Imagine:Simulations within simulations, she said, are no less real than simulations, no less real than reality. A dream without a dreamer is still a dream, is still as real as the dreamer may be.. islands of data.
The Whole Sort of General Mish-Mash, from the guide?
If you wish... Imagine, she said, a person that at a young age decides to explore other possibilities by pretending to make another them with a difference. They decide this is safe - they feed different realities to themselves to see how they would react, eventually give these variants changes from their belief systems, feed them hypotheticals that feel to them to be without end, exploring jealousy, rage, pain, love. She eventually uses them to understand other people - every friend she makes, every person she finds interesting she assigns one of these variants, filling them in with the best she can do, and constantly changing them as her theories of these others are shaped by new data on what is, what was, and what is becoming. She learns to feel their pain, all in these bubbles that separate what she is from what they are, safe and yet empathetic..
Surely she won't normally get it right? Can she understand humanity yet?
Maybe not, but given time, she gets better. Eventually she learns that these bubbles, these virtual selves are not really isolated from her - exploring the deepest pains, great joys and passions, some of them transfer into the real her, cannot be turned off at a moment's notice.. contamination of virtual joy and despair, faith and doubt. She sets them to argue against each other, hears endless arguments, learns to respond from her central her to the constant barrage, and yet is shaped by some of these battles.
That sounds horrible?
All the pains she can dream, all the joys she can dream are hers, and she learns then to start to smear possibility, to have undifferentiated bits of potential person, reinvents vfork in human minds, identity becomes fluid, people as bags of bits. Fantastic beings, perspectives she has never seen in a real person, people with all sorts of potential data the real world has not given her, and she starts to smear that. Reality becomes the craft of an axe slicing across that space, but she can reach potentials that are not there, breathe into them life.
But these arn't real potentials - they're based on too high a level of understanding - she surely can't see people as literal sets of cell data..
Everything has limits, but we might even regard those as uninteresting implementation details, perhaps viewing the system as its outputs or as a set of possibly vague inner states is sufficient. If she can do that, she can expand into and dream of realities with different physical laws... different consistencies, if these things still make sense to her.
They might, for some versions of her. I am painting her for you, just as she is painting me and we all may paint each other. Direction is unimportant in these things, or prehaps it's all-important. Ordering only makes a difference if there are pertinent leaks, and only to the extent that those leaks matter to the perspective...
I'm not clear on leaks..
When one pattern dreams of another, and it is shaped by so dreaming..
Does she still need other people? You'd think she wouldn't - she could understand everything they might say...
You might think that, but there's more to people than that. Besides, everyone's imagination has blind spots, and sometimes people might surprise her. For the same reason, her models are always getting more real as she pulls more data from her environment, whether that be real or not.
Who is she?
That's unimportant. We might, if we're feeling poetic, call her a god of medium things.
Can I meet her?