Question: Technological Development

Another question to answer:

And finally, how much far advanced Imperial science/technology compared with other Presidium Powers?

Well, now, that’s a complicated question, covering a whole lot of different fields and people and… yeah. I probably can’t give you a full answer, but let’s see what I can say (with the additional caveat that this is the publically-known *there* view).

The Empire, by and large, does lead the edge of advancement for several reasons, including but not limited to (a) being ideologically and personally inclined to push the edge of progress For Science!; (b) being entirely comfortable with buying, imitating, etc., good ideas other people have for their own use, unlike more xenophobic cultures which often seem to reject ideas just because someone else thought of them first; and (c) being very flexible in using new technologies (the economy is laissez-faire, the ethical standards don’t wibble about much beyond informed consent, and so forth)…

…but it’s not nearly as far ahead as it might be, because the Empire’s set-up is diametrically opposed to keeping such things secret. Even if its governance could get away with imposing the sort of controls needed to keep technological secrets out of other people’s hands, which it couldn’t, it knows perfectly well that security by obscurity never works in the long term, that keeping technological secrets reduces the total amount of innovation you have to draw on, and, for that matter, that keeping other people mired in primitivism for your own advantage is, well, remarkably morally ugly.

(In relative terms, that is. An Imperial would point out that by giving up the opportunity to be further ahead in relative terms, they’ve actually made more progress in absolute terms.)

Specifically of the Presidium powers, the Photonic Network trails a short distance behind the Empire, and may actually be ahead in certain areas: the difference often isn’t much, because they have similarly sensible policies and are very good at information-sharing. The others make up a clump a little further back, with the League of Meridian bringing up the rear of that clump because their voters often issue knee-jerk moral-panic bans due to what amounts to squickedness; often they get over it when they see that other people have been able to use such technologies without causing whatever it was that squicked them, but the tendency is enough to notably slow the rate of adoption.

(Such is as expected, really: the Ephemeral Worlds, Rejectionists, and people whose planetary economies can’t support high technologies have other reasons to explain why they can’t make it into the Great Power club.)

5 thoughts on “Question: Technological Development

  1. Thank you great, great answer! So technology gap is not as wide as what I had thought – however, that is typical Imperial approach to stuffs. So libertarian. So laissez-faire. So no matter at all. And for the Photonic Network, yes, as expected, they are very advanced and closely following-up second to the Empire(I think biological civilization more advanced than machine one is a fascinating concept, to say the least).

    The third is…probably Under-Blue-Star-League, I presume? They seem like totally liberal, free-thinking, research-oriented, possibly one of the most progressive civilization in this universe – at least before their decline(likely caused by internal conflict ultimately evolved to full-fledged civil war – or directly caused by social unrest?).

    They are even using technological development as an important tool of social bonding(clannish scientific confederation=ingeniously awesome!) and still considered as one of the three Core Market Economy.

    May spark of genius will always be with you.

  2. In fact, considering everything, I fully expect CWE would boast the third-best technology. UBSL might haven been a close third, but their star has waned for a long time, and currently it is incapable of rivaling other Great Powers in any sphere.

    Really, how far advanced CWE? Do Echelons have comparable, or even superior, technology with the Empire, at least in certain areas, such as military or mass fabrication?

    • Once again, I invoke authorial privilege when it comes to reserving information against appropriate timing and better ideas coming along, but I’ll throw you a bone:

      The waserai are unquestionably the second-ranked military power of the Associated Worlds, and can be considered tech-equivalent with the Empire in conventional weapons/military technologies. (There are even ongoing joint development programs.)

      …the same doesn’t apply to unconventional weapons, due to a certain conservative streak when it comes to mad scientists enthusiastic about hard-wiring their brains to moon-sized supercomputers.

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