Oct 15, 2019 3:02 PM
a guide to fairies entering the service of some other fairies
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"They can but only if you can unambiguously determine that the correct person is writing them. Even a half a second's delay will break that."

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"And being unable to see the writer - because they're fast - would do it?"

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"I think so. Merely not watching them write it does. And the writer being invisible does too."

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Nod. "I haven't thought of anything."

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"Well. I suppose if we think about it occasionally we'll still be getting more thinking done per unit of torture than I would have managed alone and slow if I'd wound up somewhere else."

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"I don't think any courts here are like that. Even the bad ones."

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"I will give your system this: it has any checks on how bad it can get."

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"Your system seems awfully cruel."

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"When I looked around this court you just peeked at nobody was getting tortured at all! I assume most of the people in it don't have a choice and I don't have much other detail about what their lives are like, but it's not like everyone in your courts is making a free uncoerced decision about it either. And that's within a court, it's easier for us to go without courts altogether. My system's higher variance."

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"I think the system's just worse but the lower population density does some good things. Not having to have a court is good."

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"Hmm... I think if everyone were me my system would be better and if everyone were the knifewing yours would be, and I don't know what the actual distribution of people in general is."

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"That's fair. Our world is probably mostly made up of people suited to it because they're the ones who don't die."

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"I know even less about the distribution of dead people."

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"Yeah, me neither."

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"What tends to kill people here?"

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"Well, most people don't die. Uh, feuds, or incurring a lot of misfortune through being stupid, or being entangled with someone who did that. Very rarely accidents."

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"I was looking for more detail on 'being stupid'."

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"Making a promise you can't keep, or enough of them you forget about one, or one that someone else can make you unable to keep. Refusing reasonable things to people you're indebted to."

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"Reasonable being defined in some way."

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"A request is reasonable if it's smaller than the debt."

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"Uh-huh."

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"If there's something you really hate having to do, you should just avoid getting into that much debt - or talk with the person, if they're reasonable. Refusing whenever they ask will put you in a lot more debt very quickly. Plus it's frightening."

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"Just avoid it, like there aren't obviously ways to wind up trapped without meaning to..."

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"Yep. This is why some people mostly don't interact with people outside their court."

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"I suppose this might explain why she decided to rip my wing in half if I'm very generous with some interpretations."

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