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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:50 pm 
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The laws of thermodynamics:

1. You can't win.
2. You can't break even.
3. You can't stop playing.

(I can't remember the source--was it Niven?)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:57 pm 
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There is yet insufficient data for a meaningful answer.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:17 pm 
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Actually the singularity engine did spawn a new universe. Theoretically I suppose it might be possible to do this without destroying the old galaxy, and slip into the new universe without it destroying you. So trying to fight entropy might not be entirely futile.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:20 pm 
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I believe that Lazarus Long phrased it: "You can't win, you can't break even, you can't even quit the game."

--FreeFlier


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:22 pm 
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FreeFlier wrote:
I believe that Lazarus Long phrased it: "You can't win, you can't break even, you can't even quit the game."

--FreeFlier


Which given that he eventually lived in a civilization that developed time travel and immortality is a little off. I think there may have been some multiversal hopping as well, but I don't remember exactly.

Yes, reading the wiki article to refresh my memory he did eventually get access to multiverse hopping technology. In fact specifically technology that goes to fictional worlds. So whenever entropy catches up with one universe they can literally write a new one. The quote's pretty relevant to the real world, but not to Lazarus Long.

Though a bit of internet searching does not make it clear who actually said it first. It's apparently popped up in a lot of places with various phrasing.


Last edited by Arcanestomper on Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:37 pm 
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In a lot of ways, this has always been my biggest suspender-breaker when it comes to stories involving immortality. If you have a truly immortal human being (cannot die, but beyond that is limited to human capabilities), then entropy is a pending nightmare.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:39 pm 
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Black Sheep wrote:
In a lot of ways, this has always been my biggest suspender-breaker when it comes to stories involving immortality. If you have a truly immortal human being (cannot die, but beyond that is limited to human capabilities), then entropy is a pending nightmare.


To be fair it's a pending nightmare billions of years in the future. A lot can happen in that period of time. Including being able to accept an eternity of nothingness.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:41 pm 
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Arcanestomper wrote:
Black Sheep wrote:
In a lot of ways, this has always been my biggest suspender-breaker when it comes to stories involving immortality. If you have a truly immortal human being (cannot die, but beyond that is limited to human capabilities), then entropy is a pending nightmare.


To be fair it's a pending nightmare billions of years in the future. A lot can happen in that period of time. Including being able to accept an eternity of nothingness.

It could, yes, but that breaks my suspenders every bit as badly as the original immortality. :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:45 pm 
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Black Sheep wrote:
Arcanestomper wrote:
Black Sheep wrote:
In a lot of ways, this has always been my biggest suspender-breaker when it comes to stories involving immortality. If you have a truly immortal human being (cannot die, but beyond that is limited to human capabilities), then entropy is a pending nightmare.


To be fair it's a pending nightmare billions of years in the future. A lot can happen in that period of time. Including being able to accept an eternity of nothingness.

It could, yes, but that breaks my suspenders every bit as badly as the original immortality. :lol:


Then you have a character who spends billions of years trying to defeat entropy. That might seem ultimately futile to us now, but hey we haven't solved science. There might be something possible we simply don't know about yet.

Personally I think any species that survives long enough for the heat death of the universe to become a valid concern has already made a pretty big achievement.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:42 pm 
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And Lazarus Long was more amortal than immortal . . . he could be killed.

--FreeFlier


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:18 pm 
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Arcanestomper wrote:
Black Sheep wrote:
In a lot of ways, this has always been my biggest suspender-breaker when it comes to stories involving immortality. If you have a truly immortal human being (cannot die, but beyond that is limited to human capabilities), then entropy is a pending nightmare.


To be fair it's a pending nightmare billions of years in the future. A lot can happen in that period of time. Including being able to accept an eternity of nothingness.

yes, but before that eternity starts there's an eon of utter boredom and it's too stuffy.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:13 am 
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Black Sheep wrote:
Arcanestomper wrote:
Black Sheep wrote:
In a lot of ways, this has always been my biggest suspender-breaker when it comes to stories involving immortality. If you have a truly immortal human being (cannot die, but beyond that is limited to human capabilities), then entropy is a pending nightmare.

To be fair it's a pending nightmare billions of years in the future. A lot can happen in that period of time. Including being able to accept an eternity of nothingness.

It could, yes, but that breaks my suspenders every bit as badly as the original immortality. :lol:

This discussion made me start wondering how unique my experience is. I'm an amateur astronomer, trained in chemistry and physics and know where the edges are. Go into breaking entropy, thermodynamics, light speed and such like stuff in real life discussions or news articles and I'll toss my toys. But break it in a work of fiction and it won't even get to the bit of the brain that would apply real life knowledge to it. Same with action movies, smash someone through a building and they stand up, dust off the brick dust and head straight back into the fight, fine with me, doesn't even trigger the "He should at least have shattered bones, if not be dead" thoughts that seem to prevail in online movie faults videos. But a car with a broken, then unbroken, then broken headlight will annoy me no end. CONTINUITY PEOPLE, CONTINUITY.

To me, I guess, a work of fiction is perfectly allowable to violate every rule of nature we have, because it's a fiction and I know it to be fiction.

Discuss please.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:40 am 
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Bruce the Loon wrote:
This discussion made me start wondering how unique my experience is. I'm an amateur astronomer, trained in chemistry and physics and know where the edges are. Go into breaking entropy, thermodynamics, light speed and such like stuff in real life discussions or news articles and I'll toss my toys. But break it in a work of fiction and it won't even get to the bit of the brain that would apply real life knowledge to it. Same with action movies, smash someone through a building and they stand up, dust off the brick dust and head straight back into the fight, fine with me, doesn't even trigger the "He should at least have shattered bones, if not be dead" thoughts that seem to prevail in online movie faults videos. But a car with a broken, then unbroken, then broken headlight will annoy me no end. CONTINUITY PEOPLE, CONTINUITY.

To me, I guess, a work of fiction is perfectly allowable to violate every rule of nature we have, because it's a fiction and I know it to be fiction.

Discuss please.


Sure if the Allstar mentions that they've found a way around entropy it's just going to be a tick in the not quite hard sci-fi column. But there are much more egregious instances so I don't care.

And hey people love to quote that Asimov story which is all about reversing entropy. If fiction was required to conform to every law of nature, then we probably wouldn't have science fiction at all, or fantasy, and limited horror.

FreeFlier wrote:
And Lazarus Long was more amortal than immortal . . . he could be killed.

--FreeFlier


Theoretically, and more so in the first book. But in the second book they had such good rejuvenation techniques they could heal anything. And if you did die your friends would just time travel to right before you died and whisk you away. It happened to Lazarus at least once. And he did to both his mother and his engineer friend.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:48 pm 
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Bruce the Loon wrote:
To me, I guess, a work of fiction is perfectly allowable to violate every rule of nature we have, because it's a fiction and I know it to be fiction.

I semi agree...

I get jarred by ye olde "knock guy through a brick wall and yet he's uninjured" bit. Even if it's a super-hero, unless Super Tough is one of their 'powers'.

Example: Knocking Captain America or Spider-Man through a brick wall versus Thor or Hulk. Thor or Hulk getting up and shrugging it off, okay. Cap or Spidey though? It's not just a matter consistency (that's a big one for me as well) it's also "playing by their own rules".


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:05 pm 
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Black Sheep wrote:
The laws of thermodynamics:

1. You can't win.
2. You can't break even.
3. You can't stop playing.

(I can't remember the source--was it Niven?)

Just google what you wrote.

https://www.google.pl/search?q=1.+You+c ... 8Af4jZvoBA

First hit is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginsberg%27s_theorem


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:33 pm 
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Arcanestomper wrote:
Bruce the Loon wrote:
This discussion made me start wondering how unique my experience is. I'm an amateur astronomer, trained in chemistry and physics and know where the edges are. Go into breaking entropy, thermodynamics, light speed and such like stuff in real life discussions or news articles and I'll toss my toys. But break it in a work of fiction and it won't even get to the bit of the brain that would apply real life knowledge to it. Same with action movies, smash someone through a building and they stand up, dust off the brick dust and head straight back into the fight, fine with me, doesn't even trigger the "He should at least have shattered bones, if not be dead" thoughts that seem to prevail in online movie faults videos. But a car with a broken, then unbroken, then broken headlight will annoy me no end. CONTINUITY PEOPLE, CONTINUITY.

To me, I guess, a work of fiction is perfectly allowable to violate every rule of nature we have, because it's a fiction and I know it to be fiction.

Discuss please.


Sure if the Allstar mentions that they've found a way around entropy it's just going to be a tick in the not quite hard sci-fi column. But there are much more egregious instances so I don't care.

And hey people love to quote that Asimov story which is all about reversing entropy. If fiction was required to conform to every law of nature, then we probably wouldn't have science fiction at all, or fantasy, and limited horror.

FreeFlier wrote:
And Lazarus Long was more amortal than immortal . . . he could be killed.

--FreeFlier


Theoretically, and more so in the first book. But in the second book they had such good rejuvenation techniques they could heal anything. And if you did die your friends would just time travel to right before you died and whisk you away. It happened to Lazarus at least once. And he did to both his mother and his engineer friend.


That's not immortality though, that's just cheating death. He CAN be killed, he just....isn't. Because shenanigans.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:54 am 
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Kendrakirai wrote:
That's not immortality though, that's just cheating death. He CAN be killed, he just....isn't. Because shenanigans.

Because Heinlein loved his Mary Sue/Author Insert character a little too much.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:54 am 
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Kendrakirai wrote:

That's not immortality though, that's just cheating death. He CAN be killed, he just....isn't. Because shenanigans.


I mean I agree with evileeyore that a lot of it was Heinlein treating him as an author avatar, but it's not really much different than what the Toughs have.

They aren't immortal either. They can be killed. They have been killed. They are then restored from backups. It's just that rather than having offsite storage Lazarus Long's backups are stored back in time, or in other universes.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:15 pm 
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There's different "levels" of immortality though.

- The first level is basically you do not die of old age. But you can be murdered or die in an accident, and maybe you can die from sickness/illness as well. But until either of those happen, you keep living.

- The second level is you don't die of old age or sickness and have greater-than-normal-human regenerative abilities, either due to advanced medical tech or an inherent quality of your body (maybe an aspect of this level of immortality). If enough damage is done to your body though, more than your "healing factor" can handle, you die; e.g you get blown to bits in an explosion or burnt to ashes in an intense fire.

- The third and final level includes the aspects above, with the addition that your body somehow puts itself back together no matter what is done to it. Get vaporized in an explosion, the molecules or atoms of your body somehow put themselves back together. Having a backup of your mind and the medical tech to rebuild a body from scratch is an aspect of this, assuming there is a backup and no "do not restore" note attached to said backup.

What immortality does, at least at the first and second levels, is make death an option instead of the inevitability us mortals face. Facing the heat death of the universe, and can't stop it or escape it any other way? You can always kill yourself. If you've got the third level of immortality, where you can't die even if you really want to, well yeah, then the end of the universe would become an impending horror for you.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:07 pm 
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Actually by it's very existence option 3 makes entropy invalid. I mean if you keep living no matter what, then even if every other energy source dies you at least can still provide work.

Maybe not a lot of work, but if that's your only option then I'm sure it would be possible to hook up some machine that could harvest energy from your life processes.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:13 am 
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What if your "regen" comes at the expense of the nearby star? When it goes, then you do.

So, death is no longer an option until suddenly it is unavoidable.

===

Equally, what if your regen is put against a black hole, or the "big rip" ending of the universe? Both have the "separate your particles from each other" aspect. At what point does your body not make new particles / where do they come from in the first place?

===

Quote:
In fact specifically technology that goes to fictional worlds. So whenever entropy catches up with one universe they can literally write a new one.

Ahh, so they are the D'ni.

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