(Article Metadata)Created at don't-know-whenLast modified at 2023-08-11

Meta Omega

Recently I read a comic about the author drawing about what she drew.

It goes something like this:

  1. She does something
  2. She draws about it
  3. She uploads the comic on pixiv
  4. Pixiv users comment on it
  5. She draws about herself drawing the previous chapters, uploading them to pixiv, and reading the pixiv comments.

It took me awhile to figure out why reading it feels so wrong. When reading the comic, I was not given any context and the chapters are next to each other (while they are semantically distinct).

Here’s a diagram that illustrate the ordeal. Arrows indicate causality (dependent -> dependency). Numbers correspond to the numbered list items.

[breath out] That’s meta. It got me thinking though, what if someone put the concept to the limit?

Ordinal Sets

In this world, there is something called limit ordinal that can represent the upper/lower limit of a set. ω happens to be one of them.

Here’s a diagram that utilize the concept of limit ordinal. In case you are wondering, we are still talking about comics here, and each rectangle is a comic chapter.

An infinite series of comic chapters, each depending on the previous one

But wait, this just looks like every other comic series, except infinite. Besides, it’s not the infinity aspect of the comic that confused me. We need more flavor.

Interleaving Reality and Fiction

To make it clearer, I added dotted lines to represent the order I read the comic.

It seems like the “flavor” of the comic comes from the complexity of events happened outside of the comic. See how the events relate to each other.

In contrast, here’s a comic with linear progression. It feels more boring to me.

Maybe I can find a way to measure such complexity, and generate interesting story structures from that. That would have to be another article.

If you are a mangaka, feel free to use this cursed ideas to structure your story without warranty.