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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:55 pm 
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AlanD wrote:
I am drawn to the conclusion that any change to a book moves the link from one branch of the tree of possibilities to another. Provided those branches are not too widely separated, the indigenous inhabitants will share enough background to be recognisable by you and to retain memories of you when you link to the changed age. The question becomes one of how much change can be tolerated before your previous interactions with the people in it are wiped out.


I've considered this, and it's pretty clearly an utter contradiction of Myst: The Book of Atrus, at least...

Your claim is that there's no actual change that ever happens within the Age, as the result of changing the description...you're suggesting there are multiple copies of an Age, but also multiple copies of yourself which have visited those other versions, too. So if you were to change an Age description, you'd link to a similar alternate Age.. and the people there might remember their interactions with a similar, alternate version of YOU.

However...

The problem with that, is that these local denizens might remember YOU, but they wouldn't be aware of the changes you made--- because to THEIR perspective, whatever change or addition you made, was already always a part of their Age.

In Myst: The Book Of Atrus, there's a scene where its revealed that the villagers who live in Gehn's Age 37, view something called "The Whiteness"-- a wall of mist that surrounds the edge of the lake-- with superstitious fear.

Gehn made changes to the Age, using the Art, causing the Whiteness to disappear.

From Myst: The Book Of Atrus:
Gehn returned that evening, just as he had promised..."Look" he said, pointing out beyond the gap in the hills. "The Mist Wall is down. The Whiteness is no more!" The islanders crowded across to gape, witnessing for themselves the absence of the Mist Wall... They turned, a great murmer of awe running through them, then, almost as one, fell to their knees staring back up at the slope, as Gehn strode down toward them.

But according to your premise--- all Gehn really did was re-link to an alternate version of Age 37 where the Whiteness had never been there.

There's the problem... according to your premise, the villagers would remember some similar version of Gehn interacting with them; however, the villagers wouldn't remember this 'whiteness' he was talking about, because in this version of the Age the Whiteness would have never existed.

Gehn was making changes to Age 37, and he was also taking credit for those changes, to make himself look like a deity. Well, if your premise was true they wouldn't become convinced he was a deity, they'd be convinced he was a crazy old man.

Gehn: Look.. the Mist Wall is down.
Villager: Mist Wall? WHAT mist wall?
Gehn: You know... The Whiteness, the Mist Wall you feared so much!
Villager: Hmmm...not ringin' any bells.
Gehn: It was THERE! Your people feared it.. for generations! And I made it vanish!
Villager: Oooookay... :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:48 pm 
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Oh now, if we are going to get into the infinite possibilities then he linked to an age where the climate happened to change and eliminate the wall and yet the Gehn native to that reality didn't happen to come back just then. Excuse me I have to go fall into a Twilight Zone spiral now.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:51 pm 
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Shorah everyone,

This topic is both a fascinating one and an old one (at least within the D'ni-verse). It's one of the reasons I compiled all the RAWA commentary into The Watson Letters (which might be a good resource for further discussion). RAWA posted about this numerous times between 1997 and 2004. He talks a good bit about some of the questions we are pondering here.

And Vector Cramp makes an interesting point about linking here; I haven't found anything in The Watson Letters which addresses his important question about the Great Zero Linking Book being present within the cavern itself.

I'll admit, quantum/string theory is something I find challenging to wrap my head around [[translation: as with ventris, it makes my head hurt :P ]]. RAWA has been at this for a *tad* longer than the rest of us (most likely). It would be interesting to see if he's willing to enlighten us here (I'm particularly interested in the Great Zero question).

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:59 am 
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Shorah again fellow explorers,

More from this past summer when I was researching my geology presentation.

===

Thursday 6 Jun 2013

The Spread of Humans in the New World

I’ve always been struck by the apparent paradox of New World civilizations. It is the one place where we see more primitive societies populating the areas that researchers and theorists tell us have been populated the longest. Usually it is the other way around, that more recently inhabited regions have more primitive societies. It takes time to develop permanent homes, agriculture, architecture, “styles” and customs, economic and trade relationships, cities, politics…

The complex societies and architecture in the New World are all found toward the south; the farther south, the more sophisticated. Yet the prevailing theory is that humans emigrated into the New World via the Beringer land bridge in the far north.

The historic analogy is with the spread of Anglo settlers in the New World. The first settlements were along the eastern coast in the Americas, with settlers moving gradually farther and farther to the west. And the level of sophistication in these settlements played out just as one would expect, with the more established communities developing architecture, roadways, “styles” and customs, economic and trade and political structure. The more western communities were cruder, being decades if not centuries behind their more established kin to the east. Even today here in New Mexico, we remain something of a backwater. Being less connected, being separated by spans of empty lands, slows the process of co-mingling and the adaptation of “things” from other communities.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Mayan pyramid, Chichen Itza Mexico circa 3800-300 YBP
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[Reveal] Spoiler: Olmec head, Mexico circa 3500-2400 YBP
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[Reveal] Spoiler: Tiwanaku settlement, Bolivia circa 1600-1000 YBP
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[Reveal] Spoiler: Anasazi settlement, Pueblo Bonito New Mexico circa 1200-800 YBP
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[Reveal] Spoiler: Toltec settlement, Tula Mexico circa 1000-800 YBP
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[Reveal] Spoiler: Inka settlement, Winay Wayna Peru circa 700-500 YBP
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[Reveal] Spoiler: Aztec pyramid, Tenochtitlan Mexico circa 500-200 YBP
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:34 pm 
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My theory to explain this has always been that the people that came over the bridge were nomadic in nature (why else would they have travelled all that distance?). As such, they would not have setteled in the north, but would have continued moving on.

I've always thought that they finally settled in the south, thus accounting for the more developed societies there.

However, that does not explain HOW developed they were. The cultures there built on a massive scale, rivaling anything we have even today. I've heard that even today, engineers admit that they would be hard pressed to duplicate what these people accomplished. And when you look at the other cultures that existed at that time, the differences are quite large. I'm not sure that you can entirely account for it with the "we were here longer" approach.

The striking level of advancement has led many to believe that aliens were involved. But maybe, just maybe, it was the D'ni instead. I'll have to look at it more closely, but the Early civilizations in America look to have started appearing around 1400 BCE. In D'ni, it was a time when an isolationist faction was clamoring for power, and distrust of outsiders was high.

However, as we know, the D'ni were never a harmonious society, and it is conceivable that there was a small exodus to the surface, especially with all the cavern expansion that took place at that time.

A few hundred years later, the Age of Kings ended, and our information on D'ni is pretty sketchy until we get to the fall of D'ni.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:15 am 
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Shorah again fellow explorers,

The last bit from June 2013 when I was researching my geology presentation.

===

Thursday 6 Jun 2013

D’ni Across Terra

In considering the notion that the D’ni who left the Cavern shortly after arriving on Terra remained on the surface, I am realizing that at that time, the New World was populated by primitive hunter-gatherers and the last of the prehistoric megafauna. The newest archeological evidence shows that such human groups were located throughout both New World hemispheres beginning at about 55,000 BP (or earlier, since new sites continue to be discovered). The earliest sites on record are in South Carolina and Brazil. Thus, if the prevailing theory of human emigration is correct, it follows that even older sites will be found in the northern zones.

It’s difficult to imagine what the New Mexico area would have looked like back then, except that it would have been dramatically different from the lands we see here today. Considering how many millennia the D’ni explorers would have had to do so, they easily could have traveled the globe many times during those intervening years. In other words, their presence could well have influenced any and all human cultures over the past 10,000 years.

So how would they have influenced the surface dwellers? I suppose it depends on the knowledge and technology they carried with them. If they carried Linking Books and Writing materials, then theoretically they could have built a Linking network across the surface (assuming they had an Age Linking Book that could act as a Nexus of sorts). Once they had traveled the globe, they could have created Nexus Links to wherever they chose on Terra.

Could such Books survive even today… perhaps as religious artifacts? Or perhaps carefully hidden to protect them from the elements or discovery by non-D’ni? The indigenous peoples surely would have regarded these newcomers with wonder, even awe. Or with suspicion.

Thus, I have been pondering some of the old legends of gods who visited, of god-kings, and the old obsession with royal bloodlines; of unusually gifted humans who were well ahead of their time. The legends of Quetzalcoatl here in the New World; or Imhotep from ancient Egypt; or even Krishna in ancient India… could they have been descendants of these D’ni explorers? For that matter, many of us today could have vestiges of D’ni DNA with us. Would this be why some of us have felt “called” to the Cavern? Is this what draws us back toward this ancient heritage, what urges us to rebuild the ancient city in the Cavern?

[Reveal] Spoiler: Imhotep
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[Reveal] Spoiler: Quetzalcoatl
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[Reveal] Spoiler: Krishna
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:40 am 
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You know, I've always wondered about those people who left the carven in the beginning. What was their motivation for doing so? I understand why people might have left later, because political unrest was almost a way of life for the D'ni, but why in the beginning?

I mean, think about it. All the D'ni people chose to follow Ri'neref there. They had a choice. Why would they do that and then leave?

I think answering that question could tell us a lot about how they acted with the early humans. What frame of mind were they in when they went to the surface?

I think that we can safely assume that whatever their intentions, they would have been seen as gods. And whatever level of interaction they would have influenced those early cultures. It could explain the many similarities between those cultures. There are obvious differences because of climate (people in a desert are going to have a very different relationship with the sun than a people who live in the dark forest), but religious and behavioral norms are remarkably consistent.

Also, look at ancient architecture. How similar it that? It's almost eerie sometimes.

There are many key points around the world where law, or art, or some other cultural development suddenly appeared. As far as I know, historians have no explanation for those spontaneous developments.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:27 pm 
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I just wanted to say that I've spent the last few days reading this thread from cover to cover with most of the links as well. You are my new favorite explorer Ainia. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:18 pm 
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OHB wrote:
I just wanted to say that I've spent the last few days reading this thread from cover to cover with most of the links as well. You are my new favorite explorer Ainia. :)

Wohba, I have a fan club (of one)!! :P

Thanks for the kudos. OHB. I have some other stuff to post here "some day"... I'm sure you are totally unfamiliar with having more Uru projects than you can keep up with. ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:04 pm 
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Ainia wrote:
Wohba, I have a fan club (of one)!! :P
It's more than one, I can assure you. As a fellow "Uru librarian," I appreciate anyone who collects vast amounts of information into one place for easy reference. So, thank you for all your hard work on your various projects, Ainia. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:18 pm 
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You're too modest, Ainia :lol:

I'm a member of the fan club too :wink: and I'd highlight the reports of your field studies, with your gorgeous pics of nature at its best :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:07 pm 
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This concept of D’ni first causing massive geological changes, then influencing ancient civilizations all around the world through a network of linking books, besides weird genetic tricks, is reaching Yeesha Magic proportions :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:11 pm 
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Ainia wrote:
I'm sure you are totally unfamiliar with having more Uru projects than you can keep up with. ;)

I have no idea what you're talking about ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:02 am 
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korovev wrote:
This concept of D’ni first causing massive geological changes, then influencing ancient civilizations all around the world through a network of linking books, besides weird genetic tricks, is reaching Yeesha Magic proportions :lol:

Shorah korovev,

I'm not sure I understand where you are getting the idea of the D'ni causing massive geological changes... If this is based on something I wrote here, then I must have phrased things poorly.

In my geological presentation from last September, I focused on the geologic and evolutionary history of Terra with an eye toward creating a sense of context of the Age the D'ni wound up linking into when Ri'neref Wrote the Descriptive book for D'ni. I didn't mean to imply that Ri'neref Wrote the geologic history or changes here (which I tried to make clear in the presentation itself). The point was simply that our home planet had a rich and dynamic history at the time Ri'neref Wrote the Book of D'ni; and that this history has continued to play out in the years since the D'ni first arrived.

My current theory about how this fits together is that Ri'neref described two important things in the Book of D'ni that made it a good match for Terra. Firstly, I think his description of the cavern made for an extraordinarily good match with the geologic circumstances which created the Rio Grande Rift, and that the rift itself is the source of the forces that eventually created an immense cavern 6 miles beneath the New Mexico land surface.

Secondly, I think he deliberately described an indigenous species very similar to the D'ni themselves. Here on Terra, humans had existed for nearly 200,000 years already. So we were well-developed in terms of genetic compatibility, though had a long way to go in terms of culture.

So why did Ri'neref think these were important to Write? We have some information about the first thing in that Ri'neref wanted the D'ni colony to be humble, to be more focused on Yahvo and less on themselves. And so he chose a cavern deep beneath a planet surface to accomplish this lesson. Like all new ventures, it was a mixed success and what we now know of D'ni history describes a civilization that gradually lost sight of its roots and became very... well, human.

Which brings me to the second thing. I suspect Ri'neref was wise enough to realize that it would take a very long time for the D'ni to truly learn humility and the ways of Yahvo. But that if and when that day arrived and the D'ni had matured into his vision for them, it would be time for them to take a new leap of growth. I think he wanted them to journey as a race to the surface only after they had reached this point; and that once they began life on the surface, they would co-mingle with the indigenous humans there and so begin another stage of growth. In short, I think he wanted these two races to become something far greater together.

And as a side note, I suspect the old stories about Maintainers who ventured to the surface and never returned are true; and that they were probably secretly tasked by Ri'neref to do this as a preparatory step for his grand vision. I suspect these Maintainers were given the mission of teaching the surface humans the ways of Yahvo, in anticipation of the day when D'ni and humans would begin their new lives together.

Wild speculation on my part, of course, but also based on what we know of Terran history and D'ni history. ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:38 am 
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korovev wrote:
This concept of D’ni first causing massive geological changes, then influencing ancient civilizations all around the world through a network of linking books, besides weird genetic tricks, is reaching Yeesha Magic proportions :lol:


I was working on a full reply but Ainia beat me to it :)

I don't know where you got the idea that the D'ni were "first causing massive geological changes". What I think we've been saying is that it is possible to make changes to an age by modifying the descriptive Book, but that it is difficult to do this without making the age unstable.

(Edit) Ah, I think I see now, reading what HarveyMidnight has written. Suffice it so say that we don't agree on this.

In my case, I have argued that any change to the descriptive Book makes it describe a new route through the branches of the Tree of Possibilities, leading you to a similar world, but not the same one,

HarveyMidnight objects to that, saying that it contradicts some things we already know.

Here's a new thought. I tend to think of the Tree of Possibilities as a set of discrete nodes, like a flow diagram or Pert chart, leading to separate, discrete worlds that have no intercommunication between branches. I think that can't be right, as HarveyMidnight says. But I still hold to my branching path model.

Look at it another way. There is a continuous sea of possiblities, thin in some places and dense in others. The densest areas are where the most stable Ages are found. A Descriptive Book describes (by symbolic means) a location in or a route through the Tree of Possibilities to an Age... the stability of that Age depends on where that description ends up.

So, by making changes to the Book you are moving the location, the endpoint of that route. If the changes are small, the endpoint stays within a particular small area. If they are too large, then the endpoint shifts to another area, which may be thin and unstable, or part of a different dense pool.

Ages that lie within a specific dense pool share most characteristics. So if a modification is small enough, it is possible that an intelligent population already existing in that Age would still remember your previous interactions after the modification had been made. You're still withing "shouting distance", if you like.

The D'ni must have had some techniques for finding stable areas, but I'm sure it was not an exact science. It is, after all, called The Art :)

So when Ri'neref wrote the Descriptive Book for the Cavern, the route lead to our planet, the Earth (or Terra, or Dirt or however else you can call it :D ). Ainia has described some reasons why this place is a good match for what Ri'neref wanted in her post above - she's a much better scholar of D'ni history than I am.

We've not written anything in this thread about Ri'neref making changes to the Book after he wrote it, so the Earth and its geological history were not modified by Ri'neref. They match the description he wrote. Or to put it another way: we have always been here, at this point in the sea of possibilities, Ri'neref found us, wrote a way to link to us.


I see that you post on the Italian section of the forum too. Your English is excellent, please don't get me wrong, but if English is not your first language it is just possible that you've interpreted some of the shades of meaning in this thread in a different way to me...

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