Book 2 - Page 80

Book 2 - Page 80
Comic - Book 2  Page 80
Recent posts... (See full thread)
Oberon wrote:
Did Stanley call for an immediate end to the GK turn when Wanda was injured? No. Have we any example of a King/Overlord/CWL calling for the end of the turn so that some unit can heal or get rations upon the start of the next turn? No. So that argument is specious at best.

You're completely misreading the point I'm trying to make.

Under normal circumstances ("normal", in this case, being defined as "not being wiped out before the start of the next turn"), there is no reason to prolong a turn indefinitely, and lots of reasons to end the turn at the regular time. Food replenishes, wounds heal, everything gets cleaned up... ending the turn is natural. Nobody even thinks about not doing it; why would you cancel your auto maid/chef/medical treatment?

Only extreme duress - as in "I know our side ends as soon as I end the turn" duress - would cause a ruler to even consider fighting the natural order. Rulers in this situation would have already exhausted every other option - hiring casters, suing for peace, calling for allies. All tried, all failed. They ARE going to die, hopelessly and overwhelmingly, as soon as they end the turn. They've already sent their casters on with instructions to carry on the side, or to live well, or whatever. The heir they popped and sent away was captured and croaked. Their treasure is empty. Their field units are already wiped out - there's no cavalry coming. They don't want to die, but they know they're going to as soon as they end the turn.

So, they don't end the turn. And something happens - the turn stretches on forever, they start to starve, they go insane... or nothing happens, and the turn ends normally at the maximum allowed duration... or predictamancer-led turnamancers burst in, forcibly end the turn, and vanish back into the Magic Kingdom... we don't know.

There is NO logical reason for a ruler to choose to prolong the turn under normal conditions, and a whole multitude of reasons why they should end the turn normally. And in the only imaginable circumstance under which the turn would be prolonged, no one outside of the hex would ever know that anything was amiss - from their point of view, the turn ends at its regular time, and life moves on, no matter how long the ruler inside tried to prolong it. But maybe, when that enemy force enters the hex, everyone is already dead... or maybe there are just faded bones, or maybe there's nothing at all... maybe they just see the hex turn neutral after the last person inside the hex dies of old age, and when they enter it, it's lifeless and grey (like Queen Bee's capital).

But the argument that "someone would have already done it if it could be done" isn't a logically valid argument. That's my main point (as Nnelg more succinctly pointed out while I was composing this) - there's a very plausible reason why no one tries it normally, and why anyone who might have tried it isn't talking about it.

We don't know what happens if a ruler chooses to avoid ending the turn. We all have pet theories, and any of them might be true. Personally, I assume the Titans are evil, and as a result I assume that whatever implementation of the physics of the world would lead to the most suffering is how the world is, so I choose to envision an Erfworld where a ruler's final moments can be stretched out for an agonizingly long period of time, with hopelessness rising, hunger setting in, boredom and ultimately rage and madness as the end results. None of us can actually prove or disprove any of these theories, so pick your own resolution and enjoy.
Nnelg wrote:
If you happen to have a logical proof as to why there must not be, then I will completely rescind this statement.
No logical proof. Just a proof by absence. No turn we have seen has ever stretched on forever, therefore it's logical to assume that one cannot, or that we'd have seen some mention of such a stratagem. Or at the very least, that the argument that the turn can stretch on forever needs to come up with stronger evidence to be considered seriously. I seem to be being contradicted by the argument that since something hasn't been dis-proven, that it must therefore be possible. That is a specious argument. To prove that something is possible requires a much stronger backing of factual evidence.

And I've provided plenty of rationale why such a theory of an endless turn is contradicted by many other evidences and cases which we have seen to date. I've seen no such rationale from the "endless turn" camp. Just idle speculation with no backing evidence.

I know that it is impossible to disprove a negative. I can't "prove" that a turn cannot go on forever using the evidence we have available to us. But it's also impossible to prove something on the basis of no evidence, and there is no evidence that a turn can go on forever. Just common sense.
Oberon wrote:
I know that it is impossible to disprove a negative. I can't "prove" that a turn cannot go on forever using the evidence we have available to us. But it's also impossible to prove something on the basis of no evidence, and there is no evidence that a turn can go on forever. Just common sense.

Common sense doesn't work in Erfworld. Don't bother appealing to it. Hell, it rarely works on Earth.

We know that the end of a turn is determined by the will and command of the ruler. We know that relative time changes based on that event. We have only seen one instance of a turn ending without the will of the ruler ending it, and that was a spell. We know that an arbitrary number of turns can occur in the same day, so there is not a tightly-bound one-turn-equals-one-day rule: 3 turns (one for each side) have equaled a day in the past. We know that each hex contains its own relative bubble of time.

Until the last hundred years or so, mankind had no idea what happens beyond the boundary of a singularity. I'm asserting that the act of choosing not to end the turn is like an event horizon - we don't know what happens past that, and the situations that cause it to occur make it very difficult to observe. Most Erfworlders who are in a position to test it don't really think that way. There may even be a compulsion that requires that they end the turn, just like there's a compulsion against swearing, and a compulsion towards duty, etc. The easiest solution to the question is that Erfworld forces every ruler to end the turn by mental compulsion, or prevents them from ever even considering it in the first place.

Oberon, feel free to choose to impose scientific rigor when daydreaming about actions in an imaginary magic-filled realm. You are absolutely correct that there's no evidence that "choosing not to end the turn" works the way I think it does. But if it works your way, it's BORING, and in the realm of fantasy, given the choice between two possible options, why would you pick the mundane?
Oberon wrote:
Nnelg wrote:
If you happen to have a logical proof as to why there must not be, then I will completely rescind this statement.
No logical proof. Just a proof by absence. No turn we have seen has ever stretched on forever, therefore it's logical to assume that one cannot, or that we'd have seen some mention of such a stratagem. Or at the very least, that the argument that the turn can stretch on forever needs to come up with stronger evidence to be considered seriously. I seem to be being contradicted by the argument that since something hasn't been dis-proven, that it must therefore be possible. That is a specious argument. To prove that something is possible requires a much stronger backing of factual evidence.

And I've provided plenty of rationale why such a theory of an endless turn is contradicted by many other evidences and cases which we have seen to date. I've seen no such rationale from the "endless turn" camp. Just idle speculation with no backing evidence.

I know that it is impossible to disprove a negative. I can't "prove" that a turn cannot go on forever using the evidence we have available to us. But it's also impossible to prove something on the basis of no evidence, and there is no evidence that a turn can go on forever. Just common sense.


Argument A:

1. IF AND ONLY IF we are omniscient, THEN it is NOT possible we haven't seen everything that is possible.

2. THEREFORE IF we are NOT omniscient, THEN it is possible we haven't seen everything that is possible.

3. We are NOT omniscient of what happens in Erfworld.

4. THEREFORE it is possible we haven't seen everything that is possible in Erfworld.


Argument B:

1. IF AND ONLY IF we have NOT seen an event occur AND there are known forces directly opposing such an event from occurring THEN can we conclude it is likely that said event is impossible.

2. There are NOT known forces directly opposing a turn from stretching on forever.

3. THEREFORE we can NOT conclude that it is likely that it is impossible for turns to stretch on forever.


Argument C:

1. IF common sense has proven unreliable in a given field in the past THEN common sense should NOT be relied on when working in that field.

2. What is possible in Erfworld has often gone against common sense.

3. THEREFORE common sense should NOT be relied on when extrapolating what is possible in Erfworld.


Argument D:

1. IF AND ONLY IF a theory has been previously been held in consensus as correct THEN can it be the leading theory.

2. IF a theory is NOT the leading theory, THEN it can NOT be be assumed in absence of conflicting data.

3. IF there has NOT been a prior held consensus, THEN any given theory must NOT be the leading theory.

4. THEREFORE IF there has NOT been a prior held consensus, THEN any given theory can NOT be assumed in absence of conflicting data.

5. "Turns cannot stretch on forever" is a theory.

6. There has NOT been a prior held consensus on this question.

7. THEREFORE "turns cannot stretch on forever" can NOT be assumed in absence of conflicting data.


Argument E:

1. IF I have made my point, THEN I should stop talking.

2. I still have more I could say.

3. I have made my point already.

4. THEREFORE I should stop talking.
MarbitChow wrote:
Until the last hundred years or so, mankind had no idea what happens beyond the boundary of a singularity.

Just for the record...

We still don't, and if the physics is right it is literally impossible that we ever will, because the time dilation effect asymptotes such that it'll take literally forever for you to fall in, relative to the outside universe.

Also, the singularity has no boundary; it's a mathematical point. What you're thinking of is the event horizon.

Lastly a bit of trivia: if the universe is dense enough, it might have an event horizon of its own, which would mean we're effectively living in one humongous black hole. Similarly, subatomic particles like quarks might be dense enough to have event horizons, which if true would mean that all matter everywhere is comprised entirely of black holes. (Of course, it's not really as simple as this, but I'm not a physicist either so I'm glossing over the details.)
MarbitChow wrote:
We know that the end of a turn is determined by the will and command of the ruler.
You keep saying that, but that doesn't make it an absolute. We've only seen turns end by the command of the ruler or CWL or via (*ptui!*) Kingworld. But don't mistake the ruler or CWL calling for the end of the turn with the ruler or CWL having the ability to extend the turn endlessly. Those two things can easily be mutually exclusive. See my prior posts for the greater detail, unless you just want to repeat yourself again.
Nnelg wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:
Until the last hundred years or so, mankind had no idea what happens beyond the boundary of a singularity.

Just for the record...

We still don't, and if the physics is right it is literally impossible that we ever will, because the time dilation effect asymptotes such that it'll take literally forever for you to fall in, relative to the outside universe.

Also, the singularity has no boundary; it's a mathematical point. What you're thinking of is the event horizon.
To add to this esoterica, it's been postulated that the super-massive black holes which are at the center of most or all galaxies may have an average density less than water. And also, a few of Larry Niven's stories are now impossible given that quantum black holes have a lifespan of microseconds.
Oberon wrote:
You keep saying that, but that doesn't make it an absolute. We've only seen turns end by the command of the ruler or CWL or via (*ptui!*) Kingworld. But don't mistake the ruler or CWL calling for the end of the turn with the ruler or CWL having the ability to extend the turn endlessly. Those two things can easily be mutually exclusive.
Of course they can. I've said that your interpretation is completely plausible. But your interpretation requires a mechanism that hasn't yet been demonstrated - some natural event that ends the turn without the ruler doing anything. The only way this discussion gets settled is if someone actually runs the experiment and your mechanism is demonstrated.

I'll note that, in order for Charlie to have time to handle unlimited thinkagrams, plus spy on all thinkamancer transactions, and still be able to eat and sleep, he might actually need to have each day last longer than 24 hours. I'm obviously not saying that this is evidence of any sort; it's just food for thought.
MarbitChow wrote:
I'll note that, in order for Charlie to have time to handle unlimited thinkagrams...he might actually need to have each day last longer than 24 hours.

Good point Marbit, but also recall that it sometimes takes multiple days of concentrating for some commanders to receive a reply from him. This may be a matter of distance or the 'Dish's ability to detect their call, so some units need to concentrate longer to actually "make the phone ring". Or it could be because Charlie is too busy and DOESN'T have more than 24 hours in a day. Just to be Devil's advocate :p
0beron wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:
I'll note that, in order for Charlie to have time to handle unlimited thinkagrams...he might actually need to have each day last longer than 24 hours.

Good point Marbit, but also recall that it sometimes takes multiple days of concentrating for some commanders to receive a reply from him. This may be a matter of distance or the 'Dish's ability to detect their call, so some units need to concentrate longer to actually "make the phone ring". Or it could be because Charlie is too busy and DOESN'T have more than 24 hours in a day. Just to be Devil's advocate :p

It could also be that he's deliberately slow to respond, to unhinge the caller's nerve a bit and give him an edge in negotiations.