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Phenomenal economies


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As part of https://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/73129-an-incoherent-problem/ I have the system of that cosmos as a 24-universe multiverse. There are also a demiplane and a transcendental plane. The 24-fold order is given from a set of 4! concepts, which are represented as music-like structures with cosmological narrative value. In short, each of the 24 universes is like a story unto itself, under the heading of the story of the multiverse. The totality of planes is transcreation as a set of "places." (There is also transcreation-the-activity.)

Now, one of the core themes/problems of the story is that of the Anomalies, which are distortions in the fundamental factual relationships of things in these worlds. For example, one Anomaly would be laughing in place X at time Y causing otherwise unrelated event Z (say, laughter in said realm spontaneously causing water to burst from sculptures therein, on a given day of the local week). Think the SCP Foundation (http://www.scp-wiki.net/) merged with something like the Cosmere.

A subproblem of the Anomalies is: someone or something threatening to accelerate their spread. Indeed, the idea that the Anomalies might intensify across transcreation so as to dissolve all knowable reality, is the danger that motivates the primary character-antagonist (Vyrian Armirex) to risk the awakening of the Song of Destruction, the Dirge of Apollyon, so as to fix the source of the Anomalies by a convoluted anti-ontological "proof" involving Apollyon's transdestructive might. However, my first notion of the universes in question was of infinite expanses. So how would the Anomalies ever grow to devour all of an infinite set of infinite sets of facts?

My idea now is to have the "phenomenal economies" (the individual universes, where "phenomenal" is Kantian parlance and "economies" is a close application of obscure Catholic theological vocabulary) differ in size based on the categories of "metafinity." Qualitatively, the relations would be finite, indefinite, infinite, and transfinite (where the last is technically, and exactly, only the absolute aleph-number of Cantor's paradise). Now the phenomenal economies, due to the Kantian restriction on infinite synthesis of empirical magnitudes, cannot be transfinite in themselves. Accordingly, some are finite (but unbounded, due to other Kantian restrictions), others indefinite (expanding or contracting or both, or whatever), or infinite (but as a result difficult to access for normal mortal beings).

So, the Anomalies can, by repeated appearance, slowly but steadily overtake the finite economies. If their rate of intensification outstrips the expansion of the indefinitely expansive universes, then they can eventually devour those universes too. The trick is to come up with a mechanism for them to consume the totality of the infinite realms. What I'm thinking of is that once the Anomalies fully suffused the finite economies, their rate of increase in the indefinite ones would reach the degree at which they expand over those ones entirely, and once those are "taken care of," the rate of increase in the infinite universes itself becomes infinite. Like water filling up three different reservoirs by overflow from one to another, so to speak.

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I'm a little uncomfortable with your use of Biblical terms. To address your point, though, I suggest having a look at supertasks - and any infinity paradox :-P

Supertasks are a cheat in performing an infinite number of steps in a finite amount of time. Also, all infinities of a given type are equal to each other - the number of integers is equal to the number of even numbers, the number of multiples of ten, the number of odd numbers, the number of multiples of Grahams number, and so forth.

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11 hours ago, Ixthos said:

I'm a little uncomfortable with your use of Biblical terms.

I have an IRL theory about the words "Abaddon/Apollyon" in the Bible, that prompted me to use the word "Apollyon" to refer to a mysterious, superpowerful entity in the story of Ripheus. Since the word means "the Destroyer" and the entity in this story is the equivalent of the Platonic Form of Destruction, it fits at least to that extent. I've toyed with the idea of the entire sage being titled Ripheus et Apollyon since their battle with each other forms the ultimate problem of the saga, although this wouldn't be clear until the actual final confrontation in the last entry in the story (I don't know how long it would be although I've wished I could come up with enough material to cover 24 entries).

Also, in the story of Ripheus, Earth itself is "just" the most popular fictional world in history.* Ripheus was not born from actual parents but somehow materialized from out of the fiction of Earth (he is the man-of-justice from lost Troy---actually it turns out that Apollyon is supposed to redeem Itself and had the power to create something from nothing, and did use this power to create Ripheus, who is therefore Its "Son," but that's a thematic element I haven't developed enough yet). But this means that the religious content of the story of Earth, represents subconscious forces at work in actual transcreation. For example, Ripheus and his friends created something known as the Keyscape in order to make access to magic more egalitarian, but far in the future seven people known as the Septatheon "hacked" the Keyscape to become quasi-divine beings. An agent of the cosmic police who is investigating the Anomalies is supposed to find a correlation between the seven-headed Beast from the Sea in the legend of the Book of Revelation, and the Septatheon, in that the seven heads represent seven false moral theories and each Septumvir "hacked" the magic system using a false, or at least incomplete, moral theory (the entire system runs off ethics). Later (much later), Ripheus is supposed to be inspired by the prophecy of the Tears of Esau, to sacrifice himself to something called "the Sea Alone," the prophecy being from the Earth-story and going, "When the last of the tears of Esau have been shed [when the quantity of suffering in history has reached a specific number], the Messiah will come." (Ripheus thinks this means that he needs to hurt himself so much that his pain satisfies the parameters of the quantum of suffering; I still haven't come up with a reason why he thinks this will work, though, as far as stopping the Anomalies goes.)

[*Indeed, there's supposed to be a prequel novel, In the Name of Reality, where the story of Earth is introduced. The main layer of the novel, then, involves people on some world known as Co'ovantica, trying to avert a nuclear-like war, by creating a theatrical production in that world, to inspire the people of that world into redeeming themselves. So they come up with the story of Earth, and there's supposed to be a scene near the end where entities known as the Valoquescent are confronting an evil known as the Host of the Sindred-heartened, and when all seems lost the Messiah appears and explains to the other characters that the Trinity prepared for this day long ago, setting in motion a plan to defeat the Sindred-heartened, who upon being defeated kneels before the Messiah. (Peter and Melchizedek are also supposed to show up, or I mean among others, I have specifically designed scenes in which they appear.)]

Re: supertasks: I am slightly familiar with the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on the topic, and although there are examples of mathematical handwavium I could employ to solve the narrative problem, I'm under the constraint that I can't have the Anomalies spilling over everything too quickly, so (almost?) any solution that fits into that constraint is fine for now.

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@Ripheus23 It just occurred to me now to look up your user name and see the myths associated with it. I think I see where you are coming from. I personally am uncomfortable because stories that mention beings from scripture like this feel like they are touching at something sacred, something which is dangerous to do, especially claiming certain properties or relationships of beings which might not have them, and which take notice. You have put a lot of thought into what you are writing, and I see the philosophical ideas you are using, and the references you are making - you've definitely put a lot of work into this.

For restraining the anomalies, you could have it that something is affecting the archetypal nature of how they function, confining their operations to act in a finite way, potentially increasing, but linearly or logarithmically. They might naturally be attempting to grow asymptotically - as a supertask, the asymptote is on the time axis - or might want to, but something is affecting the nature of how they grow, and so one issue then is trying to stop them from modifying their nature to match the ideal of a supertask. It also could be that they are already a supertask, and speeding up, and that when they reach infinity is known, so the quest is to apply a restriction to them.


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3 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

 I personally am uncomfortable because stories that mention beings from scripture like this feel like they are touching at something sacred, something which is dangerous to do, especially claiming certain properties or relationships of beings which might not have them, and which take notice.

I second this. Playing with religious stories is kind of a murky area in general, and it’s more accepted when the material being used in a fantasy world belongs to a dead (or only recently reconstructed) religion, like that of the Ancient Greeks or Norse mythology. As an author, you’re free to play with whatever you like. The biggest caveat is that if you’re using the stories of a living religion (or several living religions, in this case) to inform your fantasy universe, the result won’t be for everyone. 

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Well, I personally happen to think that Christianity is true.* As far as the saga of Ripheus goes, there's an implied argument that if the IRL audience were to look at the story of Earth, they'd recognize that Christ is the main protagonist in the story. Since Earth is not actually fictional, then... But on another level, the Trinity is supposed to exist in the Riphean cosmos as such, under the title of "the Game, the Joke, and the Test" (these are the words used to refer to the three divine persons), because the Trinity is a necessary being and so exists in all possible worlds.

I guess one way to look at the use of Christian imagery, here, is as a balance between Narnia on one hand, and His Dark Materials on the other. So not quite dismissive, but also not quite orthodox. (There's actually an entirely other level of the narrative having to do with a video game I want to design and a series of films I would hope to be able to direct someday, in which the philosophical subtext in each representation in each medium, adds up to an IRL argument in which the concept of the Holy Spirit plays an integral role, but 'tis another story for another time... I will say, though, that I am going in part off a harmonization of, "Let your light so shine..." and, "Do not let one of your hands know what the other is doing...": the first refers to storytelling in which virtue ("your light," the ability a priori to imagine light itself, as a pure symbol of free will and hence the substrate of all grace and virtue) is described "before everyone, that they may see [in their minds' eyes] good works and then glorify the Lord" whereas the second refers to actual external behavior.)

*EDIT: Or, specifically, I think the following propositions, among others, are true:

  • The doctrine of the Trinity is true.
  • The doctrine of the two natures of Jesus Christ is true (and Christ existed, He is not a myth).
  • Although the Bible is not inerrant or completely unique as "the word of God," it is being used by God in a special way, across history.


The 4! sequences that define the economies are derivative of the concepts of punishment, apologizing, forgiveness, and redemption. These are all under the heading of the concept of amendment. The categories can be put into orders of priority, and some orders of priority are closer to the ideal than others. Each phenomenal economy is defined in relation to one of these orders. There is a "shadow" form of each order, in each phenomenal history, in which the places of each concept can be switched, so that economies that start out from the worst starting point, so to speak, can improve. In relation to the IRL world, the idea is that there is a Song of the Order in the IRL world, and Jesus Christ was the one man empowered to "play the Game of the Order" and rearrange the transcendental priorities. His final enemy ("the last enemy to be vanquished") is Death, which is Destruction, or the Destroyer, Apollyon, who represents the priority of retribution (I am... well for now the best way I can put it is "trans-universalist" about salvation). (The priority of retribution is intuitively evil also in that it empirically leads to totalitarianism, which is the state of absolute political power over the means of destruction; this is known as "retributive tyranny" since it is only punishment, of the categories of amendment, that physically requires some people to have political power over others.)


I found some interesting information about icositetragons, namely their relevance to the concept of a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrie_polygon which indicates that 24-sided figures have something of an intuitive "bridging" role in geometry. There's also something about a tessellation (I think it's a tessellation) involving a triangle, an octagon, and an icositetragon, which fits the mechanical aspects of the interplanar system of the economies (there's a simultaneous reality, "below" the 3-dimensional forms of the cosmos, that consists in an infinite expanse of triangles; and on the "higher" side of existence the 24 worlds can be juxtaposed with special sets of eight of these [there's a reason for the universes in which the Septatheon have appeared, being those universes: there are eight finite, eight indefinite, and eight infinite universes, and the Septatheon occupy seven of the eight infinite worlds, with an eighth entity of their nature being manifested [this is a subplot of the entire saga] in the eighth infinite world]).

Rankings of the planes:

Noumenal plane [the Eternal City, and the university of the Noumenal Artificers]

24-fold phenomenal cosmos

<The Islands [a region of space that stochastically shifts from one economy to another]>

Triangle-scape [loop-keyed to the noumenal plane, for the Keyscape] & the incomplete musical worlds

Demiplane of Apollyon (the anti-song)


In relation to 24-sided things, http://mathworld.wolfram.com/SmallTriakisOctahedron.html provides this interesting image:

TriakisoctahedronNetI'm trying to come up with a visual for the creation of the Keyscape and I believe this structure will play a role...

Also this:



Regarding deontic-modal complementarity

This is an axiom of the system that says, out of different possible geometries satisfying the metaphysical parameters (simplicity, tessellation, etc.), those are to be selected as truly fundamental, that correspond to the symmetry that obtains between the diagrams of deontic and modal logic. For an indicator as to how complex these diagrams can get, I submit the following (which is from Alessio Moretti's work):


[The objective relevance: going purely off simplicity + tessellation, say, we would suppose that the fundamental unit of matter/field excitation, in three spatial dimensions, was cube-shaped. This is because cubes are the simplest structures that independently tessellate 3-space. However, starting with deontic logic, we would derive a tetrahedron and an octahedron (there is a precise reason for this), and then take note of the tetrahedral-octahedral manifold, as an alternative, relatively simple tessellation, and posit this of physical 3-space. Narrative relevance: in the symmetrical story (not that of Ripheus&c., but the universe storywise corresponding, externally, to his, in the tri-media meta-argument), one of the major factions during the pivotal war, "hacks into" the "programming" of the universe, to avail themselves of cubes of fundamental destructive force; they hack these into existence, that is, by messing with the principle that tessellates the universe in the first place.]

Edited by Ripheus23
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