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Pharaoh RutinTutin

Q&A Wednesday April 10, 2019

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Posted (edited)

This has unfortunate implications for people who change their names to more closely match who they feel themselves to be, or because they have a deep dislike for the name they were given. It says that on some level (at least to Magic) your name will always be what your parents first said it was, and you have no say in the matter. I think Susan would be pretty disturbed by this - and probably Sam as well (assuming his name started as a nickname).

Frankly, I'm pretty surprised Dan didn't see this problem right away, and at least address it in the commentary if not the comic. Considering the twitter response (roughly a dozen complaints so far) I'm guessing that's what the next comic is going to be about, regardless of what Dan had originally planned...

EDIT: Yep, new comic addressing the issue on Friday, final comic of the Q&A moved to Monday.

 

Edited by ChronosCat
New developments.

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1 hour ago, ChronosCat said:

This has unfortunate implications for people who change their names to more closely match who they feel themselves to be, or because they have a deep dislike for the name they were given. It says that on some level (at least to Magic) your name will always be what your parents first said it was, and you have no say in the matter.

But this only definitely applies to name-based affinities, and there's no way to be certain that your child will have one.

Or perhaps causality even goes the other way - Magic influenced Catalina's parents toward a cat-like first name because she had an affinity for cat-based spells. (I believe it's established that even pre-reset Pandora didn't have a complete understanding of how Magic works. Maybe Heka does better, but he apparently has limited contact with humans so could easily skip over details of application.)

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I would suspect that if parents knew that a name could impact affinity, trying to intentionally name their child something in the hopes that they would get that affinity would either backfire or just not work at all. The WoM stated that Seers couldn't be created intentionally so it'd make sense if name based affinities couldn't be completely preplanned.   Panel 4 implies that if someone really wanted certain spells, changing their name might help....but I think that's really to do with how much they yearn for the type of spell they want and changing their name is basically showing how committed they are, that's not really giving them an affinity though as panel 5 states that it wouldn't be natural.

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7 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

This has unfortunate implications for people who change their names to more closely match who they feel themselves to be, or because they have a deep dislike for the name they were given. It says that on some level (at least to Magic) your name will always be what your parents first said it was, and you have no say in the matter.

Well ... life isn't fair.

7 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

Frankly, I'm pretty surprised Dan didn't see this problem right away, and at least address it in the commentary if not the comic. Considering the twitter response (roughly a dozen complaints so far) I'm guessing that's what the next comic is going to be about, regardless of what Dan had originally planned...

EDIT: Yep, new comic addressing the issue on Friday, final comic of the Q&A moved to Monday.

... and frankly, I would prefer if there would be at least SOMETHING in EGS magic which wouldn't be extra convenient.

7 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

I think Susan would be pretty disturbed by this - and probably Sam as well (assuming his name started as a nickname).

Tiffany Susan Pompoms would definitely not like it, but at least she would still be Susan. Samantha, meanwhile ...

5 hours ago, Scotty said:

I would suspect that if parents knew that a name could impact affinity, trying to intentionally name their child something in the hopes that they would get that affinity would either backfire or just not work at all.

I have better solution. I think that while getting cat-themed spells is easy, the more desired affinities wouldn't be. I mean, it's obvious that Catalina Bobcat is cat-related name, but Sarah's spell? Timey Stopsim, seriously?

The more complicated spell the harder would be to name child in way it would be related to that spell and specifically that spell and nothing else.

Also, if, for example, you are trying for wizard, you may end up with very weak wizard like Ashley.

5 hours ago, Scotty said:

The WoM stated that Seers couldn't be created intentionally so it'd make sense if name based affinities couldn't be completely preplanned.

Seems Dan doesn't like Dune. Note that I would assume this doesn't mean you NEVER get Seer when you are trying to, just that it's not reliable. With both Tedd and Van being seers, I would assume that probability of Noriko's child will be seer is high enough despite her deliberately trying to have strong wizard, so ...

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22 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Well ... life isn't fair.

... and frankly, I would prefer if there would be at least SOMETHING in EGS magic which wouldn't be extra convenient.

Personally I would be / have been fine with him just acknowledging that it wasn't fair; the part that bothered me was that he didn't seem to realize how unfair it was.

That said, I like that magic is so convenient in EGS - and that in general really bad things don't usually happen in EGS outside of backstories. It allows me to just relax and enjoy the ride, whereas in a similar but less "safe" story I'd be worried about what might happen to the characters I've come to like so much.

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53 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Seems Dan doesn't like Dune. Note that I would assume this doesn't mean you NEVER get Seer when you are trying to, just that it's not reliable. With both Tedd and Van being seers, I would assume that probability of Noriko's child will be seer is high enough despite her deliberately trying to have strong wizard, so ...

The WoM literally says "there are factors preventing the birth of a Seer from being something one can plan", the thing is, trying to give birth to a strong wizard is not the same as trying to give birth to a Seer because Noriko wouldn't know what Seers are. I suspect there's an AU where Noriko does know about Seers, believes she has the potential of giving birth to one but is constantly failing to do so because she isn't aware that knowing prevents it and so keeps blaming the men for not being suitable. Not knowing about Seers would be the only explanation for her being 2 for 2 on giving birth to them.

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11 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

This has unfortunate implications for people who change their names to more closely match who they feel themselves to be, or because they have a deep dislike for the name they were given. It says that on some level (at least to Magic) your name will always be what your parents first said it was, and you have no say in the matter. I think Susan would be pretty disturbed by this - and probably Sam as well (assuming his name started as a nickname).

Feeling strongly enough that your name is inappropriate would probably give you a personality-based affinity anyway.

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A heads-up: Dan has changed the wording in panel two. "A solid no" became "usually no", "when a baby is first named" became "when someone is first named", and instead of there being power to certain names, the naming "sets off Magic's future irony sensors".

That last bit seems a bit awkwardly worded; in particular by the narrow definition of irony name-based affinities would be the opposite of ironic (i.e., "fitting"). (I know a broader definition which includes things that are fitting is fairly common these days, but I don't like it.)

At any rate, I look forward to seeing how these changes tie in with whatever is revealed in the next comic.

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9 hours ago, Scotty said:

I would suspect that if parents knew that a name could impact affinity, trying to intentionally name their child something in the hopes that they would get that affinity would either backfire or just not work at all.

This.

Consider: "Catalina" and "Bobcat" are both model names for automobiles. They are also both model names for boats. (In both instances, "Bobcat" is used for several much-different things in the category. For that matter, they are both names of companies that make boats, while companies named "Bobcat" also make automobiles and construction equipment.)

So Catalina Bobcat could easily have had a name-based affinity that is distinctly non-feline.

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11 minutes ago, Don Edwards said:

This.

Not so much anymore I guess, Dan's reworded the second panel and basically it is possible for parents to intentionally name their kids with the hope of them getting an affinity, might not be guaranteed since it depends on whether Magic thinks it'd be worth it or not.

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5 hours ago, ChronosCat said:
6 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Well ... life isn't fair.

... and frankly, I would prefer if there would be at least SOMETHING in EGS magic which wouldn't be extra convenient.

Personally I would be / have been fine with him just acknowledging that it wasn't fair; the part that bothered me was that he didn't seem to realize how unfair it was.

That said, I like that magic is so convenient in EGS - and that in general really bad things don't usually happen in EGS outside of backstories. It allows me to just relax and enjoy the ride, whereas in a similar but less "safe" story I'd be worried about what might happen to the characters I've come to like so much.

There are stories where you don't need to worry about characters despite the fact that their protection is not implemented in actual laws of universe.

(And, specifically in this case, how could naming someone NOT be backstory? Anyone so young to be named in course of comic wouldn't get old enough to be character before the comic ends ...)

5 hours ago, Scotty said:
6 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Seems Dan doesn't like Dune. Note that I would assume this doesn't mean you NEVER get Seer when you are trying to, just that it's not reliable. With both Tedd and Van being seers, I would assume that probability of Noriko's child will be seer is high enough despite her deliberately trying to have strong wizard, so ...

The WoM literally says "there are factors preventing the birth of a Seer from being something one can plan", the thing is, trying to give birth to a strong wizard is not the same as trying to give birth to a Seer because Noriko wouldn't know what Seers are. I suspect there's an AU where Noriko does know about Seers, believes she has the potential of giving birth to one but is constantly failing to do so because she isn't aware that knowing prevents it and so keeps blaming the men for not being suitable. Not knowing about Seers would be the only explanation for her being 2 for 2 on giving birth to them.

I would expect that if it would be really explicitly made impossible - just like seers who know about second purpose will not show on meeting - the wording would be different. "Factors" seems more like something random-based. For comparison, note that there are factors preventing you from timing the birth to exact date: that doesn't mean it's impossible, just that no matter how hard you try you can't guarantee the result (for natural birth, I mean. You can guarantee the result with c-section.)

2 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

A heads-up: Dan has changed the wording in panel two. "A solid no" became "usually no", "when a baby is first named" became "when someone is first named", and instead of there being power to certain names, the naming "sets off Magic's future irony sensors".

Oh, retcon!

Note that panel 1 changed too: it now talks about strange names. And panel 3, "applicable" changed to "really on the nose".

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12 hours ago, Scotty said:

Not so much anymore I guess, Dan's reworded the second panel and basically it is possible for parents to intentionally name their kids with the hope of them getting an affinity, might not be guaranteed since it depends on whether Magic thinks it'd be worth it or not.

I don't see the problem. OF COURSE someone could name their kid something intended to help create a name-based magical affinity - that's true in this world too. There's no statement about whether this is likely to work, or if it does work they'll get the specific affinity they were hoping for.

That's why I was pointing out that "Catalina Bobcat" could plausibly have a name-based affinity for magic relating to sailing or automobiles. Heck, she's named after (your choice) two sailboat-makers, or two automobiles (among other possibilities).

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7 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

That's why I was pointing out that "Catalina Bobcat" could plausibly have a name-based affinity for magic relating to sailing or automobiles. Heck, she's named after (your choice) two sailboat-makers, or two automobiles (among other possibilities).

Of course, that's assuming that magic NOTICED the sailboat-makers or automobiles. After all, those are quite fresh things.

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7 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Catalina is a tomato based salad dressing and Bobcat is a low ranking Cub Scout

Can she make young boys eat more vegetables?

You would need inherited affinity as strong as the Seer one for something like that.

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