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starship-design: FTL, ZPE n' stuff

Kyle, apparently I haven't made my point clearly enough.  We may be
engaged in designing imaginary starships, but we have so far taken an an
engineering approach to doing so.  That means that if we are to use FTL,
we must have an _engineering_ understanding of FTL, and any plausible
FTL theories that exist are too new and unproven to be used for
engineering -- none of them have yet translated into making a material
object go faster than light.  The same goes for any other physics and
technology that these designs use -- they have to be understood, and
proven, because you can't do engineering with something you don't

I cite relativity theory not as a be-all and end-all of science, but as
a theory that is understood and proven well enough to have engineering
knowledge.  Even your TV set has to be designed with relativistic
effects taken into account.  Even if relativity is not complete, there's
no demonstrated successor.  That doesn't mean there won't be, but again,
we have to design with what we have, not what we wish we had.

Meanwhile, I'd be happy to read up on the various theories you speak
about, if you can give specific references to them -- i.e. titles of
books or papers, URLs of web pages, etc.  As I've also emphasized,
science is about verifiable results, and I will believe the things that
I can verify.