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How many non Imperial human empires/systems enclaves, exist in the galaxy at any one time (estimates obviously)?
Also whats to stop one of these 'empires' using present Imperial technology and developing it using normal non religious science based research.
I mean 300 years isn't a great deal of time in the Imperium yet if you look at say earth 1690-1990 there was a massive change in our understanding of science, the universe and all that......
Just a few things to think of really.
(I would imagine that the reason is that Imperial technology is actually hugely advanced it is simply not understood)
"God is dead" Nietzsche- 1886
"Nietzsche is dead" God- 1900
Why are there scams? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q71FLDIMBc8
I think the Tau represent one of these empires. Some aliens could and probably have nicked the Imperium's tech. However developing it does take time. There is also the problem that it may be more advanced than anything these aliens have seen and utterly baffle them. Developing technology and advancing it is very hard and at times an utter failure. If it is new and you don't know how it works actually going into a process of advancement is next to impossible, developing a cheap version is the best to hope for. Reverse engineering is very difficult at only works properly when someone has an equal or superior knowledge of the science involved. Often with reverse engineering the knowledge gained is only part of the knowledge needed to built whatever was being examined.
There is also the problem that many of these aliens will take up the Imperiums superstitions with it's technology. These empires may not understand the two are really separate as from their point of view they are dealing with strange Xeno-tech with who knows what unearthly powers. Because they are trying to aspire to what the Imperium has they are likely to mimic it's attitudes towards the technology as they try to mimic the technology itself. After all, if these hairless apes from Earth build this stuff, then the weird ideas they have about it must be there for a good reason.
Last edited by Leech; May 12th, 2009 at 19:01.
I think one big reason is that, for the last 10,000 years, the human race has been slowly stagnating..
The greatest examples of human technology were built by an empire which spanned millions and millions of worlds.. Even the stuff the Imperium currently produces, like the occasional Titan or starship, requires entire factory worlds, which also means mining worlds (Imperial starships are miles long, that's a lot of metal) agri-worlds to produce the food, etc. Add to this the constant war and risk of planetary disaster (even a psyker born in the wrong place can destroy a world purely by chance) and you have a really unstable system.
Any surviving human enclaves are likely to be post-apocayptic wastelands whose major resources have been stripped out through thousands of years of industry by previous empires. Even Earth was like that until the Emperor came along and used his superhuman genius to rebuild things. What use is scientific research if your planet is divided between warring tribes scavenging the ruins of the previous civilization. Sure, occasionally someone might find a pistol which blows up buildings, but who is going to spend the time studying it when the next door tribe will just beat down the door, take it and blow you up with it.
Secondly, the Imperium does understand its technology.. They still build void shields, plasma reactors and synthetic intelligence, they can still produce the most perfect projectile firearm in the universe (the Exitus rifle) and weapons of mass destruction which make nuclear weapons look like toys. They use a different language to talk about it, and they have trouble incorporating alien ideas, but they're the most advanced species in the galaxy still and why would you really need any other language to talk about things when the language you have works? The problem is that they've reached the technological apex and now they're sliding slowly backwards.
In hard times, blue sky research goes out of the window. Maybe the reason scientific advancement was so profound between 1690-1990 is that Europeans lived pretty comfortable lives (often at the expense of everyone else in the world.)
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; May 13th, 2009 at 17:56.
I'd like to nominate Mantis' prvious quote for a win due to the excellent point made, and accompanying pipboy icon.
"They are my space marines and they shall know no fear, for they are fear incarnate." ~ Konrad Curze (Night Haunter), Primarch of the Night Lords Legion
"Adeo mori servus Imperator Fictus
Ave Dominus Nox" (So die the slaves of the False Emperor. Hail to the Lord of the Night.) ~ Talonmaster Zso Sahaal [Lord of the Night, p.68]
I'd just like to twist one little part of Mantis's post. The Imperium does not understand how its technology works, just how to build it. Thats why they believe in machine gods and ritualistic activation of machines. It's as if you taught a three year old how to use a battery to power a lightbulb; he'd know how it turns on and how to make it turn on, but not the why. Complete circuit paths and free flowing electrons are just a little too much for them.
That's also why the Mechanicum is constantly looking for STCs, and why only specific forge worlds can produce specific items (ie, Ryza is the only forge world capable of producing the Leman Russ Executioner). It's also why they can't progress through research or development, only through salvage of old tech; they can reverse-engineer something to figure out how it fits together and what it's made of, but they don't know exactly how it functions.
The very rare artificers, though, really do know their stuff, which is why the stuff they build is A. innovative and B. better. A guy who spends decades and decades trying to design and build a near perfect plasma gun or suit of power armour to his own design has got to know the principles of how it works. The difference, I suppose, with the Imperial system is that you have to be initiated to that knowledge very slowly, and the words change, so they'll take about machine spirits when representing both the physical and spiritual components of a machine's functioning.
Again, I seem to remember that they do quite clearly understand electricity even if they don't talk about it the same way. There's an entire priesthood, again, devoted to electricity (electro priests.) Just because machines have taken on holy significance and the mechanicus don't really draw a line between physical and spiritual phonomena doesn't mean they think it's all just magic. If anything, the spirituality comes from the fact that something is a machine and the Mechanicus believe that machines are examples of the genius of the machine god, with which humanity has been specially gifted, rather than some kind of supernatural notion of reality where magic makes everything work.
If they're in any way limited it's that they have some incredibly strict taboos against things like alien technology, cloning and machine intelligence, and in many cases aren't too keen on the idea of modifying established designs because they like to stick to STC designs, but even that's not universal.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; May 14th, 2009 at 01:12.
Well being the noob I am...I do not think you can call humans the most advanced species. The Dark Eldar and Eldar are both more advance (being millions of years old compared to the 'millenia' of the human race). Tau might be as advanced or a little more advanced...and will definetly become more advanced eventually. (They have an entire caste mostly tasked with making new stuff and making old stuff work better, they also evolve and invent faster then humans). Chaos is as advanced...as they use the same tech.
Again I am a noob...so I may be wrong.
chaos actually uses old horus heresy tech, they are just using chaos power to stay as powerful as the other races
Army: Chaos Space Marines
Strategy: KILL EVERYTHING
Rules that I live by: Kick ass, be a good person, and eat alot
Alright that makes sense...my other points stand though
From what I can gather, the imperium does understand much of its technologies, but there are some that the knowledge on them has been lost.
However, that knowledge that the imperium still has is greedely gathered and stored away by the Techpriest and others. To them, this knowledge is the most important aspect of the imperium and must be protected at all costs. Therefore, it would not be in their best interests to devulge such information to organisations as they might turn tratorous or even loose the information to an alien race.
Also, since these forge worlds are producing non-stop, it wouldn't be easy to replace all the moulds, retrain workers or reprogram computers. Such a lul in production would not be the most optimal choice for the imperium, this is probably why they make so many variants for the same chasis (like the chimera chasis for example).
Finaly there is the knowledge and expertise in the previous technologies that are still being used. Since the current technologies are so well known, used and have been designed to be extremely practical and efficient (otherwise the imperium wouldn't have lasted as long as it has). Then you have to start training the crews who will use this new tech.
Overall, I think that investing in new tech and research would be a waste of the resources the imperium has. Until it is prooven to much better than existing tech to justify it. As the for passing of knowledge, the Techpriest and their buddies are practicaly sucking all that knowledge dry, and it's very particular as to who it gives it too.
It's a conspiracey I tell you!