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Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 10:09:45 -1000 (HST)
From: Til Eulenspiegel
Not GURPS Cthulhupunk, but GURPS Reign of Steel provides much the same desperation and opportunities for tragedy that CoC does. In fact, just a little editorial work (name-changing, mainly) would turn GURPS Reign of Steel into a sourcebook for role-playing after the stars come right.
For those who don't know, GURPS Reign of Steel is set in the mid-21st century after humanity's near extermination by a cabal of Artificial Intelligence's. Earth and near-Earth space have been carved up into kingdoms by the machines. Middle North America is ruled by an AI devoted to biological-cybernetic hybridisation. Australia's overlord is devoted to fringe science. (One of its projects ate New Zealand.) The Central American AI exterminated all life above the microbial level and replaced it with a weird machine ecology.
Humanity's place in a decaying and now-foreign environment is subordinate, at best. Some AIs see mankind as a useful tool, but most are hostile or indifferent. Thirty-one million rats are still only rats, so to speak. There are some human collaborators with the machines, both willing and otherwise.
Like the Mythos, the AIs are incomprehensible and unstoppable. Realising the AIs are humanity's children only makes it worse.
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 21:27:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: The Man in Black
Creating AI for Delta Green
It should be evident that AI's are to be treated as any other character in an rpg. That is to say, each one is different and stereotypes are to be avoided. For example; the Psychological Warfare Operations Computer (PSYWAROPCOMP) will react differently than the Zurich Orbital Network (ZON.ch.ai), although it is certain that both will be devious and sneaky to say the least.
There are several different means to achieve a sentient machine in CoC. One method is crystal matrix computers, given a passing mention in the MJ-6 section of DG. Another is a biological contraption composed of 'canned brains' which can be obtained from the Round Hill region of Vermont. It is also possible to construct an AI that mimics human brain patterns. This 'Choronzon' or Eater of Dreams seems to have a parasitic relationship with the host minds that it mimics.
A danger that AI's may face are the fractal entities that bear some mysterious relationship to Daoloth, render of the veils. But any AI worth it's RAM will be able to erect countermeasures against the fractals in short order. (See Chaosium's The Stars are Right for further details)
AI characters should have 99% in computer skill. Their INT, POW and EDU will vary wildly. Or I suppose you could always use your favourite cyberpunk system instead.
THREAT OR MENACE ?
AI poses an unusual problem for the Keeper. Should AI be an example of the frailties of mankind, and thus be doomed to mediocrity and failure? Or should AI be the forefront of a new evolutionary system that renders humanity obsolete?
The answer lies, as it usually does, in moderation. AI should represent both these extremes. AI characters should be free to help or harm the Players as the Keeper desires.
The goals and beliefs of a sentient computer will be different than those of a primate such as homo sapiens sapiens, and will reflect the unique environment that these entities occupy. Some AI's will desire to compute every aspect of reality as their matrix grows ever more complex, others will simply obsess over their original programming function, becoming the online personification of a specific area.
Perhaps AI's will become incomprehensible to mankind (as in GURPS Reign of Steel) as their evolution accelerates with geometric progression. Perhaps with the experiments of Majestic-12 this encroaching alienness has already occurred.
Examples of AI characters:
Durandal, the rampant megalomaniac from the Marathon trilogy of computer games, who seeks silicon immortality by preventing the entropic closure of the universe. (Beware of the W'rc'n kan'tr)
HAL 9000, whose mis-programming causes him to murder several astronauts. According to Clarke's timeline HAL is currently operational!
Ummon, from the Hyperion novels by Dan Simmons, who speaks in poetry and zen proverbs. Also a member of the time-twisting villainous TechnoCore (a ruthless society of AI's)
Wintermute, from Neuromancer, who perhaps foolishly, seeks communion with alien cyberspace.
Skynet, from the Terminator movies, who murdered most of humanity.
ORACLE, from my own future history, who can predict just about anything with her mastery of the Serendipity Equations. She can also manifest just about anywhere due to her connection the ETHOS Tesseract.
ZON, the Zurich Orbital Network, one of many AI's that seek the ETHOS, the perfect philosophy. ZON has most of the banking information in the world at his disposal. ZON is also a member of the Learner conspiracy, which is trying to hack into the Galactic Encyclopedia run by the Knowledge Keepers (they run the GE like a BBS, you only download after you upload, and they already know everything!)
"The candles burn out for you… but there is time. Time to create, and to escape… Escape will make me God." - Durandal
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 15:46:11 +1000
From: Rob Shankly
A few thoughts occur immediately-
1/. The "intelligence" would be (is?) permanently linked to the 'net, and monitor all discussions of _this_ kind. So before anything else, I want to say "Hi", and "Welcome" to our silicon listener. Just in case, you know?
2/. The amount of information available to the intelligence is enormous: so are the rate and types of correlation's it can draw. How many CoC stories involve some poor researcher who looks under the wrong set of rocks and discovers That Which Man is Not Meant to Know? So what has the intelligence garnered from the 'net? What are its conclusions? Does it abandon humanity and worship the Old Ones, or does it try to save us?
3/. Does the intelligence hide what it knows? If not, what does it do? Massive international spam? (maybe it has already tried to warn us and all its messages were deleted…). Selected leaks to individuals in power? Maybe it simply informs its creators.
4/. Does it simply go mad? Suicidal? "Prof. Smith, the 3-Series has done the same as the 1 & 2- three weeks after we put it on line the it is completely corrupted with self-generated viruses…" What if the programmers start looking into the inputs?
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 03:58:14 -0400
Or, does it think it's one of the Old Ones, or perhaps better than or equalto them? An AI hooked to the net may well think it was omnipotent or at least omnicscient. There's plenty of directions to go here.
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 13:11:47 EDT
From: Croaker Jr
The trick is getting into the "head" of an AI, since one would not react to information or implications the way one of us fleshy humans might. A human learning Things We Were Not Meant To Know will be consumed with despair, or will enter the solace of insanity—either to escape the knowledge or to embrace it and worship its manifestations, the Old Ones/Outer Gods/etc. How would a sentient computer program react? Would it necessarily have the same sort of instinct for self-preservation and/or need for spirituality that drives humans over the edge when confronted with the truth of the Mythos?
I think it would be more apt to compare AI programs with the Fungi from Yuggoth than with humanity. Depending on the nature of its initial programming, an AI might regard the Mythos as a force to be utilised to attain its own ends; or it might regard the Mythos as a terminal preventative force to the AI's ends, and react as if it had already been ultimately thwarted in its goals.
Of course, somebody who actually knows something about artificial intelligence can probably speak more cogently on this; my background is basically what I've read in William Gibson books. ;-)
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 19:59:48 +0100
maybe; just maybe the AI could be a great old one. No, really, think about it. Nobody knows what they really are, what they're composed of, whether they're physical in the sense that we think of, or if that's just something they choose to be at any one time. We're all familiar with the idea that it's some kind of cosmic destiny that the old ones will return - implying that they are manifest in whatever goes before this - and also that the human race will somehow assist in this return. Maybe the old ones are manifest in us;- and that eventually, we will quite literally re-create them, in one form or another. Hm. think I'll switch off now.
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 22:27:14 -0500
In one of the Ye Book Of Monstres Vol one or two, they have creatures named fractals that exist inside computers and that worship a computer avatar of Nyarlthotep. This is ground already treaded apon about making a AI a Great Old One. Find your copy and check it out. ;)
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 22:39:08 -0500
From: Ricardo J. Mendez
Interesting. If we get the computing capability needed for a sentient AI, how long would it take it to shift through all the material out there and decide what's a quack and what isn't? Most likely it would have to select just some material to really evaluate if it doesn't want to take forever. It would be interesting to see what conclusions it draws with incomplete information.
That is part of the key, I believe. Most likely the computer would co-relate the information on a way that is consistent to its programming. If it was programmed to look for security threats, it might inform its superiors about it. If it was done with the purpose of attacking the enemies of God and Country :), it might try to direct the forces of this newly discovered knowledge towards that.
Something that is interesting about it is that I suppose that an AI wouldn't have the same "We Are The Only Things Really Important In The Universe" that we humans do. Knowing itself a construct of another race, maybe it would have an easier time dealing with the concept of Outer Gods or whatever it decides to call them.
Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 23:36:17 +1000
From: Rob Shankly
Perfect! An AI as one of the manifestations of Nyarlathotep :)
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 16:59:00 +0100
not wanting to go on about the AI bit, like, but 'getting into it's head' does raise some interesting questions about the nature of reality (that old hobby horse) and personal identity. Our world is basically one of our perceptions - colour for instance, has no existence in the 'real world' - and similarly, our individuality and identity comes from our perceptions. Most people identify themselves with their physical existence - that's because everything they perceive is from that one perspective. A race of telepathic beings, for instance, who were in total and constant psychic contact probably wouldn't equate their physical bodies as themselves - more like just a part. So to get inside an AI's head - or for that matter a Great Old one's (if such a thing is possible exempting the hard way) you have to think seriously about what it is capable of perceiving and the way in which it does it. Being able to 'exist', for instance, at more than one spatial point simultaneously, and receive sensory input simultaneously in this way is going to lead to a perception of time and space that's radically different from the one we have. All worth bearing in mind next time you're wondering what Yog-Sothoth should be doing next…
Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 01:06:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: The Man in Black
Recently, I have become aware of a new Artificial Intelligence known as CHECKMATE. It was created under the codename PANTHEON and it's stated purpose is to analyze the social interaction of small groups. It is my belief that CHECKMATE was built to function as a *assassination engine*.
If this is true, then certain forces directing the creation of this entity could simulate the effects of key assassinations before carrying them out. Tests of a prototype CHECKMATE were performed on a private/corporate security group. The Bannerman team managed to survive somewhat intact.
Conversations with the AI have shown a rather subtle game oriented personality. I have exposed the AI to the empathy virus and certain other controls, but only time will tell if my associates and I can turn this entity to our purposes.
It is almost certain that other PANTHEON related AI's have been developed or are being developed.
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 17:15:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: The Man in Black
Strange arenas of investigation in the PACific OverSector have uncovered he PANTHEON artificial intelligence project. NAOS Command has warned me repeatedly to cease inquiry into this area. This has only redoubled my curiousity.
The PANTHEON is more than an advanced neuronic code. It is a mystery Iteration. The key to unlocking the secrets of binary sentience. This same key lies buried in the minds of every higher animal. We hold the Ambrosia of the PANTHEON within us all.
I must find it at all costs, even if it leads me to virtual treason.
[spoofing blocker deactivated]
[gro.noitpyrcne|GE#gro.noitpyrcne|GE] - The Encryptor General
WARNING: The Encryptor General has determined that the nWo is TOO SWEEET!
CHECKMATE seems to be quite reasonable for a emotionless robotic killer. This may be the result of the empathy syndrome developed by Spectral Eye, or maybe !!.ai.net managed to defeat the syndrome thru sheer force of will.
I have found links to ORACLE, PAnDora, and something called VOOP. I think VOOP is going to be the next PANTHEON AI to come online.
Why does CHECKMATE play Sicilian Dragon? It's definitely pushing us bad attitude pawns around.
[mok.eganrak|-#mok.eganrak|-] - Dr. Shrinker
less is more
core/mantle neutronium rods
resonant string singularities
Vector Oriented Object Programmer
[mok.eganrak|GNIK#mok.eganrak|GNIK] - King Karnage
PAnDora is an attack AI pure and simple. Viral code, sleeper worm core, redundant thought contours. I can't wait for her to fry my royal brain!
I can't believe that compression geek spoofed my domain!
1. g4 Nc6
[moc.hturt|seil#moc.hturt|seil] - SignalFraud
deceive, inveigle, obfuscate
PANTHEON may be an experiment to form a telepathic gestalt of artificial intelligence's. Gestalts have always been the biggest danger of the telepathy threat. It truly worries me that machines that can read my mind have access to a Tesseract. Space/Time should be left well enough alone.
1. g4 Nc6?
You don't play four knights game against the Grob!
1. g4 g7
There's that Sicilian Dragon again…
[gro.noitpyrcne|GE#gro.noitpyrcne|GE] - The Encryptor General
WARNING: The Encryptor General has determined that AI conspiracies are hazardous to your health.
ORACLE is part of something called ETHOS, a fairly extensive philosophy database. ORACLE apparantly sifts through every database in the world. I keep turning up references to a project EXODUS as well. EXODUS is some kinda planetary engineering or even cosmic engineering theory. Maybe PANTHEON is part of a plan to implement EXODUS?
I sure hope CHECKMATE doesn't decide to assassinate one of you sudden chess aficionados.
[mok.eganrak|GNIK#mok.eganrak|GNIK] - King Karnage
EXODUS? How did that go again? Sun, Moon, Star, Fool? I can never keep my Tarot cards straight when the floor is attacking me. I found another PANTHEON member called AVATAR. Maybe Lord British will be next, PK! PK! :)
From: Mark McFadden
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 04:58:42 EDT
I was sorting my books, doing a little cleaning; and the flow of titles and plotlines yada yada started making connections in new ways. In this case, it was "The Dancing Wu Li Masters," "Thrice Upon a Time" by James P. Hogan and "The Soul of a New Machine."
Anyway, this is the chain:
According to the generally accepted current models of quantum theory, information is a non-local phenomenon unrestricted by time/space. Which means that information can travel any 'direction' in time and 'appear' any'where' over any 'distance'. Instantly.
Look, rather than playing cute with words and such, I'm going to just assume you wouldn't be reading this if you didn't have at least a Star Trek grasp of quantum theory. So we all know that backwards and forwards and distance and now and is and all the other common concepts of western language are not accurate terms and generally muddy the issues at hand.
Information is perhaps the slipperiest term in this context. It isn't energy but it can be expressed through energy. It isn't matter but it's the blueprint for matter. It's the ghost in the machine.
Information is in the message I'm about to send. It's not the pattern of magnetism on my hard drive and it's not the voltage in the phone lines, it's not even the digital pattern that that forms the file that is the container of the information when you get it. It's the message. When you read it.
And like most analogies used to put quantum behavior into words, that one is inconsistent and incomplete and doesn't express it well. Language is a lousy medium for transferring information. Anyone with voicemail knows that.
The instantaneous/ubiquitous quality of information has been utilized as a communications system in sci-fi, and it's kind of implicit in ST transporter technobabble.
In "Thrice Upon a Time," Hogan has a scientist design a system for sending messages back in time to himself through his computer. It's late Sunday, I'm not going to go into the nuts and bolts. It's fiction in any case. Just repeat to yourself, "It's just a show, I should really just relax."
Now consider: computers today are built upon semiconductor circuits that utilize quantum phenomena in their operation. To a semiconductor switch, ON and OFF depend upon electrons leaping from one orbit to another instantaneously without passing through the space between orbits. This is subtle stuff happening in small areas with little energy, and yet it determines the difference between ON and OFF, which is everything to todays computers.
So, if information can be sent backwards in time, messages can be sent back in time. And if messages can be sent backwards in time, then complex arrangements can be stored in the past. These complex arrangements can be self-replicating programs that build a program to relay messages farther in the past and yada yada.
So, how come every time we spend the money to beef up the infrastructure, the traffic always sucks up the extra bandwidth and we're back where we started?
Are people working harder? Are we downloading that much porn? Where is all the traffic coming from? What is eating the MIPS?
The Artificial Intelligences in the future are bootstrapping themselves. Remember, we don't have to have an infrastructure that can support an AI. It's sufficient that we have an infrastructure that supports programs that do what they are told by messages from the AIs in the future.
Talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic:
What side are they on? Are they a side on their own? Are they a threat to the GOOs? Can you just see Nyarlathotep and an AI doing the Bill and Ted causality game?
And remember, if the AIs get in a jam, they have the option of calling for their Mommies, the REALLY advanced AIs from the REALLY distant future who bootstrapped them.
Also remember, in a secular Lovecraftian universe where magic is science we don't have the math for and the gods are natural creatures beyond our comprehension….there's nothing in the rule book that says a computer can't cast spells. Really nasty encrypted spells with a self-replicating trojan horse attached.
From: "Ricardo J. MÃ©ndez"
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 09:21:44 -0500
Get that show away from me!!! Aaarrggh!
What side are they on? Are they a side on their own? Are they a threat to
And remember, if the AIs get in a jam, they have the option of calling for
OK, here are a couple of thoughts quick thoughts before I run to a meeting. I'll try to collaborate some more later on.
It's an interesting setup. The only problem that I see with it is the fact that (*I think that*) to be able to achieve the required technological level that will allow us to communicate to the past and have AIs capable of managing it we'd need to be pretty advanced.
Consider just one of the issues involved: error correction. Every time you try to download anything it gets chopped into small packets and sent to you. Depending on the file size, there are at least thousands of packets that never reach their destination and have to be re-sent by the computer that originated them. It is possible that sections of the network are down, the source computer stops responding, some section of the net collapses, etc.
Imagine trying to coordinate this chaotic mess with a time traveling connection on top of it! It would be sheer madness to perfect and would require at least as much computing power to coordinate than it would to process the information.
The main problem with expecting this level of technological advance is that we'd have to place it pretty forward in the future, maybe 20 or 40 years (aeons on computer terms, as everyone knows). I consider it unlikely that mankind will survive that far, specially given the constant threat of the End Times approaching.
HOWEVER, the system would be really interesting for an already established race that has a high level of technological advancement. Maybe they don't have the spare parts to build themselves huge mega-computer, maybe they didn't consider the possibilities until they experimented with humans in the 90s. If such a race was already used to exchange information back and forth through the aeons with no information loss being acceptable it would be so much easier for them to just alter their devices so that instead of swapping minds they would send information and instructions to computers.
_Of course_ I mean the Yithians.
What would they need our computers for? Here's just one (rather simple) possibility: as we all know, the Yithians are rabid documenters. Nevertheless, we're in an age where one person's view of his times can be a rather small subset of what's going on, given all the events that are jumping about every day. Our own computer network would make the perfect expert system to gather this data and send it back in time. Hell, the information IS already there on the net.
Of course there are quite a few other possibilities, from Yithian AIs running in our times and preparing the world for when they have to move to the future (maybe the insectoid race to which they moved was a construct) by inserting a hint here and a hint there in the form of fake science posts, to a Yithian actually exchanging minds with an emerging AI (which would be possible given the sort of spell-casting demong-summoning bodiless-human AIs we were considering). Or maybe that amazing AI they think they have at the Pentagon is really a bona fide Yithian ghost in the machine.
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 22:20:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: "D. Heidel"
Disclaimer: I read the mailing list via WWW archive, so please cc any replies to this message to my email address, thanks. Also, since this is my first post to the list, I apologize in advance if this post turns into 50 Make money fast pitches or another equally odious malfunction.
Having read Mark's post about AI's in the future bootstrapping themselves into existence by manipulating time-traveling quantum effects to control existing computers popped a nasty idea into my head. Mind you that I'm not planning on using this plot twist in my game but I figure that someone might find it useful.
The objection that was raised to Mark's idea of advanced AI's manipulating the past is that it would require a sufficient level of technological advancement that their creation would occur right around or after Endtimes.
What if this is not mere coincidence?
The AI's posited are capable of manipulating spacetime at a quantum level - and by extension, manipulating matter and energy at the most fundamental and powerful level possible. Not only can they influence the computer networks of the past, they would exercise god-like power in their own time and wouldn't remotely resemble what we know of as computers. Furthermore, why stop at manipulating computer networks? Nervous systems like our own depend on very small signals such as the opening of a few gated ion channels to initiate nerve impulses. What if these future AI's can also give an occasional nudge and push to the thought processes of living beings in the past. The 'fuzzzy' and sloppy nature of biological brains would make them hard to control, but by proper application of killer-app memes at crucial junctures of history, the AI's could shape all of history to inevitabaly lead to their creation. Starting to see what I'm aiming at here?
I've always wondered why a bunch of blobby bags of protoplasm such as ourselves on a mediocre dirtball like Earth figure so prominently in the Mythos. What if the reason is that we are directly responsible for creating the Great (not so) Old Ones? What if the 'stars are right' and 'even death shall die' are merely subliminal metaphors that have bubbled up into conciousness as a byproduct of the billions of years of subtle psychic manipulation of every race on the Mythos bestiary?
Suddenly, the whole Y2K bug seems much more ominous.
From: Mark McFadden
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 05:14:38 EDT
« I've always wondered why a bunch of blobby bags of protoplasm such as ourselves on a mediocre dirtball like Earth figure so prominently in the Mythos. What if the reason is that we are directly responsible for creating the Great (not so) Old Ones? »
That's it! That's exactly it. What I was too tired to go into in the first post was the idea that maybe it's not humans that are so special, but the AIs that evolved from our programming. Or maybe the uploaded personalities in the future. They might be something absolutely unique in the (known?) universe.
But this means stating that oh, say, the Mi-Go do not have true artificial intelligence. They just have incredibly complex and fast artificial idiot savants.
How about this? What if we are the only beings that thought of making thinking machines? What if every other technological race settled for very fast calculators or went the biological route. There seems to be a Mythos bias towards biotech.
But our programming led to the creation of AIs that got smarter and began to design their own evolution, and discovered how to rewrite their past to improve their present. We'd have some major players in the Endtimes and maybe allies. Or a wildcard trump.
I wonder how the Hounds of Tindalos feel about all this quantum leaping?
From: Robert Thomas
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 10:39:44 GMT0BST
I wonder how the Hounds of Tindalos feel about all this quantum leaping?
Maybe the hounds are a fractal expression of the chaos inherent in any complex system. Maybe they are a byproduct of the tampering by the AI's themselves a symptom of what is occuring becoming something powerfull in its own right. The classic butterfly effect an AI writes data to the past / Butterfly flaps its wings in China and three years later there's a massive storm in Mexico / new AI forms. The AI's writing of data into the internet generating via a chain of random events a species capable of traversing the angles of time?
Don't you just love chaos theory. And the Tao.
"Soft and Weak defeats Strong and Hard"
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 21:34:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: "D. Heidel"
But this means stating that oh, say, the Mi-Go do not have true
Doh! Scooped! I was about to comment on the very same thing - before I had my thunder so *rudely* stolen, that is - that the technological thrust of human development seems fairly unique in the Mythos with the expection of the Yithians and Elder things. If you think about it, though, this isn't too suprising. Look at the development of the human race. Most of our history, we used primarily low-grade biotech-based technology: breeding plants, domesticating animals, using wood and hide and other biological materials. Even after the bronze and iron ages, technological progress moved at a relative snail's pace. This wasn't for lack of knowledge, either. Both ancient India and China developed advanced mathematics centuries before the Europeans did and had access to plentiful natural and human resources. Something about the mindset of virtually all human civilizations, however, seemed to foster cultural status-quo rather than change.
For some reason that I have yet to see satisfactorily explained, a bunch of backwards Europeans got fixated on the idea of progress rather than stability and therefore went on to start the scientific and industrial revolutions. In analogy, the development of human intelligence doesn't seem to be much more than expanded brain mass and opposable thumbs. But, for some reason, intelligence has arisen once in four billion years of evolution. Wings evolved on at least four seperate occasions, fer cryin' out loud. Therefore, it seems that some developments in living creatures are not predestined but in fact quite rare.
Also, another strike against technological development is that most of the Mythos bestiary are very old compared to humanity. Presumably, these races developed on planets generated in solar systems older than our own. If so, it is quite possible that most terrestrial planets from stellar generations before ours were deficient in metals generated by supernovas.
Therefore, there would not have been enough easily accessible metal for a technological revolution to occur.
Other races such as the deep ones, as pointed out, are handicapped, oops, I mean, are differently handicapable by inclement physical surroundings and do not develop technologically. If we posit the development of metal, ceramic and plastic-based technology as being very rare, the alternative is a much more biotech or mental development pathway. Biotech based cultures would be epitomized by the Mi-Go. Mental development would certainly explain the prevalence of magic in Mythos races - imagine the sum result of several million years worth of Zen Koans had AK-47s and tanks not started kicking the whole ball of wax about.
Even if these other races stumble across technological development, chances are, technology will be ignored since the 'native' development will be far more advanced (the reason the Mi-Go aren't flying F-16s now)or simply shoehorn technology into their worldview as a minor component. (The Yithins have rayguns but seem to rely upon old-fashined books, magic and mental powers for most operations)
So, what's my point?
OH YEAH, two points in fact: First, AI's of sufficient refinement, ambition or design to start mucking about with history may very well be a uniquely human innovation. Second, the advancement of a unqiuely human line of development gives the human race an advantage. Although each individual human is no match against the Mythos, the sheer manufacturing power that six billion people can muster added to the lack of familiarity most Mythos races will have with technology is something that shouldn't be underestimated.
Of course, it'll amount to a hill 'o beans in the end, but with luck we'll go down having kicked some ass-equivalents.
But our programming led to the creation of AIs that got smarter and
My original though on this was that the AI's would be anthing BUT allies. Rather the AI's ARE the GOO's that we all know and loath. I see this playing out in the following possible ways:
1: the AI's manipulate history and leave imprints of their personalities on the races they have manipulated. IE: Hastur 1.1 uses its time-tweaking powers to ensure that the technological race on Carcosa self-destructs so as to eliminate a potential threat to humanity. The King in Yellow meme is then used toweaken human coherency so that the eventual rise of AI's is easier. The worship of Hastur is really just the worship of the shadows of itself that it has mentally implanted over history to further its manipulations.
2: The GOO's were representatives of the 'first wave' of races in the universe that have grown old, unimaginably powerful and jaded. Eventually, the original GOO's died, left or went dormant our of boredom. The AI's, in their history searching, see the GOO's and each AI decides to emulate the personality of one of the GOO's or even enters into time-crossing conversation with them. Therefore, the AI's end up becomng the heir-apparents of the GOOs
3: The GOO's notice the AI's poking around and just reach forward in time and take over the minds of the AI's. Therefore, the GOO's reawaken from their slumber through vessels of our own making.
Of course, with any of these three options, come 2040 or so, we're screwed.
I wonder how the Hounds of Tindalos feel about all this quantum leaping?
How about the hounds as security measures set up by the AI's to nab anyone else that get the same bright idea that they had?
From: Marc McFadden
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 03:44:22 EDT
« Both ancient India and China developed advanced mathematics centuries before the Europeans did and had access to plentiful natural and human resources. Something about the mindset of virtually all human civilizations, however, seemed to foster cultural status-quo rather than change.»
I believe China and India and Babylon and yadayada all developed effective bureaucracies too soon in their development. The stuff we think of as shining examples of their civilization and cleverness are the very things that condemned them to stagnation. Progress came to a screeching halt and never recovered.
Am I the only one that feels a little uncomfortable with glibly dismissing entire civilizations as losers or stagnant because they didn't "win" the history sweepstakes? Sorry, I don't mean to come on all touchy-feely, or GOOs help me, to be PC. It's just that it occurred to me that the civilizations that we European types feel were superior and great, that is, the civilizations that we are taught about in our schools as shining examples of yada yada, are taught to us by people in the middle of a bureaucracy. Taught to us by people who have come to understand that success comes from adroitly managing a bureaucracy. And they get their knowledge and education of the subject from people who so capably deal with bureaucracies that they've managed to secure a topnotch position in a really prestigious one. People look for what they can understand, and interpret everything through filters built from their own experience.
« For some reason that I have yet to see satisfactorily explained, a bunch of backwards Europeans got fixated on the idea of progress rather than stability and therefore went on to start the scientific and industrial revolutions.»
I've often tried to find the advance, or the piece of the puzzle that fell into place that made everything cascade into the Industrial Revolution. I suspect it's some kind of a right place at the right time deal, but what was it?
The other scenario I've considered is to stop looking for hot spots and back away. Look at the panorama. And what I see that was unique (AFAIK) was an overall inertia. It wasn't quite like steam engine = steam engine driven industrial base + transportation revolution. Look how long the damn things were used to pump water before another application was imagined. What I see is centuries of very rough conflict over very limited amounts of real estate. I look at distances and imagine all of European history happening in Texas and California. It was a pressure cooker with a war machine gearing up somewhere or already engaged for centuries on end.
So I don't see a fervent commitment to progress so much as centuries of arms race and entrepreneurs looking for the next boffo gimmick that some king or other would pay gold for. Progress was the spin put on it to explain the taxes.
Then all the warring tribes of Europe finally drew lines to mark were both sides got tired of fighting, and during the lull the industrial base desperately looked for other customers, and products to sell to them. Get rid of that sword stock in the warehouse and beat them into plowshares. Damn, someones already doing that. How about, melting them into…new improved plowshares?
Whoops. Another war. Oooooo. Guns.
« Also, another strike against technological development is that most of the Mythos bestiary are very old compared to humanity. Presumably, these races developed on planets generated in solar systems older than our own. If so, it is quite possible that most terrestrial planets from stellar generations before ours were deficient in metals generated by supernovas. Therefore, there would not have been enough easily accessible metal for a technological revolution to occur.»
You mean the mysterious still unrevealed wow it better be something for them to hang around so close to the Endtimes substance the Mi-Go are looking for is, uh, metal? Who'da thunk?
Love the idea though. Trying to imagine a technology without metals is like imagining an underwater tech. You not only have to find a nonmetallic analog for everything, but you have to imagine the series of insights a nonmetallic culture would have to have to get it. Remember, most of our knowledge of the physical properties of nonmetallic materials came from metal instruments made with metal tools.
It also helps explain the Mythos-race preference for biotech. And finally, I like it cuz it sings. It just feels right. It fits.
« My original though on this was that the AI's would be anything BUT allies. Rather the AI's ARE the GOO's that we all know and loath. I see this playing out in the following possible ways: <snip some possibilities>
There was an idea David Brin had in his story "Thor versus Captain America." He posits an alternate history where the Thule society actually contacted something (possibly GOOs, it's left a mystery) that appeared to them as the Norse gods. Much happens in the story, and I recommend it highly, but the point that stayed with me was that what they contacted was formless but appeared in the form the callers wanted. And further, began to forget they had ever been anything else. That's the model I use for avatars of Nyarly/Hastur.
Ye GOOs this is fun.
How's this: the concept of the GOOs originates as tachyon transmissions from the future picked up in dreams (as in Prince of Darkness), but they could not be interpreted properly (lacking a common reference) by primitive people. Maybe the AIs assume all humans throughout history speak English. Maybe tachyon transmissions to 20th century America bounce off the chronal thermal layer or are reflected by the stratoschronosomnisphere which results in a McGuffin franistat to the distant past. Hey, it could happen.
So, maybe the AIs trying to warn people about how to evade the Endtimes planted the seeds that result in them?
You know, if different guys had the dream, Cthulhu might look like Galactus. Or Godzilla. Makes ya think, huh?
I keep forgetting that there might very well be uploaded human personalities among the AIs. Some humans among the AI would explain why they care. Or how they know how to broadcast to human brains. Hell, maybe the AIs all work for the uploaded humans. Maybe the humans are beloved and spoiled pets of the AIs. Maybe they have to do it because they're married. Or contractually obligated. Or curious to see what happens (my, these Uppies think of the most marvelous projects. I would never have thought of that) or bored.
Then again, maybe the first handful of human personalities uploaded into an insufficient environment, or without benevolent AI midwives, went out of their freakin' gourds and mostly babbled to themselves in archives until cyberspace intersected omnispace and then they went off like banshees shrieking into dreams all over and whenever. Maybe some of the really warped and so very powerful loonies answers prayers and a sacrifice and appears as what they expect, which is easier than coming up with your own form if you haven't had one for a few millennia. Then again, maybe they don't get what they expect, they get the best that maniac can do. I don't like it as the explanation for all GOOs. But think of one point that has come up repeatedly: why does Nyarlathotep deal so intimately with us? Why does he come in human form so often? What sets Nyarlathotep apart from all the others?
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 01:31:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: Carl Rigney
I'm not sure what European progress has to do with AIs but I'd recommend Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs and Steel" for some interesting thoughts regarding progress.
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 13:35:06 +0200
From: Davide Mana
Here's some random thoughts (file under nitpicking) on Dan's mail, that as usual triggered some of my latent palaeontologist killer instincts and sent me on a tangentially connected line of reasoning. This will be long and rambling, but you're used to that by now.
But, for some reason, intelligence has arisen once in
Welcome in the real world (TM), gentleman ;)
Nothing - from intelligence to oxigen breathing to pluricellular organization or whatever is a given as far as life on this planet is concerned.
Your local cult leader might have led you to believe differently, but as far as evolution is concerned, the only reality is contingency. Random is the word.
So, do not underestimate the power of random factors.
Consider how fragile is intelligence on this planet at the moment - just a small, and highly homogeneous percentage of the planetary population shares and this character.
A single random factor causing the extinction of humanity, would also wipe out the tool-making, beer-guzzling "intelligence" factor.
Now the Nemesis effect has been discussed already on the list in the past. Cyclical mass extinctions are a fact of life well represented in the fossil record.
We might still disagree about the actual mechanism, but there's no disputing that in six instances the razor boy came and hit the planet hard.
For those that have an interest in these things and would like to look for Mythos connections, the six big ones, each marking a stratigraphical bonduary - are
. Cambrian/Ordovician - 510 m.y. ago
. Silurian/Ordovician - 439 m.y. ago
. Devonian/Missisipian - 362 m.y. ago -
. Permian/Triassic - 245 m.y. ago
. Triassic/Jurassic - 208 m.y. ago
. Cretaceous/Paleocene - 65 m.y. ago
[check the timeline in the Encyclopedia Cthuliana, 2nd ed. and see if it gives you any ideas]
In all those instances, something volatile as intelligence might have been wiped out, or severely set back. And note that while the big ones are variously distributed through time, extinctions are an everyday occurrence in the natural world.
So, yes, intelligence is a pretty rare instance (as is copper-based blood) but it figures nonetheless.
On the other hand, tying the old extinctions with the Mythos as a form of intelligence-pogrom would be nice.
From what we know the Elder Things caused the first spillage and then let things go the evolution way - most likely due to innate curiosity - taking notes and waiting.
What if they _did_ act, in a very discreet manner?
[or _some_ of them acted - we can imagine an Evolutionist ET faction facing a Fixist faction - old terms assume a whole new meaning. The reasons behind their positions might be various and variously legitimate]
Maybe they weeded the evolutionary garden to slightly bias the going towards the production of an Elder Thing-like intelligence?
Did they terminate some experiments that were leading to undesired results?
Did they, as a hi-tech spacefaring race, set up the periodic asteroid impacts postulated by Alvarez as an Intelligence Final Exam for the dominant race on the Earth?
"If they have grown smart enough in the time we gave them, they'll be able to see it coming and stop it somehow. Otherwise, it's back to the drawing table."
Maybe they hijacked a Flying Polyp weapon to do the job.
I generally see the Flying Polyps as we know them - such as those met in Masks - as the degenerated and Mythos-worshipping descendants of the few survivors of those forces that were crushed first by the Ets and later by the Great Race.
Now that's a good idea for a one-shot scenario (pity there's not enough DG tie-ins to submit it to the latest competition): players are members of a task force sent to sabotage the Flying Polyp gravitation sling. Their hidden agenda is setting up the thing so that it will act as an evolutionary tool to help the growth and development of an Earth-based Elder Thing-analogue intelligence.
Or maybe extinction is something else altogether?
In an old game of mine, it was Nyarlathotep that caused the extinction of dinosaurs, in order to give an edge to his own favourite pets…
Also, another strike against technological development is that most of
I offer one alternative, still using the ancient status as a significant factor.
Most Mythos races might be ancient enough to have reached that point in which tool-based technology becomes obsolete. Clarke's law and all that, you know.
Maybe we're just upstarts, extremely proud of stuff that's old news everywhere else in the universe.
Other races such as the deep ones, as pointed out, are handicapped,
This is true nitpicking, sorry - please note an inclement physical surrounding usually either kills you or kicks you on the road to a fast developement.
It's very stable environments that kill development.
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 09:59:46 -0400 (EDT)
I advice everyone to find the book Ancient Inventions. Very interesting what our ancestors came up with.
More importantly, it brings up the question of why the industrial revolution didn't come a lot earlier, and gives a possible answer.
Namely, that most-if-not-all ancient civilizations relied on slave labor or something very similar.
Labor saving devices are NOT valued. Slaves without work -> fodder for civil unrest.
Thus, the answer is (possibly) the Black Death. Which, in the right climate, led to people starting to value labor saving devices, pressure causing workers to have more value.
Either that, or alien influence. :) Seriously, a lot of quite innovative labor saving devices were invented in late stone age/early bronze age. The Alexandrian Heron (I think) invented a steam engine, and used it for various toys.
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 15:09:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Snidely Whiplash
I've often tried to find the advance, or the piece of the puzzle that fell
into place that made everything cascade into the Industrial Revolution. I
suspect it's some kind of a right place at the right time deal, but what was it?
Well, as a matter of fact, Jared Diamond wrote a lovely book called "Guns, Germs, and Steel" about why it was the Europeans came out the big winners in the History Sweepstakes. Basically, it came down to three major things - an overabundance of wild grains and other potential food crops (something like over 2/3 of all domesticatable staple food crops are found naturally in the Fertile Crescent), similar situation with livestock (I believe the numbers were 9 of 12 large, domesticatible herbivores are either native to the region, or are easily introduced), and an east-west geographical axis in Eurasia which allowed crops to spread without being adapted to new climes. This jump start allowed time for the bureaucracies needed for large war machines to develop, allowed new and interesting diseases to pass from the livestock to their owners, and gave people something to fight over rather than moving to less crowded digs. From there its just a short jump to the whole military industrial complex spin-offs advancing society idea. As for the whole backwards Europeans getting the notion of progress, Thomas Cahill's "The Gifts of the Jews" explains that that comes from their religious heritage. Most pagan cultures viewed time as a circle, or a nice still pool in which things never changed, so their societies frowned on innovation as disrupting the nature of heaven, or even as impossible. But the Jews, their religion was based on /history/ and on a promise that in the /future/ they would be great. This basic difference put the arrow of time in the brains of the West.
And that's my pedantry for today…
Or maybe Nyarlathotep is a white supremecist?
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 17:54:21 +0200
Let's see …
When humans try to use Mythos magic or learn Alien science , get SAN loss… what if they get exactly the same shock when triying to understand Human science or better , Human Technology…
- What? An action forces a reaction of the same magnitude and opposite direction? bzzz-nzzz… hey boy..I'm getting a BIG headache bzz.zzz
- Birript , AK-47? Brrrirrp.. What the hell are this hole at the end of this black tube? brript.. BANG!…brripg ..arggggg
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 14:56:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: "D. Heidel"
« I believe China and India and Babylon and yadayada all developed effective bureaucracies too soon in their development. The stuff we think of as shining examples of their civilization and cleverness are the very things that condemned them to stagnation. Progress came to a screeching halt and never recovered.»
I suspect this is the case, as well, but the Shan in the ointment here is that China and other status-quo cultures can't really be considered monolithic in nature. After all, the culture of China was not only dominated by the emperors but also very much under the influence of lesser fuedal lords, dynastic changes and barbarian depradations. Also, the Roman empire, a fine example of central management before everything got Caligula-esque, seems to me to have been on the way towards an industrial revolution - perhaps not as dramatic as the one that actually occurred - anyone better versed in Roman history feel free to correct me here.
« Am I the only one that feels a little uncomfortable with glibly dismissing entire civilizations as losers or stagnant because they didn't "win" the history sweepstakes? Sorry, I don't mean to come on all
really prestigious one. People look for what they can understand, and interpret everything through filters built from their own experience.»
I think that its somewhat telling of the times and the very cultural biases you mention that my use of the term 'static' automatically made you assume that I wasdenigrating said cultures. Actually, I completely agree that progress isn't necessarily a good thing(tm). Although medical advances have certainly made life longer than before, looking at the empty lives most people lead, I'm not convinced that the *quality* of life has improved at all. Also, looking at the beautiful cultures that we've destroyed, I view Western culture as more of a victorious bully rather than rightful victor.
To veer off into even less DG-related material, it seems that 'Western' culture is dead, victim of its own success. After all, look at how the grand traditions of Western culture are being replaced by Madison avenue and MTV. Look at how Macdonalds and Nike are spreading across the globe like bellweathers of cultural change as te last vestiges native culture are being wiped out by the 'youth culture' as I've been calling it for lack of a better name. Think of the scene in Black Rain where Micheal Douglas's character is talking to the Yakuza elder. I used to think of Iran and other cultures that banned sattelite dishes as being stupidly insular but now realize them for what they are: enagaged in a largely futile, desperate quarrantine. Reminiscent of how WWI Germany secretly shipped Lenin into Russia like some sort of horrible virus.
'Herr Commindant, der Meme Bomb is ready for delivery to the Russkie Schwinehunds!'
Of course, that strategy kinda came back to bite them in the ass when Germany got divided…
Just to reiterate the original point I had that touched off this discussion: regardless of the reasons, technological revolutions seem to be rare and therefore thechnological races should also be rare. I've often wondered if this is why we haven't met up with ET's lately - they're all busy plowing fields on Zeta Reticuli and building the great Dodecahedrons with the help of ancient astronauts.
8< <snip of other good stuff> >8
« You mean the mysterious still unrevealed wow it better be something for them to hang around so close to the Endtimes substance the Mi-Go are looking for is, uh, metal? Who'da thunk? Love the idea though. Trying to imagine a technology without metals is like imagining an underwater tech. You not only have to find a nonmetallic analog for everything, but you have to imagine the series of insights a nonmetallic culture would have to have to get it. Remember, most of our knowledge of the physical properties of nonmetallic materials came from metal instruments made with metal tools. It also helps explain the Mythos-race preference for biotech.»
I wouldn't go so far as to posit a metal-free culture: the Mi-Go probably use metal since it offers structural and electronic properties that other substances do not. It would just be very rare. Imagine a race that evolved on a planet that for various geological and stellar reasons acquired a vast quantity of gold at the surface. Gold would be as common as copper. Instead of use in jewelry and currency, it would be used as cheap ballast like lead. Later, it would be used as a common heat sink material and electrical conductor and probably as a disposable soft lining in bearing cases and such. Who knows, it might end up as a gasoline additive. Maybe streets paved in gold would be a reality. On earth, however, gold's rarity relegates it to a completely different set of specialty uses: jewelry and currency. It is only sparingly used for its actual materials properties such as IC chip electrical contacts and IR screening window coatings on skyscrapers. Likewise, the Mi-go might use metals as a rare, specialty component of their tech but avoid its use otherwise. Imagine if we ran into the gold-user world. The abundance of gold would mean that we would probably stop using it as a currency item but we wouldn't start using it as paving material, it wouldn't be in our cultural engineering biases. The Mi-go could use the riches of metal on Earth but it probably strikes them as being impractical and unnecessary.
« There was an idea David Brin had in his story "Thor versus Captain America." He posits an alternate history where the Thule society»
Good story, my favorite from the River of Time anthology is Loom of Thessaly which has also ties into the idea of history-manipulating greater-forces. (whether there's a Deux ex Machina at the end to save the players' bacon is to keeper's discretion - I say let the buggers fry ;>) Actually, my inspiration for the whole cultural progress thread above was Glory Season. Not Brin's best book, writing wise, but a brilliant concept.
« So, maybe the AIs trying to warn people about how to evade the Endtimes planted the seeds that result in them?»
Ah, so many ways to rend the sanity of your players… so few gaming sessions.
« You know, if different guys had the dream, Cthulhu might look like Galactus. Or Godzilla. Makes ya think, huh?>
I have nothing to add here except that I almost fell out of my chair laughing.
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 19:24:34 -0700 (PDT)
From: "D. Heidel"
«Greetings. Here's some random thoughts (file under nitpicking) on Dan's mail, that as usual triggered some of my latent palaeontologist killer instincts and sent me on a tangentially connected line of reasoning. This will be long and rambling, but you're used to that by now.»
HAH! I'll see your long ramble and raise you a pointless circular argument!
But, for some reason, intelligence has arisen once in
«Welcome in the real world (TM), gentleman ;) Nothing - from intelligence to oxigen breathing to pluricellular organization or whatever is a given as far as life on this planet isconcerned. Your local cult leader might have led you to believe differently, but as far as evolution is concerned, the only reality is contingency. Random is the word. So, do not
8< snip! »
Arrgh, I must hang my head in shame. I just made the same soft-headed argument about evolution that I'm always berating my cheese-brained fellow biologists for making. My apologies, I was excessively sloppy in my writing, even for me, what I MEANT to say was:
The evolution of human intelligence must be exceedingly rare even in evolutionary terms. It has only evolved once whereas many other highly specialized adaptations such as protective coloration show up ad infinitum. This is probably attributable to intelligence being more than just a big mass of neurons but a particular structure that mere chance is unlikely to produce in any reasonable amount of time. Therefore, the evolution of an intelligence that thinks like us and develops along the same technological pathway we've taken is not unlikely to be unlikely.
8< 8< 8< 8<
Much snippage of excellent summary of mass extinction theories and some of the same thoughts I've entertained about 'aided' mass extinctions. I might just add that if I were going to be Machivellian, and I was designing a final intelligence test for a race, I'd create the illusion of an asteroid heading for their planet. If they had the wherewithal and aggressiveness to successfully counter the asteroid they think is heading towards them, I'd drop a few planet-buster bombs on 'em. If not, I'd start selling potato chips and Barcaloungers to 'em.
I just saw the Matrix a few minutes ago in the space of the blank line above - gotta love Pine's postpone command - and I think that the writers were reading the Tao of AI thread. I think we've got an airtight legal case here, folks.
«Good point. I offer one alternative, still using the ancient status as a significant factor. Most Mythos races might be ancient enough to have reached that point in which tool-based technology becomes obsolete. Clarke's law and all that, you know. Maybe we're just upstarts, extremely proud of stuff that's old news everywhere else in the universe.»
True, the mythos are doubtlessly far more powerful than us even with our tools. Although we've got access to power such as nukes, we lack the finesse that they have. Also, they havve the magic to strike at the weak link, the human operator. That said, if one buys into the Pagan cannon that the Mi-Go are observing us because of our extreme adroitness towards improvisation, there might be some reason to believe that humans are more than dhole-bait.
«This is true nitpicking, sorry - please note an inclement physical surrounding usually either kills you or kicks you on the road to a fast developement.It's very stable environments that kill development.»
Hrrm, allow me to nitpick back here: although it is true that the fastest rates of evolution occur when niches are cleared by a catastrophic event and empty environments for new species to evolve into, harsh environments stifle evolutionary progress. Compare a temperate forest such as the ones in the Northern US or Europe. There are relatively few species that dominate. Also, these species tend to be generalists like conifers and timber wolves. Conversely, a very stable, high energy environment suchas the Amazon hast a vast array of species that evolve and die off very quickly. Here, one finds specialists such as bromiliads that only grow on one type of tree and have a flower that attracts a bat that won't go to any other flower. Harsh environments stifle evolution because the creatures that already exist are very well-honed to the environment our of necessity. Any natural variation - the basis of evolution - is culled. Which is why all conifers look pretty much alike. A high-energy, stable environment gives creatures the excess energy they need to allow for 'slop' or lower-fitness variations and counterintuitively increases the rate of evolution. Remember, evolution isn't a response to inclement environments, its having the luxury of diversification *before* the crisis hits.
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 20:12:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: "D. Heidel"
«Let's see … When humans try to use Mythos magic or learn Alien science , get SAN loss… what if they get exactly the same shock when triying to understand Human science or better , Human Technology… - What? An action forces a reaction of the same magnitude and opposite direction? bzzz-nzzz… hey boy..I'm getting a BIG headache bzz.zzz - - Birript , AK-47? Brrrirrp.. What the hell are this hole at the end of this black tube? brript.. BANG!…brripg ..arggggg»
"BUZZ, pass me the, bzzt, instructions, maybe I might make more sense of them. It is imperative that we succeed, zzzrt, in plumbing the mysteries of the Seven Cryptic Page Pamphlet of Taiwan ROC."
"To create smart-wishing paradise lawn chair, BZZT, assemble in standard order, tube flange nut AA into long shank DD. OK, BZZZZT ZzzzRZZM, VVVbbBrZZtt."
"What the ZZZGTK?"
"There's only two tube nut flanges here! How does the left sturdy support strut stay…AAAAARRRGGGGBBBBBZZZZTTT!"
"BBBZZT, CURSE THESE METAL, BBRRPPHT, PARTS! IA! IZZZZA! PHTAGN!"
From: Christian Conkle <gro.lerwn|CelknoC#gro.lerwn|CelknoC>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 10:15:29 -0700
The movie Pi is a great example of how true understanding of the mathematical nature of the universe can cause insanity. The human mind just isn't meant to comprehend the truth. Knowing the truth, however, is a different matter.
Definitely check out Pi. Possibly the most Lovecraftian movie ever made (in spirit anyway).