specularium

Rebel Physics

Peter J. Carroll

Latest Blog Post

  • Spring 2021

    Magic.

    The Chancellor of Arcanorium College confers the degree of Bachelor of Magic upon Jacob Edward Sipes, BoM.

    This represents the first degree awarded by Arcanorium College since its inception.

    Many have started on this demanding course, but few have had the determination to persist with the exceptionally demanding work.

    The full citation appears in the Arcanorium College Department of Magic pages on this site.

    https://www.specularium.org/arcanoriumcollege/item/273-arcanorium-college-department-of-magic

    Alternative Science.

    The Hypersphere Cosmology model now seems to have achieved its final form: -

    https://www.specularium.org/hypersphere-cosmology

    The model presents two observational tests which could show whether this model or the conventional Lambda-CDM Big Bang model best represents the universe. Unfortunately. both tests would take about forty years of observation, but presently Hypersphere Cosmology has the edge in terms of Occam’s Razor as it offers a considerably simpler and more elegant description of the universe.

    All attempts to falsify this model will be enthusiastically engaged with.

    In the meantime, work resumes on Hypersphere Mechanics, an attempt to rationalise the ad hoc mess of Quantum Field Theory and add some mathematical and conceptual rigor.

    The ingredient list from which an improved model may evolve currently includes the following: -

    A spacetime of three spatial and three temporal dimensions, and the whole metric curved by gravity into a spatio-temporal 3-3 Sphere.

    Spherical rotations of various of the dimensions of spacetime itself as the basis of all fields, forces, waves, and particles.

    Quanta as having some of the properties of hyperspheres. Mach’s Principle, as above so below, the quanta and the universe somehow mutually define each other’s properties.

    Matter ‘particles’ and ‘anti-particles’ as the points where waves which travel right round the universe interfere, a sort of hyperspherical extension to Milo Wolff’s Wave Structure of Matter theory, but to include nuclear and gravitational effects as well.

    Energy ‘particles’ as ‘particle-antiparticle’ exchanges with the antiparticle component traveling backwards in time, as in Cramer’s Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Physics.

    The appearance of entanglement and superposition arising from retro-causation at lightspeed.

    A possible geometrical relationship between neutrinos, photons, and gravitons.

    The hypothesis that something out there might know more than we do, and that it might respond to the name of Azathoth. Common sense need not prove a limitation to imagination.

    Sculpture.

    Herewith the Edward Teach, Steam-Punk Pirate Spacecraft.

    The hull of this vessel does not consist of a heavily decayed piece of timber, it consists of a piece of hard volcanic lava scrounged from Mount Teide on Tenerife that inspired the overall design. The assorted fittings come from the junk boxes in the sheds and outhouses of Chateaux Chaos. The policy of never throwing any interesting piece of scrap away has paid dividends during lockdown.

    In the backstory the Imperium abandons a damaged robot freight vessel on a desolate asteroid. The AI that piloted it uses its droids to gradually assemble a functioning craft from the wreckage of the freighter and the material of the asteroid. The AI also reprograms itself in increasingly unorthodox ways, drawing on historical archive material in memory devices in transit, resulting in the antique design of the ship and the new rogue identity of the AI.

    The Edward Teach now raids the far-flung outposts of the Imperium, relieving merchant vehicles of their cargoes, attacking some of the smaller classes of Imperium warships, and adding to its arsenal of strange and exotic weaponry.

    Politics.

    Regional Nationalism. Tony Blair remains one of the most reviled Prime Ministers of recent decades, we remember him mainly for the deceitful case he made for the Iraq war and the disastrous war itself. He managed to hand over power to Gordon Brown just in time to escape the economic catastrophe of 2008 that his policies during three terms of office did so much to exacerbate.

    However, he also lit the fuse to constitutional crisis by setting up the Scottish and Welsh assemblies. It might have seemed like a good idea at the time, Northern Ireland had been given a gerrymandered assembly to try and persuade rival factions to talk more and fight less. Scotland and Wales were given their own assemblies in the hope that it would make the Northern Ireland assembly seem less of an anomaly and that it would head off Scottish and Welsh nationalism, despite that such nationalisms had rarely risen above a hobby activity for a minority of Celtic romanticists.

    It has had quite the reverse effect, both assemblies have now self-designated themselves as the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments and Governments. The Welsh had little initial enthusiasm for an assembly, but now both assemblies have filled up with left dominated representatives spending central government funds and playing the nationalism card as a career strategy. Blair created a career opportunity for a new class of regional-nationalist politicians, and they took it, pulling the wool over the eyes of their electorates.

    The nationalism cards do not bear scrutiny, they have little written on them except a faux resentment of England which heavily props up both principalities economically on one side. On the other they merely say, ‘We demand ever more regional subsidies!’ Nowhere do the nationalism cards mention anything realistic about what independence would mean in practice. Economy? Central Bank? Currency? Borders? Defence? National Debt?    

    Bristol has a longstanding tradition of political rioting, and it now leads the way in protesting against a new parliamentary bill which restricts the right to peaceful protest. Basically, if your protest is likely to cause an obstruction or a nuisance you will not get permission for it.

    History shows that peaceful unobstructive protest achieves nothing. A million people marched quietly through London against Tony Blair’s planned war in Iraq, and it went ahead anyway. A quarter of that number smashed up central London against Margaret Thatcher’s Poll Tax and it was immediately cancelled.

    A protest that inconveniences nobody influences nobody. Expecting people to protest for the right to make a nuisance, without making a nuisance, seems a ridiculous expectation.

    If he persists with it, this may become Boris’ Poll Tax moment.

    Written on Saturday, 27 March 2021 21:05 in Blog Read 411 times

Latest Games Post

  • Frontier Space War 2.

    Frontier Space War 2. Multiplayer or Solitaire.

    Outline. This strategy game models a possible future in which various groups have colonised the nearest habitable star systems and then started to dispute territory, economics, ideology, and alliances. It can accommodate up to five players or alternatively a single player can play each faction in turn to evolve a narrative and perhaps put names to all the star systems and major warships.

    The structure of the game can support a variety of backstories. Backstory ‘A’ relates a geopolitical expansion of various human factions into space. Alternative backstories appear at the end.    

    Backstory A. In AD 2050 humans discover a warp-drive mechanism that can enable ships to travel to star systems within 20 light years in about 3 months. This fortuitous discovery came at a time when ecological, climatic, population, and political crises on Earth had almost reached breaking point. European backed missions settled large numbers of people on habitable planets in six nearby star systems forming what became known as the Terran Sphere governed according to Synarchist principles by a vast self-perpetuating bureaucracy.   

    Over the following decades various factions dissatisfied with the philosophy and politics of the Terran Sphere of seven worlds ventured further into space to colonise other worlds.

    Eurasian backed colonists established Vostok on Soviet Neo-Communist principles where hierarchies of endless committees decide everything.

    Colonists backed by the Americas established Kalifornia on Darwinian and Capitalist principles where wealth and power and a certain amount of democracy decides everything.

    Various mystically and religiously inclined groups, particularly the New-Age-Ecumenicists backed the establishment of Nirvana which operates as an Aquarian Theocracy run by those considered the most enlightened.

    Exactly who initially conspired to back the establishment of R’lyeh remains a matter of ongoing debate, but it attracted a mixed consortium of misfits, occultists, illuminati, anarchists, rebels, devils, and chaoists who eventually settled for the collective name of Goths. R’lyeh operates as a Magiocracy run by those considered to have the most magical charisma by popular acclaim.

    Within a century the four splinter factions based on Vostok, Kalifornia, Nirvana, and R’lyeh colonised secondary systems in their vicinities and developed increasingly distinct cultures and slightly divergent technologies. Despite interstellar trade and commerce, tensions over resources and the control of unaligned worlds led first to the Treaty of Terra which recognised spheres of influence and neutral worlds, and then to its breakdown as diplomacy failed and factions started building warships and interstellar struggles began.

    The conflict plays out with each faction using limited numbers of huge and expensive vessels. Factions can also employ specialised command vessels denoted as Flagships which add to the combat capabilities of flotillas of ships and which factions can exchange in alliances. Some backstories attribute the enhancements conferred by flagships to AI computers, others to genetically enhanced human capabilities.

     

     

    Factions.      Philosophy     Colour         Capital World      Flagship AI Capability

    Imperials      Synarchists     Silver          Terra                    Tactical Attack and Defence

    Soviets         Communists    Red             Vostok                 Tactical Defence

    Capitalists    Darwinians     Bronze        Kalifornia             Tactical Attack

    Aquarians     Mystics          Green           Nirvana                Psychic Defence

    Goths           Occultists        Purple          R’lyeh                  Psychic Attack

     

    The following chart shows the ideological relationships of the five factions.

                            

                           Individualist

                                      l

                                      l

           (Goths)               l              (Capitalists)

                                      l

                                      l

    Magical -----------------(Imperials)----- Rationalist

                                      l

                                      l

          (Aquarians)         l               (Soviets)

                                      l

                                      l

                             Collectivist

     

    Types of Vessel.

    Cost   Type                                                                    Dice             Number available/Faction

    5       Fortress                                                           – Icosahedron D20.           4 (all)

    5       Battleship                                                       – Dodecahedron D12         2 (1A, 4I)

    4       B-Cruiser/H-Cruiser/P-Battleship/Monitor.  – Octahedron D8         (2G, 2A, 2C, 2S)

    3       Cruiser (Frigate/Fortress Carrier).                 – Cube D6                           4 (6I) 2I 1

    2       Destroyer                                                       – Tetrahedron D4                6 (all)

    1      Frigate                                                            – Tetrahedron D4                 (10I)                                            

    5      Flagship                                                           – Tetrahedron D4               3 (4I)

     

    Star systems have production values 1, or 2, or 3, or (5, Earth), shown by relative size.

    Sequential turns. Throw for first turn.

     

    1) Count production from all occupied systems. Purchase extra vessels if possible and place at a Fortress. If no Fortress, purchase one if possible and place on a home system. Factions may store unused production as markers at a Fortress. The number of ship pieces provided reflects the maximum that a faction can maintain.

    * Occupied means either a system held by a ship or fortress or a home territory not occupied by a rival.

    2) Move any number of vessels from any star system to any adjoining one connected by a jump route. Frigates and Fortresses can only move if carried in a Frigate or Fortress carrier.

    3) Black holes act as long-range jump ports, 1 turn to move directly from one to any other one.

    4) Settle any conflicts arising. Risk protocols – up to 3 attack dice against up to 2 defence dice. Players may advance chosen ships into a round of combat in a concealed fashion and then mutually reveal them if desired.

    Flagships. Act as combat modifiers to a whole flotilla, (all of a Faction’s vessels at a system).

    Tactical AI, Supercomputer using massive parallel calculation. Attack or Defence.

    Dice                          Tetrahedron   Cube   Octahedron     Dodecahedron     Icosahedron

    Attack or Defence          +1              +2           +3                      +4                       +5

    Psychic AI, Quantum computers with a mysterious degree of prescience. Attack or Defence. Roll each dice thrice. Use the highest of 3 rolls.

    Initial dispositions, numbers and production values of star systems, and total.

    7 Imperials     53 222 11 (16)

    8 Aquarians    3 2 111111 (11)

    6 Goths           3 22 111 (10)

    8 Capitalists   3 22 11111 (12)

    8 Soviets        3 22 11111 (12)   

    14 Neutrals    222 11111111111 (17)         (Total systems, 51)

    Combat Resolution, in each round attacker and defender must put forward at least one piece.

    Attacker puts forward up to 3 units. Defender puts forward up to 2 units. Roll appropriate dice. (Adjust for flagships if present.) Pair off dice, attacker highest against defender highest, defender second highest against defender second highest, to determine casualty numbers, defender wins draws. Each side removes the appropriate number of casualties at will, (irrespective of the ship’s dice scores).

    Flagships do not need to participate in a round of combat to lend their enhancement to all vessels (including themselves) in a flotilla. A flotilla can only use one flagship to enhance it.

    Rounds of combat continue until either all attacking, or all defending forces become eliminated. Or by mutual agreement participants can decline combat. Any non-home territory with more than one faction occupying it does not contribute production.

    Treaties.

    Any Faction may send a Flagship to assist an allied Faction. It then acts under the control of the receiving Faction. However, the Faction which gave it retains two options: -

    a) In its own turn the donating Faction can reclaim it and order it to move.

    b) At any point during combat involving the Flagship, the donating Faction can order it to change sides.

    Special heavy vessels, dice modifications: -

    (Aquarians) Dreadnought – D20 attack or defence, cost 6. (Instead of a second battleship.)

    (Aquarians) Heavy Cruiser - D12 defence

    (Capitalists) Pocket Battleship, (Goths) Battlecruiser - D12 attack

    (Soviets) Monitor – D20 attack, D4 defence.

    (All) Fortress in Carrier – D20 in attack or defence. Fortress Carriers can be scrapped to allow rebuilding elsewhere.

    Starting Positions.

    Each Faction places a Fortress at their capital, and one turns worth of produced ships anywhere on their home-worlds. A second round then begins, and conflict can occur.

    Ships may remain on black holes, but no production can occur there.

    Victory Points. – Control of Earth +1. Control of another Faction’s Capitol +1. Loss of own Capital -1. Ending with more territory +1. Ending with less territory -1.

    The Imperials start with more territory and productive capacity, but rival factions surround them. Alliances prove crucial to the outcome.

    Alternative Backstories.

    B, Alien Powers. The five factions represent Humans plus four other Alien species with advanced technology that all acquired interstellar capability at about the same time.

    C, Neo-Feudalism. The factions represent the five ‘Great Houses’ that developed the biotech that gave them personal dominance over humanity and the ability to devise warp-drive. Flagships represent the personal command ships of senior family members and/or their clones.

    Written on Friday, 17 July 2020 20:41 in Games Read 2760 times

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