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Old Oct 13 2009, 01:32 AM   #1
Almaron
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Default Incorrect Calendar

This is briefly mentioned in ATWOP and SOP; Not only does the red star have an erratic orbit that doesn't always complete a revolution every 250 years, but the calendar has been damaged over time due to these errors. No-one has tried to make an updated calendar yet, and I tried, but got a bit stuck. Here's what I figured out.

Confirmed Dates:
*First Pass and Interval were 250 years to set the stereotype (Plus confirmed in RSR)
*Second Pass was 46 Turns (ATWOP, Page 193)
*Third Pass began on 508 AL (DB)
*Fifth Pass lasted 52 Turns (ATWOP, Page 193)
*Sixth Pass was 50 Turns, although dating was off by 10 years (NS)
*Seventh Pass was 48 Turns (ATWOP, Page 193)
*Ninth Pass is 47 Turns
*Ninth Pass will end on 2568 (SOP)
*Intervals Listed as 400, retconned to 450 (ATWOP, Page 193)
*Red Star orbit varies by almost ten years in four passes, three were 258 years and one was 240. (ATWOP, Page 193)

Threadfall years could also change because of a larger or smaller amount of thread ovoids caught behind the red star. Start may be the same, end isn’t.

The following is my assumed list of the real dates. Remember, even though these may be the real dates, the appropriate time would still be using the older, incorrect calendar (By that I mean the 50-200 calendar).

8-58 First Pass 50
58-258 First Interval 200 (250)
258-304 Second Pass 46
304-508 Second Interval 204 (250)
508-548 Third Pass 40
548-748 Third Interval 200 (240)
748-800 Fourth Pass 52
800-1250 Fourth Interval 450
1250-1302 Fifth Pass 52
1302-1508 Fifth Interval 206 (258)
1508-1558 Sixth Pass 50
1558-1766 Sixth Interval 208 (258)
1766-1814 Seventh Pass 48
1814-2024 Seventh Interval 210 (258)
2024-2071 Eighth Pass 47
2071-2521 Eighth Interval 450
2521-2568 Ninth Pass 47

EDIT: Something I just realised is that the Long Intervals are essentially "Last Interval, Absent Pass, Absent Interval, Next Pass". With this in mind, AIVAS could have been referring to these intervals when talking about the three passes totalling 258. This can be easily edited, but someone may need to make up how long some of the passes lasted (or would have lasted).

VERY LATER EDIT: Re-read ATWOP, and AIVAS is referring to the orbit as a whole, not just the Pass. Unless directly specified that a Pass was that length, the numbers cannot be considered accurate.

Last edited by Almaron; Jun 25 2011 at 06:25 AM.
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Old Oct 13 2009, 03:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Incorrect Calendar

Have you read The Skies of Pern yet? Could you rework this according AAT (Aivas Adjusted Time) please

Like would happen in real life though, I don't adjust all the dates/Turns given in the book. That would be a tedious job and many wuldn't understand. So all dates in e.g. The Bloodlines are pre-Aivas
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Old Oct 13 2009, 04:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Incorrect Calendar

It already is, isn't it? My list is an update of the old calendar to the new one; the list posted is my (old, possibly needing reexamining) assumption of the AAT.

EDIT: I think it may need work, in that all the 258 sets are next to eachother. I assumed that AIVAS meant 3 unrelated sets of years. As I vaguely mentioned above, it might make sense to count the absent passes of a long interval as what he meant.
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Old Oct 13 2009, 05:24 AM   #4
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Hmm, did you take into account that the Turns, Passes and Intervals do not/coud not have changed prior to the first explosion on the Red Star? I.e before Jaxom and his crew placed the engine on the planet.

All this is a consequence of someone making a remark to Anne about her timing/dates being off in Renegades of Pern. They are indeed but IMHO it would have been better if she had left things alone...
It really doesn't solve all the (already existing) discrepancies in the age of some characters but it did give the Abominators something extra to grumble about in The Skies of Pern

We can still say and uphold that Passes were about half a century long and that's probably how the populace will remember them, especially if the lenghts vary.
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Old Nov 15 2009, 12:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Incorrect Calendar

I don't think the Red Star's strange movements were completely a result of Project Overkill; Not only does AIVAS mention that the Second Pass was four years short, but I seem to remember in Dragonsdawn one of the people watching the Red Star's orbit and calculating that there would be times when the orbit changed and it wouldn't bring Thread (or something like that. Of course, this was written before ATWOP, but it doesn't conflict with the story.). However, it would make sense if Threadfall patterns got stranger after each subsequent explosion.
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Old Nov 15 2009, 04:08 PM   #6
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I've never understood how the Pernese could lose track of 14 whole turns.

I'm sure the Harper Hall would have kept a list of how long each Pass and Interval actually lasted, and possibly done the math to see how many turns it was since the planet was colonized. Even if they didn't count up the total, every harper on Pern would know what turn of which Pass/Interval it was, and every Weyr, Hold and Hall would keep similar records, showing everything of significance that happened during each turn (births, marriages and deaths, harvests, tithes paid to the Weyr, crafthall promotions). Even if they just listed events from Turns Day to Turns End with no day of the month, the turn would be right.

Despite plagues interrupting the recording for a few months at a time, and maybe a spot of apathy/antipathy towards dragonriders and harpers during the Long Intervals, the presence of all those records across Pern should have kept the date more or less accurate. And if they lost track of the date within a turn because a lot of Hold harpers died of the plague and nobody kept records for a while, it would all get sorted out at the Winter Solstice and people would make some kind of notation in the records. I believe every important drum message went out with the time and date.

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Old Nov 15 2009, 04:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Incorrect Calendar

Well there was a time on earth when the West European calender got out of sync by 11 days. The church ordered the correction and there were riots by people who thought they were being deprived of 11 days of life (a lot of folks thought you your deathday was preordained and the removal of the days would mean that everybody died on the wrong days so St Peter would not be ready for them).
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Old Nov 15 2009, 08:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Incorrect Calendar

Maybe if the records aged and became illegible, the dates could have been distorted. Although, don't they say in one of the books that dates are referred to as the "Nth year of the Nth Pass?" If the pass dates changed, someone could have recorded them wrong, or worse, when writing up the new records, someone miscounted the dates and left out a few hundred years?
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Old Nov 16 2009, 11:51 AM   #9
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Consider our knowledge of Egyptian history. The lists usually quoted place the pharaohs in Dynasties which were invented by a priest (Manetho) writing a political treatise in the 3rd C BC to 'prove' to the Greek invaders that Egyptian history went back further than theirs.

No copies of Manetho's work exist, we only have translations of them into Latin by Eusabius (4th C AD) and Julius Africanus (3rd C AD). Neither list agrees as to names, order of reign, or length of reign.

To give one example of the problem: Manetho's 20th dynasty (a very long one) appear to have actually been a succession of high priests at a temple complex off in an oasis.

Some historians have suggested that Egyptian history has a section of some 640 years that are duplicated. Since so much of Near eastern history is dated by the Eyptian chronology, if you take this 640 years out the dark age disappears from between the fall of the Cretan civilisation and the rise of the Hellenic.

And, it also slides the female pharaoh Hatsheput, who went on a trip to an unlocated 'holy land', forward in time to appear as Queen of Sheba at the courts of King Solomon who reigned in the only land to carry the appelation 'Holy Land', but which didn't exist when Hatsheput officially lived.

The lists have never been really checked against the inscriptions discovered and translated by the archaeologists. A number of historians will admit that the lists are wrong, but to overset the entire assembly of university history departments? Unthinkable.

If we can get dating wrong on earth, why SHOULDN'T the Pernese?
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Old Nov 16 2009, 03:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Incorrect Calendar

I repeat -- they had harpers, Weyrleaders, Lord Holders and Craftmasters all over Pern keeping records of events, and copying records as they became illegible. And I'm betting there would be a Pern-wide drum-message on New Turn's Day giving out the date (with a correction a few months later if Thread had been expected and never arrived). How could they lose 14 whole turns?

I wonder if something happened in the first Long Interval, when they decided Thread wasn't coming back and maybe started over with a new way of recording the date? And then got mixed up when they reverted to the older turn-of-Pass/Interval system? Or maybe there was a total breakdown of law and order when Thread didn't come back that first time. They'd have started the expected Pass with strong Hold leaders and united Holds, who would have soon become resentful about paying tithes to the Weyrs and getting nothing in return. Later some of them may have decided to increase their holdings at the expense of neighbouring Holds, and wars could have broken out all over the place. I suppose in 200 turns of relative chaos some of the many records may have been lost, but the Weyr records should have been safe enough.

Or here's a thought --- did they at some point decide to start their history from the founding of Fort Weyr? That would be about right, I think it was opened up somewhere between Years 10 and 19. Can anyone pin down the date a bit closer?

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Old Nov 17 2009, 06:35 AM   #11
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Default Re: Incorrect Calendar

I do have SoP handy but can't read it right now, if you can give me what dates you are looking for I can look them up and edit this post for you.
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Old Nov 17 2009, 03:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: Incorrect Calendar

It only takes one person squinting at records and misreading a 2 as a 5 or a 6 as a 9 or 8 as 3 to have dates get copied wrong... It's even possible to mistake a 3 for a 5 if the writing is scrunched enough.
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Old Nov 17 2009, 04:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Incorrect Calendar

With the way the Pernese tend to number things according to the current Pass/Interval rather than the absolute year, I would think it would it would be easy to get off in the years. Especially with Passes and Intervals not being perfect 50/200 years but instead vary slightly in length.
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Old Nov 17 2009, 05:56 PM   #14
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All this supposes that they were using Arabic numerals. What if they had reverted to Greek style use of letters to denote numbers? Or wrote them out in binary? Very easy to misread binary.
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Old Nov 18 2009, 12:58 AM   #15
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Why would they do that?
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Old Nov 18 2009, 07:20 AM   #16
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Cheryl: there are still muddles here from when dates were reckoned by Regnal Years which is the same sort of thing.

If they were calling a turn 49 of the Xth fall, and the fall stopped; then that turn would also be turn 1 of the interval. Some records might record one or the other. Not many people would bother to date their records with both. Over time direct knowledge would die out and the muddles start. But many people wouldn't care WHICH turn it was so long as they got their crops in and harvested in due time.
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Old Nov 18 2009, 10:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P'ter View Post
<SNIP>

If they were calling a turn 49 of the Xth fall, and the fall stopped; then that turn would also be turn 1 of the interval. Some records might record one or the other. Not many people would bother to date their records with both. Over time direct knowledge would die out and the muddles start. But many people wouldn't care WHICH turn it was so long as they got their crops in and harvested in due time.
They would number the turn starting on New Turns Day. If any Thread fell during the turn, it would be correctly numbered as a turn of the current Pass. If no Thread fell at all, then I think they would just go back and renumber it in the records as the first turn of the next Interval.

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Old Nov 19 2009, 05:42 AM   #18
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But think of the work that involves. Every journal and log in every hold and weyr would have to be changed. Some would inevitably get missed. Hence the confusion.
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Old Nov 19 2009, 01:27 PM   #19
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Depends how they went about keeping records --- day-by-day, at Turns End, or at intervals through the turn. If everyone who had to keep records accumulated their own notes for the current turn in a box, and handed them in at the end of the turn to be included (if significant enough) in the official Hold or Craft-hall records, there'd be nothing to change. And the turn number would only appear at the head of each page, so not much to change even if they did work on the record more often than just at Turns End.

Possibly some of the smallest holds didn't keep records at all, like those hill-tribes who wouldn't have harpers around at any price.

The Star Stones were a good way to predict when the Red Star was about to start bringing Thread. I wonder how accurate they were at the other end of the cycle.

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Old Nov 19 2009, 05:29 PM   #20
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I would have thought that every hold (bigger than a cothold) would have to keep track of what was taken to gathers and sold, and what was bought in at gathers or by trading with other holds nearby.

A careful holder would also have to keep records of stock breeding and losses, what strains of crops were planted and where, and harvest records.

The major holds, exercising a judicial role, would also have to keep records of fines and banishments etc.

Nerilka and her mother kept records of medicines made up and dispensed.
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Old Nov 20 2009, 02:15 PM   #21
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I guess I was thinking more about subsistence farmers, and those hill-people who keep themselves to themselves. They might be using tally-sticks to count up their crops and animals so they could properly tithe to their overlord (if any) or directly to the Weyr, and might never actually write anything down. They'd rely on memory for a lot of things.

However, this is beside the point, and I'm not sure why I raised it. THEY might not know what turn it was, but there were plenty of other holders keeping detailed records, who could compare notes and correct the date when necessary.

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Old Jul 15 2011, 05:23 AM   #22
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Another revisited post...

Before I start, to respond to the question of how the years got so mixed up, I think it's said in the early pages of SOP that it was a result of the timelines being written to match the perceived Red Star orbit of 250 Years. When this was a larger or smaller number, the years got jumbled.

Anyway, I've noticed the timeline I wrote "several turns ago" is wrong, and thus I had another look through a few books to attempt to rectify this. Here's my findings:

MORETA NOTES

58 - First Pass
(150 First Interval - 200 Years)
258 - Second Pass
(200 Second Interval - 250 Years)
508 - Third Pass
(200 Third Interval - 250 Years)
758 - Fourth Pass
(400 Long Interval - 450 Years)
1208 - Fifth Pass
(150 Fifth Interval - 200 Years)
1458 - Sixth Pass
(250 Sixth Interval - 300 Years)
1758 - Seventh Pass
(200 Seventh Interval - 250 Years)
2008 - Eighth Pass
(350 Long Interval - 400 Years)
2408 - Ninth Pass

This contradicts not only the official lists given in the two guide books, which list the Sixth & Ninth Pass as being on 1508 & 2508, respectively, but also the main story itself, which lists the events as taking place in 1541; seven years before the end of the Pass. I would have thought this suggested that the story was updated to accommodate the guide books, but since they list 1558 as the end of the Sixth Pass, this obviously isn’t right. This could be where one of AIVAS’ noted calendar mishaps resulted historically.

Oddly, despite the guidebooks listing Long Intervals as being 450 years long (two intervals and one absent fall), AIVAS still mentions them as being 400 years long. Presumably AIVAS had not calculated the error in the calendar at this point. AIVAS errs again in the same book, informing Jaxom that the Second Long Interval began some 600 years before the present date, despite the fact that with either, it only adds up to 450 or 500 years; presumably the latter, as this is closer to what AIVAS said, and fits with the more likely 450 year length. This setup could also be supported by AIVAS deducing that the Long Intervals were caused by the genetically-engineered virus infecting the Thread when the Red Star went through the Oort Cloud.

One good thing about the incorrect timeline listed in “Moreta” is that it helps us speculate about the length of AIVAS’ corrected timeline - if this was considered accurate at some point, then perhaps this is what the records listed for each Pass/Interval.

ALL THE WEYRS OF PERN NOTES

We can discern the following from AIVAS’ calculations and other book notes:
*The Red Star’s orbit is not stable, and the length changes each cycle.
*The shortest recorded orbit was 240 years, and the longest was 258.
*The shortest recorded Pass was 46 years, and the longest was 52.
*The First Pass and Interval must logically have been 50 and 200 years.
*The Second Pass was 46 years long. The Interval can be assumed to have been 204 years long, as the Third Pass begins on 508 AL.
*The Fifth Pass was 52 years long.
*The Sixth Pass was 50 years long.
*The Seventh Pass was 48 years long.
*The Ninth Pass will be 47 years long, and will end on 2568AL.

One of AIVAS’ notes is somewhat confusing:
”The orbit varies by almost ten years in four Passes, three were 258 and one was 240.” (ATWOP, Page 193, 1991 Bantam Press Hardback)

It is unclear whether this statement means the four Passes were consecutive or not, however, at no point in Pern’s history have there been four consecutive Passes, due to the Long Intervals. This could mean that the four Passes are not linked in such a way, although it could also mean that AIVAS was ignoring the Long Intervals, and instead meaning the Third Pass & Interval, and then the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Passes & Intervals. One could also suggest that AIVAS was referring to the time that would have been occupied by a Pass in a Long Interval, but since he lists them as being 400 years in length, this is unlikely.

CONCLUSIONS
There’s only so much that can be discerned from these notes; it’s still not actually enough to make an accurate replica of the “AIVAS Adjusted Turn” timeline. We don’t know how long many of the orbits and passes were, and we could speculate, but there are plenty of ways the numbers could be arranged.

Here’s one of the possible layouts; this one allows the Third Pass and Sixth Pass to match the dates given for them in their respective books, although not the original dates given for the Ninth Pass. I think the Eighth Pass must have been nearly fifty years, otherwise the Oldtimers would have warned the Ninth Pass that the Falls had been odd.

First Pass - 8 to 58 (50 Years)
First Interval - 58 to 258 (200 Years)
Second Pass - 258 to 304 (46 Years)
Second Interval - 304 to 508 (204 Years)
Third Pass - 508 to 557 (49 Years)
Third Interval - 557 to 766 (209 Years)
Fourth Pass - 766 to 814 (48 Years)
First Long Interval - 814 to 1268 (454 Years)
Fifth Pass - 1268 to 1320 (52 Years)
Fifth Interval - 1320 to 1508 (188 Years)
Sixth Pass - 1508 to 1558 (50 Years)
Sixth Interval - 1558 to 1776 (208 Years)
Seventh Pass - 1776 to 1814 (48 Years)
Seventh Interval - 1814 to 2024 (210 Years)
Eighth Pass - 2024 to 2073 (49 Years)
Second Long Interval - 2073 to 2521 (448 Years)
Ninth Pass - 2521 to 2568 (47 Years)

I seem to remember hearing that Todd McCaffrey helped out with some of the things in the DLG? He might have had a hand in drawing up the old timelines, back when 2508 was the year the Ninth Pass started on. Someone needs to get him or Anne to take another look at the timelines and update them, before things get out of hand and the books start contradicting one another - for one, we're already into the Third Pass, and if Todd messes up the length of the orbit, then we've got another issue on our hands...

EDIT: Gaah, I did it again! This version doesn't fit the Sixth Pass datings as given in the earlier books, which is 1498 to 1548! Although, since we've established that the dates became jumbled over the years, this may not be right either.

Last edited by Almaron; Jul 15 2011 at 07:41 PM.
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Old Jul 15 2011, 01:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P'ter View Post
Well there was a time on earth when the West European calender got out of sync by 11 days. The church ordered the correction and there were riots by people who thought they were being deprived of 11 days of life (a lot of folks thought you your deathday was preordained and the removal of the days would mean that everybody died on the wrong days so St Peter would not be ready for them).
Which shows a frightening lack of confidence in heaven's organizational skills, really...

Honestly, I treat the dates in Pern like stardates in Star Trek--I go LALALALA I'M IGNORING YOU a lot.
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