OpenGeofiction

Verisimilitude - how is it possible?

Posted by Picard-Lindelöf on 4 October 2018 in English (English)

This is rather philosophical:

You draw an opera in your map. By doing this, you acknowledge that in the OGF world the musical genre of "opera" exists. But this genre only came to be because of European music history of many centuries, so you acknowledge that this has taken place, too. So there has to be Europe, which there isn't in OGF.

If OGF is a different world, why would they even have operas? Would they have orchestras? Wouldn't they be playing totally different instruments?

Another example: The OGF encyclopedia states "Avoid referencing real world companies, organizations, and famous people or characters". Alright, no Coca Cola etc. But what about math and science, for instance? Do we have to come up with a new name for Euler's number just for the sake of it?

Of course all of this doen't really matter much for the mapping itself, but I can't wrap my head around the concept that the OGF world has to be similar to the real world when no real world history, people and places are supposed to exist...

Comment from Trombonist2003 on 4 October 2018 at 12:39

I agree that Verisimilitude is a complex concept, but of course there should be some ways to compromise, ex. Set a different location as Europe, etc.

I believe there has been a discussion about verisimilitude and the periodic table somewhere...

I personally think that it is possible to achieve history in a similar form to the Real-World, ex. Our Europe would be somewhere else, or there would be some other dominant soft drink.
Yes I do agree that small details will be a bit different from the real world, but OGF is not necessarily a completely different world building project, just a mapping project. The wiki really only exists to describe mapping and a few other things past that.

I don't know how to word this better,
Zekiel

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Comment from zhenkang on 4 October 2018 at 12:58

It is a complex issue, and this have been brought up by many, including myself regarding the perioduc table. There has also been discussions about the rule, but it is largely agreed that the rule is there to prevent uncreativeness in OGF.

But music genres, churches and other stuff, they are generally allowed. Just that we have to explore ways as to how they were bought into OGF (ie how are they invented) and how they were named, in the case of some scientific and mathematical terms.

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Comment from wangi on 4 October 2018 at 16:02

The trick is to not overthink things.

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Comment from Yuanls on 4 October 2018 at 16:41

This applies for everything that we see on the OGF map. Should a planet with so much contintental area have plate tectonics? How on earth would humans and living things evolve in an identical way to Earth? While its components are realistic, as a fundamental concept, OGF as it exists is totally unfeasible and there's literally nothing we can do about it.

We can fill in gaps but there's only so much we can do before we start digging larger and larger holes to fit the OGF 'narrative'. I believe that the fundamental flaws will and should just not be written about, and taken at it is.

Theoretically this is self-sustaining. Any experienced user that cares enough to write about these kinds of things in detail will realise that there is no way that the OGF world could conform to the historical, physical or biological narratives of its real counterpart. They would not elaborate on them, or else they would undermine established aspects of OGF that cannot be changed.

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Comment from whateversusan on 4 October 2018 at 18:53

The OGF world feels both parallel and separate from our own. It's the sort of thing that's just to the left of this world, and has plenty of familiar concepts and ideas and names and languages, but the setting is entirely different.

If there really are infinite parallel universes out there, surely one of them is like this. And if not, then we can wave our hands and say that clearly some very irritating wizards made it this way, and move on.

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Comment from histor on 4 October 2018 at 19:28

"But what about math and science, for instance? Do we have to come up with a new name for Euler's number just for the sake of it?"

This is a question of real practical importance - this persons are that, after which streets are named. For me one Ampere is one Ampere in OGF and in real world and Beethoven is Beethoven and Aristoteles too is remembered in the OGF-world. So streets are named with this cultural hightlights of reality.

An other question are politicans and famous kings - like Napoleon, Lincoln, Kennedy or Bismarck. I do not think, it is helpful to use such widely known names.

Indeed the scissor between reality / verisimilitude and plain imitation sometimes is a philosophian question.

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Comment from zhenkang on 4 October 2018 at 23:32

Nevertheless, this discussion is slightly pointless, since it does not affect our mapping as of now (like you said).

@histor about philosphers and famous people, I was thinking we should think of equivalents to replace them. But as of now also feel free to create fictional composers.

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Comment from Sarepava on 5 October 2018 at 07:44

Given the same physical laws, geological timeline and characteristics of the planet, it's likely human life would have progressed in a way similar to our own. It's highly likely that people would have developed singing which became some form of staged performance art with instruments and different traditions in different parts of the world, so that 'opera' was almost bound to exist in a form we would recognise. If the wheel was invented, the existence of paved roads and fuel-burning engines becomes very likely at some point further down the timeline.

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Comment from Picard-Lindelöf on 5 October 2018 at 08:38

Of course this discussion is pointless, but while mapping some things I thought "Wait, can this exist in OGF?". I just wanted to know what the general concensus on this topic is... So far I've been avoiding naming things after real people, but as Histor says you need to be careful if you do it.

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Comment from zhenkang on 5 October 2018 at 08:41

Actually, are you Scandavian by any chance?

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Comment from Picard-Lindelöf on 5 October 2018 at 08:46

No I live in Germany, with my family being from Russia originally

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Comment from zhenkang on 5 October 2018 at 08:52

Well, good to know you better. Will you like to come over for a brief period to the Pretanic Faction State? It is open for collaboration.

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Comment from Ūdilugbulgidħū on 5 October 2018 at 21:29

Its not possible - that's kind of the point. Verisimilitude implies we should try and make things 'like real', which in turn implies that 'real' isn't ok. Real things and real people shouldn't exist in OGF. Names of places and people that are on the map won't be the same as the real places or people. Only the things we interpret these by are the same: the symbols and the language. "Do we have to come up with a new name for Euler's number just for the sake of it?" No, we just come up with a new Euler.

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Comment from histor on 7 October 2018 at 18:23

"Real things and real people shouldn't exist in OGF. " -- Good Luck!

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Comment from Easky30 on 7 October 2018 at 21:17

I agree with Wangi, try not to over think it. I look at OGF like I would an atlas of places I have never seen before.

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Comment from Ūdilugbulgidħū on 7 October 2018 at 21:37

Ha ha - yes, probably just a dream!

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Comment from Thunderbird on 11 October 2018 at 00:40

Don't overthink it, +1 @wangi

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