Re: Shivans and such

#31
It can be done with the Capellans too, but it's stupid.
A lot of human activity is stupid. I'm presuming that terran planets, at least, have some form of democratic government. It think it's even likely - even before the NTF inspired successions, the old GTA had splintered in the post-war era, and I see no reason why there wouldn't be some latent nationalism. You just have to look around, after all, to see things like the US turning back the St. Louis in 1939, or more recently Italy turning away refugee boats from Libya (or just, in general, the very hash attitudes in many first world countries towards asylum seekers).

I don't think old fashioned nationalist xenophobia would be bred out of humanity - even at that point in the future. For the Vasudans, maybe it'd be easier with an absolute monarchy. Although who knows what kind of tensions the NTF rebellion led to, when it comes to housing those human refugees (who might not even suit Vasudan colony environments). Also there'd be an issue of rebuilding those Vasudan systems hit by the NTF, which may be very badly damaged.

Also, there's a presumption that it's easy to expand a colony. I may be wrong, but I don't think FS even describes what colonies are like, their size, composition etc. It's possible - although I'm not asserting it as the most likely scenario, and these is of course the possibility of simple terraforming - that of those limited worlds that have earth like atmospheres, the microbial life is so hostile that colonies have to be contained in sterile geodestic domes. In that, admittedly unlikely, case there would be strong issues with accomodating a sudden large population increase.

Of course, in some ways it doesn't matter about the form colonies come in, or the space issue. Even if it's a duplicate, extremely low population density, earth you still need to setup some way to house, feed, treat, employ and provide sanitation for that huge population influx. In a post war economy, that has itself (within a few decades) come out of another previous post-war slump. Indeed, some of the more obviously ideal colonies may already be housing refugees from NTF systems.

And these are refugees that almost certainly have nothing beyond the clothes they are wearing, so whatever colonial government accepts them will have to face the political repercussions of the expenditure to build a new life for them. Imagine the US setting up a self-built town, with provided healthcare and guaranteed jobs, for several thousand Somalian refugees, in the middle of a recession. Or, in certain cases, post WW2 France doing so.

So, IMO, it's not an issue of space. Space has always been the easy part of it. The difficulty is the combination of social and political acceptance, coupled with the simple material difficulties. Unless we make the (not entirely unfair in a scifi environment of course) assumption that it is trivial to handle the logistics of a few million extra people popping up on a world.

You can adjust the sliding scale of utopia/dystopia such that these refugees are either voluntarily or forcefully accepted through central GTVA government, but I'm thinking you'd see a similar scenario to most displaced persons in the modern world. And in that case, a significant number would voluntarily or forcefully end up staying as transients.

EDIT: NB, just tell me a Kowloon city in space wouldn't be fun.

EDIT2; one other thing is that the refugees may not want to leave their ships - either because the proposed resettlement area isn't too their liking, or from the incipient paranoia of having their homes obliterated by the Shivans. PTSD could even contribute to this effect (hypervigilance - or 'jumpiness' - is a symptom that could be expressed in this manner).

Plus you'd only need a small percentage to have a substantial 'fleet', I think. I was under the impression there were quite a few million evacuated from Capella, although I don't have a source to justify that beyond my own earlier jottings (which may or may not have came from some canon source).
Maintaining large populations in space indefinitely would be extremely expensive, and it's not like the population figures we've seen suggested for GTVA worlds make a lack of space plausible.
How do you know it would be extremely expensive, though?

I'm not sure it's a cast iron guarantee that it's easier to live in an alien environment than a vacuum.

Re: Shivans and such

#32
A lot of human activity is stupid. I'm presuming that terran planets, at least, have some form of democratic government. It think it's even likely - even before the NTF inspired successions, the old GTA had splintered in the post-war era, and I see no reason why there wouldn't be some latent nationalism. You just have to look around, after all, to see things like the US turning back the St. Louis in 1939, or more recently Italy turning away refugee boats from Libya (or just, in general, the very hash attitudes in many first world countries towards asylum seekers).
Which discuss actual national divisions which do not exist under BETAC. All power outside the GTVA itself in Terran space has been dissolved; there is no one to turn them back and no way to justify it legally as all parties have but one citizenship and answer to but one authority. It is impossible to create the sort of legal fictions these things rely on.
Also, there's a presumption that it's easy to expand a colony. I may be wrong, but I don't think FS even describes what colonies are like, their size, composition etc. It's possible - although I'm not asserting it as the most likely scenario, and these is of course the possibility of simple terraforming - that of those limited worlds that have earth like atmospheres, the microbial life is so hostile that colonies have to be contained in sterile geodestic domes. In that, admittedly unlikely, case there would be strong issues with accomodating a sudden large population increase.
We know, for example, what was considered decent ante to invade one (under 500,000), and we know that Capella contained under 100 million people. These are very small numbers in relation to space on a planetary scale. By contrast, however, they are absolutely huge numbers when compared to maintaining a spaceborne population indefinitely. Food, water, and fuel require storage and replenishment. A human under normal circumstances requires, conservatively (very conservatively), approximately a half-ton of consumable material a week. Generating all of it fresh as is required to sustain a population long-term will chew up a whole lot of space in farming and mining and refining and preparation and manufacturing. Planets have space. Starships don't.

Considering the nature of the Capella evacuation for that matter, many of the people involved will be aboard craft that will suffer mass famine or run out of water in under a week, perhaps even under a day, if forced to try and support the population they're currently carrying. Offloading them is not an optional matter.
Of course, in some ways it doesn't matter about the form colonies come in, or the space issue. Even if it's a duplicate, extremely low population density, earth you still need to setup some way to house, feed, treat, employ and provide sanitation for that huge population influx. In a post war economy, that has itself (within a few decades) come out of another previous post-war slump. Indeed, some of the more obviously ideal colonies may already be housing refugees from NTF systems.
You don't have to send them all to one place, as you seem to assume.

However the basic truth remains, and you remain ignoring it: none of these things can be done aboard a spacecraft, they can on a planetary surface. The assertion of a post-war economy is suspect, as the GTVA did not believe it could crush Bosch under the weight of its production capabilities and did not appear to try, and the Shivan invasion did not last long enough for a war economy to take hold. It is more likely that the "war economy" has just started as the game ends, with the GTVA gearing up to replace its losses and otherwise going full-paranoid.

Housing is unlikely to pose a challenge to the engineering means available. (Houses are small, anyways.) It is the raw materials you consume eating, breathing, and drinking that represent the fixed challenge which cannot be altered. Shipping this stuff in from outside is in no way economically feasible for a long-term population that's not producing something for export. The space-borne refugees will all run out of air or water or food pretty quickly, or someone will realize it's costing more to send the mountain to Muhammed than it is to bring them to the mountain eventually. Take your pick.

EDIT: Oh god, that book on logistics has eaten me. :/
IAR
A Numbered Existence
In The Service
Monsters
SAMAS

Re: Shivans and such

#33
Shivantown is, to me, a horrible idea though. At least in the form of an actual, inhabited planet.

As a group of transient, giant colony ships and installations around the shattered remains of a devastated system though... it'd even be a nice bookend if the intro focused on the Capellan refugee ships.
Oh I don't think Shivantown would be a world that you could blow up with the Doctor Device or whatever. I always pictured it as a mostly spaceborne phenomenon - a system (or more) entirely ripped apart and rendered artificial, big hulking near-planetary sized machines and stuff like that.

Re: Shivans and such

#34
A lot of human activity is stupid. I'm presuming that terran planets, at least, have some form of democratic government. It think it's even likely - even before the NTF inspired successions, the old GTA had splintered in the post-war era, and I see no reason why there wouldn't be some latent nationalism. You just have to look around, after all, to see things like the US turning back the St. Louis in 1939, or more recently Italy turning away refugee boats from Libya (or just, in general, the very hash attitudes in many first world countries towards asylum seekers).
Which discuss actual national divisions which do not exist under BETAC. All power outside the GTVA itself in Terran space has been dissolved; there is no one to turn them back and no way to justify it legally as all parties have but one citizenship and answer to but one authority. It is impossible to create the sort of legal fictions these things rely on.
Wait, is this detailed ingame? I haven't read or played FS for quite some time, so I'm mostly going by vague memory here.

My impression of BETAC was that the given details of it were concerned with the interstellar aspects; the discussion of how planetary governance worked was (understandably) absent. In my view, and I don't think it's contradicted anywhere, the GTVA was akin to a interstellar government with a hierarchical organization, where systems, planets and indeed individual colonies/cities/even possible installations had some form of quasi-autonomous democracy. Such that these local governments could have serious issues with housing refugees if the local population objected.

(If the British government, for example, decided to house a few tens of thousands of Afghan refugees to a specific county, there'd be substantial problems - even though that's not a fully independent nor self-reliant region)

Even if there is no legal way to turn back refugees, too, there is no legal way to actually force a population (as far as I'm aware) to perform activities necessary to accept and support them.
We know, for example, what was considered decent ante to invade one (under 500,000), and we know that Capella contained under 100 million people
I don't think the invasion numbers are particularly useful; it's not clear how heavily populated Cygnus Prime was (other than a figure of 200,000 refugees, which puts a lower bound), what the defenses were on the ground, whether the NTF occupiers had air support and were well bed in (or were vulnerable and exposed), etc. I mean, France WW2 and Iraq 2003 are about the same size, I think, in population - but had drastically different requirements for invasion (Iraq had theoretically many more defenders, for example).

'Densely populated' Capella is over 250mn population, BTW - "Command has begun the process of evacuating the two hundred fifty million civilians inhabiting Capella, the largest exodus since the Great War.". I can't find any reference to how many actually made it out, though - beyond 'Thousands of civilians await evacuation' (tens? hundreds? less?) in Clash of the Titans 2. I'm not sure whether it's densely populated in terms of living space in the system, or in relation to other colonies, or what. Possibly implies they haven't developed terraforming yet, though.

But then again, I don't think it's about space. Because we have real world examples that show living-space is one of the least important considerations when it comes to admitting refugees.
These are very small numbers in relation to space on a planetary scale. By contrast, however, they are absolutely huge numbers when compared to maintaining a spaceborne population indefinitely. Food, water, and fuel require storage and replenishment. A human under normal circumstances requires, conservatively (very conservatively), approximately a half-ton of consumable material a week. Generating all of it fresh as is required to sustain a population long-term will chew up a whole lot of space in farming and mining and refining and preparation and manufacturing. Planets have space. Starships don't.
And you think that living on a spaceship requires growing consumables on it? Orions seemed to manage long term deployments.

(of course, it'd be piss-easy to invent something suitably sci-fish regarding food and water; in the latter case there could be tonnes of it available in frozen form anyways, and who knows whether or not some of that is already being harvested for shipping, desert colonies, etc. I don't think fuel is an issue - aren't FS spaceships using cold fusion as a power source? Just that none of these need be stumbling blocks in a fictional universe)

You seem to hold that it's either landing people on a planet, or abandoning them entirely. My opinion is that it's perfectly possible for the GTVA to be helping these people even when the locals are getting pissy about actually accepting and (critically) housing them on-planet.

Selling food (etc) to people somewhere else (planetary or otherwise) is an opportunity; even if the GTVA central government is making it close-to-cost price. Housing them, though, makes them a liability and a burden.
Considering the nature of the Capella evacuation for that matter, many of the people involved will be aboard craft that will suffer mass famine or run out of water in under a week, perhaps even under a day, if forced to try and support the population they're currently carrying. Offloading them is not an optional matter.
It is for those who would receive them.
You don't have to send them all to one place, as you seem to assume.
I didn't assume it would be a single place, I assumed that human nature would be similar across planets in the same way it is across first world countries today - that people don't like taking in and paying for refugees. I will admit to making the assumption that colonies - or specifically ones in perfect earth-like worlds - are relatively rare, and that it would require an existing colony to resettle refugees (rather than creating a whole new one).
However the basic truth remains, and you remain ignoring it: none of these things can be done aboard a spacecraft, they can on a planetary surface. The assertion of a post-war economy is suspect, as the GTVA did not believe it could crush Bosch under the weight of its production capabilities and did not appear to try, and the Shivan invasion did not last long enough for a war economy to take hold. It is more likely that the "war economy" has just started as the game ends, with the GTVA gearing up to replace its losses and otherwise going full-paranoid.
They can be done on a planetary surface if the locals allow it. What's going to happen if the population of a colony refuse to build new housing, divert foodstuffs, etc to convert a refugee camp to a proper habitable zone?

I mean, I think I would agree in some cases it's a lot more difficult to put a bunch of people in an isolated location, feed them, water them, treat them, than just incorporate them into your existing society. And yet Australia has Christmas Island.

I'm not going to debate on whether a war economy is more likely or not, because I think it's something that is completely open how the GTVA will react to the Shivan attack, and I don't see any evidence either way (we don't even know the material losses in either war, in a planetary or fleet scale). I'd disagree that there is any 'more likely' scenario.
Housing is unlikely to pose a challenge to the engineering means available. It is the raw materials you consume eating, breathing, and drinking that represent the fixed challenge which cannot be altered.
What engineering means are available? As we're talking about assumptions here... you think it's simple to construct the required small city for, say, 100,000 refugees. I think it might be quite difficult.

I'm not saying this is what must happen. I'm saying this is IMO a justifiable scenario, whether you find it 'hilarious' or not.

If a bunch of people chime and say 'no aldo, you're full of pish' then I will happily drop it from future consideration in any plans I make. If they don't, I will continue to hold it as an interesting setting and option.

EDIT (did you add this or did I miss it before?);
Shipping this stuff in from outside is in no way economically feasible for a long-term population that's not producing something for export. The space-borne refugees will all run out of air or water or food pretty quickly, or someone will realize it's costing more to send the mountain to Muhammed than it is to bring them to the mountain eventually. Take your pick.
I'm not viewing them as a self-sustaining fleet. I'm viewing them as a transient refugee population, where governmental charity is mixed in with black market crime. It may be far, far more expensive for a central government to treat them this way, but it doesn't entail either that the populations of individual colonies will want to take on the cost (even of a subset). My view of how easy - or not - it is to rehouse refugees in sane conditions is obviously different to yours in this respect.

Re: Shivans and such

#35
Wait, is this detailed ingame? I haven't read or played FS for quite some time, so I'm mostly going by vague memory here.

My impression of BETAC was that the given details of it were concerned with the interstellar aspects; the discussion of how planetary governance worked was (understandably) absent. In my view, and I don't think it's contradicted anywhere, the GTVA was akin to a interstellar government with a hierarchical organization, where systems, planets and indeed individual colonies/cities/even possible installations had some form of quasi-autonomous democracy. Such that these local governments could have serious issues with housing refugees if the local population objected.
BETAC dismantled the governments of the Terran blocs and recognized the General Assembly, the Security Council, and the Vasudan Imperium as the supreme authorities of Terran-Vasudan space.
All non-GTVA governmental power has been dissolved. The governmental systems of the pre-GTVA Terrans were deliberately wiped out and replaced.
(If the British government, for example, decided to house a few tens of thousands of Afghan refugees to a specific county, there'd be substantial problems - even though that's not a fully independent nor self-reliant region)
Which is again not relevant, because we're really discussing what would happen if somebody leveled a town Yorkshire and they had to relocate the residents to somewhere inside the UK.
Even if there is no legal way to turn back refugees, too, there is no legal way to actually force a population (as far as I'm aware) to perform activities necessary to accept and support them.
Then they all starve or run out of water or air or food, again. One way or another, they have to be supported by the remaining people; they're not self-sufficient. Even the air they breathe has to come from somewhere now.
'Densely populated' Capella is over 250mn population, BTW - "Command has begun the process of evacuating the two hundred fifty million civilians inhabiting Capella, the largest exodus since the Great War.". I can't find any reference to how many actually made it out, though - beyond 'Thousands of civilians await evacuation' (tens? hundreds? less?) in Clash of the Titans 2. I'm not sure whether it's densely populated in terms of living space in the system, or in relation to other colonies, or what. Possibly implies they haven't developed terraforming yet, though.
Fair enough, I blew the numbers, but densely populated is, as you point out, ambiguous.
But then again, I don't think it's about space. Because we have real world examples that show living-space is one of the least important considerations when it comes to admitting refugees.
All of which are not relevant because we don't have to make that living space airtight and we don't have to ship in or produce inside it all food, water, air, and other items used. Spacecraft are not simple, no matter the setting or the s### you make up about it. Even a fairly hostile environment is preferable to no environment at all. It gives you something to work with.
And you think that living on a spaceship requires growing consumables on it? Orions seemed to manage long term deployments.
Orions are 10,000 crew in a 2.1km long vessel that's at least 500 meters wide. They have plenty of storage space, and regular resupply would already be factored into their use if necessary. (Which it may not be; they may have sufficient room to make food (plants only, animals are space and resource intensive for the calories) onboard, alleviating some of their needs re food and oxygen.) Orions also offer something in return; protection.

None of this is true of the ships we saw being used to evacuate from Capella.
You seem to hold that it's either landing people on a planet, or abandoning them entirely. My opinion is that it's perfectly possible for the GTVA to be helping these people even when the locals are getting pissy about actually accepting and (critically) housing them on-planet.
No, my commentary has always been that long-term keeping these people in space will be far more economically unfeasible than landing them. The GTVA cannot afford to keep them in space.
Selling food (etc) to people somewhere else (planetary or otherwise) is an opportunity; even if the GTVA central government is making it close-to-cost price. Housing them, though, makes them a liability and a burden.
They're chewing up a significant portion of existing shipping capacity, most likely under contract to the GTVA itself. Housing them is already a burden, and is causing major economic damage to boot.
They can be done on a planetary surface if the locals allow it. What's going to happen if the population of a colony refuse to build new housing, divert foodstuffs, etc to convert a refugee camp to a proper habitable zone?
You are assuming a great many things that are poorly founded about the ability of the locals to chose. For that matter, you are assuming a great many things about the nature of colonization that don't stand the bullshit test regarding how it's done in most cases, i.e. multiple outposts for redundancy. You just drop them down in new colony areas. Space is not, as you claim, the issue on the ground, and if the locals want to cross one hundred kilometers to protest the new colony they can do it.
What engineering means are available? As we're talking about assumptions here... you think it's simple to construct the required small city for, say, 100,000 refugees. I think it might be quite difficult.
Deorbit an Orion. Problem solved. However let's be blunt: any society capable of building an FS destroyer can build millions of houses (two-story split-level US suburb houses no less) by the millions with ease. Building entire new colonies and dropping them on already inhabited planets that still have large areas of empty space (which would seem to be most, since Earth-sized populations sound rare) will not be hard.
I'm not viewing them as a self-sustaining fleet. I'm viewing them as a transient refugee population, where governmental charity is mixed in with black market crime. It may be far, far more expensive for a central government to treat them this way, but it doesn't entail either that the populations of individual colonies will want to take on the cost (even of a subset). My view of how easy - or not - it is to rehouse refugees in sane conditions is obviously different to yours in this respect.
These are spacecraft. They have natural and very simple controls on the possibility of transient refugee populations (hard vacuum all around and limited amounts of food and water), such that suggesting more than maybe ten for something the size of an Arcadia is an exercise in how silly you feel like looking.
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A Numbered Existence
In The Service
Monsters
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Re: Shivans and such

#36
All non-GTVA governmental power has been dissolved. The governmental systems of the pre-GTVA Terrans were deliberately wiped out and replaced.
Supreme authority does not mean there is no devolved authority. The house of commons has supreme authority in the UK. We still have devolved governments. The Spanish government has supreme authority - Catalunya and the Basque regions still have partial autonomy. The European Supreme Court has supreme legal authority over EU member states laws; but in practical terms the level of direct intervention is limited by political expediency.

And replaced by what, anyways? You don't think there is some for of representation in that supreme government by elected officials, representing specifical planets or regions within them? I personally do.
Which is again not relevant, because we're really discussing what would happen if somebody leveled a town Yorkshire and they had to relocate the residents to somewhere inside the UK.
You think that GTVA colonies have homogenous societies? It's already established that the Terrans underwent a schism after the Great War; just because they have the same legal citizenship doesn't mean there isn't resentment across planets.
Then they all starve or run out of water or air or food, again. One way or another, they have to be supported by the remaining people; they're not self-sufficient. Even the air they breathe has to come from somewhere now.
But they don't necessarily have to be supported by the people on planets. They can be supported by interstellar governmental organizations. The issue is how much those same organizations can force onto a planet / colony if the people of that colony object to it.
Orions are 10,000 crew in a 2.1km long vessel that's at least 500 meters wide. They have plenty of storage space, and regular resupply would already be factored into their use if necessary. (Which it may not be; they may have sufficient room to make food (plants only, animals are space and resource intensive for the calories) onboard, alleviating some of their needs re food and oxygen.) Orions also offer something in return; protection.

None of this is true of the ships we saw being used to evacuate from Capella.
Which means it's probably a good thing I never suggested they'd be on the same ships, at the same density. Granted, I said 'the bulk' - and that was wrong and not something I really intended to state. I should have said 'a significant number'.
No, my commentary has always been that long-term keeping these people in space will be far more economically unfeasible than landing them. The GTVA cannot afford to keep them in space.
And my commentary is that it's not a purely economic decision in anything but a highly centralized government; i.e. one that can force unpopular decisions.

And I don't think the GTVA is that structure, because these things in my experience get increasingly unviable with scale.
They're chewing up a significant portion of existing shipping capacity, most likely under contract to the GTVA itself. Housing them is already a burden, and is causing major economic damage to boot.
Firstly, it depends whether you take the view of the GTVA as a monolithic centralized or umbrella type of government. Secondly, how many of these ships originate from Capella itself? How many would be privately owned?

And plus, I said decomissioned ships. The USAF has a boneyard, I don't see why the GTVA couldn't or wouldn't have something similar.
You are assuming a great many things that are poorly founded about the ability of the locals to chose. For that matter, you are assuming a great many things about the nature of colonization that don't stand the bullshit test regarding how it's done in most cases, i.e. multiple outposts for redundancy. You just drop them down in new colony areas. Space is not, as you claim, the issue on the ground, and if the locals want to cross one hundred kilometers to protest the new colony they can do it.
Poorly founded? On a work of absolute fiction?

Ok, yes. I did assume that it would actually be a fair bit of work to found an entirely new colony. Apparently building a new city from scratch should be assumed to be a trivial task, then?
Deorbit an Orion. Problem solved. However let's be blunt: any society capable of building an FS destroyer can build millions of houses (two-story split-level US suburb houses no less) by the millions with ease. Building entire new colonies and dropping them on already inhabited planets that still have large areas of empty space (which would seem to be most, since Earth-sized populations sound rare) will not be hard.
An Orion solves the problem for 10-15,000, probably. This is why I made a mistake in not stating a more specific, lower-but-significant transient population.

Not sure how it's so much easier than keeping it in orbit with regular transports - do we have any basis for stating how easy food production is in an alien environment? For all that's stated in game, everything could be self-contained hydroponics in sterile environments; requiring more than just a field and some clear space.

So how do we equate the expenditure and effort of building a city against a starship? Clearly there's not a modern day parallel, as building aircraft carriers doesn't denote extra ability to build houses. Are the tools and skills for building something in a zero gravity environment easily transferable to an atmospheric environment? Do they extend to the social engineering of building a working, sustainable society from scratch?

We are talking about building something like 100-150 new Manhattans here, after all. I don't care how advanced the GTVA is at starship building - unless they are using replicators on a national scale, that's still not a simple task (and if they are, how the hell did they take 20 years in a massive pan-species effort assembling something only 8km long?)
These are spacecraft. They have natural and very simple controls on the possibility of transient refugee populations (hard vacuum all around and limited amounts of food and water), such that suggesting more than maybe ten for something the size of an Arcadia is an exercise in how silly you feel like looking.
These are spacecraft in a hypothetical future scenario with no defined descriptions of the technology behind any of the basis methods that life is sustained on these vessels or on alien planets.

So you can insult me for using my imagination in an entirely fictional environment if you really, really get your rocks off that way.

EDIT; sorry, that was uncalled for; I was up working at 2am last night on something for a conference (which wasn't going well, hence the whole 2am thing), so I was particularly grumpy
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