4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Speculation, discoveries, complaints, accusations, praise, and all other Erfworld discussion.

Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Kreistor » Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:49 pm

0beron wrote:This is also not something we know. It is SAID, by the "religion" of Erfworld that the Titans used these 'Tools. However, if the real world is any example, religions lose details, distort history, and even outright lie. We don't know that these 4 'Tools aren't part of a larger set. We don't even know that the Titans did in fact use them. In fact, the only time we see Titans, they're working with their bare hands.


Seen a Priest? A religious book has been quoted? A temple built?

Sizemore set the theme for the new city, but he doesn't set the decorations. The city automatically created the chamber of the Titans, making it inherent in the design. There is no drift of religion, because people are popped knowing it. They don't need religious books, because they are created with the religion in their minds. Sorry, but Erf is fundamentally different, and can resist the changes you describe with every Pop.

Selexor wrote:The thread is not to quote specific proofs from the comic and to then gloat about how clever we are for parroting information we've already been given; it is for theories.


Theories need to be consistent with known information from the comic. They need to predict what could be based on what is. But as the comic becomes ever larger, it becomes increasingly difficult for any one person to remember every detail of everyone's comments in the comic. Consequently, theories are inherently presented for mutual analysis. They do need to withstand everyone's knowledge of the comic, since no one person remembers everything, even Rob.

In this case, I presented this challenge based on a perceived double standard. My comments were being held to a standard that I felt the original claim could not have withstood, which I felt was unfair. That's why I modified BlandC's quote, instead of writing my own. I wanted to demonstrate that it was unfairly used against me in the first place. Given the reactions, I think I proved exactly that.

Selexor wrote:The 'pliers have shown exactly three uses thus far: melee weapon, destroying uncroaked, creating decrypted.


Then by extension, you cannot demonstrate an affinity in the Hammer, and so while the Pliers may have an affinity, it is not correct to conclude all Arkentools have an affinity wen one clearly does not. Carnymancy is no longer one-stop-shopping for the Hammer, thanks to our interaction with Jeftichew. We know it is the magic of subterfuge, not "Zapping people with big bolts of magic".

But we can also re-examine the Decrypted. You call them a product of Croakamancy. I find that inadequate. Uncroaked have no mind, and no matter how powerful Wanda became, they remained automatons no more capable than golems or dolls. The effect of recreating their minds is not inside the scope of Croakamancy: it's Thinkamancy. Since the Croakamancy component of Decrypted is only a small improvement on what Wanda could do, and the Thinkamancy component is a far more significant improvement, I can suggest that the Pliers have affinity to a form of Thinkamancy. That matches the Dish, and muddies the waters.

Selexor wrote:I'm honestly trying to keep the debate going. But, alright: If a lack of expertise in magic means the weilder cannot possibly understand how an Arkentool works, we can dismiss all of the "evidence" that Stanley put forward.


I wasn't dismissing you. I was dismissing BlandCorp and Oberon, showing how their standards are unacceptable, and they're only getting away with it because they're targeting me.

Selexor wrote:If a single Arkentool was capable of doing literally anything, why would the Titans need more than one?


I didn't say they were omnipotent, just unlimited in variety of power.

The only answer to that includes massive speculation. They're all equally powerful. They don't trust each other to not cheat. Etc.

Selexor wrote:But saying "We don't know for sure!" is entirely beyond the point.


No, because theories are infinite. It is not possible for Rob to write into the comic the negative existence of every possible theory. tha's an infinite amount of text that does not progress the story.

Theories must lead to the discovery of Canon. Speculation serves no purpose, except to feed one's ego, if it is expected to be accepted because there is no negative evidence against it. For a theory to hold strong, it must have positive evidence for it, not just a lack of evidence against it.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby 0beron » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:03 pm

Kreistor, arguing with your flaws and trying to combat your obvious "warmongering" is getting REALLY tiresome.
Kreistor wrote: Seen...a religious book has been quoted?

Yes, Tramennis directly references a scripture in LIAB Text 15: "Tramennis had never liked the idea. It had little basis in Scripture, anyway."


Kriestor wrote:
Selexor wrote:The 'pliers have shown exactly three uses thus far: melee weapon, destroying uncroaked, creating decrypted.


Then by extension, you cannot demonstrate an affinity in the Hammer, and so while the Pliers may have an affinity, it is not correct to conclude all Arkentools have an affinity when one clearly does not. Carnymancy is no longer one-stop-shopping for the Hammer, thanks to our interaction with Jeftichew. We know it is the magic of subterfuge, not "Zapping people with big bolts of magic".

Nor is it incorrect to conclude. As I have tried to point out on multiple occasions, you have no PROOF that the 'Hammer covers multiple schools, just as I have no PROOF that it only covers one. We have only Wanda's opinion. As for your use of Jeftichew as "proof", do you really expect a school with CARNY in it's name to be honest and forthcoming about it's capabilities? Further, we know that Sizemore lacks ANY cross-class casting ability, so he too can only take a Carnymancer's word for what the school covers. And finally, everything the 'Hammer has done thus far could be referred to as "subterfuge" and cheap tricks.

Kriestor wrote:But we can also re-examine the Decrypted. You call them a product of Croakamancy. I find that inadequate.

Book 2, Text 1: "The theoretical consensus was that she was extending Croakamancy to the Life axis."
The bulk of the MK agrees that Decrypted are a product of "preverted" Croakamancy. I'm far more inclined to go with the conclusion of experts (some Croakamancers perhaps among them) than our speculation.

Kriestor wrote:Theories must lead to the discovery of Canon. Speculation serves no purpose, except to feed one's ego, if it is expected to be accepted because there is no negative evidence against it. For a theory to hold strong, it must have positive evidence for it, not just a lack of evidence against it.

MUST? Says who? Speculation does NOT lead to the discovery of Canon, Rob's writing reveals Canon. That would occur regardless of our speculation or lack thereof.
Theories are not being ACCEPTED because nothing disproves them. They are being debated, and held as possible until they are either disproven, or a rival theory is proven correct. Rob doesn't have to disprove every theory, he simply shows what is correct (even if the truth is not even something we had speculated.)


Housellama wrote:Charlie isn't a Thinkamancer, guys.
I don't know what Charlie is, but I know for a fact that he isn't a Thinkamancer.
-Snip-
Knowing Thinkamancy and being able to use Thinkamancy are two different things. Charlie can walk the walk, but he isn't the real thing.


Interesting theory, I have actually speculated before that Charlie is a future version of Parson, or that he was summoned in the same manner as Parson, possibly BY the Great Minds. I had previously thought this idea didn't have any supporting evidence, however your quotes do hint at something of the sort.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:02 pm

Housellama wrote:This isn't a reference to the Great Minds that Think Alike. She's talking about Thinkamancers in general. And Charlie isn't one of them.


I think you're misreading this. The Thinkamancers reference are just the Great Minds, not all thinkamancers.

Housellama wrote:That is the reason Maggie was encoding the message in her G-String to begin with: because Charlie isn't a Thinkamancer. He himself can't pluck G-Strings, therefore he couldn't read Maggie's message. He can use Thinkamancy through the 'Dish, but he isn't actually a Thinkamancer. This gives the real Thinkamancers some advantages (eg. passing coded messages that he can't read, among other things).


From the same text that you quoted:
Any Thinkamancer who plucked her would find this note in her G-String. But hopefully, only one of the Great Minds that Think Alike in the Temple of the Thinkamancers could decode it.

If Charlie wasn't a thinkamancer, he couldn't find the note in the first place. If he can't find the note, there's no reason to encode it. Therefore Charlie is a thinkamancer, just not one of the Great Minds.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Selexor » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:55 am

Housellama wrote:Charlie isn't a Thinkamancer, guys.

-snip-

Knowing Thinkamancy and being able to use Thinkamancy are two different things. Charlie can walk the walk, but he isn't the real thing.

Marbitchow responded to this better than I could have. That's exactly how I percieved that update - Maggie encodes her message against Thinkamancers out of fear of Charlie's power. Only Thinkamancers could have read the message that she bothered to encode in the first place. She feared that Charlie would read the message, and so she encoded it. Thus, Charlie is a Thinkamancer.
I've heard the theory that Charlie's actually faking it before, and though I don't yet subscribe to it, it does intrigue me! Still, I don't think this really moves me much. Even later on, we see Headmaster Isaac lamenting that Charlie does not Think Alike, nor ally himself with their group, and thus forces the Great Minds to protect themselves from him in their Temple. Both the Temple, and Maggie's encoded message, are forms of protection used specifically against Charlie that could only work against a Thinkamancer. So either Charlie is one, or at least as far as defence against him goes, he's near enough to one to make zero functional difference.

Kreistor wrote:In this case, I presented this challenge based on a perceived double standard. My comments were being held to a standard that I felt the original claim could not have withstood, which I felt was unfair. That's why I modified BlandC's quote, instead of writing my own. I wanted to demonstrate that it was unfairly used against me in the first place. Given the reactions, I think I proved exactly that.

Okay, but I wasn't dismissing your theory in the first place. I saw you openly ask for someone to provide evidence for the One-Tool-One-Power theory, to our own standard of proof, and I obliged. You proceeded to attack me based on a percieved double-standard that I had nothing to do with. I'm sure you can understand why I felt the need to defend myself, just as you did!

Kreistor wrote:Then by extension, you cannot demonstrate an affinity in the Hammer, and so while the Pliers may have an affinity, it is not correct to conclude all Arkentools have an affinity wen one clearly does not. Carnymancy is no longer one-stop-shopping for the Hammer, thanks to our interaction with Jeftichew. We know it is the magic of subterfuge, not "Zapping people with big bolts of magic".

Hmm. I'm not sure that's how I'd define Carnymancy, personally. If it's the magic of subterfuge, what of Foolamancy, which specifically disguises things? Luckamancy and Weirdomancy apply or alter outwardly-invisible bonuses, and should count equally well. No, the only real description we've had of Carnymancy is that it's "The Magic of rigging the game." Which is frustratingly open-to-interpretation! My personal translation, however, was that Carnymancy allows you to pull off a random but useful effect when performing an act. The 'hammer has been shown to have a random chance of turning a nut into a pigeon, turning an Orly into a nut, even at one point Stanley notes that it's capable of making things disappear at random. Now, it seems to be able to fly or shoot Shockamancy whenever he wants it to (though in that same strip I linked, he randomly shoots lightning around the larder by accident), and although we've seen no proof of it, the odds of taming a Dwagon seem to be 100%. But the Hammer demonstrates multiple, uncontrollable effects to aid the weilder beyond those constants... and I can't help but draw the similarity here to pulling cards from a deck. Stanley's never totally sure when a certain effect will occur, but they keep happening. And being able to draw a random high card on your opponent is basically the definition of "Rigging the game" to my mind. Throwing together seemingly random magical effects to aid the weilder may, indeed, be multiple schools of magic... but it could just as easily be the one school. If we knew more about Carnymancy we could be more specific. In itself, perhaps that's why we don't - Rob wants to keep us guessing?

Kreistor wrote:The only answer to that includes massive speculation. They're all equally powerful. They don't trust each other to not cheat. Etc.

Fair point. Though the only glimpse we've seen of the Titans thus far showed them apparently working together. Still... I think the biggest issue that still holds me back is that the Arkentools are, quite simply, different from one another. Why not make four Dishes or four Pliers or four Hammers if there's no functional difference between the four? In our world, a pair of needlenose pliers serves a very different function to a satellite dish or a squeaky-toy hammer. In fact, there's hardly any areas of use they overlap in at all! And I know how foolish it is to apply Stupid-World logic to Erfworld artifacts and magic, but... you show me four distinct, seperate items being used in four distinct, seperate ways, all of which are different? I'm going to assume they are fundamentally different until some more evidence shows up.

Kreistor wrote:Theories must lead to the discovery of Canon. Speculation serves no purpose, except to feed one's ego, if it is expected to be accepted because there is no negative evidence against it. For a theory to hold strong, it must have positive evidence for it, not just a lack of evidence against it.

But theories aren't being accepted due to a lack of negative evidence. That's where we're disagreeing. Hell, plenty of the theories here are diverging and they can't all be true! And I'm not saying mine is necessarily correct - I don't know! And when there is negative evidence, a theory will (rightfully) get shot down. But the other theories? There's plenty of evidence to at least follow the chain of logic, even if it's pretty tenuous. We've providing no shortage of links and quotes to back them up. Nobody here is saying that I am right and you are wrong unless there's evidence to support that. I mean, you show me where in this thread someone is presenting a wildly unsubstantiated theory with zero evidence, and I'll grant you have a point! But... I'm just not seeing that.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Kreistor » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:26 am

Kreistor wrote: Seen...a religious book has been quoted?

0beron wrote:Yes, Tramennis directly references a scripture in LIAB Text 15: "Tramennis had never liked the idea. It had little basis in Scripture, anyway."


True. Does it pop in the library? Or does it have an author and needs to be copied by hand? Or do they pop with it or portions of it in their head, and it is corrected anytime it gets modified?

Please note that after the Diaspora, the Torah was held without a single change for nearly two thousand years. The Jews implemented a rigorous effort to ensure that the language did not change, and the book was always copied accurately. The oldest versions (that date after the diaspora) that crop up are perfect copies of the modern Torah. We know this process was implemented after, because the Dead Sea Scrolls include multiple differing copies from before the Diaspora. This shows that when religion does put its mind to it and sets accuracy as a standard, textual or conceptual drift can be rejected.

So, sorry, but we need to know the details on how the scripture was created and maintained to draw any conclusion about this religion.

Selexor wrote:The 'pliers have shown exactly three uses thus far: melee weapon, destroying uncroaked, creating decrypted.


Kreistor wrote:Then by extension, you cannot demonstrate an affinity in the Hammer, and so while the Pliers may have an affinity, it is not correct to conclude all Arkentools have an affinity when one clearly does not.

0beron wrote:Nor is it incorrect to conclude. As I have tried to point out on multiple occasions, you have no PROOF that the 'Hammer covers multiple schools, just as I have no PROOF that it only covers one.


Yes, it is incorrect to draw a conclusion. To demonstrate that an unknown is part of a trend, first you must prove the trend exists. If there is no trend, then continuing the trend has no foundation. The burden is on those that believe the trend exists. And, frankly, you're only dismissive of the evidence against the trend. I have adequately disproven the trend. Rob knew of our confusion on the effects of the Hammer (the Carnymancy thing is OLD), and he gave us our answer in Wanda's analysis. ROB wrote that, not Wanda. Wanda does not exist: she is a character in a book. It was intended to settle a long standing debate, and you trying to find some kind of fault in Wanda or Stanley to dismiss that information to maintain a dead theory lacks acknowledgement of just how desperately we wanted that information at the time. Sorry, but Rob gave us the exact schools for each of the effects, and if that pokes holes in other theories, it's not my problem.

Kriestor wrote:But we can also re-examine the Decrypted. You call them a product of Croakamancy. I find that inadequate.

0beron wrote:Book 2, Text 1: "The theoretical consensus was that she was extending Croakamancy to the Life axis."
The bulk of the MK agrees that Decrypted are a product of "preverted" Croakamancy. I'm far more inclined to go with the conclusion of experts (some Croakamancers perhaps among them) than our speculation.


By your standard as you apply it to Wanda above, these people have never seen the Tool, never examined it, never seen the effect in action, and never spoken to a decrypted. That is even worse off than Wanda's analysis of Stanley's tool in the presence of its effects. But please note that the word used is "Consensus". A consensus can have disagreeing members, so is not a certainty.

See? It's easy to dismiss evidence using your standard.

But my standard would say this: the Consensus doesn't fully answer the question. Extending into the Life domain, where none of the schools handles the mind, answers only why the body becomes perfect and immortal, instead of being of limited duration and incompletely resurrected as uncroaked are. And with Ossomer defecting, the modified mental landscape now even more closely resembles a Suggestion spell than the uncroakeds' absolute obedience. This theory is probably true, but inadequate to explain the entire effect.

See? I can accept it on its face, but reject it as inadequate, without dismissing it.

Kreistor wrote:Theories must lead to the discovery of Canon. Speculation serves no purpose, except to feed one's ego, if it is expected to be accepted because there is no negative evidence against it. For a theory to hold strong, it must have positive evidence for it, not just a lack of evidence against it.

0beron wrote:MUST? Says who? Speculation does NOT lead to the discovery of Canon, Rob's writing reveals Canon. That would occur regardless of our speculation or lack thereof.


Speculation has no foundation. Theorizing tries to base conclusions on known information, in order to fill holes in our knowledge. We're theorizing, not speculating, in this thread.

0beron wrote:Theories are not being ACCEPTED because nothing disproves them.


That cannot be the standard for accepting a theory. A theory can be accepted only when there is adequate proof to demonstrate the theory is true. Since there are an infinite number of theories, and Rob cannot disprove all of them for you with evidence against their existence, the lack of evidence against is simply not a standard that Rob can achieve for you. The burden is on the claimant to prove the theory, not on others to disprove it. That's part of the scientific method, BTW.

0beron wrote:They are being debated, and held as possible until they are either disproven, or a rival theory is proven correct. Rob doesn't have to disprove every theory, he simply shows what is correct (even if the truth is not even something we had speculated.)


We can't live with that standard, The number of unproven theories would increase exponentially as individuals invent more and readership increases to add more theorizers. Number_of_theories = number_of_theorizers*(time_passed/time_to_develop_one_theory.). Time_to_deelop is a constant, but number_of_theorizers increases with readership, and time automatically increases.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Housellama » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:16 pm

Selexor wrote:
Housellama wrote:Charlie isn't a Thinkamancer, guys.

-snip-

Knowing Thinkamancy and being able to use Thinkamancy are two different things. Charlie can walk the walk, but he isn't the real thing.

Marbitchow responded to this better than I could have. That's exactly how I percieved that update - Maggie encodes her message against Thinkamancers out of fear of Charlie's power. Only Thinkamancers could have read the message that she bothered to encode in the first place. She feared that Charlie would read the message, and so she encoded it. Thus, Charlie is a Thinkamancer.
I've heard the theory that Charlie's actually faking it before, and though I don't yet subscribe to it, it does intrigue me! Still, I don't think this really moves me much. Even later on, we see Headmaster Isaac lamenting that Charlie does not Think Alike, nor ally himself with their group, and thus forces the Great Minds to protect themselves from him in their Temple. Both the Temple, and Maggie's encoded message, are forms of protection used specifically against Charlie that could only work against a Thinkamancer. So either Charlie is one, or at least as far as defence against him goes, he's near enough to one to make zero functional difference.


I see a difference. Functionally, the president may as well be a soldier, but he isn't a soldier. Same goes for the head of the Department of Defense. In fact, that person is not a soldier for a very good reason. Functionally, they are the same. They can start and end conflicts, they can direct troops, they can determine what money and resources goes where, just like the upper level soldiers can. The head of the DoD even answers to someone else. But they aren't soldiers. There's a qualitative difference.

Plus, with Charlie, you have to consider that he is obviously able to get information from Thinkamancy somehow. Hence the Temple. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that he is one. Just that he has the abilities of one.

RE: MarbitChow's comments. Why do you encode messages? So that only the intended reader can understand it. With Thinkamancy, especially with information that is so open as something that any Thinkamancer can read, you have to consider secondary leaks. Charlie could be getting his information off of a third party (i.e. a different Thinkamancer) through means other than directly manipulating the G-Strings. This could be an intentional leak, or simply a lower level Thinkamancer that doesn't protect their thoughts very well. Thus, even if Charlie isn't a Thinkamancer, the coded information would be available to him if it was in plain text. About the "close knit fraternity" comment, I don't think that she is referring to the Great Minds because she goes on to say "it knew their secrets". If Charlie was actually a thinkamancer and she was referring to the tGMTTA, that infers he knows their secrets, those of tGMTTA. If that's the case, then there would be no point in coding the message anyway. He would either a, already know or b, know how to decode it. No, I'm pretty certain that she's referring to Thinkamancers as a whole. Maggie's a smart girl and doesn't do things without a reason.

Going back a ways to the first book, what Maggie actually says when Charlie is first introduced is "The Arkendish affords him a command of Thinkamancy that I cannot match". Rob doesn't use words without reason. I would think that if Charlie was actually a Thinkamancer, Maggie would have told Parson straight out. That's pretty booping relevant. Instead, what she does is ascribe his abilities to the 'Dish itself, not the man.

Isaac does the same thing later on. "The existence of the Arkendish troubled him not only as a Thinkamancer". The fact that the 'Dish troubles him as a Thinkamancer is, to me, a strong indication that Charlie isn't one. The reasoning goes like this. If the Arkendish was in the hands of a Thinkamancer, it would enhance that 'mancer's power yes. But why would that trouble Isaac as a Thinkamancer? The Thinkamancer already had access to Thinkamancy. No, I believe what troubles him is the power of Thinkamancy (which is incredibly powerful) in the hands of someone who isn't a Thinkamancer.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby 0beron » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:15 pm

Kriestor, I considered another wall of text, but ultimately decided it's useless. Essentially every issue your most recent post raised is something I considered, but refrained from detailing at length because I assumed you were reasonable enough to understand the distinctions rather than nitpick. You take my statements out of context, support your own arguments with non sequiturs, and sometimes follow poor logic. You mince words over issues of semantics, and are determined to create a discord where there doesn't need to be one.

We each have theories/speculations (semantics again) that are ONLY supported by conclusions drawn from implications within the comic, not hard fast proof. Each of our ideas requires a "leap" of logical deduction. I have at no point tried to refute your idea (despite the fact that I personally find it absolute rubbish) because I lack the means to reject or prove it, and neither of us (as far as I can tell) is making a claim that our hypothesis is Canon yet.

I'm not going to debate with someone who seems to just like "hearing themselves talk" and acts like they know Rob's intentions.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Selexor » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:38 pm

Housellama wrote:Why do you encode messages? So that only the intended reader can understand it. With Thinkamancy, especially with information that is so open as something that any Thinkamancer can read, you have to consider secondary leaks. Charlie could be getting his information off of a third party (i.e. a different Thinkamancer) through means other than directly manipulating the G-Strings. This could be an intentional leak, or simply a lower level Thinkamancer that doesn't protect their thoughts very well. Thus, even if Charlie isn't a Thinkamancer, the coded information would be available to him if it was in plain text.

I feel like a bit of an idiot for not considering this before. You're right, of course; there's no reason to think that every Thinkamancer out there is allied with tGMTTA. One rogue Thinkamancer in the employ of Charlie to steal tGMTTA's secrets is quite possible. The coded message was one of the big "Charlie is a Thinkamancer" points to me, and you've found a neat way around it. Bravo.

Housellama wrote:About the "close knit fraternity" comment, I don't think that she is referring to the Great Minds because she goes on to say "it knew their secrets". If Charlie was actually a thinkamancer and she was referring to the tGMTTA, that infers he knows their secrets, those of tGMTTA. If that's the case, then there would be no point in coding the message anyway. He would either a, already know or b, know how to decode it. No, I'm pretty certain that she's referring to Thinkamancers as a whole. Maggie's a smart girl and doesn't do things without a reason.

This one I disagree on. It's how we approach the idea in the first place. Why did Isaac decide tGMTTA needed to start using codes in the first place? Obviously to stop people learning their secrets. Why create a code specifically to keep information from Charlie? To stop Charlie from learning their secrets. Why would Isaac think Charlie was a security threat? Most likely reason: Because Charlie had already successfully stolen those secrets. I saw the code as a reactionary measure from tGMTTA against the threat that Charlie poses to them - but a reactionary measure has to react to something. This is what I read it as being a reaction to. Consider the Temple: Built long ago and modified more recently to keep enemy Thinkamancers out. The Great Minds are taking measures to protect themselves from Charlie recently, not relying on measures that have worked in the past.

Housellama wrote:Going back a ways to the first book, what Maggie actually says when Charlie is first introduced is "The Arkendish affords him a command of Thinkamancy that I cannot match". Rob doesn't use words without reason. I would think that if Charlie was actually a Thinkamancer, Maggie would have told Parson straight out. That's pretty booping relevant. Instead, what she does is ascribe his abilities to the 'Dish itself, not the man.

Isaac does the same thing later on. "The existence of the Arkendish troubled him not only as a Thinkamancer". The fact that the 'Dish troubles him as a Thinkamancer is, to me, a strong indication that Charlie isn't one. The reasoning goes like this. If the Arkendish was in the hands of a Thinkamancer, it would enhance that 'mancer's power yes. But why would that trouble Isaac as a Thinkamancer? The Thinkamancer already had access to Thinkamancy. No, I believe what troubles him is the power of Thinkamancy (which is incredibly powerful) in the hands of someone who isn't a Thinkamancer.

I dunno. Maggie could just as easily be saying about Charlie, "Yeah, I could probably match him for Thinkamancy one-on-one. But while he's got that 'dish? Forget about it." She acknowledges that the Arkendish gives Charlie obscene amounts of power, but that's nothing unusual - that's what the Arkentools do. It doesn't necessarily imply that the dish is the only source of Charlie's power, only that it's amplifying it.
As for Isaac, that quote really needs the second half finished off: "...it bothered him as a natural Philosopher." As a Thinkamancer, and as one of tGMTTA, Charlie is a terrible threat to Isaac and his allies, yet would not be such a threat were he not weilding the Arkendish. Much more significant is that Isaac spends his days in a slow search for information, while the 'dish gives obscene amounts of information instantly to its attuned weilder. For a man obsessed with action and reaction, cause and effect, the 'dish is a source of incredible power that breaks the rules by which Isaac sees the world. That was why, to my mind, he was so bothered by it. The 'dish bothers him for reasons far beyond the fact that it's made Charlie such a threat to him, but also for that reason as well.

This is all conjecture on my part, but I'm just trying to lay out my thoughts as best I can. I do believe that the dish is merely amplifying Charlie's power - even though agreeing with you would really back up my One-Power-For-Each-Tool theory! You do raise some fine points, definitely, and I can't really refute them... it's just not how I interpreted it.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Housellama » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:05 pm

Selexor wrote:This is all conjecture on my part, but I'm just trying to lay out my thoughts as best I can. I do believe that the dish is merely amplifying Charlie's power - even though agreeing with you would really back up my One-Power-For-Each-Tool theory! You do raise some fine points, definitely, and I can't really refute them... it's just not how I interpreted it.


Oh, it's all conjecture on my part as well. Your interpretation is just as valid as mine with the evidence presented. Like you said, it's all in the interpretation.

There is one more reason that I think Charlie isn't a Thinkamancer: it would make better story if he wasn't. If he's a Thinkamancer, then the 'dish just souped up what was already there. However, if he is a Warlord, now you're giving an already crafty Warlord literally the perfect 'tool for what he wants to do. I suppose you could make a chicken/egg argument: Is Charlie the way he is because of the 'dish, or did the 'dish attune to Charlie because of the way he is? Either way, you've given an ambitious Warlord exactly what he needs to rule the world... his way.

With Charlie being set up as one of the big antagonists in the story, to me it makes him a lot more threatening if he's a Warlord who has Thinkamancy capability. Not just a Thinkamancer on speed. It adds that extra element to make a bad-ass bad guy just that bit more bad ass. After all, Parson's not just a Warlord, he's the Perfect Warlord. Making his foil a Warlord with Thinkamancy just heightens the whole thing in my mind.

But I can't support that in the story. That's just my feeling as a reader. At this point, both alternatives are equally valid.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Selexor » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:19 am

I've also been thinking about what form the Fourth Arkentool might take. The three known Tools have significant Signamancy, after all. The Arkendish,a satellite dish, which is used thus far as mostly a telecommunications device; the Arkenpliers, a pair of needlenose pliers, which are used for creation and manipulation; and the Arkenhammer, a brightly-coloured squeaky toy hammer, which is used to create a flash and a bang and to force change upon whatever it strikes. It goes hand-in-hand with what I believe about these Tools, in that they have their own unique powers and purpose. They each created a specific aspect of Erfworld: The 'pliers give form and motion, the 'dish inspires thought and will, the 'hammer influences change and chance.
Going by the theory that the Fourth Arkentool aligns to Signamancy, which I believe rounds these all off nicely, would grant a fourth and final aspect: meaning. By the power of the other three tools, Stuff is made to exist, made to live and to change and to grow and even to think. But to inspire faith, freedom, music, love, all the things that make Erfworld full of living beings with minds of their own rather than mindless automatons, we need meaning. So the form of the final Arkentool, to my mind, should represent something that will give deep meaning when used, in much the same way the other Three represent their (possible) functions. I considered an artist's pallette, or a book, or a pencil, or even something more abstract like a kaleidoscope or a rorschach blot from which a viewer draws their own meaning.
Ultimately, though, I think the right idea came from earlier in this thread. I disagreed, and still do disagree, that the Chillax would be the fourth Arkentool. But only in that this specific item would be the Fourth Tool. As a Tool of creation that passes on meaning and significance? A musical instrument would be perfect.

So, to drag this conversation back to the orignal topic by latching onto it with my fingernails (and partly to lay it out for myself because I'm a bit anal like that), my theory on the Fourth Arkentool in full...

The Fourth Tool is known by all, yet no side has appeared weilding it. Were it lost, Lookamancers and Findamancers and Predictamancers and treasure hunters galore would have searched for it for thousands of turns, and I believe they'd have found it. Were a strong side to hold it, they would almost certainly be involved in the Great Western Conflict, if only as allies or observers. Were a weak side to hold it, it would almost certainly have long ago been crushed, and the Tool claimed by someone stronger. Therefore, it is most likely already being held by a neutral group or side that have no reason to fear assault but have no interest in allying with any other side. And this group or side must know the power of the artifact they hold, yet willingly choose not to use it for some reason. Instead, it's kept safe, and in a location where no other side can locate it and take it for their own. It's even possible that the Arkentool has been shielded, with Foolamancy or Thinkamancy or Flower Power, to make Erfworld simply stop caring about it.
This Tool, like the others, is likely governed by Fate magic. To give meaning to the world around it, and to extend that meaning over all Life and Matter, I believe it likely that the Fourth Tool is attuned to Signamancy (provided that the One-Tool-One-Power theory pans out). And, most likely, its form represents that unique power that it aligns to. Its form would be small and simple, able to be weilded by almost any unit, but its true potential could only be unlocked by one who takes it up and can understand the power it holds. Whether it be the Arkendrum or the Arkenlute or the Arkensax I don't know, but a musical instrument seems to be the most thematically appropriate form... and an instrument of Signamancy would be all about theme. Therefore:

I propose that the Fourth Arkentool is a musical instrument with power over Signamancy, to give meaning to the world around it. This Arkentool, for reasons and via methods yet unknown, has come into the possession of the only truly Neutral group in all of Erfworld, the Hippiemancers. They are the guardians of the Fourth Arkentool who keep it, unused, to prevent the terrible destruction it could bring about in the wrong hands. They are holding it in the only location where they do not need to fear attack - in the land they hold in the Magic Kingdom - where they keep it hidden and safe until the time comes for it to be used, either at the direction of, or in the hands of, the Soldier of Hippiemancy who will destroy War itself: Lord Hamster.

So that's my full theory on the Fourth Arkentool, all nicely laid out with all the bells and whistles and barbs. And despite the fact that not a shred if it can be canonically proven, I think I've provided a good number of links in earlier posts and done my best to reason out, logically, how I came to each and every step.
With that in mind, an open invitation - not a challenge nor a goad, and with no hidden meaning or agenda but simply to ask everyone - Do you think my theory is reasonable or even plausible, given what we know?
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby 0beron » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:52 am

Selexor wrote:
Housellama wrote:Why do you encode messages? So that only the intended reader can understand it. With Thinkamancy, especially with information that is so open as something that any Thinkamancer can read, you have to consider secondary leaks. Charlie could be getting his information off of a third party (i.e. a different Thinkamancer) through means other than directly manipulating the G-Strings. This could be an intentional leak, or simply a lower level Thinkamancer that doesn't protect their thoughts very well. Thus, even if Charlie isn't a Thinkamancer, the coded information would be available to him if it was in plain text.

I feel like a bit of an idiot for not considering this before. You're right, of course; there's no reason to think that every Thinkamancer out there is allied with tGMTTA. One rogue Thinkamancer in the employ of Charlie to steal tGMTTA's secrets is quite possible. The coded message was one of the big "Charlie is a Thinkamancer" points to me, and you've found a neat way around it. Bravo.

The one problem with this Selexor is that we know Charlie has no casters, and he only employs Turnamancers and Dollamancers on short-term contract. So if someone is stealing secrets, it's Charlie himself.

Selexor wrote: stuff about 4th 'Tool being an instrument held by the Hippiemancers

Very nicely worded! The idea of Hippiemancers being the current holders has been presented before, but I like how you tied up all the lose ends and offered more detailed "explanations" of why and how they have it.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Selexor » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:07 am

0beron wrote:Very nicely worded! The idea of Hippiemancers being the current holders has been presented before, but I like how you tied up all the lose ends and offered more detailed "explanations" of why and how they have it.

I know, I was the one who suggested it. ;) In that post, I'm just tying up a half-dozen-plus threads of thought, meandering in various directions, by laying my full theory out in a couple of more concise paragraphs. Saves confusion and makes summarising the point easier.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby 0beron » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:18 am

Actually, given Delphie's predictions that Wanda's and Olive's Fates are entwined, I wonder if Olive has something to do with the Hippiemancers acquiring the 4th 'Tool. Olive might even still be alive, and could be its (current or future) attuned user! (no I'm not saying it's the chillax)
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby drachefly » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:07 am

0beron wrote:The one problem with this Selexor is that we know Charlie has no casters, and he only employs Turnamancers and Dollamancers on short-term contract. So if someone is stealing secrets, it's Charlie himself.


A) That's as far as field Archons know. Those are the only visible effects. There's no reason they'd know of any informants.
B) Repeatedly handing out cash for info seems to fit with this. Informants are best not members of your side, to enable further access.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby 0beron » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:26 pm

...ya know, I'm almost starting take it as a point of pride when a thread I'm active on gets spammed...cus that means it's "hot" enough to draw the bots' attention as a good target lol
(Heck, its a more pleasant sentiment than being pissed off about there even BEING spambots....)
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Amado » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:45 pm

I love the hippiemancer/signamancy theory. There's only one problem with it that I can see:

Arkansas. Arkensaw. Why oh why would Rob have named them Arkentools if he wasn't planning to lay that pun on us, sucker for puns that he is?

That said, your musical-instrument theory is... ahem... sound. Even better than my "duur Rob loves puns so 'Arkansas'" theory. I just don't see how he can let that opportunity slip by.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Housellama » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:03 pm

Selexor wrote: (Lots of good theory)

I propose that the Fourth Arkentool is a musical instrument with power over Signamancy, to give meaning to the world around it. This Arkentool, for reasons and via methods yet unknown, has come into the possession of the only truly Neutral group in all of Erfworld, the Hippiemancers. They are the guardians of the Fourth Arkentool who keep it, unused, to prevent the terrible destruction it could bring about in the wrong hands. They are holding it in the only location where they do not need to fear attack - in the land they hold in the Magic Kingdom - where they keep it hidden and safe until the time comes for it to be used, either at the direction of, or in the hands of, the Soldier of Hippiemancy who will destroy War itself: Lord Hamster.

So that's my full theory on the Fourth Arkentool, all nicely laid out with all the bells and whistles and barbs. And despite the fact that not a shred if it can be canonically proven, I think I've provided a good number of links in earlier posts and done my best to reason out, logically, how I came to each and every step.
With that in mind, an open invitation - not a challenge nor a goad, and with no hidden meaning or agenda but simply to ask everyone - Do you think my theory is reasonable or even plausible, given what we know?


It's an interesting theory and you have a strong point but I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion, for several reasons.

1. Music is governed by Rhyme-o-mancy which is a part of Stageamancy, not Hippiemancy.
2. The only references we've seen to Parson and Music is the alarm clock at the beginning and his 'taunt' in tBfGK.
3. Of things that can "create meaning", there are things that are much more relevant than a musical instrument.

Your theory is extremely sound, but I think that for Signamancy something like the Arkenpen or the Arkenbrush would be better. Way way back in the day, I proposed that the fourth 'tool was the Arkenpalette, a set of paint that could be used to literally paint the world, much like those old Bugs Bunny cartoons. The fact that makeup is Signamancy makes that claim even a bit stronger.

Creating change is good, and music is a nice idea, but an instrument simply recreates something that has already been made in another form. If you want to get to the root of change, let the tool write the music.

I've got so much more, but work is killing me and that's the core point anyway
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Kreistor » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:26 pm

When the Battlestar Galactica redux approached its final season, the authors had not chosen the final cylon. So, they poured over teh forums, blogs, and anywhere they could find a theory. They scratched off every name that anyone had predicted was the last cylon. That left them with one name... a dead woman no one liked.

Guess who the last cylon became?

The act of trying to predict the fourth Arkentool may ensure that you have prevented your answer from becoming the last Arkentool.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby ftl » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:10 pm

I like the idea that the Hippiemancers have the tool hidden away in the MK, because it would lend an extra urgency to why Janis is so terrified of Parson coming through the MK. It's been safe there because war doesn't happen in the MK. But if Parson can come though, and start a fight there for his own ends, what's to stop sides from trying to grab the Tool?

I suspect it wont' be a musical instrument in part because we've already had a Chillax. It'll be something new and different.

NEW TIN-FOIL HAT THEORY! UPCOMING! LITERALLY A TIN-FOIL HAT THEORY!

The Thinkamancers will succeed in taking Parson to their temple. There, the protection of the tin-foil hat will leave Parson free to wonder about the fourth tool, free from whatever powers it exerts on Erfworld to prevent people from talking/thinking about it, and that's where it'll be introduced.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby 0beron » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:15 pm

Well while I love most of BSG, their writing was definitely sub-par for portions of the series. I had heard the forum thing before, and I think that Rob is a far better writer than that. I believe he definitely knows what the 4th 'Tool is right now, regardless of whether we have guessed it or not.

(however, with regards to BSG, I think the final Cylon was, in retrospect, the PERFECT choice and I liked it)
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