novel In the Country of the Blind, which won its own Prometheus eleven years earlier.

I've liked some books by Flynn, and I don't remember reading In the Country of the Blind, so even if I did read it I might as well read it again.  Thanks for the recommendation. :)


You've probably read his "Falling Star" trilogy and if you haven't read Fallen Angels cowritten with Niven and Pournelle, do so, it's in the Baen Free Library.  (Personally, I've gone through at least half a dozen softcovers through wear and "lending", as well as always having an HTML copy since it became available).  Yeah, I know at least half of the supporting characters, both from Los Angeles and northeast fandom.  (Though most of the northeast fans I didn't meet until well after publication when I wound up living here in the hellhole known as New Jersey).
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Oneil on September 29, 2010, 01:03:41 am
Sorry to diverge a bit farther off course, but they already opened the door.  I will read just about anything Sci-Fi and am a fan of so many authors, But I wonder how many here have enjoyed the humor and satire in Harry Harrison's "Stainless Steel Rat Series", or also think "Bill, the Galactic Hero" is a riot being a near parody of Starship Troopers.  But, as one has said is tired of the same predictable plot's in stories, one novel of Harrison's with a twist that will surprise most people is "Captive Universe".  Give that to someone and don't tell them it's a Sci-fi up front, watch how they react when they get into it.    ;D

Brugle on September 29, 2010, 04:32:52 pm
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I didn't read any of the "B" sequels, but now that you say they are better I'm tempted to give them a try.  Do you recommend them all?
Yes, actually.
Okay.  Benford's Foundation's Fear is on reserve at my local library.

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I've liked some books by Flynn,

You've probably read his "Falling Star" trilogy
I think I've read all 4 of his Firestar books (ending with Falling Stars).  I thought the first 2 were the best.

if you haven't read Fallen Angels cowritten with Niven and Pournelle, do so
I think that was the first book of Flynn's that I read, and I liked it enough to buy a few copies for gifts (which I rarely do).  I am not involved with fandom, but the book was still a blast.

I wonder how many here have enjoyed the humor and satire in Harry Harrison's "Stainless Steel Rat Series", or also think "Bill, the Galactic Hero" is a riot being a near parody of Starship Troopers.
I've read most or all of the Stainless Steel Rat novels.  (I also liked the Deathworld Trilogy.)  But I didn't enjoy Bill, the Galactic Hero very much, and didn't read any sequels.

one novel of Harrison's with a twist that will surprise most people is "Captive Universe"
Captive Universe wasn't listed in either local library I use, so I'll try to find it second-hand.  Thanks for the recommendation.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 04:34:54 pm by Brugle »


terry_freeman on October 15, 2010, 08:36:55 am
Does "sophisticated" mean that everybody becomes a specialist, incapable of growing plants, raising animals, or cooking? I don't think so; I'm reminded of a quote by Heinlein:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.

Humans in space are likely to want to see greenery. Gardens will be fairly common. Some will be better maintained, some not.

I recently read comments by an anthropologist about "subsistence economies"; he suggested that it is better to think of them as "leisure economies"; people in such "primitive" societies need only work 3 hours per day to provide food, shelter, and clothing. This gives them a lot of time to work on other values - socializing, creating things of beauty, dancing, philosophizing.

A government-free society would probably have a lot of leisure time. Many people probably would take up gardening, raise animals, cook, and so forth not merely for the provision of food, but for entertainment value; it is pleasing to create a tasty meal with one's own hands.


Thaago on December 14, 2010, 01:05:35 am
Hi! New poster, decent time lurker. Sorry to drag up an old thread but it seemed appropriate and I can't start new ones yet.

So in the latest page we see some awesome low gravity fighting in midair; I love the script comment about Hong Kong movies. On the next page, she fakes him out with a spinning kick... wait what? What is she pushing off of to spin suddenly? Unless she was spinning from the ground, but then it really wouldn't be a fake out.

I know its nit-picky, but conservation of angular momentum was calling out to me!
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jamesd on December 14, 2010, 04:05:14 am
So in the latest page we see some awesome low gravity fighting in midair; I love the script comment about Hong Kong movies. On the next page, she fakes him out with a spinning kick... wait what? What is she pushing off of to spin suddenly? Unless she was spinning from the ground, but then it really wouldn't be a fake out.

I know its nit-picky, but conservation of angular momentum was calling out to me!

In zero gravity (and if you are in a fight, Ceres is close enough to zero gravity) you would have to use something like the tiger claw martial art - where you grab hold of people and twist them around, in order to clobber them.  People accustomed to fighting in gravity would be at a grave disadvantage.

J Thomas on December 14, 2010, 09:59:30 am
So in the latest page we see some awesome low gravity fighting in midair; I love the script comment about Hong Kong movies. On the next page, she fakes him out with a spinning kick... wait what? What is she pushing off of to spin suddenly? Unless she was spinning from the ground, but then it really wouldn't be a fake out.

I know its nit-picky, but conservation of angular momentum was calling out to me!

In zero gravity (and if you are in a fight, Ceres is close enough to zero gravity) you would have to use something like the tiger claw martial art - where you grab hold of people and twist them around, in order to clobber them.  People accustomed to fighting in gravity would be at a grave disadvantage.

That makes perfect sense to me.

If you have hold of something solid and the other guy doesn't, that's potentially a giant advantage.

If you're against a wall and you can get them outside, you may be able to kick them to the opposite wall. And if they aren't alert enough at that point to hit well, you can launch yourself at them as hard as you can, flip over, and kick them hard when you hit the other wall -- enough to bounce back to your wall and maybe do it again. Provided they're already stunned. If they're ready for you that isn't so good.

I wasn't sure I understood the kick in the cartoon. Was it snapping forward or back? It looked like back. If you're curled up and then you swing and straighten, you could get pretty much force behind a kick that way. From the gluteus and back muscles, and maybe later the hamstrings.

On the other hand a straight kick down from your POV would be as effective as it is from any terran martial artist who's in the air at the time. And with a stiletto heel.... And if it connects then it could tend to push you out of the way to get ready for a second round.

Suppose you can get somebody spinning fast. I'm guessing that people wouldn't usually suffer from vertigo in no or very low gravity, but they might if they spun fast. Ouch. Hard to defend yourself when you have no balance and everything's spinning around you. On the other hand, if you start vomiting in all directions everybody in the area will have an incentive to leave quick.