Transhumans

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Transhumans

Postby gusindor » Mon May 20, 2013 9:56 pm

I haven't watched all the mecha shows out there, so this may not be as prevalent as I think, but it seems like there's a trope of giant robots going hand in hand with not-entirely-humans. Ijad do that, sort of, but I'm wondering about other ways it could happen. It seems like muscle cylinders could be a huge gain in the field of prosthetics, for starters. I get that this is a whole different game of Shock, but I'm considering having a transhuman in my squad, and I want to see how that could work in the Solar Calender.
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Zero Revenge » Tue May 21, 2013 12:20 am

gusindor wrote:but I'm considering having a transhuman in my squad, and I want to see how that could work in the Solar Calender.

How far trans? Prosthetic leg? arm? Whole body?
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Re: Transhumans

Postby gatlinggouf927 » Tue May 21, 2013 2:05 am

Hmm, sure i'll bite... I'm sure someone will pull the "You drank from the superhuman punch bowl! HAR HAR HAR!" XD

My faction utilizes a sort of trans human pilots, they're not robots or anything, but a small percentage of the Varangian Guard went through a process that I called AGE (Augmented Genetic Enhancement). The procedure and results are literally and shamelessly ripped from the Jason Bourne films minus the behavioral modifications (if you've seen it is saves me a long winded explanation, in short they aren't space marines or anything, they get better physical and mental attributes, but within the confides of human capacity). Regardless it comes with a cost, around the time the applicants hit 50, their bodies rapidly begin to degrade, they age faster, grow weak, succumb to illness until they ultimately give out and die, usually no more than 3 to 4 years later. The change also needs to be maintained with drugs, all provided by their employers Valhallan Industries, which binds them to a lifetime contract. There are no side effects from the drugs though the enhancements will fade without them and the degeneration will happen sooner. It's a very effective procedure, besides being obscenely illegal under Solar Union humanitarian laws and the whole YOUR GONNA DIE AT 50 bit...

Outside of that I have another shameless rip of the Zero System from Gundam Wing planned for a frame in the future (The Fenrir). It was designed to fight a bonded ijad/human pilot whose frame utilizes both of their consciousnesses for improved combat effectiveness (i.e. reaction time, pain suppression, etc.) Unlike the Gundam version where people "learn" to control it, my version is also suppressed via cognitive enhancing drugs. Yeah it's more drugs but Valhallan did make it's second fortune through pharmaceutical research and development, so they stick to their strengths.
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Soren » Tue May 21, 2013 2:13 am

I have a whole set of notes about the miniaturization of muscle cylinders for prosthetics, actually. I think the huge potential gain is offset by the need to dilute the fluid so your prosthetic limb isn't a tiny bomb.

I think transhumanity is stretching the thematic bounds of the setting a little bit (although if you want transhumanity to be less about meaningfully changing the definition of humanity and more about weird hippielike counterculture that would fit the future-1960s vibe we're working with, that sounds awesome).
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Xero010 » Tue May 21, 2013 9:23 am

Interesting. What if in this setting humans altered themselves to function in the harsher environments of places like Jupiter and Mars? An advanced breathing system or maybe photosynthesizing skin don't seem so unrealistic. Has anyone ever read VN? That books deals with the synthetic enhancement of humans for the survival of the species.
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Re: Transhumans

Postby gusindor » Tue May 21, 2013 5:44 pm

I wasn't really thinking about "what does it mean to be human" or artificial evolution or anything existential like that. As I said, that's a whole different game of Shock. I meant more like prosthetic limbs and maybe a few super-soldiers.
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Zero Revenge » Tue May 21, 2013 7:15 pm

gusindor wrote:I wasn't really thinking about "what does it mean to be human" or artificial evolution or anything existential like that. As I said, that's a whole different game of Shock. I meant more like prosthetic limbs and maybe a few super-soldiers.

Seems legit enough. I can see it fitting in the canon universe. Genetic testing is happening now, why couldn't it happen in the future? [I have it happening in my world's setting, just that the S.U. deem it illegal.]

So yeah. Go for it!
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Re: Transhumans

Postby gusindor » Tue May 21, 2013 9:24 pm

Yeah, super-soldier programs seem dubious morally, legally, and strategically. But if I want a super-soldier that bad, that's not gonna stop me.:twisted: My idea is that some aspiring warlord messed around with the neural-brain-science Ijad can use to affect their host's biochemistry, to make people's reactions faster and sharper. It works, but it's devastating to their psyche, if it doesn't kill them outright. Super illegal, for obvious reasons. That's why they use pre-teen orphans, because with a bit of bureaucratic squirming they can make it like they never existed.

And that's why there are teenagers piloting giant robots. Doesn't seem so heroic now does it?

Soren wrote:I have a whole set of notes about the miniaturization of muscle cylinders for prosthetics, actually. I think the huge potential gain is offset by the need to dilute the fluid so your prosthetic limb isn't a tiny bomb.

Is muscle fluid explosive or something? If so, why are they using it in mobile frames?
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Zero Revenge » Tue May 21, 2013 10:43 pm

gusindor wrote:Yeah, super-soldier programs seem dubious morally, legally, and strategically. But if I want a super-soldier that bad, that's not gonna stop me.:twisted: My idea is that some aspiring warlord messed around with the neural-brain-science Ijad can use to affect their host's biochemistry, to make people's reactions faster and sharper. It works, but it's devastating to their psyche, if it doesn't kill them outright. Super illegal, for obvious reasons. That's why they use pre-teen orphans, because with a bit of bureaucratic squirming they can make it like they never existed.

And that's why there are teenagers piloting giant robots. Doesn't seem so heroic now does it?

Sounds awesome. Do you have a setting tab for your... well, setting?
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Re: Transhumans

Postby gatlinggouf927 » Tue May 21, 2013 11:56 pm

gusindor wrote:Yeah, super-soldier programs seem dubious morally, legally, and strategically. But if I want a super-soldier that bad, that's not gonna stop me.:twisted: My idea is that some aspiring warlord messed around with the neural-brain-science Ijad can use to affect their host's biochemistry, to make people's reactions faster and sharper. It works, but it's devastating to their psyche, if it doesn't kill them outright. Super illegal, for obvious reasons. That's why they use pre-teen orphans, because with a bit of bureaucratic squirming they can make it like they never existed.


That's brutal... and awesome! Hahaha i was afraid to go with my initial idea of the AGE procedure given the emphasis on ethics in this universe. While i may disagree with that aspect i no longer have the patience to argue lol. So i made sure to show that it's happening but it's not in anyway acceptable by SU standards. Most of the AGE'd guys and gals don't see it as heroic, glorious, or some next stage in human evolution, they're monsters bound to the company that essentially keeps them alive, they know that, and make sure to share that point with any rookies who show interest in going through with it. I worked around the human ethics the same way powerful corporations nowadays work around them, with money... lots of money... for bribes, blackmailing, lobbying, buying politicians and when required, corporate espionage. Lastly the applicants were all volunteers, desperate men and women with a desperate goal. So Valhallan Industries, which already has a very dodgy reputation, jumped on the opportunity to take advantage of that.
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Soren » Wed May 22, 2013 2:09 am

gusindor wrote:
Soren wrote:I have a whole set of notes about the miniaturization of muscle cylinders for prosthetics, actually. I think the huge potential gain is offset by the need to dilute the fluid so your prosthetic limb isn't a tiny bomb.

Is muscle fluid explosive or something? If so, why are they using it in mobile frames?


1) Yes, very, unless properly handled and 2) Why do we use gasoline? Any sufficiently concentrated energy source is potentially explosive or flammable and if you don't believe me, go make a fire in the backyard*, set up a camera, and toss a laptop battery on it**. Then run like the devil.

* Do not actually do this.
** This either.
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Dukayn » Wed May 22, 2013 6:18 am

Soren wrote:
gusindor wrote:, why are they using it in mobile frames?

Why do we use gasoline?

Yeah, just a bit. I mean, your car has a metal contraption bolted to the front which contains thousands of tiny explosions every second it's running. And every time you put your foot on the accelerator, you're feeding it refined flammable liquid to make it explode faster.

Soren wrote:* Do not actually do this.
** This either.

I chuckled.
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Re: Transhumans

Postby gusindor » Wed May 22, 2013 6:14 pm

But muscle fluid isn't used as fuel, it's used for hydraulics. And I know that if the logic gets too solid all the coolness drains away, but it seems like going into battle with a vehicle whose muscles explode is a really bad idea.

Although I like the idea that when security checks for bombs, they have to make sure your prosthetics aren't rigged to blow. And the cyber-arm sporting veteran telling about that one time he used his hand as a grenade.
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Dukayn » Wed May 22, 2013 6:41 pm

gusindor wrote:going into battle with a vehicle whose muscles explode is a really bad idea.

I would argue that going into battle with a vehicle whose anything might explode is a really bad idea. But then we're back at bear cavalry :P
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Mercutio » Wed May 22, 2013 7:57 pm

gusindor wrote:But muscle fluid isn't used as fuel, it's used for hydraulics. And I know that if the logic gets too solid all the coolness drains away, but it seems like going into battle with a vehicle whose muscles explode is a really bad idea.

I don't know how to explain the way mechs literally explode in shows like Votoms if the muscle fluid isn't in some way explosive. It may not match the "realism" factor all that well, but it seems to me to match the fiction pretty solidly.
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Ryujin » Wed May 22, 2013 11:07 pm

Dukayn wrote:
gusindor wrote:going into battle with a vehicle whose muscles explode is a really bad idea.

I would argue that going into battle with a vehicle whose anything might explode is a really bad idea. But then we're back at bear cavalry :P


On a somewhat related note, IRL, the fluid used for an AFV's hydraulics is quite volatile & flammable--moreso since it's being pumped at high pressure which tends to spurt out of a cracked hydraulic fluid line as a fine mist. In other words, it becomes a Molotov, or worse, a fuel-air explosive the moment a hot piece of shrapnel comes into contact with it.

This apparently contributed significantly to the IDF's heavy M60 losses during Yom Kippur '73, and is one of the main reasons why the Leopard 2 is being converted to an all-electrical system for its turret (and why the US has been developing & using less flammable alternatives for its own AFV's--even then, there are still incidents of non-combat fires involving hydraulic fluid).

Incidentally, I remember reading that a lot of WW1 fighter pilots had a great fear of dying by immolation, which was a pretty common way to go in a time with no armour or self-sealing fuel tanks. But they fought & flew, nevertheless.
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Dukayn » Thu May 23, 2013 2:12 am

Not to mention the Japanese "Betty" bomber in WW2.

Wikipedia wrote:several weight-saving measures were incorporated into the design, such as dispensing with self-sealing fuel tanks and armor, which caused Allied fighter pilots to give it derisive nicknames such as "the one-shot lighter", "the flying Zippo" and "the flying cigar" because of their tendency to explode or catch on fire from any slight damage to the fuel tank wings after being hit by aerial machine gun fire or ground antiaircraft fire
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Soren » Thu May 23, 2013 6:51 am

In this thread we explain the concept of 'calculated risk'.
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Foghammer » Thu May 23, 2013 9:40 am

Soren wrote:In this thread we explain the concept of 'calculated risk'.

These forums really need a "vote up," or "like," or "+1," or some kind of "karma" system... God, I've been psychologically programmed by social media. Is that how transhumanization* starts?

* I made that word up, I think.
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Re: Transhumans

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Thu May 23, 2013 12:44 pm

Gusindor, keep in mind that they're not really hydraulic. Muscle cylinder fluid contracts and expands on its own according to electrical stimulus, and generates electrical stimulus when compressed or expanded, making the whole thing work as a nervous system. There are great benefits, so long as you don't get shot.

Seriously, they put this in front of you when you're traveling down the road at 70 mph.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... B4EA#t=51s

And this is the standard US assault weapon (warning: potty mouth language from a guy who seems to be a jerk to his friend):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... ejpI#t=29s

It's one thing to worry about what happens when you get shot. It's another to worry about what might happen every time you shoot. Presumably, you do the latter much more than you do the former.

As Soren says: calculated risk.
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