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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:36 pm 
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Bogardan Mage wrote

Muttley wrote "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.

That it certainly does, and I did not mean to dismiss your information out of hand: sorry if it came across that way. What I was trying to say was that as we don't walk or otherwise physically travel there from the desert, the actual link between "day" and "night" Minkata is uncertain. Two theories have already been put forward: one that it is a far-future version when the suns are no longer there and the bonehenge is ruined: and one that it is a congruent but separate age (mine). Thinking further, if this is a big dome simulator then all that might be happening during the bahro stone link is that the simulator conditions are being reset. But I digress, it's not provable either way.

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.

If we're assuming conventional astrophysics and talking about a tidelocked Minkata with three suns stationary in the sky, I've started to do some rough working out but it gets too complicated for a quick post. Suffice it to say that assuming the suns are white dwarf stars then they could provide about as much heat as our single sun, with a large margin of error either side.

If on the other hand we're talking about a Minkata that's tidelocked to a massive but low-luminosity star, then Minkata will be the least massive object in the system and has to be located in one of the Lagrange points between the triple sun and the big primary. L1 suits very well: big primary behind, triple sun ahead.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:56 pm 
You must also take into account the orbits of the stars themselves, as they dance around one another. Binary stars like to orbit at hundreds of AU apart, and terrestrial planets like to orbit at less than 10 AU (probably a really big generalisation). Now, the orbits of the stars themselves are likely to take thousands of years, but given the three-body problem, it's actually impossible to say with any certainty what the orbits will be over astronomical timescales. Chaos theory, and all that. Which means that we can't easily determine how big or how luminous any of the stars are, since we don't know which one the planet's orbiting, assuming, of course, that the suns are real. Hence, we don't know how much energy is pouring down on Minkata's surface. And then there're other climatic effects brought on by axial tilt, and elliptical orbits. For example, when the Earth's orbit is nearly circular, the tilt is at a minimum, and summer occurs at the farthest point in the orbit from the sun, ice sheets like to build up, decreasing the global temperature. The Sahara used to be a fertile plain.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:59 pm 
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Muttley wrote:
That it certainly does, and I did not mean to dismiss your information out of hand: sorry if it came across that way. What I was trying to say was that as we don't walk or otherwise physically travel there from the desert, the actual link between "day" and "night" Minkata is uncertain. Two theories have already been put forward: one that it is a far-future version when the suns are no longer there and the bonehenge is ruined: and one that it is a congruent but separate age (mine). Thinking further, if this is a big dome simulator then all that might be happening during the bahro stone link is that the simulator conditions are being reset. But I digress, it's not provable either way.

In the context of your theory it doesn't matter how long Minkata's day is. You'd be better off not prodding that hornet's nest, because you don't need to. It only matters if we're not assuming that Minkata is Ahnonay II: Electric Bahroloo.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:31 am 
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The evidence I have in front of me says that Minkata's day is perpetual. But you're right, I don't need more trouble right now, I've got more than enough to go round.

I've already apologised for mentioning Minkata and Ahnonay in the same breath. There are minor similarities, but not worth arguing over.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:34 pm 
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Muttley wrote:
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.


Actually, the truth of the matter is slightly more complicated... when you write a descriptive book, yes, the Age you link to already existed before you wrote your link. You do not create the Age.

True to theoretical physics, there is an infinite number of alternate universes: some identical, some slightly different, some VERY different.. these infinite universes are referred to by the D'ni as the 'Great Tree of Possibility'. When you write an Age, the Great Tree randomly selects an Age among those infinite ones that closely match what you have described.

This is what causes instability... many Ages are already unstable, and if your description has contradictions then you will link to an Age that contains those same contradictions and which is on the verge of collapse.

BUT.... that said, once the link is established, you DO gain the ability to make additions and changes to the existing Age--- as with Gehn's 37th Age when he made the ocean warm, and the prison Ages that held Achenar and Sirrus, Catherine added linking booths -- cages that couldn't be accessible from outside.. to allow herself to link in and out and see her sons, without giving them access to a linking book.

HOWEVER, the danger is that, if you remove existing items you run the risk of dissolving your link to the current Age, and causing the descriptive book to, as Atrus said, move back along the Tree of Possibility and select a different branch--- the changes you make CAN cause your book to re-link to a NEW Age, identical to the last, with the exception that the elements you removed were NEVER present in this new Age.

Incidentally, this is partly why I believe Ages sometimes appear to violate the laws of "science and physics" ... what happens when you add something to an Age? this is an unquestionable violation of the law that says matter & energy cannot be created. (OOC observation: thus proving the continuity of Myst is 'science fantasy' NOT hard science, therefore fantastic, impossible things happen and the characters are meant to assume these things ARE possible) Furthermore, I also think it's possible that some Ages may actually function with different laws of physics.. they are different universes, after all.. for all we know, there are universes out there where matter has four states rather than three, where speed of light isn't constant, etc...

In the Age of Riven, for instance... when water became warmer than room temperature, it defied gravity and began to float in the air while still a liquid. ( OOC: And the so-called 'scientific explanation for this, was that microbes wanting to escape heat sources would make the water float. Cool, but pseudoscience. ) Pots had to be made with tops that would keep the water from floating out while food was cooked.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:01 pm 
Actually, matter does exist in four states. Nobody tells you that, because it's impractical, yet you have likely used it yourself. It's called, "fire". Or plasma. But fire you've heard of.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to mess around with physics. People assume it's very easy, because they have only one data point: ours. In truth, the matter is slightly more complex than that. For example, if you make the electromagnetic force ever so slightly stronger, atoms and nuclei cannot exist. Meaning no Ages. Or if you made the nuclear forces stronger, matter at the subatomic scale become inherently unstable. Even the proton isn't stable. And if you make gravity stronger, the universe can't expand properly, and collapses before anything more complex than a proto-galaxy can form. Our set of physics laws are very fine-tuned to produce complex matter. It has to be, else we couldn't be here to ponder it. The anthropic principle really does reign supreme, if you look at things the right way. And to he (or she) who suggests a way that physics could be constructed alternate to our own, show me how, in whatever way you wish.

I suppose a more 'game canon' way of approaching this is to consider the laws laid out by Ri'neref regarding writing. Considering Katran's first Age, we can conclude that the D'ni forbade any Age that was implausible, such as a torus with a water jet spouting from it. Yes, it's perfectly acceptable within physics, but it seems impossible that such a thing could form. Therefore it may not be written.
Also, it seems that avoiding unstable Ages was a primary concern, so it seems that they would only allow laws of physics which promote stable, complex matter. I.e. our own. The upshot of which is that it is hugely implausible that a D'ni-written Age, such as Minkata, could possibly violate physical laws which can be observed and formulated here on Earth. The universe is homogeneous. The same everywhere. No preferred direction, no exceptions. At first glance, it may seem necessary to reject this in sci-fi, on the ground that it restricts. Au contraire; it actually stimulates new modes of thought, of pushing science to its limits, and delving into the unknown. There's still an awful lot of it.
Hence Katran's first Age.

Oh, and if I am correct, the bacteria were posited by Gehn.

Delving into quantum physics, really bizarre things happen. Super-positioning, quantum tunnelling, teleportation, even objects so cold that material doesn't pass energy to it. There is nothing preventing 'unrealised realities' (thankyou FarScape) from being. If you have not observed something, it is in a superposition. Meaning that it both exists and does not. Or whatever set of states it can be in. If something has not yet come to pass, then it will be, and won't be, both at the same time. The books use this to add changes. You can add anything, if you are careful, and avoid contradictions, and Anna and Katran showed with Riven. They simply collapsed one set of states in a certain way. Rawa even covers this is his various letters. Heck, objects will even teleport, should you wait long enough. There is a finite probability that we will all find ourselves in a Cavern below New Mexico, standing on the ruins of some ancient civilisation, with books strapped to our hips.
In short, quantum physics is what you get when you let scientists play around with things that seem impossible.

Oh, and some scientists managed to teleport a photon across a river somewhere, somewhen. Don't remember specifics.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:21 am 
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DLordofTime wrote:
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to mess around with physics. People assume it's very easy, because they have only one data point: ours. In truth, the matter is slightly more complex than that. For example, if you make the electromagnetic force ever so slightly stronger, atoms and nuclei cannot exist. Meaning no Ages...
Also, it seems that avoiding unstable Ages was a primary concern, so it seems that they would only allow laws of physics which promote stable, complex matter. I.e. our own.



But as I understand it.. the D'ni authors weren't really delving into the laws of physics; not in that way. I am sure they had a general sense of principles that could likely cause an Age to be unstable or otherwise 'not turn out'-- but they probably didn't really specify the LAWS of physics within an Age.. they would describe a situation in the book, and thus link to an Age where that situation was present.. therefore, it was the Great Tree that created a link to an Age where that situation was possible.

If I were to use Minkata as an example: the author probably described a planet that doesn't rotate, with three suns in the sky that are precisely positioned to cast shadows in specified directions for objects on the planet's surface. No specification is made by the author for HOW this is possible... the burden is on the Great Tree to find a universe where conditions--- such as the laws of physics--- allow such a planet to exist and behave as described.

And if such a world is 100% IMPOSSIBLE, regardless of ANY version of physics-- then the Age will be unstable. BUT...That's the simple "rule of thumb" in the understanding of quantum physics (and the general concept of 'infinity', too): anything that CAN happen, does happen.. in some universe, somewhere...

Infinity divided by one-hundred billion is still infinity. So even if something only has a one in one-hundred billion chance of happening... given an infinite number of "tries" it will still definitely happen an infinite number of times.


SO even if it is extraordinarily unlikely -- ALMOST impossible--- "hugely implausible" for such a universe with different laws of physics, and laws of nature to exist and provide a stable planet to stand on, with suns that don't move....... well, "unlikely" still implies "possible", and "possible" means it CAN exist---- and if such a universe CAN exist, then it DOES exist.


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I suppose a more 'game canon' way of approaching this is to consider the laws laid out by Ri'neref regarding writing. Considering Katran's first Age, we can conclude that the D'ni forbade any Age that was implausible, such as a torus with a water jet spouting from it. Yes, it's perfectly acceptable within physics, but it seems impossible that such a thing could form. Therefore it may not be written.


well.. you seem to suggest that taking risks or doing unusual, unexpected things would be 'forbidden' by the D;ni rules... and that doesn't seem right to me. Yeesha talks, in the Bahro cave, about 'challenging' other D'ni writers with what kind of Ages they are able to create; from that I gather there are probably principles of how to write a stable Age, and beyond those principles it requires a lot of skill to be able to make uinque or complex worlds, or to"bend" the rules, as Catherine was able to do.. or even appear to break them, as Yeesha is able to do.

I think Ages like Catherine's "dream" Ages would just be really hard to write... so few would try to write them, fewer still would succeed at making them stable.

I think there would be principles or guidelines about what does or doesn't WORK--- . But I don't believe the Guild of Writers would have a lot of prohibitions on what could be attempted.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:52 pm 
Well... That's Yeesha. She is the Grower. She learned from the Bah'ro. The Ri'neref was 10,000 years earlier. And it's his laws that were enforced when Minkata was written.

Yes, of course such an Age as Katran's first would be difficult to make. That's in its nature. BUT to the D'ni writers, as seen in Atrus' reaction, such an Age is 'impossible'. She was already directly violating at least one law of writing.

Actually, it seems to me that the Writer's Guild did prohibit various types of Ages. Whilst we don't know what these were, we can be reasonably sure that there were enough prohibitions for whoever it was who wanted to remove them to want to do so. After all, if it were merely "X, Y, Z work, A, B, C don't," then what's the point in removing said rules? Won't change the facts. They still won't work in the D'ni way of writing. However, if it were, "X, Y, Z aren't allowed," then that would be likely to be disliked by at least one person. Almost guaranteed.

Well, we do have no idea how the D'ni wrote their Ages. All we know is that it involved describing what you wanted at a level so precise, we don't even have concepts for it. Which, if you think about it, means that if such writing produces Earth, one could conclude that Ages allowed by the rules would be similar in many ways to Earth. Never thought of that line of thinking before.

Well, yes, it could be done like this... But would the rules allow it? We may never know. Would it be physically possible to stay like that for thousands of years, in the exact same directions? No. Even the suns orbit each other. A natural consequence of the same mechanism that forms them.

There are two ways in which the Tree could find such an Age. Our laws of physics, or not our laws of physics. If our laws of physics are used, then the range of values for the constants - these values define how various things work - is limited to a very small range around certain values, which all produce more or less the same type of universe. They are limited by the demand of matter. Stable matter, mind you. If other laws of physics are used... Well, good luck trying to work out how that universe works, or if you can even survive there. Then again, the only way to work that out is to go there and do experiments... Sorry, but I can't see any way of having a universe where you can have structures like what we see in our universe but is nothing like our universe. That domain is left to the overly ambitious sci-fi writer.
Oh, and before you jump on linking books as violating the laws of physics, there is nothing preventing either all your atoms being moved to another location in this universe or another (via a wormhole, or some such construct), or the precise arrangement being recorded, your atoms disassembled, and an identical copy being produced using said data. After all, teleportation is possible.

Don't "infinity" me. I know how infinity works. I also know how multiverse theory works.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:27 pm 
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DLordofTime wrote:
After all, teleportation is possible.


Maybe.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:10 pm 
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HarveyMidnight wrote

Actually, the truth of the matter is slightly more complicated...

True to theoretical physics, there is an infinite number of alternate universes: . . . . .

When you write an Age, the Great Tree randomly selects an Age . . . . .



I have to balk at your use of the words truth and true there. I'm happy with the concept that a descriptive book creates or enables a link to a place that already exists in our Universe. By accepting that, you've also accepted that certain Universal constants will hold true in all ages, such as the speed of light, the gravitational constant, pi, e and so on. This means that celestial bodies must move in ways described by celestial mechanics.

But "true to theoretical physics . . ." What you describe there is the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, which is unfalsifiable and so not a theorem at all; more like a belief system. Mind you, a large number of quantum physicists adhere to it.





Incidentally, this is partly why I believe Ages sometimes appear to violate the laws of "science and physics" ... what happens when you add something to an Age? this is an unquestionable violation of the law that says matter & energy cannot be created. (OOC observation: thus proving the continuity of Myst is 'science fantasy' NOT hard science, therefore fantastic, impossible things happen and the characters are meant to assume these things ARE possible) Furthermore, I also think it's possible that some Ages may actually function with different laws of physics.. they are different universes, after all.. for all we know, there are universes out there where matter has four states rather than three, where speed of light isn't constant, etc...

I'll have some more to say about the "laws" of physics below.

You've already described the book as linking to a location within the multiverse that matches the description in the book. By modifying that description, you say you're sliding the link around the branches of the multiverse to find a close one that matches the new description. In the new link, new items exist - built by quantum fairies I assume - but there is no harm done to the conservation of matter-energy, as the structures are part of the age, created out of local materials, and have always been there at that point in spacetime in this branch of the multiverse.

Now you're asserting that it's all fantasy and "six impossible things before breakfast", so you're going back on your statement above where you said that the book linked to on branch of the multiverse that we are in: that constrains you to live with the known universal constants, which is a condition of the many-worlds interpretation.

But besides all that, why are Sirrus and Achenar are still there? If the link has moved and found a new branch of the multiverse, Sirrus and Achenar have been left behind.



In the Age of Riven, for instance... when water became warmer than room temperature, it defied gravity and began to float in the air while still a liquid. ( OOC: And the so-called 'scientific explanation for this, was that microbes wanting to escape heat sources would make the water float. Cool, but pseudoscience. ) Pots had to be made with tops that would keep the water from floating out while food was cooked.


The "hot water becomes lighter than air" theory does not account for the behaviour of water in the lake. If it were true, the lake water would "boil" away from the heat sources constantly (and, I have to say, very impressively). Instead, what it does is form a cylinder round the source, perhaps by creating long-chain molecules that are strong enough to hold back the lake water. It is regular, normal science applied to materials we have not seen before.


If I were to use Minkata as an example: the author probably described a planet that doesn't rotate, with three suns in the sky that are precisely positioned to cast shadows in specified directions for objects on the planet's surface. No specification is made by the author for HOW this is possible... the burden is on the Great Tree to find a universe where conditions--- such as the laws of physics--- allow such a planet to exist.

You've personified the Great Tree several times. Do you think it is conscious and has volition?

Given the example above, why do you persist in thinking that the relevant branch of the multiverse describes a planet? The description is well matched by a dome with "celestial" objects just hung up there. Whether it's a pocket in spacetime or an actual constructed thing it's still pretty fantastic.

Now, about the laws of physics. The use of the word "laws" confuses people into thinking these are written statements that are somehow optional (like the speed limit, you can get away with breaking it as long as you aren't caught). They are better thought of as models, statements that define how objects will behave in the Universe and can be used to predict their behaviour in new circumstances. They are not immutable, on the contrary the history of science is full of occasions when new evidence requires that the "laws" be rewritten. Relativity, for example, requires modifications to Newtonian physics to account for the universe's behaviour near the speed of light. Newton is still a good approximation for everyday work with human-sized things on the surface of the planet, though.

Monkeying with the fundamental aspects of the universe almost always has the unfortunate side-effect of turning you into a greasy spot on the landscape.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:56 pm 
Just like general and special relativity. Can't break those no matter how hard you try. And the laws of thermodynamics. Just ask anyone who's tried to build a perpetual motion machine.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:40 am 
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I have not yet read this thread.

Muttley asked for some information. Since I tend to use a reader rather then login, I only just saw the PM.

Measuring distances... for some time the GoC tried to decide how best to do that. The final decisions made long ago are here: Mapping Standards. A handy point is the conversion data for male and female strides is included. Knowing that can save you having to change characters to survey.

None of these standards are written in stone. Do and use what works for you. The idea is to have fun.

Guild Membership
Some are curious about guild membership. Unfortunately there is a long and contentious history of guilds in Uru. Not understanding the history of guilds places people at a disadvantage. Most make poor assumptions about what the guilds are and what they are supposed to be and why. On top of that, there is the problem of whether one is talking about an IC Guild, OOC Guild, or the original D'ni Guilds. I tried to clear that up in a blog post in 2009: Myst-Uru Guilds IC and OOC.

How does one join the guild? Let's be real. Anyone can say they are in a guild and at whatever level they want to be. There is nothing anyone can do to stop them. People seem to need people to grant them permission and provide a structure. The early Nalates and the current Nalates advocated freedom and eschewed the drama of elections and meetings preferring to play in the Cavern, make maps, and figure out to get things working to help others. So, the GoC has never had an election and I hope never does. I don't run it nor do I ever plan to. So, if you need someone to give you direction, I probably won't help you. If you need help solving a problem, I'll be glad to help, if you can get my attention.

The people that did the most for the community became the head of GoC and fortunately we have had people that were more into service than running things. It would be nice if that continued. But, I'm not trying to impose anything on anyone, I can't. I suggest you do what you find to be fun and keep it simple.

You can read the Uru Mapping web site I have to see what we were doing. There is also a section of this forum with a load of links to the history of the GoC and Uru. Look for the GoC section.

I think this answers the questions in the PM I got. Anyone is welcome to ask questions here or in PM. Now I'll take some time to read through the thread.

UPDATE: ===================================
An interesting thread... it had a little to do with mapping at the start.

I kinda like the Ahnonay idea. Especially since one can walk up to the sky. Makes it a kind Matrix like world.

TOOO’s point on RL teleporting is fun. If we move a person atom by atom from one place to another is it the same person? Didn’t we kill one person and build a new one? Doc/Prof Kaku asked that in one of his talks. Fortunately we have experienced the D’ni worlds and know we are the same people… oh… wait I’m mixing IC and OOC stuff again.

Somewhere we just decide to stop speculating and go with what we have and call it fantasy for sake of play. IC stories can be fun but are seldom accepted by everyone.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:11 am 
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Muttley wrote:
I have to balk at your use of the words truth and true there.


I spent about an hour crafting a very insufferable & sarcastic response to your comment, which I have chosen not to post.

I feel like you tried to invite me BACK to this thread, asking me to please not leave--but THEN, when I came back, you just 'bashed' my view and are still trying to force me into the discussion I said I did NOT want to have, the ARGUMENT I stated quite plainly to you and others, that I did not want to get into.

I don't understand why you asked me back, just to write THIS response to me, knowing I didn't want to engage in this type of debate.
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Somewhere we just decide to stop speculating and go with what we have and call it fantasy for sake of play. IC stories can be fun but are seldom accepted by everyone.


I guess that's my fault.. But that makes it sound like this Minkata thread was never intended to consider the facts & elements of the Myst PLOTLINE, in the speculation about it. That seems kinda silly to me. But then, that's why I realized early on, I didn't belong in the thread-- I shoulda stuck with that.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:41 am 
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If you believe that the facts and elements aren't based in science, you haven't really been paying any attention at all.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:00 am 
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Enzan wrote:
If you believe that the facts and elements aren't based in science, you haven't really been paying any attention at all.


Superman's powers are also "based in science"-- that doesn't make his adventures all that realistic, now does it?

And I could just as easily say if you don't see a great deal of fantasy & magic in Myst, you haven't really been paying attention, either.

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