Book 2 – Page 63

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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby Squall83 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:39 pm

Thanks everyone for all the explanations concerning P.I., CSI Miami etc! ^_^
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby drachefly » Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:47 pm

Oberon wrote:
drachefly wrote:Assumptions of bad faith or incompetence don't sit well with me. Say, do you have an account over at Stardestroyer.net?
I've never been there, I have never heard of it, but there are assholes on every forum. There are also on every forum those who assert things and either refuse to or simply cannot back their assertions with anything from the source materiel. And the two are not mutually exclusive, heh heh. If that in your book is an assumption of bad faith or of incompetence, you won't do well in any college class where you must cite references rather than just tout your opinions. Or in any forum debate where your tin foil hat and epileptic tree theories are challenged on the basis of a lack of facts or references.


There are two issues here. First is your overkill response that amounts to "that's crazy", instead of "that's not proven". Note, indeed, that the point was raised as a possibility. I've already pointed out (and you've ignored) that 'lacking sufficient support' is not at all a sufficient criterion for the application of the terms 'tinfoil hat' or 'epileptic tree'. It has to be kind of, you know, crazy, which the theory in question is not. You've provided no reason for thinking it's crazy other than saying we haven't proven it. Well, yeah, but no, that doesn't cut it.

Which brings us to your double standard. Your economic argument relies critically on the notion that the creation of this scroll was spurred by normal economic interests (and several other things about it which were raised). Yet that is just as unfounded, if not more, than the notion that there is something else at work here.

As pointed out previously, there are several specific reasons to believe that something was at work - the known existence of multiple conspiracies benefitting from Parson's existence, the very slim market for such scrolls, the way Wanda was approached… If you're going to get on someone for not providing page numbers, you're being a mite silly, IMO. This isn't an academic publication.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby Oberon » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:35 am

drachefly wrote:I've already pointed out (and you've ignored) that 'lacking sufficient support' is not at all a sufficient criterion for the application of the terms 'tinfoil hat' or 'epileptic tree'.
Sorry if I've hurt your feelings. To me, being a completely made up theory without any backing from the story is an epileptic tree, tinfoil hat theory. It may be possible, but it has no evidence backing it and is therefore not much worth discussing. It has as much merit as:
Q: Why are the trees shaking?
A: They are epileptic!
drachefly wrote:Which brings us to your double standard. Your economic argument relies critically on the notion that the creation of this scroll was spurred by normal economic interests (and several other things about it which were raised). Yet that is just as unfounded, if not more, than the notion that there is something else at work here.
My "double standard", as you call it, uses only what we know from the comic. I didn't need to invent motivations, conspiracies, limiting factors, cabals, the Illuminati, or other epileptic trees to support my conclusions. I used facts. Facts sourced from the comic. It can easily be proven wrong later in the strip as more facts become available. But right now it is not able to be rationally argued against by someone who decides that the trees are shaking because they must have epilepsy. My simple dollars and cents vs. your epileptic tree. My citation of the stated cost for the scroll and the prices the items the scroll returned to the owner vs. your epileptic tree. You may be vindicated in the end, I'll never claim that the comic doesn't hold surprises in store for all of us. But from what we know, this is an economic engine. And I'll take what we know over your twitching tree any day.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:29 am

Oberon wrote:I used facts. ... My simple dollars and cents vs. your epileptic tree. ... But from what we know, this is an economic engine. And I'll take what we know over your twitching tree any day.

You're taking the cost of the scroll and applying the ASSUMPTION of capitalism to it. That's where your argument falls apart. There is no evidence of capitalism at play in Erfworld on a large scale. Charlie's capitalist tendencies are shown to be unusual - he's an atypical ruler. Captialism requires a market, AND willing producers.

The price of the scroll was completely arbitrary, because there is no cost to create other than juice. Any argument that you can apply to the creation of the scroll, you can just as easily apply to any of dozens or hundreds of magical items. Casters could spend each turn cranking out magic items by the truckload, but the only caster we've seen who has any desire to do this at all is Ace.

There is no evidence of a super-abundance of magic items in Erfworld. They are available, but they are not common. If you think of casters as producers, motivated primarily by money, which your model requires, there is no good explanation for the lack of magic items.

On the other hand, if you think of casters as ARTISTS, who only create when they DESIRE to (or are ordered to by their rulers), then the relatively low number of magic items makes sense.

You can't just apply a simple cost analysis to an arbitrary event without introducing a truckload of assumptions on your part. Your argument is NOT based just on facts. The cost of the scroll is NOT 350,000 - that's the PRICE, which was arbitrarily set to make it appear important, and yet still be affordable. The COST of the scroll is ZERO - just some juice from a bunch of linked casters.

If your logic regarding the scroll were valid, it could just as easily be applied to every other magic item in the comic. Why aren't there more of any of them? Why aren't they mass-produced?

Why is Ace the only one who even thinks like that? Why is Charlie the only ruler who appears motivated primarily by money?

Your "simple facts" regarding cost and pricing do not explain any of this. Character motivation does.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby Oberon » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:50 am

MarbitChow wrote:
Oberon wrote:I used facts. ... My simple dollars and cents vs. your epileptic tree. ... But from what we know, this is an economic engine. And I'll take what we know over your twitching tree any day.
The price of the scroll was completely arbitrary, because there is no cost to create other than juice.
This is just another guess. We don't know the cost to produce the scroll. What we do know is that if you produce one you can sell it for 350k or 500k shmuckers*. We also know that this is a respectable sum of money. We know that barbarians need to pay their own upkeep, they do not have a side sponsoring their upkeep costs for them. So there is an economic model here: Barbarian casters either hire themselves out as a day laborers or they produce something which they can then sell. To fail to do either is to eventually "starve to death" when they cannot make their upkeep costs.
MarbitChow wrote:Your "simple facts" regarding cost and pricing do not explain any of this.
That is because my simple facts do not rely upon you making a whole bunch of assumptions, concluding that they must be correct, and then using that conclusion to "prove" me wrong by telling me that my facts do not meet the test of your epileptic tree theory. If your rebuttal relies on the dubious validity of your pet theory to provide it credence, you have no valid rebuttal. My simple facts also do not need to rebut your pet epileptic tree theory, nor explain anything else. They are, as you say, simple facts. Were I to draw any conclusions from them outside of those which they do support, I'd be doing what you're doing: Cooking up a new twitching tree theory and insisting that it must be correct with insufficient evidence.


* There is a valid argument that you could sell it for much more. If those who say that only Wanda was offered the SPW scroll are correct, then with open competition for the product the price should go up.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:30 pm

Oberon wrote:* There is a valid argument that you could sell it for much more. If those who say that only Wanda was offered the SPW scroll are correct, then with open competition for the product the price should go up.


Competition with who? Sizemore says that only a mathmancy-dependant side would be willing to shell out that much money for that kind of item.

How many sides do we know that have mathmancers or express a desire for mathmancy items?

No sides with mathmancers so far.

And one side expressing desire for the bracelet. Charlie. You really think the thinkmancers want to make him yet more powerfull? And whitout any other bidders we know off, you can't really make a deal.

Plus you seem to be ignoring the very simple fact that the MK members can pay their upkeeps with lots of other tasks like basic mercenary contracts and basic scrolls. SPW is their personal project.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby drachefly » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:37 pm

Oberon wrote: I didn't need to invent motivations, conspiracies, limiting factors, cabals, the Illuminati, or other epileptic trees to support my conclusions.


Ah, yeah, neither did we. Those conspiracies that benefit from Parson's existence and have motivation to produce him are in fact supported in-comic. Do I need to cite the evidence for them by page, or do you admit that the MK has a few conspiracies flying around? The theory improves the parsimony of the comic, not worsens it.

But hey, if you're so confident, how about you go over to the amateur predictamancy thread and take up the bet. Better yet, raise the bet or improve the odds. Even odds should seem ridiculously generous to you.

~~

And… hurt my feelings? Hahahahahahaha. Seriously, dude (may I address you in that fashion without hurting your feelings? Sincere apologies if I have offended). I have long since stopped giving random people on the internet permission to hurt my feelings. There are some out there, but they earned it.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby The.Healing.Mage » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:06 pm

Oberon wrote:Sorry if I've hurt your feelings. To me, being a completely made up theory without any backing from the story is an epileptic tree, tinfoil hat theory. It may be possible, but it has no evidence backing it and is therefore not much worth discussing. It has as much merit as:
Q: Why are the trees shaking?
A: They are epileptic!
drachefly wrote:Which brings us to your double standard. Your economic argument relies critically on the notion that the creation of this scroll was spurred by normal economic interests (and several other things about it which were raised). Yet that is just as unfounded, if not more, than the notion that there is something else at work here.
My "double standard", as you call it, uses only what we know from the comic. I didn't need to invent motivations, conspiracies, limiting factors, cabals, the Illuminati, or other epileptic trees to support my conclusions. I used facts. Facts sourced from the comic. It can easily be proven wrong later in the strip as more facts become available. But right now it is not able to be rationally argued against by someone who decides that the trees are shaking because they must have epilepsy. My simple dollars and cents vs. your epileptic tree. My citation of the stated cost for the scroll and the prices the items the scroll returned to the owner vs. your epileptic tree. You may be vindicated in the end, I'll never claim that the comic doesn't hold surprises in store for all of us. But from what we know, this is an economic engine. And I'll take what we know over your twitching tree any day.


Oberon, even if you are 100% right, channeling Rob Balder's inner genius to know exactly what's going on, you're still breaking the only forum rule. If they're right, then you're making a fool of yourself. If they're wrong, but the theory is reasonably well grounded compared to yours - i.e. if you were citing specific panels in comics and they were talking about Stupidworld ideas that have never been demonstrated to have an analog - then you'd still be being rude and arguing dickishly. (Yes, that is now a word, and no, it wasn't before.) Also, they might not be as stalwartly confident in themselves as you so clearly are, and you might be hurting their feelings for the sake of your internet penis size. Why? What does that gain you?

If you want to win this argument (which shouldn't be your goal, but might be nonetheless), then all you have to do is demonstrate that they're wrong. If their logic is founded on unstable assumptions, then you can follow it to its illogical conclusion to demonstrate that it's inherently flawed. MarbitChow's theory (that you casually disparaged) is that Casters work sort of like artists - they make things not to support themselves, but to make cool things. However, they also get commissions from their rulers/anyone else who has a ton of shmuckers if they happen to be barbarian at the time. A simple way to disprove this would be to point to a market or factory of magic items. Yet, we haven't seen something like that.

In fact, building on MarbitChow's idea, Mancers seem to function like guilds - they have levels of expertise that are defined by coming up with revelations (similar to historical guilds' "master pieces"), as demonstrated by Sizemore's musing early in book 2 that even with his new understanding of Dirtmancy, he still needed more understanding to be masterclass. Those levels of expertise are only loosely tied to level (since Sizemore leveled several times in tBfGK but didn't to our knowledge progress up the ladder of Dirtmancers). Mancers act in concert on occasion (healomancers denying GK scrolls once Wanda got the 'pliers), have ruling bodies (such as the thinkamancers' Great Minds That Think Alike), and are very secretive of their skill sets (such as the GMttA - though there is some cross-discipline learning almost like at a university as evidenced by Sizemore paying to learn a lot of disciplines, even though he doesn't have a grasp of them).

In Stupidworld history, guilds were the antithesis of free market - they were a systemic fixed-market. You got the same item for the same low quality for the same cost, everywhere. If we take this fairly empirical evidence that Mancers are like guilds, then we can make the assertion that they don't have a free market.

Since you assert that there must be free-market forces as a crux of your theory, unless you can find a hole in my logic, it would seem that your theory stands on shaky ground.


Also, you totally misused the concept of epileptic tree. Epileptic trees are not something that there is simply no evidence for, but are impossible with our current understanding of how the world (in the original example living organisms) works. Epilepsy is a neurological condition where the central nervous system undergoes rapid, spontaneous seizures, sending rapid, spontaneous signals to the rest of the body via the peripheral nervous system, causing convulsion. Trees do not have a nervous system, central or peripheral. Some facet of the world would have to be defying our understanding for trees to suffer from a condition in an organ that they don't posses. That is what an epileptic tree is - an idea that is grounded in something that is understood to be false.

(A tinfoil hat, by comparison, is a paranoid idea reminiscent of people wearing tinfoil hats to prevent governments/aliens from spying on their brainwaves, implying parties interested in spying on those people and the technology to do so, as well as possibly aliens. It isn't necessarily an impossible idea, (though it can be,) just an extremely paranoid/conspiracy-theory-dependent reading of the world. Compare it to the journalistic school of "Who Benefits Most", which assumes that there is no random luck or incompetence, just global actors looking out for their interests illicitly.)
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:32 pm

Oberon wrote:That is because my simple facts do not rely upon you making a whole bunch of assumptions, concluding that they must be correct, and then using that conclusion to "prove" me wrong by telling me that my facts do not meet the test of your epileptic tree theory. If your rebuttal relies on the dubious validity of your pet theory to provide it credence, you have no valid rebuttal. My simple facts also do not need to rebut your pet epileptic tree theory, nor explain anything else. They are, as you say, simple facts. Were I to draw any conclusions from them outside of those which they do support, I'd be doing what you're doing: Cooking up a new twitching tree theory and insisting that it must be correct with insufficient evidence.

You cannot draw any conclusions from your facts without additional assumptions. You are not just arguing basic facts: your theory requires that the casters actions are motivated primarily by a desire for money. Others are pointing out that casters may have different motivations. These motivations are testable within the story.

Assume casters are motivated primarily by money. If this is the case, then healing scrolls should be freely available to anyone with shmuckers. However, GK is one of the wealthiest sides in the region, and yet is having a hard time buying scrolls. If free market forces were at work, GK should have no trouble acquiring these scrolls. In order for your theory to be valid, it must also be able to explain why healing scrolls are hard to come by.

If casters are primarily motivated by money, they would use shmuckers to exchange services amongst themselves. And yet they don't: they created another form of currency (Rands), one which cannot be used towards their own upkeep, as their primary method of exchange.

Casters appear to be more like artists and scientists, for whom the pursuit itself is the goal, rather than the money that can be made from the pursuit.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:42 pm

MarbitChow wrote:If casters are primarily motivated by money, they would use shmuckers to exchange services amongst themselves. And yet they don't: they created another form of currency (Rands), one which cannot be used towards their own upkeep, as their primary method of exchange.


Altough I agree with your other points, I must remember you the reason casters use the rand currency in the MK is so that moneymancers don't get an unfair advantage in their closed market, as pointed out in one of the text updates.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby drachefly » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:21 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Casters appear to be more like artists and scientists, for whom the pursuit itself is the goal, rather than the money that can be made from the pursuit.


More organized than that, certainly - it'd be tough to get essentially all artists or scientists on board with a blacklist.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:05 pm

oslecamo2_temp wrote:Altough I agree with your other points, I must remember you the reason casters use the rand currency in the MK is so that moneymancers don't get an unfair advantage in their closed market, as pointed out in one of the text updates.

If other casters needed shmuckers as much as Oberon's theory requires, fairness wouldn't be a concern. The moneymancers would get to use their unfair advantage because shmuckers would be required for survival. They wouldn't have the luxury of establishing a second system of exchange out of fairness.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby Oberon » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:00 pm

drachefly wrote:But hey, if you're so confident, how about you go over to the amateur predictamancy thread and take up the bet.
I don't often stray into predictions. I work with facts. The facts may suggest certain logical conclusions to me, but they can easily be proven wrong when more information (i.e. facts) are provided within the story. I do not deal with epileptic trees...
The.Healing.Mage wrote:Oberon, even if you are 100% right, channeling Rob Balder's inner genius to know exactly what's going on, you're still breaking the only forum rule.
See now, this is exactly the kind of crap I post in opposition to. You've set yourself up as a forum moderator and have decided that I'm a dick. So, let's say that I decide to set myself up as a forum moderator also and determine that you're the dick. Where the hell does that get us? Stop being a dick by assuming that you can determine who can say what within this forum, unless you are the one "channeling Rob Balder's inner genius" and have his blessing to moderate here.
The.Healing.Mage wrote:If you want to win this argument (which shouldn't be your goal, but might be nonetheless), then all you have to do is demonstrate that they're wrong.
I can't do that. I cannot do that in the same way that science cannot prove that God does not exist (and I'm a believer, so forgive the following if it offends). When someone invents something out of whole cloth and declares "It is so! Prove it wrong or admit that it is so!" there is no way to advance that proof. The fallacy is in believing that an inability to disprove equates to proof... This is why those fantasies have such a hard time being dispelled amongst the ignorant.

You should be well aware of this fact and the uselessness of presenting this "challenge" to me. Unless specific facts chop down some epileptic tree, there will never be a way to prevent someone from deciding that their particular epileptic tree is the bestest, sweetest, tallest tree in the whole forest. Instead, why don't you ask for facts which counter the facts I have presented and the conclusions I've drawn from those facts? Since they are based on facts it should be easy to present other facts which counter them. But it appears to be the case that without a huge helping of invented theory these facts cannot be gainsaid.
The.Healing.Mage wrote:Also, you totally misused the concept of epileptic tree. Epileptic trees are not something that there is simply no evidence for, but are impossible with our current understanding of how the world (in the original example living organisms) works.
And I say that I did not misuse the phrase. The term comes from the series Lost (the game, you just did), and the "epileptic trees" theory was indeed a theory for which there was no substantive evidence.
Q: Why do the trees shake?
A: They must have epilepsy!
So you can spin your own epileptic tree theory about the meaning of the phrase, but you'll be wrong, again.
MarbitChow wrote:You are not just arguing basic facts: your theory requires that the casters actions are motivated primarily by a desire for money.
No. I merely logically pointed out that a barbarian caster who does not work to gain money is a dead caster. I made no statement about the primacy of this motivation, but I will say that it is a logical conclusion that a caster will want to remain alive and will therefore prioritize making money over lesser needs.
MarbitChow wrote:Casters appear to be more like artists and scientists, for whom the pursuit itself is the goal, rather than the money that can be made from the pursuit.
A pretty theory. Do you have any evidence which suggests that casters would rather engage in the "pursuit" of "art and science" over the basic needs of money for survival? I'd love to see that evidence. Maybe some citation from a starving caster who, as he disbands, stammers "I did it for my art!"... :lol:
MarbitChow wrote:If other casters needed shmuckers as much as Oberon's theory requires, fairness wouldn't be a concern. The moneymancers would get to use their unfair advantage because shmuckers would be required for survival. They wouldn't have the luxury of establishing a second system of exchange out of fairness.
You assume a lot here. You assume that my presentation of economic facts equates to a "theory". You then decide that my "theory" is so rigid that it would be opposed by any system which attempts to impose fairness. This is a wonderful position to take, in the absence of any facts. I cannot prove you wrong, and thus according to The.Healing.Mage you must be right...
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:56 pm

Oberon wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:You are not just arguing basic facts: your theory requires that the casters actions are motivated primarily by a desire for money.
No. I merely logically pointed out that a barbarian caster who does not work to gain money is a dead caster. I made no statement about the primacy of this motivation, but I will say that it is a logical conclusion that a caster will want to remain alive and will therefore prioritize making money over lesser needs.

First off, we know that money is not the only way to survive. Several mechanisms have been introduced - harvesting, for example - that can substitute for shmuckers. Second, we know that commanders have a purse that contains a maximum amount, unless converted into gems. The kind of money that you're talking about here goes way beyond basic survival.

Oberon wrote:Do you have any evidence which suggests that casters would rather engage in the "pursuit" of "art and science" over the basic needs of money for survival? I'd love to see that evidence. Maybe some citation from a starving caster who, as he disbands, stammers "I did it for my art!"... :lol:

We have Issac, spending most of his free time trying to understand the universe through experimentation, off the top of my head. And I'm not saying that casters are starving. I'm saying that their basic needs are being met, and the need to make the kind of money that the SPW scroll generates doesn't appear to motivate them. Charlie is the only character shown thus far who has shown the desire to generate cash on that scale.

Oberon wrote:You assume a lot here. You assume that my presentation of economic facts equates to a "theory". You then decide that my "theory" is so rigid that it would be opposed by any system which attempts to impose fairness. This is a wonderful position to take, in the absence of any facts. I cannot prove you wrong, and thus according to The.Healing.Mage you must be right...

The only economic fact you are working with is 'the scroll was sold for 350,000 and created an item, as a side effect, that was worth 500,000'. Everything else you discuss REQUIRES motivation. Someone with the means to create the scroll must both desire and be able to use cash on that scale.

It is quite plausible that, just as healers are withholding scrolls from a particular side (GK), casters may not wish to place Mathamancy items in the hands of rulers. It could be as simple as that they're friends with Mathamancers, and would rather that those casters be hired than replaced by an artifact.

We already know that barbarians cannot hold more than 1,000 * their level in their purse, so at the very least, they now need to involve a moneymancer into the scheme as well, so that they can actually keep the cash.

Your theory requires motivation. The opposing theory also requires motivation. The characters that have been introduced into the story so far have not been shown to have a motivation to accumulate shmuckers, other than Charlie.

Your theory requires that (1) they use paying upkeep as the only means of survival, (2) they are willing to engage in risky behavior (and caster links ARE risky) just for the sake of gaining cash for upkeep.

You can certainly draw whatever conclusion you desire. I personally believe that the average reader will come to the same conclusions that I and a number of others have, which is that the accumulation of wealth is not a primary goal for most casters. Their needs are being met, somehow - their continued survival is proof enough of that. It easy easy to come up with a number of reasons why the casters haven't started mass-producing SPW scrolls. Since they actually have not started mass producing them, theories that support why they don't have to be given greater weight than those that say they would, because those theories are actually in agreement with the established facts in the story.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:06 am

Oberon wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:If other casters needed shmuckers as much as Oberon's theory requires, fairness wouldn't be a concern. The moneymancers would get to use their unfair advantage because shmuckers would be required for survival. They wouldn't have the luxury of establishing a second system of exchange out of fairness.
You assume a lot here. You assume that my presentation of economic facts equates to a "theory". You then decide that my "theory" is so rigid that it would be opposed by any system which attempts to impose fairness. This is a wonderful position to take, in the absence of any facts. I cannot prove you wrong, and thus according to The.Healing.Mage you must be right...


But we have facts. That have been presented time and time again and you keep closing your eyes to them. Here, let me repeat you in giant red letters so perhaps now you'll notice them:

HEALOMANCERS ARE REFUSING TO SELL HEALING SCROLLS TO GOBWIN KNOB!


Healomancers can afford to deny selling basic services to one of the wealthiest sides in Erfworld. Thus they can clearly pay their upkeeps trough other means. There's no other explanation. And if they can refuse to sell basic scrolls, they sure damn can afford to refuse to sell rare artifacts and nuke scrolls. Explain how that fits with your blind capitalism theory please.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby effataigus » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:05 pm

While Erfworld and the real world are hardly great corollaries, one could make the argument that TMK resembles modern 1st world society in a way that is pertinent to the discussion at hand... specifically, as has been mentioned, casters seem to have a variety of means at their disposal to earn their upkeep.

So, nukes exist Earth today and I could theoretically use my skills to help build a nuke... I could possibly even make a fair profit selling a nuke to a handful of nations or groups. However, I don't... this is because it's hard, there are people that my building a nuke would likely offend, there are easier and faster ways to make a buck, the nuke has a non-zero chance of being used to vaporize me and my loved ones, and the selling of it is likely to force me to deal with people who I probably wouldn't feel comfortable talking to.

However, put me on project Manhattan and convince me that my loved ones will likely be saved by my building a nuke, and I'm all in. Perhaps this is revelatory of how threatened certain elements in TMK feel that they are willing to attempt this dangerous plan?

Of course, Erfworld is fundamentally different from Erf, so who knows how well this applies.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:16 pm

effataigus wrote:there are people that my building a nuke would likely offend


I just love that understatement :D

effataigus wrote:Of course, Erfworld is fundamentally different from Erf, so who knows how well this applies.


Technically correct, but I'd hope, only in a limited fashion.

Every once in a while, someone (I forgot who) chimes in to chide us, those who dare draw comparisons between Erfworld and Stupidworld. But the thing is, there has to be some kind of connectability between that world and ours for a story of this genre to work. Erfworld could be about totally inhuman spawn of Shub-Niggurath I suppose, but it wouldn't be the Erfworld we know, and would not be the world that made Parson rethink his "ends justify the means" gamer ways.

(Really, it wouldn't. Just now, you're humanizing the spawn of Shub Niggurath in your mind in order to disagree with me.)

Now, and this is relevant to Oberon's discussion, we drawing parallels between us and them may lead us astray into speculating about motives, or fears, or wishes and such, beyond what's immediately available as quotable canon. However, quite a few of those speculations seem plausible, because apparently Erfworlders are similar to us, at least in some regards, so we can, in fact, make educated guesses about what they think. Many guesses have been put forth, now recently by effataigus for example, they jive well with known facts in the comic while attempting to explain why some other things did not happen, etc.

So to me the fact that SPWL was (apparently) a one-off event is not impossible to reconcile.

I think I know where Oberon's coming from however.

In fantasy stories, there's a curious phenomenon of the hero being very very weak (initially) while the villain is very very strong. And yet, said power is not actually effective. As someone from the Escapist put it, a level-something DnD wizard (with Find Item, Teleport and Power Word: Kill) would have had no problem securing the One Ring from Frodo. Alone. OTOH, this Big Evil that threatens an entire world with legions of minions at least one of which is a high-powered mage cannot seem to get the job done.

So there's an intrinsic problem with the premise of many a story or game, especially if said story/game includes a prophecy (drink up) so that the hero hardly has the advantages of anonimity and surprise. It can be solved (mentor-like figures stepping in to protect the hero's early steps is popular), but that's the catch, it must be solved well.

My guess is that seeing it solved poorly can develop one hell of a pet peeve, and I share it.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby Lamech » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:21 pm

Oberon wrote:A pretty theory. Do you have any evidence which suggests that casters would rather engage in the "pursuit" of "art and science" over the basic needs of money for survival? I'd love to see that evidence. Maybe some citation from a starving caster who, as he disbands, stammers "I did it for my art!"...
.
Oberon wrote:No. I merely logically pointed out that a barbarian caster who does not work to gain money is a dead caster. I made no statement about the primacy of this motivation, but I will say that it is a logical conclusion that a caster will want to remain alive and will therefore prioritize making money over lesser needs.
So lets assume a caster's primary goal is to remain alive. Most sides view casters as so valuable that not only do they universally believe that upkeep for magic is a good trade they think that its such a good deal that they are unwilling to risk them in combat despite the extreme levels of power they can display. And this is without risking them in a link-up. Furthermore as casters gain levels they can produce more magic than a starting caster making it an even better deal.

So a caster who's primary goal is to remain alive wants to a) secure a source of food and b) get this source of food with minimal risks. Link-ups might do "a" but they fail hard at "b". Or the caster could offer his or her services but specify that he won't take risks. Presumably this is fairly easy since casters are so inanely valuable, and over time studying in the MK, any caster will become even more valuable allowing the caster to demand higher payment. This does "a" well and it does "b" well. So our hard working caster will certainly try the second option. If that wasn't enough evidence many casters especially the mighty ones seem to not be working quite frequently. Even after they have spent their juice they could spend their time farming, training, or taking lessons ect. if they were concerned about not having enough rations. Indeed they instead spend their time debating holding, Hippie parties, or whatever.

The casters have no trouble getting enough shmuckers to live. Link ups would be needlessly risky. And this is on top of the fact that for the SPW scroll it requires the assistance of two factions who wouldn't want to sell you weapons, and probably weren't told about the super-mathamancy bracer.
P.S. Why hasn't Parson been selling calculations?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby Oberon » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:06 pm

Well, all right! Now we are cooking with gas! People are beginning to present fact based opposing opinions, and I approve.

MarbitChow wrote:First off, we know that money is not the only way to survive. Several mechanisms have been introduced - harvesting, for example - that can substitute for shmuckers.
On harvesting: If MK casters could work a farm or kill horned sheep for their upkeep, there would be no need for them to hire themselves out to the various sides. Sides which are always at war, and thus bring risk to life simply by being within one of their cities.
MarbitChow wrote:Second, we know that commanders have a purse that contains a maximum amount, unless converted into gems. The kind of money that you're talking about here goes way beyond basic survival.
On the amount of shmuckers the SPW scroll brought: Indeed, either 350k or 500k is well above the kinds of per turn upkeep costs we've seen. With the potential to convert shmuckers either to rands or to gems, why would you conclude that bringing a large price (i.e. many turns of freedom from the worry of meeting basic survival needs) is any kind of disincentive for casters to create an expensive item?
MarbitChow wrote:
Oberon wrote:Do you have any evidence which suggests that casters would rather engage in the "pursuit" of "art and science" over the basic needs of money for survival? I'd love to see that evidence. Maybe some citation from a starving caster who, as he disbands, stammers "I did it for my art!"... :lol:
We have Issac, spending most of his free time trying to understand the universe through experimentation, off the top of my head.
Great reference! What we don't have is any evidence that Isaac spends time building his experimental devices at the expense of his upkeep needs. That was the question I asked, and your reference doesn't address that question.
MarbitChow wrote:Charlie is the only character shown thus far who has shown the desire to generate cash on that scale.
More baseless theory. We know that sides both want and need shmuckers. There is nothing to suggest that any given side would not welcome 350k or 500k shmuckers. Right now we know of three sides, Jetstone, TV, and FAQ who are rather desperate for shmuckers. Four sides, because GK is "up against the diminishing returns limit", even though GK has a tidy source of minable wealth. And in two of those four examples, desperate to the point of it being a matter of survival. Any epileptic tree which presumes that all of these these sides have no desire to "generate cash on that scale" is an invented fantasy with no basis in this story.
MarbitChow wrote:The only economic fact you are working with is 'the scroll was sold for 350,000 and created an item, as a side effect, that was worth 500,000'. Everything else you discuss REQUIRES motivation. Someone with the means to create the scroll must both desire and be able to use cash on that scale.
REQUIRES motivation? For money? Are you serious? You seem to be arguing that there is some kind of disincentive to owning that kind of shmuckers which would keep people from wanting to become wealthy. We have seen no such disincentive. Can you provide a single example of such?
MarbitChow wrote:It is quite plausible that, just as healers are withholding scrolls from a particular side (GK), casters may not wish to place Mathamancy items in the hands of rulers. It could be as simple as that they're friends with Mathamancers, and would rather that those casters be hired than replaced by an artifact.
Plausible, perhaps. Factual, not at all.
MarbitChow wrote:We already know that barbarians cannot hold more than 1,000 * their level in their purse, so at the very least, they now need to involve a moneymancer into the scheme as well, so that they can actually keep the cash.
This objection has all the merit of saying that someone who has a lot of money might deside to let almost all of it melt away rather than paying someone a reasonable amount to have the majority of it remain. It makes no sense at all, logically. And the casters you're deciding are disincentivized by the hardship of using a moneymancer to convert their vast wealth into a form which is usable over many turns are in the MK where those resources should be readily available.
MarbitChow wrote:The characters that have been introduced into the story so far have not been shown to have a motivation to accumulate shmuckers, other than Charlie.
I've already shot this down. But in case there is any doubt, would you assert that TV would not like to have 350k or 500k shmuckers right now? How about Jetstone? Maybe FAQ? Really, can you name a single side on Erf and assert with confidence that they hate money and do nothing to accumulate it?
MarbitChow wrote:Your theory requires that (1) they [casters] use paying upkeep as the only means of survival, (2) they are willing to engage in risky behavior (and caster links ARE risky) just for the sake of gaining cash for upkeep.
(1) We know that barbarians must pay their upkeep to survive. Only means? Can you provide a means of survival which does not involve paying the upkeep necessary for...survival? (2) Using only factual citations, I present Vanna as my evidence that casters do indeed hire themselves out to link. I cannot recall any reference to a caster refusing a contract because it involved linking. So again, all actual evidence supports my position and contradicts yours.
MarbitChow wrote:Since they [casters] actually have not started mass producing them [SPW scrolls], theories that support why they don't have to be given greater weight than those that say they would, because those theories are actually in agreement with the established facts in the story.
The only established fact you have on your side is the fact that SPW scrolls have not been produced more than once (mass produced is a term which assumes that there will always be an available buyer). That does not equate to proof that the story as it has been revealed to the readers thus far does not make the thoughtful reader question just exactly why this is so, when all facts known point to such production as being both profitable and desirable.
How using capslock wins arguments:
Zeroberon wrote:So we know with 100% certainty that THIS IS HOW TRI-LINKS WORK, PERIOD END OF STORY.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby Oberon » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:32 pm

oslecamo2_temp wrote:But we have facts. That have been presented time and time again and you keep closing your eyes to them. Here, let me repeat you in giant red letters so perhaps now you'll notice them:

HEALOMANCERS ARE REFUSING TO SELL HEALING SCROLLS TO GOBWIN KNOB!


Healomancers can afford to deny selling basic services to one of the wealthiest sides in Erfworld. Thus they can clearly pay their upkeeps trough other means. There's no other explanation. And if they can refuse to sell basic scrolls, they sure damn can afford to refuse to sell rare artifacts and nuke scrolls. Explain how that fits with your blind capitalism theory please.
Oh, my! Large, red font must equal right! :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol:
Well, at least you didn't drag your pet epileptic tree theory into this tirade... Much.

So, a real world example: The US refuses to trade with Cuba. (please, I know there are exceptions, this is a generalization with all the flaws of a generalization when countered by a specific example) Does this mean, ZOMG!!! That US farmers will starve without this market? Nope. Hasn't meant that for over 50 years.

Also, I'm tired of hearing that HEALOMANCERS ARE REFUSING TO SELL HEALING SCROLLS TO GOBWIN KNOB! as if this is a fact. The exact quote this claim is based upon is Maggie saying "Given that certain scrolls are becoming harder to obtain, Lady Firebaugh is requesting permission to croak the foolamancer and animate him as well." If anything is true it is that the MK is not a monolithic block. Some casters may have decided not to sell to GK, but that cannot be all casters. Healomancy scrolls may be "harder to obtain", but harder does not mean impossible. But those incorrectly using this reference would have everyone believe that the MK has shut down all services to GK, and this could not be farther from the truth. We have evidence that at least one and perhaps more MK factions are actively supporting GK.
How using capslock wins arguments:
Zeroberon wrote:So we know with 100% certainty that THIS IS HOW TRI-LINKS WORK, PERIOD END OF STORY.
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