1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

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1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby sirono » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:09 am UTC

Image

alt text: Wait, I can fix this. Picture another field. In the middle sits the only creature the first creature is afraid of. Now just-- wait, where did THAT one go?

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:34 am UTC

Definitely going over my head this time.
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Krehtan » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:54 am UTC

Thanks for the new pet! I've trained mine to come out when ever i think of carrots. I think i'll name it blarghnar.

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby madaco » Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:08 am UTC

Turns out I don't tend to visualize things like this.

Must be practice.

(Practice not visualizing, practice not thinking about in detail. Thinking of thoughts without thinking the thoughts (or at least, without being aware of thinking the thoughts), etc.)
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby cdxf6465 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:14 am UTC

This thing sounds like an SCP

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Archgeek » Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:56 am UTC

Picture a triangular yellow hazard sign with a black lightbulb. Now imagine the field cordoned off with those signs to warn the unwary against the dang memetic hazard within.
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Gammew » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:10 am UTC

This really sounds like a VM breakout.

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby wayne » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:52 am UTC

(Practice not visualizing, practice not thinking about in detail. Thinking of thoughts without thinking the thoughts (or at least, without being aware of thinking the thoughts), etc.)


Now don't think about an elephant

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby oauitam » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:12 am UTC

Picture a basilisk that can rectroactively punish you.

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Samik » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:14 am UTC

cdxf6465 wrote:This thing sounds like an SCP

That was my first thought.

Could be relatable to any of the memetic or infohazards, I suppose, but, in particular, it remind me of one... hm. It was something like, there was a book where you could write things in it and those things would happen. So, they tried to write a story about the only thing that could actually defeat SCP-682. Cataclysmic battle ensued. 682 survives, of course, and new text is appended within the book about the creature that could "almost" defeat 682.


Okay, let's see how close my memory was. Searching ... searching ... searching ...

Eh, close enough. See entries: SCP-826 and Experiment Log T-98816-OC108/682 (sub-section for encounter with 826).

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby The Moomin » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:16 am UTC

Now picture the maintenance building that houses the staff that maintains the fields.

Through a door in a corridor in the maintenance building a flight of concrete steps leads down the basement where the boiler room is.

In the boiler room sits a man wearing a battered fedora and striped jumper with the ability to chase the creatures through peoples daydreams.
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Jiffy » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:23 am UTC

wayne wrote:
(Practice not visualizing, practice not thinking about in detail. Thinking of thoughts without thinking the thoughts (or at least, without being aware of thinking the thoughts), etc.)


Now don't think about an elephant


I did (not think about an elephant).

Yeah, I thought the word 'elephant' (obviously, since I needed to read that sentence) but I didn't actually think about a large four-legged grey mammal with a trunk.

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby tomandlu » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:28 am UTC

Alan Moore wrote a short one-off for 2000AD that played around with the idea of a living being that only exists as an idea in other people's head, and I've played with something similar in my second book.

Anyway, a great concept to play with.

Here's a page from the Alan Moore strip - http://36.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lg9ab ... o1_500.jpg
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Echo244 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:31 am UTC

Can I just mention how much I love this one? Mindbending joy.

Also, I was unaware of SCP but will now be struggling to resist poking through that site while at work today.
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby HES » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:43 am UTC

Jiffy wrote:I didn't actually think about a large four-legged grey mammal with a trunk.

Except you must have done, to come up with that description of one.
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Flumble » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:20 am UTC

wayne wrote:
(Practice not visualizing, practice not thinking about in detail. Thinking of thoughts without thinking the thoughts (or at least, without being aware of thinking the thoughts), etc.)


Now don't think about an elephant

I'm conditioned to think of a grey, wobbly trunk whenever the phrase "think about an elephant" is uttered.


Come to think of it: why the hell does trunk mean at least 3 completely different things? The storage compartment of a car, a torso, an elephant's snout...

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:32 am UTC

madaco wrote:Turns out I don't tend to visualize things like this.

Must be practice.

(Practice not visualizing, practice not thinking about in detail. Thinking of thoughts without thinking the thoughts (or at least, without being aware of thinking the thoughts), etc.)

A housemate of mine severely lacked that skill. Together with his squeamishness over blood and my non-squeamishness over blood it was great fun to get an image in his mind. After a couple of years he lost his squeamishness.

He had some tricks that worked on me so it was all on equal footing.
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby HES » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:54 am UTC

Flumble wrote:[Come to think of it: why the hell does trunk mean at least 3 completely different things? The storage compartment of a car, a torso, an elephant's snout...

A storage chest, the stem of a tree, and an elephant's snout are the uses I would think of.

I guess [English chest] and [American car boot] are the same meaning. Tree and torso might be equivalent too, and I'd probably include "Trunk Road" with those.
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby orthogon » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:13 am UTC

HES wrote:
Flumble wrote:[Come to think of it: why the hell does trunk mean at least 3 completely different things? The storage compartment of a car, a torso, an elephant's snout...

A storage chest, the stem of a tree, and an elephant's snout are the uses I would think of.

I guess [English chest] and [American car boot] are the same meaning. Tree and torso might be equivalent too, and I'd probably include "Trunk Road" with those.

According to the OED, you're right. The torso, tree, trunk road etc. meanings relate to the main part of something as opposed to the branches. The "chest" meaning allegedly came about because storage trunks were supposedly originally made out of tree trunks. The "pipe or tube" group of meanings, to which the elephant's proboscis belongs, is the strangest, and the OED suggests it was influenced by trump, an archaic form of trumpet.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:41 am UTC

Gammew wrote:This really sounds like a VM breakout.


Dunno, sounded like an alternative initialization for ADVENT to me.
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Flumble » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:54 am UTC

Thanks for pointing out that the elephant's trunk is most likely a false cognate.

orthogon wrote:The "chest" meaning allegedly came about because storage trunks were supposedly originally made out of tree trunks.

Wait, which OED are you using? Mine says
http://etymonline.com/index.php?term=trunk&allowed_in_frame=0 wrote:...The meaning "box, case" is likely to be from the notion of the body as the "case" of the organs...



It's strange that, allegedly, a trunk was a product of cutting something off. So the trunk of a tree was the piece that stayed behind after chopping off the tree, while it's also the wood you chopped off (and made into a box, allegedly), and it's also one of the pieces that's left when you chop someone to bits.

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:39 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
Come to think of it: why the hell does trunk mean at least 3 completely different things? The storage compartment of a car, a torso, an elephant's snout...


Well, seeing as an auto's "trunk" (USA) is a "boot" (GB) and probably something really weird in Greek :twisted: , word etymology is a strange beast indeed. <-- and probably not a beast with a trunk.

ETA -- I got a load of grief from someone on a tdWTF thread about certain cabinets residing in the Unseen University -- which leads to thoughts of a certain luggage trunk.
Last edited by cellocgw on Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:09 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby orthogon » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:07 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:Wait, which OED are you using? Mine says
http://etymonline.com/index.php?term=trunk&allowed_in_frame=0 wrote:...The meaning "box, case" is likely to be from the notion of the body as the "case" of the organs...

I'm almost exactly 50/50 as to whether you're being flippant, or the abbreviation OED genuinely isn't that well known outside the UK ;-)
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby The Moomin » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:19 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Flumble wrote:Wait, which OED are you using? Mine says
http://etymonline.com/index.php?term=trunk&allowed_in_frame=0 wrote:...The meaning "box, case" is likely to be from the notion of the body as the "case" of the organs...

I'm almost exactly 50/50 as to whether you're being flippant, or the abbreviation OED genuinely isn't that well known outside the UK ;-)


www.etymonline.com
The Online Etymology Dictionary

XD
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby cameroda » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:20 pm UTC

This has a Twilight Zone feel to me for some reason. :twisted:

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby orthogon » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:32 pm UTC

The Moomin wrote:
orthogon wrote:I'm almost exactly 50/50 as to whether you're being flippant, or the abbreviation OED genuinely isn't that well known outside the UK ;-)


http://www.etymonline.com
The Online Etymology Dictionary

XD

I got that, but what I mean is that I'm not sure whether it was a joke or a genuine misunderstanding. Flumble didn't include any emoticons or similar to indicate, and I actually don't know whether the OED is well known overseas, particularly by its abbreviation.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby speising » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:33 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:It's strange that, allegedly, a trunk was a product of cutting something off.

... or "truncated".

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Flumble » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:44 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Flumble wrote:Wait, which OED are you using? Mine says
http://etymonline.com/index.php?term=trunk&allowed_in_frame=0 wrote:...The meaning "box, case" is likely to be from the notion of the body as the "case" of the organs...

I'm almost exactly 50/50 as to whether you're being flippant, or the abbreviation OED genuinely isn't that well known outside the UK ;-)

Hahaha, I was genuinly thinking you meant an Online Etymology Dictionary.
I've heard of the Oxford English Dictionary (and its abbreviation), so that's not unheard of, but my mind immediately linked the E to Etymology in this context and the fact I had that OED open in another tab.

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby quantropy » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:07 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Flumble wrote:Wait, which OED are you using? Mine says
http://etymonline.com/index.php?term=trunk&allowed_in_frame=0 wrote:...The meaning "box, case" is likely to be from the notion of the body as the "case" of the organs...

I'm almost exactly 50/50 as to whether you're being flippant, or the abbreviation OED genuinely isn't that well known outside the UK ;-)

It's certainly trademarked outside the UK

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby peewee_RotA » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:09 pm UTC

I tried this but the Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes keeps fighting with the Dr. Who plot that ruined Weeping Angels.
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby silent_cal » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:03 pm UTC

St. Anselm, is that you?

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby airdrik » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:15 pm UTC

Being from the States doesn't prevent one from associating OED with the Oxford English Dictionary, as that is how I've always expanded it (and honestly I didn't realize that it was also associated with Online Etymology Dictionary until reading this conversation).

Of course someone from the States would more readily turn to an Online Etymology Dictionary (or perhaps Webster's Dictionary, which I imagine is akin the the USian version of the OxED, though perhaps not as thorough) over the OxED

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby orthogon » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:09 pm UTC

airdrik wrote:Being from the States doesn't prevent one from associating OED with the Oxford English Dictionary, as that is how I've always expanded it (and honestly I didn't realize that it was also associated with Online Etymology Dictionary until reading this conversation).

Of course someone from the States would more readily turn to an Online Etymology Dictionary (or perhaps Webster's Dictionary, which I imagine is akin the the USian version of the OxED, though perhaps not as thorough) over the OxED

I'm lucky enough to have online access to the OED provided by my employer. I'd almost say it's one of the perks of the job ;-)

The OED is a wonderful thing, though it does take some getting used to. Particularly frustrating to the newcomer is the way the etymology comes first, followed by the senses in chronological order, so you have to wade a long way into the entry before you find the most common current meaning(s) of a word. To some extent even the abridged editions (Shorter and Concise) have the same problem. But as a meticulously researched descriptivist reference on the English language and its history, just ... wow.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:06 pm UTC

I just imagined an inescapable visualisation and let the two try to come to some mutually acceptable resolution...

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby xtifr » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:09 pm UTC

Reminds me a bit of Roko's Basilisk. A meme that seems to seriously frighten some (otherwise?) very intelligent folks. Just learn about Roko's Basilisk (just view it—hence the name "basilisk") and you're doomed, according to the supposedly air-tight logic. Fortunately, I'm too stupid to take the concept seriously, but if you're smarter than me, you might want to not click on that link.

I'm actually stupid enough to believe that:
Spoiler:
If there can be a Roko's Basilisk, there can be an Roko's anti-Basilisk, which dooms me if I allow myself to fall under the Basilisk's sway, so I have no escape, so I might as well not GAF. I'm sure there's a flaw in that logic, or the smarter people would have already thought of it, but fortunately, I'm too stupid to care.


Which reminds me a bit of what the alt-text says. But beware again. If I'm wrong (and I might well be), then reading even that spoiler might be enough to set you on the path towards inevitable doom.
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:30 pm UTC

xtifr wrote:Reminds me a bit of Roko's Basilisk. A meme that seems to seriously frighten some (otherwise?) very intelligent folks. Just learn about Roko's Basilisk (just view it—hence the name "basilisk") and you're doomed, according to the supposedly air-tight logic. Fortunately, I'm too stupid to take the concept seriously, but if you're smarter than me, you might want to not click on that link.

I'm actually stupid enough to believe that:
Spoiler:
If there can be a Roko's Basilisk, there can be an Roko's anti-Basilisk, which dooms me if I allow myself to fall under the Basilisk's sway, so I have no escape, so I might as well not GAF. I'm sure there's a flaw in that logic, or the smarter people would have already thought of it, but fortunately, I'm too stupid to care.


Which reminds me a bit of what the alt-text says. But beware again. If I'm wrong (and I might well be), then reading even that spoiler might be enough to set you on the path towards inevitable doom.


There's also a simple immunisation to the Basilisk - the logic behind it relies on the premise that predictable future torture (of a plausible future equivalent of yourself) is sufficient to motivate you to do something - otherwise, there's no motive for the Basilisk to torture future you-equivalent.

There is also the same flaw in the Basilisk as in Pascal's Wager - it relies on there only being one plausible powerful being to appease - if there's more than one, then picking the wrong one is liable to turn out even worse than not picking any...

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Samik » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:00 pm UTC

xtifr wrote:Reminds me a bit of Roko's Basilisk. A meme that seems to seriously frighten some (otherwise?) very intelligent folks. Just learn about Roko's Basilisk (just view it—hence the name "basilisk") and you're doomed, according to the supposedly air-tight logic. Fortunately, I'm too stupid to take the concept seriously, but if you're smarter than me, you might want to not click on that link.

Maybe I've been missing something important right along, but on my first reading of Roko's Basilisk, I found it to have unrecoverable flaws (flaws that go beyond simply choosing to not care - flaws that kill the idea no matter your personal disposition towards it). Really, really obvious flaws that the creators could not have possibly failed to notice. I personally expect that the whole episode was engineered by Yudkowsky as a publicity stunt. (Regarding his aggressive suppression of any discussion of the topic: don't tell me Yudkowsky's not familiar with the Streisand effect; he knew exactly what he was doing.)

Two necessary components for the basilisk:

1.) You should genuinely care equally about all iterations of you.
2.) Many Worlds is true.

If both of the above are true, then there are infinitely many iterations of you, and nothing you do or don't do can ever cause a shift in the fates of a meaningful number of them. No matter what you do in this world, there are an infinity of yous that get tortured eternally by the basilisk, and there are an infinity of yous that don't, because there are an infinity of worlds where you help to bring about its existence and an infinity of worlds where you don't. If you act in such a way to save a future you in this world from the Basilisk, that's just an infinitesimally small drop in the bucket, and you have no reason to favor that one particular iteration of you any more than the infinity of others that you can't save.

Even if you're able to perform some action so powerful and reality altering that it shifts the fates of a measurable proportion of the infinities of you for the better, then there's some other version of you in some other of the infinite worlds that did something similarly influential for the worse. And so on.

More to the point: if both of the above premises are true, I don't see any way that you can have any agency at all. Yes, you can take conscious action in this world, but you have no reason even to favor yourself over any other you. Every possible outcome means every possible outcome - nothing lacking and no duplicates. You simply can't do anything to alter that.

If Many Worlds actually is true, then it seems to me the basilisk is dead on arrival as a compelling, motivating idea, since "awareness" of it doesn't impart on you any sense of ability to alter the fates of the plurality of yous.

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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:35 pm UTC

The big flaw in the Basilisk that I always saw is that threats are only effective on people who understand and believe them -- verbally telling a bear "back off or I'll shoot!" is pointless, because the bear doesn't understand, and telling most people to do what you say or you'll make them spontaneously combust is ineffective because it's so implausible they won't believe you -- so the Basilisk's threat could only be effective on people who correctly understood and believed in it, and the Basilisk would have no motive to threaten people who don't understand it or believe it, even if they've nominally heard the threat. So people who honestly think the Basilisk argument is bullshit are safe in either case -- if they're right, then there's no Basilisk to fear, and even if they're wrong, they're the kind of person against whom the Basilisk's threats would be ineffective, so there's no more point in the Basilisk torturing a future recreation of them than there would be torturing someone who'd never heard of it. The only people who are at any risk are people who have heard of the Basilisk, honestly believe in it, are correct (so that there will actually be a Basilisk in the future), and still willfully neglect or work against it.

It is therefore in everyone's rational self-interest to reexamine their belief in the Basilisk until they can honestly convince themselves of a flaw in the argument (if they already believe) or to tell the whole topic to fuck off and stop giving a fuck (if they don't).
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:45 pm UTC

Double-posting because different subject:

The flaw in the "memetic hazard" of this comic is similar to one I once argued against Descartes' Meditations. I cannot actually imagine, as in, visualize in my mind, discovering that all of the world that I experience is nonexistent, because I cannot imagine not experiencing -- all my imaginings are of hypothetical experiences. I can imagine, say, waking up out of the Matrix; or seeing some kind of hovering visage of a camera feed from the real world showing me the brain that is me in the vat, and the computer running the simulation of all the other things I'm seeing, or, here, let me just quote my own old paper

Forrest the Younger wrote:So I will now imagine that I am sitting here in this room, writing this essay, when suddenly my vision grows dark, my ears ring out into a dull monotone, my skin grows numb, and my sense of balance and space becomes skewed. Then my senses become refined again, and I find myself lying on a floor in a vast dark room, with a small, lanky, muscled figure grinning an evil grin at me. I imagine that he tells me that he is The Evil Genius, and that all of my experiences up until and including this very moment as I lie here before him are and always have been entirely false, that there is no material universe, and he and I are all that exists, utterly disembodied — even his visage before me now is a deception, as even he has no physical form. I imagine then that he tells me he will now return the normal stream of experiences, and I feel the sensation of rushing through the darkness above me as the little figure recedes into the distance and vanishes, and suddenly I feel a hard jolt as I am once again in my chair.

[...] I can imagine that [...] instead of returning me to my normal set of experiences, he takes me out of this large dark room and shows me the world as it really is. I can imagine seeing nightmarish landscapes and ominous buildings, and being told that I am to live here now until I die, for he and I are the only people in this desolate world, and everything up until now has been signals fed into my brain to allow me to believe that I was living a life on Earth. I can even imagine that I am not human, that I have a small form like his, as we are perhaps the last of some dying alien race. Perhaps Earth and humanity never existed and were merely a fantasy conjured up to spare me this hideous existence. I concede that it is entirely conceivable, and thus logically possible, that the world which I am in fact experiencing right now is not the real world. But even in conceiving this, I have not conceived that the physical world does not exist. Merely, I have conceived that the physical world is nothing like what I thought it was. But still I am conceiving of it existing. I can even conceive that the above world might itself be a deception, that perhaps I am a really brain in a vat being experimented on by scientists. Perhaps those scientists and my vat are themselves not real, and that entire world is in fact inside the Matrix. I can imagine as many layers as I like, but at some point I must always conceive that some physical world exists.


Similarly, when I try to visualize a creature that can escape from the visualization, I have to visualize something outside that visualization for it to escape into... which means just visualizing that my visualization was itself a visualization in a visualization. "But it can escape from that too!" you say... into another layer of visualization. But I can never visualize the parts of my mind that are not part of a visualization, so I cannot visualize such a creature escaping from the visualization. The closest I can do is just to visualize it no longer being visualized -- which is just to say, to stop visualizing it.

Much like the closest I can conceive of to Descartes' scenario, besides layer after layer of deception as above, is just to stop conceiving.
Last edited by Pfhorrest on Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:55 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

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Samik
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Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

Postby Samik » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:47 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:The big flaw in the Basilisk that I always saw is that threats are only effective on people who understand and believe them -- verbally telling a bear "back off or I'll shoot!" is pointless, because the bear doesn't understand, and telling most people to do what you say or you'll make them spontaneously combust is ineffective because it's so implausible they won't believe you -- so the Basilisk's threat could only be effective on people who correctly understood and believed in it, and the Basilisk would have no motive to threaten people who don't understand it or believe it, even if they've nominally heard the threat. So people who honestly think the Basilisk argument is bullshit are safe in either case -- if they're right, then there's no Basilisk to fear, and even if they're wrong, they're the kind of person against whom the Basilisk's threats would be ineffective, so there's no more point in the Basilisk torturing a future recreation of them than there would be torturing someone who'd never heard of it.

Much of what you wrote above has actually been (as far as I can tell) conceded by the LW community. It's a recognized feature of the basilisk that it leaves most people alone, but punishes those who believe in it.
Pfhorrest wrote:The only people who are at any risk are people who have heard of the Basilisk, honestly believe in it, are correct (so that there will actually be a Basilisk in the future), and still willfully neglect or work against it.

This is where some would contest you. I don't remember all of the details, but I recall that there is an argument that degrees of cooperation matter - "willful neglect" or "work[ing] against it" are not necessary - believing in it and attempting to bring it about with less-than-full commitment (i.e. giving only part of your time and money) yields greater punishment than believing in it but being lazy and doing nothing. Basically, the more compelled you are by the idea, then the more effective punishment would be (the stress of imagining that a future you will be punished is the measurement of that effectiveness), so the more inclined the basilisk is to simulate you and punish you.

I try to avoid getting in to all of that, because I just don't think it's necessary - I honestly think the whole idea is dead on arrival before you can even get down to that level of detail.


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