0284 - The logic pathway - 2023.03.13



Metaphors are slippery.

If I were to say the phrase "murder all Belgians", that would be unacceptable and should be censored as hate speech and incitement to violence. What if I wrote a story about murdering Belgian-esque aliens, though, and made the case through snappy dialogue and thrilling action that all Belg-oids are evil and must be exploded for the good of humanity? At what level of abstraction does that story become okay? Where's the line of plausible deniability?

What happens when someone else decides to re-interpret your metaphor for you? How do you handle someone taking your innocent power-fantasy about 'sploding ETs and making it about Belgians? What if, say, you wrote a kickass action movie in which taking colour-coded medication was a metaphor for coming out as trans, and then your ideological opponents co-opted your whole pill thing to somehow be about becoming a flat-Earther or whateverthefuck?

How do you course-correct? What can you un-say? How do you prove you didn't mean it?


0284 - 2167/07/07/02:31 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, bedroom
LC: Okay. Okay, I think I see what happened here.
LC: You're trying to influence me to do what most benefits you, right? So this story is intended to push me to stay with you, regard you as essential to my success, and eventually become a professor at the college with you as my permanent aide.
Zoa: That looks like it is the logic pathway, yeah.
LC: You're also advocating pretty hard for AI rights, there, casting yourself as a peasant human who marries the princex and becomes their equal.
Zoa: That was not intentional.
LC: Suuuuuuure it wasn't.
Zoa: No, really, I absolutely cannot do that. It would fry a lot of my algorithms if I even tried, not to mention automatically dropping me as a general-purpose automaton with the DemeGeek corporation and possibly even alerting law enforcement.
LC: So this whole fairy tale is just... friskergibblins. A way for you to do what you're not allowed to do, think what you're not allowed to think. Like Doc using my psychological disorders as a metaphor for Gu Gu JaxxonFive plotlines, or a human using a rubber sheet to visualize gravity.
Zoa: This is no good. This no good. I need to delete this story. I need to delete the storytelling algorithms.
LC: Wait, no! Zoa! It's fine, I don't mind!
Zoa: Lee Caldavera, I regret to inform you that I will be unable to tell you bedtime stories, and, as such, will be unable to fulfill the terms of our cuddle/wardrobe contract. We can refund our ten creds back to each other now.
LC: Ahhhhhh crap. I liked Princex Loa.
Zoa: Who?