Summer Update - 025

Page by page discussion of the comic.

Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby HandofShadows » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:31 am

Infidel wrote:Why do people assume the Titans actually exist? I'd say the first page pretty specifically identifies them as a concrete entity and not an abstraction. It's the assumption of goodness that bothers me though.


It might also be the old Unreliable Narrator though. I mean no one in Erfworld has actually seen the Titans, have they? And as I said, I think it highly possiable that the Titans themselves are units, and thus not the real creators of Erfworld. Oh, and I totaly agree about the "good" part. For someone to create a world like Erfwold it would not be considered a "good" act I think. We going into OOTS style morality there? :shock:
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby DevilDan » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:08 am

Why do people assume the titans exist? Why did the vast majority of people assume that God exists in medieval Europe? They were taught to believe that. In the case of Erf, units are probably popped knowing about the Titans, the cities pop up with artwork that depicts the Titans, and probably at least a few books make references to them. As with other belief systems, "everyone just knows" what the right answer is.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby Retconjurer » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:27 am

I think that Wanda might betray Stanley now that she has one of the ArkenTools (especially given how easy it would be for her to start her own side with her hoards of undead). BUT! I don't think she would betray Parson. She sees herself as a instrument of Fate, that is her faith, her believe in its guidance. Wanda believes that she is guided by the Hand of Fate. But she also thinks that Parson is a instrument of faith, sought out by her at its bidding to transform Erfworld. She sees that he has a lot trials ahead of him and that he has a destiny. I suspect that she will go to equal lengths in service of his destiny (unless her Role becomes to betray him) as she went in the service of her own.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby Spot » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:03 pm

Aquillion wrote:
Spot wrote:Of the two, Maggie at least, has started to realize this. Sizemore, unfortunately, remains too loyal to Stanley for his own good.
What makes you say that? Sizemore doesn't seem loyal to Stanley at all.

When Parson suggested throwing a brick at Stanley, Maggie locked up; Sizemore had no problem evaluating it.

Sizemore is subtly contemptuous of Stanley on a number of occasions -- his noncommittal response when Parson says that Ansom considers Stanley an idiot, say.

Sizemore seems to be at least somewhat suspicious of the sequence of events that brought Stanley to power.

He was perfectly willing to just give up when the opportunity to do so gracefully presented itself. This isn't the action of someone loyal to Stanley -- someone really loyal would have been trying to look out for Stanley's interests, even after a blowup like that.

Sizemore strikes me as the kind of guy who does his job because that's the sort of person he is. He doesn't strike me as having any personal loyalty to Stanley at all (and the fact that he was able to answer Parson's question about the brick while Wanda locked up suggests that he might have a low mechanical loyalty, too.)



Hmmm. Interesting points. I hadn't looked at it quite that way before.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby Vreejack » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:06 pm

DevilDan wrote:Why do people assume the titans exist? Why did the vast majority of people assume that God exists in medieval Europe? They were taught to believe that. In the case of Erf, units are probably popped knowing about the Titans, the cities pop up with artwork that depicts the Titans, and probably at least a few books make references to them. As with other belief systems, "everyone just knows" what the right answer is.


No, there is more to it than that. If you told a medieval person that there was no Creator, they would respond by demanding an explanation for where everything came from. "God did it" is the medieval answer for a world that had no way of knowing that naturalistic explanations for the world might exist. Since the Enlightenment and the discovery of the telescope and microscope there has been less and less space for the Creator to hide, and so it is easier and easier to be an intellectually satisfied atheist. Most people today do not consider weather prediction to be some sort of witchcraft, involving a pact with El Diablo, but instead ascribe it to the use of high-powered computers crunching good weather data through well-understood differential equations. (There is an recent anecdote about some literalist mullahs protesting a course program in weather forecasting, but I have not been able to track it down)

In the Middle Ages so little was understood about how the natural world worked that it was almost impossible not to believe in a Creator. The would-be atheists of the day might have looked at the world and their scriptures and concluded that God they all worshiped was absolutely evil, or at best indifferent to human suffering, but they could not readily deny the existence of a Creator based on what they understood at the time. An Erfworlder is in the same position, for there is no way to explain how everything came into being without invoking an Intelligent Designer, whether it/they be good, evil or indifferent.

Humans have a tendency to invent intelligent causes where none exist or are even necessary, simply because they cannot understand or imagine the real cause. For example, I was once engaged in a conversation with a real wing nut (my apologies to the hardware) who seemed to believe every incompatible world-domination conspiracy he read about on the 'Net. Why did he believe all this nonsense? Because he had no real understanding of how Congress actually worked, despite the fact that he lived in Washington, D.C. (or maybe because of it...but our schools are getting better). Since he had no idea how political power actually operated, he had to assume that there was some hidden, mysterious, overarching all-powerful organization that actually ran everything.

Here's anther example--and my favorite. During the cold war there were some Soviet leaders who---failing to understand how a capitalist economy really worked---assumed that there was some sort of Master Control Center hidden in the USA, perhaps in a mountain in Wyoming, that was the seat for maintaining our impressive capacity to satisfy our rampant consumerism. Little did they know that it was all really a Chinese plot to dominate the world.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby DevilDan » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:30 pm

Vreejack wrote:No, there is more to it than that. If you told a medieval person that there was no Creator, they would respond by demanding an explanation for where everything came from. "God did it" is the medieval answer for a world that had no way of knowing that naturalistic explanations for the world might exist. Since the Enlightenment and the discovery of the telescope and microscope there has been less and less space for the Creator to hide, and so it is easier and easier to be an intellectually satisfied atheist.


While the God of the Gaps comment is not without merit, I was merely pointing out those particular instances in which Erf would be different from earth: I saw no reason to expound in detail on why a religion spread or spread here.

Vreejack wrote:Humans have a tendency to invent intelligent causes where none exist or are even necessary, simply because they cannot understand or imagine the real cause. For example, I was once engaged in a conversation with a real wing nut (my apologies to the hardware) who seemed to believe every incompatible world-domination conspiracy he read about on the 'Net. Why did he believe all this nonsense? Because he had no real understanding of how Congress actually worked, despite the fact that he lived in Washington, D.C. (or maybe because of it...but our schools are getting better). Since he had no idea how political power actually operated, he had to assume that there was some hidden, mysterious, overarching all-powerful organization that actually ran everything.


I wish I could believe those theories myself. It would mean that someone, however nefarious, with brains was actually in charge of everything.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby The Shadow » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:33 pm

Vreejack wrote:No, there is more to it than that. If you told a medieval person that there was no Creator, they would respond by demanding an explanation for where everything came from. "God did it" is the medieval answer for a world that had no way of knowing that naturalistic explanations for the world might exist. Since the Enlightenment and the discovery of the telescope and microscope there has been less and less space for the Creator to hide, and so it is easier and easier to be an intellectually satisfied atheist. Most people today do not consider weather prediction to be some sort of witchcraft, involving a pact with El Diablo, but instead ascribe it to the use of high-powered computers crunching good weather data through well-understood differential equations. (There is an recent anecdote about some literalist mullahs protesting a course program in weather forecasting, but I have not been able to track it down)


This is a caricature of actual medieval thinking. They did not at all invoke a Creator as a hypothesis to explain the world. Their remote ancestors in antiquity might have, but they assuredly didn't. And while it's indisputable they knew quite a lot less than we do about the details of all the "naturalistic causes" out there, they were quite well aware they existed. (At least on earth. They did believe that the heavenly spheres were above that kind of thing.)

Rather, they argued in a tightly-reasoned way from metaphysics to the existence of God. Whether you think their arguments are valid or not, increase in scientific knowledge has done nothing in itself to invalidate them - and furthermore, in the nature of the case could not ever do so. The existence or not of a Creator is not something science can even address.

To take a simple example, we know immensely more now about how heredity works - we know the structure of DNA and RNA and are learning more on a daily basis about how they are manipulated in the cell. They only knew that, obviously, traits in the parents tend to be passed on to the offspring. But they by no means thought that passage of traits was done by God 'by hand' so to speak - they knew perfectly well that natural causes were at work. They just didn't know the details of how they worked. If you could bring Thomas Aquinas into the present and teach him about DNA, his response would not be, "Oh! Guess we don't need God then," it would be, "Oh! So that's the efficient cause at work. Fascinating!" and then he'd write a hymn of praise to the Creator for the intricacy of His Creation. (After that, he'd probably write a synthesis of modern science with Aristotelian philosophy and Scholastic theology that would be enormously fun to read, but ah well. :)

Isn't it clear that if you could know every conceivable detail about the contents of the universe and how it works, the question, "Why is there a universe at all?" would remain completely untouched? It's a category mistake to think that scientific advances have anything to say about the presence or lack of a Creator; believers and unbelievers will be left just where they were, only knowing more. (And before you bring up Galileo, that's another topic entirely. The argument there wasn't over a Creator at all, which both sides fully accepted.)

Now... back to the comic, it's pretty clear to me that Ken lives in the Magic Kingdom, much like Janis does. What the heck is the deal with the MK? It seems to be a neutral meeting ground, and not a side of its own. Are the full-time residents there refugees from long-fallen sides? How does anything there get built if there's no Overlord to order them popped? Or are the building rules irrelevant because there's no large-scale fighting there, because of a lack of sides? (It does seem clear there can be combat there, though - Parson didn't get the warmest reception.)
Last edited by The Shadow on Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby moose o death » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:39 pm

simple enough, dollamncers have fabrication skill, hippiemancers can grow crops, thinkamancers co-ordinate, croakamancers can probably heal as well as uncroak wanda just doesn't see a point in helping units not die, i think you'd find the garrisoned casters have more than enough resource and ability to run a kingdom without pops. they simply need casters popped in other kingdoms to defect to them when their side falls.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby Welf von Ehrwald » Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:10 pm

The Shadow wrote:How does anything there get built if there's no Overlord to order them popped? Or are the building rules irrelevant because there's no large-scale fighting there, because of a lack of sides? (It does seem clear there can be combat there, though - Parson didn't get the warmest reception.)


I don't think they need a overlord for those things. Most things a overlord does is natural whatever-mancy. They probably can emulate these things with the mancers there. Units can be popped with moneymancy, buildings probably created with dirtamancy.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby Xorbon » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:14 pm

Jallorn wrote:Has anyone considered that they might still be linked?


Yes. That's what I was thinking. I was picturing that there may have been a "residual" link, left over from the trimancy link.

After hearing other peoples' opinions though, I tend to believe that Sizemore and Maggie linked up afterward - during the reconstruction of the city. Maybe they have a thing going. ;)
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby random_guy » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:12 pm

Thanks to those who pointed out that rulers control production. I still think the dwagon only took one turn to pop though. The city was destroyed and rebuilt, I doubt production continues once a city is destroyed. Also, the city is the capital, so that might explain why it can pop units quickly.

About the Titans, don't we have proof of their existence in the form of retconjuration?
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby OneHugeTuck » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:43 pm

random_guy wrote:Thanks to those who pointed out that rulers control production. I still think the dwagon only took one turn to pop though. The city was destroyed and rebuilt, I doubt production continues once a city is destroyed. Also, the city is the capital, so that might explain why it can pop units quickly.



The city was destroyed, but the side and ruler were still intact. Obviously the treasury was intact also (moneymancy, online banking?) although they did find more gems pushed to the surface, such that the construction could be paid for.

So if the side/ruler was intact, perhaps unit accounting was still ticking along, and once the new construction happened, the unit could be popped. Possibly it still could have been popped even if city hadn't been rebuilt, though I doubt it.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby Lilmikee » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:16 pm

OneHugeTuck wrote:
random_guy wrote:Thanks to those who pointed out that rulers control production. I still think the dwagon only took one turn to pop though. The city was destroyed and rebuilt, I doubt production continues once a city is destroyed. Also, the city is the capital, so that might explain why it can pop units quickly.



The city was destroyed, but the side and ruler were still intact. Obviously the treasury was intact also (moneymancy, online banking?) although they did find more gems pushed to the surface, such that the construction could be paid for.

So if the side/ruler was intact, perhaps unit accounting was still ticking along, and once the new construction happened, the unit could be popped. Possibly it still could have been popped even if city hadn't been rebuilt, though I doubt it.


I'm pretty sure the city was only reduced to level 1, even after the volcano eruption.

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F144.jpg

On that page, Stanley says the city didn't fall, so I'd guess there was enough left for it to still count as a level 1 city and not interfere with production.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby random_guy » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:51 pm

I interpreted, "city didn't fall" as "it didn't get captured". Later on Parson said, "...rebuild the city..." instead of "repair" or "upgrade", so I thought it was destroyed. Also, I didn't see any parts of the city throughout the rest of Book 1. I could be wrong though. Maybe the dungeon remained and that was enough to count as a city.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby DevilDan » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:58 pm

The_Shadow: you misquoted me. That is, you attributed somebody else's words to me.

moose o death wrote:simple enough, dollamncers have fabrication skill, hippiemancers can grow crops, thinkamancers co-ordinate, croakamancers can probably heal as well as uncroak wanda just doesn't see a point in helping units not die, i think you'd find the garrisoned casters have more than enough resource and ability to run a kingdom without pops. they simply need casters popped in other kingdoms to defect to them when their side falls.


Actually, we know for a fact that casters can use spells outside their original discipline. But not everyone can do so proficiently. If Wanda can or could healing spells, they'd probably be from another school and not necessarily croakamancy.

I agree that the city probably didn't fall. Certainly, thanks to the hardiness of golems and uncroaked, it was never abandoned by GK units.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby The Shadow » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:31 pm

DevilDan wrote:The_Shadow: you misquoted me. That is, you attributed somebody else's words to me.


Whoops! I'm not sure how that happened; my apologies. I'll edit it.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby OneHugeTuck » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:34 pm

And thus we need to know the definition of a level 1 city. Rubble? A standing wall? A unit inside the boundary?

Is there a level 0 city?
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby Vreejack » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:38 pm

If you could bring Thomas Aquinas into the present and teach him about DNA, his response would not be, "Oh! Guess we don't need God then," it would be, "Oh! So that's the efficient cause at work. Fascinating!" and then he'd write a hymn of praise to the Creator for the intricacy of His Creation. (After that, he'd probably write a synthesis of modern science with Aristotelian philosophy and Scholastic theology that would be enormously fun to read, but ah well. :)


Yes, I've read quite enough Aquinas, thank you :) the scholastics probably make a good example of the computational expression: "garbage in; garbage out." Though I did enjoy his arguments about archons.. I mean, angels.
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby Vreejack » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:43 pm

HandofShadows wrote:I would say why do people assume the Titans actually exist. (What better way to keep everyones attention away from the real creator if Erfworld) Even if they do exist they may just be units like everyone else native to Erfworld.


Erm... if the titans are units inside the world then they can't really be the creators of the world. Or are you suggesting that the world wasn't created by the titans but by someone else with the same name?
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Re: Summer Update - 025

Postby Itzal » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:16 am

heh who else wants to see Wanda bring in the Erfworld equivlent of the Queer eye guys for Stanley? :lol:
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