Not Everything Is A Clue – Ch 144-146

Chapters 144-146: Everything Is A Boob

David Pumpkins

The O’Reilly Factor – satire or serious?

SSC Post: Living By The Sword

For next week — 147-149

147. Good Vibrations
148. Sing For Your Supper
149. I Have to Hand it to You

Cakoluchiam’s stellar Character Sheet

Steven’s Predictions – Everything is a Clue

Worth the Candle can be read at AO3 or RoyalRoad.

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  1. “Everybody has asked the question. . .”What shall we do with the Negro?” I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!” –Frederick Douglass

    The trolls don’t owe the second empire a justification for living. This whole question of “what good are they” is fundamentally presumptive. Life is good in itself.

    But also, the future of Aerb is deprived not just of the trolls but any society that could have come from them. This genocide wasn’t just evil, even assuming the 2E was the custodian of Aerb, it was poor custodianship.

  2. Late addendum about Tiffany and the gender thing: I totally see where she’s coming from and she’s right and Joon doesn’t get it. :/

    The sword doesn’t *determine* whether someone is a woman. It can’t, because being a woman is simply not an objective category that can be measured. The sword makes a *judgment call* on whether someone is a woman. It has an opinion, rather than a measurement, and that opinion necessarily pulls in context and carries implications. Compare this to the unicorns, who have opinions about virginity that necessarily pull in additional context about the status of a virgin in society. You can’t really have just one high-level category existing in isolation.

    Anyway, hence they’re “not having an argument” – Tiff is not disagreeing about any aspect of the world, she’s complaining about the framing implied by the language used to describe it. All facts in evidence are agreed on.

    This is similar to the LessWrong argument against the existence of God – mental/conceptual phenomena are too complicated to be ontologically primitive. If the world has opinions about gender, as per Follow the Improbability, they were probably put there by someone, either explicitly through magic, or implicitly through the semi-visible hand of the DM. At which point it becomes impossible to separate the sword from politics, since you’re establishing an objective test for a subjective term, which is sometimes a way to smuggle your framing into people’s perception. That’s why it is important to clarify that the sword in fact does not determine a primitive gender property.

    (Though for all we know, souls being what they are, it really might just be a dropdown.)

    • Well, given magic, the sword can be assumed to be able to tell what someone’s sex is, in a pre-transition-technology world. The judgement call would be re gender, and then that’s when all the politics comes in. Raimer was trying to make Joon take a stand on sex v gender in front of someone who he knew was strictly on one side of that (Tiff) and someone who would have taken up the opposite side just for funsies (Arthur).

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