Book 2 – Text Updates 059

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Salem » Tue May 21, 2013 7:01 pm

drachefly wrote:I actually wasn't entirely sure what you meant.

Yeah you've never been mean. So I figured it wasn't an attack.
Also I imagine that would look more like, What do you mean there isn't a report button?

I was just running with the whole misunderstandings thing.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Lilwik » Tue May 21, 2013 7:41 pm

MarbitChow wrote:I'll make you a deal: for every reference of something in Erfworld that works the way it works in our reality that you can find, that the author mentions but doesn't add details about (in other words, he assumes we know what it is), and I'll name 3 things that had to be explained. If I run out of things before you do, you win.

That game is missing the point. Many of the things that don't need to be explained because they are just like reality also don't need to be mentioned for exactly the same reason. The author trusts that we don't need to be told many, many things because we will assume they are like reality, or close enough to reality so that we will understand. More than that, I'll go out on a limb slightly and suggest that Erfworld is very much like reality in people's every-day experience of it and the vast majority of strangeness only happens when you try to break the rules like touching a hex boundary when you're not allowed to cross. With the exception of a few niceties that happen at the beginning of every day and the ability to sense the intentions of your leaders, you could live in Erfworld for a long, long time without noticing that it's different from Stupid World.

Of course you'd have to stay away from casters when they are casting and creatures that don't exist in Stupid World, but all of the little details of life would be totally ordinary. Prick your finger and it bleeds, toss a teacup and it breaks, plant a shrub and it grows, and your hands get dirty if you use them for digging. If you eat without care then you can choke yourself and even die from it. Fighting is like real fighting, not like playing some RPG. No one would be surprised to learn that some units can swim and others can't, but it would be surprising if dying in water for a non-swimming unit felt any different than it would for a real person who didn't know how to swim. It would be just as surprising if a swimming unit didn't need to do some sort of stroke to get around, or if swimming didn't feel wet.

On top of that, every time we learn a new rule of Erfworld, Like Reality Unless Noted takes greater and greater effect, because there is one less unnoted difference between Erfworld and reality.

effataigus wrote:Nobody said "Yes, Jillian is actually using a giant sword because Erfworld" or "Yes Archons can fly without mounts because Erfworld" or anything about it being weird that marbits or megalos fly. These are all things that just are, and no special point has been made about them for our benefit.
There's no reason to make a special point of it when it is perfectly obvious already (all except the bit about marbits). If we see it happen, that's more than note enough. In fact, just seeing Jillian carrying a giant sword is enough to tell us that she can swing it, because by Like Reality Unless Noted we are naturally going to assume that she can swing her own sword. On the contrary, if someone merely says a thing, that is far less convincing than seeing it and that's why I don't really trust any Erfworlder when he talks about the Titans.

effataigus wrote:Parson might be in for a rude shock if he ever walks that road.
I agree that it is possible, but from what we've seen of Erfly life within the bounds of a single hex, it seems highly unlikely. He wasn't in for any shocks when he entered combat himself for the first time.

effataigus wrote:The question becomes how applicable is the model to the situation. In the case of predictamancy and fate (to which the rule was being applied), which is something that there is evidence for in Erfworld and scant evidence for on Earth, I'd argue that the "like Earth" rule is not a good choice for filling in blanks.
On the contrary, it is the only good choice. We know there are many rules of Erfworld that we don't know, and it's strangeness means none of us are expert on its inner workings, so we certainly shouldn't use Erfworld itself to fill in blanks in our knowledge of Erfworld. That would be like saying we know Erfworld as well as the author. On the other hand, the author comes from the real world and we share a whole world of context with him; is it so strange that he may expect us to fill in some blanks from the real world?

Oberon wrote:Did you assume that climbing stairs was a trivial act, just as it is in Stupidworld? If you did, were you surprised to learn that getting a promotion (garrison to field) makes stairs easier to climb?
Climbing stairs is not a trivial act in Stupidworld, but weren't we all surprised when the promotion made it easier to climb them? Parson would probably have done it long ago if he'd expected that. Even people who argue against Like Reality Unless Noted actually assume it most of the time when reading, even if they're not aware of it.

Salem wrote:I think fate should be based on erfknowledge entirely. But unknowns I think we can use Earth.
Fate is one of the biggest unknowns in Erfworld. All I suggest is that when we meet a big unknown like Fate, we should not invent a enormous foolamancer in the sky to explain it. Fate is not fiddling with the bracer because Fate is not a foolamancer until Fate is revealed to be a foolamancer. It's just an absurd leap for us to even guess that Fate might be a foolamancer when we really know nothing about Fate. I suggest that we just accept Fate as unknown and therefore apply Like Reality Unless Noted.

Salem wrote:Though as far as fate is concerned I think the concept as applied in fiction should not use earth as a basis at all. Since fate in most stories is more active than determinism.
Above all else, Erfworld is amazingly creative and original. That's one of the things that makes it an excellent story, so if we want to guess about mechanics that we've never seen we would be better off randomly speculating than assuming that it will be like it is in other stories. We certainly shouldn't confuse making references with copying.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Salem » Tue May 21, 2013 8:16 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Salem wrote:I think fate should be based on erfknowledge entirely. But unknowns I think we can use Earth.
Fate is one of the biggest unknowns in Erfworld. All I suggest is that when we meet a big unknown like Fate, we should not invent a enormous foolamancer in the sky to explain it. Fate is not fiddling with the bracer because Fate is not a foolamancer until Fate is revealed to be a foolamancer. It's just an absurd leap for us to even guess that Fate might be a foolamancer when we really know nothing about Fate. I suggest that we just accept Fate as unknown and therefore apply Like Reality Unless Noted.

Salem wrote:Though as far as fate is concerned I think the concept as applied in fiction should not use earth as a basis at all. Since fate in most stories is more active than determinism.
Above all else, Erfworld is amazingly creative and original. That's one of the things that makes it an excellent story, so if we want to guess about mechanics that we've never seen we would be better off randomly speculating than assuming that it will be like it is in other stories. We certainly shouldn't confuse making references with copying.


As to the first one that's a bit out of context. I was mainly saying that people had pointed to reasons to suspect it was outside of earth reality. And more to the point it links tightly with the second thing you qouted.

He used the word fate. Period. He also used the word free will. That seperates it from reality entirely. The closest REAL not fictional ideal that I know of that comes close to that is a concept that combines determinism (For briefness everything is a reaction and therefore can be determined) and the concept that even though your actions are determined one of the determining factors is in fact you.

Contrast to how most Erfworlders who talk about fate seem to be fatalistic. Very Greek. (By the way they were downers. That whole Pandora story yeesh.) There is point A. You must reach point A. No matter what you do you will end up at point A. Some paths are better than others but they all lead to A.

In this idea it's not hard to look at fate shoehorning you. Whoops you misthrew that discus and it killed your dad. That FEELS active. Characters in the story say things that make it feel active. Nothing about fate feels like something in our erthly experiences. Especially since if you believe in any realistic non fiction/religious based view of fate there is no room for real free will. No room for deviation. Every point between A and B is predetermined. Ergo any story that talks about fate v free will at the very least leaves room for discussion as to the nature of fate. Which leaves room to talk about it from non "earth" views.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby LordAcme » Tue May 21, 2013 8:36 pm

TheOnlyJeff wrote:I've lurked around here since Book 1, and I finally registered just to say that is unbelievable how much of an unaware jerk Kreistor is and that I have no idea how you all put up with him.

And that I'm pretty sure the 98% was the true chance of casting the spell, until Fate intercedes to reduce it to 0.0. But mainly that that guy is a huge jerk.


I just hope the whole argument stays in this thread so we can leave it behind next update. People are drowning out actual interesting topics because they're busy waxing from eloquent to vitriolic about whether a set of stars resembles an elephant or not.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Lilwik » Tue May 21, 2013 10:03 pm

Salem wrote:He used the word fate. Period. He also used the word free will. That separates it from reality entirely. The closest REAL not fictional ideal that I know of that comes close to that is a concept that combines determinism (For briefness everything is a reaction and therefore can be determined) and the concept that even though your actions are determined one of the determining factors is in fact you.
That's a philosophical idea subject to debate in reality, not something to depend upon being true in Erfworld. All we know in Erfworld is that some future things can be determined in advance by predictamancers and they call it Fate. Also, we know that carnymancers can manipulate future events somehow, and they also call that Fate. That doesn't mean that Erfworld is any more or less likely to be strictly deterministic than reality, and it certainly doesn't provide firm footing for a huge leap to the conclusion that Fate is some personified trickster who fiddles with Parson's bracer, especially when Parson is in a world with tons of tricksters that we already know about. I consider it more likely that Charlie or Jojo was using Carnymancy to make the bracer say .980104773 but the bracer knew about the beam about to fall and refused.

Salem wrote:In this idea it's not hard to look at fate shoehorning you. Whoops you misthrew that discus and it killed your dad. That FEELS active. Characters in the story say things that make it feel active. Nothing about fate feels like something in our earthly experiences. Especially since if you believe in any realistic non fiction/religious based view of fate there is no room for real free will. No room for deviation. Every point between A and B is predetermined. Ergo any story that talks about fate v free will at the very least leaves room for discussion as to the nature of fate. Which leaves room to talk about it from non "earth" views.
Remarkable and unusual things happen all the time. If you wait long enough and search far enough you're guaranteed to find one, but you wouldn't usually think some agent caused it to happen. If you flip a coin and it lands heads a hundred times in a row, I'm going to call that luck, not an invisible ghost playing with the coin. The only thing that suggests that any of this stuff might be planned by some GM of Erfworld is that predictamancers are able to tell us about some of it before it happens, and that already has a simpler explanation: Predictamancy is magic.

Has anyone ever suggested that there are invisible dirt monsters moving through the soil to make Dirtamancy work? Should we assume that there are invisible fairies flying around injecting nutrients into plants and messing with people's minds to make Flower Power happen? I don't think so, because inventing things like that is for the author to do.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Lipkin » Wed May 22, 2013 12:05 am

I think the people arguing against the fate theory are missing the point. You argue against the possibility that Fate is fiddling with the bracer, when that isn't what we who are placing blame on fate are saying. Fate simply is. Parson has a destiny according to predictamancers, and since he hasn't achieved that destiny yet, he can't use the scroll. No one is tampering with the bracer, not even Fate. The bracer is simply taking fate into account. Parson should have a 98% chance of casting it, but in reality, has 0, because he has a destiny yet to fulfill.

We know the bracer can make predictions about the future. It's answering his question in both the mechanical, and literal sense.

http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2 ... ration.png
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby spriteless » Wed May 22, 2013 12:10 am

So....

Anyone want to guess what the signamancy of Misty in the background is? I think it is because Misty died of a snapped spell cord, and Parson is booping around with a spell that snaps another spell's cord.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Oberon » Wed May 22, 2013 12:16 am

Lilwik wrote:
Oberon wrote:Did you assume that climbing stairs was a trivial act, just as it is in Stupidworld? If you did, were you surprised to learn that getting a promotion (garrison to field) makes stairs easier to climb?
Climbing stairs is not a trivial act in Stupidworld, but weren't we all surprised when the promotion made it easier to climb them?
For the part prior to the comma: It was always a trivial thing (did you ever even wonder about the potential game mechanics of climbing stairs?) until we learned that it could be influenced by unit specials, wasn't it?
For the part after the comma: Yes, that's my entire point.
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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 – Text Updates 059

Postby Lilwik » Wed May 22, 2013 12:45 am

Lilwik wrote:Weren't we all surprised when the promotion made it easier to climb them?

Oberon wrote:Yes, that's my entire point.

I'm not sure I understand your point, but one thing I know is that without Like Reality Unless Noted, there would be no reason for you to be surprised. The thing that surprised you was a break between reality where promotions have nothing to do with stair climbing ability and Erfworld where they are strongly connected. Everyone assumes Like Reality Unless Noted because you can't understand fiction without it, and the author knows this.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby BanzaiJoe » Wed May 22, 2013 1:34 am

Not Me wrote:Just want to note a few things that came to mind when reading this update.

...

My tin foil here is that there is a pretty heavy plot between Charlie and Fate and Parson is the Wild Card in it.
First of all, Charlie (together with Haffaton) arranged for a Summon Perfect Warlord spell to defeat the sisters and get the Arkendish. After that he got some predictamancy telling him that a Stupidworlder would destroy him and he thought he had fulfilled that prediction with Judy. When another Stupidworlder came in he was not thinking on that prediction, but when Parson survived the battle for Gobwin Knob the way he did, Charlie started paying more attention and got more Predictamancy casted on Parson. He learned that Parson will be the one who takes Charlie down, but also the one who will eventually "breaks/beats Fate". So Charlie is pushing for Parson to "rebel against Fate" before he gets to destroying Charlie hoping that Parson breaking Fate will nullify the other prediction (Charlie is trying to go with the "very easy way" but will end up getting the "very hard way").
What Charlie is trying to do with spending this calculation is to get Parson to acknowledge how much "Fate" is controlling his actions and his free will so Parson focuses on "destroying Fate" instead of "destroying Charlie".
So "Fate" is trying to get Parson to destroy Charlie (mainly through the GMTTA) and Charlie is trying to "rig the game" and get Parson to destroy "Fate".
...


This made me wonder. Does Erfwold have to reconcile the manipulations of Fate. In other words, the more "GM Fate" stacks the numbers against Parson, is there a Karma for Fate? I was inspired by the conversations with Wanda and the Luckamancer about how you just take one number from here and put it over there but it still evens out in the end. Does Erfworld respond to GM Fate's manipulations. Although Charlie called up Parson, could Erfworld have made it possible because of Fate messing with the "deck". I wish I had a better way to explain it.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Lipkin » Wed May 22, 2013 1:46 am

"The general assumption that all of the unstated details of the setting of a work of fiction that remotely resembles Real Life can be filled in by the audience's knowledge of the world in which they live, except in areas where the fictional world explicitly or by necessary implication deviates from Real Life."

That's the first paragraph of the trope page in question. Bolding is mine for emphasis. We cannot safely make the assumption that everything is like our reality, because it is specifically based outside of our reality. If you were to take a character from Erf and place them in our world, they wouldn't be able to function. They wouldn't have even the basest of instincts in regards to caring for themselves. This isn't like a story where it's a familiar setting with an added element. It isn't London with vampires, or the days of chivalry with magic and monsters. With the exception of Parson, none of the characters are human. We know that the Titans created Erf, and some unseen force causes people, supplies, and rations to pop into existence.

As cliche as talking about Schrödinger's cat has become, it really is the best way to consider the rules of Erf. Until the box is opened, and we are told by Word of Rob, the rules are both the same and different than those we are familiar with. The worlds are simply too different for us to take anything for granted.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Lilwik » Wed May 22, 2013 2:18 am

Lipkin wrote:We cannot safely make the assumption that everything is like our reality, because it is specifically based outside of our reality.

You're right, that assumption isn't safe. It will surely be wrong sometimes and has been wrong in the past, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't make that assumption. We don't have the option of making no assumptions since there is so much we don't know about Erfworld; if we didn't make assumptions we wouldn't understand anything, and no one even tries because making assumptions is something that everyone does unconsciously. If there are blanks to be filled in, people will never stop trying to fill them.

If we must make some assumption then all we can do is aim for the best assumptions possible to fill in the many gaps in our knowledge. We really have two options: we can either use reality to fill in those gaps, or else invent new fantastic rules above and beyond what the author has invented for us. Since the author lives in the real world with us, reality has better odds, even if it is often wrong.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby spriteless » Wed May 22, 2013 2:39 am

The assumption that it is like a table-top wargame that is simulating the real world is better. Erfworld consistently acts like a table-top wargame. Assume that the rules will be a bit like real life, but all probabilities flattened into a few die rolls and with actions we see being reflections of actions in an abstract gaming environment...

For example, it makes sense that firefighters could screen someone else from fire damage. I'm picturing a fireman picking someone up and throwing them out of the way or something, but once you have that rule that the can screen someone else from fire damage, you no longer have to have them do that specifically, Parson just acts while they fight fire and they take fire hits for him. So their actions are reflections of the rule, without any assumptions that irl needs for the rule.

In fact, the lack of certain assumptions is exploitable as a theme. Use lateral thinking to cheat the rules!
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Lipkin » Wed May 22, 2013 2:49 am

Lilwik wrote:
Lipkin wrote:We cannot safely make the assumption that everything is like our reality, because it is specifically based outside of our reality.

You're right, that assumption isn't safe. It will surely be wrong sometimes and has been wrong in the past, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't make that assumption. We don't have the option of making no assumptions since there is so much we don't know about Erfworld; if we didn't make assumptions we wouldn't understand anything, and no one even tries because making assumptions is something that everyone does unconsciously. If there are blanks to be filled in, people will never stop trying to fill them.

If we must make some assumption then all we can do is aim for the best assumptions possible to fill in the many gaps in our knowledge. We really have two options: we can either use reality to fill in those gaps, or else invent new fantastic rules above and beyond what the author has invented for us. Since the author lives in the real world with us, reality has better odds, even if it is often wrong.

I'm not saying we make no assumptions. I'm saying we don't assume it's the same as our reality. I'm saying we assume it is functionally similar, and mechanically different, unless it's explicitly dissimilar. We don't need to assume they are the same rules that we operate under in order to understand them, otherwise we wouldn't make heads or tails out of this comic.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Werebiscuit » Wed May 22, 2013 5:16 am

Oberon wrote:For the part prior to the comma: It was always a trivial thing (did you ever even wonder about the potential game mechanics of climbing stairs?) until we learned that it could be influenced by unit specials, wasn't it?
For the part after the comma: Yes, that's my entire point.

Climbing stairs is only a trivial thing in stupidworld, when you're fit and healthy enough to climb stairs. There are many instances where it is not a trivial thing (wounds, illness, disability to name but a few). So if we reduce this to it's simplest form we can express it as " x is trivial until (our assumptions break down and ) it isn't ".
We can all cite cases where the assumptions break down... thus the assumption in itself is the risky part if we want to base predictions on. That's not to say we should never assume anything as we all use models of reality to make judgement calls about the future and cannot afford to crosscheck every little detail.
So really in the end it's down to personal choices about what we feel safe in assuming. We all do it...it just the level of application that is being argued about and that's down to personal preferences which it's unlikely anyone will change.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Lipkin » Wed May 22, 2013 7:37 am

Werebiscuit wrote:
Oberon wrote:For the part prior to the comma: It was always a trivial thing (did you ever even wonder about the potential game mechanics of climbing stairs?) until we learned that it could be influenced by unit specials, wasn't it?
For the part after the comma: Yes, that's my entire point.

Climbing stairs is only a trivial thing in stupidworld, when you're fit and healthy enough to climb stairs. There are many instances where it is not a trivial thing (wounds, illness, disability to name but a few). So if we reduce this to it's simplest form we can express it as " x is trivial until (our assumptions break down and ) it isn't ".
We can all cite cases where the assumptions break down... thus the assumption in itself is the risky part if we want to base predictions on. That's not to say we should never assume anything as we all use models of reality to make judgement calls about the future and cannot afford to crosscheck every little detail.
So really in the end it's down to personal choices about what we feel safe in assuming. We all do it...it just the level of application that is being argued about and that's down to personal preferences which it's unlikely anyone will change.

Mundane would probably be a better choice of word than trivial. It's a simple act, if not always an easy one.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby drachefly » Wed May 22, 2013 8:56 am

Werebiscuit wrote:
Oberon wrote:For the part prior to the comma: It was always a trivial thing (did you ever even wonder about the potential game mechanics of climbing stairs?) until we learned that it could be influenced by unit specials, wasn't it?
For the part after the comma: Yes, that's my entire point.

Climbing stairs is only a trivial thing in stupidworld, when you're fit and healthy enough to climb stairs. There are many instances where it is not a trivial thing (wounds, illness, disability to name but a few). So if we reduce this to it's simplest form we can express it as " x is trivial until (our assumptions break down and ) it isn't ".


I think he knows that, but read 'Stupidworld' as 'Erfworld'.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby MarbitChow » Wed May 22, 2013 9:18 am

Lilwik wrote:Everyone assumes Like Reality Unless Noted because you can't understand fiction without it, and the author knows this.
Lilwik, the only thing I'm going to argue with you from this point on is your use of the phrase "Like Reality Unless Noted", because you specifically refered to the trope.

That trope refers to the ability of an author to inject a well-known, well-defined set piece into a story, which allows the reader to have certain expectations about that element. If an author mentions Abraham Lincoln, and doesn't clarify things further, all readers can assume that the Abe Lincoln is the American President during the civil war era. He MUST mention that "it's not that Abe Lincoln" if it's actually someone else. THAT'S the "Unless Noted" part. That's *why* it's a trope.

When you start referring to a reality that is different in dozens of important respects from our reality... when you've reached the point where you have to start noting that trivial things like cups breaking are similar when TIME ITSELF is different... you're in an alternate dimension. It's nothing like 'reality'.

Eat a sandwich, and you stop being hungry. Like our reality - check.
Sandwiches pop into existence at the beginning of the day for you. Not like reality.

Break a tea-cup, it shatters. Like our reality - check.
Watch the shards the next morning, and they just vanish. Not like reality.

Cut a person's, and they bleed. Like our reality - check.
Dissolve a person's arm and a portion of their torso with acidic crap, and they CONTINUE TO FUNCTION NORMALLY. No one even mentioned that it was odd. Not like reality.

LRUN (the trope) isn't common to every story. It's common to stories that set themselves on Earth, so that the author can use locations, historical events, people, inventions, etc. that have MEANING, since that meaning is already known to the reader. The author doesn't have to do the work of explaining it.

But it applies to things like famous places, historical figures, celebrities, etc. that symbolize something; not, for example, "spoons". That's just using word definitions - if the author uses the word "spoon", we know what he's talking about because we speak English.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby effataigus » Wed May 22, 2013 10:30 am

Lilwik wrote:...
Ugh, what a tangle. I think people are being sloppy (I know I am) with language and logic, and I don't think there are many real core points of disagreement at play here. I've only identified one... which is that I believe that we know enough about Erfworld to use our knowledge of Erfworld to infer aspects of the world that are more likely to be the case than their equivalent on Earth. Lilwik apparently does not. This could only be resolved with a rules prediction field test... perfect fodder for the predictamancy thread.

Beyond that, I think I'm mis-remembering what Lilwik wrote because he just said a number of things that indicate that he disagrees with how I am remembering his original point. It would be helpful for me if he rephrased his original assertion.

AND NOW, A RANT!

"Like reality unless noted" seems to be (like Occam's Razor) one of those rules that should only be implemented when ALL other lights go out. However, it is typically implemented on this forum as soon as convenient for making a point. We have pages and pages of examples and discourse of predictamancy and fate, and all of that was brushed aside and an interesting conversation derailed by quoting of this arbitrary rule. It would be like 15 minutes into opening arguments:

Defense attorney jumps up and yells: "Innocent until proven guilty biatches! Have you proven him guilty yet?"
Prosecution: "Not yet, but we haven't even called wit..."
Defense: "Innocent!!"

Not only are these arguments lazy, they are also being misapplied. "Like Reality Unless Noted," "Occam's Razor," and "Innocent until proven guilty," are not truly arguments for a side... they are just tiebreakers, which means you are admitting that you have nothing to back your argument up with when you invoke them. Furthermore, they aren't even real tiebreakers in that they don't decide which is the correct one, they just decide which one we are going to assume is correct for the purposes of moving forward*. Since this forum has no explicit task to move forward with, we have no need for these rules.

* Contrary to my assertion, Occam's Razor does claim to decide ties in a "more likely" sense, and innocent until proven guilty does claim to establish truth. I'm pretty sure both of these claims are purely to keep the aggrieved side from whining about the arbitrary outcomes they result in. Alternately, there are some phrasings of Occam's Razor that simplify down to "dude, your theory is crazy complicated." This is a much more clear way of phrasing your objection.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby drachefly » Wed May 22, 2013 10:45 am

Occam's razor can do way more than break ties.

Like, a theory that a coin tossed 1000 times in a row will produce this particular random-looking but predetermined sequence has a tiny prior, such that unless there's some reason to elevate it to your attention*, even if every prediction is fulfilled perfectly it has negligible weight as an explanation compared to 'it was random', primarily because of its high information content. This is pure Occam, and it does way more than break a tie.


* e.g. someone called it ahead of time and few other particular sequences were predicted; or you discover that the coin was covertly electromechanical and this sequence is in its program. What I mean is, you can't just flip a coin a thousand times in a row, then look at that outcome and pick out the theory that this outcome was predetermined, and use that as an explanation for the coin's outcomes. It is just a record of the outcomes.
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