The Magic Box

Jon_Lincicum at stream.com Jon_Lincicum at stream.com
Wed Jan 4 12:28:18 PST 2006

Philip Hart <philiph at slac.stanford.edu> 
Sent by: dragaera-bounces at dragaera.info
01/04/06 09:45 AM

SKZB List <dragaera at dragaera.info>

Re: The Magic Box

On Wed, 4 Jan 2006, Jon Lincicum wrote:

> Philip Hart wrote:
>Look up "intermediary", then reread the scenario.  Incidentally, your
>sentence above is confused.

My pardon, that sentence was indeed poorly phrased.

On re-reading that statement, I realize that I should have said:

"Perhaps you would care to explain how Vlad could have arranged to get
 Brust theses stories if they never met face to face, and there was no 
intermediary involved?"

Just so we can agree on terms, here is what Merriam-Webster has to say 
about an intermediary:

Intermediary : acting as a mediator <an intermediary agent> <an 
intermediary particle>

In layman's terms, I would take this to mean: A person or agency that 
allows for indirect communication between two parties.

If you have an alternate definition you would like to use, I'm open to it, 
just let me know what it is so I can modify my wording as appropriate to 
express myself clearly to you.

>> If I say that it seems likely that Brust "The Interviewer" has gone to
>> Dragaera personally at some point
>You mischaracterize your own argument.

It seems likely that I phrased the original statement more strongly than 
was intended. (The use of the word "Must" in my original statement appears 
to be the principal verb in question.) I cheerfully withdraw this verb if 
this is indeed your objection. As this particular statement was not the 
primary thrust of my original point, it makes little difference to me.

>If you have any evidence that SKZB communicates with Vlad, or that Vlad
>has any knowledge of SKZB, those would be the sorts of thing you'd want
>to present.  You'd also want to have thought about counterexamples and
>have a general idea why their general class is unlikely vs your claim.

Evidence? Well, this whole conversation started from the postulate that 
Brust DID receive the texts from the world of Dragaera somehow, rather 
than creating them on his own. As this point was my postulate, it doesn't 
require its own evidence, and places the entire conversation in the realm 
of speculation.

If you wish to dispute the truth of this postulation, I won't argue with 
you, as I personally believe that Brust simply made up the stories. 
(Although I realize it borders on heresy to say such things here... ;-) )

>> It would be nice if someone would. It is somewhat wearying to try to
>> formulate a discussion, and have your counterpart simply gainsay
>> everything without bothering to explain his position.
>This point was a bit humorous - look up "begging the question", e.g.
>in wikipedia.

Ah! Finally, an explanation. Well, I would invite you to see the above 
statement about the initial postulate of the argument. This is 
speculation; it is not meant to prove a point, therefore, it cannot be 
considered a fallacious argument, since I don't really claim any of it is 

>The extremely simple scenario I gave explicitly addressed the Paarfi
>interview.  You don't really seem to be paying attention here.

Well, you *mention* the Paarfi interview, it's true, though you don't 
really *address* it, per se.

The part that is unclear to me is: "Vlad gives the box to Sethra, leading 
to the SKZB-Paarfi interview."

Leads how? How does Vlad giving the box to Sethra set up an interview with 
Brust? Where is the connection to SKZB here at all? And how is this not 
simply a series of intermediary agents in between Vlad and SKZB? (Or 
rather, bewteen Paarfi and SKZB?)

Further, since the Paarfi interview seems to show that Paarfi is directly 
observing shrugs, nods, and other gestures made by Brust during the 
interview, I would say that it is at least essential that the two can see 
each other (whether this is via televsion, some sorcerous equivilent to 
television, or an actual face-to-face interview). However, I would suggest 
that Occam's Razor would make the face-to-face meeting the more likely of 
these possibilities. 

Really, as I am relatively new to the discussion list, and this seems to 
be a well-trampled topic, it might help me more if you either a) reference 
previous mailing posts discussing the topics or b) state the nature of 
your objections a little more verbosely up front, since I am otherwise 
forced to guess at which part of my argument you find to be fallacious, 
and your rationale for thinking so. This makes it very difficult to 
respond to your points.