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The Shy Guy is a humanoid organism that is unique due to its attributes. It is an extremely timid creature that dislikes others seeing its face. Whenever another being sees its face through direct or indirect means, it tracks the person to its location, and then eats them alive. Studies of the creature suggest that it possesses omniscience that stems from a form of global level telepathy.

Because of its omniscience, the Shy Guy is able to detect whenever somebody sees its face. This is regardless of the medium, it could be through a camera or even pixels on a photo. This person could be anywhere on the planet, including underwater, on a plane, or in a secluded mountain range.

What is strange is that, while this telepathy is world wide and powerful enough to reach all corners of the planet, it isn't able to detect anything other than when someone is looking at its picture. Its omniscience is unlimited in range, but limited in its abilities. This is counter to Cerebro, a machine that is able to detect where mutants are and what they are doing, as well as look into their minds.

How can this be the case?

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    $\begingroup$ You might have mislabelled some advanced form of recognition as "omniscience" - what if it's not all aware? Maybe it can only do this one thing. In which case, that's not omniscience. Alternatively, the being does have omniscience but isn't using it to know everything. Motives for this this can vary. Given the behaviour, we can't really know which one it is. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Mar 25 at 19:59
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    $\begingroup$ 6 answers and only my upvote? Come on you all, if you like it enough to answer it, you like it enough to upvote it! $\endgroup$ – Willk Mar 25 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ Knowing everything about one thing isn't the same as knowing everything about everything. $\endgroup$ – DKNguyen Mar 25 at 20:59
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    $\begingroup$ -1: I swear, SCP Wiki is more dangerous to link to than TVTropes. I opened it at 09:20 and now it's 11:35 and I got no work done yet. /s $\endgroup$ – MechMK1 Mar 27 at 10:35
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    $\begingroup$ What you are describing isn’t omniscience at all. This being just knows, at best, what everybody is thinking. It does not know everything, not even just everything on earth. It does not, for instance, know if there will be an earthquake on Easter island 3056 days from today. Nor does it know how to prove or disprove Fermat’s Last Theorem. Because nobody knows these things, it cannot use global telepathy to determine them. But an omniscient being would know these things. $\endgroup$ – RBarryYoung Mar 27 at 23:47

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Information overload.

The Shy Guy is omniscient on a global scale. However, it's not Jehovah. As a result, it has limited brainpower with which to process information.

Because of this, while the Shy Guy has the information, it is totally unable to process all of it; while the amount of information the Shy Guy is able to process at any given time is greater than zero, it is still very limited.

Its finite brainpower, combined with a general "I couldn't care less" attitude towards non-Shy Guy affairs, means that it doesn't bother to monitor anything it doesn't really care about.

Unfortunately for quizzical humans, it happens to really care about not being seen.

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  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ My point is that the Shy Guy will be unable to process all of the infinite amount of information that omniscience is contingent upon. I have clarified this in an edit. $\endgroup$ – The Daleks Mar 25 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ And my point is that the quote is wrong. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Mar 25 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ How so? My point is that, while the amount of information it can process is greater than zero, it is still unable to process all of it. $\endgroup$ – The Daleks Mar 25 at 20:34
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    $\begingroup$ @VLAZ Oops, I misremembered it. As for the the "glass half empty vs. half full" stuff, I think I shall find a different way to illustrate my point. Thank you for your help/feedback. $\endgroup$ – The Daleks Mar 25 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ Just to comment on the discussion the above - mathematically, infinity divided by anything else than infinity is still infinity. Unless you go into different types of infinities (yes, there is more than one)... $\endgroup$ – Jan Dorniak Mar 26 at 17:21
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Being able to know when someone is looking at your face is not omniscience, it's just a cool magic trick. Omniscience would mean it knows literally everything, so the creature would be able to know things such as:

  • Whether Epstein killed himself
  • The release date of Half-Life 3
  • Who the f... is Alice

The creature is just picking up clues about its environment.

If I see a crowd looking at something, I don't know what it is, but I may then see what they are looking at and find out myself. Just the same, the creature is extremely ugly - if it sees someone doing a face as if they'd seen something horrid, it checks out what the person saw. If the creature then sees its own face, it goes crazy and does its thing. Doesn't mean it knows whether P = NP.

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    $\begingroup$ what is Alice referring to? $\endgroup$ – Incognito Mar 25 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Incognito Who the hell is Alice? $\endgroup$ – Renan Mar 25 at 19:18
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    $\begingroup$ Was at a concert once where that song was played as background music. At the appropriate point 2/3 of the audience shouted the line. The other 1/3 were very confused. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Mar 25 at 19:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Incognito youtube.com/watch?v=zw08Py5nz1w $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Mar 25 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ not even Shy God knows the release date of HL3 $\endgroup$ – hanshenrik Mar 26 at 21:03
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This comes up in "The Dresden Files".

Full Omniscience is silly overwhelming to the point of uselessness. Knowing how many atoms are in every random flower.

There are rare abilities which give a very, VERY limited slice of that. Omniscience on one extremely narrow topic. Knowing everything about one island, or how to torture someone. Butcher calls it "intellectus".

As for how do you get it, lots of practice (thousands of years), lots of focus, and godlike power. You're basically one with the universe on that subject.

Which means the Shy Guy is some flavor of God and there's a lot of backstory we're missing.

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    $\begingroup$ I will always upvote answers that are based on existing concepts. Why reinvent the wheel when there is prior work on the matter? $\endgroup$ – Nzall Mar 26 at 12:47
  • $\begingroup$ Given the 'how you get it' snippet this sounds more like immortal expert knowledge than omniscience. The knowledge is learnt not assumed. $\endgroup$ – Jontia Mar 27 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Jontia, it starts out that way... but eventually you know things you can't possibly know. $\endgroup$ – Dark Matter Mar 27 at 14:37
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The Shy Guy is as good as Cerebro or better. It just doesn't care.

Shy Guy is not one for talking or explaining. Pretty much just one for sitting quietly or unstoppably chasing people down and eating them; those 2 things. But Shy Guy knows all the minds of the world, all the time.

Shy Guy just does not care about anything except the one thing: if a person has seen it.

Given this godlike power, Shy Guy may have once been more useful or had a wider purpose. Maybe Shy Guy was a god. Shy Guy was mentally damaged along the way; badly damaged. Perhaps it was imprisoned in orbit, where its abilities to overcome obstacles could not propel it back to earth. It was cut off from the richness of the many minds that were and again are its perceptual world. It had nothing, for a long, long time. Intelligent things go mad quickly from sensory deprivation. When it finally came down, it was a husk of its former self.

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    $\begingroup$ I love this. Has the power, but doesn't focus on anything other than this one stupid thing. $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Mar 28 at 17:24
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It's not telepathic. It just detects sympathetic magical resonances.

Simply put, rather than it being able to telepathically detect people who see its face, it instead might notice some form of sympathetic magical linkage form between itself and anyone who sees an image of it - by seeing that image, they create a mental construct that is magically linked to the Shy Guy, and the creature can sense that link and use it to track down the offending person. Perhaps it developed this as a defense mechanism against wizards who used sympathetic magic to remotely cast spells on people.

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Shy guy omniscience isn't limited in its abilities, it's just that it isn't interested in things you would a priori consider more interesting, such as peeking into the minds of mutants.

In fact, right now you have whole countries with their inhabitants secluded in their nests (homes), communicating mainly through a telepathy (internet) that is world wide and powerful enough to reach all corners of the planet, and gives them access to a wealth of information, of all types and every depth. Yet, perplexing to the scientifics of an alien race studying them, these gods usually prefer not to make such use of their abilities and, while they sometimes engage on lower-level activities, more often than not they spent their whole full time in fruitless activities such as sharing memes between each other or odd questions. Nevertheless, one activity they take great care on their interactions is noticing when they are being mentioned/shared. Unlike Shy guy, however, they generally enjoy that exposure, but there are some cases where they have the opposite reaction, much like Shy guy (showing a similar wrath, but without the final meal).

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  • $\begingroup$ An excellent answer; bravo! $\endgroup$ – The Daleks Mar 27 at 3:33
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1. One Minute anywhere on earth

One simple explanation is that the face of Shy-Guy has some unique properties, which excite a deep rooted reaction in the brain of any human who perceives it. This reacting is a telepathic pulse, which is very faint, but the Shy-Guy has a super-sensitivity for exactly this frequency of telepathic pulse. So he cannot see everything, he just has a very fine antenna tuned to the pulse a brain generates when it perceives his face.

2. One Minute anywhere in the universe (unlikely and unverified)

If the Shy Guy reacts to someone seeing his image anywhere in the universe within one minute, this would be faster than light could travel the distance for most points in the universe. This means the information of someone seeing his face would have to travel faster than light. One possible explanation could be that any waves/particles interacting with his face become entangled with him in a certain way. And this entanglement is infectious to any form of copy or scanning/transmitting the information about his face. He can then somehow sense the collapse of the entangled wave function and knows something is of and starts in the direction of the target.

In essence this would probably the best way to take care of the Shy-Guy problem for a long time - if someone views his picture a Million lightyears away and he will start traveling there at sub-light speed, he will be travelling for millions of years through empty space not harming anybody.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hah, I love your solution for the problem. One quandary though: how does one get a million light-years away to safely view the picture in the first place? If there's FTL travel/teleportation/etc, then you have to worry about Shy Guy trying to use it too. $\endgroup$ – Doktor J Mar 27 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ The only solution I see would be if someone built an experimental one-way teleportation system (i.e. doesn't need a "receiver"), then teleports a sacrificial person (perhaps a prisoner sentenced to death who volunteers?) in a pod deep into space with the picture in a folder. The person pulls and views the picture to get his attention once teleported, and the teleporter is destroyed. After the person gets tired of floating in space, they swallow a cyanide tablet and leave Shy Guy on his million-year journey to find a dessicated corpse. $\endgroup$ – Doktor J Mar 27 at 13:14
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It's nothing more than a name-mentioning enchantment.

In Harry Potter when someone spoke the word "Voldemort", that event popped up on the Death Eaters' radar.

So those other persons, by speaking the name, inadvertently invoked the magic which caused a ping.

This is simply that kind of magic.

Instead of speaking, it's thinking, and instead of a word, it's an image -- of Shy Guy's face.

Shy Guy has no earthly idea what's in anyone's head; because other thoughts do not cause that "ping".

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It has a magic rune on its face. The magic of the rune is threefold: first, it only activates on an astral plane or mindscape - that is to say, thinking, or just knowing, the rune will activate it, but just being drawn on a sheet of paper or captured in a photograph won't (until someone looks at it).

Second, it enhances recall of itself, as a perfect memory that will never fade. This means seeing the rune once means it will be permanently "active" in your mindscape until you either die, or can artificially wipe all the memories it has threaded itself into.

Finally, it acts as a beacon, broadcasting to the Shy Guy, and allowing it to track down the "host" while providing information on their physical and mental state.

In times long past, this served 3 purposes: First, it allowed other Shy People to find each other, no matter how spread across the universe. Second, it allowed them to detect and evade predators who would hunt them. Third, it would allow them to "mark" prey, to attack when they were vulnerable or asleep.

Obviously, this isn't actually omniscience - but the end result is still "knowing when its face has been observed"

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Brain patterns

Shy guy doesn't notice everything, it is enough that it notices the brain patterns associated with seeing recognising its face.
Just like in virology we don't look for the full RNA strand, we just look for a given pattern.

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Telepathy is a little defined magic system. Usually its just "ya feel tha feelings and read tha thoughts possibly with some telekinesis on the side". But you can try to define it your way.

Example: everyone has a soul, for want of a better word, that telepaths can sense and interact with. Some telepaths have different ways of interacting. Your Shy Guy can sense any interaction with the impression his soul leaves on the world like a fotograph but cannot sense people he hasnt influenced yet. So he can sense the picture being in the world, and when someone looks at that picture he can sense the impression his face has made within that specific person's mind through his telepathy and home in on him for consumption.

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    $\begingroup$ "Telepathy is a little defined magic system." erm, none of the myriad of magic systems is really "well defined". As evidenced by there being a myriad of magic systems where each works differently, even if they tap into the same basics (e.g, the Greek four elements). I can't remember seeing a magic system that works the same between two different works of fiction. Heck, the same fictional universe might even have the same magic system work differently between instalments. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Mar 25 at 20:04
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He hates mirrors.

Whenever someone sees his face, on camera or in reality, reading this persons mind will feel like looking in a reverse mirror. An image however does not move. That's why he either doesn't notice, or does not care. Your choice.

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