Wimminz – celebrating skank ho's everywhere

May 29, 2016

Are you a fan of hard SF?

Filed under: Wimminz — wimminz @ 2:09 pm

If you are, you may have had to re-evaluate what is classified as hard, because most of it is pap.

I was never a child, or boy, or man, able to suspend disbelief long enough to paper over glaring plot holes… I recently had the misfortune to watch Man of Steel, the superman movie, my comments did not go down well, and these were merely the minor ones that slipped out of my mouth, not the glaring ones about the MAJOR fucking plot holes.

Minor ones like, as the movie progresses, superman goes from a bearded sailor to a smooth jawed superhero, and if bullets cannot hurt him, what the fuck does he use to shave? Bic2? Remington electric? Gillette Beckham? Don’t fucking think so…..

But if you can see plot holes in movies, you can see them everywhere.

What do you call a species that has “royalty” anywhere, anywhere at all, in the genus? Well there are two answers I can think of, one is “insects” and the other is “primitives”

Whihc brings us to the basic problem with 99% of so called hard SF, it’s total bollocks, I watt per for 1 second is 1 Joule, and you can measure anything important in Joules, or kiloJoules, or megaJoules, or gigaJoules.

Energy required to get 1000 kg to orbit and back again, energy required to match and break planetary solar rotational orbit speeds and vectors and match speeds and vectors with a new planet in a different system.

Hell, even the energy required to run a bus service from the third planet to the satellite of that planet tells us everything we need to know.

The energy consumption makes *everything* else, no matter what, even inkjet ink, essentially free by comparison, so cargo *** is worthless no matter what it is compared to the energy expended to transport it on an interplanetary or interstellar basis.

*** pure ballistic trajectories through interplanetary space excluded, provided said trajectories are IN-system and not climing the Sun’s gravity well, so a magnetic accelerator in the asterioid belt slinging 1000 kg chunks of crap on years long ballistic orbits to impact on mars at orbital velocities is doable, but what’s the fucking point.

The most basic maths and physics tells us that anything higher than earth obit on any regular meaningful basis simply cannot be done with chemical energy, which leaves some form of nuclear energy.

Because that is the other side of the rocketeering equation, delta vee, which in laymans terms means that the maximim possible change you can make to your ships velocity is a very simple number to calculate, it is your total reaction mass x how fast you can throw that reaction mass away from you, and in open space interstellar (no gravitry well) you will use 25% to accelerate to a speed, cost, 25% to brake to your original vector, 25% to accelerate back along your original line, coast, and 25% to brake at end up where you started.

Coasting depends on how much air and food and recycling you have, and how much time you have to live.

*ANYTHING* that can do interstellar travel has such awesome amounts of disposable energy on tap that literally the entire mass of planet earth does not make the journey viable if pure commerce and shipping or slavery is the sole goal.

Nor does anything that has that much disposable energy need to find a “new” home because something awful happened to their old one…. because they are too powerful for that.

Far from being hundreds of kilometres in length and weighing trillions of tons, interstellar craft make more sense if they are about a meter long and weight 20 kilos, of course you have to have some awesome nano scale engineering.

Non enginners will point to the vast amount of junk we have in orbit, except, it is not a vast amount, if you add up everything that has ever been launched to orbit (or higher) you come up with quite a small figure.

That figure is about 10,000 tons, or about two of these, fully laden, inc cargo.

In real terms this is so miniscule as to be effectively zero.

Shanghai *alone* handles over 700 million tons of cargo per year, and yes ships are a very efficient way to move cargo, and ballistic orbits or real real real low burn torch runs would be the most effcicient ways to move space cargo, but there the comparisons end, which is the problem with all the so called hard SF shit about space navies and space pirates and space cargo ships, it does not matter *what* the cargo is, plotting an intercept course, even if you are able physically with the delta vee you have, will soon reveal you are better off selling the energy that such an endeavour would take, and stay where you are.

So we sit down and run the actual physical numbers, we can’t even get a supertanker and cargo into orbit in bits on chemical energy, it just can’t be done practically, any more than you can fill a swimming pool in arizona with an eye dropper.

Nuclear power? well fission *might* do it if you consider an orion craft doing it, but fusion is the only game in town.

And as you push out, fusion itself becomes inadequate, even matter atimatter reactions are pointless unless you can capture and use >99% of the energy, and if you can do that, then it’s better / easier / cheaper / more sensible to simply convert ordinary mass into energy, Einstein’s famous E=mc2, but not the so minute as to be equal to zero masses that are converted into energy in a thermonuclear bomb, we need total conversion, feed anything into the hopper, who cares, it’s all mass.

And I’ll bet my primitive 21st century slime wallowing human ass that mass > energy is pretty easy and energy > mass improbably hard, on the same scale of diffculty today going from a campfire full of ashes and a pot of boiling water and getting some pristine wood out the other end…. energy > mass may only be possible inside the cores of dying suns, no matter how advanced the civilisation.

The other main problem with so called hard SF, apart from the basic high school physics plot holes, are the assumptions about human nature, because all the humans involved are unchanged from humans of today or humans of 2,000 years ago.

Apart from the obvious fact that 2,000 years is the blink of an eye in evolutionary terms, the 9 trillion ton space gorilla in the spacemen’s bar is the fact that much of human nature comes from the environment, air is breathable pretty much anywhere except the top of everest, water is drinkable pretty much anywhere except an ocean, and pretty much anything that moves under it’s own power is edible, and a lot of what does not move is also edible.

Contrats this with the spaceman, literally everything will kill you from vacuum (no air to breathe, water will boil away to molecular level, foods will dessicate, black body radiation will freeze you, and short of throwing your own feaces away from you for reaction thrust, you have no motive power, plus, you’ll have access to more energy than the entire human race does today, so while you might, at a stretch, look humanoid, you will not be human, they may as well be a separate species.

Which brings us neatly to the biggest plot hole of all when it comes to hard SF, the idea that by setting things on the planet Gorg in the year 7753 in the reign of Emperor Penis, we can talk about things that are actually happening today, which if we told the same story and put in the *actual* protagonists names, we would be in the shit for, or the story would not be recieved well.

Well, insofar as you could make the same claim about a fairy story, which isn’t so far, because by definition you have distorted everything to make your point, and so your point is no longer valid, so you stretch that point in an attempt to make it still valid, at which point it is neither your original point, nor valid in any way.

Starfleet Academy, we come in peace, shoot to kill, klingons on the starboard buttock and all that.

Which brings us back again to Sagan and his comment about us living in a society based entirely on science and technology, in which nobody knows anything about science and technology.

Which brings us back again to Joules

Joules per capita per annum is just about the best and most reliable way of describing civilisation and technology.

So, unless we were a truly primitive species, we’d be all about Joules, even our monetary systems would be based on Joules, the gigaJoule being the basic unit, and we would be all about energy sources and supplies.

But wait, some of the primitives in their slime holes bleat, we are all about energy, all wars are banker / oil wars, and all the world strife is about oil.

Which is a statement only a primitive could make, an elightened technological society would only be interested in nuclear power in this day and age, fission if we must, fusion as / if / when we can.

Nothing else will do.

The first society that has fusion power on the surface of planet earth will be a close parallel to me dropping in on the previously unknown  Mbongo-bongo people of the State of Acre in Brazil, who worship the turds of the fruit bat and have a language comprising of a whole 2000 words, 150 of which are to do with God’s turds.

A small square of 10 mm thick black acrylic will be equally as impressive as a Samsung S7 smartphone / portable computer… possibly more so, as it will be tougher.

Literally no concept, literally not even the ability to consider the concept, of silicon wafer technology, digital code, global positioning satellites, photography, music, writing, distance calling, number higher than ten, or such a marvel being one of millions made worldwide for billions of people, and made disposable to be obsolete with a year or two.

Excuse me for a moment, I must scrape the Mbongo-bongo God from the heel of my high tech shoes.


  1. sounds like you’ve been reading John C. Wright’s “Count to a Trillion” books.

    Comment by bob k. mando — June 9, 2016 @ 4:46 am

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