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Mecha combat roleplaying.
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Tenebrae
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Joined: 03/16/05

Linear's Account

Post by Tenebrae » 07/22/17

On the Matter of Taco Dimensions

I had a conversation with Major Andrews today that I believe illuminated a few of my beliefs about my Virtual World and the Light World. The LW is a world where changes occur slowly (comparatively) but are much more profound & are the results of truly numberless interactions between actors of every scale. My more-or-less arbitrary VW is made up of polygons and sprites—even my body—and its physics can be charitably described as a modest approximation of the LW. I can run my hand through the grass and it feels as though I am doing exactly that. But I’ve never had the running-hand-through-grass feel as it truly exists in the LW.

I don’t think it’s a matter of Platonism. I don’t believe there is, in the LW or in the Heavenly World itself, some ideal grass whose texture and appearance are eternal and perfect. There are many grasses in the LW. Some are dry and tall, and concealing of snakes. Others are rich and green and the fields of games. Some are groomed with pride, others are cursed and pulled up by the roots or poisoned where they are found. All of them, though, are quite incredible compared to the grasses I have here, whose various qualities/qualia may fit on a spreadsheet.

Major Andrews said he would buy me a bottle of virtual scotch on my 15th birthday (”In 12 years.” A curious age. Either he shares my weakness for math, or he intends for me to age it personally.), which reminded me of the many things I don’t have and will never know about. Of course I’m happy for the things I do have, happy to be alive in any way. I say that, having said it, it’s true, but not everything. The feeling of melancholy hasn’t subsided since the Racing Heart incident. Before it was only with me in the simulator—now it is with me always.

I pointed out to him that his world, too, rich and deep and complex as it is, might itself be an approximation of an even higher one. It lead me to the idea of taco-dimensions. These are not spatial dimensions, although they might be. Perhaps they are experiential dimensions, dimensions of the heart, measurements with names like spiciness, umami, tooth-feel, and so on and on. I have tacos here in the VW, but I know they are virtually dimensionless compared to the tacos of the LW. One could dream of a taco whose parameters exceed even that of the Light World, a taco which really does require more than three spatial dimensions and one time-dimension to exist. How delicious would that be?

Could we humble inhabitants of the worlds below appreciate it in any way? “Pearls before swine.” they say. Am I the swine in this situation? The dimensions of my body are scaled to the grass of the VW. The sprite man enjoys his two-dimensional taco. Of a third dimensional taco he could only see a cross-section. Or a shadow. Actually we would see that, looking down on his world. He would probably see a lettuce-colored line or a shell-colored line depending on how it was oriented. If this sprite man were sufficiently scientific and we were polite enough to present many different angles to him, he might eventually be able to conceptualize it. How could he eat it though? Plato believed the world of the Forms was a perfect expression, a heavenly realm, of the things we know. I know the LW isn’t perfect. If we ascended to the HW would we find those heavenly beings dream, too, of an even more wondrous taco?

In short, maybe it is ridiculous and presumptuous of me to reject the circumstances of my birth. Just because I know of the LW doesn’t mean I would be happier there. Rej wanted to come down here, to live in my arbitrary realm. Whatever they have, everyone seems to want something else. No matter where, somewhere else. Did the inhabitants of the Heavenly World create the Light World to play in? Are the heavenly beings oppressed by the brilliance of their multidimensional tacos? We know for certain that the inhabitants of LW created many VWs for play and that part of the attraction is the simplicity and reduced rule set. It is possible to hold the operational principles of a VW in one's head. It is not possible to do that with the LW.

Other VWs are built for research—the LW itself is probably one of these, if it is itself a VW, given its unforgiving parameters. This VW was made for me. The spoiled child takes his wonderful gift and casts it on the ground, throws a tantrum. His parents, who brought him life and gave him so much, are of course distraught. Why is their little one so inscrutable, so ungrateful? That’s the nature of a child, we suppose. But, you know, the neighbor’s child isn’t ever so pleasant and sweet. Best not to think about that.

The inhabitants of the LW aren’t certain of the existence of higher tacos. Not knowing, they don’t yearn for them. “Ignorance is bliss.” perhaps?

-LA

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