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Communications bottleneck

"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: Communications bottleneck
Post by brnicholas   » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:15 pm

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As regards the Sharonans developing radio I agree that they can provided they put the R&D resources required into doing so and then provide the people to build the radios and the technicians to run them.

However, if this war becomes as large and nasty as I expect Sharona is not just going to have a shortage of talents they are going to have a shortage of labor too. I suspect it would be much better for them to use their limited supply of labor building weapons and deal with the shortage of voices by rationing. From what we have seen it appears that that a large chunk of voice traffic is mass media. Shutting that down would free up a lot of voices without impacting their war fighting capability.

Nicholas
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Re: Communications bottleneck
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:19 pm

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A large part of war fighting is to keep the morale high at the home front. Shutting down some of the mass media is likely, enough has to remain to communicate with the populace.

brnicholas wrote:As regards the Sharonans developing radio I agree that they can provided they put the R&D resources required into doing so and then provide the people to build the radios and the technicians to run them.

However, if this war becomes as large and nasty as I expect Sharona is not just going to have a shortage of talents they are going to have a shortage of labor too. I suspect it would be much better for them to use their limited supply of labor building weapons and deal with the shortage of voices by rationing. From what we have seen it appears that that a large chunk of voice traffic is mass media. Shutting that down would free up a lot of voices without impacting their war fighting capability.

Nicholas
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Re: Communications bottleneck
Post by n7axw   » Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:33 pm

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PeterZ wrote:A large part of war fighting is to keep the morale high at the home front. Shutting down some of the mass media is likely, enough has to remain to communicate with the populace.

brnicholas wrote:As regards the Sharonans developing radio I agree that they can provided they put the R&D resources required into doing so and then provide the people to build the radios and the technicians to run them.

However, if this war becomes as large and nasty as I expect Sharona is not just going to have a shortage of talents they are going to have a shortage of labor too. I suspect it would be much better for them to use their limited supply of labor building weapons and deal with the shortage of voices by rationing. From what we have seen it appears that that a large chunk of voice traffic is mass media. Shutting that down would free up a lot of voices without impacting their war fighting capability.

Nicholas


My assumption at the start of this thread was that voices are in short supply which we know to be true on the line toward Hell's Gate. But is it true generally? Do we know what percentage of the population voices are?

On the labor shortage. Let's ask if this assumption is really true. I've seen a planetary population figure of 10 billion asserted for Sharona. I'm not sure that figure jibes very well with their tech level. But let's assume it true for now.

Given the level of their tech, that is going to mean that their war industry is going to be able to absorb huge numbers of unskilled workers, manning assembly lines and such. There shouldn't be a shortage there. As for skilled people, you could well have a shortage of engineers, but if you shift production away from peacetime needs to the sorts of production needed for war, the engineers will be shifted as well.

As for the military, unless someone breaks into someone else's home front, the sheer distances involved are going to work against huge WW 1 or 2 sized armies given the comparatively primitive state of transportation on both sides.

So to summarize, large industrial effort, but probably more slack in the system than America had during WW2. Much smaller but heavily armed forces to the front with larger forces in reserve to make up for losses.

Do they have enough slack in the system to do R&D for radio and other stuff they haven't come up with yet? I would think so, especially when you consider how war pressurizes R&D, given that everybody is looking for an advantage. The only limiting factor will be having it occur to someone to come up with the idea of radio which, of course, will depend on our authors decide to work it into the story. Whether or not that will happen, I haven't a clue. My arguement is only that it would be both possible and beneficial.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Communications bottleneck
Post by phillies   » Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:47 am

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Are there any signs that either side knows that there are Hertzian waves? Mathematical physics? Without these, no radio. Yes, the ancient Romans could have built spark-gap-and-coherer radios, in terms of having all the technology they needed to build and assemble the parts, but there is no likelihood that they would have done so.

The Sharonans have taken on themselves one severe disadvantage relative to the Arcanans, who have been living with it for several centuries and have some parts working more smoothly, namely they suddenly decided to move to a world government, but that will not show well in he book, probably.

Fooling around with the press will also likely create unpleasant problems.
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Re: Communications bottleneck
Post by n7axw   » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:04 pm

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phillies wrote:Are there any signs that either side knows that there are Hertzian waves? Mathematical physics? Without these, no radio. Yes, the ancient Romans could have built spark-gap-and-coherer radios, in terms of having all the technology they needed to build and assemble the parts, but there is no likelihood that they would have done so.

The Sharonans have taken on themselves one severe disadvantage relative to the Arcanans, who have been living with it for several centuries and have some parts working more smoothly, namely they suddenly decided to move to a world government, but that will not show well in he book, probably.

Fooling around with the press will also likely create unpleasant problems.


You are right. Unless someone comes up with the needed theory, it's a moot point. But someone did in our timeline, after all. They seem to understand science. So there is no particular reason to think that they won't come up with it sooner or later...just like we did.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Communications bottleneck
Post by Astelon   » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:52 pm

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Later is more likely. They have a communication system better than any primitive radio, even though not all people can use it. Having one system that does the job will slow the development of any new system, especially if it is seen as less effective than the Voice Network.
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Re: Communications bottleneck
Post by n7axw   » Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:29 pm

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Astelon wrote:Later is more likely. They have a communication system better than any primitive radio, even though not all people can use it. Having one system that does the job will slow the development of any new system, especially if it is seen as less effective than the Voice Network.


Up to a point. You are right that radio will be inferior, at least at first. I've just reread the books though and there is textev to demonstrate that there are not enough voices to keep up with the demand, either in terms of civilian or military use. In addition to that, the range of the voices is limited. On the right band, a CW op has world wide communication at 40-60 wpm. So there will be a niche for even primitive radio to fill once it becomes available. In fact in our timeline, CW didn't really become obsolete until the era of satellite communication which hasn't been all that long ago.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Communications bottleneck
Post by Astelon   » Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:41 pm

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They lack enough Voices at the frontier, which is hardly an unusual occurrence when you think bout it. Any group expanding into unexplored territory tends to lack some things that would be considered normal back in civilized territory. As for a lack of voices (or other necessary talents) in a general sense we haven't seen any evidence of that yet, although Emperor Zindle is worried that it might happen (hence the line about conscripting talents). I suspect that, going forward, the shortage of voices will not be an issue for coordinating the wart effort. Controlling individual units, especially during battles, will be a problem.

Radio may develop on Sharona as a hobby, but as a method for sending orders and information I don't see much use for it until you reach something that can come close to a voice in "bandwidth" and clarity.
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Re: Communications bottleneck
Post by n7axw   » Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:10 pm

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Astelon wrote:They lack enough Voices at the frontier, which is hardly an unusual occurrence when you think bout it. Any group expanding into unexplored territory tends to lack some things that would be considered normal back in civilized territory. As for a lack of voices (or other necessary talents) in a general sense we haven't seen any evidence of that yet, although Emperor Zindle is worried that it might happen (hence the line about conscripting talents). I suspect that, going forward, the shortage of voices will not be an issue for coordinating the wart effort. Controlling individual units, especially during battles, will be a problem.

Radio may develop on Sharona as a hobby, but as a method for sending orders and information I don't see much use for it until you reach something that can come close to a voice in "bandwidth" and clarity.


They are also in short supply on the home planet in comparison to the demand on their services. I just read through this stuff the other day so I shouldn't have to "eat too large of a serving of crow!" :lol: I'll see what I can do to dig it out for you.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Communications bottleneck
Post by Astelon   » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:39 pm

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I don't remember there being any shortage of voices on Sharona itself, only the worry that they might not get enough in necessary positions to support the war. There was also concern that drafting talents would damage the economy by removing them from necessary civilian positions. None of that has happened yet.
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