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43 votes

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

Frigates are "Jack-of-all-trades" ships: For an all-out war, legions of robotized attack ships are great. They can exterminate everything with the best of them. But history shows that navies ...
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  • 54.5k
32 votes

Is it possible to have a Newtonian universe but everything else behave the same way as this universe? What adjustments to physics is necessary?

"All methods of FTL can and will lead to causality violations": Not true. The simple way out is to require that all FTL travel be done with respect to one "special" frame of ...
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  • 74.4k
31 votes

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

A dead man tells no tales. Humans can be easily and quickly terminated, should the necessity arise: an electric discharge or a poisoned needle directly from the helmet, for example, and the subject is ...
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  • 242k
27 votes

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

The AI Insisted To the extent that some handful of your AI are nearly as self-aware and emotionally sophisticated as people are... The AI don't like risking themselves any more than you'd expect ...
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  • 9,177
22 votes

Would a solar system with four earths directly opposite to each other have different flora?

You can have vastly different flora in two adjacent valleys or mountain heights, so unconnected planets would definitely have them. It would be weird if they all had the same flora, not the other way ...
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  • 18.1k
20 votes

Could a body of orbiting debris artificially vary the length of night?

Your world could be a moon of a (large) planet. That way, if your moon rotates along it's own axis, you would have a day/night cycle, but whenever it's behind it's planet it turns dark. You wouldn't ...
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  • 2,762
19 votes

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

Humans are creative, AI is fast. Humans can conceptualise a situation far better than any AI, especially simpler AI. Perhaps the larger bright AIs may approach human level but not the type fitted in ...
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  • 2,279
16 votes

Could an insect cast in amber stay intact in space?

Ionizing radiations and energetic particles will surely cause a cumulative damage to the tissues of the mosquito, unless the amber has some serious thickness to act as a shield. Don't forget that one ...
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  • 242k
15 votes

Could an insect cast in amber stay intact in space?

As other answers have pointed out, cosmic radiation will cause considerable damage to the DNA and organic tissues of the mosquito, even when the bug is encased in amber. If you want the aliens to ...
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  • 151
15 votes
Accepted

Would a solar system with four earths directly opposite to each other have different flora?

Most-likely yes Using animals because it's clearer (and relatively the same, evolution-wise), if you're talking like you'll have intelligent octopi on planet A and clever tool-using monkeys as ...
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  • 5,061
13 votes

Is it possible to have a Newtonian universe but everything else behave the same way as this universe? What adjustments to physics is necessary?

The three legs of pre-relativistic physics were Newton's laws of motion Maxwell's equations Laws of thermodynamics The problem is that an object that moves according to Newton's laws and radiates ...
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  • 21.1k
11 votes

Could a body of orbiting debris artificially vary the length of night?

Natural debris? No, not really. At least, not unless you are in a very dangerous star system with lots of asteroid impacts--and even then, it would be a periodic dimming, not a total blackout. A ...
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10 votes

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

There are no dedicated military vessels. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_army#United_States At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Elbridge Gerry argued against a large standing army, ...
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  • 277k
10 votes

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

War is political Sure, you can delegate the decision making about targetting, evasive manoeuvrers, repair priorities, etc. to your AIs but do you want your AI choosing whether to prioritise rescuing ...
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  • 6,395
10 votes

Would a solar system with four earths directly opposite to each other have different flora?

One must recognize that four planets in the same orbit would be stable for at most a very short time. But even without perturbed orbits or collisions the planets would have different histories. One ...
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9 votes

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

Evasive Manoeuvres, Mr Paris! Having a meatbag at the helm makes the ship's manoeuvring system impossible to hack. Space is big. Weapons take a long time to reach the target. Missiles take minutes or ...
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  • 41.8k
8 votes

Colour of the sky on a moon with an thin artificial atmosphere

One kilometer of air won't do much scattering of light. The sky will appear very dark, almost black. In addition, because light won't be scattered, the shadows will be very crisp and very dark. At ...
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  • 74.4k
7 votes

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

For Human Factor You did not mention any robot or android capable of doing advanced fixes and maintenance, sure there are some fixes that can be done autonomously but any major "on the go" ...
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  • 311
7 votes

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

Because people need a hero. I watched the movie Don't Look Up last summer (and hated it, but that doesn't matter). It seems to bear no relation to your question, what does a comet hitting Earth have ...
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  • 1,199
6 votes

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

AI Have Weaknesses Are these muffins or dogs? Would an AI successfully understand new things? Does it suffer from the "I have a hammer, so everything is a nail" style of thinking? Is AI ...
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  • 28.1k
6 votes

Is it possible to have a Newtonian universe but everything else behave the same way as this universe? What adjustments to physics is necessary?

Any amount of mass would correspond to an infinite amount of energy. Unless you eliminate mass-energy equivalence, and just allow mass to be an independent inherent property of fundamental particles, ...
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6 votes

Would a solar system with four earths directly opposite to each other have different flora?

Part One : To panspermia or not to panspermia, that is the question Panspermia (from Ancient Greek πᾶν (pan) 'all ', and σπέρμα (sperma) 'seed') is the hypothesis, first proposed in the 5th century ...
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5 votes

Would a solar system with four earths directly opposite to each other have different flora?

Quite certainly yes. Assuming that your planets have stable orbits, and perfectly identical starting conditions, varying flora and fauna in my opinion is guaranteed. Every one of the planets will have ...
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  • 12.4k
4 votes

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

Your AI is not quite good enough for the jobs asked of "frigate-style missile artillery ships". Even today we automate what we can, and put humans in positions that require humans. In your ...
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  • 722
4 votes

A potential way to use "space mines" to guard a moon or small planet

What Issues? They need to be relatively passive, hard to detect, and locally effective. If active mechanisms within the mine make these easily detectible, they are not mines but highly visible hazards....
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  • 28.1k
4 votes

Colour of the sky on a moon with an thin artificial atmosphere

The atmosphere could also be held in place by a mostly but not entirely transparent roof over the whole moon, with giant airlocks for spaceships to land and take off. A shellworld[1][2][3] is any of ...
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3 votes

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

AI is great at handling situations that they've been trained to handle. When they encounter something radically different than anything they've ever seen before, not so much. Humans do significantly ...
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  • 6,765
3 votes

Why are my combat spacecraft crewed?

Because the crafts contain a human pilot who utilizes AI systems such as resource management or advanced weapons targeting. Giving you a "best of both worlds" approach. One system can back ...
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3 votes

Is it possible to have a Newtonian universe but everything else behave the same way as this universe? What adjustments to physics is necessary?

And yet another problem: E=mc^2. If you wave that away by separating energy and mass you just killed both chemistry and nuclear physics: You'll find E=mc^2 lurking at the heart of every reaction ...
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3 votes

Is it possible to have a Newtonian universe but everything else behave the same way as this universe? What adjustments to physics is necessary?

Another problem: Our everyday world has objects with substantial relativistic effects: the electrons around heavy atoms are moving at a good chunk of lightspeed. (At least as much as they can be ...
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