Q: So what the hell is a Hume?
A: A good and completely original question! A Hume is a way to determine the strength and/or amount of reality in a given area. Now, you may have issues with reality being measured this way, and it's certainly a hard concept to grasp. One of the better analogies that can be used to explain this works like this: picture that everything in the universe is covered with a thin layer of sand. This is the baseline level of reality-one Hume. When some of the sand is removed, by any means, there is less sand around, and the level of reality has dropped. When sand is added, there is more reality around. Now, this explanation is highly simplistic, to say the least, but it helps introduce the concept and gives a nice visual representation. So, using this analogy, Humes just measure the amount of sand in an area. Clear?
Q: But how do we define these things? What are they in relation to?
Another good question! Every measurement has got to be defined in relation to something, and so we devised a way to create a Hume baseline. We created two pocket realities that each contain Scranton Reality Anchors that maintain the Hume levels at an arbitrarily high and low level. These levels have been designated 100 and 0, respectively. It is from these pocket universes that Hume measurements arise.
Q: So how are these mystical Humes measured?
A: Via the Kant counter! A Kant counter consists of two portals to the pocket universes discussed above. Using these as a baseline, the Hume level of a localized area can be measured.
Q: Brilliant! Where's your [Nobel/Pulitzer/Newberry/Medal of Honor/etc]?
A: As per Foundation policy, outside sharing/recognition of work is impossible. But fear not! We've been compensated more than adequately, and, in addition, we recently got a very favorable Ethics Committee ruling authorizing a mission to speed the progress of outside researchers on the same track as us; meaning that Humes may be present in the world in as little as a few years!
Q: How can Humes help me with [the SCP I'm researching/myself/my wife/etc]?
A: If you work with lots of reality benders or reality-bending-based SCPs, you're in luck! Humes will make your life, if not easier, than at least sizeably more interesting!
First off, reality benders. These people have a twofer effect on reality. Firstly, reality surrounding them is usually slightly less real than normal. Secondly, their own personal Hume reading is usually a little higher than is normal. The magnitude of the first and second are, of course, related to the relative power of the bender in question. Usually, a low-level reality bender runs at about .75-.8/1.3-1.5 (Hume level of surrounding area/Hume level of individual; this will be used for all future examples.) Especially in the case of low-level benders, extreme discretion must be used to avoid a false positive on reality benders, as these readings can fluctuate in vanilla humans. For more information, see this lecture on reality benders. It's a huge help. Powerful reality benders, however, usually run at about .4>/<3, indicating a large ability to shape reality. Of note is SCP-343. Unlike all other reality benders, it does not exert any influence whatsoever on outside reality. However, its internal Hume reading is astronomically high, registering at an average of 86 Humes (averaged across seven different tests; more ongoing.) This indicates many things, all of which are being heatedly debated by the researchers studying SCP-343. Finally, take the case of SCP-239. Unlike many powerful reality benders, where area of effect, internal, and external Hume readings all are quite large, SCP-239 has an unusual twist. Her area of effect is quite low; only extending to her line of sight and/or imagination (which, while seemingly giving her an infinite area of effect, is really only limited to what she can actually imagine, and thus can be generally ruled out with proper containment.) However, her readings are .3/50, granting her a nearly unlimited ability to shape her local reality as she sees fit. As in the case of 343, the meaning, cause, and containment procedures for this are being debated extensively.
As for non-humanoid anomalies, Humes can be helpful there, as well. For instance, take SCP-2464. The Hume measurement inside both the anomaly as well as SCP-2464-2 have unequivocally confirmed the hypothesis regarding the anomaly, (see the addendum for more information,) allowing for more effective containment. As another case, take SCP-668. This tool perpetually raises the Hume readings within a meter or so of it by approximately two Humes when not active. When active, the Hume level rises to astronomical (>67 Hm) levels across all measuring Kant counters, and it is theorized that this effect extends across all known space. Following this realization, both 1) more effective (read: secure) containment for SCP-668 was put in place, and 2) immediate monitoring of all Kant counters commenced in order to serve as a warning system for the existence of any more anomalies in the same fashion. Finally, take the example of SCP-2000. In order to contain said SCP, Scranton Realty Anchors were constructed and deployed. However, it was not known how or why the Reality Anchors worked prior to the Kant Counter. Now, we know both how the Anchors work (by keeping local reality at a constant 2 Hm) and why they work (extremely technical, but, in keeping with the sand metaphor, goes like this: they drain sand from different, nonessential universes to keep the supply of sand in ours steady. It's nothing like that, of course, but it's the easiest explanation that doesn't involve a decade's worth of theoretical physics.)
Q: I am in awe! How did you discover this?
A: During an investigation into just how Scranton Reality Anchors work the way they do. Simple as that!
Q: What about the names? They seem a little…strange, don't they?
A: Those were just our little joke.
Q: Last, but certainly not least, who are you two handsome devils?
A: Doctors James Caldmann and Carlos Rzewski, handsome devils at large.
Questions? Confusion? Accusation? Come to FAQ 2, the Electric Boogaloo, where all your Hume-related questions will be answered!