Book 4 - Page 164

Sad trombone sound

Book 4 - Page 164
Comic - Book 4 - Page 164

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Menas wrote:
Merilynne wrote:
JadedDragoon wrote:
It dawned on me while I was discussing this further in PM with Anson Gotti that, in fact, we can know with certainty that Fate _does not_ intervene in everything.


I'm not about to get overly involved in this discussion, but I agree with this statement specifically, based on the Battle at Portal Park. Some units had Fate bubbles and some didn't, but then, Wanda's bubble failed. So, it appears to me that Wanda was not specifically fated to be captured. That would be an example of how Fate, even when it "cares for" someone, doesn't affect every moment in their life.

One thing that still haunts me about that whole scene is that Jack didn't have a Fate bubble. :( Maggie had one, even Lilith did, but not Jack.


Then again, just because Fate chose not to intervene in every aspect of that battle, doesn't mean it couldn't have.

And wouldn't Occam's Razor dictate that Fate use the minimum number of interventions to achieve the same result?

Fate's ability to intervene is limited by Numbers. In Erfworld's mechanics, regression to the mean isn't just a statistical tendency; it's an ironclad mandate enforced by "luckamancy repayments." When Wanda talks about the easy way or the hard way toward a destined end, that's the underlying issue she's referring to. If you make good tactical decisions, allow the inevitable to remain plausible, fate doesn't have to work too hard, so after it's done there are still plenty of good rolls to go around. Possibly your whole side will even end up better off, if fate actually fudged the dice against you, to keep you from succeeding too well and overshooting the destined outcome. If, on the other hand, you constantly taunt the reaper like Sylvia, hogging all the available nat 20s as Fate frantically tries to keep things from going irrecoverably far off track, then things will start to get ugly for any un-fated components of your statistical cohort.

Charlie explicitly fights Fate by constructing scenarios so lopsided, luckamancy alone can't muscle through them. That's the point of all his 'overkill' defenses, particularly the traps on level 40.
GreySage wrote:
The Unlurked wrote:
Charlie's been escalating his actions and Fate has responded by taking Its gloves off and making all of his actions lead to grotesque overreactions in the world. Whatever Charlie does, Fate undoes in a way that mirrors and amplifies his action back at him.

...

From a gaming perspective the GM is horribly screwing over his/her least favorite player to try to make him quit. Which comes back to Fate being the true antagonist, but I've gone on long enough.
I think you are mistaking "Fate" for "People who hate Charlie". Fate didn't create Big Think, they created themselves. Fate didn't bring back Parson, Jed did. Fate didn't create Shirley, or croak Tondy, or decrypt Ivan and Poe. Fate actually does very little. When Stanley missed Jillian, that was Fate interfering. All of Charlie's setbacks are the simple result of him over-reaching and the natural consequences of his enemies taking advantage of his weaknesses.
I am a bit of a loss as to how accidentally creating a borderline omnipotent mind-assassin from the souls of several telepaths by killing them with a bomb is a "natural consequence that his enemies took advantage of". I'm not clear on how anyone would view potentially every side in the world getting a way to bypass your monopoly and spy network as "a simple result of over-reaching", either.

As for dismissing things that aren't an RNG for Fate, how do you explain away Book 0 as the "results of people"? Wanda is explictly Fated to join Haffaton. She screws up the deal to trade her to Haffaton --the Easy Way-- and Haffaton brings about the total destruction of Goodminton and the death of her brother to get her --the Hard Way-- as a result. It's attributed to Fate quite explicitly, yet it wasn't the result of bad rolls but Olive Branch, poison, and troops.

For something more recent, how about Marie's return to Faq? Fate doesn't revive Marie; Janis asks Wanda to revive Marie. Fate doesn't arm Marie; Johnny gives Marie a supply bag. Fate doesn't protect Marie; Vinne's conquest of Faq on Caesar's orders results in a portal protecting Marie from attacks and she had a spell handy for the guard on the other side because she cast it. Fate doesn't shoot everyone in Faq; Marie tells Georgia exactly where everyone will be and when to shoot by looking into the future.

It is a gross oversimplification to dismiss the interference of Fate on the grounds "people did things". Much of that last paragraph was running parallel in time to Charlie's misfortunes that I attributed to Fate. The latter part of this book can be summed up as "Fate doing very much".

GreySage wrote:
If you're going to blindly attribute every action that inconveniences Charlie in anyway to Fate then Fate has no meaning. Why not say everything Charlie does is Fate too? Why not say everything in the whole Erf is Fate, just screwing around for no reason? Everything that any unit does and everything in the natural world, including all RNG, is decided by Fate and on purpose?
I'm not sure who you're using me as a proxy to rudely argue with, but I listed 3, maybe 4 things, that all happened in an extremely small timeframe and which had too many symbolic links to ignore. That's not "every" misfortune that happened to Charlie.

To your broader point, though, we're not discussing Star Wars and I'm not handwaving plot holes or impossible luck as "the will of the Force". I went into detail as to why I believed those specific things were Fate acting. It has been thoroughly established that when someone interferes with Fate it will retaliate by getting the end result it wanted the Hard Way. Wanda even made reference to this before she escapes the Dirtamansion: if the MK successfully executed her, she'd be replaced with something worse. It's at the bottom of this update.

That reminder that Fate is a very active participant in this story came before the series of events I attributed to Fate unfolded. The Temple of the Thinkamancers was destroyed 4 pages prior and we hadn't been shown Isaac had gone god mode yet.

GreySage wrote:
It makes no sense from a worldbuilding perspective nor from a storytelling perspective and is just naive and reductive.
It is consistent writing for something which has been repeatedly referenced in every book of a story as being a driving force that punishes people for defying it to punish someone for defying it. This is especially true when the events take place in a book where multiple people elaborate on Fate driving events, we're shown Fate openly interfering in a battle, and the person being punished makes several references to Fate being the enemy he is playing against.

That is how it makes sense.
Heffenfeffer wrote:
keybounce wrote:
Anomynous 167 wrote:


<Sees amount of tips earned on comment.>

Yeah, it's amazing how much the right one liner can bring in.

If your line draws Schmuckers, it’s gotta be good!

But what's the right line? A commercial comparison doesn't do it, comparing the tower to "Der Kastle" doesn't do it, I mean,

There's no predicting the attention of the Internet.
CDS wrote:
In addition because we don't have the 'motivation' behind Fate it is difficult to determine what is fate induced and what is not. Now I am not here to nitpick points or anything like that and nothing expressed has deeply upset or offended me and as normal it is presented in an effective method but my real question is - what strips have helped you interpret Fate in the way you do? Because I'd quite like to read them over again and see if I change my mind.


alowe wrote:
Sometimes choosing to do nothing is the best way to get what you want, but then that leads to the question, what does Fate want?

I don't think Fate "wants" anything, per se. I think motivation is too strong a term for it also as it implies will. Purpose, maybe? A piece of code with a fixed function doesn't have a motivation, a want, or a will, but it does have a purpose.

Fate's purpose? I think the best example of that comes from the very first page of Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) here:

"Life is all Numbers. ... Zero is a balance, an equilibrium. ... Zero always called, and someone would have to pay."

and from the same page, reinforcing the above:

"It dawned on her (Wanda) that the grace and the burden of being a living person might not be hers for very long. Zero was already calling her back."

So what is fate there for?

Game balance. If I were to make a very strict interpretation of what is said in the first page of Book 0, game balance such that there is no immortality.

There will be croaking, it is required for the world to function as intended. You came out of the box, you'll go back into the box.

Thinking this through has helped me sort something out. I was wondering why -every- Carynmancer didn't have Fate on its ass for what they do, and why Erf even allowed them at all.

Jojo showed us a short version of the same story, via Sylvia.

Of everything Charlie has Carnymancied, the one thing that I think has Fate on his heels is cheating death. That is the unforgivable sin in Erfworld, a game that seems to require croaking others for a side to persist.
Leaving aside my extreme distaste for the Parson reveal, I would like to talk about what I found to be the most surprising part of this update. I didn't notice anyone else mentioning it either.

Charlie is specifically wanting warlords and casters to turn to Charlescomm. We've had multiple mentions in past updates about how Charlie just doesn't DO that sort of thing. Parson is apparently the first warlord Charlie has ever had on his side, and we all know the only reason that Charlie did that was so that he could order Parson to cast the scroll on himself, and that Parson is a bit unique since he doesn't have a treasury sense.

Charlie allowed the doll and dirt casters to join, just before they got killed, but only after EXTREME pressure was put upon him. They were also vital to his war efforts and he was operating under Big Game rules. If Charlie needed an army, fast, for fighting against GK that would be fine, but GK doesn't even have any money left after Charlie stole the gems. The only problem right now is Wanda, who is a big problem, but one he's trying to deal with in the Magic Kingdom, right now, and sending a small TV army to attack Spacerock probably wouldn't work that great.

Now however, he's suddenly adding new commander units left, right, and center. I can understand Bill, because the offer to allow Bill to turn was probably under the assumption that Bill would never do so, which got ruined when the Tower said that Bill was a traitor. I have to wonder how the tower knew that. Was it the spell that Bill cast on the necklace, or does he have a record of every thinkagram in the city?

In any case, it probably wasn't anticipated that Bill would turn, but now Charlie is adding not just Vanna, which I can somewhat understand as being something to mollify Shirley, but also several warlords as well, which makes no sense to me. What possible reason does Charlie have to add Warlords, a thing he has completely refused to do ever since the founding of his side? It's pretty much a contract between him and the archons that he would never have warlords, and they wouldn't be loyal warlords either. Given that he was assuming Parson was out of the way, what possible reason would he have to want warlords to turn to his side?

My best guess is that Charlie would want to turn over all the units to Faq, but he isn't doing that, even though he is giving Faq its cities back, so that can't be right. I just don't get it at all.

Also, saving the heir would also be easy, just mandate that the Caesar will abdicate the throne to the new royal as soon as he pops. Seems like s smart move to me, given that it would be better to have someone in charge that didn't hate Charlie's guts.
JadedDragoon wrote:
My definition of Fate doesn't have any assumptions in it... not any that anyone has pointed out. And it would be really hard for people to point out such assumptions since I haven't given my definition of fate or even brought up the idea of defining Fate.


I was starting to wonder what it was. :)

Quote:
But since you bring it up... my definition of fate comes straight from the text of Erfworld. If it isn't stated in the text of Erfworld... then I don't include it in my definition of Fate. And I don't consider the opinions of characters in Erfworld to be definitive. Needless to say, my definition of Fate is very very sparse. Most good definitions are.


I think that's where we differ. I think your definition of Fate is generous. I think we only know about it as discussed by characters. They are, by, definition, unreliable narrators. I believe Rob has an idea but I don't believe within Rob's idea actual fate even necessarily exists. I think the characters have been fumbling around trying to work out why the world is the way it is and this is their best guess. What if there's no fate at all? What if there is but it works nothing like characters think it does, and the awful things that have happened have just been awful things?

I came in late to the conversation. Apologies if I got the history of it wrong. I was a bit concerned that there was a bit much ire involved - thanks for responding to me without.
Menas wrote:
Merilynne wrote:
JadedDragoon wrote:
It dawned on me while I was discussing this further in PM with Anson Gotti that, in fact, we can know with certainty that Fate _does not_ intervene in everything.


I'm not about to get overly involved in this discussion, but I agree with this statement specifically, based on the Battle at Portal Park. Some units had Fate bubbles and some didn't, but then, Wanda's bubble failed. So, it appears to me that Wanda was not specifically fated to be captured. That would be an example of how Fate, even when it "cares for" someone, doesn't affect every moment in their life.

One thing that still haunts me about that whole scene is that Jack didn't have a Fate bubble. :( Maggie had one, even Lilith did, but not Jack.


Then again, just because Fate chose not to intervene in every aspect of that battle, doesn't mean it couldn't have.

And wouldn't Occam's Razor dictate that Fate use the minimum number of interventions to achieve the same result?


Occam's Razor has _nothing_ to do with what happens in-universe. Fate is not acting based on Occam's Razor cause Occam's Razor has nothing to do with Fate's actions. Occam's Razor has to do with what conclusions we (the readers) can reasonably make or not make with the information we have.

So no... Occam's Razor does not dictate that Fate use the minimum number of interventions to achieve the same result any more than the law of averages dictates that water flows downhill or Heisenberg's uncertainty principle dictates that water is wet.

Our observations, filtered through Occam's Razor, tells us it's reasonable to conclude that Fate does not control every event. Occam's Razor also tells us it's reasonable to conclude that if Fate could control everything it would... and the fact that it doesn't likely means that it can't. Occam's Razor does not, however, mean that either of these things is true... it only means they are the most reasonable conclusions with the information we currently have.

Frankly, I'm sorry I brought up Occam's Razor now. People misusing Occam's Razor has simply derailed things further.
seanfish wrote:
JadedDragoon wrote:
My definition of Fate doesn't have any assumptions in it... not any that anyone has pointed out. And it would be really hard for people to point out such assumptions since I haven't given my definition of fate or even brought up the idea of defining Fate.


I was starting to wonder what it was. :)

Quote:
But since you bring it up... my definition of fate comes straight from the text of Erfworld. If it isn't stated in the text of Erfworld... then I don't include it in my definition of Fate. And I don't consider the opinions of characters in Erfworld to be definitive. Needless to say, my definition of Fate is very very sparse. Most good definitions are.


I think that's where we differ. I think your definition of Fate is generous. I think we only know about it as discussed by characters. They are, by, definition, unreliable narrators. I believe Rob has an idea but I don't believe within Rob's idea actual fate even necessarily exists. I think the characters have been fumbling around trying to work out why the world is the way it is and this is their best guess. What if there's no fate at all? What if there is but it works nothing like characters think it does, and the awful things that have happened have just been awful things?

I came in late to the conversation. Apologies if I got the history of it wrong. I was a bit concerned that there was a bit much ire involved - thanks for responding to me without.


"I think that's where we differ. I think your definition of Fate is generous. I think we only know about it as discussed by characters."

So you include the opinions of unreliable narrators... and I don't... but _my_ definition is the one that's generous? My definition is smaller than yours... but mine's generous? That... doesn't seem very likely unless you are arguing that your definition is even more generous.

And no. Characters are not the only sources of information we have about fate. The first few lines of book 0... for example... are about Fate and are not told from any character's perspective and have no narrator and are simply presented as what is. And those lines tell us, objectively, that Fate exists. Then there are the statements made by many separate characters, many of whom are experts on Fate, which agree with each other. Obviously one must be open to the possibility that all the experts are wrong in unison... but the likelihood of that tends to be low.
tomaO2 wrote:

Charlie is specifically wanting warlords and casters to turn to Charlescomm.
[...]
My best guess is that Charlie would want to turn over all the units to Faq, but he isn't doing that, even though he is giving Faq its cities back, so that can't be right. I just don't get it at all.

Obviously Rob's holding back the information in question for his own reasons, but my initial guess is that he is going to disband them as soon as they turn. He'll spin it somehow for Shirley.
JadedDragoon wrote:
So you include the opinions of unreliable narrators... and I don't... but _my_ definition is the one that's generous? My definition is smaller than yours... but mine's generous? That... doesn't seem very likely unless you are arguing that your definition is even more generous.


"Characters have an imperfect understanding of the world" is the most minimal assumption to make; in fact given that characters have differing views on what Fate is we should discount them all as being so imperfect as to be broken.

Quote:
And no. Characters are not the only sources of information we have about fate. The first few lines of book 0... for example... are about Fate and are not told from any character's perspective and have no narrator and are simply presented as what is. And those lines tell us, objectively, that Fate exists. Then there are the statements made by many separate characters, many of whom are experts on Fate, which agree with each other. Obviously one must be open to the possibility that all the experts are wrong in unison... but the likelihood of that tends to be low.


Ah. Now here's time for a bit of literary theory:

Quote:
The third-person modes are usually categorized along two axes. The first is the subjectivity/objectivity axis, with third person subjective narration describing one or more character's personal feelings and thoughts, and third person objective narration not describing the feelings or thoughts of any characters but, rather, just the exact facts of the story. The second axis is the omniscient/limited axis, a distinction that refers to the knowledge held by the narrator. A third person omniscient narrator has, or seems to have, access to knowledge of all characters, places, and events of the story, including any given characters' thoughts; however, a third person limited narrator, in contrast, knows information about, and within the minds of, only a limited number of characters (often just one character). A limited narrator cannot describe anything outside of a focal character's particular knowledge and experiences.


Emphasis mine - seems to have. So we can't rely on the words at the start of chapter one either, because they also may be simply written under poetic licence (or any other number of authorial reasons) and not in any way reflect the truth of the matter.

I believe Fate exists and is motivating events. I don't believe that under Occam's razor - it is my preferred interpretation of the text.

You being the one that invoked it have to understand that it doesn't support any of our points of view, because the least interpretation (the one that doesn't multiply any needless entities) is:

"Fate is something that Rob has incompletely described at this point of time."

You can't call anyone out citing Occam if you're in front of that line, and you are whether you want to admit it or not.