1. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    Inter-galactic government?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by BoddaGetta, Jul 6, 2011.

    In my science fiction novel there is one, loosely connected government that controls certain aspects of the galaxy. It is inter-system and inter-species in its makeup and who it governs.

    The thing is, outside organizations are very influential on officials in the government; part of the reason for the sub-plot political discourse that occurs in the background of the main action. What sort of government would this be most effective in? I don't want to go with empire/totalitarian because that reeks of "evil" to most audiences, and would ring a bell of alarm to anyone. I don't really want to go with a republic, because that's what most science fiction series use, and the political controversy isn't the main focus of the story. It has minor involvement with the plot, though.

    I was thinking a confederacy/commonwealth. It would make sense, and help with things on a distance scale since star systems or planets can have some power over themselves. But I don't want it to the degree of each planet being separate from each other, politically speaking. In a commonwealth, don't the states make a majority of their own rules, but there are a few federal rules they accept as well? Is the power states>federal instead of the normal USA federal>states?

    Some good resources on the types of governments would be welcomed...Google isn't helping me much, except if I'm searching for a specific type. I want a link to somewhere that explains all types of governing bodies.
     
  2. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    That does actually sound like a confederation to me. Perusing its respective wikipedia article seems to suggest as much, at least insofar as being loosely connected, only controlling certain aspects, other non-governmental organizations being influential, etc. I could be wrong - political science can be pretty muddy - but that's what comes to mind. Good luck.
     
  3. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    This is why I'm in veterinary school. I blanch when my best friend mentions her political science curriculum. I cannot stand politics, though I'm sure it's fascinating.
     
  4. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    Wait it only has power in the Milky Way? Then why is it intergalactic?
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Unless you have instantaneous communication, a galactic or intergalactic government is virtually impossible. Even an interstellar government is unworkable.

    But before you jump all over hyperwave communications, you should know that Einsteinian Relativity makes it impossible to even determine simultaneous events. It all depends on your reference frame and the distance between the two events.
     
  6. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    I guess it would be intragalactic or inner-galactic...?At least I never use that vocab in my novel.

    I was going for more of a medium-soft sci-fi rather than a hard science fiction. I don't want to go into explanations of all of that, though I guess I have some idea of how I'd make it work with the novel's MacGuffin, one of which manipulates gravity.

    Could having total control over gravity somehow enhance the movements of certain communication waves, or encoded data? There is the ability to make wormholes, which if I understand can have instant movement of matter [at least according to pseudo/theoretical physics] through them. Why couldn't one be used as a way to transport data?

    I dunno, part of the politics aspect of the book is that the government is in chaos and cannot really control what's going on within the galaxy. They are trying to cling to more power, thinking it'll make it more routine and controlled, when in fact they are just making things worse.
     
  7. PeterC
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    PeterC Active Member

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    If one supposes faster than light communications, then one is also supposing that Einstein's physics isn't the whole story. It's standard in science fiction to assume that faster than light travel and faster than light communications exist.

    I think it's interesting to consider the possibility of FTL travel without FTL communications. In such a world people would have to employ "transport pods," or something similar, to send messages between the stars using the FTL travel technology. It would be the same situation that existed on Earth before electronic communications and would form an interesting contrast with an otherwise futuristic setting.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It is standard mostly because it makes for easier writing. It's true that Einsteinien physics os not the entire story, but asking the question leads to other potentially interesting scenarios.

    For example, if you let simultanaity tobe indeterminate in accordance with Einstein's General Relativity, then you could have multiple communication paths that in some cases could lead to responses arriving before the initial communication (but probably never to the originator of the signal chain. If A sends to B and C, and B replies to A and C, C might receive B's answer before A's question, even though A recieved B's answer immeidately after sending the question).

    The short cut is not always the most interesting route.
     
  9. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    That does sound really interesting. The only thing is, a couple of people have expressed interest in reading my work, and I don't want to delve too deep into gritty Physics. I just got over the PTSD that results Physics II, in which we discussed simple things about relativity. Such as time in space verses time on Earth and other bodies in space. We never really elaborated because my instructor was enamored with magnetics, which we were stuck on for almost 2 months out of the whole semester.

    I think I'm keeping communications simpler due to my worry of screwing up the true theories in Physics. I don't want to state something that's not true, and then have a person descend on me in wrath that knows better. I know that I dislike it when I read something I know is incorrect in real life.

    Mainly I'm being lazy because I've already done so much research for plot-relevant things to my story, like dark energy/matter, quantum [ugh...I still don't understand that and have had multiple university classes going over it. But I have the BARE basics down...I think. Ha.]. Cogito's theory about B getting C's answer before A even sends the message is quite interesting. Guess I could throw in some "wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey, spacy-wacy."
     
  10. Islander
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    Or put another way: if you invent faster-than-light travel, you'll simultaneously have invented a way to travel backwards in time.

    For example, if you have a system of wormholes (like a subway network), and the wormholes are moving at high speeds relative to each other, making a round-trip should cause you to travel backwards or forwards in time.

    Since most authors just want a way to quickly get to the other side of the galaxy without the complications of time travel, they tend to ignore those implications. Truth is stranger than fiction...
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes and no. I would almost guarantee that any closed loop communication would not be able to reverse the order of a local cause and a local effect. This is common behavior for line integrals of closed curves in real world physics.

    But it still can lead to interesting story scenarios. Still, creating rules for your universe can't be completely arbitrary. The more you, as a writer, know about real science and mathematics, the more likely your universe's rules will remain plausible.

    I can guarantee that if your science fiction story gains wide appeal, some very smart geeks from places like Berkely and MIT will rub their hands together in glee, push their coke-bottle glasses up, and start poking holes in your science. And that is actually a good thing. Their ideas will also make good stories.

    And maybe, just maybe, some young Stephen Hawking will start playing with some of the equations and come up with new and radical theories.
     
  12. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    Just out of interest, is there any plausible way for inter-planetary system communication, in your opinion?

    Also, I'm not exactly an MIT physics PhD student, so I really don't care if picky students find holes in my "science," if I choose to publish anyway. I find that a lot of these wormhole theories are pseudo-science at best, seeing as they don't fit all testable steps of the Scientific Method, and therefore are theories rather than experimentally provable facts. Perhaps my bias arises from me being a biology student ;)

    Besides, this is fun for me to write. I don't want it to be overly laborious in research in that it feels I'm writing a term research paper, rather than a character-driven soft/medium science fiction story. Perhaps I'm being absurd in writing a character oriented sci-fi, rather than a plot oriented one.
     

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