Read. Short story in which a person is summoned to a dimension like a fantasy novel to save them from "Dust", an apparently fundamental feature of their universe. It is a slow-moving force of destruction which regrows every time it is beaten back, immune to the method that was used to defeat it. The hero is the umpteenth one to be summoned in the search for novel attack strategies. The punchline is that the hero works out the reason for what is basically extraordinary luck in continuing to keep it at bay: that they are one branch in the multiverse in which the random chance has favoured them for centuries or whatever.
First read (August 2010)Edit
First read it in August 2010. Alright I guess, apparently Yudkowsky dreamed it and thought he'd write it into a story. I have a feeling I am missing some implications, but it's typical of Yudkowsky to be opaque like that.
3/5 (1 in the current system?)
Second read (December 2011)Edit
Was going through Yudkowsky's short stories on this wiki on the 15th of December 2011 when I ended up rereading The Hero with a Thousand Chances, since it wasn't very long. Second time around I got the point of it, not sure exactly what mystified me before. Maybe I just know Yudkowsky a bit better. Well written, as most of his stuff is, but obviously it's not very good at explaining the anthropic principle, so I wonder if it's a failure, really? I quite liked the way the hero confirmed that this is what was happening. And the dig at Lord of the Rings :P
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