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00:00 - 13:0013:00 - 21:00

1:00 PM
My point is, the sheet analogy gives us one saddle - but in practice, the saddle would have each of its sides oriented towards each planet (with the sheet, its edges are towards the planets instead, 90 degrees off) - You'd have 2 saddles superimosed, each a mirror of each other along the whatever axis passes through both planet centers
@overactor I get it, and i can visualize it, just saying it doesn't give an answer
In any case, how does its shape fix the issue that there must be a 2d interface that is perpetually at zero gravity? at some point, the fields must cancel out 100%
 
@ivy_lynx it answers the question of whether the gas would escape
 
if irregular enough, it might not be a continous interface but bubbles instead
@githubphagocyte i don't get it, i'll re-read
 
@ivy_lynx thinking the zero gravity region is a 2d sheet was my mistake originally.
 
the reason the sheet analogy is limited is because it's a 2d representation of a 3d reality - using the 3rd dimension to represent gravitational strength
 
There is a 2D inteface where the gravity will point to the lagrange point instead of either of the two planets
 
1:03 PM
if we could visualize 4 dimensions I wouldn't need to do that :)
 
@TimB You have no evidence to support the claim that I can't visualize 4 dimensions!
 
@ivy_lynx imagine that 2d sheet at equal gravity towards each planet. The directions of those two forces are not opposite, so as a result there is a net force towards the single point where the directions are opposite - on the line between the planet centres.
 
thumbs up to @githubphagocyte
 
@githubphagocyte so the non-homogeneity of the field is what causes the saddle to "shrink up" as stated above and point back towards the point? because the field lines are curved and not parallel?
 
@overactor this explanation is perfect if you replace "lagrange point" with "zero gravity point"
 
1:05 PM
*not parallel
 
@githubphagocyte Too late to edit :(
 
found one
 
@ivy_lynx I think that overcomplicates it. At the point between the planets you're being pulled equally in both directions. At any other point where the planets are pulling you equally, they are not pulling in opposite directions. Imagine two people pulling you but not in opposite directions.
 
that diagram is for a binary star but it's the same thing
 
@TimB isn't the outer bowl upside down? What am I missing?
 
1:07 PM
@TimB It does seem upside down
 
@githubphagocyte yeah that's what I said :P
 
@TimB at a great distance, you should be pulled towards the binary pair, but the diagram has you repelled from them
 
yeah, I'm not sure quite what that part of the diagram is showing, I was just looking at the actual gravity well around the two objects
you can see the shape it forms
 
@githubphagocyte I just really want a diagram made by a computer and TimB's doesnt do it for me - neither is google helping much
 
@ivy_lynx lol. Yes if you had a parallel gravitational field (infinite planes rather than planets) then the zero gravity region would be a plane :)
 
1:09 PM
This is a Physics.SE question waiting to happen
 
@ivy_lynx I posted a question to physics.se and it hasn't had much response. They have a LOT of unanswered questions
 
ahh, ok it's the roche potential
 
All I see is mitosis...
 
lol
 
> an alternate-universe Earth with Belgium as the global powerhouse - Nate Kerkhofs
As a Belgian myself, that seem quite a bit too far-fetched, even for this site.
 
1:12 PM
@overactor rofl
 
(how do I do quotes?)
 
um with > i think
not sure if it'll work here
 
@overactor four spaces for code blocks
> test quote
@ivy_lynx yes > works here
 
> lolz test
works the same as blocking so good
 
> test
> multiline
> quote
by me
> test
multiline
quote
by me
 
1:14 PM
second one is a paste right?
 
multiline quote needs just a single > on the first line
 
or ` \\ `?
 
I have failed.
 
damn u character ecapes
 
@ivy_lynx more like character escapades, amirite?
 
1:15 PM
start with > then a space, then separate lines with <shift><enter> instead of <enter>
 
@overactor xD
 
> like
this?
 
@ivy_lynx second one is like my most recent comment describes
 
Can I add normal text to the same post?
 
ahh, so you can do multi-line comments
without needing
to send each one
as a separate line
handy
 
1:17 PM
@githubphagocyte > what does
this do?
 
@ivy_lynx no google gave me pictures instead of diagrams. Drawing one on computer should be fairly straightforward - it doesn't need to be the exact shape wells
 
Also, it seems many quick answers
work better than a few massive ones.
I almost feel guilty of exploiting the rules.
For rep I mean
 
@overactor looks like the @ mention breaks the quote
> does this alert @overactor ?
 
> has to be at the start of a line according to Markdown :P
 
are > you sure about
that?
 
1:18 PM
>! test
oh well...
 
does it?
> dearest @githubphagocyte
Nothing I try ever works.
 
@overactor that alerted me but didn't make a quote...
 
lol
 
I'll tell you what, this is BS
 
@overactor did the mention in a quote alert you?
 
1:20 PM
flips table
 
ok I made a sketch of what I thought would happen: sketchtoy.com/63271209
 
I just realised something...that first picture we were talking about, that shows the shape of the atmosphere....
nill poi
one sec
 
@ivy_lynx I added something
 
@ivy_lynx yes that's what I thought until I was corrected too :)
 
F1 and F2 are the gravitational pull of both planets
Fr is the resulting force
 
@TimB bingo
 
you need to save and share your modified one I think overactor
 
@TimB Sense = made, nice one timb
 
\o/
 
It's very similar to yours
 
1:24 PM
yep
not surprising when demonstrating the same concept
 
Now it's obvious how it works
 
@overactor nice paralellogram explanation
 
:)
 
I really want to use sketchtoy more in my answers, but it lags my poor netbook horribly
 
@TimB er!
 
1:24 PM
need to fix my desktop
 
some very nice people from the store fixed my desktop :]]
in just over 1 week instead of the originally advertised 6 weeks
 
I just need to wipe it, reinstall everything and implant new memory
too busy building development tools
 
@ivy_lynx I think that's all my brain needs too.
 
I think I'm gonna rep cap today just from my existing answers so I'll let everyone else have a go :)
 
@TimB lol - you can still go for some really powerful answers to get them accepted and increase your cap
It's also good to have strong ones lying around just to soak up votes from old questions
Liath's geology question is a good opportunity for that
 
1:33 PM
heh
need a good answer on the erosion question too
the existing one is ok but not at the same standard as the landmass formation answer I paid the bounty out on
 
@TimB I'm still working on it :P some of these take hours and hours to get right - yesterday the enterprise took me most of the day and I fudged the dome answer to get it over with
@TimB also, I don't know if you saw my comment above, you can have an entire new series of questions based on how to destroy worlds realistically as well
 
@overactor what you're missing is some numbers...
How much laser light would escape due to the mirrors not being perfectly parallel?
How much light would escape due to divergence?
 
@overactor what do you mean missing something? I always thought lasers are used not for their pressure but to transfer power, then you just use a regular electric engine for propulsion - that way you're not just limited to moving in directions away from the planet
 
ok, hold up a sec
 
1:39 PM
How much would the mirrors heat up due to not being perfectly reflecting?
 
laser propulsion in atmosphere doesnt work like that at all
 
That's exactly the sort of stuff I was asking about, thanks
 
pulsed lasers are used to heat air inside concave mirrors, the superheated air then throws the rocket upwards
 
@TimB ground-based laser to vaporise the back of the vehicle to propel it through the atmosphere?
 
you pulse it so new air rushes in then you fire again
 
1:40 PM
interesting
 
it's been done, there are working prototypes at small scale
in space you'd use a lightsail
but that's not good for massive power, it's more for gradual stuff
building up over time
no good for achieving orbit
 
@TimB good for achieving relativistic speeds though, right?
If time is of relative importance
 
actually the rocheworld book we were talking about earlier
used that
they had massive lasers powered by solar energy from a station at mercury
and shone that onto the ship to power it
IIRC they got 10% c
 
The interstellar mod for KSP also lets you place orbital solar power harvesters that transfer energy through dishes to spacecraft, which then use thermal or electric propulsion.
 
can you sail against the direction of the light?
 
1:43 PM
no
 
like sailboats can go against the wind?
 
to do that with wind you need a keel
 
I assume it's based on theoretical tech, but somewhat realistic
 
and water to push against
to break they had a two part sail
the larger part detached
 
@TimB I just realized how stupid that was
 
1:43 PM
and focused the incoming light back on the center part
 
@Liath nice question on the geology stuff
 
Marble :)
 
So I guess faster than the wind with the wind can't work either ^^
 
Someone might want to go answer this question
1
Q: Worldbuilding tag vs Site

xenoterracideCan we get a clarified difference between world-building and World Building SE. I personally feel that they're probably different in scope. The reason I'm asking this, is I've asked a couple of questions (really it was the same one clarified) trying to get help in the process that comes with rea...

I'm looking possibly @TimB
Note: Is an RPG.SE meta question
 
I've got to go interview someone in 14 minutes
feel free to write an answer though someone :)
 
1:47 PM
I think the guy is pretty much spot on, don't know if an answer is warranted by me - perhaps a comment
 
@ivy_lynx thanks - hopefully someone will know!
 
@overactor I'm guessing faster than the wind by propelling a smaller craft with a larger one might work. Doesn't help for light speed though, only for air wind...
 
actually you can sail faster than the wind
it's complicated
 
@githubphagocyte that matrix question is awesome. I started googling equivalent machine/computer specs, power requirements and nuclear power outputs before I remembered I'm at work... :)
 
@Liath Congrats on notable question badge. And good question title
 
1:48 PM
but the fastest sailing in a high performance sailing boat is not directly downwind
 
@DonyorM ah, the nudist one ;)
 
@Liath lol sorry... Do you mean the machine population one?
 
Yeah I had high hopes for that
 
@githubphagocyte I saw a design for a wind powered car that goes faster than the wind.
It could go roughly 2.8 times speed of wind I think
 
@overactor I can't imagine how it copes with that effectively reversing the wind direction. Does it travel perpendicular to the wind?
 
1:49 PM
@githubphagocyte yep. I'm imagining the entire surface of the planet covered in a huge mainframe powered by nuclear power and solar panels... you'd just have to hope you don't have a power cut!
 
Ah, excellent, I managed to post my linked questions fast enough that they are both linked to the other with no visible edits :)
 
sneaky
 
@githubphagocyte no-seams posting :P
 
@githubphagocyte You've been struck by, you've been hit by.. a smooth editor.
5
 
1:52 PM
@overactor xD XD +1
 
@overactor lol
 
@overactor have a pile of stars and a beer
 
@ivy_lynx I must admit I wrote them up in advance so all I had to do was quickly edit the links once the targets existed. And it gives you about 3 minutes grace...
 
@githubphagocyte that's thinking ahead, I approve
 
@githubphagocyte even smoother would have been anticipating the links to the respective questions
 
1:54 PM
Those two questions are the ones I was asking for advice about earlier. I think they are sufficiently distinct to keep separate - I've tagged one biology and the other physics.
 
yes I agree
why don't the people just spread out though?
 
@overactor making sure I post them before any other questions arrive and throw the numbering out?
 
@githubphagocyte perfectly acceptable as two seperate questions
 
particularly the robot people
 
@TimB they can still spread out - I just want to know how many can live on Earth
I imagine that past a certain population level, even maximum speed emmigration will still see the Earth population continuing to rise. I want to know where it would level off.
 
1:56 PM
@TimB This reminds me of that on Asimov story.
 
Does anyone have any gold badges yet?
I assume not, the easiest ones to get are the 100 days and the 600 votes ones and I don't think we've had enough time/content
 
@Liath @Fulli is getting close to 10k views on his question about drugging people.
2
 
I checked the badges page and no one has a gold badge there
 
@overactor time to fire up my webcrawler script ;-)
 
Boy, am I ever rocking the starred posts sidebar!
3
 
2:11 PM
Why do you guys ask all the good questions while I am asleep? :p
 
good day builders!
i got 10k views ? yey
 
Fulli, why do you ask cool pirate questions while I am asleep? So rude ;)
 
@Fulli not quite ^^
 
do what you want cause a pirate is free, you are a pirate!
yo ho riglededeee you are a pirate!
 
To err is to be human, to Arr is to be pirate!
4
 
2:22 PM
From the voting ratio on my 2 questions, more people are interested in wiping out biological life in favour of human machines, than shrinking humans down to fit more in.
2
 
@githubphagocyte Go big or go home :)
 
@Vulcronos lol
If a job's worth doing, it's worth wiping out all biological life to achieve it
3
 
Shrinking humans could be fun though, it could result in an 'attack on titan' like situation.
Except, nothing like attack on totan.
 
Would we also shrink the animals?
Otherwise cats could be our worst enemies
 
@Vulcronos in going for a maximal population, I've assumed we would go vegan and wipe out all competing animals
 
2:31 PM
@githubphagocyte thanks for teh edit, I seriously can not type.
 
@overactor you're welcome :)
 
Excellent strategy
 
I'm aware of the typo in that message, I'll leave the proof in the pudding though.
 
Our stats are looking great - even the numbers of questions seem to be clawing back up
 
I'm pretty sure I'm using that incorrectly
 
2:33 PM
@overactor I did wonder if it was intentional...
 
@githubphagocyte the typo wasn't, leaving it in there was.
 
I'd like to see a maths based thriller with the closing line "the proof is in the pudding"
 
@githubphagocyte That's terrifying
Also, I'd like to see a maths based thriller, period.
 
@overactor have you read any Greg Egan?
 
@githubphagocyte Should I?
 
2:35 PM
@overactor based on this comment I'd recommend it
 
Anyway, for your question @githubphagocyte, I assume if we can shrink ourselves, we have advanced to the point where our computer graphics replication of cats is so good, that we can continue making cat memes for all time without any actual cats.
 
@Vulcronos I believe that will be a vital part of maintaining the sanity of an unimaginably large population in a confined space
 
@Vulcronos That is such a reassuring thought.
 
@overactor I started with Luminous, which is a short story (and the name of the collection of short stories). That particular story is about maths, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
 
But will we ever be able to replicate the level of silliness some cats achieve?
 
2:38 PM
@githubphagocyte Have you seen "Numbers" the tv series?
 
@overactor I wonder if the machine mind population would allocate memory space for storing cat minds
@ivy_lynx I haven't - is that also maths based?
 
@githubphagocyte yeah but it's horrible - just wondering if you have since you're into that kind of thing, looking for an opinion
@githubphagocyte I wouldn't really recommend it, just curious
 
@ivy_lynx ah OK I'll avoid it then - I don't see much television anyway
 
@githubphagocyte it should.
 
3:23 PM
numb3rs is ok
its a bit dumbed down though
and it falls into the standard tv traps of having a conclusion and massaging the numbers and hiding a few guesses/assumptions to let them get to that conclusion
but still it's not bad
@githubphagocyte I don't think either of your questions is really answerable. It's too unconstrained
 
@TimB even considering that I'm seeing very disappointing answers that don't seem to consider the question
I was hoping for calculations based on the available energy from the sun, how much of that could be absorbed without overheating the Earth, and theoretical size limits of computers and biological brains
 
@githubphagocyte Personally, I don't feel like answering those two because I can't reconcile being advanced enough to engineer a massive overhaul of the human race and planet to save space, but not using colonization of other bodies in the first place.
 
exactly
why don't they spread out is going to shape the whole question
 
@githubphagocyte even if you're floating in space, you could still build upwards - even if that's not good enough, you can build inwards and if that's still not good enough, why not spend all your resources coming up with FTL drives? it seems logically unreconcilable and that kills the interest for me
 
@githubphagocyte net energy input from the sun doesn't change, consuming it through solar will not produce overheating
 
3:35 PM
@TimB on a global scale it would decrease the planet's albedo, which over time could have a significant effect
 
It might help if the reason they can't leave and colonize is also a factor that limits the population growth - that way, you explain why they're not expanding away from the planet and also give answerers a clue about how to calculate the maximum - as it stands, there's no way to start calculating any maximum; do you use the volume of a person and just stack them all across the world? are all buildings uniform boxes? it's hard to even start thinking about it
 
@TimB At present roughly twice as much sunlight is reflected away from the Earth as is absorbed
@ivy_lynx they need food, so I would expect available space to put the humans in would not be a limiting factor
@ivy_lynx I don't see that being restricted to the planet would make much difference to the maximum population size. Whether they spread out or not there will be a limit. Is there reason to think that limit would be affected by the presence of humans elsewhere?
 
yes, because people wouldn't crowd in they would just spread more
why shrink to live on earth when you can just move into space
 
@githubphagocyte Yes, if there is transfer of energy or resources in general. It doesn't change the limit on a single isolated world, but the total available energy for instance could be estimated to be near infinite - just imagine if they have room-temperature superconductors, efficient fusion and fission reactors as well as matter-synthesizing technology
 
also as crowding grows breeding rates fall
 
3:44 PM
Even considering the usual thermodynamics tripe, the real issue isn't total energy, but energy flows - if they're efficient enough, you can grow to insane magnitudes; it's hard to skip over issues of massive drops in breeding rates as TimB states, the possibility of huge accidents or widespread illness
 
@TimB Earth already has plenty of examples of overcrowding. People are still actively moving to the overcrowded areas. Also if the birth rate exceeds the emmigration rate plus death rate then people leaving won't stop the population growing
 
however birth rates have uniformly fallen in line with that
most 1st world countries would have a falling population if not for immigration
 
@githubphagocyte @githubphagocyte yeah but people here move to overcrowded areas because the alternative is desert, no jobs and a lack of social services - if you have those everywhere, people tend to move away from centers - the birth rate exceeds emmigration there because of little birth control, children being part of the work force, religious beliefs etc.
In your world, 1st world conditions should be the norm
 
4:11 PM
Oh man, I was looking for the Exalted map and I came across the flat earth society again - while ridiculously unscientific, it presents an interesting situation for a question, especially the 50e3 ft ice walls. But I really don't want to invite crazyness and people speculating about the real earth.
I'm not even sure their website isn't a massive trolling experiment
There was a question about a world with a refraction index that would make the cosmology seem concave though
 
 
2 hours later…
5:58 PM
already about 14 questions today
 
did you see that we have 100 % at answerd questions
 
the lowest we get is 99%
 
@Fulli I'm concerned that we're getting too many answers per question. I think in the long run, this will discourage people who could have been good contributors. It might also suppress voting as folks will be unsure as to which of the many answers to vote for.
 
6:27 PM
Also, a high answer count is not an indication of good answers. I'm seeing one or two good answers per question and some rushed attempts that didn't read the question
 
so its beta - they will see how this side works
 
6:40 PM
I think you are worrying about things that aren't worth worrying about :)
all those stats are minimums, anything more is good
and as number of questions rise you can expect number of answers to fall
since we have a lot of regulars who have already asked all their questions
but still answer others
 
6:56 PM
The only thing I'd add is maybe we need to remind people to downvote as well as upvote answers
 
7:35 PM
It's due to the nature of the subject matter I think - this system was established on generic Q&A sites and SO, which either don't tie rep with moderation and rights, or, as in the case of SO, right and wrong are much more clear. With worldbuilding, it's not entirely about being correct, while on SO, people can and tend to vote based on that. I'd imagine the future of WB will resemble that of writers.SE more than any other site
That's why we can't expect voting to work the same - there is comparatively, a very high amount of voting and very little downvoting, but personally, I don't feel it can be any other way.
 
8:23 PM
yep, unless an answer is outright wrong
not much to downvote
i hit the voting cap most days and thats virtually all upvotes
dont even know if I've done any downvotes
at most I have not upvoted something
 
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