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mjr comments on Luminosity (Twilight Fanfic) Discussion Thread 3 - Less Wrong

10 Post author: Alicorn 30 December 2010 02:37PM

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Comment author: mjr 21 February 2011 11:29:50PM 4 points [-]

Agreed, a fine twist indeed. I wager, in fact, that the poor woman has become Didyme for all intents and purposes, and that the bond will therefore retake. Quite plausible to handwave with Aro's high-fidelity brain dumps.

I, for one, would welcome such a positive plot twist (cough for not-long-ago our sworn enemy) for a change.

Comment author: mjr 22 February 2011 11:17:59AM *  2 points [-]

More generally, seems to me one could start resurrecting people, or at least vampires, killed by Aro (or previously read by him, though then there'd be some local death).

Of course, the downside is that it requires human sacrifice, though it occurs to me that one should at least try to do so with brain dead or severely damaged subjects (given that they're already quite happy with eating animals, humans of comparable or lesser capacity should not pose major ethical barriers when a full person's life is on the line).

'course, might not work on a less than fully functional human. Perhaps one could get a trickle of volunteers from bored with life humans who aren't attracted to turning. Consider it full organ donation. [Edit: Duh, obviously this should be the euthanasia method of choice for terminal people who don't wish to become vampires but do wish for their suffering to end.]

Wouldn't be surprised though if Elspeth just didn't want to get involved with that kind of thing, even indirectly through Addy. But hey, it's a thought ;)

Comment author: Lila 24 February 2011 03:40:56AM 1 point [-]

I wager, in fact, that the poor woman has become Didyme for all intents and purposes

If she has, that might imply that Elspeth's power doesn't just send memories/experiences, but also personality traits. Or that identifying strongly with a set of absorbed memories is enough to give you those personality traits (I don't really like that theory).

The bond might or might not be affected by personality, but I'm not sure I could consider her to be "Didyme resurrected in a new body" (or even just "close enough") unless the personality was basically Didyme's (or close enough).

Comment author: TheOtherDave 26 February 2011 04:00:30PM *  1 point [-]

(nods) That intuition is shared by many.

Ironically, the reversal test often fails, though: that is, it's not uncommon for people to intuit that a copy of X that lacks trait Y isn't really X, while at the same time intuiting that if X were to lose trait Y, it would still be X.

Identity is complicated.

For my own part, I think the terms "memory" and "personality trait" stop being clearly distinguishable from one another, when you drill down into implementation. Our brains create persistent data structures in response to events, and those data structures underlie both personality and memory. That distinction is functional -- we distinguish a personality trait from a memory based on how we behave, not based on any kind of awareness of the underlying data structures. And it's not at all obvious (nor even likely) that all the things we call "memory" share a common data structure, or that they don't share underlying data structures with what we call "personality."

Then again, I feel the same way about "identity."

To understand an elephant is to realize that recognizing the difference between trunk and tusk is not the end of the story.

So I would expect a psychic power that interacted with those data structures not to respect the boundaries between "memory" and "personality" in any kind of intuitive way.

That said, many witch-powers in this fictional world do respect those intuitive boundaries, so it's not clear what any of the above actually has to do with events in the story.

Comment author: RobinZ 26 February 2011 01:03:29PM 0 points [-]

If she has, that might imply that Elspeth's power doesn't just send memories/experiences, but also personality traits. Or that identifying strongly with a set of absorbed memories is enough to give you those personality traits (I don't really like that theory).

Or that Paola and Benito were already similar in personality to Didyme and John, although that's a bit of a coincidence.

Comment author: Pavitra 22 February 2011 02:43:13AM 0 points [-]

It would be an interesting commentary on cryonics and/or uploading either way.