Submitted by acmfox on Mon, 08/29/2005 - 11:12pm

[DaveK] Is anyone familiar with Niven's Magic universe?

[anneliese] Sorry, no.

[Elizabeth] Slightly. I haven't read any of it in a long time.

[anneliese] At least I don't think so.

[DaveK] "The Magic Goes Away" was the major book.

[camidon] not ready it, but somewhat familiar

[DaveK] It was back in the early 80s and done as a comment on declining resources. Magic is based on mana and it is a non renewable resource, like oil.

[camidon] ugh. that should be "read"

[DaveK] I decided to see if I could come up with another explination for the decline. And I parodied a bucnh of scientific ideas.

[anneliese] I liked your handling of the *paper*...did wish you included the proper citations though :)

[DaveK] It's not really a story, no characters or such.

[camidon] Here's my quick thoughts for you: 1) It's funny. 2) the structure was intriguing, though I would have preferred a scientific journal type format rather than a "talk", 3) The Q and A at the end was very awkward.

[DaveK] By citations do you mean Niven's books?

[Elizabeth] Were you intending a parody of, say, ID, with the serious and scholarly discussion of something that's really pretty ridiculous (the notion that our solar system is the entire universe)?

[anneliese] No. I would have made up citations.

[DaveK] I did it as a talk because I didn't think they would have publications back then.

[DaveK] Yeah, the Q&A is poor, I'll probably cut that.

[Elizabeth] The sort of footnotes you find all over, say, a Scientific American article or something in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

[camidon] Back when? I don't recall any time reference given.

[DaveK] I could make up footnotes. Could be fun. I'll have to see if I come up with good ones.

[DaveK] Back then, is back in the age of magic.

[DaveK] E, what is "ID"?

[Elizabeth] Intelligent Design. Stealth creationism, if you ask me.

[camidon] I like the idea of footnotes, as it's more "paper" like. I thought this very well could be taking place "today" or around this time, perhaps in a different dimension/parralel universe/etc

[DaveK] Oh, Intelligent Design.

[DaveK] No, I started this before that came up.

[Elizabeth] I got the impression of a very sophisticated, modern group of researchers seriously discussing a downright medieval idea, and taking that way too seriously.

[Elizabeth] Not even considering the alternative explanations.

[camidon] And this "age of magic" is from Niven, or are you referring to the Dark Ages?

[anneliese] When I read the Questions at the end, it looked to me like a proposal submission (need objectives, test questions, etc for CEU)

[camidon] If it's Niven, why couldn't there be schorlarly papers?

[anneliese] That would be another route.

[DaveK] From Niven. I thnk he postulates 10,000 years ago.

[camidon] Who is to say there wasn't a "Journal of Sorcery" Or a "Scientific Sorcerer"?

[Elizabeth] Reminded me of some of the alchemists' discussions, or the Dark Ages clerics trying to find out the age of the earth.

[Elizabeth] "Modern Magician?"

[DaveK] The questions were supposed to be - we're open minded and think the previous people don't consider new ideas. ANd by the way, we won't consider these other ideas.

[anneliese] Annals of the Arcane Society

[Elizabeth] Popular Alchemy.

[camidon] I think you could easily incorporate those QandA's into a "paper" format.

[Elizabeth] The Thaumaturgical Journals.

[DaveK] Paper's don't usually have Q&A.

[DaveK] Sometimes a rebuttal from the contrary author.

[DaveK] And wou't it be cool if Niven rebutted by story.

[DaveK] my story

[camidon] My last thought would be to make this even more scietifc paper-like. Go for the exact layout of a scientific journal today with the abstract, introduction, methodoloy, results, discussion, and finally the conclusion.

[camidon] About the QandA, I meant include that material in a somewher in a "scientific paper" layout, not as a QandA section--that info should be easy to incorporate into another "paper" form.

[Elizabeth] The more similar this is to a scholarly scientific paper, the funnier it will be.

[anneliese] As a scientific paper, the body is pretty short, plenty of room to expand, and incorporate your questions into the methodology.

[camidon] Yes, exctly, Anneliese. Thanks for clarifying my jumble of text.

[anneliese] (actually, I liked your jumble) :)

[DaveK] Move the questions to the body, good idea.

[camidon] Unfortunately, I can't stick around tonight. Dave, I'll get you a critique eventually

[camidon] Thanks, Anneliese. :) Glad someone does!

[DaveK] Thanks CM

[camidon] Have a good week all.

[Elizabeth] thanks CM, and have a good night!

[anneliese] Glad you could make it.

[DaveK] I rewrote my stock broker story as more of a story. Even my wife understood it , until the end.

[Elizabeth] lol Dave! My husband refuses to read my writing.

[Elizabeth] Says he doesn't think I'd take criticism properly, coming from him.

[anneliese] Same here. I've used up all local resources long ago.

[DaveK] I use her for punctuation and spelling mostly.

[Elizabeth] He has given copies of my stuff to his friends...they all seem to enjoy it.

[DaveK] I wrote a horror story, which she called cute.

[DaveK] The concenses is to make it more scientific paper like.

[Elizabeth] I think that will highlight the irony, to make it "read" like a scientific paper.

[anneliese] Especially if you work a methodology into it.

[anneliese] Of course, that could be challenging.

[DaveK] What do you mean by - methodology?

[anneliese] Well, if you are going to prove something, or disprove it, you have to follow a methodology to make your point.

[anneliese] A way to disprove the existing thesis, or support your own.

[Elizabeth] Perhaps there's a magical method, like the scientific method.

[DaveK] I pointed out one or two problems with the old theory - killing people creates mana

[Elizabeth] Which I liked.

[DaveK] And mana decreasing in areas where it is not used by people.

[Elizabeth] Might also be interesting to follow the thread of "the gods were once closer to us..."

[anneliese] You actually noted several ways of creating mana, worship being another.

[DaveK] How to prove my own theory -- how to do that?

[anneliese] ...which is another place for a citation. Someone must have proved/documented this in another paper.

[DaveK] This was supposed to be applying the scientific method to magic.

[DaveK] I cite that as "well known" information.

[Elizabeth] Or your author could summarize the "well-known" proof by a famous sorceror.

[anneliese] (Looking at your paper again.)

[Elizabeth] Kind of like a physics prof summarizing Newton's Laws as a lead-in to his discussion.

[Elizabeth] Yeah, I know, bad example...physics wasn't my best subject. ;)

[DaveK] Thought I did that. A susual I was probably too brief.

[anneliese] I think, also, that your conclusion isn't truely the conclusion, but more of your hypothesis.

[anneliese] It seems to throw out new ideas not previously discussed in the paper.

[DaveK] Right, more of a proposal for further work.

[Elizabeth] <--agrees w/Anneliese. I would have liked a firmer conclusion.

[Elizabeth] Even more controversy attached to it.

[DaveK] ANd this is why we have critiques.

[anneliese] In essence, you seem to say that by leaving the earth and living on other planets, mana can be created.

[DaveK] Thanks for all the input.

[anneliese] Which is really great!

[anneliese] I think you should run with this one some more. It has potential.

[DaveK] I don't have a good source for new mana. I'll need that.

[DaveK] I'm thinking of the sun, an obvious source of energy of all kinds.

[Elizabeth] A good idea. Can light (sunlight, moonlight) be harnessed?

[Elizabeth] Or harvested by a sufficiently intrepid mage?

[anneliese] I'm thinking of more subtle energies.

[DaveK] Sun worship, I can work with that.

[anneliese] Tons of magicks are based on moon beams. Perhaps the moon serves a lens for collecting and focusing solar magic rays.

[DaveK] Or the current vogue - dark energy- only comes out at night.

[Elizabeth] Tidal magic, too.

[anneliese] Which might relate to why it was necessary to try to bring the moon closer.

[Elizabeth] I hope this is helpful, Dave..I like the idea, and your presentation.

[DaveK] I had thought of orbiting mana collectors.

[anneliese] Did your researchers look into mana levels around monasteries?

[Elizabeth] (I'm going to have to sign off soon...restless doggy)

[Elizabeth] Oooh. I like the orbiting mana collector idea.

[Elizabeth] What about large public gatherings? Concerts and such?

[anneliese] I may miss the next two Mondays. I'll be in Virginia Beach for the conference.

[DaveK] Did you like the reference to our ancestors digging in the ground for energy.

[Elizabeth] People might not worship in large numbers any more, but a large gathering of people for a single purpose might still be a decent source of mana.

[anneliese] Yes. Very much so.

[Elizabeth] Caught that reference, and got a chuckle out of it.

[Elizabeth] what conference, Anneliese?

[anneliese] IANDS. The association I manage.

[Elizabeth] Good luck with that. Hope you have fun!

[Elizabeth] Virginia Beach should be nice.

[anneliese] It's on the beach. That has to count for something!

[DaveK] Thanks for your help. Pray for no hurricanes.

[Elizabeth] We aren't going anywhere for Labor Day, so I should be around for the chat (unless I forget).

[Elizabeth] Yes. No more hurricanes!

[anneliese] Yep. Don't need hurricanes.

[anneliese] We'll be driving to VA on Labor Day.

[DaveK] I'll be here. Wife is going out of town to visit relatives.

[Elizabeth] it was great talking to both of you...good night!

[anneliese] Nighters!

[DaveK] Thanks again, Anneliese, are you going to post this?

[anneliese] I was just about to.

[DaveK] Good, I'll have to review it for pointers.

[DaveK] Bye.