BayCon 2006, Update 1
BayCon 2006 is running full steam. Here are a few of the highlights for day one.
The Economics of Interstellar War was a science panel/discussion on how feasible galactic warfare is. On the panel were Jerry Pournelle and David Freidman with Philip Gust moderating.
The first question was: Is Interstellar War economically feasible? The discussion focused on the limitations of relativity and a society being able to reach around .9 * the speed of light, rather than considering frequently used SF concepts such as warp speed or hyperspace, or even FTL.
Freidman seemed to believe that such wars be would be information wars, and interstellar economics would be based around information as shipping cargo would be prohibitively expense.
Pournelle pointed out that most naval battles in history took place as there were limited routes that ships could take to get from point A and point B, thus limiting where ships would be, and make it possible to find out where you enemy is. C.S. Forrester understood this when writing the Hornblower novels. Once a ship is out of site, it’s very difficult to find it.
Modern technology has, of course changed the nature of naval warfare with the use of satellites and such. However, in an interstellar setting, such technologies don’t exist, meaning you would look for you enemy’s ships at places they are defending. Like historical naval battles, where nearly all such battles took place in sight of land, interstellar battles would most likely take place in sight of planetary colonies.
Pournelle also pointed out that it is more likely that would sling large asteroids at near light speed at planets, or more likely at the star in order be rid of the whole problem.
Another point made in the discussion is that a space faring society sending out colony ships are sending them out on a one-way ticket, thus they would be going out prepared for doing conquest, thus forming a basis for a type of interstellar war.
Interesting discussion and a darn good panel to start of the weekend.
This was followed up by a presentation by Mike Sarkisian on preparing a survival kit that can get you through the 72-hour period after a disaster, be it an earthquake, hurricane, or tsunami.
The main thrust of the presentation was to make it modular and multi-level. By this, Mike meant that the smallest survival kit should be able to keep you going and fit in one of those oversized cargo-pant pockets. Then you “level” up to a moderately larger kit, with redundancy built in, and progress up through several levels, building up on the base component until you have a backpack sized kit.
An additional point is to try out everything. The worst time to find out you can’t get something to work is when you need it.
A flyer was also provided with the websites of a number of companies that are reliable suppliers of survival gear and several recommended books.
Excellent presentation, full of information that everyone should have.
Later in the evening, after party time began, the Clan MacDude held it’s annual Bonny Knees competition. This year’s judges where Johanna, Radar, and Jade. Catnip MacDude ran the event. As it was a bit chilly, and little Anna was a bit fussy (she is eight months old, so she is allowed to be fussy), we didn’t stay for the whole event. I did learn that contestant number six (whoever that is) won the event.
Parties were good, with the Klingon Bar being one of the most popular.
The BayCon report stated that memberships at 3PM had reached 1507.
It’s now a new day. Look for the next installment tomorrow morning, including a Cassini update.