specularium

Rebel Physics

Peter J. Carroll

Latest Blog Post

  • End June 2020

    What has gone wrong with Britain?

    I only vaguely remember the Hong Kong Flu during my teens in 1968-70. It killed more people than Covid has so far. Some services and facilities became temporarily disrupted but societies carried on without much fuss or lockdowns. The virus still exists but humanity has fairly good herd immunity to it now.

    This current Pandemic has brought many issues into focus, in part because the now omnipresent media has had so little political or celebrity or sports news to report on.

    However, we look at most of these issues the wrong way around.

    We do not have a housing shortage. We have a population glut.

    We have deliberately engineered this by allowing a net immigration of 300,000 per annum. This suits property owners fine; their properties inflate in value and this effectively acts as a massive tax on the young. Property has become a much more lucrative investment than industry.

    Normally a ‘price improvement’ means something has got cheaper. When you hear that ‘property prices have improved’ that means, bizarrely, that they have got worse, i.e. more expensive.

    Continual immigration suits the capital owning classes fine, it depresses wage costs, it provides a short-term fix and profit. Continual immigration also suits the lefty liberal faction as well, as it provides a ready source of votes, and issues they can exploit.

    Now an entire younger generation faces chronic employment insecurity and accommodation insecurity issues. And what do we fob them off with? The nonsenses of identity politics and faux individualism via consumerism and social media. No wonder we also have a mental health pandemic.

    We should supposedly feel grateful for all the care workers, nurses, and doctors we have imported from abroad. Surely, we should feel ashamed that we have deprived poorer countries of these people by importing cheap labour and skilled people more cheaply trained abroad, rather than properly funding such work and training here.

    The UK has become absurdly overcrowded, the cities become increasingly nasty and unpleasant places to live, the countryside shrinks, and the physical and psychological environments become degraded. Nobody hitch-hikes or lets their kids outside unescorted, and nobody leaves their doors unlocked anymore.

    The current course will not prove sustainable. Economy staff from abroad will increasingly demand parity, and the ecology of these isles will collapse further through sheer overcrowding. I have not seen a Puffin south of Hadrian’s Wall or Anglesey in a long while.

    Vast amounts of UK capital now get invested abroad in the sweatshops of the developing world. We should force its reinvestment here to redress the chronically low productivity.

    The majority of UK wealth has become either invested in property or offshore. Some might call this a Developed Economy, it looks more like a Decadent Economy.

    The Decadence of the UK economy reaches a pinnacle in the financial centre of the City of London. Here the difference between assets and liabilities has become wilfully obscured, and most of the world’s serious proceeds from crime and corruption come here for discreet laundering.

    Eventually the real bills will come in for all this. Decadence leads to decay and collapse.

    The pandemic has revealed the weakness of UK manufacturing and our dependency on cheap imported labour.

    Instead of outsourcing clothing manufacture to third world sweatshops we should develop high tech computer driven looms and garment assembly devices. Instead of exploiting imported field workers in appalling working conditions we should develop artificially intelligent harvesting machines and upgrade people’s pay and skills to use them.

    Instead of short-term fixes and quick profits at any eventual cost we should apply our considerable brains to creating an ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable future for this country, and that means selectively De-Globalising it.

     

    Anyway, enough rant for now. Herewith the last in the current series of lockdown beach-detritus creations; Ship eating Space Slugs (originally created to clear space debris from planetary systems, they devoured their creator species and now infect the whole galaxy). Here a Lithonian ship approaches a swarm of them, hoping its warp-lance will prove effective as a giant bug swat and flip them into hyperspace. I make this stuff to amuse my grandchildren obviously……….

    Some further speculations on particle and quantum physics and 3-dimensional time: -

    1) Imagine that time may have the same threefold dimensionality as space and that the ‘doubly unobservable*’ orthogonal time dimensions have a spatial signature.

    (* We cannot even observe so called ordinary time, we merely infer its existence from memory, records, and expectations, we can perhaps infer the existence of orthogonal components to time from quantum superposition and probability in general.)

    2) Imagine that the quanta of spacetime can rotate as spinors with various planes about various axes. Let us denote the spatial dimensions as x, y, x, and the temporal dimensions as a, b, c. As the universe has no preferential directions, only relative directions, then we can denote spatial spinor rotation as xy(z) and temporal spinor rotation as ab(c), where the first two letter denote the spinor plane and the bracketed letter denotes the axis.

    3) If xy(z) corresponds to the ordinary chiral spin of fundamental fermions then ab(c) probably corresponds to the strong nuclear charge that some particles carry, and which can manifest in 3 ‘colours’ ab(c), ac(b), or cb(a) or their ‘anticolours’ if they spin in the opposite direction. Fundamental fermions can only carry one unit of ordinary spin and optionally one unit of nuclear charge and these undergo spatial and temporal inversion respectively because of their axes.

    4) xy(a), xy(b) and xy(c) may represent electromagnetic charge. The fractional electromagnetic charges of quarks suggest that they may possess only one or two of such spins, whilst independent particles such as protons and electrons must carry all three. The spatial dimensions of x and y both lie orthogonal to all the temporal dimensions of a, b, and c. Electromagnetic charge undergoes temporal but not spatial inversion, the spatial orthogonality of the electric and magnetic vectors arising from an electromagnetic charge also seems to fit this model.

    5)  ab(x), ab(y) and ab(z) may represent particle generation which seems to add only mass. If so, then particle generation undergoes spatial reversal, so either neutrinos act as Marjorama fermions and become anti-neutrinos on spatial inversion, or particles and anti-particles can have generation of either sign. Like ordinary spatial spin, generation spin does not seem perfectly conserved and can presumably interconvert with orbital angular momentum.

    6) The waves of twist and anti-twist sent out from the spinor rotations of spacetime quanta may cause the spacetime curvatures of mass and electromagnetism and the very short range strong nuclear force. 

    Written on Sunday, 28 June 2020 09:02 in Blog Read 349 times

Latest Games Post

  • Frontier Space War

    Herewith a recent sci-fi board game system. The board represents space using star systems as nodal points connected by posible jump routes. All movement takes place simultaneously on the declaration of pre-wriiten destinations for starships. Combat between opposing ships that land on the same star system takes place by the simultaneous revealing of ship order of engagement and chosen tactical cards, the effects of which appear on the combat octagon charts. The system does not use dice or other sortilege procedures, everything depends on trying to anticipate an opposing commander's intentions in movement and tactical combat. Does this make it a game of chance or not?

    The various classes of starship and the starsystem bases all consist of various nuts and bolts and masonry anchors and plumbing fittings painted matt mettalic. Such pieces have the advantage of standing upright and not cluttering the board, vessels of the same class all have the same appearance, and the pieces have a pleasing weight. Combat takes place only at star systems. Although the system used a 2D board to represent 3D space we can consider the stars as lying both above and below the plane of representation.

    Legemeton flotilla threatens a Terran position.

    Legemeton ~ Little Green Men of unknown origin and appearance. 

    Frontier Space War.

    A boardgame system for modelling interstellar conflict as it may develop in coming centuries. This system uses concealed simultaneous choice of movement and concealed simultaneous choice of combat tactics rather than sortilege procedures to model the uncertainties of conflict.

    1) Starships in the FSW Universe.

    Common Classes of Vessel.

    Common Name      Firepower       Defences              Cost  

    Battleship                     5                     5                       5

    Cruiser                         3                     3                       3

    Destroyer                     1                     1                       1

    Factory                         1                     1                       5

    Reinforcement Vessels.

    Common Name      Firepower      Defences               Cost

    Battlecruiser                5                     3                         3

    Heavy Cruiser             3                     5                         3    

    Frigate Carrier FC       3                     3                         3          (Carries up to 5 Frigates)

    Frigate                         1                     1                     2 for 1.     (Not jump capable)

     

    2) Ship Movement in the FSW Universe.

    At each turn all ships on all sides can move simultaneously.

    All ships that move must move two star systems, slingshotting via an intermediary system at hypervelocity. (The presence of other ships at the intermediary star makes no difference)

    Commanders write down the next position of each of the ships under their control on a log-sheet and then all commanders reveal their secret orders and move their ships accordingly.

    A log-sheet for a small flotilla might look like this: -

    Ship           Initial position      1st Move,      2nd Move,    3rd Move,    4th Move,       etc  

    Battleship          N36                     D43            H67    

    Cruiser              N36                    X14             L65

    Destroyer          N36                    D43             H67

    Destroyer          N36                    D43             H67  

    Destroyer          N36                    X14             L65

    Here the flotilla starts at star system N36. On successive moves the flotilla splits in two with a pair of Destroyers accompanying the Battleship to D43 and then on to H67, whilst the other Destroyer goes with the Cruiser to X14 and then to L65.

    3) Ship Combat in the FSW Universe.

    When opposing vessels meet at a star system, combat occurs if any commander elects to attack opposing vessels. Combat proceeds by combat rounds until only the vessels of one side remain, the others having become destroyed or having managed to evade, or all commanders elect not to attack further.

    A combat round begins with the Assignment of vessels. Commanders put forward a piece concealed within a hand against an enemy commander who must then put forward a concealed piece and then both reveal them simultaneously, until all attacking ships become paired.

    If one side’s ships outnumber that of the other, then the commander(s) of the greater number may then assign any spare ships to join in where desired.

    Combat rounds then take place between vessels assigned against each other. Each commander selects a tactical card for a vessel and puts it forward, both commanders then reveal their tactics and consult the tactical chart to assess the result.

    If vessels from both sides survive their individual duels, then any vessels which did not evade successfully can go through another cycle of assignment and combat rounds. Ships which manage to evade during a combat round can voluntarily de-evade and participate in another cycle of assignment and combat rounds if desired.

    Where more than one vessel becomes assigned to attack a single vessel the commander(s) of the multiple vessels may order them to attack individually and put forward a concealed tactical card for each. In this case commanders assess the effects of each of these chosen tactics against the single tactic chosen for the single vessel. Alternatively, the commander of the multiple vessels may coordinate Destroyers or Frigates with other vessels (subject to certain restrictions below) and chose a single tactic for them.

    Ships coordinated together on a single tactic simply pool their firepower and defences and act in effect as a single more powerful vessel.

    Restrictions on the grouping of Destroyers or Frigates arise from the telemetry problems associated with closely coordinating their actions:

    a) A single Destroyer or Frigate can coordinate with a heavier vessel such as a Cruiser or a Battleship or a Jump Carrier or a Factory.

    b) Two Destroyers or Frigates can coordinate with each other.

    c) Destroyers or Frigates cannot coordinate with vessels from different allied civilisations.  

    The arrows on Combat Octagon 1 show the effects of eight possible tactical choices upon each another. A thick arrow shows that one ship has scored 3 against another. Middleweight arrows add a score of 2. Lightweight arrows add a score of 1. Red arrows or red circles show a score of 1, 2, or 3 against both ships.  

    If adding the arrow score to the firepower of the ship that scored the hit gives a number higher than the defence value of the target, the target ship becomes destroyed. In the unforgiving environment of space, shield and generator breaches invariably prove fatal.

    Dotted lines show that a vessel which has chosen tactic 7 or 8 has achieved an evasion. To achieve an evasion against multiple opposing ships, a ship must evade them all.

    When Ships attack Factories based on planets, commanders use Combat Octagon 2 in which they have fewer tactical options.

    When a Factory comes under attack, commanders treat the Factory in the same way as a Ship for the purposes of Assignment. If all defending Ships have become destroyed or have managed to evade, the attacking commander may simply declare an evasion of remaining attacking Ships if an attack no longer appears worthwhile.

    After the resolution of all combats, another turn begins, and commanders write new movement destinations for all the Ships they wish to move.

    Thus, a complete turn consists of the following three phases.

    a) Spending of Ship Units to create Ships which appear at the Factory.

    b) The writing of movement orders on a ship-log. The mutual revealing of movement orders and the implementation of movements.

    c) Combat resolution.

    e) Production of Ship Units at Manufactories which lie on planets and have not moved during the turn. (Only one Manufactory can operate at any Planet.)

    4) General Notes on Scenarios, Strategy, and Tactics in the FSW Universe.

    a) The FSW system uses Topological Nodal Mapping of the contested areas of space. Points on the map denote star systems. Yellow points or markers show stars with inhabitable rocky worlds in an appropriate temperature range. Blue and Red points show stars which do not have such planets, Ships can go to such systems or slingshot past them whilst jumping but they cannot establish bases there. In most areas of space, uninhabitable star systems outnumber habitable ones by about five to one. Lines joining star systems show those within navigational range of each other and hence the possible ‘jump routes’.

    Two dimensional representations of contested areas (with the stars and jump routes understood as projecting both above and below of the plane of representation and with some jump routes thus perhaps appearing to cross each other) prove most convenient. The scale of the map in relation to the sizes of the pieces should allow for the unambiguous positioning of groups of pieces around any star system.

    To settle larger battles at star systems commanders may temporarily move all involved pieces off board to a convenient space and then replace the surviving ones on the board afterwards.

    b) Scenarios.

    In Tournament Scenarios both or all commanders start with equal forces on a board with an appropriate (if somewhat unrealistic) symmetry, and the contest continues until one side achieves set victory conditions such as the elimination of all enemy Factories or Ships or the establishment of a set number of new Factories.

    Initial set ups and dispositions should ensure the dispersal of forces between well separated Bases to avoid excessive force concentration and cataclysmic battles too early in the scenario.

    Asymmetric Scenarios.

    Empire Building. Players start with some Factories placed and strive to expand their spheres of influence. Alliances may form and break.

    Raids. An empire can over-extend itself by providing insufficient protection to peripheral areas or to areas where it has started to establish new Factories. This may offer opportunities for cost effective raids by smaller vessels against areas defended by too few heavier vessels. Deep Penetration Raids against Factories designated as politically important can also justify the commitment of heavy warships.

    Convoy Operations can involve moving Factories or designated warships carrying items of great value from one side of an area to another against enemy interdiction.

    Insurrection Scenarios can arise after cyber-warfare and/or political propaganda causes some Factories and Ships to rebel and fight for independence.

    Tactical Notes. Jump Carriers enter combat with their Frigates already launched. Thus, a fully loaded Jump Carrier could in some circumstances engage several opposing ships by effectively reconfiguring itself as (3+1), (1+1), (1+1). Alternatively, the Jump Carrier could attempt to evade carrying its Frigates.

    The civilisations from which fleets originate may not wish to allow commanders to become too powerful and may limit the number of replacements and reinforcements they can build.

    5) Diplomacy and Treachery in the FSW Universe.

    Scenarios involving more than two players provide opportunities for the making and breaking of alliances.

    The simultaneous movement of ships requires trust between allies, and treachery can exploit this.

    During a multi-player battle of several combat rounds, ships can change allegiances.

    Diplomacy can proceed openly and/or by the passing of private notes.

    The complexity of FSW lies above that of ‘family game’ but below that of ‘afficionado game’. However, game aficionados can easily complicate to game to any required degree of sophistication by adding house rules.

    Whilst a two player game becomes a straight conflict based on bluff and an asymmetric rock-paper-stone type combat, multiplayer games tend to also involve elements of Diplomacy and Poker.

    The rules do not forbid the use of psychic powers.

     

     

    Written on Thursday, 07 November 2019 15:20 in Games Read 1196 times

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