personalspaceshow: lies: personalspaceshow: The real star of…




The real star of the show.

If I understand correctly, PS World is our world with the lone exception of spaceflight (which started a few decades earlier due to the pre-WWII defection to the U.S. of Werner von Braun) and a few associated technologies and societal developments (e.g., Reagan’s third term and colonies on the moon and Mars).

So ignoring narrative-conceit-hostile butterfly effects, things like Pokémon Go should exist in-world. (Except that the script was completed prior to the PGo singularity, so any incorporation of the game into the show would depend on last-minute rewrites/improv. But setting that aside.)

What would it be like for the newly revived Second Shift crew on Overture, seeing accounts from Earth of the latest craze? They wouldn’t have the hardware to run it, and wouldn’t have Pokestops or gyms if they did. Not being able to participate in the game would likely emphasize their feelings of separation, driving home the divergence of their stuck-in-1991 technological reality from that of Earth.

Things would only get worse for subsequent shifts, but Second Shift might be the one where the distance between their own memories and the increasingly alien (and multiple-light-years-distant) culture of Earth reaches the point where the crew has to confront the full extent of their isolation. FOMO is hard enough for Earthlings, but how would it feel to be committed to never experiencing the kind of connection afforded by augmented reality and a globally interconnected game, for people on a ginormous-but-tiny spaceship who decided at a young age to commit themselves to living out much of their lives in the company of exactly 3 other people?

I wonder: would they try to make some kind of simplified Pokémon game to play on the ship? Would they feel even sadder if they did? Seems like the kind of thing they might want to talk about to the therapy computer.

The Second Shift has some advantages over, say, the Twentieth. Their relatives are, largely, still alive, and the world at least resembles the one they grew up in. National borders are basically in the same places. The dominant cultures have only undergone one generation of shifting and churning. The biggest difference is the end of the Cold War. And with a ~1 month time lag one-way, regular communication is practical.

But to an extent, the similarity is a cold comfort. Things are still so different, and they are still separated by such time lag, that Earth may seem like an uncanny valley version of itself. Later shifts may actually have an easier time adjusting to a completely new world than the Second Shift has to one where everyone they loved is now old enough to be their parents.

They can’t play Pokemon Go – and probably wouldn’t even understand what it was – but they could console themselves by playing some Donkey Kong.

Thanks for the correction about the communication lag only being a month or so one-way. I’d somehow misremembered Overture’s cruising speed as 10% of the speed of light, meaning they’d be roughly 2.5 light-years away after 25 years. But since they actually travel at 1% of the speed of light they’d only be a tenth that distance. They’re not actually a quarter of a light-year from Earth, though, since they didn’t activate the Orion drive until they passed the orbit of Jupiter, which didn’t happen until well into the First Shift. So: they’re a light-month away.

Googling some of this information led me to this thread on Reddit. Can’t throw a rock around here without hitting someone wanting to fly an Orion-drive ship to a nearby exoplanet.

Reposted from

Tags: personal space show.

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