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A visualization of galactic settlement
(06-18-2021, 04:27 AM)stevebowers Wrote: I like to assume that the various stars in a wave of colonisation can talk to each other, so they will exchange data about whether nearby stars are colonised or not. Perhaps some colonies would be colonised in secret by rival factions, but I would assume they'd broadcast the fact of their presence at some point, to deter rival claimants to the territory.

I dunno....  If our own past is anything to judge by, rival powers may be in a race to ''claim" good colonization targets.  If you tell your neighbor where you want to colonize, you run the risk that your neighbor will go there first just to cut you off. 

The point of the model is that the rate of colony reproduction doesn't actually matter that much.  All of these worlds are continually moving into new spaces relative to each other as they orbit the galaxy.  Worlds continue to have access to a frontier because unsettled worlds drift into range.  If it takes them a hundred thousand years to send a colony ship, all that means is that there's more un-colonized systems that have drifted into range among them when the next ship goes out.  They're "filling in" inside ALMOST the same boundaries that they'd be "filling in" inside if they sent out a colony ship literally every year, because the boundaries are defined by the movement of colonized worlds relative to each other regardless of how fast you get to one once it's inside the boundary.

Instead of a steadily advancing wavefront where everything within is one hundred percent occupied, nothing more than ten lightyears inside should even bother trying to colonize anything ever again because no frontier worlds will ever be available to it again, and everything outside the wavefront is unclaimed and mostly unreachable....  you get a situation where the wavefront is not very rigidly defined, everybody within thousands of lightyears of the front has fairly egalitarian access to frontier systems, and the "vanguard" or "boundary" out there where six generations of colony world have gone to higher relative-velocity worlds, is so far beyond the generally-known 'front' that they aren't even competing for the any of the same frontiers that other folks' great-grand-colonies might even get close to.  

The comparison between this once-in-a-hundred-thousand-years model and a once-in-a-hundred-years model actually isn't that big a difference.  Your once-in-a-hundred-year colony ships live in a galaxy where a colony might get ten chances, total, to launch one because after that everything's too far out of range to the frontier or already claimed to the interior.  Your once-in-a-hundred-thousand-year colony ships live in a galaxy where a colony *still* gets ten chances to launch one, all to nearby uninhabited worlds, even though by the time the last one goes it's thousands of lightyears inside the 'wavefront' of colonization.  The ultimate rate of reproduction is the same because colony ships getting produced a thousand times more slowly are getting produced on a thousand times as many worlds, 999/1000 of which would be "out of the running" in the fast-building scenario.

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RE: A visualization of galactic settlement - by Bear - 06-18-2021, 02:48 PM

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