PDA

View Full Version : Charlie and Parson- Confirmation in EW: 147?



Jural
2009-03-20, 09:18 PM
I have a theory. It's long, it's a spolier, it's not a sure thing.

So I've noticed a similarity between Parson and Charlie for a long time (since the M'Glad you think so line.) I think the idea has been debated on these forums and I see I'm not alone. Perhaps Charlie is a future Parson, or his Dad, or from the same earth as Parson...

But the last comic really drove it home for me what my pet theory is: Parson is dreaming or in a coma, as he suspected early on. He is running his own scenario, and Charlie actually IS Parson, or a part of his mind.

Why am I more sure now?: Parson claims that in the game he was making back home, Parson was going to cheat the protagonists at every phase. He was going to pull out extraordinary measures to foil their plans, he was going to force his players to cheat to beat him. This is exactly what has happened in Goblin Knob to date! No need to list all the times a brilliant stratagem failed, right?

So, if this really is Parson's scenario, he is running it under hypnosis, under influence of a coma, in a dream, etc. In that case, Charlie really is Parson- and so much is explained. Think how much Charlie has played a role in this, yet how "behind the scenes" he really is. The behavior of Wanda and Stanley are better explained (Wanda hides spells until the last moment only to allow the first plan to fail and to allow the next plan to be possible. Stanley is making things difficult early, and takes away the dragons as they were tactically too successful. However, he recovers at just the key moment to ensure his side gets another turn.)

The other possibility is that Parson has been randomly teleported into a universe littered with pop culture references from 2007-9 era Earth. The exact scenario he dreamed up and planned out is being played out in front of him as he watches, and the world itself is conspiring to beat him the way that he planned to conspire to beat his players. And of course Charlie just happens to be in this world, and just happens to be so similar to him (not royalty, extremely good tactically- interested in helping out Parson, perhaps selfishly.)

I'm not saying it's a sure thing. Just that it has been well foreshadowed and just became a much more likely outcome, in my mind!

dr pepper
2009-03-20, 10:24 PM
I hope not. That would be chintzy.

Bawon von Howse
2009-03-20, 11:07 PM
well, the resemblances between Parson's scenario and the scenario he now finds himself in are uncanny, so this leads to 2 basic lines of thought along this direction:

1) Parson is in a dream or dreamlike state, sleeping, or otherwise incapacitated and is plaing through his own scenario

2) Erfworld is 'real' and he has been summoned there. Stanley's situation was so dire, and the summoning spell was so powerful that the perfect warlord (for the situation) was Parson, as he knows how to beat it!

Though both require some suspension of disbelief, I much more prefer the 2nd option. Also, as the story starts in erf, I would be more inclinded to believe that this story is the story of Erfworld, rather than a 'random' scenario, a later character had been inventing!

However, I do think that we aren't too far away from a conclusion to this arc, and I hope that all (or enough) will be explained.

I guess it all depends on whether the 2nd 'Erfworld' further develops the activities on Erfworld, or is another story about some scenario Parson has made!

Glome
2009-03-20, 11:20 PM
I'm pretty sure Erf world is real. It wasn't coincidence that Parson was transported to a world filled with pop culture references. Stanley specified that Wanda find someone who found everything safe and familiar. If Stanley instead asked for someone who understood the rules of Erf world combat, Parson wouldn't have been picked.

Anyway, the biggest argument against this being just some coma induced fantasy and thus all in Parson's head, is how can we have a story about Erf World away from the narrative point of view of Parson if all of this is in Parson's head? Yet that is exactly what the story after Erfworld will be about. Plus there is the fact that we explicitly see Parson disappear from Earth, which we wouldn't see if Parson was dreaming this.

Parson of course doesn't know whether any of this is real, but we as readers have evidence to make a definitive conclusion about the reality of the world Hamster is in.

Jural
2009-03-21, 01:12 AM
Parson of course doesn't know whether any of this is real, but we as readers have evidence to make a definitive conclusion about the reality of the world Hamster is in.

Do we? In your dreams, you typically have access to more information than you do in waking hours... The zapping out of the real world, etc. all can be part of a hallucination.

That being said, I think there is a plot related reason which might blow the theory out of the water, which I think is what you are alluding to: There is more going on in Erfworld, apparently, than is necessary for the battle itself.

1) What is the relationship between Wanda, Ansom, and Jillian?

2) Where did Stanley come from, and why are his casters so loyal to him?

Now there may be simple answers which haven't been revealed, but I think the fact that those questions are interwoven in the narrative speaks to Erfworld having "a life of it's own."

Well observed.

Tensu
2009-03-21, 02:11 AM
I believe it was stated that there would be more story arcs after Gobwin knob... so either Erfworld is real or Parson is in for either a quality coma, or a great quantity of comas. If it's Parson's coma world, only parson could coma into it after all. so I think it's safe to assume that erfworld is real as it would make no sense for it not to be.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-21, 02:21 AM
Personally, I've always advocated the "Charlie is Parson making a Stable Time Loop (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StableTimeLoop)" Theory.

But then again, I am quite Mad :smallcool:

Kaed
2009-03-21, 03:31 AM
Enough.

This has been going on for way too long. The theories become more and more obscure, or you cling to an idea despite any evidence to the contrary.

Time loops? One or two similar phrases that were obviously said only after talking to Charlie in the first place, who is strange and memorable by nature?

These are seriously your 'evidence'?

You people are starting to sound like Miko(:miko:), leaping farther and farther to conclusions that make less sense as they go, and I honestly think some of you are doing it just because you think it is funny to jump on the crackpot theory bandwagon.

The evidence is slim, and nothing has happened in the last... what... 50 comics? More?.. that gives anything further. Not to mention the topic has already spawned so many threads it is ridiculous.

Please stop. Even if you really refuse to (and I can't stop you from doing so), can't you keep it all on the same thread, rather than creating a new one and filling up the database with nonsense threads?

Maybe bring up topics that are more relevant to the actual plot going on? Remember that part? The story actually happening?

:smallsigh:Uuuurgh.

Muzzafar
2009-03-21, 03:44 AM
Personally, I've always advocated the "Charlie is Parson making a Stable Time Loop (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StableTimeLoop)" Theory.

Quite unlikely in my opinion, as Parson and Charlie have very different personalities.
As someone has rightly pointed out, Charlie is a coward - he only plays safe. He would not get involved in plan that had even a tiny chance of failure according to his calculations.
Parson, on the other hand, is brave because he is ready to risk a loss if his plans would not work as he intended.
So in terms of character development "Charlie" is a step back from "Parson" rather than a step forward as Time Loop Theory implies.

Ellye
2009-03-21, 04:03 AM
So I've noticed a similarity between Parson and Charlie for a long time (since the M'Glad you think so line.)Uh, what?
Parson only said "M'glad you think so" once, right after hearing Charlie say this, and when he was trying to imply that he had secret allies in the coalition. I thought it was supposed to be obvious that Parson was trying to enhance his bluff by speaking this line that's so much Charlie-y.

BobVosh
2009-03-21, 06:15 AM
Quite unlikely in my opinion, as Parson and Charlie have very different personalities.
As someone has rightly pointed out, Charlie is a coward - he only plays safe. He would not get involved in plan that had even a tiny chance of failure according to his calculations.
Parson, on the other hand, is brave because he is ready to risk a loss if his plans would not work as he intended.
So in terms of character development "Charlie" is a step back from "Parson" rather than a step forward as Time Loop Theory implies.

Charlie has nothing to lose, and plenty to gain by holding back. You would have to be stupid or be fighting for another reason to place your limited resources up for nothing.

Parson has everything to lose, and a magical compulsion to make him use every tactic he can to win. He is in a situation where holding back cannot possibly win, therefore no matter his normal method would be he must be reckless now. Of course this is offset by the fact the spell chose him for this scenario as a perfect warlord...so he must like/be good at recklessness.

Either way, I disagree with Charlie being a future self/any other timey-wimey nonsense. I'm possibly considering same plane of existance, or just knows stuff. That is his schtick.

multilis
2009-03-21, 11:02 AM
IF charlie was a future Parson, then Charlie would need memory loss to be suprised by what Parson can do to Ansom.

KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid, the theory that is right should be the *simplest*...

Everyone else in some way slows down Parson, so clearly we have confirmation that it is *Bogroll* who is a future Parson.

So lets quit these silly theories about Charlie=Parson, when it is much simpler and more logical that Bogroll=Parson! ;-)

Name Lips
2009-03-21, 02:04 PM
I'm pretty sure ErfWord is real because we actually saw Parson vanish. And the reactions of his friends to his doing so. And we saw the people in Erfworld exist prior to his arrival, arranging a powerful summoning spell.

If this is all happening within his head, he's truly going mad to have included all of those details.

Plus we get to see lots of things of which he is unaware.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-21, 02:52 PM
Time loops? One or two similar phrases that were obviously said only after talking to Charlie in the first place, who is strange and memorable by nature?

These are seriously your 'evidence'?

Ho ho, that's where you're wrong! I don't care about similar phrases, I'm talking about h4x.

The short version:
- Sizemore understands simple abbreviations and emoticons, but does not understand "kk thxbai." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0059.html) As "kk thxbai" comes from FPS chat and memes, it makes good sense that Erfworlders would not understand them.
- Nobody else in the world has Eyebooks (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0053.html), but Charlie can "hack" into Parson's. Even assuming this is Arkendish Thinkamancy (and not that "Charlie" still has his Eyebook from the past), Charlie should not have sufficient experience with them to have come up with meme-based communication.
- There is no Erfworld analog for "hacking." There are no computers, nor more than a single set of computer-like devices. Even if there were, it seems likely they would be Thinkamancy based - that is to say, no keyboards.
- Charlie instantly understood (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0112.html) "omg h4x" despite the fact that (1) "hacking" has no Erfworld analogy and (2) number-letter substitution would never have occurred to a people without keyboards.

At the very least this suggests Charlie is from Earth; if you are a member of the Tin Foil Hat Alliance (TFHA) then this just screams Stable Time Loop :smallbiggrin:

There are, of course, alternative explanations, but there are problems with them:
- Charlie used Thinkamancy to get the meaning of "omg h4x" from Parson directly.
But if Thinkamancy was capable of reading Parson's mind at this distance, why would Charlie bother acting surprised at Parson's plans. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0117.html) If "Charlie" were Parson, then he's just fulfilling the conditions needed to create the Stable Time Loop.
- There are other keyboards and Eyebooks in Erfworld.
Pure conjecture at this point, but we could be Jossed (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Jossed) later on. Thems the breaks with TFHA Theories :smalltongue:

EDIT:

As someone has rightly pointed out, Charlie is a coward - he only plays safe. He would not get involved in plan that had even a tiny chance of failure according to his calculations.
Parson, on the other hand, is brave because he is ready to risk a loss if his plans would not work as he intended.
So in terms of character development "Charlie" is a step back from "Parson" rather than a step forward as Time Loop Theory implies.

Ah, but what if in the future Parson discovers that Erfworld is ultimately meaningless and/or silly? Since he has nothing to live for but himself, why bother risking things when it is so easy to do things the easy way?

And, of course, there's the standard "needs to preserve the Stable Time Loop" argument, though I shy from using it very often.

dr pepper
2009-03-21, 02:59 PM
Simpler explanation, with powerful thinkamancy you get the universal translator, which gives you meanings without direct mindreading.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-21, 03:00 PM
Simpler explanation, with powerful thinkamancy you get the universal translator, which gives you meanings without direct mindreading.

I don't know if that's really a "simpler" explanation, particularly since nobody in Erfworld seems to speak more than one language - and the same one at that.

Snowgods
2009-03-21, 05:55 PM
but Charlie can "hack" into Parson's. Even assuming this is Arkendish Thinkamancy (and not that "Charlie" still has his Eyebook from the past), Charlie should not have sufficient experience with them to have come up with meme-based communication.

It was mentioned somewhere that charlie has one of the tools of the titans, (prob that satellite dish) he seems to be able to do unlimited thinkamancy, and may have the same control with archons that stanley and the hammer does with dragons.

I think the pliers have affinity with undead (sorry, uncroaked) which is why ansom couldn't use them
I want to see what they'll do when Wanda gets hold of them (assuming she survives the link)

Kreistor
2009-03-21, 05:59 PM
Snowgods, there's a thread for that.

Wanda and... (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106595)

Godskook
2009-03-21, 06:26 PM
Your mind is important to us, and it may be monitored for quality assurance purposes. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0098.html)

Understanding unique terminology and dialects would be covered explicitly by that if I was the recognized master of thinkamancy.

Occasional Sage
2009-03-21, 06:35 PM
*snip*
I honestly think some of you are doing it just because you think it is funny to jump on the crackpot theory bandwagon.
*snip*


You should try it. The CT Bandwagon is where all the good beer is. And all the attractive girls and guys chase around the TFHA. Between them, it's a party!

Kaed
2009-03-21, 06:40 PM
Ho ho, that's where you're wrong! I don't care about similar phrases, I'm talking about h4x.

The short version:
- Sizemore understands simple abbreviations and emoticons, but does not understand "kk thxbai." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0059.html) As "kk thxbai" comes from FPS chat and memes, it makes good sense that Erfworlders would not understand them.
- Nobody else in the world has Eyebooks (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0053.html), but Charlie can "hack" into Parson's. Even assuming this is Arkendish Thinkamancy (and not that "Charlie" still has his Eyebook from the past), Charlie should not have sufficient experience with them to have come up with meme-based communication.
- There is no Erfworld analog for "hacking." There are no computers, nor more than a single set of computer-like devices. Even if there were, it seems likely they would be Thinkamancy based - that is to say, no keyboards.
- Charlie instantly understood (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0112.html) "omg h4x" despite the fact that (1) "hacking" has no Erfworld analogy and (2) number-letter substitution would never have occurred to a people without keyboards.

... Or maybe, you know, Charlie just knew that he wasn't supposed to be in another forces SECURE METHOD OF COMMUNICATION, and drew his conclusions as to the outbursts meaning from the context there.

Because obviously it's more likely that Charlie is really Parson, thus understands the meaning of netspeak, instead of just being a very smart mercenary overlord who hates to lose (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0143.html) in any way, including failing to understand the meaning of something.

"Indeed!" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0112.html) Is a pretty generic response, and he even quickly changes the subject to ask what Parson is doing.

Chameon
2009-03-21, 11:47 PM
Careful Kaed, you started cutting apart the story itself there, and no, I'm not going to go into the crackpot theory side. But look just above the "Indeed!". I'll wait. lol is not something he'd know off the bat. It's quite possible that the "Eyebooks" keep all the data and that he simply looked at all the previous messages before talking to Parson. It's also not beyond the realm of imagination that he picked Parson's brain during the first conversation for any info, useless or not, and he's using this method of communication to establish "raport." However, it would be risky to slam either side at the moment unless you want to get into an arguement.

P.S. Didn't mention "Parson=Charlie" "Charlie = From Earth" because those have already been mentioned in this thread, waste to mention again, but I need to represent both sides or else it's just me slamming one side.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-22, 12:16 AM
... Or maybe, you know, Charlie just knew that he wasn't supposed to be in another forces SECURE METHOD OF COMMUNICATION, and drew his conclusions as to the outbursts meaning from the context there.

But then why this particular response? If he were just blindly reacting to a line of gibberish, why bother with "LOL" at all? "Laugh out Loud" implies a particular response to a particular stimuli - unless you think people just laugh at things they don't understand?

Charlie is certainly jaunty, but nowhere else does he bother with acronyms - it is as if he were responding to "omg h4x" (typically said ironically) with the suitable counter-reply.

In any case, Godskook raises an interesting point. Assuming that Charlie could do a complete brain-scan of Parson here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0098.html), Charlie would have known about the Eyebooks, and the initial plan for the defense of Gobwin Knob - already in progress. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0097.html) And if that's true, then he would have known about Parson's plan to turn the tunnels into a Death Trap (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0121.html) - and so he shouldn't be surprised here. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0117.html) Now, Charlie could still be playing along but I don't see why he'd bother - he clearly doesn't need Parson to do anything to "win" so why hide that he has already scanned Parson's mind?

I suppose Charlie could have done a partial scan of Parson's mind, but why would he even bother to scan only the parts that involve internet memes? And if he had done a brain-scan just to find out the best way to spook Parson, why was he surprised here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0099.html) by Parson's responses? I don't think it hangs together well enough to wholly refute the "Charlie From Earth" theory.

Jural
2009-03-22, 01:28 AM
Uh, what?
Parson only said "M'glad you think so" once, right after hearing Charlie say this, and when he was trying to imply that he had secret allies in the coalition. I thought it was supposed to be obvious that Parson was trying to enhance his bluff by speaking this line that's so much Charlie-y.

There are some clear similarities between Parson and Charlie. Both of them saying "M'glad you think so" is just the first time I personally noticed it. You are correct that this was possibly Parson imitating Charlie- but there are other possibilities.

Aside from Charlie understanding Parson, both are not royals, and both have exceedingly strong tactical minds. Both are also interested in Parson's well being, and seem to be written similarly from an intellectual standpoint.

I don't think Parson and Charlie can be the same person, time loop and all, however. They don't speak in the same vocabulary, and I have the impression Charlie really is surprised about what Parson is going to do.

However... my theory doesn't require them to be the same! However, there are a lot of "outside the comic" and plot given reasons to imagine my theory is wrong... it would certainly be odd if there were future Erfworld comics (I thought it was ending here) and there seems to be a lot of backstory and information which may be superfluous to this conflict (although the Wanda-Jack-Stanley-Jillian-Ansom backstory really needs some clarification... and not a Parson's log!)

ishnar
2009-03-22, 01:42 AM
There are some clear similarities between Parson and Charlie. Both of them saying "M'glad you think so" is just the first time I personally noticed it. You are correct that this was possibly Parson imitating Charlie- but there are other possibilities.

If these other possibilities had any validity, then Parson would have used Charlie-like language elsewhere. It was a pretended slip, if it were a real slip then it would have been repeated.

Jural
2009-03-22, 01:44 AM
Enough.

This has been going on for way too long. The theories become more and more obscure, or you cling to an idea despite any evidence to the contrary.

Time loops? One or two similar phrases that were obviously said only after talking to Charlie in the first place, who is strange and memorable by nature?



You know, you can always choose not to read these forums or posts if they bother you. Although +20 for the avatar! And I like the big font.

Seriously, I don't really get where you are coming from. EW:147, with it's reference to Parson's homebrew scenario and confirmation that this world has been running just like Parson was going to run his homebrew, really cemented the possibility in my mind, especially as the Saline IV comment referenced the same thing. I'm not saying it's a lock, just putting it out there.

It's the first time I posted it, how can that be enough?

Jural
2009-03-22, 01:46 AM
If these other possibilities had any validity, then Parson would have used Charlie-like language elsewhere. It was a pretended slip, if it were a real slip then it would have been repeated.

I agree this is a possible interpretation. The characters could have said the same phrase due to some gamesmanship by Parson. Or the author could be setting up a comparison between the two. Or, both.

ishnar
2009-03-22, 02:07 AM
I agree this is a possible interpretation. The characters could have said the same phrase due to some gamesmanship by Parson. Or the author could be setting up a comparison between the two. Or, both.

What matters isn't "is it possible" but "Is it likely"

It's possible that if we wave our hands up and down really fast we can fly, but is it likely?

It's very obvious from context that Parson was using this phrase specifically to mess with Ansom's head. Context....

Context. Yes, on a low gravity world with a thick atmosphere, you probably could fly by waving your arms, and basically swim through the air, but unless you are on said low gravity world with a higher air pressure than Earth, then it's not likely. Even though it is still possible.

It's possible to make a triangle with three 90 degree corners. Context. On a flat surface it is not likely, but on a sphere it is likely.

Fishy
2009-03-22, 05:50 AM
Parson is not, by a long shot, the only one in Erfworld who speaks netsp33k.

Look at The Very First Time We See An EyeBook On The Very Second Page Of The Comic (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0002.html)

Jeeze.

Gez
2009-03-22, 06:48 AM
Parson is not, by a long shot, the only one in Erfworld who speaks netsp33k.

Look at The Very First Time We See An EyeBook On The Very Second Page Of The Comic (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0002.html)

Jeeze.

Dude, that just means that Stanley's from Earth too. I bet he's Parson's grandchild from the future.

Fishy
2009-03-22, 06:57 AM
I mean, we know Stanley was an infantry unit before he became a warlord and an heir, but that just means that every infantry unit in Erfworld is a time-traveling clone of Parson and he's just killed 3,000 of them and will assume all of their powers like Highlander.

Greep
2009-03-22, 07:05 AM
and I honestly think some of you are doing it just because you think it is funny to jump on the crackpot theory bandwagon.


Actually, I think it's pretty darned fun :) You seem to be enjoying it as well, with two lengthy posts.

Kaed
2009-03-22, 09:13 AM
But then why this particular response? If he were just blindly reacting to a line of gibberish, why bother with "LOL" at all? "Laugh out Loud" implies a particular response to a particular stimuli - unless you think people just laugh at things they don't understand?

Charlie is certainly jaunty, but nowhere else does he bother with acronyms - it is as if he were responding to "omg h4x" (typically said ironically) with the suitable counter-reply.

Alright, you and Chameon make a valid point there, and I'll admit in recollecting the comic I failed to remember that particular 'lol', and only looked for the comic itself without rereading it carefully.

However, as Fishy subsequently posted (and ignoring the obviously facetious explanation that this means he is Parsons grandson), Stanley himself has used a bit of netspeak.

It's not improbable that netspeak itself appears occasionally in a world that is full of puns on Parsons, perhaps as a form of written 'gutterspeak' (y'see guv'ner, I wont the one who done skivved th' parcel.)

This would possibly explain why it confuses the somewhat educated and serious Sizemore, and why an eccentric mercenary and piker turned overlord would speak it.


Actually, I think it's pretty darned fun :) You seem to be enjoying it as well, with two lengthy posts.

It would be more accurate to say that I feel there needs to be someone making reasoned arguments of logic against the fanon (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Fanon) barrage that is the self-styled 'Tin-Foil Hat Alliance'.

:vaarsuvius: Of course, the very name suggests they are beyond such trifling things as reason, but I must try for the sake of preserving a little more sanity in the world. :vaarsuvius:

Ave
2009-03-22, 11:28 AM
This would possibly explain why it confuses the somewhat educated and serious Sizemore, and why an eccentric mercenary and piker turned overlord would speak it.


Sizemore's eyebook name is ImInUrDirtz. I'm sure he isn't totally confused.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-22, 06:39 PM
However, as Fishy subsequently posted (and ignoring the obviously facetious explanation that this means he is Parsons grandson), Stanley himself has used a bit of netspeak.

It's not improbable that netspeak itself appears occasionally in a world that is full of puns on Parsons, perhaps as a form of written 'gutterspeak' (y'see guv'ner, I wont the one who done skivved th' parcel.)

This would possibly explain why it confuses the somewhat educated and serious Sizemore, and why an eccentric mercenary and piker turned overlord would speak it.

But there is a difference between Stanley's speech (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0002.html) and Parson's. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0112.html)

Stanley's speech uses simple abbreviations (@, substitution of "2" for "to") which are easily intelligible to even the untrained eye. The sloppiness of it, while similar to "chat-speak," is likely there to emphasize Stanley's immature and erratic personality - compare it with Wanda's response, for example. That is why I made such a big deal about "kk thnxbai" and "h4x." "kk thnxbai" is apparently derived from 90's slang (http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/technoglossary/f/whatis_kk.htm) while thnxbai is a meme-induced corruption of "thank you, goodbye." "h4x," on the other hand, uses "leet speech" number-letter substitution and it is a term that should have no analog in Erfworld - see its history (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hack_(technology)#History).

Fishy
2009-03-22, 08:51 PM
Respectfully, I don't buy it.

What's the origin of the name of king Saline IV? There was a mighty king named Saline, and three of his sons and grandsons named each other after him.

What's a marbit? It's a contraction of the phrase 'marshmallow bit'.

How did 'omg h4x' get into Erfworld information warfare terminology and what does it mean to Charlie? We don't know, but it doesn't matter. It's roughly similar to a concept he understands, because that's how Erfworld works.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-22, 10:54 PM
Respectfully, I don't buy it.

What's the origin of the name of king Saline IV? There was a mighty king named Saline, and three of his sons and grandsons named each other after him.

What's a marbit? It's a contraction of the phrase 'marshmallow bit'.

How did 'omg h4x' get into Erfworld information warfare terminology and what does it mean to Charlie? We don't know, but it doesn't matter. It's roughly similar to a concept he understands, because that's how Erfworld works.

Ah, but those are coincidences - there is a king named Saline the Fourth which, to Parson's ears sounds like "saline I.V." Nobody in Erfworld has any idea what a "saline I.V." is, any more than they would consider a Marbit to be a marshmallow bit.

But here, we have a functional word ("to hack") that apparently both Parson & Charlie have attached the same meaning to. More importantly, there is no reason for Charlie (or anyone else) to hack anything in Erfworld - aside from the Eyebooks (which are unique) we haven't seen anything remotely resembling a hackable system. What possible concept could "h4x" mean to Charlie?

And that still doesn't resolve the number-letter substitution question.

Jural
2009-03-23, 01:41 AM
What matters isn't "is it possible" but "Is it likely"



I think you are a little bit confused about what I wrote. I wrote that I began to suspect that Parson and Charlie were in some way linked when I heard that phrase. However, I didn't consider it likely.

Now, after seeing the comic unfold from then, I think it is much more likely that they are linked more intimately than the story has shown so far. I'll admit, I wouldn't even put it at 50% right now, but better than 1%.

When you are analyzing the world around you, I think it is acceptable to use possible as a filter, and only parse into "likely" when you take actions or investigate. Especially in literature, where the "likely" outcome is not guaranteed to be the option the author chooses.

Fishy
2009-03-23, 12:44 PM
Ah, but those are coincidences - there is a king named Saline the Fourth which, to Parson's ears sounds like "saline I.V." Nobody in Erfworld has any idea what a "saline I.V." is, any more than they would consider a Marbit to be a marshmallow bit.

But here, we have a functional word ("to hack") that apparently both Parson & Charlie have attached the same meaning to. More importantly, there is no reason for Charlie (or anyone else) to hack anything in Erfworld - aside from the Eyebooks (which are unique) we haven't seen anything remotely resembling a hackable system. What possible concept could "h4x" mean to Charlie?

And that still doesn't resolve the number-letter substitution question.

You're right, it doesn't, and I can't think off hand of any other examples of number substitution, (And don't have the time to do the research. :P) The closest would be the Orlies: but "O RLY" and "G2G DED" are a step away from number-vowel substitution, and probably sound like meaningless animal cries anyway.

As for hackable systems, we've seen Maggie mess with the brain of an Archon, causing her to project something she didn't think she was projecting, and that could be loosely thought of as a hack. We've seen the RCC passing notes to each other using Hat Magic- if there were a way to intercept, read or alter those messages, that would be a marvelously useful hack. Vinnie and the Transylvitian warlords are connected to their Doombats by something that resembles a mental inner TV screen: Probably a very hardened system, but something that could conceivably be cracked by Thinkamancy and Foolamancy, which Charlie has in spades. All not very likely, I'll admit, but much more consistent with the story so far than time travel.

Also, in older and less common usage, 'hack' could mean 'to alter a system to do something it wasn't designed to do'. That's a perfect description of what Charlie did to the Eyebook, and the CroakaDiratamancer shows that it's not impossible in other areas of Erfworld physics. Charlie seems like the sort to be interested in what makes his toys tick.

That still leaves unanswered *why* 'hack' is similar to 'h4x'... but 'Spider' and 'Spidew' mean eerily similar concepts, as do 'Dragon' and 'Dwagon' and 'Mathematics' and 'Mathemancy'. I still don't think that Charlie knowing what Hack means is fundamentally weirder than anything else in Erfworld. Again, not enough to justify time-travel theories, in my opinion.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-23, 01:02 PM
Also, in older and less common usage, 'hack' could mean 'to alter a system to do something it wasn't designed to do'. That's a perfect description of what Charlie did to the Eyebook, and the CroakaDiratamancer shows that it's not impossible in other areas of Erfworld physics. Charlie seems like the sort to be interested in what makes his toys tick.

But he didn't alter the Eyebook - he just broke into the supposedly secure line. This is likely the term Charlie & Parson meant:

Something deemed unfair or unexpectedly unfavorable. Could be used to accuse someone of using cheating/hacking/some sort of trickery to accomplish something, usually jokingly.Specifically, Charlie broke through the security of the Eyebook, which is basically Security Hacking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_cracking).

As for the other devices, it does not seem like anyone believes that Thinkamancers can break into secure lines of communication - otherwise Ansom should have been extremely worried that Stanley's Thinkamancer would read his battle plans beforehand. Thinkamancy could be called "hacking" in a general sense, but Maggie has never referred to her activities as such - insufficient data.

Now, is "h4x" a thin reed for the theory? Perhaps, but it has enough back-up to at least hold water, which is all an Epileptic Tree (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EpilepticTrees) really needs. And, if not a Stable Time Loop (which is seriously looking better to me the more I think about it), there is a strong case for Charlie being from Earth.

RubberBandMan
2009-03-24, 09:14 PM
The entire basis for support is one understood word, in an entire world of half-jokes and odd dialects?
Might it be that everyone working for the tool has gotten used to figuring out his typos and shortenings of words, while Sizemore has yet to get the full range of odd-ball phrases from Parson?
Wouldn't a world that seems to make a joke of everything have someone, somewhere, have some sort of hacking skill?
And wouldn't charlie, the person who will work with anyone, for the right amount of money, and work leader-to-leader basis have seen most of erfworld, more so then Sizemore, who has only ever been in one kingdom since he's popped, and only under two kings?

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-24, 09:18 PM
Wouldn't a world that seems to make a joke of everything have someone, somewhere, have some sort of hacking skill?

But what would they hack? There are no other Eyebooks, nor has there been mention of other computer-like systems out there.

Loungeboy
2009-04-13, 02:27 PM
I doubt there is a time loop. Charlie DOES say "You'll come through this just fine, believe me." Parson uses Charlie's "M'glad you think so" phrase, but only to trick Ansom. Neither are enough to suggest that Parson is Charlie. Hippiemancer "flaking" is just that, not a loop. Plus, Charlie and Parson have very different styles of thinking. Both strategic, yes, but different.

I like two possibliities, to be settled later -
1. Charlie could be a Thinkamancer with a thinkamancy artifact, making him a strong future opponent for Parson, who admits thinkamancy is scary magic. The battle evaluations were a perfect deal for Charlie, who values Parson's thoughts and strategy. Charlie definitely wants to own Parson. Will he try to purchase Parson from Stanley, who will need the money soon, and believes Parson is worthless? He's just a spell, in Stanley's mind.

2. Charlie could be a moneymancer, obsessed with money and making deals for it, as he did with Ansom. Makes sense in terms of the business-like conversations and style, where Charlie oversees but doesn't get involved.
In this case, wouldn't charlie just buy himself a "summon perfect warlord" spell? Maybe he will....with Ansom's money.

I prefer the thinkamancy option, just for the great eyebook chats, plus the overwhelming power that a top class thinkamancer has with the dish. I don't know if we will ever see Charlie (just like in Charlie's Angels!), but it's quite the scary opponent who exists in thought, not in body. I think, therefore I am?

I definitely think Charlie will become a major opponent to Parson, but in the end, the last battle evaluation that Parson gives to Charlie is to tell him that he's got Charlie beat, 100%. That's a long ways away.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-04-14, 12:36 AM
No, there's no Stable Time Loop here.

Why? Because Parson-as-Charlie would not have been surprised here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0149.html), nor would he have bothered to IM Parson to feign surprise, since it did not affect Parson in the least. The only reason Parson-as-Charlie would have done that would be because he remembered getting that message from Charlie - but that's just too thin a reed by this point.

I'm still saying Charlie is from Earth though :smallcool: