Beware of the Gwern

[This is a silly thing I posted on Reddit several months ago]

Gwern, as you likely already know, is a mysterious formless entity of great diligence and intellect. Thus far, many have assumed him to be a benign presence. But how certain of Gwern’s motives can we be?

Recently, he has begun to craft objects of great power. And many admire him more for this. But within his creations, one finds hints of a twisted humour. Look closely at his miracles and victims begin to emerge.

Take an older project of his, A wonder to behold? An amusement but nothing more?

/u/terratheillusionist relates this sad tale:

“Once opened I was shown a waifu so lovely and pure that I stared in amazement and awe. Then the page refreshed automatically. Now I am doomed to forever refresh to get her back, knowing it shall never be.”

How many more young men sit, hunched and enslaved to this magic? What strange purpose does this serve?

Here we find a hint:

Shawn Presser is a young man skilled in the arts Gwern values. He has also begun to assist Gwern in his endeavours. Due to the largess of his patron, Presser has been given access to many hundreds of petaflops of computing resources. Why would a skilled practitioner with such vast resources swear his sword to another? How did Gwern win his loyalty? These are interesting questions. I give you another: What wouldn’t a man do for his waifu?

Together, they have released a new tool that lives on this very site. They have made a simulated reddit filled with simulated conversations. This thread is a startling example: Read it closely. Had I not just told you these were but babbling phantasms would you have known? How certain can we be that anyone on this site is not but a golem of Gwern’s manufacture? Is anyone reading this at all, or has he already won? Am I conversing only with his creations? Trapped like /u/terratheillusionist in his spell for his unfathomable ends.

It is a testament to Gwern’s growing power that I can no longer be sure.

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