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  • I get to make up the rules, but I then need to be rational about the consequences of those rules. It bugs me when authors don't follow up on the implications of their world building.

    Anyway, the base world is our world. I'm not sure yet on the exact time frame; I may have to adjust it. It will be set somewhere between the late twentieth century and now.

    So I did some quick research and calculations. If twelve percent of young First Worlders are willing to risk the initiation ritual when they find out that magic works, that means five million young people, give or take, in the United States alone will take the gamble the first year it becomes widely known. The means 2.5 million immediate deaths followed by another million plus who kill themselves doing something ill conceived.

    Those are panic numbers. We can predict a sharp economic downturn. Because poor people are more desperate than rich people, you can expect a higher percentage of practitioners in the poorest neighborhoods, at least at first. There won't just be drive by shootings in the slums; there will be magical gang fights.

    The pattern of the knowledge spread will differ with time. If it happens before the internet and smart phones, it will spread through the First World before it becomes widely known in the Third World. Set after communications become cheap, it will spread everywhere at once. This matters. If the First World is in the midst of an economic depression when the magic revolution hits the Third World, the amount of economic and military aid it will give is sharply reduced. This means that the Third World will be even more desperate. Per capita it will create more practitioners. There will be more wars and warlords as people scramble for power and survival.

    I derived the twelve percent above by feel. It could easily be wrong. If one percent is more plausible, the story will be different.

  • You could pose it as that the population crash and economic downturn happened sometime in the past near a large war. Say, prior to the breakout of WWI (possibly somehow averting it?). So that instead of 37 million dying from the war, they died doing a magic ritual.

    In the ensuing world panic, the world's countries band together and form the League of Nations, dedicated to economic stability and procreation. Countries with despotic dictators have a forced procreation campaign, sparking a different World War in the late 1930s as their enemies find they also force their teenagers to take the ritual whether they want to or not, in hopes of having more magical might in their military. The US joins the war late, since they spent several years trying to figure out how to use magic to cure polio... and give old people boners.

    The transistor is still invented. The television is still created. (I dream of Genie is still popular, but for completely different reasons). Reality TV becomes a little weirder. People still misuse the word 'hoverboard'. The government still has SCIF rooms, but they also include some means for obscuring/blocking magic. I forgot where I was going with this.

    Anyway. Interesting idea. Lots of room to explore it.

  • @Bill said:
    So I did some quick research and calculations. If twelve percent of young First Worlders are willing to risk the initiation ritual when they find out that magic works, that means five million young people, give or take, in the United States alone will take the gamble the first year it becomes widely known. The means 2.5 million immediate deaths followed by another million plus who kill themselves doing something ill conceived.

    Hrm… 12% strikes me as a little high. I don't know if you could say more than1 in 10 young people would be willing to attempt something with a 50% chance of death, regardless of the reward. I would have said closer to 5-7%... Just my gut feeling...

    My other reaction would have been to decide how many magical people I wanted running around in my fictional world and worked backwards from there... If the math didn't work, I'd alter the parameters to make it fit... Maybe the conversion success rate was 60% instead of 50%, for example.

  • edited September 24

    @fenomas said:

    @Rufus said:
    If, on the other hand, a guy can pass through walls because he can magically manipulate his quantum state, so as to throw his molecules out of phase with normal matter (or some science-y mumbo-jumbo like that)... well, that's an attractive notion to me.

    I follow you but that's not really what I meant. Even in a pure "magic" world, where you can say some magic words and then walk through a wall, if decently realized that world should have people who treat that as science. There should be research on how pronunciation affects the spell, longitudinal studies on long-term health effects, conservation-of-energy like theories about the limits of what can and can't be done with magic words, etc.

    Sure, in a well realized world, you can balance things out any way you like. The Harry Potter world fits what you're describing. I liked Harry Potter just fine...

    I suppose my point was simply that I enjoy the sudo-science explanations, as opposed to the fantasy explanations; probably because I'm a bigger science-fiction fan than a fantasy fan.

    It can easily be done wrong. The best example of doing it wrong was Star Wars Ep.1, when Lucas decided to explain "The Force" and, arguably, ruined it. I'm sure he did it because he needed some sort of objective, quantitative test to reinforce how powerful Anakin is (it was a lazy cop-out). The problem was, there was already three movies worth of mythology around "The Force" as a romanticized, mystical, unexplained mystery of the universe; to the point of religion. Trying to explain it took all the romance out of it. Especially a silly explanation like "midi-chlorians".

  • I'm only vaguely familiar with Harry Potter but the magic part of it seemed like the traditional ad-hoc "magic works however happens to be convenient in any given scene" deal.

    "No spell can bring back the dead, but time travel is possible, except only in one story and it can only be used to change things that aren't important to the plot" and all that.

  • BUCKBEAK IS CRITICAL TO THE PLOT YOU TAKE THAT BACK YOU FILTHY MUDBLOOD!

  • I enjoyed Harry Potter quite a bit.

    That said.. yeah... time travel. I imagine Rowling's thoughts went something like this.

    "Oh shit, I just introduced easy time travel being used almost as a joke so the nerdy one can study... how do I get rid of time travel so it doesn't become a crutch? "
    "Oh, I'll introduce rules like she can't go back more than an hour or two"
    "Then add some warnings that bad things would happen"
    (One book later)
    "Fuck it. I'll have a fight in an artifact room and have all the time turners get destroyed. Fixed forever!"

    That said, I remember thinking "If I had a time turner I would just be using it instead of a snooze alarm" and "How long before a teenager at Hogwarts uses a time-turner so they can literally fuck themselves?" and then the time turners in my head were all destroyed during a fight in the artifact room as a method to save my brain from itself.

  • edited September 27

    @Clme said:

    "Fuck it. I'll have a fight in an artifact room and have all the time turners get destroyed. Fixed forever!"

    Dammit spoiler alerts :frowning:

    @filious said:
    BUCKBEAK IS CRITICAL TO THE PLOT YOU TAKE THAT BACK YOU FILTHY MUDBLOOD!

    Which one was Buckbeak, was that the Robbie Coltrane character?

  • edited September 27

    @filious said:
    BUCKBEAK IS CRITICAL TO THE PLOT YOU TAKE THAT BACK YOU FILTHY MUDBLOOD!

    Which one was Buckbeak, was that the Robbie Coltrane character?

    No... it was his pet... I think...

    It's been a while.

    I still haven't seen the last movie, and now Clem has ruined it with his spoiler... ;)

  • Nah. The movies follow a different canon. In that I haven't seen the last three and have no idea if they retained that detail.

    Someday I'll catch up on the last 5 years worth of.. er.. 10 years worth of... Nevermind. I'll never catch up on anything. I may as well stop pretending. By the time I have time to catch up I'll probably hate anything different just like my elderly relatives.

  • I often consider trying to catch up with the Marvel universe movies, but I wouldn't even know where to start.

  • Here's the order:

    Iron Man (2008)
    The Incredible Hulk (2008) - Ok to skip this one... decent movie, but you won't miss much...
    Iron Man 2 (2010)
    Thor (2011)
    Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
    The Avengers (2012)
    Iron Man 3 (2013)
    Thor: The Dark World (2013)
    Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
    Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
    Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
    Ant-Man (2015)
    Captain America: Civil War (2016)
    Doctor Strange (2017)
    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
    Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
    Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
    Black Panther (2018)
    Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
    Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

    There are the Deadpool movies (2016 and 2018), that I would throw in also, but they are not part of the official "cinematic universe". I've heard there's an Avengers joke in Deadpool 2 (haven't seen it yet), but otherwise Deadpool is stand-alone.

    That's only 20 movies... You could binge-watch your way through that in a weekend, right? ;)

    As I said, the Hulk movie is a decent movie, but there isn't much in it to tie it to the other movies. There's nothing in it that is referenced in subsequent movies. I also think it hurts that Edward Norton played Bruce Banner in this movie and Mark Ruffalo is Banner in all the subsequent movies. As much as it's part of Marvel's cinematic universe, it really feels like a stand-alone. If you're pressed for time, it's ok to skip... There... I saved you two hours... You're welcome! :D

  • Say, can someone please tell the President that rescinding the 14th amendment won't retroactively make Obama not a citizen? I mean, maybe I'm reading the signals wrong but this birthright citizenship talk really seems like its about Obama rather than about reversing an amendment that was fully ratified in 1868.

    Obama's mother was still an American when he was born. So unless Trump is going to somehow enact a miracle and not just pull birthright citizenship retroactively but also completely redefine citizenship, well then the brown people who are already here will still win eventually just by sheer force of fucking.

  • Trump doesn't give a rat's ass about Obama's citizenship. Any noises he has ever made about it were strictly for political gain.

    And Trump can't repeal the 14th amendment. What Trump can do is force into the courts and eventually compel the Supreme Court to rule on the the issue of whether birthright citizenship applies to the children of criminal infiltrators.

    That, right there, is masterful political maneuvering.

  • Trump is trying to get the supreme court to reinterpret the constitution, said the guy who also says Trump wants originalist judges who won't legislate from the bench.

  • One of my friends had a pretty good way of describing the marvel movies

    "Remember when you were a kid and you had a random grab bag of action figures and you'd have them fight by just smashing them together? That's the marvel movies".

  • I've been seeing a lot of this over the last two days...

    Note: That was yesterday, not four years ago.

    Wohl may not be mainstream, but he seems to be growing in popularity. The other places I've seen it are in old-people's facebook feeds, so its being fed in from the usual Russian sources.

  • Ruling on whether the 14th Amendment should apply to the children of people here illegally isn't legislating from the bench. It originally was one of the post Civil War amendments and was aimed at ex-slaves. The authors never even considered it in the light of gigantic numbers of criminal immigrants.

  • @Bill said:
    Ruling on whether the 14th Amendment should apply to the children of people here illegally isn't legislating from the bench. It originally was one of the post Civil War amendments and was aimed at ex-slaves. The authors never even considered it in the light of gigantic numbers of criminal immigrants.

    No part of this take makes sense. The supreme court ruled over a century ago that the 14th amendment applies to children of immigrant non-citizens. Also unlawful presence in the US is not in and of itself a crime; "criminal immigrants" is meaningless faction-speak.

    Do you have some argument here? What you've written is just hand-waving, it's not like legal precedence changes when "gigantic numbers of criminals" are involved.

  • edited November 6

    There were zero immigration restrictions when the 14th amendment was originally written. It could not have had 'illegal immigrants' in mind, because our country did not start seriously limiting any immigration until over ten years after it was ratified.

    But it only took about 30 years for birthright citizenship to be clarified. There were SO MANY challenges to the breadth of the 14th amendment from the time it was adopted until fairly recently. Dozens even made it to the Supreme Court. But the most famous involved a Chinese-American man around the turn of the 20th century that was denied re-entry into the U.S. after visiting family in China. The customs men forbade his entry because his parents were originally immigrants.

    Prior to that point anyone that was white was automatically guaranteed birthright citizenship, in some cases by statue but mostly by old common law tradition. Anyone that was black and had previously been a slave was expressly guaranteed due to the 14th amendment. Anyone that was Mexican they didn't think about yet... that took another 20 or 30 years. But the Chinese, Japanese, and others... well...

    The Supreme Court case was known as: United States v. Wong Kim Ark
    The Supreme Court decided 6 to 2 in favor of Wong Kim Ark, and birthright citizenship has been the law of the land ever since. [As an aside, it is interesting to me how much of our history has seen an even number of justices on the supreme court. I can see several reasons why that isn't a bad thing].


    Anyway. Back to asylum seekers...

    The ability to apply for asylum was codified into US law in the 1960s. It was practically a requirement for our position in the U.N... but that wasn't that controversial at the time since it was actually a requirement that the U.S. had pushed for when the U.N. was created. 'Operation Wetback' notwithstanding.

    Still, its obvious that post WWII America sure was a different time in how we thought about people that needed help.

    But as for legal status... Crossing the border illegally is a misdemeanor. That used to be a civil matter, at least until the person began working or using services. Of course the old 'INS' didn't used to run around by themselves conducting warrant-less searches/raids in Milwaukee or Chicago after counting Lake Michigan as a foreign border either. (Immigration services have few limits within 100 miles of a foreign border or shoreline). Cooperation with local authorities or proof of a crime were needed until the mid 1970s, and were still the norm until the INS was absorbed into whatever the fuck they call themselves now.

    Crossing illegally (not at an approved port of entry) does not invalidate the ability to apply for asylum. A person that crosses the border at an unapproved point of entry has one year to apply for asylum before they lose their ability to do so. After they fill out their i589 form, they are not able to work for 150 days. They continue in that status until their case is reviewed, which can take years when they review them honestly. It takes a few months when they throw together a bunch of military judges to rush through kicking them out, frequently without serious review of the merit of their cases. In times past, the asylum seekers and refugees would be released on their own recognizance while waiting. Over 95% would show up for their court dates, despite the stats that President Trump made up last week.

    If they are granted asylum, they cannot apply for citizenship for five years. Which means, despite what the memes say, they will not be able to vote in the 2020 elections. ;-)

    Speaking of the rush to kick people out... Beginning in May of this year asylum seekers are no longer allowed to cite 'escaping gang violence' or 'domestic abuse' as valid reasons to apply for citizenship in the United States. Seems strange considering how obsessed with MS-13 and various other gangs our current administration is.

    For most purposes there is no difference between a refugee and a person seeking asylum. For purposes of my discussion, the difference is where the person applied for their status. A refugee applies outside of the U.S. An asylum seeker applies at a port of entry, or with an official within one year of crossing illegally.

    In cases such as escape from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatamala, waiting years in those countries for refugee status to be reviewed can be deadly in some cases. So they risk the trip to the border to apply in person.

    Which still doesn't answer why the hell do we want to keep the babies of the people we deport? There are still thousands of separated children whose parents were deported and they can't be matched. I know keeping good records was never Trumps strong point, but this is the goddamn Homeland Security department, not the municipal and sales tax records for a Trump Hotel.

    Ok. Enough word salad. I needed to get that out here so that I didn't stay up all night trying to 'debate' history and empathy with people that would eventually call me a illegal-loving-cuck or a soros-funded-liar.

  • edited November 6

    @fenomas said:
    Also unlawful presence in the US is not in and of itself a crime;

    Sure it is.

    "criminal immigrants" is meaningless faction-speak.

    Sure it is not. They are immigrants. They are here in violation of our laws. They are criminal immigrants.

    The supreme court ruled over a century ago that the 14th amendment applies to children of immigrant non-citizens.

    But did it rule that it applied the the children of criminal infiltrators?

    You are the one engaged in faction speak, not I.

  • @Clme said:
    There were zero immigration restrictions when the 14th amendment was originally written. It could not have had 'illegal immigrants' in mind, because our country did not start seriously limiting any immigration until over ten years after it was ratified.

    But it only took about 30 years for birthright citizenship to be clarified. [ed: and so on]

    Trump, by the power inherent on the presidency, can force the Supreme Court to rule on whether the children of persons who are in the United States illegally are eligible for birthright citizenship. Most lawyers are betting that the court will rule that they are, but it is a different subject from the previous rulings, and Trump is well withing his rights to force clarification of the constitutional issue.

    Which still doesn't answer why the hell do we want to keep the babies of the people we deport? There are still thousands of separated children whose parents were deported and they can't be matched.

    The separation of children from parents didn't originate in the Trump administration. The idea was to separate children from adults in an effort to cut down on child abuse and rape. Of course, the press didn't care about any of that. They wanted to hit Trump with something, so they presented it as a policy of his administration intended as punitive cruelty toward criminal infiltrators.

  • edited November 6

    @Bill said:
    Sure it is.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but nope. E.g: if someone enters on a tourist visa and never leaves, that's not a crime. (They could be subject to civil penalties and deportation of course.)

    They are criminal immigrants.

    That's not a thing. You say it if it makes you feel good, but to the listener it doesn't dereference to anything. (Or rather, it sounds like you're referring to immigrants who are also bank robbers, or whatever. But I assume that's not what you mean.)

    But did it rule that it applied the the children of criminal infiltrators?

    A statement about apples applies to red apples.

  • edited November 6

    @Bill said:
    The separation of children from parents didn't originate in the Trump administration. The idea was to separate children from adults in an effort to cut down on child abuse and rape. Of course, the press didn't care about any of that. They wanted to hit Trump with something, so they presented it as a policy of his administration intended as punitive cruelty toward criminal infiltrators.

    Yes and no. Detention of some kind started in the 70s, for special cases. But even then they didn't separate children from their parents. The children that were held indefinitely arrived unaccompanied. There were originally a few family detention centers where parents and children were kept, but only one remained in 2009 after the others were shut down for deplorable conditions.

    At one point in the mid-80s there was a major issue publicized where unaccompanied children were being kept in an overcrowded dilapidated structure (motel?) surrounded by chain-link. I forget the specifics of what horrors were in there, but the public outcry resulted in action by congress (the original Flores Settlement) to limit the amount of time that those types of facilities could be utilized.

    After that, they did still use cages, but for the most part the children weren't kept indefinitely.

    During the Obama administration there was a major outcry when the 'caravan of children' arrived. (There is that word again). Remember the news coverage showing children riding on top of freight trains coming into the U.S.? They were unaccompanied. They didn't have parents with them to be separated from. In order to try and keep within the limits of the Flores agreement and limit overcrowding, decision makers in Homeland Security began to take shortcuts in the adoption and fostering process. Suddenly it came to light that some children were being basically used as slave labor, and older ones were being used for sexual slavery. Obama took a big hit for that... but once again congress came together and passed reforms that were supposed to prevent THAT from happening again.

    So now we have Trump and Jeff Sessions. Sessions and his staff look at the Flores agreement and say "Hey, it says we're allowed to separate the kids" but they never did the requisite paperwork to actually track the children in relation to their parents. So now not only are we still separating children, but we're basically saying "Oh, we aren't supposed to steal them anymore... but well, it can still happen when we don't bother filing any paperwork"

    Trump then goes and files an executive order to stop 'separation' (despite the fact he could have just told Sessions to stop it) purely for PR. Its still happening. In fact, even when a judge orders them to put the children back with their parents they have to admit that they just plain won't be able to comply with over 10% of the cases because the children were too young to know their parents full contact information.

    This is a moral failing. This is on us. We allowed this to happen.

    We are still allowing this to happen.

  • Seems like America's just incapable of having a bipartisan reaction to anything anymore. Be it school shooting massacres, endless war, shitty veteran hospitals, undrinkable water, kids in cages, foreign interference in elections, whatever - nothing makes both sides angry in the same way. It's all just fodder to get angrier at the other side about.

  • The entire country suffers from confirmation bias.

  • @Rufus said:
    The entire country suffers from confirmation bias.

    I knew it!

  • edited November 7

    Nuh-Uh! Here are 50 links to "Occupy Democrats" and "Alternet" that prove that bias only exists on the right!

    :)

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