High Tech vs. the Orb

Howard Brazee howard at brazee.net
Wed Jan 18 08:02:22 PST 2006

Maximilian Wilson wrote:

>I'd actually argue that radio combined with modern technology is far
>superior to psionic communication. For one thing, psionic
>communication is only possible with those you know well; this results
>in big, centralized networks that less robust to point-failure.
>Secondly, radio can be processed by computers instead of human brains.
>Things like real-time-updated battle maps are only feasible with
>computer processing; I'm not a general so I don't know exactly how
>important this is, but it's certainly better than psi. ObSF: read
>David Drake's stories to get an old soldier's opinion of what a really
>good AI could do in battle. /Northworld/ is a good one.

I found Drake's RCN series much more fun.   And it works better in this 
discussion because it is a tribute to f Patrick O'Brian's 
*Aubrey*/Maturin books, only with space ships.    One of the two main 
characters, Adele Mundy, is a spinster librarian who does wonderful 
things with here computers gives her team a decided edge in their battles.

Technologies are tools to an end.   The various types of magic we see 
are various technologies - smart warriors and traders will use whichever 
tools give them an edge.   All of those tools have their advantages.