Setting concept: Backups

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Re: Setting concept: Backups

Postby Rotifer » Sat May 27, 2017 1:41 am

Is forking or merging effortful? That is, could you tire yourself out from forking and merging fast enough?

What does the process of forking look like from the outside, between deciding to fork and being two people?

You can fork to anywhere you can stick your finger; can you fork to anywhere you can thread a strand of your hair?

If you tried to make a fork appear inside a hollow object whose internal volume is too small for your body to fit in, but which is made of some substance that is easily breakable (like thin cardboard) or easily shiftable-aside (like cloth), what happens?

Gross question: If there is a small object somehow suspended in midair, or a small object falling though the air next to you and you have really good timing, could you fork such that, when your fork appears, the object is inside your body? Could you do this by accident?

Gross question: Could someone (say, a Joker) fork themselves such that one fork appears already impaled on some nearby object suitable for impalement?

*

To whatever extent you know the answers to these questions:

If a person forks and one fork dies, is the situation understood as "one person has become disabled" or "one person has become disabled, and also another person has died"?

If a person forks and one fork commits a crime against the other fork, does the second fork have any legal recourse? Does the answer depend on how long they've been forked? Whether they ever intend to merge?

If someone wanted to fork permanently and live as two separate people, how easy would this be from a bureaucratic standpoint?

Gross question: Presumably, a person can fork, cut off one of their left legs, merge, and have two unharmed legs and a bunch of free meat. Is this the sort of thing that only happens in horrifying wilderness survival situations, or are there cultures, ancient or modern, where it's unremarkable, or practiced outside of dire need?
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Re: Setting concept: Backups

Postby Kaylin » Sat May 27, 2017 4:16 am

Rotifer wrote:Is forking or merging effortful? That is, could you tire yourself out from forking and merging fast enough?

Hmm, probably but it would take a lot of forking and merging, maybe a dozen times in quick succession. I don't know why you'd want to do that unless you were specifically testing for it.

What does the process of forking look like from the outside, between deciding to fork and being two people?

I haven't decided yet! Probably, forking/merging looks like one/two people concentrating, then a person appearing/disappearing instantaneously and possibly the other person's appearance changing as well.

You can fork to anywhere you can stick your finger; can you fork to anywhere you can thread a strand of your hair?

Nope. Hair is dead and doesn't relevantly count as part of you.

If you tried to make a fork appear inside a hollow object whose internal volume is too small for your body to fit in, but which is made of some substance that is easily breakable (like thin cardboard) or easily shiftable-aside (like cloth), what happens?

No idea. If you have an idea, convince me!

Gross question: If there is a small object somehow suspended in midair, or a small object falling though the air next to you and you have really good timing, could you fork such that, when your fork appears, the object is inside your body? Could you do this by accident?

Gross question: Could someone (say, a Joker) fork themselves such that one fork appears already impaled on some nearby object suitable for impalement?

No, no, and no. There are automatic safeties such that the result of forking or merging is never dangerous or fatal - which also prevents accidents such as merging and keeping half a fetus.

If a person forks and one fork dies, is the situation understood as "one person has become disabled" or "one person has become disabled, and also another person has died"?

Somewhere in between? There's not the same cultural assumptions around one fork dying as around a whole person dying - for example, it's unlikely that you'd be able to get much compassionate leave, if any, if it happened to a family member. But forks are treated as more like separate people, at least by those who know them personally, the longer they've been forked. So a fork who'd been separate for a year or two would probably be mourned by their relatives.

If a person forks and one fork commits a crime against the other fork, does the second fork have any legal recourse? Does the answer depend on how long they've been forked? Whether they ever intend to merge?

I think it's, historically, been treated a lot like spousal abuse, which was only acknowledged to be a thing in the last century, century and a half. Similarly domestic abuse of children. One fork's right to refuse a merge is probably protected by law, which is at least in theory supposed to be enforceable by e.g. restraining order, but that might be the extent of it.

If someone wanted to fork permanently and live as two separate people, how easy would this be from a bureaucratic standpoint?

There are legal provisions for forks having distinct legal identities - one can, for example, imprison one fork and not the other for a crime committed while forked, provided they haven't merged since. I think those would be leaned on. I very much doubt there are any legal barriers to it, only social ones such as some jobs requiring or strongly suggesting that you have the ability to fork, and therefore excluding the separated. Due to cultural associations, it's very much seen as a disability on the level of losing a limb. (Ironically, amputees are significantly less common because if they weren't forked at the time they can merge-fix it, and people going into situations likely to result in that kind of serious injury will fork first. Being a half-person is horrible but still better than being dead.)

Gross question: Presumably, a person can fork, cut off one of their left legs, merge, and have two unharmed legs and a bunch of free meat. Is this the sort of thing that only happens in horrifying wilderness survival situations, or are there cultures, ancient or modern, where it's unremarkable, or practiced outside of dire need?

There's a strong taboo against eating human meat, and evidence based on cannibalistic tendencies in other animals suggests that it's potentially based on health reasons as well as aversion to hurting/damaging other people. While the "causing permanent damage" part would go away, the part where it causes distress over the short term, and the health reasons, wouldn't. I think this is probably an emergencies-only thing, although it might also be an element of some rites of passage, etc, in tribal cultures. It's certainly not going to be unremarkable.
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Re: Setting concept: Backups

Postby Rotifer » Sat May 27, 2017 10:39 am

Kaylin wrote:
If you tried to make a fork appear inside a hollow object whose internal volume is too small for your body to fit in, but which is made of some substance that is easily breakable (like thin cardboard) or easily shiftable-aside (like cloth), what happens?

No idea. If you have an idea, convince me!


Well,if it were my setting, I'd decide whether forking works more like "new body appears fully formed" or "new body expands from a point to full size instantaneously". The first case would probably fail per the safeties you mentioned; the second could plausibly rip cardboard or move cloth around, depending on the force with which the new body expands.

On a related note: what happens to the air previously occupying the space occupied by the body of a newly-formed fork? Is it displaced? How quickly?

Kaylin wrote:
If a person forks and one fork dies, is the situation understood as "one person has become disabled" or "one person has become disabled, and also another person has died"?

Somewhere in between? There's not the same cultural assumptions around one fork dying as around a whole person dying - for example, it's unlikely that you'd be able to get much compassionate leave, if any, if it happened to a family member. But forks are treated as more like separate people, at least by those who know them personally, the longer they've been forked. So a fork who'd been separate for a year or two would probably be mourned by their relatives.


If someone has recently forked, such that they're treated mostly like one person, and a second person kills one fork but not the other, would the second person be charged with murder or assault?

Kaylin wrote:
If a person forks and one fork commits a crime against the other fork, does the second fork have any legal recourse? Does the answer depend on how long they've been forked? Whether they ever intend to merge?

I think it's, historically, been treated a lot like spousal abuse, which was only acknowledged to be a thing in the last century, century and a half. Similarly domestic abuse of children. One fork's right to refuse a merge is probably protected by law, which is at least in theory supposed to be enforceable by e.g. restraining order, but that might be the extent of it.


Is it possible to merge if one fork doesn't want to, if the right not to has to be protected by law?

*

If two forks agree to merge, but disagree about which memories or traits should be kept, what happens?
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Re: Setting concept: Backups

Postby Kaylin » Sat May 27, 2017 11:02 am

Rotifer wrote:Well,if it were my setting, I'd decide whether forking works more like "new body appears fully formed" or "new body expands from a point to full size instantaneously". The first case would probably fail per the safeties you mentioned; the second could plausibly rip cardboard or move cloth around, depending on the force with which the new body expands.

On a related note: what happens to the air previously occupying the space occupied by the body of a newly-formed fork? Is it displaced? How quickly?

I've been imagining the former, which presumably means the safeties would prevent the use case you're asking about. Some air is displaced - this happens instantly - but some of it goes into the lungs, bloodstream, etc, including water vapour. This reduces the volume of the resulting crack.

If someone has recently forked, such that they're treated mostly like one person, and a second person kills one fork but not the other, would the second person be charged with murder or assault?

Murder, probably? This is one of the ones that probably depends on the legal system involved, but even if they've only recently forked the murder will result in loss of memories and experiences, since they can't be recovered from a dead fork.

Is it possible to merge if one fork doesn't want to, if the right not to has to be protected by law? If two forks agree to merge, but disagree about which memories or traits should be kept, what happens?

I checked back through my notes, not having looked at this system in a while, and confirmed that, as I thought, merging requires the consent of both forks. If they disagree, it defaults to keeping memories, and will also default to keeping physical traits as long as that's biologically possible to do safely. For example, in the pregnancy case with which everyone was fascinated a page or two ago, if one fork wants to be pregnant and the other does not, and they can't agree on a compromise, merging will keep the pregnancy and if the merged person then decides they actually do want an abortion they can get one.
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Re: Setting concept: Backups

Postby Kaylin » Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:47 pm

I'm vaguely wondering about coming up with a world to put this in, Earthalike or non-Earth. Which means it needs a conlang of some sort, if only to provide a basis for naming conventions. Does someone who is good at conlangs want to donate one?
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Re: Setting concept: Backups

Postby Ezra » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:21 pm

Could try Vulgar. https://www.vulgarlang.com/
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Re: Setting concept: Backups

Postby Kaylin » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:04 am

That has the problem that I can't save it unless I either pay money or copy everything over to some other place. But yes, it does do conlangs.
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