Chat Log: August 7th, 2010

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[12:56] #knownspace> senax: Hi
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[13:07] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Quiet for a first Saturday.
[13:08] #knownspace> SeanS: still a couple hours away from the 'official' start time
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[14:14] #knownspace> Lensman: Hi Merlin.
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[14:17] #knownspace> Lensman: Merlin, come when you can stay awhile! :)
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[14:33] #knownspace> nedry: dudes
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[14:35] #knownspace> Lensman: Nedry!
[14:35] #knownspace> Lensman: You know, we could be talking on the phone right now...
[14:36] #knownspace> nedry: i know. I have to try to glue the car roof box back together.
[14:36] #knownspace> nedry: i took it off so the car could be worked on, and some child or other jumped on it
[14:36] #knownspace> nedry: they only cost £400
[14:37] #knownspace> Lensman: What the futz is a "car roof box"?
[14:38] #knownspace> nedry: well, we do lots of camping and going to hippy dippy festivals... we have a big people mover car
[14:38] #knownspace> Lensman: (After Googling) A covered luggage rack?
[14:38] #knownspace> nedry: aye
[14:38] #knownspace> Lensman: I C
[14:39] #knownspace> nedry: you look less like you're from the ozarks then if you sling it all up there with a cargo net
[14:39] #knownspace> nedry: she who must be obeyed has decreed that I should repair it.
[14:40] #knownspace> Lensman: You're married to Ayesha? Kewl.
[14:40] #knownspace> nedry: who's Ayesha?
[14:41] #knownspace> Lensman: She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed. Not an H. Rider Haggard fan, are you?
[14:41] #knownspace> nedry: Never heard of that. The reference for me was from "Rumpole of the Bailey" where the barrister main character calls his wife "she who must be obeyed"
[14:42] #knownspace> nedry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumpole_of_the_Bailey
[14:43] #knownspace> Lensman: But I confess I've only read /King Solomon's Mines/.
[14:43] #knownspace> Lensman: ...and where do you think Rumpole got it from, hmmm?
[14:43] #knownspace> nedry: i have to go do this "project". Then I will be free.
[14:43] #knownspace> nedry: i should do it now, before I lose all motivation
[14:44] #knownspace> Lensman: Well, I hope you'll call me sometime this evening!
[14:44] #knownspace> nedry: will try!
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[15:09] #knownspace> dmac44: Hi guys
[15:09] #knownspace> Lensman: Hi dmac
[15:11] #knownspace> dmac44: I see Betrayer of Worlds is up on Amazon
[15:12] #knownspace> dmac44: for an Oct 12th release
[15:14] #knownspace> Lensman: And /Stars and Gods/ is due out this month. Still can't find a listing of contents for it table of contents for it!
[15:15] #knownspace> Lensman: I did e-mail Tor about that early this AM.
[15:15] #knownspace> dmac44: Any topic for today?
[15:15] #knownspace> Lensman: Not yet. What do *you* want to talk about?
[15:16] #knownspace> dmac44: I don't have any topics on my mind right now
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[15:22] #knownspace> Lensman: Hello all!
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[15:24] #knownspace> Lensman: Well, if we're all in the "I dunno, what do *you* want to talk about?" mode, here's a question: Why are there Slaver Sunflowers on the Ringworld?
[15:24] #knownspace> Lensman: For that matter, why are there Bandersnatchi on the Ringworld?
[15:25] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Well Ringworld is effectavily a Zoo.
[15:25] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Why else martians?
[15:25] #knownspace> dmac44: You want me to give away my blog?
[15:26] #knownspace> Lensman: Not if you don't want to.
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[15:28] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: I have been watching Larry add several friends on FaceBook, yet I don't rate :(
[15:28] #knownspace> dmac44: Two possibilities. First, the City Builders brought them back from one of their interstellar expeditions and they got loose when the cities fell. Second, and my favorite, we know the Martians and Bandersnatchi were broguht to the Ringworld by the protectors. It's possible that the sunflowers are sentient too. Not individually but collectively.
[15:28] #knownspace> Larry: By golly, I was right. I chose the wrong route in and found nobody. Hi, everyone!
[15:29] #knownspace> dmac44: Hi Larry
[15:29] #knownspace> Lensman: Hi larry!
[15:30] #knownspace> Lensman: Hey, Larry, I cannot find a listing of the contents of /Stars and Gods/ online. Can you point me in the right direction for that?
[15:30] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Better question is how did we end up with so many divergent Pak species surviving on Ringworld.
[15:30] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Should have collapsed to one or zero given Pak mentality.
[15:31] #knownspace> Larry: I've got a lousy memory for names. And--when I don't know a name, it doesn't get on my Facebook.
[15:31] #knownspace> Lensman: Merlin: So far as we know, the speciation didn't occur until after nearly all the protectors died off on the Ringworld.
[15:32] #knownspace> Lensman: They were too few to control the speciation by so many and so wide-spread hominids.
[15:34] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: The control center always had active machines with the ability to traverse the ring. Either it was a grand experiment in evolution or their was a very indeffiernet Pak in charge. Either way insanity was in charge.
[15:34] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: City builders were certainly not original Pak and still predate the fall.
[15:35] #knownspace> Larry: I don't know how to get a Contents for STARS AND GODS, except to type it out, and I'm too lazy.
[15:36] #knownspace> Lensman: The way Pak protectors prevent mutation is by examining every infant, and killing the ones which don't smell right. If there are only a handful of protectors on the entire Ringworld, that's no longer possible. There are waaaaay too many being born every day to check most of them.
[15:37] #knownspace> dmac44: Maybe some Pak had a brillant Ah Ha idea and decided that it didn't want the Ringworld to follow the same pattern as the Pak homeworld and that a different paradigm was in order?
[15:37] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: You see breeders building cities, you destroy that population. No sniffing required.
[15:37] #knownspace> Larry: Indifferent Pak protector: maybe. Grand experiment: maybe a protector had a theory. Sociologists with theories tend to run them with humans: see USSR.
[15:38] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Humm, Red Pak theory.
[15:39] #knownspace> Lensman: The story we've been given is that speciation on the Ringworld didn't occur until after most of the protectors died out. Note Proserpina said that after a certain period of time, she couldn't get the active tree-of-life to grow... altho her neutered strain still grew. The implication there is that something killed all the tree-of-life on the Ringworld. A virus or mold, maybe. That could have...
[15:39] #knownspace> Lensman: ...been an intentional attack by some individual or group of protectors, of course.
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[15:42] #knownspace> Lensman: Merlin: Killing off cities doesn't solve the problem. By then it's far, far too late; they've *already* evolved.
[15:43] #knownspace> Larry: This really is open for discussion. I made some notes at some point, but no firm decisions.
[15:44] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Though true it still does not answer how it got to that level. Insanity is still my vote.
[15:45] #knownspace> Lensman: Larry: Yes, you obviously left it open as to just why nearly all the protectors on the Ringworld died off. Or-- my own pet theory-- they didn't die off, they went elsewhere and built another megastructure which was hidden better. And left the Ringworld as bait and as a distraction.
[15:45] #knownspace> Lensman: A decoy.
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[15:46] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Return to Ringworld game (non-cannon I know) ends with a second Ringworld which is indeed a facinating thought.
[15:46] #knownspace> Lensman: In Rw, Louis suggests the Ringworld Engineers went elsewhere and build a Dyson sphere. In RC, he suggests they went elsewhere and built a Mark II Ringworld. Maybe he was right...
[15:46] #knownspace> Larry: Lensman: interesting theory, which I've read before, via you. Worth consideration.
[15:47] #knownspace> dmac44: would it be lucky for humans to have a ringworld full of Pak protectors somewhere nearby?
[15:47] #knownspace> dmac44: My guess is not
[15:47] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Er... No.
[15:47] #knownspace> Larry: Note that the Mark 2 Ringworld includes a Dyson sphere with windows in place of shadow squares.
[15:49] #knownspace> Lensman: Larry: What I find *most* intriguing is that when I asked you at a con in 1981 why the Pak would build something so fragile as the Ring for their breeders, you replied that breeding space was not the primary purpose of building it. But you never said what the primary purpose *was*. When I brought the subject up again recently, you said that was an idea you had back then, but I guess you...
[15:49] #knownspace> Lensman: ...didn't develop that idea in subsequent Ringworld sequels. I'd still like to know what that idea was. The idea that the Ringworld is a decoy is something I developed from that line of thought, but I guess it's not where you were going.
[15:50] #knownspace> Lensman: The problem is defining what is "lucky" for a human. It's argued in RE that Teela being turned into a protector was lucky for her. Personally, I don't buy it. For one thing, that means she can't have any more children. For another, it greatly limits her choices.
[15:51] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Protectors have no choices, it is the limit when you can see all options.
[15:51] #knownspace> Lensman: At the least, the "selfish gene" shouldn't want the person to turn into a protector until he/she is past normal child-bearing age.
[15:53] #knownspace> Lensman: So if the so-called Teela Brown Gene is actually in the genes, then it shouldn't allow its possessor to turn into a protector at a young age. Since Teela did, my fan theory is that she had a *defective* luck gene... and therefore, the "Teela Brown Gene" is mis-named.
[15:53] #knownspace> Lensman: This is precisely what Nessus suggested in Rw; that Teela's luck was undependable.
[15:54] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Lottery gene is perhaps more correct. And hers was just not the ultimate one.
[15:54] #knownspace> Larry: Don't neglect the alt theory: Teela's luck (up to Ringworld) was a statistical fluke.
[15:54] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: She was able to be found, albeit a fluke indeed.
[15:55] #knownspace> senax: Or Teela coming to the Ringworld, having offspring, then becoming a protector was lucky for her descendants...
[15:55] #knownspace> Lensman: I don't buy the statistical fluke idea. If Teela was clumsy because she never fell, never dropped things, never banged into doorjambs even though she was clumsy... then something was constantly and continually protecting her from even very minor harm, all the time.
[15:56] #knownspace> dmac44: if Teela's luck gene doesn't work then the human race is not lucky going forward and Larry, you can continue to write interesting stories in the KS universe. :)
[15:56] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Yeah!
[15:57] #knownspace> Lensman: So far as we know, Teela had only one child. That's not what we'd expect from a "lucky gene"; the gene should propagate itself. Teela should have been like Greatly 'Stelle; surrounded in her old age by a large number of grandkids who adored her.
[15:58] #knownspace> Lensman: Oh, there's an "infinite luck" gene which spreads thruout humanity in the era of the Thousand Worlds, all right. But it should be called the Norman Haywood gene.
[15:58] #knownspace> senax: I think one of the characters speculated in RE that what was lucky for Teela's descendants might not be lucky for her personally.
[15:58] #knownspace> Dan: It always struck me as Louis being the lucky one. Everyone else around him was just along for the ride.
[15:59] #knownspace> Lensman: There are a lot of speculations in the various Rw books about Teela's luck. You have to ask: What was its goal? I submit that killing Teela off at age 43 after having only one child was not its goal.
[16:00] #knownspace> Lensman: Nor do I buy that it was "lucky" for Teela's descendants for her to have only one child.
[16:01] #knownspace> Lensman: Of course, we can speculate that she actually had more... Rw implies that Teela will mate with Seeker and have children. If she really is infinitely lucky, then she should find a genetic match on the Ringworld, a male with which she can mate.
[16:02] #knownspace> dmac44: I thought Tella couldn't procreate with Seeker
[16:02] #knownspace> Lensman: dmac: It's implied in Rw that she can; it's pretty much stated in sequels that she couldn't. RC jumps thru some hoops to retcon she and Louis having a child.
[16:03] #knownspace> senax: I don't think it bears close examination...as was suggested more than once, idea of the Birthright Lotteries as " breeding for luck" was a misguided idea, not necessarily because it backfired, but because it wouldn't have any such effect.
[16:03] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Except for the bearer of the fene.
[16:03] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: fene=gene
[16:03] #knownspace> Lensman: But we're not bound by what Louis says; only by what the Omniscient Narrator says. And the Narrator never says Seeker and Teela did *not* have children.
[16:04] #knownspace> senax: IOW, seeing descendants of the lottery winners as "lucky" is just seeing a pattern in random outcomes.
[16:04] #knownspace> dmac44: Larry, any thoughts on Lensman's specultaions about Teela and Seeker?
[16:05] #knownspace> Dan: Unless you adopt the premise that "Luck" actually *is* a psychic power, genetically inheritable. If that were so, then breeding for luck would be no different than breeding for any other genitic trait.
[16:06] #knownspace> Lensman: senax: You're rejecting the whole idea that Teela was inordinately lucky? Then explain why "clumsy" Teela didn't fall down when casually walking around on the slick Ringworld floor, when Louis immediately fell on his arse and could hardly stay upright after that.
[16:06] #knownspace> Larry: I refer you to CANDIDE. Any chain of events can be seen as "the best of all possible worlds." Luck = Providence.
[16:09] #knownspace> senax: Spike Lee: "The shoes! It's gotta be the shoes!"
[16:09] #knownspace> Larry: Don't understand "shoes".
[16:09] #knownspace> senax: I'm not arguing in favor of any particular interpretation; just pointing out alternatives
[16:10] #knownspace> senax: Sorry, Larry, it was a quote from an old commercial..Nike I think.
[16:10] #knownspace> Lensman: I've summarized the improbable events which may or may not point to Teela having "psychic luck" here: http://www.freewebs.com/knownspace/t.htm/#tee2
[16:11] #knownspace> dmac44: the best of all possible worlds sounds a little like one of the theories of qunatum mechanics which sums the probabilities of all possible worlds into one world line
[16:11] #knownspace> Lensman: senax is pointing out that Teela might merely have been wearing shoes which gave her much better traction than Louis.
[16:12] #knownspace> senax: Yeah, but it was just a lame joke.
[16:12] #knownspace> Lensman: No actually, to play devil's advocate, if I wanted to argue your case senax, that's exactly what I'd argue. It's *possible*, after all.
[16:16] #knownspace> Lensman: Quoting from the interstitial notes in /Tales of Known Space/: " It was the birthright lotteries, which made being born a matter of sheer luck, that eventually created the Teela Brown gene. Teela Brown's story is chronicled in Ringworld. There were other teelas on Earth, and their effect was catastrophic, at least for a writer. Stories about infinitely lucky people tend to be dull."
[16:16] #knownspace> dmac44: hence my earlier comment
[16:17] #knownspace> Lensman: Note: Infinitely lucky. That's the narrator talking. Larry as the author is of course entitled to change his mind... but when that book was published, that was how it was.
[16:19] #knownspace> Dan: Luckily for us, there doesn't seem to have been a "last word" on the subject. So we can still debate it, along with so many other things. :)
[16:20] #knownspace> Larry: Okay, I'm nailed. Teela is indeed lucky.
[16:20] #knownspace> Dan: LOL!
[16:21] #knownspace> Larry: Inconsistencies in Known Space are known to exist.
[16:21] #knownspace> Dan: Just like in life, Larry.
[16:22] #knownspace> senax: :-)
[16:22] #knownspace> Larry: :)
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[16:23] #knownspace> Lensman: I think it's pretty clear that Teela's Luck is a "moving target" as you progress from /Ringworld/ to /Ringworld's Children/.
[16:24] #knownspace> Larry: I spent the four Ringworld books dealing with Teela's luck. Your turn.
[16:24] #knownspace> Lensman: Because clearly Larry did *not* consider himself bound by that statement in /Tales of Known Space/ when he wrote the Ringworld sequels.
[16:24] #knownspace> Larry: I've got an afternoon of errands to run. Have fun.
[16:25] #knownspace> Lensman: Bye, Larry.
[16:29] #knownspace> dmac44: Teela is kinda scary. If I met her in a bar I'd probably walk oustide and hope for fog. :)
[16:30] #knownspace> Dan: LOL!
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[16:31] #knownspace> Lensman: "Fog"?!?!? "For a Foggy Night" + Teela Brown's ability to unconsciously manipulate probablility = the worst disaster you can imagine! Or come to think of it-- even worse than you *can* imagine.
[16:33] #knownspace> Lensman: Well, the idea that Nessus could use Teela for a "good luck charm" was pretty stupid from the get-go. Just because the person next to you is lucky... If both of you are "innocent bystanders", who's the random shot gonna hit? Not her!
[16:33] #knownspace> Dan: I think the sticking point would be whether one was in control of their luck, of if their luck was controling them.
[16:33] #knownspace> Lensman: Sure. If Teela had conscious control of her luck, it would be a *very* different story.
[16:35] #knownspace> Lensman: But I agree, the safest thing-- or least dangerous-- would be to get as far away from Teela as fast as possible.
[16:36] #knownspace> dmac44: Lensman: If you pissed Teela off you're right. If she liked you, there would be no fog. If she didn't care one way of the other you'd have a chance.
[16:36] #knownspace> Lensman: Nedry: Do you live in the UK? I forget.
[16:37] #knownspace> nedry: yep near blackburn lancashire
[16:37] #knownspace> nedry: the place with the 4,000 holes
[16:37] #knownspace> Lensman: But Teela has no control over her luck. Would it matter if she was ticked off at you or not? I don't think so.
[16:37] #knownspace> Dan: I used to have a girlfriend who was convinced that I could control traffic lights. I roll up to a stoplight, snap my fingers, and take a deep breath. When I exhaled, most of the time the light would change.But I ws just filling what time I knew the light used to cycle through its settings.
[16:38] #knownspace> Lensman: Nedry: Hmmm, well then a phone call probably isn't best. Can you do Instant Message?
[16:38] #knownspace> nedry: heh heh heh. we convinced Patty Dixon that you could do that by flashing your headlights at them
[16:38] #knownspace> nedry: ...and that Canada had metric time
[16:38] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Skype is free folks.
[16:39] #knownspace> nedry: i've got skype
[16:39] #knownspace> Lensman: But then I'd have to attach a mike to my 'puter and install Skype.
[16:39] #knownspace> dmac44: metric time? Like contra polar energy? :)
[16:39] #knownspace> Dan: My only trick was having driven on the same roads for decades and learning which lights held long intervals and which were on demand swiches.
[16:39] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Sheesh, ye sound like Larry.
[16:40] #knownspace> SeanS: back from the beach
[16:40] #knownspace> Dan: Nah. Wasn't something I set out to do. Just like going to the same bookstore every week and being able to notice when a new book was on the shelves.
[16:41] #knownspace> dmac44: if Teela's luck isn't under her control why is Louis so scared of her?
[16:41] #knownspace> SeanS: gotta hang up clothes tho
[16:41] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Nay not ye Dan, Lensman. Inconvienent beacuse he would have to install a software package.
[16:42] #knownspace> Dan: Probably because what Tela's luck considers lucky for Tela wouldn have to be lucky for anyone near her.
[16:42] #knownspace> dmac44: so luck falls off as an inverse square function of distance?
[16:43] #knownspace> Dan: No, just that motivations for the "luck force" would only apply to the entity possed by the "luck."
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[16:44] #knownspace> Dan: possessed
[16:45] #knownspace> Dan: I was at a party once when the front porch of the house collapsed at my feet. I was standing on the only section that didn't cave in. Lucky for me, but not the other folks on that porch. As an example.
[16:46] #knownspace> dmac44: so luck is relative
[16:46] #knownspace> Dan: Yeah.
[16:47] #knownspace> Dan: It's the "we have no way of knowing the motive the luck is working under" problem.
[16:47] #knownspace> dmac44: hidden variables?
[16:48] #knownspace> SeanS: back from hanging up clothes
[16:48] #knownspace> SeanS: what's the topic?
[16:49] #knownspace> SeanS: dan, friends came over last night so i didnt have a chance to read. will tomorrow.
[16:49] #knownspace> Dan: Suppose that the entire Ringworld series *really* meant that "if Tela hadn't gone to the Ringworld, she would have died on Earth without ever having *any* children?"
[16:50] #knownspace> Dan: Wouldn't that tend to put a damper on your enjoyment of the story if that had been spelled out in the first book?
[16:50] #knownspace> SeanS: i thought the perils of the ringworld werer what she needed to grow up
[16:51] #knownspace> SeanS: and thinking along that line to the original name of protector.... 'the adults' it kinda worked. ;)
[16:51] #knownspace> Dan: We're just debating the luck itself, at the moment. :)
[16:52] #knownspace> SeanS: k
[16:52] #knownspace> SeanS: has ed or larry been in?
[16:53] #knownspace> Dan: The phrase "lucky for Tela" implies that she wanted the outcome, actually desired it and the luck granted her wish. If the luck was operating on its own agenda, Tela would just be another tool the luck used to gain its desired result.
[16:54] #knownspace> Dan: Larry just left.
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[16:54] #knownspace> SeanS: i would think that luck would be on its own and teela was just an instrument.
[16:55] #knownspace> Dan: If that premise is correct, then "Tela's Luck" was non-speaking character totally separate from Tela herself. I think that'd be a hard story to write, that way.
[16:56] #knownspace> SeanS: thats always the way i see it... teela as a puppet for her own luck with no true choice.
[16:57] #knownspace> Dan: Yeah, same here. But until today I'd never articulated it in so many words.
[16:58] #knownspace> SeanS: i have not scrolled back
[16:58] #knownspace> SeanS: ac fixed tho... thank god
[16:58] #knownspace> Dan: Sean, no rush on the story. Just enjoy it when you have time. I found 2 typos last night when I read it at work and corrected them this morning.
[16:59] #knownspace> SeanS: i have the night off from taking care of julie. might break out the scope later
[17:00] #knownspace> Dan: My English Teacher friend is also reading it to let me know what grammar mistakes I made.
[17:00] #knownspace> Dan: He'll probably take a week, LOL!
[17:01] #knownspace> SeanS: cool... my buddy gary out of the blue gave me a 9.25 inch shmidt cassegrain celestron scope for at least a year. he said it was just gathering dust in his garage after he bought the 16 inch.
[17:01] #knownspace> Dan: Cool!
[17:02] #knownspace> SeanS: it has an equatorial mount
[17:03] #knownspace> SeanS: i feel it is an eternal loan.... tis his but basically mine for ever. hell of a starter scope
[17:03] #knownspace> Dan: I have a little, cheap telescope. Never could get used to having to keep moving it to keep things in the field of view. :) "...it moves."
[17:04] #knownspace> SeanS: i have not been here to mess with it due to julie's break. i have looked through it one time at night in 3 weeks. but viewing has sucked for most of that time
[17:05] #knownspace> Dan: I enjoyed playing with the one I have several times. First time I used it I felt like I could just reach through it and grab a moon rock. LOL!
[17:06] #knownspace> SeanS: this thing is ultra kick ass.
[17:06] #knownspace> SeanS: ronn! would know exactly what it is
[17:06] #knownspace> SeanS: being an astronomer and all
[17:06] #knownspace> Dan: As I said, mine is just a cheap little Bushnell. Better thn a rifle scope, but not a whole lot.
[17:07] #knownspace> SeanS: i think you can see every planet but pluto with this thing
[17:07] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Lucky for ye then that Pluto is no longer a planet.
[17:08] #knownspace> SeanS: there is that ;)
[17:09] #knownspace> Dan: 50 minutes 'til I have to leave for work. Blah!
[17:09] #knownspace> SeanS: thinking about buying a go to controller for the mount... all it does now is track.
[17:10] #knownspace> SeanS: but actually, i should learn the sky a bit before doing so
[17:12] #knownspace> Lensman: (Picking the conversation back up from upstream a ways) Why is Louis so scared of Teela? Because he came to believe it controlled everything that was happening to him. Including hanging upside down in the Police Building trap and nearly falling to his death.
[17:12] #knownspace> SeanS: speaker wasnt very happy with that either
[17:14] #knownspace> Lensman: Well see, here's the thing: What you *want* and what's actually *lucky* for you often would be very different. I'm sure everyone has heard the expression "Be careful what you wish for-- you may get it."
[17:15] #knownspace> SeanS: pretty sure that is basically what i said. teela is a puppet for her own luck.
[17:16] #knownspace> Lensman: And no matter what anyone says, I cannot believe that Teela being turned into a protector at age 40-42 or so, and having only one child, then being killed... was "lucky". Sure, you can claim it was better than something else, but "not being as unlucky as possible" is a long way from being actually "lucky"... let alone "infinitely lucky". Teela was certainly *not* infinitely lucky! Not if she...
[17:16] #knownspace> Lensman: ...actually died in RE, and apparently she actually did.
[17:17] #knownspace> Lensman: Sean: Larry has been in; Ed will not be here today. He says he's working at a con.
[17:19] #knownspace> Lensman: And re Skype: The thing is that I was trying to get Mark to call me right *then*, and if I had to futz around with installing Skype and scrounging up a microphone... it wouldn't be right then.
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[17:24] #knownspace> Lensman: Near the end of Rw, Louis suggests to Teela that that her luck controls her actions so completely that she has little if any free will. So that idea is in the book too.
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[17:24] #knownspace> SeanS: yep
[17:25] #knownspace> SeanS: and i agree with it
[17:25] #knownspace> Dan: All the luck in the world can't make you happy if what you desire isn't what your luck desires.
[17:25] #knownspace> SeanS: agreed
[17:26] #knownspace> Lensman: Yup.
[17:26] #knownspace> Lensman: Being lucky <> being happy.

[17:27] #knownspace> Lensman: Goes right along with what you want isn't the same as what's best for you. What's best for you may make you very unhappy, at the time.
[17:28] #knownspace> Lensman: So for me, the biggest question is: What is the *goal* of Teela's luck? And I don't necessarily believe it's to make her a fully rounded human being, either. If it's the selfish gene, why would it "care" if she could empathize with others or not? It should only care that she be protected from harm and live long enuff to have lots of children.
[17:29] #knownspace> Dan: I don't think what we can determine a goal for the luck without knowing the path Tela would have lived *without* the luck.
[17:30] #knownspace> Lensman: But that's not all of it, either. Genes don't evolve just to benefit the species; there is a balance between benefiting the species and benefiting the individual. Any "luck gene" should guarantee a long, healthy life.
[17:30] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: But of course she would not have had a chance to be born without the luck. If you believe the experiment.
[17:31] #knownspace> SeanS: true
[17:31] #knownspace> Lensman: Dan: Why? If it really makes you infinitely lucky, then what you would have been without it is irrelevant. Infinite luck doesn't mean your life is just a *little* bit better than it would have been otherwise; it means your life is as good as it's possible for life to be.
[17:33] #knownspace> Lensman: But again, it's Teela's Luck which is deciding what is "as good as possible"... not Teela herself.
[17:34] #knownspace> Dan: Hmmm... I'll think about that. It's just that stating a goal for an ability seems like turning it into a character. As I said, I'll keep thinking about it.
[17:34] #knownspace> Dan: But I need to leave so I can start getting ready for work. It's been fun! See you on the list, folks!
[17:35] #knownspace> Arkanis: Um, hello... Im new here but Ive been reading whats been said before and it seems to me that Teela may not even have luck, it may just be the luck of those humans living some 20,000 years in the future. Does luck violate causality?
[17:35] #knownspace> Lensman: Arkanis: RE implies that Teela's luck violates causality, yes.
[17:36] #knownspace> Lensman: But of course, this is all Louis' speculation, and he presents several mutually contradictory theories. Hence the fun of arguing over them... or over theories he never thought of.
[17:36] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Louis and Nessus.
[17:37] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Nessus doubted the luck because in the end she was able to be found and the other canidates were not.
[17:38] #knownspace> Lensman: Arkanis: Your thoughts are not that far from my own. I see Teela as an agent for those back on Earth who *do* have the Infinite Luck gene... their collective luck manipulates events to cause Teela to get something done which they need done. Therefore, Teela herself may not have the gene even in imperfect form. This works just as well if it's people 20,000 years in the future. Either way,...
[17:38] #knownspace> Lensman: ...Teela is an agent for others' infinite luck... not her own.
[17:40] #knownspace> Lensman: Merlin: Yes, Nessus did have some theories of his own.
[17:40] #knownspace> Arkanis: At this point the problem is beyond speculation, there are too many unknowns seeing as there is only one short story that takes place that far in the future
[17:40] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: I know, I need not validation of it.
[17:41] #knownspace> Lensman: One thing open to interpretation is whether or not it was lucky for Teela to come to the Ringworld or not. Louis claims that only on the Ringworld can Teela find the true range of experience to be fully human. This is nonsense, of course. She could have found that back on Earth if her luck hadn't molly-coddled her so completely.
[17:41] #knownspace> Lensman: Nothing is beyond speculation. :)
[17:42] #knownspace> Lensman: Maybe speculation is *pointless*, but we still can do it.
[17:44] #knownspace> Arkanis: I wonder if the known space humans will ever have luck or if the gene is now isolated to the ringworld. Hmmm... if thats true then Teela does have the gene or at least her ancestors will, meaning she has the pontential for the luck gene if not the gene itself
[17:45] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: A recessive carrier. Humm, or a partial carrier that the gene is only after its own survival.
[17:46] #knownspace> Lensman: No, there are plenty of "Teelas" left back on Earth. So we're told a couple of times in the interstitial notes and/or the intro to /Tales of Known Space/. That's why the so-called "Teela Brown gene" spreads thru humanity by the time of "Safe at Any Speed". Not from Teela's descendants, but from others.
[17:47] #knownspace> Lensman: This gene would always be expressed... because it's lucky for it to be expressed.
[17:48] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Aye, but I am refering to her spawn on RW and the fact that he has a viable mate as well.
[17:48] #knownspace> Lensman: Sorry Merlin, what is your point or your question again?
[17:48] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: And since they were breeding for the gene the gene could have evolved/changed.
[17:49] #knownspace> Arkanis: That could actually sove everything because in the "Safe at Any Speed" story the lucky human seems to have all the comforts they can imagine, well except for getting swollowed by a giant bird... Also the colony of Maragrave isnt neccecarrily a knownspace human coloy it could be a ringworld human colony for what ever reason.
[17:49] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Tela's spawn and potential mate on RW are now Adam and Eve for the Earth Human genome on RW. Lucky, eh?
[17:50] #knownspace> Lensman: Presumably the Infinite Luck ability did not exist before the Birthright Lotteries. Because that gene should spread thru the population *very* fast. If it had evolved earlier, it would have spread earlier.
[17:51] #knownspace> Lensman: Wembleth and Roxanny as Adam and Eve: I suppose so. Ordinarily you need a population of several hundred or a few thousand to prevent genetic drift and fatal inbreeding, but with that luck at work... there won't be any bad effects from inbreeding.
[17:52] #knownspace> Arkanis: Yah and they did talk about how other humans crashed on the ring
[17:53] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Therefor the gene possibly manuplipated events to where it had room to expand without interference. Presuming Roxanny was a lotto winner as well (can't remember if that was addressed).
[17:53] #knownspace> Lensman: Yes, good point, so there are other potential mates. Heck I *still* say that with infinite luck, you should be able to find a mate. Evolution is, after all, a result of random chance... why couldn't one of the Ringworld native species "just happen" to evolve to be a perfect match for Humans?
[17:54] #knownspace> Arkanis: The gene screws with time and space, the gene manipulates everything, hell, for all we know the gene caused the universe to support life or even caused the universe to exist.
[17:54] #knownspace> Arkanis: That is if we allow the gene to violate causality
[17:55] #knownspace> dmac44: well it is a psi gene and we don't know how that works
[17:55] #knownspace> Lensman: Roxanny doesn't need to be a lotto winner herself if her children carry the gene... and they will. If the Teela Brown gene violates continuity, it will protect her even before she becomes pregnant with a child carrying the gene.
[17:55] #knownspace> Lensman: ...er, I mean, if it violates causality...
[17:55] #knownspace> Lensman: Freudian slip there!
[17:56] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Can we presume that as a Protector that the Gene (if it is Psi) stopped working in Tela when she became protector? As they are said to be Psi dead.
[17:56] #knownspace> dmac44: good point
[17:57] #knownspace> Lensman: Merlin: That's my conclusion, yes. Dunno if everyone would agree. BTW this is another reason why it is *not* lucky for Teela to become a protector!
[17:57] #knownspace> Lensman: Wish I had thought to ask Larry about that!
[17:57] #knownspace> dmac44: it just means that Teela's chil's luck is stronger than her luck
[17:58] #knownspace> Arkanis: Is it possible that Teela lost the luck once she had her child? that would support the idea that its the humans in the future running the show.
[17:58] #knownspace> dmac44: that is "child's"
[17:58] #knownspace> Lensman: Not unless luck is a zero-sum game.
[17:59] #knownspace> Lensman: If the luck is in your genes, then having children won't diminish it.
[17:59] #knownspace> dmac44: but your children's luck could be stronger than your luck
[18:00] #knownspace> Arkanis: So kina, is luck an absolute.
[18:00] #knownspace> Lensman: With sufficient competition, luck *does* become a zero-sum game. If everyone is "infinitely lucky", then everyone is frex competing for the best mate. But if it's just Teela and her immediate children on the Ringworld, I can't think of any rational reason why there needs to be a trade-off between Teela's luck and her childrens' luck. There is plenty to go around.
[18:02] #knownspace> Lensman: No, I wouldn't say luck is an absolute. You can be slightly lucky, very lucky, or extraordinarily lucky. And the same for the other end of the spectrum-- being unlucky.
[18:03] #knownspace> dmac44: I suspect te unlucky genes self selected themselves out of existence
[18:03] #knownspace> Lensman: Yup.
[18:03] #knownspace> Arkanis: The only way to know that is by knowing what the lucks eventaul goal is.
[18:04] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Which it to perpetuate itself.
[18:04] #knownspace> Arkanis: ^is directed at the "ith sufficient competition, luck *does* become a zero-sum game."
[18:04] #knownspace> Arkanis: Is there a psi unlucky gene?
[18:05] #knownspace> dmac44: she could have become a protector if it was lucky for her child if she did so (as it seems to have been)
[18:05] #knownspace> Lensman: Yes, that's the problem. We don't know what the goal of Teela's luck is. But if it's in her genes, then I assume at a minimum it's the "selfish gene" goal: To spread itself. And that means its carrier needs to have lots of kids. Which Teela apparently did not.
[18:06] #knownspace> Lensman: As dmac said, a psi "unlucky" gene would breed itself out of existance.
[18:06] #knownspace> dmac44: you can't assume that with only one generation not if the ringworld was going to be destroyed if she didn't become a protector
[18:07] #knownspace> dmac44: the question is did Teela becoming a Protector set in motion a series of events that saverd the rW?
[18:07] #knownspace> Arkanis: This is sort of a "The lord works in mysterious ways" situation aint it
[18:07] #knownspace> Lensman: Well dmac, I don't agree. The gene "wants" to spread itself or it doesn't. If it doesn't in one generation, then why would it the next? We know it *did* spread throughout humanity, and *very* rapidly! 2850-3100 is only 150 years! Obviously it was spreading *very* fast.
[18:08] #knownspace> dmac44: given the population controls the gene could not have spread through humanity in 150 years
[18:08] #knownspace> Lensman: No, I don't buy that there is any circumstance which required Teela to become a protector. If it's infinite luck, it could cause another protector to perform whatever actions were needed.
[18:09] #knownspace> Arkanis: Well teela would have had more kids if Louis was stuck on the ring with her, but then the ring wouldnt have FTL... Its just to complex a situation to reason.
[18:10] #knownspace> Lensman: I agree, I don't see how it's possible for the gene to spread that rapidly in only 150 years. But we are told it did. Perhaps it isn't limited to normal probability... maybe it's closer to magic.
[18:11] #knownspace> Lensman: Teela shouldn't have needed Louis to have kids. Seeker should have been genetically compatible... just by wild chance. That's what's implied in Rw, after all.
[18:11] #knownspace> dmac44: magic doesn't exist in KS unless you count "Clarke" type magic
[18:11] #knownspace> Lensman: You're being too literal.
[18:12] #knownspace> Lensman: As Louis says, even physics are the laws of probability operating at the quantum level. If the Teela Brown gene is that subtle, then of *course* it could spread itself in 150 years. Or even 50 years.
[18:13] #knownspace> Lensman: Not literally magic, but it might as well *be* magic.
[18:13] #knownspace> Arkanis: You know... here's an idea what if Louis has the luck gene as may Teela though then its uneccary, Louis's ancestory and Louis himself are far more lucky then Teela ever was. Teelas luck functioned occastionally on a large scale while Louis's was a more subtle almost passive sort of thing
[18:14] #knownspace> dmac44: we don't know how psi functions but large scale changes of the human genome through luck strikes me as potentially have some very bad possible outcomes
[18:15] #knownspace> Arkanis: Also the birthright stuff could catalyze large scale luck insted of the small stuff that seems far more reliable and useful.
[18:15] #knownspace> Lensman: Well, the story is that Louis survived and figured out some of the strange things about the Ringworld because he was smart and had a good grasp of what made the world work. If Louis survived and escaped the Ringworld only because he was lucky... then it's not much of a story.
[18:17] #knownspace> Lensman: But if it's lucky for a human to have the gene, then it can't possibly change him in a way that's unlucky. So even if the Teela Brown gene is "cheating" to spread itself-- changing the genome of those already born-- it still can't have a bad outcome. Anyone who is given the gene is by definition infinitely lucky.
[18:17] #knownspace> Arkanis: But its so unreasonable for him to survive like that, I mean all the events in the ringworld series always turn to Louis's favor. EVERY SINGLE ONE!
[18:18] #knownspace> Lensman: Large scale luck: You mean like Human Space spreading to become the "Thousand Worlds"? :)
[18:18] #knownspace> dmac44: so Teela is lucky and Louis is a statistical anomaly
[18:19] #knownspace> Arkanis: Could be but look at his ancestory, they do the same thing
[18:19] #knownspace> dmac44: it must go beyond the Thosuand Worlds to rulers of the universe
[18:20] #knownspace> Lensman: Louis was lucky to be caught in the Police Station speed trap, hang upside down for hours and nearly fall to his death? And then it was lucky for him to have to cling to the overturned flycycle in a situation where one slip meant he would, again, fall to his death? In RC, it was "lucky" for Louis to become a crippled protector? No. No, no, no. And no.
[18:20] #knownspace> Arkanis: Yes, yes it was =)
[18:21] #knownspace> Lensman: "He tasks me! He tasks me, and I shall have him! I'll chase him round the Moons of Nibia, and round the Antares Maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give him up!"
[18:22] #knownspace> Arkanis: Look at the evental outcome, hes stuck on a super FTL ship with the leader of the most powerfull alien species as his friend, immortality, a child with luck, and the nano autodoc.
[18:22] #knownspace> Arkanis: Oh wait the hindmost isnt the leader anymore is he... well still
[18:22] #knownspace> dmac44: i've gotta run. see you all next month.
[18:23] #knownspace> Lensman: If you want to see "infinite luck" at work, read an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. *Any* ERB novel. It always astounded me how in Tarzan novels, the same few characters lost in thousands of square miles of trackless jungle would keep running into each other by chance.
[18:23] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: His dad's autodoc noless.
[18:24] #knownspace> Lensman: If he was so lucky, he wouldn't *need* the autodoc! And he's still a fugitive from the ARM, even tho he's escaped from the Ringworld.
[18:24] #knownspace> Arkanis: Louis is truly the lucky one, and he became a protector so he could save his kid, If my memoty serves
[18:24] #knownspace> Arkanis: *memory
[18:24] #knownspace> Arkanis: He needed the autodoc to become non protector
[18:24] #knownspace> Lensman: But Louis didn't save his kid, or take any action to help him.
[18:25] #knownspace> Lensman: But if he had been *lucky* he never would have become a protector in the first place! And anyway, once he *was* a protector, the psi luck wouldn't function any more.
[18:25] #knownspace> Arkanis: what did he do as a protector?
[18:26] #knownspace> Arkanis: That hasnt been established
[18:27] #knownspace> Lensman: As a protector, he talked the Hindmost into stealing the /Long Shot/ so he could escape the Ringworld. Then he went and talked to his son and said "Get lost so the protectors can't find you!" And then he led Tunesmith on a merry chase to distract him while Hindmost stole the /Long Shot/. And then he escaped. That's pretty much all he did.
[18:27] #knownspace> Arkanis: So basically he became a protector to save his own skin, still, the luck head
[18:27] #knownspace> Arkanis: *heald
[18:28] #knownspace> Lensman: If he were really lucky, he'd be living in luxury back in his estate back on Earth. Having found his True Love.
[18:29] #knownspace> Arkanis: Saying that just establishes that no one ever in known space has ever has the luck gene
[18:29] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: For his mindset that is not luck, that is a prison. Thus the frequent sabaticals.
[18:30] #knownspace> Lensman: Nonsense. Norman Haywood had the Teela Brown gene, among others.
[18:30] #knownspace> Arkanis: No, he got eaten by a giant bird
[18:31] #knownspace> Arkanis: that, is not luck
[18:31] #knownspace> Lensman: But if he were infinitely lucky, he'd have found happiness staying at home.
[18:31] #knownspace> Arkanis: who?
[18:31] #knownspace> Arkanis: haywood?
[18:31] #knownspace> Lensman: Norman Haywood was not eaten by a giant bird.
[18:31] #knownspace> Arkanis: what was he eaten by?
[18:31] #knownspace> Lensman: Look it up.
[18:31] #knownspace> Arkanis: somthing big and flying ate his car
[18:32] #knownspace> Arkanis: thats what I remembet
[18:32] #knownspace> Lensman: It's under "H".
[18:32] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Louis was the spawn of someone with an unlimited breeding license. Look it up.
[18:32] #knownspace> Lensman: http://www.freewebs.com/knownspace/
[18:32] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: It was a Roc if memory serves.
[18:32] #knownspace> Lensman: Haywood is not the protagonist of "Safe at Any Speed".
[18:33] #knownspace> Lensman: Yes, that was a roc.
[18:34] #knownspace> Lensman: Yes, Carlos Wu had an unlimited breeding license. That's no proof Louis Wu has the Infinite Luck gene.
[18:35] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Didn't even say he was lucky. But Carlos/Beowulf/Louis are certainly lucky to have lived through the things they went through.
[18:35] #knownspace> Arkanis: see giant bird, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roc_(mythology)
[18:36] #knownspace> Lensman: But if they hadn't, then stories wouldn't be written about them. Louis is what he claims Teela is in the first half of Rw: Just the extreme end of the probability curve.
[18:36] #knownspace> Arkanis: thats my point, also louis's mother lived through that whole feather incident...
[18:37] #knownspace> Lensman: Yah, I gotta agree, Sharrol was very lucky to have been able to kill Feather, an ARM agent in her prime and very strong.
[18:37] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: And monkey fudge Crazy!
[18:38] #knownspace> Lensman: That too.
[18:38] #knownspace> Lensman: She was a few bats short of a belfry.
[18:38] #knownspace> Arkanis: Ohh heres a question, is louis so luck becuase hes a marry sue?
[18:38] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: ?
[18:38] #knownspace> Arkanis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue
[18:39] #knownspace> Arkanis: he is essentally perfect
[18:41] #knownspace> Lensman: Just glancing at the Mary Sue article... that would be a character written by a bad or amateur writer. I hope you're not suggesting...
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[18:41] #knownspace> Arkanis: I think the marry sue is awesome
[18:41] #knownspace> Merlin_McCarley: Yeah, having problems identifing Louis as that.
[18:42] #knownspace> Arkanis: the stigma around it is stupid
[18:42] #knownspace> Lensman: Louis is the Competent Man character. Not the same as being perfect; Louis does make mistakes.
[18:42] #knownspace> Arkanis: when?
[18:42] #knownspace> Lensman: Ummm... when he becomes a wirehead?
[18:43] #knownspace> Lensman: When he pisses off the Hairy One priest? When he loses his flashlight-laser? When he doesn't realize Roxanny is playing him for a fool? Need I go on?
[18:43] #knownspace> Arkanis: yes, but then he breakes that, something thats supposed to be impossible, lending credit to the marry sue/luck arguement
[18:44] #knownspace> Lensman: Arkanis: I can only assume you are not familiar with the Competent Man character; that you haven't read much Heinlein, or anyone influenced much by Heinlein, such as Piper.
[18:45] #knownspace> Arkanis: the priest thing is reasonable I mean based on the info he had would you or anyone else have done better.
[18:45] #knownspace> Lensman: Now you're making excuses.
[18:46] #knownspace> Lensman: If he were perfect, you wouldn't need to be making excuses for him.
[18:46] #knownspace> Arkanis: The marry sue character is more about imprenting the author or the reader on to him the being perfect
[18:48] #knownspace> Lensman: Louis also apparently has a deficiency with languages. In Rw he fell hopelessly behind the others in learning Prill's language; in RE he gets embarrassed, angry and abusive when a native laughs at him for not being able to read her language... rather strongly implying that he has or had a reading deficiency.
[18:48] #knownspace> Arkanis: I dont think louis is a poly math, he dosent really know THAT much, he just has ridiculously refined common sense.
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[18:48] #knownspace> Arkanis: Well is larry niven good at languages?
[18:49] #knownspace> Lensman: The "Mary Sue" character sounds like people who write fan fiction who write themselves into the story as the protagonist. That's not what Larry Niven does.
[18:49] #knownspace> Lensman: Have you seen this: http://www.hackvan.com/pub/stig/funny/geek/the-geek-hierarchy/the-geek-hierarchy-chart-2.0-fullversion.gif
[18:50] #knownspace> Arkanis: Maybe its just me but I always imagned larry being a little like louis and lucas garner, having never met him I have no idea but this is just what I imagne
[18:50] #knownspace> Arkanis: *imagine
[18:50] #knownspace> Lensman: That's talking about the Mary Sue character, at the bottom of the chart. That's waaaaaay different than what a Great writer like Larry Niven writes.
[18:51] #knownspace> Lensman: About the only thing I can think of that Larry and Louis share is being smart and indulging in sarcasm.
[18:51] #knownspace> Arkanis: Im not disputing that larry is an AMAZING author, I just think that louis probaby does have more elements of larry then anyother character in the story
[18:51] #knownspace> Arkanis: Does larry like cheese?
[18:51] #knownspace> Arkanis: lol
[18:51] #knownspace> Lensman: In Rw? Well of course. He's the only major character who's a human male! Duh.
[18:52] #knownspace> Lensman: I have no idea if Larry likes cheese. Don't know him that well, only met him a few times.
[18:53] #knownspace> Arkanis: In any case it just seems like other human male characters, thing Gil the arm or Bey are different...
[18:54] #knownspace> Lensman: What about Larry Greenberg? Even has the same first name. Surely that's closer than Louis Wu.
[18:54] #knownspace> Arkanis: It may just be becuase we know so much more about louis but I cant shake the feeling that hes got more larry then anyother lead in the storry
[18:55] #knownspace> Arkanis: the name this isnt that important, in that story it seemed like lucas was more the chaneling of larry
[18:55] #knownspace> Arkanis: the real larry
[18:55] #knownspace> Arkanis: well that story was written quite a while ago so
[18:55] #knownspace> Arkanis: he would have changed
[18:56] #knownspace> Lensman: When Larry wrote WOP he was pretty close to Greenberg's age, not Garner's! But yeah, I do think Garner's personality is pretty close to Niven's.
[18:57] #knownspace> Arkanis: well im off to a party, I had fun, its nice to meet some people who have actually read any known space
[18:57] #knownspace> Lensman: Bye
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