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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:18 pm 
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This popped into my head this morning; thought I'd share:

There's a story about Michelangelo and the Statue of David--- according to the story, he was being complemented on his creation of the statue, but he refused credit for "making" David.

"NO, no" he explained. "The statue of David was ALWAYS present in the block of marble. I didn't create David... I just removed all the parts that weren't David."

And it's true... out of an infinite possibility of statues that COULD be created by that same block of marble... in a way, they are ALL part of the marble already--- Michelangelo just had to 'release' the one he wanted to see.

As Dr. Manhattan said in an issue of Watchmen... 'Blocks of marble have statues inside them; embedded in their futures'


This, to me, seems metaphorically similar to how Ages are "created." The Age already exists before you begin to write... you just have to eliminate all the OTHER possible Ages by describing the one you want. But it's already there.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:54 pm 
Very interesting analogy, Harvey. Never heard of that one before.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:35 pm 
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HarveyMidnight wrote:
This, to me, seems metaphorically similar to how Ages are "created." The Age already exists before you begin to write... you just have to eliminate all the OTHER possible Ages by describing the one you want. But it's already there.


The idea that the ages existed before a descriptive book was written makes no sense to me. It makes it a lot more complicated.

The D'ni religion may suggest that the ages already existed, made by Yahvo, (just like there are real religions that believe anything a person could invent was already thought up by god) but their religion can have been wrong. Gehn wrote in a journal that he believed the D'ni actually did create their ages. He may have been evil, but still I think he was right in this case.

What are the odds of a writer just happening to write a world with no mistakes what-so-ever, a world that can actually already exist fully by natural means? Even if there are countless universes that exist, aren't there countless more that couldn't possibly exist unless it was invented by a person/god/consciousness?

Either the D'ni had the god-like power to make ages, or a god-like entity knew what ages to make before the writers themselves even thought of the idea. I go with the more simple idea that they just directly make their own ages.

I have been insulted in-game before because of my view that the D'ni do create their ages. But it is still what I believe because I just can't see the alternative making as much sense.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:28 am 
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No god or man created those Ages. No god or man created this one.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:47 am 
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(Warning - long post is long)

I think one of the most difficult aspects of linking to understand is its requirement of infinity, and an infinity of infinities. For Descriptive Books to work at all (metaphysically speaking) they cannot link to a place in the same Age/universe as they were Written, including the bounds of space and time. Each Book individually links to a planet in a universe separate from our own, itself infinite in possibility. The Book (or Yahvo, if we're getting religious) picks one of an infinite number of nearly identical universes (down to the very atoms) which best matches the description given. Because of the infinite possibilities to choose from, the Descriptive Book necessarily needs to include some vagueness, which ensures that there is a stable universe to link to. You could, theoretically, include more and more details down to the shape of the very rocks on your desired planet/Age, but the more details that are included necessitate a link to a less and less stable universe, i.e. The more control you try to take, the worse it's going to turn out. No human, not even a Writer, can fully encapsulate infinity in mortal thoughts. Catherine, as an example, seemed to sidestep this in a way by Writing her Books in a kind of poetry, leading to Ages that stretched the rules to their limits. Yeesha seems to have broken some of these rules outright, but she's not part of a scientific conversation.

So, to imagine it, picture a bubble bath infinite in all dimensions (time and space), filled with infinite bubbles. The bath would be considered the Great Tree of Possibility, while each bubble is itself an infinite universe, or Age. There are infinitely many kinds of bubbles, and infinite copies of each deviation, with an infinite gradient of change between each one. Writing an Age picks only one of these infinite bubbles, only one point in space and time in that bubble, and establishes a connection between that dimensionless point and the place where the Book was Written. Granted, this may seem a statistically impossible thing to accomplish, yet, here we are. Once the link is established that bubble is "cemented" into the link, but destroying the Descriptive Book would effectively cut it free and it would be lost to infinity once again.

Now, for the religious implications, all I've got that may help is a part of the D'ni creation myth.

[spoiler]"From nothing, Yahvo created a seed. Amidst nothing, the seed lived and grew until a single root emerged from the seed.

"The light of Yahvo shone on the seed, causing it to grow, but only slightly. Yahvo was unhappy with what he saw and so he waited. Eventually, another root appeared, and another, and another, and soon there were millions of roots extending out from the seed, stretching through all time and space eventually pleasing Yahvo with their color and diversity.

"Yahvo smiled at what he saw and created a pool of white water for the roots so that they might be nourished and grow stronger and bigger. He created black soil for the roots that they might be fed by its nutrients and fill the darkness further with their shapes. He Himself provided light for the seeds.

"As time passed, the roots spread themselves across the vastness, growing larger and fuller every day, joining with one another, intertwining, and extending in every direction, reaching all places. Though there were endless roots, each was different than the other; there was one in particular that Yahvo watched closely.

"It was this particular root that was the first to change its direction and begin to sprout upward, towards Yahvo himself. It continued to stretch itself toward the heavens before splitting itself apart into an endless amount of smaller roots, each one spreading away from the other. Yahvo was pleased with the new shape forming and as He focused His attention upon the shape, the other roots became distant, far away, and seemingly forgotten.

"Black leaves began to emerge from the upper roots and one particular section became thicker and more robust. Yahvo created a special light for the same and after time the leaves that had been black, became green.

"The thick section of the root formed a thick wooden skin while bright fruits appeared between the green leaves.
Yahvo enjoyed the new shape and He called it ‘ter’ (tree). But, in time, the tree bored Him. It was then He added a thick ground beneath the tree and filled it with blades of tall yellow grasses. Days later, He noticed a small worm walking along the leaf, eating the green substance.

"The laughter of Yahvo filled the expanse of Heaven and soon there were many worms, filling up the tree, eating the fruits and leaves for nourishment. [...]"[/spoiler]

This can be viewed both as the actual doings of Yahvo, and as the scientific doings of the physical multi-universe. The seed would be the Big Bang across all possibilities, filling every universe with potential. As time passes the potential coalesces and forms solid things, stars and planets and such, much like the rest of our universe. The emergence of the roots into the light can be seen as the solidification of stable universes, each black leaf being a world or universe where the chaos of beginning had calmed to become macro-physical clockwork. The leaves on which Yahvo's light shone and became green are those in which simple life developed (still infinite in number), and from there followed animal life and finally sentient life. Though it is not mentioned explicitly in this myth, it was to the people of Garternay, the Root of the Great Tree, perhaps the oldest Age of all (if that concept holds in the multi-universe), that the Art was given/developed. From the Root the Ronay could visit all other leaves of the Tree, both those still black (non-living universes) and those green (those supporting all kinds of life). As is now history, Garternay became unstable and its people undertook many exoduses (exodi?) to Ages of their choosing, one of these being D'ni, Earth.

This is my understanding of the Art and Linking, maybe not so much the present-time mechanics of the link but the underlying matrix which allows it. Hopefully it can clear up some issues, or raise even more. :twisted:

(Also, thanks Tai'lahr for finding that quote :D )

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:07 pm 
It has been confirmed that the D'ni believed, as Atrus himself did, that they did not create their Ages; rather just linked to pre-existing ones.
Atrus, in 'Atrus' Prayer', wrote:
I was thinking what [grace] it is to be able to link to various places of your creation

This implies that Atrus is linking to Ages that Yahvo has made, not Atrus.

And if you think about it, what need is there for 'The Maker' if he makes nothing?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:14 am 
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Ehran - it is a sad and sorry thing that anyone would insult you for your thoughts on an in-game concept. Having differing opinions would make for more interesting discussions. I can imagine, had Uru had have continued as planned, that there could have been factions of Yahvo (and Yeesha) followers who believed in the "infinite universes" linking theory and those who chose to side with the more "prideful" belief that the D'ni actually created the ages through the Art. Perhaps this was what they were going to set Esher up as had things continued.

I think story wise that Cyan present the infinite universe theory as the in-game "truth" based upon Yeesha's and the Bahro's special abilities but if you can't reconcile that in your mind then your view is just as valid.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:18 am 
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Ehren wrote:
What are the odds of a writer just happening to write a world with no mistakes what-so-ever, a world that can actually already exist fully by natural means?


But they are NOT always perfect, no mistakes whatsoever. There are any number of Ages that are on the verge of collapse, or don't turn out... because of some unsupportable flaw in the decription that won't allow them to continue. Gehn, who believed he was creating those Ages himself? He couldn't create a stable Age to save his life. [spoiler] He couldn't create a stable Age to save his life. Literally. He likely died when Riven, his fifth Age, tore itself apart.[/spoiler]

It is made clear in the books, etc, that it takes a LOT of work, and more than a little talent.. as well as a clear understanding of the laws & principles that allow a stable Age to be created.

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I have been insulted in-game before because of my view that the D'ni do create their ages. But it is still what I believe because I just can't see the alternative making as much sense.


I'm sorry to hear that. BUT.. I actually used to feel that way, as well. Believe it or not I once thought the idea that the Ages "already existed" and the description just happened to coincide with an already existing universe, sounded kinda hokey. But that's ultimately based on something all too human: our inability to mentally grasp the exact concept of infinity.


Einstein's belief about quantum physics was that anything that COULD possibly happen, DOES happen.. and an infinite number of universes exist, to allow any and every event, outcome or possibility to happen. Anything that CAN happen, does... in some version of reality.

Yes.. it sounds unlikely that, just because of sheer coincidence there's a world out there exactly like the one you've dreamed up. But that's the point.. IF what you have dreamed up is "possible", that makes it a lot more likely that you have stumbled onto the description of a place that does exist.

And that's where the "D'ni laws" come into it.


As you said above, Ehren... what are the odds someone could dream up a world with no mistakes, etc... ? Well.. IF they limit what they dream up to principles, rules, & guidelines that have been figured out by tens of thousands of years of D'ni and Garternay and Ronay trial-and-error... and they put in a lot of work, time, research, etc into making their description & checkin' it twice, specifically to avoid mistakes... well, the odds get a LOT better that the "final draft" WILL be "...a world with no mistakes what-so-ever, a world that can actually already exist fully by natural means." That, in turn, makes it a lot more likely that-- like old Einstein said-- because it can exist, it DOES, and is already out there.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:59 am 
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And that is correct, Harvey, Ehren and all ... :P

There is no coincidence ... We are the dreamer and the dream ... The source is inside ...
The 'outside' is a reflection of the same, the inside, and it is malleable, and we do it all
the time (more or less conscious) ... :D

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:32 pm 
The only concern with the Writer creating his Ages is this: Earth is an Age written by Ri'neref. Are we created by him, then?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:11 pm 
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DLordofTime wrote:
The only concern with the Writer creating his Ages is this: Earth is an Age written by Ri'neref. Are we created by him, then?

No, the D'ni or whoever are 'only' writing/describing the environments/ecological structures/vegetation/architecture etc. of the
age into the Descriptive Book in all its detail as desired and imagined according to their rules, and as such creating a link to
that imagined already existing place, where its native people are already living in the natural confines and living conditions of
the resp. age/world/planet, I suppose ... :D

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:35 pm 
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Janaba1, I think that DLordofTime was responding to Ehren's thought with a probing question.

I... think...

I also have a concern with the writer/creator concept, the mysterious nature of The Art is anything but simple, no matter how one cuts it. It's hard enough to imagine how age-writing and wormhole-with-book-construction could actually happen - to only allow for a person to connect with another world.

To me, an age writer as a creator is much more complex and confusing. This seems more like terrifying magic. How would someone even begin to teach another person how to invent matter and construct an engine of physics and manipulate light and all the other complex attributes needed to make a cohesive world to link to? The idea that the world's that are described exist somewhere-someWHEN- is much simpler than a person engaging in an unknown process if unique actual creation.

And writer-as-world-librarian breaks no thermodynamic laws.

The Art is like google, but with universes. Not websites.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:44 am 
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Rehjee wrote:
The Art is like google, but with universes. Not websites.

Excellent analogy!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:15 am 
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No, it is not ... Universes exist already, websites don't lol ... One doesn't imagine and create links
to websites which already exist somewhere ... yes, in the ether by your imagination lol, but one
has to actually manifest resp. create them with the resp. tools ... :lol:

But I understand where Rehjee is coming from, the concerns he has about the creation theory ... :)

On the other hand, Riven was destroyed, and I see e.g. Atrus brooding over the Descriptive
book of an age where he might have discovered that there went sth wrong or so ... I suppose,
some kind of creation and interference in the environments does actually take place ... :D

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:18 pm 
Well, by delving back into quantum theory, it's possible to explain how a Writer 'alters' an Age.

Do not read on if you do not want a headache :)

One multiverse theory states that every universe that could possibly exist does. They're all embedded in some higher-dimensional space. This theory also states that in the timelines of the universes, every alternate event at any given moment spawns an extra universe. For example, there's a universe where you went left instead of right, or you walked slightly faster or slower... You get the idea. Now, before each event, the universe doesn't know which one will happen. So when it gets to the event, all possible outcomes all happen in their own universe. Now of course, this can't happen to us. We have to go to one in particular. But, we can force the link to go to a particular path by writing in the book. So we're not altering the Age. Just determining a future. Note: This is why big sweeping changes migrate the link to an entirely different Age. Such an outcome isn't possible in the future of that Age, no matter how things work out, so the link goes to an Age where the outcome is possible.


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