Shardkeepers Podcast: Arcanum Unbounded Essays


We said there would be a December episode, and here we are on New Year's Eve with one! This month we have an extra long episode as well: over an hour and twenty minutes digging through the Arcanum Unbounded essays and picking apart everything in them. Shockingly, we were more than able to talk about these for a very long time. We dig through each of Khriss's essays. I feel we could have even talked longer, but I'm sure we will mention them a lot in the future.

We also learn that I can't pronounce at least a thing, and Ian proves me wrong (fine, you win this time), showing he is probably the most competent one here.

Let us know what you think in our  forum thread: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/57421-shardkeepers-podcast-arcanum-unbounded-essays/

And if you hadn't seen it, the Star Chart.

Our Hosts: Kerry (KChan), Ian (WeiryWriter), David (Windrunner), and Eric (Chaos)

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Landis963

Posted (edited)

"This star chart is useless for figuring out distances."

The physics of the Cognitive Realm suggests otherwise, especially in an era before honest-to-God-Beyond space travel. 

"The Rose Empire's language... didn't seem particularly Asian."

I presume you meant "like Chinese or Japanese", but I seem to recall that the names of the Grands of the Rose Empire were all Persian.  Which was, IIRC, located on the continent of Asia.  

"If you look at Puritan names, they get super weird."  

Even in Shadows for Silence, there's a petty thief mentioned named "Lamentation."  Can't get much weirder than that.  

"I'm pretty sure that there's just the one highstorm."  

Actually, don't they arrive too frequently to be just one highstorm?  And doesn't the Stormfather specifically send a storm to try and kill off the Voidbringers (and everyone else besides, but that's besides the point)?  The Everstorm's projected behavior ("Like Highstorms, but less frequent," IIRC) implies just one of them.  

Edited by Landis963
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Actually, aren't they all confirmed to be a single highstorm? I recall Syl mentioning to Kaladin that the Stormfather "sped the winds" of the highstorm to bring it faster.

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22 minutes ago, SedatedDragon said:

Actually, aren't they all confirmed to be a single highstorm? I recall Syl mentioning to Kaladin that the Stormfather "sped the winds" of the highstorm to bring it faster.

Yes, that is surely what we meant to say! I am fairly certain that is factual.

As an aside, thanks for listening and I hope the audio quality is good this time. I wanted to do this method last time but it didn't work out. 

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2 hours ago, Landis963 said:

"This star chart is useless for figuring out distances."

The physics of the Cognitive Realm suggests otherwise, especially in an era before honest-to-God-Beyond space travel.

The point I was trying to make is that this is the view of the night sky from somewhere. If you go outside at night and look at the stars make a star chart like this, by plotting each star's location on a 2-d plane like this star chart (which isn't actually possible to do accurately, you need the inside of a sphere to do that, but that's beside the point). Given just that star chart, you cannot accurately determine the distance between stars, because it does not take into account how far each star is from the observer. That is the z-dimension I was referring to.

2 hours ago, Landis963 said:

"If you look at Puritan names, they get super weird."  

Even in Shadows for Silence, there's a petty thief mentioned named "Lamentation."  Can't get much weirder than that. 

I was thinking of names more along the lines of "If-Jesus-Christ-Had-Not-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned", but yeah Lamentation is pretty weird.

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Ari

Posted (edited)

The audio quality seemed good to me, Chaos. :)

The point about Asia (or rather, the word "asian") is an interesting linguistic one. The ethnographic meaning of the word has been squeezing out the geographical term, and I doubt you would find for instance many Arabs or Indians from Asia who would consider it appropriate to refer to them or their cultures as Asian without some sort of more specific term attached to it, (eg. "South Asian") to make it clear that Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese aren't involved, so barring a specifically earth-geographical context, it's fair to understand it to refer to that specific ethnicity, its languages, and its cultures and nations. This is especially odd when contrasted with the word "european," which normally favours a geographical meaning. We can probably blame colonialism for the confusion, as "African" is definitely used ethnographically too, as is "Pacific Islander."

Weiry's point about the constellation chart is definitely valid, even though I needed her entire explanation to get it, so I can understand the confusion.

To expand upon what she said above, consider that a constellation chart can potentially be from any viewpoint in a spherical frame of reference, so we have no idea what direction "up" (ie. the invisible z-dimension, or the depth component of the map) is relative to the cosmere as a whole, nor how far away each star is without some sort of coding worked into the map. It's possible to figure out those things with actual astronomy based on the precise characteristics of the light reaching us and which objects occlude which other objects, but we can't do that with a drawn map. The cosmere presumably has a central black hole holding it together, so I would imagine that it's relatively unlikely that this is from the perspective of a planet that's near the centre of the dwarf galaxy looking "down" on the central cluster, as then any view that actually shows stars from the galaxy should have a relatively prominent view of the central black hole blocking out extragalactic stars as a huge dark patch.

This is why a top-down view with some sort of colour coding for altitude is probably the best way to make a static starmap, as altitude is a lot less relevant when you view the disc-shape as a two-dimensional spiral, as pointed out when the guys weren't quite understanding Weiry's point that this is a constellation chart rather than a starmap.

 

edit: I got so caught up discussing astronomy I forgot to mention that I appreciated the discussion of new WoBs about Autonomy. That tidbit about her wearing so many different faces really does provide interesting circumstantial evidence towards the discussion of Trell.

Edited by Ari
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Chaos

Posted

Just now, Ari said:

Oh excuse me! lol.

If anything I'm way more higher pitched, so that's amusing.

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Ari

Posted

This is a long-running misconception, don't ask me where I got it from.

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Chaos

Posted

2 minutes ago, Ari said:

This is a long-running misconception, don't ask me where I got it from.

It's on his profile! :) 

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WeiryWriter

Posted

Oh don't feel too bad, you aren't the first person on the female to make that mistake (one person was actually under the impression that @FeatherWriter and I were twins).

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Chaos

Posted

Just now, WeiryWriter said:

Oh don't feel too bad, you aren't the first person on the female to make that mistake (one person was actually under the impression that @FeatherWriter and I were twins).

Okay, that's really hilarious.

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Ari

Posted

2 minutes ago, Chaos said:

It's on his profile! :) 

That would be the best way not to misgender people, lol.

1 minute ago, WeiryWriter said:

Oh don't feel too bad, you aren't the first person on the female to make that mistake (one person was actually under the impression that @FeatherWriter and I were twins).

Hah. Because you both have Writer in your name? Interesting. XD

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Landis963

Posted

2 hours ago, WeiryWriter said:

The point I was trying to make is that this is the view of the night sky from somewhere. If you go outside at night and look at the stars make a star chart like this, by plotting each star's location on a 2-d plane like this star chart (which isn't actually possible to do accurately, you need the inside of a sphere to do that, but that's beside the point). Given just that star chart, you cannot accurately determine the distance between stars, because it does not take into account how far each star is from the observer. That is the z-dimension I was referring to.  

And that is very true, if the star chart were created on some planet (and also IRL, which I suspect is where your point is coming from).  However, it's fairly well accepted that (in the absence of textual evidence or definitive WoB) Silverlight is in the Cognitive Realm, despite the weirdness involved in providing an entire city with the requisite Investiture.  Therefore, unless the author of the chart deliberately went to a breathable yet uninhabited planet (or if we're all wrong about Silverlight being in the Cognitive, which I can't in good faith rule out) specifically to create this chart, it must have some relevance to the distances between subastrals.  Ergo, it could have some utility in plotting a course between planets.  

Quote

I was thinking of names more along the lines of "If-Jesus-Christ-Had-Not-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned", but yeah Lamentation is pretty weird.

Ah, good ol' Nicholas "IJCHNDFTTHBD" Barebones.  There's a pretty interesting history series on the adoption of paper money (and his role therein) on the Extra Play Youtube channel, if you want to check that out.  

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WeiryWriter

Posted

Silverlight is definitely in the Cognitive Realm, that's WoB. I can't recall exactly but I think we said that the star chart was from the point of view of Silverlight (or rather the Physical Realm location corresponding to Silverlight), which may or may not be the case but it *is* from the point of view of somewhere.

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Extesian

Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, WeiryWriter said:

Silverlight is definitely in the Cognitive Realm, that's WoB. I can't recall exactly but I think we said that the star chart was from the point of view of Silverlight (or rather the Physical Realm location corresponding to Silverlight), which may or may not be the case but it *is* from the point of view of somewhere.

My apologies Weiry if this WoB is where you've linked to (I can't listen to YouTube right now) but Argent did ask about this at the Chicago signing and its connection with Silverlight is that the drawing of the star chart is hanging somewhere in Silverlight, rather than from the perspective of Silverlight. It could be both but I'm leaning towards it being an older map from the perspective of another location that was found by worldhoppers and hung in Silverlight. Obviously that location can't be any of the systems marked on the map, so Yolen or perhaps Vax come to mind. I don't imagine it could be a star chart from the perspective of somewhere in the Cognitive Realm as that is effectively a 2D plain and other systems are around you, not above you, making perspective completely different.

Q: Does Silverlight have a permanent Perpendicularity?

Brandon: Silverlight has...weird. So I’m gonna give a RAFO to that.

Q: Cause, it’s got a physical constellation map. So they’ve gotta go to the Physical somehow right?

Brandon: No, no, no. That can be in the Cognitive Realm.

Argent: The constellation map can be a picture from the Cognitive?

Brandon: Well, yeah, I mean, it can be a picture in the Cognitive. That is a picture that exists in Silverlight.

Argent: Right, sure, but they need to be somewhere to view those things.

Brandon: Right, I didn’t say that that’s from the perspective Silverlight, but the picture is hanging there.

 

(Sorry about format for quoting this, got it from the transcript at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dlROFtLJS6QMt1hoBYwDwS9TJFdgi83ovEgVy5WuDAw/mobilebasic ).

Edited by Extesian
Errant apostrophe and extra thought
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Glamdring804

Posted (edited)

@Chaos I'm listening to your voice and going "why isn't he talking about iterated integrals or conservative vector fields..." :rolleyes:

Edited by Glamdring804
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When you guys are discussing the storms on Roshar, I believe there is evidence that there were already multiple storms circling the planet. When the main character from the Parshendi parts goes to bond the void spren she mentions storm riders or something like that. She mentions that there are multiple storm riders which implies multiple storms.

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WeiryWriter

Posted

58 minutes ago, TheRealKelsier said:

When you guys are discussing the storms on Roshar, I believe there is evidence that there were already multiple storms circling the planet. When the main character from the Parshendi parts goes to bond the void spren she mentions storm riders or something like that. She mentions that there are multiple storm riders which implies multiple storms.

Eshonai only mentions a single Rider of Storms, which is the listener name for the Stormfather.

And there is WoB somewhere where Brandon says that traditionally people believe each highstorm is a new storm created at the Origin, but that the current scientific opinion of the stormwardens (among others) is that there is only a single one that goes 'round and 'round.

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2 minutes ago, WeiryWriter said:

Eshonai only mentions a single Rider of Storms, which is the listener name for the Stormfather.

And there is WoB somewhere where Brandon says that traditionally people believe each highstorm is a new storm created at the Origin, but that the current scientific opinion of the stormwardens (among others) is that there is only a single one that goes 'round and 'round.

thanks for clarifying I must have misunderstood

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jofwu

Posted

The Ati-as-a-dragon alternate reality is killing me.

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I saw your call for feedback on another forum, so I've listened to the podcast 3 times and it's a very tight explanation you guys weave between the RAFOs, WoBs and just the fact we cannot know some of these things because there isn't enough information. Something I would like to bring.

At the 58:25 mark you guys start discussing whether Ambition invested in Threnody. You cite the essay and the fact that some measure of investiture was on the planet before the battle. It's debated that it could be Adonalsium's latent investiture, but it doesn't seem the investiture is still there. My question and thoughts I would like to interject is that the only investiture we see are in the Cognitive Shadows and we hear about "the Evil" an incredibly vague entity. Now why would it matter if Ambitions original invested investiture is still there? It says the battle itself where Ambition was wounded "had a profound effect... the ripples of destruction and changed washed through the system." So even though we do not know how Ambitions investiture reacts there's a good possibility it was twisted if it's still there.

Also, referring to Secret History, Preservation tells Kelsier that "I cannot depart this land. I'm too invested in it, in every rock and leaf. We... grow attached easily and it takes one particularly dedicated to leave", and it seems because they have to pull their investiture back in and cannot leave it behind or maybe only a small fraction of it. Maybe Ambition had only started to invest when Odium descended upon him. He pulled his investiture back readying to flee and the battle began.

That's about all I could bring so far, it will take a couple more listens and skimming the book to help. I'm very interested in the Ire and Aviar, hope to see more about them.

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Landis963

Posted (edited)

On 1/3/2017 at 4:12 PM, Naurock said:

Also, referring to Secret History, Preservation tells Kelsier that "I cannot depart this land. I'm too invested in it, in every rock and leaf. We... grow attached easily and it takes one particularly dedicated to leave", and it seems because they have to pull their investiture back in and cannot leave it behind or maybe only a small fraction of it. Maybe Ambition had only started to invest when Odium descended upon him. He pulled his investiture back readying to flee and the battle began.

I like this idea, however I would add the caveat that Ruin and Preservation literally created the entire planet from scratch, book-of-Genesis style.  That would involve a higher degree of Investment than just finding a planet (a la Roshar, or Sel) and Investing in that.  

Edited by Landis963
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