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Relative size of combatants

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Astelon   » Thu May 28, 2015 4:53 pm

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I suspect that the crystals are manufactured from raw materials. The fact that Sharonans could not readily identify the material is evidence that it is not naturally occurring.

As for high population levels on Sharona, it is probably due to several factors. One would be the healing talent, where in the healers accomplish miracles (but said miracles go unstated). Sharona also has a long history of stable civilization; once things like sewers and proper sanitation were invented, they weren't lost (unlike after the fall of Rome). Proper sanitation would have saved millions of lives on earth, over several centuries. Finally there are precogs, they identify potential problems that can then be avoided (like a late freeze).

There also has been a long period without a major war, though I have doubts as to this helping population grow much.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by brnicholas   » Fri May 29, 2015 8:30 am

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SCC wrote:
brnicholas wrote:I want to pull this to the front because it seems to be a common perception but I think it is in error. I think you are vastly underestimating the importance of Talents in Sharonan society.

Yes, train engines run without a talent but I'm pretty sure the Sharonans couldn't make the trains run on time without Voices to coordinate their movement. I also strongly suspect that your average rail signal is changed by a flicker, especially in a yard where you would have many many signals within a flickers 20-30 mile range. The flicker probably knows what signals to change by talking to the distance viewer who stands next to him and monitors the yard. Remove those two people and the whole thing stops until an alternative can be developed which will take lots of time and money.

Then there are the Sharonan machines. Teleportation is apparently one of the more common talents, flickers are fairly weak and thus common. The rare strong versions of this talent work for the governments' ETS system, which we saw in Hell's Gate, those talents can teleport six to seven hundred pounds over intercontinental distances. How many machines do you think have parts which can only be replaced by a flicker or another teleportation talent? I will bets lots, it would make design much much simpler.

The centrality of voices to the whole society is glaringly obvious and some of the hints about healers imply they are just as central. In expect Sharona will face the same constraints regarding civilian verses military needs for Talented as Arcana will face for Gifted.
-snip-

*BIG twitch*
Your Flicker idea MIGHT be workable on Sharona, but not on the out colonies, how many Flickers would be needed for the average thousand miles of track? And while the Porters of the ETS do seem to have long range ability, they also seem to need electronic support to make it work, so why not just use electronics to begin with?

As for machines being assembled with teleportation powers like you describe, not going to happen, the idea is unworkable, how would you make the design to begin with. And the two survivors view of Arcanian ship construction disproves it


My point was that Sharona needs its talents just as much as Arcana needs its Gifted so the advantage being attributed to Sharona because it is not dependent on Talents the way Arcana is on Gifts is to a significant degree non-existant.

As for the specific points you make.

First, I never suggested assembling machines with teleportation I suggested repairing them that way. In other words I expect on every steam engine there are a number of belts and gears which when they wear out the owner has three options. 1)Hire a talent to teleport the old one out and the new one in. 2)Disassemble the steam engine until the workers can get to the part and replace it. Since the machines weren't designed with this in mind this will often mean spending hundreds of man hours reversing more then half the production process. 3)Throw the steam engine away and buy a new one. I admit I could be wrong about this it requires the teleporters to have abilities beyond what we have seen but it doesn't strike me as unlikely.

Second, remote lines don't require the same control as a major yard. If they can't do without talents at the major yard my point stands.

Third, you should add the recent speculation that Sharona can maintain its population density because healers control plagues to the list of ways that Sharonans are dependent on their talents.

Fourth, regarding ETS, where do you see that electronics are required. The only quote I can find is "The ETS consisted of an interlocked matrix of teleportation platforms, located in the capitals of most of Sharona's nation states. The platforms themselves were restricted to a size of not more than eight square feet, and a maximum load no more than six or seven hundred pounds, and the telekinetic Talent required to power the system was rare." That may simply indicate a special room so people don't shock someone by appearing or a special design on the floor the sending talent uses as a target. I hardly think it proves electronics is required.

Nicholas
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by brnicholas   » Fri May 29, 2015 8:44 am

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PeterZ wrote:
Mil-tech bard wrote:
Snippet #1 told us Emperor Zindel could be expected to live normally into his 90's, versus the doom he assumes given the need for voice Darcel Kinlafia to be there for his daughter his Daughter.

See this passage from snippet #1 --

Healing Talents don't stop old age, but they seem remarkably effective for a host of other illnesses.

I tend to agree but your cites supports the idea that a specific, powerful, wealthy family with a host of Talents known and unknown are generally long lived. This does not assert that everyone is equally long lived. That access to healing talent is so ubiquitous that the Calirath life span is to be expected for everyone. For all we know the Calirath life span is shorter than average. The stress of their Talent would have some impact on a lifespan.

So, yes, it simply suggests. It does not prove anything.


I tend to disagree. What his cite supports is the idea that a Sharonan thinks of living into the 90s as being long lived. Which implies that most people don't live into their 90s. If most people lived that long it wouldn't be thought of as long lived.

Nicholas
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by brnicholas   » Fri May 29, 2015 8:49 am

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I would like to insert a hesitation into the talk about Sharona having an exceptional population density. It was worth pointing out that when comparing 1902 Earth with 1902 Sharona we need to remember that in 1902 the vast majority of Earth did not have 1902 technology. It was almost completely absent from China, India and Africa. On Sharona technology appears to be evenly distributed. If populations in those areas had grown as fast as Europe's did between 1700-1900 Earth would have had a much larger population.

Also the quotes regarding the other Sharonan worlds speak of "colonies" being to small to defend themselves against major attack. There are, however, clearly multiple colonies per world. The worlds may be able to do so. In fact, given that per RFC the TTE managed to get millions of tons of steel from factories off Sharona on a few months notice, some of those worlds must have lots of industry.

Nicholas
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Fri May 29, 2015 9:00 am

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brnicholas wrote:I tend to disagree. What his cite supports is the idea that a Sharonan thinks of living into the 90s as being long lived. Which implies that most people don't live into their 90s. If most people lived that long it wouldn't be thought of as long lived.

Nicholas


In either case, Nicholas, Sharona's observed population density is either supported by longer life spans or higher fertility rates. Higher birth rates imply faster population growth when people are taken out of the densely populated cities of Sharona.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Fri May 29, 2015 11:02 am

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For a frame of reference on this --

PeterZ wrote:In either case, Nicholas, Sharona's observed population density is either supported by longer life spans or higher fertility rates. Higher birth rates imply faster population growth when people are taken out of the densely populated cities of Sharona.


The English speaking peoples of the British North America colonies were running frontier fertility rates of 7-to-10 per woman a generation from roughly the 1720's.

This is what doomed the French in North America, doomed British Colonial Rule in North America when it tried to prevent Westward expansion and over ran the Native American populations.

The Sharonan's have a superior technological skills set to the American colonials and the sort of frontier spirit to make great use of it.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Fri May 29, 2015 2:06 pm

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Sharonas found their First Outworld, New Sharona,
eighty (80) years before the books start.
The second might have been found a year or three later.

With that kind of Fertility Rate,
and much lower Death Rates,
how many of those ten billion Sharonans
were born in the Outworlds, and live in them now?

How many Sharonan Outworlders live near the Direct
Paths to the Farther Outworlds, and how many live
off of those Paths? I guesstimate that most
New Sharonans live far away from those Paths.
The next Outworld, Haysam, may be similar.
But we are told specifically that, by the time we get
to Faryika, the fifth or sixth Outworld in that Chain,
hardly any people live Beyond The Path to
the next Outworld.

Now DW has told us that many Sharonans have settled in
Traisum, and in Salym before it. If I Understand
Correctly (which I probably don't), several worlds
Outbound from Faryika have significantly more inhabitants
than Faryika does.

HTM

Mil-tech bard wrote:
The English speaking peoples of the British North America colonies were running frontier fertility rates of 7-to-10 per woman a generation from roughly the 1720's.

This is what doomed the French in North America, doomed British Colonial Rule in North America when it tried to prevent Westward expansion and over ran the Native American populations.

The Sharonan's have a superior technological skills set to the American colonials and the sort of frontier spirit to make great use of it.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Fri May 29, 2015 3:58 pm

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if we are using 20 years a generation, and populations doubling per generation on frontier worlds, it boils down to

1) How many people Sharona puts on a frontier world in the first generation

2) What is the emigration rate from Sharona to those frontiers.

3) How prone are Sharona's to gold rush type population movements ala California 1849.

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:Sharonas found their First Outworld, New Sharona,
eighty (80) years before the books start.
The second might have been found a year or three later.

With that kind of Fertility Rate,
and much lower Death Rates,
how many of those ten billion Sharonans
were born in the Outworlds, and live in them now?

How many Sharonan Outworlders live near the Direct
Paths to the Farther Outworlds, and how many live
off of those Paths? I guesstimate that most
New Sharonans live far away from those Paths.
The next Outworld, Haysam, may be similar.
But we are told specifically that, by the time we get
to Faryika, the fifth or sixth Outworld in that Chain,
hardly any people live Beyond The Path to
the next Outworld.

Now DW has told us that many Sharonans have settled in
Traisum, and in Salym before it. If I Understand
Correctly (which I probably don't), several worlds
Outbound from Faryika have significantly more inhabitants
than Faryika does.

HTM

Mil-tech bard wrote:
The English speaking peoples of the British North America colonies were running frontier fertility rates of 7-to-10 per woman a generation from roughly the 1720's.

This is what doomed the French in North America, doomed British Colonial Rule in North America when it tried to prevent Westward expansion and over ran the Native American populations.

The Sharonan's have a superior technological skills set to the American colonials and the sort of frontier spirit to make great use of it.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by brnicholas   » Fri May 29, 2015 5:20 pm

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I will speculate on why each side continues to explore.

For Arcana, exploration continues because the Army benefits from it. First, it provides a recognized public good which increases public respect for the armed forces. Second, the independently operating small units on the frontier are ideal for training and testing officers and men. Third, incompetents can be left there where they can't do any harm (or so the generals thought).

For Sharona, exploration is driven by the TTE. I think part of the contract which gives it a monopoly over laying railroad tracks through portals requires it to make large capital investments on expanding the network. That expansion pulls people and industry toward the railhead. (I suspect that owning the only steal mill within a few thousand miles of a TTE railhead is a license to print money.) The goods and people brought forward by the TTE on their building program generate enough revenue for the companies who discover portals to keep exploration going. By the time the railhead has moved on there are self sustaining settlements in place which keep growing on their own. Eventually this would have stopped as the costs of maintaining the underused frontier lines cut into the TTE's capital budget but that didn't happen before Sharona encountered Arcana.

I would also note that the connection between wealth and birth rate on Earth may be cultural and not a universal law.

Nicholas

phillies wrote:A central but missing question on continued exploration, given that the worlds are apparently mostly replicas of each other, is "why bother?" It might be done out of habit, but the tendency once countries become adequately wealthy is for population growth to roll toward a stop, or beyond, ending population pressure. High-grade ores are rapidly less valuable as transport costs increase. A 30,000 mile rail line is indeed quite long. One could imagine a market for luxury homes on the South California coast, the lip of the Grand Canyon, Bora Bora, etc. I suppose that if in 1950 there had been one of these links in Kansas and one in Kursk there would have been vigorous exploitation. On the other hand, if the one and only one link had been almost anywhere, there might have been tedious warfare.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by phillies   » Fri May 29, 2015 8:00 pm

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If the minerals are the same everywhere, then every time you occupy a new world there is a California gold rush, an Alaskan gold rush, a Peruvian silver rush, a Lake Superior copper rush,...which after a while tend to destroy the value of metallic currency, at least if your world is run by bullion fetishists. Until then it would motivate the search for new worlds. We had quite adequate inflation (though beneficial to the economy) as a result of the Alaskan gold rush. One might imagine this being a point of friction on Sharona.
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