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Circumstantial simultaneity

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Tumordevice

The Tumor, a device that exploits two circumstantially simultaneous events as triggers and fuel for its detonation.

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Circumstantial simultaneity is a concept that is responsible for a great deal of Weird Plot Shit in Homestuck and, depending on interpretation, may or may not be a type of time shenanigans. Doc Scratch describesSburb Logo the concept as follows:

Circumstantial simultaneity is a concept more complex than its temporal analogue, and is valuable for examining the properties of paradox space. It is the agent responsible for the major cosmic event which pre-extinction Alternians came to refer to as The Great Undoing. The same concept rules the innumerable lesser events by which this critical moment shall be catalyzed, including the break, my employer's arrival, the detonation of a very powerful bomb, and my own death. It is an abstraction weaving together the fortunes of otherwise perfectly disparate chronologies, such as those bound to a pair of distinct sessions.

Rather frustratingly, he concludes that

It's not fully comprehensible to a mortal mind, and the length I will go to explain it to you will not extend beyond this sentence.

Circumstantially simultaneous events generally are not temporally simultaneous for the simple reason that if they take place in different continuities of time, as they frequently do by being in different regions of paradox space (e.g. different sessions), it is not possible to make meaningful temporal comparisons. However, events that are circumstantially simultaneous often have some kind of similarity of circumstance, hence the name.

Examples of circumstantially simultaneous events:

Examples of circumstantially simultaneous countdowns:

  • The Mysterious Countdown and the countdown on B1 session's Tumor. They both are first seen at 10 hours 25 minutes, and end with circumstantially simultaneous events.
  • If the journeys of three years of both the Prospitian battleship with John, Jade and the planets onboard and the trolls' Ectobiology Lab with Dave, Rose and the remaining trolls onboard are seen as countdowns, they are circumstantially simultaneous: both begin with circumstantially simultaneous events and are believed to end with temporally simultaneous events. John indirectly acknowledges this when discussing with Jade about never seeing Dave or Rose when dreaming; he first claims that they do not sleep "at the same times" then realizes that "at the same times" doesn't make sense because they are in two different universes.

Another case that might possibly constitute a type of circumstantial simultaneity is Calliope intentionally striving to ensure that the session she shares with Caliborn is in some sense synchronised with the session of the post-scratch kids.

It is also possible that many of the callbacks and recurring gags could be explainable in-universe as examples of circumstantial simultaneity.

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