Ubiquitous PADDs

At forty bucks for a Wi-Fi, BT, and GPS-enabled Android tablet, we have, I think, reached the era where this is plausible for the everyman:

Bear in mind, I am not sure this is a good thing.

And no, this isn't a sponsored post. It was just the thought I had upon seeing one in a brick-and-mortar store that cheap for the first time.


Classic Hits - Today!

So once, a long time ago, the computerized playlist system of a classic rock station pooped out in the middle of the night.   The young DJ was stuck all alone (save for a friend who was there hanging out) and didn't know who to call or how to fix it, but he knew how to play songs from CDs on the air.  Unfortunately, the collection from his car was not exactly as classic as the normal playlist, so the classic rock station ended up playing what the DJ thought were "classic" songs that were just a few years old, at least until the station owner called to find out why the hell his classic rock station was playing Nirvana and similar.

That was not the pinnacle moment in the history of radio, to be sure, but the point is that one can certainly imagine an event where the reverse happened . . . "You're listening to 109.9 The Frog, playing all of today's greatest hits!  Next up, Buddy Holly's recently-released That'll Be The Day!"  If you heard that, you might think you'd entered some sort of freakish time warp.

That was the situation I found myself in within the past few days.   I went to check up on the Kyber Crystal debate stuff and found that, alas, the current most active inflationist has changed subject . . . no, not to Babylon 5 or some other show I haven't watched, but instead to -- of all things -- the Ewok Arrow.  He has thus kindly provided us with more teachable moments insofar as how not to do this sort of thing.

And then while composing the response herein, I ended up going to look at the SDN forum and found that they were actually claiming that the asteroid that sheared off the bridge tower in TESB had only damaged a communications antenna, and that the reason the ship captain recoiled in horror was merely an instinctive reaction to something big coming his way, like a driver flinching if a water balloon is thrown against the windshield.

I was sorely tempted to stop and go to an internet timeserver to make sure I didn't have a wi-fi connection to 2004.   Seriously!   After all, I'd recently made a series of posts at StarfleetJedi.Net about "Zombie Inflationism" . . . I was referring to inflationists not realizing their religion was extinct, but I had no idea even then that I'd find myself literally seeing modern antiques like "the bridge tower's undamaged!" or "the Ewok arrow didn't hit the backpack!"

The TESB bridge tower obliteration was a question that I'd put to bed on this site in April 2003.  (Here's a Wayback version with the pics intact from 2004.)  I've updated the screencaps since then but didn't need to change the text significantly, because (prepare yourself for a mind-blowing fact) . . . obvious-conclusion remained obvious.

The bridge tower and soon the whole ship were destroyed.  End of debate.

And yet, here it is 11.5 years later and we've got the myth of "That?  'Tis but a scratch!" still being repeated at the inflationist madrasa.

How can they even ... no, wait.  Can they even?  I think not!

And then, lest we forget, we have the arrow thing.

For those of you unaware, the Ewok Arrow was one of the major battles of the olden days.

Here is one of the pages on the topic as it existed over 10 years ago, before access to Star Wars on DVD or much less Blu-ray.   (Note the reference to the long page load time on 56k!)   To summarize, the old inflationists were claiming that an Ewok arrow sticking out of a scout trooper just had to have hit above the guy's backpack on the black bodysuit, despite the clear evidence that this just wasn't so.   The Ewok arrow had clearly penetrated the backpack, as could be determined even with the VHS-video-capture-grade evidence available at the time.

However, there was one frame where the arrow seemed to line up with a smudge on the top of the trooper's backpack, and it was this singular frame that they planted their standard on, despite the fact that this coincidence didn't occur in any other frame where both smudge and arrow were visible.

With the advent of the DVDs, their argument became even less sustainable, and many just sort of dropped the old argument.  At some point I updated with the new DVD images, and though some still tried to claim the arrow wasn't in the backpack, the inflationists seemed generally to stop pressing the issue.

Nevertheless, in 2007 I posted HD caps of the arrow scene to StarfleetJedi.Net which made it even more obvious-er that the arrow was in the backpack.  

I don't recall ever hearing any further argument on the topic, so I presumed that the inflationists had wisely (and, of course, quietly) backed away from the claim.

Silly me.

I was thinking of commenting "you know, for a video guy and self-professed 'evidence man', I find your lack of video disturbing",  But, he references a previous video about the arrow (stormtroopers.mov at SciFights.Net, about 40 minutes in), but even in that video, he basically just glosses over the problem.  As is so often the case, he simply plays the scene, repeats some old wacky claim (or, sometimes, a new, possibly wackier one), and provides no factual analysis or observation.  I can do that better without saying a word:


In the case of the latest video . . . at least unless he edits it, which also happens sometimes . . . he simply shows the frame of the video in which the arrow is lined up nicely with the smudge (is it really 2004 again?), and then goes on to use a gappy fan costume to "prove" that there was a lot of room above the backpack for the arrow to possibly hit, as if somehow the mere presence of a large area not covered by metal or plastoid is relevant.

It isn't.  Even if we accept the fan costume as screen-accurate (though really, why not show a real onscreen one like I did years ago?), the whole nature of the argument is silly.  It doesn't matter if the backpack is way down on the guy's butt like he's some sort of saggy-packed thugtrooper who holds his blaster sideways ... what matters is where the arrow actually hit.  Did it hit the backpack or did it hit above the backpack?  That's the question, not the amount of not-metal-or-plastoid available.  It isn't like the bodysuit would suck the arrow towards itself with greater force with the more of it that showed.

And y'know, it isn't like I haven't spent time pondering this stuff.  Indeed, let's stop and consider the aforementioned issue of screen accuracy, shall we?  Here are the backs of two different scout trooper models uploaded by "abdyla" to the SketchUp 3-D Warehouse:

Those are 3-D models, guys.  It ain't tough to move a digital line ... certainly it is easier than redesigning a plastic suit. And yet even in CG those two wildly different models disagree completely on how high the pack sits up the back.  But to Brian, some random dude from a convention is the highest authority.  Okeedokee.

So where did it hit? Well, it is brutally, patently obvious that the arrow struck the backpack itself.  We've known that for well over a decade.  I argued it successfully based on VHS evidence, then with DVD it was made more plain, and HD only confirmed it that much more.

But Brian doesn't acknowledge the existence of other arguments (unless in strawman form).

Now, in my opinion, only flagrant, willful ignorance or flagrant, willful dishonesty can possibly be involved, here.  The asteroid scene discussion on SDN can be included here, though I give wiggle room for off-the-cuff forum posts.  But regarding the arrow topic, if you're gonna pretend to be an expert (as Young does), do your job and throw a little research in.   If you claim to have researched it (as Young does), then do your job right and don't lie about it to your viewers, or yourself, as part of your endless, desperate campaign to inflate Star Wars technology over that of other universes.


Blah Blah Scientificalness, Pt. III

In a shocking twist . . . shocking, I say! . . . the obvious conclusion has proven correct.

See, back in Pt. I, we observed the good Mr. Young going through the "denial" stage of grief in reference to the kyber crystals being associated with the Death Star.   Now, he has acknowledged it.

And yet, even in acknowledging it, we have a few teachable moments.

1.  He got to the conclusion in the totally wrong way.

Instead of referencing the "kyber crystal assembly" for the Death Star from Tarkin and thus keeping his conclusions drawn from within the canon, he only acknowledges it because of a "Rebels Recon" behind-the-scenes piece in which Pablo Hidalgo, curiously hatless, mentions it.   Hidalgo describes it as a focusing device, not as an amplifier/converter/tap as the canon shows, which no doubt plays into Young's wishes.

2.  Even upon acknowledging the kyber crystal's use in the Death Star, he couldn't leave well enough alone, and so tried to somehow turn it into a self-contradictory attack on Star Trek by drawing a conclusion about Romulan Warbirds.

Even discussing this claim furthers the goal of distracting attention away from the kyber crystal issue, in my opinion, and is merely the second stage of grief (lashing out in anger), but as it is a teachable moment . . .

See, he touts the claim that he cares more about what can be done by a culture (or "how well" as he puts it) instead of the nuts and bolts of how.  

Generally speaking, this is not wrong-headed on the face of it.   It's not helpful to get lost in the weeds of technobabble for this exercise.  And yet, he's certainly just too happy to make assertions about the nuts and bolts of Star Wars reactors based on his assumptions regarding the Death Star, assumptions about accelerations via antigravs, and so on, and he even continues to call the Death Star a 1E38J weapon, which is simply inaccurate.

He can talk a good talk, but fails to walk the walk.

In this case, he declares Romulan Warbirds to have inferior power generation technology to their Federation counterparts because the D'Deridex is slower at warp by design than a Galaxy Class Starship.

That's silly.   The speed of a warp-powered vessel, like that of an automobile, is based on many factors.   I can have a turbocharged 500 horsepower engine in a truck that might get its butt handed to it easily by a carburetor-breathing 200 horsepower car.   The truck is just bigger, heavier, geared for towing and not speed, et cetera, whereas the car might be an Ariel Atom-esque speed machine.  

In other words, the question of technology as divined by the resulting speed is as much a question of what the vehicle was designed to do.   All engineering is compromise, and just as the F-14 was dominant in its day, the Warbirds are probably superior to almost all Federation ships older than the then-three-year-old-or-so Galaxy Class.

Or for another automotive analogy, suppose I pit two equal engines and cars in a race, but in one I've placed a modern dual-clutch six-speed transmission (or even a modern CVT) and in the other I've mated a three-speed Cruise-O-Matic from a 1965 Ford Mustang.   The Cruise-O-Matic is toast, sorry.

Translating back to Trek, if a Galaxy Class has the choice of its own warp coils or coils based on those from the Ambassador Class, it stands to reason that the Ambassador's Cruise-O-Matic is going to result in a slower ship, even though the two vessels have equal power generation.

Besides which, in the case of a Warbird, we're talking about a vessel something like twice the length and four-and-a-half times the volume of a Galaxy Class ship.  It's also much less compact in general planform, with a crapton more surface area and related necessary structure, so I'm gonna go out on a not-a-limb and say it's probably a damn sight heavier, and thus a lot harder to push, and oh-by-the-way she's supposed to be able to fly at warp while cloaked, too, which probably involves a compromise or two in the engine department.

Of course, all this mental example stuff is not really necessary . . . the cloaked Warbird from "Tin Man" kept up with the Enterprise-D adequately enough . . . she just burned up her 30%-overdriven Cruise-O-Matic warp coils to do so, all while remaining (mostly) cloaked.   Sounds like a damn fine powerplant, to me.

So much for that argument.

3.  This connects with another recent video of his where he seemed to not understand that power systems technologically superior to fusion, such as antimatter, allow you greater energy capacity.  

Sure, if I have a 1 watt flashlight powered by a miniature antimatter reactor and you have a 10 watt flashlight powered by a miniature fusion reactor (or even just some Energizers) then, assuming all other things are equal,  you're better off than I am in a light-fight.   But if we're both sporting 1 watt flashlights of a certain volume, mine will most likely last a helluva lot longer than yours.  And if they're set up to last the same amount of time, mine's gonna be a lot smaller, and thus lighter.

Is it possible for a fusion-powered starship to match the output of an antimatter-powered one?  Absolutely.  But by virtue of the relative energies per unit mass of the two, the fusion-powered vessel will be burning up something like 100 times the fuel.   And that's by mass.   Volume's another story.  Or, quoting from the link, "That is, one gram of antihydrogen (i.e., a “mirror” atom composed of an antiproton and positron (antielectron)) reacted with the same amount of normal hydrogen produces a total energy equivalent to that delivered by 23 Shuttle External Tanks (ET)."  Or as these guys put the same idea, "When a gram of antimatter encounters a gram of normal matter they experience mutual destruction and in the process generate as much energy as all of the energy stored in the liquid hydrogen fuel of 23 Space Shuttle external fuel tanks. A kilogram of the stuff would create energy equal to two billion kilograms of hydrocarbon, or more than one thousand times the energy from a kilogram of plutonium or uranium in a nuclear reactor."

Put simply, the fusion guy's gonna need a bigger boat.

That is to say, for two vessels of similar volume, if they have similar power output and range/endurance then the antimatter-powered ship's gonna have a lot of extra space for other toys, munitions, auxiliary craft, cargo, et cetera.   In other words, an antimatter cargo ship might be the equivalent of a fusion warship in such a circumstance.   Or, of course, the antimatter ship could match the output of the other while being many, many times smaller . . . and even when smaller, still have greater longevity in high-energy activities.   You'd almost have to try to design a smaller antimatter-powered ship to have less longevity in that case.

Of course, since Star Wars vessels are canonically fusion-powered, all of this reasoning applies to, say, Star Destroyers versus Galaxy Class ships, as well.

4.  Just a note for amusement . . .

Young also discusses the looks of Andi Guiterrez with a backhanded compliment.  She's the social media guru and hostess of the behind-the-scenes video shorts, and perfectly suited to the task.

I always find his referencing people's looks amusing (such as in a prior video where he discusses Voyager actresses) because based on an as-yet-undemonstrated-two-years-later claim by Tyralak that someone called Brian ugly on a StarfleetJedi thread, Brian basically declared StarfleetJedi to be an evil den of monsters who caused him to be curled up in a fetal position for an entire weekend.  And of course, this is the same chap who demands folks ignore Mike Wong's people skills and focus on the arguments.  Heh.

Even if the "ugly" claim were true, one's chosen form of presentation is a valid target for criticism, be it my writing style and site design (such as they are) or his choice of face-centric video presentation.  When you put yourself out there, the form in which you do so is something that can be criticized and critiqued.  (I fully expected and accepted that there would be criticism of my voice in the podcast interview from earlier this year.)

In this case, the captivating Andi Guiterrez has put herself out there in video format for public consumption.   I don't think it's wrong of me to note that women should study her maneuvers to see how to do remarkably bewitching things with their mouths even when simply talking.   But, if my opinion were more like Brian's . . . that she's "not that bad-looking", which most women would find more than a little insulting . . . that's not necessarily wrong to say when discussing the Recon videos, either.

Unless, of course, you have a double-standard, like Brian.

5.  Finally, an apology.   I feel as if my recent posts relating to Young's videos are rather dumbed down compared to other posts, and thus lengthier, whereas my readers generally are not the sort to have been fooled on a first viewing.  

In a way I feel it's an unfortunate necessity, given the inane claims, but I think some of the issue is that the video format allows for so much easier logical sleight-of-hand than text.  

Text you can read at your own pace and re-read as necessary, taking the time to ponder what you see.   With video, however, claptrap can be passed off with an insincere giggle and you might not even realize it as the next sentence's assault on reason begins.   (This is why Bill Clinton, masterful sleazy lying scumbag that he is, gives speeches rather than writing tracts.  He can get away with a lot more con-artistry that way.)

All that having been said, dumbing things down is tiresome for me, so I'll aim for a change of pace in the future.


Death Star Yield Revision

Earlier claims were at least 1E32J based on gravitational binding energy of an Earth-like planet.  1E38J is higher, based on the maximum observed velocity of particles and the presumption of a 1g gravity field.

Both are now unsupportable.  I stipulated to them in the past despite observed material disappearance effects, but now that we officially have repeatedly-demonstrated Trek-like non-thermal non-mechanical vaporization (known elsewhere as POOC'ing, i.e. "phasing out of the continuum"), such estimates are no longer acceptable.

Some or most of Alderaan's mass is rendered absent without apparent conversion to energy . . . it just goes bye-bye . . . ergo gravitational binding energy and 1g presumptions are not a valid tool.

Star Wars isn't hard sci-fi any more than Star Trek is.  Trying to shoehorn it into being so is more absurd now than ever.  Or to put it another way, if you'll forgive the phrasing, we can pretend they're hard right up until the point where they go soft on us, but when they go soft we need to stop pushing, because it's neither of use nor of pleasure to anyone.

Or, the short version:




Crystal Power Amplification versus Scientificalness, Pt. II

And so Young has responded with two more videos here and here, though once again he has responded not-by-name.  One could presume he's seeking to avoid a proverbial urinary olympiad (which is fine with me ... I'm "on vacation"), but given his history of attacking me and this site and that he's broken the glass already by doing it by name from time to time, I must presume that, as with StarfleetJedi.Net, he's simply decided that any criticism is mean of me and so he's getting it filtered in via Tyralak and Vince.

(I mean, I used to try to avoid naming folks who'd made terrible points that I was about to tear down, but only out of kindness.  In Brian's case -- given that he doesn't even link to sites with opposing views -- it seems like it must be something else.)

Irrelevant details aside, he has doubled-down on being "more scientificy than thou" by name-dropping science concepts while continuing to ignore the bedrocks of scientific reasoning . . . which is kinda funny since he frequently references having an astrophysicist on proverbial speed-dial.   I mean, sure, it's an astrophysicist who is the very father of inflationism (and man I hope that there's a strong mental compartmentalization going on there), but still.

A.  Beamed Power and Acceleration

Brian's retort is to make the claim that even if your ship's power is being beamed in from elsewhere . . . his version of the kyber crystal idea . . . that nothing has changed in relation to vessel density and such.    He uses as an example the idea of accelerating toward lightspeed, claiming it is worse if you are getting your power beamed in because you're not losing mass to get to that velocity.

Even if we stipulate that this is a worthwhile example and not a bad analogy, then on the face of it that's still pretty silly, since he has presumably neglected to consider that you probably wouldn't carry all that propellant mass along if you no longer needed it.  

If I have a rocketship of mass X and for this approach-lightspeed mission it requires propellant of mass .5X (which sounds pretty awesome to modern ears anyway, but still), then my total rocketship mass at launch is 1.5X.   As I accelerate, the rocketship mass will go from 1.5X toward 1X, ignoring relativistic effects, but during much of my acceleration I am carrying and accelerating this propellant mass along with me that I don't intend to have at the end of the game.

Meanwhile, if I have a spaceship massing X and a ground-based laser, particle beam, or whatever pushing it toward lightspeed, then my final mass is unchanged from start to finish, and instead of carrying around an extra .5X of propellant I was always at 1X.   From the perspective of the ship, it's a free lunch.  Or launch.  Whatever.

It's even better if you're getting your ship's power from the ground and not having to generate that locally . . . then reactor/generator fuel is also free.  This is especially true if you're considering a ship that will be doing more than just shooting off to near-lightspeed.  Suppose you have a starship that is going to be engaged in a multi-year mission.   Even if it keeps propellant onboard, even just beaming in power to the ship, however impractical it may seem, means that you don't have to carry the mass of the reactor's fuel around with you.

Now, I could try to give him the benefit of the doubt by trying to expand his claim into being a reference to rocket propellant momentum issues versus beam propulsion and aim issues or what-have-you, but if he was aiming for that concept he was decidedly non-obvious about it (to the point that I think I'm simply giving him an escape route by evening mentioning it).  The simple fact is that if you are accelerating propellant along with you, you need a crapton more propellant.

So, let's remove the rocketry angle altogether.

In a certain sense your car is a "beamed"(or at least "collected")-power vehicle, at least in part.   See, while we commonly think of gasoline as fuel, the fact is that it's only half the fuel the car needs . . . actually, a crapton less than half.   The other part is air, and specifically the oxygen in it.  Thus, cars get a significant portion of their energy from the environment, as it were, rather than onboard sources.   If you had to carry the volume of air your car needs for the engine to work, you'd be looking at literally thousands of liters of air per liter of gasoline.  You'd do better just carrying liquid oxygen, but still you'd basically be driving something a whole lot bigger (or with a whole lot less usable volume) than what you're rolling in now.

Now, suppose I had a car with electric motors to drive the wheels (instead of a normal internal combustion car where the engine serves as both power generator and motor, or a hybrid thing where there are electric motors and an internal combustion power generator).   But I put no power generator in it, instead collecting this energy via tesla coil or laser-beam-from-orbit or super-solar kit or wires above like a trolley or what-have-you.   Ignoring the weight for the collection equipment, my car is now one of the most awesome-performing vehicles ever . . . like a Tesla roadster, already no slouch in performance, that's had all 1000 pounds of battery removed, leading to a power-to-weight ratio that would put it on par with some of the fastest petrol-powered four-wheeled speed machines.

And in either case, if I get the power I need each second on a "live feed" each second, then I'll never have the mass of any reserve with me.   In the gasoline and air example, if I was being mid-air-refueled every second, my mass would be minimal and I'd need to fuel tank.

I trust the point is obvious that beamed power really does change things, and arrogantly acting as if you have greater scientificalosity than everyone else when you don't is as embarrassingly silly as that neologism.

B.  Red-hot Herrings

Note that there is no suggestion that the kyber crystal is used to power the Death Star . . . that is Brian's claim alone, my jocular "crystal power" notwithstanding.  The point of this is not to discuss beamed power, per se.   We should be focusing like a superlaser on the Death Star superlaser.  As is becoming more and more apparent, the superlaser is a kyber-crystal-thingy-beam.

Brian makes the claim, as did Clonetrooper Vince, that with the kyber crystal amplification the Death Star is still awesome for having handled said power, or "managed" as Brian puts it.   As Vince so kindly put it in text:
Yes, and the energy beams were produced inside the Death Star, so the ship generated and manipulated all this planet-destroying energy (equivalent to thousands of years of our Sun's output!) without vaporizing itself or it's crew. This sets a benchmark for the vessels power handling capabilities regardless of how the ship generated this energy.
Curiously, Star Wars inflationists never think along such lines when it comes to Star Trek.  A tiny Type-I phaser has effective firepower capable of vaporizing a human body, but we don't hear them suggest that the phaser is awesome for being able to generate and handle that power.

Why is that?  Well, there they do not argue that the energy is 'real', but that it is instead some particles with wacky effects that produce a similar outcome, which is correct.  The same is true of the Death Star, but they refuse to acknowledge this, hence how he continues to assume incorrectly that the beam itself was a simple direct energy transfer laser beam of planet-destroying energy levels . . . an idea long since dismantled even well before kyber crystals came into play.  That's the first problem with this claim.

Or, as I've explained by analogy elsewhere:

If I watch a Dirty Harry movie, I can calculate that, to blow a hole in the badguy of such-and-such size, a projectile of a certain energy and certain characteristics was used.  However, if I have no understanding of gunpowder or clockwork-style mechanics, I may end up making assumptions that require Dirty Harry's trigger finger to be capable of twitching at a sufficient energy level in order to throw the projectile using the trigger as a simple lever, at which point I could go on and make really silly assumptions about how high he should be able to jump, the energy content of his food, and so on.

That would be silly, of course, and would ignore the smoke coming from barrel and between barrel and cylinder on his revolver, but it's no more silly than the way inflationists have always ignored all the peculiar effects related to the Death Star and then gone on to make silly claims based on their faulty conclusions.

Now, let us also ponder an explosion on bullet impact that completely destroys the badguy Dirty Harry fired upon, going off like a multi-ton bomb (. . . in reality, maybe the guy has a dynamite vest or something).  And we ponder this in the context of how we now know about muscle, fat, guns, gunpowder, and bullets, and densities thereof.

Most would agree that continuing to insist that Dirty Harry was storing that additional explosive energy on or in his person and transmitting it via the bullet seems a rather noteworthy assumption, at the very least.  And yet, that is what we are supposed to believe, according to inflationist logic, and if we dare suggest otherwise . . . say, something akin to a sodium bullet being fired into a swimming pool, for instance, or a dynamite vest . . . we're evil and anti-science.

In reality, Dirty Harry is the cause of the explosion, but his finger is not necessarily the source of the energy, in that he, at least potentially, caused a release of energy stored elsewhere, or a localization of available energy, or what-have-you . . . in two separate ways, in the exploding badguy case, with the launch of the bullet propelled by gunpowder and the explosion of the badguy.

Now that we know of the amplification effects of large Kyber crystals, we actually know a lot more about what happened.  Indeed, we know the energy beams they emit have all the weird effects as part and parcel of the beam.  To wit, Rebels has shown us another example of kyber crystals and their effects on detonation in "Breaking Ranks".   A TIE fighter is literally dismantled and largely vaporized, slowly but surely, when caught in the spherical shockwave.  

We didn't get to see the planar shockwave touch anything, but suffice it to say that continuing to declare the superlaser to be a simple 1E38J laser beam engaged in simple thermal heating is approximately the silliest idea in the Vs. Debate.

More to the point, what is the energy level required to handle the power of this wacky beam?    In what way is it even being handled, if at all?    We see the beam pass by some guys in a tunnel, but other than that the only time we see the Death Star interacting with beams in any way, it's just because they're being emitted from it.  The tributary beams themselves interact with each other outside the Death Star, seemingly creating what we might call a kyber matrix outside the Death Star from which the final beam is fired.

What is the energy requirement for that?  What is the momentum against the Death Star when you have beam convergence and emission occurring far from it?   

The assumptions these guys use to further their inflationist goals are just silly!

I mean, I can bounce a laser with just a piece of reflective metal.   Beyond any pedantic arguments, I have expended no energy to handle the laser in this fashion.   And while one would think this "SuperPhaser" beam would eat mirrors for breakfast, the mental point remains true . . . for all we know a specific element is sufficient to deflect the beam, or even very particularly configured magnetic fields, et cetera.   And this assumes that the crystals aren't cut like a diamond to produce a particular beam direction to begin with, requiring no external force to deflect.

The handling claim is furthered by Brian into a mention of waste heat, suggesting that handling the waste heat from this kyber crystal amplification is itself proof of standard inflationist Death Star understandings.

Again, what the hell is the waste heat of a crystal generating a funky beam of this nature?    We have no idea.   We know the kyber crystal aboard the Separatist ship in TCW was believed to have overheated, leading to its explosion, but we never saw any effects of this heating on the ship before the kaboom.   There was no indication of it melting, melting the floor, or even heating the air around it substantially.   It glowed, yes, but it was already supposed to be a luminous green.  Teeny-tiny kyber crystals on Ilum as used for lightsabers glowed too, if you'll recall.  And, despite the numerous Separatist tank shots against it, the stick-on antigrav units that could be blown off by blaster fire were still hanging out on it, perfectly happy, so whatever overheating was involved simply didn't appear to be affecting them.

In other words, so far as we know, large kyber crystals overheat at 100 degrees Fahrenheit.   We don't even know where the big ones are found or how they form . . . we just know the little ones are on a very cold planet.

C.  A Worthwhile Mental Model

Let's imagine you have a simplified laser pointer.   It has a AA battery, a basic flashlight bulb, a shaped ruby crystal, and a focusing lens/mirror apparatus.  The battery powers the bulb, the bulb shines on the ruby, and the shaped ruby flouresces appropriately, generating (with the help of the focusing apparatus) a beam of laser light of, say, a milliwatt.

Now, suppose we can somehow amp up the flourescence of the ruby a zillion times over, say by electrifying it.   So we hook up some jumper cables from a 500kW car engine to the ruby, but otherwise change nothing.    Now we have a ten watt beam, or a 100 watt beam, or a 50kW beam . . . whatever.

Now, in reality, what we have is a complicated setup featuring two separate power systems (a 1.5v and a 12v) feeding a bulb and the ruby, respectively.   But now, POOF! . . . I have used some sort of magic trickery to render the jumper cables and the 12v power source invisible and their mass unnoticeable.   And I hand you the laser pointer and tell you to have fun.   The result is that, so near as you can tell, you have a 1.5v battery powering a 50 kilowatt laser beam.   Or at least this would be your thought before you went blind and ended up burning yourself seriously.

Your mind would be blown, as well it should be.

So what's the difference between this and the kyber crystal?   

Well, the kyber crystal has jumper cables on it from hyperspace, I'd wager.   You still need a battery and a bulb, but you get a lot more out of it than you put into it.   For all intents and purposes, the kyber crystal is like a little battery-powered switch closing a 220v, high-energy circuit.  (And by the way, there's no telling what these ethereal jumper cables mean for its heat capacity.)

Of course, what you get out of it isn't a regular laser beam, either.   It's a beam of ever so strange particles that do really strange, phaser-like things to targets.

Can you even calculate the effect?   Not really, no.   Even if we continue to grant the Death Star superlaser a yield of 1E38J . . . and this in and of itself is questionable now due to some additional observations . . . there's no way in hell to get any reliable answer of that size by following it up the chain to the reactor, because "you can't get there from here".

D.  Density, Indeed

Once again, continuing from the last post, the large kyber crystals aren't superdense, period.   

There is no scene in the shows that would suggest such.  Even in "Breaking Ranks"[REB1] they were supposedly carrying one on a wee little vessel of less than 100m length, which given their supposed super-density (not to mention their strategic import) would be a terrible idea.  The one from TCW over a decade prior was carried easily aboard a shuttle, and then was pushed around by Anakin and Obi-Wan when it had antigravs attached as easily as a car can be pushed around when on a roller dolly jack setup (1, 2), and even Force-pushed a lot more easily than when they'd had to lift it.   Unless the anti-gravs were reading their minds and providing thrust, the simple fact is that the crystal wasn't that massive.

E.  Conclusion

Barring additional kyber crystal stories that change things, it seems apparent that the kyber crystals are integral to the design of the Death Star, creating a beam from the input of the Death Star's fusion powerplant that is capable of destroying a planet.   This beam causes material disappearance and seeming vaporization, along with some blast effects, largely in keeping with my prior research on the topic.

Oh, and while we're on the topic, one can't help but imagine the "seismic charge" as a wee little kyber bomb.  But that's another story.