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Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:10 am
by Pixelmage
I've been meaning to make this topic for a while now, but my original intention was to assemble all the relevant links and quotes and let you all piece it together. But, while I do remember the scattered bits from memory, I don't know where all of them come from, actually assembling the links would entail a complete reread of all archived content.

Well, first... We have our vision of the Metaverse. While Tom's and Rick's differ in some points, we still have an accurate enough representation to gather a basic understanding of the verse. That said, the only concept really important for this is the concept of layers of reality.

From any point in the endless chain, if you take an arbitrary section off the top layer has authorial power over the lower ones. The Fourth Wall, or one instance of it, exists between such layers to differentiate the top layer as real. To our analysis, we always assumed we were in the top layer of the verse, as we cannot go upward unless we are able to break The Wall, therefore the hypothetical existence of a higher layer is irrelevant.

But, as the post-mortem shows, Mr. A is not fictional. He sometimes appears in Connor's TV screen to yell at him. :geek:
Furthermore, he does lie.

We have been assured by the instantiations that they cannot create fiction. And true to form, before Radio Void Rebel, any deviation from assigned behavior resulted in termination by Prime. But, consider this, if the instantiations can deviate from assigned path, does it not mean that they somehow must be able to come up with an idea different from the ones assigned to them? That is, to some extent an effort of creativity, new behavior must come from somewhere, after all.

And, at least the very least Prime, is able to lie. Lies are not observable facts. If he is unable to create fiction, he is, by definition unable to lie. After all, he can't use math, logic or observation to compose false sentences. While you can verify if 2 plus 2 equals 5, that will never show itself mathematically to you unless you actually have the idea to check for it, thus exercising creativity. Or have it told to you that you should check for it, which is a lie from another, but we know Mr. A can lie, so him being misled is something of little use.

While it is possible that his lies are the result of observing the exact same lie being told in a lower universe, as a top layer spectator, he is active and shows initiative in carrying out research. That makes this possibility a great deal less probable.

From that, I do gather that yes, at the very least Prime, Mr. A can create fiction. If you think the screw is enough, stop reading. I'll start driving it now.

Look further into the Post-Mortem for some nice tidbits of info. Like a fun little fact regarding the Wall Piece designs. As well as batman, which was foreshadowed from before GuestUser17 even found out about the ARG... Wait. Weren't the Shards created by the Foreshadow Machine blowing up?

Now, look back at the Metaverse Model thread, we had the Tantrum Plan, which involving wrapping everything up and throwing it one layer down so that we could retcon the Wall into not falling. That's the sort of power an author layer has over it's fiction, after all. But, didn't we suggest at some point that Mr. A could break a fictional universe's Fourth Wall to test our theories on and we could simply retcon it into not breaking due to being top-level to it? Well, guess what? That's just what he did. To our layer.

Sure, the "I BROKE IT" made it clear, but, let the implications sink. Mr. A is not fictional, thus, not lower. He can't interact with this world save from acting through us, meaning he's not physically here. This leaves him at one level above. Since he lies, he can create, and while we could wonder where would he write being in the void... Well, he's the one who portrays himself in the void, along as claiming that the void exists inside the Wall. For all we know he's leaning on his couch drinking some hot coffee and wondering what to do next.

Ladies and gents, from the pieces collected, I do imagine that GM, Player, Crisis... We have been written. Should I start calling him Mr. Author now?

Disclaimer: I'm reasonably sure a lot of us thought about this before. Or at least I think so. I just don't think it was assembled in a single compiled form.

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:17 am
by Qara-Xuan Zenith
Oh, Pixie, you just missed one piece-- In the relevantly-titled Season 2 finale of Echo Chamber, Mind Screw, Prime walks through a screen to talk to the assembled instantiations, a screen through which he was previously conversing with them in the same manner that they, or one of them, had been conversing with Tom, Dana, Zack, and Mr. Wallnau.

And Prime, specifically, was the one who broke the Wall-- that is, our Wall.

I think the conclusions here are clear. :gurt:

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:56 am
by Endless Sea
Pixelmage wrote:...Should I start calling him Mr. Author now?...


Hell no. I've already got Alton and Alaki and the rest calling me that, designating the title to a second guy who may or may not be as much of an asshat as I am would just make things confusing. [/jokes]

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:56 am
by Adell
The batman reference was never a reference to Guestuser as far as I can tell, it was a reference to the artist of that particular echo comic, who had worked on a batman comic in his past, I think. It was actually a really hilarious coincidence. Anyway, still interesting stuff.

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:08 am
by Pixelmage
Adell wrote:The batman reference was never a reference to Guestuser

Or so they want you to believe. *conspiracy theorist*
But, it fits so well as a foreshadowing when you use hindsight that it just makes it seem all the more screwy. :)

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:32 am
by narrativedilettante
I don't totally agree that being able to lie is the same as being able to create fiction. The lies are not particularly elaborate and may have been informed by other sources, such as fictional works that featured characters who wanted to pull off deceptions similar to those that Mr. Administrator had in mind. [digression] I also have this idea, that I vaguely like, that some instantiations may be able to create fiction, but those with that ability deviate enough from the standard that they are terminated before they can harness their ability. [/digression]

And of course the "we are all fictional" thing is something that's occurred to many of us before. After all, who are we to assume that our layer is the top one?

But you arrive at your conclusion so eloquently. I like the idea that, not only are we in a lower layer, but we are a fictional universe that doesn't really matter all that much. That we're an experiment, but not just Prime's experiment, an experiment that our counterparts in a level above approved. That they were all willing to risk sacrificing us to see if they could save their own world by the same method, because if we're fictional then our lives don't really matter. I mean, it's somewhat sad and scary, but I really like it.

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:48 pm
by Sicon112
Actually, Mr. A merely exists one layer above the ARG, because the ARG is now nested one level into echo chamber due to his little video there at the end. So we were playing an ARG about an ARG nested within a fictional universe. Also, A does lie, but it is very rarely anything other than truth twisting, and when it is he is just denying things/carefully allowing some of his instantiations to remain ignorant so when they answer with what they believe is the truth, it's actually a lie. Creativity is not required to directly deny a fact or make some statement in opposition to that known fact. He is incapable of making actual fictional STORIES, as far as we can tell, however.

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:58 pm
by Pixelmage
Y U NO PLAY ALONG PEOPLE? :cry:

xD Yeah, I know there are holes. I know that there's plenty of room to push Circular Reasoning, which I won't do for obvious reasons. And of course, we don't get to know as a fact what's true and what's not. I just like the twist of that interpretation. That perspective, makes for some interesting thought experiments.

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:43 am
by Dana
I guess that, technically, as Mr. A is the catalyst for what follows - the event that kicks off the story as well as your participation in it - he is the creator of the experience, which puts him at *least* on the same level as you (us).

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:37 am
by Rick Healey
...

It's like you still don't realize just what tropes are.

Oh, this is fun.

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:44 am
by narrativedilettante
...And Rick shows up to tease us. I know I shouldn't let him get to me, but he is so very good at it.

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:49 am
by Pixelmage
Tell me about it, Dilly... *twitches* *must not ask*

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:55 am
by eli_gone_crazy
Rick Healey wrote:...

It's like you still don't realize just what tropes are.

Oh, this is fun.


*is curious*

Care to school us youngsters in the ways of the tropes?
:)

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:06 am
by Rick Healey
narrativedilettante wrote:...And Rick shows up to tease us. I know I shouldn't let him get to me, but he is so very good at it.


I would have been here earlier to tease, but it's been really busy. As is, I probably should be doing household chores right now. But I missed you guys.

You have to keep in mind, of course, that I've been an older brother for 30 years (ever since my sister came along); I've had lots of practice at teasing.

In all seriousness, though, Pix, you're kind of on the way of realizing just what tropes are, at their very heart. I'd tell you more, but I find that this story is instructive as to why I won't.

---

At a Zen monastery, one of the oldest masters, one who had been said to have achieved enlightenment ages ago, would always answer questions by simply holding up the index finger of his right hand and slowly bringing it up to chest level. One of the eager young students, hoping to grasp the truth of the universe as this Zen master did, soon started to imitate the Zen master.

Upon seeing this, the Zen master approached the student. "Student, may I have a word with you?" As this was a question, the student responded to his master by simply holding up the index finger as the master did.

Without a word, the Zen master quickly drew a hidden kitchen knife and cut off the student's entire finger at the base knuckle.

The student, naturally, screamed in agony and quickly wrapped his hand as blood just started spewing everywhere. It was like someone had stuck a pig, and it was starting to get all over the nearby tranquility gardens. It was an absurd mess, but the student finally managed to staunch the bleeding, when he heard the Zen master call, "Student?" The student looked up, and the Zen master calmly held up his right index finger as he always did.

And thus, did the student achieve enlightenment.

(I was originally told that story by Prof. Shirakawa, one of my late and beloved Japanese language and history professors in college. And if you get *why* I shared that story right now, you'll get why I won't explain further.)

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:14 am
by Qara-Xuan Zenith
I think, after my fourth readthrough of efp, I became immune to Rick's trolling. I think.

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:02 am
by Rick Healey
Qara-Xuan Zenith wrote:I think, after my fourth readthrough of efp, I became immune to Rick's trolling. I think.


There's a certain point at which you just have to realize that apophenia has set in. Unless, of course, you're just questioning whether apophenia is the route to the answer.

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:40 am
by H22
Rick Healey wrote:
Qara-Xuan Zenith wrote:I think, after my fourth readthrough of efp, I became immune to Rick's trolling. I think.


There's a certain point at which you just have to realize that apophenia has set in. Unless, of course, you're just questioning whether apophenia is the route to the answer.


Thought is just a process. We will overcome it. :D

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:27 am
by Pixelmage
Rick Healey wrote:In all seriousness, though, Pix, you're kind of on the way of realizing just what tropes are, at their very heart. I'd tell you more, but I find that this story is instructive as to why I won't.

Well, stumbling my way forward is still better than not making any progress at all.
Rick Healey wrote:And if you get *why* I shared that story right now, you'll get why I won't explain further.

I have ideas, yes. But, saying I *do* understand would be trying to look cool. Of course, I wouldn't ask for easy mode anyway. It would be really disappointing to get a straight answer and miss the chance of discovering it as I go... Or maybe that is just me trying to look cool and still missing the point. :?

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:40 am
by Sicon112
Rick Healey wrote:
narrativedilettante wrote:...And Rick shows up to tease us. I know I shouldn't let him get to me, but he is so very good at it.


I would have been here earlier to tease, but it's been really busy. As is, I probably should be doing household chores right now. But I missed you guys.

You have to keep in mind, of course, that I've been an older brother for 30 years (ever since my sister came along); I've had lots of practice at teasing.

In all seriousness, though, Pix, you're kind of on the way of realizing just what tropes are, at their very heart. I'd tell you more, but I find that this story is instructive as to why I won't.

---

At a Zen monastery, one of the oldest masters, one who had been said to have achieved enlightenment ages ago, would always answer questions by simply holding up the index finger of his right hand and slowly bringing it up to chest level. One of the eager young students, hoping to grasp the truth of the universe as this Zen master did, soon started to imitate the Zen master.

Upon seeing this, the Zen master approached the student. "Student, may I have a word with you?" As this was a question, the student responded to his master by simply holding up the index finger as the master did.

Without a word, the Zen master quickly drew a hidden kitchen knife and cut off the student's entire finger at the base knuckle.

The student, naturally, screamed in agony and quickly wrapped his hand as blood just started spewing everywhere. It was like someone had stuck a pig, and it was starting to get all over the nearby tranquility gardens. It was an absurd mess, but the student finally managed to staunch the bleeding, when he heard the Zen master call, "Student?" The student looked up, and the Zen master calmly held up his right index finger as he always did.

And thus, did the student achieve enlightenment.

(I was originally told that story by Prof. Shirakawa, one of my late and beloved Japanese language and history professors in college. And if you get *why* I shared that story right now, you'll get why I won't explain further.)


:| .... :D

Well, you tried to troll me anyway. Nice attempt. ;)

(And Pix...Have fun.) :P

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:08 am
by Pixelmage
Sicon112 wrote:(And Pix...Have fun.) :P

(Pssst, let him think it was a triumph, maybe he'll make a note here.) :P

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:55 am
by Rick Healey
Sicon112 wrote: :| .... :D

Well, you tried to troll me anyway. Nice attempt. ;)

(And Pix...Have fun.) :P


It's fun to see folks new to the Internet. So many fun misunderstandings.

Simple rule of thumb - if it's actually a trolling attempt, and if you respond to it, it succeeded, regardless of what you say in it.

Pixelmage wrote:
Sicon112 wrote:(And Pix...Have fun.) :P

(Pssst, let him think it was a triumph, maybe he'll make a note here.) :P


(Psst, if it was truly a triumph, I wouldn't need to write a note.)

Pixelmage wrote:I have ideas, yes. But, saying I *do* understand would be trying to look cool. Of course, I wouldn't ask for easy mode anyway. It would be really disappointing to get a straight answer and miss the chance of discovering it as I go... Or maybe that is just me trying to look cool and still missing the point. :?


Then either you got the point I was trying to make, or you're just trying to look cool while missing it. ;)

Also, I will admit that I shared that story in part because it's one of my favorite things from one of my favorite college professors. He looked like the very picture of an austere, elderly Japanese man. He always wore tweed and spoke with a firm and formal voice. He liked to present the image of the stereotypical overly formal Japanese man. And then he'd bust out with some of the most absurd and ridiculous stories and comments once you got to know him. You know the trope, The Comically Serious? He was the *master*. I felt that the story in question is one of his finest moments (he said it in such a serene voice, up until he switched to a severe, almost-angry voice for the "chop off the finger" part... then go back to a serene voice for the ending), and I also told it to honor his memory (he passed away in 2005, beloved by every student who went to my alma mater who took Japanese).

If I have trolled, I got there by being dopeslapped while on the shoulders of giants.

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:46 pm
by Sicon112
Rick Healey wrote:
Sicon112 wrote: :| .... :D

Well, you tried to troll me anyway. Nice attempt. ;)

(And Pix...Have fun.) :P


It's fun to see folks new to the Internet. So many fun misunderstandings.

Simple rule of thumb - if it's actually a trolling attempt, and if you respond to it, it succeeded, regardless of what you say in it.


... :D

Image

Hmm, do we have a problem here?

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:09 pm
by H22
Qara-Xuan Zenith wrote:I think, after my fourth readthrough of efp, I became immune to Rick's trolling. I think.


I suggest that the best way for Rick to troll now would be not trolling.

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:08 pm
by The Wild West Pyro
Pixelmage wrote:I've been meaning to make this topic for a while now, but my original intention was to assemble all the relevant links and quotes and let you all piece it together. But, while I do remember the scattered bits from memory, I don't know where all of them come from, actually assembling the links would entail a complete reread of all archived content.

Well, first... We have our vision of the Metaverse. While Tom's and Rick's differ in some points, we still have an accurate enough representation to gather a basic understanding of the verse. That said, the only concept really important for this is the concept of layers of reality.

From any point in the endless chain, if you take an arbitrary section off the top layer has authorial power over the lower ones. The Fourth Wall, or one instance of it, exists between such layers to differentiate the top layer as real. To our analysis, we always assumed we were in the top layer of the verse, as we cannot go upward unless we are able to break The Wall, therefore the hypothetical existence of a higher layer is irrelevant.

But, as the post-mortem shows, Mr. A is not fictional. He sometimes appears in Connor's TV screen to yell at him. :geek:
Furthermore, he does lie.

We have been assured by the instantiations that they cannot create fiction. And true to form, before Radio Void Rebel, any deviation from assigned behavior resulted in termination by Prime. But, consider this, if the instantiations can deviate from assigned path, does it not mean that they somehow must be able to come up with an idea different from the ones assigned to them? That is, to some extent an effort of creativity, new behavior must come from somewhere, after all.

And, at least the very least Prime, is able to lie. Lies are not observable facts. If he is unable to create fiction, he is, by definition unable to lie. After all, he can't use math, logic or observation to compose false sentences. While you can verify if 2 plus 2 equals 5, that will never show itself mathematically to you unless you actually have the idea to check for it, thus exercising creativity. Or have it told to you that you should check for it, which is a lie from another, but we know Mr. A can lie, so him being misled is something of little use.

While it is possible that his lies are the result of observing the exact same lie being told in a lower universe, as a top layer spectator, he is active and shows initiative in carrying out research. That makes this possibility a great deal less probable.

From that, I do gather that yes, at the very least Prime, Mr. A can create fiction. If you think the screw is enough, stop reading. I'll start driving it now.

Look further into the Post-Mortem for some nice tidbits of info. Like a fun little fact regarding the Wall Piece designs. As well as batman, which was foreshadowed from before GuestUser17 even found out about the ARG... Wait. Weren't the Shards created by the Foreshadow Machine blowing up?

Now, look back at the Metaverse Model thread, we had the Tantrum Plan, which involving wrapping everything up and throwing it one layer down so that we could retcon the Wall into not falling. That's the sort of power an author layer has over it's fiction, after all. But, didn't we suggest at some point that Mr. A could break a fictional universe's Fourth Wall to test our theories on and we could simply retcon it into not breaking due to being top-level to it? Well, guess what? That's just what he did. To our layer.

Sure, the "I BROKE IT" made it clear, but, let the implications sink. Mr. A is not fictional, thus, not lower. He can't interact with this world save from acting through us, meaning he's not physically here. This leaves him at one level above. Since he lies, he can create, and while we could wonder where would he write being in the void... Well, he's the one who portrays himself in the void, along as claiming that the void exists inside the Wall. For all we know he's leaning on his couch drinking some hot coffee and wondering what to do next.

Ladies and gents, from the pieces collected, I do imagine that GM, Player, Crisis... We have been written. Should I start calling him Mr. Author now?

Disclaimer: I'm reasonably sure a lot of us thought about this before. Or at least I think so. I just don't think it was assembled in a single compiled form.


YES.

And in his wood panelled office, surrounded by his paintings, bookcases and suit of armour, and with a typewriter, pen and paper and a computer on his desk. SIPPING COFFEE.

Re: Bring your minds. I offer you a screw.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:03 pm
by Endless Sea
The Wild West Pyro wrote:
YES.

And in his wood panelled office, surrounded by his paintings, bookcases and suit of armour, and with a typewriter, pen and paper and a computer on his desk. SIPPING COFFEE.


...who what huh?