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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

is all the worry about the Dark One breaking free pointless?


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Two things we know.

 

1. It's impossible for the DO to win because time in the wheel of time is like a the surface of a ring... there is no beginning or end it's just a loop that exist all at the same time. Meaning all time happening is the past/future/now. Being that every coming second in Randland is the past they've already happened before and the DO has already lost infinite times in infinite turnings an infinite time. But...

 

2. The DO creates paradoxes and is attempting to break the wheel and the infinite loop of time. It kind of makes sense when you think about it that for the DO to escape he would need to stop the infinite times he loses. I mean, how do you escape a prison where it's created that you lose an infinite times? By destroying time itself.

Edited by Vermillion
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Farshainmael: The creator made the universe and Einstien explained to us that that creation include time and space; therefore the creator did not have an empty room and build within it a universe... the assumption that the physical world has time and space ergo the Creator has a time and space of his own which is independent is silly. the creator is not limited by finite qualities therfore he can't have a time or space in his reality, because those quantities have dimension and a time dependent Creator living in a space reference frame would be limited as well...

 

1. DO can defeat Randlanders, but DO never will, becasue he never did. on the wheel of time all future events exist in the past as well,

2. also mind that the destruction of the pattern does not mean cutting all the threads in the pattern to prevent future weaving, it means destroying the pattern, were the pattern truely destroyed at any point in history, its effects would be instantaneous through all time ie every thread would cease to exist going all the way back to creation so there would never have been any second day, thus we can be assured that the pattern will never be destroyed, for here we are.

 

1. This is my belief, as well, though for a different reason.

2. There's a flaw in that logic, like the balefire paradox. If DO destroys the pattern both forward and backward, then there never was any pattern. If there never was a pattern, the DO could not decide to destroy it, If the DO did not plan to destroy it, it still exists. Repeat the loop until bored. :) On the other hand, he could destroy the pattern forward and sideways. That is, if we are turnings beyond number in the past, it is possible that DO could destroy our future in the infinite distance, and all other realities at the same time. But I think that unlikely.

 

 

No , we all knew the dark one was going to lose because Robert Jordan said it in an interview .

 

I am rather interested in seeing that interview, although of course Jordan kind of let the cat out of the bag in the first book I suppose what with those quotations from works from the Fourth Age.

 

 

Several times, RJ answered that this turning of the Wheel was no different than any other. I believe we can agree that it is unlikely the DO has already won ultimate victory in a past turning. Logically, if this turning is not significantly different than any other, the DO cannot win at this turning. Following the logic further, this turning is significantly different from neither past nor future turnings, and so the DO cannot win ever.

 

 

 

And for the clever people who think that the Mat/Tuon thing is a garuntee of safety, consider this: RJ did not lie as far as we know, but he also did not spoil anything so far ahead. It is a remote possibility that he gave that assurance so that we would be surprised by the end (one, or both of them, die). I don't think that'll happen, but it almost makes more sense than him having told the truth.

 

From our point of view the Do cannot win that is fairly certain , we know one way or another the forces of good will find a way to unite and face him , but from a member of Randland there is no certainty .

The Do as actually a fair shot at winning and without Rand many of the people would have already lost hope and abandon the fight , earlier I war referring to an interview of Robert Jordan who put it simply :

 

He said , :" In reality you have very few certainty [...] in fantasy you face a great deal of danger , a great deal of uncertainty , but you have one particular certainty , evil won't won the final victory , there will be victories by evil along the way , people you love may die , but good will win out "

 

 

for the exact interview

 

 

I wonder if the Do is part of the wheel or if it is actions that makes the loops , more like the village who go crazy at night and reset in the morning .

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...

 

Honestly it felt to me as if Brandon was reaching in that scene. He had the need to create drama and thus the Amyrlin's Anger, and went for the easy, plot driven, motivation.

 

What anger? If that was the anger and not a setup to the real anger at FoM then I'll certainly join your crusade in thrashing BS, cause that would be crap. There's no anger in that scene. None. More like "Amyrlin's appeal to reasonably debate a crazy plan".

 

Yet it seems pretty likely that was fulfilment of the Amyrlin's Anger foretelling, but even if it is just a lead up, Brandon was still reaching for the motivations of that scene. Because, lead up or actual event, its evident Brandon was trying to meet a notation on what was supposed to occur, and in trying to bring the characters to meet that notation he relied entirely upon situational motivation (i.e. Rand being pointlessly obtuse about explaining the reasoning behind breaking the seals, and Egwene being pointlessly obtuse about not looking deeper than the very obvious surface) rather than looking deeper for character based motivations with which to fuel the scene.

 

This is an example of what I speak of when I refer to their being instances of lowest common denominator plotwork present within tGS and TofM.

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This discussion has come up so many times over the years, it gets a little tiring. That being said...

 

You need to be careful of two things:

 

1. That you don't commit a Gambler's Fallacy (http://en.wikipedia....r's_fallacy)

2. You have a good grasp on what a probability is.

 

Let’s imagine you have a perfectly fair coin. That means that on every flip of the coin, there is a 50% chance of a "heads" result occurring, and a 50% change of a "tails" result occurring.

 

The Gambler's Fallacy raises its ugly head when you assume that a tails result is more likely to happen after a long run of heads. But this assumption directly contradicts the supposition that the coin was fair. Every flip of the coin is completely independent of every other. The fact that the coin flips result in 1 billion heads in a row does not alter one bit the fact that the next flip has an even chance of being heads or tails.

 

Now, if I flipped a coin and it came up heads 1 billion times in a row, most people would insist that the coin is rigged; that the chance of that happening is too small for it to ever occur. But what those people overlook is that any sequence of n flips is just as likely to occur as any other. For example, for 1 flip, there are 2 ways it can go: H or T, each of which occurs at 1/2 times. For 2 flips, we have 4 ways: HH, HT, TH, TT, each of which occurs 1/4 times. In general, for n flips of a coin, there are 2^n outcomes, each of which has a 1 in 2^n chance of occurring. What trips us up is ascribing special significance to patterns that we can grasp. So we intuitively, but wrongly, thing that HHHHHHHHHH, or TTTTTTTTTT, or HTHTHTHTHT are less likely to occur then HHTHTHHTTT, when, in fact, each of them are just as likely as the others. Too, if your coin cannot produce 1 billion heads in a row, than by definition it’s biased; it doesn't actually produce, with equal probability, one of the possible sequences.

 

To bring this back to the DO, what we mean when we say an outcome has a 1 in x chance of happening is that, if we did enough runs, we would expect that, on average, 1 out of every x trials had the particular outcome. That does not mean that if we did x runs, at least 1 would be the result in question, and not getting that result on any particular set of runs doesn't indicate that the result is impossible (i.e., that the fix is in). So, let’s say for the sake of argument that the DO has a 1 in 100 chance of winning. That means that every time the 3rd age comes around, we roll a 100 sided dice and see if he wins. According to the above, the fact that he's lost 1 billion times so far is irrelevant; every time the 3rd age comes up, it’s a straight 1 in 100 chance. Now I can already hear people coming out with "but infinity!"

 

To this I want to say, first, infinity is not a number, it’s a concept. While there are transfinite numbers, both cardinal and ordinal, they don't behave like finite numbers. Too, it does not matter how many turnings of the wheel there have been, it’s not infinite. If you have a finite number, adding a finite number to it results in another finite number. So, unless the Creator made the wheel with an infinite past, it will never have an infinite past.

 

The question that started this thread is basically equivalent to this one: If the 3rd age has happened x times, what’s the probability that the DO won at least once? Again, let’s think about a coin. If I flip a coin 4 times, what’s the probability that a “tails” result occurred? To figure that out, we just have to enumerate the possible outcomes and look at how many involve a tails versus the total. The possible outcomes are:

 

HHHH, HHHT, HHTH, HHTT

HTHH, HTHT, HTTH, HTTT

THHH, THHT, THTH, THTT

TTHH, TTHT, TTTH, TTTT

 

There are 16 results, and of them, 15 of them have a tails in them. So, if were to reach into a bag containing 16 slips of paper, each of which has one of these sequences written on them, and pulled one out, there is a 15/16 chance that we will draw out a paper with a T on it.

 

But this isn’t the right question, is it? The DO just needs to win once. So what we really want is how many times must we flip a coin before the first Tails comes up?

 

It turns out that the answer to this question is 1/x where x is the probability of the outcome. In the case of the coin, the number of attempts before a tails comes out is 1/(1/2) = 2. The more unlikely the event, the more runs you have to have on average before the event occurs. If the probability that the DO wins is extremely small, than it will take many, many iterations of the 3rd age before we expect him to get a win.

 

But the key thing to note here is that we are still talking about probabilities, not certainties. Just because on average it takes 2 flips of a coin to get a Tails doesn’t mean that every time a coin is flipped twice, at least one result will be a tail; that would be a gambler’s fallacy again. Each flip of the coin is an independent event. It’s perfectly possible and acceptable for long, long strings of coin tosses to come up heads. So, it’s perfectly possible for the DO to never win; it’s just unlikely.

 

Now, the huge caveat, here, is that we are treating the DO winning or not as the result of a random event. I think it’s safe to say that this is not the case. If the DO winning or losing is not a random event, then all the analyses here, and the question about the chance of winning at infinity, is meaningless.

 

The take home lesson? This is goddamn fantasy, it doesn't have to obey the rules of statistics, and most people don't get those rules anyway.

Edited by Daemin
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I think at this point the question isn't "Could the dark one win?". It's "Who is going to die/be scarred for life defeating him?".

It was my point when I quoted the man himself .

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To this I want to say, first, infinity is not a number, it’s a concept. While there are transfinite numbers, both cardinal and ordinal, they don't behave like finite numbers. Too, it does not matter how many turnings of the wheel there have been, it’s not infinite. If you have a non-finite number, adding a finite number to it results in another finite number. So, unless the Creator made the wheel with an infinite past, it will never have an infinite past.

The question that started this thread is basically equivalent to this one: If the 3rd age has happened x times, what’s the probability that the DO won at least once? Again, let’s think about a coin. If I flip a coin 4 times, what’s the probability that a “tails” result occurred? To figure that out, we just have to enumerate the possible outcomes and look at how many involve a tails versus the total. The possible outcomes are:

 

I think Moridin was actually betting on an infinite future with a finite past. IF there is a finte past, but time goes on forever unless the DO wins, AND there is a chance that the DO wins in every turn... then the DO WILL break free at some point. Guaranteed.

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I thank Daemin for the wiki on the Gambler's Fallacy, very interesting read. It also seems to sum up Ishy's philosephy perfectly. If Ishamael truly believed the chances were very slim (almost nill, depending on probability) he probably wouldn't have been sufficiently convinced to join the DO just to end it all. However, if he's thinking that the Light has one so often, the DO is due soon, then he's definitely following that mindset.

 

This series is immense and revolutionary in my opinion for many reasons, but I don't think it'll all be pointing to an inevitable victory by the DO.

 

I'll take this thought one step further: If we can believe in the probabilty that the DO can ultimately win (meaning it's at all possible, no matter how many wheel turnings it takes), then it follows that in a balanced system there'd be an equal chance for the light to ultimately win. My brain kind of hurts at this point, as concepts of infinity are very tough to grasp, but it could even extend that the DO has unmade time (as observed by creation) before, and then the Creator has un-unmade (or made) time again. This whole creation could just be a move on a stones board between Creator and DO, who might even just call eachother Mike and Stan. But if we want to just focus on this creation, and eliminate the vast numbers of probability and stick to the intended purpose of the story, the Wheel of Time isn't a concept to illustrate probabilities, it's an imaginary system where everything has it's balance, and in the VoG sequence it's beautifully illustrated that it gives you an unlimited number of chances to right the wrongs, to live and love again.

 

To that end, I say it's impossible for the DO to ever win.

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Statistics of a complex scenario are a lot trickier than that, though that was a better use of statistics than you'll ever see on the news (I do a lot of shouting at the tv for various reasons, but mostly math/science ignorance).

 

Doubt that it's normalizable and that's a caveat with many standard statistical modelling functions. Yes, there's room for a statistical argument, but it needs to be much more complex if you go beyond the DO has a large number of chances to get his desired outcome, so it's likely it'll eventually happen, but we don't know of all the mechanisms that counter him.

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The statistic aspect of this thread is mind boggling. There is no percent chance that the DO will escape. It is a simple fact that he can't and will never escape. It is a mass hysterical belief that he will escape. There is no statistics involved in the equation. Because if there was a percent chance that he could escape he would. It isn't a flipping of a coin we are talking about we are talking about a being that has a lot of time to think about is situation. So if there was a .001 percent chance that he could escape he would plan and simple.

 

So the DO can't escape his prison.

 

Can the DO touch the world and bad things happen. Yep, you bet he can. But as far as escape? Not going to happen.

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So the DO can't escape his prison.

 

Can the DO touch the world and bad things happen. Yep, you bet he can. But as far as escape? Not going to happen.

 

Is it going to happen in AMoL? No of course not, but per RJ it is possible.

 

Interview: Nov 11th, 1997

 

Barnes and Noble Chat (Verbatim)

Brandon from Mission Viejo

 

Mr. Jordan, It's fairly common knowledge that the Dark One was bound by the Creator outside of the Pattern at the moment of creation. Would it then be safe to assume, after concepts brought to light in the new release, that the world before the opening of the prison never knew true evil? If so, then was each age before the opening of the Age of Legends different facets of some utopia? As well, without major conflict between good and evil, what caused ages to pass? Thanks.

Robert Jordan

 

Given that time is cyclic, you must assume that there is a time when the prison that holds the Dark One is whole and unbroken. There is a time when a hole is drilled into that prison and it is thus open to that degree. And there is a time when the opening has been patched in a make-shift manner. But following this line the cyclic nature of time means that we have at some time in the future inevitably a whole and unbroken prison again. Unless of course, the Dark One breaks free in which case all bets are off, kick over the table and run for the window.

Edited by Suttree
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Pardon my nerdiness.

Nature of infinities.

 

Math with infinity can be a little complicated.

 

example 1

take 1/2 then add 1/4 then 1/8 and keep adding to 1/infinity, your result will become 1.

 

example 2

take 1 then add 2 then add 3 then add 4 and add 5 etc.. to infinity, your result will become infinitely large.

 

example 3

now take infinity and divide it by infinity, it could end up as three different possibilities,

A: infinitely large, (1/2 + 2/3 + 3/4...-with enough time it explodes)

B: infinitely small, or (constantly getting closer to zero , but never approaching)

C: finite ( a simple number like example A).

 

 

You people need to stop arguing whether given infinite chances to escape, means he will escape, and instead ask yourself if you are asking the correct question. you are all assuming his chance to escape is similar to example 1, when it is really more like case 3, infinite attempts divided by infinite time, and infinite different approaches, aka infinity divided by infinity, multiplied by infinity.

So is it example A -- unlikely because his probability increases with time (Ishmaels POV)

Or is it example B -- A very likely possibility

Or is it example C -- A finite number meaning his probability of escape is relatively constant.

When in reality, it is not just infinity divided by infinity, but there are multiple types of infinitely different parameters involved, so what is the real likelihood of him escaping given infinite time, infinite attempts, and infinite changes of the wheel with each attempt?

that is the real question that should be asked.

 

Sorry, Spoke, but ask anyone who understands higher math infinity/infinity does NOT have three possible solutions, it has no solutions. It is subtle and even counterintuitive (because we generally deal with finite quantities) read on...

 

Daemin quote "So, unless the Creator made the wheel with an infinite past, it will never have an infinite past." a perfect statement, and the only way the future is part of the past in a wheel of time... you guessed it! The universe was built with an infinite past and an infinite future... so by that definition the future already happened and the present exists because DO lost every time. but even more than that.

 

Spoke, Daemin, Avernite and Suttree: DO gets infinite at-bats, but has only one chance at succeeding, once DO succeeds, no more at-bats, so...

unlike infinity/infinity which has no solution, 1/infinity has one solution, it is zero.

The time frame is infinite, the probability of success is 1 out of all those attempts, proves mathematically that it will never happen (not almost never, actually never).

This is not a trick. DO has 1 real possibility of success, but the only solution for a combination of a finite and an infinite is that DO will never succeed

Edited by jsbrads
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Spoke, Daemin, Avernite and Suttree: DO gets infinite at-bats, but has only one chance at succeeding, once DO succeeds, no more at-bats, so...

unlike infinity/infinity which has no solution, 1/infinity has one solution, it is zero.

The time frame is infinite, the probability of success is 1 out of all those attempts, proves mathematically that it will never happen (not almost never, actually never).

 

Per RJ there are degrees of victory. The DO has achieved "lesser victories" and draws throughout the turnings. The author states the "ultimate" victory can be done and the wheel can be destroyed. That is the reality in this world.

Edited by Suttree
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Suttree: I agree with you completely.

 

DO has a chance to win. but since he can only win once and the time scale is infinite, he never will (that is not the same as saying he doesn't have a chance)

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Suttree: I agree with you completely.

 

DO has a chance to win. but since he can only win once and the time scale is infinite, he never will (that is not the same as saying he doesn't have a chance)

all it means is he hasn't won yet
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The probability that he will win isn't 1/infinity, itis just that after he wins you stop the trials. The infinite set where he wins this turning is smaller than the infinite set where he wins a million turnings from now.

 

But like Isaid,the probabilities are misleading. His ability to break free might drop to zero if you have every person fighting and dieting to oppose him, but they still have to do it. You can't just say 'well he hasn't broken free yet so that means he never will, I am going back to bed'.

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Suttree: I agree with you completely.

 

DO has a chance to win. but since he can only win once and the time scale is infinite, he never will (that is not the same as saying he doesn't have a chance)

all it means is he hasn't won yet

No, it means DO never will

 

Sorry, Benevolent, but infinites don't work like that and the reason he won't win has nothing to do with the fact that he hasn't won yet, it is the relationship between an infinity and a finite,

statistically 1 is the highest number, it indicates one certain victory, but when relating that to an infinite time scale...

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The wheel keeps turning as long as the dark one loses. Time does not continue after that. Also consider that fain is a wildcard this turning. Does the wildcard make absolute victory possible for either side?

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Suttree: I agree with you completely.

 

DO has a chance to win. but since he can only win once and the time scale is infinite, he never will (that is not the same as saying he doesn't have a chance)

all it means is he hasn't won yet

No, it means DO never will

 

Sorry, Benevolent, but infinites don't work like that and the reason he won't win has nothing to do with the fact that he hasn't won yet, it is the relationship between an infinity and a finite,

statistically 1 is the highest number, it indicates one certain victory, but when relating that to an infinite time scale...

But in this specific case it does work like that. The Wheel always turns until the point the DO is freed. When that happens it then becomes a finite number so looking back you can assign probabilities to it. You keep rolling an infinite sided dice until you roll a one. After that you stop rolling. Statistically you will roll it an infinite number of times without getting any specific number, it doesn't mean that no number will come up when you roll, and it doesn't mean that a number is impossible to come up.

 

The probabilities are meaningless in terms of if you fight the DO or not. The probability of him breaking out on any specific turning could be infinitly variable as well, which makes the probability equasion break down completely.

 

Also: If I have a 100% that if I go to the shops I can buy milk, that doesn't mean that I don't have to go to the shops and that I already have the milk. You still have to fight the DO, people still have to die. If those people choose not to fight and die, he will break out.Just because the have chosen that way before doesn't mean they won't choose a different way in the future.

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the past already is infinite, and time is a wheel, so that precludes assigning a finite probability, the only probability that can be assigned is the 1/infinity

 

Unrelated to the statistics, yes the circular nature of time precludes a victory by DO, because if he will win in the future, that is part of our time references past.

 

And I also mentioned, when DO does win, he destroys the whole pattern for all time, our randland is in the pattern at a place in time, so he did not win (not yet, never (DO nevers wins but he still has a chance of victory))

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the past already is infinite, and time is a wheel, so that precludes assigning a finite probability, the only probability that can be assigned is the 1/infinity

 

Unrelated to the statistics, yes the circular nature of time precludes a victory by DO, because if he will win in the future, that is part of our time references past.

 

And I also mentioned, when DO does win, he destroys the whole pattern for all time, our randland is in the pattern at a place in time, so he did not win (not yet, never (DO nevers wins but he still has a chance of victory))

 

Time's more of a spiral in this universe. It's not strictly repeating itself.

 

Also, there's an infinite set of numbers.

 

Those numbers don't repeat themselves despite being infinite.

 

Hell, there's an infinite set of numbers even if you include nothing above 0. Or nothing above -288177728191099, or nothing below 999919110009181107181.00011012.

 

Second, you can't just look at the whole set. There's a one in four chance that when I've done two coin tosses I'll have two heads. But on each toss I have a one in two chance of getting a head. Third, there's certainly more than one possible outcome where the DO gets the Dragon to destroy the Wheel or what-have-you.

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The Wheel weaves the Age Lace, the Pattern is a tapestry stretching infinitly into the past. Time isn't the part of the wheel touching the ground, it is the tiremarks left in the sand. It repeats, but the past isn't the future. There was no Rand Al'Thor in the previous 3rd age, but there was a Dragon Reborn who did largely the same pattern of things. Variations happen in each Age, the 2nd and 3rd Ages are dominated by the touch of the DO. With the population figures of the WoT and what we have seen about thousands of conincidences lining up to provide the LIght with what it needs, it doesn't seem difficult to believe that the coincidences we are seeing are just the ones that were put there and lined up, out of millions that didn't.

 

As for destroying the whole Pattern, the DO himself has said that even he isn't outside time.

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For all those people saying it could never happen because it hasn't happened already: if only one result is allowed, then why has the DO roofs has pall victories and sometimes stalemates? Those are different results. Why can't he get one more different result this time?

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