Ixthos

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About Ixthos

  • Birthday 01/30/1989

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  1. @Ripheus23 Out of curiosity, what is your take on Quine's approach to this? Quine's Paradox. A core question that should be addressed is, with these types of statements, are true and false the only options, or can the option, as you note in your note, the concept of something being meaningless, also apply? Can one ask: "is the smell of blue anything other than C sharp?" A question which, if some of the parts are swapped out, makes sense, but with the parts as arranged, doesn't. "Have you stopped performing activity A" is another, because both true and false assume you have been performing activity A - you have to look at the structure itself, and note that one of its assumptions is false, rendering the question itself meaningless if the person hasn't done activity A. The, as Ted-ed puts it, "Three Alien Overlords" puzzle, allows for questions to be embedded within other questions as a solution, allowing one to gain access to useful information even when one doesn't know the finer details of the embedded question. So does that also apply, and can we ask the question: "is the liar's paradox actually a logically sound and/or valid question?", in the same way one can ask: "is the question 'is the smell of blue anything other than C sharp?' a logically sound and/or valid question?" Still the best approach to this is to consider Turing's solution to the Halting Problem (that is, proving that there is no such possible system), using the same logic as the liar paradox to show that such a machine cannot exist - the liar paradox demonstrated algorithmically. Still, I am not entirely convinced by Turing's argument, but it definitely seems to approach the same issue. If there is a solution to the Halting Problem, then it would likewise be a solution to the Liar's Paradox (Also, complete side note, but do you think that the Plank of Carneades is a more strict form of the Famous Violinist question? That is, if you think that someone has committed murder in the Plank of Carneades, where your life is on the line, you agree that choosing to disconnect from the violinist is also murder, where only your convenience and comfort was?)
  2. Two chemists walk into a bar. The first chemist says: "I would like some H2O." The second chemist says: "I would like some H2O as well." The first chemist sits down and drinks, angry that the assassination attempt failed. Helium walked into a bar. "I'm sorry," said the barman. "We don't serve noble gasses here." Helium didn't react. There are two types of people in the world. Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
  3. Welcome :-) have you read any of the articles on the Coppermind? That might be a place to start. What is your favourite book in the series?
  4. Forgive me if this seems like a strange question, but how does the concept of free will factor into either the Beyond - which is about the ultimate fate of those who die, as well as the idea of the Cosmere having something greater that encompasses it - or Brandon's own stated goals, where he has stated something according to his nature, his nature being what defines the properties of the Cosmere, and one's nature being the only thing that can touch free will without destroying it?
  5. I have my own beliefs, which I think are founded on solid ground, with proof and logic, but I know several people who would argue with me about them, and tell me that they aren't convinced. We live on a planet which is round, but there are - so I've heard - people who think it is flat, even though there is so much one can do even without getting into space to show the planet is round. There will always be people who doubt, even when the evidence is right in front of them. Brandon is not likely to change his stance on this issue because he came to this argument - the argument of letting people choose and guess and wonder - from something at his core. For that to break, the entire foundational logic of the Cosmere would likely break too.
  6. Two atoms were walking down the road. The first atom suddenly stopped. "I think I just dropped one of my electrons!" "Are you sure?" said the second atom. The first atom looked at him. "I'm positive!" If you ever want to flirt with a biologist, just tell them that if you had to pick between DNA and RNA, you would choose RNA every time. Why?
  7. Here is something we can all agree on. Brandon probably will have characters in the setting discuss the Beyond, experiment with the Beyond or attempt to do so, and maybe even think they come up with a solution or explanation for the Beyond (such as, for example, Kelsier noting the look on the faces of those who travel to the Beyond, which could be said to be them seeing a place of joy, but which also could be argued to them seeing the threshold of the Beyond, not the Beyond itself, and once they pass through it they evaporate, so no conclusions drawn). However, no character will at the end know the answer and state it to be as such, with no-one else contradicting them with sound arguments - in the end, if any characters do think they have the solution, it either won't be told or it will be argued their belief is not proven. Hoid likely does have goals involving the Beyond, maybe to bring someone back, but then even if he can "bring something back?", that doesn't mean he actually has - it could be like in the Emperor's Soul, and Hoid will realise he didn't actually bring them back but rather made a copy of them, or imitation. Basically the idea of the Beyond will be explored, but no answer will be given and stated to be the case with no room to question it.
  8. So, what is your favourite nerd jokes, science jokes, or humour obscurus? How does Spider-man travel arround the city so quickly? Three logicians walk into a bar. The barman says: "So, do you all want a drink?" The first logician says: "I don't know." The second logician says: "I don't know." The third logician says: "Yes." @Ripheus23 you might like this one: What is an anagram of Banach-Tarski?
  9. The issue is that Brandon doesn't want to address that issue as he likes to give the freedom to make a choice to the reader - if any position can be changed given enough time as you say, wouldn't that also include the position that positions can change? If truth is, as some people say, subjective, does that statement actually have value - that is, is it true? Sophestry! Pure delusion! There is objective reality, and subjective experience of that reality, but the subjective view doesn't define the objective truth - so long as Brandon doesn't say what the Beyond is, anyone is free to decide what they think it is, because he likes readers being able to guess and theorise. On some issues in his fictional worlds he makes statements of how they are, but for others he leaves questions. And some questions he doesn't want to give an answer to, either so as not to offend, or to give more options for those reading. Brandon has his own beliefs, and probably has an internal idea of what he wants the Beyond to be like, but that is something he is letting others choose to wonder about as well. Thus no-one can say what the Beyond is except Brandon, and he isn't going to say it, because once he does that closes the number of options. A magic trick has a solution - and objective method of how it was done. A magic trick's solution which hasn't been revealed is still done in a certain way, but the audience can remain interested, talking to each other about how they think it was done.
  10. @Pagliacci That is a good point with the sense of wonder - I think Brandon actually does manage to have both soft and hard at the same time in some ways: in Mistborn, before we learn about Hemalurgy and its details, the Inquisitors seem strange and disturbing (and get more disturbing when we learn more about them, and also get more understandable), and in Well of Ascension and Hero of Ages, with the power of the Well and taking up the mists, we again are shown a power that seems to have no limits, but is balanced against another, so it both is amazing yet has a logical restriction, even though it is more nuanced and powerful than the magic already shown - we don't know the full extent of what it can do, but we know it can change a planet, change a people, and power other systems, but it is being blocked by another power, and both are "ideas". Later books give new abilities to the metallic arts - or show abilities the metallic arts already had - and so there is wonder in new abilities being shown even if in the end of the story they are now something we see as more of a tool. On the whole however, I do agree Brandon tends towards the powers being much more hard and so easier to take in stride, less something to make you stop and wonder every time it is used, mainly because of how often it is used, and used as a tool for the characters. As Brandon said, the more well understood a system is the better it can be used to solve problems, but the less wonderful it seems, the less it makes you think in wonder. That is a good point for what fantasy lets us see - and that is I think why we like it so much, any story which can make you see something and think on it is potent. Horror or awe, something we can't grasp or use is often called magic, even if some people can grasp the mechanism behind it. You know the engineering joke about magic smoke? :-) in the end its all about exposure, and how others treat something as well.
  11. @Ripheus23 I think it mainly has to do with what we define as magic - Arthur C. Clark is famously quoted with regards to this, and ultimately it seems that for some definitions of magic it covers whatever technology does not yet cover, and itself can be viewed in several ways. I view things differently, in that if there is magic in the real world, then its extent and capacity is restrained by God, who defined what can and can't be. Some might say that Moses or the prophets had "magic", but God demonstrated that the power He gave them, or demonstrated through them, was stronger than the magic of the Egyptians. Yet I don't think that is magic. Some might say that the visions he showed the prophets, and what he showed John, are magic or divination, yet clearly God draws a distinction between the sorcery others performed and the visions He gives. Was the witch at Endor practising magic? What then of her surprise when Samuel was there? Tolkien noted with the Elves when Sam asked if they had been given magic rope that they do not call what they make and what they do magic, for to them magic is what Sauron and his master performed. But they understood what Sam meant, so even though it wasn't "magical" as they called it, as Hobbits didn't have a word for it, they understood and agreed that it would be what he thought of as magic. For stories I view magic and technology as related but distinct, with one able to be the other, or be mistaken for the other. Magic and physics are related in setting based ways, and some technologies use magic, and some magic can use technology, but not everything that is magic is magic, as the Elves in The Lord of the Rings would say, and some is evil and some is not - not necessarily good, but not always evil, even if it sometimes is called magic. If exotic particles exist, and can affect the world from some other dimension, is that magic, or physics? These particles shouldn't have been in the universe, but got there through some process in another dimension, or some process which normally doesn't affect that world - does the result count as magic, or technology? I think the situation then becomes key for distinction. Or maybe it would be both.
  12. Interesting. I would need to read it again, but it seems like when she touches him he travels to some other world - was that intended or did I not read it right? Also, the description seems to alternate between a narrator who can see everything - describing what she is doing and wearing while the man can't see - with scenes from the man's own perspective. Was that intended? It has a slightly lovecraft vibe to it, and was creepy. If he is in another world then that could explain why the dog was gone. If he wasn't then maybe the deal included the dog and he didn't realise it. Maybe the deal for a reminder of who he used to be also included making him stuck between his past and his present. Would future chapters or stories continue from this point, reference it, or be of a similar type?
  13. @Pagliacci Makes sense :-) which type of telekinesis do you prefer though? Long range, close range, strong, weak, fine control, brute force, multiple objects, single object, can be blocked, can't be blocked, needs line of sight, doesn't need line of sight? @Ripheus23 Based on that, would you say Brandon's fabrials and medallions, or awakening, would be a technology rather than a magic, or any of his systems which can be reliably used? In the Lord of the Rings, Gandalf was able to hold a door shut with a word of command while the Balrog tried to get in - the situation was special, but the act could have been done to any door by Gandalf - would that count as magic or technology? The doors to Moria, however, were only shown by moonlight, yet that would be a type of technology also by its mechanical nature, and the implication Dwarfs can use it on any door they build.
  14. Interesting :-) which type of critique are you most interested in? Grammar, story flow?
  15. We all know Brandon's laws for coming up with magic, including the zeroth law of making the system cool. How do you come up with magic and technology? I've been using a combination of approaches which seem to work well together. As I am writing a connected setting I am making a list of abilities and technologies that exist and which interact or can produce effects that interact, but which also vary in their degree of complexity and capability, which form a bases for systems. For example, one ability is a vague ability to make connections to things, with varying levels of connection or types of connection, while another is the ability to sense and move through flows - not generate them - to produce effects that might seem impossible but could be argued as being the result of natural physics, all the way to complete magic systems. The complete systems, however, are built up out of these smaller parts, and can take inspiration from things in the real world. For example, see a light switch and come up with a system involving being able to switch things on or off at a distance, or to be able to control how bright a light is, or ... and so on. Part of the reason for this is because it gives a consistency while still providing flexibility in the abilities, with more possible abilities and logical expansions based on new interactions, as well as meaning a unique effect in one system is free to be applied to another if it fits. So, how do you come up with magic or technology? And what is your favourite basic ability, such as the power to phase into other worlds, project energy weapons, or teleporting?