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Fulminated salts

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Fulminated salts
Post by Salisria   » Sun Aug 14, 2022 9:46 pm

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I suspect this is a simple case of giving something a name that would be familiar to readers, but the fulminated quicksilver introduced in _A Mighty Fortress_ is slightly problematic. The fulminated salts were discovered in the early 19th century and their potential as priming compounds for firearms was quickly realized. The problem is that as far as I'm aware, they have no other uses, so I find it unlikely that fulminated salts would be mentioned in the Holy Writ except possibly to prescribe them. But even that seems unlikely unless they might arise as a byproduct of something needed for terraforming which my limited knowledge of chemistry doesn't provide a case.

So where does the name come from? Merlin could have provided it, but I can't see him discussing fulminated salts unless he was getting ready to introduce percussion caps to Safehold, but that isn't what happened. It seems reasonable that Sahndrah Lywys or someone else from the College would have discovered them, but to have duplicated the Terran name is improbable, so as I already mentioned, I think this is a case of simplifying things for reader comprehension. Still if anyone can suggest a reason for fulminated salts to have been known on Safehold since the Day of Creation, I'd appreciate it.
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Re: Fulminated salts
Post by Daryl   » Wed Aug 17, 2022 1:51 am

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There are other anomalies. Arabic numerals as opposed to Roman numerals, an abacus correctly named, plus others I can't recall at this moment (old timer's disease).
The introduction of words like this would surely trigger a monitoring AI if one existed.
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Re: Fulminated salts
Post by Salisria   » Wed Aug 17, 2022 3:27 am

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Daryl wrote:There are other anomalies. Arabic numerals as opposed to Roman numerals, an abacus correctly named, plus others I can't recall at this moment (old timer's disease).
The introduction of words like this would surely trigger a monitoring AI if one existed.


Alzheimer's was only mentioned as something the Terran Federation had conquered but was called the "grey mists" on Safehold.

To be fair, while the various Terran terms Merlin has introduced probably would attract the notice of a Class I AI once it was awakened, I don't see them as being something that would awaken it, nor would it necessarily alert it to anything worse than a cache of Terran knowledge having got loose rather than how Charis had gained it.
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Re: Fulminated salts
Post by Daryl   » Thu Aug 18, 2022 1:54 am

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That's the point I was trying to make. If there is an AI, it's sleeping, not actively conscious.
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Re: Fulminated salts
Post by Guillaume   » Tue Aug 30, 2022 7:14 am

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There's also something to consider...

Even if there's a Class I AI active on the Church side, it is onlyt aware of what is in it's direct surrounding and what it can reach with it's remotes.

Lets assume the AI is hidden somewhere under the Temple and has no remote sensors beyond the Temple itself.
It would take people actually talking about those new development in a sensor range or in the immediate surrounding of the AI to trigger the AI monitoring subroutines.
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Re: Fulminated salts
Post by Salisria   » Mon Sep 05, 2022 10:47 am

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I think we can safely assume some conversation concerning fulminated quicksilver was had within the Temple as the Office of Inquisition discussed whether the heretical primer caps would need a dispensation in order for the Jihad to use them or later as Treasurer's Office discussed their procurement and distribution for the forces of the Jihad.

So if an AI were active in the Temple or even only recording in standby pending activation during the Jihad, I think we can safely assume it would be made aware that not only were fulminated salts being used, they were using Terran technology to refer to them.

Frankly, the Testimony of Schueler is going to be an even bigger red flag than various Terran terminology as to the nature of the opposition it faces if an under-Temple AI is ever activated. For that matter, Schueler's miraculous appearance might be sufficient to activate it once it is discussed within or near the Temple.
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Re: Fulminated salts
Post by phillies   » Mon Sep 05, 2022 4:11 pm

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Daryl wrote:There are other anomalies. Arabic numerals as opposed to Roman numerals, an abacus correctly named, plus others I can't recall at this moment (old timer's disease).
The introduction of words like this would surely trigger a monitoring AI if one existed.


Did he actually use the old English word, or was that a translation for the benefit of the reader?
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Re: Fulminated salts
Post by Salisria   » Wed Sep 07, 2022 10:18 pm

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phillies wrote:Did he actually use the old English word, or was that a translation for the benefit of the reader?


When Merlin introduced Arabic numerals by name to Cayleb, he mentioned that he called them that because that's what the woman who taught them to him had called them.
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Re: Fulminated salts
Post by Salisria   » Wed Sep 21, 2022 11:44 am

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I've come across a conversation between Magwayer and Brother Fulton in which fulminated quicksilver is mentioned as they discuss how might work the primer caps the heretics have started to use.

It's doubtful the term is something they picked up from the heretics, so I think we can safely assume fulminating isn't a term Merlin reintroduced to Safehold.

So apparently it was a term found in pre-Merlin lore, though I can't think of a context it would have been used that didn't result in fulminated quicksilver being prescribed.

So I think it's safe to say that the use of the term "fulminated" is for reader benefit rather than anything that gives insight into what Safeholdian knowledge was like pre-Merlin.
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