The Expanse Season 3

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by B.J., Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, that was wonderfully done, wasn't it? It made the medical bay scenes all the more frustrating, with people leaning on each other, sitting down, lying down... OY!
     
  2. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, that was a dud of an episode. Got tired of watching Drummer and XO being trapped. Tired of an unconscious Holden. Tired of dead and injured people floating. Tired of the bickering marines. This episode and the previous episode could have easily been combined into a single episode and not lose anything important.

    Hopefully they can pick up the pace for the final two episodes!
     
  3. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    maybe it was padding out of necessity - they had to make 13 eps but also wanted the season to finish at particular point. Don't know if they could have added more from the books earlier in the season but then you could run into problems down the track with your finishing point.
     
  4. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That could well be. However, you'd think there'd be something more interesting they could add. I mean, we're in this fantastic structure and ring space, but instead of that we're looking at two people stuck by a machine, bickering, etc. But, it's been a great season overall. Just a bit of a slow down before the finale.
     
  5. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I swear Drummer's eye makeup was smudged at one point and then got better and yet I'm not even sure that would be a blooper. :)
     
  6. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This episode probably did the best job with Ashford yet, he actually came off as a somewhat interesting character rather than a clichéd shit-stirrer. It's kind of ironic that even though he had nothing to do with Drummer's situation, I'm sure Drummer's loyalists at the moment are finding it very convenient that she has a potentially fatal injury while saving his life.

    I noticed when Melba/Clarissa was looking at the computer screen displaying all the ship positions, Rocinante is listed as "CIV Rocinante." What does CIV mean?
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Civilian?
     
  8. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Civ would probably be civilian as opposed to the M.C.R.N (Mars military) and U.N.N (Earth military)
     
  9. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Commodore Commodore

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    I liked Ashford's actions during this episode. But i think he is more suitable for being an antagonist . Melba aka Clarissa Mao will need to talk things over with Holden and his crew.

    Nice to see Belters, Martians and Earthers coming together during a crisis after being at each other's throat for so long.

    Looking forward to the season finale.
     
  10. NoGrave Dug

    NoGrave Dug Admiral Admiral

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    Boo! ;)

    The astronauts in the ISS have Velcro strips or foot 'loops' they sometimes use to anchor their feet; so it's not that a magnetic boot would be useful. In general the entire ISS enviroment is not designed for any sort of thrust/acceleration; so in comparing it to supposed space faring vessels that:

    - Are designed to use engines for acceleration/deceleration.
    - Are designed with larger access spaces.
    ^^^
    Which we haven't yet really constructed or even really designed yet - who knows what the requirements might be or if actual magnetic (or other footwear that allows you to be 'planted' in a spot in Zero Gee will ultimately prove useful or desirable. Hell, we haven't designed a space suit yet that can be fully put on single-handedly yet.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I've said, we already know from buses, subways, trains, etc. that handholds or straps around the upper torso are a better way of coping with thrust and acceleration than footholds. It's a simple matter of leverage. If the fulcrum at which your body is anchored is the farthest possible point from your head, that maximizes the velocity and force with which your head will smash into anything it gets swung against. So it makes more sense to anchor yourself near the top of your body than the bottom.


    Which would obviously be a stupid thing to do if you're designing for free fall. One of the most basic rules for design in that environment would be to make sure there's always a handgrip close enough to reach. There would be no sense in ignoring that basic principle of functional design, any more than there'd be any sense in designing a staircase where the stairs were 10 feet apart. If there were a need for a space with widely separated walls, then there should be some kind of cables or stanchions running through it to provide handholds so nobody gets stranded.

    Alternatively, you could design some kind of small, portable air thruster, some sort of powerful mini-fan or compressed-air jet emitter, that everyone could carry in their pockets or clip to their belts and use to thrust themselves through a large open space, at least enough to drift toward the nearest wall. Better to design something that suits the new environment rather than trying to force the environment to behave like the one you're used to.

    I can think of another option, though. Back in college physics courses, when I went for a tour of the university's clean rooms, I was fascinated by the laminar air flow that blew continuously from ceiling to floor to push dust and contaminants out of the air. Since it was laminar and turbulence-free, you couldn't even feel it, but it was always there. Ever since, I've thought that would be a great idea in a free-fall environment -- a continuous laminar air flow toward whatever surface was designated the "floor" would keep the air clear of dust, dirt, spilled liquids, stray hairs, loose papers, etc. (I thought of this idea when I saw them vacuuming up the blood drops in this episode.) It might even be sufficient to very gently and slowly nudge a human body toward the "floor" if they got stuck in midair, though the air flow might not work as well in a volume large enough for that to happen.
     
  12. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Handholds are not useful if you want to use your hands for something in that moment. Even if you don't, you'd probably want matching footholds – if you've watched videos of the ISS, you'd know astronauts already use the handholds with their feet. Because feet can't grip though, when there's acceleration, you'd have to anchor them in some other way, whether it is velcro or magnetism. Magnetism has the added advantage that it can be controlled electronically, so your footgrip can be made intuitive using a smart circuit to activate it. You can use fake-grip toe gestures to grip and ungrip, i.e. activate magnet and deactivate. Or even simpler, if it detects your muscles trying to lift your feet or put them down. I'm not sure why they click their heels together on The Expanse, though – I'm never paying too much attention when that happens, does it activate the magboots, or some body thrusters? It seems too cumbersome for the former, and I think everyone knows its the gesture for activating the teleport.

    As for straps around upper torso, that wouldn't work unless you're strapped in a seat, which is extremely limiting to what you can do (although it does free your hands), or you choose to ‘lie down’ (in the acceleration sense). Since your acceleration would be mainly vertical, not lateral, if you're not in a seat you need straps around your shoulders and the groin area. Straps around your body do very little to prevent you from moving up and down. If skydived with just that, you'd be dead within a minute. Now, if Skylab II astronauts hated having to clamp themselves to the ‘floor’, imagine how much would astronauts hate it to install three separate sets of belts where a single gesture to the magboots and one belt could do.

    Now that I think about it, it's surprising that they lack mag grips on other parts of their body, particularly the back and buttocks. Although I'd probably want some in my arms too, which seems odd, but not if you want to keep holding your iPhone.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, exactly. You're making my case for me. You don't need magnetic boots to secure your feet, because you can just stick your foot into a handhold loop or around a stanchion. There's already a superior option for securing your feet if that's what you need to do -- superior because you can use it just as easily for your hands, and because it doesn't interfere with shipboard electronics, and because it doesn't require building your ship out of heavy ferromagnetic materials.


    Again: magnets interfere with shipboard electronics. That right there is a dealbreaker. As long as you ignore that, any case you make is nonsense.

    Your problem is that you're starting with the conclusion you want to be true and trying to invent logic to justify it. That's backward, incompetent reasoning. That's not how people arrive at real-world solutions -- it's just how they hide from admitting when they're wrong. The only way to find effective, practical solutions is to be willing to let go of your preconceptions.

    Yes, it's clearly how they activate the boots. The lights on the back of the heels go on when they do it. This week, we saw Naomi drifting down a ladderway and clicking her heels to activate the boots before touching the deck.
     
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  14. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You need to take a closer look at your reasoning, then. Because you're also kind of fishing for logic to rule out magnetic boots. Magnets interfering with the electronics, for example. Inside a hard drive, the part of your computer that's the most sensitive to magnetic fields, you'd find magnets so strong you could suffer serious injury by playing with them (I still remember the bruises), that will hold your feet to the floor so hard you'd think you're on Jupiter. So magnets and electronics are certainly a problem, but not a deal breaker. For starters, electronics are usually shielded, space electronics more so.

    And I've not argued for any conclusion yet. I'm arguing against a conclusion that has not have enough practical evidence to justify it – namely that the fictional magnetic boots from the show would certainly be impractical in the long term, and in a way detrimental to the show and its plausibility. I like the show very much, and I haven't yet seen anything absurd¹ in it. I don't see how pointing out at the huge swatch of reasons that could make them practical in the real world, or at the very least the fictional world of the show, is inventing logic – their alternatives aren't perfect either, so when you switch the environment drastically, you don't exactly know what would happen, and what would be better any more. The show's environments are radically different from both life on Earth, and life in current spacecraft, so don't make the mistake of thinking you know how things will play out.

    You are right. When a significant numbers of us actually get to work in larger space dwellings and craft for longer periods of time, we will certainly have to abandon many preconceptions. But that will be all of us. We'll experiment with many many possible ways to get on, some very unexpected. It's too early to exclude magnetic boots as an option altogether, we will root them out on their performance when the time comes. Not on our preconception that they wouldn't work, because of a dated experiment on outdated magboot designs and premises that may not hold in practice.

    In the end, both the problems and the solutions would turn out very different from anything we had on the drawing boards (let alone scifi discussions on the Internet); many details will be vastly different from even our wildest expectations or what was depicted on scifi shows. Being conservative about it is a double-edged sword – you'd be the closest, but you'd miss all the surprises, particularly on how we make our environment more to our liking. Mag boots are kind of compromise between conservative and implausible – they make it familiar, but aren't immediately expected to be there. Again, if we find a way to walk in space (most likely due to making all long-distance spacecraft rotating), scenes with magnetic boots will look more plausible than scenes with everyone floating around all the time.

    I don't like magnetic boots at all. I actually fear magnets, having your entire life on floppies does that to you. I refuse to buy things with magnets in them, like phone cases. But I do watch the show open-minded and am kind of annoyed of hearing how magnetic boots are silly and out of the question. In reality, we don't know that for sure, and I am willing to see ways that could make them much usable, and to my liking. And I certainly don't have to suspend my disbelief to watch zero-g scenes in the show.


    ¹ Well, after I did invent logic to justify the protomolecule, and I retroactively ruled it not absurd.
     
  15. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Commodore Commodore

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    Ashford activated the spinning gravity on the Behemoth so that the internal injuries can be treated.

    Almost every other vessel in the Expanse don't seem to be designed for that type of gravity creating spin. So if a crew member on a normal ship gets internal injuries, is he or she going to bleed to death just like that ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  16. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Not typically. This also goes to the magnetic boots question, but ships in The Expanse don't seem to be designed to spend a majority of the time in zero-g. They're under thrust as often as possible to minimize travel times and provide gravity for the occupants (and since they can be under thrust for so long, they don't bother with Babylon 5-style rotating sections, which realistically would make it very hard for a ship to turn). And then we saw that Tycho Station has berths along its outer ring, so even parked ships can enjoy gravity. It's hard to say how much that scales (are there, perhaps, massive ring-stations in orbit around Earth and Mars where ships the size of the Donnager or Thomas Prince can be docked to a rotating frame so their crews can operate in gravity even while parked?), but it seems clear that everyone recognizes that weightlessness has a major cost that's to be avoided whenever possible, and, thus, that the ships are designed to be most convenient to work in under gravity. Treating all six surfaces in a room as walls with cabinets and shelves like they do on the ISS (rather than four walls, a floor, and a ceiling like on Earth) isn't going to work well when you need a ladder to get to the forward-most wall most of the time.

    This "slow zone" is an extraordinary circumstance that no one could take into account while building ships. For one thing, the decelerations are more violent than anything a ship could be expected to survive. In normal space, anything that could make a change in velocity that extreme would almost certainly destroy the ship as surely as if it had run into a brick wall (or, if the ship created an acceleration that extreme on its own through sabotage or accident, like what happened to poor Epstine, the engines would probably tear free of their mounting and smash through the main body of the ship), but the bubble seems to grab the structure of the ship while leaving anything that isn't bolted down unaffected (which seems to be a bit of a design flaw, if not an act of malice). So the kind of damage and injuries sustained shouldn't be possible. And once ships are caught be the "immune response" within the bubble, they can no longer maneuver. I don't know how much gravity it takes to make a difference for healing, but it doesn't matter because now they couldn't even fly in circles, getting up to the speed limit over hours or days and then turning around and doing it all over again, because their ships are stuck.
     
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  17. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For me, the main argument against fully embracing zero-g oriented internal layouts is the inevitable disorientation that would be a bother on civilian ships and possibly death on a military one. We're land mammals and we're best adapted both physically and psychologically for an environment where there's a definite up and a down, as well as a surface that's definitely for walking on. And that's not even touching on the long term heath problems with are caused by micro-gravity environments.
    So yes, mag-boots make sense and they really don't even need to be that strong, so concerns about them interfering with the ship's electronics in any serious way just doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

    This also plays into the way the ships are laid out to take advantage of the ship's thrust to simulate gravity. Sure, in theory there's nothing stopping someone from floating around and using handholds to get about, but when the ship starts to thrust, everyone better know which way is about to be down or someone is likely to get a skull fracture. In the long run, it's just safer overall to walk around a ship in magboots, on the assumption the drive may kick in at any moment.
    I'd actually forgotten this little detail until I did a rewatch of the first and second seasons a few weeks back, but remember the bit where Eros suddenly dodges the Nauvoo and Miller is astonished that the manoeuvre was even possible and that it didn't pancake him into the deck?
    Clearly the civilisation that created the protomolocule had the manipulation of mass, gravity and inertial forces utterly mastered. Indeed, given that they apparently created a bubble of three-dimensional space liking multiple wormholes through what I'm assuming is hyperspace, it really shouldn't be all that surprising.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  18. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Well, that certainly worked as a series finale for those folks who won't be able to see it when it comes to Amazon.

    "...Bobby?"
    "... Alex??"
    :lol:

    They're still not showing the gravity/zero G conditions consistently, but the story's too good to care much. I'm a horrible nit-picker, tho.
     
  19. Ruaidhri

    Ruaidhri Commodore Commodore

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    This is exactly what I've been thinking through the pages of griping about zero G and magnetic boots.

    Marvelous end to the season, and so very glad we're going to get to see more of The Expanse. Added points for not just killing the main antagonists to resolve those storylines.
     
  20. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    If only they wouldn't show someone floating one moment, then plopping down into a seat the next. That just highlights the inconsistency.

    On the "got it right" side, I loved Drummer's huge sigh of relief when she got weightless and the strain on her spine was relieved.