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Old 07-19-2021, 01:52 PM   #31
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Psychology and Sociology

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Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
Asimov seems to have been brought up on late TL6/early TL7 physical sciences, with an according focus on the law of large numbers smoothing out any discrepancies, and liked to imagine social sciences developing the same way (for fun at least, whether or not he ever believed that they could work that way). These days, I imagine even a physicist or chemist would be painfully aware of the possibility of extreme sensitivity to initial conditions. A very basic programming course, or an hour spent tinkering with Conway's Game of Life, tends to bring that issue home.

It's not so much cinematic science or superscience as dated assumptions - period superscience, in the terms I used in Steampunk 1, perhaps.
On one hand, yes. On the other, period superscience still seems to be superscience. If I ran a campaign where the Aristotelian four or the Chinese elements, or caloric fluid, or the luminiferous ether actually existed, I would give its TL a ^óbecause conversely, if I were running a realistic campaign set in ancient Greece or the Age of Steam, one without superscience, I would assume that it obeyed the laws of physics as we now know them. So I would say likewise that a campaign that had Asimovian psychohistory, or had solved the laws of motion of the economy in the way classical and Marxist economists thought might be done, had social superscience.

TORG pointed in this direction, I believe, in its statement that cosms with a higher social axiom than ours might, for example, resolve the Arrow paradox and attain a universally applicable social choice function. In our terms I think that would have to be superscience.
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Old 07-19-2021, 03:56 PM   #32
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Psychology and Sociology

Like I said, the concept of Period Superscience emerged very quickly for me when attempting to handle steampunk under 4th edition. And yes, itís eminently generalisable.
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:13 AM   #33
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Psychology and Sociology

If moving an object across a room can change the course of history, then the model is sensitive to small fluctuations (not necessarily those made by time travellers). You can't have it both ways.
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