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 Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:58 am 
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There's a (short?) story i read in school when i was about twelve (so eighteenish years ago) that's just come to mind. Appropriately, and i hope understandably, i can't remember the name or author, but I can paraphrase it.

In the near future a guy with learning difficulties becomes the subject of an experiment testing a new drug. The drug improves his mental facilities and turns him into a genius, and a rapid learner that understands complex physics and mathematics in an instance. They keep upping the dose and he gets brighter and brighter, he fixes all the problems in Einstein, wins games of chess blindfold (made that one up) and does all the narrative tropes of showing that yo are a genius. etc. etc. Then the budget for the program gets cut (or they decide that they've proved it works and can be sustained over time) and they stop giving him the drugs. And he returns to how he was before. The story is written in the first person, and there is a moment as his mental abilities are sliding back to where they were, when he is still far cleverer than he was to begin with, but has lost the pick of brilliance. he knows what he did, but can no longer understood how he did it.

I think the linking as drug metaphor, which is been pushed from the other side at the start of this thread (I laughed about the linkaholic - i think we are all link-pushers, seeing as we keep saying 'so what happens if you mix a dirtamancer with a predictamancer?', etc. incidentally, what would linking multiple versions of the same discipline doe? say two thinkamancers? one to think and one to guide the thinking?) is highly appropriate.

Thom

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:07 am 
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    Sorry, that just reminds me of Keyes' Flowers for Algernon.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:34 am 
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    DevilDan wrote:
    Sorry, that just reminds me of Keyes' Flowers for Algernon.


    Yeah, that's the first thing that came to me too.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:05 am 
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    *looks to memory discussion.
    AFAIK, human memory can vary in what you can remember (numbers, pictures, and so on - visual memory, textual memory, kinestetic memory and so on) and be developed to various strengths. AND depend on wonderful things like what you've been eating, how much you have been sleeping, how much physical exercise you have been getting, and how much new information you have had to process recently. I learned the averse side of memory while trying to hold down a job, complete two minors and a major, and ST a LARP at the same time. Besides doing less than well in most of these tasks, I went from remembering nearly everything I was exposed to, to not being able to remember the contents of a page I had read five minutes ago, in half a year, even if it was interesting and/or important.
    So, yeah, I'm not surprised at Parson forgetting what trigonometry is while being thrown into another world. He's had so much to process, trigonometry should be very much at the back of his mind now. In a familiar setting and with a problem in front of him, he should be able to remember.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:14 am 
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    What's been said about thinkamancy definitely hints at a possibility toward memory alteration. Additionally, there is the potential for changes to be made to one's ability to do certain things (travel, ride things, etc.). Or it could be another instance where he was manipulated by his role to focus on the combat simulator.

    I was about to write this off as disinterested writing off of a past skill for the purpose of an example, or even a possible mistake on Rob's part (unlikely as it may be), except for the following phrase: "He strained to remember." Now, I can accept that one could forget the premise of trig while speaking of it offhand on a completely different conversation, but when I strain to remember something, I can at the very least remember the basic premise, and a fundamental "what is done in the field." I never took trig, and even I know that trig involves the mathematics of triangulation, a process every human being does instinctively through depth perception alone. I'm sure there's more, but the point is even I know that much.

    No, I think there's thinkamancy at work here, blocking Parson's ability to remember something he does not actively know, and possibly doesn't have the world-assigned stats for. With more time and a concentrated effort, he might remember the basics in spite of the world, but right now, he was already attempting to do something else, and so he conveniently 'forgot' in order to pursue the task that is his world-assigned role.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:21 am 
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    Long time reader, finally got around to making a forum account to reply to the reaction threads (I came close when that one guy got offended by the short bus comment).

    Anyway, I don't think it was intended to imply that Parson is losing his real world memory. At least not from this example, if they were gonna use that as a plot point I would think it would be more straight forward and be something he had forgotten that was obviously something that was forgotten beyond just regular memory lapse. The key sentence to all of this is

    Quote:
    "...But I'm not sure I could explain what that even is, now."


    Does he mean, "I don't even think I could do it or remember much hard factual stuff about it" (regular forgetfulness) or does he mean, "I don't even know what Trig is besides it deals with math and triangles" (Not conclusive evidence of forgetting it beyond what is normal, but possible).

    I also think it's important to remember that Parson was saying it in response to Jack saying that he didn't remember how to do the battle table but he remembers doing it. Implying that his Trig abilities were something similar, something he had done in the past but had forgotten. Only with Parson it was because of time, and in Jack's case it's the lack of two other casters being linked to him.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:29 am 
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    Justyn wrote:
    DevilDan wrote:
    Sorry, that just reminds me of Keyes' Flowers for Algernon.


    Yeah, that's the first thing that came to me too.


    It's been so long the name didn't ring any bells. Just checked that on a website that shall remain nameless, but one that i would slaughter my students for referencing from in an essay ;), and reckon you are both right! thanks

    I'll have to re-read it, as I've noticed there are huge gaps in my memory of it...

    as regards the comments that it could be natural thinkamancy, I'm going to sit on a fence here. I feel about the same about trig as Parson seems to be expressing, but Erfworld thinks him alot of the time, so maybe...

    T

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:04 pm 
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    raphfrk wrote:
    Unclever title wrote:
    On the note of the decrypted leveling, truth be told we don't even know for sure (unless someone can point it out for me somewhere) that the uncroaked can level. While Stanley makes the point that if the uncroaked warlords are pulled out of battle before victory it counts as a loss and the uncroaked warlords will not level Rob has made it clear to us that an Erfworlder doesn't know what his "experience points" are or when he will next level up, he knows that if he wins enough battles he will eventually level and that's about it.


    That's true. Even if uncroaked never leveled, it is possible that nobody really noticed it, since they always decay in a few turns anyway. If leveling takes 20-30 turns, the fact that they don't level wouldn't be obvious.


    Eh. Wanda and Stanly have been together for a lot of battles now. I'm sure she had uncroaked fight in every battle, and I'm sure that if they didn't level, Wanda and Stanly would know by now.

    Anyway, i get the impression Wanda already knows pretty much everything there is to know about her dicipline. I doubt she would fail to understand the most basic facts about how uncroaked work.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:11 pm 
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    Infidel wrote:
    Sorry, losing the ability due to time-lapse memory loss is not the same as forgetting the function. You may forget a lot of trig from school, but 80 years later when you die of old age, you'll still remember the purpose of trig and what the name means. And even if you forget the formulas. Remembering the function means you could reverse engineer the formulas given some time and patience, and a lot of scratch paper.

    I took a college entrance exam last week after not seeing a math class since 1988. But since the test was un-timed I sat there and reverse engineered the Pythagorean theorem in order to solve a word problem. I couldn't remember the theorem but since I had spent some effort understanding why the theorem worked, it wasn't that hard to re-build the equation. That 20 question test took me about 4 hours to finish but my score was worth the effort.


    Lol. You probably aren't the best example. I bet you go up to 10 people on the street and ask them what trig is, 8 of them won't really kow, but they all learned it in school.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:51 pm 
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    moose o death wrote:
    i have a scientific calculator on my desk from 1998 when i was in the higher level maths class at high school.

    and i can not remember which maths trigonometry was. i use the calculator to work out how many divisions of something i'll need for my 3d models. it's fallen out of favour for the calculator key on my keyboard.

    so ten years of not using trig has left me wondering which formula's it covers. so i find myself in exactly the position your arguing isn't possible.

    There's a difference, you may perceive, between having a calculator that you don't use much lying around the house, and wearing a calculator watch. The latter implies that you're the sort of person who feels it necessary to be able to perform calculations at any time, anywhere, which has further implications regarding your personal relationship to math.

    Trig class was in '91 for me. I remember almost nothing from the class (for which I blame the teacher, who was not very bright, a lousy teacher, and more concerned about making sure her students' souls had been saved from THE DEBIL than about actually, y'know, teaching us trigonometry (and I was a long-haired scruffy kid who dressed all in black, played D&D (at the height of the Satan scare), and was dating a pentacle-wearing Wiccan, which made the class extra-double-fun)). But I can still tell you that trigonometry deals with the properties of right triangles, and even which ratios the sine, cosine, and tangent are, because the SOHCAHTOA mnemonic was so effectively drilled into my head over the years, starting in about 7th grade Geometry, that I couldn't forget it even if I wanted to. Start talking about secants and so on and I'm lost, but I remember basically what trig is and what it's for.

    And I haven't worn a calculator watch in years...

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:01 pm 
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    Um... I never took trig, but I still know what the various trig fuctions represent, and how to use them. I'm very spotty on the angle addition, multiplication, &etc., but I know what trig IS.

    But, given that Erfworld uses hexes for movement, it is entirely possible that trigonometry is not true in Erfworld. (I think that trig assumes Cartesien Geometry to be true, but proving that is way above my head)

    Since a discrete hex system like Erfworld has different rules, maybe there is a Mathemancical equivalent of trig. Parson should be able to quickly determine the distance and best path between hexes (due to wargaming experience).

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:06 pm 
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    Yosarian wrote:
    Eh. Wanda and Stanly have been together for a lot of battles now. I'm sure she had uncroaked fight in every battle, and I'm sure that if they didn't level, Wanda and Stanly would know by now.

    Anyway, i get the impression Wanda already knows pretty much everything there is to know about her dicipline. I doubt she would fail to understand the most basic facts about how uncroaked work.


    Actually, the fact that uncroaked decay, means that even if they level, it isn't important. Leveling is a waste if it is an investment for only a few turns. OTOH, Parson's decision to attack, kill critical units, and then withdraw probably gives experience points to the defenders, so it is a bad idea long-term.

    We would need to know how long uncroaked tend to last. They last longer the more care the croakamancer spends on uncroaking them. I wonder if Wanda can also 'heal' uncroaked in order to extend their lifespan.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:34 pm 
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    raphfrk wrote:
    Actually, the fact that uncroaked decay, means that even if they level, it isn't important. Leveling is a waste if it is an investment for only a few turns. OTOH, Parson's decision to attack, kill critical units, and then withdraw probably gives experience points to the defenders, so it is a bad idea long-term.


    Still, better to get rid of powerful and strategically important units and give a little experience to far weaker units. Plus, we don't know for sure if the units were getting any experience seeing as they weren't killing any units.

    raphfrk wrote:
    We would need to know how long uncroaked tend to last. They last longer the more care the croakamancer spends on uncroaking them. I wonder if Wanda can also 'heal' uncroaked in order to extend their lifespan.


    We haven't had any indication of that. Were that the case, the uncroaked warlords would have probably been in better condition, considering there were just a few of them.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:03 pm 
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    Yosarian wrote:
    Infidel wrote:
    I bet you go up to 10 people on the street and ask them what trig is, 8 of them won't really kow, but they all learned it in school.


    Someone's been watching trailers of Jay Leno's new TV show...

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:21 pm 
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    Infidel wrote:
    moose o death wrote:
    i have a scientific calculator on my desk from 1998 when i was in the higher level maths class at high school.

    and i can not remember which maths trigonometry was. i use the calculator to work out how many divisions of something i'll need for my 3d models. it's fallen out of favour for the calculator key on my keyboard.

    so ten years of not using trig has left me wondering which formula's it covers. so i find myself in exactly the position your arguing isn't possible.


    No, you're supporting my argument that forgetting formulas is normal. Are you trying to argue that you forgot the terms sine, cosine and what they were used for, even if is normal to forget which is which and how to apply them. Heck, I never took trig and I know that they are used somehow to calculate the length of a side of a triangle if you only know the length of one side. I can even think of RW examples where such an ability might be useful. Wondering which foruma covers something is not the same as wondering if there is a formula for something. Knowing something can be done is half of doing it.


    yes infidel i was supporting your point. you did see my post was directly under John cambell's post right

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:41 pm 
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    raphfrk wrote:
    Yosarian wrote:
    Eh. Wanda and Stanly have been together for a lot of battles now. I'm sure she had uncroaked fight in every battle, and I'm sure that if they didn't level, Wanda and Stanly would know by now.

    Anyway, i get the impression Wanda already knows pretty much everything there is to know about her dicipline. I doubt she would fail to understand the most basic facts about how uncroaked work.


    Actually, the fact that uncroaked decay, means that even if they level, it isn't important. Leveling is a waste if it is an investment for only a few turns.


    Actually, I would go the other way. The fact that uncroaked decay over time means that you'll probably want to send them on high-risk missions fairly often; if they die, no great loss, right? It's just better sense then sending normal units on a mission like that. On the other hand, if you send a stack of units on a high-risk mission and they win, they probably level.

    Stanly attacked Parson because his tactics meant his uncroaked warlords wouldn't level if they retreat; I'm pretty sure that means that he knows they were capable of leveling.


    Quote:
    We would need to know how long uncroaked tend to last. They last longer the more care the croakamancer spends on uncroaking them. I wonder if Wanda can also 'heal' uncroaked in order to extend their lifespan.


    Well, I suspect that if someone with Wanda's level really takes her time on a single uncroaked (like with the warlords), they can last quite a while. We know that if Wanda uncroakes every dead unit in a city hex they only last a few turns, but if she can uncroak thousands of units for a few turns in one action, I'd imagine that if she spends the same time and effort uncroaking one single, important unit, like a worlord, it'll probably last dozens of turns.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 038
     Post Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:34 am 
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    Quote:
    Guuzark wrote:

    Interesting to see it implied that (Parson's) unit stats can be improved by training.


    I'm not sure it's about training, but a parallel to the natural signmancy in Jillian's becoming royal in the previous update. Parson is becoming a warlord, not a lump of lard. While Jillian is becoming a softer, weaker Royal--Parson is becoming stronger and healthier. We don't know how much stronger, because nobody can see his stats--but they seem to be improving. I say it's time for a training montage, teach Parson how to actually use a weapon even though he doesn't want to use one. Parson's level is important, it effects every unit in his stack and every unit in his hex. The way to improve his warlord bonus is to get Parson to level. The way to get him to level is to get him to win fights.

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