Tag archives for world building - Page 2


Autonomous Vehicles pt.2

Social Impacts of Autonomous Vehicles Perhaps Autonomous mobile homes will cruise round here: Catford Road (South Circular Road), London SE6 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My previous article on Self Driving Cars covered some of the technical points, that self driving cars are starting to look safer than human drivers and that there are traffic management benefits to most vehicles being self-driving. But there's more to it than that. For a start there will be more than just 'cars' that drive themselves around, so properly one ought to talk about autonomous vehicles (AV). No More Professional Drivers The most obvious consequence of autonomous vehicles is that those who drive for a living will rapidly be out of a job. The cost base for taxis, truck haulage and bus companies involves driver pay plus the costs of the vehicle. I expect that initially there…
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Self Driving Cars

I've written over the last couple of weeks about advances in police technology, but one of the other technology changes that has a major societal impact is self driving cars. People have been talking about this for years, and recently both Google and Elon Musk are seriously working on self driving cars. Other companies are too, but not to the same extent. Progress Report on Self Driving Cars Last week Google released a report on where they'd got to with self driving cars. They plan to report monthly from now on. Their self driving cars have clocked up million miles in autonomous mode, and have been involved in 12 accidents. None of those accidents have been the fault of the self driving cars, in fact for 8 of the 12 the vehicle was stationary. If you ignore the five accidents…
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World Building – Towns and Villages

One of the things that I often do when I am writing a story is to sketch a map of the area where the story takes place. This helps me to visualise what the characters will be able to see. The thing is though, you can't just bang down stuff randomly (well you can, but it isn't realistic - you want your world to be realistic don't you?) How settlements form Typically people build houses where there is shelter from the elements, adequate supplies of food, water and fuel. They also like to build them in easily accessible places for the most part. All villages and towns grow from farmstead, places a farmer, and his family, decided to settle. However not all of these farmsteads ends up as a village. There are loads of outlying farms in populated countryside, some…
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Five Reasons for Establishing a Colony

In looking through my notes from previous story and game design ideas I came across some notes about the reasons why a colony might be set up. This was primarily for a set of scenarios for science fiction games. A group of us have been playing games set in Jim Wallman's Universe around the Full Moon each month since 1996.  That said, they are based on actual historical reasons why people left the UK to live elsewhere. Not always to establish a colony on an uncertain and dangerous frontier. 1. Religious/Ascetic Freedom This covers people leaving to avoid discrimination as well as those that might want to live in a place where the temptations and 'polluitng influences' of modern life are not present. Examples of this include Amish and similar sects that avoid advanced technology (although quite why they'd get in a spaceship…
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