Damon_Tor

Oily Stone: Plastic?

30 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, Damon_Tor said:

The distinction between psychic abilities and magic is meaningless.

You're right in a way, it's about setting I suppose.

How those abilities are gained though makes all the difference. Magic blood seems the same to someone who doesn't know better in universe, it seems for example the targaryans knew that by marrying each other it kept their blood pure.  

However how this was initially entered into their blood to me makes a difference.  Was it PUT there, or did it appear there?  'Magic' explains one, design the other.  Not in a religious way either to be clear.   

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14 hours ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

How are some of our on page happenings explained without magic though? Example: Birthing a 'shadow baby' which has the ability to murder.

That's easy: monsters from the id!

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On 10/03/2017 at 2:03 AM, The Dragon has three heads said:

Magic is only magic if you don't understand it.

Not necessarily. In real life most magical systems have a complex structure behind it(doesn't really matter if they work). The term "occultism" itaelf push to it actually, "occult sciences".

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Haha that's almost as much of an oxymoron as 'Christian science' ;)

i thought of a good argument against for magic and that's the face swapping of arya and jaquen.  

Unless it's actually only telepathy/wargs who can properly face swap making Jaquan and arya a lot more special and unique. 

The blood being somehow different and special and 'activating' the face is not a horrible explanation but it's a bit soft.

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Posted (edited)

On 3/6/2017 at 0:28 PM, Illyrio Mo'Parties said:

Why? How many people ever saw both?

As for plastic, well... yes, it could be. But we don't know.

This is one of those very simple yes/no questions upon which the entire story hinges. If it's no, then, fine, nothing changes, but if it's yes...

If you're not familiar with him already, check out Preston Jacobs on youtube. This is very much his area.

ETA: watching that again, I'd forgotten just how creepy/cringeworthy the footage of Sybel Kikeli (?) and GRRM is. Yikes

I think Preston Jacobs is worth a listen for people who aren't familiar with him. If for nothing else, his 1000 Worlds Club series has gotten me to go back and read a bunch of Martin's old short stories. That said. I don't think Jacobs is correct about the story being set in a regressed word. I think Martin is borrowing from themes in his earlier works, and that is something that can definitely be appreciated from watching Jacobs' videos. At the same time time, revealing Westeros as a fallen technlogical world would do little to advance those themes.

On 3/9/2017 at 9:03 PM, The Dragon has three heads said:

Magic is only magic if you don't understand it.

I have drunk the Preston cool aid and it tastes good. Magic is kinda dumb because anything can be explained by it.  Must just be 'magic'. Pfft.

Technology though. Technology totally changes the fabric of the story and makes it far, far more compelling imho.

Now is the oily stone plastic? I doubt it.  But do genetic engineering, ancient technology and the theme of knowledge(not magic) returning to the world make sense? Yeah.

They really fucking do.

Why would a feminist, pacifist who has written thinking persona sci fi his whole life suddenly switch and write a fantasy novel where feudal patriarchy wins? 

Exactly.  He wouldn't.

Except, that when you look at Martin's science fiction, it isn't particularly scientific. There is nothing scientific about the telepathy or telekinesis he presents in his stories. They go completely unexplained by science. The technology in his stories is just science flavored magic that doesn't explain anything. It is a vehicle for he themes he is exploring. So there isn't any reason not to switch to fantasy and explore the same things. Actually a feudal patriarchy is a great place to explore pacifism and feminism. It lays the issues bare, and he has done a fantastic job of exploring the themes. I think the major theme that will be the big twist int he end and set up from the beginning is the notion that the "others" are human (or were, which is repetition of themes from the 1000 Worlds stories) and that humans caused the Long Night at the peak of human civilization. However, it was a magical peak, and magic has been in decline since then . . .  until now.

Edited by Durran Durrandon
type-o

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On 4/21/2017 at 0:18 PM, Durran Durrandon said:

I think Preston Jacobs is worth a listen for people who aren't familiar with him. If for nothing else, his 1000 Worlds Club series has gotten me to go back and read a bunch of Martin's old short stories. That said. I don't think Jacobs is correct about the story being set in a regressed word. I think Martin is borrowing from themes in his earlier works, and that is something that can definitely be appreciated from watching Jacobs' videos. At the same time time, revealing Westeros as a fallen technlogical world would do little to advance those themes.

Except, that when you look at Martin's science fiction, it isn't particularly scientific. There is nothing scientific about the telepathy or telekinesis he presents in his stories. They go completely unexplained by science. The technology in his stories is just science flavored magic that doesn't explain anything. It is a vehicle for he themes he is exploring. So there isn't any reason not to switch to fantasy and explore the same things. Actually a feudal patriarchy is a great place to explore pacifism and feminism. It lays the issues bare, and he has done a fantastic job of exploring the themes. I think the major theme that will be the big twist int he end and set up from the beginning is the notion that the "others" are human (or were, which is repetition of themes from the 1000 Worlds stories) and that humans caused the Long Night at the peak of human civilization. However, it was a magical peak, and magic has been in decline since then . . .  until now.

Oh look it's totally plausible, and there's not much difference between d and d style magic and 'powers' in a basic sense.

As I've said in other threads though it's about how these powers/blood lines got there in the first instance that interests me most.  I wouldn't want a magical peak without at least some kind of reason.  The valerians were messing with genetics that much is clear to me, could they hav found a way to manipulate magic as well, possibly. But where did they learn all this? And what explains the very large yittish and their yellow eyes that can see better and further than anyone else? 

Genetics and manipulation of genetics will play a factor I think, for me I hope it's tech not magic.  

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18 hours ago, The Dragon has three heads said:

Oh look it's totally plausible, and there's not much difference between d and d style magic and 'powers' in a basic sense.

As I've said in other threads though it's about how these powers/blood lines got there in the first instance that interests me most.  I wouldn't want a magical peak without at least some kind of reason.  The valerians were messing with genetics that much is clear to me, could they hav found a way to manipulate magic as well, possibly. But where did they learn all this? And what explains the very large yittish and their yellow eyes that can see better and further than anyone else? 

Genetics and manipulation of genetics will play a factor I think, for me I hope it's tech not magic.  

Martinian genetics are a bit sketchy, but yes, he is clearly concerned with bloodlines. The Valerian are descended from the Golden Emperors of the Dawn, who are descended from the the Lion of Night and the Maiden Made of Light, so if you want to take the technology approach I guess they are aliens or a different line of space faring humans. I don't think that is what Martin is doing that, through. I think we will never have a clear answer, and he may deliberately leaving room for the technology interpretation. However, I think he is largely setting as a magical analog to a technological collapse.

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When considering modern or "technoligical" materials such as plastics are then plastics actually seem perhaps the least likely material out of all the option.

Plastics afcourse come in many forms and property's which can be used depending on function. Some ould be automaticly excluded for not having propperty's that are equal to this black stone, for example some plastics only come as translucent like the PET we make bottle's from. The most limiting factor i guess about plastics and relevant in this case is their melting temperature, most plastics will melt well under 100 degrees celciums and only few plastics can handle more. This basicly means that the hightowers base if made of plastic could be melted away and likely would be reasonably flammable too, not exactly a great propperty for a plastic.

In terms of modern materials, especially when looking towards the future, my guess would rather be some advanced material based on carbon or perhaps graphene. Carbon has potential as a future technoligical material if only because carbon is so plentifull in our world and thus would form a great resource for megaconstructions, carbon has many interresting propperty's and oil is basicly made of carbon too so that would fit with oily stone.

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