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On Rereading HELL'S GATE

"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: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:22 pm

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The average Sharonan society is more likely to consider differences than the average Arcanan society. Heck, the average Sharonan from any society is more likely to consider differences honestly and openly than the average Arcanan from any of its societies.

I don't think this is disputable. 80% of Sharona can experience another's experiences and thoughts through Voices. Sharonan can and do walk in another's shoes everyday life.

n7axw wrote:
PeterZ wrote:Nicholas,

Not more unthinkingly open, no. They are more used to evaluating differences between sentients. I have no problem believing Sharonans will hold on to a considered opinion with much greater conviction than Arcana. I just believe they will be more open to considering different ideas and social beliefs.


More open than whom? Mythalans? Andarans? Ransarians? Three pretty dramatically different groups of people there...

The same would be true on the Sharonian side. Ternathians would be more open than Chava's bunch. <shrug> It would be wise not to too broadly stereoptype.

Don

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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:48 pm

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I believe Sharonans would have a good idea how much of an impediment to continued negotiations capturing representatives of a first encounter civilization is. They have responses from many different sentient species and even more societies to sample. Arcana has only has its humans and human societies from its own universe.

Sharonans' lack of a Protocol was likely guided by their wealthy experience in dealing with diverse sentient species and societies.

n7axw wrote:
Howard T. Map-addict wrote:Don, my point is that 200 year old plans
are vulnerable to being partly forgotten,
misunderstood, insufficiently rehearsed,
and not quite applicable to a new situation.
The older a plan, the more likely a screw up, I say!

This Arcanan plan does not consider that the Others
might resent the way the situation was controlled in
the first place, or on further consideration might
conclude that it was a harmful plan, worse than no
plan at all.

And what if an attempt to control the situation,
had **failed?**
The blowback from a failed attempt would hurt Arcana.
In this case, had the Arcanan platoon kept the
Sharonans surrounded without moving in,
then in a few hours about twenty Sharonan cavalrymen
would have arrived and changed matters.

If Sharonan explorers had kept soldiers with them,
then they would have spent money on them for seventy-
nine years and eleven months with no benefit.

Now I wonder how Arcana can afford to use whole platoons
and sometimes companies of expensive soldiers to explore.
How can they afford the money and the time to slog
through forests and other conditions?
And why-oh-why would they use foot soldiers,
when they have dragons to search from on high at 100 mph?

Obviously I must suspend my disbelief for the sake of the story. Fiction seldom bears analysis,
unless Jane Austen or Lois Bujold writes it.

HTM


Yes, there could be resentment. That would be a bearable price. It was not Arcana's survey crew that got caught pants down. That's my point. The universe is not necessarily a benign place. Arcana's plan was apparently pretty simple rather than detailed and probably would have worked fine if properly implemented.

As for "how they could afford it," gimme a break. What Arcana did and what I proposed would have cost a drop in the bucket compared to the wealth gained from the new universes they were discovering and exploiting.

Don

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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by n7axw   » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:47 pm

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PeterZ wrote:I believe Sharonans would have a good idea how much of an impediment to continued negotiations capturing representatives of a first encounter civilization is. They have responses from many different sentient species and even more societies to sample. Arcana has only has its humans and human societies from its own universe.

Sharonans' lack of a Protocol was likely guided by their wealthy experience in dealing with diverse sentient species and societies.



I'm afraid we're going to have to agree to disagree here, Peter. Nothing here changes the fact that that it was a Sharonian survey team that got wiped out, something that would have been preventable with reasonable security. A bit of forethought on the whole matter of first contact would have been helpful as well.

While I will conceed that the voices do make a difference, I don't see that as valid argumentation against my main point.

Don

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When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:32 am

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Don, I didn't say I agreed with them on security. I said that was stupid to not take precautions and set some guidelines just in case.

I only state that their estimate of the risk of pure military guards to any peaceful first contact would likely have been more than they were willing to take. That is had they considered it. They didn't. Of course there is a military presence at the fort which is in constant contact through the Voice network.

I would assert that as a civilization, Arcana has much more at risk if a first encounter captures its explorers. Not surprising they made a contingency plan and Sharon did not.

n7axw wrote:
PeterZ wrote:I believe Sharonans would have a good idea how much of an impediment to continued negotiations capturing representatives of a first encounter civilization is. They have responses from many different sentient species and even more societies to sample. Arcana has only has its humans and human societies from its own universe.

Sharonans' lack of a Protocol was likely guided by their wealthy experience in dealing with diverse sentient species and societies.



I'm afraid we're going to have to agree to disagree here, Peter. Nothing here changes the fact that that it was a Sharonian survey team that got wiped out, something that would have been preventable with reasonable security. A bit of forethought on the whole matter of first contact would have been helpful as well.

While I will conceed that the voices do make a difference, I don't see that as valid argumentation against my main point.

Don

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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by Keith_w   » Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:38 am

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PeterZ wrote:
[Snip]

That's why Sharona didn't make a plan. It is still stupid not to have clear protocols for the simple reason that such a protocol gives a guideline to avoid panic reactions by the explorers. That and protocols would limit the ability of folks like that naturalist on Shaylar's team to insist on doing wasteful and or risky activities like burying Falsan.

[Snip]



The Sharonan plan for running into something unexpected could have been as simple as "withdraw from contact if possible, contact headquarters, protect yourselves"
--
A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:21 am

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Keith_w wrote:
PeterZ wrote:
[Snip]

That's why Sharona didn't make a plan. It is still stupid not to have clear protocols for the simple reason that such a protocol gives a guideline to avoid panic reactions by the explorers. That and protocols would limit the ability of folks like that naturalist on Shaylar's team to insist on doing wasteful and or risky activities like burying Falsan.

[Snip]



The Sharonan plan for running into something unexpected could have been as simple as "withdraw from contact if possible, contact headquarters, protect yourselves"


I think you are right. More to the point, I believe the Portal Authority assumed that any company would implement this procedure and did not see the need to define anything more specific.

Which reminds me of another factor that makes Sharona different from Arcana. Since the rights to any new discovery is privately owned by the corporations and people who discovered those resources, the benefits arising from any first encounter would most likely accrue to those that actually manage the encounter successfully.

I can see Sharona's view of potential others in the very unlikely instance of actually encountering them would be more similar to their civilian approach than the military one they actually encountered. The priorities that a military would see in any first encounter would be very different from what a civilian crew would see. Rightly so. Civilian crews would have tried to connect and develop relationships to profit from. The military would have envisioned potential threats and secured those threats.

Had two civilian groups or two military groups met instead of one of each at Fallen Timbers, the results would have more likely been peaceful. I go back to the post Bug discovery of exploration in the Shiva Option. There was a civilian survey crew in charge of exploration but a military element just in case the shit hit the fan. Had the Sharonans had a military element, it would have had the best of both worlds available to address the Andaran military after Falsan and Osmuna killed each other.
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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by n7axw   » Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:51 am

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PeterZ wrote:
Had two civilian groups or two military groups met instead of one of each at Fallen Timbers, the results would have more likely been peaceful. I go back to the post Bug discovery of exploration in the Shiva Option. There was a civilian survey crew in charge of exploration but a military element just in case the shit hit the fan. Had the Sharonans had a military element, it would have had the best of both worlds available to address the Andaran military after Falsan and Osmuna killed each other.


Agreed. I wonder if the result would have been different if the survey crew wouldn't have tried to run.

In the Starfire universe, Survey wasn't civilian. It was a seperate division of Fleet.

Don

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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:17 pm

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n7axw wrote:
PeterZ wrote:
Had two civilian groups or two military groups met instead of one of each at Fallen Timbers, the results would have more likely been peaceful. I go back to the post Bug discovery of exploration in the Shiva Option. There was a civilian survey crew in charge of exploration but a military element just in case the shit hit the fan. Had the Sharonans had a military element, it would have had the best of both worlds available to address the Andaran military after Falsan and Osmuna killed each other.


Agreed. I wonder if the result would have been different if the survey crew wouldn't have tried to run.

In the Starfire universe, Survey wasn't civilian. It was a seperate division of Fleet.

Don

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Sure it was part of fleet, but not a combat arm and not principally trained to defend against physical threats. IIRC, the Survey service wasn't rolled up into the Navy until after running into the Bugs.
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PING Don re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:22 pm

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2 Sure, Don, I'll give you that break.
A company could certainly have financed guards from
the profits on the previous discovery that it found.

Now you give me two breaks:
2.1 A new company, with no previous discoveries to get
profits from, would have to pay through the nose in
interest rates for the money to finance guards.

After all, Sharona has no central control of the moneys
earned from Outworlds. Each company arranges its own
financing.
Such central control would require taxes on moneys
earned Outworlds by successful companies,
with the money used to subsidize new companies.
What old company would wamt to be taxed to
subsidize its competitors?
Only the Portal Authority was in a position to collect
such taxes. It would need more legal authority to do
that, and then a larger (resource-consuming) bureaucracy.
Would you advise Sharonans to do that?

2.2 No company financed and controlled by Humans
*ever* has enough money to content the people who
finance and control it. Those people would *always*
have other uses for whatever money they controlled,
no matter how much it was.
Eighty years have nine hundred sixty (960) months.
Do you expect human companies to pay insurance money
for 959 months, with no return, for the sake of a thing
that might happen in the 960th?
How many Humans have ever done that?

Beyond those points, it occurs to me that two or more
companies exploring the same the same world might bump
into each other. If they both had Guard Companies,
they might wage war against each other.
For the past eighty years, any such disputes have been
settled by the SPA, because they have all the soldiers.
With the new system, SPA would need enough soldiers to
overwhelm all of the Guard Companies, or else there
would be Anarchy And Chaos in the Outworlds!
=====================================
I almost forgot your paragraph #1.
I see you as being very, very upset that the Chalgyn
team was overwhelmed and destroyed.
Is it possible that you are reacting too strongly?
As you yourself said, Bad Things do happen.

What if the Chalgyns had had twenty guards, or forty,
and they'd run into two Arcanan platoons, or more?
OTOH, what if Arcana'd had a twelve-man squad?
I deem it Chance that determines which group is stronger.

Howard T. Map-addict

n7axw wrote:reply at bottom

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:Don, my point is that 200 year old plans
are vulnerable to being partly forgotten,
misunderstood, insufficiently rehearsed,
and not quite applicable to a new situation.
The older a plan, the more likely a screw up, I say!

This Arcanan plan does not consider that the Others
might resent the way the situation was controlled in
the first place, or on further consideration might
conclude that it was a harmful plan, worse than no
plan at all.

And what if an attempt to control the situation,
had **failed?**
The blowback from a failed attempt would hurt Arcana.
In this case, had the Arcanan platoon kept the
Sharonans surrounded without moving in,
then in a few hours about twenty Sharonan cavalrymen
would have arrived and changed matters.

If Sharonan explorers had kept soldiers with them,
then they would have spent money on them for seventy-
nine years and eleven months with no benefit.

Now I wonder how Arcana can afford to use whole platoons
and sometimes companies of expensive soldiers to explore.
How can they afford the money and the time to slog
through forests and other conditions?
And why-oh-why would they use foot soldiers,
when they have dragons to search from on high at 100 mph?

{snip - htm}

HTM


1 Yes, there could be resentment. That would be a
bearable price. It was not Arcana's survey crew
that got caught pants down. That's my point.
The universe is not necessarily a benign place.
Arcana's plan was apparently pretty simple
rather than detailed and probably would have
worked fine if properly implemented.

2 As for "how they could afford it," gimme a break.
What Arcana did and what I proposed would have cost
a drop in the bucket compared to the wealth gained from
the new universes they were discovering and exploiting.

Don

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Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:50 pm

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I believe Howard's point on legal authority for actual military guards accompanying Sharonan exploration teams is dead on. Prior to the Sharonan Empire, there was no overarching organization beyond the Portal Authority. To whom would such a military group answer to? Lord knows non-Uromathians would have issues trusting the guards that report to the Uromathian Empire. As we have read it required an existential threat to prompt the Sharonan nations to create a unified World government. Even then there are serious hiccups.

Even using Portal Authority troops to guard explorers would be subject to complaints from the various competing national interests and their constituent companies. It appears that the distribution of responsibilities for the PA, its military forces and the private exploration companies have been honed down to the most reasonable compromises based on the potential threats.
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