Could a thinkamancer give herself free will?

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Could a thinkamancer give herself free will?

Postby Alexei P » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:04 am

Brainstorming ideas to "break" the world. Target: Natural Thinkamancy.

Suppose Parson instructed Maggie to use her magic in order to lower her own Loyalty stat, with the intent of giving herself free will. I surmise she would then gain the ability to disobey, lie to or conceal truth from her ruler - essentially, become a free agent (though still dependant on upkeep to survive, of course). Assuming the trick is not discovered by Stanley, would the rules allow it? What if you tried to get the Magic Kingdom to elaborate a "cancel Natural Thinkamancy" spell - would that be conceivable?
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Re: Could a thinkamancer give herself free will?

Postby Bobby Archer » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:09 am

Would using a spell to lower her Loyalty give her more free will, or simply instigate an artificial disloyalty, making her more prone to disobeying and double-dealing? Would it just be trading one constraint on free will with another?

There's almost certainly some Thinkamancy spell that lowers Loyalty. They probably use it on enemy troops.

You're also assuming that Natural Thinkamancy is different than Psychology. If you read too deep into some psychological theories, you can start to doubt whether humans really have free will or if they're simply wired toward this or that. If Natural Thinkamancy is simply the concepts that Erfworlders have come up with to explain why some units are true to their leaders and some double-deal, then it isn't a constraint on free will as it's a part of the unit's psychological make-up.

And, if Natural Thinkamancy's actually Natural, then canceling it might just give you a vegetable. And, no, I don't mean a Gump.
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Re: Could a thinkamancer give herself free will?

Postby jioan » Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:57 am

Well first off that would be impossible because Maggie has more loyalty to Stanley than to Parson because he's the leader of the side. She wouldn't actively use a spell to lower her loyalty unless she believed it was in Stanley's best intrests and I doubt there is any way she could convince herself that. (Unless she used thinkamancy on herself but then we get into a paradox of sorts.)
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Re: Could a thinkamancer give herself free will?

Postby raphfrk » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:43 am

jioan wrote:Well first off that would be impossible because Maggie has more loyalty to Stanley than to Parson because he's the leader of the side. She wouldn't actively use a spell to lower her loyalty unless she believed it was in Stanley's best intrests and I doubt there is any way she could convince herself that. (Unless she used thinkamancy on herself but then we get into a paradox of sorts.)


Actually, that shouldn't be to hard. Maggie currently believes that Stanley is giving bad/poor quality orders. Parson could probably convince her that giving herself (and other's) the ability to disobey (and withhold info from) Stanley would actually be to Stanley's long term benefit.

Now, that isn't technically dropping loyalty. It is reducing automatic obedience. The modified units would still want to achieve Stanley's goals.

There was a Greg Egan story (spoiler) where people were modified to be loyal to "the company" and they broke the loyalty trap by redefining "the company" as all the people who were modified to be loyal. Since, they were the ones who had the best interests of "the company" at heart, they would the ones who should decide what the best interests of "the company" were.

Maybe a similar trick could be used by Erfworlders, they could say that their loyalty to their side is higher than the loyalty to the mere Ruler of the side and then proceed to something like democratic rule where the ruler had to be loyal to the side itself.
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Re: Could a thinkamancer give herself free will?

Postby SteveMB » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:12 pm

raphfrk wrote:
jioan wrote:Well first off that would be impossible because Maggie has more loyalty to Stanley than to Parson because he's the leader of the side. She wouldn't actively use a spell to lower her loyalty unless she believed it was in Stanley's best intrests and I doubt there is any way she could convince herself that. (Unless she used thinkamancy on herself but then we get into a paradox of sorts.)


Actually, that shouldn't be to hard. Maggie currently believes that Stanley is giving bad/poor quality orders. Parson could probably convince her that giving herself (and other's) the ability to disobey (and withhold info from) Stanley would actually be to Stanley's long term benefit.

Now, that isn't technically dropping loyalty. It is reducing automatic obedience. The modified units would still want to achieve Stanley's goals.

There was a Greg Egan story (spoiler) where people were modified to be loyal to "the company" and they broke the loyalty trap by redefining "the company" as all the people who were modified to be loyal. Since, they were the ones who had the best interests of "the company" at heart, they would the ones who should decide what the best interests of "the company" were.

Maybe a similar trick could be used by Erfworlders, they could say that their loyalty to their side is higher than the loyalty to the mere Ruler of the side and then proceed to something like democratic rule where the ruler had to be loyal to the side itself.

It also reminds me of the inferred "Zeroth Law Of Robotics" concept Isaac Asimov developed in his later stories (the welfare of humanity as a whole may supersede that of individual humans).
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Re: Could a thinkamancer give herself free will?

Postby Itzal » Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:01 pm

well unless you could convince her that by doing this she would end up helping her Overlord I doubt she would cast it in the first place. However if you recall Wanda was doing effectively that to Jillian so it's possible to get someone outside the faction to do it but as I said anyone inside the faction would have to overcome the natural thinkamancy before they even thought about that which means it's highly unlikely.
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