Cnor wrote:He would, actually - it's strictly forbidden for Casters to go through enemy portals uninvited.
I'm talking about when he first went through the GK portal in Book 1. If he was a caster, there was no reason he wouldn't be allowed to enter the Magic Kingdom then - casters fleeing through portal rooms are standard procedure for when a side is about to fall.
Sure he would have. Charlie has, in the past, been highly sarcastic
...not really, no. Maybe once or twice. He's more facetious than sarcastic.
and moreover, is currently trying to goad Parson into not thinking about other options
Which is why it's a bad idea to order Parson to perform further analysis
on his current predicament, which is what a calculation is.
As for wasting the calculation, why would Parson believe anything Charlie says without some form of outside confirmation, such as that provided by his bracer?
Parson doesn't need permission from Charlie to perform calculations. If Charlie knows Parson's a caster, he's just used a calculation to a) force Parson to do something he would have done anyway and b) tell him something he already knows. Charlie's already been burned once in terms of inadvertently benefiting Parson when making him perform a calculation; no way he'd throw away one more like that.
elecampane wrote:We don't know how much information needs to be supplied to the bracelet. If it can predict how useful calculations will be to Charlie (about whom Parson knows next to nothing) in an undefined future, I assume it can predict actions of a scroll which Parson holds in hand.
Things Parson knew about those calculations: they were produced by an artifact and therefore valuable; that GK is constantly decrypting units; that enemy sides are likely to recognize decrypted units; that enemy sides know GK possesses the Arkenpliers. That doesn't require knowing anything about Charlie - I could have told you myself that the answer wasn't worth the calculations, and that goes for anyone in Erfworld.
The thing about calculating probabilities is that probability is a measure of ignorance. The less you know about something, the less you can predict its likelihood. Note how Parson revises his probability estimates for GK taking Spacerock downwards when he takes into account Ossomer's intelligence. His ability to predict things well depends as much on his knowing what to factor into the hypothetical model as it does on the magic of the bracer.
In the case of the scroll, Parson can't ask the bracer to tell him what the scroll does, because he doesn't know all the options for what it does. He doesn't even know what discipline it involves, though Carnymancy would be a good guess. The bracer cannot generate that information for him, unless it's a Predictamancy bracer as well as a Mathamancy bracer, which I see no reason for it to be.
I don't think it can meaningfully tell him what his odds of being a caster are, for the same reasons.
"If you leave out important things or events that you know about, the story is strengthened. If you leave or skip something because you do not know it, the story will be worthless." - Hemingway