Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What Shows Aliens are Watching

Ze Abstruse Goose gives us this map of what TV shows are galactic neighbors are watching. [click on link or image for readable version]


Random thoughts I had and that spurred me to post this (If I had random thoughts, so might others...)

Why do star names sound so totally alien and pulpy? Pollux, Formalhaut, Zeta Reticuli, Mu Arae, Procyon.

Shows clearly, to me, how signal strength weakens. Say you start with power of 11 around nice small circle near earth. Go 20 Ly out and the circumference, it's huge, your 11 power is now spread thin. aka weak signal.

Time & Space, one and the same.

I never liked Traveller's information travels as slow as ships. It's probably easier to handle in a game and produces plot options. It just don't seem right.

4 comments:

  1. I never liked Traveller's information travels as slow as ships. It's probably easier to handle in a game and produces plot options. It just don't seem right.

    The depressing thing is, it's probably accurate. IIRC broadcast radio signals attenuate into the general background noise of cosmic radiation about 5ly out unless they're being pumped out by something as powerful as a star. :(

    And yep. Old school star names rock. Greek and Latin: they can make your shopping list sound cool.

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  2. "I never liked Traveller's information travels as slow as ships. It's probably easier to handle in a game and produces plot options. It just don't seem right."

    Depends on the physics of your game. The signal map you've got is based on speed of light. Those distances are in light years.
    So that graph is pretty irrelevant in terms of our games.

    I myself have always liked "speed of communication is the speed of travel" because it allows for more adventuring opportunities. Law Enforcement (friendly or not) can respond pretty frequently with instant communication. The gray areas created by communication lag allow the PCs the freedom to follow, enforce or disobey the law.

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  3. @Chris
    All the Al* star names are Arabian/Persian. Good astronomers in them deserts.

    @red "Law Enforcement (friendly or not) can respond pretty frequently with instant communication."

    Your assuming instant travel? If it takes a week to enter/leave hyperspace regardless of distance traveled I think robbers will be able to make their getaway before the coppers arrive.

    Anyway, I acknowledged slow info "produces plot options". It just doesn't feel right. It's been a long time since humans could travel as fast or faster than information. And most sci-fi is the opposite; Star Trek, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, all have info faster than travel.

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  4. "Saved by the Bell"--Is there any way to issue an apology?

    ReplyDelete

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