2020-09-09: Virtual Musings Download

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Virtual Musings Download
A VA and a Hermetic's Student Discuss Metaphysics
IC Date September 9th, 2020
IC Time Early Evening
Players Evie and Vic
Location Basement of Prospect Roasters
Spheres Traditions

Its early evening, a few hours before sunset, and the Virtual Adept called Vic is sitting in the library sub-room of the basement of Prospect Roasters at a table. Her bag is on the floor beside the chair she sits in while her laptop, a few books and her smartphone are laid out in front of her - computer central, books to the left and right, open on the left and stacked on the right with her smartphone leaning against the stack. She alternates reading information from the book laying open flat on the table and typing on the keyboard beside it.


One tired college student comes trudging down the stairs, coffee in hand. Evie is visibly done with this semester. Or at the very least, today. Coffee goes on table, backpack comes off back and next to table, butt goes into couch. Eyes rove over to Vic and her computer stuff. "Ugh. Hey. Hope you're having a better day than I am."


Looking up from her research as she's addressed, Vic smiles and nods. "Sure am," she replies, "Got a scrap webcam I can either repair or scavenge for parts, I began the process to unlock the Mind sphere and came to better understand hermetic teachings." She then says, "I have to apologize, you introduced yourself Friday at the meeting but I can't recall your name," and then she asks, "Also, is there anything I can help you with?"


Evie leans her head upward slightly to half-heartedly look toward Vic. "Evie Adams. Maybe you can help me actually." She's half-focused and half-wanting to sleep, but wrestling to make the focused half bigger. "I've been trying to figure out Hermetic teachings for a while now, been training under Bobbi, but her symbology is just... it feels arbitrary and silly. Like, sure, there's some underlying themes I can see, and occasionally understand for like, a few seconds, but then *poof* and I'm sleeping again. But computers use symbology too, right? I was wondering how one might make use of that. Or... I guess a better question is, how can computers be used to work magick?"


Vic leans forward and nods to encourage Evie when it is obvious that she is wrestling with her focus. Then, without warning, she flops backward in the chair shaking... and bursts out laughing for a moment. This is before the silly comment and likely contributed to the pause before that comment anyway. She quickly collects herself and is quietly laughing while gesturing encouragement for Evie to continue.

After Evie finishes and has asked her questions Vic takes about a minute to fully collect herself and says, "Bobbi's... symbology... confused you..." gasping for breath at first due to the unintended physical effort of the laughing. "Yeah... um... I can help you with this, tell me where you are coming from however first please?"

While waiting for Evie's answer, Vic hums the tune of Hotel California to herself to provide herself access to her personal foci for the Prime Sphere. She crafts an effect that creates a glowing overlay in her field of vision displaying Evie's Avatar's status (Dormant, Semi-Awake or Awake and rough strength in her applicable arts without any specifics).


Evie is now in full focus - if a bit miffed from Vic's sudden outburst of laughter. "Okay, if you must know, I am only just learning how to do any magic at all. I don't have any of these 'hedge' talents you're talking about. So if you could maybe not laugh at the newbie here?" She makes it a point to confirm that Vic has, in fact, stopped her unwarranted laughter before elaborating.

Right. Where I am 'coming from'. So far, Bobbi's pithy quotes haven't done much. All is Mind, As Above So Below, can't say I actually agree. There's physical," she pats the table in front of her, "mental," she taps two fingers to her temple, "and then spiritual. Which is the elusive piece of the triad, though the piece most amenable to magick. Also, turns out both Eastern and Western dualism are flawed. See, triad. But from there? I am stumped."

Vic's overlay must be a bit glitchy. At first it just reads "dormant". But after a short bit? It flickers momentarily from "dormant" to "fully awake" then back to "dormant". Several times. Capability fluctuates between "nothing at all" to anywhere from "decent" to "amazing" without showing any tendency toward one particular strength. It would seem Evie's claim of brief glimpses of some Truth is highly accurate, as is her claim of not having any magickal experience yet.


"Oh my Evie, I'm so sorry," Vic says, still grinning from the laughter. "I came here from a lesson with Bobbi myself and as far as I can tell we both had epiphanies during the discussion... I did at the very least... and the irony of your statement caused me to bust my gut."

Vic looks contrite and says, "How about I share with you the analogy Bobbi gave me for her normal point of view... which you were just quoting... when she translated it into Simulation Theory. Quite possibly by accident at first."


"Sure, fine." Evie still sounds rather upset, keeping her responses short and curt. "What's this analogy?"

Bloop. If Vic is still watching her visor, it's now reading someone who's dead-fucking-Asleep. It's like her mind just up and slammed shut right there. Sure, it's blipping occasionally, but it's practically a flatline for the moment.


"So, imagine a computer powerful enough to simulate reality. Each of the Spheres would be software that runs on that computer and everything in reality is the result of the confluence of those programs," Vic starts slowly, feeling out her own understanding of what Bobbi explained earlier in the day and re-working it to better fit her own Paradigm. "So... this means everything is information, just part of the simulation. Even the minds of the people and things which could then, potentially, create a simulated reality nested within the first." She pauses and says, "Willworkers like myself could perceive the code and information behind what everyone precieves to be reality and by manipulating that information they do what is considered magic. That's how I see magic. The nested simulations is how Bobbi got me to be able to comprehend the as above and so below stuff with the Tree of Life she was trying to use for me also. I don't blame you for being confused if you're not a hermetic magic kind of girl like she is."


Evie blinks. "You sure each Sphere is just software? Pretty sure that makes Prime just the electrical current, or maybe the BIOS. Which I suppose is technically software too. Then... mmm. Maybe I'm trying to run with that too far too quick." She wracks her brain to try to think, then gives up on pure thought. "Ugh. Hang on." She opens up her backpack, pulls out a couple books, and seems to realize something. "OH MY GOSH. Hang on hang on hang on hang on. How about a network of computers? There's multiple layers connecting reality with itself, there's multiple layers in this ISO model of networking. It's not a one-to-one match, but it's something, and it makes things a LOT easier to path out for me. And then -- okay, you're talking about virtual machines there, with the nesting. With that, it's intentionally difficult to climb up the ladder of simulations."

She takes a moment to catch her breath after that, taking a look at another book of hers... and scowling at it. "And then there's this book. I can't believe I'm even entertaining this, but whatever." She tosses a book on automata theory onto the table. "Broke my brain trying to understand that at first, and it's an absolutely banal way of looking at the universe, but the symbology in there? Absurdly easy to manipulate."


Vic smiles. By now she has dropped the Prime effect but she also doesn't need to have Mind telling her that something opened up in the other young woman's mind. "Basically, its not an invalid way to view the world at the very least," she says and then admonishes, "But don't go around telling people you think you're in a simulation. Its a good way to end up in a bright white, padded room on a chemical cocktail meant to adjust your behavior."


Evie rolls her eyes at Vic's warning. "Seriously? Wait.... seriously?!" The eye roll is now an actual stare-down. "You do realize we are on an incredibly liberal campus right now, yes? The philosophy department here is largely focused on just what kind of simulation we're in, and even students without any interest in the topic are always 'what if this is the Matrix?'" But then she relents. "I do get what you're going for. Easy on the metaphysics, yeah? Not real common off-campus."


Vic frowns at first then has her own surprised reaction. "Wait, do you mean that the government doesn't have crackdowns on things like that?" she asks incredulously. She shakes her head and asks, "I mean, really?" She doesn't wait for an answer, instead she simply says, "Wow, okay, that's another difference I've gotta keep track of... that one's not so bad though. Almost like finding out that faeries still exist here."


Evie might as well trademark her staredown; she's resorting to it literally every time Vic opens her mouth. "I'm sorry, differences? Have you been in front of that computer your entire life?" At first accusatory, she reins herself in and tries to present herself as more understanding. "I mean. Yeah, government doesn't put you away just for spouting lunacy. It's pretty nice." When Vic mentions faeries, her eyes absolutely LIGHT UP and she is about to blurt out a thing, but visibly restrains herself and says simply, "Fae here don't like being known about. Some self-preservation thing, I guess?"


"Sure have," Vic says about being in front of a computer her entire life, "But only a few weeks in this world." Then, regarding faeries, she says, "Of course they do. Where I'm from they're extinct." She states this as if it is fact even though in truth she can't be sure and never will be able to now... and her expression fades into one that almost literally makes that statement outright.


Evie instinctively reaches out to hug Vic as soon as she notes the change in expression. "Oh wow... I didn't know. I'm sorry." She doesn't really explain whether or not she gets what Vic is going on about, but Evie's in comfort mode anyway. "I guess you liked the fae? You might have trouble finding any here, but I can personally confirm at least one exists and is alive. Almost certainly more."


"Liked them? I loved stories about them as a kid. But like I said, they are all extinct where I'm from," Vic says accepting the comforting hug with a welcoming but somewhat sad smile.