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Author Topic: I don't get this.
SoaPiNuReYe
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Ok, in Shadow of the Giant theres a part where Peter asks Ender to write a book about him. He asks him through the Ansible in real-time. I can usually grasp the higher levels of thinking required by reading Sci-Fi but this was just confusing.
How can they be talking in real-time through the ansible when time is going at different speeds for them?
Please post, this is a serious question.
I'm new to the forum so excuse me if its been already identified

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jeniwren
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Could be wrong, but I thought he wrote Peter's story after he got to the Hive Queen's homeworld. In fact, if I remember right...it's been a while...he would have to have been on the formic homeworld because I thought he wrote the Hive Queen's story first, which Peter read, and which decided him on asking Ender to write the story of the Hegemon.

But maybe I'm remembering wrong. It's been a while. If Ender was on a planet, then time was going at the same rate as Peter's. It only stretches when he's travelling near the speed of light.

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BaoQingTian
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It has been a while since reading the book, but as I recall Ender had settled on a world at this point. At that point since his speed would be nothing even close to c, his time and Peter's time should be almost identical.

Edit: Errr....what jeniwren said. I must be a slow typer

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SoaPiNuReYe
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Ok cool its been awhile and it just popped into my head as i was reading some other book.
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Subhuman
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The anisible is an instantaneous communication device. So they could just talk to each other no matter how fast they were experiencing time. The information would travel in no time...
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BaoQingTian
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Mmmm...not strictly true.

Ender was going close to the speed of light while Peter was not moving anywhere near that speed. If it were even possible for them to be able to see each other on the ansible in real time, then Ender would appear frozen on the screen where as Peter would be moving around like a hyperactive chipmunk. Speech would be unintelligeable.

When I think of the ansible as an instantaneous communications device, I think of it that it takes 0 seconds for the information to travel from point A to point B, regardless of their physical location. Remember Val had to write essays and send them off every hour while traveling to Lustania (sp?) just so they could have something to read every 2 weeks back on Earth.

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Orson Scott Card
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The conversation in question takes place on Ender's colony world. Messages CAN be sent between ships or between a ship and a groundbase, including holofilms, but NOT realtime conversations. Instead, the computers compensate for the time differential and when a transmission is complete, they display it. So there can be days or weeks between message and answer.

But when both stations are stationary (not stationery, I guess), realtime conversation is possible - if you have the wealth and power to command that much ansible bandwidth ...

Don't get TOO deeply into the physics of it, because it is IMPOSSIBLE. It's a black-box magic trick. There are no ansibles. So there's a point beyond which it makes no sense to try to make sense of it all.

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Oliver Dale
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Really don't look too closely. Because then you have to wonder what is meant by the stations being stationary. Stationary with respect to each other, presumably. Or, to be put another way, could they be moving (non-stationary) but still be inhabiting the same inertial reference frame? Sure, as long as they are moving in the same direction with the same velocity.
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HectorVictor
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Well, you have to understand that all of these planets that Ender and the human race inhabits would all be in the Milky Way galaxy. No star system in that galaxy would be moving close enough to the speed of light when compared to the relative velocity of Earth, or any other planet to cause any real relativistic effect. Sure, there very well could be some time delay, but not that much to cause any real disruption in the conversation.

Now, if they were in ships moving opposite directions at near-light speeds, then like OSC said, live conversations would be impossible because of the time lag due to relativistic effects. But planets and star systems simply do not move that fast to cause any real hinderences.

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