Plaque theory is the abstract study, based on a combination of logic, idle conversation, and the axiomatic "plaque laws". Due to a lack of hard empirical evidence, there is no universally accepted set of Plaque Laws. However, the universally accepted law, and the most fundemental by far, is that all plaques are true. This is the Fundamental Plaque Law.
Plaque theory is just an abstract construct. However, it is the basis for the baser practice known as "plaque magic", and the still worse practice of "plaque illusion". Plaque magic is also called "Applied Plaque Theory" by its practitioners. It is the practice of creating and using plaques in order to control the world around them. Some passive Plaque Magicians are in fact only honest Theoreticians in search of Enlightenment, who have yet to be pointed to www.rasterman.com. Passive study of Plaques to gain knowldge is usually considered to be a more moral form of Plaque Magic.
Plaque Illusion is the use of "pseudo-plaques" or "pseuds" to fool others. All concious beings have a natural belief in Plaque Theory, deep down. When presented with a "pseud", they believe it to be a Plaque, and believe what it says. Pseuds are used both by Plaque Magicians, and the Unaware. Common uses by the Unaware include bus signs, road-words, and political capmaign posters. PMs tend to be more creative. PI is not considered evil, unless used maliciously, but it is somewhat frowned upon, in the same way that lying is, simply because it is an insult to Plaque Theory. Humour is often considered a good excuse. Switching the signs on the male and female toilets, for example, is a common PI trick.
The unit of the Plaque is the mok. Mok stand for "Madden O'Toole Kelly", after the creators of the unit, which revolutionised Plaque Theory by allowing a clear system of comparisions. The mok is not an si unit, and has not yet been related directly to other units. As such, is it purely relative - it can be used to compare two plaques.
One of the results of the mok is that many PTs have expanded the Theory. The Law of Exclusiveness is one newly proposed law. It states that no two plaques can have exactly the same mok, and indeed that mok is non-quantumisable. This is becuase the effectiveness of a plaque is based on mok. Although all plaques are true, truth can change. If a new plaque, of mok 2 is created, and it contradicts a plaque of mok 1, then the mok 1 p. is wrong - so it must cease to be a plaque. (PMs suggest that the plaque shatters, losing all its mok). Now, what would happen if two plaques had the same mok? Since they can't both be true if they are contradictory, they would have to shatter. So, no plaques can exist with the same mok.
Another important matter to PMs is the concept, so far without any evidence, of the Great Plaques. It is believed that hugely powerful ancient plaques may exist, that define the laws of reality, and plaque theory. They are almost certainly of incredibly high mok. It has been suggested that they might contain the Laws of (Lesser?) Plaques.
Semantics and syntax are another issue - what happens if a plaque is in a different language to another plaque? Does it matter??
Plaque construction is a very important skill. The Plaque Art is practiced mainly, if not entirely, by PMs, and a number of commercial Unawares. Many commercial companies are controlled by the PMs, who wish to prevent the Unawares from controlling such power. Mok is based on the quality of the plaque: shininess, depth of letters, colour, setting, writing, font, material and other properties all affect mok. "The Art of Plaque Construction" (Da Vinci) is the oldest surviving guide, and is widely respected. It predated the mok theory, but there was a basic understanding of the need for quality.
Finally, let me give you a few brief and simple examples to whet your interest.
One of the most powerful plaques are "meta-plaques". These affect other plaques, or themselves. For example: "The building to which this plaque belongs shall be immune to fire; anyone reading this plaque, except for its creator, shall see the message `Welcome to the Institute of Plaques`". Very useful and powerful, I'm sure you'll agree.
Then there are "simple plaques" that do one simple job: "The owner of this plaque is rich." , "The weather is nice." (Very unwise)
One of the major theoretical problems is one relating to the kind of meta-plaque I mentioned above. That type of meta-plaque is called an Obfuscation Plaque. The problem is, how do you detect and read such a plaque? Now, most meta-plaues are not obfuscated: "This plaque is beside another plaque". They are easy to read. But, imagine this one: "Anyone reading this plaque except the creator will see it as being blank".
How can you read this (without having created it)? "The creator of this plaque can see the true writing on all plaques" shatters in all experiments. Why? Presumably becuase a higher mok plaque exists out there that is obfuscated, or otherwise prevents it.
So, let's improve that: "The creator of this plaque can see the true writing of any plaque he trys to read."
This doesn't imstantly shatter, but it will shatter if you try to read a higher mok plaque, because it would become false. And what if it's higher mok? Then, the obfuscated plaque becomes false...which means that it shatters!
Tell me your solutions, if you find any. Lateral thinking and risk taking (powerful meta-magic that's unpredictable in how it's carried out) can create solutions, but I'm sure there are simpler and less risky ways.
So, there you have it. That, in brief, is plaque theory. It will only be of real interest if you create interesting wordings and inform your local plaque community of it.
For what it's worth, btw, Plaque Theory is not in fact part of the Most Holy Order of the Giant Blue Spacecow's doctrine or practice, although it is practiced by many of the Order's members.
Finally, a word of warning. Imagine reading this, without having suitable meta-plaque high-mok protection: "Anyone reading this, except it's creator, will die immediately."
Originally from the Encyclopedia