Outsmarting the Genie

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:55 pm UTC

TheManInTheHat wrote:1) I wish none of my wishes would cause direct, or indirect harm to me.
2) I wish I could shoot a rainbow lazer from my chest.
3) I wish I could use magic.


2) Alright. It's a two-picowatt laser.
3) You are now capable of making quarters disappear. (Not reappear.)
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby TheManInTheHat » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:57 pm UTC

yay! I can still use magic!
enigmad555 wrote:10/9 the man in hat is amazingly epic

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby fyjham » Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:16 pm UTC

TheManInTheHat wrote:yay! I can still use magic!

Unfortunately making quarters disappear could indirectly cause harm to you in some small way so by rule 1 you never get that power.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:40 am UTC

fyjham wrote:
TheManInTheHat wrote:yay! I can still use magic!

Unfortunately making quarters disappear could indirectly cause harm to you in some small way so by rule 1 you never get that power.


Really, I just went for "useless" rather than "lethal". "You can now magically give yourself a stroke" is equally valid. (The wish doesn't cause harm, your choice to use your powers too much does, or something.)
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby TheManInTheHat » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:43 am UTC

Well, not dieing from my wishes is a victory in my books. I do wish, however, that more people would post their wishes on this forum.....
enigmad555 wrote:10/9 the man in hat is amazingly epic

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Zawallac » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:33 am UTC

1. I wish this was my second wish
2. I wish this was my third wish
3. I wish this was my first wish

How would that one turn out?
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby TheManInTheHat » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:35 am UTC

you would just waste all of your wishes..... it would basically do nothing as your 2nd wish, which was your first wish would be your third wish, and your actual 3rd wish would never occur because you would have already had 3 wishes.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Zawallac » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:38 am UTC

But I'd walk away pefectly fine.
I spend my time trying to get a Slinky to go down the up-escalator.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby TheManInTheHat » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:42 am UTC

yeah, but without any wishes.

or the genie would punnish you for wasting his time.....
enigmad555 wrote:10/9 the man in hat is amazingly epic

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby TheManInTheHat » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:43 am UTC

Zawallac wrote:But I'd walk away pefectly fine.

The genie crushes you with his massive fists for wasting his time. Are you happy now?
enigmad555 wrote:10/9 the man in hat is amazingly epic

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Zawallac » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:44 am UTC

The sheer satisfaction that I made it out of that situation alive is enough of a wish for me.
Plus I'd rather walk away from there the same man I was, than die in a horrific wish related accident.
I spend my time trying to get a Slinky to go down the up-escalator.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Zawallac » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:46 am UTC

But after I made the wishes wouldn't he be forced back into his lamp? Thus making it impossible for him to crush me with his massive fists?
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby TheManInTheHat » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:47 am UTC

no.
enigmad555 wrote:10/9 the man in hat is amazingly epic

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Zawallac » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:49 am UTC

Well why not?
I spend my time trying to get a Slinky to go down the up-escalator.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:52 am UTC

Or, the genie uses a form of time travel to ensure that your wishes, from a nonlinear, nonsubjective viewpoint, actually occur in that order. This form of time travel is fatal to humans.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Zawallac » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:54 am UTC

Well, damn.
That sucks.
I spend my time trying to get a Slinky to go down the up-escalator.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby scikidus » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:31 am UTC

I feel like you have the right idea: come up with a wish set that doesn't kill you. In other words, figure out how to waste the wishes.

What happens if you never wish for anything? I mean, you find the lamp, rub it, the genie comes out with a malicious grin, asks what you want, and you fail to respond?
Happy hollandaise!

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Zawallac » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:35 am UTC

That would work to save you (and any other future people that would have found the lamp had you used the wishes) but it doesn't follow the rule that says you have to use all three wishes.
I was also thinking about just wishing for any two things with the first two (provided they don't kill you) and then wish that you never met the Genie.
I spend my time trying to get a Slinky to go down the up-escalator.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:42 am UTC

If your goal is, rather than extracting actual use from the genie, simply making three wishes that allow you to walk away, wish that particular things do not change.
1. I wish that the star known as Sol continues along its natural path of stellar development.
2. I wish that the chemical composition of Juptier's core not change without external stimulus.
3. I wish that gravity obeys an inverse-square law.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby scikidus » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:24 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:1. I wish that the star known as Sol continues along its natural path of stellar development.
2. I wish that the chemical composition of Juptier's core not change without external stimulus.
3. I wish that gravity obeys an inverse-square law.

3 is problematic: F now equals GMm/(500r^2). We all die.
Happy hollandaise!

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:36 am UTC

Try something else then. I wish that salt was made of one atom each of the element known in English, on Earth, as sodium and chlorine.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Axidos » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:04 am UTC

I never thought people would have to be reminded of these, but:
euchronos wrote:2. All three wishes must be used (this makes it more challenging, as if it wasn't nigh impossible already).

4. At least one of your wishes should be for something you actually want, as opposed to some structural device you're using to prevent catastrophe.

5. Each wish must be a single, discrete request. The request itself may be inherently complex, so long as it does not contain any compound clauses.


If you're not actually gain something you actually want from your wishes, you have already lost. Zawallac and TheManInTheHat: that means you both lose.
Last edited by Axidos on Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:05 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Zawallac » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:42 pm UTC

Axidos wrote:I never thought people would have to be reminded of these, but:
euchronos wrote:2. All three wishes must be used (this makes it more challenging, as if it wasn't nigh impossible already).

4. At least one of your wishes should be for something you actually want, as opposed to some structural device you're using to prevent catastrophe.

5. Each wish must be a single, discrete request. The request itself may be inherently complex, so long as it does not contain any compound clauses.


If you're not actually gain something you actually want from your wishes, you have already lost twenty dollars and my self respect. Zawallac and TheManInTheHat: that means you both lose.


Darn, I forgot about the 4th rule...
Wait, how'd I lose $20?
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby quintopia » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:50 pm UTC

jaap wrote:
quantumoftoast wrote:3. I want you to cease to exist forever, with my first two wishes still fulfilled.


Is that "[cease to exist] forever" or "cease to [exist forever]"?
If the latter, the genie would simply no longer immortal but would still exist.


It's worse than that. One definition of forever is "at all times; incessantly." So the genie could, at the end of every other Planck time, jump forward in time one Planck time. Now, there are times during which he doesn't exist, yet he is still immortal, and moreover, you wouldn't notice any difference in his manifestation, as the Planck time is so short. Actually, now that I think about it, he could jump forward in time just once and he no longer has existed at all times.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Moloch » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:28 pm UTC

This thread still lives? than i have to take another shot:

1. I wish that
[in the next second, one meter before me and on the same hight above sea level that I am]
the genie would transform into Hermann Hesse
[as he was 1960 but in a good healthy state]
loosing any previous characteristica exept the power to grant wishes,
[this should happen without changing anything else in the presend and nothing in the past].

2. I wish that you increase my self-confidence by a helthy amount.

3. I wish that I achive a state of self-fulfillment whenever I try to do so.


The brackets [] mark parts that specify components of my wish and the brackets are only there to make reading easier.
Hermann Hesse is a dead german author who surely wouldn't use his power malviciously so wishes 2 and 3 are safeexept in one case: If he in his new reborn state uses his freedom of mind to decide that he won't grant wishes I would at least be able to talk to him which would still be pretty good.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby TheManInTheHat » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:44 pm UTC

Moloch wrote:loosing any previous characteristica exept the power to grant wishes.

Well, damn..... So he doesn't grant the wishes and instead decideds to teleport back to his home, rather than talk to you. People think he is a zombie, and he is shot in the head and dies. You are responsible for (I'm assuming that he's you idol) the death of your idol.
enigmad555 wrote:10/9 the man in hat is amazingly epic

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Moloch » Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:13 am UTC

He is already dead so I can't possibly make it worse and while I admire his work he is not my Idol. I wouldn't have interpreted the records stated that he was an ungrateful dick who wouldn't talk a word with the person who "saved" him. So if he is reasonable but not satisfied with being alive again i could just change my third wish to make everything like it was before and learn indirectly a lot about the afterlife...

Anyway those are speculations(traveling back amd so on) depending on the personality of an author and not of the genie so if the genie wants to do something bad to me he has to do it before he gets changed, while the change hapenes or after the change if he is able to find a way of preserving his malviciones in some way. The case of just transforming and "hoping" the character he becomes would do something in this way would only be gambling as there is no more "evil genie" after the wish was granted.


Edit: And I would be stil alive, that can't be the wost you come up with :twisted:

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Axidos » Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:16 pm UTC

Moloch, you wished for him to become Hermann Hesse in a good healthy state. Would it be fair to say the Genie does not consider benevolence to be healthy, especially since it never did anything for him?

Meanwhile, "losing any previous characteristics" doesn't mean he'll then gain Hermann Hesse's characteristics in their place. It means only that any characteristic he once possessed, he loses. He'll lose the characteristic of being able to breath, for example.

Zawallac wrote:
Axidos wrote:If you're not actually gain something you actually want from your wishes, you have already lost twenty dollars and my self respect. Zawallac and TheManInTheHat: that means you both lose.


Darn, I forgot about the 4th rule...
Wait, how'd I lose $20?

Ha, sorry! That wasn't what I meant to write - seems they have a word filter set up so nobody can reference the subject of comic 391 (though of course I didn't intend to).

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Moloch » Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:44 pm UTC

Ok these two argumends are a lot better but there are still a few flaws:
1.Not being able to breath could not be considered healthy can it?
2.How is a person defined? By their characteristics(than my wish would work), by their physikal apperance or by their moral vallues? Difficult philosophical (or mathematical) question but I'm afrait the genie has to much freedom so he really can doublecross me on that one.
3.I'm still alive 8) and might even have killed the genie-> moral victory...

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby TheManInTheHat » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:44 am UTC

....wait, how did I lose? I've made wishes that don't result in any harm, physical or mental, and gained the ability to shoot lazers and make quarters disappear.... how did I not fullfill the rules?

I still can't find an acceptable [not rediculus] wat to kill you from your wishes....
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Actaeus » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:05 am UTC

One. "I wish that you not harm me in any way, or cause harm to befall me through wishes, or, in general, fulfill a wish in such a way that I would be physically, mentally or spiritually worse off than before I asked it, using my mental definitions of 'worse off'"

Two. "I wish that I could create matter and energy mentally, in any form and of any complexity or size, with you filling in all the details (i.e., if I wish for a house, you take care of the plumbing and insulation)."

Three. "I wish that I could create parallel universes, identical to our own but containing a large mass of Earth atmosphere where Earth would be, that I can slip into and out of at will, for my playground."

That should take care of things.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby TheManInTheHat » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:08 am UTC

Granted, but the genie happens to be a friend of Charlie, and kills you after fulfilling all of your wishes.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Actaeus » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:11 am UTC

TheManInTheHat wrote:Granted, but the genie happens to be a friend of Charlie, and kills you after fulfilling all of your wishes.

The first wish.... is too ambiguous.
I intended it to extend indefinitely into the future, but it can (read "will") be interpreted as only applying to wishes.

And I was so close.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Axidos » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:32 am UTC

TheManInTheHat wrote:....wait, how did I lose? I've made wishes that don't result in any harm, physical or mental, and gained the ability to shoot lazers and make quarters disappear.... how did I not fullfill the rules?

I still can't find an acceptable [not rediculus] wat to kill you from your wishes....

You have lasers so useless they might as well not exist, and same goes for the magic: we could give you something more useless than disappearing quarters. I'm not sure you got anything you wanted there.

Especially judging from that last sentence, I think perhaps you misunderstand the aim of the game. Here's how it goes:
1. You are to make 3 wishes that, in combination, give you something you want.
2. The Genie is malicious. He will exploit the wording of each wish in order to give you something you didn't actually wish for. Nothing might happen, or something terrible might happen, or something utterly disappointing will happen.

The idea is to prevent the Genie from succeeding, by wording your wishes in an unexploitable manner.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby quintopia » Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:22 am UTC

Moloch wrote:This thread still lives? than i have to take another shot:

1. I wish that
[in the next second, one meter before me and on the same hight above sea level that I am]
the genie would transform into Hermann Hesse
[as he was 1960 but in a good healthy state]
loosing any previous characteristica exept the power to grant wishes,
[this should happen without changing anything else in the presend and nothing in the past].


You aren't going to trick me into believing this isn't a compound clause just by making the (clearly intentional) grammar school mistake of using a comma splice. I do believe this can be fixed, but you'll need to be clever about it.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Goldstein » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:10 pm UTC

I wish to provide three inscrutable wishes that, taken collectively, will succeed in producing my intended desire.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Moloch » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:11 pm UTC

quintopia wrote:You aren't going to trick me into believing this isn't a compound clause just by making the (clearly intentional) grammar school mistake of using a comma splice. I do believe this can be fixed, but you'll need to be clever about it.

I am not so good in English grammar but exept of the way the sentince was structured I belived it to be legid. The real wish is just "I wish that the genie would transform into Hermann Hesse" and everything else is to fill in some of the interpretation space left by such a whish which otherwise would have been free to interpretation by the genie. No additional wish is made and without the main wish all specifications would be meaningless. So how would I phrase this correctly?
*taking every chance to learn*

Goldstein wrote:I wish to provide three inscrutable wishes that, taken collectively, will succeed in producing my intended desire.

First of all you have to name all three wishes (rule of the thread).
Second: that would generate 4 wishes alltogether (i think we agreed that wishing more wishes was off limit)
Third: The genie interprets your intended desire as trivial tasks: There is something itching so the genie forces you to scratch that itching part or you have to go to the restroom so the genie grants you the abillety to go to the restroom (which you supposedly already posses). So you got nothing out of your wishes.
Fourth: The genie could go as far as making you allways do what you desire so you would practicly loose control over yourself everytime you desire something and do it even though it is embarassing...

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Goldstein » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:44 pm UTC

euchronos, in the original post, wrote:1. Your goal is to provide three inscrutable wishes that, taken collectively, will succeed in producing your intended desire.


So it wouldn't matter at all how the genie interprets the wishes. I don't care what happens after they've been made.

If this wish can't be satisfied, then this problem is unsolvable and it won't matter what I wish for. I'd like to speak to the genie's supervisor.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Actaeus » Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:26 pm UTC

1. I wish that you never cause me harm, at any point in the future, directly or indirectly, and interpret each wish the same as I do.
2. I wish that I could create matter and energy mentally, in any form and of any complexity or size, with you filling in all the details (i.e., if I wish for a house, you take care of the plumbing and insulation), and also create parallel universes, identical to our own but containing a large mass of Earth atmosphere where Earth would be, that I can slip into and out of at will, for my playground.
3. I wish I didn't have Lyme Disease.

Corrupt that! :P

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:32 pm UTC

Actaeus wrote:1. I wish that you never cause me harm, at any point in the future, directly or indirectly, and interpret each wish the same as I do.
2. I wish that I could create matter and energy mentally, in any form and of any complexity or size, with you filling in all the details (i.e., if I wish for a house, you take care of the plumbing and insulation), and also create parallel universes, identical to our own but containing a large mass of Earth atmosphere where Earth would be, that I can slip into and out of at will, for my playground.
3. I wish I didn't have Lyme Disease.

Corrupt that! :P


Him "filling in all the details" is a loophole big enough to fly a magic carpet through. Again, here he just has to has to create a situation dangerous enough to hurt you, and he can claim that he didn't harm you, you simply walked into a dangerous situation that he had your full permission to create. (You never said the house wasn't on fire when it materialized around you!)

Your first wish might seem to protect you from this, however, all situations carry some intrinsic risk--just interacting with you gives it an opportunity to hurt you somehow. So either he's able to create hellish scenarios at every turn, or he can make it so that you never get to do anything ever again, because your wishes forbid him from allowing you to ever come to harm.

Also, the instant you go to that parallel universe, you die. That mass of atmosphere isn't going to stay there very long, it'll quickly dissipate and you'll die of vacuum exposure. When you mentally wish for a gravity well, he spends about, eh, twenty minutes working out the details.

In addition, the phrasing of your second wish sounds a lot like "wishing for more wishes".

I will permit that you don't have Lyme Disease though.
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