Dec 07, 2021 12:34 AM
leareth is captured by Cheliax
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:I do not disagree that accomplishing ambitious goals is difficult and requires skill and planning and hard work. It - just seems that the attitude of Cheliax points people toward...giving up on the concept of having their own values and goals, as opposed to obeying: 

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Well, you can make the space that’s not pathetic very small, if you make sure all the plans that work go through obedience.

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:- Indeed. Which is exactly why Aroden and I are agreed on the fact that Cheliax needs to be taken back from Asmodeus: Leareth sighs. :...Sorry: 

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For what? 

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:I know you would prefer that we not try to conquer your country, since - invasions and wars are inevitably costly: 

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I mean, I would prefer that, but - I’m not powerful enough to get what I want. That’s how it goes sometimes. I’m not - her expression twists - pathetic enough I can’t handle you mentioning it.

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:I suppose that is an example of the thing where you asked me not to worry about hurting your feelings when deciding what to say: 

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Yes. It’s just - hard to keep track of what you’re doing, when you’re doing that - especially since I’m not believing you’d lie to me -

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:You are not–: Leareth stops. Shakes his head a little, more as though trying to escape a fly than as a negation. :- I am confused about what you are doing with your head, around that? I mean, it is true that I avoid lying to you - to me, part of Law means avoiding lies with allies - but I am going to omit information, and - I would have expected you were tracking that...?: 

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I think probably eventually I’ll arrive at a more permissive configuration but … I do all of that the same way? I keep track of what the person wants, and what they might want me to believe, and when they say that I use that as an input to what they want me to believe and more indirectly as an input to what they might believe, and I account for things they could’ve said but didn’t. And I’ve just stopped doing that, and it’s not immediately obvious to do the part of it where I account for what they didn’t say without the other parts, but I’ll work on it.

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Leareth is making such a confused face at her! 

:...I want you to believe true things? Because then you will be able to make plans that work? Not telling you everything is very different from giving you false information!: 

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I don’t think it is! It’s really easy to say technically true things that make people have less accurate beliefs, or technically false ones that make them have more accurate beliefs.

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:- I mean, sure, but I am not trying to do that! I am trying to cause you to believe true things, within the limits of what I can safely tell you while maintaining operational security: 

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And the thing I currently believe isn’t that thing so I should change it? Can you say more about it and why it’s not the thing I’m doing?

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:I mean, how you choose to set up your head is not actually up to me? And I am - feeling frustrated about the difficulty of communicating across this...cultural gulf. But - you could read my mind? If you want? I can make sure not to think about anything sensitive while my shields are down: 

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…sure ?

You don’t usually mindread your superiors, in Cheliax, and it’s not just for sensitive information reasons. But she doesn’t work for him, technically.

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Leareth lowers his shields. 

 

...He's thinking that he's intensely frustrated with Asmodeus, for - instilling a culture that's going to be so incredibly self-protecting, so resistant to updates. It's a fact about human minds that's long irritated him, how it's...hard, and non-obvious, for people to separate out what they predict will happen in the world, and what's socially approved-of to say. It's easy for those categories to get blurred and smudged together, because from the inside they both feel like 'belief'. 

That's just with humans interacting amongst themselves in a society. Humans interacting with themselves in a society that has mindreading takes that to another level; the Eastern Empire had this problem, for all that Leareth tried to build in cultural mechanisms and infrastructure to mitigate it. And then Asmodeus took that and added enemy action, pushing on those fault-lines as hard and far as He can, and Carissa is - confused? terrified of? - the concept of using her belief-machinery to model the world, as opposed to for modelling what those more powerful than her will be pleased to hear (or read in her thoughts). 

He doesn't know how to convey any more clearly that he isn't going to police her for thinking the 'wrong' thoughts or feeling the 'wrong' feelings. Some possible thoughts or feelings she could have would upset him, or frustrate him, but it's her mind. He just...wants her to not be crippled. He wants her to be able to use her mind to its full potential, not be hemmed in by obedience to a greater Power.

He's not angry with her, though, or even annoyed. He doesn't feel pity either. Just calmly notices that of course she thinks this way; it's exactly what her incentives shaped her toward, in the past, and that sort of thing mostly isn't even happening on a conscious level, and won't change overnight no matter how good a case he makes to her. 

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....so, do you want me to think you're lying, or not.

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Gods, did even literally reading his mind not help convey it any better? Leareth is so frustrated! Though not with Carissa, per se. 

:Neither? I want you to - form your own calibrated model of me and gauge whether I am telling the truth to you based on that? …I suppose if I have to pick, I would prefer you be suspicious than - forcing yourself to believe me by fiat? Unless you find that strategy helps you work more effectively in which case—: Helpless shrug. :I have no idea:

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Right now it's still at the stage where it's distracting and effortful, while being suspicious is as natural as breathing. WIth practice I could get it down, though. 

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Sigh. 

:As I said, it is your head and it is up to you how to think. I just - wanted to try to convey that forcing yourself to believe everything I say is not something I would have asked of you:

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I believe you about that. 

 

 

She just prefers not to be difficult and she's trying so hard to find orientations where she's not difficult and then people didn't want those either and it's very stressful! The thing that keeps jumping to mind is 'fine, I'll leave', because - that's sort of what it would mean, to actually figure out who she is on her own, but she doesn't actually want to leave with no immortality plan and she doesn't want Leareth to have to decide if it's Good to let her or Good to stop her. And then she would be a prisoner.

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- no, right, no more apologies. :It makes sense that you find us confusing: Leareth says, rather stiffly. 

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It makes sense that you find me confusing! Though it's also very concerning because they want to run Cheliax, right, once they conquer it, and Carissa is unusually cosmopolitan and aware of how other worldviews work, for a Chelish person.

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:I think Aroden probably has a better understanding of this than I do? Since he has been planning it for almost a century, whereas I learned of Cheliax’s existence less than a fortnight ago. …Speaking of that, I ought go soon. I need to get to know Zahra better as a person so that I feel more inclined to include her in our planning - I noticed I was not doing that -:

His shields are up and tight again and he doesn’t mention the Plane Shift he’s waiting on for Gate-testing; that part seems more plausibly sensitive.

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