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Old 05-26-2020, 09:38 AM   #1
DataPacRat
 
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Default Ultra-Tech Mental Exercises?

Ever see one of those 'mental math' guidebooks, that lets you multiply large numbers as fast as you can say the answer?

How many more such tricks seem plausible to have been invented by TL10 (non-^)?

For example...

- For a THS-ghost/mind-emulation who's worried that the hardware their mindstate is running on may be compromised, and that some hostile hacker may be monitoring their thoughts, the Mind Block skill (and the Camouflaged Mind block and Coded Thoughts techniques from Supers) might be worth investing in...

- Perhaps sufficient progress has been made in combining Bayesian analytical techniques and practical neurology to form the basis of being able to train up Intuition, Common Sense; maybe all the way up to Oracle (Digital) or hypersensory Psychometry...

- For some really odd ones, I could try applying the Savant modifier from Powers: The Weird to anything that seems vaguely reasonable...


... Basically, I'm looking for SFnal-but-non-supersciencey ways for characters to improve themselves, outside the usual classics of cybernetic implants and re-bioengineering themselves.
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ultra-Tech Mental Exercises?

If someone can come up with terminology and concepts that make statistics terms like "standard deviation" intuitive, and give meaningful ways for laymen to discuss skews, that would be incredible.
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ultra-Tech Mental Exercises?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DataPacRat View Post
- For some really odd ones, I could try applying the Savant modifier from Powers: The Weird to anything that seems vaguely reasonable...
Just as a footnote, that modifier was originally defined in GURPS Supers. You can find a number of possibly relevant abilities in GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses.
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ultra-Tech Mental Exercises?

A technique for forgetting specific memories faster. Useful if you think you might be subjected to lie detection.

Learning how to commit yourself to certain future behaviour in a way which makes it difficult for you to change your mind later. E.g. someone might adopt a Sense of Duty toward a company in order to make it more attractive for them to hire him, or the members of a criminal conspiracy might use it to prevent themselves from snitching.
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Old 05-26-2020, 01:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ultra-Tech Mental Exercises?

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Originally Posted by Andreas View Post
A technique for forgetting specific memories faster. Useful if you think you might be subjected to lie detection.
So, something like a version of EMDR that actually works?

Quote:
Learning how to commit yourself to certain future behaviour in a way which makes it difficult for you to change your mind later. E.g. someone might adopt a Sense of Duty toward a company in order to make it more attractive for them to hire him, or the members of a criminal conspiracy might use it to prevent themselves from snitching.
Hm... I know of something approaching that: "I'm publicly announcing (so that I'm going to be held to this whether I like it or not) that if I fail to live up to this standard, then I'm going to donate to this cause I dislike." :)


By the by, does anyone know of any "Special Exercises" or "Unusual Training" (Power-Ups 2, p21) that seem particularly appropriate?
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ultra-Tech Mental Exercises?

The Envoys from Altered Carbon seem to have some not-overly-superscience mental tricks, though it only comes up a couple of times in season 1 of the show.

Of course, there are also the Mentats of Dune.
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Old 05-27-2020, 07:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ultra-Tech Mental Exercises?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DataPacRat View Post
So, something like a version of EMDR that actually works?



Hm... I know of something approaching that: "I'm publicly announcing (so that I'm going to be held to this whether I like it or not) that if I fail to live up to this standard, then I'm going to donate to this cause I dislike." :)
I'm not at all sure, but I thought that EMDR is supposed to just change how you feel about memories rather than making you forget them?


Well, you didn't technically say that the tricks would have to ones which aren't already invented ;)
Hard to get things like a Sense of Duty from just that though.
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Old 05-27-2020, 11:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ultra-Tech Mental Exercises?

We''ve always been fascinated with ways to strengthen the mind and puzzles/tools to sharpen our skills. I don't think that will stop. If anything they'll get more effective. I also don't think these are as effective as people thing. Just reading books regularly has a visible impact on cognition that rivals the best of those mental athletics game websites. Ultra Tech brain games might give you a targetted boost to skills like a temporary talent, or a will or perception bonus but it would be a +1 or +2 at best.

There would also be no less number of medicine-show scammers who will sell you a flashy distraction game they couldn't market to an entertainment site as a mental gym program.
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ultra-Tech Mental Exercises?

A way of inducing split personality. The technique comes in many different variants, each which creates a specific type of personality.

Have a boring job? Having trouble keeping up an exercise regime? Just create an extra extremely diligent personality and fast forward all the booring parts of your life as your main personality sleeps while the created one deals with all bothersome things.
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ultra-Tech Mental Exercises?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
The Envoys from Altered Carbon seem to have some not-overly-superscience mental tricks, though it only comes up a couple of times in season 1 of the show.

Of course, there are also the Mentats of Dune.
There are several places in Heinlein's works where you run across "Renshaw-ing". The clearest example might be in Citizen of the Galaxy. Also see the "Fair Witnesses" of Stranger in a Strange Land.

It's a system of mental disciplines that grants Photographic Memory and maybe boosted Per and Will. It might also teach Autohypnosis and related Skills.

We might also see Breath Control or even Body Control elsewhere in Heinlein. Come to think of it the Mobile Infantry studied maps and other intel data under hypnosis.
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