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55 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

I would guess that Han Solo's ship costs like all Boeing planes together.

So, he would work really hard to buy it. Unlikely one man can produce such value.

We’re talking about a setting where dirt-poor moisture farmers (Luke) and junk scavengers (Rey) can afford anti-gravity vehicles and sophisticated autonomous robots, or can build them from scratch from scavenged parts (Anakin).

I think that comparing the costs of present day vehicles to Star Wars vehicles is going to be an interesting exercise.

 

 

Edited by KSK
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1 hour ago, Okhin said:

there's a lot of money to be made running blockade.

If the blocked ones have enough money to make Falcons like sausages.

Total world:

GDP ~85 000 bln USD.

drug trade ~300 bln USD.
cigarettes trade, slave trade, cargo stealing, counterfeit trade ~30 bln USD each
stolen arts, rare animals and goods made out of them, stolen oil < 10 bln each.
criminal weapon trade - unknown

https://www.forbes.com/2010/06/04/biggest-illegal-businesses-business-crime.html?boxes=Homepagemostpopular#2648d34a5b98

So, compared to the official economics, the pure criminal one is just ~0.5% of total sum.

Unlikely whole Tatooine would buy a ship, but even if so, Han Solo would be just forced to join Jabba's gang, so anyway the Falcon would belong to the criminal syndicate where Jabba is a boss but not an owner.

35 minutes ago, KSK said:

We’re talking about a setting where dirt-poor moisture farmers (Luke) and junk scavengers (Rey) can afford anti-gravity vehicles and sophisticated autonomous robots, or can build them from scratch from scavenged parts (Anakin).

Unlikely even Jabba could collect the necessary sum, because he just takes some small part of the total product of the planet where they eat and dress like beggars.

So, to produce cheap falcons, they need highly automated industry which makes food and clothes production trivial and eliminates any sense in hiring the personnel, so the population can't get hired and paid and can't get that food and clothes in any way but free.

Say, currently we are very far from the Millenium Falcon creation, but alreade start awaiting the problems with the automation-caused unemployment, and growing from this idea of the basic income.

***

So, when just a ten of people in the world can own Millenium Falcon-class ships, it's not a question of money to have one, but a pure politics.
Does the club allow you to manage one of their ships or treats you as a danger? Does the club hire you as a manager to do this for a club member?
So, since the industry gets really automated, money just loose sense.
99% of people don't have them to buy, 1% of people don't have customers to sell.
So, the former become freeloaders, the latter play their games in the club with other rules than "give money and get the good".

Edited by kerbiloid
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Yeah well, Jabba owns the Millenium Falcon. Granted. Han Solo just stole it, that is why he has a bounty on his head and his trying to get out fast. Because getting involved with those rebels, for not a lot of creds, is usually what you do when you're just trying to have a little bit of cash out of a bad situation (running away), while making worse (being on the run from both Jabba and the Empire).

In the end, Han owns the Falcon.

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1 hour ago, kerbiloid said:

I would guess that Han Solo's ship costs like all Boeing planes together.

So, he would work really hard to buy it. Unlikely one man can produce such value.

In 1901, JP Morgan formed US Steel. He was almost certainly the richest man in the world. With all his money, he would not even have been able to buy a 20 minute flight in an airplane.

Today I can fly to Japan if I want to, for under $1000.

Things change. Obviously in the Star Wars universe, while not everybody owns a hyperspace-capable freighter, it's not so different from finding someone who owns his own private airplane or sailboat today. 

2 minutes ago, Okhin said:

Yeah well, Jabba owns the Millenium Falcon. Granted. Han Solo just stole it, that is why he has a bounty on his head and his trying to get out fast. Because getting involved with those rebels, for not a lot of creds, is usually what you do when you're just trying to have a little bit of cash out of a bad situation (running away), while making worse (being on the run from both Jabba and the Empire).

In the end, Han owns the Falcon.

No, that's not true. Solo originally won the Falcon from Lando Calrissian in some kind of gambling game. He owes Jabba money because he took a smuggling job for Jabba but dumped the cargo overboard when he got intercepted.

Edited by mikegarrison
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6 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

Today I can fly to Japan if I want to, for under $1000.

Do you own B-747? Or just rent a seat for 1000 USD per 10 h?

How many years does it take to buy a B-747 for your salary (i.e. kinda product)?

Edited by kerbiloid
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5 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

Did you miss the point completely? Seems like it.

JP could not rent a seat not because it was so expensive in sense of money, but because it was limited (= absent in this particular case).

The plane itself didn't cost so much, only the passenger's queue number.

Edited by kerbiloid
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15 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

No, that's not true. Solo originally won the Falcon from Lando Calrissian in some kind of gambling game. He owes Jabba money because he took a smuggling job for Jabba but dumped the cargo overboard when he got intercepted.

Oh, OK, thanks for correcting (I got lazy and did not ran too deep in SW lore). Anyway, point is : Han own the Falcon :p

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13 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

Do you own B-747? Or just rent a seat for 1000 USD per 10 h?

How many years does it take to buy a B-747 for your salary (i.e. kinda product)?

https://www.controller.com/listings/for-sale/boeing/747/jet-aircraft/3

That's expensive, but not THAT expensive. You have too make roughly 100k$ a month with your Boeing to stop loosing money with it, which seems doable. And, again, that's legitimate businesses, with low risk money being made (low risk in: you can loose your home, but no body parts).

https://commercial.apolloduck.com/boats-for-sale/commercial/cargo-ship

Freighters are even cheaper.

It's not for everyone, but someone with a bit of resources and clout, can probably have access to any of those. Or you can go for black market things.

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4 minutes ago, Okhin said:

You have too make roughly 100k$ a month with your Boeing

Where to get this money monthly to rent the Boeing when every 100k job is owned by robots?

Where to get the pax with at least 1k salary to pay for seat when the same?

So, both 100k/month sums (to rent the plane, and to gather from pax) become unavailable for a particular person once the jobs get automated.

Edited by kerbiloid
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3 hours ago, KSK said:

We’re talking about a setting where dirt-poor moisture farmers (Luke) and junk scavengers (Rey) can afford anti-gravity vehicles and sophisticated autonomous robots

Which could mean the setting is inconsistent (poor buying expensive stuff), or that your assumptions are wrong (what you're assuming to be expensive actually isn't).  It's also worth considering that mass production changes everything.  As does the size of the potential market - if there's a trillion dirt poor farmers (of whatever stripe) across the galaxy who want anti-gravity flivvers to get into town on Saturday nights, I suspect somebody is going to figure out how to fill that need.  And that's disregarding the secondary market...

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10 minutes ago, DerekL1963 said:

if there's a trillion dirt poor farmers (of whatever stripe) across the galaxy who want anti-gravity flivvers

then what will they pay with?

And if the flivvers are manufactured by droids, who needs those farmers at all? Throw them from the fields and send droids.

See google, "self-driving harvester".

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54 minutes ago, DerekL1963 said:

Which could mean the setting is inconsistent (poor buying expensive stuff), or that your assumptions are wrong (what you're assuming to be expensive actually isn't).  It's also worth considering that mass production changes everything.  As does the size of the potential market - if there's a trillion dirt poor farmers (of whatever stripe) across the galaxy who want anti-gravity flivvers to get into town on Saturday nights, I suspect somebody is going to figure out how to fill that need.  And that's disregarding the secondary market...

Or all of the above. Agreed.

And for all of those reasons, personal aircraft ownership on 21st century Earth doesn't seem like its going to tell you much about personal starship ownership in the Star Wars setting.

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6 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

This is a little over-simplified. Most science fiction starts from a premise that one or more theoretical or engineering obstacles have been overcome. Your example of "hard science fiction" includes stuff we certainly couldn't build today (most especially the ship they use to go back and forth to Mars). If the science gets too "hard", its not really SF anymore. A novel set in a university physics lab, for instance, isn't necessarily SF even if all the characters are scientists who are doing science.

Is a murder mystery which features a forensic anthropologist solving the mystery by examining a skeleton "hard science fiction"? What if it's written by an actual forensic anthropologist and references actual science as part of the plot? Most people would consider it very strange to find such a book sitting in the SF section of a bookstore or library, even though it could easily be argued that it was "very-hard science fiction".

TBH, given who I was talking to, talking about a continuum might be under-simplified. :) Also note, SF doesn't necessarily involve overcoming engineering, much less theoretical obstacles. In fact, in near-future hard SF, obstacles are usually economic and/or political. Planetes, for example, or Rocket Girls, both set in a future that Elon Musk is actively trying to bring about. Think about it: there's SF that one man (with a boatload of money, of course), within one lifetime, has a good shot at turning into reality. Admittedly, a lot of it is from the 60s, when scientific accuracy was more in vogue and the Space Race was there to inspire people, but it's not like there's been a revolution in spaceflight since then (other than the one already in progress, that is). The ship from The Martian couldn't be built today (although the most speculative thing about it is the VASIMR), but it's similar to any number of more or less serious NASA proposals, meaning that if we wanted to commit to one of those, it could probably be built.

In the latter case, it could be a murder mystery, or, if he uses some techniques and instruments not yet in use (but which are nonetheless plausible), or if the world itself is just a bit more advanced than ours, it could be another genre - futurology. This is basically what "very hard science fiction" is, often making an actual, serious attempt at predicting the future. You can find SF which, save for a few advances in one field (often in medicine), are set in the real world.

BTW, Slanislav Lem, famous for his SF stories, wrote some psychological/historical novels (most famously, Hospital of Transfiguration) which routinely end up on the SF shelf just because of the author. So in practice, it seems to boil down to which genre the author is best known for. :) As a matter of fact, Lem wrote a few things that'd probably fit better with mystery than SF.

6 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

I give you: fishing boats. Often owned by an owner/captain.

Likewise, pilot/owners of airplanes are quite common, but these are usually small planes. The thing is, the bigger and more expensive a plane or a boat gets, the less likely it is that it can be owned for personal use. There are people who personally own large airplanes, but these tend to be the kind of people who rule whole countries or otherwise have a *lot* of money.

In days gone by it was a lot more common for an individual to buy a ship or a plane and operate it. Hire and crew and go out whaling, for instance. Or get an airmail contract. Or hire it out as a charter service.

If space ships were cheap enough (relative to the general economy), this could be possible. 

The point was, none of those are really capable of doing significant damage. Mind, the discussion was about ships with drives that could cause serious damage to planets. A fishing boat isn't really much of a threat, and neither is a small airplane (there'd been some crazies who flown them into buildings, generally without causing catastrophic damage). Owning large airplanes is not common enough to explicitly regulate, and if someone does own one, that person is probably rich enough to pay off any damage it might cause, anyway, even if it involves collapsing a skyscrapper (although that would likely put a dent in their checkbooks, except for those who run entire countries). 

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1 minute ago, Dragon01 said:

TBH, given who I was talking to, talking about a continuum might be under-simplified. :) Also note, SF doesn't necessarily involve overcoming engineering, much less theoretical obstacles. In fact, in near-future hard SF, obstacles are usually economic and/or political.


I've heard it said that the best SF is about people - the technology is just the background that enables the story which may or may not play a actual role in the story.  Consider Clarke's Imperial Earth, cloning and the Asymptotic Drive power the story, but ultimately it's about neither.

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Yes, but that could be said of other genres, as well. All good stories are really about people, but this is true regardless of whether you're writing SF, thrillers or lit fic. As such, this is not very useful for creating any sort of genre taxonomy.

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1 minute ago, DerekL1963 said:


I've heard it said that the best SF is about people - the technology is just the background that enables the story which may or may not play a actual role in the story.  Consider Clarke's Imperial Earth, cloning and the Asymptotic Drive power the story, but ultimately it's about neither.

Most SF stories are actually very political. There's some revolution or war or similar thing going on. Or the author is trying to convince us that some political system is a dystopia or a utopia. Dune, for instance starts out with Paul's father being maneuvered away from his secure situation to what in theory was a better fiefdom but in practice was actually a political trap. The emperor secretly helps destroy him, but Paul and Jessica escape and become politically powerful among the Fremen, and the climax of the novel is when Paul forces the emperor to allow him to marry the emperors daughter and become the new emperor. It's all politics.

The Martian is pretty atypical in that regard, and yet there was still a subplot about the politics going on back at NASA.

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That's because in SF, it's easy to do politics without stirring up a huge controversy. Most politicians are too dimwitted to understand it. :) Not to mention, straight-up political treatises tend to be boring to read. When you think about it, politics are in large part about telling stories, and when intelligent people think about them, they tend to put it into a story, because it fits together really neatly. You can get a lot of interpersonal conflict at high stakes with that, which is another reason authors sooner or later go into that.

That, and you get to explore speculative political systems that were never implemented in practice, which can by itself be fun. Notice that the more far-fetched the setting, the more the politics get explored. The Martian didn't really have much to do with that (although it's a nice respite from the dog-eat-dog situation in the real world), but something like Dune or Hyperion Cantos have a lot of room to create something original. I can tell you that constructing a realistic political system, complete with historical ballast, social issues, founding ideas and politicians to pervert those ideas for personal gain, is a really fun exercise. :) 

I wouldn't say "most SF", though. Philip K. Dick, for instance, didn't usually go into that. Lem rarely did, except when venturing into satire (indeed, Soviet Block writers had to be very careful around anything remotely political, SF or not). There might be a tendency of American writers might tend towards that, and space opera certainly lends itself to it (being epic in scale, it's hard not to have a war or rebellion), but I don't think this really accounts for the majority of works in the genre.

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The more virtual/augmented reality is brought into real life, and the more abstract become the human's actions become (tap and swipe instead of push and pull), the less technical will be getting the sci-fi.

Can we actually compare Expanse and dieselpunk/atompunk sci-fi as sci-fi?

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On 9/29/2020 at 9:02 AM, kerbiloid said:

I would guess that Han Solo's ship costs like all Boeing planes together.

So, he would work really hard to buy it. Unlikely one man can produce such value.

Did you just suggest we apply logic to Star Wars?

On 9/29/2020 at 9:02 AM, kerbiloid said:

I would guess that Han Solo's ship costs like all Boeing planes together.

So, he would work really hard to buy it. Unlikely one man can produce such value.

Two words: real wages.

On 9/29/2020 at 3:23 PM, DerekL1963 said:

I've heard it said that the best SF is about people - the technology is just the background that enables the story which may or may not play a actual role in the story.

Absolutely! Other genres don't have this problem (the nearest would be fantasy) but sci-fi authors tend to write stories that would be considered poor or even awful if they were adapted to an...atechnological setting. I have yet to see a really truly good sci-fi story; compared with the classics I've read so far, none of them are up to par.

 

Also, I propose a solution to the genre problem of in-between, boundary-skirting works. Call it all "SF".

On 9/29/2020 at 1:47 PM, DerekL1963 said:

Which could mean the setting is inconsistent (poor buying expensive stuff), or that your assumptions are wrong (what you're assuming to be expensive actually isn't).  It's also worth considering that mass production changes everything.  As does the size of the potential market - if there's a trillion dirt poor farmers (of whatever stripe) across the galaxy who want anti-gravity flivvers to get into town on Saturday nights, I suspect somebody is going to figure out how to fill that need.  And that's disregarding the secondary market...

Yeah, automation of labor raises real wages. The problem with SW is that we don't see much automation; most jobs we see in the franchise are jobs people do today. Notable exception: Baby-Snatching Space Wizard.

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14 minutes ago, SOXBLOX said:

The problem with SW is that we don't see much automation; most jobs we see in the franchise are jobs people do today.

And that's the answer to the

14 minutes ago, SOXBLOX said:

Did you just suggest we apply logic to Star Wars?

 

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1 hour ago, SOXBLOX said:

The problem with SW is that we don't see much automation; most jobs we see in the franchise are jobs people do today. 

Actually, we do see automation, remember the droid factory in Attack of the Clones? All completely automated, not a single living person in sight. Not to mention, droids. Rebels even has them flying passenger shuttles.

The jobs that we see are jobs people do today, because those people are poor, and come from worlds that are poor, too. SW gives far more screentime to the destitute and downtrodden than it does to the fat cats. Heavy industrial operations are seldom seen, and when they are, they're invariably chock-full of droids.

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