GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Gravity?

POSTED BY: QUILL
UPDATED: Thursday, October 24, 2002 09:59
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VIEWED: 6803
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Friday, October 18, 2002 1:05 AM

QUILL


D'you think they'll explain how Serenity generates a gravity field? I don't remember the Star Trek shows ever explaining that one, though I by no means saw all of 'em.

Inside every cynic there's an idealist desperately yearning to be let out, and when they are let out they're usually a real pain and cause all sorts of trouble. --Chris Boucher

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Friday, October 18, 2002 1:30 AM

SHUGGIE


I think it's a mistake to try to explain technology that doesn't exist yet.

Shug

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Friday, October 18, 2002 4:48 AM

KALIMAC


I think Star Trek mumbled some lines about "graviton generators" (gravitons being the theoretical and somewhat imaginary particles responsible for carrying the gravitic field).

I don't really require much more explanation than that. Just give me a line about "Heisenberg compensators" and I'm all set!

Keep Flying

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Saturday, October 19, 2002 5:55 PM

UFO


Quote:

Originally posted by Quill:
D'you think they'll explain how Serenity generates a gravity field?

Nope. This show is so far removed from the definition of "science fiction" that there would be no point. It's a Fox show, thus...turn off brain, and watch.

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Saturday, October 19, 2002 6:45 PM

RINGWRAITH


Quote:

Originally posted by UFO:
Quote:

Originally posted by Quill:
D'you think they'll explain how Serenity generates a gravity field?

Nope. This show is so far removed from the definition of "science fiction" that there would be no point. It's a Fox show, thus...turn off brain, and watch.



Since I've been on a J. Michael Straczynski trip the past few weeks (getting all geared up for the release of Babylon 5 on DVD) I found a quote of his that most people (especially here and at some USENET groups) should pay heed to:

"I've said it elsewhere, but I'll say it here: I've never bought into the
strict definitions of what SF is. If it happens in the future, on a space
station, involving starships, it's SF."


and again

"Also, I've always considered B5 speculative fiction, which isn't as
narrow as hard-core/technobabble science fiction (or, more properly, some
aspects of that area, since there has been a goodly amount of hard SF that
I've enjoyed and continue to enjoy). To me, SF (either way) isn't about the
hardware, isn't about reversing the polarity on the tachyon emitter to reflux
the framitz. It's looking to the future, and positing social and political
and religious questions. How will society change by the year 2258? How will
the government work? How will we handle the development of telepaths? How
will we get along with other life forms? What will commerce be like? That
is an *absolutely* valid definition of SF that has been showcased in some of
the best stories written in the SF genre. I'd point you to "A Canticle for
Liebowitz" as just one example of one of the most famous books in SF, without
a *lick* of hardware/tech in it."


I know some completely dislike The Great Maker but his points are very valid. Firefly is as much sci-fi as Star Trek, Lexx, Battlestar: Gallactica and Space: 1999. So if Joss Whedon doesn't want to explain how everything works (or why) I'm all for it. As long as the episodes are well-written (and so far they are, IMO) then I'm satisfied. I mean really, is there any TRUE definition of what science fiction actually is?


************************************************
"How will this end?"
"In fire."
--Babylon 5, 'The Coming of Shadows'
************************************************

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Saturday, October 19, 2002 7:44 PM

TECHBOY


Quote:

Originally posted by Ringwraith:
... So if Joss Whedon doesn't want to explain how everything works (or why) I'm all for it. As long as the episodes are well-written (and so far they are, IMO) then I'm satisfied. I mean really, is there any TRUE definition of what science fiction actually is?



We could go to an extreme and let the gadgets be the stars, like "Lost in Space" or "Land of the Giants".

I do believe that I did see a spinning section in the center of Serenity once. Maybe that is what generates the gravity.

================================================
Today, as I was having lunch, I was watching the birds in the trees and wondered what it would be like if birds knew that people didn't like being shat on. As I was thinking this, a bird shat on my sandwich. Perhaps I knew too much...

-Simon Travaglia
If you like that, check this out.[url= http://bofh.ntk.net/]

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Monday, October 21, 2002 1:38 AM

QUILL


If you're thinking of the ring generating gravity by spinning (is that centrifugal or centripital? I can never remember), it would only generate gravity for the ring itself. If it's powering the gravity generator, then anything's possible.

Frankly, it doesn't matter to me whether they explain it or not. I would like to hear the explanation, but I can certainly live without it. I was curious as to what other people thought.

Inside every cynic there's an idealist desperately yearning to be let out, and when they are let out they're usually a real pain and cause all sorts of trouble. --Chris Boucher

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Monday, October 21, 2002 3:32 AM

TECHBOY


Quote:


Quill wrote:

...Frankly, it doesn't matter to me whether they explain it or not. I would like to hear the explanation, but I can certainly live without it. I was curious as to what other people thought.



I couldn't agree more. As I stated in another post, unlike "Lost in Space", it's not about the gadgets.

JMS seemd to do the best about the science, and again it wasn't a central theme. In fact, I remeber a scene in an episode of B5 where we're following along with a couple of techs, and one is moving a glowing floor buffer around. They start debating the reason why they have to do that, and sounded a lot like the arguments the geek trio had last season on Buffy.

================================================
Today, as I was having lunch, I was watching the birds in the trees and wondered what it would be like if birds knew that people didn't like being shat on. As I was thinking this, a bird shat on my sandwich. Perhaps I knew too much...

-Simon Travaglia
If you like that, check this out.[url= http://bofh.ntk.net/]

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Monday, October 21, 2002 3:40 PM

BUGDOG


It's magic. Like the internet and TV.

~bugdog
alt.sex.fetish.domination.help-desk
"Get on your knees and right click NOW!"

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Monday, October 21, 2002 6:51 PM

LOONYTOON


Perhaps this is to simple an explanation for all the people that want to debate the techie crap, but wash could put the ship in a slow barrel roll(not snap roll) that if timed right would create an artificial gravity.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002 2:39 AM

QUILL


Yes, but wouldn't that mean that everyone would be walking on the hull, instead of the corridors?

Inside every cynic there's an idealist desperately yearning to be let out, and when they are let out they're usually a real pain and cause all sorts of trouble. --Chris Boucher

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002 11:09 AM

LOONYTOON


You are thinking of a snap roll, not a barrel roll. In a snap roll, you spin the ship on its horizontal axis. Picture tieing a string to the nose and tail of serenity and twirling it in space, while staying in the same place. In a barrel roll, you sideslip a bit, or to modify it to create gravity, you would pull up while banking your left wing over to the right and continue in a complete circle, all while keeping the floor of the ship orinted in the proper direction to keep the gravity straight down. If your roll radius was several hundred miles(quite likely in space) and you only completed one roll every couple of thousand miles, the ship wouldn`t fly through space looking like its twirling.

But I can tell you a better reason why all sci-fi shows have artificial gravity. Cause zero-g would cost millions to film each epesode!

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002 4:22 PM

SAINTOFCHEESE


I agree. sci-fi isn't about the technology. It's a fun side part, and it can make a show better sometimes, but people overdo it. Sci-fi should be about plot, character development and a depiction of the future. Shows like Andromeda have lost that in all the action.

~*Saint of Cheese*~

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002 8:08 PM

JASONZZZ



Gimme a break!

SF = SciFi = Science Fiction

It's Science with a Fiction bend
or Fiction with a Science bend.

SF without Science is ...

Science Fiction - Science = Fiction...

Just pure Fiction which end you up
in the plain Fantasy dept.

Asimov, Heinlein, and Foster are SF.

Do any of y'alls read at all?


--- Good Grief!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2002 1:59 AM

QUILL


But the line is fuzzy. Take the short story that started off Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight, for instance; the original story is fantasy in all but the framework. Zenna Henderson and HM Hoover also wrote stories that are not easily defined. And the Martian Chronicles may take place on Mars, but much of what goes on in those stories has little relation to science.

Inside every cynic there's an idealist desperately yearning to be let out, and when they are let out they're usually a real pain and cause all sorts of trouble. --Chris Boucher

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Wednesday, October 23, 2002 8:52 AM

DELVO


So, Jason ZZZ, you're telling us that, for example, the "positronic brain" qualifies as science in the fiction, because positrons are dealt with only by scientists, despite its inventor admitting that it was named that way because it sounds cool rather than anything that had anything to do with the actual science of positrons? After all, Isaac was "real science fiction" author...

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Thursday, October 24, 2002 1:03 AM

QUILL


Quote:

Originally posted by Thegn:
Science fiction came about because it became apparent that science was advancing fast enough that in future human beings could be capable of amazing things. Good science fictions always attempts to hold to the laws of science when necessary or possible, but good science fiction also fictionally expands the science to show what science could be, not what it is.



Frankenstein being a classic example, and referred to as the first science fiction novel.

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Thursday, October 24, 2002 9:54 AM

JASONZZZ



I will give you that at least its not complete fantasy or just plain crap. It could be SF; but let's not deconstruct and look at whether or not the actors are holding their communicators correctly or not. We are not at any TrekCon here.

Quote:

Originally posted by Delvo:
So, Jason ZZZ, you're telling us that, for example, the "positronic brain" qualifies as science in the fiction, because positrons are dealt with only by scientists, despite its inventor admitting that it was named that way because it sounds cool rather than anything that had anything to do with the actual science of positrons? After all, Isaac was "real science fiction" author...


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Thursday, October 24, 2002 9:59 AM

JASONZZZ



True, true about Fictional Science. As long as it suspend disbelief in some legitimate science way - futuristic or some systematic way. Of course, some fans will go way out of their way to make justification... but we are not at a FanCon here.

What I was trying to do is draw a line in the sand in defining what SF is, where Fantasy is, and where the rest of the character fiction, historical fiction, and fiction fiction are.

No, not everything fits into the mold perfectly and I am not going to jam pack it in where they don't belong - but that's the point -> there are things that clearly aren't SF, they so cross over the line that they are clearly not SF, and to me, they are just Fantasies.

Quote:

Originally posted by Thegn:
Quote:

Originally posted by Jasonzzz:

Gimme a break!

SF = SciFi = Science Fiction

It's Science with a Fiction bend
or Fiction with a Science bend.

SF without Science is ...

Science Fiction - Science = Fiction...

Just pure Fiction which end you up
in the plain Fantasy dept.

Asimov, Heinlein, and Foster are SF.

Do any of y'alls read at all?


--- Good Grief!

Yes, this is true to a certain extent, but don’t overstep yourself. Science fiction came about because it became apparent that science was advancing fast enough that in future human beings could be capable of amazing things. Good science fictions always attempts to hold to the laws of science when necessary or possible, but good science fiction also fictionally expands the science to show what science could be, not what it is. That is, science fiction is not stories about science in a fictional setting, but rather it’s stories about fictional science.

By your description, a fictional movie about WW2 German rocket would be science fiction, wouldn’t it? It is fictional, and it is about science. That is the only requirements you’ve placed on it. Therefore, such a historical movie becomes sci-fi, but obviously science fiction is not that broad.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
-- Arthur C. Clark

Don't you read at all?



-----------
In the Dark Ages, Romano-Celtic Britannia was over-run by Viking-like cultures collectively called the Anglo-Saxons. They were led by warlords called Drytinns, and the greatest warriors among them were the Thegns.


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