What sort of society would evolve in a generation ship on a centuries long voyage?
What would happen if this generation ship reaches it's destination only to discover the world they set out to colonize has developed a civilization of its own due to time dilation making the voyage way longer to people on the ground.
Interestingly, the series Last Exile takes place on a generation ship.
They basically set things up so there is a "supervisor" race, which is enhanced to be smart and incorruptible and an arbiter for any conflict that happens within. There ends up being competing factions within the ship, and the supervisor race gets corrupted, and all hell breaks loose obviously.
It probably depends on the size of the ship. If it's big enough, you might get some kind of tribalization and divergent evolution happening.
Other than that, I'm not sure.
>Ah yes, the primitive ancestors who departed before the development of FTL.
>It will take some time for you to adapt, but we are happy to acclimate you to our society. You have centuries to catch up on.
this makes me want to build a setting based on a spaceship.
>Long ago, a great bolt of energy soared through the cosmos on an unknowable journey
>An ancient race fled their dying homeworld and built a giant generation/colony ship around the energy bolt
>Unknowable aeons have passed, and now humanity finds itself using the ship to leave the home system, periodically sending out probes and signals
The Ballad Of Beta 2 by samuel r delany has an interesting look at a cluster of slow boats that develop and then degenerate weird societies. A space anthropologist comes to look at them, and a lot of surprisingly pertinent political critique comes from reading the journal of the colony ship's executioner.
A society on a generation ship would be obsessed with recycling. It would be a peoples that are trained from birth to perform a task that keeps the ship and the society within running. Where strict population caps and rationing are the norm. It would be a society that is sick, that knows it is sick and knows that it only has to hold on until they arrive and then everything will be better. A society that knows the first generation will be the last that remembers their homeworld, that there will be generations that knows nothing but life on the ship and knows that there will be a generation that will be the ones to colonize and these people will know who they are from birth.
As for the second question, there's bound to be room on the planet for them unless somehow the population erupted into the billions that fast.
>generation ship sets out
>generation ship is underway for any time from 30 to 300 years
>arrives at destination
>hyperdrive has been discovered in the meantime
>humanity has spread across a million world
>there's a high tech colony (that's been there for a century or three) on the world they arrive at
I did a D&D campaign based on just this idea. Plot I had planned out was that an experimental FTL colony ship went full Event Horizon and crashed. The survivors were memory-wiped for the sake of their own sanity and had to survive on an alien world with the partally intact FTL drive still leaking far-realmsy stuff into the already hostile environment.
Centuries later, a generation ship arrives with an even greater threat: the PCs!
The party helped Drow Nazis exploit an ewok-like tribe of halflings. Good times.
I never got generation ships.
You have to create a ship that is self sufficient, everything from power to food being produced has to last for centuries, and the crew is going to adjust to their surroundings.
At the end of your destination you'll have an empty planet with shitty food production, requiring resources you probably have to extract from the surface, and a massive overhaul of the society to fit with their new existence.
In addition to being pointless in terms of space-colonialism due to resources being too far away to be useful, its also not effective in terms of 'spreading humanity.'
You'd be better of staying space nomads in these fantastical ships, maybe letting people descend onto passing planets to balance population and restock supplies.
Yeah, generation ships are idiotic. If you have the technology to create what is essentially a self-sufficient city in space you have the capability to do it on your own planet.
Realistically you'd have a terraforming ship leave first filled with either automated drones or really dedicated idiots who acknowledge they're going to spend the rest of their natural lives doing nothing but farming and fixing machines.
The space yachts will only come after that point.
It's just a bit of the fantastical. Going into space is just a fantasy anyways, no human can survive up there and no human ever has. It's all a big scam the "science" fiction community feeds on, the governments use to wag around in each others faces and the so called ""space" agencies" use to keep themselves employed and building remote controlled robots and memory foam beds between photo-shopping pictures of space stations and selfie taking robots on mars since only idiots believe in the moon landing.
The thing to remember here is that in space, everything is trying to kill you, and things like meteoroids or cosmic radiation aren't even the foremost. A self-contained biosphere in a metal can is a very complex and issue-prone system that is too small to safely absorb the impact of these issues. Compounding that is the human tendency to ignore problems until they are right in one's face - which on a generation ship might well be too late to do anything - and generally favor short-term expediency over long-term consequences.
Based on this, Ken Burnside
(designer of Attack Vector: Tactical)formulated so called Three Generation Rule, which states that a space habitat is likely to become progressively more run down and finally suffer catastrophic failure in a space of 1-5 generations (average 3).
Any spaceborne society that survives for longer must combat this danger somehow. It's likely to be extremely collectivist, pragmatic, precaution-minded, conservative, disciplined and totalitarian, constantly toiling on preventive maintenance, and permeated with rules and procedures that may one day save you or the whole ship but in the meantime are boring, tedious and constricting. Resource distribution is likely to be centrally controlled, and as a consequence the authority controlling it will form a "hydraulic state" dictatorship, exacerbated by the fact that it controls ALL the vital resources, including air, and any large-scale violent action is likely to doom the whole ship.
Tl;dr: Confucian North Korea in space.
>What would happen if this generation ship reaches it's destination only to discover the world they set out to colonize has developed a civilization of its own due to time dilation making the voyage way longer to people on the ground.
As for this, you can probably extrapolate from the fact that the ship's society has evolved to consciously prioritize its survival over everything else.
You know this image as great as it is has always bugged me. How do they get from this part (blue) to this part (red) ?
I guess the ones that don't kill each other and don't devolve into cabin fever and personal drama would end up being like the Mandalorians or Greyjoy.
At which point they wouldn't really need a planet, except to loot it for enough supplies and fuel to make a new, better ship.
I don't understand what you didn't get.
If you want to cross the interstellar depths, you need either a generation ship with fusion (very, very difficult to engineer) or a smaller valkyrie type ship with a ungodly amount of antimatter (absurdly difficult to engineer).
There is no middle ground, no third solutions, no magical space magic of magical magic. If you want to cross the interstellar distance to go anywhere, you need those generation ships. What didn't you get?
>In addition to being pointless in terms of space-colonialism due to resources being too far away to be useful,
Welcome to interstellar travel. Is it really your first time?
>its also not effective in terms of 'spreading humanity.'
It's not the most effective solution in spreading humanity, no, it's the _only_ viable solution for spreading humanity.
>arrives at destination
>hyperdrive has been discovered in the meantime
>humanity has spread across a million world
>there's a high tech colony (that's been there for a century or three) on the world they arrive at
Reminds me of that one episode of Babylon 5 where they rescue a woman who spent the last few decades in cryostasis on an old colony ship only to discover that mankind has already spread into much farther reaches of the galaxy thanks to warp gate tech they got from the space napoleons.
Last year I binged on the entire run of an early-1970s sci-fi show called The Starlost that is sort of relevant to this thread. It takes place on a giant generation ship sectioned off into a bunch of different habitat bubbles for different cultures. However, something went wrong a few centuries ago, and now all the cultures have been bottled up for much longer than anticipated. The main characters come from an Amish-style bubble and believe that is the entirety of creation until circumstances force them out into the larger ship.
There are also many, many miniskirts. The pacing is glacial and the special effects were bad even for the time, but it was still a fun watch.
Or maybe it's built with self-sufficiency in mind, but can't hack 100k years of it, and will have to plop its fat ass down at some point.
>its also not effective in terms of 'spreading humanity.'
How is it not?
>letting people descend onto passing planets to balance population and restock supplies.
Yeah, cause all that acceleration and deceleration surely won't cause any problem at all in the ship's frame and fuel capabilities.
I mean, it's obvious it DEPENDS ON THE SETTING, but you can have a story where the ship isn't some kind of magical artifact and where it has been built with only the goal of settling a target system. Hence, no fuel to go anywhere else, and a frame that will last long enough to go there, but probably won't hack it in the very long term.
The ship would probably not reach its destination. Machines where a lot of things can go wrong tend to have something go wrong over a long enough period of time, and the voyage of a generational spacecraft is more than long enough for something to happen.
So what DO you think the Earth is, OP?
Dude planets dont just up an spawn advanced life from nothing in the few centuries a generation ship would be good for.
Did you not even bother to send probes or an automated terraforming device?
This is a very poorly planned mission I must say
humans that then have no culture, and have to rely on an automated system to teach them anything past basic survival on an animal like level. That has no human hand in the mix in case something catastrophic happens and the automated baby-maker can't do its job right. You put too much faith in technology waving away every issue. A human hand at the wheel works best for human matters when it comes to tackling problems.
That's why the duration of the voyage would be limited, even if you can make simple parts with 3d printing or something you can only carry so much raw materials, shits gonna run out.
One important thing to remember about the journey is that the first generation will be volunteers. The second and succeeding generations would be draftees. How would you feel if you knew you were born on a ship and denied a chance to live without everything outside of your spaceship trying to kill you?
Handwaving about technology like this requires ignorance about all the work put into infrastructure upkeep.
It's a fallacy to say "if given sufficiently advanced technology that is physically possible, x can be done; therefore, x can be done practically with near-future technology."
At this point in robotics, we've learned that (like a lot of engineering) robotics is a slowly advancing field that involves a lot of grinding work and doesn't follow Moore's law.
Read Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora. It starts off as HFY on a generation ship before turning into a bitch slap reality check for all the starry eyed dreamers who look up at the sky at night and wonder.
Considering how fantastical some of his earlier "hard" sci-fi is, I'm pretty sure the book is meant to be his atonement. It reads like a man being broken of his hopes and dreams.
Though honestly, the whole point of the book was that while the generation ship succeeded in getting there and actual getting back, they did it by the absolute skin of their teeth. The moral of the book is that humanity isn't really meant to leave our home planet for biological/ecological
reasons that even in 2900 we just don't understand yet. The generation ship barely made it there before falling apart and it pretty much completely fell apart ecologically on the way back anyway. It was, ultimately, a failure, and humanity hasn't heard back from any of their interstellar generation ships at all but keep sending them out anyways.
If you have generation ships you have either hyper-durable infrastructure or a super-compressed industrial base or some very powerful social technology. Minimum two out of three, because maintaining a present 1st-world level of society in isolation, given basic social mores and IQ levels, requires a population of at least 15-20 million.
Superior social tech (setting aside transhuman modifications such as mind editing or genetic improvements for massive IQ boosts) is more-or-less impossible to acquire today (the closest is crude technical substitutes, like twitter and bitcoin) and the last social leap was the invention of the corporation, and before that religion.
So that leaves durable and extremely compressed tech bases - like diamondoid nanotechnology. This also suggests mind uploading.
If we combine the two, it's possible to fit millions of uploaded minds on a small vessel, and then slow subjective time for them to the point where a journey of centuries takes a year or two. Then upon arrival, they use one of the nanofactories they brought to build terraforming and landing machinery from asteroids on the system before un-raring themselves into new physical bodies and landing.
MNT does bring the economic effort into the range of small groups, and fixes the time/technical issue.
But if you've got fancy mind uploading and VR environments, only small groups will care. The rest of society will be busy in their personal facebooks with catgirl-harem VR sims.
So while space amish, survivalists, political freedom-seekers and other extremists may settle worlds; they may face political conflict in the long term once Earth decides to pave over other worlds with diamondoid VR clouds and link everything up with giant comms lasers as superhighways for uploaded minds.
>Considering how fantastical some of his earlier "hard" sci-fi is
If you're talking about his Mars series, only the last book really went rather soft on the science, and even then. But it was still such a good fucking read.
>It starts off as HFY
What? The first part of the book is basically all about the ship ecological system starting to break down because of stupid trace elements not being stocked up because their importance was barely understood even then. And children being less and less intelligent and long-lived as well.
I think you have some of Kim Stanley Robinson's cum on your lip.
If there's one thing I can't stand it's anti-science extremists. People who simply conclude that interstellar travel is impossible, not just FTL which is basically fairy dust, but a planet B in any form are just as dangerous as anti-GMO idiots.
Please find the tallest building you can and jump off of it.
There are people who realize that the Manifest Destiny Americans lived by is as much fairy dust as FTL when applied to interstellar space.
I can't stand people who don't have a proper sense of perspective.
Try the light speed setting. It's enlightening.
No one's say it's easy. No one's saying it's going to be like Star Trek.
But we should at least try.
The only surefire way to not accomplish something is to just throw our collective hands in the air and not attempt it.
That is exactly what people like you are advocating.
A generation ship would require a huge amount of money and resources to build, and wouldn't benefit the builders in any way unless their planet was soon to become uninhabitable. So, the only people likely to build one would be religious people, who think they'll be rewarded for their investment in the afterlife or whatever. The pilgrims on the Space Mayflower would start off weird and their descendants would get weirder with every generation.
Just start putting your house on fire. That's basically what you're advocating. An absolute waste of resources and lives thrown for an ideal that only makes sense when the distances are in thousand of miles of extremely good living conditions, not hundreds of trillions where the slightest mistake is an incident pit in the middle of vacuum bathed by high energies.
Now, if it's about sending can-sized probes full of copies of human minds and self-replicating technology, I'm all for it, and even that is going to be a doozy. But we're simply not sending a life support systems across the stars, dude.
A medieval inventor builds wings of wax and feathers.
People tell him "that shit's dumb and so are you."
He tells them, "with sufficiently advanced crafting, it's possible, so you are unenlightened barbarian fools."
Then he puts his wings on and leaps off a cliff.
Can you guess what happens next?
In ideal world, someone else would examine his work, figure out what was wrong with it, and conduct experiments to determine what went wrong, in this case the materials available being too heavy, and the wing loading not right, and the amount of thrust generated by a human flapping his arms is too little.
Unfortunately, in the world we live in, there's always some smug know-it-all, who actually only know just enough to be dangerous, to say "told you so" and convince people it can't be done. Ever. No matter what.
If we always listened to people like you, our species would have died out 50,000 years ago when we first realized that the ecology could no longer support a purely hunter-gatherer society.
They are extraordinarily proud when they first land on Aurora. They have few setbacks and it looks like the hardships they suffered on the way out would pay off on their new home. If that isn't HFY, I don't know what is. Of course it quickly spirals into shit but that shining moment was making me feel pretty good to be human in the meantime before it all came crashing down. I mean, yeah, it was all breaking down but they made it despite that. A true testament to human tenacity.
>No one's saying it's going to be like Star Trek.
Many people are - they're suggesting small groups of humans with orthodox mental habits and fast-expiring meat bodies will cooperate to maintain sophisticated, complex machinery for eras longer than most cooperative political structures have existed in a deadly and unforgiving environment where a single failure can be catastrophic. Then they'll create a massive system-of-systems, an entire ecology, something we still don't completely understand after centuries of study by thousands and thousands of scientists, from stretch in a totally different environment. And then the distant survivors of this magical political system will sit down and live in the new ecology.
It's not impossible. But with all that time and effort, why not do something realistic, like inventing mind uploading or terraforming Mars or straight up building a Dyson sphere ?
He failed because of a lack understanding of lift?
Except for the fact that there have been many cases throughout history where people have said that and then been proved wrong by the creators success. Not all cases lead to failure anon have some hope in humanity.
Yes...people have done that with interstellar flight. The problem is the entire fields of ecology and sociology, plus the rocket equation.
The solution is doing away with complex ecologies like meat bodies and terraformed worlds and large social structures, and long time scales; by living as brainwashed uploaded minds in a solid-state nanotech starwisp launched by giant comms lasers based back in the home system.
But at that point, there's little point to interstellar travel unless you're an extremist political dissident. The servers back home have much better clock speeds for VR porn.
>In ideal world, someone else would examine his work, figure out what was wrong with it, and conduct experiments to determine what went wrong
Yeah, let's do that with entire generation ships worth of equipment and people. Sounds like a most excellent idea.
Can we get back on topic please?
This retarded pissing contest is not relevant to the discussion, and weather or not space travel is feasible is a bleeding edge, theoretical physics question that I guarantee NO-ONE in this thread is qualified to discuss.
Basically, Aurora is a diabolus ex-machina: it should have worked, the equations were right, it is sciency enough, but then, suddenly, it all went to shit for unexpected reason.
People basing their belief on a fiction that uses a diabolus ex machina to tell us that something is impossible are morons.
>They created the plane.
>They got all the equations right, it works.
>But suddenly Zeus is not happy to see people flying and appear to strike the planes down.
>Thus planes are scientifically impossible.
If you don't want to throw away the global economy and millions of lives on unnecessary, untested, and extremely hard government megaprojects, you hate science. An anon told me so.
Human scale interstellar travel is to the atomic age of "electricity too cheap to meter" as uploading is to the information age. It's fable proclaiming that a single, simple technological advance [atomic theory; or Turing machines plus lithography] will wipe away entire manifolds of hyper-complex problems.
But that already happens you idiot. The majority of male astronauts suffer vision impairment and none of the females do. We don't understand the exact mechanism for why it happens but we didn't know that was an issue we'd be dealing with until we actually started staffing the ISS full-time and finding too many cases of this happening to be a coincidence.
>hurr durr diabolus ex machina
As if unexpected shit has never happened for reasons that we don't fully understand.
Hell, in Aurora the tech wasn't all that advanced outside materials and rocketry despite it being almost the 3000s, they openly about they can't terraform planets in hundreds of years. In the Mars trilogy humans discovered functional immortality within a couple hundred years and terraform Mars in the meantime. Yet people love the Mars trilogy despite that glaring deus ex machina.
Meanwhile Aurora explicitly states that this has been happening since before they sent their ship out and everyone ignored it because HFY. I'm sorry unhappy endings chap your ass so much that you have to call diabolus ex machina when things happen because people ignore things they don't want to believe are true and take big risks anyway.
Oh and we keep in sending male astronauts to space without knowing why this happens or how to fix it. Same with all the heart and bone and radiation problems.
I'm sure you'll scream diabolus ex machina when any of the aforementioned issues eventually cause fatalities in one form or another because there's no way humanity would keep messing with shit they don't fully understand even when it endangers lives. Nope.
Gee maybe we keep sending people up there so we can study them to FIND OUT WHAT THE MECHANISM IS and PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING.
But no, surely that's just a massive waste of time.
I really doubt anyone in this thread is qualified to be discussing these things, and for that matter neither is a hack sci-fi writer.
I think their religion would evolve towards worshiping the ship, even if they know such worship was false. People need spiritual outlets. The ship would develop a "mood" that people would think they could follow. Plus if these people were to survive they would have to place the health of the ship above all other priorities, including people, ironically.
Also... a death spiral would be a likely and terrifying outcome. You'd start culling people or cannibalizing parts of the ship to keep the voyage going, which would only make the problems worse in the long run by losing expertise and vital systems. Imagine just flying by your destination because you had to sacrifice your fusion engine for basic life support three generations ago, and only had another generation left anyway.
And yet you just keep talking out of your ass, huh? You're not the one actually bringing very real, very relevant information to this thread and when someone else does you revert to the default cry of "well, this is /tg/ so no one knows what they're talking about!" even though its easy (though not really cheap) to get your hands on some peer-reviewed NASA studies on the subject.
We keep sending people up there because there are experiments that need to be done in space, dumbass. Fixing male vision is on the list of things to do and that's it, along with diminishing bone/muscle mass, the massive radiation, and the tendency of hearts to turn into fucking baseballs. They'll get to it when they get to it. In the meantime they'll keep doing what they've been doing for decades now: sending men to space to run experiments on other things. Or are you really dumb enough to believe that we're sending men to space right now for the sole purpose of examining their eyes when they're alive and then dissecting their eyes when they die? Why not just send women to space only then? Oh shit, that's right, they're twice as susceptible to radiation-induced cancer as men are. But women want to be in space just like men even if it's hazardous to their health, what do?! Ignore safety on a personal level and let them, then dissect them when they die of the consequences assuming whatever health problems they develop don't kill others in the process.
Fuck, problems still have consequences if you just pretend/don't know they don't exist?! DIABOLUS EX MACHINA!!! AAAAHHHHHHH!!
>worse than Enterprise
>same quality as Voyager
> Tl;dr: Confucian North Korea in space.
Is that a reference to what I think it is?
That man is retarded and barely read the book because he was probably too busy jerking it angrily to how implausible it all was and you're doubly retarded for believing what some random guy who never read the book says.
There were two starships in the book, not one and that's why everything collapsed, because one of them was destroyed and half of the elements and biomes they were supposed to share were lost along with it. They literally explain this to you in some of the most painful exposition I've ever read, which is why it sticks out so much.
To make matters worse, everything in the ship is under strict population control except bacteria, because they can't control all the bacteria and the rate at which they reproduce. Thus the bacteria had hundreds of years to outevolve the animals and humans on the ship who were no longer able to breed freely to keep up with them. The compounded effects of these problems is what caused the ship's ecosystem to start to break down.
>Fish live in water and eat food, so that's all they need
>Put fish in a tank with water, food and the right temperature heater
>Fish dies because mineral content of water is off because you got it from the sink but you don't know that
>"What the fuck the store sold me a sick fish, I did everything right!"
>Buys another fish and does it again
The point was that shrinking down an ecosystem doesn't work because it's all part of a bigger whole on Earth that we don't quite understand, and though we knew about this the glaring flaw in the logic of generation ships we tried to do it anyway despite the answer being simple: a generation ship with a working, self-sustaining ecosystem where things are exactly the same as they are on Earth will be too big to build and send off the planet, period.
We either send a miniature version that will only survive a short time, like a carnival goldfish in a ziploc bag, and hope that they will survive long enough to reach their destination without major problems OR we stop doing that shit and start working in our own backyard until we better understand and have a greater mastery over ecology.
If you think that's a Diabolus ex Machina, then I'm sorry, but you don't even know what those words mean, so quit talking like you do.
>Three Generation Rule
He didn't invent it; it's ripped from the history of monarchies.
The first king earns his power the hard way, he passes the intuitive, institutional knowledge of how to rule on so his son learns how to rule well academically but doesn't earn anything for himself, and thus the grandson neither learns the details nor earns his power and the institution starts to decay.
To be fair, since the average ruler's span in a monarchy is about 20 years, this gets 40 years before decay starts. Thanks to the Nomic-style attributes of democracy, the half-life for cultural decay in institutions with popular rule starts immediately.