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The Old Hack

Story Wednesday February 15, 2017

74 posts in this topic

20 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

Since she is dealing with what for her would be the effective destruction of years of work and the loss of so many things that have helped her turn her life around, any nonzero chance of it happening is a cause of significant worry. Even if it is only a one percent chance, the consequences will remain ruinous. And the chances of magic change happening are currently significantly larger than nonzero.

The one thing that is absolutely certain is that Tedd will be unable to make magic public. Just having that dream crushed is significant because even if Magic doesn't change, Tedd wouldn't have any reason to want to continue researching it. Elliot and the others could argue that Tedd can still help them, and Edward could suggest joining DGB and help protect people from rogue mages and monsters and other paranormal things, but Tedd would be constantly reminded of how helpless the general public is against magic and that only solution would result in the loss of magic for everyone.

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I wonder if Tedd is contemplating the possibility that they might have to cause a system change?  If a situation arose where their friends were in mortal danger from a magic-user, for example.  Or they could decide at some point that anything would be better than the current system, or at least that the odds were much better that it would improve things than that it would make things any worse,...

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14 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

I wonder if Tedd is contemplating the possibility that they might have to cause a system change?  If a situation arose where their friends were in mortal danger from a magic-user, for example.  Or they could decide at some point that anything would be better than the current system, or at least that the odds were much better that it would improve things than that it would make things any worse,...

That might be very tricky to accomplish and I'm not sure it'd be guaranteed to work either. I think it'd have to be a situation where the danger would likely end up causing magic to change anyway so doing something to make it happen sooner would be the solution. If the danger was imminent though, I don't think it could be done. Then again we only know of one reason the Will of Magic would change the system (it doesn't want to be public) it had taken Pandora the better part of a year to set up conditions to make magic public and get the Will to consider changing the system. Tedd would need to work a lot faster than that. Also while the Will has a flair for the dramatic, it might not consider a system change to save a tiny handful of people.

Maybe Tedd could blackmail the Will into doing something to save her friends, threaten to reveal magic no matter how many times the system can change, Tedd's got the ability to decipher the changes (though she doesn't know it yet) and maybe the Will doesn't want to be constantly changing things and so might intervene in Tedd's favour.

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34 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

I wonder if Tedd is contemplating the possibility that they might have to cause a system change?

That is an interesting idea.  There are several scenarios where it could become a viable option.  This probably won't be considered until after Tedd meets with Pandora and has an honest discussion of the nature of magic and the dangerous rarity.

4 hours ago, Stature said:

I really believe that France is a big red herring.

 

3 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

No it's not. France is a big blue cheese.

Quote
In 1962, Charles de Gaulle said:

Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cent quarante-six variétés de fromage?
How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?

 

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2 hours ago, Scotty said:

The one thing that is absolutely certain is that Tedd will be unable to make magic public. Just having that dream crushed is significant because even if Magic doesn't change, Tedd wouldn't have any reason to want to continue researching it. Elliot and the others could argue that Tedd can still help them, and Edward could suggest joining DGB and help protect people from rogue mages and monsters and other paranormal things, but Tedd would be constantly reminded of how helpless the general public is against magic and that only solution would result in the loss of magic for everyone.

Worse: temporary loss of magic for everyone.

Why that's worse: the existing system for dealing with rogue magic-users would be devastated by the loss of all its known magic-users and magical devices, but the rate at which rogue magic-users emerge would (most likely) remain about the same.

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5 hours ago, hkmaly said:

For WWII tech, even megabyte memory would be unreachable. Also, WWII era transistors probably wouldn't be able to operate on megahertz frequency (not speaking about gigahertz).

For some applications analog computers are faster and more accurate than even modern digital computers.  Two target ballistic tracking and control for example.  Of course the are about the size of a minivan and have a freaking huge power requirement.  Size and power requirements is the primary reason the military has gone with digital computers for ballistic and range use.  Example a modern laser rangefinder has an accuracy of around ten meters at 10,000 meters.  An analog device has an accuracy of sub meter range at 100,000 meters.  On the other hand the LRF can be held by one hand and powered by one battery.  The analog device is, again, the size of a minivan with a power requirement in the multiple kilowatt range.

The analog device range given above is vs aircraft targets, before any one comments on curvature of the earth making that range impossible.

 

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1 minute ago, Don Edwards said:

Worse: temporary loss of magic for everyone.

Why that's worse: the existing system for dealing with rogue magic-users would be devastated by the loss of all its known magic-users and magical devices, but the rate at which rogue magic-users emerge would (most likely) remain about the same.

Tedd could always help rebuild DGB by teaching them the new system and get a head start on dealing with any rogues that crop up, but then the cycle would just repeat.

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6 hours ago, Stature said:

Verres itself is French, while Noriko is in Europe, yet Nanase and Susan had their trip to France. Now I really believe that France is a big red herring.

 

I might have been thinking of Mr. Verres, not Abraham.

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8 hours ago, hkmaly said:

For WWII tech, even megabyte memory would be unreachable. Also, WWII era transistors probably wouldn't be able to operate on megahertz frequency (not speaking about gigahertz)

I am assuming an engineer who has full knowledge of the structure and function of advanced computer hardware components (circa 2020 or later Earth equivalent), yet who will have to build for himself any components that can not be purchased/scavenged from WWII-era materials. If no actual ready-made advanced components are available, then I think that the best that could be rigged would be the equivalent of a 1960s-era transistor device using magnetic core memory, such as the IBM 7040. Having actual microchips available to connect to the lower-tech components would allow for faster processing, but the system would be limited by a comparably very slow bus speed.

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10 hours ago, ijuin said:

I am assuming an engineer who has full knowledge of the structure and function of advanced computer hardware components (circa 2020 or later Earth equivalent), yet who will have to build for himself any components that can not be purchased/scavenged from WWII-era materials. If no actual ready-made advanced components are available, then I think that the best that could be rigged would be the equivalent of a 1960s-era transistor device using magnetic core memory, such as the IBM 7040. Having actual microchips available to connect to the lower-tech components would allow for faster processing, but the system would be limited by a comparably very slow bus speed.

"I am attempting to build a mnemonic memory circuit out of stone knives and bear skins"...

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18 hours ago, Don Edwards said:
21 hours ago, Scotty said:

The one thing that is absolutely certain is that Tedd will be unable to make magic public. Just having that dream crushed is significant because even if Magic doesn't change, Tedd wouldn't have any reason to want to continue researching it. Elliot and the others could argue that Tedd can still help them, and Edward could suggest joining DGB and help protect people from rogue mages and monsters and other paranormal things, but Tedd would be constantly reminded of how helpless the general public is against magic and that only solution would result in the loss of magic for everyone.

Worse: temporary loss of magic for everyone.

Why that's worse: the existing system for dealing with rogue magic-users would be devastated by the loss of all its known magic-users and magical devices, but the rate at which rogue magic-users emerge would (most likely) remain about the same.

The rogue magic-users will also be affected. But you may be right that the rate would remain same, they will just emerge with less power.

18 hours ago, mlooney said:

The analog device range given above is vs aircraft targets, before any one comments on curvature of the earth making that range impossible.

Isn't 100km technically spacecraft range?

4 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:
15 hours ago, ijuin said:

I am assuming an engineer who has full knowledge of the structure and function of advanced computer hardware components (circa 2020 or later Earth equivalent), yet who will have to build for himself any components that can not be purchased/scavenged from WWII-era materials. If no actual ready-made advanced components are available, then I think that the best that could be rigged would be the equivalent of a 1960s-era transistor device using magnetic core memory, such as the IBM 7040. Having actual microchips available to connect to the lower-tech components would allow for faster processing, but the system would be limited by a comparably very slow bus speed.

"I am attempting to build a mnemonic memory circuit out of stone knives and bear skins"...

I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bearskins.

Actually, we are in very unstable period: almost no current engineer has enough knowledge to build even ARM-based CPU, much less x86-compatible, even with current era materials. It requires teams of engineers and special factory.

 

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Spock also had the limitation that he was working with a budget of less than ten dollars per week--note his request for platinum from which to make components, which was laughed off by Kirk. If he had the resources of say, a full research university or a major defense contractor, he might be able to build some form of low-end 1950s-era vacuum-tube mainframe.

I always wondered about that circuitry that he was building--given that his tricorder presumably was capable of handling terabit-scale amounts of data in seconds, using billions of nanometer-scale components, anything that could be built out of a few hundred vacuum tubes ought to be so useless as to be not worth his time. He would have gained more utility by disassembling their communicators and scavenging those components instead.

Anyway, getting back to EGS, my original point was that certain Uryuom-manufactured components would remain completely beyond Tedd's ability to reverse-engineer due to being built by a society that passed our current technology at least 300 years ago (going by the "Uryuoms could have come to Earth in time for the American Revolution" notion here).

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On 2/15/2017 at 6:09 AM, Dabat said:

Is he English? I could of sworn he was French? ... Though now that I try to recall, I have no idea why I thought he was.

How about Roman? One of the most noted successful prosecutions of Cicero was that of Gaius Verres way back in 70 BC. However, Verres chose exile in Massilia where he lived to a ripe old age, surviving Julius Caesar (and Cicero). Since Massilia became modern Marseille, now part of modern France, who knows?

Let's hope Edward doesn't take after his possible many-times-great grandfather because if you believe Cicero, he was one of history's greatest jerks. He's a character in one of Steven Saylor's Roman detective stories, Last Seen in Massilia, which I've actually read.

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7 minutes ago, Tom Sewell said:

How about Roman? One of the most noted successful prosecutions of Cicero was that of Gaius Verres way back in 70 BC. However, Verres chose exile in Massilia where he lived to a ripe old age, surviving Julius Caesar (and Cicero). Since Massilia became modern Marseille, now part of modern France, who knows?

Let's hope Edward doesn't take after his possible many-times-great grandfather because if you believe Cicero, he was one of history's greatest jerks. He's a character in one of Steven Saylor's Roman detective stories, Last Seen in Massilia, which I've actually read.

If Edward is the descendant of Gaius Verres, it would make you wonder if Gaius was also a wizard (this is strictly thinking EGS universe here) maybe the Verres line was one of the first to regain magic after the last system change, or maybe Gaius himself was one of the first new wizards. We have know idea when the last system change was, just that it was in Pandora's previous incarnation and Dan's danced around her current age quite a bit, just that the last system change was during her previous life.

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2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Isn't 100km technically spacecraft range?

Only if it was straight up.  

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Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cent quarante-six variétés de fromage?
How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?

Faire les fromages le repas de les personnes.
Make cheese the meal of the people.

8 hours ago, mlooney said:

Only if it was straight up.  

To the right.

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Just now, Stature said:

Faire les fromages le repas de les personnes.
Make cheese the meal of the people.

I thought Americans did that as a way to entice people to go into cattle farming. And now there's warehouses full of decades old cheese.

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3 hours ago, Scotty said:

I thought Americans did that as a way to entice people to go into cattle farming. And now there's warehouses full of decades old cheese.

Ah, do not get me into saying the reason why Americans love cheese (especially their kind), but I so digress.

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39 minutes ago, Stature said:

Ah, do not get me into saying the reason why Americans love cheese (especially their kind), but I so digress.

Gotta correct myself, it wasn't to entice farmers, it was to support dairy farmers when prices fell and to keep the price of dairy from falling too low. But there was also a boom in production a few years ago which caused farmers to expand their operations but that boom didn't last as long as people thought. Last year it was reported that there was 1.2 billion pounds of cheese sitting in cold storage that may never get eaten.

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1 hour ago, Stature said:

Ah, do not get me into saying the reason why Americans love cheese (especially their kind), but I so digress.

I'm an American and I only grudgingly acknowledge "American Cheese" as in fact being cheese at all.  Give me a good swiss, a sharp cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan (among others) for my pizza...Smoked cheese generally making things better still.

I have little use for American cheese which I tend to think as watered down cheddar, or perhaps the unholy offspring of cheddar and Monterey Jack.

Tthe obligatory Monty Python clip:

 

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22 hours ago, ijuin said:

Spock also had the limitation that he was working with a budget of less than ten dollars per week--note his request for platinum from which to make components, which was laughed off by Kirk. If he had the resources of say, a full research university or a major defense contractor, he might be able to build some form of low-end 1950s-era vacuum-tube mainframe.

True.

22 hours ago, ijuin said:

I always wondered about that circuitry that he was building--given that his tricorder presumably was capable of handling terabit-scale amounts of data in seconds, using billions of nanometer-scale components, anything that could be built out of a few hundred vacuum tubes ought to be so useless as to be not worth his time. He would have gained more utility by disassembling their communicators and scavenging those components instead.

If the communicators and tricorder are build similarly as current computers, meaning from chips, no disassembling would help ; you would need borg technology to do any modification inside chip. Either he has the memory capacity or not and any reconfiguration would need to be software based.

So, yes, totally unexplainable.

21 hours ago, mlooney said:
23 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Isn't 100km technically spacecraft range?

Only if it was straight up.  

Right. Forgot that detail.

 

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On 2/16/2017 at 3:40 PM, hkmaly said:

The rogue magic-users will also be affected. But you may be right that the rate would remain same, they will just emerge with less power.

I can't think of a reason they'd be less powerful. There would be a mostly-different group of people who happened to randomly stumble on how to work magic, because that "how to" would be different, but that wouldn't mean they are less powerful or that the despicable among them would be less despicable.

The enforcement body that currently goes after the despicable ones, though, relies on hitting relatively inexperienced rogue magic-users, typically operating solo, with trained and experienced teams of magic users equipped as needed with batteries of magical devices from inventories built up over at least years.. How does that work when there are no trained and experienced magic users and the magical devices have stopped being magical?

6 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

I'm an American and I only grudgingly acknowledge "American Cheese" as in fact being cheese at all.

And then there's "pasteurized process cheese food", such as Velveeta. It isn't cheese, it doesn't even claim to be cheese. It claims to be something that you would feed to a process cheese - if you know what that is, happen across one, and it's hungry. And yet, many people call it cheese.

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On 2/15/2017 at 10:45 PM, Don Edwards said:

Worse: temporary loss of magic for everyone.

Why that's worse: the existing system for dealing with rogue magic-users would be devastated by the loss of all its known magic-users and magical devices, but the rate at which rogue magic-users emerge would (most likely) remain about the same.

On the other hand, Mr. Verres' superior seems to WANT magic to be more widely known.  Rather, Arthur claims that how easily it can be used is the real problem, and we do not know what his long-term objects are .

 

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