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[dragwars] A truly medieval debate (Was: Is the world round?)

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  • Tim Harford
    ... You re quite right that the books seem to imply a spherical world. Like Paul, I m slightly embarrassed to make an appeal to divine authority, but would
    Message 1 of 78 , Aug 2, 1998
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      On Sat, 1 Aug 1998, Shane wrote:
      > On 12 Jul 98, at 23:19, Tim Harford wrote:
      > > I am told that it is by no means certain that the world is round. In
      > > Khitai, "the world is known to be round", but this apparent certainty
      > > stems from typical Khitan arrogance...
      > The relevant passage refers to five small luminous objects in the night
      > sky, believed by the peasants of Krarth to be spirits of powerful magi,
      > and can be found on page 64 of Book Six: "Astronomers of Khitai or the
      > Ta'ashim lands, where the world is known to be round, could possibly map

      You're quite right that the books seem to imply a spherical world. Like
      Paul, I'm slightly embarrassed to make an appeal to 'divine' authority,
      but would point out that it was Saint Dave himself who observed that the
      Khitans think they know the world is round, but this belief is fostered by
      their tremendous arrogance.
      But I'm cheating by making reference to a tongue in cheek remark the
      author made over a beer, rather than to the texts themselves.

      Of course, it's not really terribly interesting whether Legend is 'really'
      flat or round: I doubt Dave has a ruling in mind, and even if he does
      there's nothing to stop any of us changing that ruling in our own games.
      What IS interesting is the fact that it's possible to have the discussion
      at all, and the way in which the discussion happens.

      In our own world there are very many good reasons to believe the world is
      (almost) spherical, and no good reasons to believe it is flat. Arguments
      can be supported by appeal to theory, photographs from space, observation
      of the earth's curvature from aeroplanes, etc.
      None of us are lucky enough to have visited Legend, and so we have been
      unable to experiment on the matter. Instead, we carry out our little
      discussion by appealing to:
      a) Divine authority (beers with Dave Morris: Tim, Paul)
      b) Textual authority (reading the books: Shane, Shaun)
      c) Aesthetics/Ethics (what _should_ be true: Tim, Paul)

      This is ridiculous, and exactly what a good medieval debate should be
      like. I think that we should take these discussions not just as enjoyable
      diversions but as fine examples of medieval metaphysical debate, and put
      them in our games of Legend forthwith.


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    • Kharille Chartres
      Wonder, what if your players don t like using swords? Fat chance they ll bother takin it aroun wiv them. Hey, what was it? No matter how you hurl it away,
      Message 78 of 78 , Jun 24, 2002
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        Wonder, what if your players don't like using swords? Fat chance they'll
        bother takin' it aroun' wiv' them.

        Hey, what was it? No matter how you hurl it away, it comes back to you....


        "Legless takes the bleedin' sword an' hurls it into the chasm.... Later on,
        a Dragon taps his shoulder wiv' a sword stickin' out his eyeball...."

        Legless used to be in the French Foreign Legion. One day, whilst patrolling
        the desert...
        (Camel) MERDE!!!
        Legless deserted to look for some grass.......

        Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp.
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