The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterMan View Post
    Did you watch that ridiculous Chinese blockbuster about moving the earth out of the solar system with enormous macguffin engines? It’s actually pretty nifty if you can check your rationality at the door, and admire the communistic storytelling approach. It’s all about humanity coming together, lots of individual heroes making the impossible come to pass.

    Don’t think that this implies anything about my view of the modern communistic Chinese government-mandated philosophy, just noting how it shaped the story. And the idea is basically equivalent to the quote above, albeit executed far differently
    This does sound interesting. I remember a lot of soviet-era science fiction books and some were pretty heavy-handed with showing the forseen progress of humanity and so on.

    In the same vein there is also Space: 1999, although there it is about the moon and it escapes Earth by accident.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterMan View Post
    Did you watch that ridiculous Chinese blockbuster about moving the earth out of the solar system with enormous macguffin engines? It’s actually pretty nifty if you can check your rationality at the door, and admire the communistic storytelling approach. It’s all about humanity coming together, lots of individual heroes making the impossible come to pass.
    I suppose the connection is obvious, but I feel like it's a bit of a stretch to call it a "communistic storytelling approach" simply because you see the same sort of themes all the time without any obvious communist ties or leanings. In a lot of American movies (even ones that push pretty hard on the themes of capitalism and individualism being great) the world comes together to solve some bigger threat not because of any particular political ideology, but because that's pretty much what you have to do when survival depends on it. Similarly, larger ensemble casts (which I believe is what you mean by "lots of individual heroes making the impossible come to pass") have also gotten a lot more popular in American fiction in the last few decades. I think I really started to notice it around Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Heroes, but I vaguely remember a few prominent examples that came earlier. (I want to say Outbreak featured a decent number of "heroes" working on separate things who ended up having to contribute to the same solution, but it's been a very long time and I suspect I might be thinking of another pandemic-themed movie.)

    Ultimately, capitalism is driven by the same goals as communism--get humanity all working together to achieve progress--but vastly different ideas on how to get there.

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    Found it. It’s called “The Wandering Earth.”
    It’s not a must-see, but it’s not bad cinema either. Just a run-of-the-mill blockbuster except for the Communist Chinese storytelling. It was on Netflix and made a good Saturday night watch.

    The absurd physics would be fun to discuss for a moment. They burn up the earth’s crust through pure fusion I think; then they seem to blast it out of the atmosphere as plasma or something, through huge thruster nozzles. Somehow this doesn’t remove all the breathable atmosphere from the earth. They do have the loss of heat from the sun out-powering the heat gain from the thrusters, which is interesting too. I think the destruction of mass of the earth to move it faces the same problems of accelerating any mass out of the solar system; namely that it would eat itself before it could reach a decent velocity, especially when you account for theoretical reverse accelerations at the destination.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyril View Post
    I suppose the connection is obvious, but I feel like it's a bit of a stretch to call it a "communistic storytelling approach" simply because you see the same sort of themes all the time without any obvious communist ties or leanings. In a lot of American movies (even ones that push pretty hard on the themes of capitalism and individualism being great) the world comes together to solve some bigger threat not because of any particular political ideology, but because that's pretty much what you have to do when survival depends on it. Similarly, larger ensemble casts (which I believe is what you mean by "lots of individual heroes making the impossible come to pass") have also gotten a lot more popular in American fiction in the last few decades. I think I really started to notice it around Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Heroes, but I vaguely remember a few prominent examples that came earlier. (I want to say Outbreak featured a decent number of "heroes" working on separate things who ended up having to contribute to the same solution, but it's been a very long time and I suspect I might be thinking of another pandemic-themed movie.)

    Ultimately, capitalism is driven by the same goals as communism--get humanity all working together to achieve progress--but vastly different ideas on how to get there.
    If you watch it, then you’ll see. It has a distinctly non-Hollywood flavor. No-one is a “hero” in the Hollywood sense, but in the historical documentary sense. It is striking. By the end, it becomes the entire theme and purpose of the story.

    But my confidence in calling it what I did comes from a review I read by a Chinese immigrant, who focused on the points I brought up but in detail and with conviction, tying the storytelling elements and the overall message directly to official modern mainland Chinese views.

    Edit: I should note that I found the storytelling to be intriguing and very enjoyable during the show, which led to researching the movie a bit, and to bringing it up in a serious capacity (not just “oh wow, look at the horrendous physics”)
    Last edited by MisterMan; 2019-09-05 at 07:24 PM. Reason: Addendum

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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterMan View Post
    The absurd physics would be fun to discuss for a moment. They burn up the earth’s crust through pure fusion I think; then they seem to blast it out of the atmosphere as plasma or something, through huge thruster nozzles. Somehow this doesn’t remove all the breathable atmosphere from the earth. They do have the loss of heat from the sun out-powering the heat gain from the thrusters, which is interesting too. I think the destruction of mass of the earth to move it faces the same problems of accelerating any mass out of the solar system; namely that it would eat itself before it could reach a decent velocity, especially when you account for theoretical reverse accelerations at the destination.
    That all depends on just how fast you can fire that mass out of the thrusters. The two main factors in the rocket equation (which determines how much acceleration a given rocket configuration can get you) are how large a percentage of the total mass you burn off, and the effective exhaust velocity. Since you mention fusion here, I reckon they've got a pretty high exhaust velocity which means that they might only have to eat up like 10-20% of the earth's mass to do their thing.
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    According to 15 seconds of google research, they would have about 1% of the earth’s mass accessible if they used the entire crust. That matches the memory I had about the earth’s composition.

    Using the mantle makes more sense; it’s somewhat fluid and as long as we are going for incredible high tech, they might as well drink the mantle like a smoothie. Still, destroying any significant portion of the mantle or crust by any method should obliterate all humanity in their underground shelters, right? I don’t know the physics, but just Jupiter’s gravity field kills a significant portion of the population early in the movie.

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    Guys, you're all missing the obvious solution.

    Space is cold, yeah? So all we have to do is bring some space back down to earth!
    Redirect a few rogue asteroids that have been floating around in interplanetary space, and let them land on earth - sure, a rocket launch will produce some heat, but surely taking a multi-million tonne rock that's been freezing out in space since forever back to earth is a net loss of heat, right?

    Alternatively, we could build an enormous pump, attached to a giant straw that goes off into space. Pump all the air out at ground level, and it'll suck in the cold space stuff!
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterMan View Post
    If you watch it, then you’ll see. It has a distinctly non-Hollywood flavor. No-one is a “hero” in the Hollywood sense, but in the historical documentary sense. It is striking. By the end, it becomes the entire theme and purpose of the story.

    But my confidence in calling it what I did comes from a review I read by a Chinese immigrant, who focused on the points I brought up but in detail and with conviction, tying the storytelling elements and the overall message directly to official modern mainland Chinese views.

    Edit: I should note that I found the storytelling to be intriguing and very enjoyable during the show, which led to researching the movie a bit, and to bringing it up in a serious capacity (not just “oh wow, look at the horrendous physics”)
    Ah, thanks. Even with the propaganda angle in mind, it sounds like a pretty good movie to add to my watch list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
    Guys, you're all missing the obvious solution.

    Space is cold, yeah? So all we have to do is bring some space back down to earth!
    Redirect a few rogue asteroids that have been floating around in interplanetary space, and let them land on earth - sure, a rocket launch will produce some heat, but surely taking a multi-million tonne rock that's been freezing out in space since forever back to earth is a net loss of heat, right?

    Alternatively, we could build an enormous pump, attached to a giant straw that goes off into space. Pump all the air out at ground level, and it'll suck in the cold space stuff!
    I don't know how much this is tongue-in-cheek, but space is only cold in the sense that there's not a lot of matter out there to hold heat. This same property also makes space a terrible heat sink, since there isn't any atmosphere out there to conduct heat away and not much density of matter there to absorb that heat. The giant straw idea wouldn't work because there isn't actually a lot of "cold space stuff" up above our atmosphere--it's just a very low pressure vacuum.

    (In fact, there was a very cool thread here from maybe a month or two back about realistic space combat discussing how challenging it is for spacecraft to vent heat, meaning that a viable long range attack could be to use lasers to overwhelm enemy craft with radiated heat.)

    The asteroid-as-heat-sink idea is really creative, but the problem is less the heat/emissions required to prep and launch the tow ship, and more the heat released from all of that mass going down Earth's gravity well.
    Last edited by Xyril; 2019-09-06 at 03:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
    Guys, you're all missing the obvious solution.

    Space is cold, yeah? So all we have to do is bring some space back down to earth!
    Redirect a few rogue asteroids that have been floating around in interplanetary space, and let them land on earth - sure, a rocket launch will produce some heat, but surely taking a multi-million tonne rock that's been freezing out in space since forever back to earth is a net loss of heat, right?
    One word: comets. Basically made of ice. So all we have to do is bring lots of them crashing down into the Arctic. Bingo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    One word: comets. Basically made of ice. So all we have to do is bring lots of them crashing down into the Arctic. Bingo.
    No problem, Meteor Swarm's a 9th-level spell, isn't it? Surely it can be customized into a comet swarm instead? Now all we need to do is find an epic-level mage or two , and problem solved!

    Tongue-in-cheek,

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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    No problem, Meteor Swarm's a 9th-level spell, isn't it? Surely it can be customized into a comet swarm instead? Now all we need to do is find an epic-level mage or two , and problem solved!

    Tongue-in-cheek,

    Brian P.
    Everyone's seen Deep Impact, right? Comet impacts worked out perfectly well in that movie, with no detrimental side effects whatsoever!

    Isn't Wall of Ice a 4th level spell? Use multiple castings to replace the sea ice. More mages are able to cast it, and the aforementioned epic-level mage could cast it far more often than he could cast "comet swarm"! Plus you don't need to worry about comet impacts breaking up the sea ice!
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    Default Re: To refreeze the arctic

    Quote Originally Posted by Xyril View Post
    I don't know how much this is tongue-in-cheek, but space is only cold in the sense that there's not a lot of matter out there to hold heat. This same property also makes space a terrible heat sink, since there isn't any atmosphere out there to conduct heat away and not much density of matter there to absorb that heat. The giant straw idea wouldn't work because there isn't actually a lot of "cold space stuff" up above our atmosphere--it's just a very low pressure vacuum.

    (In fact, there was a very cool thread here from maybe a month or two back about realistic space combat discussing how challenging it is for spacecraft to vent heat, meaning that a viable long range attack could be to use lasers to overwhelm enemy craft with radiated heat.)

    The asteroid-as-heat-sink idea is really creative, but the problem is less the heat/emissions required to prep and launch the tow ship, and more the heat released from all of that mass going down Earth's gravity well.
    It's all tongue-in-cheek. I'd hoped that was clear, but there are probably people who would suggest such a notion.
    However, things in space really are cold - unless directly in sunlight or insulated by an atmosphere; the asteroids I mentioned eariler, for example, seem to be an average of -73 Celsius.1 Obviously this is a far cry from absolute zero - technically, it's closer to water's boiling point than absolute zero - I don't think anyone would deny that it is blisteringly cold.
    But yes, everything else you said is correct.

    1: A more reliable reference, if you prefer.
    Last edited by Strigon; 2019-09-06 at 04:00 PM.
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Everyone's seen Deep Impact, right? Comet impacts worked out perfectly well in that movie, with no detrimental side effects whatsoever!

    Isn't Wall of Ice a 4th level spell? Use multiple castings to replace the sea ice. More mages are able to cast it, and the aforementioned epic-level mage could cast it far more often than he could cast "comet swarm"! Plus you don't need to worry about comet impacts breaking up the sea ice!

    If we can do Flesh to Stone (both of which are very weirdly defined concepts), why can't we do Trash to Ice (only the former of which is a weirdly defined concept)? We can take care of our plastic pollution problem and our ice problem at the same time!



    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    One word: comets. Basically made of ice. So all we have to do is bring lots of them crashing down into the Arctic. Bingo.
    Note that this will cause major flooding, possibly alterations in the Earth's climate from kicked up dust (if they land on land instead of sea), and also they would obliterate huge amounts of rare arctic life (which while less likely to go extinct than Antarctic life, would still suffer heavy losses). A big issue unless you disregard all life on Earth.
    Last edited by Squire Doodad; 2019-09-07 at 06:04 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Spoiler: We can do that already with the International Fixed Calendar. It's been around for more than a hundred years now, we just need to start using it.
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    You mean I might get stuck with my birthday on Tuesday EVERY freaking year? Screw that!
    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post
    This can easily be salvaged: have the thrusters at the geostationary orbit all around the equator and simply fire them up, when they are in the right position. Now we just need strong enough cables, thrusters and wallets to pay for this. Also to be a bit crazier then we are.
    I saw a movie...
    Quote Originally Posted by MisterMan View Post
    Did you watch that ridiculous Chinese blockbuster about moving the earth out of the solar system with enormous macguffin engines?
    Yea, that one! What was it called?

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterMan View Post
    Found it. It’s called “The Wandering Earth.”
    It’s not a must-see, but it’s not bad cinema either. Just a run-of-the-mill blockbuster except for the Communist Chinese storytelling. It was on Netflix and made a good Saturday night watch.
    Yep, there you go, thanks for reminding me. Agreed, it was a pretty good watch when I didn't have anything better to do like watch Rick and Morty :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
    It's all tongue-in-cheek. I'd hoped that was clear, but there are probably people who would suggest such a notion.
    You mean like Steam Powered Rocket man?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    Note that this will cause major flooding, possibly alterations in the Earth's climate from kicked up dust (if they land on land instead of sea), and also they would obliterate huge amounts of rare arctic life (which while less likely to go extinct than Antarctic life, would still suffer heavy losses). A big issue unless you disregard all life on Earth.
    Boo! Hiss! No reality allowed in this thread! Go away please!

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    How long until the sun switches from hydrogen to helium and cools? We could just accelerate and then decelerate the Earth to the speed of light so it moves to that point, and therefore will be cooler.
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    Default Re: To refreeze the arctic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    How long until the sun switches from hydrogen to helium and cools? We could just accelerate and then decelerate the Earth to the speed of light so it moves to that point, and therefore will be cooler.
    The sun would just float away then, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    The sun would just float away then, though.
    No, all we need to do is to tell it to stay. It is made of heelium.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    No, all we need to do is to tell it to stay. It is made of heelium.
    You mean that gunk on the bottom of my shoe?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    You mean that gunk on the bottom of my shoe?
    No that is heeligum, stars made of that can only be burned with peanut butter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    How long until the sun switches from hydrogen to helium and cools? We could just accelerate and then decelerate the Earth to the speed of light so it moves to that point, and therefore will be cooler.
    When you say "switches from hydrogen to helium and cools" did you mean "switches from hydrogen to helium and gets much, much hotter and balloons out until it's the size of the orbit of Mars?" 'Cuz that's what's going to happen.

    Yes, the surface will cool a bit, but only because it becomes so huge relative to the amount of energy being produced in the core, which is still a substantially more than when it was still fusing hydrogen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    No problem, Meteor Swarm's a 9th-level spell, isn't it? Surely it can be customized into a comet swarm instead? Now all we need to do is find an epic-level mage or two , and problem solved!

    Tongue-in-cheek,

    Brian P.
    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post

    If we can do Flesh to Stone (both of which are very weirdly defined concepts), why can't we do Trash to Ice (only the former of which is a weirdly defined concept)? We can take care of our plastic pollution problem and our ice problem at the same time!
    Equally tongue-in-cheek, lots and lots of prestidigitation, and just clean the atmosphere. I mean, it's a cantrip, it's okay to use a lot of it. We can pollute as much as we want and have a clean atmosphere!
    "Okay, so I'm going to quick draw and dual wield these one-pound caltrops as improvised weapons..."
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    Quote Originally Posted by OracleofWuffing View Post
    Equally tongue-in-cheek, lots and lots of prestidigitation, and just clean the atmosphere. I mean, it's a cantrip, it's okay to use a lot of it. We can pollute as much as we want and have a clean atmosphere!
    I can see it now: Every power plant has a circle of low-level mages round their exhaust stacks endlessly casting Prestidigitation. Exhausting entry-level work. Have a bunch of staggered shifts so you're never down by a couple of mages at a time at shift end.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    I can see it now: Every power plant has a circle of low-level mages round their exhaust stacks endlessly casting Prestidigitation. Exhausting entry-level work. Have a bunch of staggered shifts so you're never down by a couple of mages at a time at shift end.
    Meh, that is so XIX century - you should go for self-reseting traps of prestidigitation. Making such traps with a cantrip would be dirt cheap.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    You mean I might get stuck with my birthday on Tuesday EVERY freaking year?
    At least with a guaranteed Friday the 13th every month it would finally hammer home into people's brain that it's just a day instead of a global conspiracy to make life bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyril View Post
    Ah, thanks. Even with the propaganda angle in mind, it sounds like a pretty good movie to add to my watch list.



    I don't know how much this is tongue-in-cheek, but space is only cold in the sense that there's not a lot of matter out there to hold heat. This same property also makes space a terrible heat sink, since there isn't any atmosphere out there to conduct heat away and not much density of matter there to absorb that heat. The giant straw idea wouldn't work because there isn't actually a lot of "cold space stuff" up above our atmosphere--it's just a very low pressure vacuum.
    The thermal conductivity is incredibly low, but space is also cold in the sense that the temperature of what little matter is there runs low overall.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

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