[LMB] Centrifugal gravity, was Re: Cordelia's College sport

Matija Grabnar lmb at matija.com
Tue Jun 22 11:28:04 BST 2021

On 22/06/2021 01:32, Matthew George wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 3:44 AM Matija Grabnar via Lois-Bujold <
> lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:
>> If we were arguing about something traveling faster than light, you
>> would have a point. But none of the stuff under the discussion here
>> violates the fundamental laws of physics.
> We may well discover that our understanding of physics is inaccurate and
> FTL is actually possible.
I would love for you to be right on that. I wouldn't bet on it, but I 
would love to see it.
>   There are laws of economics, psychology,
> biology, and engineering, too, which are as unlikely to have exceptions as
> Einsteinian physics, and whose restrictions are much harder to convince
> people of.
Quite possibly, but you haven't pointed out any of them. The things you 
pointed out, we either have not yet seriously tried to solve, or we know 
how to solve in principle, and just need some engineering details.
> At present, if I understand the state of our engineering properly (which I
> am the first to acknowledge I may not), we don't have the ability to send
> people to Mars and bring them back alive.  Our projections suggest that the
> last astronaut assigned to such a mission would be dying of the effects of
> radiation exposure about the time they'd return to Earth.

People arguing something can not be done, should not interrupt the 
people who are doing it.

Musk feels that he can send people to Mars and have them survive (and 
ship some back, too).

Now I don't always agree with Musk, but so far, he's producing the 
things he promised.

And we do know how to shield against the radiation that they would see 
on the way - have a shelter inside a water tank that they can retreat to 
during solar storms.

> The Romans didn't have the tech to cross the Atlantic, and if they'd
> somehow managed it, they would have been a horror.  But there would have
> been clear benefits, by their own standards at least, to their conquering,
> 'civilizing', and dominating North America.

Actually, Thor Hayerdahl proved that ancient Egyptians had the 
technology to sail across the Atlantic. (He did it by building a boat 
with ancient Egyptian tech and sailing it across). So the Romans could 
have done it, if they put their minds to it.

Of course, the benefits to the Romans is clear based on hindsight, but 
was not obvious at the time. I guess the Romans had their own set of 
skeptics about traveling across the Atlantic, and they listened to 
them.  Here's hoping we don't repeat their mistake.

>    There aren't any practical
> benefits of sending people into space, only hypothetical, imagined ones.
Oh, that is a hilarious argument. Any practical benefit that I can point 
to is the result of going to space as far as we've gone so far, and any 
benefit I could cite for going further into space than we have gone so 
far would by definition be hypothetical. Hilarious, and thoroughly 

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