Thursday, January 09, 2014

Implications of figmentation

As alluded to here, back in high school I used to claim that I was merely a figment of everyone's collective imagination (no, not this one) and, as such, relied wholly on people's belief in me to continue existing. Tonight I've been playing around with the concept again and forming questions about its potential implications, to wit:
  • In high school I assumed that if everyone simultaneously stopped believing in me, I'd go out like the flame of a candle. But if only a very few people believed, would I go all flickery and translucent instead?
  • Conversely, if everyone believed in me and passed on that belief for multiple generations, would I become functionally immortal?
  • Do figments of the imagination age, or is that all down to individual believer perception?
  • In Peter Pan, Peter tells Wendy that whenever a child says, "I don't believe in fairies," a fairy somewhere falls down dead. Later, Peter brings Tinker Bell back to life after she has drunk poison by asking the children of the world to clap if they believe in fairies, and (spoiler alert) it works. So are fairies a species of figment? (It kind of makes sense.)
  • If the previous is true, are the bogeyman, Bloody Mary, Freddy Krueger, Hanako-san, etc. also species of figments?
  • Could Schrödinger's Cat be described as a figment?
  • Is everybody a figment in some parallel universe? For instance, if you existed only as a character in a book in Universe B-003A, and you were somehow able to travel to that universe, would your continuing existence come to depend upon the number of people who had read and loved the book in which you appeared?
  • Conversely, might it be possible to escape figmenthood and become a fully real being by traveling to another parallel universe?
  • If enough people believed that a particular figment had a specific personality trait, I assume that figment would be forced, willy-nilly, to assume that trait. But what constitutes "enough people?" (51%? A supermajority? Constitutional amendment?)
  • Waitaminnit, does that mean that if a critical mass of people believed I could fly, I'd sprout wings? Hot cha, I'm off to start a whisper campaign on Twitter!
Yeah, I should really be in bed now.


MarieC said...

My brain hurts!

Soozcat said...

Wait, I've got a couple more...

* If you personally decide not to believe in a figment any more, does he/she/it become invisible only to you?
* Is the '80s band Journey composed of several figments of the collective imagination? Is that why they wrote "Don't Stop Believin'"?