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Tech Levels at the start of next series

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by Dilandu   » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:12 am

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Guys, maybe start with airships? Seriously, it would be far easier to build an airship than any of exotic-engine planes (diesels arent exactly the simplest type of engines, they are material-demanding, and primitive diesels are heavy and bulky). And it would be nuch simpler to push airship through the Proscriptions, than airplane.

Not to mention that with Jihad problem ended, Merlin would probably also chease his nasty habit of giving refined solutions to Charis. As I said before, this practice is counter-productive, considering that his goal is to teach peoples to innovate by themselves, not to wait for perfect solution to "divinely" appear. In that respect, Church & Dohlar, actually, became more innovative in latest books than Charis; they actually worked out their hardware.

So at least until the new - fundamental - threat appeared, I think, Merlin would stop the practice of cheating with innovation. He needed all the world to catch this mindset, not just "one good kingdom that would have everything". After all, the innovations are produced better by competition.
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- 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: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:24 am

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I don't think the period between story arcs will be a peaceful one. These next two decades will involve economic competition as well as a series of proxy wars. The period smells too much of Earth's 1920's and 1930's. The issues motivating national tensions are different but equally potent. Conditions will exist to drive technological innovation powerfully. That being true, I share Dilandu's hope that Merlin and the Inner Circle let native innovators drive where the innovations go.

The basic research into the foundational understanding of physics, chemistry and biology should be driven by the IC, but let the application of that basic research be driven by native innovators. That having been said, will RFC play around with non-electric ignition systems? Will he go the route of further developing tech that electricity would have made obsolete on Earth? Odds are that both developmental strategies will be used by various countries in different industries.

I hope to see some countries further develop steam, others diesel and others still pursue jets to offset advantages they see in the countries they compete against. I can see Charis further develop the balloon into derigibles. Dohlar pursuing heavier than air with diesel and some sharp Siddermarker find a way to reliable ignite a jet without electricity. So, by the time the next arc starts the nation's have competitive advantages and disadvantages that makes any conflict a more chancy proposition.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by n7axw   » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:49 pm

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PeterZ wrote:I don't think the period between story arcs will be a peaceful one. These next two decades will involve economic competition as well as a series of proxy wars. The period smells too much of Earth's 1920's and 1930's. The issues motivating national tensions are different but equally potent. Conditions will exist to drive technological innovation powerfully. That being true, I share Dilandu's hope that Merlin and the Inner Circle let native innovators drive where the innovations go.

The basic research into the foundational understanding of physics, chemistry and biology should be driven by the IC, but let the application of that basic research be driven by native innovators. That having been said, will RFC play around with non-electric ignition systems? Will he go the route of further developing tech that electricity would have made obsolete on Earth? Odds are that both developmental strategies will be used by various countries in different industries.

I hope to see some countries further develop steam, others diesel and others still pursue jets to offset advantages they see in the countries they compete against. I can see Charis further develop the balloon into derigibles. Dohlar pursuing heavier than air with diesel and some sharp Siddermarker find a way to reliable ignite a jet without electricity. So, by the time the next arc starts the nation's have competitive advantages and disadvantages that makes any conflict a more chancy proposition.


I agree that the next 20 plus years will be anything but peaceful. I suspect that dirigibles have a more immediate usefulness in combat ops for recon and bombing. Heavier than air craft will be the intermediate to long term future since as they are refined, they will be superior in almost all phases including speed, carrying capacity, maneuverability and survivability. Dirigibles are only a stop gap eventually to be phased out.

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: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by Castenea   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:15 pm

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Dilandu wrote:Guys, maybe start with airships? Seriously, it would be far easier to build an airship than any of exotic-engine planes (diesels arent exactly the simplest type of engines, they are material-demanding, and primitive diesels are heavy and bulky). And it would be nuch simpler to push airship through the Proscriptions, than airplane.

Not to mention that with Jihad problem ended, Merlin would probably also chease his nasty habit of giving refined solutions to Charis. As I said before, this practice is counter-productive, considering that his goal is to teach peoples to innovate by themselves, not to wait for perfect solution to "divinely" appear. In that respect, Church & Dohlar, actually, became more innovative in latest books than Charis; they actually worked out their hardware.

So at least until the new - fundamental - threat appeared, I think, Merlin would stop the practice of cheating with innovation. He needed all the world to catch this mindset, not just "one good kingdom that would have everything". After all, the innovations are produced better by competition.
Merlin stops giving fully developed tech, and the pace of innovation will appear to slow down significantly. It was not uncommon in history for a new tech to take twenty to thirty years to go from tech demonstrator to full implementation.
Trains are a good example of this. First development was circa 1820. The B&O was founded in 1827https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore_and_Ohio_Railroad Yet in many ways it was only in the 1840s that railroads figured out what worked, with modern rail profiles not being developed until after 1830https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_profile, and the 4-4-0 "American" was first designed in 1836 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4-4-0.

Much the same occurs with both Bicycles and Airplanes, where key developments bring the first practical proof of concept then it takes over a decade for a standard design to emerge. For bikes the key breakthroughs were the combination of relatively inexpensive steel tubing and pneumatic tires. For planes it was a powerplant that had a high enough power to weight ratio combined with over 10 years of airfoil development in gliders.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by Randomiser   » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:51 am

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Merlin has two somewhat conflicting aims; he wants Safehold to get a culture of investigating and producing new developments for itself, and he wants it to take a lot less time to get to TF levels than Earth etc took to do so. The first is for obvious reasons. The second for both strategic and moral ones. Strategically, the chances of the Gbaba finding Safehold in any given year are very small, but it would be irresponsible to needlessly extend their window of opportunity in which Human technology is too low-level to effectively resist them and Safehold has to independently surpass TF technology in order to be sure of defeating them. Morally, the longer Merlin withholds knowledge of TF levels of technology, the more people will die or have their lives blighted due to curable or preventable conditions, the more people who will die 'early' because their lifespans have not been extended by anti-aging techniques, probably the more poverty and suffering people will have to endure, and probably the more pollution damage will be done to the environment.
Merlin has to balance his two aims and adopt policies which seek to produce acceptable results in both of them. Of course, the balance may change as global circumstances do, but I can't see him just stepping back and leaving the pace of development to simple natural talent, whatever happens.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by Randomiser   » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:24 am

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On useful new technologies, may I suggest the colour Mauve as an interesting fashion statement for one of the royal ladies to introduce! Mauve was an instant hit and must-have colour for fashionable ladies when it was introduced to Victorian Britain. No doubt it would also work on Safehold.

It was the first of the artificial, aniline, dyes, produced from coal tar. It set people off looking at what other colours one might produce from coal-tar then at what other interesting things might be lurking in it. The processes involved and the knowledge gained were among the first big drivers for the chemicals industry. And Charis has all that waste coal tar from the town gas produced for the street lights, be a shame to just throw it away. :D
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