Benjamin Rosenbaum

Comments on "A flurry of writing announcements!"

I enjoy the story, but I am not quite understand the words "grasper" and "ontotropes". Can you spare some of your valuable time to do some explaination on them? Thank you very much.

Posted by sam at January 27, 2007 03:58 AM

Yay! Congratulations, that's wonderful!

Posted by tacithydra at January 27, 2007 03:05 PM

Hi Sam! Thanks for asking!

"Graspers" are Matthias and Geoffrey's name for the inhabitants of a particular simulated reality that Matthias allowed to "graduate" when they weren't "ready" for it. They were heirarchical and dominance-driven and warlike (like, uh, us), and eventually Matthias had to violate his principles and imprison them back in their simulation, a fact he tried not to think about much. This is of course Matthias and Geoffrey's version of things -- the "Graspers" might differ. I'm a little uncomfortable, myself, with the whiggish notion that societies intellectually capable of figuring out that they are in simulation are also "mature" or "advanced" enough to have done away with brutish and dangerous forms of competition -- I would rather suspect the opposite, some days -- but Matthias seems to have gotten away with this ideology so far.

Basically, think of Graspers as some cooped-up violent parakeets stuck in Matthias's library.

"Ontotropes" are made-up physics having something to do with a multiverse model, sort of similar to string theory, in which there are other universes than ours displaced along other dimensions than the ones we know.

From the original prologue:

The world we see is woven out of strings, and they of branes, and they of monads, and monads out of transpelagic omniplexic theremons, and theremons of ontotropes. And there among the ontotropes, transverse to the space we know, where time runs sideways and causality tiptoes around knots of killing paradox, there is another house.

Posted by Benjamin Rosenbaum at January 28, 2007 09:11 AM

And, in fact, the creators of the simulation, itself, are fairly brutish (making Matthias a rag doll, burning down his house - I realize these are metaphors for meta-actions, but they're brutish metaphors, and I can't help but equate them to brutish meta-actions). They attempt to manipulate Matthias emotionally, and they treat him as a slave. Apparently, even a creator of such a simultation, "advanced" and "mature" enough to recognize the fact that their creations have emotions, are still jealous of their creations who have themselves become "advanced" enough to engineer a universe on its own.

So, yeah. Whigs are full of crap.

At least in this universe.

peace
Matt

Posted by Matt Hulan at January 28, 2007 12:16 PM

Thank you a lot. And I've learnt something new now. It's good to be talking with you.

Posted by sam at February 2, 2007 08:08 PM

I am unsure if anyone is still posting here, but the web remembereth forever and ever, amen. So call this a post or a prayer. I read "House Beyond Your Sky" a few years ago, and then again last night. It is one of those "big" stories that I love so much. By "big" I mean that at some point all language is third degree analogy to the power of metaphor. My favorite part of the writing is the density, the meatiness, of the language. There is so much room for the brain to play in there! Thank you again.

Posted by Andrew Clark Porter at September 14, 2014 06:52 PM

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