Do you, too, have a question (or questions) about Humes? Put them down below and they will be answered.
Q: What do areas of high (or low) Hume concentration look like?
A: An area of low Hume concentration is a very strange place indeed. Without the stability of ordinary reality, regular humans can alter the area to their whim, granting temporary reality bender-like abilities. These should not be confused with the real thing, of course; they are merely a projection of a higher-Hume frame of reference on a lower-Hume environment, and the "abilities" vanish as soon as the subject leaves the area. In addition, since reality is much less dense in these areas, the incidence of spontaneous anomalies and universe breaches are significantly higher. However, these anomalies/breaches do not vanish when taken from the vicinity. The reason for this is unknown at the current time.
An area of high Hume concentration, on the other hand is…also a very strange place. To normal humans, it appears vivid and overpowering; a place of strong feelings and an unworldly (actually superworldly) aura. Remember how the Himalayas have a high Hume concentration? This applies to all mountains-there's a reason they're often sought out as a place of enlightenment. To reality benders, on the other hand, these areas are flat, grey, and earthy. Since the Hume concentration in these areas are usually close to (or higher than) the reality bender's own levels, they have significant trouble exerting their powers in these areas; in some cases being completely restricted from affecting the area. As such, reality benders tend to avoid these areas, instinctively or otherwise; and the currently-in-construction Site-35 (augmented with special Scranton anchors and located in the Himalayas) promises to act as effective containment for reality benders when completed.
Q: Is it possible for a regular human to become a reality bender?
A: Yes; and there are many, many rituals and gimmicks that promise to do so (think penis enlargement spam, but promising a bigger Humedick.) However, the list of actual techniques to do so is very small; and is currently being compiled.
Q: Is it possible for animals to have hume fluctuations as well?
A: Yes, certainly! At least one cat is suspected of it; a couple of dogs; and some fleas; and there is evidence coming in that certain whales may be capable of it as well. It is also hypothesized that inanimate objects are capable of this; but testing this has so far been difficult and the hypothesis is unsubstantiated.
Q: Do we have any methods by which to test for hume fluctuations at a great distance, such as interplanetary or further?
A: At the moment…nothing. As I understand, a great many options on this front are being tested, but until then, we can only measure Hume concentrations locally.
(And as to the measures themselves-I know one that involves launching a satellite with a Kant counter on it to areas we want to measure, and another that relies on a lot of quantum mechanics that I have no conception of understanding are the most promising and the closest to completion; so look forward to these rolling out soon!)
What are our options for detecting reality affecting entities at such distances?
A: As mentioned above, basically none, except for guesswork. However, as also mentioned above, look forward to some interesting methods being introduced in the very near future!
Does being in the vacuum of space alter the nature of hume variance in any way?
A: Short answer: No. Longer answer: space is a little strange. Its baseline Hume concentration is slightly higher than Earth concentrations, with the same variations seen on Earth. In fact, it is hypothesized that most of space has a Hume level equal to (or lower than!) Earth's norm, and that galaxies and clusters act as Hume concentration areas in the same way that mountains do here on Earth. However, this is only an educated guess until we can find an actual method of testing it.
Are large and low Hume ratings expected to remain unusually high or low in parts or organs of a reality bender when detached or their user becomes deceased? Are there different Hume concentrations in certain organs rather than others? If so, which?
A: A good question, and one we haven't studied much at this time. Preliminary results seem to indicate that all organ Hume concentrations are higher than the baseline, with the heart, liver, and brain possessing the most concentration; but these levels are not as large as those present in the reality bender when alive. As the reasons for this are unknown, and as the possibility of some freak Hume fluctuation or contamination cannot be crossed out, all of this is speculation at the moment, and needs to be verified by further research.
Are there any noise or interfering "background signals" when measuring Hume concentrations in areas supposed to be "clean" of reality-bending effects?
A: Yes! Basically, what we've seen is that in a completely isolated area freed of outside influences, the baseline Hume concentration seems to fluctuate up to +/- 9 centiHumes. So two readings taken in the same place in different times can yield significantly different Hume concentrations. The reason behind this phenomenon, by the way, is unknown at this time.
Has any cognitohazardous, infohazardous or memetic effect been related to alterations in Hume ratings? (To clarify: this is a question on the respective effects these agents have on human psyche and brain chemistry, and not on the various anomalous effects affected individuals may display after being exposed to them; that is, can information alone and its knowledge change Hume ratings?)
A: No, none of the above materials or effects have been linked to Hume concentrations. It appears that these effects do not affect the local reality, instead creating changes solely in the affected person's thought processes and brain. However, the anomalous effects displayed after exposure can (and have) multiple effects on Hume concentrations (see SCP-1425 for more information on this.)
Finally, this is partly a request. Several medical doctors and health officers of the Foundation Medical Branch have requested access to miniaturized Scranton Reality Anchors to test their prolonged effects on human beings, particularly on possible relation to altered mental states and the general well-being of operators and civilians. Is there any way to request access to them for testing purposes or have these matters been looked into already? In case this has been tested, when will you publish a paper on it?
A: Well, from what we've seen on personnel working on SCP-2000, Scranton anchors don't seem to have any negative effects in the short term. All such requests for long-term testing would have to be funneled through the Ethics Committee, and all papers produced thus can be published on the SCP Foundation's internal servers (basically the Foundation's private arXiv.)
Have any locations or objects with zero or negative Hume values been discovered? What might such values represent?
A: As of yet, no. In nature, the lowest Hume concentrations we've ever encountered have been in the vicinity of ~.27/.28 H; which, while low, is still quite far from an "absolute zero" concentration. Artificially, we've been able to get concentrations down to .15 H: again, low, but still quite far from that perfect zero. While it is theoretically possible that a zero Hume concentration can exist, it is incredibly unlikely that such a thing can exist naturally in nature or can be artificially created without massive repercussions, as such a thing would not be considered "reality" as we think of (or experience) it. As for negative Humes…we haven't even put any negative numbers on the Kant counter dial, so how would we even know what we're measuring? (And that's ignoring the fact that negative Humes would probably indicate that something's gone horribly wrong in the general structure of the universe, and that, as such, whoever's holding the Kant counter should probably be getting the hell out of Dodge.)
It has been mentioned that the SRAs work via "siphoning off" reality from other universes, for lack of a better term. Are there any effects, negative or otherwise, that are known or theorized to be caused by the SRAs outside of their desirable primary effect?
A: For the universes we're siphoning the reality from, probably quite a lot of negative effects; including, but certainly not limited to: generalized reality breakdown, an increase in anomaly instances, increased reality transparency, an upswing in nonlinear time areas, chronological anomalies, spontaneous localized reality collapse, and a whole host of other things that we haven't even considered. That's why we calibrate our SRAs (nice acronym; I like it) to only drain reality from so-called "dead" universes. These include universes that are already in their last legs, i.e. undergoing heat death; universes that have been through one of the -K class scenarios (except for IK, for obvious reasons) and thus have no surviving life; and universes that, for whatever reason, had no life, sentient or otherwise, to begin with. While the SRAs likely hasten the death of these universes, it's generally considered an acceptable trade-off since these universes generally have nothing worth protecting, and since there are an infinite supply of other, identical, universes floating around as well. As for other effects of SRAs in our universe…that's a good question, and one that definitely merits a long-term study. As mentioned above with SCP-2000, short-term exposure to SRAs do not appear to have short-term detrimental effects, and no long-term effects have been observed. As for any actual long-term effects from short-term exposure, or effects from long-term exposure…your guess is as good as mine.
One of the junior researchers in my department recently theorized that Hume levels propagate in the form of 'reality waves'. Is there any merit to this theory? If so, could an object become 'out of phase' (invisible and incorporeal) with normal reality if its 'reality waves' were out of sync with its surroundings?
A: From what I can make of it…no. I mean, as quantum physics tells us, all particles have a wavelike nature (and all waves have a particle-like nature.) While there are ways to become out of phase with normal reality, these methods don't directly involve Hume manipulation—you could just pop into another universe, or try to stay in half this universe and half another, or you could change your matter state, or stuff like that. But while these things are cool, they do not, sadly, involve Humes.
What is the average Hume level in vanilla humans? In normal reality?
That's a very good question, and one that we've already answered in this paper!
Are there any known reality-benders who can increase or decrease the Hume concentrations in themselves or the surrounding reality at will?
Under the Hume-centric definition of reality bender, all known reality benders exhibit this property (with the possible [?] exception of SCP-343.)
If an entity with higher-than-average Humes is a reality-warper, what happens to entities with lower-than-average Hume levels?
Good question! Not much research has been done on these people yet, but the initial results seem to indicate that they are unable to push back against reality, leading to lives that end up being…well, whatever reality wants them to be. These are the stereotypical "charmed" or "cursed" people, and their lives usually end up resembling certain stories or tropes. Out of the five people the preliminary tests followed, one recreated the original Grimm brothers version of "Cinderella" down to the dialog used, one had a string of unusually terrible bad luck (among other things, they owned several thousand dollars worth of shares in Enron, were struck by lightning five times, and lost a finger when their cell phone batteries exploded), two were middle managers, and one had served as an O5 for over fifty years. What this means is still hotly debated, and more research must be done.
Since Hume concentration determines the ability to manipulate reality but not the individual states of objects within the area, then SRA's can't actually negate anomalies, right? As in, they can prevent reality benders from making further changes, but they can't actually negate existing anomalies that do not actively require low hume settings or changes in said settings.
Right. SRAs can only fix the ambient Hume level in its area of effect. Most anomalies cataloged so far are not exerting Hume influence on the surrounding area, or indeed demonstrating Hume variance at all, and so SRAs cannot be used as a one-size-fits-all negation device.