The Warminds Have Seen The Darkness
What is The Darkness? What is the Collapse? What exactly put humanity in such a desperate state that it struggles to remember who struck the crippling blow?
SPOILERS AHEAD for Destiny (duh) and Fargo Season 3 (couldn't help myself.)
Since The Collapse, humanity has struggled to understand what ended the Golden Age. Records are few, survivors far scarcer, and the Tower’s most prestigious scholars struggle to find answers. In going forward, Guardians remain wary of The Darkness. Even as we strike down Crota and Oryx, we failed to see past the curtain that bridged their communion with The Darkness.
We may not know what happened during The Collapse, or what The Darkness is. But we know someone who does: The Warminds.
The first reference to The Darkness or The Collapse in Destiny's Human history is the Warmind's records of the first event of the Collapse. The Warminds deployed defenses towards, and launched offensives against "The Darkness."
What's interesting is that most records of the Warminds use "nonsense words" extensively. Better stated, these words are coded terms that only make sense within the Warmind terminology. These words mean nothing to us, outside of their context. I'm not even sure if Bungie themselves have assigned meaning to them. (Luke Smith recently admitted they began work on Destiny 2, not fully aware what The Darkness is.)
This Grimoire card uses many "nonsense" words at first glance, but a closer look reveals that Bungie is playing tricks on us. They're using terms that are similar and formatted similarly to the nonsense words. Notably, these words have meanings, and the terms used are very closely associated with each other. Re-examining the card with these meanings in their proper context reveals some startling facts.
First: I'm going to read the context, identifying key terms as well as "non-nonsense" words (bolded) that I'll define later.
"Multiple distributed ISR assets report a TRANSIENT NEAR EXTRASOLAR EVENT. Event duration ZERO POINT THREE SECONDS. Event footprint includes sterile neutrino scattering and gravity waves. Omnibus analysis detects deep structure information content (nine sigma) and internal teleonomy.
No hypothesis on event mechanism (FLAG ACAUSAL). Bootstrap simulation suggests event is DIRECTED and INIMICABLE (convergent q-Bayes/Monte Carlo probability approaches 1)"
Let's start with 9-sigma. This caught my eye because I'm aware of the "Six Sigma" standards. These were created by Motorola in the late 90's. As cheap electronics proliferated, Motorola made a name for itself with its quality control standards. Chief among them, a manufacturing QA target of "Six sigma" indicating the chance of a given unit having no defect at ~0.9999966
The "Six Sigma" standard was popularized when the legendary CEO, Jack Welch, made it a key part of his strategy in running General Electric. I was a Supply Chain Management major in college, where the Six Sigma standard is frequently cited. Welch, in particular, is considered a god-among-men, not least for his implementation of the Six Sigma standard.
The "Six Sigma" rating isn't just a trademarked standard. It's mathematical shorthand. Below is a chart, demonstrating the frequency of 1-6 Sigma events. If an event happens once per day, how long would it take for an xSigma event's probability to reach it.
You'll notice that the chart tops off at six Sigma. While this is because on a timeline expanded over whole days, anything higher is impractical, it's also because of scale. Notice the jump between each level: Yearly, to 43 Years, to 5,000 Years, to 1.5 Million Years!
In class, we once approached the topic of "10 Sigma." A student asked what that would look like, mathematically. Obviously, he wasn't curious to see the actual number, but 10 is a watermark for most proportions. It's easy to remember, and helps one remember the previous proportions by counting down.
The professor's answer? That 10 Sigma is a calculation that approaches impossibility. Forget days and years, there is no measurement of any quantity--even the number of atoms--that a 10 Sigma event is reasonable to qualify. The problem isn't that it's so terribly unlikely. Even on a galactic scale, across Eons, science and numbers have no problem dealing with speculation of scale. The problem is that it approaches improbability itself.
On a long enough timeline, even the most unlikely event must occur. To be classified as 10 sigma is to achieve a rating where it's scientifically dubious that it would happen, even on an infinite timeline. To be rated 10 sigma is to be considered a challenge to the infinity of the universe itself, where even the tiniest of quarks within every atom of an endless existence may not offer enough factors for it to eclipse the plane of possibility.
So 9 sigma? A 9 Sigma event teeters on the edge of impossibility. An outcome predicted to be so unlikely that the calculation of reality itself must be considered to verify the factors exist for the dice to even be rolled.
What caused the Warminds to rate the events of The Collapse, and the oncoming of The Darkness, so unlikely? We get that answer within the card. And it shows the Warminds--powerful, networked supercomputers--struggle to comprehend the possibility of this event, even as it occurred.
"No hypothesis on event mechanism (FLAG ACAUSAL). Bootstrap simulation suggests event is DIRECTED and INIMICABLE (convergent q-Bayes/Monte Carlo probability approaches 1)."
It begins, flagging it as "Acausal." Simply put, it has no clue why the Collapse is happening, or how it's being accomplished. Next, it moves to a "bootstrap" simulation. Now, a bootstrap simulation is one that's done "on the fly." This isn't a pre-determined model, or an adjustment of existing data. A bootstrap simulation is taking the current situation's new data, and calculating whether it exists or not.
Ever felt stupor? Awe? Something so incomprehensible that it causes you to question reality itself? A reaction that elicits a realization that I am a finite individual who will never understand 1% of 1% of the world I live in.
That's what this supercomputer is experiencing...calculating...fumbling...expressing...
The bootstrap simulation then determines the nature of the attack.
Directed: Meaning it identifies that it's an intentional move, directed by an intelligent agent, with purpose…and a goal.
Inimicable: Intended to be dangerous.
It's happening and it's bad. All our advanced, strategic supercomputer can divine from The Darkness, is the abstract of evil itself. It's happening, it's bad and it wants something.
Further, the Warmind questions: Is it truly happening? Its bootstrap simulations operated using the Monte Carlo probability and the q-Bayes methods. The Monte Carlo probability was a probability simulation designed for use in early Quantum mechanics, dealing with atomic weapons. The q-Bayes is the calculation of a factor (The Bayes factor), determining probabilities for solutions of binary (Yes or No) questions.
These two methods are polar opposites. So it makes sense that the Warmind is cross-checking the two.
The Monte Carlo method involves checking all factors involved, and all possible actors. Imagine a scenario from an extremely volatile TV Series such as Fargo or Game of Thrones. In this method, researchers would note the steady factors: The characters, the locations…any and every distinct element. Then, they'd note every possible decision each character could make.
The Monte Carlo method then runs simulations, randomly choosing a number of those decisions for the world. How do the characters respond? How do different decisions interact and affect each other? What new scenarios are created? When multiple decisions interact, what new, crazier decisions are made in response?
Imagine the craziest (and most perfect) season of television ever aired: Season 2 of Fargo. The Gerhardt family, the Police, the Fargo Syndicate and the Blumquist couple, all make random decisions that lead to absolute chaos. The series' main matchup--The Fargo Syndicate vs The Gerhardt Crime Family--ends in the most absurdly violent way possible.
Fargo's rising point-man, Mike Milligan, prepares to unleash the full might of the Syndicate in an ambush he's prepared. He's holding the eldest Gerhardt son hostage, claiming he's willing to exchange for previously bargained territory. But he plans, instead, to massacre the entire organization at the Hotel in which they're staying the night.
Mike Milligan and his cohorts arrive at the dead of night…only to find that the State Police--allied with the local Gerhardt Family--coincidentally chose to stay at the same hotel. The two allies promptly massacred each other in the confusion. Milligan arrives, only to find that both his enemies have inexplicably killed each other.
The Monte Carlo method can chart the existence of insane possibilities like the one described above. No amount of speculation could have predicted any of the situations leading to that mix-up. It’s possible, therefore it’s predictably. But while the Monte Carlo method can predict its existence, it can't say whether it'll actually happen. So this is where the Bayes factor shines.
The q-Bayes method takes a question like "Who'd win in a fight: Fargo or the Gerhardts?" It then breaks down all the factors involved: strength, numbers, previous victories, etc…and rates the odds that either side could win. This all works because of the extremely complex Bayes factor, which calculates them all properly.
The Bayes factor can be cross-applied to any situation that the Monte Carlo possibility method calculates.
Monte Carlo says there's a chance the odious V.M. Varga will try to buy back stolen financial documents from the ambitious Nikki Swango in the Fargo Season 3 finale.
Bayes informs that the trade works out beautifully. But Monte Carlo raises the possibility that Swango's already sent the documents to the IRS; also, Mr. Wrench--the lone survivor of Season 1--is waiting to murder them. Bayes mournfully admits the odds now favor Swango: Fargo's men are brutally massacred. But--Monte Carlo interjects--who's to say V.M Varga doesn't escape the ambush through the elevator shaft, leaving nothing but his crumpled overcoat?
You see, The Collapse was such an unpredictable event that The Warminds can't identify the agent. They have a grasp of The Darkness, but not its agents, its methods or even its goals. So they dub the event "Acausal." There's no reason for it to have happened.
But now that it has happened, they can ask why. And the sum total of the q-Bayes/Monte Carlo probability was that it "approaches 1." At last, the Warminds have confirmed that The Collapse is, in fact, happening. Releasing our baited breaths, we roll our eyes. But we shouldn't. Because humanity has no clue what The Collapse was, and our records show that the humans who witnessed the event had no clue either.
Refer back to the statement "Omnibus analysis detects deep structure information content (nine sigma) and internal teleonomy."
This is huge. For the Warmind has grasped the nature of The Darkness and the motivation and events of the Collapse. Note the observation of "deep structure information content" and "internal teleonomy."
According to Wikipedia, Teleonomy is "the quality of apparent purposefulness and of goal-directedness of structures and functions in living organisms brought about by natural laws (like natural selection)."
Meaning: The Warminds know what The Collapse was. They know what motivated The Darkness. They may even know what The Darkness is. And they definitely know far more than we do.
Perhaps it's incorrect that the Tower Vanguard views Rasputin as merely a series of weapons and WarSats--or even merely a rogue actor. Rasputin, and should he appear--Charlemagne--know exactly what The Collapse was. And once we know what put humanity on its knees, we may finally prove ready to fight back.
It's unlikely that we'll fight The Darkness in Destiny 2. But in Destiny 3? The future beyond? We can't secure our civilization on Earth, much less across the Solar System, until we comprehend and repel The Darkness once and for all. And the Warminds hold data that make it possible. The future looks bright, and Destiny 2's Warmind-themed Expansion can't come soon enough.