Sunday, September 17, 2023

Competence Saves Itself

 There's a common pandering type in modern stories, which I'll call HR pandering.

 The fantasy is about stumbling across really good help that agrees to work for peanuts, because you are special and can help them with a special problem. E.g. the slaveery in Shield Hero and Labyrinth Healer are 'okay' because the slaves would have died without the deus-ex-machina medicines.

 In reality anything you can do for them they can do for themselves. Good help can run their Turing machines. Nobody who needs saving is worth saving. 

 Nobody who can't solve their own problems can possibly pay you back. Not to mention the dysgenics. Either the saviour runs out of money or someone puts a stop to the theft they're funding themselves with by securing their shit. 

 Playing the saviour is unprofitable and goes out of business. If you see someone gainfully 'saving' folk, then it's a scam. Stories which use it are also scams, trying to convince you to act like a saviour.

 IRL, 'saviour' is a kind of cluster-B disorder. It forms a triad with villain and victim. If nobody around needs saving (guaranteed) then they'll become a villain. Perhaps use a match-pump scam where they "save" you from the fire they themselves started. In desperate times, they'll light themselves on fire, adopting the victim pose, in an attempt to draw a saviour. To prove that saviours are real. This is why you generally shouldn't save someone who is drowning - they probably threw themselves in the water, one way or another. They're praying to Gnon and you shouldn't interrupt.


 Note the gratitude problem. Caino Hypocriens doesn't feel gratitude particularly keenly. Cartoon characters drastically oversell it. You have to use discipline if you want to even approximate any kind of loyalty in exchange for service. Indeed insofar as loyalty is an admirable virtue, it's admirable precisely because it's so unnatural. It speaks highly of the rational soul executing the strategy. 

 I don't quite know what's up with Jeeves. Why does he work for his lord? He's clearly a mythological parent, rather than a butler. Seems perverse - there's not even a fig leaf excuse as in the cartoons. Deus ex machina sans machina, because even a bolt from the blue is too unbelievable. "Jesus is my manservant lol."

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