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Pharaoh RutinTutin

Story Friday January 26, 2018

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7 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Also, I think that he DOES trust Agent Wolf and Agent Cranium, BUT those are field agents, not exactly qualified to work on alien technology.

I can see Sybil eavesdropping on Cranium when she made that sub-rosa call to Edward and reporting it to Arthur. Even if Arthur doesn't suspect Wolf and Cranium of being too loyal to Edward, this is probably a need-to-know situation, even moreso than usual. I think that Arthur thinks he's the only one who should know everything about his plan and the only one who does know.

He's wrong, of course.

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6 hours ago, hkmaly said:

I don't think number of magic users will go down.

I'm thinking long term as in existing magic users dying of old age or whatever.

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So it really is just the three of them. I suppose given such a small number, it's not too far-fetched for random chance (or if Tedd and Van are both seers because they're related, not-so-random chance) to produce such a lack of diversity, and it may well be that the plot required it to be this three, but I'm still a little disappointed in Dan. If he foresaw this moment early enough he could have laid the foundations for it to have greater diversity; alternately he could have included a few more seers, with different ethnicities and with someone besides Tedd who is female.

On a related note, on Twitter Dan mentioned that Magic can't easily translate between one language and another, at least not enough for a conversation like this, and if he had included people who didn't speak English the meeting would have wound up with separate groups all having their own discussions. First of all, I don't see what would have been wrong with that; he could have shown that people of all sorts from all around the world were involved, then focused in on the conversation that we're concerned with. Secondly, it's his story, he could have given Magic super translating powers. Third, English is a fairly common second language worldwide; there would have been a good chance many or all of the others could have still understood and participated in the English discussion even if English wasn't their native tongue.

8 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

Yes, but Tedd didn't remember him right away and wasn't really sure. I'm guessing it should have been before Tedd got to play with the TG gun. And we don't know how long it took Tedd to adapt the gun to work well on humans; apparently we weren't included in the target market by the original designer-manufacturer. (Humans? Why would we go for that market? They haven't even made it out of their solar system yet. And they certainly don't need any help with fertility! They breed like womp rats!)

Not that this has any affect on your point, but I thought I'd point out that the TFG wasn't built in some corporation's factory, it was built by William's parents.

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2 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

On a related note, on Twitter Dan mentioned that Magic can't easily translate between one language and another, at least not enough for a conversation like this, and if he had included people who didn't speak English the meeting would have wound up with separate groups all having their own discussions.

If Van and Tedd are both Noriko's children, it wouldn't be implausible for them to have a side conversation in Japanese. Doesn't seem too likely since I don't think Tedd has ever spoken anything but English, with no magical foreign-language angle brackets, in canon. But, then, he's had very little contact with cousin Nanase and Elliot can't really speak Japanese (if he could, Ellen could.) So Dan could pull this usagi out of his hat if he cares to.

Nice ref to William's parents creating the original TFG. Say, if it ever gets into commercial use, royalties?

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So, all questions of parentage and relationships aside.... looks like we're heading towards Tedd advocating a reveal, Arthur arguing for a severe change, and Van being the tiebreaker in the middle. I wonder how he feels about magic, and especially about his mother's "line of work". And also whether any of their opinions will change when they learn about Pandora's final act.

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32 minutes ago, CNash said:

So, all questions of parentage and relationships aside.... looks like we're heading towards Tedd advocating a reveal, Arthur arguing for a severe change, and Van being the tiebreaker in the middle. I wonder how he feels about magic, and especially about his mother's "line of work". And also whether any of their opinions will change when they learn about Pandora's final act.

I doubt Tedd's opinion would change, but I'm sure Arthur's would, since what Pandora did could not possibly be covered up, and with Magic outright admitting that Seers would be told of their status and purpose and how to teach it to others, there's no way the severe change would achieve Arthur's goal for long.

Van... I don't know enough about him.

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2 hours ago, CNash said:

So, all questions of parentage and relationships aside.... looks like we're heading towards Tedd advocating a reveal, Arthur arguing for a severe change, and Van being the tiebreaker in the middle. I wonder how he feels about magic, and especially about his mother's "line of work". And also whether any of their opinions will change when they learn about Pandora's final act.

Dan stated that this meeting isn't a democracy, there isn't going to be any vote, and I don't think the options that were given are the only two options but more like extreme ends of a spectrum, and depending on what the three say, the WoM could make a change that falls somewhere in between.

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I believe it was Tedd that pointed out that with camera phones being ubiquitous in much of the world, it will be quite difficult to keep magic hidden for any length of time unless it's very close to nonexistent - fewer magic users than is now the case, and none of them having powerful or showy spells. Almost every bit of magic we've seen any human use qualifies as powerful and/or showy. The exceptions we've seen so far are all some sort of detection spell or ability. Or at least all of them I can think of. Would the Will of Magic be satisfied with a world where Nanase's "how many are looking" spell and Sarah's pseudo-time-stop are the height of dramatic magic?

Or with a magic reset every ten years?

I don't see it.

Therefore I think the change will be to accommodate magic being more public.

I expect Tedd to argue for an "informed consent" rule. (I just hope it's broad enough to allow for things like Goonmanji II.)

I expect Arthur to be supportive of the basic idea of magic being more public (as he said "adapt or die" in response to the bulldog dragon) but I don't know what sort of adaptation he'll argue for.

And of course we know essentially nothing about Van except that he probably has a parent or grandparent of oriental origin and makes some British-typical word choices when he speaks English. (Or, perhaps, the Will of Magic makes those word choices when magically translating his speech into English. "Van" is not, to my knowledge, a common name in any English-speaking country. But out of the less-than-a-dozen Vietnamese I've known, two of them had that name.)

 

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2 hours ago, Scotty said:

Dan stated that this meeting isn't a democracy, there isn't going to be any vote, and I don't think the options that were given are the only two options but more like extreme ends of a spectrum, and depending on what the three say, the WoM could make a change that falls somewhere in between.

Magic might not treat it that way, but we (presumably) are going to see this argument played out between Arthur and Tedd... and if not, maybe my ability to predict EGS's plotlines isn't as good as I think.

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So, what options do we see for Magic?

1) Raise everyone's magic resistance, so people can't be transformed or enchanted against their will, but magic that doesn't affect people is relatively unchanged.

2) Change magic from opt-in to opt-out as the default.  This could be an all-or-nothing, where you choose between being immune to magic but unable to use it yourself, or being vulnerable to every sort of magic but having the capacity to learn to use it yourself.  Or, it could be on a case-by-case, moment-to-moment choice, which wouldn't be all that different from the first option.

3) Make it much harder to become Dreaming or Awakened, and for those who have magic to increase their abilities.  Current magic-users may or may not be grandfathered in.

4) Reduce the overall pool of magic everywhere, not just in Moperville.  How this magic is distributed between Awakened, Dreamers, Immortals, Aberrations, and the ambient magic could go any which way.  We could see it all go into ambient, so that no matter how powerful a wizard you had been, you could only cast one or two big spells before the local magic was exhausted and you had to move on.  It could all go to Dreamers, and eliminate the whole category of Awakened.  As long as it doesn't all go to Aberrations or Immortals, Icould see it working out.

5) Switch to MagiTek, so that Seers and other Wandmakers are the only ones who can create anything magical in the new world, and wands and watches become rare and highly prized.  A wand that can create other wands would be a very controversial thing to make, as other Seers might not agree with breaking up their monopoly.

6) Say, screw it, I give in, and allow magic to be used by everyone.  With or without an increase in resistance, the overall pool of magic, or the rarity of being able to learn others' spells.

I know there are others that have been discussed, feel free to make additions!

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2 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

And of course we know essentially nothing about Van except that he probably has a parent or grandparent of oriental origin and makes some British-typical word choices when he speaks English. (Or, perhaps, the Will of Magic makes those word choices when magically translating his speech into English. "Van" is not, to my knowledge, a common name in any English-speaking country. But out of the less-than-a-dozen Vietnamese I've known, two of them had that name.)

I assume you're speculating on the in-universe origin of his name? (Dan mentioned where he got the idea for the name in the commentary, after all.)

Also, on twitter Dan compared Magic's translation ability to Google Translate. Granted, it was a joke, but I suspect it's not far from the truth. Magically translated speech would probably be either garbled or awkwardly worded.

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Just about any method of translating figurative speech would require an understanding of the cultures involved and of human psychology. The Will of Magic explicitly does NOT understand human cultures and psychology very well, thus the need to consult Seers in the first place.

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1 hour ago, ijuin said:

Just about any method of translating figurative speech would require an understanding of the cultures involved and of human psychology. The Will of Magic explicitly does NOT understand human cultures and psychology very well, thus the need to consult Seers in the first place.

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra?

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On 27/01/2018 at 8:53 PM, ChronosCat said:

Also, on twitter Dan compared Magic's translation ability to Google Translate. Granted, it was a joke, but I suspect it's not far from the truth. Magically translated speech would probably be either garbled or awkwardly worded.

I submit to you the magnificent Backstroke of the West as an example of the many, many things that can go wrong when attempting to translate into a not very well understood language. (Page is from the Wayback Machine and may take a little time to load.)

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On 1/27/2018 at 0:40 AM, Tom Sewell said:
On 1/27/2018 at 0:29 AM, hkmaly said:

Also, I think that he DOES trust Agent Wolf and Agent Cranium, BUT those are field agents, not exactly qualified to work on alien technology.

I can see Sybil eavesdropping on Cranium when she made that sub-rosa call to Edward and reporting it to Arthur. Even if Arthur doesn't suspect Wolf and Cranium of being too loyal to Edward, this is probably a need-to-know situation, even moreso than usual. I think that Arthur thinks he's the only one who should know everything about his plan and the only one who does know.

I was saying that Edward does trust Agent Wolf and Agent Cranium. Arthur doesn't trust anyone and even without Sybil eavesdropping he would suspect Cranium is loyal to Edward.

On 1/28/2018 at 9:16 AM, ijuin said:

Just about any method of translating figurative speech would require an understanding of the cultures involved and of human psychology. The Will of Magic explicitly does NOT understand human cultures and psychology very well, thus the need to consult Seers in the first place.

Well, Uryuoms are able to learn and teach languages in three seconds. I wonder how much of the culture understanding that transfers ...

On 1/27/2018 at 10:55 AM, ijuin said:

Yes, as far as we know, Tedd only knows English and Uryoumoco. Tedd has spoken of Nanase's fluency in Japanese and French as something to be envious of in http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=1467, so that might indicate only a passing familiarity with other languages.

... if Tedd would actually be envious of Nanase's fluency in Japanese, he would ask William for help. I think he's including it as something which generally people may be envious of, but not himself specifically. And besides Japanese relatives, he is interested in anime (of course, he may only watch anime translated to English, but ... three seconds.)

Alternatively, he may be envious of Nanase's language abilities because they are result of talent and hard work, while his language knowledge (assuming uryuoms helped him) is basically cheating.

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