Who did they build the nav machine for

Image
    The people and their technology

Moderators: ᴶᵛᵀᴬ, Omphalos, Freakzilla

User avatar
inhuien
Posts: 3629
Joined: 09 Feb 2008 05:03
Location: right here as in not (all) there

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby inhuien » 20 Feb 2013 10:14

leagued wrote:Kobat: "We are attempting to make a mechanical amplifier of... those Guild navigational techniques which presently rely on melange."
Siona: "In this room we call him the Worm," Siona said. "What would your machine do?"
Kobat: "You are aware that the Guild Navigators require the spice before they can see the safe path to traverse?"
Siona: "You would replace the navigators with a machine?"
Kobat: "It may be possible."

Also, I used the first quote because it shows that Leto is surprised by the Ixian development of a navigation machine, which he wouldn't have been if it was something that had already existed. Kind of like how he wasn't surprised about Omnius... (sorry, off track)

In case I missed something elsewhere, is there any evidence or clues that point toward the Old Empire employing navigation machines before Guild navigators?


Ok, lets look at this from the perspective of post Butlerian Jihad Duniverse, all forms of thinking machines are banned or destroyed and the 3 great schools are instigated to replace their lost functionality.
If the pre BJ navigator machines were purely number crunchers would that not have been a field for the Mentats to occupy, no the humans of that time decided to evolve a select few into linear prescients to replace the computers of pre BJ times. Recall the chief commandment from the Orange Catholic Bible, "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind", which makes me think there was true machine sentience and where there is sentience prescient can follow it would most likely be a quicker process as machine can self design/evolve much faster than humans.

Also your assumed reasoning to explain his surprised state is flawed, He didn't see it coming as the redevelopment was carried out in a no-field, and If prescient machines were a completely new invention I feel even LetoII would have been more that merely surprised.
Image

User avatar
SadisticCynic
Posts: 2030
Joined: 07 Apr 2009 09:28
Location: In Time or in Space?

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby SadisticCynic » 20 Feb 2013 18:21

Ok, lets look at this from the perspective of post Butlerian Jihad Duniverse, all forms of thinking machines are banned or destroyed and the 3 great schools are instigated to replace their lost functionality.
If the pre BJ navigator machines were purely number crunchers would that not have been a field for the Mentats to occupy, no the humans of that time decided to evolve a select few into linear prescients to replace the computers of pre BJ times.


Perhaps an irrelevant point, but the Guild is believed to emphasise almost pure mathematics, so there might be something there that the Mentats couldn't follow.
Ah English, the language where pretty much any word can have any meaning! - A Thing of Eternity

User avatar
leagued
Posts: 165
Joined: 31 Jul 2008 09:25
Location: Singapore

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby leagued » 21 Feb 2013 01:38

*shrug*
To me it reads pretty clear that he is surprised/impressed that the Ixians would even be capable of creating something that would do that. You may read it differently. I still can't think of any indications w/in Frank's works that point to there being navigation machines around before the Guild.
LeagueD

User avatar
inhuien
Posts: 3629
Joined: 09 Feb 2008 05:03
Location: right here as in not (all) there

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby inhuien » 21 Feb 2013 05:55

leagued wrote:*shrug*

So what navigated the FLT craft pre BJ, humans, computers, bananas.
Image

User avatar
leagued
Posts: 165
Joined: 31 Jul 2008 09:25
Location: Singapore

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby leagued » 21 Feb 2013 06:32

Ok, maybe this is a terminology breakdown.
I believe that the pre-Jihad ships used the kind of navigation systems that our modern ships do. Charts. Computerized, yes, just as a lot of ships today use computer charts. But I do not believe that they had any kind of predictive navigation machine. That is what the Ixians made; a navigation computer capable of simulating a Navigator's prescient powers. This why the Pre-Guild expansion of the Empire would have been much, much slower; because the charts would be limited by how far mankind had gone and mankind could only safely travel within the boundaries covered by their charts (and even then not all that safely perhaps- asteroids, anomalies, all the things that would destroy a craft coming in/out of foldspace). Each jump would have been much more fraught with danger than a Guild/INM ship because no one was looking for the 4-D path that kept the ship safe; they could only use their charts.

Charts is a bit of a misnomer here; these would be elaborate 3-D models of the known universe, but still limited because there was no prescient component to them. Yes they could model the movement of planets and known space junk, but you still hit the Laplace Demon failure: you cannot predict the universe from any finite data set (Heisenberg FTW!).

The only way to guarantee a ship's safety through foldspace is for an Oracle to observe/collapse the multi-dimensional quantum waveform to a single solution and hold it in that collapsed state during the foldspace jump.

Whatever they had before the Jihad to navigate by would have been mechanistic predictors at best (hey, that asteroid was at X moving Y last time we saw it so now it should be... over here. Unless it got hit by something else that we haven't seen...). The Navigators and INMs are actually able to look at the ship's 4-D path and select the one solution (or one of many) that keeps the ship safe. Only an act of observation collapses the waveform (Schroedinger) and only an Oracle can observe a ship's path through into the future.

That's why Leto was surprised, because the Ixians were able to build a machine capable of observing/collapsing quantum waveforms in the same way that he and the Navigators could- not just for one instant in time, but from a sidereal vantage into the future.
LeagueD

User avatar
Serkanner
Posts: 2830
Joined: 17 Feb 2008 18:44
Location: Den Haag - The Netherlands

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby Serkanner » 21 Feb 2013 06:50

leagued wrote:That's why Leto was surprised, because the Ixians were able to build a machine capable of observing/collapsing quantum waveforms in the same way that he and the Navigators could- not just for one instant in time, but from a sidereal vantage into the future.


Agreed.
"... the mystery of life isn't a problem to solve but a reality to experience."

“There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”

Sandrider: "Keith went to Bobo's for a weekend of drinking, watched some DVDs,
and wrote a Dune Novel."

User avatar
inhuien
Posts: 3629
Joined: 09 Feb 2008 05:03
Location: right here as in not (all) there

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby inhuien » 21 Feb 2013 11:54

leagued wrote:Ok, maybe this is a terminology breakdown.


Nice one, you couldn't have done better if you'd tried to be insulting. There is no terminology breakdown or misconstruing of jargon, I put forward a hypothetical situation of what may have been the case and you voiced disagreement. I've been around the block a few times and you know what you learn, that it's quite okay to have differing thoughts on the same subject of fiction. Thanks for your discussion.
Image

User avatar
leagued
Posts: 165
Joined: 31 Jul 2008 09:25
Location: Singapore

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby leagued » 21 Feb 2013 19:04

Please take no offense where none was intended. Also, I'd like to think that I could do worse if I meant to insult but perhaps my wit is not as scathing as I'd like to think.
I'd thought there might be a significant difference in what we were meaning by 'navigation machine', a thought prompted by your own request as to what I thought they were using for pre-Jihad FTL navigation, and so sought to offer clarity on how I was defining the problem/argument before us. This was not meant to marginalize your own opinion on the matter, merely to establish the framework of the dispute.
If my wording implied insult, then I apologize.
LeagueD

User avatar
Naïve mind
Posts: 388
Joined: 26 Aug 2012 05:58

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby Naïve mind » 22 Feb 2013 06:33

leagued wrote:The only way to guarantee a ship's safety through foldspace is for an Oracle to observe/collapse the multi-dimensional quantum waveform to a single solution and hold it in that collapsed state during the foldspace jump.

Whatever they had before the Jihad to navigate by would have been mechanistic predictors at best (hey, that asteroid was at X moving Y last time we saw it so now it should be... over here. Unless it got hit by something else that we haven't seen...). The Navigators and INMs are actually able to look at the ship's 4-D path and select the one solution (or one of many) that keeps the ship safe. Only an act of observation collapses the waveform (Schroedinger) and only an Oracle can observe a ship's path through into the future.


I'm not sure I like the idea of tacking on the pop-sci notion that "observation by a conscious entity collapses possibilities into a single reality" onto the Dune universe. While the idea has made for some fun sci-fi novels (most notably Quarantine), and Frank Herbert wasn't above using scientific-sounding sleigh-of-hand himself it sounds ... alien, even if it's not at all at odds with the descriptions of prescience and physics given in the books.

User avatar
leagued
Posts: 165
Joined: 31 Jul 2008 09:25
Location: Singapore

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby leagued » 22 Feb 2013 07:36

Naïve mind wrote:
leagued wrote:The only way to guarantee a ship's safety through foldspace is for an Oracle to observe/collapse the multi-dimensional quantum waveform to a single solution and hold it in that collapsed state during the foldspace jump.

Whatever they had before the Jihad to navigate by would have been mechanistic predictors at best (hey, that asteroid was at X moving Y last time we saw it so now it should be... over here. Unless it got hit by something else that we haven't seen...). The Navigators and INMs are actually able to look at the ship's 4-D path and select the one solution (or one of many) that keeps the ship safe. Only an act of observation collapses the waveform (Schroedinger) and only an Oracle can observe a ship's path through into the future.


I'm not sure I like the idea of tacking on the pop-sci notion that "observation by a conscious entity collapses possibilities into a single reality" onto the Dune universe. While the idea has made for some fun sci-fi novels (most notably Quarantine), and Frank Herbert wasn't above using scientific-sounding sleigh-of-hand himself it sounds ... alien, even if it's not at all at odds with the descriptions of prescience and physics given in the books.


By all means feel free to discard this particular portion of my Dune philosophy. How we interpret prescience is always going to be a lot more open than many other aspects of Dune.
For me, the quantum mechanical aspect fits very snugly, both with the descriptions in Dune and with my physics BS- though there is some definite "pop-sci" wrt the conscious entity aspect of it all. We know that measuring an electron collapses all its probabilities to a single solution, but what that means in terms of reality in general is far from a solved problem. I prefer the idea of reality as a massive multi-dimensional waveform rather than the copenhagen many-worlds interpretation; your mileage may vary on that.
Aspects that make this fit particularly well for me come from the idea that the Oracle can create the future. Paul selecting his one vision and holding to it, drawing all the threads of fate through his one vision, sounds very much like someone holding the waveform to a single solution; even how he would constantly "call up" his vision sounds, to me, like constantly re-collapsing it by observing it again and again. An electron's position probability expands over time- the longer its been since you measured it, the greater the probability spread- ie an instant after you measure an electron orbiting a hydrogen atom at a distance of one nm its likely close to that position, but give it a few minutes and it gains a larger probability of being somewhere in the vicinity of Pluto.
But, like I said, none of that is particularly relevant to discussing FH's ideas/philosophies. I do not think that Frank had this concept in mind when he was writing Dune, its just the mental model that works best for me.

I have not read Quarantine, but Illium explores the idea that the conscious mind itself is a constantly-collapsing quantum waveform. The first book is better than the second and I regret reading them before my quantum mechanics classes because I was a little lost. May have to re-read and see if I get more out of them now.

Does anyone have any thoughts about Leto II being mistaken about the necessity of re-starting the sandworm cycle?
LeagueD

User avatar
inhuien
Posts: 3629
Joined: 09 Feb 2008 05:03
Location: right here as in not (all) there

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby inhuien » 22 Feb 2013 09:12

leagued wrote:Please take no offense where none was intended. Also, I'd like to think that I could do worse if I meant to insult but perhaps my wit is not as scathing as I'd like to think.


It is in fact me who should apologise, I'm of for time to time subject to an attack of the prick.
Image

User avatar
Naïve mind
Posts: 388
Joined: 26 Aug 2012 05:58

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby Naïve mind » 22 Feb 2013 12:12

leagued wrote:We know that measuring an electron collapses all its probabilities to a single solution, but what that means in terms of reality in general is far from a solved problem. I prefer the idea of reality as a massive multi-dimensional waveform rather than the copenhagen many-worlds interpretation; your mileage may vary on that.


Forgive me if I understood this wrong, but I was under the impression that the collapse happened because "observing" tiny particles actually more resembles playing subatomic snooker. Bounce a quantum of light--the least invasive measuring tool known to man--off an electron, and you've measured its position--but also inevitably altered its trajectory. That leads to thinking of particles in aggregate (because you can then take samples, and still reason about their behaviour), which leads to a lot of quirky interpretations by bored physicists which are mostly amusing because they fit the available data, yet are impossible to prove or disprove by experiment. If I understand things correctly, 'consciousness' plays no special role in what quantum mechanics calls "observation".

Don't get me wrong, I like your interpretation--I think it's what Herbert would've used if he'd been a mid-nineteen nineties neo-hard SF writer. :)

User avatar
SadisticCynic
Posts: 2030
Joined: 07 Apr 2009 09:28
Location: In Time or in Space?

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby SadisticCynic » 22 Feb 2013 13:55

Naïve mind wrote:
leagued wrote:We know that measuring an electron collapses all its probabilities to a single solution, but what that means in terms of reality in general is far from a solved problem. I prefer the idea of reality as a massive multi-dimensional waveform rather than the copenhagen many-worlds interpretation; your mileage may vary on that.


Forgive me if I understood this wrong, but I was under the impression that the collapse happened because "observing" tiny particles actually more resembles playing subatomic snooker. Bounce a quantum of light--the least invasive measuring tool known to man--off an electron, and you've measured its position--but also inevitably altered its trajectory. That leads to thinking of particles in aggregate (because you can then take samples, and still reason about their behaviour), which leads to a lot of quirky interpretations by bored physicists which are mostly amusing because they fit the available data, yet are impossible to prove or disprove by experiment. If I understand things correctly, 'consciousness' plays no special role in what quantum mechanics calls "observation".

Don't get me wrong, I like your interpretation--I think it's what Herbert would've used if he'd been a mid-nineteen nineties neo-hard SF writer. :)


You're referencing the uncertainty principle (actually the observer effect - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_(physics), especially the last paragraph under the Quantum Mechanics heading) rather than the concept of measurement with that example I think.

As to whether consciousness is involved in measurement... :confusion-shrug:

leagued wrote:... like constantly re-collapsing it by observing it again and again.


Somewhat ironically this reminds me of the Quantum Zeno effect, which actually halts the time evolution of a system.
Ah English, the language where pretty much any word can have any meaning! - A Thing of Eternity

User avatar
leagued
Posts: 165
Joined: 31 Jul 2008 09:25
Location: Singapore

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby leagued » 22 Feb 2013 19:53

SadisticCynic wrote:
Naïve mind wrote:
leagued wrote:We know that measuring an electron collapses all its probabilities to a single solution, but what that means in terms of reality in general is far from a solved problem. I prefer the idea of reality as a massive multi-dimensional waveform rather than the copenhagen many-worlds interpretation; your mileage may vary on that.


Forgive me if I understood this wrong, but I was under the impression that the collapse happened because "observing" tiny particles actually more resembles playing subatomic snooker. Bounce a quantum of light--the least invasive measuring tool known to man--off an electron, and you've measured its position--but also inevitably altered its trajectory. That leads to thinking of particles in aggregate (because you can then take samples, and still reason about their behaviour), which leads to a lot of quirky interpretations by bored physicists which are mostly amusing because they fit the available data, yet are impossible to prove or disprove by experiment. If I understand things correctly, 'consciousness' plays no special role in what quantum mechanics calls "observation".

Don't get me wrong, I like your interpretation--I think it's what Herbert would've used if he'd been a mid-nineteen nineties neo-hard SF writer. :)


You're referencing the uncertainty principle (actually the observer effect - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_(physics), especially the last paragraph under the Quantum Mechanics heading) rather than the concept of measurement with that example I think.

As to whether consciousness is involved in measurement... :confusion-shrug:

leagued wrote:... like constantly re-collapsing it by observing it again and again.


Somewhat ironically this reminds me of the Quantum Zeno effect, which actually halts the time evolution of a system.


And then he disappeared down a wiki rabbit hole...
LeagueD

User avatar
SadisticCynic
Posts: 2030
Joined: 07 Apr 2009 09:28
Location: In Time or in Space?

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby SadisticCynic » 23 Feb 2013 11:06

:lol:

Why, oh why didn't I take the blue pill?
Ah English, the language where pretty much any word can have any meaning! - A Thing of Eternity

User avatar
leagued
Posts: 165
Joined: 31 Jul 2008 09:25
Location: Singapore

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby leagued » 02 Mar 2013 01:02

nullentropy bins = quantum zeno effect on a macroscale?
LeagueD

User avatar
SandRider
Watermaster
Posts: 6163
Joined: 05 Oct 2008 16:14
Location: In the back of your mind. Always.
Contact:

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby SandRider » 02 Mar 2013 02:43

leagued wrote:And then he disappeared down a wiki rabbit hole...



sig worthy
................ I exist only to amuse myself ................
ImageImage

I personally feel that this message board, Jacurutu, is full of hateful folks who don't know
how to fully interact with people.
~ "Spice Grandson" (Bryon Merrit) 08 June 2008

georgiedenbro
Posts: 770
Joined: 11 Jun 2014 13:56
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby georgiedenbro » 08 Aug 2014 11:41

Naïve mind wrote:
leagued wrote:The only way to guarantee a ship's safety through foldspace is for an Oracle to observe/collapse the multi-dimensional quantum waveform to a single solution and hold it in that collapsed state during the foldspace jump.

Whatever they had before the Jihad to navigate by would have been mechanistic predictors at best (hey, that asteroid was at X moving Y last time we saw it so now it should be... over here. Unless it got hit by something else that we haven't seen...). The Navigators and INMs are actually able to look at the ship's 4-D path and select the one solution (or one of many) that keeps the ship safe. Only an act of observation collapses the waveform (Schroedinger) and only an Oracle can observe a ship's path through into the future.


I'm not sure I like the idea of tacking on the pop-sci notion that "observation by a conscious entity collapses possibilities into a single reality" onto the Dune universe. While the idea has made for some fun sci-fi novels (most notably Quarantine), and Frank Herbert wasn't above using scientific-sounding sleigh-of-hand himself it sounds ... alien, even if it's not at all at odds with the descriptions of prescience and physics given in the books.


Below are a couple of quotes that are precisely the notion that time's possibilities are all contained in a standing waveform matrix that collapses down to one reality when observed. Here we see that Muad'dib could zero in on one possibility within a standing wave and 'freeze the universe' into that framework.

Childred of Dune wrote:No, grandmother: to know the future absolutely is to be trapped into that future absolutely. It collapses time. Present becomes future. I require more freedom than that."


Children of Dune wrote:Only in the realm of mathematics can you understand Muad'Dib's precise view of the future. Thus: first, we postulate any number of point-dimensions in space.
(This is the classic n-fold extended aggregate of n dimensions.) With this framework, Time as commonly understood becomes an aggregate of one-dimensional properties. Applying this to the Muad'Dib phenomenon, we find that we either are confronted by new properties of Time or (by reduction through the infinity calculus) we are dealing with separate systems which contain n body properties. For Muad'Dib, we assume the latter. As demonstrated by the reduction, the point dimensions of the n-fold can only have separate existence within different frameworks of Time. Separate dimensions of Time are thus demonstrated to coexist. This being the inescapable case, Muad'Dib's predictions required that he perceive the n-fold not as extended aggregate but as an operation within a single framework. In effect, he froze his universe into that one framework which was his view of Time.

-Palimbasha: Lectures at Sietch Tabr
"um-m-m-ah-h-h-hm-m-m-m!"

georgiedenbro
Posts: 770
Joined: 11 Jun 2014 13:56
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby georgiedenbro » 08 Aug 2014 13:28

leagued wrote:Does anyone have any thoughts about Leto II being mistaken about the necessity of re-starting the sandworm cycle?


He was not mistaken. The fact that ships could navigate using the INM doesn't relate to all the other uses of melange. The spice was needed, and so the worms were needed. What is a more interesting question is whether the eventual BT ability to produce melange made sandworms obsolete. Having all the eggs in one basket is never safe for melange, and so it would certainly be required to safeguard either the sandworms or the BT themselves. Since later on the Empire-based BT are all but wiped out, and Scytale nearly along with the rest, the worms would have been all that remained of the spice production. In general, since the BT have an agenda, and the worms don't, it's far more efficient to have worms produce the spice since they don't dictate terms.
"um-m-m-ah-h-h-hm-m-m-m!"

User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18163
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby Freakzilla » 08 Aug 2014 19:56

Why was spice needed?
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

georgiedenbro
Posts: 770
Joined: 11 Jun 2014 13:56
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby georgiedenbro » 09 Aug 2014 00:08

Freakzilla wrote:Why was spice needed?


On a literal level I guess I have to say it wasn't needed any more than any 'necessity' other than food, water and air were needed. As you have pointed out before, even if an entire generation of spice-users died from withdrawal then the next would at least be ok using previous awareness-spectrum drugs. The ability to triple one's natural lifespan, though, would be so desired that for this reason alone people would probably do anything they could to keep it around.

On the meta-narrative level I think the spice melange as part of life is one of Dune's main presiding themes, and on this level it is a need for life much in the way freedom is a need for life; not required for basic survival but required for what we'd consider the minimal requirements for a higher life. I don't want to go into meta-interpretation in this thread, but I do agree that the literal story's need for spice peters out towards the end of the series, and in that sense I think the two levels of narrative (meta and literal) don't quite keep pace with each other over the six books. I'll keep reading through the forum to see if there's a thread on the meta-narrative before posting anything of my own.
"um-m-m-ah-h-h-hm-m-m-m!"

User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18163
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby Freakzilla » 10 Aug 2014 08:21

I think it was actually part of Leto's plan to ween the population off of spice, but I've probably said that here a hundred times. I'd be interested in reading your thoughts... after my head stops hurting.
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

georgiedenbro
Posts: 770
Joined: 11 Jun 2014 13:56
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby georgiedenbro » 10 Aug 2014 11:06

I tend to keep my alcohol level to a low level humming in my head :oops:
"um-m-m-ah-h-h-hm-m-m-m!"

User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18163
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby Freakzilla » 10 Aug 2014 11:26

I was celebrating, i got signed divorce papers yesterday! :dance: (Not that I need a reason.)
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

georgiedenbro
Posts: 770
Joined: 11 Jun 2014 13:56
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Who did they build the nav machine for

Postby georgiedenbro » 10 Aug 2014 11:38

Well I guess congrats are in order!...?
"um-m-m-ah-h-h-hm-m-m-m!"


Return to “˱”