Star Citizen publishes a starmap Q&A

    
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Cloud Imperium has published the first part of a Q&A session with the designers behind Star Citizen’s starmap. Last weekend’s CitizenCon saw the first iteration of the starmap, which you can play with right now via the RSI website.

Turbulent’s Ken Hwang as well as CIG Santa Monica’s David Haddock, Cherie Heiberg, Adam Weiser, and Will Weissbaum rounded up a series of backer questions from Star Citizen’s forums and provided answers to everything from the addition of further contextual information to the possibility of accessing the starmap code and API to plans for tablet and mobile support.

Source: Q&A part one
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Vikingr
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Vikingr

syberghost 
Science rules! :) We can’t hold on to old traditions if they’re wrong.
Then we’d still say that The Pope is right about the Earth being flat, and that saying differently is herecy because the Pope is Gods voice on Earth and so saying the Pope is wrong is also saying God is wrong … LOL! (That’s the actual reason The Vatican used in the old days.)
Of course, every fisherman knew the Earth wasn’t flat because they’d seen how it curves in the horizon and ship sails appearing before the ship itself, but they didn’t dare to say anything about it. So religion surpressed science for hundreds of years.

That time is over, thank Odin! ;)

mysecretid
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mysecretid

syberghost 
Both factions were revising scientific definition: one version retained Pluto, while the other did not. I apologize that I was not clearer on this point in my original post.

Tradition was not a defining force here. In the end, both sides were attempting to re-frame the science in light of modern information.

One definition retained Pluto, the other did not. 
Both were — I am told — equally valid re-framings. But Tombaugh lost his place in the history books because the anti-Pluto faction wanted to demonstrate that they were the determining voice for policy and definition in international astronomy.

Castigat ridendo mores.

Cheers,

mysecretid
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mysecretid

Vikingr 
As it was told to me, both factions created revised astronomical definitions of what is a planet. 
One faction’s revised definition would’ve preserved Pluto’s status in the face of the existence of significant Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs), while the other faction’s revised definition did not.
Both factions were looking at the science to “set the new line”, but the decision itself became secondary to determining which faction was to be the dominant voice for setting policy in international astronomy. 

The decision was undermined by petty politics, at least as it was told to me.
Cheers,

syberghost
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syberghost

Vikingr mysecretid it comes down to this; is science to rule, or is tradition to rule?

E pur si muove.

Vikingr
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Vikingr

mysecretid 
I thought it was declassified to a dwarf planet because they recon it wasn’t originally made with the other planets from the dust cloud around the star, but pulled into orbit around the Sun later, coming from the Kuiper Belt. And if they hadn’t declassified it then they’d had to add all the other similar objects in the Kupier Belt as planets too … literally hundreds of them … and that’d be impractible, so they had to set a line somewhere.

Darkwalker75
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Darkwalker75

mysecretid Armsman ManastuUtakata 
The internal pissing contest as you call it sounds pretty fitting given what has been said here about it.
And I agree with you, there is no harm in calling Pluto a planet, I doubt most people now about the TNO, much less care.
And they should give credit where credit is due, you cant just take away the achievement of its discovery because of some arbitrary standard that came after its discovery.
I for one always have and always will consider Pluto a planet, regardless of what some “egghead” says.

mysecretid
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mysecretid

Armsman ManastuUtakata 
Some people here know that I have “Big Science” friends. One of my oldest friends, for example, is an actual quantum physicist of significant reputation in the field.
I pass the following on merely as “conversational entertainment”. Obviously, I can’t prove any of it here, so posters shouting “citation needed’ at me will be ignored.
I’m just offering this for those who might be interested. Take it or leave it, as you see fit.
They way it was told to me, the whole reclassification of Pluto situation was the result of a pissing contest between the two dominant factions in the international astronomical community.
They were, effectively, squabbling to determine which group had the power to have “the final say” on issues.
One faction wanted to leave Pluto as a de facto planet, out of tradition, sort of as an “honorary Oscar” type of situation, and to allow Pluto’s discoverer, Clyde W. Tombaugh, to keep his place in the textbooks.
While Pluto is technically a large TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object), the argument was that the general public neither knows, nor particularly cares, about this sort of astronomical distinction — and that the TNO classification didn’t exist when Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930, anyway,so why take away his achievement?

The other faction claimed that categorical absolute accuracy counts more than tradition or public perception, and pushed to have Pluto demoted.

Again, my sources say, it wasn’t so much about scientific accuracy or tradition, but about which faction had the power to direct astronomical canon and its policies. Basically, a big e-peen fight. :-)

The traditionalist faction lost, obviously, and I’m told that this is where things got “interesting”.

The media picked up on the story of Pluto’s demotion, and no one involved was prepared for the public backlash — it had essentially been an internal pissing contest, as above, and the thought was “We’ll release a statement with the changes, and that will be it”.

But the general public reacted badly, and they didn’t expect that.
I’m told that the increasing use of the designation “dwarf planet” in regards to Pluto is actually something of a conciliatory gesture, meant as a bit of public “spin control” — as in, “See, it’s still kind of a planet, folks”.
The whole thing is a mess, and if you couldn’t tell, I’m in the camp which feels they should have left it well enough alone. Calling Pluto a planet harms nothing — any decent astronomer knows all about TNOs and their quirks anyway.
Anyway, that’s the tale as it was told to me. Take it or leave it, as you prefer. We’re just talking friendly here.
Cheers,

GoJammit
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GoJammit

Ahem, they prefer the term little planets.

GoJammit
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GoJammit

Trollin’ ain’t easy.

LordOfBread
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LordOfBread

actually they use PNG’s but trolls are even too stupid to find that out