Known Space; why so small??

Discussion in 'Larry Niven' started by AcesHigh, Mar 18, 2008.

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    Omphalos

    Omphalos הדרךקפיצת

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    Dont forget that humanity has been tinkered with by the puppeteers. Incredible risk is inherent in space exploration and colonization, and most of humanity is risk averse. Alos humanity is limited in expansion power by the tech that the Outsiders and General Products sell them. In the later stories I think that the only reasons that humanity expanded at all was because of the wars with the Kzin, and those wars were won because the Puppeteers messed with the Kzin too. Those pressures to maintain the status quo by the Puppeteers are pretty considerable too.

    In short, its not really technology that is holding humanity back. Its a mind set and the fact that the psychological needs have been redefined, and those that humans have are satisfied by aliens who don't want us to expand.
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    Roadkiller

    Roadkiller New Member

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    Certainly possible.

    I've always wondered if the heart of the ARM isn't a human Protector. Certainly humanity has the ability to create one as shown in the MKW stories relating to Operation Cherubim.

    A human Protector has a serious influence on human history, as shown by Jack Brennan's escapades!
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    sffmdw45

    sffmdw45 New Member

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    I'm of the viewpoint that Brennan would not have left humanity's survival in the hands of luck--he didn't even know for sure that he would make it to Wunderland/Home. Either Brennan thought another human Protector would be more dangerous to humanity than the Pak were, or else he had contingency plans to create more Protectors, or else he was stupidly arrogant.

    We know that Protectors are not stupid, but they can be arrogant (Brennan not looking for the fleet for decades since the probability was too low). Still, either he or Roy should have peeled off at least one childless Protector as insurance against unforeseen problems. And after all, the Kzin have lost all the wars and almost all desire to fight humans... that's as good as an ice asteroid in my book.

    -Max
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    xyz

    xyz New Member

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    I think the desire was not so much lost as taken away. In this universe everyone is subject brain modifications if they are not "normal", and the goverment is afraid of running into more aliens like the kzin.
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    Mirannan

    Mirannan Member

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    By the way, Hi! (My second post. :) )

    Why no automatic probes? Well, one reason is that the mass-sensor (needed for safe hyperdrive travel, because of possible unmapped gravitational wells en route) is a psionic device; it needs a mind to operate it. A biological mind at that, although sapient AI is not a part of Niven's universe anyway and such an AI might qualify.
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    neopeius

    neopeius New Member

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    I thought Known Space, by Louis Wu's time, was 200 Light years across. That's a *lot* of stars and planets to map.

    I would think there would be more colonies, but then, what would be the impetus? There's still so much space on Wunderland, We Made It, Jinx, Down, Plateau, Canyon, Silveryes, Gummidgy...

    In any event, there are plenty of Known Space stories that take place in exotic locations. Beta Lyrae... the Trinoc world... Known Space is huge. It's just that the Galaxy is bigger.

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