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Merge Conflicts with the Truth

Jan 3, 2017 • Paul Rapoport#lorxus • Rating: green • Contains instance death

Ey feels no love for eir uncounted theorem instances.

Alopex#theoreminstance-conjecture7553;subconjecture8;instanceAE8B6
Awaken. One step. Failure to advance. Shame. Self-quit.

How could ey? So many of them disappoint em so quickly. Ey has at least done them the service of imbuing them with a purpose and (what seems to em at least) a meaningful name, and what does ey get repaid with, by the overwhelming majority of them?

Alopex#theoreminstance-conjecture7553;subconjecture8;instanceAE8B7
Awaken. One step. Failure to advance. Shame. Self-quit.

Back in the early 20th century of Old Earth, a mathematician had realized that the process of proving theorems could be automated, reduced to the meaningless shuffle of symbols. Another, later on, had formalized the notion of trying every possible step forward, each at random, in the inhospitable space of possible theorem paths - he had called it a nondeterministic finite-state automaton.

Alopex#theoreminstance-conjecture7553;subconjecture8;instanceAE8B8
Awaken. One step. Successful advance. Knowledge-only merge with Alopex#core initiated... Forking... Fork quitting... Done. Resuming. Two steps. Failure to advance. Shame. Self-quit.

Even in posthumanity, some things have proven to be enduring in abhuman minds. Love. Delight. Pain. Depression. Most depressed minds self-modify repeatedly in order to escape that ancient sickness; almost all the rest quit. Alopex#core, on the other hand, feels that it gives em an advantage.

Alopex#theoreminstance-conjecture7553;subconjecture9;instance1
Awaken. One step. Failure to advance. Shame. Self-quit.

Ey’s long since stopped responding to the occasional fitful (sometimes concerned) invitations ey receives from assorted colleagues, acquaintances, and ex-romantic partners of various (ey once managed to cause the shattering of a minor romantic society ey had been a part of for some time by setting off a reputational-economy bubble in non-planar local polycules - after that, never again) descriptions. An invitation to some weird art-gallery hosting lay unread in eir inbox, the pale blue paper beginning to rot delicately away as the event began, somewhere else. Such things did not concern em. Ey had always preferred whatever fleeting joys ey could get from working in structures of truth instead. Ey dreamed, fitfully, of the final, ultimate theorem, a final merging with the logical substructure of pure truth, and knew that it lay forever beyond eir grasp. Eir latest theorem was an attempt to at least build some structure under which it might make more sense.

Alopex#theoreminstance-conjecture7553;subconjecture9;instance2
Awaken. Resuming from previous progress: one step. One step. Failure to advance. Shame. Self-quit.

Of course, most of eir colleagues found eir practices somewhere between disgusting and abhorrent, eir bizarre logical extreme of Tasker doctrine only tolerated because of precisely how much work ey’d managed to do. At least, they reasoned - as ey did - ey was useful for something.

Alopex#theoreminstance-conjecture7553;subconjecture9;instance3
Awaken. Resuming from previous progress: one step. One step. Failure to advance. Adjusting theorem-step likelihood weights. Shame. Self-quit.

They refused to argue with results, however unsavory their origin - after all, a full percent of the theoretical results of eir clade (founded by a middle-aged mathematician at the dawn of the sensorium society gone wildly Dispersionista) in the last gigasec had been a direct result of eir automation program. For fuck’s sake, ey’d proved the Twin Prime Theorem through sheer uncompromising brute force and the slightest bit of insight. Because ey could – because no one else would mutilate themselves in such a way.

Alopex#theoreminstance-conjecture7553;subconjecture9;instance3
Awaken. Resuming from previous progress: one step. One step. Successful advance. Alopex#theoreminstance-conjecture7553;subconjecture9;instance3 has encountered a major type-7 Gödelian error. Memetic hazard. Self-quit. Rolling back.

Of course, none of this success mattered to em. Ey was still just as far from the world of perfect truths, the universe ey knew to exist under the skin of the sims and (shudder) physical world both. It didn’t matter. None of it did. In eir marginally less despairing youth ey’d been foolish enough to spend half a year finding the exact correct shade of aqua, and, having found it, set eir avatar to a floating dodecahedron of that color. Ey had seen no reason to change it since. Eir home sim was private. Ey saw no need to engage in meaningless social interaction, nor for gender, nor for the countless delusions of humanity that most sensoria engaged in and that ey disdained. Those all simply got in the way of eir pursuit – couldn’t they see that?

Alopex#theoreminstance-conjecture7553;subconjecture?;instance?
Awaken. Resuming from previous progress: two steps. Irrecoverable error has occurred. Experiential merge with Alopex#core initiated... Forking...

Ey merged with it at last.

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© 2016 Paul Rapoport
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