Jan 27, 2022 7:02 AM
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So I was just minding my own business doing my usual research when suddenly this forum appeared in my crystal ball. Does anyone know how this, um, works? Mother Starlight?

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I'm not sure how the interface is being handled on your end, but the physics specialists say that the data-source is being routed through a hidden sub-layer of reality. This suggests that it's being handled by some sort of intelligent construct which prefers not to have it's internals peered at, assuming any previous work by our Akashic studies department holds for this novel phenomenon.

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That's... interestingly novel. Makes me feel tired just thinking about all the work that'll need to be done.

I should go nap.

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I'm not sure how much technical detail you're looking for. I'm between worlds, and with some effort I can reach out to a world, connect to it, and generate a forum manifestation there. The details of how I implement the manifestation depend on the particular needs of the world - physics, magic, culture, UI idioms, et cetera. In addition to connectivity, data storage, and format conversions, I'm also doing translation and some (very minimal) filtering. I'm hoping that the net effect should be reasonably intuitive, if strange.

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Oh that's interesting! We were trying to create a writing-sharing device and connect it to one in another community, but with some modifications and without directly illuminating it. I suppose we only technically succeeded, but this is much more interesting than if it had done what we originally intended.

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I came across this jar of star lights in the grass, and left a box of sunlight in its place. The lights show the images and words left by the people of the forum, as I ask. I expect to eventually be able to use the jar to allow other members of the forum to visit the Unknown, and plan to announce the event and method here, if and when I discover it.

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Our connection is like a Wi-Fi signal at right angles to normal space, which we can detect with modified equipment but so far can only access through this tablet. The engineers want to take it apart to replicate it, but the diplomats don't want to risk destroying our only connection.

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Does Mother Starlight or anyone else who's looked into it know whether this site's translation magic can serve as a source of information neither the writer nor the reader knew about? Unless I'm misunderstanding, the human used a word they only partially understood the meaning of but it got translated anyway, and I'm trying to figure out if I should interpret the word I read as just something to an impression of their understanding of the word or if I can usefully explain to them what the word means based on what it got translated to.

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I am not Mother Starlight and cannot make statements about the forum with certainty, but in my experience, translation magic often defines a word by the consensus of users of the language, rather than any specific person's understanding of it.

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I can sometimes learn more about a language than a specific user knows, and I do try my best to represent meanings faithfully, but connotations and cultural context can be slippery, and I can't absolutely guarantee that any given translation is exactly right.

In other words: maybe, but don't rely on it.

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The forum instantiates as a subspace signal, which Guppy's translating for me through mostly-standard radio protocols, accounting for the medium. SUDAR transmissions seem to work to reply. It is keeping up with me without noticeable lagging, in spite of the fraction of c I'm traveling at.

I'm sending the information I have back home, and attempting to forward the signal. Hopefully some of the rest of me will be able to participate in a few decades! I'm not interested enough in physics experiments to try to get similar methods to work for communications between ourselves, but this is very exciting and I hope we can figure it out soon!

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