drocta

TheoryRestricted

Dec 4th, 2015
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  1. (WARNING: P9TENTIALLY PRETENTIOUS NONSENSE)
  2.  
  3. INTRODUCTION (DISCUSSION BETA):
  4.  
  5. Epistemology: theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.
  6.  
  7. People make theories, predictions, and headcanons about Homestuck.
  8.  
  9. (With the possible exception of headcanons, these are statements (truth propositions?) about what is or is not the case within the story Homestuck.)
  10.  
  11. Assuming that these actually are truth propositions, and that there is a whether or not they are true, it seems that many of them are false.
  12.  
  13. One might want to determine whether a particular theory is likely to be true or not to be true, possibly in addition to whether they like it on other merits.
  14.  
  15. Some methods of making theories are criticized as being (for example) "questionable due to being too heavily grounded on previous unconfirmed theories". This suggests a belief that some methods of making theories are more likely to be correct or incorrect than others.
  16.  
  17. What methods of making theories are likely to result in a higher proportion of accurate theories, and by what method can we evaluate how likely a given theory is?
  18.  
  19. Basically, what beliefs of what is the case in the comic are justified, and how can we tell which ones are?
  20.  
  21. _________________________
  22.  
  23. ACT 1:
  24.  
  25. My ideas about what methods are likely to produce accurate theories are largely based in the idea of author intent.
  26.  
  27. This seems a little bit ironic due to http://mspaintadventures.com/DOTA/ referencing "Death of the Author", but I do not believe that this actually causes a problem. Even if the author (i.e. AH) does intend for this part of the work to indicate that his authorial intent can be ignored, or something like that, does not mean that he does not in fact have an authorial intent. It is clear that he does have an author intent for what things are the case in the story. It is based on this that I think one version of an idea of "what is the case in the story" has a meaning for things which are not shown in the story directly. Basically, there is is a sense in which something is true of events in a story that are true or false based on the author's intent.
  28.  
  29. So, with (at least a certain type of) accuracy being defined in terms of author intent, (and, other types of accuracy dealing with "what is shown in comic" generally being determined by author intent), I believe that considering author intent is probably useful with regards to the goal of trying to make accurate theory/predictions, or evaluating whether a given theory is likely to be correct.
  30.  
  31. With this in mind, I think the following ask and answer is significant (from his tumblr, before he deleted almost all the posts):
  32.  
  33. >"idontdrawcats asked you:
  34.  
  35. >Is Homestuck going to make more sense anytime in the near future? The plot is super cool, i just feel like it’s a friggen puzzle sometimes. Also, will ending be happy, sad, bittersweet, or OH GOD I’VE BEEN CRYING FOR MONTHS AND IT WONT STOP AAAHHH
  36.  
  37. >The thing is, Homestuck is both a story and a puzzle, by design and by definition. If asked to define it, “a story that’s also a puzzle” is as close to true as any answer I’d give.
  38.  
  39. >Should all entertainment be like that? No way. But something should be like that, because something like that should exist. That’s why puzzles exist, because puzzles are cool sometimes, and are challenging. We don’t go up to a jigsaw puzzle and go, “why the fuck is this in so many different PIECES, what kind of IDIOT would break this nice picture into TINY LITTLE BITS?!!” Nor do we want all of our nice pictures broken into bits like that. Some we just want to hang on walls and look at.
  40.  
  41. >But unlike a jigsaw puzzle, there’s much to enjoy without having to solve it. Fun characters and silly moments. But if you turn your brain on, you can engage with the complexity and depth. If you turn it ALL the way on, you can get everything, and solve the puzzle. There is a range of ways to interface with it, from the casual to the maniacal. Failing to grasp everything shouldn’t preclude basic enjoyment, nor is it a symptom of failure by either the reader or the story."
  42.  
  43. From this, I get the idea of Homestuck being /by design/ a puzzle, and so I believe that, as is said in his response, it is meant to be such that parts of it can be solved and figured out, beyond that which is immediately apparent, and that it is made like that intentionally.
  44.  
  45. That is, it is the intent of the author that parts of the story would allow a reader who looks carefully in detail to figure true things out about the story, which would not otherwise be obvious, and these parts of the story are designed according to that intent.
  46.  
  47. _________________________
  48.  
  49. ACT 2:
  50.  
  51. It is generally accepted that it is usually easier to understand someone's intent if they want you to understand it, than if they do not want you to. That is, if they take an action with the motivation that you would understand their intent elsewhere, all else being equal, you are more likely to understand that intent.
  52.  
  53. Based on this, (perhaps unlike some other stories, but perhaps not) , I think that theories based on what AH likely intends to be possible to conclude from what is shown, are likely to be generally more "successful" in terms of how accurate they tend to be.
  54.  
  55. Therefore, when reasoning about how likely theories are to be true, it would make sense to consider what things are intended to be hints or clues, and what it is intended to be derivable from them.
  56.  
  57. _________________________
  58.  
  59. ACT 3:
  60.  
  61. A major way that information about the comic is given to readers is through the dialogue. This brings the topic to exposition. Not all statements made by characters are accurate. When characters say things, it may be that the character was written as being incorrect either as a dead-end for the puzzle-reader, or so that the character's being incorrect would cause plot significant things.
  62.  
  63. However, if a character makes a statement which is false, but which the reader never gets any evidence or argument against it, that would not properly fit with the idea of the story being a puzzle that can be solved. It would be in contradiction with that intent.
  64. So, if there is evidence for a theory in a character stating it, and there is never any evidence against it (including the way that the character said it), then it would not make sense for the theory to be wrong, if there continued to be no evidence against it by the time of the completion of the comic.
  65.  
  66. One effective, and common, way to communicate information to the reader is through exposition. It allows information to be communicated to the reader quickly.
  67.  
  68. Some exposition is "reliable" in that one can be relatively sure that it is intended to communicate true things about the comic to the puzzle-reader, and is not a red-herring.
  69.  
  70. Exposition which is sufficiently reliable is called "reliable exposition".
  71.  
  72. If a character's exposition can be considered to be "reliable exposition" in certain contexts, then in those contexts that character is a "reliable expositor".
  73.  
  74. [this act is currently potentially incomplete. In the meantime, please enjoy the following intermission. ]
  75.  
  76. _________________________
  77.  
  78. INTERMISSION:
  79.  
  80. [ cdi link voice ] What do YOU think? [ / cdi link voice ]
  81.  
  82. >Insert Name
  83.  
  84. <username here> ✓
  85.  
  86. Your username is <username here>, and you have opened a thread about how to reason about what theories are likely to be true in homestuck. There is a box for commenting your thoughts.
  87.  
  88. What will you do/say?
  89.  
  90. [author's note: this section was written when the parts up to this point were being submitted to the homestuck subreddit, such that the intermission was the last part. The intermission was acting as a request for feedback]
  91.  
  92. _________________________
  93.  
  94. ACT 4:
  95.  
  96. How can one tell if a peice of exposition is reliable?
  97.  
  98. Each bit of exposition is either correct or incorrect, or intentionally left ambiguous/unspecified, and this choice is made with an intent.
  99. Either the reader is meant to accept the exposition as true (rightly or wrongly), or they are meant to reject it as false (rightly or wrongly), or possibly be left uncertain about it.
  100.  
  101. There is no point in including exposition which is false, and such that there is not, and will never be, sufficient evidence elsewhere to determine that it is false, or probably false.
  102.  
  103. That is, if some exposition is false, it can either be determined to be false when it is made, or by the time the comic is completed, or possibly through extra-comic word of author.
  104.  
  105. So, generally, if exposition in comic is not suggested to be false yet, and also is unlikely to be shown to be false in the comic later, then it is very likely that the exposition is true.
  106.  
  107. Generally, unless it serves some purpose, no false exposition will be included which has nothing to suggest that it is false, and only significantly later show to be false.
  108.  
  109. So, if exposition is included and nothing at the time suggests that it is false, and there could not be any gain or purpose in revealing it to be false later on, then it will probably not be shown to be false later on, and is therefore probably true.
  110.  
  111. In otherwords, if there would not be any purpose in revealing exposition to be false, and it is not already suggested to be false, then it can be taken to be true.
  112.  
  113. END OF ACT 4.
  114.  
  115. _________________________
  116.  
  117. [Insert recap here maybe ? ]
  118.  
  119. _________________________
  120.  
  121. Act 5
  122.  
  123. Elsewhere in concept space, we examine a more specific topic, almost forgotten by rigor.
  124.  
  125. But we will try to remember. What was this topic's name?
  126.  
  127. VAIREFVBA GURBEL X
  128.  
  129. Oh, haha! Nice one, smartypants, really hilarious.
  130. But lets get real here. No more clowning around.
  131.  
  132. >Try Again.
  133.  
  134. PYNFFCRPG GURBEL ✓
  135.  
  136. That is much better. In fact, as it happens, your guess is precisely correct. What are the odds??
  137.  
  138. We examine the topic CLASSPECT THEORY, or Homestuck Titles, or Mythological Roles. Whichever term you prefer.
  139.  
  140. Somewhere in canon, there is a young cherub expositing on this topic.
  141.  
  142. >titlethought
  143.  
  144. This young cherub cheers on her computer. It just so happens that today in this pesterlog, p=006414, she is
  145.  
  146. [todo]
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