Monday, 17 October 2016

The Beginning Of Technic Civilization

Not listed in the Chronology of Technic Civilization:

The O'Neill colonies, including Hiawatha and Minnehaha, are constructed in the Lagrangian points sixty degrees before and behind the Moon. They are the first human dwellings in space and the site of new industries. The consequent revival of free enterprise combined with the alloying of Terrestrial societies generates the new Technic civilization. It must be at this time that English, incorporating many loan words from other languages, is transformed into Anglic, which will eventually become a dead language although not until much later in the History.

Hyperdrive makes the O'Neill colonies obsolete although Hiawatha and Minnehaha are still populated when the Polesotechnic League holds its turning-point Council of Hiawatha which will have to be the subject of another post.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Yes, that makes sense, dating the more or less definitive beginnings of Technic Civlization to the building of the O'Neill colonies and the changing of English into Anglic. Perhaps around AD 2050 to 2100 (with the hyperdrive being invented around the latter year)?

And I wish we were already building O'Neill colonies! I still have my copy of O'Neill's book describing and advocating such things.


David Birr said...

I'm not altogether certain WHY hyperdrive would make O'Neill colonies obsolete. Certainly they'd be less needed as living space if there were planets to colonize. However, once you're down on a planet's surface, you've got a gravity well to climb out of before you can go anywhere ELSE.

Also, extraterrestrial biospheres aren't, realistically, all that likely to be compatible for human life. And suppose a system lacks useful planets but there IS need for a Terran presence for some reason -- shipping transfers, pickets against hostile incursion, etc.

Bottom line, I still see at least SOME need for O'Neill colonies, Stanford Tori, or other designs.

Paul Shackley said...

I am quoting Anderson on that score (RISE OF THE TERRAN EMPIRE, p. 139) and he is referring to the colonies in Earth orbit, not to such colonies in general.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

I think you made some good points on why O'Neill colonies could still be useful. But, I still think that for truly LONG lasting off Earth colonies you will need planets. Nor did Poul Anderson say that all that MANY extra-Solar planets will be all that terrestroid. Some of the human colonies we see in his Technic History stories are definitely marginal: such as Aeneas and Altai.

But, O'Neill colonies should still be useful in systems used only for mining valuable minerals or as military outposts.