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E_Sayre comments on The Hero With A Thousand Chances - Less Wrong

63 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 31 July 2009 04:25AM

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Comment author: E_Sayre 24 September 2009 06:39:00AM 0 points [-]

I apologize if someone already postulated this, but I saw the Counter-Force as something most equivalent to Quantum Suicide.

Or, essentially, it never existed in the first place - That there are many worlds where Aerhien and her compatriots or their equivalent exist, but just as in a Quantum Suicide you only wake up if the trigger isn't pulled, so do only the worlds that keep getting lucky survive.

Thus, this latest hero is keeping the big 'news' from being dropped - That the luck they've been depending on is just that, and they're a world which has kept on beating the odds over and over from sheer luck, and no external Counter-Force.

When I first read it, I was looking at it from a more traditional fantasy perspective, and I thought of one of Asimov's tales where someone tries to analyze just where jokes come from, the end conclusion being its aliens running an experiment on humanity, the realization of which results in the end of the experiment and the removal of all humor from the human psyche. Or, in other words, that the Counter-Force only operated so long as nobody fathomed its nature, and became somewhat 'resentful' when it was figured out.

I suppose I subscribe more to the former of the two interpretations, though I certainly wouldn't mind seeing it written up as a full-on tale. I'd like to see how our latest hero permanently defeats the Dust, or if he even does!

Comment author: E_Sayre 15 October 2009 08:16:16PM 0 points [-]

And now I realize that, in fact, this was what was being talked about the entire time, and sorting things by date rather than popularity helps immensely for that!

Comment author: thomblake 15 October 2009 08:29:23PM 0 points [-]

agreed - sorting by popularity is okay if you only read the first comment or two; otherwise, by date works much better.