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Jofwu last won the day on March 5 2018

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About Jofwu

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    The Cosmere, Wheel of Time, The Expanse, Kerbal Space Program, Mass Effect, Civilization, Zelda, Elder Scrolls, space, physics, math, soccer

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  1. Toyed with the image to make it a bit easier [for me] to read: Here I've highlighted all the letters that appear more than once with a clear match and they are nearly dead on: There's a few letters that are weirdly similar to one another despite being very different sounds. (like V and T for example) But I guess it's not that weird. Happens with several Roman characters after all. (like O/Q) The only thing bugging me is the STR in the middle... It looks like two characters at first glance, but as is the challenge with many of these I think some adjacent characters are just hard to separate in the photo. So the R must be that tiny little vertical character before the O... The S and T don't match the other Ss and Ts, which is odd. I started to wonder if maybe it is 2 characters after all and ST or TR could be a single character. Also wondered if maybe these instances are slightly different sounds than their other instances... But I'm pretty sure what we're seeing here is just a case of letters written differently in the middle of a word versus the beginning. (something that happens in Arabic and probably several other languages) Anyways, here's those three letters highlighted, plus other instances of the S and T: Aaaaan, stealing Pagerunner's alphabet image... As for Susebron's tablet from here... Yeah, really doubt we can do much with this even had a higher quality image.
  2. Thanks for the heads up. That's... weird. I need to put up some fresh ones really badly. Will fix that soon.
  3. Whooops. I kind of skimmed through first, but too fast apparently. And yeah it makes me really uncomfortable. Very weird world. It's not very popular among scientists, but this is precisely why I'm actually partial to Bohm's interpretation over the standard Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. The idea is that things aren't actually random--there are simply too many unknown variables involved.
  4. It sounds like (at least in the original post) you're breaking people down into [complex] machines that merely do what they are programmed to do. Stimuli as input, our brains do a calculation, our brains send out a message to do some action. "Intelligence" is just the idea that the programming changes and adapts over time. And all of this happens without any input from our "will." Personally, I think it's weird to think we can pick ourselves apart in this way. What IS a "will" separate from the sum of all the experiences that made you who you are? What is left of "you" at that point? Your brain doing all these things IS your will, in my opinion. It's not doing things without your control. It's doing what you will. That weird feeling when you do something that you wish you didn't do... That's not your brain doing something against your will. That's your will having competing interests and a lack of internal consensus. I would say that's actually, likely, not true. In human experience, the world appears deterministic like this. (If the object hit A then it was never going to hit B.) But on the quantum mechanical scale true probability is a very real thing according to current scientific consensus.
  5. True. But then Mass Effect isn't entirely original there either--just a very prominent and well-done take on the trope. If that's the way it goes, I think Brandon would differentiate himself well enough.
  6. In my mind, there's a few moving parts here that all fit very nicely with this idea. First, we have the fact that Brandon has rolled his unfinished story about the Fermi Paradox ("The Eyes") into the Skyward universe. The Fermi Paradox deals with the question of why we haven't found extraterrestrial life when it should be statistically very likely. Many of the proposed solutions to the paradox (e.g. "extraterrestrial life is exceedingly rare") are obviously incorrect in this universe. One common solution is that extraterrestrial life tends to wipe itself out. Another involves our inability to detect their communication for one reason or another. I think it's pretty clear that the delvers are Brandon's solution of choice, and they do both of these things. They are a threat to advanced civilizations (see humans) and they force civilizations to stay quiet (minimal cytonics and radio usage to avoid delver detection). And then we have this ongoing emphasis that "AI are dangerous", which is something that's been mostly glossed over. Just a dozen reminders that it's dangerous for reasons nobody alive is able/willing to explain, along with some small level of exploration around M-Bot's own journey. I think M-Bot's existence in the story means artificial intelligence is a major thing Brandon intends to explore, and he definitely stepped that up in Starsight. In fact, I think M-Bot is going to be a major antagonist moving forward. His relationship with Spensa is broken, he's confused, and he's clearly pushed beyond the "safe" limits for AI according to his programming. I don't think he's going to be the villain of the story, but I do very much expect that things will get worse before they get better. This ties everything together. Everyone thinks the AI are dangerous because that's how the delvers happened. They didn't show up in Defending Elysium because... maybe they were confined to some far corner of the galaxy at that point. Maybe they were just few in number at the time. Or maybe they hadn't gone rogue yet. Maybe they were created by a single race... Maybe they are some kind of "natural course of evolution" for artificial intelligence, and their existence is actually the result of many civilizations. The other main theory I've seen about the delvers is that they are human cytonics who went too far or lost some parts of themselves. And I guess there's a default (and uninteresting) possibility that they simply... Are just beings that exist like any other, without any notable backstory. Personally, I think the idea that they are ASIs is more interesting and more in line with where the story is headed.
  7. I don't quite see how the whole theory breaks down. You theorized they were of human origin, but they could have been created by some other race. Maybe you considered that fundamental to the theory, but I still think there's some good thoughts here regardless. If they were created by another race, it would explain the strange script.
  8. That was a hard decision... My gut answer was Skyward, but I picked Starsight. Skyward was easier to enjoy. The story was simple, the bad guys not complex, the action fresh. It was a fun story with some powerful moments. Starsight is a lot more complicated. There are things about it that I liked less, but I picked it for two reasons: First, I thought this book was a masterful exploration of... cultures clashing? There's this whole soup of prejudices, culture shock, misunderstandings... I don't know how to begin breaking it down. I just know that every other scene addressed this theme in beautiful ways. Second, the expanded world that Brandon built here is amazing. The diversity of alien species and cultures, the magic, the delvers... It feels like Skyward all happened in a small shack with the lights off, and Starsight opened the door to reveal a whole world out there.
  9. Glad it's interesting! Nice and relevant avatar you've got there. (I assume)
  10. This comes up in conversations occasionally and I've been meaning to write up a concise and simple explanation for a while now. So here we go. But before I say anything else, I feel like I need to emphasize that I don't want to come across like I'm complaining about the books. Stormlight Archive is my absolute favorite series and this is such an obscure detail. Astronomy and orbital mechanics is a low-key passion for me (I blame Kerbal Space Program, mostly), so when I'm reading a book that I love and see information about this topic I can't help but dig into it. Brandon and his team do a LOT of work to make all of his fantastical worldbuilding make sense. They can't knock it out of the park every time. Maybe they'll look into this when doing the Stormlight leatherbounds and find a way to "fix" it. Maybe they won't--Roshar's moons are really imaginative, so why throw that out over some minor issues that 99% of readers will never even stop to consider? I'm just writing this up because I enjoy exploring the "science" of these books. Sometimes it doesn't work out nicely... and that's okay. It's fun to do the math regardless, and I'm just thankful Brandon put enough into the books that I can overthink it this much. The Situation I want this to be accessible for people who know very little about astronomy, so let's start with some quick basics. Below is a simple image of Roshar from "above". We're looking "down" on the North pole here.You can see which way it rotates relative to the Sun. You can see where the sun is setting and where it's rising. Note that the continent is actually in the southern hemisphere (I think it's one of the TWoK maps that shows the equator along the edges in a subtle way). For simplicity, in this post I'm just going to look at points along the equator. Also note that the continent spans about 120 degrees longitude, and Iri/Shinovar are about 90 degrees longitude behind the Shattered Plains. In other words, sunset on the Shattered plains is noon in Shinovar. Midnight in Shinovar is dawn on the Shattered Plains. We know that Roshar's moons orbit the planet once per day (every 20 Rosharan hours) because they rise and set the same time every night. This is something the books are never 100% explicit on, but it's heavily implied and has been confirmed. (Technically, they orbit a *bit* faster and precess slightly so that they keep their position relative to the Sun at all times of the year.) This nearly implies a geosynchronous orbit, where a satellite ends up over the same spot on the ground every day. But it can't be that or the moons would be up all day and night. Viewed from the ground they'd just sort of wobble back and forth around a fixed point in the sky. And that's not the case. They rise in the east, set in the west, and are only up for a few hours. (TWoK 2 & 23, among others) This means they are in a retrograde orbit (they go around clockwise) and it means they're in an elliptical orbit with the low point on the nighttime side of Roshar. This is what you need to get such behavior. Here's a very simplified approximation of one such moon: There are 3 of them of course. The Arcanum Unbounded star chart of Roshar suggests they are all at slightly different orientations relative to the sun. They are also inclined orbits, which is necessary to have the rise/set in the east/west for a viewer in the southern hemisphere. But for this post we're just going to keep it simple and pretend they're on the same plane as the equator. The order and timing of the moons as observed from the Shattered Plains is (and I'm using a 20-hour clock)... Salas rises just after sunset, around 15:00. Salas is up for about 2 Rosharan hours. Salas sets and we have an hour of darkness before Nomon rises. ("the hateful hour") Nomon rises around 18:00 and is up for 3-4 hours. Nomon sets as Mishim rises, around 1:00 or 2:00, and Mishim sets at sunrise (5:00). So why don't they make sense? Let's zero-in on the first moon, Salas. The moon should JUST become visible on the horizon at sunset, so the viewer's line of site looks something like this. Now we skip ahead 2 hours. Roshar turns about 36 degrees during that time (2 / 20 hours = 10%), so I've put an X at our viewer's new location. At this time, Salas is setting behind the horizon. So their line of sight looks like this. So consider what a person at points Y (2 hours behind the Shattered Plains) and Z (Shinovar) are seeing. It's pretty clear that they can't possibly see the moon rise at sunset. In Shinovar, Salas will be high in the sky already in their afternoon. Now, to be fair, the orbital path that I've drawn for Salas is somewhat arbitrary here. But the fundamental problem can't be fixed with a different orbit. If you want to slow the moon down, so that it's simply visible around sunset in Shinovar, that means it's going to be visible longer in the Shattered Plains' night sky. Solutions? I can't help but wonder what could be done differently. If you were going to try and "fix" the books, what approach would you take? (Aside from the option of just ignoring the problem and not thinking about it too much) The simple option is to just make the orbits work for the Shattered Plains and say that they ARE indeed not visible for some of western Roshar. Maybe they are visible during the day. The problem with this is that Szeth seems to suggest they don't do that. The Shin are actually where we get a name ("hateful hour") for the time between Salas and Nomon. But that could be changed. And there are some other timings that would need to be adjusted, but not too many. Alternatively, you might be able to push all of them back in their orbits a bit so that they all show up in the night sky for everyone across the continent. This would probably result in them moving faster across the sky. And it would probably mean that eastern Roshar has a few hours of darkness between sunset and Salas while western Roshar has a few hours of darkness between Mishim and sunrise. Another option is to have them move more slowly. It wouldn't be hard to have them set to all rise at roughly the same time, if you turn the orbit the right way. It simply means they're going to be relatively high in the sky for that portion, and that means they're going to be visible for much longer. Their movement would almost be more from Roshar turning than from the moons' own movement. (i.e. more like the way our own moon moves across the sky) This means their visibility will overlap and it means we have to toss out the hateful hour. Of course, if someone sees something I'm missing, please let me know. I HAVE simplified this by keeping things on Roshar's equatorial plane, but I'm fairly confident that you get more or less the same thing if we incline the orbits a little and view the moons from a point in the southern hemisphere.
  11. Why? Hmm. I guess I'm skeptical that story would work? I guess I had the impression if you didn't sweep the gender politics away (by changing the culture) than that aspect of Dayside culture would drown her story. There's only so much room to tell a story in a graphic novel. Do that and you sacrifice time spent on everything else she's trying to do. In particular, you take time away from exploring her struggle to find balance between her sense of justice and her religious beliefs. In a longer firm story, that would totally be interesting though, I agree. Yeah, that's an oversight they complained about. A mistake of the artist that they didn't catch at first. Volumes 2 and 3 have more female sand masters I think. And yeah, that's the real tragedy here. The graphic novel didn't get enough love and attention. I'd hesitate to throw it out, as they're planning to make more (sequels). I wouldn't be surprised if we get a good chunk of the cosmere via graphic novels in the years to come. They clearly learned a lot through doing the first 3, so I'm hopeful the next set will be a clear improvement.
  12. @Honorless I'm not sure what you're expecting, as that was Brandon's own direct answer to the question. If you want to know why he feels that way you'd have to ask him yourself. If I can speculate... I'd say that Brandon simply doesn't have much interesting in writing about patriarchal societies. I believe I've seen him say elsewhere that one thing he loves about fantasy is that the words he writes about don't have to develop the same way that our own did. He's not obligated to write a book that perfectly explores patriarchal cultures before he's allowed to move on. If he's satisfied with what he wrote on the matter (minimal as it may be) and wants to do something else then... obviously he's going to write what he thinks is more fun. For Ais specifically I would bet that, being a man, Brandon naturally gravitated towards writing mostly male characters (in patriarchal societies) when he was younger. So Ais's gender was less of an intentional decision and more of a... default. So they were probably reworking White Sand for the graphic novel and Brandon simply figured, "There aren't enough female characters in this story, and I like having a diverse cast. Ais would probably work well as a woman. Let's do that." Personally, I really like the change. The male cop trying to do his job while worrying for his family's safety is a tired trope in my opinion. Making Ais a wife/mother is a meaningless change that somehow puts a slightly different spin on that story. And otherwise not much else changes. Same for gender dynamics in general. Why NOT change it? It's not like the patriarchal aspect of their culture in the prose adds anything unique or interesting to the story. Well, at least not in my opinion. I would assume Brandon feels similarly.
  13. Y'all, look what @Paleo made! Note it can be resorted into publication order (top right) and different arrows and book categories can be toggled. There are tooltips for most things, including details about each connection arrow. We still have some plans for it, but at this point we'd really appreciate your feedback!
  14. Yes, but a few things... I've never given this terribly much thought but I wonder how the Cognitive Realm meshes with orbital mechanics. If Roshar and Braize are on different orbits the space between them changes. Sometimes they're on opposite sides of the sun. Does the path between them in Shadesmar change in some bizarre way, or are they stationary because of cognitive mumbo jumbo? I've assumed the latter, personally. Maybe that's wrong. In any case, this is a map of the Physical Realm so whatever this cognitive anomaly IS, it has a presence in the Physical Realm. It would be rather bizarre for the artist to map some cognitive thing onto a Physical Realm map if it has no physical presence, no? And so either way, whether it (and everything else in the CR) are shifting over time or whether it is stationary in the CR, my assumption is that this physical presence is orbiting with the planet.
  15. I've pointed out elsewhere that it appears to be located at Nalthis' L5 Lagrange point, so I'm leaning towards the assumption that it follows Nalthis in orbit. (if that needs to be said) I really don't care at all for the theory that it's related to the Return having their visions and or Returning. That just seems really bizarre and convoluted. Endowment is on the planet. Her perpendicularity is on the planet. There's no reason for her to drag people halfway across the system to some other point in the Cognitive Realm to do that. Far more likely that it's something we just... don't really know anything about. Maybe something we'll get teases about in Nightblood? Calderis makes a good point that THIS star chart lists the thing as an anomaly. If Khriss (and presumably the other scholars) at Silverlight) would refer to it simply as an "anomaly"... If they don't' know what it is, I highly doubt WE can easily figure out what it is.