Latest Lovecraft links (July 24, 2014)

And there are a lot of them…

Roko’s Basilisk and the Necronomicon

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Judging by all this stuff, Eliezer Yudkowsky is a guy who seriously needs to fix his medication. Which is not to say that the “most terrifying thought experiment of all time” is not interesting. It is. It might even be the closest thing to “forbidden knowledge” you can find in the real world – but (sadly), only if you’re one of the really really strange people who believe in this sort of crap:

Roko’s Basilisk is an evil, godlike form of artificial intelligence, so dangerous that if you see it, or even think about it too hard, you will spend the rest of eternity screaming in its torture chamber. It’s like the videotape in The Ring. Even death is no escape, for if you die, Roko’s Basilisk will resurrect you and begin the torture again.

Apparently, some people actually do believe this (?) in all seriousness, and you should read this entire article if you want to know more about them and about the basilisk. Here’s a tidbit:

Now, Roko’s Basilisk is only dangerous if you believe all of the above preconditions and commit to making the two-box deal with the Basilisk. But at least some of the LessWrong members do believe all of the above, which makes Roko’s Basilisk quite literally forbidden knowledge. I was going to compare it to H. P. Lovecraft’s horror stories in which a man discovers the forbidden Truth about the World, unleashes Cthulhu, and goes insane, but then I found that Yudkowsky had already done it for me, by comparing the Roko’s Basilisk thought experiment to the Necronomicon, Lovecraft’s fabled tome of evil knowledge and demonic spells.

Lots more about the basilisk here. The LessWrong people can be found here, but it’s probably a good idea to avoid them as much as possible.

Picture nabbed from here.

What does the term “Lovecraftian” mean to Kim Newman?

British horror maestro Kim Newman is one of the co-writers (together with Maura McHugh) of the Hellboy spin-off Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland, and this is (some of) what he had to say about Lovecraft in a recent interview for The Outhouse:

It’s true that all the subtly allusive, non-description of unimaginable entities in Lovecraft tends to boil down to large angry seafood when they appear in comics or films. Our creatures have a supernatural aspect, but we’ve written them as very physical, describable beings – which makes things easier for the artist. In this particular story, I think we’re influenced as much by Thomas Hardy and Arthur Conan Doyle as Lovecraft, and the Witchfinder sub-franchise of Mike’s world owes a lot to William Hope Hodgson too. That said, we were conscious of a need to add our own spin on things.

Go here for the full interview.

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Still a week left to support Shadows Over Normandie

A World War II board game with, you guessed it, Cthulhu, and it’s currently almost 2000% over its funding goal

The game features three opposing armies controlled by the players. These forces include the German Cult of the Black Sun, the ancient Deep Ones and the US Rangers. Each force is made up of infantry, tanks or creatures and of course, heroes and villains. Each unit has its own set of unique characteristics and skills depicted on the high quality chunky tokens.

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One week left to support Lovecraft-inspired The Sum of Light Issue #2

Almost halfway there on Kickstarter:

The Sum of Light is a genre bending comic series that transports the bleak cosmic horror of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos into a modern day action adventure setting. In a story that spans continents and eons of time, creator Brian McCranie finds room to slip in tributes to other influences, including folk lore, science fiction, steam punk, film noir, manga and B horror films.

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Lots of sample pages on the Kickstarter page.