Discover more from Adversarial Metanoia
It's an error to assume a labyrinth has been built to imprison a monster.
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Six heroes had searched for and found the hidden door to the Western Maze; the less well-informed would have called it "an unexpected labyrinth under the Eastern Columbia Building," but they would have never found it. Six heroes had found the hidden door to the Western Maze and crossed it. If asked, they would have told you they were seven, for seven people had crossed the hidden door to face the dangers of the Western Maze with a week's worth of supplies for seven, weapons for the rumored monsters roaming the maze, and, most of the seven, more interested on knowledge and adventure than riches and fame.
One month later, one person of the seven — not one of the six — met and joined a group of three. The three were as lost as he was, telling the same history of malicious architecture and sleepless nightmare; none of them were from the same original group. The four decided to walk together: the survivor of the seven, two heroes, and somebody who had spent years trapped in the Western Maze and had given up looking for an exit to focus on perfecting the art of betrayal, one in which the new member of the party was an obvious beginner.
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It's an error to assume a laboratory is a workplace for its scientists.
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Control (n=10) and intervention (n=10) groups were randomly selected from a sample of applicants for the forensic anatomy laboratory that passed academic, experience, and psychological reviews (see Appendix C). After a six-weeks warm-up period of routine professional activities, the intervention group was subject to covert remove activation of the periaqueductal gray area (PAG) of their brain (fig. 17) while performing anatomic exploration of bodies suitably prepared with internal "writing" (see fig. 18-23 and Appendix D). The control group worked with similarly prepared bodies, but without the simultaneous PAG activation.
After the experiment, 80% (n=8) of subjects in the control group reported to their immediate supervisors their discovery of the supposed "writings" inside the bodies they were dissecting, in all cases framing the event as either as a prank or a hoax. The remaining 20% of the subjects did not report the event, but analysis of the video recording makes it clear they considered it a form of hazing.
By contrast, none of the subjects in the intervention group reported the event to their supervisors. A majority (70%) of the subjects subsequently began researching religious or esoteric material (see Appendix D). Of those, a small majority (n=4) of the subjects focused their research on "apocalyptic" materials of different traditions. Only one subject dropped out of the experiment through suicide, a significantly lower rate than in previous research (e.g. Huxley et al 2021c).
Consistent with previous research (Huxley et al 2019a, 2019b, 2021c and unpublished notes since) PAG activation in combination with a carefully tailored linguistic message in a context associated with physical death can trigger large and controlled shifts in the religious-ethical-metaphysical framework of an individual. Further observation of the subjects in the intervention group will be necessary in order to evaluate the main hypothesis of the program regarding the likelihood of the development of heterodox and potentially fruitful research objectives and methods in the subjects. Although previous experience shows that interference in such activities is unlikely, the usual interdiction protocols are recommended in order to maximize the size of the observational pool, together with containment measures for family members and associates of involuntary experimental subjects recruited by the intervention group.
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It's an error to assume a house has the goal of protecting its inhabitants.
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You remember more of the monsters than of the house where you hid from them. Some of it is the way terror etches things not on the memory but on the flesh where memory is held: at the moment of your death, whenever and however it happens, you will still remember moment the object your eyes couldn’t understand became the almost-corpse of your boyfriend, horror-grief overlapping with the desperately still terror of a noise behind you that knowledge older than the species knew was the thing that had killed him.
Of your run through the dark forest you remember little. If you had the words you could describe every minor harmonic of savagery in the way the monster growled while it pursued you. Of the house you remember its shape vaguely but the sliver of light in the half-open door with absolute precision. The click of the door as you closed it. You're running further inside it, seeking distance from the door...
There your memory loses its thread. Some of the walls were green, copper-colored lines on them that made you feel unexplainably nostalgic. But where were those walls and how did you get there and where you were going?
The feeling of heavy rain falling on your skin while you stood in front of a fireplace in a neat living room.
Something you ate. Something that screamed. After or before? You avoid the word during. You avoid most words.
You don't remember how you were dressed back when you were dressed. There was a chorus. You remember laughing, but not why. You remember the feeling of a knife on your hand and there being no knife.
Not remembering doesn't bother you. You lie your head against comforting bark, invisible in a moonless night clear to your many senses. You're outside the house despite never having left it, or you are inside the house despite being able to see it if you were to walk back half a mile.
Instead you focus forward. Three lost walkers. They know exactly where they are - that's not how they are lost.
You start moving in perfect silence. One of them will be walking last: they will be the first.
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It's an error to assume that the description of a machine is distinct from the machine itself.