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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:04 pm 
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Like I mentioned earlier in the thread (though I'll try not to get as heated now as I did then), a lot of higher mathematics is done without reference to any numerical base.

Laxman mentioned once, though, that d'ni electronics weren't based on binary like ours. I wonder if it's a base-5 system.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:56 am 
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With or without the art, a civilization as technologicly advanced as the D'ni must have mathematical concepts no less advanced than our own.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:28 pm 
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I think because of 'the art' the D'Ni didn't need to develop a complex form of math.

If you could just write some sentences describing a complex computer and how it works you wouldn't need to figure out the math to make one.

A simpler example would be if you were reading a book where the author wrote about an ice cream cone. The author would not need to know how one was made, or the ingredients to make one to accuratly describe it.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:00 am 
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That's a very interesting point, Rip. Kind of like how Catherine [spoiler=Riven spoiler]wrote the material she needed to make Gehn's linking books function into a descriptive book.[/spoiler]

I think, though, that the d'ni might have needed to understand the technology they procured on other Ages (if there ever was any). For example, suppose a d'ni writer wrote an ice cream cone into an Age. To procure what we mean by an ice cream cone, you either run the risk of having an ice-cream-cone maker in the Age (bad idea: the d'ni were xenophobes!), or you have to completely describe how the ice cream cones are made naturally (in which case, you need to already know exactly what it is). This is all speculation, of course, but I don't think the Art would have let the d'ni get away without learning their stuff.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:18 am 
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Reflection Rip wrote:
A simpler example would be if you were reading a book where the author wrote about an ice cream cone. The author would not need to know how one was made, or the ingredients to make one to accuratly describe it.

He would if he wanted to make sure the reader didn't go off and make one that tasted like moldy cheese ;).

There's a difference between a description of what something looks like and what it actually is; your example is along the lines of the former, while The Art is, for the most part, concerned with the latter. Namely, if you wanted ice cream cones in an Age that actually tasted like a real ice cream cone, you would need to know what went into one, else the Age might very well pick something made of gelatin and cardboard, and that would hardly be what you're after ;).

It's important to note that even simple understandings of complex concepts like quantum mechanics are often born of highly intelligent people trying to make sure everyone understands what they're getting at. Thus, practical thought experiments like Schroedinger's Cat are a way to understand the basics of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle without all the mucking about with triple derivatives, but to arrive at such an example required the understanding of those triple derivatives first.

While I think the general population may not have grasped the true depth of the concepts behind things like The Art, someone had to have figured out the hard stuff in order to put the concepts into such simple "terms", for lack of a better synonym for gahrohevtee. By extension, some of the more complex concepts in D'ni science, like Nara, require the application of some pretty advanced chemical engineering and fabrication techniques, implying that the D'ni were well equipped to deal with the mathematics that stem from such advancements.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:36 pm 
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D'ni computing seems very advanced, considering the fact that they didn't really use personal computers at all. Just a few specialist systems (GZ, Nexus) and viewers.

Can anyone point me to this quote that says their computers were not binary? There are good reasons why our computers work that way - introducing lots of intermediary charge values (between on and off) tends to cause lots of errors.

Come to think of it, it would be nice to know _anything_ about how D'ni computers work. I really haven't come across any info about it.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:02 pm 
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geekmonger wrote:
Can anyone point me to this quote that says their computers were not binary? There are good reasons why our computers work that way - introducing lots of intermediary charge values (between on and off) tends to cause lots of errors.


Our computers are based on a binary system because our technology is limited. Scientists are working on quantum computer that can solve issues in a fraction of time that aren't solvable in a binary computer in billions of years.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:35 am 
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geekmonger wrote:
Can anyone point me to this quote that says their computers were not binary?


Quote:
Victor Laxman: The D'ni technology is intriguing, not like the electronics we're used to...
Victor Laxman: And their processing equipment is not based on binary like our computers...
Victor Laxman: So we've had to try to start from "square one" with regard to figuring out how things work around here.

This is from a meeting the DRCL's arranged on the topic of the Lattice system and the KI. I don't know where the original of this is posted any longer, since the DRCL forums are gone from the DRC site. I believe it took place in June 2006.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:42 pm 
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My idea is more along the lines of... you describe what you want and don't care how it was actually created. For all the D'Ni may have cared, the ice cream cone could have grown on trees. As long as you described how they look, feel, smell and taste, who cares how they are made.

Of course if you are writing books to different ages, it is possible a book can link to an extremely technological age. And the D'Ni are not adverse to enslaving other races. Who knows for sure the Bahro were the only race enslaved.

Remember that it is believed by many that the process of writing a book is just creating a link to a possible space/time/reality, and is not actually creating anything new. With this it is also possible that there may be many things found in an age that is not directly described in the book.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:59 pm 
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I had thought that perhaps the D'ni computers could be more crystalline/analogue which didn't have any resemblance to what we would recognize as a computer. Also I was under the impression that our computers are binary because they evolved from a collection of switches or punch-card programming where there could be only two variables, on or off, hole or solid. So a different origin would likely evolve in an entirely different direction.

We don't have access to ANY documents that would have any chance of displaying D'ni maths of any sort. If we had free rein of the Guild Hall, Takota buildings or even the lower reaches of the Public Library/Museum then perhaps we might come across such documents. What we have for the most part are translations of D'ni historical text books, where I would be surprised to find much in the way of even the most basic of maths.

The Guild of Writers had VERY strict guidelines of what was and was not allowed to be written into an age. One of the biggest no-no's was the writing of artificial artifacts, and I somehow think that would cover ice-cream cones :P Atrus might have experimented with Stoneship but he was hardly guild trained. Such an age would have had him dismissed in disgrace from the Guild faster then you can say Kor-mahn. :evil: Also to achieve a specific result in an age you need to describe the circumstances for it to arise in in great detail. Atrus was able to reproduce, on his first age "Inception", the Blue flowers from the Cleft because he had studied the precise makeup of the soil where they grew, in addition to the description of the flowers. The Art was the art of Precise description using highly specialized language, not vague descriptions of a novel.

As for the enslavement of other races, I don't believe that it was common practice for D'ni to enslave every race they came across. I believe that any enslavement was strictly illegal and only carried out in a black-market fashion (the slave caves in Teledahn were not accessible from the back entrance when the bridge was up and the front entrance was concealed by water whenever the Maintainers came to examine the premises. At least, thats how I understand it). The founding principles of Ri'neref prohibited the D'ni from such actions, it was the reason that D'ni was founded in the first place, to be different from Terahnee.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:53 pm 
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Wow, this thread is Amazing, I'm overwhelmed, my brain is melting. I like math, my love of math is just starting to come back to me. But, Higher math is still beyond me. I may never fully comprehend any of the higher maths. I think the D'ni were Brilliant, they must have had highly advanced math knowledge and skill. As for the GZ, of which I have read a little about in this thread, Must have been built with the help of the Bahro, BUT the Bahro are not technological creatures, they don't Care about high math and technology, so it must have been designed and built by the D'ni engineers.

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