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The Old Hack

Story Monday January 29, 2018

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4 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

I suppose that next you will ask me if I have stopped molesting dachshunds.

Nah, I wouldn't think you've stopped. How can you resist Teutonic weenie dogs?

 

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Just now, Tom Sewell said:

Nah, I wouldn't think you've stopped. How can you resist Teutonic weenie dogs?

 

I suppose it is a relief that you have chosen to make bad jokes rather than continuing those tedious stacked arguments of yours because you cannot bear the notion of someone disagreeing with you and actually having a point. Carry on.

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4 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

However, I'm having difficulty in maintaining interest in this part of the story. Unless Dan wants to blow up EGS completely as in such disastrous "improvements" as the revised versions of the Original Trilogy, or denizens of the Aisle of Shame as Highlander II, Magic is not going for a severe change. The only features of interest for me are the relationship between Van and Tedd and finding out whether Arthur is simply wrong, deluded, or downright evil.

First of all, assuming by "Original Trilogy" you are referring to Star Wars, I think "disastrous" is a bit extreme of a term for the revised versions. Sure, "Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope (Special Edition)" is inferior to the original Star Wars, but it's still a good movie. And in my opinion the Special Edition versions of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are just as good as the original versions, just different (though I do object to the way the original versions have been made hard to find; people should be able to choose which version they want to watch).

Secondly, while I'd prefer magic not change much (I like it the way it is, and I'm also hoping to see a modern-day world with magic out in the open), I don't think having a large change would be disastrous for EGS. We'd still have the same characters we've come to know and love, and no doubt the new magic system would allow for a lot of the same content (I can't see Dan abandoning the various transformation elements when he seems to enjoy them as much as the fans). It might be fun seeing the characters learn how to use the new magic system, and with Seers to help it would only be a matter of time before the main cast was using magic again, probably with a magic system that is even better than this one (I don't think Dan would make a major change to the magic system unless he had something really good in mind).

Finally, regarding the possibility of Arthur being evil (and the implication that would be why he's arguing for a big change), I highly doubt it. It's extremely rare for Dan to create a truly evil character (not counting the Aberrations, Damien is really the only one we know enough about to say for sure, though if Voltair isn't I'll be surprised), and even when he does, being evil isn't their motivation, it's just a character trait.

3 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

Magic's rejection of magic for everyone comes across as "I just don't like it that way." It ties in with the flair for the dramatic: What becomes ordinary can't be dramatic. The argument that too much magic is too dangerous--which Magic hasn't made once yet--doesn't hold compared to the technological and ecological terrors of modern reality. The most fundamental argument against too much magic is that it could damage reality too much to recover, another argument that hasn't been made. But that's the only argument that stands up compared to the prospects of non-magical menaces like global thermonuclear war or pollution-triggered climate change leading to worldwide famine.

I would like to take this opportunity to mention again my theory that the reason the Will of Magic doesn't want everyone to be able to use it is that there's a limited supply of magic and that with the world population what it is, there simply isn't enough to go around and leave anyone with enough magic to do anything with it.

Edited by ChronosCat
Forgot about Aberrations somehow.

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3 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

Before we go any further, do you really believe Dan will make magic change so much he wrecks the powers of all the characters he has so lovingly built up?

I do believe it's a possibility, yes.  He's had something in mind from the beginning, thus the Lord Tedd stuff, and the comments about how he expected to only spend a short time in high school, and have the bulk of the story happen in college.  It could be that what he imagined happening in college was the characters discovering how the new magic system works.  Or, it could be the world discovering how to cope with the existence of magic.  Neither one is a bigger change than the other.

2 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

Stop using stacked arguments and I will treat you respectfully. As long as you talk to me as if you think I am an idiot, I will show you exactly the same respect back.

That sort of attitude ends up with everyone at the lowest level possible.  I'd much rather see people rise above and stay classy even when their opponent doesn't.  "When they go low, we go high!"

2 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

First of all, assuming by "Original Trilogy" you are referring to Star Wars, I think "disastrous" is a bit extreme of a term for the revised versions. Sure, "Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope (Special Edition)" is inferior to the original Star Wars, but it's still a good movie. And in my opinion the Special Edition versions of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are just as good as the original versions, just different (though I do object to the way the original versions have been made hard to find; people should be able to choose which version they want to watch).

I just want the Yub Yub song back!

2 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

It might be fun seeing the characters learn how to use the new magic system, and with Seers to help it would only be a matter of time before the main cast was using magic again, probably with a magic system that is even better than this one (I don't think Dan would make a major change to the magic system unless he had something really good in mind).

I think my last post got completly lost in the shuffle.  The one that pointed out that we seem to be faced with a decision which, if it goes one way there is later opportunity to change again, but if it goes the other way, then we apparently will be stuck forever with the current magic system with a few minor modifications.  Stuck no matter how badly someone in the future finds a way to abuse loopholes.  Irrevocable decisions that will affect untold future generations are not to be taken lightly!

2 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

I would like to take this opportunity to mention again my theory that the reason the Will of Magic doesn't want everyone to be able to use it is that there's a limited supply of magic and that with the world population what it is, there simply isn't enough to go arond and leave anyone with enough magic to do anything with it.

That was one of the options on my ignored post for the previous comic....

 

Hmm, where's a mirror, I need to check if I'm invisible.

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59 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

I just want the Yub Yub song back!

On the one hand, it clashed with the somber tone of Anakin's funeral, and the Ewoks probably had some dead to mourn too, so I can understand why Lucas changed it. On the other hand, it was a perfect song to celebrate a major victory against the Empire (or the decisive blow against them, as it was considered prior to The Force Awakens) and the end of the original storyline - and it was really really fun.

59 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

I think my last post got completly lost in the shuffle.  The one that pointed out that we seem to be faced with a decision which, if it goes one way there is later opportunity to change again, but if it goes the other way, then we apparently will be stuck forever with the current magic system with a few minor modifications.  Stuck no matter how badly someone in the future finds a way to abuse loopholes.  Irrevocable decisions that will affect untold future generations are not to be taken lightly!

I saw your previous post but I couldn't figure out how to word my response so I just moved on. I'll give it a try now, though.

It's possible that Magic is just referring to the cycle of major changes, and that there might still be minor changes in the future (and of course a long series of minor changes can add up to a major change); however that doesn't seem to quite fit with what Magic is saying here.

I have a theory I hadn't got around to mentioning yet that the Will of Magic is actually a gestalt of the personal magic of all human magic users (with each person's magic itself being influenced by that person's personality). In this case, if the new magic system should turn out to be flawed badly enough that a majority of people don't like it, it's possible Magic may initiate a new change to fix the problem.

At any rate, while you're right that the decision is not to be made lightly, just because something is how it's always been done doesn't mean it's the right thing. The modern world is very different from all previous ages, so it may be that the time has come for the Will of Magic to change how it operates rather than how the magic system works.

59 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

That was one of the options on my ignored post for the previous comic....

You suggested one of the ways magic could change was limiting how much magic was available. I'm suggesting that the magic supply is already limited and the only thing the Will of Magic can do about it is change how many people can use magic. (Though if the Will of Magic allowed more people to use magic, that would produce similar results to your scenario, with individual magic users not able to cast as many or as powerful spells as they can at this point.)

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2 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

I would like to take this opportunity to mention again my theory that the reason the Will of Magic doesn't want everyone to be able to use it is that there's a limited supply of magic and that with the world population what it is, there simply isn't enough to go around and leave anyone with enough magic to do anything with it.

That's a pretty good theory. Larry Niven built a whole fantasy universe around it, centered around the novel The Magic Goes Away. And it ties in with the excessive magic in Moperville caused by Pandora's dam. But... how much magic is there? Is it a permanently limited resource, or renewable?

Let's compare it to regular energy resources. Fossil fuels aren't renewable on a human time scale or even a historical one; we will eventually have to depend on other energy sources. But we seem to have enough for a century or three, ignoring those pesky climate-changing effects.

Solar power is renewable as long as Earth lasts (the sun will vaporize Earth before it finally shuts down billions of years from now), but it does have limits. You can't really run a car on solar cells, and the sun doesn't shine for us at night. The solar economy seems feasible now, but it also seems to require a considerable change in lifestyle.

So, Magic rationing?

8 minutes ago, ChronosCat said:

Though if the Will of Magic allowed more people to use magic, that would produce similar results to your scenario, with individual magic users not able to cast as many or as powerful spells as they can at this point.

Well, along with magic rationing, probably  Magic taxes. Revenue Agents will not only be looking for stills in the backwoods but secret enchantment factories. Or maybe unregulated sex-change castings...

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1 hour ago, CritterKeeper said:

I just want the Yub Yub song back!

I was recently watching some video of VE Day in London.  When I saw some East End residents singing Lambeth Walk, I was thinking Yub Nub.

Maybe not the best song for the celebration, but it was one everyone knew.

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4 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Maybe not the best song for the celebration, but it was one everyone knew.

Wild abandon for Brits. Check out a series on YouTube called Very British Problems before it goes away.

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23 minutes ago, Tom Sewell said:

That's a pretty good theory. Larry Niven built a whole fantasy universe around it, centered around the novel The Magic Goes Away. And it ties in with the excessive magic in Moperville caused by Pandora's dam. But... how much magic is there? Is it a permanently limited resource, or renewable?

Let's compare it to regular energy resources. Fossil fuels aren't renewable on a human time scale or even a historical one; we will eventually have to depend on other energy sources. But we seem to have enough for a century or three, ignoring those pesky climate-changing effects.

Solar power is renewable as long as Earth lasts (the sun will vaporize Earth before it finally shuts down billions of years from now), but it does have limits. You can't really run a car on solar cells, and the sun doesn't shine for us at night. The solar economy seems feasible now, but it also seems to require a considerable change in lifestyle.

So, Magic rationing?

Well, along with magic rationing, probably  Magic taxes. Revenue Agents will not only be looking for stills in the backwoods but secret enchantment factories. Or maybe unregulated sex-change castings...

Solar is also a very diffuse power source.  You don't get a lot of power generation per square unit of measure.  A civilization built on pure solar needs either huge amounts of collection area or, as you suggest, lifestyle changes. 

Not "rationing" in the "I cast spells on even numbered Tuesdays" sense, so much as nobody gets powerful spells anymore.  magic becomes more like parlor tricks.  Probably not a palatable solution considering magic has a flair for the dramatic....

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3 minutes ago, Vorlonagent said:

Solar is also a very diffuse power source.  You don't get a lot of power generation per square unit of measure.  A civilization built on pure solar needs either huge amounts of collection area or, as you suggest, lifestyle changes. 

Is there a magical equivalent to a Dyson Sphere?

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30 minutes ago, Tom Sewell said:

That's a pretty good theory. Larry Niven built a whole fantasy universe around it, centered around the novel The Magic Goes Away. And it ties in with the excessive magic in Moperville caused by Pandora's dam. But... how much magic is there? Is it a permanently limited resource, or renewable?

Let's compare it to regular energy resources. Fossil fuels aren't renewable on a human time scale or even a historical one; we will eventually have to depend on other energy sources. But we seem to have enough for a century or three, ignoring those pesky climate-changing effects.

Solar power is renewable as long as Earth lasts (the sun will vaporize Earth before it finally shuts down billions of years from now), but it does have limits. You can't really run a car on solar cells, and the sun doesn't shine for us at night. The solar economy seems feasible now, but it also seems to require a considerable change in lifestyle.

I can't see Dan going with "Magic as something that will eventually be permanently used up"; if it won't happen for thousands of years or more then there's little point in making it a plot point, and if it's in danger of happening soon either we eventually wind up with EGS without magic, or a search for new sources of magic - and as those sources would likely belong to other intelligent beings who wouldn't want to give them up, it would lead to a major shift in mood for the series.

I was picturing it as a renewable resource. In fact, I was picturing it more like water than energy resources. It flows from place to place (like from one "side" of the world to the other and back), and has a natural cycle to it. Humans and other beings can take from this supply, but after doing so the magic is returned to the pool in a state that requires it to work it's way through the cycle a bit before it's usable again. So the danger isn't a matter of everyone everywhere running out of magic forever, so much as certain places running low on usable magic for a time.

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13 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Is there a magical equivalent to a Dyson Sphere?

Or in keeping with the conversation, a Niven ring?

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Would the magical equivalent of a Dyson sphere be a series of "empowering shelters" laid out along the paths magic follows (does EGS have ley lines?) where magic users can sleep and absorb some usable magic before it finds it's way to a "drain" area like Moperville and gets recycled?

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2 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

That sort of attitude ends up with everyone at the lowest level possible.

Not everyone. Unless everyone begins at the level where they show no respect for others, in which case there is no lowest level to go down to from there.

2 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

I'd much rather see people rise above and stay classy even when their opponent doesn't.  "When they go low, we go high!"

You are a more kindly person than I am. I, being a fundamentally harsh and mean person, believe firmly in tit for tat. I do not take well to attempts to feed me taurine ordure; I normally respond to them by shoving said ordure right down the throat of the original poster.

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1 hour ago, ChronosCat said:

You suggested one of the ways magic could change was limiting how much magic was available. I'm suggesting that the magic supply is already limited and the only thing the Will of Magic can do about it is change how many people can use magic. (Though if the Will of Magic allowed more people to use magic, that would produce similar results to your scenario, with individual magic users not able to cast as many or as powerful spells as they can at this point.)

I suggested that the distribution of the magic supply might change.  Right now, there's a certain amount of energy that spellcasters generate themselves, and a certain amount of ambient energy that can be used by watches, wands, and people like Sarah or Not-Tengu who are casting spells beyond their own personal capacity.  

If all of the energy went into ambient, then any given area could run out of magic if too many people are casting too many spells.  I do picture ambient magic as flowing like water, so that a depleted area will eventually refill, but it would take time.  

If, on the other hand, ambient magic was sharply curtailed, and all magic came from the spellcaster, then it would be very difficult to become Dreaming and to Awaken, because those who didn't already have a big enough pool of personal magic to cast simple spells with a wand would have to hope training such as ASMA would work for them.  Someone like Sarah, who can get a spell but doesn't have enough personal energy to cast it, would be no better off than someone with no spell at all.

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2 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

You suggested one of the ways magic could change was limiting how much magic was available. I'm suggesting that the magic supply is already limited and the only thing the Will of Magic can do about it is change how many people can use magic. (Though if the Will of Magic allowed more people to use magic, that would produce similar results to your scenario, with individual magic users not able to cast as many or as powerful spells as they can at this point.)

I don't think the WoM would give the option of minimal changes to accommodate magic's reveal if the amount of available energy was limited or could not support widespread magic use, I mean sure it's possible to use up ambient energy in an area, but supposedly the space whales have been eating excess energy for ages so magic energy must naturally generate somehow so it would truly never run out. And then there's the fact that people generate their own magic energy and using magic just builds their ability to have more energy so it's not like everyone would be draining ambient energy all the time.

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43 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

Someone like Sarah, who can get a spell but doesn't have enough personal energy to cast it, would be no better off than someone with no spell at all.

Quite the opposite in fact.

To be sure, I have never actually controlled any magic in this lifetime.  But having some magic, and then losing it would seem to me to be not unlike having romance and then your romantic interest leaves you1.  Or having wealth, only to lose your source of income and savings to "Market Fluctuations"2.  Or finding a really nice restaurant down the block, only to watch it close because the idiot bartender can't be bothered to check the IDs of the kids the liquor license people send in from time to time on sting operations3.

1.  Happened to me.
2.  Happened to my dad.
3.  Happened to me, two different restaurants at the same location five years apart.

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3 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

having romance and then your romantic interest leaves you1.

Did your romantic interest leave with your bank account, credit cards, and your car?

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9 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

I would like to take this opportunity to mention again my theory that the reason the Will of Magic doesn't want everyone to be able to use it is that there's a limited supply of magic and that with the world population what it is, there simply isn't enough to go around and leave anyone with enough magic to do anything with it.

Now that is a good thought, especially given that human population is probably now about ten times what it was the last time that Magic changed. Consider that Sarah's spell makes a noticeable dent in local ambient energy levels for each casting of it, even in a dangerously-high energy density zone, and about five or six hundred castings of it over a week and a half or so was deemed by Pandora to lower the energy level citywide sufficiently to allow the dam to be dismantled safely. Having all thirty-odd thousand people in Moperville trying to draw on external energy would probably draw it down to "energy desert" levels.

Regarding Arthur's arguments for restoring secrecy, his entire career is built on preventing "magic-powered drama" from happening, which runs counter to one of Magic's assumed major goals. Arthur needs to keep in mind that secrecy is merely a means to an end for Magic, and not an end unto itself.

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31 minutes ago, ijuin said:

Regarding Arthur's arguments for restoring secrecy, his entire career is built on preventing "magic-powered drama" from happening, which runs counter to one of Magic's assumed major goals. Arthur needs to keep in mind that secrecy is merely a means to an end for Magic, and not an end unto itself.

Depends on whether he knew he was a Seer and what Seers do after a Change. Since he knew the Change was imminent, it's not a stretch that he does know. And what that means for him is that he'd be much more important after a Change: Seers are how magic starts being workable again, and as one of the few, he should have a lot of say about who gets to use magic again.

Of course, he is really old, so he isn't likely to have a long post-Change career. 

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4 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

I do not take well to attempts to feed me taurine ordure; I normally respond to them by shoving said ordure right down the throat of the original poster.

Ahem...

While I definitely sympathize with this attitude, I have to ask: who moderates the moderator?

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We all do so collectively--Hack has shown himself to be responsive to the community in those thankfully rare instances where the general opinion is that he is overstepping.

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Check and balance-y here, eh? Not-so-grump to the the grump?

2 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

Of course, he is really old, so he isn't likely to have a long post-Change career. 

Immortal much? Then again, would an Immortal be a Seer? No, right? Right?

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7 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

Depends on whether he knew he was a Seer and what Seers do after a Change. Since he knew the Change was imminent, it's not a stretch that he does know. And what that means for him is that he'd be much more important after a Change: Seers are how magic starts being workable again, and as one of the few, he should have a lot of say about who gets to use magic again.

Of course, he is really old, so he isn't likely to have a long post-Change career. 

Thing is though, when he was talking to Leifeld about it, he seemed sure that if magic changed it would be decades before enough people relearned the system to be of any concern. If he knew he was a seer capable of teaching people the new system, then he would have withheld that info from Leifeld, but I don't think he knew about that because when he appeared at the meeting he stated he believed he was a wizard with a quirk, so while he would have known about system changes, he probably didn't know enough about seers (if he even knew about seers at all) to realize he was one.

Tedd believed she had no magic potential that it was impossible for her to use magic, but for a while she was able to see magic without knowing that it was odd and she thought it was the tech she created that allowed her to imitate magic. if Arthur's case he probably though something similar for a while about his inability to cast spells, but at some point probably just assumed that was the type of wizard he was, if he figured out he could see how magic worked, he like was able to get into the Paranormal Division on that alone, being able to give other agents an idea of what magic rogue wizards are using would be a valuable skill if he can see it in action. And maybe if he learned he could make wands then that's another skill worth having for the Paranormal Division. So it's just likely that Arthur never knew exactly what he was.

 

Back to Tedd though, I'm curious as to how close she was to becoming ineligible for the second purpose? For the 2 that were confirmed to have been "diligent researchers" I wonder how they would have concluded they had a second purpose and what it was. did they find some journal from a previous Seer who had a meeting with the WoM to change the system? or did they figure out about their first purpose and then found out about the WoM and naturally figure out that they could communicate with it?

Tedd was told about the magic change and the existence of the WoM, and then Pandora told her that she was a seer and able to learn the changes and teach others. Elliot had previously mentioned that Tedd could potentially force Magic to compromise, what are the chances that Tedd could have realized that she could potentially be able to reason with the WoM and affect whether or not the system change and would that have been enough to make her ineligible?

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