Toonbots message board: Themed thread #1: The Lone Survivor

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Michael Thu Dec 7 22:56:11 2000
Themed thread #1: The Lone Survivor

I'm interested. We've all had fantasies about being the last person in town, a la _The Stand_. What are some interesting components of yours? Megalomania should be an important part of PAFTWJ membership, so this quiz will count towards your final grade.

When I was living in Indy, I figured that, assuming there was enough automated machinery around to create a viable mecha-ecology in the time available while there was still power, thus supporting me in the lifestyle to which I'm accustomed, I would:

1. Fortify the downtown out to the I-65/I-70 loop. Everything else could molder. But imagine unlettered savages breaking trail through the virgin timber of Indiana a thousand years hence and finding Downtown Indy with all the lights on! Wow!

2. Make sure the power station on the South Side would remain functional. I never did really solve the coal supply problem to my satisfaction. Too bad there's no nukes in Indiana. That'd keep the city going a very long time indeed. What's the half-life of uranium? 25,000 years or something?

3. Make the Bank One tower my base of operations, of course. And move the steam calliope from the Children's Museum there, because no industrial operation is complete without a steam calliope. Can you imagine that? Wow.

4. Within the first couple of years, get an automated fleet of trucks down to Bloomington to save the IU Main Library. That'd kill me if it burnt or even if the roof just started leaking.

And then spend the rest of my life programming my mecha-ecology to do my every bidding, of course. (And settle down to read the IU Main Library at my leisure, of course). With any luck my advanced research in genetics, perhaps supplemented in later years by my more advanced minions, would allow me to extend my life somewhat, because I want to live long enough to be the mysterious wizard in the Forbidden City of Magic. Duh.

Oh, and I wanted to write a cartoon generator. Oh, wait. That's reality. Well, never mind that part.

So, OK, I may have read just a *tad* too much E.E. "Doc" Smith growing up. Sue me. (For anybody who hasn't read Smith, he *originated* space opera: given half a spaceship stranded on a Jovian moon, the hero can use its machine shop to mine ores from the moon (fighting off or befriending alien lifeforms as the situation merited, and of course the Jovian moons were pretty warm and oxygenated back then), smelt and work the metal to effect repairs on the ship and fashion a navigational system -- based on vacuum tubes, of course -- and build a propulsion system which incorporates some advanced mathematics he's been working out in his coffee breaks, so that he can overtake the pirates who stranded him in the first place, use his tractor beam which he just invented to immobilize them, and bring them to justice singlehandedly. And that really impresses his girlfriend. Now *that's* science fiction, folks. All vintage 30's. Yeah, 1930's. That's why there's no solid state or computers, but there are plenty of spy rays (which are based on vacuum tubes and radio, see, except it's subspace, of course) and psi abilities. Smith INVENTED SPY RAYS. Wow.)

Anybody else care to spend a couple of minutes impressing the heathen? Come on, Napoleon, you read all of Heinlein's plucky girl juvenile fiction, I can tell. You really liked Podkayne of Mars, so what were your plans, as Lone Survivor?

gopher Fri Dec 8 01:30:55 2000
Re: Themed thread #1: The Lone Survivor

> So, OK, I may have read just a *tad* too much E.E. "Doc" Smith
> growing up. Sue me.

Doc Smith rocks! My only problem with his writings was that each book in the series eventually turns into the previous book, but with bigger numbers (really obvious in "Skylark").

Anyways, here's my shot at the Lone Survivor plan, which has been formulated over the course of the Fall Sememester here at Georgia Tech, since my home is too dull for a decent plan (first step in any such plan there is to drive/walk 30 miles to Huntsville (or drive/walk 30 miles to the nuclear plant, and secure that first)).

I would base my operations in the College of Computing, since they have lots of cool stuff there (the SGI labs, the Itanium lab, the "Jedi Cluster" (beowulf cluster of quad xeons)), but I'd first move as much stuff as reasonable from the Office of IT, and make sure there's a good, direct line to the rest of the big stuff (the really honkin' big SGI's and the mainframes).

I'm afraid I know precious little about the power situation. I know where the substation is, but I don't know what powers them. I'll have to figure that out as soon as I can.

As for an army of robot slaves, I'm sure that between half done projects in the Computer Engineering building and the Mechanical Engineering building, I can work something together.

The biggest problem I can think of is food. Instant noodles only make you happy for a finite amount of time. I'd need some way to set up a self-automating hydroponics farm to satisfy my cravings for fresh vegetables. This may take a year of two instant noodles and research. I don't know how this situation is going to effect other animals, so meat may be out of the question. If not, I'd spend a lot of my early days slaughtering livestock and salting the meat before the animals go back to the wild.

I suppose the key to this plan would be getting the robot slaves to properly maintain everything. I have all manner of equipment here at Tech, as well as all manner of books. It may take me a while to perfect the robot slave system, but I suppose I'll have a lot of time, as well.

Optimally, I would be able to administer all my robot slaves remotely as needed, and then just live out of the CoC, doing nifty things with the incredible amount of computing power. Perhaps one of my projects would be a Quake playing AI to give me a suitable opponent while I inevitably play on the SGI's and some big honkin' monitors. Only problem would be that if I do a good job on the AI, I'll never win, and be perpetually piseed at him. Hrm...

I just hope that Coca-cola drinks keep forever, becuase if they do, I easily have a lifetime supply in Atlanta.

Well, there's my plan so far. Still a little vague in the details, but I'm working on it.

Napoleon Fri Dec 8 01:44:23 2000
Re: Themed thread #1: The Lone Survivor

Oooh, themed thread. Me likee.

Sadly, my plans were never terribly advanced, unlike yours. I'd just basically walk down to Wagner's Gun Shop and snag me some weaponry (yup, modern-day gunslinger, that'd be me... just point me towards the nearest Tower...), walk to the motorcycle dealership and avail myself of some wheels (I always wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle!), then start off on my merry way towards Boulder. Untroubled by Flagg's minions, of course, because I'd be out of the West before it got bad. Conveniently.

That's the nice thing about fantasies -- you can choose which parts to think up on your own and which parts to rip off of famous horror/fantasy/etc. authors!

Remind me to tell the helpless masses about my joining-the-quest-for-the-Dark-Tower fantasies someday...

nd Fri Dec 8 16:36:53 2000
Re: Themed thread #1: The Lone Survivor

Whenever my mind has wandered all post holocaustal-like, I always envisioned going out into the wilderness. I had planned to return to my grandfathers farm and make it work again. But as a LONE survivor, I think I'd probably just end up crazy. Have you ever read ALAS BABYLON by Pat Frank? Its a great indicator of the type of survival I originally thought of. A community having to work together and overcoming predjudices in favor of actual abilities. Its a bit to commie-like for my present paradigm. But its fairly realistic in a tech-free sense.

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