Predictamancy

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

Re: Predictamancy

Postby Keighvin1 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:55 am

The problem was that Jillian took what she was told, and used it incorrectly. She wasn't told "If you go this direction, you will be ambushed" she was told she would be ambushed that turn. Instead of trying to make sure and be alert and prepared for combat, she tried to avoid it, which has been shown to not work when it comes to Fate.

And when Jillian said she checked and found no ambush, the only way to be sure of that would require more move in a turn then she would have, so she could only have checked next turn, after enemy troops would have moved.
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby TazTheTerrible » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:13 am

Nnelg wrote:
It was my position that a Prediction consisted of a single, infallible packet of data from the future, for instance "Croakamancer Wanda Firebaugh will enter the service of Olive Garden, Chief Caster of Haffaton". The simplest explanation for any details that emerge between the time of the original Prediction and the time of the Predicted event, such as "Haffaton is going to destroy Goodminton to get at Wanda", is (in my mind) logical deduction and educated guesses. For example:

  • Wanda will enter Haffaton's service IF AND ONLY IF she will turn willingly OR Haffaton will destroy Goodminton to get at her.
  • Wanda will enter Haffaton's service.
  • Wanda will NOT turn willingly.
  • THEREFORE Haffaton will destroy Goodminton to get at her.
Here, the only thing that was Predicted by magic is in bold. (The educated guess is in italics.) Since we already know that Predictamancers can do this, (anyone of decent intelligence can) but we didn't know if Predictions got stronger/more accurate over time, I invoked Occam's Razor to conclude that it's more likely that they don't.


I'm in partial agreement with this, though I'm not sure that prediction is only used for the statement in bold. We see various small examples of predictions made on a small scale throughout the books. Things that happen on shorter notice and appear more random and/or trivial than long-term "big fate" predictions. While I'm sure predictamancers would put a lot of thought into making educated guesses about how things would come to pass (Wanda's turning to Haffaton may indeed be an example of that), given the view of a mutable universe revolving around fixed fated events, it also seems plausible that as a Fated event approaches, certain ways of getting to it that were possible earlier become eliminated and the picture becomes a bit clearer.

Given that fated predictions always seem to come to pass, one possible and entirely reasonable explanation would be that information about the future can only filter through to the past once it creates a self-consistent time line. So the closer an event got, the clearer it would become to someone with some measure of future sight.

Of course, the same would be true of educated guessing. The closer you get to a prediction the easier it becomes to see which path will likely lead to it to a clever observer with sufficient information. Since we've seen that predictamancers have an affinity for the short term future and many of them are no doubt clever people who make it their business to know things, no doubt both factors play a part. The point where one ends and the other begins may be largely academic though.

mantimeforgot wrote:Jillian already told us that Predictamancer's do not provide actionable intelligence; she has told us this on multiple occasions. If a Predictamancer tells you there is an ambush up ahead, then the chances are just as good you walk into it because you were told about it and went looking for it as it is you amble on blindly and stumble into an ambush. They don't tell you what to do about the ambush once it happens or where it would be best to suffer the ambush (on the road or out in the bush).

I can get useful advice on what to do about stuff from anyone. I don't need someone who can see immutable events to do that. I have already admitted that knowing the specific language of what immutable events are exactly would be somewhat useful, but that would not at all make up for the fact that they can do nothing else that anyone with intelligence can do.


If Predictamancers cannot get any sense of the future (at all) outside of Fated events, then they are a net detriment to any side they are on. You are far better off with a Mathamancer or Luckamancer who is smart, can deduce what events/people are fated, and can provide either actionable intelligence or solutions for problems.


Jillian's view is her own. Just because she feels information isn't useful when no specifics are given doesn't mean she's correct in that assumption. Yes, a mathamancer can give you the odds, but a mathamancer can't warn you out of the blue that you're going to be ambushed that turn. As for what to do about it, well if you're a commanding unit, you should be able to make those calls yourself.

I think it's also worth noting that predicted events are not necessarily immutable. They may also be a range of possibilities. Given a statement of "You will be ambushed this turn", there might be three or four ambushes in place and you're only going to trigger one of them, but now you have the information that you will trigger one for certain, so you pick your path and unit arrangement that gives you the best odds in light of that information.

Knowing things for certain about a very long term future can also be invaluable.
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby drachefly » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:22 am

mantimeforgot wrote:Jillian already told us that Predictamancer's do not provide actionable intelligence; she has told us this on multiple occasions.


This is evidence that Jillian is dumb, not that predictamancers do not provide actionable intelligence.
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby Nnelg » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:18 pm

@mantimeforgot:
Spoiler: show
mantimeforgot wrote:Jillian already told us that Predictamancer's do not provide actionable intelligence; she has told us this on multiple occasions.

And now you're taking Jillian as the ultimate authority on such matters? :lol:

mantimeforgot wrote:If a Predictamancer tells you there is an ambush up ahead, then the chances are just as good you walk into it because you were told about it and went looking for it as it is you amble on blindly and stumble into an ambush.

Correct. In both cases, the chances are 100%. That is rather useful knowledge to have... Finding it when you're looking for it is much better than being caught by surprise, is it not? ;)

mantimeforgot wrote:They don't tell you what to do about the ambush once it happens or where it would be best to suffer the ambush (on the road or out in the bush).

Well of course not! You're the warlord, not her! It's your job to figure out the best strategy; the Predictamancer just supplies information.

mantimeforgot wrote:I can get useful advice on what to do about stuff from anyone. I don't need someone who can see immutable events to do that.

But someone who can see immutable events can give you advice that nobody else can. The ambush is a good example.

Let's say there were two routes to take: the main route and the alternate. A Mathamancer would tell you "The odds of you being ambushed this turn are 5%, or 2% if you take the alternate route". But a Predictamancer would tell you "The odds of you being ambushed this turn are 100%, irregardless of which route you take".

The Mathamancer's advice tells you to take the worse, alternate route, and that an ambush is unlikely (so you'll be unprepared for it). But the Predictamancer's advice tells you to take the better path, and to take every possible precaution because there are hidden enemies on it.

The Predictamancer's advice here is superior, as following it will give you a better result (ambushed when ready on the best path, as opposed to ambushed when unready on the worse path).

mantimeforgot wrote:If Predictamancers cannot get any sense of the future (at all) outside of Fated events, then they are a net detriment to any side they are on. You are far better off with a Mathamancer or Luckamancer who is smart, can deduce what events/people are fated, and can provide either actionable intelligence or solutions for problems.

Absolutely incorrect. Not only is knowledge of Fated events useful and actionable intelligence, it cannot be gained in any way other than via Predictamancy.

Neither a Mathamancer nor a Luckamancer can guarantee anything 100%. Besides, none of the examples of Fated events we have would have jumped out as particularly likely to a Mathamancer at the time they were Predicted.


@Keighvin1:
Spoiler: show
Keighvin1 wrote:And when Jillian said she checked and found no ambush, the only way to be sure of that would require more move in a turn then she would have, so she could only have checked next turn, after enemy troops would have moved.

Not to contradict my own argument, but... I don't think there were any troops there. There were only enemy troops in the direction Jillian actually took.

That's why I used the "Schrödinger's Ambush" metaphor... Until Jillian picked a path to go on, the ambush was on all possible paths at once. (At least, from her point of view.)


@TazTheTerrible:
Spoiler: show
TazTheTerrible wrote:I'm in partial agreement with this, though I'm not sure that prediction is only used for the statement in bold.

Very well then, perhaps I should say that the only thing which was certainly Predicted by magic is in bold.

TazTheTerrible wrote:given the view of a mutable universe revolving around fixed fated events

I think this is the most common, yet most frustrating, misconception about Predictamancy. The thing is, it all depends on your point of view. I've already spent a lot of time arguing over this one, though, so if you want to know what I mean, go back and read my earlier posts.

TazTheTerrible wrote:Given that fated predictions always seem to come to pass, one possible and entirely reasonable explanation would be that information about the future can only filter through to the past once it creates a self-consistent time line.

This, in fact, is one of my postulates. I based my entire argument upon this being true.

TazTheTerrible wrote:The point where one ends and the other begins may be largely academic though.

Agreed. Although, I usually assume only things which couldn't have been deduced logically were Predicted by magic.
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby TazTheTerrible » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:16 pm

Nnelg wrote:
TazTheTerrible wrote:given the view of a mutable universe revolving around fixed fated events

I think this is the most common, yet most frustrating, misconception about Predictamancy. The thing is, it all depends on your point of view. I've already spent a lot of time arguing over this one, though, so if you want to know what I mean, go back and read my earlier posts.


Mmmm, fair enough. I guess that would take us right back to the determinism argument. Though to be fair I believe that to be a far more interesting aspect of this discussion.

Specifically the whys and wherefores intrigue me, because the overpowering impression I get from Erfworld is one of a world subject to some sort of control. That's a tone set by the theme of the world itself, things like "boop", Parson's monologue to the world at the end of Volume 1 and various little hints, asides and narrative focal points.

Something I wonder about: if prophecy is an non-sentient, automatic force-of-nature type thing, would the end result really be the kind of prophecies we see in the books? Wouldn't it generate a lot of seemingly nonsense, seemingly irrelevant prophecies about things that have nothing to do with warfare, your own side or even any people at all? And would it reliably generate long-term prophecies - Like the prediction of Wanda becoming attuned for example - knowing how strongly so many people in Erfworld react to prophetic knowledge? Such a thing would cause serious "ripples" I mean, making a stable time loop over a long span of time unlikely. One final question off the top of my head, the concept of "easy way vs. hard way". What does an unconscious, infallible force care about such things. How would it even differentiate between them? Why should an attempt to fight prophecy result consistently in a more difficult and harmful path than an attempt to play along? There might be a statistical difference because the accepting method may come more prepared and the resisting method may be willing to sacrifice more for the sake of fighting against the perceived control of Fate, but there should still be a significant amount of cases where people fight against the plan but still end up fairly unscathed or conversely where people end up in all sorts of awfulness despite attempting to take the quick and easy road to fulfilling prophecies.

And of course, from a more narratively inspired perspective: Is there a point to it? Because prophecy has been built up as one of the key elements and themes of the story. So is that going anywhere, I wonder?
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby drachefly » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:10 pm

As forces of nature... it really depends on how nature works. If there's some analogue to quantum mechanics such that things that end up not occurring to you can be in some sense real, then a natural force could measure the divergence rate of these counterfactuals, and in this manner find critical moments that drastically change a lot of things after them.
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby bladestorm » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:23 pm

Maybe Fate can be personified the same way Death was personified in the Final Destination movies. The Easy way would be for Death to claim you in the initial accident that gets averted at the beginning of the movie. Once that accident no longer happens, Death still claims what is due. the longer it takes Death to claim the victim, the worse and more gory the death is.

The rock at the top of the fountain is Fated to roll over to the other side of the courtyard. If you just let it happen, it may roll over someone. You could designate a safe zone and make sure no one is in the way when it finally rolls to its Fated spot. Or, you could build a lot of structural supports and use every engineering feat at your disposal to keep that rock in place, only to have an earthquake rip apart your entire city, destroy the supports you put in place, kill all of your inhabitants, and THEN the rock rolls across the destroyed courtyard.

The numbers debt thing could also come into effect for Hard, Easy or Very hard. The more you resist your fate, the higher the number gets, so a bigger backlash to make that Fate happen.
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby TazTheTerrible » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:40 pm

Personification is rather my point. The Easy way vs. Hard way thing seems indicative of something with motivation or at the very least a plan. Impersonal forces of nature don't have plans, goals they work towards or an evaluation of what, from a sapient perspective, differentiates "Easy" from "Hard".
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby mantimeforgot » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:13 pm

The rest of you weighing in on this dont' seem to get that I am arguing that Predictamancers can see the future and are useful; what I am arguing against is that they somehow manage to provide actionable intelligence via super brain power or predictive osmosis. Any time a Prediction occurs that isn't about Fate and thus 100% immutable Nnelg has been arguing that that is the entirely the result of the Predictamancer's intellect and thus not a function of magic. If something is Fated to occur, then telling someone about it doesn't actually do anything for them other than to "help emotionally prepare them for it." (I.E. It's not actionable; you can't do anything to stop it). Whereas in the situations where a Predictamancer tells you "This is strongly likely to happen but might possibly be avoided," which Nnelg would have you believe is just them guessing every time, then you are receiving something which possibly actionable.


The point here is that: If Predictamancy's ability to provide something actionable is entirely the result of their being smart (and has nothing to do with some sort of magic), then there isn't any reason why they could not be replaced wholesale through the clever use of Luckamancy or Mathamancy.


Side Note: Claiming that Jillian, who has been a field commander for the Erf equivalent of like a decade, an "idiot" when it comes to leading people into battle skirts dangerously close to being a contradiction. If she were really that stupid, then how did she manage to go so long without losses (her second in command was a berserker for a long time)? The way Erfworld works is that bonus stacking and strategic deployment are your only two major sources of battle prowess (everyone of the same level, same class has the same standardized capabilities; if only they are aware of them all), and that means Jillian knows how to do those two things or she would have been wiped out at some point in the many, many battles she came across.


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Re: Predictamancy

Postby mantimeforgot » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:19 pm

TazTheTerrible wrote:Personification is rather my point. The Easy way vs. Hard way thing seems indicative of something with motivation or at the very least a plan. Impersonal forces of nature don't have plans, goals they work towards or an evaluation of what, from a sapient perspective, differentiates "Easy" from "Hard".


Agreed.

It's the difference between the complexity of nature and the complexity of utility. A butterfly and a car are both complex things, but a butterfly's complexity comes from survival advantages and conforming to natural laws; whereas a car's complexity is a function of design; it was purposed to do something.

The Fate projections we see in Erfworld seem to strongly indicate the latter as opposed to the former. The Fate's we have been exposed to do not seem interrelated and do not seem to underpin the maintenance or repair of reality (Grandiocosmic strings don't suddenly fall apart if Wanda doesn't study under Olive). With that said I think the "Tool of the Titans" concept will be revisited in greater depth in the future of the story; the fact that Fate seems designed does beg the question "Are those with a Fate truly "Tools of the Titans?""

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Re: Predictamancy

Postby bladestorm » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:02 pm

mantimeforgot wrote:The rest of you weighing in on this dont' seem to get that I am arguing that Predictamancers can see the future and are useful; what I am arguing against is that they somehow manage to provide actionable intelligence via super brain power or predictive osmosis. Any time a Prediction occurs that isn't about Fate and thus 100% immutable Nnelg has been arguing that that is the entirely the result of the Predictamancer's intellect and thus not a function of magic. If something is Fated to occur, then telling someone about it doesn't actually do anything for them other than to "help emotionally prepare them for it." (I.E. It's not actionable; you can't do anything to stop it). Whereas in the situations where a Predictamancer tells you "This is strongly likely to happen but might possibly be avoided," which Nnelg would have you believe is just them guessing every time, then you are receiving something which possibly actionable.


The point here is that: If Predictamancy's ability to provide something actionable is entirely the result of their being smart (and has nothing to do with some sort of magic), then there isn't any reason why they could not be replaced wholesale through the clever use of Luckamancy or Mathamancy.


Side Note: Claiming that Jillian, who has been a field commander for the Erf equivalent of like a decade, an "idiot" when it comes to leading people into battle skirts dangerously close to being a contradiction. If she were really that stupid, then how did she manage to go so long without losses (her second in command was a berserker for a long time)? The way Erfworld works is that bonus stacking and strategic deployment are your only two major sources of battle prowess (everyone of the same level, same class has the same standardized capabilities; if only they are aware of them all), and that means Jillian knows how to do those two things or she would have been wiped out at some point in the many, many battles she came across.


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Or she just has some nice bonuses, and as part of her rebellion against her father, stacked all of her development into combat. Also, she was performing mercenary work, not leading her Side into battle. At best, she was being used for her warlord bonus and leeching xp from the event. At worst, she was sent on suicide missions that she managed to survive (by herself) due to either Fate armour, more hp, better bonuses for being nobility, or for just being too stupid to know that she's been set up.
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby Nnelg » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:12 pm

@mantimeforgot:
Spoiler: show
mantimeforgot wrote:The rest of you weighing in on this dont' seem to get that I am arguing that Predictamancers can see the future and are useful;

What the rest of us don't get is what your point is. We all agree that Predictamancers can see the future, and most of us agree that they're useful.


mantimeforgot wrote:what I am arguing against is that they somehow manage to provide actionable intelligence via super brain power or predictive osmosis.

I don't get what you're trying to say here. I'll assume you're trying to describe my argument, though.

My argument is that Predictamancers see Fated, Immutable events from the future with 100% accuracy. No more, no less.

From that knowledge, which only Predictamancy can provide, anyone can make logical deductions and educated guesses about other possible future events. This does not require any more brain power than is possessed by a normal person with an IQ of 120 or above. Now, since these things are guesses, they may be changed. Is that intelligence "actionable" enough for you?


Any time a Prediction occurs that isn't about Fate and thus 100% immutable Nnelg has been arguing that that is the entirely the result of the Predictamancer's intellect and thus not a function of magic.

Close: I've been arguing that those aren't actually Predictions. Not everything a Predictamancer says has to be Doomed from on high. They're allowed to conjecture as well, aren't they?


If something is Fated to occur, then telling someone about it doesn't actually do anything for them other than to "help emotionally prepare them for it."

Flat-out wrong. I don't understand why you keep sticking to this, many people have explained to you many in different ways why this simply isn't true.

(I.E. It's not actionable; you can't do anything to stop it)

These two are not equivalent. How many times will we have to explain this before you believe it?


The point here is that: If Predictamancy's ability to provide something actionable is entirely the result of their being smart (and has nothing to do with some sort of magic), then there isn't any reason why they could not be replaced wholesale through the clever use of Luckamancy or Mathamancy.

It has to do with both! The events Predictamancers tell you of are immutable, so you have to be smart with that knowledge. But at the same time, no amount of brainpower would be able to tell you what will happen, despite what the probabilities are. Only a Predictamancy can tell you when to take the "safe bet", and when not to.


Side Note: Claiming that Jillian, who has been a field commander for the Erf equivalent of like a decade, an "idiot" when it comes to leading people into battle skirts dangerously close to being a contradiction.

But, she is though. It's painfully obvious, or so I would think... Can't you see it? :|

If she were really that stupid, then how did she manage to go so long without losses

Fate... :twisted: (Or luck, depeinding on your point of view...)
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby Nnelg » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:31 pm

@ TazTheTerrible:
The thing is... There is no need for any sort of external force on the system. "Fate" itself is an illusion, even if Predictions are always 100% accurate. Nothing is determined "Beforehand", because there is no "Before" from an out-of-time viewpoint. And there is a completely deterministic out-of-time viewpoint, whether you like it or not. That's why I don't like terms such as "Determinism"; they're misleading.

However: just as bad is when people can't differentiate between this view and an entirely in-universe one. From the viewpoint of an average person, nothing about the future is knowable, and can't be known from inside the system (at least without knowledge from the future). It makes no difference what anyone else does or does not know, from their point of view, their future is mutable.


TazTheTerrible wrote:One final question off the top of my head, the concept of "easy way vs. hard way". What does an unconscious, infallible force care about such things. How would it even differentiate between them? Why should an attempt to fight prophecy result consistently in a more difficult and harmful path than an attempt to play along?

The short answer is: it doesn't. There is nobody making it harder for you than yourself.

Every measure one takes to fight Fate requires one to expend some sort of effort. But this is a futile effort, and all the energy expended in it is wasted. If one is desperate enough, one even starts gamboling things they care about to escape Fate... Gambols which, of course, one is Fated to lose.....
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby effataigus » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:17 pm

Nnelg wrote:@ TazTheTerrible:
The thing is... There is no need for any sort of external force on the system. "Fate" itself is an illusion, even if Predictions are always 100% accurate. Nothing is determined "Beforehand", because there is no "Before" from an out-of-time viewpoint. And there is a completely deterministic out-of-time viewpoint, whether you like it or not. That's why I don't like terms such as "Determinism"; they're misleading.

However: just as bad is when people can't differentiate between this view and an entirely in-universe one. From the viewpoint of an average person, nothing about the future is knowable, and can't be known from inside the system (at least without knowledge from the future). It makes no difference what anyone else does or does not know, from their point of view, their future is mutable.


TazTheTerrible wrote:One final question off the top of my head, the concept of "easy way vs. hard way". What does an unconscious, infallible force care about such things. How would it even differentiate between them? Why should an attempt to fight prophecy result consistently in a more difficult and harmful path than an attempt to play along?

The short answer is: it doesn't. There is nobody making it harder for you than yourself.

Every measure one takes to fight Fate requires one to expend some sort of effort. But this is a futile effort, and all the energy expended in it is wasted. If one is desperate enough, one even starts gamboling things they care about to escape Fate... Gambols which, of course, one is Fated to lose.....

Would be neat to see a test case where fighting fate can be done with no significant effort or investment (relative to that which would be lost regardless as a result of the fated occurrence). If you fight the Law and get pummeled, then it's fate being vindictive... if you fight the Law and only lose what you were fated to lose, then what you said is correct!
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby Nnelg » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:12 am

effataigus wrote:Would be neat to see a test case where fighting fate can be done with no significant effort or investment (relative to that which would be lost regardless as a result of the fated occurrence).

In that case, you're still dragging out the pain... But yeah, fighting Fate won't always result in more pain. Just usually, since futile efforts in general tend to be frustrating and painful.


effataigus wrote:If you fight the Law and get pummeled, then it's fate being vindictive...

No, I'd say it's the police doing their job! (If a bit overzealously...) :lol:

(But seriously, Fate really can't be vindictive. It's an abstract concept representing the effects of possessing infallible data about future events.)


effataigus wrote:if you fight the Law and only lose what you were fated to lose, then what you said is correct!

Except, we're talking about things not specified by Fate. So, say you get the prediction "your house will burn down". In trying to fight it, you install a flame suppression system -which obviously doesn't work, and now you're even worse off because you don't have the money you spent on it! But if you don't fight Fate, and instead move everything important out of the house and/or into fireproof safes, and get a better insurance policy, then when your house burns down it's not such a big deal.
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby TazTheTerrible » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:27 am

@Nnelg:
Nnelg wrote:The thing is... There is no need for any sort of external force on the system. "Fate" itself is an illusion, even if Predictions are always 100% accurate. Nothing is determined "Beforehand", because there is no "Before" from an out-of-time viewpoint. And there is a completely deterministic out-of-time viewpoint, whether you like it or not. That's why I don't like terms such as "Determinism"; they're misleading.

Arguably. Just because you can imagine an out of time viewpoint doesn't mean it adds useful information or is even correct. Sure it's there, but that doesn't mean it actually tells you anything meaningful.

Nnelg wrote:
TazTheTerrible wrote:One final question off the top of my head, the concept of "easy way vs. hard way". What does an unconscious, infallible force care about such things. How would it even differentiate between them? Why should an attempt to fight prophecy result consistently in a more difficult and harmful path than an attempt to play along?

The short answer is: it doesn't. There is nobody making it harder for you than yourself.

Every measure one takes to fight Fate requires one to expend some sort of effort. But this is a futile effort, and all the energy expended in it is wasted. If one is desperate enough, one even starts gamboling things they care about to escape Fate... Gambols which, of course, one is Fated to lose.....


Sure, that would apply to some cases. But almost as many cases would have the circumstances surrounding the prophecy turn out not so bad for the Fated person in question and others would exist where someone cooperating with the prophecy still got messed up. An impartial force shouldn't differentiate between these things and correlation between how much you resist fate and how well or how badly you end up as a result of it should probably exist but be a low correlation.
If it's a perfect, omnipresent and impartial force, there's no such thing as an action that resists fate or one that plays along. Those are things that make sense to a human mind, but a natural force wouldn't care about what sort of causal chain it "grounded" itself through.

Now, I'm not saying Fate as an infallible, impartial force of nature isn't a possibility. I'm just saying, it's not a necessity and the story seems to be hinting at other potential explanations.
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby Nnelg » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:34 am

TazTheTerrible wrote:Sure, that would apply to some cases. But almost as many cases would have the circumstances surrounding the prophecy turn out not so bad for the Fated person in question and others would exist where someone cooperating with the prophecy still got messed up.

Of course. It's just that more often than not, trying to fight fate tends to just make it harder for yourself. If only because intelligently cooperating gives you more control over non-fated events than blindly resisting.

TazTheTerrible wrote:An impartial force shouldn't differentiate between these things and correlation between how much you resist fate and how well or how badly you end up as a result of it should probably exist but be a low correlation.

It's higher than you'd think. Most people only resist things that they don't want to happen. And when it happens despite one's best efforts to stop it, that hits a lot harder emotionally than if the person had just accepted their Fate and braced themselves for it.

TazTheTerrible wrote:If it's a perfect, omnipresent and impartial force, there's no such thing as an action that resists fate or one that plays along. Those are things that make sense to a human mind, but a natural force wouldn't care about what sort of causal chain it "grounded" itself through.

Of course. The distinction between "resisting" and "not resisting" is only in the human mind. But there's a strong correlation between "resisting" and "not thinking things through", which certainly is a leading cause of people making things harder for themselves.
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby Housellama » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:06 pm

MTF, there's one thing that you need to explain if you want to support your claim that Predictamancy produces no actionable information. Taz, this applies to your statement that it doesn't give anything meaningful: FAQ's Predictamancy/Foolamancy combination. *

Sure, we don't know exactly how it worked. We never actually got a prediction (or a Prediction) from the horse's mouth, but we know the basics. Marie would tell which city was in danger of being spotted, and Jack would veil it. With that strategy, they stayed hidden for hundreds of turns. Yet, you say Predictamancy doesn't produce actionable information, and can't give anything meaningful.

Explain please.

*If this has already been covered, forgive me. I looked through the thread and didn't see it, but I've been pretty stressed recently so it's possible I missed it. If I did, please let me know so I can go back and find it. References would be most appreciated. Thank you.
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby effataigus » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:19 pm

Housellama wrote:MTF, there's one thing that you need to explain if you want to support your claim that Predictamancy produces no actionable information. Taz, this applies to your statement that it doesn't give anything meaningful: FAQ's Predictamancy/Foolamancy combination. *


Heh.. unless the predictamancer routinely predicts that Jack will veil city X next turn (and that there will be no engagements as a result). No sense in assuming self-fulfilling prophecies need to always be a bad thing. :D

I.e. they don't give you anything actionable, but they're still nice to have around since your fate is generally better.

.. just a possibility. I try not to stare too hard at the sun.
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Re: Predictamancy

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:30 pm

I think that "actionable intelligence" is supposed to mean (in mantimeforgot's interpretation) information that allows one to act and change the event in question. If that interpretation is correct, then by definition Predictamancy cannot offer actionable intelligence about fated events. Nor can anything else.

I don't think that definition of "actionable intelligence" is fair however. At the very least, one still has the "we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way" choice. "Wanda, you will study under Olive." "All right, I'll go pack right now!"- and history is suddenly different, as maybe her brother doesn't meet and get killed by Olive.

I do like effataigus' spin on this though, where the Predictamancers become the makers of closed stable time loops.
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