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Cognitive Reflections

After speaking with people online I have become obsessed with the way people’s beliefs, perceptions, and  interpretations effect the cognitive realm.

My question

If a blind man makes a bowl with no clue what material it is, what does the cognitive representation look like? What color is it? What happens if he tells people in town about this beautiful purple bowl he made? What if he then brings the bright red bowl to town?

The Applications

What happens when this same man makes a sword from material he believes whole heartedly can store stormlight (or some other effect)?

Thoughts? What could be made? What can be done with this knowledge?

Thank you in advance!

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6 minutes ago, TheOneEyedFox said:

Cognitive Reflections

After speaking with people online I have become obsessed with the way people’s beliefs, perceptions, and  interpretations effect the cognitive realm.

My question

If a blind man makes a bowl with no clue what material it is, what does the cognitive representation look like? What color is it? What happens if he tells people in town about this beautiful purple bowl he made? What if he then brings the bright red bowl to town?

The Applications

What happens when this same man makes a sword from material he believes whole heartedly can store stormlight (or some other effect)?

Thoughts? What could be made? What can be done with this knowledge?

Thank you in advance!

I believe the main impact belief has on objects in the cognitive realm is on how they see themselves - a book that was never read would see itself as something to sit on a shelf and be admired, a sword used to protect would see itself as a guardian, a sword used to kill would see itself as a weapon. In Secret History we also see a fire that was treated as a source of warmth, almost alive, to generations of skaa - and so it to saw itself as something almost alive, and with the purpose of giving warmth. I don't think there are any recorded cases of the belief actually affecting the abilities of the item, only its self perception, and how it is to be persuaded to change if soulcast.

A big thing to remember is that objects that haven't been observed - assuming shards observing them doesn't count - still have a presence in the cognitive realm, just a small one, as the gas giants in the Rosharan system have a presence in the cognitive realm, but a very small one.

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6 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

In Secret History we also see a fire that was treated as a source of warmth, almost alive, to generations of skaa - and so it to saw itself as something almost alive, and with the purpose of giving warmth.

So if this was manifested in the cognitive realm it would manifest as warmth and not really fire? I feel like this just adds to the questions.

 

8 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

I believe the main impact belief has on objects in the cognitive realm is on how they see themselves - a book that was never read would see itself as something to sit on a shelf and be admired, a sword used to protect would see itself as a guardian, a sword used to kill would see itself as a weapon.

So does this mean everything within those definitions is fluid and mailable? 

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1 minute ago, TheOneEyedFox said:

So if this was manifested in the cognitive realm it would manifest as warmth and not really fire? I feel like this just adds to the questions.

Ahhh, not exactly. If you've read Secret History, you already know, but if not, here it is in spoiler tages:

Spoiler

When the main character - who is in the cognitive realm - encounters it, they are able to coax it to manifesting in the cognitive realm - so to "exist" in the cognitive realm as though it were in the physical realm - as a fire. Here is the exchange:

Quote

Today he intended to finally crack a puzzle. He seized the misted remains of the old cookfire. Immediately he gained a vision of them in the real world—but he pushed through that, feeling something beyond.
Not just images, but sensations. Almost emotions. Cold wood that somehow remembered warmth. This fire was dead in the real world, but it wished it could burn again.
It was a strange sensation, realizing that logs could have wishes. This flame had burned for years, feeding the families of many skaa. Countless generations had sat before this pit in the floor. They’d kept the fire burning almost perpetually. Laughing, savoring their brief moments of joy.
The fire had given them that. It longed to do so again. Unfortunately, the people had left. [character] was finding more and more villages abandoned these days. Ashfalls went on longer than usual, and [character] had felt occasional trembling in the ground, even in this Realm. Earthquakes.
He could give this fire something. Burn again, he told it. Be warm again.
It couldn’t happen in the Physical Realm, but all things there could manifest here. The fire wasn’t actually alive, but to the people who had once lived here, it had been almost so. A familiar, warm friend.
Burn …
Light burst from his fingers, pouring out of his hands, a flame appearing there.

So it never stopped being fire, but it was how the character reached it that matters.

 

4 minutes ago, TheOneEyedFox said:

So does this mean everything within those definitions is fluid and mailable? 

I'm not entirely sure I understand your question here? The collective view of how the closest - connection wise - people to an object saw it, and the cummulitive effect of this, changes how an item sees itself - it is, in essence, what it will tell you it is.

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18 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

I'm not entirely sure I understand your question here? The collective view of how the closest - connection wise - people to an object saw it, and the cummulitive effect of this, changes how an item sees itself - it is, in essence, what it will tell you it is.

If it is the accumulation of how an object and others view the object then wouldn’t it see itself how others believed it to be? Then the object itself would perceive itself how others do and manifest in the cognitive realm accordingly. Then all you must do is convince enough people of something and the object will be convinced as well.

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11 minutes ago, TheOneEyedFox said:

If it is the accumulation of how an object and others view the object then wouldn’t it see itself how others believed it to be? Then the object itself would perceive itself how others do and manifest in the cognitive realm accordingly. Then all you must do is convince enough people of something and the object will be convinced as well.

The thing is that the way on object views itself is a direct function of its impact on others - at least that is my impression. A book that is to be admired rather than read is a book that was admired, and it still manifests as a book because that was the shape that was admired. A fire gave warmth and so is seen as a source of warmth, which it can provide. The only exception to this rule is the surge of transformation, which not only changes the cognitive aspects of something, but its physical ones also - otherwise an object can only do what it has shown itself able to do. I could be wrong about this, I admit, however the examples in the stories seem to show this to be the case - an object can do in the cogntive realm what it can do in the physical realm, but sees itself in the capacity it does those things through the lens of how others see it.

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