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Old Jan 13 2008, 04:30 PM   #1
Gidget2
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Lightbulb Future Time Measurement

I was just reading about the Dolphins of Pern and how that may play out after the 9th Pass is finished and realised something.

For the past 2,500 years, the Pernese have reckoned their entire history in terms that reflect the Red Star and Thread (9th Pass, 2nd Interval, etc). However, the 9th Pass is the last Pass with Thread in it (in Anne-Pern anyway - not counting fanfic Pern!), so in the future whether or not the time of an event happened in a Pass or an Interval would rather be moot since there wouldn't be any conceivable difference in mentalities or values between the two.

A man's actions in an Interval may be judged differently against the same actions during a Pass.

So in the future, when the Red Star would be visible (it hasn't gone that far away), but no Thread is forthcoming, would they still have a Pass/Interval system, or revert back to the more .... 'innocent' numbered Turn since Landing?

Would the 14th Pass exist in name only? Would the 20th Interval even rate a notice in the general populace?

Perhaps a series of festivals of First Pass Day would occur in different Hold/Weyrs on the day the Red Star traditionally appears in the Star Stones to mark a period of rememberance and celebrations of bravery passed and heroes lost. (Assuming, that is, that the Red Star hasn't been jolted out enough to make the Star Stones unusable - although considering that they were effective right up until the 9th Pass started, I'm guessing they still serve their original function despite the 2 orbital jolts. Which is strange when you actually sit down and think about it really .....)

But other than that ..... what do you guys think?
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Old Jan 13 2008, 05:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Future Time Measurement

I guess something like Passover might arise celebrating their deliverence from the red star.
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Old Jan 14 2008, 04:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Future Time Measurement

Good observation, Gidge.

Hmm, I think the name Pass might be kept the way we use century and used to measure time in Turns yes. It will lose it's Thread connection and there won't be any more Intervas and long Intervas. But a gut feeling suggests that the word Pass will survive
On second thought, maybe Interval too, after all, the Red Star is just nudged enough so Thread doesn't reach Pern but it's still there and the orbit hasn't change that much in the bigger scheme of things.

The astronomers among us might be ale to reason that out much better than I can.
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Old Jan 14 2008, 04:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Future Time Measurement

Correct me if I am wrong (and I need to have a look at All The Weyrs of Pern to be sure), but didn't they alter the orbit of the Red Star so that it would spiral into Rukbat eventually? Or has my memory gone faulty. I am thinking of the conversation AIVAS has with Jaxom and Ruth on the Yokohama, when he's explaining to Jaxom why the two Long Intervals happened and Jaxom times it into the future...
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Old Jan 14 2008, 04:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Future Time Measurement

Ok, soz to double post - but I have just had a flick through the UK paperback of ATWoP.

On page 406 of the current edition (dated 2002), Jaxom jumps 50 years into the future to check what AIVAS is saying, checks the (new) orbit of the Red Star;

"He tapped out the appropriate code and saw the cursor outline a second orbit, deviating by several degrees from the earlier one and with the return path intersecting that of the fifth planet, and spiralling in!"
- quote from "All The Weyrs of Pern."

So the Red Star wouldn't be a useful time marker for the future!
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Old Jan 14 2008, 05:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Future Time Measurement

Wow. Thanks for that Jay! I had completely missed/forgotten about that little (quite important) snippet.

So ...... Jaxom only jumps forward 50 years and its clear the Red Star will end up going kaboom (or whatever sound a planet makes when it gets too close to a star). In that case, shouldn't the Finger Rock and Star Stone configurations be all out of whack by the time the 9th Pass starts if the orbit was affected twice in quite a major way? I would imagine that the original 'fitters' of them in RSR/DE were quite pernickety about getting the settings just so, and quite a lot of complicated mathematics were done to make sure that they would be perfect for all eternity.

Although I guess that's a different Thread! LOL

So ...... ok, I can see them using the word Pass to define 50 years. "Your grandfather died over a Pass ago."
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Old Jan 14 2008, 05:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: Future Time Measurement

A very interesting point Gidget - although, it should be noted that if you take the events of the books in chronological order, then Long Intervals were expected (based on the observations made in Dragonsdawn). of course, this is at odds with what AIVAS tells Jaxom.

Personally, I think AIVAS lied to Jaxom - it knew the Long Intervals would happen without the engins exploding, but that they were good points to explode the engines in order to change the orbit ever so slightly in prep for the final explosion in the Ninth Pass. Well, that's how I explain it on my own site

As for the Star Stones... yes, I've always wondered that myself, LOL. Still, as I often say, Pern is just fiction... but maybe one of our resident scientists can explain how the Starstones might still be working in the Ninth Pass...
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Old Jan 15 2008, 09:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: Future Time Measurement

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Originally Posted by Jayru View Post
A very interesting point Gidget - although, it should be noted that if you take the events of the books in chronological order, then Long Intervals were expected (based on the observations made in Dragonsdawn). of course, this is at odds with what AIVAS tells Jaxom.
Yup, one of the things that irked me about AtWoP was this major error. It would be nice to just gloss over it, but as it takes up such a large chunk of the novel ..... you can't!

Quote:
Personally, I think AIVAS lied to Jaxom - it knew the Long Intervals would happen without the engins exploding, but that they were good points to explode the engines in order to change the orbit ever so slightly in prep for the final explosion in the Ninth Pass. Well, that's how I explain it on my own site
I'd buy that, but why lie? They took such a lot on faith followed by education that a simple lecture on planetary and spatial dynamics should have shown that Charge A placed here and Charge B placed here equals a large KABLOOEY and then a shift to stop Effect C here.

Whilst AIVAS wasn't above manipulating people to get what it wanted, it seems like such a silly thing to lie about. I understand the misrepresentation about the large slice of timing it (the worst kept secret on Pern), but to lie about it at all seems to be weaving extra threads into an already complex web. But who knows???? LOL

Quote:
for the Star Stones... yes, I've always wondered that myself, LOL. Still, as I often say, Pern is just fiction... but maybe one of our resident scientists can explain how the Starstones might still be working in the Ninth Pass...
Fiction is as fiction does, but it still has to have some basis in fact. If you set up a window to watch something precisely, and then that thing moves, surely the window will also be wrong? You can't just gloss over that. Can you?

Maybe secret notes were left and they adjusted the Stones .......... (well it's one straw to be clutched, right??? )
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Old Jan 15 2008, 11:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Future Time Measurement

They could use pass the same way we use centry. A pass = 50 turn while an interval = 200 years, 1/2 interval = 100 turns.
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Old Jan 15 2008, 11:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: Future Time Measurement

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Originally Posted by Gidget2 View Post
Yup, one of the things that irked me about AtWoP was this major error. It would be nice to just gloss over it, but as it takes up such a large chunk of the novel ..... you can't!

I'd buy that, but why lie? They took such a lot on faith followed by education that a simple lecture on planetary and spatial dynamics should have shown that Charge A placed here and Charge B placed here equals a large KABLOOEY and then a shift to stop Effect C here.

Whilst AIVAS wasn't above manipulating people to get what it wanted, it seems like such a silly thing to lie about. I understand the misrepresentation about the large slice of timing it (the worst kept secret on Pern), but to lie about it at all seems to be weaving extra threads into an already complex web. But who knows???? LOL

Fiction is as fiction does, but it still has to have some basis in fact. If you set up a window to watch something precisely, and then that thing moves, surely the window will also be wrong? You can't just gloss over that. Can you?

Maybe secret notes were left and they adjusted the Stones .......... (well it's one straw to be clutched, right??? )
The thing is Gidget, was it an error? We know that AIVAS was hell bent on saving Pern. I can well believe that it would lie - or deceave people, to get things done. Would Jaxom have gone along with the idea had he been told all the facts? Would he have willing risked so many lives to pull the venture off? Those are the questions we should be asking. AIVAS kept it simple, told Jaxom it had to be done this way, because it already had been done this way.

Or that's my take on it anyways, LOL.

Look at the so called restored Hold records; Tillek Hold being founded by James Tikkek - buzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, wrong answer - it was founded by Zi Ongola. Boll Hold being founded my Governer Boll - buzzzzzzzzzzzzz, wrong answer she died the year before the hold was founded.

I think AIVAS "flattered" the Holder Lords and Craft Masters, and the Dragonriders in order to gain there trust and cooperation in doing what had to be done. It's the only answer that makes sense.

As to why it would miss-lead Jaxom: just the simplest way to get him to do the jumps.

The Starstone bit - yessss. That needs to be thought about a bit. Same as the fall pattern of thread. Becasue changing the orbit of the Red Star would have an affect in the thread fall pattern - making F'lar's charts useless, wouldn't it?

This may be one of those things we have to turn a blind eye to. Kind of like Lister having his appendix out twice in Red Dwarf - or Checkov not being "Space Seed" but recognising Khan, and being recognised by Khan in "Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan."

Maybe one of our resident scientists might have clue, or idea about this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mawra
They could use pass the same way we use centry. A pass = 50 turn while an interval = 200 years, 1/2 interval = 100 turns.
Sounds like it be possible. Mind you, and do correct me if I am wrong, but hadn't they started using the term "year" again by SOP? And I have a feeling that we may find out what they do in "After The Fall is Over" (Anne's new Pern novel).
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Old Jan 15 2008, 12:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jayru View Post
The thing is Gidget, was it an error? We know that AIVAS was hell bent on saving Pern. I can well believe that it would lie - or deceave people, to get things done. <snip>

As to why it would miss-lead Jaxom: just the simplest way to get him to do the jumps.
LOL So we're clear AIVAS must have lied to Jaxom about the cause of the Long Intervals. I get that. Plus the whole "it has been done, it must be done" Ruth logic. But when we are telling the truth then the Long Intervals were, indeed, natural events - AIVAS just lied to Jaxom. Cool!

Quote:
The Starstone bit - yessss. That needs to be thought about a bit. Same as the fall pattern of thread. Becasue changing the orbit of the Red Star would have an affect in the thread fall pattern - making F'lar's charts useless, wouldn't it?
Another good point!!

Quote:
This may be one of those things we have to turn a blind eye to.
LOL But then it becomes a bit of an elephant in the room, doesn't it? The more it's thought and spoken about, the more you realise it actually has quite far-reaching repuercussions!

Quote:
...but hadn't they started using the term "year" again by SOP? And I have a feeling that we may find out what they do in "After The Fall is Over" (Anne's new Pern novel).
There may be a Red Star/Thread backlash and the Pernese may choose to shove any reference of it far between and embrace all things pre-Thread (possible - but not all the Abominators were dealt with, and nor will they be the only ones ever), so Turn, Pass, Interval and maybe even Thread may be consigned to the societal dustbin.

Just shooting my mouth off, obviously!
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Old Jan 15 2008, 02:57 PM   #12
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2cent Re: Future Time Measurement

I know why the star and finger stones worked in the nine pass.

The red star was still close enough to throw Thread onto Pern.
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Old Jan 15 2008, 03:37 PM   #13
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The red star was still close enough to throw Thread onto Pern.
Ok.

The Star Stone configurations were set up on each Weyr-rim at the beginning of the 2nd Pass and took into account the then-measurable orbit of the Red Star, and using the original reports on its orbits (presumably also noting that there would be times when it would not bring Thread close enough). The Finger Rock and Eye Stone were positioned precisely to detail to the exact day when the Red Star would be close enough for a Pass to start. It is precise because the difference of a day is important (see Lessa's eagerness to see the Red Star framed at that first dawn of the 9th Pass).

If we are to believe AIVAS' statements that the engines exploding caused the Long Intervals (despite them already being predicted over 2500 years previously) by shifting the orbit of the Red Star not once, but twice, then that ought to have shifted the precision of the Star Stones. If the calculations were sensitive enough to have to be changed for any given site's exact position on the planet (which accounts for mere miles, which is nothing in spatial terms), then the fact that the spatial co-ordinates of the Red Star at any point in its orbit AFTER each explosion would have been altered suggests that the Star Stones would no longer be pointing at the exactly correct piece of sky to exactly frame the Red Star.

And yet ...... we know that by the time of the 9th Pass they still function correctly.

As Jayru pointed out, the position of the Red Star and its orbit affects what part of the Oort Cloud it passes through and how much material is dragged along behind it and becomes Thread. (Interestingly, shouldn't that particular sweep in the cloud be a bit depleted by now after countless Passes? Another thing of interest to be noted in the "What the monkey-juice is Thread?" novella.)

And if the position of that clump of matter is altered, then the subsequent arrangement of the patches of that clump that fall into Pern's atmosphere should also alter.

Which also leads to the fact that presumably, what is dragged out behind the Red Star is a random congolmeration, falls in random patches and is subject to all kinds of atmospheric pressures - and yet still falls on the same days in the same places as all previous Passes? Even the shift that happened in the 9th Pass had occurred in the 8th Pass. Another interesting little puzzle!

So, no, just because the Red Star was close enough to bring Thread, it doesn't at all mean that the Star Stones would still be precisely correct.

Unless, of course, all the Weyrleaders know they are no longer correct and are just pretending for the rest of the planet ..... (Do the general populace know of the Star Stones and their significance? Frankly, I doubt it.)
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Old Jan 15 2008, 04:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: Future Time Measurement

My take on the whole AIVAS idea (and I appologise for the length). I've lifted this from Rukbat3, and appologised to myself for doing so;

Quote:
AIVAS, or as it is better known the Artificial Intelligent Voice Activated System Mark 47 Computer System, was technically first introduced to us during Dragonsdawn - but was not actually named until The Renegades of Pern (publication order - chronologically speaking The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall mentions the word AIVAS for the first time).

A lot of the "historical" inconsistencies between the founding of the Pern Colony and Ninth Pass Pern (present day in effect) can be put down to AIVAS. For a computer system it was remarkably manipulative. When looking at the books, in terms of their chronological order, it is very clear that AIVAS manipulated the people of Ninth Pass Pern in order to carry out it's plan to rid Pern of Thread.

Examples of this are as follows;

The Lord Holders, CraftsMasters and Weyrleaders all willingly allowed AIVAS to scan their fading records into its memory banks and it reproduced them in a readable form. Now it is unlikely that all the records going back to the First Pass survived in any form to be scanned by AIVAS - which explains why certain Lords think they are related to various people from Pern's past. AIVAS did indeed have indisputable records from the colonies first eleven years - but after that it was buried under volcanic ash and not uncovered for 2,500 years. It had no way of knowing what was going on.

Given the lack of information about the intervening years, and the state of the records it was given to scan, I think AIVAS flattered Perns leaders with information about past relatives when it had no real idea if those people were actually related to them or not. AIVAS claimed that the records showed that James Tillek founded Tillek Hold - which is not true, Zi Ongola did. AIVAS claimed that records showed that Boll Hold was founded and run by Emily Boll - again untrue. Boll Hold was founded by Pierre de Courcis.

The truth is that AIVAS had no idea and was making educated guesses. This is pretty much as we do today on planet Earth in terms of history from 2,500 years ago.

AIVAS must have known that the introduction of new technology, and information about the origins of the colony would cause some upheaval on Pern. By "flattering" the Lord Holders it gained support from the bulk of them (not all though).

AIVAS "claimed" to know little about the dragons - but Wind Blossom states in Dragonsblood that AIVAS had been used during the process of creating them. Of course AIVAS only had the information it had been programmed with.

Another example of AIVAS manipulating people was in what he asked Lord Jaxom to do. In Dragonsdawn James Tillek analyzed all the data the colonist had on the Red Star, information that would have been put into AIVAS, and he told Paul Benden that the Red Star had a very erratic orbit. Based on the data they had they knew it would drag Thread into Pern's orbit every 250 years, (+/- a few years). BUT there would be occasions when the other planets in the Rukbat system would effect the orbit of the Red Star and Pern would get no Thread Fall (something that became known as Long Intervals).

AIVAS had this information - it knew that the Red Star's orbit was subject to massive changes. Yet, when AIVAS confronts Jaxom with his revelation as to why there had been two Long Intervals it failed to mention that they were expected. Instead AIVAS convinces Jaxom to risk much (not least his life) by leading two teams of dragonriders in lengthy time jumps back into Perns past to drop two of the engines from the colony ships onto the Red Star so that there explosion would shift the orbit of the planet - which AIVAS claimed is what caused the Long Intervals in the first place.

The question is; did AIVAS lie?

Well in some respects yes, it did. The Long Intervals without Thread Fall would have happened anyway. However by adding a "little extra thrust" at those times during the Red Star's orbit (when it was being pulled away from Pern by the other planets in the Rukbat system) it set the Red Star up for one final "push" in present times where it's orbit could be changed forever, where it would eventually spiral inwards and end up being sucked into Rukbat and burned up.

It has to be remembered that aside from Lord Jaxom, and his dragon Ruth, no one else knew about the time jumps. By telling Jaxom that this was the sole reason for the Long Intervals to happen Jaxom had no choice but to agree to the plan. I suspect if he had been told all the facts he may well have hesitated, or not done it.

AIVAS was prepared to risk a lot to get rid of Thread - including genocide. He guided several medical personal from present day Pern into creating a "virus" that could be seeded onto the Red Star which would be carried back to the Oort cloud (where thread originated from) which would eventually lead to it being wiped out forever. This virus was seeded on both time jumps back to the past, and yet Thread still found away to come back - so in some respects the virus may not have worked as well as hoped. (So it's good that AIVAS's plan included the removal of the vector that brought Thread to Pern.)

There were certain things that AIVAS was unwilling to talk about - or even explain. It was unwilling to let the Pern colony develop technology that might ultimately lead to the same problems that Earth had. It was also unwilling to tell present day Pernese where Earth was.

In the end, with it's mission and objective complete, the AIVAS computer system shut itself down. It was worried that if it continued to provide advice it would end up destroying Pern and worryed that if it stayed active resentment would build up, and there would be some sort of conflict over it (All The Weyrs of Pern).


Now here's a small problem;

In Red Star Rising, Clisser, Bethany, Sheldon and Sydra are discussing the fact that most of the technology the colonist brought to Pern is beginning to fail due to old age. Bethany mentions that the AIVAS system shut itself down because it was worried that people were beginning to think that it was infallible.

Red Star Rising is set some 250 years after the colonists first arrived on Pern, and some 240 years after the original colony site was covered by volcanic ash - including the AIVAS computer system.

This statement seems to tie in more with the ending of All The Weyrs of Pern - but that book is set some 2,300 years later in the future. Chronologically speaking there is no way the characters in Red Star Rising could know about that.

The only explanation is that this is a reference to some event that took place during the first few years of the colony that has yet to be written about. Certainly the AIVAS was active and in use after Thread started falling, and it did follow through on the directive given to it to find a solution to the problem of Thread Fall. But it could have shut itself down at some point during the first few years of the colony and reactivated itself during the emergency - if so that raises an interesting point about the ending of All The Weyrs of Pern.

In The Skies of Pern we learn that the interface chamber isn't completely inactive and still able to defend it's self against attack - so some part of AIVAS is still active. If the AIVAS system was able to shut down and reactivate before, could it do so again?

It may well be that AIVAS has another role to play at some point in Perns future, or it may be silently waiting and watching and will only reactivate itself again if the colony is threatened by something major. Some would argue that the colony was threatened by something major in The Skies of Pern - although what more could AIVAS have done? All the information the planets leaders needed was presented to them and the dragonriders seemed to sort it out in the end.

So if AIVAS is still active, on some level, what is it waiting for?

That may be something we never know.
Ok, those are my personal mussings about AIVAS - but hopefully they will help (?)

As for the rest - as you point out Gidget, it's like an elephant in a room, you can't help but notice it, but you hope like hell that you can ignore it

Frankly, I can't see any real way to tie things up on this point - although I think Topaz may be on to something. It is possible that the Red Star would still be braketed by the Star Stones prior to a pass, regardless of the changes in orbit. It may well be that the fact the orbit was subject to change was taken into consideration. But hey, I'm not astrophysist... I may PM edith and see what her thoughts on on this...

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Old Jan 15 2008, 04:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: Future Time Measurement

You make some good points there. I personally think that that one line in DE/RSR about AIVAS shutting itself down was just a mistake.

Quote:
The Long Intervals without Thread Fall would have happened anyway. However by adding a "little extra thrust" at those times during the Red Star's orbit (when it was being pulled away from Pern by the other planets in the Rukbat system) it set the Red Star up for one final "push" in present times where it's orbit could be changed forever, where it would eventually spiral inwards and end up being sucked into Rukbat and burned up.
That's pretty much how I've looked at it too.

I'll have to go back to AtWoP though, because I didn't remember that the planet was to spiral into the sun - I thought it was just the two colony ships that would do that.

Oh, and while "Pass" and "Interval" would quite likely fade from use, why in the world would "Turn" and "Turnover"? I don't remember a widespread usage of "year" in the post-AIVAS books. I would think that sort of change would be resisted even more than "new" technology.
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Old Jan 18 2008, 12:30 AM   #16
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Default Re: Future Time Measurement

It's been a while since I read AtWoP, but I seem to remember it was the ships that spiraled to Rukbat, not the Red Star.

Nudging the orbits slightly would affect the time when the interval was due to start, but wouldn't the Red Star still approach from the same direction so that the Star Stones would show when Thread was due, just at a later date than one would expect?
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Old Jan 18 2008, 04:46 AM   #17
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Default Re: Future Time Measurement

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Originally Posted by granath
It's been a while since I read AtWoP, but I seem to remember it was the ships that spiraled to Rukbat, not the Red Star.
The quote from page 406 of the current UK paperback edition of ATWoP is;

"He tapped out the appropriate code and saw the cursor outline a second orbit, deviating by several degrees from the earlier one and with the return path intersecting that of the fifth planet, and spiralling in!"

The scene is the one where AIVAS is explaining to Jaxom about the Long Intervals and Jaxom jumping 50 years into the future.

It was mentioned towards the end of the book that the other two coloney ships would have to be pushed from orbit eventually.

The Red Star folks, is toast.

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Nudging the orbits slightly would affect the time when the interval was due to start, but wouldn't the Red Star still approach from the same direction so that the Star Stones would show when Thread was due, just at a later date than one would expect?
Kind of what I feel on this, but not knowing enough on the subject not sure it would actually work, LOL. But I like the sound of it!
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Old Jan 18 2008, 12:31 PM   #18
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Lots of food for thought in this thread.

But as to the original topic, I'm pretty sure the Pernese will use the "Turn-after-Landing" format for dating post-Thread, as AIVAS corrected their dating errors (In The Skies of Pern, a record that F'lessan looks at has the date (a Turn-after-Landing date of 2546, or something like that) crossed out and corrected.

As far as AIVAS is concerned, many characters muse on exactly what is meant by "artificial intelligence" ... F'lessan was convinced AIVAS had a sense of humor, Robinton came to the realization that there were disclosures AIVAS could not, or was programmed not, to make.

The scene where AIVAS plays on the vanities of the several Lord Holders that come to visit him (much to Menolly's surprise) is an excellent one. When queried by Menolly, AIVAS remarks that Robinton had suggested that flattery might be required. As far as the errors regarding who founded what Hold, I believe that AIVAS stated that "Tillek was either founded by, or named for, James Tillek", rather than stating outright that it was founded by him.

I find the Rukbat3 info to be extremely entertaining and thought-provoking, and find myself wondering, like Robinton, exactly what does "artificial intelligence" entail? How far would AIVAS go to defeat Thread? Is AIVAS truly gone? Great questions.
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Old Jan 18 2008, 03:21 PM   #19
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Just to kind of support Jay's argument, right at the beginning of Chapter 2 of DDawn, Kenjo and Sallah are discussing the Red Star, it's history and, oddly, it's future.

Kenjo remarks that:
Quote:
"[Xi Chu] Yuen apparently believes that with such an eccentric, almost parabolic orbit, this Pluto body may exit the solar system again or fall into the sun."
Xi Chu Yuen is described as a "staid, pedantic astronomer", so I would imagine that a lot of credence would be given to his report. So it is possible that, at some point, including the "nudges" given to it by the engines, the Red Star could go so close to Rukbat that it gets pulled into it and fried.
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Old Jan 18 2008, 06:40 PM   #20
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Perhaps AIVAS told them how to "update" the stones: Anne just didn't have the space to include that bit in the book
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Old Jan 18 2008, 06:43 PM   #21
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Perhaps AIVAS told them how to "update" the stones: Anne just didn't have the space to include that bit in the book
AIVAS was buried in the 1st Pass and not unearthed until the 9th Pass - how could it have provided any information during those "missing" years? By the time it was buried, AIVAS hadn't come to any conclusions about the Red Star and Thread, and didn't know that there would be Star Stones to be adjusted!
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Old Jan 18 2008, 11:37 PM   #22
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This was a facinating read...and I appauld all these post. These are the best kinds of book discussions... when we get to probe the depths and mysteries of a wonderful story in such interesting discussions.

I have often wondered just how much intelligence AIVAS really had. To be able to manipulate a whole population, he truly must have been much more than just a futuristic computer system...but one that was capable of independant thought...one that could change it's plans, so that they would work even with the disruptions and mistakes from the mere humans he had to work with.

I would expect that the Pernese would be able to see the Red star passing close to Pern for at least what would have been known at the 10 pass if thread would have still been falling. After that I would more than likely passed out of rang of the Star Stones to predict or see it's coming.

As far as using Turn, Pass, interval...etc I would think that these types of
terms would end up being discarded as time passed, when they had little or no meaning. The term *Year* was being use during them time of AIVAS...so I see that continuing...along with many of the other things that he corrected them on.
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Old Jan 19 2008, 05:36 AM   #23
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The Red Star is due to fall into Rukbat at some point in it's new orbit, according to the print out that Jaxom brought from the future - although yes I would agree that its possible that other things might end up inlfuencing the planets direction. Would it be in the skies of Pern to denote a "10th Pass?" Doubtful - even if it failed to spirl in, and be burned up in Rukbat, it's orbit would have changed too much to make it a reliable marker.

Either way, without further textual references to state otherwise, the Red Star was last seen on it's final journey through space...

AIVAS had no knowledge of the Star Stones as they were constucted just before the Second Pass began (ref: Red Star Rising/Dragonseye). As to why they would still work all those years later... that is a very good question. Heck, the answer may be that someone from Pern's future jumped back to those times, and made the alterations... possibly under direction from AIVAS. It could be that the orbit of the Red Star had not changed that much, and so therefore the Star Stones continued to work. At the moment, it's (as Gidget would put it) an elephant in the room. Difficult to ignor, but it wont go away. We should maybe ask one of resident experts on this sort of thing, like edith or Kath and see what they can come up with on the subject.

Would the People of Pern still want to mark the time? That's an interesting question. I guess it will depend on how far away they have moved from culture and society that existed when Thread was a problem. 200 turns/years is a long time, and a lot of things could, and would change.
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Old Jan 19 2008, 08:17 AM   #24
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I think the Pass/Interval time frames will be dropped as irrelevant. I would think it'd make sense to start over again with year 1 PT (post-thread) as soon as the 9th Pass is over.
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Old Jan 19 2008, 09:38 AM   #25
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I think the Pass/Interval time frames will be dropped as irrelevant. I would think it'd make sense to start over again with year 1 PT (post-thread) as soon as the 9th Pass is over.
always a possibilty
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Old Jan 19 2008, 11:47 AM   #26
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Ah, but people are notoriously against change So if that does happen... it'll take some while
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Old Jan 19 2008, 11:57 AM   #27
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Agreed.
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Old Jan 19 2008, 12:07 PM   #28
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Wasn't that one of the things the Abominators in SoP were moaning about? The change of "Turn" to "Year"?

Since Pern doesn't have one central government, I can't see one big proclamation going out saying "from here, it is officially a Year". Thinking about the attitudes of the more .... remote areas that are given in the books (esp. in MHoP), I can't see them picking it up for a long time.
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Old Jan 19 2008, 12:12 PM   #29
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I quite agree, although the Conclave seems to act as a plantary government, if that's expanded to include the Weyrs, and Crafts, then Pern will have a sort of way of dealing with those things. But yes, you are always going to get some peole who don't want change - as SoP shows!
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Old Jan 20 2008, 06:52 AM   #30
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There's also no real reason to change from Turn to year, although obviously intervals and passes will only be used to denote historical periods once the last Pass is over.
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Old Jan 20 2008, 05:02 PM   #31
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It is kind of ironic that in DE/RSR some people are resisting the switch from "year" to "turn", and in late 9th Pass the process is reversed!
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Old Jan 20 2008, 05:08 PM   #32
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Such is life... change happens, people resist, but change happens
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Old Jan 20 2008, 07:59 PM   #33
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I believe that the Harper Hall would institute a Pern wide change in their new teaching of it. There would be so much newly learned history to add to the Archives also...getting a change of *Turn to year* would only be a small part of those new teachings.
These new teaching would all most certainly need to grow up with the newer generations...that is the best place for change to happen anyways.
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Old Jan 20 2008, 10:02 PM   #34
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But why should they force the change of such a mundane thing?
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Old Jan 21 2008, 03:23 AM   #35
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But why should they force the change of such a mundane thing?

Well, I guess it's a moot point, but we know that Harper Hall does change the way in which the People of Pern are taught, and what they are taught (ref: The Dolphins of Pern), and we also know that the term "year" once again comes into use on Pern (ref: All The Weyrs of Pern/The Skies of Pern).

What you have to ask yourself, is why did "turn" replace "year" in the first place? The answer to that, is very simple - language and the way in which words are used, changes over time. That, and of course, Anne needed it to change
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Old Jan 21 2008, 12:39 PM   #36
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You guys are missing something - after AVIAS went through all the records and such - and three explosions are planned - he tells Jaxom that two had already taken place and that is what caused the long intervals - he needed Ruth's innate ability to know when he was to go back to those times for the first two. Remember the one rider talking about going to his own weyr and finding a strange dragon in it? He failed to visualize his own weyr, not just where it was in the large weyr so he would go back to own time. Or that the dragons who went with Ruth couldn't communicate with the dragons at the other end of the rift because they were apart by over 200 years? Or that the ones who went with Ruth over 450 years back couldn't find the first two engines set because the when they were in the charges were not set yet?
It was also observed that when they were watching through the long-distance viewer that there was only one explosion it was glossed over by Jaxom that it was because it was so far away - thus when the charges were set they were set with the rift facing the planet so the planet was pushed further away - so it would still show in the eye rock but not as big.
They still have the numbering of turns after Landing and use it as well as pass and interval. just that pass and interval will be remembered but not used except to mark celebrations when one would have occured/ended.
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Old Jan 21 2008, 12:49 PM   #37
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AIVAS couldn't actually completely logically make sense of the fact of the time-travel or the seemingly self-evident nature of what it was asking Jaxom to do.

But the fact remains that before they even landed, the astronomers had already noted that there would be times when the Red Star wouldn't bring the Oort cloud debris close to Pern in the usual pattern. That was over eight years before AIVAS even knew about Thread!

It wasn't until the 9th Pass that AIVAS decided to explode the other 2 engines at those times and places, seemingly causing the Long Intervals, although they would have occurred anyway. The best theory that I have heard is that AIVAS took those times in the Red Star's orbit and used the extra shock power of the explosions to further jolt the orbit so by the time the final one happened in the 9th Pass it had pushed it far enough away out of its initial orbit to stop it affecting Pern.

The Long Intervals were natural - they just received a boost!

As for the engines pushing the planet along the same vector as the line of sight from Pern and therefore still being visible in the Star Stones ..... I'm not expert enough to refute what you say, but simple science seems to be sounding alarms in my brain!!
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Old Jan 21 2008, 05:03 PM   #38
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AIVAS couldn't actually completely logically make sense of the fact of the time-travel or the seemingly self-evident nature of what it was asking Jaxom to do.
AIVAS could accept the concept of time-travel...

...after all, it received a first-hand account of Lessa's trip to bring the Oldtimers forward...

...what it couldn't accept was the manner by which the riders/dragons determined their destinations. It was seeking some means by which to direct Jaxom (or, at the moment their discussions were happening--since AIVAS might not have settled on who that would be until after it learned more of Ruth's abilities--whomever would be guiding the engines to their temporal locations) that would be precise enough to properly deliver the payloads.

Sort of like the idea of a TARDIS--the existance and internal workings might be comprehensible...but to DRIVE it, you have to stand on your head, chew gum, & play with a yo-yo to get it to go.....& you get your desired results depending upon if you chew open-mouthed as opposed to using your toes for the yo-yo string

AIVAS:"say what???"
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But the fact remains that before they even landed, the astronomers had already noted that there would be times when the Red Star wouldn't bring the Oort cloud debris close to Pern in the usual pattern. That was over eight years before AIVAS even knew about Thread!

It wasn't until the 9th Pass that AIVAS decided to explode the other 2 engines at those times and places, seemingly causing the Long Intervals, although they would have occurred anyway. The best theory that I have heard is that AIVAS took those times in the Red Star's orbit and used the extra shock power of the explosions to further jolt the orbit so by the time the final one happened in the 9th Pass it had pushed it far enough away out of its initial orbit to stop it affecting Pern.

The Long Intervals were natural - they just received a boost!

As for the engines pushing the planet along the same vector as the line of sight from Pern and therefore still being visible in the Star Stones ..... I'm not expert enough to refute what you say, but simple science seems to be sounding alarms in my brain!!
Exactly!

In addition, I believe, in AtWoP, there was mention of at least one other AIVAS the colonists took to the North with them, which would imply that one, or those other units (& not the unit left in Landing) was the one to shut itself down--whereas the one left at Landing was left to maintain contact with Yokohama to perform the threat solution calculations--but was buried & either couldn't be relocated or was thought destroyed, so the colonists who were waiting for the results never came back for the report.
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Old Jan 21 2008, 05:58 PM   #39
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AIVAS could accept the concept of time-travel...

...after all, it received a first-hand account of Lessa's trip to bring the Oldtimers forward...

...what it couldn't accept was the manner by which the riders/dragons determined their destinations. It was seeking some means by which to direct Jaxom (or, at the moment their discussions were happening--since AIVAS might not have settled on who that would be until after it learned more of Ruth's abilities--whomever would be guiding the engines to their temporal locations) that would be precise enough to properly deliver the payloads.
Sorry - my wonky brain! I thought AIVAS took issue with the fact it was asking Jaxom to do something that had already had been done, and yet at the same time needed someone to do the doing to make sure it had been done all that time ago ........... Or maybe that was Jaxom himself, because now I am thinking that AIVAS actually used the "it happened, therefore you have to do it" logic on him ......


Quote:
In addition, I believe, in AtWoP, there was mention of at least one other AIVAS the colonists took to the North with them, which would imply that one, or those other units (& not the unit left in Landing) was the one to shut itself down--whereas the one left at Landing was left to maintain contact with Yokohama to perform the threat solution calculations--but was buried & either couldn't be relocated or was thought destroyed, so the colonists who were waiting for the results never came back for the report.
I think there was mention in AtWoP that there were the parts for another unit that were shipped North, not an actual entire other unit. However, I think AIVAS mentioned, or implied, or it was implied or something .... that it would not disclose where the parts were or how to assemble it. Maybe at one point in the future the Computercraft will be advanced enough to sort it all out. Who knows?
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Old Jan 21 2008, 06:43 PM   #40
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Sorry - my wonky brain! I thought AIVAS took issue with the fact it was asking Jaxom to do something that had already had been done, and yet at the same time needed someone to do the doing to make sure it had been done all that time ago ........... Or maybe that was Jaxom himself, because now I am thinking that AIVAS actually used the "it happened, therefore you have to do it" logic on him ......
There's that, too.

Quote:
I think there was mention in AtWoP that there were the parts for another unit that were shipped North, not an actual entire other unit. However, I think AIVAS mentioned, or implied, or it was implied or something .... that it would not disclose where the parts were or how to assemble it. Maybe at one point in the future the Computercraft will be advanced enough to sort it all out. Who knows?
But with Bethany stating in another story that AIVAS (presumably the one brought North) shut itself down, then evidently they had got the parts put together to make it work.

As to the possibility they might ever find it again--the odds are remote, since such a device wouldn't have been set up in a tunnel too deep to have been forgotten.

More likely, if anything, over the years, Passes, & generations, some colonists had dismantled the unit (since it was just sitting there, not doing anything but wasting space...) to get at the copper in the wires or some other element to melt it down & retrieve. Being such a "Green" colony, that recycling of useless/broken items was such a strong cultural force.
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