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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:32 pm 
Smeric
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:03 pm 
Sanci
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:33 am 
Niš
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In my conworld, magic is not yet discovered, but real. Magic feeds on sacrifice, and the first examples of their use are the martyrs, who sacrifice themselves pursuing a sacred ideal. This raw magic force is untamed, and usually only produces little effects. The main story arc I have on the works is about the effects of the most powerful, and the first noticed, effect of magic. That effect required the death of about 20 fanatics, and it was so fragile that one single person was able to partially counter that spell. At cost of that person life, of course.

Later, people will learn how to harness magic, but rarely will worth the effort. The first cast of a magic spell will sacrifice, at least, the human soul. That's not apocalyptic, its just a way to "mark" those people. They doesn't turn into demons. Humans without soul will be recognizable easily, they will be weird to people's conscience, while nobody will know how or why. It's something like the uncanny valley effect ().

On my firsts drafts, magic was more common. It was done by the sacrifice of some materials, that had special properties, aligned in some schools of magic. For example, wood will produce life-creation effects, and pearls will produce sanation and purification effects. Those materials must be purified and treated before being used in magic. Magic spells were more like a cooking recipe, with precise balances between precious stones, marble, wood, blood... The wizards must master those recipes, and the slightest error would have catastrophic consequences. For example, you must not put together without precautions wood (life) and rubi (fire) in order to invoke a fire elemental. Since wood and rubi are opposed, you need a conduit to use them in the same "recipe" or spell.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:11 am 
Avisaru
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As my equivalent of a magic system, I'm thinking of a science where you specify a political outcome and an initial state. The discipline then tells you the set of actions likely to lead to that outcome with the highest probability. I'm thinking of an intersection of and the among other things, formalized using the mathematics of coinduction or . There are these invaders from a parallel dimension whose idea of "godliness" is intelligence-beauty-cruelty, and their idea of "love" is this coinductive causal design or CCD. So everything they touch becomes a Crucifixion of Christ. What do you think?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:58 am 
Niš
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:13 pm 
Avisaru
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If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:24 pm 
Smeric
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If we don't study the mistakes of the future we're doomed to repeat them for the first time.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:59 pm 
Avisaru
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If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:28 pm 
Smeric
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I don't know. In Asimov's universe the premises seemed pretty sane: that there's a set percentage of genius scentists, charismatic leaders aso. getting born every century, that there's no power-hungry psychokinetic individuum getting involved, that the degree the reality agrees with the prediction can be provably tested (and corrected if need be — but that's for another story).

But then, it's just how I understand Asimov's system and not yours. Asimov's worked on the basis that it's whole populations that matter (and populations large enough to matter are too large to work in coordination). Yours may work completely different.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:36 pm 
Smeric
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:44 pm 
Avisaru
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But genius scientists, charismatic leaders, etc. are black swans. (In the sense that we don't know what science they will discover, what technology they will invent, what movements they will lead, etc.) The problem is that if you know that 20% of future events will be black swans, then I'm not sure that counts as positive knowledge of future events in the relevant sense. What you know is that 20% of future events will DEFY your extrapolations based on the present. You're saying how much of future events you know NOTHING about.

Let me give you an example to explain what I meant in my previous post. If you set up conditions such that the only way for people to get non-X is to sacrifice Y, which they value more than non-X, then they will try and demolish those conditions. If they are unable to do that, that means their power is limited in that regard. Limitations on the powers of rational agents come from physics. The only way people will settle for that kind of a status quo is if you've got them thoroughly outgunned. (Assuming, of course, that they are actually still acting rationally and haven't started philosophizing about how this is all part of the natural order of things, etc.) In that case, you can make them do pretty much whatever you want without CCD. The only way to introduce subtlety into this approach is to model people physically. (Also assuming that all these values and actions lie within parameters of physical and game theoretic possibility.)

(Did that make sense?)

PS. Maybe my mistake is that we can introduce subtlety into outgunning your opponent by just representing the range of possible interactions with physical objects. That might be much more manageable than modeling the whole situation in terms of actual physics. Then we can search for stable climate-type patterns. This doesn't account for black swans that increase possible physical interactions, but we can add those to our model as they come along. With enough computing power, that might be good enough to build a strong chess engine type AI. (Eg. A gun can be "held". No need to elaborate on the physical complexities that entail our description "holding". In that case the AI can't plan for you to drop your gun at a critical juncture on the basis of physical factors that aren't explicitly represented.)

PPS. In cases where a lot of contextual factors remain constant, we might be able to find empirical regularities analogous to Moore's Law. Is that what psychohistory is like? But we've already reached the limits of Moore's Law, for example.

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