1582: Picture a Grassy Field

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Picture a Grassy Field
Wait, I can fix this. Picture another field. In the middle sits the only creature the first creature is afraid of. Now just-- wait, where did THAT one go?
Title text: Wait, I can fix this. Picture another field. In the middle sits the only creature the first creature is afraid of. Now just-- wait, where did THAT one go?


In this comic Megan asks Cueball to picture himself in a grassy field. It is a standard technique to begin a visualization by asking the person to imagine that they are in some calm environment (could be for any kind of meditation/mindfulness like for instance yoga). A grassy field could have been replaced by a beach at the sea, or a forest with sunbeams coming down through the trees.

Proceeding with the visualization Megan asks Cueball to imagine a creature with the power to be able to escape from any visualized scene, and then tries to convince him that this creature has indeed escaped from his current visualization as it indeed would be able to do. She then proceeds by apologizing for this but then tells him (warns him) that it from now on might appear in Cueball's daydreams, so he should begin looking out for it. This indicates that she is not at all sorry, but did this intentionally to try and mess with Cueball's head. The idea of the possibility of escaping an imagined situation was already used in 248: Hypotheticals. Now that Megan has introduced both the idea of the creature and the idea that it may appear in his daydreams, Cueball will almost certainly think of it from time to time, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In the title text Megan proposes a solution to get rid of the creature in Cueball's daydream, namely by picturing the only creature that the first fears. However, if this new (maybe quite scary) creature should be able to pursue the original creature, then it would also have to be able to move through visualized scenes just as easily. And this is what Megan pretends happens again. So now the problem is that Cueball has two creatures on the loose in his daydreams. And even if the second scares the first away, he would then still have the new one to worry about.


[Megan and Cueball are walking together.]
Megan: Picture a grassy field.
Megan: In the center sits a small, pale, big-eyed creature with the power to escape from any visualized scene and move freely through the brain that imagined it.
Megan: It glances around nervously and-
Megan: -whoops, where'd it go?
Megan: Sorry about that! Keep an eye out for it in your daydreams.

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Yikes! It's like an sql-injection for your imagination. Nique (talk) 05:28, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Maybe someone should send DiCaprio to hunt for these creatures... Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 05:50, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

I'll see your Leo and raise you one Neo... 08:00, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Reminds me of #248. --Someone Else 37 (talk) 07:39, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Maybe consider SCP-Wiki's Cognitohazards, things that are dangerous once you know of them. The creature described here would be a very mild version of those (Sorry, no idea about the identification methods for non-account holders) (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It actually comes off pretty similarly to a specific item, SCP-637. They're classified memetic objects. -- 13:56, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
The title text reminded me about how the Foundation tried to kill SCP-682 with SCP-826. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The Onthological argument? What does this have to do woth the Cartesian Onthological argument? I suggest the deletion of that part.

Agree Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 13:08, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
I think it should be left in (or put back). When I read the comic initially, I immediately thought Randal was poking fun at the ontological argument. For anyone not familiar, the core of the ontological argument is that you can induce god into existence using just words and definitions. Here, Megan essentially creates a mind-attacking being by defining it to exist. Actually, you could go so far as to argue that her mind invader is just the idea of god in and of itself - i.e. a mind invading meme that only exists because you think it exists. Obviously, not everyone here agrees with this view, but I think it should at least be mentioned in the explanation as a possibility. ActuallySerious650 (talk) 14:16, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
I have put it back in. It makes sense to me, and others, and it does say may be a reference. So people can decide for them selves, and if they do not see it, then it is still a very short explanation. So just leave it be in the explanation. --Kynde (talk) 19:34, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
there is also another comic clearly referencing this argument - https://xkcd.com/1505/. Seems to me like even if that wasn't the actual point o the comic, it is an interesting connection. Bbruzzo (talk) 01:02, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

Is there a name for thought experiments (relaxation techniques?) that start with "Picture a grassy field"? I feel like this is an established thing being referenced that should be included in the explanation. Smperron (talk) 14:24, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Reminds me of Doctor Who weeping angels Mikemk (talk) 16:24, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Now imagine a grassy field with a creature on it that can get all these other creatures and itself out of your imagination in under 5 seconds - 17:10, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Reminds me of the Tribbles from Star Trek. Benjaminikuta (talk) 19:05, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

I think this creature revealed itself to me in a dream over two decades ago in the form of a white talking rabbit in the back of a restaurant. It was sorting pieces of paper with my memories on them, possibly as an analogy for memory consolidation. --Tepples (talk) 19:37, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

I think that this is a parody of Roko's Basilisk: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/07/roko_s_basilisk_the_most_terrifying_thought_experiment_of_all_time.html (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Just by writing this statement and linking to the article you have aided in bringing about its existence! >:( --R0hrshach (talk) 16:36, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I think we have witnessed the birth of Randall's Basilisk. 17:06, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Why should the second creature be dangerous? Or the first, actually? -- Hkmaly (talk) 19:11, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Randall has his good days and his bad days. Today (or whenever the comic was posted) is not his good day. :( -- 00:22, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Why does Megan's comment prove she isn't sorry? 05:10, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Why did we need the part about how some people may not like beaches if their skin burns easily, or grassy fields if they have allergies? Is this a reference to another xkcd comic? If not, it sounds like a ranting 4 year old is telling the story - it really has no relevance whatsoever. I also agree with Descartes' ontological argument being irrelevant. While that's very interesting, it's probably very much grasping straws. I'm pretty sure this comic is just whimsical and doesn't require overthinking. 22:52, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Agreed, and I dind't assumed Megan was messing with Cueball on purpose the first time I read it. Worst case, I think the explain should say it's dubious. 22:49, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Joke's on you Megan! I have aphantasia! Siliconcarbide (talk) 21:11, 29 October 2019 (UTC) Me Too! - The other