Feb 28, 2020 4:29 PM
Confusing the hell out of Bruce Banner is too much fun
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{oooooh.} The spirit sways thoughtfully. {but... i only know things about this place, not other places. can't use other place ideas. where ideas come from instead?}

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"Yeah, I have an advantage there. But you can ask yourself questions like, Why does a thing behave the way it does? What parts is a thing made of? If you see one thing doing something, what other things might do that? Does something that happened happen every time, under different circumstances? Can it be made to stop happening? Sometimes you don't need to have a hypothesis--that's the thing you think is going on. You can just try things and see what happens and then maybe you can come up with a hypothesis to test based on that."

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{sounds hard!} it says, wiggling a little. {but fun!}

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"It's the most fun there is! Want to help me with an experiment first thing tomorrow morning? I'd say now, but it looks like it's getting dark out."

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Bounce bounce. {yeah!}

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"Awesome." He looks around his cabin. Does he happen to know a recipe for a bed?

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Not as such, no. One of the recipes he made earlier in his exploration of the uses of wood is a bedframe, but it doesn't appear to come with a mattress.

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Well, he can make a bedframe and stick in opposite the bathtub, near the crafting table. "When I next go out," he asks, "what will I need to make a mattress? If those are a thing here."

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{need cloth to make bed and thread to make cloth and cobweb to make thread! cobweb come from spider. spider is scary though.}

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"Definitely a project for later, then. I'm going to get some sleep, I was up at 2 AM when I got here and I can only run on science for so long." He climbs into the bathtub and, if no more extremely improbable things happen in the next sixty seconds, passes out in the traditional manner of grad students.

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No extremely improbable things show up to disturb his rest. In the morning, everything is just as he left it.

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Bruce is very amused by the epic crazy dream he had, then realizes that dream or no dream, he's still having it. Also he feels like he slept in a bathtub.

"Blaaaaaaargh."

Yup, that was a pretty accurate expression of his emotions he just emitted.

Well, might as well act as if his senses perceive his surroundings and his actions have consequences. Bruce unfolds from the bathtub, gets all his joints approximately where they belong, and looks around for the forest spirit.

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The forest spirit waves from where it's sitting over by the wall.

{good morning friend! sleep okay?}

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Bruce waves back at them. "Yup! So, I know I said science experiment first thing, but actually, can you go outside for a bit? I want to take a bath."

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{okay!}

It waddles cheerfully out the door. It is, somehow, capable of opening and closing the door.

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Bruce is going to need to observe that phenomenon several more times. But first, bath. Soon enough he's clean and back in his one set of clothes, walking out the door. "Okay, now we can do some science!"

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{yay! science!!}

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"So, I had an experiment in mind already, but first, I noticed you were able to open and close the door without hands. Would you mind doing it again a few more times so I can watch carefully? Sometimes the best science comes from just noticing something a little unexpected and taking a closer look." He makes a close examination of the door as he speaks, including any latching mechanism.

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{okay!}

The spirit demonstrates interacting with the door: it walks up to it, hops up a little to tap it lightly with a tiny pointy arm about a foot and a half off the ground, and some distance above its little head the handle turns and the door swings slowly open.

The door has no lock, but it does have a latch, controlled by the handle, superficially similar in design to the sort of latch one might find on any ordinary door on Earth except that this one is made entirely of wood. It's capable of swinging either inward or outward, but the hinges are cleverly designed via a mechanism too complex to fit in this margin so that it still fits very snugly in its frame without a significant gap on the hinge side.

About five seconds after the spirit opens the door, it closes all by itself.

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What lovely well-designed hinges. If he wakes up in the Stata Center and this hinge design still makes sense he should try getting a course 2 to fabricate one. 

"Okay, so you're causing the handle to turn, do you know how you're doing that? If you don't, we can use science to find out! If you do, we can do something else."

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It considers this question.

{i am spirit. spirit can open door. so when i open door, door opens, even though i can't reach handle.}

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He was expecting something like that. Politely explaining to people that their epistemics have problems is not really his strong suit, but he thinks he can manage.

"So, that's definitely part of an explanation, but it's not a complete explanation, because it doesn't let me make all the predictions I want to make. It lets me predict that other spirits will be able to do the same thing, but not whether you'll be able to do other similar things, or what changes to you or the door might make it easier or harder, and so on. So we can do experiments to find out the rest of the explanation. Does that make sense?"

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It sways thoughtfully, then tries again. {friend open door with handle. spirit open door with spirit-can-open-door.}

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"Spirit-can-open-door is a phenomenon. Knowing that phenomenon exists doesn't mean I know everything about it. It still surprises me. When I really understand it, I'll be able to predict it, I'll think "of course spirits can open doors because of such and such, and if this and that were different they wouldn't be able to, and it will fit into a coherent picture of the world. Right now it's just a fact disconnected from all the other facts I know. Can you think of an experiment we can do that might help me learn things about the spirit-can-open-door phenomenon?" Bruce can think of several experiments, but the hypothesis he wants to test right this minute is "I still haven't managed to explain the concept of an explanation".

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{is hard to explain,} it says. {is like...}

Thoughtful forest noises.

{oh! is like plant tree or build house! friend can put thing in place, so do. hold thing, put in place, thing go. spirit can open door, so do. touch door, door open. same kind of way. but... don't know how experiment.}

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