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Old 07-20-2016, 10:13 PM   #81
Marwhini
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That would be an exact example of what I am talking about being "Not even Wrong."

It would be one thing if you could communicate a correct description of what I have been attempting to resolve within Tolkien's work, and then criticized it.

But I have yet to see even an attempt to understand the goal, or what it entails, much less any criticism that actually applies to what I am (or, rather, "We") are attempting to do.

You are addressing things that have nothing to do with the actual goal, or endeavor.

Nearly every reply has been of the nature: "Horse" when the question is:

"What is the Solution to dx/dt = x + 1 ?"

If you cannot even effectively communicate what the problem set is describing, how do you hope to even recognize an answer, much less formulate one that isn't simply an accident?

As to "insulting people..."

I have done no such thing.

If someone is attempting to understand the goals that we have in this project, and communicating what they THINK is being done, then they are never going to reach an understanding of what is being attempted if their misconceptions are not pointed out.

That would be like trying to learn history, or math without ever having any of your knowledge corrected when you have a wrong answer.

And I might be horrifically socially clumsy in that regard.

But that in no way changes the fact that someone who has failed to understand the goal and process here has failed to understand the goal and process.

They might take offense at having this pointed out. But that would be rather like being offended when told that 1+1 ≠ 7. Especially if one intended to discover the correct answer to the problem of 1 + 1 .



MB

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Old 07-21-2016, 01:13 AM   #82
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Marhwini, I find it encouraging to see that you've laid off Capitalising Things.

Now look, you speak constantly of SCIENCE! and allude frequently to having an academic background of some kind, yet, as I've said earlier, it seems to me that you have a deep emotional attachment to your project such that you are unable to evaluate it, or even discuss it, in a manner which remotely approaches being "scientific". For you, there can be no discussion: your ideas must be right, and so you assume anyone who disagrees is simply ignorant and unable to understand what you're saying, and therefore in need of "correction". It seems to me, further, that you are reading at most a few lines of others' posting, before responding with your walls of text + wiki links + equations, whereas a closer examination might reveal to you that we understand perfectly well what you're getting at. We just think you're wrong. Your inability to accept this is what's causing you to come across to many as arrogant and insulting, even though I'm sure that's not your intention.

One thing I am curious about, though- and forgive me if this is something you've explained already- what do you ultimately intend to do with your project? Do you intend to publish it in book form? As an article? Or what?
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:20 AM   #83
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Marhwini, I find it encouraging to see that you've laid off Capitalising Things.

Now look, you speak constantly of SCIENCE! and allude frequently to having an academic background of some kind, yet, as I've said earlier, it seems to me that you have a deep emotional attachment to your project such that you are unable to evaluate it, or even discuss it, in a manner which remotely approaches being "scientific". For you, there can be no discussion: your ideas must be right, and so you assume anyone who disagrees is simply ignorant and unable to understand what you're saying, and therefore in need of "correction". It seems to me, further, that you are reading at most a few lines of others' posting, before responding with your walls of text + wiki links + equations, whereas a closer examination might reveal to you that we understand perfectly well what you're getting at. We just think you're wrong. Your inability to accept this is what's causing you to come across to many as arrogant and insulting, even though I'm sure that's not your intention.

One thing I am curious about, though- and forgive me if this is something you've explained already- what do you ultimately intend to do with your project? Do you intend to publish it in book form? As an article? Or what?

OK.... If you think this "idea" so insane....

In one sentence describe to me what the idea is.

I can.


Or, if you cannot do it in one sentence.... How about just ANY description of what I am talking about that actually IS what I am talking about, and not something that you THINK I am talking about.

Because if you cannot even accurately describe the goal, how is it that you can know what is right/wrong with it?


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Old 07-21-2016, 02:43 AM   #84
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As for what we intend to do with it.

I think I have mentioned that only a couple of dozen times.

But so that it isn't lost:

We are working on building an Operating Virtual World of Middle-earth.

And, before you run with that, NO It isn't that kind of "Virtual World."

The correct term (for the project in its current state) would be a "Toy World," which is used in Systems Theory to describe simplified Models of Feedback Systems.

So, for example:

An Ant Pile.

To make a Virtual Model of an Ant Pile, you don't start off making a lot of Computerized Graphics of Ants that people then put on some huge, clumsy VR Visor (Like an Oculus Rift visor).

It starts off as a purely Computational Model where the input and output are purely mathematical models and raw data. You have "Ants" that are described by a simple data-set (size, role, location, age, gender, etc), and you have an environment that is also described by a data set (tunnels, openings, fungus farms, location of the queen, eggs, location of distant food sources, predators, etc.).

<<edit>> And you have a system of relationships between each connected element of the system that describes that relationship. For example:

•*The amount of food eaten by each ant, and where it comes from.
•*The effect of the immediate environment by the ant's presence.
• The effect of the environment upon predators, or the effect of the presence of predators upon the ants.
•*Etc.

<</edit>>

For Middle-earth, we would start with something similar. We already have the physical environment up to the end of the Second Age as generalized Data Models, and a topology for a "Flat-World" that produces a constant 1g, downward, orthogonal to the entire surface of the "Earth" (It is a pretty freaking strange shape, and depending upon other possible models, we have different topologies, depending upon whether Fëa has mass or not).

Eventually this raw data will be fed to some form of a visualization system that begins to produce things that people would actually recognize as Middle-earth.

And, as computational power increases, and the Systems Modeling Tools grow in power, we can then connect them to better visual processing systems (and hopefully, by that time (roughly 2025 - 2030) to actual experiential Interface Systems that would allow people to have a nearly immersive experience within Middle-earth (i.e. to be able to "feel" like they were actually inside Middle-earth).

The latter is going to sound kind of Matrix-y, but it isn't considered far-fetched for the time-frame we have. People like Larry Page, Ray Kurzweil (both at Google - One the founder, the other the Chief of Engineering) has both said that the time-frame we are looking at is appropriate for both the modeling and the perceptual interfaces to the model.

So.... That is what we plan to do with it.

Considering we (People working in Systems Modeling and Systems Theory) can get other non-deterministic Systems Models to behave in a Fatalistic Fashion (arrive at a pre-determined outcome, even with stochastic/random behavior of all the elements in the System), then it should not be difficult to arrange for a Model World of Middle-earth to be Instantiated such that it unfolds as described by Tolkien (at least for those parts described).

That is what we plan to do with this once we get a working System and Foundation for the Metaphysical Functioning and/or Operation of Middle-earth.

MB

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Old 07-21-2016, 03:35 AM   #85
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Addendum:

Although that isn't to say that I can't populate the earlier models with Graphics. It is just that between the time we get the Math working, the graphics technology is likely to have changed substantially. People I know at Autodesk say that current projects are returning to the concept of Voxels as the building blocks of future graphics rather than the polygonal models, surface models (NURBs, Subdivision, Parametric Curve) and Solid Models (Procedural, Parametric). The Voxel is basically a graphic equivalent of a 3D (or higher dimension) particle, rather than depicting a surface, as current graphics do, it represents a volume. So given that the technology to visualize the data is likely to change substantially, and that we want to have models that function properly first, starting off with the graphics (for the purposes of this project) isn't productive.

Graphics is one of the things I learned a LONG time ago, given that when I was younger my focus was more on the Arts, and I was lucky/fortunate enough to have a computer in the late-70s.

But even though we don't need to start with Graphics for this project, since I happen to like drawing, painting, and doing 3D work (As well as sculpting miniatures), I figure it would not hurt to play around with simple depictions of the different peoples when I am not able to work on other things (or when I need a break from other stuff).

A 3D model of a Hithaeglir Orc/Goblin (without texture/color - This is a digital sculpt meant to be used for a Miniature):
Attached Images
File Type: png Goblin Miniature.png (67.9 KB, 43 views)

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Old 07-21-2016, 12:08 PM   #86
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•*The amount of food eaten by each ant, and where it comes from.
•*The effect of the immediate environment by the ant's presence.
• The effect of the environment upon predators, or the effect of the presence of predators upon the ants.
•*Etc.
Yes, I agree. Elves certainly had some of their own supply of metal, albeit not as large as that of the Dwarves, and they most likely traded for the rest with their neighbours (especially with Moria). Their mines were not as large as those of the Dwarves, and their production was not as high. It's also possible they simply did not reveal the locations of their mines to those who didn't explicitly need to know.
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Old 07-21-2016, 04:11 PM   #87
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Actually... I think the latest round of wearied explanations on the part of Marhwini has me finally comprehending what he is about... sort of. You're attempting to build a model of Middle-earth, down the physical (and metaphysical) laws--a digital orrery, so to speak? Assuming I have that right, I was certainly off the mark to speak of your goal as being a Unified Theory.

As far as this goes, I can see how someone having a passion for both Tolkien and computers (or should I say "computational science?") would develop a sustaining interest in such a project. It is, however, quite far from the norm of the fandom around here--I'd say this forum skews Luddite rather than Early Adopter.

Except for one thing: it seems to me that you cannot proceed with this project without, in fact, having a criteria for establishing what is or is not "true" in Middle-earth. The comparison with an orrery sticks in my mind because you cannot construct an orrery without determining how the solar system actually moves: is it geocentric or sol-centric? In the case of Middle-earth this is no throwaway analogy: was Arda ever flat? Was it geocentric?

And this brings me back to the question of canonicity (every few years, it seems, I get the itch to goad people back to that impossible topic): unless you are to make yourself the sole arbiter of what is true or not in Middle-earth--in which case it seems to me you'd be better off just creating your own world from scratch and admitting that it's based on Middle-earth--or you have to establish a rule by which to admit or deny Tolkien's own work.

And you're still going to end up with places where Tolkien is silent, at which point you have to fill in the blanks yourself. As I said, I can see how this is an attractive project to pursue, but surely it should be equally clear how someone not participating in the project might be cool to it: the project invites you to add your own decision-making and art, however measured, and this is bound to make the observation of the project less appealing to other Tolkien fans. As fans we tend to assume immense feelings of personal ownership regarding the objects of our obsession.

One final point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marhwini
While Tolkien's work might be "Art" it does not dismiss the statements made by Tolkien himself (see where I have quoted them above in the thread more times than I can now count) that there are Operational Rules (Sciences) within Middle-earth that are just as robust and rigorous as are our Sciences in this world.
Let us grant for a moment that Tolkien's quotes mean exactly what you claim they do (personally, I do think they stretch QUITE so far, though I agree with that he sees Middle-earth as a rationally-constructed world), this does not mean that him stating this would make that so. Just because Tolkien SAYS that Middle-earth is based on operational rules does not make it so. For one thing, Tolkien lacked the Divine Omniscience necessary to ensure all these rules were kept proper and in play in the creation of all his fiction. For another, Tolkien is known to occasionally mis-characterise his own writings when reflecting on them from a later time.


Perhaps the most pertinent point of all to my mind is that any such model of Middle-earth would have to be precisely that: A model. Not the model. In complete fairness to Marhwini, I should note that his explanations do say, multiple times statements of this nature: "an Operating Virtual World of Middle-earth," "a Model World of Middle-earth to be Instantiated," "a working System and Foundation." Of course, if it truly is only *A* model, then it is implicit that other models are possible on the same data--and the data of Middle-earth is self-conflicting and limited, unlike the real world, where we have the possibility of going out and acquiring more.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:08 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
OK.... If you think this "idea" so insane....

In one sentence describe to me what the idea is.

I can.


Or, if you cannot do it in one sentence.... How about just ANY description of what I am talking about that actually IS what I am talking about, and not something that you THINK I am talking about.

Because if you cannot even accurately describe the goal, how is it that you can know what is right/wrong with it?


MB
Uh-huh. So it is what I thought. You are trying to create a working model of Middle-earth, with modified physics to account for the spiritual element.

Like many people, I was under the impression that this was simply to be "on paper", but now it seems that it involves computer simulation and *possibly* the ultimate creation of a Matrix-like virtual Middle-earth. Very well. The fault lies not with us but with you for your failure to make this remotely clear (whilst constantly berating us for our supposed stupidity in not "getting it").

While making the project far more grandiose than I had realised, it still doesn't change the fact that it is, as I said originally, just a form of fan-fiction. You may produce something that will satisfy you as a "canonical" model of Middle-earth, but be rejected by countless other fans as being as much a travesty to them as Jackson's films are to you. Are you prepared for that? I have seen you make many a sweeping pronouncement on what is or isn't "Canon", as though you consider yourself some final authority, but it is not so. There are too many contradictions, too many blank spaces to fill in.

I have said "you may produce something..." There's the rub. Who in your group has the ability to do all this? I mean, yes, you claim expert knowledge in a vast number of fields- so vast that I have to tell you that you are frankly starting to come across as more of a fantasist than anything else. But okay, I'll assume you're qualified in one or more areas relevant to the project, and that there are people in your group with expertise in complementary areas. Well. Do you *listen* to them? Do you treat them with respect? How did you recruit them in the first place? Doesn't that mean you were at some point willing to entertain the idea that someone, somewhere, might know more than you about something? Because from what I've seen of you so far, Marhwini, that's really quite hard to believe.

EDIT: By the way, I did not at any point describe your idea as "insane". I said you had too much emotional investment in it.
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:24 PM   #89
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As a clarification, Marhwini, I hadn't previously ruled out the idea that you were intending to use computer modelling in your project at some point, but certainly the revelation of the Gibsonesque nature of your endgame threw me, rather.

But when all's said and done, that's just the answer to my question of, "what do you ultimately intend to do with it"? The meat of your project remains the development of the underlying theoretical model, right? So nothing changes.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:05 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
As far as this goes, I can see how someone having a passion for both Tolkien and computers (or should I say "computational science?") would develop a sustaining interest in such a project. It is, however, quite far from the norm of the fandom around here--I'd say this forum skews Luddite rather than Early Adopter.

Except for one thing: it seems to me that you cannot proceed with this project without, in fact, having a criteria for establishing what is or is not "true" in Middle-earth. The comparison with an orrery sticks in my mind because you cannot construct an orrery without determining how the solar system actually moves: is it geocentric or sol-centric? In the case of Middle-earth this is no throwaway analogy: was Arda ever flat? Was it geocentric?
This remains a central problem we have encountered (what is "True" regarding the various things that have changed).

Many of the things can be altered with a simple variable swap (T/F), each of which has their own associating cascade of events following it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
And this brings me back to the question of canonicity (every few years, it seems, I get the itch to goad people back to that impossible topic): unless you are to make yourself the sole arbiter of what is true or not in Middle-earth--in which case it seems to me you'd be better off just creating your own world from scratch and admitting that it's based on Middle-earth--or you have to establish a rule by which to admit or deny Tolkien's own work.
The hope is to eventually have the Tolkien estate arbitrate that. We do have a problem there, in that Christopher remains the only real "Expert" in that regard.

But ultimately, the issue of what is "True" is not as difficult as you might think.

Because once you have a metaphysical Foundation, then the Physics of the world remains basically fixed, even if the features of the world are different (The Canon, or History).

So things like whether it is a Round World, or a Flat World, to begin with, would not matter in terms of how the "universe" operates. All that would be would be a feature of the universe.

This is sort of like how in our Universe, it doesn't matter if a Solar System has one planet, or ten planets. That all still obey the same rules.

Geocentrism or Heliocentrism likewise would not be an issue (we've already worked out a model that can transition from one to the other over any interval of time)


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And you're still going to end up with places where Tolkien is silent, at which point you have to fill in the blanks yourself. As I said, I can see how this is an attractive project to pursue, but surely it should be equally clear how someone not participating in the project might be cool to it: the project invites you to add your own decision-making and art, however measured, and this is bound to make the observation of the project less appealing to other Tolkien fans. As fans we tend to assume immense feelings of personal ownership regarding the objects of our obsession.

And that is our biggest problem. We have proposed a couple of means for how to get past either the historic gaps, or the metaphysical/theological gaps as well.

But there will remain some arbitrary decisions. That can't be avoided.

All that we are looking for is how to avoid Kludges wherever possible, such that everything that possibly can be based upon a Foundational Rule will be based upon a Foundational Rule.

Again, in a lot of these, it is just a matter of having the different theological or metaphysical options coded.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
One final point:



Let us grant for a moment that Tolkien's quotes mean exactly what you claim they do (personally, I do think they stretch QUITE so far, though I agree with that he sees Middle-earth as a rationally-constructed world), this does not mean that him stating this would make that so. Just because Tolkien SAYS that Middle-earth is based on operational rules does not make it so. For one thing, Tolkien lacked the Divine Omniscience necessary to ensure all these rules were kept proper and in play in the creation of all his fiction. For another, Tolkien is known to occasionally mis-characterise his own writings when reflecting on them from a later time.
Fortunately this isn't something we have encountered as a problem (Tolkien's lack of a "Divine Omniscience" creating problems).

The Area where we have discovered the most difficulty is in the Geology and the Meteorology.

But even in those areas we have found that there are solutions to the problems regarding Tolkien's lack of understanding in that area.

Also population Logistics seems to be a problem, as Middle-earth would likely have far many more occupants than we are given the impression of in the Novels.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
Perhaps the most pertinent point of all to my mind is that any such model of Middle-earth would have to be precisely that: A model. Not the model. In complete fairness to Marhwini, I should note that his explanations do say, multiple times statements of this nature: "an Operating Virtual World of Middle-earth," "a Model World of Middle-earth to be Instantiated," "a working System and Foundation." Of course, if it truly is only *A* model, then it is implicit that other models are possible on the same data--and the data of Middle-earth is self-conflicting and limited, unlike the real world, where we have the possibility of going out and acquiring more.
That is all we can do for our world as well.

That we lack a complete understanding of our world, and that it has enormous gaps, both epistemologically, and historically does not mean that we cannot make surprisingly accurate models.

And that we cannot refine them as time goes by and we learn more about the world in question.

Yes, there is a LOT of subjectivity to what we are doing.

But the ultimate project would allow others to take the finished product, and apply their own assumptions and imagery about Middle-earth, and thus obtain their own idea of the world.

This is a mistake people have about sciences in our world/universe as well:

That because something is based upon a Science, that it can only have one possible answer, ever.

That is like saying that Gravity remains constant across the entire Universe at 9.8m/s^2 (when we now it varies by a formulae set down by both Newton and Einstein).

Or that biology is only possible with one form of origin or biochemistry (Archeoforms and Extremophiles show this to not be true).

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Old 07-22-2016, 01:19 PM   #91
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Uh-huh. So it is what I thought. You are trying to create a working model of Middle-earth, with modified physics to account for the spiritual element.

Like many people, I was under the impression that this was simply to be "on paper", but now it seems that it involves computer simulation and *possibly* the ultimate creation of a Matrix-like virtual Middle-earth. Very well. The fault lies not with us but with you for your failure to make this remotely clear (whilst constantly berating us for our supposed stupidity in not "getting it").
It is both "on Paper" AND with a Computer.

Do you not know what a Turning Machine is (The Earliest Conception by Turing)?

A strip of paper, with encoded rules that describe various operations?

Turing proved that this simple model was capable of solving any problem possible that could be computed.

At that point, you are then left with the philosophical issue of: P = NP || P ≠ NP.


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While making the project far more grandiose than I had realised, it still doesn't change the fact that it is, as I said originally, just a form of fan-fiction. You may produce something that will satisfy you as a "canonical" model of Middle-earth, but be rejected by countless other fans as being as much a travesty to them as Jackson's films are to you. Are you prepared for that? I have seen you make many a sweeping pronouncement on what is or isn't "Canon", as though you consider yourself some final authority, but it is not so. There are too many contradictions, too many blank spaces to fill in.
Science is JUST "Fan-Fiction" in that case, because it contains the same problems that exist in Tolkien's world:

We have gaps in history.

We have a lack of a Foundational Philosophical and Metaphysical account of the universe.

And we have multiple competing Theologies, most of which appear to be categorically contradictory.

It's pretty easy to accept/reject other's accounts of Middle-earth based upon a singular criteria:

Do they alter the Canon?

Peter Jackson didn't just alter the canon, he vomited all over it. And that doesn't even get into the metaphysical or theological minutia. All one needs to look at is the pure Historical record of Middle-earth (what Tolkien said happened, and where).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerwen View Post
I have said "you may produce something..." There's the rub. Who in your group has the ability to do all this? I mean, yes, you claim expert knowledge in a vast number of fields- so vast that I have to tell you that you are frankly starting to come across as more of a fantasist than anything else. But okay, I'll assume you're qualified in one or more areas relevant to the project, and that there are people in your group with expertise in complementary areas. Well. Do you *listen* to them? Do you treat them with respect? How did you recruit them in the first place? Doesn't that mean you were at some point willing to entertain the idea that someone, somewhere, might know more than you about something? Because from what I've seen of you so far, Marhwini, that's really quite hard to believe.
EDIT: By the way, I did not at any point describe your idea as "insane". I said you had too much emotional investment in it.[/QUOTE]

How we treat each other seems to be exactly the same as how everyone in academic gets treated. Some have more experience than others.

And I didn't recruit them.

We got the idea after the original Jackson movies were produced, but it really didn't go very far until the second Trilogy of movies was produced, when we all pretty much reacted with revulsion to Jackson's treatment of The Hobbit, and began wondering a bit more deeply about a simple question (which also sums up the goal):

"What would need to be true given what is true in Tolkien's works?"

Another way to put that is:

"What is necessarily True in Middle-earth given the Observation of Middle-earth?" (not necessarily referring to the books by the same name there).

This is the essence of the Sciences (What is Necessarily True given what we Observe of the Universe?).

MB
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:36 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
That would be an exact example of what I am talking about being "Not even Wrong."

It would be one thing if you could communicate a correct description of what I have been attempting to resolve within Tolkien's work, and then criticized it.

But I have yet to see even an attempt to understand the goal, or what it entails, much less any criticism that actually applies to what I am (or, rather, "We") are attempting to do.
Again, you mistake misunderstanding with rejection. I reject your attempt at making a little video game and claiming it encompasses what a dead author might be thinking on any given subject. It is indeed fan-fiction, enlightened and scientific enough so as not to contain Mary-Sues on little pink ponies, but fan-fiction nonetheless, no matter how you try to conflate it to epic proportions with algorithms and pronouncements. Let's upgrade your attempt to "speculative fiction", give it a nod and a pat on the back for effort, and move on.

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Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
...But that in no way changes the fact that someone who has failed to understand the goal and process here has failed to understand the goal and process.

They might take offense at having this pointed out. But that would be rather like being offended when told that 1+1 ≠ 7. Especially if one intended to discover the correct answer to the problem of 1 + 1 .
Perhaps our failure to communicate entails my concern and fascination dealing with the philology, literary devices, the motifs, the synthesis of world mythos that Tolkien instilled in his work, and the glamour of Middle-earth, with it's the facade of magic and the eucatastrophic ending that requires a suspension of disbelief, because there are some things in Middle-earth that are simply inexplicable by scientific methods; Tolkien himself expressed the need of enigma in fantasy. Tolkien was quite curt with a correspondent, Peter Hastings, who pushed Tolkien in a letter to further explain Bombadil's status, to which Tolkien stated, "As for Tom Bombadil, I really do think you are being far too serious," and further emphasized the point with a blunt, "I don't think Tom needs philosophizing about, and is not improved by it." I would suggest you are not improving it in the same monomaniacal manner.

It seems to me that you subscribe to what Gandalf said of Saruman, “He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”

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Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
Science is JUST "Fan-Fiction" in that case, because it contains the same problems that exist in Tolkien's world:

We have gaps in history....

And that is our biggest problem. We have proposed a couple of means for how to get past either the historic gaps, or the metaphysical/theological gaps as well.

But there will remain some arbitrary decisions. That can't be avoided.
No, science is not fan-fiction, because one can continually update one's hypotheses to match newly discovered data. Science is not static and is not based on presupposition in so far as ignoring some data to push other data into a given mold.

In the case of Tolkien's Middle-earth, you are attempting to arbitrarily decide how his world operates based on incomplete data, and not only that, pick and choose what you consider "canon".

Which brings me back to the infamous 'talking purse', which you so blithely brushed off when you decided it was merely a story-telling contrivance by Bilbo so as to not upset children listeners, and again ignored the mention to merely state I misunderstood your objectives. There is nothing anywhere in Tolkien's mountains of missives and writings that states that a talking purse does not exist in Middle-earth, any more so than one can explain away anthropomorphic animals, or several species of birds, canines and dragons with intelligible speech (or the aptitude for a lower life form to make such speech), a talking sword (courtesy of the Kalevala), spells, curses and counter-curses, songs of power, lands held in a natural vacuum of verdancy by wielding a Ring of Power, undead beings existing for thousands of years at the whim of a Ring, malevolent, predatory willows, or blades that turn blue when only a very specific species of creature comes in contact with the wielder (without, of course, insisting on some specialized infra-red computational technology that could not exist in a fantasy of that age).

You can pontificate, you can approximate, you can estimate, but you still will not offer a Truth in your little video game commensurate with reality. You only eliminate Wonder and Imagination in the process, breaking down Fantasy into mathematical scribbles .
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Last edited by Morthoron; 08-04-2016 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:13 AM   #93
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Me again.

So, Marhwini, you concede that we did actually understand what you were talking about?

Although it seems you have a further goal, previously unmentioned, which is to persuade Tolkien Estate to "canonize" your model. Okay... I'd advise you not to hold your breath.

As for the rest: yes, yes, we are all aware that science but imperfectly describes reality. The difference is that there is still an underlying reality for it to describe. It is possible for a scientific theory to actually correspond to that reality, even if we are never able to prove it; it is not possible in the case of a similar theory about Middle-earth (in the absence of authorial confirmation). So no, science is not fan-fiction. Fan-fiction is fan-fiction.

And with all this- no, I am not saying that your project is doomed*, worthless or "insane". Not at all. I am saying that you should consider approaching it differently.

Another thing to consider is your assumption that disagreement with you is, ipso facto, a sign of abject ignorance, requiring a condescending lecture (preferably In Capitals). Perhaps people other yourself have taken the occasional stroll through a college campus? Something to bear in mind, that's all.





*unless you're really counting on the aforesaid acceptance by Tolkien Estate. In which case, yeah, I'd say it's pretty much doomed. Sorry.
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:00 PM   #94
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Me yet again. Look, I've just been thinking a bit more about this- there is another basic problem with your approach, already mentioned by Morthoron, which at present makes it hard to take seriously.

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Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
It's pretty easy to accept/reject other's accounts of Middle-earth based upon a singular criteria:

Do they alter the Canon?

Peter Jackson didn't just alter the canon, he vomited all over it. And that doesn't even get into the metaphysical or theological minutia. All one needs to look at is the pure Historical record of Middle-earth (what Tolkien said happened, and where).
...and then reject anything that doesn't fit your model as in-world fiction, as demonstrated by your "explanation" of the talking purse. In other words, you are ignoring that "singular criterion" in practice.

It seems that what you are doing is
  • arbitrarily designating various elements of Tolkien's writing as true or false.
  • creating a Grand Unified Theory of Middle-earth to account for the "true" elements only.
  • using the theory to determine whether elements of Tolkien's writing are true or false.

Quote:
How we treat each other seems to be exactly the same as how everyone in academic gets treated. Some have more experience than others.

And I didn't recruit them.

We got the idea after the original Jackson movies were produced, but it really didn't go very far until the second Trilogy of movies was produced, when we all pretty much reacted with revulsion to Jackson's treatment of The Hobbit, and began wondering a bit more deeply about a simple question (which also sums up the goal):

"What would need to be true given what is true in Tolkien's works?"

Another way to put that is:

"What is necessarily True in Middle-earth given the Observation of Middle-earth?" (not necessarily referring to the books by the same name there).

This is the essence of the Sciences (What is Necessarily True given what we Observe of the Universe?).
And not one of your scientific experts can recognise circular reasoning (see above)? Really?

Now, if you were just content to come up with a partial model, rather than a Middle-earth Theory of Everything, the problem would largely disappear- but you have said many times that isn't the case.
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Last edited by Nerwen; 08-06-2016 at 10:19 PM. Reason: added comment
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