King of Herdaz

Traveling off of round worlds in the Cognitive Realm

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Being as all the worlds in the Cosmere are round, and the Cognitive Realm parallels the Physical Realm, how does worldhopping work? Previously, before this occurred to me, i had pictured worldhopping being achieved (based off of Kelsier's journey to the Ire in secret history) by simply walking off the edge of the world, passing through a vague amount of compressed space (due to a lack of thoughts/Cognitive stuff) and arriving on a different world. But upon reflection, a globe has no edge to walk off of. So how does one transfer between different worlds?

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Welcome to the Shard!

The Cognitive Realm is a flat representation of three-dimensional space, but it's distorted. You pretty much do 'walk off the edge of the world' to leave the planet and travel through the interstellar void. And yes, it's pretty mind-screwy how this is meant to work.

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I believe it is possible by using technology or Investiture, like AonDor was used at the end of Elantris, or via a Perpendicularity/magic system.

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5 hours ago, Wander89 said:

I believe it is possible by using technology or Investiture, like AonDor was used at the end of Elantris, or via a Perpendicularity/magic system.

A perpendicularity will allow you to get from the Cognitive realm of one world to the physical realm of that world, but it doesn’t make it so you can get to other worlds.

I’ve always thought of the Cognitive realm as being like a map.  Picture a map of the whole universe, with a map of each individual planet laid on top of the universe map at the location of the planet.  Now remember that most models of the solar system that people make are super not to scale, because empty space is boring, so you can squish together the vast distances of empty space to be much less vast.  

The problem people have with this is that we know that each world is round in the physical realm, but even though we know the earth is round, for practical purposes we generally treat it as flat in our minds, which is why we have maps of the world.  I expect that the shape of the Cognitive realm for each world probably matches the way most people think of the world.  By that I mean where the edges of the world map are.

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19 hours ago, Etherealness said:

Being as all the worlds in the Cosmere are round, and the Cognitive Realm parallels the Physical Realm, how does worldhopping work? Previously, before this occurred to me, i had pictured worldhopping being achieved (based off of Kelsier's journey to the Ire in secret history) by simply walking off the edge of the world, passing through a vague amount of compressed space (due to a lack of thoughts/Cognitive stuff) and arriving on a different world. But upon reflection, a globe has no edge to walk off of. So how does one transfer between different worlds?

But you can imagine a place beyond which there is nothing to you. Like for Europeans probably the southeast coast of New Zealand. There is nothing worth mentioning or thinking about beyond it.

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My thought was similar to a bunch stated, that the people of the planets think of it as flat. Or at least, they think of their part of the world as flat. The continent of Roshar, for example, doesn't wrap around on itself, so it makes sense that it would be represented as a flat space in Shadesmar.

Similarly for other worlds. Though they may very well know that their planets are round, they have no actual experience with them being round, because that would require the ability to travel really far in one direction and end up in the same place again. Which is laughable. At the current technological level. As a result, their perception is of it as a map, so that's how it shows up in Shadesmar. 

But Scadrial has already developed, if I remember correctly, several different methods of flight. Any time now, they will begin being a more "global society" (for lack of a better term) like our current world. Then, it will be much more immediately in people's minds that the world is, in fact, a globe. Since perceptions, particularly large-scale perceptions, mean so much in Shadesmar... what will happen to Scadrial there? 

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3 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

But you can imagine a place beyond which there is nothing to you. Like for Europeans probably the southeast coast of New Zealand. There is nothing worth mentioning or thinking about beyond it.

Which is where we tend to have the edge of our maps.  

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9 hours ago, Chromium Compounder said:

A perpendicularity will allow you to get from the Cognitive realm of one world to the physical realm of that world, but it doesn’t make it so you can get to other worlds.

I’ve always thought of the Cognitive realm as being like a map.  Picture a map of the whole universe, with a map of each individual planet laid on top of the universe map at the location of the planet.  Now remember that most models of the solar system that people make are super not to scale, because empty space is boring, so you can squish together the vast distances of empty space to be much less vast.  

The problem people have with this is that we know that each world is round in the physical realm, but even though we know the earth is round, for practical purposes we generally treat it as flat in our minds, which is why we have maps of the world.  I expect that the shape of the Cognitive realm for each world probably matches the way most people think of the world.  By that I mean where the edges of the world map are.

That's exactly how I've always thought of it and tried to explain it :)

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On 6/14/2019 at 11:06 PM, RShara said:

That's exactly how I've always thought of it and tried to explain it :)

Exactly. But I am still wondering how the map of a world with two continents, whose people don't know that the other continent exists. looks like. Even the location of the perpendicularity does not really help, because there can be more than one. Is Shadesmar the same for everybody?

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49 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Exactly. But I am still wondering how the map of a world with two continents, whose people don't know that the other continent exists. looks like. Even the location of the perpendicularity does not really help, because there can be more than one. Is Shadesmar the same for everybody?

Every living creature influences shadesmar by its thoughts.  I imagine our world looks somewhat like this map just inverted in shadesmar.

  1200px-Equal_Earth_projection_SW.jpg

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Posted (edited)

On 6/14/2019 at 6:28 AM, Oltux72 said:

But you can imagine a place beyond which there is nothing to you. Like for Europeans probably the southeast coast of New Zealand. There is nothing worth mentioning or thinking about beyond it.

But since there are probably natives there, never mind the animals (do animal thoughts count for the cognitive?), there is thought and it will exist no matter what other people don't know about. It's not about global public opinion, it's about whether or not there are thoughts happening in that place.

11 hours ago, Karger said:

Every living creature influences shadesmar by its thoughts.  I imagine our world looks somewhat like this map just inverted in shadesmar.

  1200px-Equal_Earth_projection_SW.jpg

So if an Elsecaller was on Alaska in the Cognitive and traveled west they would end up in a different world (let's say Scadrial) and not Russia, but if they transferred to the Physical first they would end up in Russia? And what if they went back to the Cognitive in Russia and travelled east, would they end up somewhere else entirely (not earth or Scadrial)?

Because what essentially you are saying is that the earth is round but the Cognitive Realm isn't, which is a contradiction. since in the Physical you have 55 miles of water between Alaska and Russia. While in the Cognitive Realm you have entire worlds on either end and the ends don't ever actually meet.

Furthermore who decided the "end of the world" is there and not in some other arbitrary place?

Edited by Chaos
Please use multiquote <3
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1 hour ago, Etherealness said:

Because what essentially you are saying is that the earth is round but the Cognitive Realm isn't, which is a contradiction. since in the Physical you have 55 miles of water between Alaska and Russia. While in the Cognitive Realm you have entire worlds on either end and the ends don't ever actually meet.

The CR is flat actually(it is kind of two dimensional).

 

1 hour ago, Etherealness said:

ince in the Physical you have 55 miles of water between Alaska and Russia. While in the Cognitive Realm you have entire worlds on either end and the ends don't ever actually meet.

 

Basically although I am probably not the best person to explain this.

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Posted (edited)

On 6/19/2019 at 1:50 PM, Etherealness said:

So if an Elsecaller was on Alaska in the Cognitive and traveled west they would end up in a different world (let's say Scadrial) and not Russia, but if they transferred to the Physical first they would end up in Russia? And what if they went back to the Cognitive in Russia and travelled east, would they end up somewhere else entirely (not earth or Scadrial)?

Yes. Have you seen the back endpaper of Way of Kings? That's what the Expanses are...other Cosmere worlds. To travel west from Alaska to Russia would mean walking to the border of the Cognitive, transitioning back to the physical, and continuing west (this isn't very practical as it is much more difficult to get back to the physical).

Shadesmar.thumb.jpg.c4f6a42281cccd432a4cdd372df6f618.jpg

 

Densities is Sel, Vapors is Scadrial, Broken Sky is Taldain etc.

 

On 6/19/2019 at 1:50 PM, Etherealness said:

Furthermore who decided the "end of the world" is there and not in some other arbitrary place?

The people, that's how the CR works. The void of space isn't represented because there are no minds occupying it.

 

On 6/19/2019 at 1:50 PM, Etherealness said:

Because what essentially you are saying is that the earth is round but the Cognitive Realm isn't, which is a contradiction. since in the Physical you have 55 miles of water between Alaska and Russia. While in the Cognitive Realm you have entire worlds on either end and the ends don't ever actually meet.

It's not really contradictory. The CR isn't the physical realm, it's shaped by minds. Completely created by perception and thought. It's absolutely flat, but 3D, because that's how our minds perceive reality. Think of the minds like a projector. The image projected is flat, even if it's a globe.

Edited by Elwynn
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Posted (edited)

39 minutes ago, Elwynn said:

Densities is Sel, Vapors is Scadrial, Broken Sky is Taldain etc.

A small correction: We do not know what Broken Sky is. Vibrance is Nalthis. Just wanted to add that ... Very good description in general, especially the part about the globe (have an upvote!).

Edited by Elegy
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Posted (edited)

43 minutes ago, Elwynn said:

The CR isn't the physical realm, it's shaped by minds. Completely created by perception and thought. It's absolutely flat, but 3D, because that's how our minds perceive reality. Think of the minds like a projector. The image projected is flat, even if it's a globe.

But whose perception counts? the Europeans or the Alaskans or whomever? My point was that it seems very arbitrary, who decides whose opinion counts?

Edited by Etherealness
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5 minutes ago, Etherealness said:

But whose perception counts? the Europeans or the Alaskans or whomever? My point was that it seems very arbitrary, who decides whose opinion counts?

It is arbitrary the short answer is that everyone's perception counts.  The group of beings on earth with the largest cognitive aspect "humans" largly do not see Alaska as next to Russia so they are not.

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I think the Cognitive Realm is shaped by the amount of thought put into something and the intensity. The more I think about something, the more I shape how it appears in the Cogntive Realm, and the more people think about it, the more it is shaped by what they think. I think of a cake as something to eat, so with time, it perceives itself as having the purpose to be eaten. Now there could be another person that doesn't like cake at all and just wants to smash it against a wall, so if they are the only person who thinks about the cake, it will see its purpose as getting smashed against a wall. But if more people think of it as something that can be eaten, or if I think more about it than the other person, the cake will still be more convinced that it's there to be eaten. So quantity and intensity, I guess. I also guess it's imaginable for something to be torn about what it is and that's certainly a situation worth discussing, but I think that would be very rare - like, a case where quantity and intensity even up to the exact same measure on both ways of perception.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Elegy said:

A small correction: We do not know what Broken Sky is. Vibrance is Nalthis. Just wanted to add that ... Very good description in general, especially the part about the globe (have an upvote!).

You are absolutely correct. Taldain is my current head-canon place-holder and I shouldn't have stated it as fact. I'll edit soon.

 

1 hour ago, Etherealness said:

But whose perception counts? the Europeans or the Alaskans or whomever? My point was that it seems very arbitrary, who decides whose opinion counts?

Why would anyone's perception not count? I'm not sure why you're trying to delineate something like that; it's not arbitrary because nobody is deciding anything about restricting opinions. Every sentient being affects the growth and boundaries of shadesmar, even lower life forms. It is a world affected by everything that has a modicum of thought; that's why it's called the Cognitive Realm.

 

Quote

Questioner

That makes sense, because, I mean, with worldhopping in general it's like... You can only... I mean it's... I don't know how the time dilation works per se, but...

Brandon Sanderson

It's not-- there's not much time dilation. What you've got going on is... Things that people aren't around to think about, things without minds or any sort of life, don't manifest on Shadesmar very much at all. And so the space between planets gets really small, unless there's another planet out there with thinking beings or at least some sort of life on it. Like even lower lifeforms, you'll get something manifesting on Shadesmar. But yeah.

Questioner

Okay. So the Cognitive Realm, in Shadesmar...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Questioner

...in the Cognitive Realm... It's kind of the... Any kind of sentient or cognitive life-- that's what is building Shadesmar?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, yeah.

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

I've shortened the quote for brevity, but there is a link at the bottom. I would maybe suggest hitting up https://wob.coppermind.net/ for querying and read through Brandon's explanations on the CR, they are quite extensive. That could possibly help answer some of your questions or expand your understanding of the CR.

Edited by Elwynn
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I agree with what seems to be the consensus on this, but one idea occurred to me.  

If the edges of where the Cognitive aspect of a world meets the beginnings of representation of space (like between Alaska and Russia as mentioned before) is defined by the majority of thoughts on the matter, then there are two situations that become interesting.  

One was mentioned earlier, but I didn’t see any responses to it.  That’s the situation where there are two continents and they are unaware of the existence of each other.  How would they show up in relation to each other?  I suspect that in that situation the thoughts of lesser species would have greater impact and would nudge them into positions that make sense to the animals of the sea and/or sky.  

The second situation is what if someone managed to get a new map accepted as the standard throughout the world.  Unlikely, but conceivable.  Would the arrangement of things shift based on the thoughts caused by the new map?

Actually, a new thought occurred to me.  This is related to the spiritual realm, where time is all in one, causing things like ‘Kaladin is a great spearman because he would become a great spearman’.  Maybe for things like both of these situations the thoughts of those in the future and past could affect it.

We do know that people can change the edges of continents in the physical realm (dikes, etc) and that that will eventually be reflected in the Cognitive.  There’s a WoB on that, but I don’t want to look it up.  (On my phone right now.). Anyway, so that kind of goes against that last thought, unless it’s that present thoughts have greater impact than future.  If so that makes me think the effectiveness of the thoughts would be relative to when they occur compared to now.  Which would make it so a dike situation would have a small effect in the Cognitive realm before the dike was actually built, but probably only a very small one.

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11 hours ago, Elwynn said:

Why would anyone's perception not count? I'm not sure why you're trying to delineate something like that; it's not arbitrary because nobody is deciding anything about restricting opinions. Every sentient being affects the growth and boundaries of shadesmar, even lower life forms. It is a world affected by everything that has a modicum of thought; that's why it's called the Cognitive Realm.

Because people can have mutually exclusive opinions. Either there is a large island in the middle of the Atlantic called Atlantis or there is not. Either there is an oceanic passage between North and South America or there is not. Either California is an island or it is not. Either the eastern edge of the world is in the Atlantic or in the Pacific ocean. There is no middle ground.

Now it is possible that the CR is different for individuals. But if not, it needs to decide at some point.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Because people can have mutually exclusive opinions. Either there is a large island in the middle of the Atlantic called Atlantis or there is not. Either there is an oceanic passage between North and South America or there is not. Either California is an island or it is not. Either the eastern edge of the world is in the Atlantic or in the Pacific ocean. There is no middle ground.

Now it is possible that the CR is different for individuals. But if not, it needs to decide at some point.

The Cognitive Realm is definitely not different for individuals, we can say that much. As for who decides, like I already explained above, it's the majority, and I finally found the confirmation (although I do think that intensity of thought plays a role too, but only a minor one):

Quote

Questioner

In the Cognitive Realm, would they be the Berenstein or Berenstain Bears?

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question, The Mandela effect and the Cognitive Realm. Depends on if the authors are still alive, will influence it. But the way the Cosmere works, I'm going to go with the way most people say it. So Berenstain Bears, probably. That would override.

Legion Release Party (Sept. 19, 2018)

 

Edited by Elegy
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4 hours ago, Elegy said:

The Cognitive Realm is definitely not different for individuals, we can say that much. As for who decides, like I already explained above, it's the majority, and I finally found the confirmation (although I do think that intensity of thought plays a role too, but only a minor one):

Highly problematic and certainly incomplete. You see, the majority of thinkers in the Cosmere (SA1 era) are sure that there are no other inhabitated planets. The effect needs to be localized.

Or imagine a planet with three continents unknown to each other. There is no majority opinion on where the world ends, assuming equal population. Even worse, unequal population growth (or decline) would alter the majority or make it vanish.

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Of course it's incomplete. We're like a third into the Cosmere sequence, of course we don't know how stuff like this works in detail. But that WOB definitely answers a good chunk of the questions in this thread, so that's something I guess.

Quote

You see, the majority of thinkers in the Cosmere (SA1 era) are sure that there are no other inhabitated planets. 

Although, this doesn't really matter for the discussion, this is confirmed to be untrue:

Quote

Glamdring804

How advanced is astronomy on Roshar? Because it's something you haven't really talked about, and I'm thinking--

Brandon Sanderson

Depends on the region. Some people, the astronomy's getting moderately well.

Glamdring804

Surely they've seen Ashyn and Braize in the sky, and I'm wondering how long it will be before they start detecting signs of civilization on Ashyn.

Brandon Sanderson

That would depend on a couple of things, such as, the easiest way to detect civilization is with radio waves, so-- You need some good telescopes. I don't think that would be, even if they spotted it, as revolutionary as you might think it would be, because we thought there were people on all of our planets for most of the history of mankind, and it didn't really affect how we viewed cosmology. I think if you went to Roshar and asked them, they'd be like "Yeah, totally, people live on those planets. Obviously." Just like if you went back and said "Do people live on the moon?" in the 1700s, people would be like, "Yeah probably, seems like they must."

MisCon 2018 (May 26, 2018)

However, several continents that don't know about each other would not affect each other a lot. The ocean would be comparable to the space between planets. So there would be one manifestation of one continent how its inhabitants see it and one manifestation of the other continent with some stuff in between that's a gray area that's primarily filled with how the creatures in the ocean think about their surroundings (which is the main difference to space).

Also:

22 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Even worse, unequal population growth (or decline) would alter the majority or make it vanish.

This would mean that the Cognitive Realm would change, but in the way that it would slowly adjust. It doesn't suddenly become something different, but it's constantly in change and has to adjust and merge into the new way it's thought about. That hinted at in this WOB:

Quote

Questioner

How would the city of Boston change over time in the Cognitive Realm, because its harbors have been constantly filled in with dirt?

Brandon Sanderson

Right, right, right. It will change to match, but there will be a time lapse, right? They'll be lagging behind. 

Questioner

So, you could dump it full of dirt, and then it might take like five or ten years before it actually appears as land.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that's exactly about how it would go.

Orem Signing (March 16, 2019)

 

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