How Dead Are The Neverborn?

There's this thing where the models people have of themselves are always flawed, because we can't *fit* as much information about ourselves in our brain as we can fit self.

That is, if I have 1,000,000 microbrains worth of storage in my head, and assuming that I use at least one or two of those for, you know, me, there are less than 1,000,000 microbrains available for a model of me.

One of the philosophical issues I have with death is that it's the experience of no longer having experiences. It's not clear that the idea is coherent.

But one of the things that death seems to do and be, in Exalted, is a division that cuts the references- the data pointers all a'pointing to the self, the thing-looking-outwards and the name and the internal model of the self and such- from the actuality.

It struck me a while back while thinking about Oblivion implementation that the big issue the Neverborn might have is that it's possible that the references the Primordials have are actually larger than their actual self—-that the data in the name, the thing-looking-outwards, the model, all the things that the ghosts have, is actually more information than the whole, or, perhaps, exactly as much.

And what I think Oblivion might be, in that sense, is that first you lose your life, leaving only the references.

No more alive. Just, the things that looked at life. The thing that you have that is aware that you are dead. The name that is the indicator of something lost. The model of the self, that updates to indicate that that self is dead.

And for a person, for a normal person, that's smaller. Less data. Less than 1,000,000 microselves. Maybe 300,000. Maybe 999,999. But smaller.

And then, because you are in Oblivion, it happens again.

Bit by bit, until there is only 0, and that dereferences endlessly or sinks into the substance of the void and becomes it, or simply stops being math and unravels like a number theory scrawled on paper thrown into a fire.

But the problem that the Neverborn have is that it goes a little differently for them.

First they die. They lose their lives. They have only the part that looks outward and sees that they are dead. They have only the name that is the name of something that is lost. They have only the model of the self, that is updated to indicate the self that it references is departed.

And that is as much data, or more.

They haven't become smaller, more digestible, further on towards dissolving entirely. They've grown. The awareness of their death, the knowledge of their ending, the self that is experiencing the nonexistence of their self, the ghost is larger than the thing.

That would mean, of course, that Oblivion can never be large enough to swallow them. That would mean, of course, that they are mad not because they are dead gods, but because they are dead dead gods. Dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead, dead gods. Dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead, dead dead gods.

And still endlessly unraveling and unfolding into ever greater death, loss, experience of no longer having experiences, being the names of something that are ever further away from living, and still falling, and still somehow stuck.

If they're made of Charms, this is problematic for those who would learn them, because those Charms are dead.

But I think it also indicates, roughly, where one might start if one wanted to make something there that is learnable; that is to say, the sideways Charms constructed from the fluttering descent of endless earlier Charms into nothingness, or perhaps the salvaging of an already dead and lost Charm, the ghost of a Charm, from somewhere along the endless ruins and descent.

The Charms probably can't properly die either. I mean, really, if you go with this theory, there's a bit of turtles all the way down.

As I usually do lately, I include a note that I'm not up to date on the latest setting and game development, so.

Best wishes,


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