I'm still wondering about the 'arbitrary numbers of sub-agents' aspect of Elspeth's power. She found Magic there the first time she meditated, but apparently created Memory intentionally for the purpose of dealing with her Del-induced memory banks. Could she create other sub-agents with particular purposes? Could she create a 'Math' sub-agent that was really good at calculus? If she creates multiple sub-agents that then explicitly argue the truth of a point, could she become noticeably better than usual at discerning the truth from opposing clever arguments? This is the sort of mental power that seems like it could do just about anything (inward-directed), depending on the constraints.

Comment author:Alicorn
06 January 2011 12:51:46AM
4 points
[-]

Could she create other sub-agents with particular purposes?

Yes, to a point. She can only create agents that represent parts of her that actually exist, though. She can't graft onto herself arbitrary traits by making subagents about them.

Could she create a 'Math' sub-agent that was really good at calculus?

This one is ruled out on a meta level: I cannot write a subagent that is good at calculus.

Assuming that the needs of the narrative were taken care of, could she? Would she have to already be good at calculus herself to do so? If she was, but it took her entire concentration, could making a Math sub-agent allow her to do it 'in the background'?

Comment author:Alicorn
06 January 2011 01:54:41AM
2 points
[-]

Assuming that the needs of the narrative were taken care of, could she?

If she somehow contained calculus skill (e.g. if she had memories from somebody who was good at calculus), then she could make a subagent about that. Making a Math subagent would indeed allow this skill to require less of the main subagent's conscious attention.

Comment author:Alicorn
06 January 2011 01:28:23AM
*
2 points
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I don't have a great collaboration track record. I managed it once for a while (a few years), but with a supernaturally easy-to-get-along-with person who still eventually found it too annoying to deal with me and has since abandoned our project to my tender mercies.

## Comments (353)

BestI'm still wondering about the 'arbitrary numbers of sub-agents' aspect of Elspeth's power. She found Magic there the first time she meditated, but apparently created Memory intentionally for the purpose of dealing with her Del-induced memory banks. Could she create other sub-agents with particular purposes? Could she create a 'Math' sub-agent that was really good at calculus? If she creates multiple sub-agents that then explicitly argue the truth of a point, could she become noticeably better than usual at discerning the truth from opposing clever arguments? This is the sort of mental power that seems like it could do just about anything (inward-directed), depending on the constraints.

Yes, to a point. She can only create agents that represent parts of her that actually exist, though. She can't graft onto herself arbitrary traits by making subagents about them.

This one is ruled out on a meta level: I cannot

writea subagent that is good at calculus.Assuming that the needs of the narrative were taken care of, could she? Would she have to already be good at calculus herself to do so? If she was, but it took her entire concentration, could making a Math sub-agent allow her to do it 'in the background'?

If she somehow contained calculus skill (e.g. if she had memories from somebody who was good at calculus), then she could make a subagent about that. Making a Math subagent would indeed allow this skill to require less of the main subagent's conscious attention.

How difficult would it be to collaborate with another party in order to allow such a thing?

*2 points [-]I don't have a great collaboration track record. I managed it once for a while (a few years), but with a supernaturally easy-to-get-along-with person who

stilleventually found it too annoying to deal with me and has since abandoned our project to my tender mercies.