Any Moiler will tell you that something went very wrong in this
place. The Instrument consists of the interior of a titanic
clockwork automaton whose exterior has never been seen, and in its
cramped and infinite chambers the Moilers tend to its byzantine
contraptions with maniacal focus. The Instrument’s purpose—if there
ever was one—has long been lost to the culture here, and in the
absence of that teleology the Moilers’ work takes on the frantic
intensity of a unattainable goal and seems to have driven them mad.
The Instrument presents its residents with a kaleidoscope of
functions: raw materials cascading through chutes and filling up
rooms, hallways locking and unlocking unpredictably and which
contain caches of tools and undeciphered etchings and diagrams, all
exposed by harsh white lighting and groaning and rumbling with
An industrious hierarchy has been consumed by the neurotic quest
to map out their world and recover meaning in ever more baroque
applications and measurements of the Instrument’s mechanisms.
Cult-like groups carry out tasks driven by these interpretations:
ferrying supplies back and forth uselessly, cleaning components and
sanding materials into dust, analyzing schematics into
meaninglessness, and chanting hypothetical decipherments into
nonsense. Each Moiler manifests their burdens with their own
elaborate tics and rituals, each facing an itch here that may never
The Iron Law of Institutions
When it comes to institutions or communities, people tend to act in a
manner designed to maximize their status within that institution or
community, not to maximize the probability of fulfilling the
institution or community’s external goals.
after viral tweet about possible solution to supply chain backup
caused something to get fixed: “Yes exactly - the centralised
hierarchies are so amazingly rubbish that there’s massive low hanging
fruit everywhere. What v v smart outsiders seldom realise is
Insiders dont give a damn & have no incentives to grab this
fruit & often have incentives to let it rot” -
shitty reasons why decisions get made in groups:
MAYBE THIS VS ꧹၇ꧠ is free will vs no, this
place can be seen as a place of no free will, everyone is just a
- The Itch
- The Instrument
- The Asymmetry (used)
- The Carapace (maybe name for the thing)
- The Procedure (oh man really good)
- “If you try and go against réalité… Réalité will surely crush you.
Réalité will kill you. And réalité will continue to go on az if not’ing
ever happened… From yesterday to today, and from today to tomorrow.
Réalité marchez on…” - Harle - replace reality with the Instrument, and
add stuff about it being harmful?
- “modest expectations, remorselessly fulfilled”
- this is about how organizations can fail
- carrying out orders that don’t seem to make sense any more
- examples… look up that tweet thread about unintended
- doing their best to satisfy direct superiors/orders, rigidly
adhering to metrics
- stuff about misguided use of metrics
- caste system? there has to be some authority system right
- there can be factions
- or something that is taken as absolute word, like instructions from
- maybe some lost holy textbook, shreds kept being found
- there are recurring symbolic motifs in the machinery
- travelling brahmin caste interprets events and shreds of
- complicated organizational hierarchy, ostensibly meritocratic based
on who is most effective and understanding the machinery, with
promotions and demotions, some cadre at the top
- cleaning, counting, checking, self body stuff (skin picking, hair
pulling, nail biting), ordering things, flaws in clothing/tools,
elaborate rituals for e.g. crossing thresholds, touching posts, stepping
on middle of flagstones
- some feel they must do the thing itself, others do it to mitigate
anxiety from obsessive thoughts - that it’ll prevent it from happening
or just push out of thoughts
- associated with tics, anxiety, suicide
- casual usage: excessively meticulous, perfectionist, absorbed, or
- “four factors”
- “symmetry factor”: ordering, counting symmetry, repetition,
re-reading book passages, rewriting
- “forbidden thoughts factor”: intrusive distressing thoughts
(violent, religious, sexual), frightening impulses antithetical to
beliefs or norms, searching for escape or reassurance
- “cleaning factor”: cleaning, contamination
- “hoarding factor”: hoarding
- self criticism, loathing
- mutter same phrase over and over again, rocking back and forth
- repetitive without leading to reward or pleasure
- what other domains is OCD in?
- this place is bizarre
- they’re very smart and astute, extremely good at organizing, but
terrible at choosing things to organize around
- what happens when they try to suppress or ignore?
- attempts to fix? ERP (exposure and response prevention)
- automaton, apparatus, instrument, mechanism, organ, contraption -
not machine or machinery
- symbiotic grooming creatures?
- no one experiences boredom? maybe they do but these compulsions etc
- those who say “no” more than “yes” “water always finds a crack”
- oooh industrial machine
- always churning, all these different parts doing different
- actual items coming in for smoothing and going out… where?
- constantly breaking, being maintained
- lighting - white lights everywhere, same mechanism, everything is
seen brightly and clearly, this visitor had a travel lantern with
replaceable colored screens (for reasons too involved to describe here)
that cast colored light on objects, changing how they appeared, and this
seemed to dent their confidence in reality
- [christoph de babalon - high life part
check out album
- but also… intricate metal
- numenera/fourth world - on edge
- Eblen Macari - La Constelacion del Pejelagarto - Bambuco
- maybe Adeptus Mechanicus vibes?
- or maybe just some effective cabal of leaders is that, and they’re
happy to let the general population flounder, or maybe set up the
organizational floundering themselves, to get some rebellion off their
back. or maybe they wanted to stop the machine’s mission - they took it
over from the previous owners, and crafted something to drive the
petitioners crazy, and they’re worried about them finding scraps of the
ancient text that might lead them to restoring the machine to
- discoveries, some kind of TVGlo, maybe author finds something?
- how do they interact with cardinal worlds? some of the junk coming
in/out must be connected. also maybe some ꧹၇ဗ
“Smoothers”. OCD to its most insane extreme. Different factions OCD
about different things, and cities built around these things, e.g. the
Bleachers clean things to the bone/disintegration, or sanding/smoothing
until nothing remains, or analysis until meaninglessness, or repetition
This is a land of compulsion, ritual, and order.
Life cannot proceed as normal while the imbalance remains. The
imbalance always remains. Life cannot proceed as normal.
Maybe they’re the opposite: they introduce these imbalances, very
carefully and orderly-ly? Split down the middle for those who introduce
and those who clear?
Linked but oppositional to ꧹၇ဗ? Or rather
aligned on some processes but disagree on others? Or they worship ꧹၇ဗ as gods, whose ways are mysterious to them?
“sometimes behaves so strangely”
no one has a picture of the whole thing. you walk into a room and one
person will be repeating a phrase and and over again - others will join,
will they do it forever? a room is found with a pile of colorful objects
and someone will recall a place with an enormous supply of bleaching
material and will utilize it to bleach the color of every item - and
more colorful objects get dumped through some chute.
no one has been or seen the “outside” of this machine, if it exists.
endless rooms. the theory is that it used to be an incredible titanic
automaton that walked between realms fulfilling some cosmic function,
but that the culture administering to it degraded over time - the
automaton now lies in ruins and the inheritors of this system work
busily and futilely in search of meaning.
Culture & Paradigm
so some connection to ꧪ၇ꧠ? they like have
to deal with it. and maybe they disagree: asymmetry is not necessary,
they will fix it, they will prove it!
maybe one or two open spaces, see ꩧ၇ဗ
Figures & Groups
Rumors & Mysteries
The Control Room
Outside the Automaton