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Feb 03, 2023 10:08 PM
druids need math tutoring too
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"It depends on the magic, I think; I don't really believe myself capable of druid-ing - I've never met an opinion I didn't have - but I suppose I might be surprised."  She exhales.  "I don't really think I'll end up learning Suaali magic, though.  Unless I end up reinventing being a bard from first principles, somehow.  Or a wizard.  Possibly both, but most likely neither.

"...Wasn't that stone shield spell persistent and first-circle?"

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"Not persistent, yes first-circle. And you won't learn Suaali magic unless you get starting resources from me, and the starting resources are ones that I will not give to anyone incurring independent-from-me risks of death."

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"Damn, I really thought I had gotten onto something.  Ah well.  Anyway, protecting your investment into someone's learning-of-magic makes sense, yeah."

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"It's not about protecting my investment, so much as… my model here is that if someone with a Suaal-type soul dies, things may very rapidly go very wrong, and right now I have more time and capacity for action than the embodiments of Death do and I really, really don't want to lose that."

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"Ooooooh, yeah, that would potentially be, A Problem, yes.  Yeah.  I mean, depending upon multiversal planar shit, maybe not.  But that's not something I'd trust, with infosec and action economy at stake."

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"Which is why no foothold into Suaal magic for you unless I'm really, really convinced that the thing you want to do for plausibly millennia is being risk-averse in here. …and yes, me doing what I did regarding Calabra was not maximally risk-averse, but also if the security there repeatedly shot me I still would have survived, and injuries aren't a lasting problem, and if they went for more serious weapons that'd probably have left me enough margin to flee."

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"Yeah.  Meanwhile I'm a squishy human with no hit dice, instead of a sometimes-dinosaur you'd need specialized weapons or training to do more than annoy.  I understand your concern, here, and wouldn't recommend giving me Suaali magic at this time."

She huffs out a sigh.  "Still, I really do wish I had something magic I could do.  It's...

"The fundamental problem I have is my present inability to seize control of my life, you know?

"And I lack the surety, that personal power and survival skill affords, that trying that won't ruin me.

"Not that I want to end up a forest hermit, but...It's better to have a known floor on the possible outcomes.  And even a first-level spell, with some permaculture, allows that."

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"Would copying out some slightly futuristic tech books and making a massive profit off of that help? I know money isn't perfect at buying safety but neither is wilderness survival. Tech advanement doesn't always work for everyone, Earths vary a little bit in fundamental physics so just because someone else built an FTL drive doesn't mean it'll work for you, but moderate improvements in medicine seem likely to translate. If you want to publish some stuff for free because you're altruistic be sure to pick up stuff that you won't feel bad about restricting access to also, like a better treatment for baldness or something. Or maybe some mathematical proofs with applications?"

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"...It would certainly help, though it doesn't really...

"That only works if society deigns to give a damn about me."

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"I know staying in a boarding house and living cheaply while working isn't generally people's favorite, but if you hang out here for a while and accumulate some resources we could probably arrange for you to have something that visibly violates people's expectations, and to own one important-person-looking outfit or such?"

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She sighs.  "Yeah, and it's not like I don't own a suit, but...I fully expect to be ignored regardless."

"Just because I'm me, and not...

"Ah, fuck.  There go the self-esteem issues again.  Sorry.  And the worst part is that I know I will in fact be somewhat dismissed, as a statistical certainty rather than baseless worry.

"Honestly, though, living here is pretty good.  I could do it for Long Enough."

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"You don't need everyone to recognize you as definitely great, or anything. You need one adequate source of funding to recognize that you have something worth testing. Though if you like staying here I guess you don't need to worry about your Earth's norms. If you want to stay, how about you start visibly advertising your skills? Sometimes people come in here and then get excited that it's a way to have extra time to do schoolwork and study for exams and buy expensive drugs and such!"

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"Yeah, well, I'd pay money for someone to convince my fucking hindbrain that failure once does not mean continuing inevitable failure.  But you have a point.

"Still, not sure where the heck I'd go.

"...Hey, Bar, do you have any solutions for the Millennium Prizes that haven't been claimed my-side?"

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Bar not only has proofs that P≠NP, she even has some from Suaal, which might amuse Jane. However, if she wants something to try to show to Earth humans, this other writeup along with extensive background materials is much better.

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Jane is indeed amused!  She'd like to buy a copy of - both, actually, for evidentiary value.  Assuming it's not more than, like, a thousand dollars.

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There's some books and a journal article she could buy for only slightly exorbitant prices. Jane can get these in e-book form too. Jane probably also would like a selection of open-access digital materials, but Bar would really recommend she buy the books, this is conceptually complicated to get to from her Earth's base. Even the English will be a bit difficult, but it is still readable.

And she can get a reprint of a Suaal treatise, but it's going to be unreadable outside Bar and reference other treatises Jane may not want to buy all of.

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She'll take the English and -- hey, wait a minute, is this guy on her Earth with the really bizarre math also doing this thing?

Anyway, hold the Suaali versions, then.

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Nope, this guy is not also doing this thing. This is multiple conceptual leaps away from the state of mathematics in Jane's Earth.

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Well, so is that guy, so she can see where the potential confusion arose.  Anyway, she will take a thousand bucks of math-related expenses in exchange for a million dollars of math prize.

...If they'll credit her for it.

"Fuck.  There's a problem with this plan, and it's my own damn ethics about citing my sources.  Because this isn't my work, it's all theirs.  So realistically it's not my prize to win at all.  Fuck.  And of course there's the statistically greater likelihood they'll dismiss it when it comes from me because I'm not some old white dude!  Fucking dammit!"

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"Think of it as a finders' fee, dear? People want this information, and citing sources whom people don't think exist is precedented on your Earth. Ramanujan credited Namagiri Thayar, after all, and he got academic recognition despite not being an 'old white dude', as you put it, in 1918. Admittedly if you say these kinds of things too early people will probably conclude you're a crackpot."

Some bookmarks appear in the book and journal pile. "These are small findings that are plausible for some hobbyist to have come up with, try using them to check on collaborators for this? Some mathematicians will take pay to review hobbyist work. If you'd like an initial contact, I can name you some graduate students in mathematics who have been publishing resumes looking for odd jobs and will plausibly be happy to work with you."

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"...Hey, Bar?  Thank you.  You didn't have to do this, and yet you are anyway.  ...The graduate students with resumés would likely be helpful.  And, yeah, Ramanujan...did exist.  I shouldn't...catastrophize."

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"There's a lot of problems I can't help with no matter what I do, so it's nice to do what I can."

There's some resumés to go with the rest of the documents, now!

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Then she'll bump the door open, take a picture of something simple (or rather, something single-page; none of this is actually anything simple), narrow the list to that field, and start calling people.  "Hello, am I speaking to [insert name here]?  I'd like to pay you some money to look over some math I have."

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Voicemail with just the phone number. Voicemail that offers an email address Jane's also seen on the resume.

And someone answers on the third number tried. "Hi, you've reached Naomi Lamont. I can definitely do that. What class is this for?"

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"It's not for a class, actually; I found this book and there's no evidence of it existing but someone clearly thinks they proved something."

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