So I Am Committing Sci-Fi Heresy

And going against everything Project Rho and their excellent compilation on sci-fi tech, with far more physics than I could understand, says about stealth in space. http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/spacewardetect.php

That is, they infamously drone, “There is no stealth in space.” And then they laugh at you for trying the alternatives. And here is where I think they are thinking too much like a physicist who assumes information equals certainty. Not enough as a tactician who has to interpret the data, the poor snob reading the scope, and let alone the politician who has to decide whether or not to go to war based on those blips that he may or may not see on the screen.

First of all, I am going to agree with this article against Rho: http://scienceblogs.com/builtonfacts/2010/03/10/while-doing-some-poking-around/ and say “Internal Heat is irrelevant.” Now, that is not the case to the crew who has to deal with said heat–like the Normandy in Mass Effect. You’d need massive heat sinks to bury your signature for even an hour. But the potato is a viable analogy. Internal heat does not mean the skin is hotter. And as long as the skin remains essentially dead space, you aren’t detected. So if you train your bloom away from the detection apparatus of the enemy, and then ensure you don’t heat the skin, you should be clear from anything but luck.

Second, we can scan the entire night-sky in four hours. But anything outside your star system is essentially irrelevant. By the time you could intercept, they would jump away, and your fleet is going the wrong direction. Battles would naturally occur near fortified or strategic targets, or on the trade routes between them. Anything else, and space is so big, awareness of existence is pointless.

Third, if it’s so easy to detect everything in the night sky, why do so many asteroids go by at bullet burn range? After all, the sunward side of these is heated well above background. They should be seen for weeks, if not months, before they slip past Earth. Instead we hear of events like this: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/undetected-asteroid-explodes-over-the-atlantic_012014 on essentially an annual basis. So again, if you know where the enemy is observing from, and you orient your ship so your trail is aft of the other guy’s heat sensors, there should be functionally a low enough signature to make it unclear if you’re a ship, or just another piece of space junk.

And this is where I have my beef with Rho. Stealth as we know it isn’t ‘invisibility.’ Even a submarine doesn’t operate on absolute non-existence, or you get detected for being an impossible hole in the ocean. (I can neither confirm nor deny personal knowledge of such phenomenon.) Stealth is about the creation of doubt. The ability to convince the guy at a radar board that he’s looking at a bird instead of a plane. That the submarine is a whale, or a school of fish. Just the same, if you can make your Super Star Destroyer look like a freighter, even if your enemy knows SOMETHING is there, they may not know the Galactic Empire is on their doorstep and bombardment is ready to begin until they disintegrate your orbital defenses. Would it give them enough time even to refer that portrait in the sky to his High Command? Perhaps enough to make your President jittery about lighting off your orbital defenses?

Also there’s the issue of the difference between detection and targeting. You know an enemy is there even perhaps. But between passive stealth, active jamming, and decoys, can you be sure of what you’re shooting at? Can you be as sure as the guy who only has to shoot at one ship, which he’s positively identified and has a firm tactical solution on?

I agree that the Cloaking Device, and such gimmicks for ‘absolute’ invisibility would be impossible. But this is not the same as “Stealth is irrelevant.” This is like saying that because jamming doesn’t stop every missile, it isn’t useful, even if it stops 90% of them. It’s sure a whole lot easier to shoot down 1 missile with your point defense than 10.

So there’s still room to wish confusion to the enemy. IMHO.

So you like Net Neutrality

I have to admit: IN THEORY, it’s a grand idea. All data treated equally. No user gets ignored. Sure.

In PRACTICE, it’s dumb. Why? Because if you think the people who brought you Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and have decided that Copyrights should exist until the sun is a cold cinder in space really give a flying carp about YOUR data, well I probably can’t help you. Except to point to this:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/11/17/fcc-official-warns-obama-backed-net-neutrality-plan-will-bring-backdoor-tax-on/

Yeah. So do you want your internet rates to go up tomorrow? Do you want the people who screwed up TV and your Phone have control of the internet?

Have fun with that.

NaNo NaNo Num 2

I’m still on a solid, not spectacular pace. My biggest day all month was 3k. But I haven’t taken any zeroes, and that counts for more than a little. Procoyon Revelation sits at 30,100 words. It’s probably going to be 5 times that when it’s done, oh well. It’s a Space Opera. ;) I nuked the moon last night. Fortunately, with no atmosphere, it’s primarily for effect.

Hopefully I can have a couple days near the end of this month where I can get rolling. I’ll actually have this Saturday free. So that should help. We’ll see. ;)

Why I don’t like Social Justice Warriors

tariencole:

And reason #100 why I refuse to be silent. There is nothing right about letting good people be slandered, abused, and yes BULLIED, by the SJWs. I don’t care what background someone is, what they identify as, they deserve every chance to stand on their own. To accomplish as much as they dare, as long as it brings harm to no one else. To dream of a better world, and share that dream as widely as they wish.

I believe that is far more optimistic than any “Goodthink” the SJWs can conjure. And infinitely more diverse, in the truest sense of the word, as well. But hey, I can’t check the right boxes, so I should check my privilege and shut up, right?

Originally posted on Monster Hunter Nation:

After my post about the Social Justice Warrior’s cannibal feeding frenzy, http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/11/10/sjw-cannibal-feeding-frenzy/ I’ve had a few people ask me why I bother writing about these people. That’s a good question. The short answer is that I can’t tolerate bullies.  The long answer is complicated.

I read Sarah’s post this morning, http://accordingtohoyt.com/2014/11/14/table-settings-at-the-cannibal-feast/  She is also talking about the SJW blogger getting caught being a total asshole scumbag jerk face, but to the SJWs the problem wasn’t that she was doing these horrible things, it was that she was doing these horrible things to the wrong people. Because when these horrible things are done to people like me or Sarah, then they are double plus good.

But one of her commenters said something that really struck me, and I want to quote it here.

Synova – Some of the comments by people who had been subject to the full treatment just made…

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Cease Fire Proposal

tariencole:

I cannot disagree with this article more strongly. History shows that when one refuses to engage an enemy, the enemy takes what you have given up. Every ground. Every front. We do not POSSESS the ground to surrender any longer. The Media belongs to the Left in total. The average consumer does not KNOW there is an alternative to the SJW position unless we present it. And the idea that the SJW’s are ‘winning’ on #Gamersgate is laughable.

We don’t need to ‘scream.’ But the idea that just one or two places to reply for all of us is stating that the rest of us don’t have a voice. We don’t have our own minds. That is the kind of pernicious groupthink I associate with the Left. Not with those who believe in Liberty and autonomy.

As for ‘driving traffic’ to them, I don’t buy that because again–they control the voices that will be heard by the Mainstream if we do not cry out. If we don’t talk about the stupidity of a woman being allowed to trade horizontal favors for positive reviews, then Sarkeesian’s slander becomes fact. If we don’t propose and act on alternate agendas, then the only agenda is the Lefts. Sure, be sneaky. But don’t JUST be sneaky. You have to have ground to win it. And we’ve lost far too many hills already to offer up more.

I do not like the idea of going from “We are all #Brietbart,” to “let them have the megaphone.”

Originally posted on madgeniusclub:

This is a guest post by Sanford Begley, longtime MGC commentator and Not-a-writer. As a bystander who has been dragged into the inner workings, he’s got a very different perspective. 

Hi folks! Amanda is a bit busy this week so I’m pinch hitting for her. No, nothing is wrong she just knew she would be too busy to give you the loving attention you deserve.

I’m going to do something short and a little less caustic than my normal mode. I am going to call for a ceasefire in the war between the SJWs and the right leaning writers. Actually I’m calling for a unilateral ceasefire. BTW for anyone who hasn’t caught up to the acronyms SJW stands for Social Justice Warrior. Well, at least they have been using that to describe themselves. Lately they are starting to see that it is becoming a term of derision and are trying…

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How Does One Define Steampunk

This article is an able try: http://unleadedwriting.com/2014/07/10/what-does-steampunk-mean-10-authors-share-their-vision-of-the-genre/?utm_content=buffer810fe&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

I do not have the time to make my go at it in full here. But there is one phrase that guides me when I write it: “The Future That Never Was.” Even though my Steam is on another world, it’s very much informed by the dreams and aspirations of the Victorian Era. Not that there aren’t problems, and plenty to subvert. But to me, Steampunk, well done, is an OPTIMISTIC genre. Regardless of the politics of the writer, there ought to be hope, vision, and a sense of the ability to make things better.

It’s also a genre driven, if I may say, by the Rule of Cool: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfCool That is to say: “The limit of the Willing Suspension of Disbelief for a given element is directly proportional to the element’s awesomeness.” Airship dreadnoughts flown by mechanical automatons! Absolutely! Airships that make everything in the world black, disgusting, and sick? Well…you just icked the wow of steampunk. Even China Mieville knew how to skirt this line. Bas-Lug could be fairly depressing. But the monsters and clockwork machines were just that wicked.

At the end of the day, there’s another phrase from Brass Goggles that I loved: “Steampunk is as a Steampunk does.” At its heart, it’s an attitude. And not a dour one.

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Curmudgeon’s Corner

tariencole:

As I said: Shun them. It’s the one thing they cannot stand.

Originally posted on Cedar Writes:

This is a guest post by my First Reader, referencing a social phenomenon that has been making him a wee bit grouchy recently. If you’d like to learn more about what an SJW is, and what it does, I’d suggest looking here

Noir photo

There’s just something about a man in Noir…

Curmudgeon’s Corner

Authors write books; it’s what they do. Scientists land spaceships on comets; it’s what they do. Social Justice Warriors screw up wet dreams; it’s what they do. Unfortunately the first two are not as good at what they do as the last one. Authors have been around for millennia and have written countless books, no one pays them any attention. Scientists have managed to land one measly rocket on a comet. Social Justice Warriors on the other hand are there to do their best to ruin any book premier that doesn’t fit their agenda, judging from the…

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This is nothing but the triumph of small-minded people

http://techraptor.net/content/one-humankinds-greatest-achievements-decade-overshadowed-hawaiian-shirt

People too small to wonder. Too spineless to praise the accomplishments of others. Their horizons too low to care about the advancement of humankind. They make a man weep on the day of his greatest accomplishment…over a shirt. Not even one saying something profane. But one depicting superhero females in costume.

One made by a FEMALE friend, mind you. But this is ‘feminism.’ Equality? Nah. They’re perfectly free to wear shirts demeaning whites, men, or Christians without consequence. Perpetual victims who must be soothed, assuaged, and affirmed at every turn by every person, or you have exerted your privilege over them.

This is why #Gamersgate is more than a bad joke. This is why SFWA has been overrun by people with no sense of wonder. No concern for Speculative Fiction. This is-in short-why a certain segment of the population is incapable of writing quality fiction. Because their agendas must dominate Every.Single.Element. of their lives. They have no humor. They have no sense of wonder. Claiming to be ‘progressive,’ they deride every act of ‘progress’ that does not fit their political agenda.

If they had shame, THEY would weep and apologize. But they do not. So let anyone who thinks this was even a valid question be shunned. It’s what they deserve.

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Future Food

tariencole:

Always good to think about how your characters eat. ;)

Originally posted on madgeniusclub:

It seems inevitable that I would wind up writing about food here, given that I do so regularly over on my blog. However, what sparked this train of thought was something a little lower than food… Fads. We know that foods have fallen in and out of favor as long as there has been some options to choose. You may not know, for instance, that the French Aristocracy invested heavily in potatoes, which the peasants wouldn’t eat, and in the course of the publicity campaign for potato eating, Marie Antoinette wore potato flowers in her hair. Cornflakes were originally health food. Butter fell from favor early in the 20th century, to be replaced by the cheaper but dubious health benefits of margarine.

So who can say in a hundred years, or more, what we will be eating? I’ve seen some, ah, interesting ideas expounded in science fiction. Vat meat springs…

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NaNo. NaNo

Updating: Currently I’m at 19000 words for the month. Solid, but not spectacular pace. I haven’t had a ‘big’ day yet. I’m hoping the weekend gives me one. That said, I do like the book so far. It’s the second in my space opera series, and I just finished a nasty three-sided battle. I was pleased with how the characters came back to mind. I was a bit worried about that, after leaving the series to sit for over a year. And it’s still quite fun to write, in its own self-serving, different from everything else I have way. ;)