Main Reality Breaking Paradox Discussion

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05:39:58 AM Jun 11th 2013
Removed the following Sword of Truth entry because it's a Nattery hell that needs serious attention, but I don't follow the series so I don't know how to compress it properly:

  • The last three books of The Sword of Truth deal with a spell which creates a contradiction, by making a person exist and not exist at the same time, then these contradictions breed other contradictions... In short, the ultimate artifact of the series was created precisely for countering the spell before it unravels all reality.
    • To be more precise - the Chainfire spell is so powerful and unstable that it expands exponentially, destroying all memory - creating contradictions and gaps growing ever larger beyond the scope of merely forgetting the original subject of the spell. In addition, the residual effect of the Chimes (entities from the underworld that erode away magic from the world of life simply by existing on this side of the veil) make the effect far more dangerous. Instead of just the Chainfire spell turning every thinking being into a blank, slobbering slate, you have a world soon to be filled with blank, slobbering slates and on the verge of a mass-extinction event.
      • To be even more precise: Chainfire, when invoked, was supposed to wipe all presence of its target from memory and history. Any relationship between an outside observer and that character was wiped clean, as if they never existed. Events in which that character participated are altered to remove them. Prophecies that mention them cease to be or are altered. False memories needed to prevent the appropriate paradoxes are implanted to fill those gaps. Outside observers do still see the subject, however the spell prevents the memory of seeing them from being stored the instant it's created. They don't exist as even a shadow in their mind. The lingering effects of the Chimes interfered with this process, leaving gaps in the coverage of the spell. Although the memory of Kahlan was wiped clean, Chainfire failed to prevent some people from seeing her as it was supposed to, thus creating the contradiction of a person who is not supposed to exist, existing. The Sword of Truth also causes elements of the spell to fail. Because Richard was holding the sword when the spell was cast, he was completely unaffected by it. Additionally, anyone who touched the sword would be able to partially see through its effects. Although their memories of the victim would not be restored, they would now be able to see them and recognize their existence.

Also, removed Sonic Shuffle because the carbuncle eating itself isn't breaking reality, that's just self-destruction.
04:23:15 AM Jun 10th 2013
05:36:40 PM Jun 10th 2013
edited by
I've done a bit of cleanup, but there are a few examples that I'm not sure of. For instance, with the Stargate Atlantis example, creating particles that break the laws of physics and leads to an Earth-Shattering Kaboom that destroys allmost all of a solar system is impressive, but does that qualify this for this trope(I.E. did it need to threaten reality itself, which is my understanding of the trope?)
07:34:25 AM Jul 31st 2013
^Possibly Downplayed Trope.
02:34:37 PM Sep 9th 2012
I think we should add Mort to the Discworld examples. But I can't think how to describe it.
08:33:10 AM Aug 11th 2012
Not exactly trope-related, but there's a running joke in the Mega Man X fandom about "Dividing by Zero". Meaning they get cut up by the Red Demon and his Z-Sabre.
01:40:47 AM May 29th 2010
I re-organized a lot of the page. Still need to do a bit, but now it should be better, at least. -Zersk
04:25:35 AM Apr 18th 2012
There is a SERIOUS problem with the trope. Dividing by 0 simply doesn't exist, a.k.a. it removes the number/whatever from existence. Check your maths.
04:29:30 AM Apr 18th 2012
So the page should probably be renamed Reality Rip or something similar.
04:26:59 AM Apr 19th 2012
Here's the math: x/0 = nothing.
04:25:30 PM May 13th 2012
edited by Magwitch
Well, 'undefined' if we are being picky, as zero has no multiplicative inverse. Consequently, there is no value of x in the equation x=y/0 for any non-zero value of y. You might as well ask what value you get if you divide x by a cat...
02:32:58 PM Sep 9th 2012
But if you could divide by zero - which you can, sort-of-a-bit-not-really, using limits - you would get infinity. And when something diverges to infinity, usually due to dividing by something which tends to zero, it is often informally described by mathematicians (at least, all the ones I know) as 'it blows up'.

Also, am I misunderstanding it, or isn't the whole point of the trope that it's something that can't/shouldn't be able to happen, which causes everything to crash and burn, much like your equation if you wind up trying to divide by zero. It's one of the easiest ways to 'break maths', resulting, for instance, in an apparent proof that 1=2. I really don't see why your 'serious problem' is anything other than what was meant by calling it that.
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