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 Canon Post 1: Improbability
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Sillie
 Monday, April 13 2015 @ 06:42 AM UTC (Read 2581 times)  
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====== Intention of These Posts ======

I (Sillieís player) was inspired to respond to footnote 2 in the Wiki entry [[canon]], which has apparently been there for almost 2 years asking for help. ((2013/06/02 18:18)) I am not going to post major changes to that wiki page without some sort of approval, either official, or through some consensus.

I mean no disrespect to CMJ, and the story he has told is entertaining and is a fine foundation for the game. Still, there are some puzzling features. I think I can bring some clarity and consistency to some aspects of the canon, without requiring any major rewrites of material that has been made available to players.

We may assume that, in the game, the available material (official and player-generated) was written by ordinary, fallible people, whose sources of information were contaminated. ((which is itself pretty common)) The contaminations include deliberate propaganda and lies by government, commercial, political, and private organizations. Then come the distortions that intrude when information is summarized, edited, and explained (often inaccurately) when it is passed along. It is mildly surprising we know anything.

So, the material in these posts may be simply fodder for conspiracy theorists, while the material in the game code, in saved scenes, and Role Playing reflect the wide variety of beliefs that various real people hold about the world. The Truth is out there, but it may be very hard to sort out.

These first posts will be short, and I will state some things without giving full justification. If anyone asks, I can speak longer and offer references to support most of it.
My eventual lists of topics includes Improbability, the EMP bombs, the AI, theories about the War on Improbability, power sources.

My character Sillie may get around to spouting some of this material.

===== Improbability =====

First of all, there is zero hope of reconciling this "fifth force -- chance" with physics or the real world as we know it. The game is set in a fictitious universe that disagrees with the real universe in various ways.

However, without reconciling them, we can make some observations and deductions.

==== Spatial Scale ====

The fifth force must not disturb the behavior of electrons and atoms on the scale of molecules, as described by Quantum Mechanics. Even tiny biases introduced in the behavior of electrons would upset how proteins fold, which would break biochemistry, which would make Improbable Island a lifeless wasteland.

I suggest we create the fifth force as being one that operates on distance scales of micrometers or millimeters at the small limit, to perhaps a hundred kilometers at the large limit.

That phenomenon of contestants being decelerated just before they hit the Island is probably not due to dense air, which doesnít fit for physical reasons. I suggest a kinetic absorption field, which could even yield energy for the Improbability Drive to use ((what, you thought it was still running on batteries after all this time?)). Maybe it also absorbs kinetic energy from wind, so the Island never gets hurricanes or strong wind storms.

==== Not "Quantum" ====

I also suggest we not contaminate the physics of this force with ideas stolen from Quantum Mechanics or popular misconceptions of same. Terms like rebound and funneling are fine here. I suggest we scrap all references to observer effects. It may be that Doctor Hawtonís experiments did not go awry until he went well past observing improbability effects, and made progress on generating the fifth force (by analogy: like early electromagnetic experiments).

I deduce that both the Improbability Drive and Jokers are manipulating (generating, concentrating, rebounding, funneling, whatever) Improbability far more powerfully than by observer effects. ((more to come))

==== Creation ====

It does seem that the Island creates monsters. Does it violate the Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy (which is unitarity in Quantum Mechanics, or a symmetry law in other formulations of physics)? Thatís awfully drastic for a number of reasons, and I suggest it doesnít. There are various clues that there is a large component of illusion in many monster encounters. More study is needed to separate out how much is manipulating matter and how much is illusion (including altering the victimís mind).

On a similar note, I suspect that all alleged occurrences of time travel (e.g. you kill and eat your past self) will turn out to be bogus, fraught with illusion and misunderstanding.

==== Influence of Mind on Improbability ====

There are strong signs that the effects of Improbability are influenced by sentient minds. Many contestants have reported encountering things they left behind on their pre-Island homes, or things inspired by their current thoughts. Some Jokers seem to exert detailed conscious control over it, right up to the moment they self-destruct in a flash of green light. Doing long-term clinical or lateral studies on Jokers will prove to be challenging.

There was a time that mankindís control of chemistry, magnetism and electricity were no better than these attempts to control Improbability. Early models and beliefs are eventually replaced by mathematical models that are at once simpler, yet very complex in application. The day may come that Islanders travel to other worlds in Improbabilty-based vehicles as casually as pilots now fly to dump kidnapped contestants on the Island.

I welcome feedback.


 
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Akogi
 Monday, April 13 2015 @ 11:47 PM UTC  
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I really enjoyed the article, however there are some things that I feel need to be tightened up/some things to think about from someone who's studied/studying physics and a few things to think/argue about. In my opinion, just making a new article on the wiki of lies about it as the whole thing is about having fun and see how many lies you can fit on an article.

To begin I'd recommend that you look up the history of say the electron as it is quite fascinating and might set a good tone for how you want to approach exploring this fictional force. I'll be referring to said force responsible for the improbability on the island as just the improbable force.


I suggest we create the fifth force as being one that operates on distance scales of micrometers or millimeters at the small limit, to perhaps a hundred kilometers at the large limit.

This would almost be like our current understanding of macroscopic gravity and electromagnetism then which are relationships that go to 1/r save magnetism which is 1/(r^2). The question would then be is if this force is stronger or weaker when two force carriers -the modern day thinking is that forces are caused by some sort of force carrier, so this would mean an improbable force carrier would need to exist - are close together? This would also give an idea on the size of the improbable field - the improbable field being the gradient of the improbable force.


That phenomenon of contestants being decelerated just before they hit the Island is probably not due to dense air, which doesn't fit for physical reasons. I suggest a kinetic absorption field, which could even yield energy for the Improbability Drive to use ((what, you thought it was still running on batteries after all this time?)). Maybe it also absorbs kinetic energy from wind, so the Island never gets hurricanes or strong wind storms.

The way I've seen and understood this what is responsible for slowing ones descent is one interacting with the Improbable Force. We can't throw all of physics out the window so we have to respect keep Newton's Laws - remember F = ma. Thinking about the distances that this force acts at, it would also make sense as it would start out limiting your acceleration from gravity to surpassing the strength of gravity close to the island so the landing you receive being thrown out a plane isn't crippling.


I also suggest we not contaminate the physics of this force with ideas stolen from Quantum Mechanics or popular misconceptions of same. Terms like rebound and funneling are fine here. I suggest we scrap all references to observer effects.

Remember Quantum mechanics only works on small physical scales so the mircoscale physics effects won't contaminate the macroscale physics. A good example of this is WKB approximation when people were exploring quantum mechanics by only using classical mechanics; they found it works to a small degree.

Rebound and funnelling? I'm not sure what you mean by these, if you mean tunnelling instead of funnelling then I fully agree. Quantum tunnelling is weird, fun to joke about and oddly enough there are a lot of examples of it in the real macroscopic world so it seems perfectly suitable for something that would happen a lot on the island - even if some people use it improperly.


It does seem that the Island creates monsters. Does it violate the Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy (which is unitarity in Quantum Mechanics, or a symmetry law in other formulations of physics)?

There are several things to comment about here. It would read better if you just say the Conservation of Mass and Energy or Conservation of Energy as mass is energy. It's not just Quantum mechanics that says that mass and energy are the same thing, it's actually most of physics that says they are the same thing as it's an important idea in nuclear physics, relativistic mechanics and so it's just commonly just the conservation of energy. And, there is a postulate in Quantum mechanics that says the conservation of energy be damned and that you can completely ignore it a certain period of time - also known as the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

So with this point in mind, we can think of say particle physics. One thing that's interesting is that spontaneously particles appear and disappear that last for short periods of time. So maybe the improbable field has enough energy that it can create manifestations long enough for you to fight, kill and then butcher before the resulting corpse will disappear again. This theory makes sense as you can't go back to what you've just fought if you get taken to the fail boat or return to cut up a corpse after going back to town and that you can fight your past and future selves. This also means that the improbable field doesn't give a damn about causality which would lead to some interesting physics going on.

------

I hope you don't feel discouraged about my reply, it was a good read. I'd be willing to elaborate if asked to and even explain further some of the things I discussed. I felt reading it that you've read about the weirdness in Quantum mechanics and have a basic idea of physics and wanted to elaborate on people discovering the chance/improbable force as if from the 1800s. I feel like the feedback I've given above might give something to think about and might help a modern day thinker explore this new force Wink


 
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Hairy Mary
 Monday, April 20 2015 @ 11:03 PM UTC  
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Now this is a subject I could spend plenty of time discussing, preferably with a pint or other container of beer in my hand.

First a small "meta" note. I'm not sure if this would fit well on the "canon" page, that seems to me to be more for "official" game given background than player generated ideas, interesting and/or fun as they may be. Official canon is only very loosely defined. When new beasties are being considered for inclusion in the game, it's how amusing they are that counts. How well they fit in with any particular idea is only important in so far as it makes for a fun monster. So I would agree with Akogi that it might be better to put this on a seperate page, maybe with a link to it.

Quote by: Sillie


We may assume that, in the game, the available material (official and player-generated) was written by ordinary, fallible people, whose sources of information were contaminated. ((which is itself pretty common)) The contaminations include deliberate propaganda and lies by government, commercial, political, and private organizations. Then come the distortions that intrude when information is summarized, edited, and explained (often inaccurately) when it is passed along. It is mildly surprising we know anything.



This! A thousand times this! In everything in life, not just Improbability or the Island.

My own thougts on Improbability revolve round entropy and it's bright twin information. However I've been a bit busy recently, so it's taken me long enough just to write this. If I wait until I've got my thoughts marshaled properly then this post will never arrive. So I'll post this for now, just to register an interest, and hope that I manage to get back to it soonish.


 
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