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Oh, what the heck . . .

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Re: Oh, what the heck . . .
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:38 am

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Hi LDWechsler,

From CoS, we learned Earth has a population well over 30 billion, but no one seemed to worry about imports, so 200+ years of genetic engineering, NTM chemical processing etc, so feeding that many in a single system may not be much of a problem since there are also several dozen other core systems that are just as if not more populous.

Then there's the fact the mandarins don't even think anyone will starve or that anyone would believe them if they tried to make such a case, as a result of Laocoon II.

How do they do it?

No idea or hints from RFC [which is rather unusual], but he's busy writing more important stuff, isn't he. ;)

However, a few ideas have been circulating through my aging brain cells, since I pondered how the Dolists, technically uneducated and inexperienced etc, could make a difference in fighting the war.

First by no longer being a drain on the economy; by feeding, clothing, and supporting themselves, accomplishing things the legislaturists couldn't make them do, like accepting cheaper chemically processed food or and in addition to massive expansion of farming, mining and low level processing, whatever that entails 2000 years in the future; including reclaiming land and fisheries too costly to improve before.

For example, farming on the moon in lower gravity might be more productive by weight or energy costs, and orbiting solar power collectors could beam power down to old mining tunnels, NTM converting abandoned belter habitats or building orbital farms like the graysons etc.

Much of this would likely be busy work, but eventually the benefits would begin to add up; but I can't help wondering if some of the solarian tech the peeps were after was whatever tech it took to feed so many billions so cheaply no one thinks about it in the SL, albeit Haven had 'only' ~24 billion, IIRC; plus there are several other havenite systems with populations almost as large to be taken care of.

There are systems mentioned in AAC etc IIRC, that do need to import some food but they're much smaller in numbers, though a kilo plus per person per day for a couple billion does add up.

Jerry Pournelle made rather a point of it in A Spaceship for the King, as some may recall.

L

ldwechsler wrote:I'm not talking about starving. Sure, Lacoon II will not create any starving babies on Earth. I'm talking something subtly worse, like a materially oriented society suddenly suffering their first gut-check, not having access to their stuff. Like that certain fingernail polish that your spoiled daughter will die without, or the next generation iPhone 88 that people have already killed for!

It can totally throw Old Earth into a state of disarray and political upheaval.


Actually, it might well cause starvation on Earth. According to textev, there are a real lot of people on earth at that time. There might not be enough food for all. Some might be grown in orbit but those might be taken down.

Destroying trade will be annoying for some planets and really devastating for others. Those under thrall to the OFS might be happy knowing there might not be any reinforcements.

The key element might just be the loss of taxes. Remember the League gets all of its money from trade. Lose that and things will get bad. And transstellars will be really unhappy losing a real lot of money.

Pressure will be on the mandarins to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING that will bring back trade.[/quote]
Any snippet or post from RFC is good if not great!
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Re: Oh, what the heck . . .
Post by n7axw   » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:39 am

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I suspect that the key element is loss of taxes. It is possible to deal with that, but only if the Sollies can get people to believe in the war and sacrifice to keep it going. From what we've seen, that kind of loyalty is in short supply for the League. There are lots of League members who would opt out and look for a better deal elsewhere rather than sacrifice.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Oh, what the heck . . .
Post by filbert   » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:28 pm

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If Grayson with its relatively primitive space capabilities had already built orbital farms, there's absolutely no reason why Earth couldn't, either.

(multiple maybe warning:)

But maybe they didn't, and so are a significant net importer of foodstuffs.

And, maybe most of the Core worlds also made that decision, but maybe there are a small number of plantation worlds scattered among the Core that feed most of the rest of the Core.

And maybe too many of those worlds get to the core through the wormhole network, and maybe this is one little piddling detail that the Mandarins simply didn't realize that they should have taken into consideration.

Or, maybe not.

Only RFC knows for sure . . .
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Re: Oh, what the heck . . .
Post by Theemile   » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:12 pm

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filbert wrote:If Grayson with its relatively primitive space capabilities had already built orbital farms, there's absolutely no reason why Earth couldn't, either.

(multiple maybe warning:)

But maybe they didn't, and so are a significant net importer of foodstuffs.

And, maybe most of the Core worlds also made that decision, but maybe there are a small number of plantation worlds scattered among the Core that feed most of the rest of the Core.

And maybe too many of those worlds get to the core through the wormhole network, and maybe this is one little piddling detail that the Mandarins simply didn't realize that they should have taken into consideration.

Or, maybe not.

Only RFC knows for sure . . .


I think, Like everything, it is economics.

For example, we have been told that Manticore has 10,000 years (or so) worth of material at 1921 production levels from it's asteroid belts. We have also been told that freighters running the great triangle route from Silesia routinely return with their holds full of raw ore. Why? It's a few cents cheaper to buy it in Silesia and haul it back on a returning freighter, than to mine it in Manticore.

Likewise, we have been told that there are a couple farm planets feeding New Paris (The Planet of Haven). Why - probably once again economics, it being cheaper to produce food there and ship it here, than to build habitats on moons or in orbit to farm it there.

We were also have been told of numerous mining ventures is some odd system. They probably found some ore in unusualy high concentrations, and for a certain time , it was more economical to mine it there than in some other system.

This is not to say that Manticore couldn't mine more minerals, or Haven couldn't build the habs for more food, or that ALL their needs were met this way. Nor does it say that all of their food or ore came fro m outsystem. But it became more economic for a portion of their need to be met this way.

I don't doubt we will find little disruptions like this all over the SL in the wake of Laocoon. Given 3 to 6 months for every freighter in space to arrive (or not) with their cargos, and the vulnerabilities to be found.

And as KZT has said before, this will be a temporary issue. Fields will be turned to more productive uses. Current Habs will be repurposed to produce more food and others will be constructed. Obsolete abandoned mining equipment will be turned on and more will be constructed. New ships will be built to move the surplus.

There might be hardships, but they will be temporary. David might want to highlight a couple, but he has said that most planets are self sufficient on most things.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Oh, what the heck . . .
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:49 pm

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cthia wrote:Politics can be so damn complicated. One reason I don't like it.

Apparently I don't understand the rules of the Harrington Doctrine. Why doesn't the seizure of any junctions in League space also tear the fragile rice paper of which the navy has to walk, which bears the Harrington Doctrine?

Seems to me the citizens of the League would be highly pissed off regarding the chutzpah of the barbarians to blockade League space. Imagine some nation doing it to 21st century Americans.

"What?! I can't get my new IPhone-88 because who is blockading us in US space? Barbarians??? Well WTF is the president doing about it! And that ain't a question!"

It seems like this would rally the Solarian citizens as much as any other single transgression of the strategy contained in the Harrington Doctrine.

"I'd truly like to bottle the chutzpah of those phucking barbarians and sell it!"
Seizing the wormhole may well piss off citizens of the planets of the Solarian League. But the Harrington Doctrine doesn't preclude doing anything that might piss them off (otherwise Manticore would have rolled over immediately). It simply requires that they balance short term effects against the Transtellars, OFS, SLN, and Mandarins against the risk of creating long term determination to seek retribution or revenge against Manticore.

Yes if a blockade of ships from China prevented people from getting the iPhone 8 or X that was recently announced there'd be outcry in certain sectors of the US population. But it's unlikely it'd inspire the kind of long term burning grudge that would lead to building up a vast military a couple decaded down the line to smash the party that delayed the receipt of those devices. That's what Manticore is trying to avoid. Short term anger is acceptable as long as it doesn't lead to long term revanchism.


Also almost none of the wormhole seized are within Solarian territory, even if we ignore the technically that most wormhole termini are beyond even the 6 light hour radius of a system's territorial space.
I seem to recall text ev that there are no wormhole junctions located within the League; and even termini of a bridge or a leg of a junction are rare. Most of them that the League shipping relies on are around the periphery (and of course Beowulf which is a bit of a special case as Manticore isn't seizing that against the wishes of them) out in Verge space - but letting you pop around the periphery (or via Beowulf into the heart of the League) far faster than you could transit in hyper.

So for whatever it matters this is more like a country blocking the Suez canal and screwing up iPhone shipments to Baltimore than it is blockading the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. The shipping delay will piss people off, for a while, but not the same way steaming blockading naval forces in US territorial waters would.
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