People are trying to alter our reality with algorithmic magic

Originally published at: People are trying to alter our reality with algorithmic magic | Boing Boing



Here’s my counter sigil:



This seems ripe for a Laundry Files reference…


This kind of thing invites a certain response (and will get it, from this crowd), but one might point out that it’s more fun to indulge the idea than to just state its banally obvious flaws. (Albeit with the proviso that that’s how we get Brexit or QAnon)

As for creating “sigils” by removing the vowels from something, well, what are Grindr or Tumblr but symbols someone created in order to gain wealth and fame through their repetition?

This reminds me of the interesting thing I learned about Tibetan prayer wheels, which is that it’s not considered necessary for them to be turned by a human devotee, so there are a bunch of prayer wheels out there which are set up to be turned by flowing water or an electric motor, and just sit there quietly doing spiritual work where no one can see them.


Spiritual BitCoin mining?


So, techno-mages, mmmm? Scary people, best not mess.

(I remember GM going on about that stuff when DC was publishing The Invisibles, now that was a fantastic series which I heartily recommend).


I would submit that taking the time to devise and render a sigil by hand would result in a sigil that carries more resonance and power than one generated by an algorithm. In other words, the act of creating the sigil is kind of the point. Perhaps this illustrates that there is there is a point of diminishing returns in our technology-centric appreciation of the ‘virtue’ of laziness. But then again, I never understood Tibetan prayer wheels.


If people believe that this universe is a computer simulation, then wouldn’t it open the door for any of this sort of thing? Software has back doors, admin privileges, exploits. Hacks that worked in the past might not work anymore if they were patched.

Sure, the banality of the idea would leave Alistair Crowley screaming in rage and spinning in his grave, but games have cheat codes. It tickles me to no ends to think of him awaking in the afterlife to find that a bunch of non-magical nerds rule, and everyone is just ordinary folks with really nice computers and nothing he believed was ever real.

I don’t have a horse in either race, both ideas are a bunch of hooey to me, but still. In for a penny, in for a pound ( of :poop: ).


Proof of SNYK

infinity GIF by Laurène Boglio


In before the references to Roku’s Basilisk, Snow Crash, and the Laundry Files.


And you can fit more prayers on those wheels if you use microfilm:

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Wishful thinking crap is still just crap.


I mean, I don’t believe any of this stuff, but it looks pretty harmless and cheap to do, so if that’s your hobby then sure. I’d be worried about fostering a pseudo-scientific or magical thinking mindset (my problems can be solved if I want it hard enough or do the ritual exactly right), but go for it.

Since you’re in there, I’ve got a spell for you to cast. Give me a completely GPL-compatible Free Sorcery/Open Sorcery spell that creates a single point of visible light, floating in mid-air, for a few seconds. Doesn’t have to be more than a single LED or candle flame could put out, but it needs to be A) not connected to any surface (ie. no stage-magic bullshit), B) doable anywhere, in a lit room, regardless of the belief levels of the practitioners or observers, and C) recordable by both camera and light meter.

That should be the easiest spell in the world to cast. Do that, and you’ll change the world. Or you could continue to call happenstance and coincidence “magic”. I know which one I’d prefer.


But the wizards at UU figured out if they could get Hex to spell a million times a second, they could accomplish that which would take the lives of dozens of undergraduates to achieve!

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Roko’s Basilisk. God forbid there’d be six of them.

That’s a good point — intention is such a crucial part in creating and casting these sigils that an algorithmic shortcut would probably be self-defeating.

Now I’m thinking about the time that Grant Morrison cast a sigil to boost the sales on THE INVISIBLES by encouraging readers to masturbate to the same issue at the same time, focusing their sexual energies on the sigil,


One of my favorite Fredric Brown stories, Armageddon, is based on this idea - more specifically, what happens when the wheel stops turning.

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