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(SPOILERS) Why did they put all their eggs in one basket?

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(SPOILERS) Why did they put all their eggs in one basket?
Post by bkwormlisa   » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:04 pm

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The planners of Operation Ark specifically sent two full terraforming fleets, in case the first one was detected and destroyed. It wasn't, obviously, but I've been wondering why they didn't use the second one anyway.

Going another ten years' flight and planting half the colonists there would have given them a second chance in case the first one failed for any reason, immediately or before returning to space or even by returning too early and being killed by the Gbaba. Four million colonists is enough to make a colony; it's not like they barely had a big enough gene pool to make one colony.

Yes, they'd have to send off at least half the command crew, but the plan could have included the people for it and I don't think losing half of them would have ended the colony. It certainly survived well enough after Pei nuked them.

I suppose Langhorne wouldn't have wanted that, wouldn't have wanted half the remaining humanity under someone else's control and without the "safeguards" he put in place, but I can't find anything to indicate that anyone even considered the idea. Can anyone else?
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Re: Why did they put all their eggs in one basket?
Post by n7axw   » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:12 pm

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bkwormlisa wrote:The planners of Operation Ark specifically sent two full terraforming fleets, in case the first one was detected and destroyed. It wasn't, obviously, but I've been wondering why they didn't use the second one anyway.

Going another ten years' flight and planting half the colonists there would have given them a second chance in case the first one failed for any reason, immediately or before returning to space or even by returning too early and being killed by the Gbaba. Four million colonists is enough to make a colony; it's not like they barely had a big enough gene pool to make one colony.

Yes, they'd have to send off at least half the command crew, but the plan could have included the people for it and I don't think losing half of them would have ended the colony. It certainly survived well enough after Pei nuked them.

I suppose Langhorne wouldn't have wanted that, wouldn't have wanted half the remaining humanity under someone else's control and without the "safeguards" he put in place, but I can't find anything to indicate that anyone even considered the idea. Can anyone else?


I agree. No text evidence that it was even considered. But Langhorne could have shipped of his terraforming crew along with his most troublesome techies and probably survived to implement his plan.

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Re: Why did they put all their eggs in one basket?
Post by evilauthor   » Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:51 am

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bkwormlisa wrote:The planners of Operation Ark specifically sent two full terraforming fleets, in case the first one was detected and destroyed. It wasn't, obviously, but I've been wondering why they didn't use the second one anyway.

Going another ten years' flight and planting half the colonists there would have given them a second chance in case the first one failed for any reason, immediately or before returning to space or even by returning too early and being killed by the Gbaba. Four million colonists is enough to make a colony; it's not like they barely had a big enough gene pool to make one colony.

Yes, they'd have to send off at least half the command crew, but the plan could have included the people for it and I don't think losing half of them would have ended the colony. It certainly survived well enough after Pei nuked them.

I suppose Langhorne wouldn't have wanted that, wouldn't have wanted half the remaining humanity under someone else's control and without the "safeguards" he put in place, but I can't find anything to indicate that anyone even considered the idea. Can anyone else?


I don't think even the original plan called for multiple colonies being founded. Though no reasons are given, I get the impression that...

a) Multiple colonies means multiple authorities which in turn means disunity. When all the colonies get back to space after being out of contact with each other for centuries, whose government system gets to be in charge? Wars have started over less, and an interstellar war between human star nations could and would be fatal for the species with the Gbaba out there.

b) Multiple colonies also means greater chances of the Gbaba stumbling over one and thus giving the game away for all the others. After all, the original Plan relied on the Gbaba thinking they got all the humans and thus wouldn't be aggressively looking for hidden colonies. If the Gbaba find a colony of a species they thought they had exterminated, they're going to actively look for more such colonies, which increases the chances of the others being detected before they're ready.

Finally... who says that Langhorne's mission was the only secret colony project? AFAIK, all of the command crew do. But given all the secrecy revolving around it that Weber described, it would not surprise me if the Federation did in fact launch multiple colonies in the same vein as Langhorne's and simply didn't tell any of Langhorne's crew about it. After all, if they don't know about other colonization efforts, they can't give them away if the Gbaba found them.

So when Safehold goes out Gbaba hunting again, they may very well find that they're not alone. But then that doesn't mean they'll be all bosom buddies. I'll refer you to point A above.
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Re: Why did they put all their eggs in one basket?
Post by lyonheart   » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:11 am

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Hi EvilAuthor,

Unfortunately, the textev from OAR indicates the covering fleet was the last federation fleet that size, ie this was the last bolt of the federation navy.

L


evilauthor wrote:
bkwormlisa wrote:The planners of Operation Ark specifically sent two full terraforming fleets, in case the first one was detected and destroyed. It wasn't, obviously, but I've been wondering why they didn't use the second one anyway.

Going another ten years' flight and planting half the colonists there would have given them a second chance in case the first one failed for any reason, immediately or before returning to space or even by returning too early and being killed by the Gbaba. Four million colonists is enough to make a colony; it's not like they barely had a big enough gene pool to make one colony.

Yes, they'd have to send off at least half the command crew, but the plan could have included the people for it and I don't think losing half of them would have ended the colony. It certainly survived well enough after Pei nuked them.

I suppose Langhorne wouldn't have wanted that, wouldn't have wanted half the remaining humanity under someone else's control and without the "safeguards" he put in place, but I can't find anything to indicate that anyone even considered the idea. Can anyone else?


I don't think even the original plan called for multiple colonies being founded. Though no reasons are given, I get the impression that...

a) Multiple colonies means multiple authorities which in turn means disunity. When all the colonies get back to space after being out of contact with each other for centuries, whose government system gets to be in charge? Wars have started over less, and an interstellar war between human star nations could and would be fatal for the species with the Gbaba out there.

b) Multiple colonies also means greater chances of the Gbaba stumbling over one and thus giving the game away for all the others. After all, the original Plan relied on the Gbaba thinking they got all the humans and thus wouldn't be aggressively looking for hidden colonies. If the Gbaba find a colony of a species they thought they had exterminated, they're going to actively look for more such colonies, which increases the chances of the others being detected before they're ready.

Finally... who says that Langhorne's mission was the only secret colony project? AFAIK, all of the command crew do. But given all the secrecy revolving around it that Weber described, it would not surprise me if the Federation did in fact launch multiple colonies in the same vein as Langhorne's and simply didn't tell any of Langhorne's crew about it. After all, if they don't know about other colonization efforts, they can't give them away if the Gbaba found them.

So when Safehold goes out Gbaba hunting again, they may very well find that they're not alone. But then that doesn't mean they'll be all bosom buddies. I'll refer you to point A above.
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Re: Why did they put all their eggs in one basket?
Post by pokermind   » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:19 am

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Hmm, quite a plot twist. All of Safehold is shocked as the orbital bombardment system is destroyed by the third arrow in Shan Wei Pei's quiver, her grandson Totally Pissed Off Pei leads the techie fleet to liberate Safehold from Langhorne's plan :lol:

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Re: Why did they put all their eggs in one basket?
Post by lyonheart   » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:44 am

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Hi Pokermind,

thanks for making me smile.

But it sounds too much like RFC's parody of how the series won't end. :lol:

L


pokermind wrote:Hmm, quite a plot twist. All of Safehold is shocked as the orbital bombardment system is destroyed by the third arrow in Shan Wei Pei's quiver, her grandson Totally Pissed Off Pei leads the techie fleet to liberate Safehold from Langhorne's plan :lol:

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Any snippet or post from RFC is good if not great!
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Re: Why did they put all their eggs in one basket?
Post by Dilandu   » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:40 am

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More actual question: why they didn't attempt a quantum leap in human evolution? They could easly PICA-isate or simply virtualisate all (or at least, the significant porion) of the human race and simply send Von Neumann-type probes with archieved copies of the human race in every corner of the Galaxy... What could Gbaba do against the race of immortal machine-humans? ;)
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Re: Why did they put all their eggs in one basket?
Post by SWM   » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:36 am

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Dilandu wrote:More actual question: why they didn't attempt a quantum leap in human evolution? They could easly PICA-isate or simply virtualisate all (or at least, the significant porion) of the human race and simply send Von Neumann-type probes with archieved copies of the human race in every corner of the Galaxy... What could Gbaba do against the race of immortal machine-humans? ;)

I imagine because they wanted humanity to be human, not machines. There are certainly arguments in favor of transhumanism for an extreme situation like this. But there is no sign that they considered it. I wonder if their attitude was that they were fighting to preserve humanity, and turning into machines is not preserving humanity. Recall that most surviving people were not exactly firing on all thrusters at the time.
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Re: Why did they put all their eggs in one basket?
Post by evilauthor   » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:43 am

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Dilandu wrote:More actual question: why they didn't attempt a quantum leap in human evolution? They could easly PICA-isate or simply virtualisate all (or at least, the significant porion) of the human race and simply send Von Neumann-type probes with archieved copies of the human race in every corner of the Galaxy... What could Gbaba do against the race of immortal machine-humans? ;)


And again, who says they didn't?

If anything, this may be a more logical "second arrow" for the Federation if lyonheart is right about the covering fleet for Langhorne being the last one of its size. You don't need nearly as many resources to preserve 80 million electronically stored mind copies as you do 80 million flesh and blood human beings.

You may not even need a covering fleet. Just one warship covering another ship carrying everything needed to Von Neumann themselves back up to a full scale civilization. Assuming you don't just send a ship off into the trackless interstellar void at STL speeds for a few centuries to wait out any Gbaba search patterns.

Edit: Okay, I will admit that any other Federation colonies, human or uploaded transhumans, are unlikely. If for no other reason, narrative structure demands that our protagonists be the heroes, which is kind of hard to do when someone else gets there first.

Still, the possibility for other surviving colonies exists, and if RFC wants one to appear in any role whatsoever (ally, antagonist, victim in need of saving, etc), then he's pretty well covered.

After all, given all the lies and intrigue that went on in Langhorne's expedition, would it surprise ANYONE that more of it went on back on Earth?
Last edited by evilauthor on Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why did they put all their eggs in one basket?
Post by Duckk   » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:48 am

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