Book 3 - Page 274

Living in a material world

Book 3 - Page 274
Comic - Book 3 - Page 274
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tigranes wrote:
If the parallel holds, and BT++ incorporates the Arkendish ... BT++ could reach out and manipulate anybody anywhere at any time through their strings (in a fashion similar to Seth-Apophis' agents, or rather like the Blight from A Fire Upon the Deep).


I've tended to view Wanda as the Blight.

But for the sake of amusement, here's some wild speculation spun from past threads:

If BT gains control of the 'Dish, and then uses the new eldritch monster power to force link Wanda into the 8.X, (narratively) Wanda could then wield the 'Pliers at a distance. That could let the resulting BT+'Dish+'Pliers entity mass croak and mass decrypt everyone on Erf. Which would give even the Blight a run for it's money, and demote Charlie into a level boss as a side effect.

Further saucing that epi-goose, let's say that only sentient cities could shield against the global Decryption wave. That would make for a wild, though hopelessly unlikely, storyline.

Alas, if only I had time to kick out some fanfic...

P.S. I find the already suggested scenario of the sentient CC portal/city attuning to the 'Dish to be the more likely possibility-- assuming BT++ goes through with its Bad Idea party stunt.
Aion wrote:
- Shockmancy and juice have now been shown to be the same thing

I have slight quibbles about that. Mostly because I tend to view everything in Erf as essentially a mass-energy equivalence. With energy moving from ordered to disordered, with high potential energy eventually being discharged down its gradient.

For a unit the process looks like this:
Shmuckers => Upkeep => Life Processes => Work

Food is essentially equivalent to upkeep and gems are the energy of Shmuckers made stable in the material form of gems. Some gems are naturally occurring for reasons unknown.

Casters have an additional minor branch at the end.
Shmuckers => Upkeep => Life Processes => Juice => Work

I think of it as a kind of ambient metabolic overflow or just re-purposed energy tapped out of the caster's own body. I think it may be innate to all living beings, but that only casters have the ability to actually use it for anything. Or perhaps casters have a kind of "organ" that non-casters lack that allow for the storage/conversion.

Because of energy-mass equivalence, some casters are able to flip the two and impose order on their environment (at the cost of their own internal disorder). So a Moneymancer can make Smuckers into gems or a Dirtamancer can expend Juice and alter the fundamental chemistry of a thing. Shockamancers can lash out with a bolt of lightning with the intent of just force feeding electrical energy into a target to make it disordered (killing it).

The Erfers simply put all this under the domain of "Shockmancy" because they simply have no better word for it. Especially when manifestations of it are destructive or look like or are analogous to lightning.

Big Think's metaphor about how Shockamancy is like forking lightning that wants to discharge itself along the path of least resistance makes me think of energy just blowing down to the next available form that allows for a (relatively) stable equilibrium, once it's set in motion.

I guess one way to test the idea is to see if a sliver of a gem could be used as a fuel. Perhaps in a bomb or explosive, or if some kind of "conversion organ" could be created that would simply turn it into usable Juice for a caster.
Spoiler: show
DVL wrote:
Aion wrote:
- Shockmancy and juice have now been shown to be the same thing

I have slight quibbles about that. Mostly because I tend to view everything in Erf as essentially a mass-energy equivalence. With energy moving from ordered to disordered, with high potential energy eventually being discharged down its gradient.

For a unit the process looks like this:
Shmuckers => Upkeep => Life Processes => Work

Food is essentially equivalent to upkeep and gems are the energy of Shmuckers made stable in the material form of gems. Some gems are naturally occurring for reasons unknown.

Casters have an additional minor branch at the end.
Shmuckers => Upkeep => Life Processes => Juice => Work

I think of it as a kind of ambient metabolic overflow or just re-purposed energy tapped out of the caster's own body. I think it may be innate to all living beings, but that only casters have the ability to actually use it for anything. Or perhaps casters have a kind of "organ" that non-casters lack that allow for the storage/conversion.

Because of energy-mass equivalence, some casters are able to flip the two and impose order on their environment (at the cost of their own internal disorder). So a Moneymancer can make Smuckers into gems or a Dirtamancer can expend Juice and alter the fundamental chemistry of a thing. Shockamancers can lash out with a bolt of lightning with the intent of just force feeding electrical energy into a target to make it disordered (killing it).

The Erfers simply put all this under the domain of "Shockmancy" because they simply have no better word for it. Especially when manifestations of it are destructive or look like or are analogous to lightning.

Big Think's metaphor about how Shockamancy is like forking lightning that wants to discharge itself along the path of least resistance makes me think of energy just blowing down to the next available form that allows for a (relatively) stable equilibrium, once it's set in motion.

I guess one way to test the idea is to see if a sliver of a gem could be used as a fuel. Perhaps in a bomb or explosive, or if some kind of "conversion organ" could be created that would simply turn it into usable Juice for a caster.


I'll give you this, it is the in-world assertion of Big Think that shockmancy and juice are the same thing. BT has now demonstrated that shockmancy can be converted back into juice (at least by an 8.1 trancefusion). But as to whether shockmancy and juice are actually identical in terms of "energy composition" in the Erfworld (simulation) environment itself, there is still room for some ambiguity there.

The relationship may in fact be more that of magnetism and electricity in Stupidworld, rather than electricity and light. It certainly took the Stupidworld scientists a few decades to sort out the subtleties of those distinctions, even with James Clerk Maxwell's mathamancy.
Lipkin wrote:
Xeranar wrote:
So nobody has mentioned the 10K units in the walls of the city.

Because those aren't units. They are the totems that failed to become units.


Until the infinite energy unit who can self-replicate (or is hinted at within the discussion of thread upon energy) and activates them all.

Course it all could just be a red herring, who knows.

My money is that Charlie + Infinite energy portal get merged into one being because that's what this is going towards, that he is directly tied to the power of the portal through the dish and gets merged ala TGM's situation. It really makes sense as you want to keep Charlie the main big bad and the best answer to cutting his legalistic approach and making him into a true force of nature would help bring Book 3 to a close and setup the inevitable war in Book 4.
Chiu ChunLing wrote:
Um...the world threatening danger posed by Charlie is still kinda the whole point of figuring out a way to attack CC. If you're saying that going for the 'pliers to get some force multiplication going is the best option, I'd tend to agree. That's true whether they want to strike at Charlie or find a way to stabilize/preserve the State 8. But the point of the bedrock suit is that Charlie can definitely kill Isaac (who is apparently fairly important to BT's continued existence) if an invasion is attempted without it.


Yep! That's how I see it too. It feels like BT discarded the armor idea too quickly since he shouldn't have trouble picking up a carnymancer. I think he's going for Charlie specifically.
kotrochuko wrote:
Chiu ChunLing wrote:
Um...the world threatening danger posed by Charlie is still kinda the whole point of figuring out a way to attack CC. If you're saying that going for the 'pliers to get some force multiplication going is the best option, I'd tend to agree. That's true whether they want to strike at Charlie or find a way to stabilize/preserve the State 8. But the point of the bedrock suit is that Charlie can definitely kill Isaac (who is apparently fairly important to BT's continued existence) if an invasion is attempted without it.


Yep! That's how I see it too. It feels like BT discarded the armor idea too quickly since he shouldn't have trouble picking up a carnymancer. I think he's going for Charlie specifically.


Where would you find a trustworthy Carnymancer on such short notice?
Xeranar wrote:
Lipkin wrote:
Xeranar wrote:
So nobody has mentioned the 10K units in the walls of the city.

Because those aren't units. They are the totems that failed to become units.


Until the infinite energy unit who can self-replicate (or is hinted at within the discussion of thread upon energy) and activates them all.


Well my speech was a long-winded way of saying that energy has different forms.
Being a nuclear reactor isn't much good if you have no appliances to hook it into. It is not an appliance in itself, it just the power source. And it seems to have been specifically designed only to power the portals.
Meaning to say that I don't think it can self-replicate. Potential is not the same as capability.

Really, all I did was provide a possible explanation for Sizemore's question. What is the nature of Stuff? Where does it come from when a caster conjures it? Energy. Because energy and matter are the same thing if you have the tools to convert it. Shmuckers are just a form of energy.

In Stupidworld, it's possible to convert matter into energy (and vice versa). But practically, we only get a tiny amount of it from doing things like burning coal. There's very slight mass losses from its constituent elements after combustion, but for practical purposes, we say that mass is conserved in the reaction. (It's more of a chemical law than a physical one. Since carbon remains carbon for chemical purposes even if changes in its bonds results in almost infinitesimal changes in mass.)
https://physics.stackexchange.com/quest ... -have-mass

On a larger scale, only fissible materials are practical because they're innately unstable. Any other method takes more energy than you'd get out of it or is technically unfeasible.
Aion wrote:
But I will concede that a) we have not been shown canon that any portals other than GK or CC have collars and b) it has not been confirmed where the other two branches of wiring from the CC portal lead (the third is confirmed to lead back to the bunker, as it was shown beside I and C as they walk from the bunker.)


I'm pretty sure they all have collars (based on Ivan saying "the columns" rather than "some columns"), but I doubt the wires are a natural feature of those collars.

Using the wires as part of some inter-column network doesn't satisfy any obvious narrative requirement because there's no sign that portals interact with other portals in any meaningful way. It would also be visually confusing since identical-looking wires are used in Charlescomm for a different purpose (drawing power from the portal column to shock all Charlie's fancy equipment).

On the note of visuals, the wires are Charlescomm blue, but the collars are pretty nondescript, so I think they definitely have different creators. (Interestingly the collars don't match the mystic visuals of the columns themselves.)

Mecharic wrote:
You know, I don't think anyone has pointed this out yet... but we've screwed up here. Everyone is talking about how Jed could talk to the new tower. But they aren't waking up the Tower. Big Think & Co. are waking up the Portal Column. The Portal and the Tower are two inherently different (but interconnected) entities.

I don't know about anybody else, but I didn't "screw up" anything there. I took the discussion in-comic to mean that the portal column and tower are inextricably linked in some way beyond mere colocation/connection; Sizemore already made some vague hints in this direction when he was trying to describe the problem with a "tower-golem" in the first place.

Sizemore wrote:
The tower is not only Stuff, it is a phenomenon.


Metallicat wrote:
"Forbidden ourselves from even knowing this was Decided!"

The Great Minds not only considered awakening the MK portals and city towers before, as with Jed, but must have learned enough about the dangers to be very frightened from it. Then they essentially erased/hid the memories of it, and blocked themselves from exploring the same paths again.

Big Think is apparently able to see past these a bit, but perhaps not far enough to realize or recall what they learned in the past.

Remember when the Minds were revisiting their "two oldest Decisions"? First they re-examined Decision Tree #2 (whether Decision Tree #1 should remain sealed and off-limits), and I guess decided to unseal it.

Anomynous 167 wrote:
The Unlurked wrote:
since the end result is probably going to be Jed-like, any takers on what the theme and gender will be? Beyond just "evil AI" I mean.

Neuter. It's a robot.

Jed is both a "he" and far less of a robot than the average stabber, or even some warlords.

Tempered wrote:
Apparently everyone has forgotten about the action figure in the mine cart, both in the comic and the forum.

Why do you think we've forgotten about it? Nobody's talking about it because it's not doing anything particularly interesting. It can't even report back the juicy* conversation from this update because it's all occurring in Thinkspace.

(* pun intended)
Chiu ChunLing wrote:
...
The point has been brought up that a portal might want different things than what a tower would want. I suppose that's true, but if it's something boring like "allow free access to and from the MK for casters and nobody else" I'll be pretty disappointed. Unless the newly aware portal decides to have a hissy fit about having been hacked and...um, no, that would also disappoint. I'm not sure what the portal will do if it's awakened but I'm hoping it's not boring.
...


All I know is it probably won't like being sealed.
You know, upon reflecting on this update for a week, I like it even more.

The thinkamancers can't deal with the world of Stuff, where there are hard answers that aren't what you'd like to think they are. They may have thought they understood everything, but when dealing with forces that aren't as flexible as the human mind, their plans hit a brick wall, symbolized by bedrock itself. It reminds me of when politicians try to manipulate science. Here's an old example, which has nothing to do with any current politics. No need for a debate on Stupidworld here. If you disagree, please PM me!

And Dirtamancer is talking in physical metaphors. He still perceives himself as a moon. Big Think has learned you give casters perceptions based on their discipline. This is why the strings/fabric metaphor works on the first try.

Jed can learn, therefore he can rewrite his own string. Therefore, the portal golem might be the same, but with infinite juice could rewrite everyone's string. Hmm....