From: Alex Ferguson <abf_at_cs.ucc.ie>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 23:38:53 +0100 (BST)

> From: Carl Fink <carlf_at_panix.com>
> Subject: It's just contradiction!
> In this group, I bet everyone recognizes my quote.

Maybe I'm just too zonked, but I'll try to collect on that, as I for one don't...

> Alex Ferguson <abf_at_cs.ucc.ie> wrote:
> > So do I. At least, the self-contradiction would be better kept down
> > to a dull roar. Contradiction between _different_ pieces of literature
> > (such as Lunar POV vs. Orlanthi POV) I see not problem with.
> Please. If the game writings about Orlanthi and Lunars aren't part
> of the same piece of literature, you're torturing that term beyond
> bearing.

Au contraire. They're different viewpoints, so your insistence that they be mutually consistent has no game world force, and in terms of actual or interactive literature, is similarly entirely a matter of definitional choice. Sure, if you want to expose both viewpoints explicitly, that's reasonable, but hardly necessary. And if you do, I submit that a priori determinations as to which of them were 'correct', which seems to me to be the logical consequence of having some simply-stated objective truth that they each only have limited access to, would completely poleaxe the actual dramatic tension between the two.

> And no, no size accelerator makes the quantum, or relativity,
> self-contradictory. I have no idea what you're talking about.

Clearly not, since that wasn't what I said. They contradict a) each other, and b) reality, in suitably selected places, not 'themselves'.

> The "many worlds" interpretation of Wheeler doesn't contradict anything
> I'm aware of.

Other than one's own experience (which it cheerfully negates, and in defences of the MWI I've seen, rubbishes as 'vitalism'). The reality of the MWI is _not_ the reality of any given observer.

> > If they're doing so in a strong sense of the word 'together' (in
> > such a way that their perceptions are necessarily identical, or
> > nearly so. . .
> The three of them combine the Malkioni power of flight, the Yelmic
> power of levitation, and the Orlanthi power of, well, flight to
> rise directly from Dragon Pass through the Middle Air to the Sunpath,
> then wait for the Sun to move past them and look at it, while
> standing next to each other.

> It would be a type of "move beyond the bounds of the Lozenge"
> heroquest, but in an unusual direction. They could also sail to one
> of the Sun's Gates, of course.

It's not much of an HQ at all, at least for the theists. What myth is being enacted here? If one is simply "going for a bit of a fly, and seeing what's there", this is probably implicitly going along with the reductionist, Malkioni approach. If they're going there by their independant methods, for quite different purposes, then even perceiving each other at all, or staying 'together', may be infeasibly different. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's not possible, but the circumstances seem both unlikely, and underspecified.

> > Score a big enough success in imposing your perception on the other
> > two, and not only do they see the sun _that_ way, but (for a
> > sufficiently high degree of success) that viewpoint may be
> > permanently imposed on them, _completely_ screwing up at least part
> > of their own way of viewing the world.
> Wow, so you *concede* that the Sun doesn't have a "real" nature that
> can be counted on? You think that the nature of the Sun depends on
> what you're expecting to see?

I didn't say anything at all about the '"real" nature' of the sun, so I'm mystified why you think I 'conceded' anything about it, or its alleged lack. I answered in terms of what people would _perceive_ on the Other Side -- which is what you asked, after all. It's a complete distortion to say it depends on 'what you're expecting to see': the point is the contest _proves_ whose perception is the more correct (thus the Malkioni imposes his perception that the sun is simply a big ball of fire on the other two, for example).

I could even construct a theory of the nature of the Other Side that would 'explain' such observed behaviour; it would be no more ridiculous in intuitive terms than some perfectly respectable RW scientific theories -- which isn't saying very much, I confess. But it wouldn't really get us anywhere, since it'd probably be 'wrong' in some other sense, and more to the point, would be utterly and completely un-Gloranthan. (Unless maybe, at a real push, it was a GL theory of some sort, perhaps.)

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