h2g2 Law of Continuity

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Once something has been imagined into existence,

it needs to be accounted for logically.

Continuity1 is a type of etiquette on h2g2 and actually forms the basis of 'threadiquette'. It means you don't imagine things on a thread that are hard for the others to work around or that break the rules the other regulars are following. The law does not prevent anything from being created or imagined, regardless of how improbable or impossible. It only deals with the consequences of that creation within the context of the thread.


  • You will cause all sorts of havoc by imagining (ie, being the first to notice) a fire in a place you're visiting. The other people there would have to drop what they're doing and leave the place; the fire department would have to be called; the place might have to close for a few weeks while repairs are being made; and the regulars there might treat you as if you had set the fire yourself.
  • Imagining a new structure or room will require the proprietor to deal with this new thing or place, which could entail hiring construction workers to dismantle it. Even worse, if you imagine a new structure in the same location where something already exists, it could cause a disruption in the space-time-continuum, and the ramifications of that are mind-boggling.
  • Many entities at h2g2 have pets, but just like IRL, you need to be prepared for the responsibilities of owning a pet. Where did this creature come from? Where will they stay? How will they be fed? It's a big step. If you bring your pet with you into a thread, make sure it's OK with the proprietor, and help the others out by describing your pet (What kind of creature is it? Does it talk?).
  • Here's an example from the Aroma Café:

  • Once, many threads ago, there was a young researcher named Fiend who
    would appear in the morning, order coffee, invent someone to serve him, and then go through some sort of Incredible Hulk Routine and leave. On the third morning he departed through a window.

    So of course the staff had to call a glazier and sweep up the broken glass and all, his friend 'Dave' had to be accounted for, and later on the staff paid a call on Fiend at his home page. He had the law read to him and the consequences of his actions were described. He was cordially invited to return but not to damage the property in future.

    Fiend was extremely apologetic and became a well-liked regular until he
    made the mistake of telling a tutor about h2g2. His college immediately
    proscribed the site and Fiend bade the café a farewell.

    How to Avoid Discontinuity

  • Read the forum's page and the entire thread to get an idea of who is there, see what the place is like, and get a sense of the local customs.
  • Be cautious with describing things until you get to know the place.
  • Avoid making assumptions. For example, don't put a coin in the jukebox unless you know there's a jukebox. The proprietor may hate jukeboxes, and could be upset with the fact that you dragged one in there (particularly if you scratched the floor!) Instead, consider asking if there is any music in the place and let the regulars fill you in on what already exists.
  • Advanced Continuity Concepts

    Cross-thread Continuity

    In some cases, the action of one thread may cross over into another thread. For example, a long-running party thread may stop by the Forum and Firkin to get some more ice, or a tour group might stop for a dip at the swimming pool at the Waterworks and Beach. In these instances, it is up to the visiting group to keep their own continuity while adapting to the continuity of the places they visit.

    Mutated Parties and Other Strange Threads

    Some threads may internally choose to selectively recognize, bend, or grossly distort the Law of Continuity within their thread. This is acceptable and is established by the local custom and the proprietor of that particular thread. If, however, their anarchy extends outside of the thread (such as firing a scud missile at the Zen Garden and Tea House), they are likely to be declared ineffective -- in essence 'imagined' to an alternate dimension, thus negating any effects of their actions on other threads.

    The Sage of Continuity

    Hidden in the mists of Moxon Wood, on the side of Mount Sandeverest, lies the pagoda of Asteroid Lil, the Sage of Continuity. She, along with her students, attune themselves to the delicate threads that create this reality, alert to disturbances in the continuum. When major ripples are discovered, they send words of virtue to soothe the continuity and prevent future disturbances.

    If you are the recipient of these words, remember two things:

    1. The words come from the Five Constant Virtues, which are benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and sincerity.
    2. The Superior Entity examines his own conduct and polishes his soul.

    Scholars wishing to learn from the sage, or to clarify difficult issues of continuity, may approach the pagoda with their questions. When first speaking, one should address the Sage as 'Venerable One'. Even if the pagoda seems empty, be assured that all questions are heard, and you will receive a response from the Sage or one of her students when the time is proper.

    This page prepared by Loremaster Redbeard under the guidance of Asteroid Lil, Sage of Continuity.
    1An uninterrupted succession or flow; a coherent whole.

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