First Factor

There are those who have commented extensively on the military advantages, when considering the rise of the Empire, of highly disciplined legionaries able to cast obstacles aside or strike down enemies with lightning, all through force of will.

Far fewer have considered the greater advantage, in economic terms, of the humble farmer who, from his hilltop, may plough and seed a hundred furrows with a gesture.

“From the Mud to the Stars: An Agricultural History”, Ailil Ophris-ith-Ophris

Notable Replies

  1. Do eldrae kinesis effectors draw power from the user’s body or some other Precursor-tech source? If the former the farmer must be utterly exhausted after ploughing a hundred furrows.

  2. Avatar for avatar avatar says:

    In the simplest mode of operation, the body. But that’s just the simplest mode.

    Skilled psychokinetics study the gentle art of redirecting energy, so you can use an external source of kinetic energy to power whatever you’re doing. This is still tiring (even in the most efficient theoretical case, you’d still have to use energy to dump the waste heat), but it’s a lot less tiring, and professionals get very, very good at it.

  3. Since we’re on the topic of vector control I figured I might as well start using my patron questions and ask about a couple things I’ve been wondering about.

    1. Where the first vector control devices biological? Modern ones seem to be completely synthetic but did the early eldrae wait until the properly understood the scientific principles behind it before utilizing it or did they exploit the adaptability shown in “Fetch!” and inject syringes full of kinesis effectors into animals and/or vat-grown blobs of cells permeated with nerves and order them around to get biotech vector control devices?

    2. When the eldrae finally did figure out vector control for themselves did they discover the underlying principles on their own or did they learn it by studying Precursor kinesis effectors? Essentially was eldrae vector control technology invented or reverse engineered.

  4. Avatar for avatar avatar says:
    1. That adaptability is limited inasmuch as the Precursor widgets are designed to read your kinesthetics and interpret your thoughts to figure out what they’re supposed to do; i.e., they’re an artifact of some pretty effective sophotechnology. You can’t get anything out of 'em short of putting them in something that can think pretty well, and things that think sufficiently well by and large can no longer be classified as devices.

    Sure, they took full advantage of their usability by their junior canid partners (and accepted the attached price that counter-surfing was not going to be solvable any time soon [1]), but that’s not the same thing by a long chalk.

    1. Bit of both, really. Studying them directly, no help there for a long time, because of the problems inherent in such gratuitous cross-time teching; i.e., hand a Victorian scientist a smartphone, he’s not going to figure out more than that the magic rocks are obviously important somehow, but. You have to figure out almost all of the theory before the practice makes any damn sense.

    On the other hand, knowing that it can be done does help in defining the problem and what conclusions are obviously false ab initio.

    [1] And the odd Constabulary officer who figures out tractor beams and decides that he’s the Mother-Fucking Batdog.

  5. Gems like these are why I frequent the Discourse group

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