Dyson discussion forum
February 28, 2009, 02:20:30 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: SMF - Just Installed!
 
    Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 3
  Print  
Author Topic: Von Neumann machines, and oxygen  (Read 442 times)
Wogan May
Newbie
*
Posts: 52



View Profile WWW
« on: February 14, 2009, 01:24:20 AM »

Not to be a nitpicker, but:

Quote
Remotely command semi-autonomous self-replicating mining machines to take over an entire asteroid belt.

Dyson Trees are trees designed to grow in an anaerobic environment (ie, no oxygen), with the express purpose of producing said oxygen, which would theoretically collect in pockets, making asteroids and moons and planets livable.

What you've got in your summary there is a Von Neumann machine. In fact, you might even have picked it up from Arthur C. Clarke's Odyssey Two (2010), where Jupiter was supercondensed thanks to a fleet of semi-autonomous self-replicating mining machines that sucked up hydrogen, converted it to neutron matter, and dropped it to the gas giant's core, causing it to implode and ignite under the weight of it's newfound gravity.

While Freeman Dyson did theorise a self-replicating machine, it was a machine, and not a tree. The two are mutually exclusive.

Which brings me to my second point (sort of). In strategy games such as this, you generally have 3 classes of unit. Offensive, defensive, and resourcing. The former 2 have been largely nailed, but not the third.

Given that the original design of the Dyson Tree was to flourish on barren asteroids and produce oxygen, maybe you could find a way of working this into the game. If seedlings colonise asteroids, produce 3 types of tree (spawner, defense and miner), you could either use that oxygen to create a new type of attacker, or even better, feed it back to the asteroid to improve the Energy, Speed or Strength stats. Ie, pick one, it slowly increments over time.

And if you could move that captured oxygen between asteroids, you could, in time, convert a section of a belt to produce exactly the kind of seedlings you need.

Just a thought Smiley
Logged

A Dragon from yonder there...
http://woganmay.com
Candlejack
Newbie
*
Posts: 31


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2009, 03:33:49 AM »

I'm pretty sure Dyson was inspired by the concept, not built around it.
Logged
Wogan May
Newbie
*
Posts: 52



View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2009, 03:47:53 AM »

I'm pretty sure Dyson was inspired by the concept, not built around it.

I'm sure of that too, but there is a factual difference between the content of the game and the summary on the webpage - that's what I was pointing out. In a rather nitpicky way, I imagine.
Logged

A Dragon from yonder there...
http://woganmay.com
Alex
Administrator
Newbie
*****
Posts: 124


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 11:32:58 AM »

Yep, you're right, the game's built around the concepts of the Dyson tree, VN machines and astrochicken. Rudolf will be able to explain more, since he's the brains behind the setting. I wrote that description the day the website went up, maybe I should get Rudolf to write a clearer summary!
Logged
Rudolf
Administrator
Newbie
*****
Posts: 50


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 06:34:58 PM »

Yep, you're right, the game's built around the concepts of the Dyson tree, VN machines and astrochicken. Rudolf will be able to explain more, since he's the brains behind the setting. I wrote that description the day the website went up, maybe I should get Rudolf to write a clearer summary!

Its on my list :-)
The game elements yuu are discussing take elements form the mentioned sources (and some other ones like a Philip K Dick story I once read) and forges them into their own weird little interdependent sytem. It is not mean to accurately portray the science behind the ideas, but they do form the basis for engaging game concepts. I will update the game description soon though as their are oher discrepencies. We no longer solely focus on an asteroid belt for example. We have some additional features coming up that will make the game's underlying science feel a better fit btw.

And welcome to the forum Wogan!
Logged
crazeh.monkeh
Newbie
*
Posts: 48


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2009, 06:42:10 PM »

ermmm... Astrochicken? Do I want to know what that is? Lol.

Also, I think Wogan is my new pick for most valuable member (obviously not counting admins) right now.
Logged
Wogan May
Newbie
*
Posts: 52



View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2009, 07:03:35 PM »

I wrote that description the day the website went up, maybe I should get Rudolf to write a clearer summary!

Lol I know what that's like, needing to maintain little bits of static info everywhere Smiley

We no longer solely focus on an asteroid belt for example. We have some additional features coming up that will make the game's underlying science feel a better fit btw.

Cool - good to know. Weird little interdependent systems rock, btw SmileyJust don't go reading Rendesvous with Rama now ... lol

ermmm... Astrochicken? Do I want to know what that is? Lol.

Nothing sinister WinkBut possibly the best-named thing in this whole soup, lol.
Logged

A Dragon from yonder there...
http://woganmay.com
totally
Newbie
*
Posts: 19



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2009, 11:58:55 PM »

"Self replicating machine" and "living organism" are the same thing.

Dyson tree is the replicating part of the dyson spieces. (A more precise animation of the "planting of tree" is needed though. Like seedling gather on the surface of the asteroid and mate/mutate into tree.) In other words tree is the female part of the dyson spiece while seedling is the male. Seedlings apparently can change their sexes when needed -- like slugs or similar.


Also I think the food, different Tribes of seedlings compete after, is not oxygen but something that is in the cores of the asteroids.

Evolution is fun, isn't it?  Cheesy

Logged
Alex
Administrator
Newbie
*****
Posts: 124


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2009, 08:12:00 AM »

(A more precise animation of the "planting of tree" is needed though. Like seedling gather on the surface of the asteroid and mate/mutate into tree.)
We've got some severely awesome plans for this Smiley
Logged
Wogan May
Newbie
*
Posts: 52



View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2009, 02:00:14 PM »

"Self replicating machine" and "living organism" are the same thing.

Not quite. Organisms replicate, but generally it's sexual replication. Asexual replication (like mitosis) creates two identical copies from a single cell. So unless if you grow and divide down the middle every few months, producing two identical copies of yourself, you're not really self-replicating Wink
Logged

A Dragon from yonder there...
http://woganmay.com
totally
Newbie
*
Posts: 19



View Profile
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2009, 06:01:16 PM »

"Self replicating machine" and "living organism" are the same thing.

Not quite. Organisms replicate, but generally it's sexual replication. Asexual replication (like mitosis) creates two identical copies from a single cell. So unless if you grow and divide down the middle every few months, producing two identical copies of yourself, you're not really self-replicating Wink

True. Seedlings are very complex multicelled organisms which live in tribes, or colonies (which would indicate a very complex central nervous system), such complexity is never found in self-replicating organisms (two sexes are needed to sustain development). It could very well be that a tree itself is a female part of dyson.  So in a way the term "self-replicating" doesn't apply here. And it doesn't matter how you replicate SmileyIt is simply "replicating", but "self-replicating" sounds cooler Cheesy
Logged
Rudolf
Administrator
Newbie
*****
Posts: 50


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2009, 07:13:46 PM »

The self replication reference comes from the fact that the Seedlings and Dyson trees are artificial lifeforms. In the area of artificial life Self replication (and potentially "species" propagation) is a very important test to determine if true artificial life has been achieved.
The ability to independently reproduce and replicate enough biological data to creeate offspring being key here. For Dyson I just imagined a way this had been done successfully :-) (There are aspects of nanotechnology gone out of control in there as wel, partly inspired by some cyberpunk I read and partially by an old Philip Dick story about artificial entities locked in an endless war, and maintainig this status quo through mechanical self replication.

Yes I am a bit of a g33k ;-)
Logged
Wogan May
Newbie
*
Posts: 52



View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2009, 07:40:50 PM »

Geek? Lol, aren't we all.

It's just that there is a clearly-defined line between "self-replication" and "replication". If your trees, for instance, grew and split (at the root level), they would be self-replicating. Or if the seedlings swelled and split, that would also be self-replicating.

But planting a tree isn't true self-replication, and the trees don't really "mine", which was the point I originally made Wink
Logged

A Dragon from yonder there...
http://woganmay.com
crazeh.monkeh
Newbie
*
Posts: 48


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2009, 07:51:53 PM »

It does seem like the trees shouldn't really be considered "Self replicating"... they are more just reproducing, because they mutate and pick up some traits from their environment.

It is sort of like the trees are an alternate part of the seedlings life cycle. Like in how some species of amphibian spontaneously change gender in order to reproduce when they are under extreme stress, the Dyson seedlings bond together into a more complex tree structure in order to reproduce.

I'm sure I can find a better comparison than the frog species, but whatever. It's good enough.
Logged
totally
Newbie
*
Posts: 19



View Profile
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2009, 08:17:59 PM »

It does seem like the trees shouldn't really be considered "Self replicating"... they are more just reproducing, because they mutate and pick up some traits from their environment.

It is sort of like the trees are an alternate part of the seedlings life cycle. Like in how some species of amphibian spontaneously change gender in order to reproduce when they are under extreme stress, the Dyson seedlings bond together into a more complex tree structure in order to reproduce.


I'm sure I can find a better comparison than the frog species, but whatever. It's good enough.

Yeah, fully agree. Slugs and some frogs have the ability to change their sexes. Dyson tree is the mining/replicating part of the spieces (female), while seedlings are males.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQLPowered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.8 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0!Valid CSS!