Book 2 – Page 63

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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby ftl » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:52 am

Oberon wrote:. I use the term "epileptic tree" to mean: A theory which appears to use only guesswork for its basis. I don't know where you decide to call them insane, I have not used the term, but perhaps you infer it in your definition of epileptic tree. Here is the definition as per TVTropes. It doesn't match my definition point for point, but it's close.


Not even close.

I'll quote the first paragraph:
A term for wild, off-the-wall theories. Named after a leading tinfoil-hat theory explaining the mysterious shaking, rustling trees on Lost during the first season of that program. The theory? The trees are having epileptic fits. These are also commonly referred to as "crackpot theories" by fans.


It immediately makes "epileptic tree" synonymous with - wild, off-the-wall; tinfoil-hat; crackpot. So yes, "insane" would be a reasonable thing to infer from "crackpot" and "tinfoil-hat" and "wild and off-the-wall". Because it's pretty similar in meaning to those things.

Likewise, it says nothing about using only guesswork for its basis. It is quite possible for a theory that uses only guesswork as its basis to be quite reasonable and not wild at all.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:19 am

Oberon wrote:No one can prove to you that the refrigerator light is actually out when you close the door if you refuse to believe it. I can show you the off switch which is activated by the closing door, demonstrate to you that it functions by pressing it with my finger while the door is open, and you can still decide that the light is on when the door is closed based upon some theory you aren't willing to surrender. I've proven that the economic engine exists. All else is speculation about the relative need of MK casters for money, vast conspiracies, and other guesswork. Feel free to decide that speculation and epileptic trees are more valid than things which actually happened in the story and their actual cited values. For me, I'll need a reason within the story that explains why more SPW or similar magics are not created for the clear profit they bring.

You have 'proven' nothing. You have 2 facts: that upkeep must be paid, and that the scroll was SOLD for 350,000. That's it. From that, you extrapolated a potential scenario that, when actually examined, is completely full of holes.

The price that the scroll was sold for is not the cost of the scroll. Items can be (and are) sold for less than they cost to create. (The XBox, for example, was initially sold for less than it cost to manufacture.) You cannot determine profit just from the sale price.
* You need to prove what the actual cost of the scroll is, to show that there is in fact a profit to be made.

You cannot guarantee that the casting the SPW spell a second time will produce the same result. It could summon a 'complete' warlord the 2nd time - one who does not require items to 'fix it's goof' by summoning a warlord with missing abilities. Hell, you can't even prove that subsequent castings of the scroll won't just summon Parson to the new casting location. If the scroll behaves the same way each time, it will only re-summon Parson. If it behaves differently each time, you cannot guarantee that any items will be summoned as part of the effect.
* You need to prove that the effect of the scroll is on subsequent castings will have the same effect.

In order to capitalize on the SPW's money-generating exploit, you need to show that someone who can cast it is aware of the exploit. Everyone knows that Parson exists, but how many people know what the bracer does? Jack, Parson, Sizemore, Charlie (and Charlie may have told Slately & Tram).
* You need to prove that there are casters that can recreate the SPW spell that also know of the bracer.

The creation of the scroll was not motivated by money. The motivation was clearly spelled out to be the summoning of a warlord who would bring peace to Erfworld.
* You need to prove that either the original casters would risk their goal by recreating the scroll, or that there are other casters who know how to create the SPW scroll that would do it just for the cash.

You have done NONE of these things. You are Wrong, sir! Wrong! It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You lose! Good day, sir!
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:29 am

Ansan Gotti wrote:MarbitChow is officially my new favorite poster.

+1 to that. Altough I myself had already poointed out the relevant facts, MarbitChow does so in a much clean manner. To the point Oberron's only defense against his post is suddenly start rambling about refrigerators and cars and refuse to provide the facts to suport his own theory.

And just to make sure Oberron doesn't evade it on the next post:

MarbitChow wrote:* You need to prove what the actual cost of the scroll is.

* You need to prove that the effect of the scroll is reproducible.

* You need to prove that there are casters that can recreate the SPW spell that also know of the bracer.

* You need to prove that either the original casters would risk their goal by recreating the scroll, or that there are other casters who know how to create the SPW scroll that would do it just for the cash.


There. We challenge you to prove all 4 of those, or you have no proof selling SPW for just money being viable.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:23 am

MarbitChow wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:As far as I can tell, the root of the disagreement is that, while plausible reasons can be put forth, they are not supported by canon.

Actually, I'd go so far as to say, at this point, that the burden of proof is on those who say there should be more than one SPW scroll created for the purposes of generating revenue.


Yours is the more accurate representation imo, mine is more of a summary friendly to both sides. Anyway-

MarbitChow wrote:
{tons of snippage and rearrangement took place to produce this list. Check the posts for the arguments for them, it's worth it.}

1. Cost:
* You have to establish that the SPW scroll has a creation cost of less than 500,000.
* You need to prove what the actual cost of the scroll is, to show that there is in fact a profit to be made.

2. Motivation:
* Those who have the knowledge to create the SPW scroll have a strong incentive to have only one in existence.
* You need to prove that either the original casters would risk their goal by recreating the scroll, or that there are other casters who know how to create the SPW scroll that would do it just for the cash.

3. Exploitable side-effects:
* You need to prove that the effect of the scroll is on subsequent castings will have the same effect.
* The number of people who know about the value of the bracer is limited.
* You need to prove that there are casters that can recreate the SPW spell that also know of the bracer.

Unless you can fulfill these three criteria, I'll apply Oberon's criteria, and say that YOU FAIL. :D



Hm. Challenge accepted?

But not on Oberon's terms. Requiring citations for the things below is further than I care to go for a mere rhetorical exercise. I merely ask for a good-faith interpretation that the things I rant on are plausible.

So.

"Cost" arguments are counterable by the existence (in Stupidworld) of strategies like "bait-and-switch", "loss leader", "freebie marketing", "sample marketing" and the dealer's fav, "first one's for free". Admittedly none of the mentioned exactly matches a "sell item X for less than it's worth to encourage sales to other people" (the dealer's fav and sample are about giving item X for free the first time, in hopes that it will be sold later), but a common theme in said strategies is that an item is sold for less (or given for free) to encourage the purchase of other items (or the same item, initially given for free).

Now, I'm only talking about "Cost" here. IF, admittedly big IF, some casters wanted to sell SPW scrolls, then we don't need to know how much the scroll costs. It may be more than 350K, but who cares? Said fictive casters could now point to GK, say "look what our scroll did to them. It can do the same to you, order now for <insert retail price here>"***.

"Exploitable side-effects": this, I think, is a big part of Oberon's argument, as the apparent brokenness of summoning items more valuable than the scroll that made them is crucial to provide an incentive for that scroll to be constructed again.

I'd take a different tack. Again, IF there are casters willing to make said scroll again, they do not need to know about these side effects. Their marketing strategy could well be a case study of a side that was mostly beaten, then swung back to become the dominant force in some area, all because it purchased a SPW scroll. From then, the Red Queen strategy is suggested, run as fast as you can to stay where you are. So buy a SPW scroll, in case your neighbour buys one too and comes stomping on your cities.

This makes the scroll profitable for the casters that made it, because there would be a market for the scroll, even without exploits like selling the bracer.

***: problem. What if the scroll costs more to make than anyone is able to afford? Thereby reducing the potential market to 0?

Fair enough, possible. But think about this, if the creation cost is so much that no one can afford it now, how come the MK was able to afford to create it? Maybe the creation cost was merely the time of the casters, used to make the scroll, time which could have been used more lucratively on other exploits (so as to make creation of further scrolls not economically viable). But if this lost time results in so much income loss, wouldn't it have been noticed? Would it not have raised questions from other casters thereby preventing the conspiracy from being effectively hidden? This suggests the creation cost was not unreasonably high.

Finally, "Motivation": this is a tricky one to argue against, especially since the only sorta cohesive MK group we know of from the comic is the conspiracy.

The only hope to counter this, so far, is Charlie. Apparently, Charlescomm understands what Parson is (or at least how he came to Erfworld) well enough to make an offer to send him back**. Building on the known info about Charlie having good connections in the MK, it is plausible that Charlie could make an Unsummon scroll should they want it, maybe even a SPW scroll.

(**: assumption, of course: that Jojo is working for Charlie)

However, I find it hard to believe that Charlie would condone a world crawling with PWLs, even if those PWLs will mostly be busy keeping each other in check. They're just too unpredictable.

So in conclusion, my exercise seems to show that it's not cost, it's what Oberon removes from the discussion- motivation- which is key to understanding why SPWL scrolls have apparently only happened once. IF the original creators of SPW wanted to, they could sell it for a profit. IF Charlie wanted to, they could probably reconstruct the recipe and sell it for a profit. None of the mentioned sides has shown any inclination to do so.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby Dr Pepper » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:15 am

Oberon wrote:I use the term "epileptic tree" to mean: A theory which appears to use only guesswork for its basis.


You do more than that, remember? A while back you characterized one of my posts that way and i hadn't offered any theory at all.

I really think the level of rancor here would decrease if you'd use that term less.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:58 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Now, I'm only talking about "Cost" here. IF, admittedly big IF, some casters wanted to sell SPW scrolls, then we don't need to know how much the scroll costs. It may be more than 350K, but who cares? Said fictive casters could now point to GK, say "look what our scroll did to them. It can do the same to you, order now for <insert retail price here>"***.

Except that the casters that made the SPW scroll want you to be stomped. Tough luck, Janis wants peace in Erfworld, and that means you either surrender or are rolled over by Hamster. She won't sell you another Hamster.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:"Exploitable side-effects": this, I think, is a big part of Oberon's argument, as the apparent brokenness of summoning items more valuable than the scroll that made them is crucial to provide an incentive for that scroll to be constructed again.

I'd take a different tack. Again, IF there are casters willing to make said scroll again, they do not need to know about these side effects. Their marketing strategy could well be a case study of a side that was mostly beaten, then swung back to become the dominant force in some area, all because it purchased a SPW scroll. From then, the Red Queen strategy is suggested, run as fast as you can to stay where you are. So buy a SPW scroll, in case your neighbour buys one too and comes stomping on your cities.

And again, I point out that's completely counter-intuitive to Janis objectives. She was the one who directed the creation of the SPW scroll in order to give GK and Wanda a massive edge so they can curbstomp their enemies and enforce peace in Erfworld. Giving perfect warlords and/or artifacts to GK's enemies would be completely self-defeating.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:This makes the scroll profitable for the casters that made it, because there would be a market for the scroll, even without exploits like selling the bracer.

No, it makes mass producing of the scroll unprofitable because their final plan is just one side having a massive advantage with a perfect warlord. It's like if the USA finished developing the nuke, using it once, and then selling it to Japan and Germany before they surrender. The war would've gone on and become even more bloody.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Fair enough, possible. But think about this, if the creation cost is so much that no one can afford it now, how come the MK was able to afford to create it? Maybe the creation cost was merely the time of the casters, used to make the scroll, time which could have been used more lucratively on other exploits (so as to make creation of further scrolls not economically viable). But if this lost time results in so much income loss, wouldn't it have been noticed? Would it not have raised questions from other casters thereby preventing the conspiracy from being effectively hidden? This suggests the creation cost was not unreasonably high.

It's simply the thinkmancers, hippiemancers and predictmancers used their powers to cover their own tracks. Janis herself points out the thinkmancers were tricked and the lookmancer had no idea what was going on.

Just like now Hamster is walking on the MK and thinkmancers, predictmancers and one dirtmancer are again covering his track.

And how they also covered for Hamster when he first entered the MK.

So we have three situations where the mancers sucessfully conspire between each other and most of the MK is left oblivious.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:So in conclusion, my exercise seems to show that it's not cost, it's what Oberon removes from the discussion- motivation- which is key to understanding why SPWL scrolls have apparently only happened once. IF the original creators of SPW wanted to, they could sell it for a profit. IF Charlie wanted to, they could probably reconstruct the recipe and sell it for a profit. None of the mentioned sides has shown any inclination to do so.


Indeed, SPW scrolls aren't simple civilian utilities. They're reality changers. You don't want to mess up reality more than you absolutely need. Hamster is curb stomping his enemies, so why would the original creators want to risk messing stuff up? Andnobody else (not even Charlie) is in condition to mass-recruit thinkmancers and predictmancers to even try to replicate the deed.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:57 am

oslecamo2_temp wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:{bla bla cost is no issue}

Except that the casters that made the SPW scroll want you to be stomped. Tough luck, Janis wants peace in Erfworld, and that means you either surrender or are rolled over by Hamster. She won't sell you another Hamster.


La-la-la, I've got my fingers in my ears and I'm not hearing you. Oddly enough, not trying to insult here.

Just want to point out that you undertook a sentence by sentence rebuttal of a post, cheerfully ignoring the whole. IF you'd read what I wrote, actually read it and consider it as a whole, you'll find that I admit I must ignore issues of motivations to show why cost arguments are not sufficient to explain why SPW scrolls aren't made more often.

This is not just a problem with your recent post, but almost everyone's. Which probably "helps" heat up the debate more than it should.

Case in point, I'm not arguing against your most recent post, because in in a previous message I said loudly I cannot counter motivation based arguments. Your post is about motivation. Ergo, I can't counter it! :P

However, my idea was that, if for the sake of discussion you were to remove issues of motivation, then on purely economic reasons the scrolls may be viable for wider production. Your post doesn't address that, not even on the level of "what's the point of removing motivations from the discussion" (which is a fair question btw). So you too had your fingers in your ears not listening.


====

This bit however is more pertinent to the kind of argument I'm making:


oslecamo2_temp wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:{if creation is too expensive, it's less likely that the conspiracy stays hidden}


It's simply the thinkmancers, hippiemancers and predictmancers used their powers to cover their own tracks. Janis herself points out the thinkmancers were tricked and the lookmancer had no idea what was going on.

Just like now Hamster is walking on the MK and thinkmancers, predictmancers and one dirtmancer are again covering his track.

And how they also covered for Hamster when he first entered the MK.

So we have three situations where the mancers sucessfully conspire between each other and most of the MK is left oblivious.


You have one unit (a warlord) entering the MK. Janis steps in, "he's a hippiemancer". Suspicious looks are exchanged, but life goes on.

You have a somewhat small group of casters, not all of which know what the big picture with the SPW scroll is (most being actively kept in the dark even). Plausible, various organisations on Stupidworld work that way.

You have one unit entering the MK again, making a dash to somewhere else. Jury's still out on whether the rest of the MK won't realize the trick, events are yet to unfold.

Now, imagine you have an enterprise that is so costly, nobody on Erf is able to afford to undertake. How do you scrunge up resources? How do you explain when those resources disappear? How do you manage their use and who knows about them- since it will be quite a few people who do? To keep a big, costly thing secret seems less plausible to me. YMMV, but a rule of thumb is no conspiracy can be too big.

So in my view, if SPW was so expensive that no one could afford its fair price, then it's too expensive to make without having its purpose revealed and thus defeat the conspiracy. "Just mancers covering their tracks" doesn't cut it. Since the conspiracy is still secret, I conclude that SPW is sufficiently cheap, to be affordable by at least a few other factions.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby drachefly » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:11 am

When an argument gets hairy, that's the time to slow down.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:12 am

And comb it.

It's impossible to comb a sphere, but maybe one can, an argument.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby effataigus » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:54 am

Hmm, so it seems these are the possible reasons for there only being one known SPW casting being mentioned:

1. We don't know about the other SPW spells that are in Erfworld.
2. There are not enough of at least one of the required caster types that are willing to cast it and that know that they can.
3. The sides interested in making money off of the spell or using it haven't learned about the spell yet.
4. The sides interested in making money off of the spell or using it haven't figured out how to cast it yet.
5. The resources involved (juice, schmuckers, casters' safety, ???) in the casting are worth more than the end product... even counting the bonus items.
6. There are no sides interested in summoning a perfect warlord that know what happens when the spell is miscast.

What am I missing?

Have we ruled any of these out completely? For instance, I'm convinced that there is insufficient evidence that schmuckers are a limiting reagent for the spell to seriously consider it... Bland makes some good arguments, but the stronger evidence to me is that we've never heard anything about spells costing schmuckers to cast by a loyal caster (and JS has done some casting on an empty treasury this turn).

While I would like to know which of these actually explain why there aren't more SPW spells out there, I'm increasingly convinced that the only way that this question (and the other questions about why we don't see more linkup-experimentation) would be definitively answered would be by accessing a complete list of spells, a complete list of casters in TMK, and a complete list of the history of the various attempts at linkups and their consequences. I don't think Erfworld would really benefit from this... at least not until the release of the Erfworld RPG!


On a mostly unrelated topic, assuming Predicatamancy/Thinkamancy/Lookamancy (cast by Findamancy)... who was supposed to add the aspect of the SPW warlord that forces Parson to be loyal to GK (or Wanda as some have keenly speculated)? Probably Hubble of those three, but that suggests an aspect of thinkamancy that seems like it should fall under Turnamancy. Also, I wonder if Janis knows and is at all worried that the spell was cast by a Croakamancer instead of a Findamancer. Parson has definitely turned into much more of a butcherer than Janis seems to have imagined.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:54 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Just want to point out that you undertook a sentence by sentence rebuttal of a post, cheerfully ignoring the whole. IF you'd read what I wrote, actually read it and consider it as a whole, you'll find that I admit I must ignore issues of motivations to show why cost arguments are not sufficient to explain why SPW scrolls aren't made more often.

Which in itself a senseless argument. Mancers aren't cold machines whose only purpose is to produce smuckers. Like already pointed out, all they can do with it it's get food. They don't have cities to build, no armies to pay for and upgrade, no natural allies to pop more units, they pay each other in an alternate currency. Even if they could mass produce smuckers and didn't give a damn about the world around burning down, what would they do with said mountains of smuckers?


BLANDCorporatio wrote:Now, imagine you have an enterprise that is so costly, nobody on Erf is able to afford to undertake. How do you scrunge up resources? How do you explain when those resources disappear? How do you manage their use and who knows about them- since it will be quite a few people who do? To keep a big, costly thing secret seems less plausible to me. YMMV, but a rule of thumb is no conspiracy can be too big.

Yes it can.
-You scrounge up the mancers by being a Queen B**** master hippiemancer whose speciality is making people get along and dance to your music. Sizemore himself has been carefully manipulated by Janis since the very first comics under the disguise of hippiemancy lessons.
-Since predictmancers predict the same thing, if one is willing to suport you in the MK, they all are. They literally share the same future view. And Janis has a good predictmancer friend.
-You trick the thinkmancers by telling them the supreme warlord can take on Charlie and win. The text updates confirm Janis didn't tell them the whole truth and they hate Charlie. And they're clearly on Janis side since they're now deploying in masse to cover Hamster.
-The resources are the mancer's juice (update confirms this, scrolls are made from juice). Since only the mancer itself knows how many juice it has left (not even the 3D glasses reveal said information), then it's simply impossible for any outsider to know the thinkmancers and predictmancers spent loads and loads of juice in the SPW scroll.
-Specially because it's thinkmancy and predictmancy. If anybody asks, they can just say they've been burning their juice by predicting and thinking about things. Business as usual.
-The predictmancers and thinkmancers both kinda work in an hivemind so you don't need to worry about any of them defecting. Specially when you have hippiemancers to make them all play along.
-If somebody else does asks too many questions, Sugestion/Love in Erfworld to the face. ;)

BLANDCorporatio wrote:So in my view, if SPW was so expensive that no one could afford its fair price, then it's too expensive to make without having its purpose revealed and thus defeat the conspiracy. "Just mancers covering their tracks" doesn't cut it. Since the conspiracy is still secret, I conclude that SPW is sufficiently cheap, to be affordable by at least a few other factions.


But see, you missed two last important details.

1- The final step of the conspiracy covers itself up. You have a croakmancer on crack mass producing puppets of everybody she kills Who's gonna believe an hippiemancer is behind all of it? They're all too worried thinking on how to stop Wanda to notice the potato man behind her! And those who do notice potato man (Charlie) can't make the connection to the hippiemancer! :twisted:

2-The conspiracy didn't go "just as planned!". Like pointed out here and in the other text update things are kinda sliping out of Janis control. Several people are noticing the conspiracy or at least parts of it. It was indeed too big to keep hidden forever, but they managed to keep enough of it hidden long enough.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:09 am

The casters not being schmucker-making machines is relevant*. To that, I'd say that this debate came to the point where several categories of reasons cropped up as to why SPW doesn't show up more often. Among said reasons are economic ones. I argue eceonomic reasons alone are not sufficient to decide the issue. To do that, unfortunately, I must assume casters as schmucker-making machines and ask what would such persons do?

As to the conspiracy thing. So on the one hand you say that the conspiracy unravels, so we can agree that big conspiracies, regardless of how manipulative their masterminds or how implausible those masterminds seem, do eventually come out in the open.

My take is that (assuming it was so big that no side could afford its fair price) it should have come out much sooner. The casters involved in the creation aren't predictamancers nor just thinkamancers, so what's that Lookamancer (or Findamancer) been looking for to deny all that juice to other pursuits? Also, thinkamancers thinking about business as usual to explain why enough juice to bankrupt any Erf treasury, should it be converted to spells? No way. Other casters would at least get curious, if not suspicious, about what's all that juice being spent on. Because if said juice is so enormously massive as to be unaffordable by any treasury, other casters will notice that the participants always seem to be spent, regardless of whether juice stats are visible or not.

So one might ask, and get Hippie-blasted, two might ask and get Hippie blasted etc. but unless there's a statue of Liberty with a flashing red light in its torch, I doubt all casters can be fooled all the time.

However they were. So the plausible assumption is that creating SPW is not that big a deal resource-wise.

EDIT:

* yep, not a typo. It is relevant to point out casters' motives for the larger discussion. It is me who is trying to limit discussion purely to economic arguments to hopefully prove they are not enough to sway the balance. It is only when you consider motivation that it becomes readily apparent why SPW doesn't happen more often.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby effataigus » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:11 am

Bland beat me.

oslecamo2_temp wrote:Which in itself a senseless argument. Mancers aren't cold machines whose only purpose is to produce smuckers. Like already pointed out, all they can do with it it's get food. They don't have cities to build, no armies to pay for and upgrade, no natural allies to pop more units, they pay each other in an alternate currency. Even if they could mass produce smuckers and didn't give a damn about the world around burning down, what would they do with said mountains of smuckers?


A+B>C. Less abstractly, if cost (A) and caster's motivations (B) are an issue, then the total cost (C) is large enough that making further scrolls is not worthwhile for the casters.

However, this is not enough to prove either:

1) A>C. If cost is an issue then there is only one Scroll.

or:

2) B>C. If caster's motivations are an issue then there is only one Scroll.

Bland is making the point that statement 1 doesn't make sense independently... and in so doing he is implicitly indicating that statement 2 (if A and B are independent) is a meaningful and positive contribution to the cost function A+B.

Relating your discussion then:

Bland:

A<C

Olescamo:

Nuh uh!

B>C

These are not mutually exclusive.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:18 am

Yes, that is a compact way of putting it, effataigus. I argue against 1), not against 2). I'd be really curious how someone can argue against 2) based on comic-provided evidence though, because it seems quite clearly supported by what we know.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:24 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:As to the conspiracy thing. So on the one hand you say that the conspiracy unravels, so we can agree that big conspiracies, regardless of how manipulative their masterminds or how implausible those masterminds seem, do eventually come out in the open.

Yes, eventualy parts of the truth comes out, but the trick is geting as much profit out as possible before the whole truth is revealed. Every big conspiracy has misdirections, diversions and multiple layers.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:My take is that (assuming it was so big that no side could afford its fair price) it should have come out much sooner. The casters involved in the creation aren't predictamancers nor just thinkamancers, so what's that Lookamancer (or Findamancer) been looking for to deny all that juice to other pursuits?

Janis explicitly says the lookmancer used was completely fooled, so whatever trick they used(and between hippiemancy and thinkmancy they had plenty of tricks), it worked. He couldn't tell anything even if he wanted to. He was probably hired the usual way with rands under a non-disclosure contract and then showered with sugestions just to make sure.

BLANDCorporatio wrote: Also, thinkamancers thinking about business as usual to explain why enough juice to bankrupt any Erf treasury, should it be converted to spells? No way. Other casters would at least get curious, if not suspicious, about what's all that juice being spent on. So one might ask, and get Hippie-blasted, two might ask and get Hippie blasted etc. but unless there's a statue of Liberty with a flashing red light in its torch, I doubt all casters can be fooled all the time.


Again, how could other casters know how much juice the conspirators spent? Mancers don't have a juice bar over their heads.

Plus like you yourself pointed out a warlord enters the MK, Janis says he's a mancer whitout any proof whatsoever, and dozens of mancers just nod and go on with their lifes.
So yes casters don't stick their noses that much on their neighbours affairs, even when there's an orange elephant in front of them.

If janis can get away with covering for potato man in MK by herself in a completely improvised manner, she certainly can cover for mancers doing what they're suposed to do, spending juice, specially with an army of thinkmancers and predictmancers watching her back and preparation time.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:31 am

Aw come on now. I said Janis raised a few eyebrows with that hippie Parson thing, so that was at least almost a failure.

Next, it's not important what the Lookamancer thinks he's working for, or what NDAs he's under. "Hi mate, need you to look something up for me", "Sorry can't, busy" "You were busy the whole week, what's up man?" See how this goes? Replace "busy" with "spent", and things like mana bars above casters' heads are not necessary.

This is not that important if there are only a few casters contributing a few turns of juice to the creation of SPW. But if that were the case, and spent juice is what determines the cost, then SPW, even fairly priced, should be affordable.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby effataigus » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:34 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Yes, that is a compact way of putting it, effataigus. I argue against 1), not against 2). I'd be really curious how someone can argue against 2) based on comic-provided evidence though, because it seems quite clearly supported by what we know.

I think there is ample in-comic evidence that 2 applies to the casters whose motivations we do understand.

My best shot against 2 would be to attempt to undermine the assumption that there is only one SPW scroll on Erfworld. The only in-comic evidence I'd have would be the number of casters in TMK and Charlie's comment about "the great western conflict." Collectively these indicate to me that there is much more to Erfworld than the readers have seen, and therefore the possibility that other SPW scrolls are in the works elsewhere.

This is a weak argument however... at best it just weakens 2 and certainly does not disprove it. Also, the number of portals in portal park and the percentage of known arkentools held by GK (since Charlescomm could really be anywhere) both point to Erfworld being only slightly larger than what we have seen.

However, consider that the SPW scroll could theoretically be used for something much less morally objectionable. Summon perfect dessert, for example. Costs must surely play some role, or we'd hear about many adaptations of the spell!... unless of course there is something about Erfworld and its love of warfare that makes Warlords more findable than other things. Perhaps the key is Parson's effect on the outcome of Erfworld, and therefore the special relevance to the predictamancer. Surely there must be other things that could change the outcome of Erfworld....

Summon 4th arkentool?

Summon the arkendish? That'd ruin Charlie's day.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:43 am

effataigus wrote:However, consider that the SPW scroll could theoretically be used for something much less morally objectionable. Summon perfect dessert, for example. Costs must surely play some role, or we'd hear about many adaptations of the spell!... unless of course there is something about Erfworld and its love of warfare that makes Warlords more findable than other things.


Or just more valuable. It may be that the effort to find the perfect dessert is much the same as the effort to find the perfect warlord. Same pool of worlds to look in, similar requirements (must be edible vs. must breathe the local air ...) ... but you get a lot more bang out of the PWL.

====

I wonder what the cost of a linkup is, incidentally. Charlie seemed able to pay it fine. Janis presumably could get the Thinka-Looka to work for free, but other parties were not privy to the motives; were they paid or brainwashed?

How do you cost the linkup? There's some risk to casters on 3-links, but that grows as time grows. MarbitChow supplied a quote that is consistent with the link not taking too much time to do its business.

Then there's the issue of juice. How much juice did it use? How does that manifest later?

So many questions. But clear answers are, at least a majority of those involved in the original link seem to have no intention to repeat it, and the only other party that plausibly could pull it off again would be scared of the results as well.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby drachefly » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:12 am

Do we actually have direct evidence that the scroll was created by a link-up rather than some other sort of collaboration?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 63

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:13 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Next, it's not important what the Lookamancer thinks he's working for, or what NDAs he's under. "Hi mate, need you to look something up for me", "Sorry can't, busy" "You were busy the whole week, what's up man?" See how this goes? Replace "busy" with "spent", and things like mana bars above casters' heads are not necessary.

Not if they pulled out the actual ritual in a single day.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:This is not that important if there are only a few casters contributing a few turns of juice to the creation of SPW. But if that were the case, and spent juice is what determines the cost, then SPW, even fairly priced, should be affordable.


Allow me point again to the text update again:

So they'd made it happen, without fuss, without hassles, and in secret. Janis had connections. She was listened to. Thanks to her, they pulled off the link-up without giving away the real aim. The Predictamancers all knew, of course. The Thinkamancers only sort of thought they knew. Hubble (the Lookamancer in the link-up) knew, but he was no trouble. And Janis knew.


Does it really sound like just a couple mancers working togheter? Because what is there is Janis taking a lot of defensive measures. Small scale wasn't one of them. What's the meaning of pointing out you used your connections, making people listen to you, and being extra secretive if you just needed three mancers out of hundreds (or perhaps thousands) in the MK?

And again remember hiring even a single mancer is very very expensive. Not even Charlie can afford one full time or he would have a turnmancer on the clock always boosting his archon production.

On the other hand, the lookmancer did actualy knew, but somehow wasn't a problem. Which just goes to show that hippiemancy goes a long way into manipulating people.

drachefly:
yes they did use a link-up. it's in the excerpt I pointed above.
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