Book 2 - Text Updates 002

Book 2 - Text Updates 002

Gobwin Knob‘s dominion had spread out far and wide, across a variety of terrain types, and Sizemore had seen quite a bit of it. Warlord Ansom and Lady Firebaugh had taken to razing cities which produced less useful unit types, and he would fly out by dwagon relay and rebuild on the ruins. This created a city that popped the same kinds of units the capital did: infantry and twolls for a Level One, plus spidews and warlords for a Level Two, and dwagons for a Level Three or more.

In his travels, he‘d had the chance to try out many different provisions: fruits and nuts, cheeses, meats, bread from different grains, malt beers, wild game. But he had yet to find anything as tasty and wonderful as the fat gray mushrooms the Hippiemancers grew.

He munched his way through a small sack of them, walking with Janis under the trestles of the little vineyard. He was already down to his last three. He wanted to save them, but he knew he wouldn‘t. He pulled out another and bit into it. Delicious.

"So he‘s taking some interest in command again?" Janis asked.

They were discussing Lord Parson, though Sizemore didn‘t particularly want to. Janis always brought him up. He shook his head. "No, not command. He rarely issues an order any more. It‘s strange...he asks. Asks us to do things. Even Pikers..."

"But he spends his time plotting battles."

"Gaming," said Sizemore. "Not really planning. I‘ve talked to him about it, like you asked. Lord Parson studies war the way some of us like to study magic. Only he‘s good at it."

Janis cocked her head. "He‘s good at war?"

"Good at studying," said Sizemore. He nodded, "But that too."

They stopped at a green copper fountain with a sculpture of a nude Archon, arms upraised. Sizemore popped the last two mushrooms greedily in his mouth, washed his hands, and drank from one of the cascading spouts. "Look, you know. In magic theory," he said, wiping his face on his jacket sleeve, "when we debate...we do it by comparing the merits of one system of terms and ideas to another one. And somebody is always defending the system they most admire. Maybe even because it‘s the system they invented."

Janis took his wrist as he spoke, and led him to a little marble bench to sit.

"Lord Parson doesn‘t do it that way," Sizemore continued, sitting down. "He investigates...tests. He‘s very good at working things down to base principles. I think we could all learn something from the way he thinks."

Janis looked at him closely, in silence.

"He‘s got to command, Sizemore."

Sizemore sighed. "I know," he said. "Maggie thinks so too. But Lord Stanley is...really difficult. You don‘t know."

"I think there will be an opportunity. This battle you will fight tomorrow, with Jetstone--"

Sizemore started to object. The discussion of his side‘s battle plans here would be against Duty. But she raised her hand. "You don‘t need to confirm it. I know. And this battle will be a turning point. I have some Predictamancy on it, among other things. There will be disarray, and you and your Thinkamancer should push him to lead."

He sighed again. Janis was his friend, his guide. She was the wisest person he knew. She was loving, and giving of her wisdom. She would talk about anything he wanted to talk about.

But only if they talked about Parson first, and he really didn‘t enjoy it at all. "Maggie won‘t use Thinkamancy on him. And I don‘t think she should."

Janis smiled warmly. "Then use friendship. Use illumination. Make him see the need."

He couldn‘t return her smile. He looked down at the little round stones in a circular pattern around the fountain: concentric spirals, like the head of a daisy. Blades of new grass were poking up in the cracks. "Janis... I still have trouble seeing the need." He looked up at her. "He doesn‘t want to fight. And I don‘t, either. What our side is doing...it‘s both glorious and terrible. Mostly terrible, I think. Everyone fears us, even here. Lord Parson doesn‘t want to lead it. I respect him for that, but I‘m also really quite frightened about what will happen to the whole world if he takes command again."

One corner of Janis‘ mouth drooped, and she touched his shoulder.

"It will break. I told you. He may war so terribly that it breaks war itself. That is my own hope." She smiled sadly, "And in the long run, I have few others."

Sizemore looked at her carefully. "This is a war for peace, then? You‘re sure?"

She nodded. "I think it is."

He shook his head in wonder. "And that...makes it better?"

"Than a war for war? Yes, I think so."

Sizemore thought about the things he had seen in the ruins of cities, and the ruins of his friendships here.

"It‘s still worse than peace."

Janis raised her chin. "What isn‘t?"

 

Comic - Book 2 - Text Updates 002

Recent posts... (See full thread)
Just by virtue of being science something doesn't have to have a large impact. Some knowledge, yes even the scientific kind is useless.
Notably, Janis doesn't say things like "Parson will make it so that there are other things to do besides war." She says, "He may war so terribly that it breaks war itself." While it's not impossible that Parson DOES somehow introduce new mechanics into Erfworld (which seems unlikely, to be honest), Janis seems to think he's only going to accomplish whatever the actual result is through war.

Additionally, there's the question of what else Janis has predictamancy on (she says she has some on other things...) - maybe some of it regards Parson and the impact he'll have on Erfworld? It's also still debatable as to whether or not peace in Erfworld is actually something sustainable. War, for all its evils, still manages to keep Erfworld from being bored. While this update and a few others shed light on non-war things (art in Transylvito, recreational gardening, sextcetera) that people could busy themselves with, ultimately most Erfworlders are going to find themselves with too much time on their hands... War in this regard could be considered necessary, as Erfworld simply isn't designed to work in terms of peace - peace primarily working as a supplement to war.

So I think Janis isn't quite hoping for peace, but she's got some evil mastermind thing going on... either that or she's trying to build Parson to combat some ultimate evil that will later make itself apparent. Hey, that might actually tie in well with Charlie's also-mysterious motives.
enthar wrote:
{tl;dq, except end}
Thats all just speculation on how to break the world into peace. My main point was that its not the knowledge of our equations, necessarily, that gives power, but a way of thinking about your surroundings and then manipulating them. Training in math or the sciences (or logic even) helps mold a way of thinking that leads to such discoveries, ideally. Couple that with instant easy calculations (through mathemancy or the bracer, an Artifact that _I_ would sacrifice a limb for!) and you are really cooking. Add on the ability the ability to control the result, and gunpowder, NBC weapons, or whatever else becomes kind of a side show really. And killing people faster longer harder is a pretty low end use for such power, frankly. Control theory applies to any system where you can define the inputs and observe the outputs after all. Black boxing the brain is even being attempted. You start working your way up the magical food chain using those methods, who knows where you end up.
Enthar


Let's begin with the thermodynamics discussion, by a "yes we can". Noether's Theorem implies that conservation laws correspond to symmetries, and energy corresponds to a pretty basic symmetry- translation**. If you abolish conservation of energy then physical laws are (absolute) position-dependent*, a form which they don't have in our universe.

Second, the SECOND law of thermodynamics (the Entropy law) is explainable by the statistical model of gases. Should this model fail, then the assumptions that it is based on fail, which also has far-reaching consequences to our understanding of physics.

Third, translation with no acceleration is possible in our world, at least in theory, by Newton's "inertia" law. Anything not acted upon by an outside force will move in a straight line at constant velocity with regard to some inertial system of reference (that is, a system on which no outside forces act).

So, I'd expect Erfworld physics to be different. What this means is that physical or chemistry knowledge from our world is mostly useless; however, the methods that we used to gain that knowledge may well be applicable, and Parson, by all means, should do that.

In any case, I agree with the part of your post that I kept in the quote; my bone of contention with the original posting was the (apparent) expectation that following Empirimancy, Parson will reimplement Earth tech on Erfworld.


*: almost-quoting Feynmann, if you have a device that works at location A, will it still work at location B? Well, no, maybe you've moved it inside a wall or a pool of molasses or something. BUT, assuming you can pick a set of things that are relevant to the device's functioning, and you moved all of those along with the device to the new location, would it still work? (Important, you are not allowed to move the entire Universe- then "moving" something from A to B ceases to have meaning). Turns out that in our world, the answer to this question is yes, and the physical laws of our Universe do not recognize "special" positions. A place may be important because it is close to a gravity well, say, but not because of its coordinates themselves. Move the gravity well and a new place becomes "important".

**: CORRECTION: symmetry to time (it does not matter when an experiment is performed, as long as all relevant pieces are ready for the experiment) corresponds to conservation of energy. The gist of the argument in the rest of the post remains, however.
Rogthnor01 wrote:
Just by virtue of being science something doesn't have to have a large impact. Some knowledge, yes even the scientific kind is useless.


Really much not science, until you get to the very fine detail. Almost all advanced astronomy is useless now, but in the past it allowed ships to sail across the world. Particle physics is also getting rather useless now, although it may someday aid with computer science or predicting when a solar flare will hit us. Some advanced mathematics is useless, though it's hard to predict what will be incredibly useful and useless. No biology is ever useless, and only a small amount of chemistry is useless. Not much basic scientific knowledge is useless. And Parson is investigating useful things. I just doubt he's doing so in a scientific manner, which would generate a large impact.
atteSmythe wrote:
I think the point is that Parson is willing to test and question what (many? most?) Erfworlders accept as true on faith. He's also willing to reassess his own prior arguments, which Sizemore seems to think is rare. Whether you call that Science or Skepticism or Testification is largely beside the point, IMO.


Exactly. Its next to impossible to convince an Erfworlder that they are wrong about anything.

Look at Stanley and Ansom in the first book. Crazy-stubborn, right? Fair enough. Look at the scene where Parson and Sizemore argue over what to do before the Tool left. Sizemore is a nice guy, a smart guy and (frankly) a submissive guy. And Parson STILL had a difficult time convincing him that certain given truths weren't so. Look at Jillian, Webinar and the other warlords in the RCC1. Look how scared Charlie got when Parson upset the status quo. Hell, even Wanda and Maggie could be difficult. They simply picked their fights better. Vinnie and the Don were arguably the two most reasonable characters we saw, and even they had moments.

Parson's mind can change.
Ytaker wrote:
Rogthnor01 wrote:
Just by virtue of being science something doesn't have to have a large impact. Some knowledge, yes even the scientific kind is useless.


Really much not science, until you get to the very fine detail.[...]No biology is ever useless[...]


Not sure knowing that two spiders are from a different subfamiliy (sylvestris or campestris) because the white dots on their back are 1 mm diameter rather than 2 is really useful ;) That's just descriptive and has relatively no impact, but it's still science.

Science hasn't always been about going into details, but more about questioning even the obvious. In the first days of human history things had to fall on the ground, volcanos were entrance to hell, sun was going around the earth then hiding underground. These were normal things and science was as "simple" as questionning them. Parson is just like the old "alchemists", making experiments to test the rules of reality. But erfworld is not earth and parson isn' doing chemistry / physics or biology, instead he's testing "game-like mechanics" that rules erfworld. And what he has already done with this knowledge had a large impact (apparently, Erfworlders never considered you could win with a "simple" engage/disengage tactic or you could achieve a spell that affects multiple hex).
ErfNch wrote:


Not sure knowing that two spiders are from a different subfamiliy (sylvestris or campestris) because the white dots on their back are 1 mm diameter rather than 2 is really useful ;) That's just descriptive and has relatively no impact, but it's still science.


Unless they happen to have slightly different venoms, or if one has a slightly different impact on the food chain, or if they're found in different places. Then it serves as a quick qualitative test which could help you save a person's life, or increase crop yields by using them to prey on a creature, that serves as a reference to substantial research which indicated what properties they have.

ErfNch wrote:

Science hasn't always been about going into details, but more about questioning even the obvious. In the first days of human history things had to fall on the ground, volcanos were entrance to hell, sun was going around the earth then hiding underground. These were normal things and science was as "simple" as questionning them. Parson is just like the old "alchemists", making experiments to test the rules of reality. But erfworld is not earth and parson isn' doing chemistry / physics or biology, instead he's testing "game-like mechanics" that rules erfworld. And what he has already done with this knowledge had a large impact (apparently, Erfworlders never considered you could win with a "simple" engage/disengage tactic or you could achieve a spell that affects multiple hex).


Science is more, taking samples of lava, recording how an eruption occurs, doing drawings of volcanoes, and those sorts of things. Sun mechanics was more, producing a full mathematical model of a heliocentric system, and looking at the retrogade movement of the planets. People do question stuff a lot. "At the center, they [the Pythagoreans] say, is fire, and the Earth is one of the stars, creating night and day by its circular motion about the center" said Aristotle. They questioned it. They believed fire was a more sacred element than earth, and so, there was a really sacred flame which the sun and the earth orbited. It was still wrong. Science has to gather evidence, and good evidence, so that there's much more chance of being right than wrong.

That was less science, than, his knowledge of military theory. He knew that his forces had overwhelming military force, but that the enemy had the numbers to defeat them. And he knew that units healed at dawn. So, he connected the two ideas, and knew a common earth tactic would work well. Not scientific, just military. Just smart. There might be some big effect from him introducing earth military techniques. The volcano idea was from his basic high school knowledge of volcanoes, and his creativity. The knowledge that the volcano had a similar structure to an earth one (confirmed by Sizemore's vision) was scientific, but he didn't seem to care. The magic is evidence that croakamancy/ dirtamancer link ups can resurrect volcanoes, which I suppose is very vaguely scientific, as new knowledge, but it's unlikely to ever come up again, or be revolutionary, as defined by the first poster.

Edit. There are no obvious ways to perform another multihex damage spell. No other natural features with that much power trapped within them.
Ytaker wrote:

Edit. There are no obvious ways to perform another multihex damage spell. No other natural features with that much power trapped within them.


Unless there are a large number of units over multiple hexes of water. Watermancy anyone? A Tsunami or a huge whirlpool could wreak havoc. Come to think of it, air mastery could do the same thing to any hex, regardless of the terrain type. Hurricanes or Tornadoes.

If such things are possible. Just because dirtamancy exists doesn't mean there are magic classes that allow for the mastery of all the different types of elements.
Menas wrote:
Ytaker wrote:

Edit. There are no obvious ways to perform another multihex damage spell. No other natural features with that much power trapped within them.


Unless there are a large number of units over multiple hexes of water. Watermancy anyone? A Tsunami or a huge whirlpool could wreak havoc. Come to think of it, air mastery could do the same thing to any hex, regardless of the terrain type. Hurricanes or Tornadoes.

If such things are possible. Just because dirtamancy exists doesn't mean there are magic classes that allow for the mastery of all the different types of elements.


Tornadoes and waterspouts are huge. Caused generally by a storm. To generate it, you'd need a storm. I'm not sure if they even have that weather effect. And so it would take a lot of juice. And a hurricane would also require you to effect multiple hexes with your own juice, to combine hosts of thunderstorms, which are miles wide. The genius with the volcano was that it did most of the work- it was just inhibited. They just had to release it.

Indeed.
Although, in light of the comments made in this text update regarding the magic class system, just because it seems to be organized in one way doesn't mean that it's actually the way that it works - maybe the three-element/three-axis system just provided the best explanation that anyone had found up to this point, but apparently the workings of magic are still under debate, even among those as knowledgeable as the master-mancers of the Magic Kingdom.

So, I wouldn't preclude the possibility of some sort of Weathermancy, especially when we've seen so little of the magic system actually in action.