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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:46 pm 
You misunderstand me. What I meant is that we look for errors in the method, not the situation. It is IC to accept things as a given, and try and find an explanation which does not contradict what we know and understand to be true. Which brings us to finding a concensus as to how far what you call 'game canon' is to be followed, and how much of it is to be handed over to OOC purposes. However, I am struggling to properly understand what you define to be 'game canon', which may well be the case amongst others. If we are to find any common ground, we must first understand each other.

That said, I will try to respond to what I can, avoiding parts hinging upon what is 'game canon', and what isn't.

Even if this is a fantasy world (a viewpoint that must be rejected for a perfectly IC experience. After all, D'ni's real, right?), and we are characters in it, anything that can be observed is generally taken as fact. Key exceptions are immobile suns, which would cause even the Cleft to be artificial. This is another point where we are criticised, but I think you can understand our reluctance to say that someone built the Cleft, from an IC perspective.

Ah, once again I state that I am not claiming that an immobile sun is to be taken as IC fact. It is an artefact of the game mechanic necessary for solving the Age. As stated, we do not try to explain such things as immobile suns (we do however see Teledahn's 'sun' as simply explainable. There is a fine line). And here is where our definitions of OOC and IC seem to diverge. For me, calling something an artificial construct is well within the boundaries of IC. You only enter the domain of OOC when you start invoking the concept of a 'game world'.
Also, whilst Ages are real situations with real planets and real stars, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the D'ni building a simulation of a natural environment. Consider various Biosphere projects on our own world.

But ultimately, I cannot comment on the nature of the sun, because I have performed no experiments in daytime Minkata. Nor am I likely to, because I am very happy to accept that Minkata is simply a desert. I would prefer it to be a construct, because then observations I have made in nighttime Minkata, that you can get close enough to the edge there to see a distortion, would be easily explainable: the stars are on just another shell.

Speaking of shells, I do have some evidence for there being noticably seperate shells. No less than three, too. My evidence is a relative motion in the constellations, the stars, and the galaxies, to each other group. That is to say that the stars move relative to the galaxies and the constellations, but do not move relative to each other. The amount of shift correlates to distances on the scale of the avatar, or maybe a single order of magnitude above.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:23 am 
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DLordofTime wrote:
Ah, once again I state that I am not claiming that an immobile sun is to be taken as IC fact. It is an artefact of the game mechanic necessary for solving the Age.


NOT so sure I agree with this. My belief is that the immobile suns are aspects of the Age, written by its author-- if we assume the author wanted 'students' to be able to use shadows in a certain way, then the circumstances of the Age allows for stationary suns.

I'm no student of astronomy---- but couldn't there be a larger sun or even a dwarf star, on the OTHER side of Minkata which isn't seen from the surface where the cage is located? Minkata orbits, but has no rotation... The greater gravitational pull of a dwarf star would allow Minkata to be MUCH further away than earth is from our sun.. but Minkata doesn't need to get heat from the dwarf, because those 3 stationary suns are also orbiting this dwarf star, they provide light and heat, and are in a geosynchronous orbit OVER Minkata?




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For me, calling something an artificial construct is well within the boundaries of IC. You only enter the domain of OOC when you start invoking the concept of a 'game world'.


Well, of course I was stepping out of character to state my opposition to the idea of an artificial sun. I don't know of any other way to dispute something going 'out of bounds' without "using a time-out". Of course, if I am IN character, I would be referring to Uru like above, as if it was real.

The reason I oppose the idea of an artificial sun is because in my belief, it DOES violate Myst canon. D'ni authors had the ability to describe whole worlds, even to the placement of stars, suns and moons. That precludes the notion that they would create artificial suns. Why would they bother? Ahnonay has been held up as an example of A D'ni author creating a 'phony' environment. Yeah... it's an exception, and there is established canon that supports the fact that it is an artificial construct. There is no such story element that would support a 'fake sun' in Minkata.


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Also, whilst Ages are real situations with real planets and real stars, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the D'ni building a simulation of a natural environment. Consider various Biosphere projects on our own world.


Again.. that is OUR world; our culture--- which has not had access to the powers of the Art. If we had such power, it's likely we, too, would be writing ages with the conditions we wanted... and NOT creating "biosphere projects" because we'd have no need of them.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:02 am 
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I hesitate to contribute further to the catgirl slaughter, but I must defend my baseless speculation with this retroactive research: http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~tmerlis/tidally_locked.pdf

Now, Minkata isn't tidally locked and the extra suns might cause complications, but as far as I can tell the temperatures would be perfectly comfortable on the day side, not impossibly hot. An Earth-like atmosphere (which Minkata clearly has, because we can breathe) would balance out the temperatures to habitable levels.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:17 am 
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Bogardan Mage wrote

I hesitate to contribute further to the catgirl slaughter, but I must defend my baseless speculation with this retroactive research: http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~tmerlis/tidally_locked.pdf

Now, Minkata isn't tidally locked and the extra suns might cause complications, but as far as I can tell the temperatures would be perfectly comfortable on the day side, not impossibly hot. An Earth-like atmosphere (which Minkata clearly has, because we can breathe) would balance out the temperatures to habitable levels.


I agree that a tidally locked Planet Minkata, which is about the only way to have the sun standing in one place in the heavens, does not automatically imply that the surface will be too hot for us. The planet simply needs to be in the habitable zone for a one-face world. Night side's going to be pretty cold, but we don't go there..

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:12 am 
My opposition to a tidally locked Minkata is on the grounds that for three objects of the brightness we see, it's alot of energy radiating out. That is where my objection lies. Yes, tidally locked planets can be habitable, but only if they orbit low-luminosity stars, which Minkata clearly is not.

Oh, and another issue is that the stars are orbiting each other. Yet, since you want to say that the suns are going to be real, they should at least be moving relative to each other.

Hmmm... I shall go away and attempt to calculate whether, even discounting the orbit of the starts around each other, Minakata as you posit it to be is even possible.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:45 pm 
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DLordofTime wrote:
Hmmm... I shall go away and attempt to calculate whether, even discounting the orbit of the starts around each other, Minakata as you posit it to be is even possible.


But see, this is what I don't like.

To me, remaining IC requires that, when something that is scientifically impossible HAPPENS, you should pretend it IS scientifically possible, for purposes of the story.

In the Book of Atrus, Catherine showed Atrus her first Age she wrote, where there is a tunnel that water drains thru, and then cascades UPWARD back to the top where it flows back thru the tunnel again. Atrus believed this was impossible when she described it to him, but then she showed it to him. Atrus surmised that all the mass of the Age was at the edges, and this caused gravity to pull on the water and allowed it to do things that seemed impossible.

http://dni.wikia.com/wiki/Catherine%27s_First_Age

Tell me.. is this actually possible? Is there any 'real science' that proves this can happen?

Because I think this is just the type of situation I'm talking about.. the Age is NOT actually possible in the 'real world', the explanation Atrus gave for it is probably technobabble meant to SOUND plausible and give a fantasy concept a little more science-fiction flavor. Being In-character means we pretend to believe Atrus' explanation is sound, provable science.. even tho, in the real world, it wouldn't be.

I honestly don't want to hear whether 'real astronomy' proves my theory to be impossible... I'd rather hear you come up with a BETTER theory that isn't just "the suns must be fake".

Even Einstein said imagination is more important than knowlegde.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:34 pm 
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HarveyMidnight wrote:
It is inherently OOC to notice shortcomings and artifacts in the graphics and point them out. It is inherently OOC to point out that events in the game, didn't or can't actually happen. IF this is a fantasy world, and we're IC and pretending we are characters in it, then we are supposed to react to the 'scientifically impossible' things as if they actually happened.

You are definitly on the right track as far as the whole IC vs. OOC thing goes. One shouldn't be flip-flopping back and forth in the attempt to prove or disprove something in the "other situation."

HarveyMidnight wrote:
Even Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge.

While following this thread lately, I am reminded of another Einstein quote: :wink:
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits." - Albert Einstein

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:08 pm 
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HarveyMidnight wrote
NOT so sure I agree with this. My belief is that the immobile suns are aspects of the Age, written by its author-- if we assume the author wanted 'students' to be able to use shadows in a certain way, then the circumstances of the Age allows for stationary suns.

I'm no student of astronomy---- but couldn't there be a larger sun or even a dwarf star, on the OTHER side of Minkata which isn't seen from the surface where the cage is located? Minkata orbits, but has no rotation... The greater gravitational pull of a dwarf star would allow Minkata to be MUCH further away than earth is from our sun.. but Minkata doesn't need to get heat from the dwarf, because those 3 stationary suns are also orbiting this dwarf star, they provide light and heat, and are in a geosynchronous orbit OVER Minkata?



Er, without getting into orbital mechanics, no. Nice idea though. I think you mean neutron star, not dwarf - basically a very massive but small stellar object with low luminosity.

The basic problem is with the three big lights in the sky staying stationary with respect to each other. I can't imagine a circumstance where four or more free bodies subject to mutual gravitational attraction can behave like that. If you add the neutron star, you could put the triple suns into one of the Trojan points of the Minkata-neutron star system but they would still orbit around each other.

I can construct an explanation for the appearance of Minkata's sky but it requires a much larger artefact. And it doesn't fit with the observed locations of the suns once you get closer to them in the dust storm, so it isn't very helpful.

One further question that you touch on is what is Minkata supposed to be teaching these Surveyors? After all, the sky is not likely to be something they will find anywhere else. To me, the short answer is that they should think outside the box. It is a navigation exercise though and not one in surveying.

HarveyMidnight wrote

Well, of course I was stepping out of character to state my opposition to the idea of an artificial sun. I don't know of any other way to dispute something going 'out of bounds' without "using a time-out". Of course, if I am IN character, I would be referring to Uru like above, as if it was real.

The reason I oppose the idea of an artificial sun is because in my belief, it DOES violate Myst canon. D'ni authors had the ability to describe whole worlds, even to the placement of stars, suns and moons. That precludes the notion that they would create artificial suns. Why would they bother? Ahnonay has been held up as an example of A D'ni author creating a 'phony' environment. Yeah... it's an exception, and there is established canon that supports the fact that it is an artificial construct. There is no such story element that would support a 'fake sun' in Minkata.


Canon is a slippery concept. With respect to Minkata:

We are presented with a book of clues and a desert landscape, the bonehenge, a permanent dust storm and some flags.

[spoiler]We can work out that the book describes some journeys to be taken, as it consists of a set of bearings and distances.

Two of the flags have distance markings. Now we can calibrate our running or walking pace and convert time spent running to distance run. We have a handle on one part of the journey instructions.

We don't have a compass. But we can see three suns, and standing on the compass rose we can discover that they don't move. Now we're getting somewhere, we have traction, can make progress in solving the problem.[/spoiler]

That's all canon. In terms of the problems to be solved nothing more is needed. We don't have to question why the suns stay fixed, just observe that they do and use them as pointers.

Shortly afterwards, and after finding a few other helpful facts perhaps, we finish the puzzle. But Minkata is a fascinating place even after this, attractive to those who are driven to "look behind the Ranges" as Kipling wrote (1), to explore for its own sake.

Now we need slightly better navigation capabilities, so's we can map all the landmarks accurately, find alignments and find our way back at night without the help of Bahro magic.

This is when I for one start to look carefully at everything. The suns are already suspicious: are they near or far? So you run towards them - and so on. There is a lot of fun to be had in Minkata after the primary puzzle has been solved.

HarveyMidnight wrote

Again.. that is OUR world; our culture--- which has not had access to the powers of the Art. If we had such power, it's likely we, too, would be writing ages with the conditions we wanted... and NOT creating "biosphere projects" because we'd have no need of them.

There is a school of thought that holds that the Art allows one to link to a location in the infinite Universe that matches the description in the Book. Others hold that the Book creates the Age from scratch, in its own universe.

But in either case, it is actually simpler to posit an enormous dome than it is to have gravity become optional. The big dome theory only needs us to extrapolate present engineering to include stronger materials. Or you could say that the whole Age is a pocket universe, four miles across, and everything is contained within it: that agrees with out observations too. But gravity that works for whatever it is we're standing on (we don't know it's a sphere, could be a plate), and for the suns (if we assume they are suns) but not between those objects: that's really unlikely, gravity being a fundamental force and all that.



(1)
Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated - so:
"Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges -
Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!"

"The Explorer", Rudyard Kipling, 1898

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:19 pm 
Harvey, I can tell you precisely how Catherine's Age works. I could not say how such a thing could be formed, but that such a thing can exist. Heck, we can't even say for certain how our own world was formed, yet we can model (mostly) exactly how it works. We can even tell you precisely where the Earth will be in billions of years from now. And here's you, trying to tell me that I have to explain everything about something before we're allowed to say 'it can exist'.
To me, this is the ultimate demonstration of a lack of understanding of the science involved in such matters. If something scientifically impossible happens, your science has a hole in it, that must be rectified. Now, this is all well and good, provided you are in the real world. But move this into such an environment as a game, and you hit a problem. You can't change your science. All the science people know is all you're allowed to have. If something is impossible, it is impossible. And I am telling you, my intuition is saying to me that with those suns' brightnesses, and their relative sizes, there'd be so much energy pouring out onto Minkata's surface that it simply wouldn't be habitable. Sure, there could be an equilibrium somewhere, but given the fact that there are three objects involved, any equilibrium would not last for long enough for Minkata to be viable.
I am sorry, but I simply will not accept that those suns can be explained in the way you want, because to me, it is going to break simple laws however you present it. Which is why I am saying that it is enough to say that in a scientific explanation of Minkata, the suns must be overlooked, or made artificial.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:43 pm 
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Dlord., I think your comment demonstrates why my version of IC and yours are incompatible & why we should never try to collaborate on any theories again. Because MY intuition tells me those immobile suns are in fact meant to be REAL suns, for purposes of 'play'.

I am looking for escapism & to exercise my mind in solving the puzzle that's been laid out for me, with the stars, the suns, my shadows, etc, as 'clues'... the 'story' is a fictional construct that tells me this world was created by people who could tailor-make planets & universes largely at their whim. But IF I have an inkling that, if this WAS a real place it could NEVER have immobile suns in this way--- I am willing to discard that inkling, in favor of escaping into this fantastic world where such a thing IS possible.

Frankly I feel a little bad for you if you can't look into the sky in Teledahn & be utterly excited & thrilled at the prospect of a planet that is orbiting SO FAST.. all you can do is roll your eyes conclude the sun must be artificial because it isn't acting right.

Likewise with the day/night situation in Minkata.. I don't want a page full of numbers and equations that explains it all as some kind of trick of the light.. I want someone to put a gleam in my eye, telling me a FANTASTIC story that logically makes allowances for ALL the things that happen there!! And if that fantastic story can't stand up to nitpicky scientific scrutiny, I don't care because I already knew it was a fantasy.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:55 pm 
Unfortunately for people like me, we are excited by things that most people find horribly dull. For example, working something out that we've never seen before, or proving some result. For us, delving deep into pure mathematics, and then applying that to perfectly explain how things work is the source of much of our enjoyment.
And people like you are excited by conjuring up fantastical stories to surround seemingly unexplainable phenomena.

Which is the fundamental basis (in a way) for my division of IC and OOC. IC people are those who approach a situation in the Cavern with the intent of working out how it works, and why it works. OOC people are those who generally see something in the Cavern and look at it from a story-writing point of view. And for the most part, it's sufficient as a distinction. At least until I invoke it to explain myself, at which point someone with an inherently different distinction says, "No, you're defining it wrong."

I'm beginning to ramble here, so I say we agree to disagree, and move on. You will forever be a story-writer, and I will forever be a scientist.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:22 pm 
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Fortunately for us, the D'ni-verse has always been based in a world where science reigns. 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:54 pm 
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AdamJohnso wrote:
Fortunately for us, the D'ni-verse has always been based in a world where science reigns. 8)


Indeed!!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:07 am 
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Harvey, I would feel terrible if I was the cause of anyone losing interest in the Mystverse, and that was not the intention when I started this thread, six pages or so back. I wanted to share observations I'd made about the way Minkata behaves, and help anyone else who's interested to find their way about in the dust storms or on the night side. To do that I've drawn certain inferences from my observations, and come up with a model that fits all the observations and lets me navigate accurately.

This extra-curricular activity is outside the mainstream story and the straightforward solution of the problem posed when we start the age. And it is no bad thing at all to bring a sense of wonder into the cavern and the ages we link to.

I can't leave my engineering head behind though. It persists in asking awkward questions, pointing out things that behave oddly and trying to work out why. So, for me, Minkata is a made thing, but that doesn't make it any less fantastic.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:49 am 
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Muttley wrote:
I agree that a tidally locked Planet Minkata, which is about the only way to have the sun standing in one place in the heavens, does not automatically imply that the surface will be too hot for us. The planet simply needs to be in the habitable zone for a one-face world. Night side's going to be pretty cold, but we don't go there..

No, it wouldn't be. That's the point (and it's an important one, because we do go there, remember?). Minkata isn't Mercury or Luna, it has an atmosphere that is, for all intents and purposes, identical to Earth's. My understanding of the article I linked is that Earth's atmosphere is perfectly capable of bringing both sides much closer to equilibrium than the "No, the day side would be constantly on fire and on the night side the air would freeze" hypothesis suggests. I wouldn't even know where to start with calculating the effects of the extra suns, but judging by the model of a tidally locked Earth, some extra heat would actually work in our favor (again, I've no idea how much extra heat), since the temperature at "noon" is a quite comfortable 300 Kelvin with only one sun, and the night side is 250 K. Raise the temperature slightly and night is slightly chilly, but not life threatening, and day is sweltering but survivable, especially as you move away from the equator. Now the question is how much of an effect these extra suns ought to have.

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