orangesrhyme

Zeroth Law of Magic

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So, I'm writing a paper on the harmonization between the framework of Investiture and Sanderson's Laws of Magic, and I was wondering what the source for the statement on the Coppermind about the Zeroth Law is. I couldn't find it anywhere, personally - is it in one of his lectures on YouTube or one of his writing podcasts, or elsewhere?

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The general gist of his Zeroth law is that magic should stay magical, so yes magic can be bounded by rules but it should still be Awesome e.g. steel-pushing around Elendel, even though the mechanics make sense it is still awesome.

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For sure for sure, but I was wondering where he said it originally, haha... I couldn’t find it on the Sanderson website and the Coppermind doesn’t have a citation for it.

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There are two entries about the Zeroth Law in Arcanum: https://wob.coppermind.net/adv_search/?query=Zeroth

No original source, unfortunately - it was a lecture he gave sometime before Shadows of Self (maybe the Words of Radiance tour lecture?), and it wasn't posted as an essay to his site.

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Just now, Pagerunner said:

There are two entries about the Zeroth Law in Arcanum: https://wob.coppermind.net/adv_search/?query=Zeroth

No original source, unfortunately - it was a lecture he gave sometime before Shadows of Self (maybe the Words of Radiance tour lecture?), and it wasn't posted as an essay to his site.

Ah, that Arcanum link was just what I needed! Should have thought to check there. Thank you so much!

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6 hours ago, orangesrhyme said:

So, I'm writing a paper on the harmonization between the framework of Investiture and Sanderson's Laws of Magic, and I was wondering what the source for the statement on the Coppermind about the Zeroth Law is. I couldn't find it anywhere, personally - is it in one of his lectures on YouTube or one of his writing podcasts, or elsewhere?

Be sure to post this paper! It sounds fascinating!

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On 4/18/2018 at 4:36 PM, orangesrhyme said:

So, I'm writing a paper on the harmonization between the framework of Investiture and Sanderson's Laws of Magic, and I was wondering what the source for the statement on the Coppermind about the Zeroth Law is. I couldn't find it anywhere, personally - is it in one of his lectures on YouTube or one of his writing podcasts, or elsewhere?

 

Yes could you post that paper when its finished? I would really like to read it.

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I'm also interested in the paper. Also, is the paper for anything specific beyond your own satisfaction?

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Haha, the paper should be done later today. Please don’t get your hopes up, though! It’s not spectacular by any means; I originally wanted it to be a treatise on the base layers of how Investiture works but I didn’t want it to be boring.

14 minutes ago, Vicegrip said:

I'm also interested in the paper. Also, is the paper for anything specific beyond your own satisfaction?

It’s actually for a class on LDS authors of speculative fiction that I’m taking from Orson Scott Card! Super fun course. Very rewarding. It won’t get me into med school, I mean, but it has a lot of personal value. Card’s a good guy.

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hmmm... as an LDS person myself I'm now curious about what the course is about.

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1 minute ago, Vicegrip said:

hmmm... as an LDS person myself I'm now curious about what the course is about.

Essentially, we discussed the work of several LDS fantasy authors, and discussed how Mormon doctrines were or may have been an influence. I didn’t include much of that in my paper because that’s part of the final exam, but that might change in the next hour or two.

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That is interesting - Cards work in particular is littered with LDS references - like frustratingly so. I don't pick up on it as much with some of the other LDS authors.

Regardless, good luck with your paper and with subsequent med school

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Just now, Vicegrip said:

That is interesting - Cards work in particular is littered with LDS references - like frustratingly so. I don't pick up on it as much with some of the other LDS authors.

Regardless, good luck with your paper and with subsequent med school

I can totally see where you’re coming from - His Mithermages trilogy is pretty absent of it, up until the third book where it gets a lot less subtle. Still a good read, though.

And thanks! I’ll keep y’all posted.

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Homecoming and Alvin Maker are particularly heavy handed.

But back to the Zeroth law of magic - are there cases where the three laws of magic are followed, but the zeroth isn't? I'm drawing a blank

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2 hours ago, Vicegrip said:

Homecoming and Alvin Maker are particularly heavy handed.

But back to the Zeroth law of magic - are there cases where the three laws of magic are followed, but the zeroth isn't? I'm drawing a blank

Oh, for sure. Those were intended as such going in, to be fair, but yeah.

 

i actually can’t think of any! The Aviar on their face aren’t flashy-cool, but they’re a neat concept.

 

also, paper (probably isn’t in good order, so I am sorry about that, but there are page numbers):

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By the way, Brandon talks about his Zeroth Law in this BYU lecture (50:59).

Quote

So we'll go to Sanderson 0th law. So I called it the zeroth law for a couple of reasons. One is because Clark and Asimov I think both have a zeroth law and so it's a fun kind of insider joke. But the idea for this one was I was thinking about it then like, "Brandon do you really, do you really do all this when you're sitting down to design your magic system? Do you say 'Ooh what are the flaws? how do I..." you know. And the answer is "yes to an extent", but I'd be lying if I say that's the origin of my magic systems. That's how all these three laws... these are how I refine my magic systems and how I use them in my stories. Where do they originally come from? They come from Sanderson zero flaw which is always err on the side of what is awesome.

 

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EDIT: Wow. Great research. Good points too!

Edited by Archer
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You see, archer, If I understood that I would have something useful or witty to reply, but since I don't I'm just writing random stuff.

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Oh, I forgot to update! I got an "A(-)," which is to say that Card thought it was a really good conversational essay, but missed a few points on it being a coherent construction of an argument. He said the minus wouldn't show up on my report card or anything. That's fair, I'm no Elsecaller. 

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Good job!

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