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Series Re-read (sleuthing attempt #3)

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Series Re-read (sleuthing attempt #3)
Post by PMike   » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:14 pm

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I have been re-reading through the series to date and that re-read is spawning some ideas.

In TFT, April 904, First Section, Merlin is talking to Nynian following her implant surgery. He tells her:

I had Owl modify your software a bit. For the Federation, things like range and security were approached rather differently...No one ever worried about whether or not an implant's signal might detected because no one saw any reason to hide it.


For some reason, this stuck out, almost like a hint or clue.

Now, add in the Federation's knowledge of Gbaba sensors (we don't have exhaustive info on this, but we do have some). For example, Operation Ark relied on stealth (hiding from Gbaba sensors) escape the Sol blockade.

Lastly, consider that the dispersal pattern of the OBS strike on the enclave appeared as if controlled by a human and not by a computer.

Speculation--the trigger for the OBS is, in effect, a sensor from a gbaba vessel. Anything the Gbaba might pick up gets obliterated. If this speculation is correct, it suggests Shan-Wei and her team knew how to hide 30th century technology emissions from the Gbaba and Langhorne (or Chihiro) refused to risk it.
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Re: Series Re-read (sleuthing attempt #3)
Post by DMcCunney   » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:51 pm

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PMike wrote:I have been re-reading through the series to date and that re-read is spawning some ideas.

In TFT, April 904, First Section, Merlin is talking to Nynian following her implant surgery. He tells her:

I had Owl modify your software a bit. For the Federation, things like range and security were approached rather differently...No one ever worried about whether or not an implant's signal might detected because no one saw any reason to hide it.
For some reason, this stuck out, almost like a hint or clue.

Now, add in the Federation's knowledge of Gbaba sensors (we don't have exhaustive info on this, but we do have some). For example, Operation Ark relied on stealth (hiding from Gbaba sensors) escape the Sol blockade.
The information we do have indicates that Gbaba and TF tech were comparable, but that (initially, at least) Gbaba tech was better.

I thought back to the Weber and White collaborations where a Grand Alliance of species including humans were fighting an enemy called the Bugs. Bug technology was identical to human technology, even though the Bugs were a completely alien species. We get the impression there is one way things can be done, so everyone essentially does it the same way, regardless of who/what they are.

Operation Ark relied on getting far enough away from the Gbaba enclobing Earth that Gbaba sensors wouldn't pick them up before they disappeared into hyper.
Lastly, consider that the dispersal pattern of the OBS strike on the enclave appeared as if controlled by a human and not by a computer.
Merlin thought so, but figured that was Langhorne playing with his toy and enjoying God-like power. There is no evidence it could not have been done under computer control, but for the one doing it that would have been too impersonal. He wanted to take aim and pull the trigger.

Speculation--the trigger for the OBS is, in effect, a sensor from a gbaba vessel. Anything the Gbaba might pick up gets obliterated. If this speculation is correct, it suggests Shan-Wei and her team knew how to hide 30th century technology emissions from the Gbaba and Langhorne (or Chihiro) refused to risk it.
Is there a difference between a human sensor and a Gbaba sensor the OBS could detect? Remember, same technology.

And the OBS does still have working point defense, as it swats the stealthed remotes Merlin and Owl try to use to take a closer look.

But I don't see a Gbaba sensor being the OBS trigger. If the Gbaba search the Safehold system at all, humanity is screwed. A simple scan of the planet that became Safehold will reveal the existence of life, and a closer one will show it's intelligent life. For that matter, a scan that detects the existence of the OBS will be deadly.

And if a Gbaba sensor does trigger the OBS, what can it do? The OBS is not an orbital defense array, and can't toss rocks at Gbaba ships. All it can do is plaster Safehold. The Gbaba will do that far batter than the OBS can.

I think we have to assume that whatever might trigger the OBS will be human activity on Safehold. Given what has already been done without rocks being dropped, the one line the IC hasn't crossed has been use of electric power. No surprise the IC is extremely reluctant to open that can of worms without a known good way of disabling the OBS first.
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Dennis
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Re: Series Re-read (sleuthing attempt #3)
Post by Louis R   » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:37 pm

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I believe that what Mike is suggesting is that a Gbaba sensor, or one modeled on theirs, was used in the targeting system of the OBS to set the threshold at which it would fire.

I would tend to agree that there's not really much point since if they're in the system at all there's no hiding from them, and in any case the object of the exercise was to permanently prevent any movement toward a culture that could _attract_ them, or anyone else, to the system. So it was either built to sear the _memory_ of how terrible the price of defiance is so deeply into the population that they would never stray from the path set for them, or to stomp on any emissions regardless of whether they could be seen by the Gbaba. Or both, of course. Which option was chosen has been the subject of endless debate here, and some concern to the characters, although they seem to have opted to assume the second one as the wisest course for them to follow.

DMcCunney wrote:
PMike wrote:I have been re-reading through the series to date and that re-read is spawning some ideas.

< snip >

Now, add in the Federation's knowledge of Gbaba sensors (we don't have exhaustive info on this, but we do have some). For example, Operation Ark relied on stealth (hiding from Gbaba sensors) escape the Sol blockade.
< snip >

But I don't see a Gbaba sensor being the OBS trigger. If the Gbaba search the Safehold system at all, humanity is screwed. A simple scan of the planet that became Safehold will reveal the existence of life, and a closer one will show it's intelligent life. For that matter, a scan that detects the existence of the OBS will be deadly.

And if a Gbaba sensor does trigger the OBS, what can it do? The OBS is not an orbital defense array, and can't toss rocks at Gbaba ships. All it can do is plaster Safehold. The Gbaba will do that far batter than the OBS can.

I think we have to assume that whatever might trigger the OBS will be human activity on Safehold. Given what has already been done without rocks being dropped, the one line the IC hasn't crossed has been use of electric power. No surprise the IC is extremely reluctant to open that can of worms without a known good way of disabling the OBS first.
______
Dennis
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Re: Series Re-read (sleuthing attempt #3)
Post by DMcCunney   » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:35 am

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Louis R wrote:I believe that what Mike is suggesting is that a Gbaba sensor, or one modeled on theirs, was used in the targeting system of the OBS to set the threshold at which it would fire.
That makes a bit more sense, but given the assumption of similar technology, I don't see why a human sensor wouldn't serve. (And we know from TextEv that by the time Operation Ark was launched, human technology equaled the Gbaba's, and what could be built by Hamilcar, where the OBS was constructed, would have that tech available.)
I would tend to agree that there's not really much point since if they're in the system at all there's no hiding from them, and in any case the object of the exercise was to permanently prevent any movement toward a culture that could _attract_ them, or anyone else, to the system.
The "anyone else" has been a matter of curiosity for me. The TF already knew that at least two other sentient alien species existed - the Gbaba and the one they had previously destroyed that set off alarm bells for the TF.

Hiding from the Gbaba is all very well, but we know the Gbaba have their own domain they don't venture out of unless disturbed, and they don't seem to be especially concerned about what's beyond it save whether it contains a potential threat. They aren't going to go exploring out of simple curiosity just to see what's there. (Though they apparently once did - after all, they created an interstellar polity in the first place. Why they decided to stop at their current borders and not normally venture beyond is is an "RFC knows. We don't." matter.)

A space going alien species out in the direction of Safehold might just explore the system to see what's there, without detecting existing technology use as a spur. If they are organic life that finds Earth-like planets congenial, they might take a closer look when they see Safehold. What happens then?

I don't know if Langhorne and company considered that, but I'm betting not. Their real motivation seems to have been self-hatred - humanity's overweening pride and ambition was what got them to be a Gbaba target, and they deserved it. The fraction of humanity will be good little boys and girls and not even dream of getting above themselves.

So it was either built to sear the _memory_ of how terrible the price of defiance is so deeply into the population that they would never stray from the path set for them, or to stomp on any emissions regardless of whether they could be seen by the Gbaba. Or both, of course. Which option was chosen has been the subject of endless debate here, and some concern to the characters, although they seem to have opted to assume the second one as the wisest course for them to follow.
I'd guess both, with the second as the stronger one. Memory is finite and pliable. With the limitations imposed on use of technology, any searing that occurred would fade over time as those who had actual memories died, and the ones that they told would sooner or later die to. There will still be knowledge it occurred, but far less immediate and less likely to have an effect on what folks choose to do. (Consider the slow erosion of the Proscriptions at the hands of Intendants whose rulings had more to do with the size of the bribe than the facts on the ground.)

At this point, I'd call stomping on emissions the principal function of the OBS. If the Proscriptions erode sufficiently that folks step over the line, a rock gets dropped on them. Of course, the IC's problem is understanding what that line is. Merlin and Nahrmahn's conversation at the beginning of TFT about the fact the Langhorne and Chihiro's master plan seeming to have come off the rails is a case in point. It may have, but they have only "best guess" notions about what that master plan is, and no idea how it has come off the rails - only a gut feeling that it has. Groping in the dark isn't happy making...
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Dennis
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Re: Series Re-read (sleuthing attempt #3)
Post by Dilandu   » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:36 pm

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DMcCunney wrote: Bug technology was identical to human technology, even though the Bugs were a completely alien species. We get the impression there is one way things can be done, so everyone essentially does it the same way, regardless of who/what they are.


Well, it's a subtrope of "Space is an ocean" trope) Basically it's assumed that the space fleets would be build along the universalized concepts of sail era - i.e. while the details may be different and one side may have weapons or engines better than the other side, the general design philosophy would be the same.

The situations when ships of different sides build to different design philosophy - like, for example, French and British ironclad fleets of late XIX century, or Soviet and American fleets during Cold War - is MUCH less frequent in science fiction.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: Series Re-read (sleuthing attempt #3)
Post by Louis R   » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:06 pm

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Design philosophy is shaped by technology - there's no point in designing systems that can't work - but it's not the same thing as technology. Soviet radar was the same as German radar was the same as Allied radar. In fact the receivers were able to see the other side's transmitters, as one US sub commander discovered to his profit during the Pacific war. There's only one kind of radio wave, and only a very limited number of ways of generating them at the required frequencies and power levels. That doesn't mean that a reasonably well-trained technician couldn't tell at a glance who built the station, but he'd do it by looking at non-essentials like precise shape and size of antennae, control layout, and of course the lettering on the console. He wouldn't do it by saying 'oh, this must be a Soviet station, because they're using beta radiation, not radio'.


Dilandu wrote:
DMcCunney wrote: Bug technology was identical to human technology, even though the Bugs were a completely alien species. We get the impression there is one way things can be done, so everyone essentially does it the same way, regardless of who/what they are.


Well, it's a subtrope of "Space is an ocean" trope) Basically it's assumed that the space fleets would be build along the universalized concepts of sail era - i.e. while the details may be different and one side may have weapons or engines better than the other side, the general design philosophy would be the same.

The situations when ships of different sides build to different design philosophy - like, for example, French and British ironclad fleets of late XIX century, or Soviet and American fleets during Cold War - is MUCH less frequent in science fiction.
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Re: Series Re-read (sleuthing attempt #3)
Post by Dilandu   » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:50 am

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Louis R wrote:Design philosophy is shaped by technology - there's no point in designing systems that can't work - but it's not the same thing as technology. Soviet radar was the same as German radar was the same as Allied radar. In fact the receivers were able to see the other side's transmitters, as one US sub commander discovered to his profit during the Pacific war. There's only one kind of radio wave, and only a very limited number of ways of generating them at the required frequencies and power levels. That doesn't mean that a reasonably well-trained technician couldn't tell at a glance who built the station, but he'd do it by looking at non-essentials like precise shape and size of antennae, control layout, and of course the lettering on the console. He wouldn't do it by saying 'oh, this must be a Soviet station, because they're using beta radiation, not radio'.


You missed the point. Even when technology is similar (which is not guaranteed, actually - in WW2, Allies have centimeter-wave radars, which Axis lacked until bearly the end, but the Axis was better in infrared devices), the applications could be different.

Just compare HMS "Collingwood" (laid up 1880) and French "Marceau" (also 1880). Similar technology - completely different design philosophy.

Or compare the USN "Charles F. Adams" missile destroyer with Soviet Project 61 and british "County". Those ships, similar in function, have absolutely different designs.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: Series Re-read (sleuthing attempt #3)
Post by Kizarvexis   » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:58 pm

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PMike wrote:I have been re-reading through the series to date and that re-read is spawning some ideas.

In TFT, April 904, First Section, Merlin is talking to Nynian following her implant surgery. He tells her:

I had Owl modify your software a bit. For the Federation, things like range and security were approached rather differently...No one ever worried about whether or not an implant's signal might detected because no one saw any reason to hide it.




That line sent my thoughts in another direction. Since Terran Federation citizens didn't hide their tech, what about the Adams and Eves? With 8M colonists, you would think that at least a few would have had autopsies. We know that they kept their tech as NEATs still worked in them after the Day of Creation.

So did they have their tech hidden while they were in cryo? If so, why go through the trouble to hide the tech after the Adams and Eves were programmed? Why not remove it so that no one could be retrained out of the CoGA plan? Make it a fait accompli by removing the tech.

Did the Book of Pasquale cover the'holy'tech, so that physicians would know what was going on? Wouldn't that mean you could show that someone is an Adam/Eve/touched by God by having tech implanted?

Maybe the Book of Chihiro states that Shan-wei could also implant the tech? So after the Adams and Eves are dead, only Shan-wei's own would have tech?

Something that I have not thought of? What do y'all think?
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Re: Series Re-read (sleuthing attempt #3)
Post by DMcCunney   » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:49 pm

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Kizarvexis wrote:That line sent my thoughts in another direction. Since Terran Federation citizens didn't hide their tech, what about the Adams and Eves? With 8M colonists, you would think that at least a few would have had autopsies. We know that they kept their tech as NEATs still worked in them after the Day of Creation.

So did they have their tech hidden while they were in cryo? If so, why go through the trouble to hide the tech after the Adams and Eves were programmed? Why not remove it so that no one could be retrained out of the CoGA plan? Make it a fait accompli by removing the tech.
They didn't have the tech hidden while they were in cryo. (and having the neural implants was what permitted Bedard to suppress their memories of who and what they were so they could awaken as Adams and Eves.

The implants were emplaced back in the TF at a very young age. We don't have details on how obvious they were (and my guess is small and unobtrusive - how big would a network port need to be?), but removing them as adults from 8 million colonists would be a non trivial exercise. (And for reasons below, why bother?)
Did the Book of Pasquale cover the'holy'tech, so that physicians would know what was going on? Wouldn't that mean you could show that someone is an Adam/Eve/touched by God by having tech implanted?
We can assume Pasqualate physicians active at the time would know who the Adams and Eves were without needing the implants to tell them. Adams and Eves were special, created directly by God through Langhorne, awakening as fully formed adults, and had rather longer lifespans than the colonists that were their descendants conceived and growing to adulthood naturally. Everybody knew who they were.

The Angels and Archangels were still present, and could explain the implants, if asked, as a consequence of direct creation by God that would not appear in their descendants, and meanwhile, don't worry about it.
Maybe the Book of Chihiro states that Shan-wei could also implant the tech? So after the Adams and Eves are dead, only Shan-wei's own would have tech?
I don't think Chihiro claimed that. Those in the Alexandria Enclave drew the short straw by virtue of association with Shan Wei.
Something that I have not thought of? What do y'all think?

See above.
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Dennis
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Re: Series Re-read (sleuthing attempt #3)
Post by Kizarvexis   » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:53 pm

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DMcCunney wrote:
Kizarvexis wrote:That line sent my thoughts in another direction. Since Terran Federation citizens didn't hide their tech, what about the Adams and Eves? With 8M colonists, you would think that at least a few would have had autopsies. We know that they kept their tech as NEATs still worked in them after the Day of Creation.

So did they have their tech hidden while they were in cryo? If so, why go through the trouble to hide the tech after the Adams and Eves were programmed? Why not remove it so that no one could be retrained out of the CoGA plan? Make it a fait accompli by removing the tech.


They didn't have the tech hidden while they were in cryo. (and having the neural implants was what permitted Bedard to suppress their memories of who and what they were so they could awaken as Adams and Eves.

The implants were emplaced back in the TF at a very young age. We don't have details on how obvious they were (and my guess is small and unobtrusive - how big would a network port need to be?), but removing them as adults from 8 million colonists would be a non trivial exercise. (And for reasons below, why bother?)


I know the wetware was placed into the Terran Federation citizens at a young age. The wetware was not hidden and that was how Bedard re-educated the colonists. And it was still there after the Day of Creation, as Dr Pei used it on Jeremiah and Evelyn Knowles and Kayleb and Jennifer Sarmac to let them know what really happened, so the wetware was not removed. Chihiro also restored memories, Seijin Kohdy for one, so it was around decades after the Day of Creation.

What I was asking was, did Langhorne & company hide the wetware of the 8M colonists before the Day of Creation, so that Pasquale healers would not necessarily find it? And once the colonists were reprogrammed, why not remove the wetware, so that the reprogramming would not be reversed? If the wetware was removed, then it would have been a fait accompli to the CoGA memories as no one else would be able to put it back without Langhorne and company knowing.


And we do have an idea how obvious it was from this in TFT.

TFTHardbackPg156 wrote:None of the circle's organic members could match that capability (PICA internal coms), because none of them had the "wetware" implants which had been standard for citizens of the Terran Federation. They could have had them, but any Safeholdian healer who saw them would instantly recognize them as neither natural nor explicable. Undoubtedly, they'd be put down as the work of more than mortal hands, and that was something none of them could risk when the jury about whether or not they really did worship Shan-wei, not God, was still out in so many Safeholdian minds.

...

Federation wetware would have been impossible to disquise, but only because the Federation had never seen any reason why it should "disquise" it, any more than earlier centuries of humanity had seen any reason to disquise eyeglasses or fillings in teeth. Conceal the implants cosmetically, perhaps, but everyone had them, everyone knew what they were, and no one worried about it.


To a healer, it would be pretty obvious.

DMcCunney wrote:
Did the Book of Pasquale cover the 'holy' tech, so that physicians would know what was going on? Wouldn't that mean you could show that someone is an Adam/Eve/touched by God by having tech implanted?


We can assume Pasqualate physicians active at the time would know who the Adams and Eves were without needing the implants to tell them. Adams and Eves were special, created directly by God through Langhorne, awakening as fully formed adults, and had rather longer lifespans than the colonists that were their descendants conceived and growing to adulthood naturally. Everybody knew who they were.

The Angels and Archangels were still present, and could explain the implants, if asked, as a consequence of direct creation by God that would not appear in their descendants, and meanwhile, don't worry about it.


I know that everyone knew who the Adams and Eves were. They were the adults and elders for everyone else after all. And since Safehold started off with 8M colonists, it seems that covering the wetware in the Book of Pasquale would be much easier than telling the thousands to hundreds of thousands of physicians individually, "oh, don't worry about that weird stuff in Adams and Eves as it is a natural thing for them". It could be an oral tradition, but with how oral traditions can be corrupted, it seems detailing it in the Book of Pasquale would be much safer and easier. Of course, from the quote from the book above, if the wetware was covered in the Book of Pasquale, then you would think that Merlin would have mentioned it.

DMcCunney wrote:
Maybe the Book of Chihiro states that Shan-wei could also implant the tech? So after the Adams and Eves are dead, only Shan-wei's own would have tech?


I don't think Chihiro claimed that. Those in the Alexandria Enclave drew the short straw by virtue of association with Shan Wei.


That's why I put it as an hypothetical. The Book of Chihiro had the history of Safehold after all. But on further reflection of the quote from TFT I did above, this seems a lot less likely. I was thinking it would be an additional reason for the Inner Circle to hide the wetware, but if that was the case, you would think that Merlin would have mentioned it in the quote above.
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