So: The Expanse.

I state as usual that I don't like to nitpick science fiction films, having written science fiction books myself as a hobby. And I start by saying that I liked the series per se. And that I also understand the difficulty of simulating things like weightlessness throughout the entire shoot. So I am absolutely not criticizing the series. But I want to say a few words to all those who today, years after the conclusion, continue to tell me "but it is the most scientifically realistic" with knowing air.

I write this for a matter of intellectual decency: I like Star Trek and I like Dr.Who, but if someone were to tell me that they are "scientifically realistic" series, honestly, I would say "meh". A scientifically realistic series in my opinion could be, I don't know, sense8.

But I repeat: the problem is not in the series. The problem lies in the people who talk to me about science.

Let's start by examining the propulsion systems. As far as we understand, pellets of something (but imagine, say, deuterium and lithium 7 in the form of lithium deuterate) are thrown into a sort of combustion chamber and deflagrate (in the thermonuclear sense of the term) using laser. The energy then propels the ship: I imagine they can then magnetically confine the resulting plasma and eject it in an orderly and controllable direction. There is.

It fits, they do it (experimentally) also in the FermiLab, etcetera. But there is one small detail. It produces neutrinos . Many. And you don't stop neutrinos. Not at that level of technology, let's say (if it's possible, because nothing that stops neutrinos has ever been observed). What does it mean?

It means that the word "stealth technology" you dream it. You talk about an engine that, while it's running, makes the ship visible even when it's on the other side of Jupiter, hidden by the planet. And hiding with the Sun in the middle wouldn't work either. The neutrinos pass through it as if it weren't there.

And since we also do it today on Gran Sasso to measure neutrinos, in my opinion, if you use a fusion engine like that, you are dreaming of "stealth technology". Point.

The population of the band. Apparently they live in microgravity, or at least very low gravity. In fact they use magnetic boots, those born on the spot are very weak and very tall, and the setup is quite consistent, even in devising a creole language that is truly coherent. It's all there. Chapeau. We know that they are very weak because it happens to astronauts. Less about the fact that they would be so tall and elongated: bone growth comes from genetic factors and from specific hormones of a specific gland, so I don't understand why they should be so high. In my opinion it is a tribute to the Outsiders of Hyperion. But there is also this.

Then the protagonist enters a bar, and they pour him a drink into a glass.

I mean, no.

Considering the mass of the asteroids, and therefore the force of gravity, it is better not to do it.

On land the liquid will fall into the glass quickly, because it accelerates at 9.81 meters per second squared, and after hitting and trying to go back up it will fall again towards the bottom, very quickly.

But there you're talking about accelerations like 0.00x meters per second frame. It would take long seconds to fall, it would hit the bottom of the glass, but then the liquid is incompressible so it would "bounce", and a lot of the liquid (unless you use very long glasses), would come out of the glass.

in order to be able to pour drinks with very low gravity (without gravity it doesn't even make sense) in my opinion the glass should look something like this:

if not longer yet. And the sipping process would be very, very, slow. Good for fighting alcoholism. LOL.

Another strange thing is that they put everything on the floor, while in a similar situation you can arrange the living room on one side of the cube, attach the bed to the ceiling, and save space. But even beds don't make sense in that gravity, because you either sleep with a magnetic belt that keeps you attached to the mattress, or you'll "fall over". Of course you will fall slowly, but you will always fall continuously. Something like a cylindrical cocoon of soft material would be much better. But nature has already solved the problem, so IKEA will have no problem inventing something like this:

But the general problem is that humans seem to be the only ones affected by microgravity. Let me be clear: we are talking about a place where if you punch the table, you will splash on the ceiling.

And speaking of this, here: in these microgravity conditions, don't shoot yourself with weapons that are clearly firearms. Because for every force there is an equal and opposite reaction, et cetera. Even worse for those hit by the bullets, who would have to shoot back tens of meters.

My personal opinion is that they should use very light bolts, and not real bullets fired from stuff that sounds like a real cartridge. I might also speculate that bullets from guns in such a place would be prohibited, because they would continue their travels without bending from gravity, and at three hundred meters per second the bullet would ricochet around the neighborhood killing people at random. Or poking things randomly, which then go into space and somebody dies because there's a hole.

Same thing, if the bullet hits an object and produces splinters, since there is no gravity to attract them towards the ground, it will be a disaster for tens and tens of meters.

I expect in a station like this people shoot each other using guns that use very light darts, maybe sharp, maybe poisoned, or whatever, but firearms better left alone.

So I repeat: the scientifically surreal part is that gravity and its effects, even generational, are very well represented, but only on human beings. Objects appear to be subject to normal gravity, and on top of that they seem designed for 1g.

It is true that it would have been a huge cost to simulate minigravity all the time.


Come on, at least you could have spared the glasses in the bars.

The water.

I don't know who gave Hollywood the idea that water is a problem in the asteroid belt. Or that there is a shortage of water.

There are huge comets made almost entirely of water ice. Asteroids composed of water. Satellites of Jupiter, such as Europa, made of water ice. If you sink into Saturn's atmosphere you will find a layer, around 70,000 km of altitude, which is made almost entirely of water ice. No way that water could be missing.

I don't know who gives this belief to Hollywood, but space is bloody full of water. Maybe it's a reference to the Moon and Severa Maestra, where people paid their air bills, but on the Moon it makes sense, while on the asteroid belt it makes much less. Same thing as water, oxygen is also quite common, and hydrogen, well, come on, you know.

So no: Mars and the Moon would lack water and air, I agree, and people are likely to pay the bill on both, but if you can scamper around asteroids and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn as they do in The Expanse, then oxygen, water, methane, propane, hexane, helium, ammonia will NEVER be lacking.

Point. I appreciate the quote from the Moon and strict teacher , but it's implausible. On the other hand, it would be plausible on Mars, where instead (in the series) nobody seems to have problems with water or air. That they would really be in short supply.

Naval weapons. Apparently they use cannons with rotating barrels, like the Gau-8, i.e. gatlings. This is really a blow job to the American military industry, because it doesn't even make sense to jump through hoops.

Seven barrels make sense if you want to avoid overheating by giving the barrel time to cool after the shot, or by cooling it with jets of cold gas. But in space you are in a vacuum. The void isolates. A joint or seven, it doesn't matter. So it's just a bad design.

And what the hell are they for? Judging from the trips they make, and from the accelerations, those hulls are subject to collisions with objects the size of those projectiles, but at enormously higher speeds. If those hulls can zip around the asteroid belt and leap from asteroid to asteroid in a few days, they'll take a beating at a hundred, two hundred, three hundred kilometers per second. So they are VERY sturdy. We are talking, to use the measurement that is made with tanks, in the order of five/six meters of steel/equivalent. Maybe they also use reactive armor? It's quite possible that tank technology would be handy for stopping small meteorites. But we are certainly talking about incredibly robust hulls.

Of course, the risk of hitting a micrometeorite at one hundred kilometers per second, traveling in that way, is real. Then they will have adequate armor. What do you do to a similar hull, with the GAU? LAUGH.

Would it make sense to use GAUs against nuclear torpedoes? Obviously not, they would work better than lasers: but the problem is that even those missiles don't make sense.

First of all, a nuclear explosion in space only produces radiation and a cloud of incandescent gas/plasma, which however rarefies very quickly, with a mass equal to the mass of the missile. It's nothing terrible, unless it really explodes in contact with the hull: but even so, considering the density of the plasma that would be obtained, and the robustness that those hulls must have just to exist, perhaps it would melt some plates external.

The problem is that at those speeds, maneuvering in battle, a trifle of errors is enough and the torpedo is one hundred, two hundred, three hundred kilometers from the hull when it explodes. Honestly, ship wars are very spectacular, but completely implausible.

Even the shape of the ships is implausible. In space, the best shape is the sphere, followed by the cylinder: minimum surface area, maximum volume. Especially for a warship, which has to minimize the surface area, that it targets.

Finally, if the problem is to hit a torpedo with a gatling gun to protect the ship, putting a man on it makes no sense: a machine can make the calculations much faster, like the Gepard barrels do when they fire anti-aircraft: not there is no human being who can compete with a computer.

As Asimov said, never put a man to do the work of a machine.

This part, honestly, just doesn't convince me.

Let's talk about accelerations. The liquid they shoot into their veins to resist when the ship accelerates and decelerates.. Sounds like bullshit to me. When your heart weighs thirty kilos, no tissue can hold it and it rips apart and enters your lungs. A liquid changes nothing. It does not work.

If you really have to invent a sci-fi liquid, you can do something different: put him in a space suit (wearing one during a naval battle could be handy, like life jackets are worn on military ships), and fill the suit with some breathable liquid. The acceleration would compress it, but being an incompressible liquid it would not change in volume, and the human body, while stiffening, would compensate for the pressure because in turn it is almost a liquid. Everything would float in the Archimedean thrust, and since everything is liquid, (except the bones), and if the weight of the liquid increases the Archimedean thrust also increases (including the inside of the body), it could work better. I say could, because then complexity comes into play: however the fact that sea water has the same density as the human body (about 1.025 kg/dm³) could prove useful.

Once the acceleration is finished, one should only remember that the suit is still under pressure, and therefore the magical (or science-fiction) substance must be slowly decompressed, to avoid embolisms. Like divers who resurface do.

We should experiment if it works, of course, because cell respiration is a delicate mechanism, but it is more plausible than injecting something into the body . That just doesn't make sense.

Lastly. We should stop going to unknown planets without a suit and a decontamination procedure. The human body, or rather human DNA, is only 5/10% homo sapiens: the rest is bacteria, of many species.

If you go down to a planet where life exists (be it just plants), one of the following will happen:

  1. Alien bacteria kill terrestrial ones. Result: humans become "other", assuming they survive.
  2. Human bacteria kill alien ones. Result: a planet with a devastated ecosystem.
  3. Sometimes one, sometimes the other. Result: a half-devastated planet with ecosystems collapsing and people becoming something else, if they survive.
  4. Bacteria coexist, both inside and outside the body. Both the planet and humans become something else. Assuming they survive.

Honestly, it just doesn't seem like the case.

I would conclude with a mention to James “Gasparri” Holden, so as to respond to those who talk to me about polyamory and the fact that he has eight biological parents.

Let's make one thing clear: even if eight of you have an orgy, the child born always has TWO parents. Even if you have a gangbang of eight boys on a woman, the parents of the child are always two. Which they are is a matter of probability, but there is no category of porn that can change that fact. But in the film it is said that his genes come from eight parents .

Ok, so it was a LOT less fun than a simple orgy, because it all takes place in the lab.

Does that make sense? It depends on how well we understand human DNA, and mitochondrial DNA, and everything. If we understand it well, we can say that parent one, who is Polish, has the best liver, that parent two, who comes from the African highlands, has the best lungs, and so on. Then we take the most promising genes (provided that there are no synergies between the genes and that the genes produce a simple scalar product). We say that it would be a "maximized" crossing of the parents. A systematic evolutionary leap of the best result in three generations. Ok, I understand the rationale. Although something could go wrong even when the process works well:

Let's get back to us.

If that's the case, Holden's parents were all footballers and TV showgirls . That definitely didn't work with the brain. There is a technical term for James Holden, and it is "an imbecile". All the extravagant behavior of the other protagonists can be traced back to their history and context, and from their personal problems, or from the things they believe. The extravagant behaviors of James "Gasparri" Holden, on the other hand, cannot be traced back to the history of the person or to his ideas (if he has any). He is clearly an ISO9000 imbecile. A standard jerk.

So there are two cases: either it comes from a group of eight football players and TV valets, or the story of hybridizing eight people to make one simply doesn't work with the brain.

The orgy was better at this point.

Disclaimer: Am I saying the series is bad? Absolutely no. I liked it alot. Am I saying it's all wrong? Absolutely not: you can clearly see an immense amount of work to make educated guesses, to create a creole language, etc.

In fact I liked it very much. What I can't stand are people who come and say “hey, that's scientifically accurate”. No it is not'. And since we're talking about science fiction, it's all there.

In my opinion, the feeling of “realism” should be called “familiarity”: since scientific and technological enterprises are mentioned that are quite “close” to our current technology, they seem familiar to us. And therefore plausible.

But “scientifically familiar” and “scientifically truthful” are two different things.

Beautiful series, however, if only the protagonist weren't a bimbominchia with the personality of a block of basalt. Luckily there are other actors filling the screen, like Chrisjen Avasarala, to add depth. instead of Holden you could have put Ken's doll in it, and it would have looked the same.

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