Re: [gundam] More Turn-A Info in May Newtype
Sun, 11 Apr 1999 13:17:03 EDT

In a message dated 4/11/99 12:28:02 AM Mountain Daylight Time,
nandy@U.Arizona.EDU writes:

> Without computers? Yes, it would certainly limit people's abilities to
> produced semiconductor chips, unless all you wanted was say one or two
> 1"-wide squares a week.

So, how were the computers built were need to build the computers that built
the computers? This isn't a chicken or the egg scenario. Computers can built
using only gears and cogs, with no electrical power at all, like the first
Babbage Engine. The US Military still uses mechanical computers for
targeting, and its 1999. And yes, your production will be very slow, and of
very low quality, following the scenario I detailed. But, it can be done, and
that is the point I was trying to make.

> If that was true then everything today would be powered by PVs!
> Remember, that the first solar cells were developed in the mid 1950s,
> using diffused Si p-n junctions (Chapin, Fuller, and Pearson). These
> dopants must be controlled _carefully_.

Ahh, but what would the coal and oil industry have the say about that? You
seem to forget that making use of technology is a much slower process than
development of the same technology. Besides, Sweden is now lining their
highways with PVs for low cost, day time power. And not because the
technology is now here, but because ecological concerns have forced the need.
And again, yes, the first solar cells were produced in the 1950s, but the
theory was around for much longer than that. Just because we did try to build
them until the 1950s, doesn't mean them we couldn't build them earlier than

> Not expensive... _given_ a high-enough technological power base, which
> would have had to have been at least at the US 1960s level to support the
> level of vapor-deposition technology and processing needed to produce
> reliable cells. There are very good reasons why every poor energy-starved
> third-world country in this world have not turned to "cheap, limitless
> solar power" to provide their needs (Nor have the massive industrialized
> nations), and that is simply because solar cells are too inefficient, and
> too difficult to produce to be a useful source of energy on any large
> scale.

I work with plasma vapor deposition technology, and you probably be surprised
at the number of third world countries that have PVD tools. But that doesn't
mean people have seen the need to spend money for the betterment of those
countries by using those tools for anything other than export product. Don't
mistake lack of resources for lack technology. If the western world decided
that every country in the world must have this technology, then without a
doubt, some of the third world nations of this world would refuse. Good
intentions have never made good money without a little exploitation.

> Now, from what we've heard and seen the society of Turn-A does _not_
> have anything near a US 1960s tech base. So where the hell are they
> getting their PVs from? Relics? Funky Nanotech factories?

Just wait for the series to get around to explaining, instead of rampant
speculation based on a dislike for the series' creators.

> It would be convenient. But the fact remains that you cannot produce any
> one technology without others. Everything is interrelated, for example,
> just because the theory to produce holograms was derived way back in the
> late 1800s doesn't mean that they could have _made_ the darned things
> until now. So there is a fundamental 'disconnect' in the tech-level of
> Turn-A. If you have solar cells you need vapor-deposition technologies. If
> you need that, you need extremely well controlled digital computer
> technology and extremely carefully purified chemicals, which in turn
> require their _own_ technological base. Work the process back and you'll
> soon see that such technology cannot be supported by a 1910-level tech
> base.

You can do vapor dep without computer control, you just lower your quality by
a leaps and bounds. As to today's technology being interconnected, true, but
that is just our technology. Not the technology over 2000 years from now. Or
even in an anime show.

> If the 'background' of the show claims one thing, and then shows
> another, I think it's significant, especially if it is _not_ an oversight.
> My point in this argument has been that solar cells simply do not make
> sense in a culture that's barely at the 1900s level of technology in
> other regards, unless there are some sorts of unmanned, automated
> factories cranking these things out. (Or that they are all strange relics
> that have been working for 2000 years, highly unlikely!) If there _are_
> automated factories producing these things for 2000 years then that is a
> significant bit of as yet unmentioned background material. If on the other
> hand, this future culture somehow magically knows how to make complex
> semiconductor technologies yet lacks the ability to produce anything more
> complex than a biplane, then there is a problem with the show!

Just watch the show. All should be revealed in do time. If not, then bitch at
the end of the show, not at the beginning.

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