ND103

Question about the nature of a two dimensional cognitive realm versus a three dimensional physical realm.

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Posted (edited)

Has any one asked Brandon about how the three dimensional sphere of a planet gets converted to a two dimensional space in the cognitive realm. With a sphere, if I start walking in a straight line along any direction, logically, at some point I have to get back to that point (assuming I swim when there's water etc). From what we've seen and the WOBs I've read on the subject that doesn't sound like it's the case with the cognitive realm, because in the CR you just reach off world at some point instead of circling back to where you started. This suggests there is some kind of axis along which the sphere gets divided. So if you're exactly one step on one side of said axis, you're at one end of the cognitive realm, and if you're exactly one step on the other side of the axis you're at the other end of the cognitive realm of said planet. 

 

How exactly does this work. Is there a WOB about that? I tried searching but haven't found anything.... 

 

The clear implications of this I can think of happen on places like Roshar where its just one continent, that is entirely in the southern hemisphere (if I remember correctly) and so if that axis is the equator, doesn't really matter. If that axis is a prime meridian passing through Urithiru on the other hand, that could be really really bad. Cuz half of Urithiru in the cognitive realm would be one end of whatever is the boundary of shadesmar before you're no longer on Roshar, and the other half would be the other end. Clearly from the maps we have of the Roshar cognitive realm this isn't the case, but I was using it as an example to illustrate where the issues might be most prominent (I.e. in cases of a super continent).

 

Any who, any thoughts on this subject?

Edited by ND103
Typos plus added a thought in there to complete my point.
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It's not two dimensional it's just flat

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34 minutes ago, Inky said:

It's not two dimensional it's just flat

That would still result in the issues that he brought up. A sphere represented on a flat surface will need to be split at some point. It would also cause the outer latitudes to be massively inflated in size.

Personally, I don't think that our concepts of dimensional space exist in the CR. It is flat, but also still a sphere. I'm not sure how this would relate to the "edge" of the map, but it doesn't really have to make sense. I think of it like a set of Penrose stairs, I can conceptualize it, but it can't actually exist.

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Posted (edited)

I still think it has to do with perception and intent, even if I haven't put that vision into words. (Edit: There was an explanation, but the search function on this site has apparently gone kaput during my hiatus)

Quote

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.

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


As was explained to me before, if you are using the CR to traverse the planet you are on, the CR is essentially a globe(minus most of the uninhabited areas)
If you are attempting to cross over to another world, then edges "appear,"(because of cognitive perception) allowing you to go into the interplanetary section of the CR.

Quoted from to these two posts.

Edited by The One Who Connects
Found it via google
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 So are you saying it is related to intent?  If you're just globetrotting you go around the planet, and only step across interplanetary space if you're attempting that?  If so, that makes travel without a guide very, very, interesting.

I'll throw in an old topic of mine as well: 

 

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Kelsier didn't really have the intent to go off world but he didn't end up walking spherically in secret history. That does suggest that's not possible...

Also thanks for the correction. I meant to say flat not necessarily two dimensional. Though that raises another excellent point. What if I pick a random point on land in CR and start digging... ?

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My expectation was that while the surface of Shadesmar is flat, that does not mean it is not curved. Or in math terms, it is NOT a simply connected surface. For those of you who have taken some higher calculus, this is where branch cuts become important. 

In other words, you will need to worry a lot more about the path you travel between worlds, and not just the correct direction. 

Imagine giant soap bubbles filling up the physical Cosmere. Now imagine Shadesmar/Cognitive Realm taking place on the surface of those soap bubbles. For any one planet it is locally flat, but further out, it may be a bit more tricky. 

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4 hours ago, ZenBossanova said:

My expectation was that while the surface of Shadesmar is flat, that does not mean it is not curved. Or in math terms, it is NOT a simply connected surface. For those of you who have taken some higher calculus, this is where branch cuts become important. 

In other words, you will need to worry a lot more about the path you travel between worlds, and not just the correct direction. 

Imagine giant soap bubbles filling up the physical Cosmere. Now imagine Shadesmar/Cognitive Realm taking place on the surface of those soap bubbles. For any one planet it is locally flat, but further out, it may be a bit more tricky. 

Let's say it is locally flat, how does that work with the spherical nature of a planet still? You still have the issue of a sphere on which you can get back to point A by walking all around, which wouldn't be the case with a flat CR. no? 

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, ND103 said:

Kelsier didn't really have the intent to go off world but he didn't end up walking spherically in secret history. That does suggest that's not possible...

While your point is valid(and I'll have to reread several scenes to refresh myself on things), it's worth noting that he technically hadn't left Scadrial.

Quote

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Did Kelsier leave Scadrial when he went to the Ire fortress?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I consider him not having left, but being very close to leaving. He couldn't have actually gotten off-planet with the way that he existed at that point. So, no, he did not leave Scadrial. At least the sphere of influence of Scadrial.
The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson (Oct. 25, 2018).


2 hours ago, ND103 said:

Let's say it is locally flat, how does that work with the spherical nature of a planet still? You still have the issue of a sphere on which you can get back to point A by walking all around, which wouldn't be the case with a flat CR. no? 

In the post I linked yesterday, I got corrected on my usage of toroidal, and looking back at that exchange has got me thinking again. Imagine if you will, that it only directly wraps one way. Cardinal points probably don't work in the CR, but we'll call it east-west for now. A toroid is functionally a donut, so the hole would always be east or west of you. If I cut out a small piece of the donut and called it Scadrial, there's still a direction one can travel that would wrap around without leaving the planet, ie: towards/away from the hole.

Now imagine that each "slice" of donut is a planet's CR, and that Roshar's slice is right next to Scadrial. No matter where you are on Scadrial, going "north"(relative to the donut hole) will take you towards Roshar, and going south will take you towards a different planet. That sounds like it is functionally flat, no?

In the long run, I guess this is less magical Intent and more physical intent. It'd be the direction you choose to travel in that determines where you go(much like the PR, come to think of it)

Edited by The One Who Connects
fixed source link
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It's probably got something to do with the metaphor of Shadesmar being like a shadow of the Physical Realm. If you hold a sphere into light, its shadow will not be a sphere but flat. Being in the Cognitive Realm means walking on that shadow instead of the sphere.

Of course, this metaphor is flawed and leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Some things about Shadesmar will probably fall under the "things human brains can't comprehend" umbrella.

I do wonder what happens if you reach the outer edge of Shadesmar though. Is there a wall? A void? Maybe it has kind of an invisible wall that you can't pass, but I don't think that'd make sense.

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52 minutes ago, Elegy said:

I do wonder what happens if you reach the outer edge of Shadesmar though. Is there a wall? A void? Maybe it has kind of an invisible wall that you can't pass, but I don't think that'd make sense

It should be a void. It would be no different than the void between worlds themselves. The reasons travel is easy between worlds is that there is no Cognitive representation of the void of space. So you walk off into nothing. Just that obsidian seeming ground, right up until you reach the Cognitive representation of another place. If you went to the "edge" you'd be walking out into nothing, light years per step, until you either died or discovered a new world. 

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10 minutes ago, Calderis said:

Just that obsidian seeming ground, right up until you reach the Cognitive representation of another place. If you went to the "edge" you'd be walking out into nothing, light years per step, until you either died or discovered a new world. 

This does make me wonder if the CR contains an infinite plain of obsidian outside of the Comsere, or if you could "walk off the edge" and come out on the other end of the Cosmere.

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1 hour ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

This does make me wonder if the CR contains an infinite plain of obsidian outside of the Comsere, or if you could "walk off the edge" and come out on the other end of the Cosmere.

The Cosmere isn't the only thing in its universe (we know not all the stars in the Arcanum Unbounded constellation painting are part of the Cosmere) so what happens would probably hinge on whether the metaphysics of the Cosmere apply outside it or they don't. In the former case, if you go past the edge of 'Cosmere Cognitive Space' you should eventually stumble across the Cognitive region of systems outside the Cosmere and be able to explore them. If the metaphysics aren't universal, you might end up in an empty void or (more likely I think) wrap around to the other side of the Cosmere, like an old-school RPG world map.

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Posted (edited)

20 minutes ago, Weltall said:

If the metaphysics aren't universal, you might end up in an empty void or (more likely I think) wrap around to the other side of the Cosmere, like an old-school RPG world map.

Yea that's pretty much what I was thinking. It probably depends on Realmatics like you said.

Edit: That could make for an interesting question to Brandon. Are Realmatics Universal or Cosmere bounded?

Edited by SwordNimiForPresident
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4 hours ago, The One Who Connects said:

While your point is valid(and I'll have to reread several scenes to refresh myself on things), it's worth noting that he technically hadn't left Scadrial.


In the post I linked yesterday, I got corrected on my usage of toroidal, and looking back at that exchange has got me thinking again. Imagine if you will, that it only directly wraps one way. Cardinal points probably don't work in the CR, but we'll call it east-west for now. A toroid is functionally a donut, so the hole would always be east or west of you. If I cut out a small piece of the donut and called it Scadrial, there's still a direction one can travel that would wrap around without leaving the planet, ie: towards/away from the hole.

Now imagine that each "slice" of donut is a planet's CR, and that Roshar's slice is right next to Scadrial. No matter where you are on Scadrial, going "north"(relative to the donut hole) will take you towards Roshar, and going south will take you towards a different planet. That sounds like it is functionally flat, no?

In the long run, I guess this is less magical Intent and more physical intent. It'd be the direction you choose to travel in that determines where you go(much like the PR, come to think of it)

This approach is perfectly fine for the geometry between two different worlds and conceptually I can wrap my head around it. But if we go back to just looking at one world. Let's say Roshar for simplicity. In the PR, if I pick a random point and start walking in a random direction, and I'm a windrunner with infinite stormlight so I can walk underwater. And I keep walking in this one direction, I'll eventually wrap back to where I started. This is undeniable. After doing one lap of the world in this fashion, I then switch over into the CR with the help of my elsecaller friend.i pick the same direction and start walking, and I've an elsecaller to ensure I don't get stuck in the beads or some such. From everything I know, I'll never circle back to that point, but drift off Roshar. That's the part I can't seem to wrap my head around. Not without assuming there is some axis along which the sphere of Roshar is divided so that it can be flat in this fashion. No evidence for any of that obviously, but a great question for a WOB I would think... Any mathematical structure that might allow this?

 

The only other explanation I can think of is that Rosharans are presently all flatearthers... They believe Roshar is flat and not a sphere. Therefore it behaves as a flat structure in the CR and not a sphere of any sort. This raises other issues that don't have any solutions I can think of. I'm not sure why this bothers me so much but it sure is confusing me... 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, ND103 said:

The only other explanation I can think of is that Rosharans are presently all flatearthers...

I am fairly certain that they know the planet is round. The Ardentia/Stormwardens have been arguing if the Origin of Storms is a creator or recharger of Highstorms, but they don't argue about the capacity to circle the planet(something necessary to the recharging theory). And Hoid's "revelation" to Dalinar makes it seem like where Rosharan understanding fails is they don't run a heliocentric model.

1 hour ago, ND103 said:

From everything I know, I'll never circle back to that point, but drift off Roshar. That's the part I can't seem to wrap my head around.

I have issues with that too. I truly feel that, no matter where we are on the PR of the planet, if you and me are 5-10 meters apart and enter the CR, that we should still be within 10 meters(non-thinking geometry willing). But as you say, these "edges" create the possibility of us being nowhere near each other, and I don't like that.

Pretty much any projection/structure(like my toroid) we can draw out/elaborate on is gonna have "edges" where we don't loop around, but most any common sense rationale(like yours) will argue that we should be able to circle the "globe" in any direction. We've been going at this issue for... what 2? 3? years now, and we still haven't rectified this issue.

I'm half tempted to say the CR is what would happen if reality went up a dimension or 2 without actually going up a dimension.

Edited by The One Who Connects
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1 hour ago, The One Who Connects said:

I have issues with that too. I truly feel that, no matter where we are on the PR of the planet, if you and me are 5-10 meters apart and enter the CR, that we should still be within 10 meters(non-thinking geometry willing). But as you say, these "edges" create the possibility of us being nowhere near each other, and I don't like that.

I think the opposite, based off of this WoB 

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/36/#e1538

Quote

So one of the things you'll have to be asking questions and theorizing on is what happens if you try to carry a spren around the planet. What happens to their Cognitive sense, right? So you're on Roshar, right? So on the Physical Realm what would happen-- Because on Shadesmar, you have a flattened version. So there are questions for you to be theorizing implicit in that.  And one of them is, what happens, you cross a threshold circling the globe, your spren, what happens to them? Because-- Okay? This relates to the question you’re asking.

If you need to ask about what happens to your spren when you circumnavigate the threshold, while you're in the Physical Realm, I don't think that intent is required here. 

It's wonky, and sort of mind breaking to deal with, but I think it's just the way the realms function. 

Would it still be an issue if the spren was a blade, and therefore physical? If so, why isn't it an issue for people? 

I have plenty of questions... But not in regards to the shape of Shadesmar itself. 

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I don't believe the entire planet is represented in the CR. I believe that only the areas with people are represented. This would deal with some of the problems. For Roshar at least. The CR would be flat because not enough of the planet is being represented to make an impact. If you did travel to the other side of Roshar, and elsecall to CR, I would imagine you would appear at the nearest part of the CR that exists. Or maybe not. Maybe you would appear in a void!

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On 4/14/2019 at 5:30 PM, Steel Inquisitive said:

I don't believe the entire planet is represented in the CR. I believe that only the areas with people are represented.

The fact that open oceans exist on the Cognitive side makes it clear that the entire planet is represented, even though those have only transitory life. Thinking about a region will create Cognitive 'space' for it.

Quote
Brandon Sanderson

Yes, yes. Particularly if no one's thinking about it? If people are thinking about it.. like, for instance, an island in the ocean that was scoured of all life and even bacteria would still manifest in Shadesmar on that planet because people are aware of it and things like this. But one on the other side of the planet, that no one ever knew about it, probably wouldn't.

Questioner

So that same island, if people just stopped thinking about it or like stopped being aware it's *inaudible* would it...

Brandon Sanderson

It could slowly vanish, yes. And so-- But that's more of a thought experiment. You're never gonna have a planet that that happens to, you know cause...

Questioner

Right.

Brandon Sanderson

But thought experiment wise, yes, that would eventually kind of get consumed by Shadesmar and vanish. The same thing would happen to a planet that you strip the atmosphere from--all the bacteria and life dies on it--you know, slowly going to vanish. But a moon will still manifest because people are thinking about it. It'll just not-- it won't-- it'll be hoakie, it'll be weird--the moon will be. Like you might find a little patch that represents the moon. Something like that.

White Sand vol.1 release party (June 28, 2016)

 

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