The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Can you give an example from the strip of a prophecy that has worked like that?
    The Oracle. Specifically, what the Oracle said to V and Durkon- the others are more a vague comment that is meant to put them on the right track.
    V: "Will I ever obtain ultimate arcane power" "By saying the right 4 words to the right being for all the wrong reasons" - V said "I...I must succeed" to the IFCC, granting him ultimate power. While the "wrong reason" bit is debatable, it still worked out almost exactly as the Oracle said.
    Durkon: "Will I ever return to the Dwarven lands" "Posthumously" - Well, this should be obvious. Sometime after Durkon's death (and while he was still dead, as a bonus), Durkon made it back to the Dwarven Lands. That he was revived while there is irrelevant; what matters is that Durkon died and then made it to the Dwarven Lands afterwards.
    An explanation of why MitD being any larger than Huge is implausible.

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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    You're forgetting what happened when Haley and Celia went back to the Oracle. Not only did Belkar fulfil his prophecy there, but the Oracle knew when that would happen so precisely that he could arrange for someone to teleport in and resurrect him. He also precisely described when his next death would be, and under what circumstances, to those helpers.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    Durkon: "Will I ever return to the Dwarven lands" "Posthumously" - Well, this should be obvious. Sometime after Durkon's death (and while he was still dead, as a bonus), Durkon made it back to the Dwarven Lands. That he was revived while there is irrelevant; what matters is that Durkon died and then made it to the Dwarven Lands afterwards.
    Right, but the Oracle didn’t predict with 100% certainty that he would be killed by Malack, or team up with Gontor and Poncho, or return to dwarven lands to influence a vote.

    The Oracle only said Durkon would be dead. That could have happened a billion different ways, and there is nothing in the comic to suggest that the actual events that would happen to make him dead were predetermined.

    TLDR: The only thing that seems to be actually predetermined is that the oracles statements somehow come true. I’ve seen no evidence that HOW they come true is predetermined.

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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    And let's not forget that the Oracle tried, admitedly half-heartedly, to cheat death by pretending Belkar had already fulfilled the prophecy. And for all we know, it's trying to cheat it that made Belkar kill him because he was annoyed.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    It’s possible to imagine prophecy as a state of temporally-displaced quantum entanglement, or like two ends of a wormhole. The prophecy exists at one end of the tether; the event it predicts happens at the other end of the tether. They are, for all practical purposes, simultaneously determined, despite being displaced in time. Everything else in the universe need not be 100% determined as a result of that prophecy, only such things that are displaced by the pull of that one event.. The prophecy will come true, despite what the sandstorms in Mars or the current in the River Styx might do.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    I’d say that OOTS is a deterministic universe. Not that that’s really different from our own.


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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxzan Proditor View Post
    I’d say that OOTS is a deterministic universe. Not that that’s really different from our own.
    Maybe the fact that the physics of oots-verse allow accurate prophecies actually REMOVES the determinism.

    Here’s my thinking: suppose our universe were deterministic. Further suppose it requires a computer the size of our universe to store the current state of our universe, and a computer the size of our universe running the same speed as our universe to determine future state of our universe.

    In other words, the reason you can’t figure out what is going to happen until it happens in our universe is because the universe is deterministic.

    Then it logically follows that if you can figure out what will happen before it happens in oots-verse, then the oots-verse is proven NOT to be deterministic.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Maybe the fact that the physics of oots-verse allow accurate prophecies actually REMOVES the determinism.

    Here’s my thinking: suppose our universe were deterministic. Further suppose it requires a computer the size of our universe to store the current state of our universe, and a computer the size of our universe running the same speed as our universe to determine future state of our universe.

    In other words, the reason you can’t figure out what is going to happen until it happens in our universe is because the universe is deterministic.

    Then it logically follows that if you can figure out what will happen before it happens in oots-verse, then the oots-verse is proven NOT to be deterministic.
    I believe the inability to make predictions about our universe is less solely because it’s deterministic and more that we have physical limitations on what we can compute. In OOTS they have “computers” far beyond what we will ever have in our universe, thereby letting them make predictions we can’t.


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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxzan Proditor View Post
    I believe the inability to make predictions about our universe is less solely because it’s deterministic and more that we have physical limitations on what we can compute. In OOTS they have “computers” far beyond what we will ever have in our universe, thereby letting them make predictions we can’t.
    Right. The limit on what we can compute is because our universe is deterministic, which means to compute the future we need a computer the size of the universe to store the state of the universe, and it would only compute the future at the same speed as our universe.

    If the oots-verse doesn’t have the same limitation, that means it’s not deterministic.
    Last edited by Dion; 2019-06-13 at 11:33 AM.

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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Maybe the fact that the physics of oots-verse allow accurate prophecies actually REMOVES the determinism.

    Here’s my thinking: suppose our universe were deterministic. Further suppose it requires a computer the size of our universe to store the current state of our universe, and a computer the size of our universe running the same speed as our universe to determine future state of our universe.

    In other words, the reason you can’t figure out what is going to happen until it happens in our universe is because the universe is deterministic.

    Then it logically follows that if you can figure out what will happen before it happens in oots-verse, then the oots-verse is proven NOT to be deterministic.
    This logic falls apart the moment you change those assumptions about computer "size". And there is no reason to make those assumptions at all.

    The alternative, that the Oracle can predict the future because the OotS universe is deterministic seems as plausible, and far more parsimonious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    To expand on this, if prophecies are accurate in oots-verse, that means they come true regardless of what you do.

    That is the opposite of determinism.

    The claim that accurate prophecies somehow prove determinism seems to have no basis.
    Last edited by Dion; 2019-06-13 at 11:47 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    To expand on this, if prophecies are accurate in oots-verse, that means they come true regardless of what you do.

    That is the opposite of determinism.
    No it is not. It is exactly the definition of determinism: that you don't chose anything, there is only one path, that path is set up by the state of the universe, and that therefore, anyone with the ability to do so can check where the universe's path is leading you to, and tell you in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    No it is not. It is exactly the definition of determinism: that you don't chose anything, there is only one path, that path is set up by the state of the universe, and that therefore, anyone with the ability to do so can check where the universe's path is leading you to, and tell you in advance.

    Grey Wolf
    Ok, I’ll make he statement weaker.

    The ability to see what happens in advance doesn’t require determinism.

    So the claim that the ability to see what happens in advance proves determinism is a false claim.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    The limit on what we can compute is because our universe is deterministic
    See, I'm not sure I agree with that. There are definitely limits to what we can compute, but those limits have more to do with the size of the universe (among other things) that would still apply in a non-deterministic universe. The only difference is the non-deterministic universe would be much harder to simulate since you couldn't really make predictions about what would occur.


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  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Malack had free will.
    We can infer that if Malack had free will, everyone else also has free will, and thus everything is not pre-determined in OOTS world. QED.

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  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    We can infer that if Malack had free will, everyone else also has free will, and thus everything is not pre-determined in OOTS world. QED.

    Do I win the thread?
    I'm posting this while fully expecting to get ninja'd by Fyraltari, but under compatibilism determinism and free will are not actually mutually exclusive. Because The Giant is definitely a compatabilist.

    But, I'm a strong proponent of threads letting everyone win, so absolutely, you win!


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  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxzan Proditor View Post
    I'm posting this while fully expecting to get ninja'd by Fyraltari, but under compatibilism determinism and free will are not actually mutually exclusive.
    Hmmm. We can infer that I'm correct regardless.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxzan Proditor View Post
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  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Ok, I’ll make he statement weaker.

    The ability to see what happens in advance doesn’t require determinism.

    So the claim that the ability to see what happens in advance proves determinism is a false claim.
    Yep, that's far more solid logic. Thank you for the revision.

    (As it happens, as far as I am concerned, you and Peelee combined have the full answer: OotS is Doylist deterministic, what with it being a story Rich is telling, and Watsonian free-willed)

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxzan Proditor View Post
    See, I'm not sure I agree with that. There are definitely limits to what we can compute, but those limits have more to do with the size of the universe (among other things) that would still apply in a non-deterministic universe.
    The problem isn't really computational capability but the ability to know what the current state of the universe is. Going back to my weather example from earlier, if you could somehow create a computer with perfect ability to calculate future weather, and you fed into it the exact values for temperature, pressure, wind speed and so on for points spaced one metre apart in the atmosphere--we'll ignore for now the absolute physical impossibility of making those measurements--and you let it run the simulation, it would still be completely different from the *actual* weather within a month, simply because it didn't have the information of what was happening in between those data points. Plus it wouldn't be able to take into account atmospheric variations caused by landslides or even people walking from one place to another.

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emanick View Post
    Snip
    At the end of Back to the Future, there are two pasts, the one we are presented to at the beginning that Marty and Doc remember, that is the ‘‘original’’ past where Marty and Doc never went back in time. And then there is the ‘‘new’’ past they created where Marty’s dad punched Biff in the face, etc. This is a sample of two.
    The only differences between the two timelines are due to the actions of Doc & Marty. Meaning that Back to the Future presents a deterministic universe where people reacts to external circumstances (i.e. the world) according to internal circumstances (i.e. the self) and given the exact same set of circumstances, the exact same reactions will occur. However it is one who allows for grandfather paradoxes somehow.

    The notion of ‘‘libertarian free will’’, meanwhile claims that humans have the ability to make decisions regardless of the circumsrances. This seems absurd to me, as it not only posits that physical reality is at a mesoscopic scale is affected by something outside of it, but also that our decisions are not truly our own but random and that should I be presented with a train that goes where I want to go I would be as likely to go onboard as to jump under it or to strip naked and dance the carioca.
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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    also that our decisions are not truly our own but random and that should I be presented with a train that goes where I want to go I would be as likely to go onboard as to jump under it or to strip naked and dance the carioca.
    Reductio ad absurdum much? Of course if you only have one reasonable choice then you're most likely to take that choice--unless you're insane, of course. However, life is very rarely neatly laid out like that, and often there are multiple choices that are, on the surface, equally reasonable. I made a long car journey on Tuesday, and I explicitly made the choice to take a longer route simply because it was one I'd driven before and was thus more confident in navigating it. I could just have easily chosen to fire up the satnav and take the shorter route, and in fact I did do that on the journey back.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    The problem isn't really computational capability but the ability to know what the current state of the universe is. Going back to my weather example from earlier, if you could somehow create a computer with perfect ability to calculate future weather, and you fed into it the exact values for temperature, pressure, wind speed and so on for points spaced one metre apart in the atmosphere--we'll ignore for now the absolute physical impossibility of making those measurements--and you let it run the simulation, it would still be completely different from the *actual* weather within a month, simply because it didn't have the information of what was happening in between those data points. Plus it wouldn't be able to take into account atmospheric variations caused by landslides or even people walking from one place to another.
    Well, the area where computational ability comes into play is that the computer here is trying to fully simulate the universe, e.g. by using much more precise data points* as well as account for all of those random variations, to make predictions and in order to do that (with our current limitations) you need a universe-sized computer. Not that I don't agree with your overall point--I definitely should have elaborated more on that "among other things" in my post--it's just that, regardless, none of these are artifacts of determinism specifically--you'd have the same issues in a non-deterministic world.

    *And, yes, there is a limit to how precise even a theoretically perfect simulations could be, but that's still not a consequence of a deterministic universe


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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    At the end of Back to the Future, there are two pasts, the one we are presented to at the beginning that Marty and Doc remember, that is the ‘‘original’’ past where Marty and Doc never went back in time. And then there is the ‘‘new’’ past they created where Marty’s dad punched Biff in the face, etc. This is a sample of two.
    The only differences between the two timelines are due to the actions of Doc & Marty. Meaning that Back to the Future presents a deterministic universe where people reacts to external circumstances (i.e. the world) according to internal circumstances (i.e. the self) and given the exact same set of circumstances, the exact same reactions will occur. However it is one who allows for grandfather paradoxes somehow.
    Back to the Future is one of the best examples of a non-deterministic universe. During all three movies, the characters are able to alter the future again and again. Much of the plot is about their efforts to restore the original timelines altered due to their time travels. And many punchlines are about the small things that remain changed despite their efforts.

    The main plot of the first movie revolves around Doc and Marty having to go through a lot of pain to engage Marty's parents back after being prevented to fall in love due to a minor alteration provoked by their future son. Had the universe of Back to the Future been deterministic, Marty wouldn't have had to do anything as his parents would have fallen in love anyway as they would have been "predestined" to do so. But, on the contrary, Marty finds himself in a race against the clock to engage them back before being rippled out of existence. And because the way Mary's parents fell in love was changed, the whole future of the McFly family was changed also.

    At the end of the last movie, Doc pretty much leaves the issue settled when Marty's chick ask him about the meaning of the text from the future fax vanishing. He answers that "It means your future hasn't been written yet, no one's has. Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one."

    BTW, while during the Back of the Future movies, Doc talks about different timelines to Marty (specially in the second movie), the fact is that there are no alternate universes in Back to the Future. Whenever the timeline is altered, the Ripple Effect adjusts the new reality, and just one universe remains. This is why Doc can, after being sent to 1885, send the letter and the DeLorean to the same Marty in 1955 who just saw him dissapear. If there were alternate universes in Back to the Future, Doc would have only been able to send those items to a Marty from an alternate universe.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2019-06-13 at 03:55 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Reductio ad absurdum much? Of course if you only have one reasonable choice then you're most likely to take that choice--unless you're insane, of course. However, life is very rarely neatly laid out like that, and often there are multiple choices that are, on the surface, equally reasonable. I made a long car journey on Tuesday, and I explicitly made the choice to take a longer route simply because it was one I'd driven before and was thus more confident in navigating it. I could just have easily chosen to fire up the satnav and take the shorter route, and in fact I did do that on the journey back.
    That was an example. On the journey back you made a different decision. because the situation was different. For you to have made a different choice the first time you would have needed to be a very slightly different person. That you do not understand the exact reason you made some choice and not the other does not mean that decision was random, just that you do not have a perfect understanding of your psyche, in other words: like every human, you have a subconscious.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Back to the Future is one of the best examples of non-deterministic universe. The main plot of the first movie is about Doc and Marty having to go through a lot of pain to engage Marty's parents back after being prevented to fall in love due to a minor alteration provoked by their future son. Had the universe of Back to the Future been deterministic, there would have been no plot to the first movie, Marty wouldn't have had to do anything as his parents would have fallen in love anyway as they would have been "predestined" to do so. But, on the contrary, Marty finds himself in a race against the clock to engage them back before being rippled out of existence. And because the way Mary's parents fell in love was changed, the whole future of the McFly family was changed also.

    During all three movies, the characters are able to alter the future again and again. Much of the plot is about their efforts to restore the original timelines altered due to their time travels. And many punchlines are about the small things that remain changed despite their efforts.

    At the end of the last movie, Doc pretty much leaves the issue settled when Marty's chick ask him about the meaning of the text from the future fax vanishing. He answers that "It means your future hasn't been written yet, no one's has. Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one."

    BTW, while during the Back of the Future movies, Doc talks about different timelines to Marty (specially in the second movie), the fact is that there are no alternate universes in Back to the Future. Whenever the timeline is altered, the Ripple Effect adjusts the new reality, and just one universe remains. This is why Doc can, after being sent to 1885, send the letter and the DeLorean to the same Marty in 1955 who just saw him dissapear. If there were alternate universes in Back to the Future, Doc would have only been able to send those items to a Marty from an alternate universe.
    That’s not an argument for it not being deterministic, that’s an argument for it not being self-consistent (meaning grandfather paradoxes are possible, somehow). The world of Back to the Future is deterministic but chaotic (like the weather), meaning that the slightest change in the set variables meaning, i.e Marty’s dad not being rescued by Marty’s mom (an unaccounted for butterfly in Brazil), means vastly different consequences, i.e. Marty not being born (an unforeseen storm in Texas). But should one have knowledge of all the variables with the required precision, one could make perfect predictions of the system’s state at any given time.

    Yes it’s incoherent that things have changed due to their intervention, but that’s kind of the point: Marty and Doc being outsiders of the original 1955 their actions were unaccounted for in the original 1985, but the second 1955 has them and the second 1985 is therefore different from the first, but only with respect to the things they have changed! Marty ran over one pine meaning the Twin Pines Parking Lot became the Lonely Pine Parking Lot, but since neither Marty nor Doc had any further involvement in that parking’s lot history it remain otherwise exactly the same. Had that universe been non-deterministic, the second 1985 could have had anything in the place of that parking lot, but it didn’t.
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  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emanick View Post
    Marty's parents only live through the events of 1955 once.
    Well, no, because then it would have been impossible for Marty to change anything. He might have played a self-fulfilling role in things turning out the way that they did, but the 1985 that he returned to would have been exactly the same as the one he left, because everything that he did already happened before he left on his journey into the past, what with 1955 being before 1985. If you're not creating a new version of the past, just participating in the first version, then things can't go differently from last time, because this is last time. And plenty of time travel stories work like that!

    Back to the Future, on the other hand, is a story in which it's possible to "change the past", which clearly implies that what you actually do when you "travel into the past" is rewind the universe and then press the play button on that sucka! You just reset everything back to earlier conditions, but also create a copy of the time machine and everything in it in blatant defiance of the conservation of mass. And in a non-deterministic universe, one expects things not to proceed exactly the same from the same initial conditions.

    One also expects objects from the time machine not to spontaneously transform when events happen differently. And one certainly doesn't expect newspapers to change but memories to stay the same. See, we're talking about a case where the writers made certain choices in order to create the sort of story that they wanted to tell, not based on what's technically plausible even granting the premise. Back to the Future, in short, is fantasy, not science fiction, because it's not based on logical extrapolation of the phenomenon in play. The characters can visit different times because they are, effectively, different places that are magically related to each other.

    Actually traveling into the past (not an alternate past), were such a thing possible, would involve radically different considerations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Well, unlike *real* prophecies, we assume that the prophecies in the strip are ACCURATE predictions of the future. So that’s one major way the prophecies people are discussing in thread are nothing at all like the dictionary definition of a prophecy.
    That argument seems to be of the same basic form as

    "Unlike ducks, parrots are known to be able to imitate human speech, so that's one major way that parrots are nothing like the dictionary definition of a bird."

    Now, if you can understand why that doesn't make sense to me, hopefully you can see why what you said doesn't make sense to me either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Second, the prophecies in the strip are all self referential, in the sense that they describe an event that retroactively gives meaning to a prophecy, but fails to give meaning to the event.
    That's like saying that every meaningful phrase is self-referential because it describes something that is described by it. That's not what "self-referential" means, dawg. Furthermore, "fails to give meaning to the event"? Dude, it ain't the Oracle's job to tell you how future events fit into the grand scheme of the cosmos or you life or whatever. He just answers questions about things that are gonna happen in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    For example, “By saying the right four words to the right being at the right time for all the wrong reasons” or “when the goat turns red strikes true” are meaningless until after the event they describe retroactively gives them meaning.
    "Nhggu yhliudabn bhtio;f hdfhaf nurhb78b fbjkha" is a meaningless phrase (that I produced by randomly banging on a keyboard). It fails to refer; we would never recognized it as describing anything. We can only recognize a prophesy as coming true because it is meaningful.

    I have no idea what you're trying to get at with all this "retroactive" nonsense. Of course the prophesies are only fulfilled when the things that they refer to happen! How could it possibly be otherwise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Not only are they meaningless without the event, even after the event the only thing they reveal is that the statements themselves turned out to be true.
    Are you getting at the prophesies in OotS not being very helpful? If that's what you mean, that's a reasonable enough generalization, but you're, like, saying it weird.

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    This is a problem I have with prophecy in fiction generally. I don't think any of the "solutions" raised by people in this thread get around the fact that, if my future actions are 100% predictable, then to all intents and purposes the universe is entirely deterministic. But we know in reality that even predicting something as simple as the weather more than a week or two ahead is impossible, so why should people's future actions be any more predictable? Heck, I might choose to go out or not depending on whether it's raining or not, and as I already mentioned, the weather is a chaotic unpredictable system, so if my actions are being influenced by that, they're equally unpredictable.

    Now, I know what someone is about to say: but Thor controls the weather in OotSverse, it's not unpredictable! I was just using weather as an example, there are plenty of other unpredictable things that could influence someone's actions. To my mind, as soon as you introduce 100% reliable prophecy of the kind we've seen, you're immediately making the entire universe and everyone in it run on predictable clockwork paths.
    The problem of induction aside, don't we generally feel reasonable in being nigh certain about some things that people did in the past? And we generally don't take that to mean that the past is determined by the present, do we? So why shouldn't it be just as possible to just as reasonably confident about some future actions without the future being determined by the present? Unless you blindly assume that causality is unidirectional, of course, but why would you do that?
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  26. - Top - End - #56
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    Unless you blindly assume that causality is unidirectional, of course, but why would you do that?
    I would do that because, until we somehow invent time travel (which I believe is impossible according to the laws of physics as we understand them), causality *is* unidirectional. We can only move into the future one second at a time, and we can't change what happened in the past. We can change what's likely to happen in the future according to the decisions we make.

    In any case, my argument is not that the universe is not somehow entirely deterministic, it's that, chaos theory being what it is, it isn't actually possible to make accurate future predictions even if it *is*. No matter how accurate and precise your model of the current state of the universe is, your future prediction will rapidly diverge from reality.

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    It’s also impossible to shapeshift into a dragon. The OOTS having magic makes the distance between what’s theoretically possible and what’s practically possible much lesser than in the real world.
    "Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."
    Gehm's corollary to Clarke's Third Law



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  28. - Top - End - #58
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    (...) Back to the Future, in short, is fantasy, not science fiction, because it's not based on logical extrapolation of the phenomenon in play. The characters can visit different times because they are, effectively, different places that are magically related to each other.(...)
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".
    Arthur C. Clarke's Thrid Law of Science Fiction.

    The only difference between "fantasy fiction" and "science fiction" is that the former calls magic "Magic", while the later calls magic "Technology".

    A few examples:
    "Magic Shield" -> "Power up the Shields"
    "Magic Missile" -> "Phaser Gun"
    "Teleport" -> "Beam us up, Scottie"
    "Fireball" -> "Photon Torpedo"
    "Disintegrate" -> "Antimatter Missile"
    "Wand of Cure Ligth Wounds" -> "Med-Kit"
    "Haste" -> "Warp 7"
    "Improved Haste" -> "Warp 8"
    "Epic Haste" -> "Warp 9"
    "Meteor Strike" -> "Reverse Polarity"

    That the magic tricks makes logic sense or not doesn't factors in the equation. A lot of fantasy authors attempt to develope a "logical" magic system and give a logical explanation to how magic works, with rules and stuff, D&D among them.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2019-06-14 at 03:45 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Of course! Whatever the author wants to have happen, will be exactly what happens.
    Isn't this statement not actually proof of non-determinism considering the author, no matter how unlikely, just might change his mind and start applying the OotS as a front to advertise fashion statements, completely abandoning the story as we know it? :p

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Right. The limit on what we can compute is because our universe is deterministic, which means to compute the future we need a computer the size of the universe to store the state of the universe, and it would only compute the future at the same speed as our universe.

    If the oots-verse doesn’t have the same limitation, that means it’s not deterministic.
    To know the future as in OotS, and to know all of the future isn't the same thing.
    E.g. to know if you will become the best basketball player ever does not require you to know the state of every particle throughout the universe at any given time, since a huge majority of these won't influence your basketball abilities.

    Also the laws of physics often do allow for simplifications whereby one can accurately predict how a system will behave without knowing every detail about the system, that is in my opinion something that makes mathematics truly fantastic.
    Last edited by BaronOfHell; 2019-06-14 at 05:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Is everything pre-determined in OOTS world?

    Here’s my thinking. There are at least two kinds of prophecy (in the same way there are at least two kinds of birds):

    Falsifiable Prophecy: a falsifiable prophecy is one where an observer can create an experiment to say “is this prophecy false”, and that experiment is guaranteed to produce a result.

    Unfalsifiable Prophecy: a prophecy that is not falsifiable. No matter what anyone does, all that can be said is “well, maybe it’s still true because of something that might happens later.”

    “When the goat turns red strikes true” is unfalsifiable. If Haley had rolled a 19 instead of a 20, it wouldn’t have proven the prophecy false. Instead, it would have just shown that the prophecy might still be true, but probably meant something else.

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