Galactic TravelogueEnnetech by Erasmus and Kinkajou Authors

 

 

Kinkajou Interviews Famous People For Their Unique Points Of View.

Space Civilisations of Science Fiction

KinkajouMed

Kinkajou

 

 

Civilisation is a process of increasing optomisation.

Eventauuly a failure of a single critical subsystem causes a critical collapse of the entire system.

Civilisations fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Sites are run on voluntary donations.

Please give us $5 -$10 each year,

because we really need this to let us keep on going.

 

 

 

 

Kinkajou interviews SigmaPsiPham Trinli
(Vernor Vinge: A Lightness Upon the Deep)

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   Pham, even among the Qeng Ho, you seem to have considerable authority of age.

PhamTrinliGovernorCanberra SigmaPsiPham Trinli:  I do cultivate that impression. People look at me and see age. They think I’m a dodderer, even though I don’t actually dodder and for an old man I’m in pretty good shape. They look at me and think that most likely I have always been a goofball. When our fleet was taken over by the “Emergents”, it became a testament to the type of person I seem to be, that I was not held in cold storage. I was the only military man left awake.

I remember reading a number of security logs on some of my colleagues. They believe that even in hell there are clowns such as Pham Trinli.  How could you take seriously an ageing martinet whose idea of a subtle conspiracy was a whispered conversation in the habitat’s Central Park? They believe that Trinli character was totally clueless, actually worse because he had so many things backwards. The guy’s stupidity was like a load of rocks dumped in the pool of your personal despair.

They would believe that I was a self-deceiving coward. I remember saying “you gotta go along, to get along.” Others believed there was a self-serving incompetent and that my devious nature was written large across my every foolish move.

These people could not see past their own emotions and hatred to do what needed to be done. We were a conquered people. If I gave the impression that I was an old fool, so be it. I did what needed to be done. It is the victors who write history. And myself and the Qeng Ho would be the victors.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   Food production has always featured heavily in your experiences. Tell us about what you have seen over the years.


Warrior Kinkajou...Galactic Travelogue

Kinkajou Interviews Famous People For Their Unique Points Of View.

 

PhamTrinliGovernorCanberra SigmaPsiPham Trinli:  Food production technology and farming have always been one of the most limiting factors underlying civilisation. Of all the civilisations with which I am familiar, including Canberra and Brisgo Gap, it is the ability to produce food that often lies at the centre of a catastrophe. Most civilisations have the capacity to produce just enough food to feed themselves. Rarely does the capacity to produce food substantially exceed the requirement for food?

In early human development, storage technologies gave us the first ability to even out the peaks and troughs of food production. I remember reading about the fruit cold storage warehouses on the Gold Coast near Brisbane on the planet earth. Huge quantities of apples, oranges and even bananas were stored in cool oxygen modified environments. Ethylene oxide gas was commonly used to stimulate ripening. This meant that many of these fruits were now available all year round, not just seasonally.

Hydroponic production and vertical farms provided optimised growth environments for plants. Perfect elemental nutrients, perfect humidity, temperature, water availability and light became available progressively especially with the advent of the chlorophyll frequency LED.

But always as the capacity for production rose, so did the human population requiring food rise as well.

I believe civilisation is a process of increasing optimization driven by population density. As a population increases, more and further improvements are made to increase production. Food production is the most critical necessity. If food is unavailable, conflict arises, damaging the optimised infrastructure and resulting in further food production drops.

I remember seeing the Utopia that had been Neumars fade into an over populated dictatorship, the whole civilisation becoming slums for billions. 70 years later, when I returned from a space voyage, I found a world with a population of 1 million, a world of small villages, of savages with painted faces and hand axes and songs of heartbreak.

But Neumars was lucky compared to other worlds. Old earth has been recolonised from scratch four times since the human diaspora began.

Eventually, civilisations with billions of people reach an optimally optimised state with production maximized and optimised. A single failure in a critical subsystem leads to a progression of collapses that pushes the entire system into failure. Routinely, billions die.

Canberra died. Canberra was once the most powerful human civilisation in human space. I had been born on old Canberra just before the Qeng Ho Landing. I was there at its ascendancy. Brisgo Gap was also a shining high point in history of Qeng Ho. Here we traders saved a civilisation and billions of lives.

Technology including food technology has always been critical to the survival of the human race. But human leadership is important as well. Pham Nuwen was our leader at the time. He was an Alexander to all human space. But as with Alexander, his empire had not lasted. The man had been a genius of conquest and organisation.

And yet people look at me and all they see is the image of an irritable old man trying to look important.

Over the millennia, we Qeng Ho have accumulated substantial food production technological know-how. Two major processes in my experience have allowed the human population to burgeon. The extraction of glucose and other organic materials from lignocellulose usually will allow the population of a planet to increase tenfold. The production of organic food from inorganic materials such as mined and extracted hydrocarbon or petroleum products, has also been important in supporting and feeding the populations.

Our biological technology was substantially in advance of that of the “Emergents”. Putrefaction in the biofilm bactries was a common problem in their technology, but much less so than ours. Even if there were a number of out-of-control gene lines in the biofilm factories, the symbiosis of bacteria in the bacterial biofilm factories minimised failures of some of the subunit bacterial lines. The problem was more the eradication of the stench, rather than dealing with any real danger.

Our workers have been able to make fully enclosed “High Treasure” bonsais. Some had been in existence for 200 years, complete and well plant ecosystems, even supporting fake evolution.  One of my friends Ali was particularly gifted in constructing small-scale life support modules such as these bonsai. He was both “focused” and a genius. Something that would normally take a Qeng Ho specialist team and deep search of fleet’s Databases years to do, he would do himself in just a few mega seconds. He would often tell me the hardest part would be the integration of the bacterial and mitochondrial level functions.

Our skill in working with micro environments allowed us to balance much more complex and larger environments easily. If you can balance the ecology of the micro bonsai, you can balance the ecology of a spaceship and very easily an entire planet. If you are capable of ecological balancing at a genetic and mitochondrial level of function, anything can be integrated. At the height of the civilisation, the entire ecosystem can be convinced to produce food for humans.

Computers and the layering of technology became the next step in food production. There is no way the ship’s crew can know everything it takes to analyse a star spectra or to make a vaccine against some wild change in the bactry or understand every deficiency disease they may meet. That’s why there are programs on computers. That’s why we can’t survive without our technological Internet. In our civilisation there are programs that have been written 5000 years ago, before humans had even left Earth. And unlike the useless artefacts and relics, i remember from my past in the middens on Canberra, these programs still work.

The ability to automate and to program reduces the need for human supervision to the system. A computer system can assign a carer to every single plant to ensure that each plant’s health and growth are optimal. A single human can look after the broad picture. But a computer system with its incredible processing power can indeed look after every single plant as an individual. Vertical farms are a logical beneficiary of this type of food technology.

Unfortunately, with these technologies assisting optimization, new problems result. Every program has its exceptional circumstances, the situations the designers assumed were outside the scope of the responsibilities. Commonly, in times of crisis, loopholes were exposed and shaken open. Even when you are aware of the potential for disaster, it can be easy to miss all but the most blatant developing problems. You have to guess the method of failure to recognise its consequences.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   I understand you use something called a localiser as well as lasers in your farming technologies. ( I think we call them sprites).

PhamTrinliGovernorCanberra SigmaPsiPham Trinli:  Localisers are a basic tool of any technological civilisation. The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another, using time-of-flight and a distribution algorithm to accurately locate each participating device. The small size of localisers is no secret.

But few people realised that these devices also carry other sensors. They can be used in many different capacities. By their nature they are a type of distributed computer network, in fact a type of distributed processor. It is this combination of position, sensing capacity and distributed processing that allows so much individualization of supervision to a microsystem level. This has been particularly useful in the farming environment. But there are many other uses as well including security, spying and control operations.

Coupling these localiser systems with lasers, gives complete control of insect population and infestation of crop fields. Each insect can be treated as an individual and either encouraged or discouraged through the use of coherent light energy. In the world of the future, there are no pesticides and there are no weeds. It is only at the limits of light resolution that our supervision systems battle with invading bacteria in the crop fields. Food production has become safer than ever. Optimised in fact. Allowing civilisation to glow brighter and build higher. But as I’ve mentioned also allowing an even greater fall.

I think the availability of “focus” has given us a new capacity for optimization The “Emergents” tell me that focusing ennobles. It is the key to the “Emergent” success and a much more subtle thing than you imagine. Is not just that they have created a psychoactive microbe. This is one whose growth in the brain can be controlled with millimetre precision and once in place the ensemble can be guided in its actions with the same precision. We can improve the attention focusing aspects of consciousness. We can take humans and turn them into analytical engines.

For the “Emergents”, the zip heads of the focused are the next system layer above the software. They can apply human ability but with persistence and patience of a machine. Focus is however useless unless there are normal people about to direct it and find the proper balance of hardware, software and focus.

Trouble with automation is that it does exactly what you ask it. Automation can never be truly creative. But, with zip head support, an operator can get correct performance from ambiguous imports. You can get human quality judgement as part of the automation.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   That is an indeed an excellent focus on food production technology. Sigma Psi tells me of a time when the central core of Australia was composed of deserts larger than many countries on the planet. Yet, even within the country of Australia many people had not even ever heard the names of these deserts.

With the development of climate control, the arid Australian subcontinent interior was able to bloom and to support life as it had not been able to do for hundreds of millions of years. Humans had taken their first steps on the road to Bonsai ecology here. This meant that many of the desert ecosystems still exist, in the midst of the unending farmlands of the Australian interior, supporting the burgeoning population of planet Earth.

Vertical Farm Greenhouse Vertical Farm Greenhouse

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   Has the” Emergent biotechnology changed how we will manage people in the future?

PhamTrinliGovernorCanberra SigmaPsiPham Trinli:  The “focus” technology has allowed the creation and operation of incredibly complex records. For example, a health record is no longer about what vaccines you may have received or what illnesses you may have suffered.

Now specific bacterial bio-types challenging the macro can be logged. Many specific internal processes can be measured, adding to the genetic and functional model of individual. Consequently, we can diagnose diseases before they are diseases. We can diagnose when there is a change in the state of health of an organism, before any critical damage can be done. We can be fixing things before they are broken. The advent of the localiser technology with “focus” in health and health recording means that we are now operating beyond the front lines of health. It is our scouts that do battle and win victories before the armies even become aware that a conflict is threatening.

Unusual Varifrom Plants Unusual Varifrom Plants

Had we Qeng Ho developed the capacity to employ our localisers in health monitoring, the “Emergents” would never have had an opportunity to insert the “mind rot” virus into our population.

Also these technologies enable substantial operations to be undertaken in the bacterial world. Operations perhaps the size of the pinhead. Operations that may last for centuries. But focus allows the sort of precise analytical fanatical attention to detail that has never been a part of our world.

There was also another aspect of these technologies which may become important to us in the future. We have come to believe that everybody is responsible for the civilisation in which they live.

Another optimization: The “Emergents” since the plague times have gentled the “mind rot” virus and turned it to the service of civilisation. In its present form, it requires special help to break through the blood brain barrier and to spread into the glial cells of the Brain:  The virus carries a range of neuro actives which can be activated externally by MRI technology.

Criminals can now be managed and educated, by simply changing their orientation and perspective. They can be given new drives and directions for their work and life. Old drives and rewards such as from drug ingestion can be inhibited. Up till this point in our civilisation, genetics dictates who we are.

However, now we have reached the point where we can choose to be someone we would like to be, rather than what genetics has made us. If you lack drive, if you lack happiness, if you lack obsessional attention to detail being too laissez-faire, you can choose to change these inherited characteristics.

There is much talk about the evil that can be done using this technology, but it is possible that much good can be done as well. No longer must we imprison people within four walls or within their minds. We can set them free and we can heal in many different ways on many different levels. Something to think about for the future.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   I think you Pham for your comments. I can see that there are many interesting technologies in your world. I particularly thank you for your insight into the rise and fall of civilisations. It behoves everyone to think of dangers to our future and to work to maintain our civilisation. Things can go wrong. But by planning and preparation the risk can be minimised. I believe humans can solve everything if that is given enough time to do so. Time unfortunately is a factor that in a crisis is often sadly lacking.

Shell Midden Fallen Civilisation
Shell Midden Fallen Civilisation

PhamTrinliGovernorCanberra SigmaPsiPham Trinli:  An excellent insight and grounds for a new optimization young Kinkajou:   Fair thee well.

 

 

GeneControlTrue.html

Vinge, Vernor

Pham Trinli Nuwen

A Lightness Upon the Deep

FarmingAustraliaTrue.html

Vinge, Vernor

Pham Trinli Nuwen

A Lightness Upon the Deep

FoodBiotechTrue.html

Vinge, Vernor

Pham Trinli Nuwen

A Lightness Upon the Deep

FoodBiotechTrue.html

Vinge, Vernor

Pham Trinli Nuwen

A Lightness Upon the Deep

HealthRecord True.html

Vinge, Vernor

Pham Trinli Nuwen

A Lightness Upon the Deep

HelpingHopelessTrue.html

Vinge, Vernor

Pham Trinli Nuwen

A Lightness Upon the Deep

InsectLasersTrue.html

Vinge, Vernor

Pham Trinli Nuwen

A Lightness Upon the Deep

MiniMicroscopeToolsTrue.html

Vinge, Vernor

Pham Trinli Nuwen

A Lightness Upon the Deep

VerticalFarmsTrue.html

Vinge, Vernor

Pham Trinli Nuwen

A Lightness Upon the Deep





KinkajouMed

Kinkajou interviews SigmaPsiJohn Amalfi, Lord Mayor of the space city New York.
(James Blish: Earth Man Come Home: Cities In Flight series)

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   Life extension is probably one of the most important technological advances allowing humanity and its city sized spaceships to colonise the galaxy. Tell us something about this technology.

John Lord Mayor New York SigmaPsiJohn Amalfi:  Interstellar distances are vast. To travel across these spaces takes considerable time even for city based spindizzy drives. Of necessity, the cities must be stable as there is no room for growth. The population cannot increase. It can also be difficult to train super specialists which the city needs to compete with other cities offering services to planet based civilisations.

 

Because of this, long life is essential to reduce the loss of skills and to stabilise the population. If people live longer they can retain and improve their skills. The population remains much more stable. The bearing of children becomes a substantial life choice to which an adult can devote 10 to 15 years of their life.

Unfortunately anti-agathic drugs are complex and have not been able to be synthesized adequately. (Cost and yield of the chemical processes involved being the issue). Consequently they must be extracted from natural sources which are often in themselves rare, occurring in often fastidious plant sources which the cities do not have the ability to cultivate on the scale required to support their citizens.

Brisbane  City in Flight Brisbane City in Flight

Anti-agathic drugs are the lifeblood of the interstellar community of cities in flight. There came a time when the collapse of the economy of the galaxy, drove the change from a germanium based currency to a currency based on anti—agathic drugs. This proved a very difficult challenge for the space cities such as New York. We were often left with a difficult choice of do we use our anti –agathics to prolong the lives of our citizens or as currency in trade. No matter what choice you may make, someone loses.

Coupled with the use of anti—agathics have been improvements in medicine technology. Cancer is no longer the fearsome disease of early history. We are often able to substantially modify the course of the disease, but often cures escape us. Sometimes a citizen may take decades to die from cancer.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   So how do you feed your citizens?

John Lord Mayor New York SigmaPsiJohn Amalfi:  Culture tanks based on chlorella as well as specific regions of vertical farming have proven adequate to produce food for space city based populations. Gene Modified Chlorella is particularly a high-protein, high yield and high efficiency food source. It is capable of transforming light energy into basic feedstocks for food production bio-chemical processes. We utilise narrowband light emission matching the absorption profile of chlorophyll and other photosynthetic acceptor chemicals gene engineered and transferred into the algal genomes.

Paramecium Protozoa Paramecium Protozoa

Mutation in the chlorella tanks due to interstellar radiation has been a problem. This can result in loss of yield and inadequate food stocks to feed the multitude of our citizens. We have taken an industrial route to food synthesis as it is more efficient in terms of yield and in terms of space requirements to synthesise organic molecules. This method is also much more capable of allowing bursts/ramping up of food production.

 

Broadacre agricultural farming is just not suitable for space cities. Unfortunately, when things go wrong cities can be a number of years between ports of call. Planetary ports may not allow cities to land or to utilise local plant or animal life as biosynthetic feedstocks. The problem has arisen in some cities in flight as to how to feed their multitudes of people in the years between landings. Some cities have had their populations decimated by starvation due to crop mutations reducing yields.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   Is it true that cities can be viewed as pollinating bees and collecting sense?

John Lord Mayor New York SigmaPsiJohn Amalfi:  Definitely! Information about new processes and new discoveries keep galactic society on the upward path. The Internet was a revolution in Earth’s history. The cities provide much the same service by transferring knowledge from planet to planet as they move in search of work. Although cities often migrate at random, the process has been seen to be very efficient in spreading information. Cities migrate in search of work, carrying information which can be used in trade in much the same way as honeybees carry pollen from plant to plant.

Situations arose whereby the collapse of the galactic currency standard made many cities destitute and desperate to obtain work. The Acolyte star cluster used this tragedy in the new poverty of the cities to industrialize the planets in their realm. A consequence of having so many cities marooned in one area was the availability of significant new technology making the Acolyte military perhaps the most advanced in the galactic region, capable of invading and overcoming many other planetary based populations adjacent to their cluster.

While Dirac transmissions did exist, they have often proved to be uneconomical for the transfer of information. Also the limited bandwidth meant that this communication method had to be reserved for emergency communications only. So again, by default the cities carried information between the stars. The Dirac transmitter can be looked at as a form of quantum radio.

In one of our crises, our scientists were able to decode the initiation chirp. This proved to contain an echo of all communications ever transmitted by this method, past, present and future. It allowed us to learn of the intentions of the Web of Hercules and also of the Vegan Orbital Fort.

Although the earth was ascendant in galactic civilisation, for an orbital fort to survive for so long implies the existence of planet-based Colonies of Vega. Only with this assistance and support could a non-viable entity such as a military fort have survived so long in our work based civilisation.

The galactic civilisation is based on the use of cities as migratory labour. Cities traded with planetary based populations. Cities formed the basis of galactic trade, in essence performing the same function as world trade has performed in early Earth history, tying all the planets and cities together as a single civilisation.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   Finally can you tell us what you think about the “paradise game”?

John Lord Mayor New York SigmaPsiJohn Amalfi:  The cities due to their nature and structure have found themselves substantially isolated from bio hazards. Where outbreaks have occurred in planetary populations, the cities have generally been able to provide technical medical assistance. The long lives of our citizens guarantees a high level of expertise is able to be provided to the sick and the dying.

We have found in our travels that much of the good real estate has already been pre-empted by earlier cities settling on new worlds. With all the good real estate already taken, it has become rare indeed for people travelling in space cities to find a paradise in which to live.

 

Far more likely was that cities found competitors and dangers. For example, the city of IMT (the Interstellar Master Traders) settled on a raw planet and developed its population. By the time we arrived, it is essentially impossible to displace the incumbent. IMT also attempted to crush our city as its keel was strong enough to allow the compaction of other cities that had landed on the planetary surface.

Planets suitable for landing and exploitation by space based cities have become rare in our epoch. So we have never really seen a paradise. The most we can hope for is to exploit resources such as natural anti –agathics and not to be exploited in return. It became an imperative to make sure that our city was not broken up by police for “violations”. Previous city managers in attempting to improve the finances of the city often found themselves at odds with the City Fathers, and were shot if favourable circumstances did not eventuate. Paradise can often mean just day to day survival.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   The cities are incredible and mobile structures. So how do you manage internal travel?

John Lord Mayor New York SigmaPsiJohn Amalfi:  While our cities are used to travelling in space, the vast distance between the stars means that there seems to be very little movement in the star fields visible. We have always used basic technologies such as non-polluting vehicles to transport our citizens within the city limits. It is interesting to note that many citizens, who essentially travelled at significant fractions of the speed of light, would find it distressing and unnerving to travel in a vehicle. The apparent rapidity of travel with reference to environmental structures such as buildings or trees, seems so much more quick compared to interstellar travel. An interesting paradox.

 

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   Thank you Mayor Amalfi for agreeing to talk to me. I have certainly learned of many new technologies which has made your civilisation possible.

 

Earthman Come Home: Cities in Flight series

 

 

FoodBiotechTrue.html

Blish, James

John Amalfi

InternetRevolutionTrue.html

Blish, James

John Amalfi

MedicineTechnologiesTrue.html

Blish, James

John Amalfi

NewVehicleCarTrue.html

Blish, James

John Amalfi

Paradise Game

Blish, James

John Amalfi

QuantumRadioTrue.html

Blish, James

John Amalfi

VerticalFarmsTrue.html

Blish, James

John Amalfi

WorldTradeTrue.html

Blish, James

John Amalfi