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A Beginner's Look at The Basic Principle of Tech.

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A Beginner's Look at The Basic Principle of Tech.

Postby Oyama » Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:21 am

Hi there folks, in this short essay I will attempt to clarify the concept of "tech" for those of you that have not been directly exposed to it, like myself, and are having trouble getting your heads around it. Please note that I am not an omnimancer, and while this is based on omnimancy's public documents as well as the information on these forums, this was not "given" to me. I took what I had and did something with it, with some help from my inner. These are my thoughts and conclusions, and do not NECESSARILY reflect those of the Omnimancers, though Arthur has told me that I am going in the right direction.

Also, please note that my "background" is from basic psionic methods of energy manipulation, with influences from my readings about ritual magic as well as Omnimancy's documents. I think I would be considered relatively weak and unskilled by most standards, but that goes to show you that the concept of tech itself is not reserved for those who are "advanced." Granted, what one can do and comprehend is limited by one's power and experience/skill, but that does not mean that a novice cannot cast the simplest tech-based spells.

In a certain sense, the basic "principle" of tech is really just an approach towards magic, particularly spell construction. I will attempt to illustrate this approach by explaining how I came to the concept, as well as comparing the basic psionic method to the basic tech method of spell casting with an example of how each goes about constructing their spells. This should help take some of the mystery out of it.

I was bored in my Psych class, and felt a sudden mood to do something relating to magic, but not casting anything. I decided to draw a functional diagram of an energy ball. My first few drawings were just pictures of "shiny" circles or spheres. I was not satisfied with these, they didn't say anything about what was going on, they were just crude pictures. I was looking for a diagram, something functional that actually said something useful. This is important, because this functional approach is at the very heart of what the concept of tech is. I started drawing more energy balls, this time focusing on showing what was going on "underneath." My final diagram was NOT an energy ball. It was a machine that sort of created an energy ball, though that is not entirely accurate in the "classic" sense of the energy ball, nor does it really explain the purpose of the machine. This is the "engine" that Art was referring to in a recent post in the "Astral Biology" thread.

To get a better sense of what this machine really is, and what tech really is for that matter, first we'll look at the essential idea behind an energy ball, as well as look at it from a "tech point of view." Then we'll compare an example of the psionic approach with an example of the tech approach to casting a simple spell.

What is an energy ball?
It is compressed energy shaped into a ball, which can be imbued with intent (i.e.- "programmed"). The energy is depleted as the ball performs its task, but the ball itself is made from the very energy it is using.
From the tech point of view, it is an enclosed finite power source that simply burns itself out to perform a task. "A single part basic machine," though calling it a machine is giving it too much credit, in my opinion.

Now, let's compare the basic psionic method versus the basic tech method of constructing and casting a spell. Before I begin, I feel some things need to be addressed.
First, a distinction needs to be made between the energy powering the effect of the spell and the energy powering the spell itself. In more advanced tech (which is probably the first forms of tech taught in the omnimancy training program, but that's just a guess), I believe it is likely that this distinction is no longer necessary, due to the very nature of the spells. But in this particular situation, the distinction is important to understand how things are working.

Second, one needs to remember that while we often think of magical energy as a sort of "substance," this is an abstraction. While this is a fairly useful way to think of it for the purposes of spell construction (it makes it easy to work with, because our conscious minds can easily grasp the concept), energy is the potential for action or change, or the expression of it. In the case of spells, when we think of "move the energy here," it is in the form of potential; we are moving potential change/action here or there. But when the energy is exerted, when we say it is "used" or "burned," the potential is realized and change or action is expressed. This is something we all know already, but I thought I should remind you of it, as it is possible to lose sight of this, which can cause problems when trying to comprehend how to power a spell externally.

Third, both of these spells use compressed ambient energy to accomplish their goals, but they are both POWERED off of the caster. This is why the distinction I mentioned before is important in this situation.
Lastly, my use of the word "subconscious" is not quite the same as the Freudian use of the word. When I say "subconscious" from here on out, it means "background" or "passive" concentration. You are still consciously aware of what is going on subconsciously to some degree. You'll see when you get there.

Ok, Onward....

If you have a goal that you want to accomplish through magical means, you are going to need energy to accomplish it, just like you would if you were to go about it through physical means.
Let's look at a psionic approach first. You need energy to cause change, so you gather ambient energy and compress it into a ball. Now you have a blob of dense energy that you can burn up to accomplish your goal. If you asked a psion to use external energy to carry out a task, this is probably how they would start.

Now let's look at the tech approach. I need to gather and compress ambient energy, so I make a system to gather ambient energy into the spell. I think of what I do when I gather energy, and I assign this task to this system. Once this is finished, I move the system to subconscious "maintenance," meaning I tell myself to keep the system intact while I focus my conscious effort onto something else. Something interesting to note is that it is possible to kill the power or concentration tether to a system unintentionally when you move things to your subconscious. This has happened to me (the power tether, in my case). If you notice your systems start deteriorating when you move them to subconscious maintenance, you might want to pay special attention to making sure that you keep both the concentration and the power tether active when you do this. This whole process of "dropping" things to subconscious maintenance would be the psionic equivalent of "shelling."

Next, in order to compress the energy, I need a space for the energy to occupy; this space needs to stay the same size while the amount of energy increases, or at least grow in size slower than the energy grows in amount. So, I create a "containment field." I simply make a shell around the area the energy is being gathered to, and assign it a task, the same way I did for the gathering mechanism. For this piece, I make it so that it keeps the gathered energy on the inside. The energy that is gathered will naturally try to "move out of the way" as more energy is gathered into the area. This containment field blocks any energy inside the area from getting outside of the area. It doesn't just "get in the way," it is made to actually repel the energy. As the energy pushes harder to get out, the shell pushes back. As more energy is gathered into the area, it gets compressed further. What results is a small pool of dense energy inside the containment field.

It is important to note that as long as you keep these two systems running, the energy will continue to get denser and will continue to try to get out, and as it gets denser, it will push harder. This means that the spell will need more power to function smoothly as it runs for longer periods of time. I have stopped doing experiments for personal reasons, so I don't know if enlarging the area lessens the strength of this push or not. I can see reasons why it would, and reasons why it wouldn't.

Now let's take a moment and review. The task was to gather ambient energy and compress it, and the two spellcasters went about it in different ways. The psion simply gathers energy and "manually" compresses it into a ball. The ball, a small pool of dense energy, was the final product of the psion's efforts. However, the tech spellcaster created a machine that gathers and compresses energy. This machine is composed of systems that perform single functions, and they work together within the spell towards the greater function of gathering and compressing energy into a small pool of dense energy. The machine is the final product of the spellcaster's efforts, and the pool of energy is the product of the machine.

Now that these spells have some power to work with, let's give them an actual purpose. For the psion's energy ball, he merely tells the energy what to do. A common method I've seen is to visualize the energy ball performing the task, and imprint this onto the energy ball itself. Regardless of the specific method used to program the energy, the idea is the same: tell the energy what to do. This is the basic principle of "programming."

For the tech-based spellcaster, he's already familiar with the idea of imbuing energy with intent, having done it to create the systems in his power source. The only difference I see is that the tech caster acknowledges the existence of the concentration and power tethers that make "programming" possible, and this makes their "programming" more stable, or at least easier to do. I suppose individual psions could also be aware of this for whatever reasons, but this idea is a part of the tech approach, so any tech caster should be aware of this.

Anyway, back to the spell. The tech spellcaster would make a new system and add it to the spell, by "attaching" it and creating a system (probably just a specialized tether) to direct energy from the pool into the new piece. For the new piece itself, he would make a system designed to take useable energy and put it (or "exert" it) towards the goal of the spell. I am being purposefully vague here, because a system can perform this task in different ways (at least I think so).

In the piece that I created and added onto my engine, it took the energy from the pool, imbued it with the intent of the spell, and then "broadcasted," or "exerted" it to cause a physical effect. This uses the ritual concept of sending energy out to the universe to perform its task, though in this case it was merely sent a few feet outside of the spell (it actually looked like "spraying," which was weird). I don't fully understand how this piece works, I created it intuitively "in the heat of the moment," so to speak. I have sort of reverse engineered how it might work, and created a functional diagram of it, but one part of it I still don't really understand.

This entire piece could be considered a system, which you add onto the engine, and it becomes just another system within the spell as a whole. But it also has sub-systems, systems inside that are performing the tasks that allow the entire piece to serve it's purpose. It is one of these sub-systems that I haven't been able to figure out in a functional sense (i.e. how it works).

While the psion uses his "bare hands" in a sense to manipulate energy in a very simple (and limited) way, the tech-based spellcaster creates systems to perform single tasks, and arranges these systems (not just where they go, but how they connect to each other and interact) to work together toward whatever goal the spell was created for.

Try not to focus too much on the spells I've used as examples here; the tech spell is a very primitive form of tech. If you step back and think about it, they are actually pretty silly. They both take energy from the caster in order to gather and compress ambient energy to be used for a spell. Like pedaling on a bicycle thingy to generate electricity to go into a battery which is at the same time being used to power a lightbulb. It's not very practical. They were used to illustrate the difference in approach between tech and psionics, in order to give a general idea of what tech really is, and what it really isn't. Please, focus on seeing the approach itself and how it can be applied.

Well, hopefully this sheds some light on the subject of tech. I encourage any practitioner who reads this to try this approach and see what they come up with. The concept certainly lends itself to innovation. Just be careful...seriously, don't do anything stupid.

If I've made any grammatical or spelling mistakes, I'll take care of them tomorrow. I need to get my ass to bed. Bye for now.
Last edited by Oyama on Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Azazen » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:12 am

Great article, now to see what we can do with that 'generator' :twisted:
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Postby Obsidian » Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:53 am

*shakes his head* I don't know what to say, except that I'm envious of what you're achieved in your understanding of things.

Even using the information here (which is set out in a remarkably clear and easy-to-follow system) I'm not sure if I'll be able to do what you've done.

Kudos to you, Oyama =) Also, I'd like to apologise for not responding to you earlier. Expect a response via PM today.

edit: After re-reading this, I have a question which I hope you can answer. The way you say "machine" or "system" leads me to believe they're a real thing, something that exists (and I mean on the astral here). Something that's as organised/cohesive as the energy ball itself. Am I right, or do you mean 'machine/system' more as the way it works in your head?
"Nothing is more amazing than getting the shit kicked out of you by something you didn't believe existed" - David.
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Postby miri » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:36 pm

Funny... I've always seen the "material" the tech is made of almost a replacesment for "programming" atleast in slightly more important/advanced tech... like LordArt said, destroying the "programming" in tech would do almost nothing to its functioning and structure etc.

However, other than that bi tnot being mentioned: spectacular essay for explaining omnimancy, GOOD job!
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Postby Azazen » Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:12 pm

I was thnking that too, but it seems hard to have any kind of structure to work with without programming to some extent, even if it's just programming the energy to take a certain shape.
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Postby Oyama » Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:46 pm

First of all, the essay was not meant to "explain omnimancy." I am not an omnimancer, nor do I have any idea what is actually done in the system higher up. Reading and understanding this essay does not mean that you understand omnimancy. This was merely meant to explain the tech-based approach towards spell construction, as opposed to the common psionic or ritual approach. Anyone can use this approach once they've mastered the basics of energy manipulation, it's not restricted to omnimancy.

As for materials, I've never been taught materials tech, so I couldn't include it in the essay, and in fact, even if I was taught materials, it isn't really relevant to the essay. Seeing as how it has been said that materials are created with tech (I know it's here somewhere on the forums), I would assume that the tech approach is already being used once one starts to work with materials. This implies that materials are not actually a part of the fundamental approach of tech, they are merely something that comes up as you continue to do research with this approach. Granted, once you learn how to create materials, you would continue to do so in all of your spells, because it makes sense to do so. So while materials may become a staple of tech-based spellcasting, it isn't necessary to know about them or use them in order to use the tech approach. I hope that makes sense. I can't stress the word "approach" enough.

Just because I didn't mention every direction that tech can be taken in or every "branch" of tech that omnimancy has developed, doesn't the mean that the essay didn't serve it's purpose. In fact, if you really understand what this essay is about, you wouldn't expect it to. It is meant to explain the fundamental principle. Materials, and anything that is developed using the tech approach towards magic, is outside the scope of the essay. The word "fundamental" is also one that I can't stress enough when referring to the essay itself.

As far as programming is concerned, and whether a "nuke" (by your definition) would affect the spell I used in the essay, I believe the nuke would not affect it, though that is just a hypothesis. While the method used to imbue energy with intent (in terms of the spell's hardware) may seem similar to the psionic method of "programming," they are fundamentally different. A psion tries to change the energy's pattern, or imprint a new pattern onto it, so that he need not maintain it himself. When exposed to the depatternizing effect of a "nuke," this energy would lose it's pattern, i.e.- become deprogrammed. However, the method I explained in the essay (and perhaps I didn't explain it well enough) does not work like this. The energy does not hold the pattern on it's own, it gets its "shape" or "pattern," or more accurately, "function," from the caster.

The caster maintains the energy's form via a concentration and power tether. HE is the program, in a sense, because he is the one maintaining the pattern. The energy is not meant to stand alone (meaning it is not meant to keep it's shape and/or function by itself), therefore it doesn't really have a "program" per se. When hit with the nuke, there is nothing in the energy itself that can be "erased." To affect the spell's functions, you would either need to sever it's connection to the caster, or wipe out the caster's mind. And I don't even think the nuke would be able to do that, because it isn't really a matter of "depatternizing" anything. Besides, even if it could sever the connection, why the hell would you use a "nuke" to do that? The only thing a nuke would be able to do with the above spell is depatternize the energy emitted by the transmitter piece that broadcasts, since that energy is patternized and meant to hold its pattern on its own. But you haven't destroyed the spell itself, it is still functioning. I would expect that the more advanced tech spells used in omnimancy outgrow this weakness early on, because I think they perform their tasks in a different way than the one I used in the essay does.

Anyway, I hope that clarified some things. I'm actually in a rush to get out of the house right now, so maybe we'll continue this discussion later.

Take care.
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Postby miri » Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:27 pm

Good points, but materials are fundamental, in my mind, to omnimancy... I s'pose it's arguable, but materials play a role in just about all (if not ALL) tech. *shrugs*
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Postby Obsidian » Sat Oct 07, 2006 3:09 am

First off.

Miri: Materials are far from fundamental. Materials are actually a semi-advanced/advanced form of astral magic, offering differnet approachs to things, and different techniques/greater power, when used appropriately.

Tech is the fundamental. And sense's.

Oyama: I believe you may have missed the point of my response (and Miri's) initially. By the end of the post you had totally answered my question however. You answered it well, and I'm hoping that this might well be the missing piece I needed =)

When I referred to materials, I meant what the 'system' was made from. Not "Material Tech", rather what the functioning aspects of the tech system were. I was unable to grasp what part 'became' the tech and I (inaccurately) thought it was astrally constructed from energy.

Your last two paragraphs cleared up any confusion I had, however. The way you explained it 'clicked'. There IS no constructed part of Tech.

"... The energy does not hold the pattern on it's own, it gets its "shape" or "pattern," or more accurately, "function," from the caster... HE is the program, in a sense, because he is the one maintaining the pattern...."

The part of understanding that I was missing was the function of the concentration tether. It's via the concentration tether that the 'tech' flows and controls the energy on the other end. Yes? The power tether is what provides the 'tech' it's potential for action...

The way I've always looked at it before is you'd 'put' the tech <b>in</b> a ball. Essentially the ball would become a big, moving wad of tech, functioning as it did. What I didn't realise was there's no tech <b>in</b> the ball, rather it's creating and directing the ball from <b>within</b> yourself. The 'tech' never leaves your body, because it's more a set of instructions than a clay mould you put over the energy.

I think.. I hope. Because that's how it clicked in my head. That's why the concentration and power tether's are so vitally important, they're your way of keeping the tech spell an actual tech spell...

Ok. Shower time. More thinking on this when I return, but thank you again Oyama. If I've actually understood this correctly, then you've succeeded at explaining it where many others have given up =)
"Nothing is more amazing than getting the shit kicked out of you by something you didn't believe existed" - David.
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Postby Oyama » Sat Oct 07, 2006 5:07 am

Actually, that response was directed towards Miri. I didn't notice your edit when I wrote it >_>. *slaps himself*

Miri criticized my essay because it did not talk about materials, and I disagreed with this criticism because I didn't believe the concept of materials was within the scope of the essay, nor was it really relevant to the point I was trying to make in the essay.

In reference to your original question... (even though I seemed to have answered it already unintentionally, I think I can add more).
This actually puzzled me when I first started thinking about what I was doing. When I built the engine, I relied heavily on my subconscious to do it, so many of the details of construction were lost. Was I building it out of energy, or was I simply visualizing the set of instructions (in the form of the symbols of the diagram) and "activating" them so they would start to take effect on the energy they came into contact with? As you can see, I came to the conclusion that the machine and systems were in fact built out of energy, they did "exist" as you put it.

However, "how they work in your head" is also important. I saw how the system would work before I actually built it; I drew a diagram of symbols that represented "how it worked in my head." Building it was another story. What it boils down to is that you design something first, then you build it according to the design. "Designing" can be as simple as coming up with functions that need to be performed in the spell and then arranging the functions so that they work together towards a greater goal. The "transmitter" piece was designed like this. I knew what functions I wanted (imbue energy with the spell's intent, then exert it towards this goal), and I arranged them to work together to perform the final task (take in energy, imbue it with intent, then exert it). When building the transmitter, I made it so that it performed these functions, and I did so intuitively. I didn't understand how it really worked when I built it, but it seemed to work.

However, designing can also be as complex as coming up with sub-systems that perform single functions that allow the "major" system that they are a part of to function. This is what I did when I reverse engineered the transmitter and made a diagram of it. The transmitter itself can be seen as a system, i.e. one of the systems of the spell, just like the engine was. One system supplies the power for the effect, the other takes the power and actually exerts it towards that effect. However, the transmitter has sub-systems that allow it to "take the power and exert it towards the effect." Namely, a specialized tether that tapped into the energy pool created by the engine and directed it into the transmitter (this tether is not part of the transmitter itself), a sub-system or "device" for imbuing energy with intent, and a sub-system for exerting it (these two devices are the main parts of the transmitter).

Building these parts (whether you're talking about the sub-systems or the "major" systems) is taking your functional design and actually making things that follow the design. Basically: you design a piece with a function, then you build the piece, which actually performs the function. That's the simplest way I can explain it.

Another thing I feel I need to address is that in your previous post, the way you refer to tech doesn't make sense to me.

"It's via the concentration tether that the 'tech' flows...."
"The tech never leaves your body..."

Tech itself isn't something that you can hold in your hand, if you know what I mean. You seem to have gotten closer to what it is, but you seem to be clinging to this idea that tech is a "thing" the way an energy ball is a "thing." It's a concept, or as I like to put (as you have probably noticed), an approach. It's a mental thing, a viewpoint if you know what I mean. This is why you can look at non-tech spells from a "tech point of view." If you think of tech as a "tangible" thing, this does not make sense. I give an example of looking at a non-tech spell from a tech point of view early in the essay, so I won't repeat it here. Refer to the essay if you want to take another look at it.

Hope this helps. I must say, answering these questions has solidified my own understanding by making me look at these things closer and from different viewpoints; but I'm familiar with this from teaching martial arts. I think that's a good sign :wink:

As a last note, please remember that these are just my own thoughts and ideas. I don't consider myself an "Authority on Magic," or anything even remotely close to that. I'm simply trying to explain what I've come up with.
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Postby LordArt » Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:06 am

:thumbs: :rockn: Very good essay.

A few notes from an Omni perspective:

Miri's complaint about tech materials HAVING to be in a tech spell is likely being based on ONLY seeing tech spells with tech materials. Other than perhaps the G1, I can't think of any Omni tech spell that doesn't use materials in one form or another. It's just taught second nature with the main tech spell itself. Many spells just won't work WITHOUT the tech materials they are based without a major overhaul, but that's just how it's taught. You're looking at a completed product when taught versus trying to make something from scratch. Most don't try to understand it on this level of detail focusing on what and how the spell works at a higher level (meaning more of an overview view). Oyama is working on tech concepts at almost their most primative which is why I find his work fascinating.

I'm not sure I agree with the tech not being "real" and not part of the energy that it is made from. It's not "programmed" in a psion sense at all, admittedly. It changes it's base primative nature, but then we get to materials tech REAL quick, even if just primative. I mean, if the energy and/or tech isn't there, then what are people looking at? They aren't going to probe the caster's mind to see the details, but they get them anyways. I know early on in the training, we teach people how to "scramble" the tech so that it's hard to copy. It becomes part of the spell and materials to become hard to scan (or at least understand to replicate).

How the tech works in is the mind of the caster of course(but one could say that of any spell). But the result of that cast IS in their hand, it just looks funky considering you see the whole system working in front of you. This especially is wierd if you are just use to "plain energy" being in your hand. I will admit I'm VERY use to doing tech with materials as a matter of course and it is EXTREMELY difficult to seperate the two in my head, so I won't write off what you say until I do some of my own research to verify it one way or the other.

I DO agree that tech is specially formed and maintained from within the caster. It's not using the same mechanisms as normal energy working (or at least it uses more). But that doesn't mean the end result stays within the caster.

As far as tacking on systems to make it do more stuff...Kudos there. Now I hope people can understand the concept of a base system and how one adds to it to make something wacky and different. Materials tech comes into play when systems need to be more effecient, so the material itself IS the system, or at least a series of materials. (or at the very least on a primative level HELPS the system).

**Looking at the g1 without materials tech**

I can see where you are coming from with the energy NOT having tech in it per se, it's just arranged energy. Meaning if I try to cast it systems level only, it doesn't look like the "tech" spells that I know and love. I can see it's not a simple energy ball or anything, and it's functional. But it's DEFINATELY primative, but functional. Kudos again for your work. It shows something that we take for granted in Omnimancy. I mean, when we do a system, even subconciously, we take even the most primative materials tech that we have seen for those systems before and use that. Some do it because they know the extra advantages of the materials. Some because they know no better and assume "that's the way it's done".

Wow, doing it energy only is like bread boarding out a circuit or something. It works but it's rather messy.

Here is an idea for you. Think of what the inherant needs of a system are, and then develop sub machines (not sub systems) that perform those same functional needs of the larger system.
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Postby FireEssence » Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:31 pm

I'd like to add that my working with tech is actually only related to tech that is materialistic, as far as I know. So maybe I'll try and explain some of my experiences in an essay too. Might be helpful. :)
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Postby Oyama » Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:37 pm

I think there is a major misunderstanding here. When I say tech can't be held in your hand, I am talking about the technological approach and concept. An approach or concept, by definition, cannot be held in one's hand, it makes no sense whatsoever to say that it can. You can see and touch and smell and taste and hear a car. You cannot see or touch or smell or taste or hear the ideas and concepts that led the car to be designed and built. Yes you can hear someone explain it, or see a blueprint of it, but you are hearing sound waves, and seeing light bouncing off a piece of paper that has ink on it, which are physical phenomena. The idea is not heard or seen, or "held in your hand." It is comprehended in the mind, and the act of comprehension does not take place in the eyes or ears or hands.

However, when you have an idea, you can use it to make something, like a car, or a spell. Those things CAN be "held in your hand," so to speak. In the essay, I tried to discourage people from making this mistake, when I said not to focus too much on the spell's themselves, because the essay was meant to address the concept of tech, so that people could understand the concept, use it, and come up with their own spells, then be able to do research and come up with new ideas and ways to improve their spells. The spells themselves were just meant to be examples of applications of the concepts. The essay goes through the steps of each approach (psionic and "technological") in order to illustrate the different ways that each approach went towards accomplishing the same task.

The approaches are ideas. The very definition of an approach is an idea. I don't mean that in the dictionary, you will see "Approach (n): an idea."
I mean that approach = a specific way of doing something, though that's not an exact definition. You can't hold a specific way of doing something in your hand, because it's an idea, not a "thing." However, you CAN hold the RESULT of the approach in your hand. You can adopt the tech approach towards spell casting, then use it to cast a spell. The spell itself is the tangible result of the approach.

So, when you say "I hold tech in my hand," whether that makes sense or not depends on what you mean when you say the word "tech" in that particular sentence. If what you mean to say is "I hold the "tech approach" in my hand," then it is nonsense. However, if what you mean to say is "I hold a piece of tech in my hand," then it makes sense, because you are talking about a functional, tangible result of the idea. This tangible result is the spell that is built, or a piece of a spell, and that is what you are holding in your hand, and that is what people are looking at when they examine your stuff.

It's like saying, "I hold car in my hand." This is an ambiguous statement. Are you holding a car in your hand, or the idea of what a "car" is, in your hand? One makes sense, the other doesn't.

Even this analogy doesn't quite say it right. If, in the sentence, you replace "car" with "tech" and use their "approach" definitions, then they don't match up right. "Car" is an approach towards moving things some distance at some speed. "Tech" would be the approach towards building the car. It is a FUNDAMENTAL approach. You can make two different tech spells to accomplish the same goal, each one taking a different approach towards accomplishing the goal. But your FUNDAMENTAL approach has not changed.

So, we are actually in agreement, Art. I do agree that tech can be held in your hand, but only when you are saying that you can hold "pieces of tech," meaning actual spells or spell components, in your hand.

I have a lot to say (or rather, ask ^_^) about materials as well, but I need to get going, I've spent far too much time writing this as it is. The last thing I will say in this post is regarding your suggestion to develop "sub-machines" instead of "sub-systems." Your suggestion actually describes EXACTLY what I'm doing. I have been using the words system, machine, piece, and device interchangeably, and I know it can be misleading. I actually wrote up a large explanation to clear this up in my original draft of the essay that I wrote on paper. However, I decided not to include it because it was just too large of a tangent. I really wish I had time to get into it right now, but I seriously have to get going >_>.

I look forward to next time. See ya!

*bolts out of his house*
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Idea

Postby DrFredbert » Sun Oct 08, 2006 3:00 pm

I haven't been involved in many conversations in a while, but I have been a reading. What Oyama was speaking of way above this post was pretty interesting in that I myself started with a similar approach (Oyama -> Programmer?). Well I decided to extend this idea and I've had some success. (still testing limitations)

Essentially I've been creating small low density "blobs" of energy with the task to create a machine and run it to completion. The "blob" then creates a machine to create a higher density "blob." It seems to work pretty well, but has some severe limitations.

Some interesting points of interest are that I am not actually programming the machine. The other interesting point is that it takes significantly less concentration to get a dense "ball thingy."

I am not saying this is tech or whatever. I'm just stating that this is fun stuff. :)

Anyways, thought I would give some back to a forum that has helped me out.
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Postby Oyama » Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:12 pm

No, I'm not a programmer :wink: . Nor do I make blobs of energy and tell them to make machines. I make the machines myself, though not lately since I've halted pretty much all magical activity for the time being.

Now, on to Materials discussion.

I never mentioned materials because I do not fully understand how to actually make them. I just figured that once you're taking the technological approach, you look for new ways to make it better, and making better materials for your spells is an obvious path to take towards increasing effectiveness or efficiency. But I don't know how to make them, I've never been taught or shown, and I haven't figured it out on my own. However, it has occurred to me on a few occasions that perhaps I am working with materials, and just not realizing it, because I am not giving it the label. It is possible, considering I don't know anything about them, so I couldn't give them the label even if I was using them.

I wasn't even sure what I was doing was tech (albeit primitive tech) until I got confirmation from you via email. I had what I was doing, and I had a term that was coined by you, and I needed to see if they matched. It is sort of the same situation with materials. What I made seemed like it matched the omnimantic description of "material," but I can't know for sure because I don't know exactly what a "material" is, never having been shown a live example nor had someone else confirm that it sounded like it matched.

I suppose the best example to use here would be the containment field in my engine. I believe it is possible that my containment field is made of a material. It is not just plain energy that "gets in the way," it's very nature is altered. It starts out as plain energy when I start making it, but I change it. I suppose if I just made a hollow shell of "plain" energy and merely kept it in place, it would serve it's function to some extent, because it would get in the way of energy escaping (though when the energy inside gets denser than the shell itself, it'll just shatter it and go right through). Is that what you mean by working on it "systems only," or "arranged energy." Because that isn't what I'm doing. In my original diagram, as well as the prototype that I built, I changed the "base primitive nature" of the energy used to make the shell, though in mechanical terms, I'm not entirely sure how this was done. I know next to nothing about astral physics/dynamics.

Admittedly, I think my definition of psionic programming is off. Honestly, I thought programming was putting something separate from the energy into it that would change its base primitive nature (or at least that's how it was described in the essay), and the reason why a "nuke" as defined by miri would affect it was because this separate "thing" could be erased, thereby "deprogramming" the energy. While writing this, my mind is going off on a tangent about "programming." My definition is starting to change even as I write this post. But whatever, enough of that for now.
Maybe more later >_>.

Anyway, back to the containment field. The "system that contains gathered energy" IS a machine. Containing energy is one of the inherent needs of the engine. So when I make a machine that performs this function, I can say that I've created a "containment system." I would say,

"The containment system of this engine uses this machine (referring to the shell) to keep all gathered energy in the local area."

It is ACTIVELY doing something in order to perform it's function, as opposed to a simple "plain" energy shell merely getting in the way, which you could say would be "passively" performing it's function. The "material" that the shell is made of repels outside energy that comes in direct contact with the inner surface of the shell. The material holds this pattern because the caster makes the pattern and actually imprints it onto the energy (or "puts it into" the energy, though I personally don't like that description, but eh, personal preference I guess). The pattern is maintained because the caster maintains it on the energy. I think you could say that the concentration tether is the connection through which the pattern in the caster's mind is maintained on the energy itself. The pattern originates and is maintained in the caster's mind, yes, but it is also part of the energy too, because this pattern is not just sitting in the caster's mind, it is imprinted on the energy, which changes the energy's base primitive nature, and this change in nature is maintained because the pattern, and the act of keeping the energy aligned with this pattern, is maintained by the caster.

The shell is actually able to DO what it was made for (push energy away) by drawing power from whatever is powering it, but the pattern that dictates what it does is there regardless of whether it's being powered or not (although, I guess the shell would probably dissipate if not powered in some way, seeing as how we're not talking about hard magic here). Also, it has the pattern regardless of whether there is any energy for it to act upon. The plain energy shell only has the "containment" function when there is less dense energy inside it trying to get out; it is not part of it's nature. However, the shell used for the engine DOES serve a function by it's very nature (of course, it needs power in order to actually do it effectively, but whatever). It has the property in and of itself.

One thing that always confused me about materials was that you kept saying that they had innate properties, and I took this to mean that they had these properties without any need for a caster. Like that was just how they existed. I think I figured out what you meant (my conclusions are illustrated in everything I have said in this post). If you look at things this way, tech IS in a sense almost inseparable from materials, and the materials (or series of materials) ARE the systems. Please, let me know if I'm right or wrong, or at least if I'm going in the right direction.

You know Arthur, now I really do get why it is so hard for you to explain these kinds of things to people who aren't familiar with them, without live examples. You have to explain the point of view to see things from (in detail), explain what is happening or what you are doing (in detail), and then relate what is happening to the point of view you are seeing it from (in detail).
It's so f*#%ing hard!! Even you, who's familiar with these things (assuming I'm on the right track in my conclusions), misunderstood what I meant in previous posts. Not by any fault of your own, but because the ideas were conveyed inadequately. In order to get a good enough view of what I'm talking about, one needs to read the essay, all the responses/comments and questions about it, and all my responses to those responses and questions, and even then it might not be enough. There's just so much that needs to be said, and said in soo much detail.

Freakin headache!

Ok, that's all for now from me.

P.S.- I want an amp! :P
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Postby DrFredbert » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:31 am

Oyama wrote:No, I'm not a programmer :wink: . Nor do I make blobs of energy and tell them to make machines. I make the machines myself, though not lately since I've halted pretty much all magical activity for the time being.


Well I thought I would say, try it (making something to make machines for you) when you are ready to start up again. You already have the design in you head for the machine, so why not let the work be done by the energy itself (it takes far less concentration and effort to get a better yield). Why make the machine? You have to "program" each and every piece, when instead you could make a blob do it for you (is it even programming if the blob does it?). Bah, if you can make a blob change the weather even slightly, why not make one to make a simple machine you've previously designed???

I hate terms, especially terms that are not defined in an accepted manner that I understand, i.e. materials, energy, tech, programming and the like. So what I'm trying to say is that the machine idea is nift, but not very practical when you extend the complexity upwards. You would have to make each part each time.

I've found that it is helpful to code more complex machines into simpler forms such as symbols and such. If you know anthing about electronics, think of it as using an IC instead of building it from stratch.

Nothing I'm saying has much relation to omnimancy save that it inspired me, so take that whatever way you want. I get a thrill trying to figure stuff out from my perspective, so much of what I've done has been from personal experience. :P
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