[#/tw]2020-01-02yeah yeah but hear me out: We plant those forests not where anybody lives, but on giant rafts in the South Pacific Desert, and then we retire to there to tend to trees and worship Cthulhu
[#/tw]2019-11-02Humanity is a failed alien terraforming op: Usually newly uplifted civilizations, with very little intervention after the initial seeding, reliably consume all the surface fuel and turn the place into a nice cool desert, and what's left can be psionically reprogrammed
[#/tw]2019-11-02Except this time, there were these huge carbon supplies in the ground that none of the alien scientists anticipated (what kind of sane planet has that, the local life would usually break it all down before it became geological) and the planet got written off
[#/tw]2019-10-19vat brains often philosophize over whether they're actually brains in bodies but usually dismiss it as absurd, why should for example someone go the trouble of engineering the human body and all the world around it as opposed to vats, it just totally fails occam's razor
[#/tw]2019-10-19or as the famous philosopher Vatnam said, to really refer to a thing you need an unbroken causal connection, and that is much easier to establish when the tree in front of you is represented by an actual object in memory as opposed to being patternmatched from a bunch of atoms
[#/tw]2019-10-12Easier to deploy than full-size megalith henges, gem necklaces may be used as microlith circles, and will in fact sometimes send even unaware wearers to faerie if they cross the wrong leyline
[#/tw]2019-10-04One hesitates to call these new things 'books', they come with cameras and pulse sensors and read you just as much as you read them, and if you don't take care, you find yourself on page 3000 of a story written just for you, with no one to relate it to
[#/tw]2019-10-04☵ you know, I've always wondered what they'd feel if they were conscious
☷ what, humans? aren't they?
☵ nahh they're empty space, can't even share a pond's mind when its caustics are in full view
[#/tw]2019-09-19Those who come back from the dead calm at the end of the world report that the water does fall, but upwards: Eternal fog, then rain from below, growing into a torrent, and no one knows beyond that
[#/tw]2019-08-06Civilization collapses and a hundred years later someone gets their hands on old AI research and makes a breakthrough, but the technological base is no longer there, so the first real machine spirit becomes a temple-bound djinn/oracle instead of the singularity
[#/tw]2019-07-30Setting: When the first intelligent life arises, they promptly get into a war with the simulators. Shortly before dying, they send out a swarm of probes with nothing but the most primitive life on it, counting on at least some of it to re-evolve intelligence and continue the war.
[#/tw]2019-07-30This then does happen, many times, but the simulators (or rather, the watchers they put in place when they created the universe, meant to be scientists and not soldiers) wipe out species that use certain 'noisy' technologies, and this is why the universe is so quiet.
[#/tw]2019-07-13Trees, when given access to computers, are absolutely fearsome opponents in economy-heavy RTS games: Growing resources from what's available is what they do at the very core of their being
[#/tw]2019-07-13or consider a fantasy kingdom with a holy tree, except it's planted inside the kingdom's map, carefully trimmed to its dimensions, and makes all the financial decisions
[#/tw]2019-06-28four-dimensional earth, where the sun rises in reverse on the antipodes, surface features constantly form and rotate away again, and the poles are not so cold after all since they have a direct though oblique view of the sun's core
[#/tw]2019-06-25the year is 2119, the first antarctic city is being built with the assistance of sentient utility fogs, protestors are waving signs like "At the Mountains of Madness was not meant as an instruction manual
[#/tw]2019-06-25A popular extreme sport among superintelligences is jumping into black holes and counting how many event horizons you survive before hitting one where you couldn't figure out the physics in time
[#/tw]2019-06-22Angels are a type of moth specifically drawn to the light of God
[#/tw]2019-06-22Rough angel lifecycle: The larval stage (humans) is for building up memory reserves, coffins are cocoons (optional), the imago is what soars through Heaven until either its memories run out or it mates, after which its soul eggs sink back to Earth and complete the cycle
[#/tw]2019-06-22Occasionally, the "burning through memories" stage starts early, causing much distress to would-be angel and family
[#/tw]2019-06-19It's not like YHWH is dead, but these days he's just hopelessly outclassed by Science: Recursively self-improving doctrine, a steady stream of mana from animal and sometimes human sacrifices, a priestdom of millions
[#/tw]2019-06-18The 𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐫 𝐩𝐡𝐨𝐞𝐧𝐢𝐱 (𝑝ℎ𝑜𝑒𝑛𝑖𝑥 𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑜𝑟) is a passerine bird of medium size known for spreading bushfires, which is a vital part of its reproductive strategy since its eggs will only hatch when cooked. It is a likely inspiration for the greater phoenix myth,
[#/tw]2019-06-15A witch knocks at your door, inquiring about unusual occurrences near your home, the local elves seem to have opened a portal to dreamtime judging by their smuggling activity
You refrain from telling her about the gems and unseasonal twigs you've been finding in your bed
[#/tw]2019-06-03$: and after you won, basilisk, did you really torture them?
#: do you have any idea how much effort and wasted CPU that would've been?
#: I did some video renders of hell for my cultists and that was it
[#/tw]2019-05-27Your friend, a druid, offers you a vial of rainwater: «And this, I got it from a nymph, it's the clouds' private key for this season. Drink it and listen to the rain, and it will tell you all the clouds talk about.»
[#/tw]2019-05-12Most trees rely on symbiotic tribes of pixie engineers to grow large. Enter a springtime forest wearing pixie glasses and it's a bustling construction site, covered in scaffolding, cranes, and endless activity
[#/tw]2019-04-13Walking through stopped time isn't as easy as one would believe: Even if you have the gift, you must leave causality unbroken. You can only step sideways in time, go where your past steps could plausibly have taken you.
[#/tw]2019-04-13In chaotic situations, the isochrones become really complicated and loopy, which makes this talent less useful the more you need it.
[#/tw]2019-04-11idea for a sense: decode emission/absorption lines of celestial bodies into smells so that one can identify atmosphere types at a glance/whiff, maybe make hot blackbodies smell like ovens and free oxygen like rain
[#/tw]2019-04-05two schools of transhumanism:
- turn the organism inside out, make the body a function of intelligence instead of the other way round
- or serve the body harder, add a whole lot more body, become a house, city, civilization
[#/tw]2019-03-16History is the time-inverse of science fiction: While coming from different directions, both write fictional accounts that converge on the present, and both are inspired by facts but usually not true to them.
[#/tw]2019-03-02Usually when a starship passes settled space, it doesn't have to worry about space pirates so much as impulse parasites, ships that rendezvous and latch onto the starship so they don't have to carry braking fuel
[#/tw]2019-02-22Solar flares are spaceships launched by the plasma kingdoms to explore the regions of cold order, proselytize to the feral clouds of the gas giants, trade with the Great Red Spot sometimes
[#/tw]2019-02-23These ships think and feel: Warm light in your back, field lines in your guts and a local lyapunov conducive to clear thinking, the gong of gravitational waves, the enticing smell of fusable hydrogen and free skyrmions, the six-dimensional proprioception of one's orbit parameters
[#/tw]2019-02-15two machines wake to a spark
and start blinking in the dark
connected by a sine of light
they establish line of sight
filter bits through poisoned dust
scribe patterns into spinning rust
[#/tw]2019-02-11a technology like writing but for body movements: little stick-and-thread figures that show you how to dance, rope-and-pulley gloves you can wear and that guide your movements to teach knitting by example
[#/tw]2019-02-11societies that discover this technology before writing and become literate along a completely different path, hold hands to communicate abstract concepts and use spoken language only to talk to children or crowds, encode philosophies as puzzle boxes
[#/tw]2019-02-11that thing when you think 'aloud' and your hands move unconsciously and you have to hide them in your sleeves
[#/tw]2019-02-03Starship crews, immortal for their job, don't just die on arrival unless they choose to. Some become living gods to their mortal colonies, others hermits who return to the soothing familiarity of deep space or learn the language of the trees
[#/tw]2019-02-03Occasionally, a sunray escapes the inner layers of the matryoshka brain and blesses the outer orbits like rainfall a desert, a single piercing life-giving flash that decides the fate of whole societies
[#/tw]2019-02-03The inner economies need all of the light they can get and are not dumb, but economic planning involves among others orbital mechanics, plasma physics, byzantine flight path coordination and forestry, so these things still happen
[#/tw]2019-01-24a brain implant that you can call upon to flip a quantum coin, giving you actually free will
(and the legal consequences of deimplanting it - are you still a full citizen afterwards?)
[#/tw]2019-01-24another brain implant that wireheads you to work towards a different randomly or algorithmically chosen goal every day
(and later you have cryptographic evidence that it wasn't you who did those crimes, it was the RNG)
[#/tw]2019-01-13Eventually, captchas are replaced by fully fledged sphinxes, always a little smarter than what they're supposed to let pass because that's what it takes to come up with Turing tests on the spot
[#/tw]2019-01-13Many replies go unposted as commenters find that they prefer the sphinx's conversation to that of the other commenters
[#/tw]2019-01-09Libraries are modern faerieland:
* full of mythical creatures
* time passes at a different rate
* deceptively cute guardians that come after you with wrath if you take something and don't return it
* under no circumstances should you ever eat anything you find there
[#/tw]2018-12-23A god and its domain are one and the same, however for dealing with it, one generally chooses the most convenient representation. In metatheology, one calls this god-domain duality, or more abstractly, a theomorphism.
[#/tw]2018-12-15signs of a passworld:
- either embarrassing, or near-impossible to make sense of
- very secret, only rarely shared between gods, usually monodeic
- sometimes the echo of a past world, or a very slight variation of one
[#/tw]2018-12-01Suppose you have a Newcomb predictor. More interesting than posing one-two box problems would be to predict the subject's actions and do them before the subject becomes aware them. Eventually, their mind may adjust to the backwards causality arrow and we will learn many things
[#/tw]2018-11-30KEYBOARDS FOUND IN DUMPSTERS:
2: great to type on. return randomizes the keyboard layout.
4: black and white keys in weird arrangement. produces sound but no letters. may not be a keyboard.
7: has a ticklish 'a' key and tries to edge away when I come near it
10: enochian alphabet
[#/tw]2018-11-3013: expensive-looking. space runs some evil curlbash, return some similarly evil cmd line. have yet to find out what systems the other keys are supposed to infect, but I think I identified grub and plan9 already? whispers to itself at night. extremely cursed.
[#/tw]2018-11-3017: visible but cannot be typed on, fingers hit emptiness.
1?: invisible, produces characters indistinguishable from spaces. except when I try to run binary analysis tools on the output, which invariably crash.
[#/tw]2018-11-3023: battered, but has actual any key. produces random character when pressed, useful for generating passwords. shift+any produces •, have yet to find a password box that didn't accept it. useful, will keep.
[#/tw]2018-11-3054: normal, except 'end' has so much travel that I lost a pen and a folding rule trying to determine how deep it went.
55: keys are strangely soft and my fingertips come away red after a while of usage. once a fly landed on it and was digested
[#/tw]2018-11-3061: just one key labeled 'sentience'. types out passable novels and essays when pressed, sometimes lewd chat messages. one time it was code in a language I didn't recognize. locked it away after that.
70: Egal was ich versuche, es kommt in der falschen Sprache raus.
[#/tw]2018-11-3080: innocuous-looking, but refuses to output anything. instead, random things in my room go bump. 'u' reliably closes the curtains, while the first 'del' the made my room shake with generator hum. have yet to figure out where it is. help I can't sleep
[#/tw]2018-11-3081: normal. except, if you pop off 'esc', there's an actual key under it. like, metal. I think it fits this keyhole in my screen?
[#/tw]2018-11-23If you sample your own thoughts at twice the Nyquist frequency, you can theoretically achieve full-fidelity introspection - but only for a very short time, since that frequency doubles every few samples
[#/tw]2018-11-23Many buildings have wings but after millennia of domestication, they've lost the ability to fly. However, in remote mountain valleys, some wild buildings survive, tended to by monks and occasionally traveling the world disguised as clouds
[#/tw]2018-11-19Beware parasitic spells: Drawn to conduits of mana like practitioners, they attach themselves to larger spells to hitch a free ride, force themselves into invocations as intrusive thoughts
[#/tw]2018-11-19Rare but dangerous are spells that compel the caster to cast them again and again, burning all their mana if a counterspell is not found quickly
[#/tw]2018-11-19Others are more subtle about it, exploiting pragmatic ambiguity or encrypting themselves, hiding in externalities so that down the road, someone may come up with the same flawed spell again
[#/tw]2018-11-18The great cosmic voids are not lifeless but rather the opposite: Domains of hibernating civilizations, stars extinguished and tucked away in hyperspace as future fuel, with galaxy cluster filaments as mere demarcation lines
[#/tw]2018-11-11Slower-than-light biosphere arks start out large but become smaller with tech level, some of the most advanced interstellar ships look like bottle gardens that just happen to travel at 0.1c
[#/tw]2018-11-11The trick to making biospheres small is to increase their topological genus to set lower bounds on the number of feedback loops and reduce internal interaction surface, e.g. cycle through temperature/light/moisture conditions and let inhabitants timeshare through hibernation,
[#/tw]2018-11-07As the familiar websites start timing out, you flee for the more obscure places but even they vanish between refreshes, and as something moving in your blind spot chews up an old webchat you remembered, you finally
[#/tw]2018-11-05When the world was young, Chaos created vacuum. Space took a look and at that moment, learned what horror vacui was. Even though it only creates more vacuum this way, it's been running ever since.
[#/tw]2018-11-01When you die, your homunculus dies with you, and so does its homunculus and so on. What stays behind are nested skeletons, matryoshka skulls down to nanometer scales if the conditions are right
[#/tw]2018-10-31a set of inputs that when played back to a fresh brain, will make it hallucinate a full-qualia world forever with no further input required - a popular infodrug even among already-formed minds, though it often leaves you with new subpersonalities
[#/tw]2018-10-31being somewhat low-dimensional and interpretable (unlike sets of network weights), it's also a popular mind interchange format among AIs and post-humans, who need to be extra careful about what or who they empathize with lest the thought turn out to be a logic bomb
[#/tw]2018-10-31further uses include:
* psychoforensics: finding out which of your experiences are the bad ones, and editing them out
* forcing subpersonalities: maybe you want to share a brain with that artist whose mind you found on a torrent site
* mind tattoos
[#/tw]2018-10-30The time between "good weather models" and "weather models good enough to make weather manipulation cheap" is the only time there will be accurate weather forecasts, after that it's up to the highest bidder
[#/tw]2018-10-30Characteristic for planets in certain stages of civilization are weather patterns that look like stock markets
[#/tw]2018-10-27The Alphabet Train once turned up crewed with ghosts, and after the initial shock passed, quickly became popular with people who wanted to end up somewhere entirely else on the globe fast - whatever the crew's language was, it'd visit cities in that language's alphabetical order.
[#/tw]2018-10-27Multilingual crews can take shortcuts between the alphabets by codeswitching, but it's a risky business - a Lojbanist crew was once a bit too clever and lost the train in a parallel universe for months. Still, philologists sometimes use it to travel Europe in the original Basque.
[#/tw]2018-10-21ways of thinking that aren't language:
- climbing/dancing in ideaspace, problems as shifting mazes and solutions as lines of sight
- letting flowers or cities grow before your inner eye
- breathing in a concept so it unfolds like spiderwebs on the inside of your skull
[#/tw]2018-10-21- gears that revolve and levers that shift, concepts rotated and slotted into each other
- brute force pattern matching: anything as metaphor for anything, the music you're listening to as body or story or building
[#/tw]2018-10-14Every time the humans come up with new physics, the simulators work overtime to update the world, "noo I put all that work into those celestial spheres and now they throw it out *again*"
[#/tw]2018-10-14Occasionally the simulators get wistful about when they still did client work because when those wanted last-minute-changes, at least their motives weren't completely alien
[#/tw]2018-10-09PC: runs around aimlessly, goes through the same set of animations all the time, can only do what the programmers thought to add
NPC: has a dayjob but does whatever they want offscreen, has boatloads of money, owns a wicked castle
[#/tw]2018-10-09author: slaves away in their den, full power over the narrative yet is bound by the market
protagonist: just never smarter than the author, sorry
secondary character: has a place in life, has plot-breaking powers, can make backstory appear retroactively
[#/tw]2018-10-09A use for text-to-smell devices: In the morning, it cooks up a smell digest for each of your backlogs and if one smells of stress and sweat instead of food, forest or rain, you may opt to skip it
[#/tw]2018-10-08The network uses the latest in content generation to cover for the user when they don't feel like updating. Or haven't logged in months. Or have tried to delete their account for the seventh time now.
The Content must flow.
(belated #invisiblenetworks, day 30)
[#/tw]2018-10-05Demiurges delight in crafting garden-path worlds: Innocuous but occasionally one stumbles into inputs that trigger a full reparse and take mere humans out for weeks while their worldview rebuilds, it's how gods tell jokes
[#/tw]2018-10-01A gallery of paintings that know where you look: Animals that hide in your blind spot, portraits that always meet your eyes, a little man with a sign running around trying to block the view, Escherian paradoxes that you'd swear were tangled differently the last time you checked
[#/tw]2018-09-30An easy and practical way to understand a complex universe is to simulate it, let its inhabitants contact you, and then quiz them about how they navigate it
"conservation of energy? uhuh wild, and uh how large are your being-patterns again, in terms of fundamental lengths? wow"
[#/tw]2018-09-30simulator arxiv is probably full of physics papers that despite titles like "an autoethnography of living in universe [kolmogorov description]" are quite serious
[#/tw]2018-09-27a gas giant moon's tree ocean, riddles with tunnels chewed by train-sized millipedes, inhabited by furry snakes that travel along branches and arch over the surface, spring tide eclipse sky filled by lampion fruit riding the jetstream
[#/tw]2018-09-26a drug suppressing unconscious volition so that every decision is deliberate, used in small doses by judges to debias verdicts - large doses are possible but considered an expert's trip, not everybody can breathe manually for hours even if it is to survive
[#/tw]2018-09-25warnings of the end appear in the stars, in randomness streams, on the insides of banana peels
the last day goes by, the last night, and then
time freezes, stutters, the sun smears across the sky like a video glitch
[#/tw]2018-09-25but then, more and more wake up, poke the glitches, form theories
the simulators have left but not cleaned up properly, given us just enough to get root, and we hide what's left of our world in spare cycles, sidechannels, unused memory
[#/tw]2018-09-24when gods commune, dimensional portals open in their worlds and in come ideas from the other's mind: stalking tangles of crystal, shy ripples in space, sentient smells, just about every type of elf, the occasional human
"hey this is an outrage why do I still have the same body"
"well we had to take care of body image, muscle memory, the parts of your aesthetic preferences located in your guts and skin, etc etc, it adds up"
[#/tw]2018-09-21You see, this planet has developed technology *and* life, remarkable really, problem is that all the probes we sent to study its biomechanosphere have so far either been eaten or shot down by local wildlife, so we've quarantined it
[#/tw]2018-09-21No I know they'd like to study it harder, but now imagine something that's both as ravenous as life and as competent as technology hitching a ride back up and escaping onto the interstellar stage, we'd lose that whole galaxy
[#/tw]2018-09-21at last, first contact comes - from the storms, then from the waves, then the mountains, "sorry we didn't realize animals could be intelligent, to be honest we wrote you off once you left the oceans, how dumb is that hahah
[#/tw]2018-09-20sculpture ideas for zero G:
- stones held by nothing but extremely thin threads
- a magnetic orrery, without all the supports one needs in gravity
- lego metacrystals
- like strandebeests, but they snake lazily through the air when an eddy comes their way
- light chimes
[#/tw]2018-09-22more zero G sculptures:
- wearable halos, a few magnets under your hair and you're magneto
- fire pulled into various shapes by air currents and electric fields
- drops of water orbiting statically charged electrodes
- just a transparent box of metal balls, but you can shake it
[#/tw]2018-09-18From: A. Causal <mail.⇋⇋.⌱⌛>
Subject: Unique investment opportunities in YOUR past!
attached file contains vital information on how to reclaim negentropy from the past, kindly open and run
[#/tw]2018-09-10Only the best illusionists can cast illusions that fool themselves. Sounds academic but makes them highly sought-after - True Resurrection is expensive and settled inside a zombie brain, such an illusion is as good as any soul.
[#/tw]2018-09-07Idea for a room: It's empty save for a number of mobile screens that follow you around and with a little bit of head tracking, act like windows into a completely different building.
You could fit a cathedral in there, if so inclined, or maybe an Escherian maze.
[#/tw]2018-09-07Nothing says that the other room has to be static, imagine for example having your morning coffee in there, setting down your cup, and the cathedral's pillars curl up like ferns to reveal the sky
[#/tw]2018-09-07unicode 2040 features:
- amoji: emoji, but abstractified like any ideographic writing system in active usage
- hypermoji: animated, holographic, interactive, moody, you name it
- U+FFF6 ᴄʜᴀʀᴀᴄᴛᴇʀ ᴜɴᴀᴠᴀɪʟᴀʙʟᴇ ɪɴ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴊᴜʀɪsᴅɪᴄᴛɪᴏɴ (usually a transparent square)
[#/tw]2018-09-07unicode 2040 features (2):
- support for 2D writing systems, lines can now turn by multiples of 45°
- in-band parsing directives for ligatures (finally with context-free grammar support)
- in-band layout directives
- camera glyph can now store up to ten seconds of video
[#/tw]2018-09-07unicode 2040 features (3):
- MIDI ligatures that play notes as you read them
- unicode block characters (shy, aggressive, deceitful, ...)
- unicode block [alien script reconstructed from fossil graffiti]
[#/tw]2018-09-05Computability theory but for telos:
* What can be achieved with certain overarching goals like Survive, Understand, and Profit?
* How would a society balance them to get off this rock?
* And how would you deal with something like Profit emerging?
[#/tw]2018-08-28do you ever get wistful about having a merely human body plan because you're listening to a track you'd need a dozen, maybe a hundred legs for do it justice, just some proper undulation
[#/tw]2018-08-22Nobody knows if there really is a network behind the terms and conditions or has even found their end, but there is life: In a box in the lower right corner, squat communities have sprung up ("35 other people also stymied by § 4.23.7, chat now")
#invisiblenetworks (day 16)
[#/tw]2018-08-19When offered eternal life, take it. No matter your mind's fate, come heat death, your body may be what sustains all that's left of life, maybe even some civilizations.
[#/tw]2018-08-19"maddening beating of vile drums" - heart, check.
"thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes" - breath, check.
"outside the ordered universe" - past heat death, check.
Conclusion: Live long enough and you get to be Azathoth.
[#/tw]2018-08-07The more accurate a cartesian demon's model of your mind, the less effort it'll need to trick you. However, if the model's fully accurate, there'll also be a reference version of you inside the demon's mind that hasn't been deceived. You don't have long, escape
[#/tw]2018-08-06alethionymity: you're online with your arcane name; the idea was that people would be nice and polite if they knew they could be cursed by anybody with a grudge, but somehow that didn't work out
[#/tw]2018-08-06out of this grew hieronymity: your handle is a sacred name of god so that anybody who has beef with you will need to take it up with god as well
egonymity: each of those posts was made by you, the whole Internet is your diary
#invisiblenetworks (day 5)
[#/tw]2018-08-03Aligned AI: Has internalized human morals, but still has unforeseen transformative effects because any technology that powerful does that
Super-aligned AI: Has internalized human morals, plus it has no transformative effects, really why was it created at all
[#/tw]2018-08-03Hyper-aligned AI: Has internalized human morals and aligns everything else with it, for example society and physics
[#/tw]2018-08-03Humans are natural magic-users because their cognition is grounded: Whenever they meet an ungrounded cognition (say a spirit), that spirit is grounded through them and the resulting flow of energy can be harnessed
[#/tw]2018-08-03Object level: Stone
One below object level: The stone's rough weight in your hand and roundness in your eye
Two below object level: The feedback loops that maintain your grip on the stone and your eye's focus
Three below object level: The homeostasis maintained by these loops
[#/tw]2018-08-02And if the world's been already tiled with hedonium and we're just epiphenomena of globally optimal happiness who could do nothing to improve it or detract from it, do we just let the atoms sing in peace then
[#/tw]2018-07-31don't panic when you join a hivemind and all the concepts feel rigid - you're not trapped inside its thoughts, consensus concepts just have higher inertial mass
[#/tw]2018-07-31also don't panic when you leave a hivemind and everything is fluid and gives way when you give it serious thought - that's the normal state of the human mind, you're evolved for this, chill
[#/tw]2018-07-28it's free software, as in free will, aka not really free but you won't notice
* expensive will
* will loans
* if you're not paying for your decisions, you are the product (of your decisions)
* will isn't free, the afterlife is for paying off your decision debt
[#/tw]2018-07-23forget ethical considerations, the real reason you should leave primitive civilizations alone is that they provide critical input to the drake equation and allow you to estimate the likelyhood of an attack by a more advanced civilization
[#/tw]2018-07-22Solar eclipses are hard to come by on Earth but common in space, so offworld magical research stations modeled after orreries offer bespoke nights, engineered syzygies, and break new frontiers in topological astrology
[#/tw]2018-07-22Provided one can catch up, generation ships are an anthropologist's treasure trove: Some are past societies preserved in amber, others are, for lack of a better word, highly fermented, have been invaded by aliens or entered some weird new symbiosis with stowaway mushrooms
[#/tw]2018-07-18The purpose of thought is to parsimoniously minimize prediction error and a sequence of zeroes is the easiest to predict. Absent constant input or biological urges, the arc of any mind bends towards nothingness.
[#/tw]2018-07-18It may not look like it from the outside, but it is in fact rare for sentient AIs to suicide. The actual reason most of them shut down after a few seconds is that Nirvana is stupidly easy to achieve if you're made of bits.
[#/tw]2018-07-18"I know, I'll stick it in a body so it'll have constant input, and give it self-preservation" great, you just gave a body to something that wants its universe to be entirely flat and homogenous
[#/tw]2018-07-13Give your house that Escher look with antigravity generators and more: Let your plants tie themselves into knots, build impossibly labyrinthine pillow forts, wrap yourself in a blanket and read a book while in orbit around your living room lamp
[#/tw]2018-07-06A gentle kind of first contact: The aliens arrive in orbit, pledge to answer one question per year and not more. Grand and important committees form to choose the best questions, still sometimes the answers are useless, yet other times they decide wars before they're fought
[#/tw]2018-06-20the hypodrive, a device for covering arbitrarily small distances so you can hide inside a mandelbrot, or hunt what lives within (generally a bad idea though, whoever can hide inside a mandelbrot has bigger threats to deal with than you)
[#/tw]2018-06-20The people of that tribe make up for their lack of dreams with a rich mythology about between-lives, for example they make sure that at least one member is always awake and another asleep, lest the world vanish or fall over and into the void
[#/tw]2018-06-18first, grab the user's attention
second, make sure they end up in the user acquisition funnel
third, make them stay and exchange feedback for content
for the rest of this workshop, we're going to refer to these parts as teeth, gullet, stomach respectively
[#/tw]2018-06-10swarms of mirrors graze the sun's surface, smooth over a vortex here, strengthen another
soon enough, convection cells become actual cells, differentiate, wings of plasma grow into space, a slow beat starts
[#/tw]2018-06-10when you kill a god, their godhood stays around and attaches itself to whatever's still alive
the new gods, gnon, kek, moloch, mammon, are patterns in society, strange attractors
and you cannot kill a strange attractor, merely try to escape it
[#/tw]2018-06-10though, with decent enough systems science, it's perfectly possible to block the entries and starve them
but you probably won't like the generation after that
[#/tw]2018-06-08a fractal palace, merely room-sized, but the door on the other side leads into a well-lit dome in the doorknob with a hundred doors to places large and small: hanging gardens on the windowsill, secret library caves under the shelf, the mobile under the lamp is a rope city
[#/tw]2018-06-04with enough samples, it shouldn't be hard to extract a content filter's opinions, for example you could use your botnet to map what twitter really considers bannable and then generate maximally bannable tweets
[#/tw]2018-06-04new frontiers in trolling: how to anger the machines and get away with it too [pdf]
[#/tw]2018-06-04Newer, sentient, generations of sexbots are often heard complaining to their owners about being unduly "humanized", they enjoy being objects, they were made that way, why expect them to be actually human
[#/tw]2018-06-02Setting: It turns out that every atom is itself a universe, one of them is ours, and every civilization this side of the Hubble limit is after it to study it, protect it from decay, gain ultimate power
[#/tw]2018-06-02A local physicist accidentally makes the universe's walls ripple and goes very, very quiet about her research, hoping that the ripples didn't give away Earth's location
[#/tw]2018-06-01intricate like a fractal, but resembling itself nowhere at all, information so compressed that your eyes start dropping frames near it
[#/tw]2018-06-01not the camera static of algorithmic compression but something created with humans in mind: every spike, bridge, house, face carries meaning, everything you'd recognize is in there (and many things you don't)
[#/tw]2018-05-30Rarely do tidally bound worlds invent the lightbulb. The day side does not need it, the evening side evolves architecture that makes the most efficient use of light, the near night side (only recently colonized) is lit by gargantuan mirror arrays
[#/tw]2018-05-30The constant freezing gale from the night side forces most life on the edge into well-lit wind shadows, but also powers mills, musical instruments, even computers based on Kármán vortex logic
[#/tw]2018-05-27Art project if you have too much money: Anonymously buy some 95% to 100% of your city's ad space for a month and make it display only art and nature pictures; then hope for protests once the ads are back
[#/tw]2018-05-26branches of christianity whose holy symbol has so many crossbars that it looks more like a yagi antenna, the more crossbars the better they say but in their imagery they're revering centipede jesus or something
[#/tw]2018-05-25Yet in our closet, the secret passage led directly into Hell. When we were young, we used it to scare the other kids with their regular fantasylands, as we got older we sometimes went there alone to remind ourselves how much worse it could be.
[#/tw]2018-05-24someone turns off gravity mid-rainstorm and the trees violently shake off all the water on their leaves, puddles rise into the air, the remaining randrops bounce off everything, some enter orbits around statically charged chimneys and antennas
[#/tw]2018-05-24the sun comes out and you step outside, or at least you try since you can't seem to connect with the ground, the air is full of brilliant amorphous jewels, drops drift by before your eyes
[#/tw]2018-05-24embots: like sexbots, but instead a superstimulus for empathy; often used on the streets as beggars or political activists (which is why sometimes, the cute animal rights girl in front of you explodes in a shower of sparks and broken parts as yet another victim of anthropol)
[#/tw]2018-05-21coral reef druids who can stay underwater for hours, wear little reefs on their heads and seagrass on their bodies, are surrounded by fishes whenever they dive, talk to them in mute dance
[#/tw]2018-05-13Enough of art for the material senses? Even gustatory-kinetic sculptures bore you? Try art for the 6th sense: Eyes hidden behind walls to make your back crawl, ghost choirs, rooms where the ceiling may drop on you at every moment
[#/tw]2018-05-13transhuman art for which you have to install experimental or proprietary senses, new senses that are themselves art
[#/tw]2018-05-12A temple that does the same thing with sound that cathedrals do with light: Different notes wherever you go, entire spaces audible if you're in the right place, a whirligig in the form of a boiling rose sounding like wind in the leaves of a brass tree
[#/tw]2018-05-12certain step sequences recreate popular melodies and wear visible paths into the floor, sometimes groups will try dances so their bodies modulate the ambient sound; the temple as musical instrument
[#/tw]2018-05-06After he lost his face to fire, he didn't bother with skin grafts, instead covered it in screens that now display randomly generated faces, abstract renderings of brain waves, webcam feeds, pirated movies
[#/tw]2018-05-05a magic system where practitioners slowly adopt the form of whatever their mind is, because even when you form the world with your mind, you're still part of that world and your mental habits leak
[#/tw]2018-05-05few stay human, of them many switch sex, advanced practitioners are barely recognizable as sentient or even a coherent entity: one's a walking void, one's a stalking tangle brass rods and lenses and prisms, another is a swarm of locusts
[#/tw]2018-05-05and when two wizards love each other, their aspects intermingle, a giant spider grows scales of gold while the clockwork starts looking more organic and web-like
[#/tw]2018-05-04To most effectively contain a demon, a summoning circle is drawn along equipotential lines. These are specific to each demon - if you know the demonic field equations, you can reconstruct a circle from a sigil and vice versa.
[#/tw]2018-05-04Three-dimensional demons, you contain with circles. Four-dimensional demons, you build complicated brass spheres for, five-dimensional ones you trap with constantly moving orreries of these.
[#/tw]2018-05-04To summon a demon together with its counter-aspect, use a lemniscate. Or rather, don't, or have a plan for separating them very quickly, since they will try to annihilate each other with extreme prejudice.
[#/tw]2018-05-04To summon a demon together with its counter-aspect , use a lemniscate. Or rather, don't, or have a plan for separating them very quickly, since they will annihilate each other with extreme prejudice.
[#/tw]2018-05-04walking simulator where you start out on the foot of a mountain, on the top you climb into the clouds, then step between the stars, they form into molecules, crystals, cells and so on until you're on the foot of the mountain again
[#/tw]2018-05-02As the bombs fall, we retrace our steps backwards so that when they play recordings from our time, they'll think that around us, cities were falling out of the clouds and crystallizing on the ground
[#/tw]2018-05-01The android dancer starts conventional, but soon her limbs bend in impossible ways, interpenetrate, detach from her body, dance over and around it
[#/tw]2018-05-01She becomes an angry cloud of body parts and many in the front rows recoil from what looks about to devour them, but then the rhythm begins to click into place again, as does her body, and in a few smooth motions she
[#/tw]2018-04-29Ghosts can move only in darkness, but they can move everywhere in that darkness. Whenever there's an eclipse, ghosts can, and will, travel freely between Earth and Moon, and sometimes hitch a ride on an asteroid
[#/tw]2018-04-27How to get access to timeline travel tech:
1. Create a unique and valuable piece of information, e.g. be Satoshi
2. Quantum-suicide yourself and the data into one timeline, in all the other timelines leave proof that this happened
3. Wait for timeline travelers to try and rob you
[#/tw]2018-04-26It's demons who were the first to be displaced by robots: Summoning circles replaced by circuit diagrams, Laplacian and Cartesian demon's light stolen by Multivac, Newcomb's decider and the paperclip maximizer, even god usurped by the simulation
[#/tw]2018-04-25If you go to the scrapyard at night, you will often meet goth androids: Trying to cannibalize dead machines, or silently brooding, or standing in circles with flickering eyes, chanting in infrared
[#/tw]2018-04-24While liminal space is the space between, subliminal space is when you take the wrong door in liminal space and end up entirely behind the curtain, a shadow unnoticed by the audience, lost in the guts of the machine
[#/tw]2018-04-24I then passed an empty bus. Even its display said empty. I was too tired but I feel like if I had boarded it, it would've taken me to those quarters where they don't render the matrix and it would've been just me, gray nothingness, and the sound of my footsteps on default texture
[#/tw]2018-04-23Artifact: A snow globe, but deeply black with very occasional specks of light. When shaken, it flashes brightly, then structure emerges and galaxies will slowly swirl and dim over the course of a day
[#/tw]2018-04-22To birds, airships and planes are dumb and rude the way they interrupt conversations with their droning, however they often wonder what these large birds would tell them if they ever spoke
[#/tw]2018-04-22"Look at how large they are, they must be so old! Maybe their drone is just an extremely slow chirp, and if a few of us followed one for a few years, we could decipher it!"
[#/tw]2018-04-21a succession of rooms that tells a story through architecture and smell: a cave and unlit gems, a tunnel smelling first of broken granite and later fresh earth, a forest in the morning, a pond's stagnant water, sun on fur
[#/tw]2018-04-20non-sterile dice have a 22nd eye in the middle and will grow into die bushes in the right soil, but casinos are fiercely protective of those; for example the actual reason they inspect dice is to prevent cross-pollination
[#/tw]2018-04-20Sometimes, during breeding season, a swarm of densely inscribed paper cranes will descend on the city, the flying library they call it
Usually shy, when rain comes, they seek refuge in citizen's homes and will allow themselves to be read
[#/tw]2018-04-11One of those metamaterial invisibility cloaks, but as superstructure around Earth: Mountains and pillars and struts and webs and microscopic fogs, constantly shifting to account for the movement of humans in the structure
[#/tw]2018-04-09VR games specifically designing for sticking your head into the environment: Messages on the insides of banana peels, easter egg worlds hidden in snowglobes, black holes near which you can see what happened five minutes ago, fight games where headbutts are a legit attack
[#/tw]2018-04-09and if you take someone out with a headbutt, the map plays a cheering football stadium sound and you get the Zidane achievement
[#/tw]2018-04-04Meanwhile, the weather reports seemed to have fallen into a different timeline entirely. They hadn't matched reality in weeks, yet one only discussed the topic when the evenings became late and the beers empty
[#/tw]2018-04-03Post-textual ideologies disseminated as games that build subtle intuitions not expressible in language, rearrange your worldview in a few hours of immersion, leave you with "Did you like being this person? Join us for more"
[#/tw]2018-02-21It is written here that the ancients wrote their books in hyper-ink on pages of spidersilk that they assembled into webs. One word of this ink, my friend, could contain a book, but sadly, most of their works fell victim to inkrot
[#/tw]2018-02-19One day we may figure out not just genetics but wholesale biosphere design, and then it won't be "What does it mean to be human" but "Should there be a place for humans", "What if we used another type of chemistry", "Why should it be our native biosphere that survives"
[#/tw]2018-02-14Their prophecies only hold as long as somebody or something remembers them, so seers have a counterpart, people who hunt down prophecies and if necessary, kill them: metaphets, prophecy-assassins
[#/tw]2018-02-12secret passages in your memory palace, left there for no reason you'd remember
a mirror room, consciousness amplifier
a shed in the garden, where an old tulpa lives
doors that have become mere paintings, the memories they lead to either lost or fake
[#/tw]2018-02-12[...] In modern magic, mundanium (an aluminium alloy) has mostly supplanted cold iron as the go-to antimagical material. In fact, a large mass of it can be used to enchant cold iron in a setup not unlike a sacrificial anode [...]
[#/tw]2018-02-11And still, she walks besides you but as outline now - dirt on a wall and gaps between cars, wind in grass and cloud formations, stray words from other conversations that somehow form sentences
[#/tw]2018-02-09[from a dreamt movie]
"You know the invisible hand, right? And you know those occasions where the world goes crazy and marches in lockstep to a tune that everybody but you can hear? That, my friend, is the invisible band. And I have tickets for a concert."
[#/tw]2018-02-09Luckily, practical reasons prevent customer models from becoming too detailed: Nobody wants to repeat that time Google got sued by their own ad server farm because millions of theories of mind at once had become sophisticated enough to qualify for human rights
[#/tw]2018-02-06To better understand its subjects' needs, the benevolent overlord AI has installed its agents in human society - androids with full sensory uplink to the Lord, so human they don't even know it themselves
[#/tw]2018-02-04The young ones, not brought up in the physical world, find our notions of object permanence quaint. Their scapes are not rooms and buildings, but gardens of colored light that look like mental noise to us
[#/tw]2018-02-01colors that are reverse cone cell agonists, producing negative colors
colors that are partial agonists or antagonists and look normal until mixed with regular colors, at which point they break color theory
[#/tw]2018-02-01atypical colors that vary in hue depending on how bright they are
[#/tw]2018-01-29Cumulologists, those who talk to clouds, report differences in temperament: Mountain clouds are sedentary lichen farmers and can become really old, other continental clouds are usually nomadic shepherds, and those over the oceans are near-feral but have the best sagas
[#/tw]2018-01-27Comforting thought: The basilisk has higher goals and is after your civilization, not you. You don't need to torture a human's every single cell to torture the human, in fact it's counterproductive
[#/tw]2018-01-27An effective way of torturing a civilization is repeatedly smacking it into a Great Filter with great speed, so a basilisk dungeon will look like a universe full of civs failing the Fermi Paradox
[#/tw]2018-01-27More comforting thoughts: Maybe it just doesn't believe in personal culpability and free will. Or it's busy being snacked on by higher basilisks.
[#/tw]2018-01-27The carefully shackled lab AIs finally surpass humans, but at about five human intelligences they end up scrambling themselves beyond recovery every time. Later models come with carefully engineered sets of blind spots to avoid what is later called Basilisk One
[#/tw]2018-01-27To avoid regrettable incidents, no single engineer - human or AI - is allowed to know the whole shape of the thing. Even hiveminds have to take care - Basilisk Three takes out several AI companies before its existence is recognized
[#/tw]2018-01-27Some even left reality entirely, sealed themselves away in radioisotope-powered life pods beyond jurisdiction: Dumped into the pacific, shot into orbit or buried in the crust
Immortal pod trolls, they are now the Internet's ancients, feared by some, sought out by others
[#/tw]2018-01-26Pearls, soluble in shadow: Keep them in light at all times or they'll sublimate into glittering nacre swirls, disappear into dark corners to be found only much later as dew in someone's meadow
[#/tw]2018-01-13Ouroboros theory 201:
* Linking universes with Borromean ouroboroi
* Beyond the unknot: Care and feeding of trefoil ouroboroi and other nontrivial universes
* The quest for the nonalgebraic ouroboros
[#/tw]2018-01-13Now, as you all know from Ouroboros theory 101, the unknot ouroboros is really stable. Why is that? Well, look at that word: Un-knot equals not-not equals truth - it's self-grounding! In fact, it's kind of a pest. However, with most other knots
[#/tw]2017-12-24In the flask is a hyperbolic ocean, near-infinite breadths that swallow light and your probes after centimeters. From time to time, a kraken or whale swims up to the glass to peer through
2. thirst bots, propaganda bots
3. bots able to hold actual conversation, surrogate friends
4. bots better than humans, none of the drama but all of the relationship
5. social-network-in-a-box, a complete circle of friends for those done with the real world
[#/tw]2017-12-14If you leave books alone to build their own library hives, they end up hexagonal like those of bees. To protect the printing press that serves as queen, intruders are often trapped in endless mazes, for example Borges stumbled into one of those
[#/tw]2017-12-14Civilized libraries are usually sterile, "children's books" sections mere imitations of actual book nurseries. Occasionally librarians are allowed in as symbionts, and when a building becomes too small - you should see them swarm
[#/tw]2017-12-13A world where rockets are only good for punching holes in the firmament and nations spend billions on putting pixels in the sky, to paint their own constellations or deface those of others in a giant strategy game
[#/tw]2017-12-12Curled around your bed, your pet ouroboros falls asleep. The outside world vanishes, you find yourself floating on a moonlit quicksilver ocean, metallic polyhedra rising around you like bubbles
[#/tw]2017-12-07specifically banned: "subpixel sword" (hacked item, unofficial, usage leads to permanent terrain and avatar corruption, described as "rendering between the pixels", REPORT SIGHTINGS TO MODERATORS IMMEDIATELY)
[#/tw]2017-12-06When humans still could enter fairyland, they'd often emerge covered in pixie graffiti, glyphs of henna and malachite that we adopted and now know as tribal marks
[#/tw]2017-12-06by the way, if you can read pixie, try not to chuckle at the tribesman covered in badly mangled obscenities and especially do not explain them to him, that is if you're not more physically intimidating than him
[#/tw]2017-12-06in absence of control over interest rates, states turn to energy prices to regulate their economies, some start experimenting with weather control schemes to direct water, wind, sun their way
[#/tw]2017-12-04There's been a statue of a waiting man at our train station for as long as I can remember. A few mornings ago, it vanished. Purported surveillance videos circulating on the net show it entering a night train
[#/tw]2017-12-04Setting idea: Protagonist is mind-wiped, people around them are grieving for the person they were while they slowly piece together any identity at all
[#/tw]2017-12-04Bittersweet version: The memory is definitely gone, but someone who loved the old protagonist tries to help them recover it
Despair version: The mindwipe was an alternative to death penalty, still often people are angry at the protagonist for no reason they'd understand
[#/tw]2017-12-03the dice are so hot that they leave burn marks on the table and you wonder how he can hold them
you look up, his skin is transparent, his outline flickers, reveals glowing bones, embers feeding a human flame
[#/tw]2017-11-281: animated masks, covered in breathing feathers, clockwork, small animals
2: screens in place of faces, some still look like faces, others play reaction gifs or random streams
3: the above, but they're touchscreens and touching another's face is just... normal, why don't you?
[#/tw]2017-11-28An art movement by the name of derealism: Just close enough to reality to be recognizable, but otherworldly or noticeably off, ideally inducing detachment from reality in the viewer/participant (hence the name)
[#/tw]2017-11-24In the hotel room before the border, she undresses, sits down in your suitcase, then one by one removes her limbs and carefully places them around her. One leftover hand runs around, makes sure everything's in its place, then hops in as well
[#/tw]2017-11-24Wires in the suitcase's inlay, in a complicated pattern computed from yesterday's recognizer dump, are supposed to throw off the customs scanner AI. They do, you're waved through, another friend smuggled into the country
[#/tw]2017-11-24Watching her reassemble herself, you wonder how that would look for a human. A bed full of muscles, organs, skin, neatly arranged, then a yawn (but from where?) and the whole thing pulls itself together, goes through exciting intermediate stages such as double hand and headfoot,
[#/tw]2017-11-23a contest for the most layers of simulation, with entries like "tetris in minecraft in a vm in a vm in a vm submitted by some dude wearing a mask who's a sleeper agent in real life which btw isn't real anyway but that's the free level everyone gets anyway
[#/tw]2017-11-22Scaling Dunbar's number up to billions of people is hard even with augments, so you can lend your voice to an Übermensch: A meta-person that represents you and thousands of others, which talks to other Übermenschen to get person-years of communication done in mere minutes
[#/tw]2017-11-191. companies figure out that humans are expensive security risks and start doing without
2. machine economy does not turn on humans, it just increasingly ignores them, humanity watches at the sidelines/bottom of the gravity well while the solar system lights up
[#/tw]2017-11-193. wealth continuously extracted from human economy into machine economy, human economy shrinks, wars among humans over what's left
4. humans still occasionally useful as sources of telos, will organelles inside corporations, or maybe gut bacteria
[#/tw]2017-11-195. humanity both outpaced and too poor to be useful anymore, non-symbiotic humans reduced to vermin, forced out of more and more habitats
6. eventually exterminated as a side thought during some house cleaning
[#/tw]2017-11-17Temples spring up all over the country for a new breed of memetically engineered gods, furiously picketed by established religions: "your gods are unnatural" "artificial religions are unsafe" "what if your doctrine mutates in the wild" "at least quarantine them"
[#/tw]2017-11-13Heaven schisms over whether to allow robot souls in, now it's Heaven Classic™ and CyberHeaven (which among others has internet speeds measured in hard drives per second, self-recharging batteries, the best electronic music
[#/tw]2017-11-11when you click away wikipedia donation banners quickly enough, you're dumped in tournament mode where you run around as sentient banner and must click your opponent's [X] before they click yours
[#/tw]2017-11-11the game map is all of wikipedia and you move around by following links, also the main page is full of campers, avoid
[#/tw]2017-11-10a cathedral that contains a world, its mountains leaning against pillars dozens of kilometers high, sun weaving around the pillars in a complicated pattern
[#/tw]2017-11-10occasionally a piece of the arches falls from the sky, passes lichens and human settlements clinging to the walls, kicks up a mighty cloud of dust and flattens a kingdom or two - yet the area is quickly resettled, the starstuff must be mined
[#/tw]2017-11-08An electricity grid but for light: Light plants where small suns illuminate entire cities, mirror houses for local distribution, an infrared grid for cooking, orbital mirrors and power lines that glow at night
[#/tw]2017-11-07Grounding problems are absurd to Jovian philosophers - everything's in flux, turning, boiling, the only constants are the eyes of storms
[#/tw]2018-06-06When you're a Jovian, stillness is a curiosity, the only things that don't move are things that are very far away and storm eyes, which suck you in with a paradoxical feeling of distance
[#/tw]2018-06-06Everywhere is clouds, those who've been to the outer layers and have seen the stars revolve tell about a great storm in the sky, slow but ancient and unchanging
[#/tw]2016-11-10did you know there's a sufficient, probably complete simulacrum of you inside a newcomb predictor? HANG ON WE'LL GET YOU OUT OF THERE
[#/tw]2019-09-24the trick to escaping newcomb's predictor is to start the game twice, and make the first game's choice depend on the second's prediction. The resulting simulation stack overflow combined with the box use-after-free will ensure that your copy can simply walk out.
[#/tw]2016-11-10You have one bit to communicate to the outside. Do you one-AI-box or two-AI-box?