Just an attempt to resolve the dimensionality puzzle.
To be able to analyze the OTC, one has to establish a line of reference. A lot of discussion has been going on about the dimensionality of the world Cueball and Megan are living in.
Though obviously removing a lot of inconsistencies, like the function of a dyke to keep the tide at bay and the problem with the structural integrity of the scaffolding, it can not explain how it would be possible for the characters to move behind (or in front) of other things or use ropes and pulleys. So a 2D-world is neither a sufficient nor adequate assumption.
To test this theory one could analyze the small waves seen in some frames, caused by objects falling into the water (recently parts of the crumbling castle). The power of the attenuation of the waves could give hints about the dimensionality they are moving in (linear, quadratic or cubic).
With this assumption the problems are just reversed: Moving around and behind objects can be explained, but there are obvious difficulties explaining the static of the scaffolding, the weight of the sand or the function of the dyke.
The world is essentially a only a meter wide slab but essentially planar. This solves most of the problems of the 2D and 3D hypotheses (as it is possible to move around objects, build dykes and still erect a high and stable structure on four poles on a line), but creates its own: Cueball and Megan are clearly seen shoveling sand up to build the castles and move behind (or in front) of them. In a flat universe there would be no space where that kind of material would come from.
Crossection of a 3D world
It would have to be a rather odd shaped crosssection to always show everything of interest going on and still would not be able to explain some of the exhibited properties. Occam's Razor cuts this one down in my opinion.
Whatever is depicted in the OTC is to be taken as a symbol (well, after all, most of the religious scripts of any given faith work that way anyways). Cueball and Megan are stick figures and would not as such be able to move, live, talk or think at all. They are symbols for people and are recognized as such.
It is the same with the black, mostly flat part of the frames, which is a symbol for a liquid (which one has still to be established). The scaffolding is a symbol of a real, working and statically correct scaffolding, as is the bucket, the sand and everything else.
The symbols are of course subject to interpretation (again as in every self-concious religion) as their depiction is subject to a lot of constraints: the medium they are drawn on, artistic considerations and limitations of their creator and so on.
So the question is not how or what is drawn in the OTC but what it symbolizes. The difficulty is to deduce from the shown properties what it is, that is symbolized. Using Occam's Razor I would say if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it with any certainty is a duck (so give that damn bird a cucumber to fly on). If what Megan builds looks like a dyke and behaves like a dyke, it in all probability symbolizes a dyke.
Having this established, abandon all speculation and deduce from observation.
Coming up: The two available sources of observation and what is revealed through them of the basic makup of the world of the OTC
Last edited by Sciscitor
on Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:45 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.