Jump to content


Getting an "Insecure Connection" warning for Exisle? No worry

Details in this thread

International laws of salvage


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Christopher

Christopher
  • Demigod
  • 32,908 posts

Posted 05 February 2003 - 06:20 PM

What an interesting question!

I gather that these days the Egyptian government (and others like Turkey and Greece) is expressing a lot of unhappiness at the way British and American archaeologists removed so many pieces of history from their countries, like the Elgin Marbles.  This is quite the nationalist hot-button issue these days, and there are lots of efforts underway to get those antiquities returned to their countries of origin.  If Egypt knew about the Stargate, they'd probably claim it as a national treasure and demand it back.

"You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right." -- xkcd

"The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas." -- "H. G. Wells," Time After Time


Written Worlds -- My homepage and blog
Facebook Author Page

#2 Gvambat

Gvambat
  • Islander
  • 1,236 posts

Posted 05 February 2003 - 05:02 PM

Backstory (here there be spoilers): The Stargate (alpha) was discovered at a dig in Giza in 1929. It was removed and moved to the US, studied through WW2, then put aside until current times when they finally figured out how to make it work (using a computer interface) and what it does (namely: goes to other plants). The controlling device (DHD) for the alpha gate had been discovered some years before the Stargate by a German team, and moved to Berlin, and it was taken to Russia (then the USSR) after the end of WW2.

The beta Stargate and DHD were discovered (by accident) near the end of the first season in Antartica, approximately 50 miles away from McMurdoh, iirc. Both were taken to the US and put into storage.

End of third season: A very advanced Asgard ship infested with replicators comes to Earth, SG-1 manage to send the ship into an uncontrolled reentry into atmosphere, and they beam up the alpha gate to use as a means of escape. The beta gate is unpacked used.

Mid season 4: It is discoverered that the alpha Gate was not distroyed when Thor's ship exploded, and it was slavaged by the Russians.

Mid season 5: Teal'c gets lost between Stargates and they need a DHD to get him out. Since the beta DHD fell through a plothole, they manage to convince the Russians to loan them the DHD from the alpha gate. Unforseen problems occur, and although Teal'c and the Stargate come out fine, the alpha DHD was heavily damaged, probably beyond repair.

Season 6 premier: the Beta gate is distroyed by Anubis, and the government cuts a deal to rent the alpha gate from the Russians.

Now, I know nothing about salvage laws, but it seems to me that whatever they are, if they contain even a tiny bit of common sense, they've been broken several times. Both the Stargate and the DHD can be considered an invaluable national resource, allowing that nation access to a galaxy of raw materials, potential allies, and sources of advanced technology.

It probably doesn't matter, seeing as since whichever goverments know about it seem dedicated (for now) to keeping it a secret, so it's probably never going to court, but does anyone have a better handle on what should (legally) have been done?

Electrons behave like waves on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; like particles on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and like nothing at all on Sundays.

#3 Corwin

Corwin

    fortitudo ac honor

  • Islander
  • 1,695 posts

Posted 20 February 2003 - 03:02 AM

Christopher, on Feb 5 2003, 09:22 AM, said:

If Egypt knew about the Stargate, they'd probably claim it as a national treasure and demand it back
If the Stargate had been created by the ancient Egyptians, I could possibly see them having a claim.  However, since it is most definitely NOT from Earth and was just found in Egypt, they would not have any claim.  Besides, possession is nine-tenths of the law.


--Corwin
"The Enemy is upon us, so Lock and Load, Brothers.  The Emperor Calls and the Forces of Chaos must be driven back.  Though all of us will fall, none of us shall fail!"

#4 Rhea

Rhea

  • Islander
  • 16,433 posts

Posted 24 February 2003 - 11:59 PM

Christopher, on Feb 5 2003, 07:22 AM, said:

What an interesting question!

I gather that these days the Egyptian government (and others like Turkey and Greece) is expressing a lot of unhappiness at the way British and American archaeologists removed so many pieces of history from their countries, like the Elgin Marbles.  This is quite the nationalist hot-button issue these days, and there are lots of efforts underway to get those antiquities returned to their countries of origin.  If Egypt knew about the Stargate, they'd probably claim it as a national treasure and demand it back.
Too true. But in 1929, when the original Stargate was recovered, the laws governing antiquities (of which the Stargate is certainly one) were not too tight, and that's why so many unique and irreplaceable treasures ended up not only in museums around the world but also in private collections.

OTOH, the Egyptians themselves actively participated in the rape of their national treasures, since a great deal of the stuff that made it out of Egypt was looted from the tombs by Egyptians (the men of Gurnah, for instance, for whom tomb looting was a time-honored occupation) and sold to collectors.

The Stargate would not have been returned to Egypt, because it was taken long before the current laws were in place.

Edited by Rhea, 25 February 2003 - 12:01 AM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#5 Christopher

Christopher
  • Demigod
  • 32,908 posts

Posted 25 February 2003 - 01:55 AM

Corwin, on Feb 19 2003, 07:04 PM, said:

If the Stargate had been created by the ancient Egyptians, I could possibly see them having a claim.  However, since it is most definitely NOT from Earth and was just found in Egypt, they would not have any claim.
That's an objective way of looking at it, but certainly there'd be nationalist and political incentives for arguing otherwise.  The claim could be made (I'm not endorsing any claims, just theorizing about what kinds of nationalist arguments might arise) that the Stargate is an integral part of Egyptian history regardless of its origins.

I mean, come on, whichever country has the Stargate becomes the most important country on Earth.  So I guarantee you that if its existence were public, Egypt would fight hard to assert that it had a rightful claim to the gate.
"You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right." -- xkcd

"The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas." -- "H. G. Wells," Time After Time


Written Worlds -- My homepage and blog
Facebook Author Page

#6 Rhea

Rhea

  • Islander
  • 16,433 posts

Posted 25 February 2003 - 02:42 AM

Christopher, on Feb 24 2003, 02:57 PM, said:

I mean, come on, whichever country has the Stargate becomes the most important country on Earth.  So I guarantee you that if its existence were public, Egypt would fight hard to assert that it had a rightful claim to the gate.
Sure they would. And they would have been out of luck. :p
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#7 Corwin

Corwin

    fortitudo ac honor

  • Islander
  • 1,695 posts

Posted 26 February 2003 - 07:42 AM

Oh, I completely agree with you there, Rhea!

Besides, if the knowledge of the Stargate did become public, the USA is the best country equipped to deal with it since we are the most technologically advanced, have more resources and have the highest GNP of any other country.

I might see letting other countries scientists come in or maybe let some countries have their own SG teams...  but that could be tied up in special committees for years....  

not to mention the fact that if it became public, a sizeable portion of the world population would be running around like chickens with thier heads cut off, mass suicides and other end of the world stuff...  

hhhhm... makes a good case for releasing the information...

--Corwin
"The Enemy is upon us, so Lock and Load, Brothers.  The Emperor Calls and the Forces of Chaos must be driven back.  Though all of us will fall, none of us shall fail!"

#8 Christopher

Christopher
  • Demigod
  • 32,908 posts

Posted 26 February 2003 - 04:19 PM

Corwin, on Feb 25 2003, 11:44 PM, said:

not to mention the fact that if it became public, a sizeable portion of the world population would be running around like chickens with thier heads cut off, mass suicides and other end of the world stuff... 

hhhhm... makes a good case for releasing the information...
I've never bought into that excuse that "we're not ready" for proof of the existence of aliens.  After all, whole generations have grown up with alien heroes in their mass media.  Okay, maybe that's more true of the West than the Third World, say, but Western pop culture is pretty ubiquitous.  And most contacts between "alien" cultures in the past, like the Native Americans' or Poylnesians' first contacts with Europeans (who were highly alien or even supernatural to their eyes) haven't led to self-destructive orgies.  Sure, there's been destruction, but as a result of disease, conquest and cultural imperialism, not panicky self-immolation on the part of the contacted culture.  I'm sure a few small suicide cults would use it as an excuse, but hell, they don't need real aliens as an excuse.

I'll grant, though, that in the Stargate case, the fact that the aliens are actually out to destroy us would create more panic.  And if knowledge of the symbiotes got out, it could lead to rampant paranoia and mistrust.  Plus there might be aggressive persecution of those cultures from whom the Goa'uld borrow their "divine" trappings -- though the Goa'uld have turned out to be pretty eclectic, so it's not like Egypt would be singled out, I guess.
"You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right." -- xkcd

"The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas." -- "H. G. Wells," Time After Time


Written Worlds -- My homepage and blog
Facebook Author Page

#9 Corwin

Corwin

    fortitudo ac honor

  • Islander
  • 1,695 posts

Posted 27 February 2003 - 01:24 AM

Christopher, on Feb 26 2003, 07:21 AM, said:

Plus there might be aggressive persecution of those cultures from whom the Goa'uld borrow their "divine" trappings -- though the Goa'uld have turned out to be pretty eclectic, so it's not like Egypt would be singled out, I guess.
In the Egyptian case, I don't think that persecution of the culture would happen considering that the current culture of Egypt has very little to do with culture from 2000 years ago, much less when dealing with the Old Kingdom in 3000-2500 BC  (5,000-4,500 years ago) when the Stargate would have been active.

However, you do make a very valid point.  Where would the paranoia end?  It would definitely shake up several major religions at best, and at worst I could see a new religious crusade.
"The Enemy is upon us, so Lock and Load, Brothers.  The Emperor Calls and the Forces of Chaos must be driven back.  Though all of us will fall, none of us shall fail!"

#10 Rhea

Rhea

  • Islander
  • 16,433 posts

Posted 27 February 2003 - 01:55 AM

I can easily see rampant paranoia being the rule rather than the exception. Shades of Heinlein's "Puppet Masters!" How do you fight an enemy you can't see?  :blink: (Come to think of it, the Go'a'uld certainly resemble Heinlein's invaders).

Edited by Rhea, 27 February 2003 - 01:56 AM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#11 Christopher

Christopher
  • Demigod
  • 32,908 posts

Posted 27 February 2003 - 02:04 AM

Corwin, on Feb 26 2003, 05:26 PM, said:

In the Egyptian case, I don't think that persecution of the culture would happen considering that the current culture of Egypt has very little to do with culture from 2000 years ago, much less when dealing with the Old Kingdom in 3000-2500 BC  (5,000-4,500 years ago) when the Stargate would have been active.
Yeah, that's right -- Egypt is a Muslim nation now.  But still, a lot of people still see it as the land of the Pharaohs.  And Egypt itself played up that aspect of its history for a while, back in the 19th-early 20th centuries, during the period in Mideast history when ethnic/regional/ nationalism was emphasized over religion as a basis for cultural identity.

In fact, I think a lot of people don't really understand the divide between ancient and modern Egypt.  Just last weekend, I happened across a bit of the Saturday morning cartoon based on the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies, and there was something about an ancient tomb that the Pharaohs had built in Cairo.  I was stunned, since Cairo was built by the Muslims in AD 969, well over a millennium after the last native Egyptian dynasty fell.  You'd think people writing a show based on Egyptian elements would do at least the tiniest bit of research necessary to avoid such a huge mistake.  But come to think of it, I remember the same anachronism showing up in an episode of Hercules or Xena (though that was hardly the only anachronism in those shows).
"You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right." -- xkcd

"The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas." -- "H. G. Wells," Time After Time


Written Worlds -- My homepage and blog
Facebook Author Page

#12 tennyson

tennyson
  • Islander
  • 6,173 posts

Posted 27 February 2003 - 03:43 AM

The Ghoul'uld resemble the puppetmasters, yes and no. While they are both parasites that use host bodies, the puppetmasters seemed much more mobile on thier own than the Ghoul'uld and they could assume control of any higher mammal with a complicated enough nervous system, for example the puppetmaster  that rode in on the cat to infect the protagonist's girl. As far as I know we've never seen a Ghoul'uld take a host body that wasn't an intelligent lifeform. That might just be preference, or they might need a certain level of complexity to be able to adequately interface with the hosts' nervous system. On the other hand, the process does seem to be all but permanent, requiring highly adavanced technology to untangle the Ghoul'uld. The Puppetmasters could just be physically removed with just your hands and didn't seem to form anything like the kind of permanent bond that a ghoul'uld and host have. The Ghoul'uld also reproduce more slowly, being divided into two sexes rather than the hermaphroditic puppetmasters.
I think the puppetmasters are scarier. without a host body or a vat of nutrient rich water a ghoul'uld can only survive for a short distance while the puppetmaster can hide out pretty much anywhere that's a little moist, waiting for hosts to wonder by.Although the Ghoul'uld has the advantage in that they can hide in the body itself, while just not wearing any or very little clothes allowed for easy identification of infested people in the book. So similar but not identical, but then how many variations of  mindcontrolling parasites are there by now anyway?

Edited by tennyson, 27 February 2003 - 03:45 AM.

"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5



0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users