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  1. #1
    I AM A FEDERAL AGENT! Lestov16's Avatar
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    Default Question about Precogs

    What would be the difference between a precog who could predict all probable outcomes of an event, and one who could predict all possible outcomes of an event. Which would be more advantageous?

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    Everyone's favorite host Guy Smiley's Avatar
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    The difference would be that the probable precog could tell you what was most likely to occur. And 'probable' tends to mean the likelihood is greater than 50%, so they'll miss possible outcomes, whereas the 'possible' precog will not.

    A 'possible' precog tends to work better in a deterministic universe. ("If you ask her out, she will say yes. Your date will be ruined by an angry biker if you go to where you're thinking of going. Try the italian restaurant instead.")

    A 'probable' precog tends to work better in a quantum universe. ('If you want to go out with her, the likeliest chance of success comes from just asking her. Your best chance for a good date seems to have been when you decided to eat italian.")

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    I AM A FEDERAL AGENT! Lestov16's Avatar
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    Would you say

    Midnighter
    Amadeus Cho
    Cris Johnson

    are "possible" or "probable" precogs?

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    A Thinking Man's Rhino Omegalith's Avatar
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    It depends on how the universe works in regards to potential timelines an what other abilities the pregognative entity has.

    A cosmic entity with incredible powers and a vast mind could make use of knowledge of all possible timelines to be essentially unstoppable.

    A normal guy might be better served by tweaking his surroundings into whatever probable configuration best suited him.

    Also bear in mind that different universes have vastly different rules for what time travel allows, even if it's only information that's being displaced.

    Finally, this is all assuming that the precog is getting a clear picture. Vague prophecy is an incredibly irritating power to have. You never know when you've been trapped in a self fulfilling cycle due to having way too little info, or are being bitten in the ass by some other form of misinterpretation.
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    A Thinking Man's Rhino Omegalith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lestov16 View Post
    Would you say

    Midnighter
    Amadeus Cho
    Cris Johnson

    are "possible" or "probable" precogs?
    Dunno much about the other two, but Midnighter doesn't have precognition. He just has a built in computer that makes very good guesses based on avaliable data.
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    Everyone's favorite host Guy Smiley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lestov16 View Post
    Would you say

    Midnighter
    Amadeus Cho
    Cris Johnson

    are "possible" or "probable" precogs?
    Well, unless stuff has changed, I'd consider Cho and Midnighter 'simulationists', rather than true precogs. They don't see the future, they calculate it. And in theory they can be screwed up by variables they didn't take into account.

    Example: The heroes are fighting a guy, and one asks the precog whether it's better to punch or kick the guy. Unbeknownst to them, a small meteorite is about to hit the building, killing everyone inside.

    'Possible' precog: "It doesn't matter if you punch or kick this guy. A meteor hits this building in the next five seconds and we all die."
    'Probable' precog: "Well, if you punch this guy, the most likely result is that you... get killed by a meteor. Uh, same for kicking him. Maybe we should ru-"
    'Simulationist': "Kicking this guy at a 45-degree angle will, with your strength, propel him into the refrigerator and, uh... What's that sou-?"

  7. #7
    A Thinking Man's Rhino Omegalith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Smiley View Post
    The difference would be that the probable precog could tell you what was most likely to occur. And 'probable' tends to mean the likelihood is greater than 50%, so they'll miss possible outcomes, whereas the 'possible' precog will not.

    A 'possible' precog tends to work better in a deterministic universe. ("If you ask her out, she will say yes. Your date will be ruined by an angry biker if you go to where you're thinking of going. Try the italian restaurant instead.")

    A 'probable' precog tends to work better in a quantum universe. ('If you want to go out with her, the likeliest chance of success comes from just asking her. Your best chance for a good date seems to have been when you decided to eat italian.")
    That's not determinism, just how well it can handle fine detail. "Asking her out" isn't binary, it's a possibility cloud based on an infinite number of tiny variables such as timing, location, her mood, your exact words and so forth.
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    I AM A FEDERAL AGENT! Lestov16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegalith View Post
    Dunno much about the other two, but Midnighter doesn't have precognition. He just has a built in computer that makes very good guesses based on avaliable data.
    Cris Johnson is capable of predicting 2 minutes into the future, thus predicting every possible outcome of his actions:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUWOzyo-Kec
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lufEC...hannel&list=UL

    Amadeus does the same, not through "legit" precog, but by analyzing every variable in a situation, he is able to predict all possible outcomes of a situation

    http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0...uper_super.jpg

    What I am asking is are they predicting all probable, or possible outcomes of a situation?
    Last edited by Lestov16; 11-03-2012 at 07:43 AM.

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    Everyone's favorite host Guy Smiley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegalith View Post
    That's not determinism, just how well it can handle fine detail. "Asking her out" isn't binary, it's a possibility cloud based on an infinite number of tiny variables such as timing, location, her mood, your exact words and so forth.
    Eh, to be honest, if it were truly deterministic, the precog wouldn't say 'if' the guy asked her out. Because he'd know that the guy did, and under which circumstances. For my example the precog knows under what circumstances the guy will ask her out if he does so. The quantum version only knows the likeliest way the circumstances go down, so yeah.

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    I AM A FEDERAL AGENT! Lestov16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lestov16 View Post
    Cris Johnson is capable of predicting 2 minutes into the future, thus predicting every possible outcome of his actions:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUWOzyo-Kec
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lufEC...hannel&list=UL

    Amadeus does the same, not through "legit" precog, but by analyzing every variable in a situation, he is able to predict all possible outcomes of a situation

    http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0...uper_super.jpg

    What I am asking is are they predicting all probable, or possible outcomes of a situation?
    In addition, what about a precog Lotto winner. would they need to know all "probable", or all "possible" outcomes to get their desired outcome?

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    A Thinking Man's Rhino Omegalith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Smiley View Post
    Eh, to be honest, if it were truly deterministic, the precog wouldn't say 'if' the guy asked her out. Because he'd know that the guy did, and under which circumstances. For my example the precog knows under what circumstances the guy will ask her out if he does so. The quantum version only knows the likeliest way the circumstances go down, so yeah.
    That's more an issue of user freindliness: Whilst the guy with the power is only going to make one final desision on what to do, from his own perspective it's still entirely possible to make a show of deciding.
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    Everyone's favorite host Guy Smiley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lestov16 View Post
    In addition, what about a precog Lotto winner. would they need to know all "probable", or all "possible" outcomes to get their desired outcome?
    I think the problem here is with the term "all". Assuming you pick the numbers, if you can see all of the possible numbers the lotto folks could pick, it's functionally worthless. If you see what numbers they do pick, you only see one outcome. If you never see what they'll pick, only whether you'll win with a certain pick, you'll have to sit there in front of the ticket machine for a few hours brute-forcing the solution.

    Now, if you can't pick the numbers, you'll have to go "if I go to store X and order Y tickets, what happens?" you'll have to brute force things that way.

    Anyway, in this situation, assuming everything has an equal chance at winning, they'd do better to know 'possible' outcomes.

  13. #13
    I AM A FEDERAL AGENT! Lestov16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Smiley View Post
    I think the problem here is with the term "all". Assuming you pick the numbers, if you can see all of the possible numbers the lotto folks could pick, it's functionally worthless. If you see what numbers they do pick, you only see one outcome.
    It's not all the possible numbers. It's all possible outcomes, with only one favorable outcome (the one where the lotto is won). The odds of winning the lotto are 1 in 176 million. The precog would be able to instantly predict all 176 million possible outcomes and determine the 1 most favorable outcome.

    Is that categorized as a "possible" or "probable" precog. And why not probable (or possible)?

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    Everyone's favorite host Guy Smiley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lestov16 View Post
    It's not all the possible numbers. It's all possible outcomes, with only one favorable outcome (the one where the lotto is won). The odds of winning the lotto are 1 in 176 million. The precog would be able to instantly predict all 176 million possible outcomes and determine the 1 most favorable outcome.

    Is that categorized as a "possible" or "probable" precog. And why not probable (or possible)?
    You answered it yourself. He's picking all possible outcomes (presumably for choosing his numbers) and determining which one is correct. If he had to pick probable outcomes, he'd be screwed because any specific number set has an equal chance at being the one picked.

    My point was that the guy doesn't need to see all of the outcomes. He just goes 'Does this win?' and has a vision of watching TV and seeing the numbers picked and then looking down at his losing ticket. Then he instead picks the numbers he saw in the vision, and voila.

    This isn't something Amadeus could do, for instance. He doesn't have the variables to tell him what the winning number is going to be. If he somehow knew the location and trajectory of every ball in the tumbler or something, he could maybe figure out what balls were going to get picked, but you can't get tickets by that point.

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    I AM A FEDERAL AGENT! Lestov16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Smiley View Post
    You answered it yourself. He's picking all possible outcomes (presumably for choosing his numbers) and determining which one is correct. If he had to pick probable outcomes, he'd be screwed because any specific number set has an equal chance at being the one picked.

    My point was that the guy doesn't need to see all of the outcomes. He just goes 'Does this win?' and has a vision of watching TV and seeing the numbers picked and then looking down at his losing ticket. Then he instead picks the numbers he saw in the vision, and voila.

    This isn't something Amadeus could do, for instance. He doesn't have the variables to tell him what the winning number is going to be. If he somehow knew the location and trajectory of every ball in the tumbler or something, he could maybe figure out what balls were going to get picked, but you can't get tickets by that point.
    Could the same concept work with a conversation? Could some keep going through all possible outcomes until they find out exactly what they need to say to convince somebody of something?

    The main power of my precog is that he can look at a situation, imagine every possible outcome, and choose the course of action that offers the most favorable outcome, no matter how improbable. What would be the limits of someone with this power? We'll assume they're a carefree hedonist like the guy from Jumper.
    Last edited by Lestov16; 11-03-2012 at 09:08 AM.

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