Re: Zones of Thought (was Zindell's _The Wild_)

Twirlip of Greymist (
Thu, 7 Nov 1996 14:55:51 -0800 (PST)

On Nov 7, 12:13pm, Crosby_M wrote:
} On Sunday, November 03, 1996 3:07 PM, Damien R. Sullivan wrote:

} aren't meant to enhance anything. They're meant as an explicit gimmick to
} allow the existence of normal humans to perceive the glory of the Powers.>

} Wow! I found alot more to the Zones in _A Fire Upon the Deep_ than that!
} and even descend to the Unthinking Depths of the Content level to let
} gravity do the dirty work of actually effecting change in the physical
} The moral of the Tines' world and the Slow Zone human Pham infected by Old
} One is that Powers can't do much at our level (though they probably have

Throw this under "what was that about a universal translator, again?"
I'm not at all sure what you mean here. The concepts stimulated in my
mind, which may or may not be what you had in mind, is that Vinge's
Powers are explicitly somewhat de-mystified. Transcendance isn't a
mysterious disappearance, a la _Marooned in Realtime_. It's having a
really big brain and being able to construct sentients to order and
having loyal nanomold. The Gods don't have strange powers beyond our
ken; they're like us, except much better.

Except that they're so much better that they do qualify as gods.

} little interest in our level most of the time) without our help. In the
} end, the Powers are reduced to operating through 'mere' human forms and
} some 'magnetic slime mold' (the Countermeasure - a more serious 'mystical'
} crutch, BTW, than FTL travel) in order to stop the Blight.

Well yes, they don't have telekinesis. To move something they have to
do some action to move something. This is what I _liked_ -- the Powers
don't manipulate matter through direct consciousness; they have tools,
like us. That's why it is harder SF.

And I don't see what Countermeasure is more of a crutch than FTL. It's
a flexible nano-thingy, which could probably construct jump vanes if
programmed to. It does something Zonal instead, befitting an object
from the High Transcend.

I suspect I haven't grasped what you meant.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

Holy Wood!...was that special sort of beautiful area which is only
beautiful if you can leave after briefly admiring its beauty and go
somewhere else where there are hot tubs and cold drinks. Actually
staying there for any length of time is a penance. -- _Moving Pictures_