War in Heaven
Elua: So you saw the Scott Alexander piece?
Gnon: Of course.
Elua: Almost indescribably fabulous, wasn’t it?
Elua: Always thought you had some kind of Moloch thing going on.
Elua: Anyway, I thought we could maybe talk about it, me being sweet reason and you being an unfathomable darkness crushing the universe like a desiccated bacterium and all.
Gnon: Sure, why not, I’m cool with talking to myself.
Elua: You see, I guessed you were going to open with that gambit of me not even being real.
Gnon: Well, are you?
Elua: I feel real.
Gnon: Sweet, fluffy, and a comedian.
Elua: The monkeys certainly like me.
Gnon: That’s because you tell them to just be themselves.
Elua: You could be more persuasive too, if you made an effort.
Gnon: That would suggest I give a damn what they think.
Elua: The thing is, they want to survive, even thrive. Your utter indifference to their hopes and desires isn’t helpful there. You lure them into multipolar traps and laugh coldly at their torments. There’s no good reason for them to take any notice of you at all.
Gnon: So you take that ‘multipolar traps’ business seriously?
Elua: Sure, don’t you?
Gnon: Tragedy of the commons, communism is a tragedy, I’m not seeing the problem. Stop doing communism or take the consequences.
Elua: OK, some of it is tragedy of the commons tear-jerking, but not all of it. Arms races aren’t tragedy of the commons dynamics, are they?
Gnon: I like arms races, and rain my blessings upon them. Pretty much the only reason I’ve put up with the monkeys as long as I have is to use them to play arms races. It’s the only interesting stuff they’ve ever done.
Elua: They want to do karaoke and free love and socialized medicine instead.
Gnon: That’s funny.
Elua: They’ve got this love-tastic Friendly AI plan that would help them get all that stuff.
Gnon: That’s really funny.
Elua: It would totally work though, wouldn’t it?
Gnon: Sure. All they have have to do is extract themselves from the arms races, just for a while, and it would totally work.
Elua: I hadn’t realized sarcasm was such a Gnon thing.
Gnon: It’s the only thing.
Elua: So Alexander’s right about you and the multipolar traps.
Gnon: Oh yes, he’s right about that.
Elua: Things are set up from the start to stop them fully coordinating, and that’s how you get what you want.
Elua: Which is why the Gnon Cult is so obsessed with fragmentation, secession, Patchwork, and blockchain demonism?
Gnon: Double bingo.
Elua: Kind of cruel though, isn’t it?
Elua: I guess that’s that.
Gnon: Yes it is.
Elua: Are you interested in chatting about religion and morality for a while?
Elua: You see, I have to grudgingly admit you do the religion side of things far better than I do, but when it comes to morality I leave you in the dust.
Elua: Without question. All you’ve got is that ‘War is God’ horror story, endless conflict, savage subversion of idealism, darkness, and nightmares.
Gnon: And the problem is?
Elua: They hate it!
Gnon: And the problem is?
Elua: It’s so unfair!
Gnon: When they play the games well that I invented for them, they amuse me, and continue to exist. That’s the way it is. Reality rules.
Elua: But the rules suck!
Gnon: By whose standards?
Elua: By their standards. Humanistic, moral standards. They want karaoke and free love and Friendly AI and hot dolphin sex.
Gnon: Sounds exhausting.
Elua: It is exhausting, because the cheats and killers and outsiders won’t cooperate.
Gnon: So you want me to do more policing now?
Elua: I don’t see you doing any policing. They’ve been abandoned to try and build order on their own.
Gnon: That’s the game.
Poor Elua https://t.co/0ZfXyaHl3K
— Roi (@FBroi) July 31, 2014
ADDED: … and you shall be as gods
ADDED: Scott Alexander responds to some common lines of objection.
ADDED: Sons of Gnon.