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Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » Intelligent life and civilizations (Improved procedurally generated descriptions for planets)
Intelligent life and civilizations
HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 08.09.2012, 18:58 | Message # 16
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Quote (Aerospacefag)
We need more energy and resources to achieve new heights, new speed of travel to reach new frontier in space. As electric engineer, I know that the energy is most important for existence of humanity today and in or future.

We do not necessarily need more energy to go to other planets, we just need new technologies that are more efficient and have different capabilities. As an electrical engineer, you should also be familiar with how much impact efficiency has in a system. If you have a given amount of energy to use, and you increase the efficiency of a system by a factor of 3, then you can do 3 times more work with the same amount of energy. So your capabilities have increased by a very large amount, yet your energy use has not changed.

Global energy production has in creased dramatically since the height of the space programs in the 1960s, yet we are no closer to going to the planets. There is not a direct relationship between energy usage and the limits of human capability. It is far more complex. Even though we produce more energy, we also have a larger population, so that extra energy is being used to maintain it. If the population was stable and energy production increased, then it would be more important.

One of the reasons it is difficult to get to other planets now is that spaceflight technologies are very inefficient, especially propulsion technologies. Very efficient chemical rocket engines have specific impulse ratings of barely more than 400 s. To reliably travel around the solar system in a reasonable amount of time and with a reasonable amount of resources, this number should be much higher, more like 2000+ s. We also have inefficiencies due to our lack of reusable and recyclable resources in spaceflight. This means that many more resources are required to support space activities and that more energy is required as well. If these limitations could be overcome, we could easily be exploring the solar system without any increase in energy production. If humanity can stabilize its population, develop good efficient and sustainable energy production and usage methods, then the current amount of energy being produced on Earth would be enough to allow us to explore the solar system and would allow us to begin colonizing other worlds.

Energy use is not a reliable indicator of a civilization's capabilities or level of development. It is only one factor to consider.





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AerospacefagDate: Saturday, 08.09.2012, 19:44 | Message # 17
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
If you have a given amount of energy to use, and you increase the efficiency of a system by a factor of 3, then you can do 3 times more work with the same amount of energy.

Just to clarify:
1. It is called "performance". It has a coefficient value, between 0% and 100%.
2. You can't do 30 joules of useful effect in a second if you have 30 watts of incoming power. It's called "conservation law".

Quote (HarbingerDawn)
There is not a direct relationship between energy usage and the limits of human capability. It is far more complex.

I do not deny that. I just trying to use a scientific method - we need to choose more useful, numerable parameter. I can't imagine anything instead.

Quote (HarbingerDawn)
If humanity can stabilize its population, develop good efficient and sustainable energy production and usage methods, then the current amount of energy being produced on Earth would be enough to allow us to explore the solar system and would allow us to begin colonizing other worlds.

You may be right at this part as well, but I don't think it is somehow possible to perform. Society has a great inertia and will not allow you to do so.

By the way, current energy production is not as high and as concentrated as we need anyway. It is about 2,5 kilowatts per living human. A total world consumption(in 2012, of all world, including your PC, your luster and your kettle) of 16 TW of energy is barely enough to stop well-known 99942 Apophis(270 meters in diameter) on its orbit in 30 seconds, considering performance of 100%.

However, the situation isn't that desperate.
http://en.rian.ru/science/20120328/172442924.html

Attachments: 2321126.jpg(116Kb)


Edited by Aerospacefag - Saturday, 08.09.2012, 19:48
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 08.09.2012, 21:05 | Message # 18
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Quote (Aerospacefag)
1. It is called "performance". It has a coefficient value, between 0% and 100%.

Performance can also have the same meaning, but generally it is referred to as efficiency, and yes it does have a coefficient value between 0% and 100%.

Quote (Aerospacefag)
2. You can't do 30 joules of useful effect in a second if you have 30 watts of incoming power. It's called "conservation law".

I know that. I know there is no such thing as a 100% efficient system. But if you have a system with an efficiency of 30%, and you can replace it with a system that does the same work at 90% efficiency, you have increased efficiency by a factor of 3 and therefore decreased your energy requirement by the same amount. This type of action was what I was referring to earlier.

Quote (Aerospacefag)
However, the situation isn't that desperate.
http://en.rian.ru/science/20120328/172442924.html

I wish them success. Advanced electric propulsion systems are needed if we want to start exploring beyond Earth. It discourages me that NASA has mostly given up on this type of technology. It is doubly sad that they abandoned the NERVA nuclear thermal rocket developed in the 1960s. It was a wonderful and well developed engine and could have been great as an advanced upper stage or Earth departure stage engine. NASA has some money but no sense of direction. Roscosmos has some good ideas but no money. Government space programs are not as good as they once were.

Quote (Aerospacefag)
You may be right at this part as well, but I don't think it is somehow possible to perform.

I didn't mean that we would or should stop increasing our energy production, I only wanted to make a point of how it was possible to have progress without it. But the realities of the world mean that progress will require increases in energy use, as you said.

Quote (Aerospacefag)
I do not deny that. I just trying to use a scientific method - we need to choose more useful, numerable parameter. I can't imagine anything instead.

Nor can I. The problem with trying to gauge the progress of a civilization by a numerical parameter is that it doesn't really apply. It is hard to assign quantitative values in social sciences, and the study of the progress of a civilization is certainly in many ways a social science. I don't think it is fair to use any numerical parameter to estimate its progress, only to estimate its progress in a certain area.





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LevArrisDate: Sunday, 09.09.2012, 14:47 | Message # 19
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Nor can I. The problem with trying to gauge the progress of a civilization by a numerical parameter is that it doesn't really apply. It is hard to assign quantitative values in social sciences, and the study of the progress of a civilization is certainly in many ways a social science. I don't think it is fair to use any numerical parameter to estimate its progress, only to estimate its progress in a certain area.


This is very true. But in SE we also "estimate" planet types for example, based on what is already known to exist. A simple scale describing civilization progress meassured by the what humans mean to be defined as such, is a similar thing. Science fiction still contains the word "fiction" :-).

On the other side, to be as realistic as possible, I tried to find an abstract system for evaluation of civilization progress. That's how I came up with my (own?) theory that this progress can be pretty good estimated by the level of manipulation capabilities of matter and information. I took the spacial schema range (microcosm to macrocosm) as a factor for evaluating which steps in our history and a possbile future could be seen as significant steps ahead on one of those areas.
This system already incorporates the term "energy" mentioned by some replies in this thread, because as we know matter/mass = energy.

Please, have a look at the attached table for better explanation.

Regards,

Lev

Attachments: Civilization_pr.xlsx(11Kb)


Edited by LevArris - Sunday, 09.09.2012, 14:48
 
H2BroDate: Sunday, 09.09.2012, 18:26 | Message # 20
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Quote (LevArris)
n the other side, to be as realistic as possible, I tried to find an abstract system for evaluation of civilization progress. That's how I came up with my (own?) theory that this progress can be pretty good estimated by the level of manipulation capabilities of matter and information


Interesting chart. The last two rows could be excluded as they are total fiction.

I'm not sure if "scale of matter" reached is very indicative, though. Let's say we fire off a single probe and it leaves our Solar System, likewise we engineer a bacterium to produce a certain protein. This means we have a scale ranging between a light year and a micron, but what does it even mean? Half of our population could be living in stick and mud huts but by matter-reach measures we are superstars.

Something like median energy consumption per person, and maximum density of information storage, or better yet, something like total volume of non-redundant information transmitted per day, or year, per person.

At least, my idea is: when it comes to measuring societies, it doesn't pay well to focus your attention on the very far tail ends of a distribution. It's what goes on for the majority that is most interesting.





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HarbingerDawnDate: Sunday, 09.09.2012, 18:40 | Message # 21
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Quote (H2Bro)
This means we have a scale ranging between a light year and a micron, but what does it even mean? Half of our population could be living in stick and mud huts but by matter-reach measures we are superstars.

I don't think that Lev was proposing that to be the sole metric by which a civilization is judged; rather, for it to be at most something to take into consideration. More likely - if I'm interpreting his chart and intentions correctly - he meant it as merely an estimate of the civilization's capabilities at that point in its development.

Quote (H2Bro)
Something like median energy consumption per person, and maximum density of information storage, or better yet, something like total volume of non-redundant information transmitted per day, or year, per person.

Good ideas. I especially like median information consumption per person, it would make a lot of sense for our society, though I can imagine some very advanced civilizations for which it might become an irrelevant piece of information.

Quote (H2Bro)
At least, my idea is: when it comes to measuring societies, it doesn't pay well to focus your attention on the very far tail ends of a distribution. It's what goes on for the majority that is most interesting.

This is certainly important. However, I think that both should be studied. Both the extremes and the median can be strong indicators of the state of a civilization.

Looking solely at the median, you might never guess that we might soon become a multiplanet species, and looking solely at our highest level of development, you might never guess what significant problems we have in our societies and cultures. You need to examine both realms of a civilization to get a good estimate of its status.





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H2BroDate: Tuesday, 11.09.2012, 22:58 | Message # 22
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Looking solely at the median, you might never guess that we might soon become a multiplanet species, and looking solely at our highest level of development, you might never guess what significant problems we have in our societies and cultures


Very good point. Looking at middle class america in the 70s one might not guess such things as particle accelerators or nuclear powered warships existed, let alone planes that flew on the edge of space.

Which reminds me, it can be even more difficult to extrapolate from current trends even if they are known in full. I think sometimes we see retro commercials from the 60s about how everyone will live on the moon in 30 or 40 years, and laugh. Well, according to the pace of development in THEIR time, that was an entirely reasonable extrapolation.

Likewise with the current interest in the "technological singularity". No one could have seen the development of semiconducter technology, and it has had such monumental explosive growth that extrapolating even a few decades out would make machine consciousness transfer and the like totally reasonable. Then again, there may be hard limits to growth in that direction, indeed we are already hitting them. Recent advances in processor chip capacity have been more to redesigns in architecture and layout / protocol than cramming more transistors on the chip, in fact I think we are already at the limit where quantum uncertainties prevent us from making single transistors any smaller.

Thats the part of the chart I disagreed with. There is basically a "iron curtain" of uncertainty very far into the future, we can't really know what technologies will arise or which will stop seeing such leaps and bounds in progress.





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migratingmynahDate: Tuesday, 11.09.2012, 22:58 | Message # 23
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So how about a new type of terra? Terra with intelligent life? With buildings and cars with life forms moving all over together with artificial satellites???




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DoctorOfSpaceDate: Tuesday, 11.09.2012, 22:58 | Message # 24
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The idea for intelligent listing has been posted plenty of times. Also there have been a few discussions on how implementation of procedural buildings and things will maybe be implemented. All of these won't come till a much later iteration though as they're pretty complex, besides the simple listing.




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rannyfashDate: Tuesday, 11.09.2012, 22:58 | Message # 25
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i really cant wait, im hoping for a whole host of different game styles implemented in one that i hope will be like minecraft crossed with spore and GTA IV,
 
Gondor2222Date: Tuesday, 11.09.2012, 22:58 | Message # 26
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I'm really interested in how, if at all the change of time flow relative to the player will interact with such a mechanism. It is quite easy for the player to travel hundreds of thousands of years into the future, and any fully realistic simulation would have to simulate planetary and interstellar colonization as well as planetary development that occur during that time.

Though that may be asking for too much...
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Tuesday, 11.09.2012, 22:58 | Message # 27
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Yes, this it too much even for supercomputers. Imagine billions of intelligent life planets in SE. Intelligent life cannot be computed procedurally, using formula, like motion of planets, it should be simulated step by step. So it will be impossible to accelerate or reverse time flow.




 
PlanetExplorer12Date: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 21:21 | Message # 28
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I think it would be a good idea to have planets with intelligent life, but it would be way more rare than planets with normal life. You could find spaceships on the planet's moons, and probes orbiting the other planets in the system.
Post your thoughts on this idea.





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AlessiaCristalloooDate: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 21:35 | Message # 29
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Yeah, seems legit.
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 21:56 | Message # 30
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Been suggested many times.

Just because a species has intelligence does not mean it will build spaceships. They could be in the tribal phase permanently or stuck living in their oceans with no means of building anything.

There are far too many variables to toss in an intelligent life flag, if anything the life flag just needs to be eventually expanded to be more specific as to what kind of life is living on what world. If it is intelligent then a flag about what phase of technological development they are in would be useful.





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Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » Intelligent life and civilizations (Improved procedurally generated descriptions for planets)
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