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Pet Peeves v.11

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Dark Syaoran, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. Otters

    Otters Squib ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I once saw toaster mispelt as 'toster' and every now and then I'm reminded of it randomly and it pisses me off like some kind of typographic PTSD.
     
  2. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I still marvel at people that doesn't use Scryer. You can remove a lot of shit with it. The donation button is at the top of the page when you're ready to pay.
     
  3. Agent

    Agent Professor DLP Supporter

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    Is there a way to exclude fandoms when searching for a crossover on Scryer?

    Which brings me to another pet peeve which is going to seem weird for this site. Harry Potter crossovers. I'm kind of sick of them. When I'm searching for crossovers of Naruto, I don't really want to see the Harry Potter crossovers. Or if I do, rather than Harry in naruto's world, I'd rather see Naruto in Harry's world. The same with literally any fandom. If you sort by favourited, you'll always end up with the first page being Harry Potter Crossovers.
     
  4. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Moderator DLP Supporter

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  5. Scarat

    Scarat Second Year

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    I always thought the world filter on fanfiction.net referred to the different works being crossed over, but apparently it doesn't.
     
  6. Starfall

    Starfall Squib

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    Personal pet peeve: Magical cores. More broadly, attempting to provide some kind of "scientific" explanation for magic.

    The fundamental problem with all of these concepts is they take a fictional universe that's awash with possibilities and potential for fresh interpretations of existing canon material, and they mercilessly squander all of that. I don't understand this desire to make the HP universe more like a RPG that's not even well thought out. If you think your story will gain from turning the HP magic system into something "harder" and integrate these hard rules of magic in an essential way into the narrative, then you're free to go for it, but most of the time these changes are unnecessary. If your story can be told just as well by sticking to canon (or some common interpretation of canon, like Taure's), then why do you even bother? Magic is so much more interesting when it's not a matter of how much "magical energy" you can store or how much "control" you have over it.

    When you try to explain magic in this way, you inevitably raise a lot more questions than you answer. If "magical energy" is required to do some kinds of magic, then why don't counter-spells to such magic release magical energy? How is it possible that every single spell mechanism ends up being "magically endothermic"? The fundamental property of energy is that it is a state function of a system. If there are endothermic but no exothermic spell mechanisms, what you call "magical energy" can't actually be "energy" in the sense the word is used in physics. This is a huge plot hole in any story of this nature that has to be somehow resolved, and it never is.

    If you're going to use physics and mathematics to explain canon magic, then make sure you understand both physics and canon magic before doing so. (You'll also need stellar writing skills to make sure the readers don't fall asleep by the second paragraph of the story.) Otherwise you just make yourself look sloppy and ignorant. I think JKR did an excellent job telling a story without distracting from the narrative with these details, so just follow her example.
     
  7. Scarat

    Scarat Second Year

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    I get kind of annoyed by people making arithmancy mathematics. Most of these people haven't even studied mathematics much, so it seems like it would be easier for them to just create an arithmancy system from scratch, that way they dont have to worry about getting the math right.
     
  8. Starfall

    Starfall Squib

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    Do you have any examples of people attempting this? It seems difficult to make it canon compliant (seven is the most magically powerful number and so on...) and I'm honestly curious how people go about it.
     
  9. Scarat

    Scarat Second Year

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    They don't make it canon compliant. I don't have any examples because I don't really like those stories.
     
  10. Majube

    Majube High Inquisitor

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    The Arithmancer maybe? Don't remember it that much.

    Pet peeve: Fics that have great spelling and prose and then you slowly realise while reading it that the plot is complete shit. Stuff like bashing appearing out of nowhere.
     
  11. Scarat

    Scarat Second Year

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    Haven't read that one past chapter 1, so I wouldn't know, though I remember the author saying that they hadn't studied mathematics on reddit, so I wonder why they chose to make Hermione a math genius instead of a magic genius. I also remember him stating that he hates the idea of magic not being quatifiable however, so I suppose that may have led him to use math. Who knows.
     
  12. Methos

    Methos High Inquisitor DLP Supporter DLP Gold Supporter

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    I also pondered how much arithmancy is related to mathematics.
    My personal canon is:
    Arithmancy is list of patterns Wizards and Witches found through trial and error.
    Some of those patterns contradict each other, they are quite limited in scope, yet they yield results easily in low - medium level difficulty.
    Further it is a lot base on intuition (which patterns to use and which not), even more when it comes to practical skills it is useless.
    It is considered as magical classic/heritage, part of the Ministry demands when you apply for job.
    Its companion is Runes, another magical classic/heritage class the Ministry ask when applying for a job.
    Plus it lack practical skills.

    Math on the other end can give you better results however only if you delve into it quite deep (beyond bachelor degree material), especially the pure mathematics fields, and most of it is last two centuries theorems.
    Wizards and Witches look with disdain at math, generations of wizards and witches tried to use it and failed.
     
  13. PlusMortgage

    PlusMortgage Squib

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    Personally, I dislike giving importance to Math in the Harry Potter universe. Math is "the language of the universe" and is used by our scientist to understand it, but the problem is that magic doesn't make any "scientific" sense. To put it simply, math is what make 2+2=4, but wizards can just wave their wand and make 2+2=5.
    So I think that most fics that use "math and sciences" in the HP universe take the magic out of it, the fact that they also often (though not always) are muggle wanks didn't help either.

    But that's just my headcanon and it's normal people think differently.
     
  14. Methos

    Methos High Inquisitor DLP Supporter DLP Gold Supporter

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    You miss understood what I say, and the general of use of math in science if I'm reading your statements correctly.

    Math is a language, just because 2+2=4 is True in some mathematical structure, doesn't mean it has application in all fields outside of math.
    2+2=4 can be quite irrelevant in magical theory since the structure it use (Natural numbers for example) isn't a model of some magical theory.

    My idea about math and magic is:
    Some forms of high level mathematics, can produce decent magical models.
    Doesn't mean every type of high level math is useful nor it is the answer for every magical field.
     
  15. Starfall

    Starfall Squib

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    This is more of a philosophical discussion, but I think it should be uncontroversial to say that anything that can be understood at all is understood mathematically. People don't normally think in this way because they think the math classes they take in high school are representative of what mathematicians spend their time thinking about, but mathematics is about the study of abstract structures in general, not necessarily of numbers or equations and such.

    Canon gives us plenty of evidence that magical theory exists, understanding it well is crucial to successful spell casting and it is complex enough for there to be a seven year education program on the subject which still doesn't cover all of its depths. If there is any theory which fulfills these requirements but isn't mathematical in the sense I described above, then my imagination is not broad enough to conceive of it.

    This is somewhat at odds with JKR's own remarks about how magic is beyond the reach of science, but we can reconcile these two by conjecturing that magical theory is qualitatively very different from the kinds of theories we're used to in physics and chemistry - reductive, quantitative theories which constrain observation strongly. There are even signs from canon that magical theory can be expanded through experimentation (such as when Voldemort claims he's experimented and pushed the boundaries of magic further than they have ever been pushed), so this isn't that much of a stretch, I think.

    There is some subtlety required when leveling this kind of criticism, but generally if you don't know any real mathematics then you should refrain from attempting to shoehorn math into your stories. All it does is contribute to the prejudice most people already have against the field, and it almost never adds anything of value to the narrative or the fictional world.
     
  16. Scarat

    Scarat Second Year

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    I think that mathematics can be used to enhance certain areas of magic if used right. However, this would require someone to be very good at mathematics (I'm talking renowned researcher) otherwise they may as well exclude it entirely.

    Even then, I don't think it should underpin every aspect of magical theory. I like a more conceptual approach to magic and would rather deal with a variety of symbols and ideas rather than just mathematical ones. If mathematics is to be used, it should be done tastefully where appropriate and in a unique way from applied mathematics in the muggle world.

    This all being said, I feel like it is relevant to mention that I have no formal credentials in regards to mathematics.

    Edit: Thus, I have no idea how mathematics could be applied in actual detail.

    Edit:
    I think we should take her statements to mean that magic is beyond the reach of science and mathematics the way she has been taught and understands those subjects, which is absolutely true based on what we've seen in canon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  17. M.L.

    M.L. Seventh Year

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    Math, and excuse me if I'm wrong, is Objective. The problem is that Magic is not objective at all, it's subjective, and in some ways more of an opinion than a fact so to speak. It operates more on the level of literature and meaning. It's impossible to really measure magic and so in some ways its impossible to actually apply math to it. v
     
  18. Scarat

    Scarat Second Year

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    I think magic is more a mix of objective and subjective elements. Furthermore, the study of magic seems to encompass the entirety of human thinking. This is apparent in how linguistic elements can affect magic and how human concepts seem to be relevant. Thus, it could be argued that mathematics has some place in magic if you think it is born of and represents some part of human thinking. Even without using the formal structure of mathematics in your system, it is likely that it may include some of its concepts in another form.
     
  19. Starfall

    Starfall Squib

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    This isn't true. There's plenty of evidence in canon to support the existence of an objective theory of magic. A few mentions of canon facts which we may infer from context are objective laws of magic include:
    • Tom Riddle says that seven is the most magically powerful number when discussing Horcruxes with Slughorn, and he takes this arithmantic information seriously enough to use it as the basis for his decision on how many times to split his soul.
    • If we take Wonderbook: Book of Spells to be canon, then Bridget Wenlock is said to have discovered a theorem on the magical properties of the number seven. The word choice is enough to imply that this was a mathematical discovery, but even if this wasn't the case, the fact that such properties may be discovered at all gives magic an objective quality.
    • The five exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration.
    • McGonagall's statement that Vanishing more complex animals is more difficult seems to be a general principle of Transfiguration. (From OoTP, The Hogwarts High Inquisitor)
    • The entire discipline of Potions seems to be based around following specific instructions to recreate a substance, and based on Snape's improvement to the textbook recipes, we may infer that at the very least he tried multiple different ways of making the same potion until he got a result that was better than the one in the textbook. Harry is able to follow these instructions despite not having conceived of them, so it stands to reason there has to be something "objective" about how they affect the final product.
    In addition, magical theory can very well operate at the level of symbols, literature and meaning while still retaining its objectivity. Taure is particularly skilled at writing these kinds of stories, so you may want to take a look at The One He Feared and Victoria Potter to see what I'm talking about.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  20. Majube

    Majube High Inquisitor

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    That's a bit of a derail there guys, this isn't really the thread for it move it over to fanfic discussion.

    Anyways, I've found a new pet peeve that's really annoying. When authors write a whole story in narrative instead of actual prose, like this fic https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12836372/1/The-Knight-of-Lancaster-or-Something where it's 400k words of an outline/summary of a story instead of actually telling one. Even the author acknowledged it was unusual but says it would've taken longer to write it in prose.

    I doubt it though, it was already long as hell but it could've been shortened a lot by having dialogue instead of the author explaining everything. Also, they had a lot of meta references which was annoying as hell.
     
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