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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:14 am 
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Yes, people were arguing that we should be able to assume that Erf World works like Stupid World does. And frequently at that.

I think my problem is that it's so damn hard to prove anything in Erf World. Casters understand magic intuitively. As far as we know, that's the only way to understand magic, and even if a unit were to gain caster senses, that would be magic too. Or a magic item could be used, but it's still magic. Seems like knowledge of magic comes from just knowing, not observing. Sizemore's journey to master class seems like he just makes theories and sees how they feel, and until he reaches an understanding, he isn't master level. In the same way, units don't seem to increase in skill until they go up a level, and then the skill increases all at once. At least that's how it seems like it works. With learning on Erf being that way, it seems like it would be hard to prove a theory. So much of knowledge on Erf comes from just knowing it, it's hard to have hard proof of laws. Since casters do reach master class when they come to these understandings, we can assume they are true, but it's hard for us to understand them beyond a conceptual level because we don't have caster senses.

I'll cede the point that point that perhaps everything on Erf can be explained to the same level that it can on Stupid World. But to us it won't be more than a theory that we personally can't prove, only see the results of. Kinda like Dark Matter, I think(My knowledge of dark matter is thin in the extreme, but wikipedia says my analogy might be decent. If I'm wrong, be gentle).

We aren't casters and thus are ill-equipped to understand the makings of Erf. It can be conceptually explained, but I don't think we'll ever be able to do anything but take their word for it.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:08 am 
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    Tonot wrote:
    I take issue with your semantics however, because you say "Identify and Quantify God" to dismiss Lipkin's' statement but that is kind of cheating. God with a capital G would be God. Ipso facto you could not Quantify Him, He would absolutely be unknowable and supernatural, it is in the job description. If you Quantified him, all you would be doing is proving he wasn't a god at all, which if you go back and read the post, is exactly what I said myself.

    If there turned out to be an Intelligent Designer in the form of a perfectly ordinary human time traveler in a stable time loop, many people would call him God, and you'd be wrong to say they're wrong. Such a God would be consistent with Enlightenment-era Deism, for instance.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:17 pm 
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    Lipkin wrote:
    Casters understand magic intuitively. As far as we know, that's the only way to understand magic, and even if a unit were to gain caster senses, that would be magic too.


    I understand that Thinkamancy is the manipulation of grandiocosmic strings. That's not intuitive, it's intellectual.

    It's not as if there are things we can't directly perceive with our own naked senses in Stupidworld. Infrared is a color of which we've never had an intuitive impression.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:30 pm 
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    As I understand it, they can directly perceive those strings.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:39 pm 
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    Doctor Foreman wrote:
    Lipkin wrote:
    Casters understand magic intuitively. As far as we know, that's the only way to understand magic, and even if a unit were to gain caster senses, that would be magic too.


    I understand that Thinkamancy is the manipulation of grandiocosmic strings. That's not intuitive, it's intellectual.

    It's not as if there are things we can't directly perceive with our own naked senses in Stupidworld. Infrared is a color of which we've never had an intuitive impression.
    But you don't understand that. You've been told that Thinkamancy is the manipulation of grandioscopic strings. You don't understand hows it's done, and you personally can't prove that it's true. It's a concept to you.

    Infrared to us is like a separate casting discipline to our own. We don't naturally know it, but we can understand it because it's related to our own vision. We know how sight and color work, so we can use that knowledge to gain understanding upon infrared. But a blind person will never understand infrared any more than they will the color green. A blind person wouldn't be able to know color existed without someone telling them.

    We are all blind when it comes to magic. It's a sense we do not have. We can have magic explained conceptually to us, but we'll never be able to experience it ourselves or know it to be true. And because the laws of Erf themselves are magic, it requires magic to observe them, either by being a caster, or with a magic item. We can't use technology to even the playing field and detect magic artificially like we do with infrared.

    Because the laws of Erf can't be proven without magic, and we don't have magic, much of the mechanics of Erf feel like hand waves. Yes, there are things we don't understand in Stupid World, like gravity. But gravity we can measure, track, and observe. We don't know what it is, but we know it's there, and how it acts. By comparison, Erf has seemingly way more laws, and the mechanics can't be observed by standard units. We have much less capacity to understand Erf than we do Stupid World.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:26 pm 
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    Gawd, this isn't so complicated, people.

    We can't do thorough science on Erfworld because it's being delivered to us mostly-noninteractively through a low-precision interface, as if we could only study astronomy through sketches made by other people, and they drew what they felt like.

    They can't do it because they don't know how to science (grammar chosen for derpitude).

    If we were in Erfworld under circumstances favorable to investigation, we could do a lot better. Since the interface to magic remains subjective, this would be really tricky. There are ways of dealing with this, but it could be we'd never be able to get as clean results as we can in stupidworld, from machines. Careful use of statistics would be important.

    What didn't I cover, here? It seems like everyone's talking about different things.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:57 pm 
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    drachefly wrote:
    Gawd, this isn't so complicated, people.

    We can't do thorough science on Erfworld because it's being delivered to us mostly-noninteractively through a low-precision interface, as if we could only study astronomy through sketches made by other people, and they drew what they felt like.

    They can't do it because they don't know how to science (grammar chosen for derpitude).

    If we were in Erfworld under circumstances favorable to investigation, we could do a lot better. Since the interface to magic remains subjective, this would be really tricky. There are ways of dealing with this, but it could be we'd never be able to get as clean results as we can in stupidworld, from machines. Careful use of statistics would be important.

    What didn't I cover, here? It seems like everyone's talking about different things.

    Thank you.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:37 pm 
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    drachefly wrote:
    Gawd, this isn't so complicated, people.

    We can't do thorough science on Erfworld because it's being delivered to us mostly-noninteractively through a low-precision interface, as if we could only study astronomy through sketches made by other people, and they drew what they felt like.

    They can't do it because they don't know how to science (grammar chosen for derpitude).

    If we were in Erfworld under circumstances favorable to investigation, we could do a lot better. Since the interface to magic remains subjective, this would be really tricky. There are ways of dealing with this, but it could be we'd never be able to get as clean results as we can in stupidworld, from machines. Careful use of statistics would be important.

    What didn't I cover, here? It seems like everyone's talking about different things.


    Doesn't Isaac's park deny all of that? He's expanding his capacity to observe, which is the first step of the scientific method.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:41 pm 
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    You're blending two separate points of Drache's argument Kriestor, the point about our ability to science and the point about Erflings' ability to science.
    On the former, his point was that WE the readers cannot do science on Erfworld because of the way it is presented to us.
    And on the latter, Issac is expanding his capacity to observe, but it is in a more philosophical sense, and he is also still at the "mercy" of the subjective nature of magic that Drache points out. His use of magic doesn't create precise forces that can be measured in units, it is feelings that are not quantifiable.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:51 pm 
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    Are you sure they're not quantifiable?

    Are you sure, say, a Dollamancer-Thinkamancer-Thinkamancer link couldn't create a device that quantifies those things?

    I don't really know. Erfworlders really haven't tried. Maybe it is possible. Maybe it's not.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:12 pm 
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    Hence 'it could be'. I was open to the possibility of the development of calibrated magic-measuring items, but I wasn't counting on it.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:24 pm 
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    Kreistor wrote:
    Doesn't Isaac's park deny all of that? He's expanding his capacity to observe, which is the first step of the scientific method.
    Isaac wants to know everything and he hopes he can get there by building better and better tools to make observations. Unfortunately for him, he hasn't yet realized that knowledge requires more than just observation. He hasn't taken the leap to doing actual science yet. I am very eager to discover all the wonderful and amazing things that Isaac and Parson talk about.

    I just wish that the Thinkamancers hadn't collectively decided to keep secrets from Parson.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:55 pm 
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    Lilwik wrote:
    Isaac wants to know everything and he hopes he can get there by building better and better tools to make observations. Unfortunately for him, he hasn't yet realized that knowledge requires more than just observation. He hasn't taken the leap to doing actual science yet. I am very eager to discover all the wonderful and amazing things that Isaac and Parson talk about.


    How is Isaac's technique different from the scientific method?

    Observe, hypothesize, predict, test, analyze. The park is both part of observe and experiment. And he analyzes to draw conclusions. Lookslike atual science to me, if you ignore the superficials of his equipment.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:19 pm 
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    It is the beginnings of science. We haven't seen any hints that he's done anything quantitative with those tools. Maybe given a lot longer he could get there. He hasn't got that much time, for now.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:20 pm 
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    It's a subtle distinction Kriestor, and some might argue it's semantics, but I figured I'd point it out anyway because it's still important to acknowledge. Issac's technique is essentially philosophy, as it lacks the specific measurable numeric results that one would expect in science. He is still dealing in feelings and ideas, and using them to formulate opinions on the theory of magic.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:27 pm 
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    Except it seems Date-a-mancy can actually produce numerical quantifications of feelings?

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:41 pm 
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    Shai_hulud wrote:
    Except it seems Date-a-mancy can actually produce numerical quantifications of feelings?
    We should expect no less from any discipline aligned with the Numbers axis. Even Foolamancers probably deal with numbers somehow, though we've seen no real evidence of it yet. It's unfortunate for Isaac that Thinkamancy is Fate magic instead of Numbers magic. Maybe he could learn a lot from Jack and the way Jack carefully studies everything he sees in precise detail. Perhaps a great scientist in Erfworld would best be a full Eyemancer with the skills of all there axes: Lookamancy to observe the world, Thinkamancy to organize ideas, and Foolamancy to see the truth as it is, measure it precisely, and not be lead astray by preconceptions.

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     Post Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:09 am 
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    Well, Issac is a full Eyemancer, so he does stand a fair chance of achieving this. I suspect Foolamancy deals with Numbers in the sense that it disguises them. Much of what they do makes Numbers appear differently (creating units that aren't really there, hiding those that are, ect. all of these wouldn't be possible if the effect was purely visual, since Commanders can see stats)

    On the Date-a-mancy point, it's the other way around (using the Laurel of Napster as our most direct example). It gives you intuitive feelings about numbers, not the other way around.

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     Post Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:11 pm 
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    0beron wrote:
    Much of what they do makes Numbers appear differently
    He can also see things as they actually are and break veils recall.
    0beron wrote:
    On the Date-a-mancy point, it's the other way around (using the Laurel of Napster as our most direct example). It gives you intuitive feelings about numbers, not the other way around.
    Actually what that page actually says is this:
    Quote:
    Date-a-mancy is the oddest branch of Hippiemancy, in that it follows the Numbers which underlie all action. Date-a-mancy tries to quantify the intangible, things like leadership and compatibility and morale and Loyalty and Duty and even love, by means of match-ups.
    So yes, it does try to give hard numbers on abstract mental qualities. For me, the real problem is that the text doesn't say whether that quote is a third person narrator, or just an explanation of what Duncan is thinking. He might not actually know for sure after all, being a warlord.

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     Post Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:30 pm 
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    Shai_hulud wrote:
    0beron wrote:
    Much of what they do makes Numbers appear differently
    He can also see things as they actually are and break veils recall.
    0beron wrote:
    On the Date-a-mancy point, it's the other way around (using the Laurel of Napster as our most direct example). It gives you intuitive feelings about numbers, not the other way around.
    Actually what that page actually says is this:
    Quote:
    Date-a-mancy is the oddest branch of Hippiemancy, in that it follows the Numbers which underlie all action. Date-a-mancy tries to quantify the intangible, things like leadership and compatibility and morale and Loyalty and Duty and even love, by means of match-ups.
    So yes, it does try to give hard numbers on abstract mental qualities. For me, the real problem is that the text doesn't say whether that quote is a third person narrator, or just an explanation of what Duncan is thinking. He might not actually know for sure after all, being a warlord.

    That's the proposed cannon, and is not confirmed.

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