So, is Legend the only good adult hero in Worm so far and do you think he is a better person than Taylor?

Battery was also pretty good.

I think Legend might be a slightly better person than Taylor, though Taylor herself would probably not agree with the “slightly”. I put a lot of stock on intentions, and Legend so far has only had pure intentions of wanting to make the world better with his presence and help people out. Meanwhile Taylor has had mostly good intentions but definitely had to make some shady decisions on her path.

Including the Decision – that was her deciding to go down a path of villainy for her own benefit (in the friendship department). The Decision was sympathetic and narratively satisfying, but I wouldn’t say it was morally good. But even so she did have some good intentions there too, what with Coil’s promises of a better Brockton Bay.

The “slightly” comes from our knowledge of the two. We know more about Taylor’s path, the decisions she’s had to make along the way, her intentions behind those decisions. Chances are Legend has had to make some of those himself, that we don’t know about yet, and maybe never will. So I think they probably come out as about even, short of some big secrets in Legend’s backstory.

Taylor, as mentioned, would probably disagree, because her philosophy is consequence-based. Failing to protect people, or causing unforeseen consequences that harm people, are morally bad in her eyes, and she’s done that a lot. I’m sure Legend too has had such days, but we don’t know about them yet, so it’d just be guesswork and extrapolation if I were to base this on that.

“I… don’t know that I do think of myself that way.  I’ve probably done more damage than good, by trying to help others.”  Dinah, the people in my territory, now Brian.

I considered bringing up the idea that Taylor might not think of herself that way in the last post, but the philosophy took precedence.

But speaking of philosophy, this is one of the major recurring differences between me and Taylor. She operates on a philosophy of consequence, while I operate on a philosophy of intent, and as a result we frequently disagree on what she’s to blame for.

Also this totally counts as her blaming herself for what happened to Brian. I knew we’d get there eventually! 😛

“But your intentions were good, then?  You were trying to help?”

Oh fuck, is Amy going to be the mouthpiece for my take on these things?

I think Amy had already cemented herself subtly as my favorite “hero” (in the sense of hero vs villain rather than protagonist vs antagonist), and this certainly doesn’t hurt on that front.

This is something Taylor has needed to be told for quite a while. It’s about time the things I’ve been telling her found an Amy-shaped hole to seep in through.

I do wonder what Wildbow’s stance is. The story is unofficially subtitled as “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, isn’t it, but while that fits Taylor’s story, how much does that reflect what Wildbow is trying to communicate? I sometimes see Taylor as a cautionary tale, but is her story cautioning against philosophies of intent as much as it’s cautioning against the psychological results of focusing too much on a philosophy of consequence?

In other words, would Wildbow side with Taylor or with some of the various characters who oppose her philosophy?

“She was the catalyst in my whole life falling apart.  Tattletale was.”


“And you can be friends with her, and you still think of yourself as a good person?”

Even if we accept the premise that Lisa is a bad person (though I don’t consider her any more responsible for most of Amy’s troubles than Taylor is for the Nine showing up, which there is room to make a very stretchy argument for her being)… does staying friends with a bad person make you a bad person?

I honestly don’t know. For someone who took philosophy classes for two years, I’m really not good at actually diving into these questions. Maybe it does if you stay friends with them because of the bad parts?

I do have access to a Discord channel about philosophy, though. I think I’ll ask the question – separated from its Worm context – there, and if I get any interesting replies there I’ll be sure to let you know later.