Walin

World is flat? (Cognitively)

30 posts in this topic

I remembered somewhere in WoK that Hoid made an offhand comment to Dalinar about the world spinning, and Dalinar being "flabbergasted."

What if this wasn't just some offhand metaphor that Hoid was saying Okay, so it was just a metaphor, but it reveals the fact that Rosharans might think the world is flat. This bears a lot of importance to the fact that worldhoppers use the Cognitive Realm to worldhop. If the worlds of anywhere are not percieved as flat, would it become round in Cognitive space, and is that the reason for era 4 mistborn needing FTL machines rather than Oathgate thingys?

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually Cognitive Realm is flat. Everywhere. This is so mind-screwy I don't even know how to approach this.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Walin, the rosharans understand the world is round. In one of the interludes from Oathbringer he read from while on tour, the ardents discuss the regular timing of the everstorm as it circles around the planet.

And I can't find the transcript, so maybe I'm imagining a monastery up in the mountains with a woman walking out to the woods to read her romance novel in peace...

Edited by john203
Couldn't find it
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe this is wrong but I'd thought about the realms in a pretty simple way. Physical is three dimension (I'm ignoring time here) hence the worlds are spherical, cognitive is two dimensions (hence flat), spiritual is in one dimension (I'm not certain on the last but it seems that way from descriptions of it). I think that's inherent and not a result of belief. I think once all people of all worlds know their planets are spherical it won't make the cognitive realm 3D.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Possibly Dalinar is flabbergasted by the planet spinning and not by it's roundness. They may still have the idea that Suns orbit planets.

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Extesian said:

Maybe this is wrong but I'd thought about the realms in a pretty simple way. Physical is three dimension (I'm ignoring time here) hence the worlds are spherical, cognitive is two dimensions (hence flat), spiritual is in one dimension (I'm not certain on the last but it seems that way from descriptions of it). I think that's inherent and not a result of belief. I think once all people of all worlds know their planets are spherical it won't make the cognitive realm 3D.

 

If the cognitive realm is 2D, how can people go there physically? To worldhop, Elsecall, etc. I'm actually pretty puzzled by this.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Frostlander said:

If the cognitive realm is 2D, how can people go there physically? To worldhop, Elsecall, etc. I'm actually pretty puzzled by this.

It's not 2D, it's just that planets are flat expanses dotted with similar geographical features, instead of spheres. All these expanses then connect together.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Eryk of the Stonewards said:

Possibly Dalinar is flabbergasted by the planet spinning and not by it's roundness. They may still have the idea that Suns orbit planets.

That's a really good explanation. I think some are having trouble differentiating between the earth being round and the Earth spinning.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a related brain teaser Brandon shared with us last year - if planets are spherical, but their Shadesmars are flat, how would one's journey around the equator look like in the Cognitive Realm?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Argent said:

Here's a related brain teaser Brandon shared with us last year - if planets are spherical, but their Shadesmars are flat, how would one's journey around the equator look like in the Cognitive Realm?

Yeah, I'm wondering about it as well.

But there is something more mind-screwy: if somehow the planet is projected as being flat, it has to end somewhere in Cognitive Realm. If I stand at such end, Elsecall into Physical, take a step forward and Elsecall back into Cognitive, would I be standing at the opposite end (which - in Cognitive - would be pretty far away)?

Simpler: in Physical it's a globe, in Cognitive it's a flat map of the globe. What if I stand at the edge of the map, Elsecall, walk forward and Elsecall back?

Edited by Oversleep
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Frostlander said:

If the cognitive realm is 2D, how can people go there physically? To worldhop, Elsecall, etc. I'm actually pretty puzzled by this.

 

11 hours ago, Spoolofwhool said:

It's not 2D, it's just that planets are flat expanses dotted with similar geographical features, instead of spheres. All these expanses then connect together.

It is helpful to think of it as 2D geometry/geography, I think, though.  How it equates to the Physical Realm is a mind-bender, as is being discussed, but in terms of understanding how the Cognitive itself looks and how to travel around, thinking of it as a completely flat "land", in the sense of not being globes but all on the same plane, that is helpful.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More mindscrewing:

Put up some satelittes around the planet. In different orbits, not only West - East but also North - South. Put people on them, Elsecallers or even Lightweavers. Now imagine Lightweaver doing the astral projection thing (they don't come into Cognitive Realm fully) into Shadesmar. If the world is stationary they should be moving pretty fast in the Cognitive.

But also how would different orbits move? I mean, some may just go circles around the subastral but the orbits at angle to them shuld go through the Shadesmar's ground.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Oversleep said:

More mindscrewing:

Put up some satelittes around the planet. In different orbits, not only West - East but also North - South. Put people on them, Elsecallers or even Lightweavers. Now imagine Lightweaver doing the astral projection thing (they don't come into Cognitive Realm fully) into Shadesmar. If the world is stationary they should be moving pretty fast in the Cognitive.

But also how would different orbits move? I mean, some may just go circles around the subastral but the orbits at angle to them shuld go through the Shadesmar's ground.

If these satellites have Cognitive presences in the first place, then I suspect those presences would be stationary, in the direction where the traveler expects them to be.  (Because if there is any place in the Cosmere where the mind makes it real, it would be the Cognitive Realm).  In support of this, note that Kelsier found the IRE's fortress by going directly away from Scadrial, despite the odds of this being vanishingly small.  (And before you say "but the fortress wasn't moving" I would point out that this makes the odds of Kell stumbling upon it even slimmer)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Landis963 said:

In support of this, note that Kelsier found the IRE's fortress by going directly away from Scadrial, despite the odds of this being vanishingly small.  (And before you say "but the fortress wasn't moving" I would point out that this makes the odds of Kell stumbling upon it even slimmer)

Nazh told him the direction, so...

1 hour ago, Landis963 said:

If these satellites have Cognitive presences in the first place, then I suspect those presences would be stationary, in the direction where the traveler expects them to be.  (Because if there is any place in the Cosmere where the mind makes it real, it would be the Cognitive Realm).

But people on those satellites know and see they're moving respective to the planet.

The problem I wanted to signal here is this:

Imagine coordinate system. From point (0,0,0) you can move on three axis and in 6 directions total (forward, backward, left, right, up and down). How do you translate six directions into four of the Cognitive?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Oversleep said:

The problem I wanted to signal here is this:

Imagine coordinate system. From point (0,0,0) you can move on three axis and in 6 directions total (forward, backward, left, right, up and down). How do you translate six directions into four of the Cognitive?

You don't. There is still depth in the seas of spheres and mists. Painspren fly. There are still 3 axis in the Cognitive. Trying to translate it perfectly from one map to the other is impossible. The way that the CR shrinks space where there is no Cognitive activity is about the only way that this flat geography could work. The relative direction of the worlds in the Cognitive may not even coincidence with the physical map once you leave a world.

Imagine you have seven worlds in the shape of a jack. One world in the center, one at the end of each arm along each axis. The two "flat" axis could easily be explained, but the vertical axis... I think that once you exit the boundaries of a particular world's subastral, the geography is a little less fixed. Whether thus is shaped by belief or intent, or some strange shifting cycle I don't know. But transferring three dimensional space into two dimensional geography only works on the level of worlds, not galaxies. It's just not possible unless there is some amount of malleability to the space involved. 

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I picture The Cognitive Realm as kind of like a blanket laying on top of a bunch of different sized sports balls. The bigger the sports ball the more thought is centered around it. Smaller sports balls are the things that are thought about but not necessarily all of the time. The valleys in between sports balls are open space where there is next to no thought existing. The sports balls are the Physical Realm. When you Worldhop using the Shadesmar You're teleporting through the blanket to the top so you can walk down a valley and up another sports ball and jump into that world. Perpendicularities could be little holes in the blanket. That doesn't explain the equator conundrum but It's how I like to picture the Cognitive Realm.

 

 (Edit)The rises and falls in the blanket could be like hills on a topographic map with closer lines that would explain the lack of distance when walking through areas of little to no cognitive activity.

Edited by theuntaintedchild
Additional info
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brandon did say that the CR was "a plain, not a plane" so there is sort of a z axis, just a small one.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two things to keep in mind, since people live on the surface of Roshar, they are effectively living in 2 dimensions, plus just a little bit up and down. 

Second, you can still make a one-to-one mapping from each point of a sphere's surface, to a plane. The most straightforward mapping is called the Mobius transformation. 

Spoiler: some points on the sphere map to infinity on the plane. 

 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ZenBossanova said:

Two things to keep in mind, since people live on the surface of Roshar, they are effectively living in 2 dimensions, plus just a little bit up and down. 

Second, you can still make a one-to-one mapping from each point of a sphere's surface, to a plane. The most straightforward mapping is called the Mobius transformation. 

Spoiler: some points on the sphere map to infinity on the plane. 

 

Which works on the scale of worlds no problem. The relationship of multiple worlds placed in a three dimensional space can't be transitioned over so simply though. If you collapse the locations of the dwarf galaxy that is the Cosmere into a relatively flat geography with each of the worlds expanded out in this manner, you have to completely disregard the distances involved in one axis of the physical's 3D space and pray for no overlap, or there has to be an additional mechanism to explain the interplanetary geography. 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/13/2017 at 0:15 PM, theuntaintedchild said:

I picture The Cognitive Realm as kind of like a blanket laying on top of a bunch of different sized sports balls. The bigger the sports ball the more thought is centered around it. Smaller sports balls are the things that are thought about but not necessarily all of the time. The valleys in between sports balls are open space where there is next to no thought existing. The sports balls are the Physical Realm. When you Worldhop using the Shadesmar You're teleporting through the blanket to the top so you can walk down a valley and up another sports ball and jump into that world. Perpendicularities could be little holes in the blanket. That doesn't explain the equator conundrum but It's how I like to picture the Cognitive Realm.

 

 (Edit)The rises and falls in the blanket could be like hills on a topographic map with closer lines that would explain the lack of distance when walking through areas of little to no cognitive activity.

I think that everyone is making the same mistake trying to visualize the layout of the Cognitive Realm.  We are all picturing it "overlaying" the Physical.  I see it as more like an onion.  The center of the onion is the Spiritual Realm.  The Cognitive Realm is several "onion layers" out from the Spiritual.  The Physical Realm would be the outside of the onion.  A line drawn from the Spiritual to the Physical on Roshar would pass through the section of the Cognitive that represents Roshar,  

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my friends explained it as, since it is the Cognitive Realm, if you don't intend to leave Roshar, but intend to walk around the planet in Shadesmar, it is essentially a flat map with a scroll feature on it, but without this intent, you walk off a plane.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And here I thought I was done with calculus after I graduated. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, 18th Shard said:

One of my friends explained it as, since it is the Cognitive Realm, if you don't intend to leave Roshar, but intend to walk around the planet in Shadesmar, it is essentially a flat map with a scroll feature on it, but without this intent, you walk off a plane.

I can add onto that idea actually. In Civ IV, the world has 3 wrapping layouts it can have: Flat, Cylindrical and Toroidal. They are fairly self-explanatory, but just in case..

Flat: All sides have edges, like sheets of paper.
Cylindrical: East/West wraparound in a circle, North/South have edges.
Toroidal: All sides wrap, like a globe.

So in your friends idea if you want to explore Roshar's Cognitive only, you've got a toroidal map. If you want to wander the worlds, each world is a piece of paper, placed next to each other. And now that I've got a headcanon that seems to make sense, I really want your friend to be right

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing to note is that the Cognitive Realm for each planet isn't a 1:1 ratio. The CR is less represented in less populated areas. My guess is that the CR will have a 1:1 ratio if there is a critical mass of thought in a location. Places where there is less thought, like space, the distance in the CR is compressed. I don't think the distance is completely gone, it's just small enough to cover in a step. I imagine the cogography (the CR geography equivalent I just made up) of it to be similar to gravity wells. More thought = deeper well.  Deeper well = larger representation.

My guess about the walking around the world problem is that each section acts like a mobius strip. Your intent matters, so if you want to walk to a different planet, it will connect to a different planet. If you want to walk around the world, it will just seamlessly go to the other side. You aren't teleporting across the CR, you just walk. Space would have to be heavily distorted there, so I think your intent of destination makes a big difference if you are at least going in the right general direction.

On that note, I thought Kel knew where to go to find the fortress because of the possibilities he saw in the SR. He knew which direction would result in having a better future.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sort of like in Lord of the rings, to get to heaven (valinor) you sail into the west on a line tangent to the earth.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.