Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

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Dr34m(4+(h3r
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Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

Postby Dr34m(4+(h3r » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:43 pm UTC

I begin with the following assumptions:

1. That some sort of temporal non-locality is physically possible, which makes Deleuzian/Landian retrocausality and temporal feedback loops possible.
2. That some variant of either Everett or modal realism is true, though probably not Everett or modal realism themselves
3. That large scale ancestor simulations are inevitable

To begin with, the inevitability of ancestor simulations and the possibility of retrocausal interference couple together to produce an arms race scenario; whoever has the best model of the past can also make adjustments to it, within certain degrees of freedom defined by whether or not the adjustments preserve a causal chain of events that makes the adjustment itself possible. Note that I say "a causal", not "the causal", because I believe that it's possible at least in principle for alternative stable causal sequences to emerge as a result of interference. In essence, I am thinking of Schopenhauer's or Crowley's models of will along physical lines; whatever human beings have the most influence on the timeline can be said in a sense to constitute it to the greatest degree, and they are also, at least in the context of retrocausality (but not many worlds), the hardest to effect using retrocausal tech. Think of it like a rope ladder; there is a certain degree of slack which allows for motion, but the rope is always going from one point to another and it would take severe force to sever it. In this context, if the rope is ever severed, it has to reform itself somehow, which may not be in the way it originally did, depending on circumstances.

Belief as a technique or hyperstition in this context would exist for various reasons:

* Natural hashes

Anything of a certain degree of complexity acts as a hash function, relevant both to keeping track of permutations of time and, in a kabbalistic sense, to keeping track of permutations of consciousness. This is especially true for mathemagical and alchemical formulas, complex rituals etc. Even if they are entirely meaningless in themselves, they are complex, and thus useful. In fact, arguably they are more useful the less meaningful they are for purposes of retrocausal manipulation, because whatever is least meaningful while still having substantial impact on the environment is most likely to be the vector through which such manipulation takes place. This is because doing so doesn't destroy anything valuable or essential (it actually fulfills magick, thus granting it its essential nature, albeit in concordance with a higher will).

* Opacity

Magicians hide. Hidden vectors are naturally better for the manipulation of time than open ones.

* Glitches

It's possible that certain series of actions, while entirely innocent in the physical world, could create unintentional disruption in simulations later on in time. For instance, chanting a certain name or doing a certain repetitive task over and over again, common magical actions, might have the effect of accessing a single memory location over and over again in a simulation, and thus constitute row hammering. When combined with retrocausality, it is possible that the effects of accidental row hammering are given to people in the past in order to establish consistency in reverse.

In the context of Many Worlds or modal realism, this following is also possible:

* Qualia based interaction and motion between worlds

If anything is observer based, it is probably not observer based in a vulgar manner; what even is an observer? It is probably contingent on the assemblage of qualia in a certain way at a certain time. If the multiple worlds interact in any way, which they have to in most conceptions, then the intersection of these worlds has to take place somewhere. It would be intuitive in a cognitive sense for these intersections to occur in the most common instances rather than the most complex. However, complexity could also be thought of as creating more "handles" or possible points of intersection; i.e., instead of being counted holistically as a single state of consciousness, each distinct component of the total state could be a different opportunity for interaction. It was recently discovered that the use of hallucinogens like LSD and Ayahuasca lead to mathematically more complex states of consciousness. This complexity, viewed as a bigger surface or target area, could lead to cognitive interactions with oneself or, for that matter, other beings, in other worlds. In other cases it could result in the transfer of consciousness across worlds.

Taken together, I already believe we are approaching a robust system of magick that is semi-empirical. The following would be features of this magick system which give it explanatory power over alternatives:

1. The fleeting nature of magick explained as a result of bugs beings patched for occurrences that are already random in nature, unforeseeable confluences:

Magick systems are like fads; they come and quickly go, yet their practitioners still make claims about their efficacy. In this sense, the unfalsifiable nature of magick would be because magick would be for first movers only by its nature. Any heavy magick that appeared to have consistent utility would be explained by the many worlds interpretation rather than by simulationism and retrocausality.

2. The continuum from psychological phenomenon to apparently physical manifestation:

Self-explanatory. Magick begins with self-delusion, edges into manipulation, then only at higher levels reaches higher levels of interaction based on simulationism or many worlds. These higher levels are able to produce the appearance of physical changes (when, for instance, you are really only moving between worlds), or physical outcomes themselves (in the case of retrocausality). However, these higher levels are contingent on the actions of some other sentience that is temporally ahead of us or "above" us in this sense. Only low level tricks are completely replicatable. But this raises and explains something else:

3. The reason magick is entangled with con artistry

This is also self-explanatory. Con-artistry is the manipulation of people. The manipulation of people is valuable from the standpoint of temporal manipulation. Therefore, wherever a particularly skilled and influential con artist appears, it is reasonable to expect magick to appear as well, precisely because and not in spite of the fact they're a con artist. However, the joke is that their manipulation, when augmented, will ultimately serve higher purposes and not their own.

4. The reason magicians in the long run rarely seem to achieve what they want unless it's through con artistry

Because magick isn't about what you want, it's about what someone else wants and can use you for. Magicians make "deals with demons". What this really means is that they are willing to appeal to an external force to help them achieve some finite task even at long term personal expense. Does it matter who answers? It's like submitting a ticket for an order to the universe. If it's fulfilled, that's enough. Note that this model is still more optimistic than making literal deals with the devil, as the negative consequences of magick are likely to be, well, the ones that were going to happen anyway for being a con artist or delusional but persuasive schizo, and not anything eternal.


This suffices for the core kernel of the magick system I am developing. Note that it is mostly explanatory and not predictive: I cannot tell you what kind of magick will work, I can only describe a mechanism by which magick might work which is consistent with all of its documented properties.

wumpus
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Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

Postby wumpus » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:27 pm UTC

I think the fundamental problem is claiming that anything possible in a hard sci fi universe is magick and not technology.

What are you supposed to do, summon Maxwell's demon?

In the introduction to "Recluse Tales" (a bunch of short stories revisiting a 20 year+ old series), L. E. Modesitt, Jr. wrote that he created Recluse to create a fantasy world where the magic system (and the land in general) obeyed actual laws and simply didn't "obey the plot". He created at least two more (Soprano Sorceress and Imager Portfolio [the former is a trilogy, the latter is currently filling up with plenty of books]) and I've probably missing one or more.

The key is that it is still magic (not really technology) even if the black engineers aren't known for their skill in magery (yet perform miracles of order magic).

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Dr34m(4+(h3r
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Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

Postby Dr34m(4+(h3r » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:53 pm UTC

wumpus wrote:I think the fundamental problem is claiming that anything possible in a hard sci fi universe is magick and not technology.

What are you supposed to do, summon Maxwell's demon?


My understanding is that a modified many-worlds pantheism/panpsychism justifies and explains spirits as emergent or invariant properties of multiverse interactions.

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Dr34m(4+(h3r
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Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

Postby Dr34m(4+(h3r » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:35 am UTC

Almost a thousand views and one comment? Come on...

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Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:57 am UTC

Well, that one comment pretty much summed up everything there is to say.
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Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:50 pm UTC

Dr34m(4+(h3r wrote:Almost a thousand views and one comment? Come on...


The comment did mostly cover it.

In general, magic is not a particularly sci-fi concept, most worlds involving it tend towards fantasy. Doesn't mean sword and sorcery as such, Dresden Files and the like is definitely still fantasy.

As an aside, reading this, you may be interested in reading Mother of Learning. It's not wholly math based, but it does touch on a number of properties mentioned here. Won't list them all to avoid spoilers.

Anyways, what is your purpose in developing this? To write a book, a game, etc? In such cases, while developing a consistent setting and system is laudable, the details of those will generally be driven by your needs. If reality is a simulation stack, how does that affect the story you are writing? If you're bouncing between different layers of reality, then sure, you'll want to explain that. If that isn't the case, what is the simulation adding to the story?

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Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

Postby Dr34m(4+(h3r » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:40 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Anyways, what is your purpose in developing this? To write a book, a game, etc? In such cases, while developing a consistent setting and system is laudable, the details of those will generally be driven by your needs. If reality is a simulation stack, how does that affect the story you are writing? If you're bouncing between different layers of reality, then sure, you'll want to explain that. If that isn't the case, what is the simulation adding to the story?


Something similar but less robust was going to be the framework of the magick system in a game series I was writing, yes. It's also largely just an effort to synthesize various different things that are currently popular or that are interesting to me into something semi-coherent, metaphysically and otherwise. I just like the feeling of metaphysical doubt that comes from having a lot of different potential metaphysical systems ostensibly justified through magick; some sort of ontological or pseudo-ontological pluralism. There's more to it than that but it's hard for me to explain myself very well at this stage in my life.

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Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

Postby ucim » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:27 pm UTC

Maybe you'd get more traction in the fictional science board rather than in Serious Business?

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Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

Postby Dr34m(4+(h3r » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:59 pm UTC

Ok. Requesting a move by the mods then.

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Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:06 pm UTC

From a game design perspective then, I'd work out what's mechanically advantageous for your game, and work out the explanation to fit. Depends on what kind of game it is, but video game, board game, larp, whatever, they're all going to have specific needs. It's good to spend the time to make your explanation consistent, so gamers expectations are fulfilled, but at the end of the day, it's a magic system. The level of expected realism is fairly low.

If you're focused on con artistry, then what does con artistry offer you in terms of gameplay? What does a session of it actually look like?

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Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:24 am UTC

If players in the game have the roles of the "demons" manipulating time or whatever through magic (I didn't really understand your explanation of how that works or why your spell magic that way), that could be interesting. You could have a "block time" view, where you see the full timeline in front of you like an open book and make changes to it during your turn (or whatever). But it might not be so easy to design. And it might serve you well to simplify the technobabble explanation, even if you think that weakens the scientific case (it's a game after all, and some things are more important than pseudoscientific plausibility).

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Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:47 pm UTC

@Dr34m(4+(h3r: I'm going to repeat/rephrase/infer a bunch or your original post to make sure I understand you (and maybe help others understand you).

A person with a simulation of the past can pick between possible pasts, and thus cause themselves to be in a chosen possible present. For example it's possible you have the winning scratch off lottery ticket (you haven't checked) and you can pick the past where the ticket you chose was also randomly selected as the winner.

*Hashes - These are basically words: completely arbitrary and value neutral in-and-of themselves, but become associated to important things via an external mechanism.

*Belief - what people believe has an effect on how the physical world works. Many people strongly believing X may not specifically cause X, but it will cause something not typically considered materialistically possible.

*Anti-inductiveness - If magic or a bug is exploited too much or too widely, there will be a bug fix, or antimagic that prevents the magic from becoming a standard part of life.

*Warlocks and demons - Warlocks are people who's power comes from a combination of con-artistry, exploiting glitches and patronage of demons. Demons are people or organizations who run simulations capable of retro-causal interference.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

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Dr34m(4+(h3r
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Re: Trying to develop a hard sci fi magick system

Postby Dr34m(4+(h3r » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:33 pm UTC

Yeah that seems about right, thanks.


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