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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 n7axw   » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:36 am

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You guys have done a nice job with this thread in terms of anticipating tech in the near term future. What would be interesting now would be to come up with ways of stimulating tech development now that the war is over.

The advantage of a war, of course is that, like a hanging, it wonderfully concentrates the mind. The drawback is the huge amount of both human and material resouses it devours.

So are there other ways of wonderfully concentrating the mind? In RL the focus to put a man on the moon accomplished that here in the states for about a decade. What could Safehold do at this point?

One more thought... A period of exhaustion is going to set in now that the current fracas is over. People are both physically and emotionally drained from the struggle. Duke Delthak definitely needs an afternoon nap and some quality time with his wife.

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 Randomiser   » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:29 am

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Well, there is steam and national pride and making a Mark or two, and steam, oh and did I mention steam?

Here comes the railway revolution, all over the planet, plus steam barges revolutionising the throughput and transit times on the canals, plus steam driven ocean going cargo ships doing the same over longer distances. Even Charis has still to actually apply this on any scale, and everyone else is starting from scratch.

The lessons about steel, standardisation, pneumatic machinery and production lines need to move out of Delthak and the war economy, into the rest of industry. Probably the agricultural machinery businesses will be among the first, but everything is going to be cheaper and easier to make and distribute. Those who keep up will make lots of money, those who don't will go bust. Charisians are noted for their affection for Marks and that will be more than sufficient incentive for the next 15-20 years.

There is going to be huge economic boom and the spread of wealth will change. One of the difficulties may be ensuring other lands keep up enough to actually be able to buy the stuff Charis is making.

New skills and training will be needed so people will find an increasing use for education. All these competing manufacturers are going to find new ways to do things off their own bat now that the Church will positively smile on most innovations rather than stamping on them. In the Empire at least. Other places can fall behind at their own peril if they wish.

Just about every other nation knows it needs to go through a step change if it isn't just going to ask "How high?" when Charis says "Jump!" so that is going to be deeply motivating.

If we don't see diesel, we will definitely see steam tractors well within 20 years and that will do good things for agricultural productivity. I'm a bit vague on the details of producing fertilisers but if something can be done in that line it will make a huge difference to how many people need to work on the land.

Charis will still have a large military R&D effort. They know another war is coming.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:35 pm

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Socially, I believe this will be the Charisian Golden Age. Charis will be using steam powered transports to bring people closer together both domestically within the Empire and beyond. It will be cheaper to actually send sales people abroad to sell products rather than relying on intermediaries such as ships captains. The captains would have acted as the transactional middleman, rather than simply the transportation.

Charisians will vacation abroad, both domestically and internationally. They will spend money on frivolities and worthy causes. They will act like drunken sailors would have acted in the previous generation. The world will grow smaller for Charisians. That smaller world will make it very obvious that many nations will be so much less fortunate that than Charis. Yes, they can improve their lot with diligent effort, but lord they need help to do it!

Siddermark will need to be rebuilt and its people help back onto their feet. Those sturdy folks don't need charity, they simply need a friendly helping hand to stand on their own two feet.

Dohlar is a bit backward, but they try hard and do learn the lessons life has to teach. Her Imperial Highness Spends quite some time visiting that Kingdom and entertaining her Dohlaran friends, so it must be a worthwhile place.

Silkiahns are wonderful people with great beaches.

When you have a chance, get out to Greentree Island and take a few weeks of solitude. Great relaxation and the Abbey is wonderful for contemplation.

If you don't have time, visit Corisande. Her Grace has the folks there straightened out after her marriage to His Grace, the Duke of Darcos. Wonderful weather and great banana pudding.

Zebediah will be great after His Grace gets that new fangled air conditioner working. Beforehand, its just too hot. Stick to fishing the Zebediah coast.

It takes a hardy soul to visit Chisholm in Winter but for those hardy Old Charisians with a true heart for adventure, there is nothing like down hill skiing. Those new steam powered gondola system make it much more practical.

Most of the folks wealthy enough to travel abroad will have business reasons to do so as well as enjoying their trip personally. Those folks without wealthy enough to take vacations, will be visiting their neighboring islands. The bottom line is that Safehold is going to see the traveling Charisian aplenty with money to burn by local standards.

Innovation will be driven by envy spread by Charisian working men with self-made millions. Not a half of a generation ago, those islanders were backwards hicks. They didn't know enough to come in out of the snow in Winter. Today, they own the planet! How did this happen?!? The smart ones will ask their rich visitors with a working man's accent and then act on their answer.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by n7axw   » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:03 pm

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These last two posts are probably a bit on the optimistic side, given my own sense of things. That being said, Randomizer and PeterZ are probably on the right track.

But what I would point out is that the main thrust here is not the development of new tech, but the widespread application of existing tech into the civilian economy. I am sure that it will be modified and refined, but nothing new is being suggested from what Charis has already introduced during the war.

The elephant in the room here is still the proscriptions, and, of course, THE OBS. This does represent a lid on things.

So, given the limitations this represents, what new tech could be developed within those parameters? About the only thing I can think of off hand would be the development of diesel. And what would wonderfully concentrate the mind to bring that about? The needs for survival during the war was the concentrator for Charis. What else might there be?

I suspect that Safehold's energy over the next 20 years will be devoted to absorbing and finding fresh application for existing tech rather than developing new at least until the OBS and the proscriptions are dealt with.

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 PeterZ   » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:35 pm

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n7axw wrote:These last two posts are probably a bit on the optimistic side, given my own sense of things. That being said, Randomizer and PeterZ are probably on the right track.

But what I would point out is that the main thrust here is not the development of new tech, but the widespread application of existing tech into the civilian economy. I am sure that it will be modified and refined, but nothing new is being suggested from what Charis has already introduced during the war.

The elephant in the room here is still the proscriptions, and, of course, THE OBS. This does represent a lid on things.

So, given the limitations this represents, what new tech could be developed within those parameters? About the only thing I can think of off hand would be the development of diesel. And what would wonderfully concentrate the mind to bring that about? The needs for survival during the war was the concentrator for Charis. What else might there be?

I suspect that Safehold's energy over the next 20 years will be devoted to absorbing and finding fresh application for existing tech rather than developing new at least until the OBS and the proscriptions are dealt with.

Don

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Diesel will be driven by the development of the derigibles. Steam power and the requisite fuel is simply too heavy for flight. Sure, it can be done, but at a cost of weight that can be used for cargo. Using diesel will free up weight for paying cargo. Duke Delthak won't have to make that point more than once before his able assistant begin considering alternative power sources. Refining oil into useable diesel fuel seems to be progressing apace already.

I suspect steam will remain the popular application for most heavy duty ground applications, like tanks, locomotives, farming combines, cargo ships and naval ships. The technology is sound already. Diesel will be useful for weight sensitive applications and eventually civilian applications. Diesel powered automobiles simply don't require the same complexity as steam. Maintaining the pressure in a boiler tube system and then transferring that pressure to the wheels is more complex than in a diesel engine. That simplicity will translate to lower costs, which will sell itself to civilian use. I can see experimenting with ignition systems for an IC engine sparking the theological debate to start the next story arc.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by Randomiser   » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:56 pm

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n7axw wrote:These last two posts are probably a bit on the optimistic side, given my own sense of things. That being said, Randomizer and PeterZ are probably on the right track.

But what I would point out is that the main thrust here is not the development of new tech, but the widespread application of existing tech into the civilian economy. I am sure that it will be modified and refined, but nothing new is being suggested from what Charis has already introduced during the war.

The elephant in the room here is still the proscriptions, and, of course, THE OBS. This does represent a lid on things.

So, given the limitations this represents, what new tech could be developed within those parameters? About the only thing I can think of off hand would be the development of diesel. And what would wonderfully concentrate the mind to bring that about? The needs for survival during the war was the concentrator for Charis. What else might there be?

I suspect that Safehold's energy over the next 20 years will be devoted to absorbing and finding fresh application for existing tech rather than developing new at least until the OBS and the proscriptions are dealt with.

Don

-


I agree with you that the next 20 years is likely to be about development application and the rest of Safehold playing catch-up, rather than loads of new tech. Partly this is because the ban on electricity and hence on non-diesel internal combustion engines, electro-chemistry and electronic control systems while the Prescriptions are in forces and the is OBS active will become a road-block to many of the 'obvious' next steps.

What could we get for new tech? In RL organic chemistry and the Chemical industry actually got a big kick-start via the development of artificial dyes out of the coal-tar residues from coal-gas production and was driven by the fashion industry of all things. (look up the colour Mauve) I suspect that we could well see the start of chemical engineering. Fractional distillation of petroleum would be well within their capabilities and research on it has started at the Royal college. Steam engines would drive shallow drilling quite well. Photography started on glass plates, we could well see that. The machine gun is obviously coming.

All those touting blimps should remember they are using hydrogen for lifting, not helium, which is much harder to get and keep hold of.

I saw a fascinating series of about 6 hour-long programmes (in UK) concerning the social revolution brought about by railways in Victorian Britain. There were quite a few less obvious things so that it was much more transformative than we often realise. The ability of farmers and manufacturers to specialise because they now had access to a much wider market; the ability to distribute perishable foodstuff much more widely, raising the standard of living considerably; the very quick spread of news including development of National newspapers; a fast efficient postal service, giving rise to the mail-order catalogue and the ability to buy stuff from outside your locality; the ability to support and feed much larger cities from a wider hinterland; the rise of suburbs; a national time system, so clocks said the same thing everywhere. That's just what I remember off-hand.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by n7axw   » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:57 pm

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PeterZ wrote:
n7axw wrote:These last two posts are probably a bit on the optimistic side, given my own sense of things. That being said, Randomizer and PeterZ are probably on the right track.

But what I would point out is that the main thrust here is not the development of new tech, but the widespread application of existing tech into the civilian economy. I am sure that it will be modified and refined, but nothing new is being suggested from what Charis has already introduced during the war.

The elephant in the room here is still the proscriptions, and, of course, THE OBS. This does represent a lid on things.

So, given the limitations this represents, what new tech could be developed within those parameters? About the only thing I can think of off hand would be the development of diesel. And what would wonderfully concentrate the mind to bring that about? The needs for survival during the war was the concentrator for Charis. What else might there be?

I suspect that Safehold's energy over the next 20 years will be devoted to absorbing and finding fresh application for existing tech rather than developing new at least until the OBS and the proscriptions are dealt with.

Don

-


Diesel will be driven by the development of the derigibles. Steam power and the requisite fuel is simply too heavy for flight. Sure, it can be done, but at a cost of weight that can be used for cargo. Using diesel will free up weight for paying cargo. Duke Delthak won't have to make that point more than once before his able assistant begin considering alternative power sources. Refining oil into useable diesel fuel seems to be progressing apace already.

I suspect steam will remain the popular application for most heavy duty ground applications, like tanks, locomotives, farming combines, cargo ships and naval ships. The technology is sound already. Diesel will be useful for weight sensitive applications and eventually civilian applications. Diesel powered automobiles simply don't require the same complexity as steam. Maintaining the pressure in a boiler tube system and then transferring that pressure to the wheels is more complex than in a diesel engine. That simplicity will translate to lower costs, which will sell itself to civilian use. I can see experimenting with ignition systems for an IC engine sparking the theological debate to start the next story arc.


I agree, although an intermediate step might be use of natural gas rather than coal to provide heat for steam engines.

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 USMA74   » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:43 am

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I can wait for RFC/MWW to get well and don't want to see him push himself to far. However, a very guilty piece of myself want to see him get into a steampunk genre for the next book.

However, I think that the tech level is going to be roughly the same level as Europe in 1914 minus electricity.
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Re: Tech Levels at the start of next series
Post by n7axw   » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:16 am

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USMA74 wrote:I can wait for RFC/MWW to get well and don't want to see him push himself to far. However, a very guilty piece of myself want to see him get into a steampunk genre for the next book.

However, I think that the tech level is going to be roughly the same level as Europe in 1914 minus electricity.


I think you are going to get your wish. I would like to see heavier than air flight and diesel, but I suspect that is down the road...

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 fallsfromtrees   » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:20 am

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The one thing I haven't seen mentioned is fluidic computing. It is possible to build the equivalent of an original IBM PC in a cube about 3ft on a side using only fluidic technology. It never got started in our time period because it was short circuited by electronic junctions that were faster and much smaller, but with no electricity, that won't happen on Safehold.
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