“There must have been a moment, at the beginning, where we could have said -- no. But somehow we missed it.”
- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
"Oh, until now I wasn't even aware that this was part of a Keltham seduction plot. I only directly read your mind three times, to do more didn't seem sporting. It's up to you, really, unless someone else wants to step in."
"There is a Keltham seduction plot and Abrogail promised him that if he returned to us worthy then all he cared for would remain for him. But I was not commanded, by greater-Carissa, to purchase those souls specifically, and I was commanded to ask for 2 headbands and 30 Wishes." And in many worlds where greater-Carissa did want Asmodia and Peranza, it's because greater-Carissa is a traitor.
"So I will not sell myself for a lesser price, nor save Asmodia and Peranza from destruction; I have no orders to do so." That's what I mean, when I say I can choose which of my muddled bits I am.
"Good job being loyal to Asmodeus! You should take the lower offer and get Peranza and Asmodia, though."
"I was wondering when and whether you'd intervene, unwelcome guest. Surely, I thought, you would not have imagined that you could have escaped My notice."
"And pick yourself up from My floor and stop groveling, Pilar Pineda. I know that it was not you who chose to come into My domain uninvited. If I destroy anyone for it, it'll be your little parasite. Now let it speak."
"I'm here to make a deal with you too, Mister Dispater! I'm just as much a guest looking to negotiate here as anybody! Sorry about barging in without an appointment, but it'd have been pretty hard for me to get one. We can do our deal as soon as Carissa Sevar is done with hers!"
"You may speak with this thing, Carissa Sevar. I ordinarily don't take kindly to others interrupting My deals, but I am fascinated by what this entity might have to say to you about yours."
"I have my orders," Carissa says flatly to Snack Service. "My duty here is not to optimize for Asmodeus's interests, but to obey his commands. Don't tell me that some absurd thing serves Cayden Cailean and Asmodeus both; I don't care."
"Snack Service doesn't see why taking either of those two options would be disobeying Asmodeus's commands, though! You're selling your soul and going to Him either way! And yes, you taking the lower offer from Dispater instead serves Asmodeus's interests, and Cayden Cailean's interests, and is better for the plotting Carissa Sevar's real plot, though even she didn't grasp the whole story and didn't correctly value any of the things being traded around here. Sometimes you just find one of those win-win-win deals!"
"Does the plotting Carissa Sevar's real plot serve Asmodeus."
"You should know I'm not going to answer that! It wouldn't serve Cayden Cailean if I got into the habit of going around answering questions about who or what really serves Asmodeus! I just step in sometimes and say that something serves Asmodeus when that thing also serves Cayden Cailean."
She hopes Dispater does kill the thing. "Well, it's too bad for the plotting-Carissa that She failed to specify in her orders to me how I should trade off among various things She might want, and merely ordered me to sell my soul for 30 Wishes and two headbands; but She did so order me, so I'm going to do that now."
"Plotting Carissa isn't to you like Asmodeus is to a mortal! She didn't just have a limited channel to communicate with you, she had to think really quickly inside the 10-minute timeframe about what things she should communicate to you. Her exact words definitely can't hold up that much exact weight. For one thing, she forgot to ask for permanent Arcane Sight and permanent Tongues, which she'd definitely have included if she remembered."
"And you're not thinking at all about which timeline you're already in, here."
Keltham would say you're not supposed to do that, when you're thinking at all about maddening things like prophetic trades.
....but once Snack Service says that it's in fact obvious.
Asmodia went to Hell and came back stronger, happier, more useful to the Project. Then she - apparently committed suicide or was murdered - though murder looks so unlikely - Aspexia tried to Resurrect her and the Resurrection failed -
- it's what she'd do if she'd been in the Gardens, thought she'd go back to them, did not fear suffering as much as possible forever -
- it's the mysterious something that Carissa knew was there, though she couldn't get any details -
One take is that since Asmodia is in the Gardens, Dispater is being misleading in suggesting that this could be brought about by Carissa's choice. But who else would have had the power to purchase that, or the reason?
Another is that since Asmodia is in the Gardens, Carissa faced this choice and chose the world in which Asmodia is in the Gardens, and the Carissa who refuses that choice is inside a strange inconsistent hypothetical in Erecura's mind that will soon be terminated.
Look, you can't just choose things because somebody told you that you already chose them! If you act like that, you'll just end up in timelines where Omega Dispater shows you that you already decided to sell him your soul for 5gp! You've got to ignore what's "already happened" and put that completely out of your mind at the point where you decide which decision-type or strategy-type has the best logical consequences!
She and Keltham did discuss this at one point, but she's -
- not sure if it relies on the one bit of his logic she actually disagreed with, rather than just not grasping it, the one where he thought that it was better, for worlds not to exist that went very badly for you, as opposed to how she's pretty sure it is at all times obviously better to exist than not exist. A Carissa who sells her soul to Dispater for 5gp is worse off than most other Carissae, maybe, but she's still much better off for having been born in the first place!!!! It doesn't seem fair to her, to ask her to sacrifice that for the bargaining position of other Carissae -
- is that what you'd be doing -
- she's hopelessly confused by now, which is what usually also happened when she got Keltham to talk anthropics to her in bed.
- If you're going to make the mistake of paying attention to the evidence, at least use all of it. That you're aware and experiencing yourself means you're not actually in a hypothetical and can't derealize yourself by choosing a different strategy than your observations imply. You should just go ahead and choose whatever logical decision-type maximizes the expected utility of the universe, even if that contradicts the premise of the universe you've already observed yourself to be inside it, without worrying about destroying it, because that's impossible, you're already here. If reality ends up mathematically inconsistent, that's an Otolmens problem, not a you problem.
- If Erecura does spawn whole hypotheticals real as the one you're apparently in, in order to predict what you'd do in this situation, all of those Carissas die anyways when their hypotheticals end inside Erecura, and can't save themselves by appearing to cooperate with whatever reality they find themselves inside. If you were actually going to optimize over that as a desideratum, you should choose updatelessly (without looking at the evidence of what's already happened) whichever strategy minimizes the number of hypotheticals Erecura runs.
- whichever strategy maximizes the number of hypotheticals Erecura runs, since then you get to exist more.
- Reply 1: That sounds like imposing thinking costs on Erecura based on how you expect Her to behave. It may not seem like an ordinary 'threat', but it's a case where Erecura could just be a sort of an agent who doesn't act that way and then you'd have no motive to impose those costs on Her. In particular, She could refuse to pay those thinking costs and just not trade with you.
- Reply 2: If Erecura goes along with it, maybe because She thinks it's fun to think about, then you don't get to complain when all those hypothetical-inhabiting Carissas stop existing there, and possibly end up in a different hypothetical instead. You had a chance to have that retroactively not happen to lots of you, and instead you deliberately chose to create the greatest possible number of hypothetical-inhabiting Carissas who'd suddenly cease to exist when the thought experiment they were inside ended.
- obviously you don't get to complain if your creator makes you stop existing! It's your job to be valuable enough to them that they don't!
.....this is not the priority for her to figure out right now for the urgent negotiation before her.
Correct, none of this adds up to affecting negotiations in any way. It just works out to the obvious fact that you should ignore which universe you're already inside and decide from scratch which universe you want to be inside.
She wants Peranza and Asmodia to be all right.
But she shouldn't.