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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:06 pm 
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I'm trying to make sense of the concept of linking, so maybe someone here can help me out.

Assuming it's true that Descriptive Books link to a pre-existing Age (one of an infinite number of ages), what happens to the people in that age when you make a change to the Age's Descriptive Book?

If you think of the book as a giant quantum mechanical arrow pointing at a very specific point in the inifite universes, then altering the book would change the place the book is pointing to, which in turn would mean the people in that age would be of a different universe as well.

Those people will then have no awareness of me had I decided to take a visit to the age prior to changing the book. Unless the explanation is that of all the infinite universes, the book now points to an age which relfects the changes AS WELL as contaning even one single person who remembers me from before the changes to the book. Highly improbable, I say! Highly improbable!

Does this make sense? :oops:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:12 pm 
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From what I've seen, it depends on how extreme the changes are. I'm no master of linking theory like others I've seen who can really get into the quantum mechanics of it (and those are fascinating discussions, let me tell you!)... but here's what I know -

You can make changes to an Age without affecting the people in it. See also: Riven.

However, in the novel The Book of Atrus, changes so severe were made to a book that it simply hopped branches of the Great Tree to a similar world... but not an identical one. In that case, the people whom Atrus and Gehn had come to know no longer remembered them.

That's all I have to offer; hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I will come along and enlighten you further!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:19 pm 
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So then, in a way, you can make changes to an existing Age as long as they're not too extreme. Is the Age itself changing, or is the link changing to an Age which reflects the changes but just happens to have the equivalent of epople who were there before the changes were made?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:30 pm 
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UvulaBob wrote:
So then, in a way, you can make changes to an existing Age as long as they're not too extreme. Is the Age itself changing, or is the link changing to an Age which reflects the changes but just happens to have the equivalent of epople who were there before the changes were made?


Congratulations! You have hit the jack pot and the biggest question about linking at all. Some D'ni said that they are god like beings because they can create, alter and destroy worlds. Most D'ni thought that they are only creating a link to an existing age.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:40 pm 
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Tiran wrote:
UvulaBob wrote:
So then, in a way, you can make changes to an existing Age as long as they're not too extreme. Is the Age itself changing, or is the link changing to an Age which reflects the changes but just happens to have the equivalent of epople who were there before the changes were made?


Congratulations! You have hit the jack pot and the biggest question about linking at all. Some D'ni said that they are god like beings because they can create, alter and destroy worlds. Most D'ni thought that they are only creating a link to an existing age.


I haven't read all the material or played through all the games yet (finished up Ti'Ana today and am playing through Revelation), but is this a continual source of conflict throughout future stories/games in the universe?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:52 am 
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Tiran wrote:
UvulaBob wrote:
So then, in a way, you can make changes to an existing Age as long as they're not too extreme. Is the Age itself changing, or is the link changing to an Age which reflects the changes but just happens to have the equivalent of epople who were there before the changes were made?


Congratulations! You have hit the jack pot and the biggest question about linking at all. Some D'ni said that they are god like beings because they can create, alter and destroy worlds. Most D'ni thought that they are only creating a link to an existing age.


I imagine that they can't create worlds, but they can write changes. After all, we can't just "create" a tree, but we can alter or destroy it. Perhaps the Art works the same way?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:33 am 
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Quote:
Assuming it's true that Descriptive Books link to a pre-existing Age (one of an infinite number of ages), what happens to the people in that age when you make a change to the Age's Descriptive Book?


One of the observed rules for descriptive books seems to be "don't put man-made objects in the world" Makes sense, if the book describes a made object, there must be sentience there to make it.

Obviously it happened -- Sirrus and Achenar wrecked things.

But say a Descriptive book is written with a peaceful tribe to interact with. Someone deletes text from the Descriptive book and changes it to the equivalent of "that bridge collapsed 60 years ago". The world where the tribe is doesn't change. The bridge has not collapsed yet.

The Descriptive book now quantum arrows further down the branch to an Age where the bridge has been gone for 60 years. The tribe continues to exist...at some point their bridge will collapse. Any Explorer who had linked to their age prior to the alteration would not experience anything until they linked back to the branch the descriptive book is on -- since the branch doesn't move. The Quantum Arrow of the Linking book does.

If the Explorer used the Linking book to enter the same age in the same place after the altering of the Descriptive book the Bridge will be down and 60 years will have passed. The tribe will have experienced the Explorer vanishing for 60 years and returning not looking a day older.

Quote:
If you think of the book as a giant quantum mechanical arrow pointing at a very specific point in the inifite universes, then altering the book would change the place the book is pointing to, which in turn would mean the people in that age would be of a different universe as well.


Depending on how big the change is. I would suppose a full-scale change such as "This Age has square planets insted of round ones" would alter the target of the quantum arrow enough that the tribe you meet there would not have ever met you before the alteration...

Quote:
Those people will then have no awareness of me had I decided to take a visit to the age prior to changing the book. Unless the explanation is that of all the infinite universes, the book now points to an age which relfects the changes AS WELL as contaning even one single person who remembers me from before the changes to the book. Highly improbable, I say! Highly improbable!


Right. If you rewrite the Descriptive book to change the grass color, it's highly less problematic in an Age where there is no sentience.

Quote:
Does this make sense? :oops:


None of it makes sense, but I love speculating!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:24 am 
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jayctravis wrote:
But say a Descriptive book is written with a peaceful tribe to interact with. Someone deletes text from the Descriptive book and changes it to the equivalent of "that bridge collapsed 60 years ago". The world where the tribe is doesn't change. The bridge has not collapsed yet.

The Descriptive book now quantum arrows further down the branch to an Age where the bridge has been gone for 60 years. The tribe continues to exist...at some point their bridge will collapse. Any Explorer who had linked to their age prior to the alteration would not experience anything until they linked back to the branch the descriptive book is on -- since the branch doesn't move. The Quantum Arrow of the Linking book does.

If the Explorer used the Linking book to enter the same age in the same place after the altering of the Descriptive book the Bridge will be down and 60 years will have passed. The tribe will have experienced the Explorer vanishing for 60 years and returning not looking a day older.


Actually, I doubt that a change even that large would link to the same Age. In all probability, the link would shift to a similar Age, but with a slightly different history. The tribe in the first version of the Age would never see that explorer link in.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:39 am 
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This discussion highlights the predicament Atrus faced while trying to keep Riven stabilized long enough for Catherine to be rescued.

If he made one adjustment too many.. then the link might change, and even if he changed it back the book may still no longer point to the Riven we all know.

If he made one too few, the age would collapse.

Either way his wife would be lost forever.

Talk about pressure!


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