Principia Discordia > Discordian Recipes

The Functionality of the Black Iron Prison

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Hagtard Celine Dion Mustard:
Imagine time as a solid object.

Imagine this solid object was created by an explosion of matter that turned into a web-like block of strands. If you repeated this explosion, the results would be strands that were in different locations than the last time. Each explosion is completely unpredictable.

Imagine the multiverse as every possible explosion of matter in this form. Each strand is a life.

Our four-dimensional unit is one particular result; time is simply us moving through those strands from the center of the explosion to the outer perimeter. We might not know what direction is coming next, but the way the strand moves is already set in stone.

But consider for a moment, that we live in a kind of Twilight Zone, where each one of us moving through those strands is a free-willed person. Everything is fine and dandy as long as our decisions go along with the route. But the moment we start trying to think outside the box, so to speak, we're going to be met with failure and massive amounts of almost inexplicable resistance from the world around us, because no matter how hard we try, we can't deviate from the path of the strand.

That's the Black Iron Prison.

in this metaphor, what does it mean to 'go along with the route'? What is 'the path of the strand'?

Correct me if I've got it twisted -- are you saying

that the universe is deterministic
except for human decisions
which alter the predestined sequence of events,
and that triggers some force ("the black iron prison") to steer things back towards the "original" outcome?

chaotic neutral observer:
If everything is preordained, then your apparent resistance to the preordained is also preordained.

What you perceive as free will is an artifact of your brain being able to monitor itself, but not being able to predict its own actions.  I'm not convinced it is a useful concept.  How would you measure whether any given entity had free will or not?  If you can't tell the difference, why bother with the distinction?

Hagtard Celine Dion Mustard:
I just told you that the pathway is preordained and your thinking isn't. It's like playing a video game where if you're walking down a hallway and the hallway turns right, you suddenly feel like going left. What happens? You walk into a wall.

A really good analogy is a great game called The Stanley Parable.


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