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A Side Affect of Planetary Bombardment

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Re: A Side Affect of Planetary Bombardment
Post by tlb   » Wed Oct 26, 2022 4:30 pm

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cthia wrote:they wouldn't want to use KEWs anyway. KEWs would leave evidentiary evidence.

tlb wrote:What evidence do you think a KEW leaves, besides a big hole (of doubtful evidentiary value)? An energy weapon would also leave signs of destruction, but neither yields "fingerprints". I guess you could work out the metallic composition of the KEW, but how useful would that really be?

Anyway; if an evil group wanted to bombard a planet, they could throw small asteroids at it.

cthia wrote:Weapons can be traced back to the country of origin. Nuclear weapons can usually be identified by their weapons grade.

The quality of steel and even iron differs from country to country. I would imagine the quality of metals is different in the HV as well.

Manufacturing methods and materials simply vary.

I understand that, that is why I mentioned that the metallic content might be determined; but given the sort of gray and black markets that were happening in the old Solarian League and most likely elsewhere, determining where something was manufactured does not ensure that you can track the weapons through the supply stream. A KEW might not wear out, so they could have been created a century ago in a country that no longer exists and passed through an unknown number of hands since then. We already know that the Honorverse has a currency system that permits untraceable transactions.
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Re: A Side Affect of Planetary Bombardment
Post by cthia   » Wed Oct 26, 2022 9:54 pm

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tlb wrote:
cthia wrote:they wouldn't want to use KEWs anyway. KEWs would leave evidentiary evidence.

tlb wrote:What evidence do you think a KEW leaves, besides a big hole (of doubtful evidentiary value)? An energy weapon would also leave signs of destruction, but neither yields "fingerprints". I guess you could work out the metallic composition of the KEW, but how useful would that really be?

Anyway; if an evil group wanted to bombard a planet, they could throw small asteroids at it.

cthia wrote:Weapons can be traced back to the country of origin. Nuclear weapons can usually be identified by their weapons grade.

The quality of steel and even iron differs from country to country. I would imagine the quality of metals is different in the HV as well.

Manufacturing methods and materials simply vary.

I understand that, that is why I mentioned that the metallic content might be determined; but given the sort of gray and black markets that were happening in the old Solarian League and most likely elsewhere, determining where something was manufactured does not ensure that you can track the weapons through the supply stream. A KEW might not wear out, so they could have been created a century ago in a country that no longer exists and passed through an unknown number of hands since then. We already know that the Honorverse has a currency system that permits untraceable transactions.

You've certainly got a point. And I agree. It won't be easy in all cases. And there is no guarantee the case will be solved. But committing that sort of a heinous crime will put blood hounds on your trail, and the criminal tree will be shaken and stirred. So one wouldn't want to leave any evidence at all and have snoops ending up right in your system asking questions. A handsome reward shakes the criminal tree for certain. 'Threatening to snap someone's neck might be even more effective.' That statement is something Cachat, Zilwicki or several others might say.

Accelerating an asteroid at a planet? Sheesh! Living in the HV is hard if it is that easy for criminals to cause mass destruction. These kinds of people are simply terrorists. You don't want that kind of destructive potential placed in the hands of terrorists. Terrorists have no morals, scruples or values. And accelerating asteroids appear to me to be a perfect crime.

You have just suspended my ability to suspend the disbelief that god requires of us to swallow the huge pill that people simply aren't willing to commit such acts. Terrorists are not people. They are devils in disguise.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: A Side Affect of Planetary Bombardment
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Oct 26, 2022 10:50 pm

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cthia wrote:Accelerating an asteroid at a planet? Sheesh! Living in the HV is hard if it is that easy for criminals to cause mass destruction. These kinds of people are simply terrorists. You don't want that kind of destructive potential placed in the hands of terrorists. Terrorists have no morals, scruples or values. And accelerating asteroids appear to me to be a perfect crime.

You have just suspended my ability to suspend the disbelief that god requires of us to swallow the huge pill that people simply aren't willing to commit such acts. Terrorists are not people. They are devils in disguise.

Very true -- someone who would do that is despicable. There's no benefit they could possibly get from dropping an asteroid on a poor planet.

And if the planet wasn't poor it'd have some heavy shuttles, or maybe even some impeller powered in-system ships, and those could likely defend the planet from just an inbound asteroid. The same HV tech that makes it easy to throw an asteroid also makes it easy to defend against an inbound asteroid.

(Though, without any military defenses to go with those craft, any psychopath's armed raider could escort the asteroid in to swat away anybody trying to deal with it)
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Re: A Side Affect of Planetary Bombardment
Post by cthia   » Thu Oct 27, 2022 9:31 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:Accelerating an asteroid at a planet? Sheesh! Living in the HV is hard if it is that easy for criminals to cause mass destruction. These kinds of people are simply terrorists. You don't want that kind of destructive potential placed in the hands of terrorists. Terrorists have no morals, scruples or values. And accelerating asteroids appear to me to be a perfect crime.

You have just suspended my ability to suspend the disbelief that god requires of us to swallow the huge pill that people simply aren't willing to commit such acts. Terrorists are not people. They are devils in disguise.

Very true -- someone who would do that is despicable. There's no benefit they could possibly get from dropping an asteroid on a poor planet.

Well???

There is something they could get. Revenge. Served cold if they like. People who commit such crimes have a screw loose which skews their logic and alters their reality. Psychopaths fall under this umbrella. These people would kill an entire planet just to spite a handful of people or even just one. These are the kinds of people who would drive a car in a crowded parade killing innocent people who had nothing at all to do with his anger.

Jonathan_S wrote:And if the planet wasn't poor it'd have some heavy shuttles, or maybe even some impeller powered in-system ships, and those could likely defend the planet from just an inbound asteroid. The same HV tech that makes it easy to throw an asteroid also makes it easy to defend against an inbound asteroid.

(Though, without any military defenses to go with those craft, any psychopath's armed raider could escort the asteroid in to swat away anybody trying to deal with it)

And, of course, the fact that they might get away with what could be the perfect crime.

Again, beam weapons might also be the perfect crime. It might also be the perfect weapon for a psychopath to use, for the simple fact that it would cause cruel and agonizing deaths.

Could our very own SDI do the same? Microwaves could place a portion of the ground and atmosphere inside a man-made microwave oven? Could you feel yourself begin to cook? These are at least a subset of the people who murder someone and continue stabbing them 99 times long after they are dead.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: A Side Affect of Planetary Bombardment
Post by tlb   » Thu Oct 27, 2022 9:34 am

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cthia wrote:Accelerating an asteroid at a planet? Sheesh! Living in the HV is hard if it is that easy for criminals to cause mass destruction. These kinds of people are simply terrorists. You don't want that kind of destructive potential placed in the hands of terrorists. Terrorists have no morals, scruples or values. And accelerating asteroids appear to me to be a perfect crime.

Jonathan_S wrote:Very true -- someone who would do that is despicable. There's no benefit they could possibly get from dropping an asteroid on a poor planet.

And if the planet wasn't poor it'd have some heavy shuttles, or maybe even some impeller powered in-system ships, and those could likely defend the planet from just an inbound asteroid. The same HV tech that makes it easy to throw an asteroid also makes it easy to defend against an inbound asteroid.

(Though, without any military defenses to go with those craft, any psychopath's armed raider could escort the asteroid in to swat away anybody trying to deal with it)

The first story to suggest throwing stones at a planet (that I am know about) was 1966's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (the story that also popularized the phrase "There is no such thing as a free lunch"), where the Moon's inhabitants revolt against rule from Earth. So the idea predates the Honorverse by far.

It has been suggested that just throwing rocks would not be effective, since they could disintegrate in the atmosphere. So it is necessary to choose metallic objects to strike the surface.

Note that I was only mentioning this as an alternative to using a marginally traceable KEW.
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Re: A Side Affect of Planetary Bombardment
Post by cthia   » Thu Oct 27, 2022 9:38 am

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And, of course, an obvious side effect of planetary bombardment would be prosecution.

IOW, the fear of prosecution might not prevent the dastardly deed, but it might influence the choice of the murder weapon. Beam weapons are cheap, available and untraceable. As are asteroids.

The possible cruelty of beam weapons might be adding icing on the cake.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: A Side Affect of Planetary Bombardment
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Oct 27, 2022 11:27 am

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cthia wrote:Again, beam weapons might also be the perfect crime. It might also be the perfect weapon for a psychopath to use, for the simple fact that it would cause cruel and agonizing deaths.

Could our very own SDI do the same? Microwaves could place a portion of the ground and atmosphere inside a man-made microwave oven? Could you feel yourself begin to cook? These are at least a subset of the people who murder someone and continue stabbing them 99 times long after they are dead.

Well since we never actually built our SDI I'm going to say no; no it can't :D


That said, yes you can get cooked getting too close to a powerful radar, especially on in the X-band which overlaps with the 2.45 ghz frequency of a home microwave oven (picked because its effective at agitating water molecules). Heck, people being near radars feeling warm and having candy melt in their pockets is how we learned that plane detectors could be used for cooking.

However, I don't think you could easily focus enough microwave power from orbit to quickly cook a human on the ground.
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Re: A Side Affect of Planetary Bombardment
Post by cthia   » Thu Oct 27, 2022 9:00 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:Again, beam weapons might also be the perfect crime. It might also be the perfect weapon for a psychopath to use, for the simple fact that it would cause cruel and agonizing deaths.

Could our very own SDI do the same? Microwaves could place a portion of the ground and atmosphere inside a man-made microwave oven? Could you feel yourself begin to cook? These are at least a subset of the people who murder someone and continue stabbing them 99 times long after they are dead.

Well since we never actually built our SDI I'm going to say no; no it can't :D


That said, yes you can get cooked getting too close to a powerful radar, especially on in the X-band which overlaps with the 2.45 ghz frequency of a home microwave oven (picked because its effective at agitating water molecules). Heck, people being near radars feeling warm and having candy melt in their pockets is how we learned that plane detectors could be used for cooking.

However, I don't think you could easily focus enough microwave power from orbit to quickly cook a human on the ground.

Allegedly never built.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: A Side Affect of Planetary Bombardment
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Fri Oct 28, 2022 11:25 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:However, I don't think you could easily focus enough microwave power from orbit to quickly cook a human on the ground.


Not easily. The dish required would be huge because how accurately you can focus is a function of the number of wavelengths that fit across your dish.
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Re: A Side Affect of Planetary Bombardment
Post by Bluesqueak   » Fri Oct 28, 2022 12:49 pm

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tlb wrote:The first story to suggest throwing stones at a planet (that I am know about) was 1966's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (the story that also popularized the phrase "There is no such thing as a free lunch"), where the Moon's inhabitants revolt against rule from Earth. So the idea predates the Honorverse by far.

It has been suggested that just throwing rocks would not be effective, since they could disintegrate in the atmosphere. So it is necessary to choose metallic objects to strike the surface.

Note that I was only mentioning this as an alternative to using a marginally traceable KEW.


Rereading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress at the moment and the ‘rocks’ are encased in steel. The rock is basically providing the mass for a kinetic missile.
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