Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Comic Discussion => QUESTIONABLE CONTENT => Topic started by: Tova on 22 Jan 2017, 15:48

Title: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Tova on 22 Jan 2017, 15:48
I thought I'd have a go a this whole starting a WCDT thread thingy. But I just stole Kugai's poll from last week.   :-)

Go ahead and do your worst.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: osaka on 22 Jan 2017, 16:22
I'm voting for "behind the back wall". You see, I saw "Now you see me" short ago.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 22 Jan 2017, 19:10
I've seen Monday's, so I shan't comment, but I do need a post here :P
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Castlerook on 22 Jan 2017, 19:53
Well then, what a depressing start to the week.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Sullivan on 22 Jan 2017, 19:55
My theory:

The memories are there, but Grayface's job here has simply been to convince Bubbles that they're not, so she'll stop looking for them. This may be out of sympathy for Bubbles (removing CW's leverage while relieving Bubbles of remembering something truly awful) or it may be (cue Organ Chord of Doom) part of a deeper, larger plan.  Either way, the "empty room" is just part of the illusion.

(edited to remove spoiler tag, as everyone is talking about the lack of memories already)
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Strawberrycocoa on 22 Jan 2017, 20:27
I don't trust Grey Gestalt over there to be telling the whole truth. It just doesn't feel right that they show up out of nowhere to help out for free out of pity. They WANT something.

I'm guessing they are after Corpse Witch for something and either want to motivate Bubbles to quit her employment so Corpse Witch loses a big powerful bodyguard who needs her kept alive, or they just flat out hope Bubbles kills Corpse Witch in a rage and this is a convoluted assassination attempt using Bubbles as a patsy. OR Grey is covertly planting their OWN mind-control software.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 22 Jan 2017, 20:36
I don't know, the gray one does seem genuinely surprised and bothered to discover that they aren't there.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: cesium133 on 22 Jan 2017, 20:40
It's also possible the memories still exist, but were moved by CW elsewhere.

Or possibly the memories never existed, but the memory of the memories having existed was planted by CW.

Or it's encrypted memories all the way down.  :psyduck:
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: SomeCanadianWeirdo on 22 Jan 2017, 20:44
Or Corpse Witch is in fact inept and screwed things up.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: cesium133 on 22 Jan 2017, 20:46
Aww, where's the fun in that?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Carl-E on 22 Jan 2017, 20:51
... in watching bubbles give CW her final farewell? 



I guess that'll happen regardless...  still, seeing Grey just pop in and confirm the loss after all this subterfuge to avoid doing so is a little odd. 

And aside from Bubble's freedom, I don't really see where this is going.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: cesium133 on 22 Jan 2017, 20:55
Though, is confirming the loss all that Grey is doing in there? Grey could plant some code of their own while inside... We still don't know Grey's intentions.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: FuzzyFace on 22 Jan 2017, 21:09
And here I was thinking that the monster was the memories - and that killing it caused the deletion.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 22 Jan 2017, 21:28
Welcome, new people!

@strawberrycocoa, if Corpse Witch is worthy of their notice, then they're lying about how big and important they are. Which would be interesting.

In other news, notice that Bubbles gets treated with courtesy while the squishies get assaulted. I suspect AC of racism. Arrogance of power, revenge for historical mistreatment of AIs, or something else?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: swapna on 22 Jan 2017, 21:46
And here I was thinking that the monster was the memories - and that killing it caused the deletion.

That would be my theory also. But then again, I'm having my problems with the whole "Emily can break encryption with a toy gun"-storyline. (Whole slew of reasons, one of them is representing encryption as something you can just "break" with a few keystrokes/a trip to the VR if you're smart enough. Or that encryption is somehow separate from the data? As the monster seems to suggest) If encryption & data work at least a little bit like they should, it could be that the data is hidden in the "white noise" that is the room, or the "monster" that is the encryption.

But the in-story logic doesn't work that way, so I'm gonna say Grey Agent is right, and Corpse Witch has a wonderful time to look forward to. Or she's got the data somewhere, because if encryption can just be broken I'm pretty sure I also wouldn't leave my leverage somewhere my blackmail victim could get to it.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Tova on 22 Jan 2017, 21:50
I have a feeling that CW never intended to hand Bubbles the encryption key after ten years. I've no idea what her plan was, though.

I wonder if CW had a reason for wanting to ensure that those memories never resurfaced.

There are two possible reasons I can think of:

1. She really did stuff up encrypting them, and wanted to cover that up.
2. The memories somehow involve her.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Morituri on 22 Jan 2017, 21:59
I hope that Bubbles and Faye have the restraint to ensure that CW is properly arrested and jailed rather than destroyed. 

But I still find it somewhat fortunate that "properly arrested and jailed" could start with tearing her limb from limb and then chopping off her head.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Gyrre on 22 Jan 2017, 22:49
TFW the perfect track starts playing when the page loads.
Killing Hope (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osKfUZRXouY)
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: BenRG on 22 Jan 2017, 23:30
It's difficult to judge what is going on here. However, given that They think that the memories are gone forever, I'd say that it is more likely to be so. They would be less likely to be fooled by a 'blind' or some other form of camouflage or misdirection. FWIW, if she did delete the memories, Corpse Witch's pre-cubisation timeline is now measured in minutes.

One possible option is that the memories are now 'off site' somewhere as additional insurance. I'm really seriously hoping that isn't the case because I'll have to massively re-think my idea of how AIs work in Questionable Content. Once again FWIW, They don't seem to think that this is possible or they'd suggest it.

I guess that I don't like this outcome. It's feels too much of a cop-out. We'll see where Jeph takes it.

I'm having my problems with the whole "Emily can break encryption with a toy gun"-storyline.

You don't need to de-encrypt a file to delete it. You just don't know with any certainty what you may have just cast into digital oblivion.

I have a feeling that CW never intended to hand Bubbles the encryption key after ten years. I've no idea what her plan was, though.

Keep holding the deletion of the encryption key over Bubbles' head indefinitely, always finding new excuses whilst trying to so tangle Bubbles in the business that she'd never be able to extract herself even if she wanted to.

I wonder if CW had a reason for wanting to ensure that those memories never resurfaced.

We know that Corpse Witch has contacts in official circles that has given her immunity for a while. Maybe this included intelligence or defence officials who would vastly prefer that no record of what Bubbles did and experienced survive in any form.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Sullivan on 22 Jan 2017, 23:45
And here I was thinking that the monster was the memories - and that killing it caused the deletion.
That could still be the case. And if so, Gray Ghost might have known, or might not.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: pwhodges on 23 Jan 2017, 00:37
Alternatively the memories contained information incriminating to Corpse Witch, which the authorities wanted to recover in order to move against her.

Do AIs contain anything akin to logs of the actions performed by/on/in their brains?  Perhaps Emily can track down logs showing that Corpse Witch did things which are in themselves incriminating.  Or perhaps there might even be some record of the memories in logs which have been overlooked - that's the sort of loophole that can happen in our present IT systems.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Skewbrow on 23 Jan 2017, 01:00
So the equivalent of Bubbles' personal recycle bin is the remaining hope?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jheartney on 23 Jan 2017, 01:07
Having previously guessed that the memories are vamoosed, I'll go ahead and speculate that they are truly gone, they've joined the choir eternal, they're pushing up the daisies. I think this all leads to Bubbles becoming the new proprietor of the robot fights (which is ironic, since she doesn't really like them). Maybe after a period of mourning.

Let's see this makes two non-core gals in QC to have experienced a devastating loss. Perhaps Bubbles can hire Brun to serve drinks.

(http://heartneystudio.com/clientfiles/misc/brun-bubbles.jpg)
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: BenRG on 23 Jan 2017, 01:47
I notice that Jeph uses the name 'Creepybot' for the pale-skinned interloper when discussing Them on Twitter. This is probably as close as we are going to get to an 'official' name for the character and I'll be using it from now on, just so you know.

I suspect that Creepybot has an agenda and it is involved with Bubbles' memories. I'm sure if what she experienced came out in a wider forum, a great number of humans and AIs in very senior positions may be either embarrassed or totally discredited in the eyes of the wider public. I believe that this is what They want - Either to remove figures that are not in agreement with or who would actively impede Their ultimate agenda (whatever that is) by having them discredited over actions and policies that (even if only out of context) were highly questionable.

What happens next? One scenario goes like this:
Well, that's one possibility at least. However, no matter what happens next, I suspect that the time has come for Corpse Witch to take a long holiday for the sake of her health.

I'm also looking forward to a major feels arc where Bubbles comes to terms with what has happened and Faye tries to be a good friend for her. I'm also seeing Bubbles struggling with her desire to cause irreparable harm to Corpse Witch and the conflict with her personal ethics and her desire to reject violence.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Carl-E on 23 Jan 2017, 03:40
When they go back to reckon with CW, they'll find naught but an empty shell - she'll have already uploaded herself into a different chassis she had in reserve as a getaway plan. 
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: brasca on 23 Jan 2017, 04:28
I still think that there is a copy somewhere.  To put the memories in something that appears to be a monster doesn't strike me as incompetence or really all that malicious, but clever.  She probably suspected that Bubbles might get someone to help her recover the memories behind her back.  Keep in mind entering Bubbles mind and unlocking the door were all very simple and Station or some of Hannelore's associates could do the same, but almost all of them would either run from the monster or delete it like Emily did.  Now if Bubbles confronts Corpse Witch she will have revealed that she sought outside help unless deleting the memories already alerted her about this.  Of course such a confrontation is bound to be fatal so more than likely Corpse Witch will tell her she has the copies stored safely, but if she goes offline for more than a few seconds it will automatically delete everything.  What happens next is a matter of getting the file from her, but there's also the possibility Corpse Witch will be gone when they arrive if she detects Creepy Bot.  She's probably more scared of who they represent than Bubbles so there might one day be hope of finding her and the memories, but in the meantime Bubbles and Faye can takeover her operation. 
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: A small perverse otter on 23 Jan 2017, 06:49
Does this put Bubbles in a "nothing to lose" situation? If so, does it endanger CW?

I mean, at the point, CW can not harm Bubbles again. B's been working without those memories for years, so she knows she doesn't need them. Well, now she doesn't have them; the worst has happened. What hold does CW have on B now? None. What hold does B have on CW? An infinite one: CW performed an illegal surgery and then extorted the victim.

I want to see what happens to Agent CreepyPasta, but I also wonder what this does to the overall story line.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: swapna on 23 Jan 2017, 08:40
One possible option is that the memories are now 'off site' somewhere as additional insurance. I'm really seriously hoping that isn't the case because I'll have to massively re-think my idea of how AIs work in Questionable Content. Once again FWIW, They don't seem to think that this is possible or they'd suggest it.

I guess that I don't like this outcome. It's feels too much of a cop-out. We'll see where Jeph takes it.

I'm having my problems with the whole "Emily can break encryption with a toy gun"-storyline.

You don't need to de-encrypt a file to delete it. You just don't know with any certainty what you may have just cast into digital oblivion.


True, but the comic suggested that Emily had to defeat the "monster" before getting to the data. If they expected to find Bubble's memory still there, the in-comic logic says that the monster is the encryption (or a trap), which Creepybot expects to be separated from the data. As I said, not a fan of the whole storyline.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 23 Jan 2017, 09:10
>Or that encryption is somehow separate from the data?

If so that would make sense technically.

People have locking keyboxes to store physical keys in, and there are ways to use encryption that involve a "key encryption key" that the monster might have represented.

If Emily pshooed a KEK, though, there should be a block of forever incomprehensible stuff in the room.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: gprimr1 on 23 Jan 2017, 09:27
You know, I'm going to take a different stand on this.

Bubbles is free. There are thousands upon thousands of people who would probably give everything they own to be able to erase painful memories.

With the memories gone, Bubbles can move forward with her life, free of the pain they caused her and the control they allowed people to place on her. She is truly free now. CW won't fuck with her, she knows too much about what goes on there, she can just ride off into the sunset and begin a new life.

It is like the movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch, "To Walk Away, You Have to Leave Something Behind."

Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Morituri on 23 Jan 2017, 09:33
Do AIs contain anything akin to logs of the actions performed by/on/in their brains?  Perhaps Emily can track down logs showing that Corpse Witch did things which are in themselves incriminating.  Or perhaps there might even be some record of the memories in logs which have been overlooked - that's the sort of loophole that can happen in our present IT systems.

I would be astonished if, outfitted in a military chassis and deployed on combat missions, there is not a complete record of everything Bubbles saw and heard while in a combat zone.  Recording equipment is standard on military vehicles and has been for over a decade, and those records are kept for after-action reports and intel analysis.  There is just no way that they'd have deployed her and NOT kept a record of her vision and hearing while deployed.

Those recordings won't have the 'internal monolog' and emotional feedback that go with first-person experience, but they'd sure as heck let her know exactly what went on. 

After mustering out though, I sort of doubt they'd have been continuing to record or continuing to collect the recordings, so they probably wouldn't recover anything incriminating CW that way.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: sitnspin on 23 Jan 2017, 09:44
You know, I'm going to take a different stand on this.

Bubbles is free. There are thousands upon thousands of people who would probably give everything they own to be able to erase painful memories.

With the memories gone, Bubbles can move forward with her life, free of the pain they caused her

Except this obviously isn't true. Those memories have been inaccessible for a long time and she isn't free of the pain. The trauma is still there, she just have any context for it and now can never face and address the root of her trauma.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Mad Cat on 23 Jan 2017, 11:02
My call: Not only did Bubbles never have any painful memories for CW to partition away and encrypt, but Bubs has never even been in combat. Her memories of having painful memories of her battle buddies are more synthetic than she is. I don't know how CW got Bubs "on the table" in the first place, but once CW was "diving beyond her ghost line", she deleted whatever the real reason was she used to get Bubbles to let her in there, planted the "mere fact" of having painful memories, and then encrypted a blank sector of Bubbles' mind to make it look like it contained the painful memories.

This whole thing has been CW's exercise in psychological warfare to secure to herself a slave AI in a powerful chassis to help her maintain, and I dunno, possibly expand, her criminal empire. I mean, she runs an illegal, underground, robot fight club. Her stock in trade is the misery of other AIs and their dependency on her. Does anyone dispute that CW would be capable of the scenario I've painted?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: wlewisiii on 23 Jan 2017, 11:10
You know, I'm going to take a different stand on this.

Bubbles is free. There are thousands upon thousands of people who would probably give everything they own to be able to erase painful memories.

With the memories gone, Bubbles can move forward with her life, free of the pain they caused her and the control they allowed people to place on her. She is truly free now. CW won't fuck with her, she knows too much about what goes on there, she can just ride off into the sunset and begin a new life.

It is like the movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch, "To Walk Away, You Have to Leave Something Behind."

"Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose"?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: WareWolf on 23 Jan 2017, 13:01
Here's a possibility: the 'pshoo' gun didn't destroy the beast: it absorbed it. The memories are now stored in the 'doink' projectile, lying about and  ready for Creepybot to pick up as soon as no one's looking. 
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Kugai on 23 Jan 2017, 13:26
Whatever is true here, the coming confrontation with Corpse Witch, whether Agent Creepy is involved or not, is going to be either an epic end to this story arc, or a move into another aspect of it.  Either way, I think we're headed for Corpse Witches demise  (I hope) and Bubbles being able to move on with her life.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: JRDelirio on 23 Jan 2017, 17:42
As Bubbles did exhibit some signs of anger/stress effects, one would expect Creepy could find  elsewhere in the mind metaphor signs (maybe in the form of a door or two that are lightly scorched, or flooring that's missing a tile, or a water stain in a wall, something that says something bad did happen) that point to how there were original detailed memories that did hurt her and that's why they had to be locked away.  But that is not absolutely necessary to show.

(But I have to say yeah we got here a bit anticlimactically.  There could have been a couple of pages of  having to actually  gather one or more of the map, comically large key, and/or pshoo-gun; or a mook room before  a Boss one.)


Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 23 Jan 2017, 19:28
Here's a possibility: the 'pshoo' gun didn't destroy the beast: it absorbed it. The memories are now stored in the 'doink' projectile, lying about and  ready for Creepybot to pick up as soon as no one's looking.

If so, then "we never lie" was a lie, and why would they bother to lie if they're really as powerful as they claim?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 23 Jan 2017, 19:35
Also, the Gray One is alone in that room. No reason for a pretense.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 23 Jan 2017, 20:09
And like that...they're gone, as quickly as they arrived. Who knows if/when they'll be back and/or what we'll learn about them.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Gyrre on 23 Jan 2017, 20:28
>Or that encryption is somehow separate from the data?

If so that would make sense technically.

People have locking keyboxes to store physical keys in, and there are ways to use encryption that involve a "key encryption key" that the monster might have represented.

If Emily pshooed a KEK, though, there should be a block of forever incomprehensible stuff in the room.

The encryption was part of the lock on the door. The monster was malware meant to wreak havoc  were the encryption to be broken by either Bubbles or another AI (hence the need for Emily's involvement).
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Gyrre on 23 Jan 2017, 20:33
Looks like Creepybot has finally established that they had little to no ulterior motive. Though, tomorrow could change everything.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Perfectly Reasonable on 23 Jan 2017, 20:41
Well, the story certainly took an unexpected left turn at Albuquerque. If Jeph wanted to make me upset and confused, he certainly got the full effect. I should have known better. There's been too much invested in all this buildup to have it end with a lot of nothing.

Now when GrayCreep talks about the Sanctity of Mind, I believe the collective is being perfectly sincere.
Editing of memories, or the implanting of fake memories, would be ultimately horrific to an AI. If anything like this is going on, it must be Stamped Out At Once.

So why aren't they going after Corpse Witch directly? Possibly they are circumscribed by their own ethics. We have not seen Corpse Witch's side of this.

Are the memories really lost forever? GrayCreep seems to think so. But we know, per Bubbles, that backups are possible. And per Morituri, it seems certain that the actions of a prototype combat AI in the field would have been recorded by the military.

I don't believe that the collective is hiding some horrific agenda. The reason for the ominous hints? Because once they're done here, they don't want to be bothered.
 
I think we will see that the collective is hardly all powerful. There are things they can't do. There are things they don't want to do. There are things they won't let themselves do.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Tova on 23 Jan 2017, 20:44
It's slightly odd for an entity that never lies to use the phrase, 'to be honest.'
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: ZoeB on 23 Jan 2017, 20:51
And like that...they're gone, as quickly as they arrived. Who knows if/when they'll be back and/or what we'll learn about them.

Probably never seen again. They only intervene in matters that are important.

Poor Bubbles. She's in the best of hands though.

As for the Eminence Gris - i apparently think like her. CW might have reason to thank her lucky stars that they are likely to temper Justice with Mercy. If rehabilitation isn't possible, she'll be retained for analysis, after that it will be quick and pain free. But try rehabilitation first, and they need to know what circumstances made CW what she is. I hope healing her is possible. I may have to settle for neutralising the threat. I prefer winning to breaking even, but sometimes it's not possible. Sometimes it would require deeds that are unacceptable - not a consensual procedure as with Bubbles, but a mind rape. So that's out, no matter how inconvenient.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jheartney on 23 Jan 2017, 21:07
I'm thinking the reason Graycheeks didn't go after CW directly is that the real problem is Bubbles' mind, so they went to the source rather than the periphery. As to punishing CW, I imagine Bubbles is quite up to that task if it's necessary/possible. But I think CW will have been alerted that Bubbles' encryption is no longer in place, so she'll have gone already by the time we return to the skate park. (If  this isn't so, CW better have a really strong frame on her core drive.)

Thus, I think we're at the beginning of season 5 of Angel: our hitherto underdog protagonists take over the castle. Skate park under new management, by two gals who are devastating with a punch.

I look forward to the arc sometime in the future when CW returns, after a decent interval. Will she be chastened? Or will she have a new revenge plot? Stay tuned.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: MrNumbers on 23 Jan 2017, 21:09
I think it's safe to say Grey isn't lying.

From what we know of her character, if she were the one responsible for the memories being deleted, she'd be smug about it right now.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 23 Jan 2017, 21:09
Contrast the empathy toward Bubbles with the arrogant contempt for her carbon-based friends.

Seems like giving up suspiciously early.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Tova on 23 Jan 2017, 21:15
As for the Eminence Gris ...

This absolutely is the name I'll be using henceforth.

Contrast the empathy toward Bubbles with the arrogant contempt for her carbon-based friends.

The empathy shown by Eminence Gris towards Bubbles makes me even more keen to know what their relationship is or was. I hope we will find out in due course.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: St.Clair on 23 Jan 2017, 21:26
No pressure, Faye.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 23 Jan 2017, 21:28
EG's reaction and facial expression make it believable that success was genuinely important to them and that failure left them too gut-punched to keep up the swagger.

Getting back to what Zoe said about the Creepy Collective's values, they don't intervene in poverty, anti-robot racism, or unfair treatment by parole departments. But let them catch word of a mind-rape and the gloves come off. I can respect that.

So, does Officer Basilisk re-appear? After a mysterious leak triggers a corruption scandal that sends several of her superiors to prison? The EG collective does seem to prefer working in the shadows.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Storel on 23 Jan 2017, 23:03
Anticlimactic is the word, all right. I just didn't expect Creepybot's utility suite to be so powerful that breaking a powerful encryption and overcoming protective malware would be so easy that Emily -- who, we thought, was selected for her quirky brilliance, for what she could add to the fight -- never had to do anything more than turn a key and pull a trigger. And then to find there's simply nothing there on top of that? Huh.

I guess Emily was selected more for her emotional detachment than her brilliance -- that Creepybot figured if the memories were still there, Emily would be less likely to be traumatized by them than, say, Faye. Which makes sense, in a way; anybody who could be that blase about vomiting probably is less prone to emotional trauma than most people. But still, some explanations would have been nice.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Zog on 23 Jan 2017, 23:07
It looks to me as if Creepybot left behind her tools. Maybe Emily will go back in and find the memories.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: BenRG on 23 Jan 2017, 23:27
No, sorry Jeph. I fully understand the desire on your part to fast-track this part of Bubbles' story and move on to its consequences. I also understand the urge to introduce an interesting new character when they pop into your brain. However, the whole way this arc has been handled has just been on long narrative hand-wave. Simply put, there was no need to use Creepybot whatsoever. It would have been just as simple to use existing characters like Station and 'one of my colleagues who has an out-of-the-box idea on how to fix this'. This would avoid creating expectations for the Creepybot character that are never going to be fulfilled.

Okay, that aside, it looks like Jeph is going with the 'the memories were erased - be it malice or incompetence matters not' angle (once again downgrading Corpse Witch as a threat by several notches). I think it's pretty obvious that the rest of this week will be Faye trying to help Bubbles come to terms with the fact that she's lost some very important things; she'll never remember her squad-mates faces or be able to recall their fates, something that I'm sure was important to her as remembering them would give their sacrifice meaning. It's hard to understate just how devastating that fact will be to her.

Yeah, I'm disappointed in this outcome. Jeph could have done some excellent things with this character and this set-up but chose to just use it as window-dressing for a hand-wave of the whole dilemma. I guess we need to move forwards but I'm sorry to say that this was one of his worse arcs because of how it was handled and how it was resolved.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: anahata on 23 Jan 2017, 23:33
I'm disappointed in this outcome. Jeph could have done some excellent things with this character and this set-up but chose to just use it as window-dressing for a hand-wave of the whole dilemma. I guess we need to move forwards but I'm sorry to say that this was one of his worse arcs because of how it was handled and how it was resolved.

I'm open to the possibility that it's not fully resolved, and that the inclusion of EG in the plot is going to be relevant to what follows.
If it does fizzle out meaninglessly, I'll be disappointed too...
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 24 Jan 2017, 00:30
Aye. I suspect we haven't seen the last of Creepybot and hopefully when Bubbles wakes up, we'll get a little background from her on them.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: pwhodges on 24 Jan 2017, 01:02
My disappointment in this storyline continues to increase.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Cheesefondue on 24 Jan 2017, 03:55
My disappointment in this storyline continues to increase.

I'm the complete opposite. I was expecting to get disappointed because the eminence grise solves all the problems for them. Instead, it's added a layer of mystery (where did the memories go?) and tension (how could such powerful AIs fail?). This is the groups first attempt to solve the problem, and it fails; they're right back to the beginning. In a movie, this would be about 80% of the way in...
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: JRDelirio on 24 Jan 2017, 04:29
Okay, that aside, it looks like Jeph is going with the 'the memories were erased - be it malice or incompetence matters not' angle (once again downgrading Corpse Witch as a threat by several notches). I think it's pretty obvious that the rest of this week will be Faye trying to help Bubbles come to terms with the fact that she's lost some very important things; she'll never remember her squad-mates faces or be able to recall their fates, something that I'm sure was important to her as remembering them would give their sacrifice meaning. It's hard to understate just how devastating that fact will be to her.

This also involves some aspects of the AI mind vs. human mind scenario -- we know a human mind undergoing a traumatic experience may experience amnesiac episodes about detail ("I turned around to ask what was up and next thing I knew I was waking up in this hospital room; people TELL me what happened") but the subconscious can still be subject to triggers (a smell, a sound, a phrase).  An AI mind unless something actually corrupted the data would be expected to record and recall faithfully the experience.  CW claimed to be able to mitigate Bubbles' condition by leaving her only with general knowledge of what had happened (she remembers things like that they gave her the nickname, so she is not devoid of ALL memories about her service) and that it was bad, but suppressing things like looking into the eyes of a dying man, seeing someone choose to make a suicide run rather than burn in place, and feeling powerless knowing they could not possibly survive but she'd come out with broken but repairable parts.  Bubbles' situation now is extremely distressing, as any actual details of what DID happen are most likely classified and whatever the incident was, if bad enough to be part of the rethink of the notion of men and droids fighting together, conflicting info about it is probably making the rounds of conspiracy sites in distorted forms.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: brasca on 24 Jan 2017, 04:53
I think it's premature to conclude the memories are gone forever and this the last we'll see of Creepy Bot.  If Corpse Witch could seemingly compile all of Bubbles memories into what appeared to be a monster what could stop her from copying the memories to keep in a separate storage facility?  Consider Creepy Bot's last words to Faye.  It is entirely within their ability to subvert this situation for their own purposes and then implores her to be there for Bubbles when she wakes up.  Perhaps Creepy Bot suspects Corpse Witch has the memories and wants to pay her a visit before Bubbles does.  And even if the memories are gone for good after what seemed like the beginning of a fantastic mission the outcome isn't always going to be success.  Sometimes it will fall flat on its face.  Bubbles knew the risk and she agreed to it twice.  She agreed to let Corpse Witch encrypt the memories so it would stop haunting her and she agreed to let Creepy Bot try to retrieve it. 

I can see the next few strips dealing with Bubbles coming to terms with the loss, but wouldn't be shocked if when she returns to confront Corpse Witch she finds her missing or in pieces because Creepy Bot got exactly what they wanted all along. 
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: mikmaxs on 24 Jan 2017, 05:00
Yeah, I'm disappointed in this outcome. Jeph could have done some excellent things with this character and this set-up but chose to just use it as window-dressing for a hand-wave of the whole dilemma. I guess we need to move forwards but I'm sorry to say that this was one of his worse arcs because of how it was handled and how it was resolved.
For once, I think you and I are in pretty much agreement. I was immediately interested by this storyline and the incredibly diverse story options it presented. Having your own memories being held captive by a third party who uses it to control you is a really cool idea. Adding the twist that the memories were bad and undesired, but still wanted, gives an extra little twist that makes this a top-notch setup, the kind of stuff that really great sci-fi stories are built off of. How do you stop someone like that? How do you beat her? Comparisons could be made to abusive relationships, blackmail, even slavery, but none of them are perfect fits because it's such a cool, unique situation.

Then creepy robot lady showed up, and I was like 'Oh, so you're just going to solve the problem through that, okay'. It felt kind of hand-wavey, since these creepy robots had never been seen or heard of before, and yet were immensely, even unfathomably more powerful than all of Hannelore's connections, who we've seen in the past to have cartoonish amounts of power.
When they brought up Emily, though, I was more along the lines of, 'OH! That's kind of neat! Because you've established that she's also absurdly smart, so they'll be using her skills in combination with theirs in order to do the hack!' It was still a bit of a letdown since it was such a quick unravelling of the original concept, but it was a neat idea.

Now, though? Emily didn't actually do anything that a middle-schooler with basic motor skills couldn't have managed, the actual quest inside Bubbles' brain wasn't particularly deep or interesting, and the final reveal was hugely anticlimactic. At this point, the story is basically over - Bubbles has no reason to continue working for Corpse Witch. In fact, Bubbles has no reason not to go to the cops and turn Corpse Witch over, or simply just go down to the skate park and use her military-grade chassis to beat Corpse Witch into a scrap heap.

Barring some extra twist that fixes everything, (And I don't honestly think Jeph's skillset includes masterfully intricate plot twists, seeing as his stories have never actually used any,) I just don't see this story resolving itself in any satisfying way. At the very least, I'm not interested in what's going to happen next, because it's just a question of what method Bubbles wants to use to go through anger management.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: WareWolf on 24 Jan 2017, 05:17
It's slightly odd for an entity that never lies to use the phrase, 'to be honest.'

This is an excellent point. As a criminal defense attorney, I get lied to a LOT. And one of the surest tells is "I ain't gonna lie to you..."
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: WareWolf on 24 Jan 2017, 05:27
I'm disappointed in this outcome. Jeph could have done some excellent things with this character and this set-up but chose to just use it as window-dressing for a hand-wave of the whole dilemma. I guess we need to move forwards but I'm sorry to say that this was one of his worse arcs because of how it was handled and how it was resolved.

I'm open to the possibility that it's not fully resolved, and that the inclusion of EG in the plot is going to be relevant to what follows.
If it does fizzle out meaninglessly, I'll be disappointed too...

Seconded. I'll keep reading, because I still have some hope for a non-lame resolution. Some.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Mad Cat on 24 Jan 2017, 05:52
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Radium_Coyote on 24 Jan 2017, 06:43
This was an interesting diversion, but it does put everything right back at Faye attempting to solve things the old Fashioned way, with a lot less on the line now.  I hope Bubbles hasn't lost sight of her own longer-term goals, there's a lot of opportunity for this story to get messier.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: dsvella on 24 Jan 2017, 09:51
Throwing in my £0.02:

As a start, I have been very interested in this arc. The idea of a computer mind being treated much like a hard drive is an interesting one and the concept of someone opening it up and messing with the contents is also pretty cool. I also think that Emily's role isn't done here. I see a more forensic investigation to answer the question that must be on her mind "Were the memories ever here, to begin with?"

For me, the interesting is looking forward to the next comics. Firstly, Bubbles isn't going to stay at the skate park that is pretty much a given. I suspect her meeting with corpse witch is either going to be spectacular or non-existent. After that then what? Faye still needs work and now so will Bubbles. Fay's work has been what has helped her with her drink problem.

I also would like to see the situation of Bubbles going to the military to make enquiries (again assuming that the memories still exist).
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Neko_Ali on 24 Jan 2017, 12:44
People seem to be forgetting that her memories are only one of the things Bubbles was worried about if they turn in Corpse Witch. There's also all the other robots at the skate park. Bubbles has nothing to keep her there now, unless CW pulls out some other leverage she's been keeping secrets.. Like say she still has those memories, downloaded to another source. But even if Corpse Witch has no more hold over Bubbles, will she just walk away from the other robots there?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: hedgie on 24 Jan 2017, 13:15
CW might start go get a lot thinner after Bubbles is done with her.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Penquin47 on 24 Jan 2017, 13:22
They may have needed Emily because someone else's mind - like Faye, or even Clinton - wouldn't be able to construct the mindscape to poke around in.  Once in there, all Emily had to do was follow the video game tutorial, but that's because she was able to construct the mindscape to BE that easy.  Faye wouldn't know what to do.  Clinton would go in expecting hard and therefore the mindscape would be hard.  Emily thought it sounded like a fun challenge and why not?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Kugai on 24 Jan 2017, 16:16
That.....

Cant be it, that can't be it!!


There has to be more to this than that.  And I think Faye may feel the same way
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Perfectly Reasonable on 24 Jan 2017, 16:46
I think I have made the reasons for my dissatisfaction very clear.

I'll say again: too much has been invested in the buildup for it to be over like this.

For one thing GreyCreep has given up on those memories way too easily.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Akima on 24 Jan 2017, 18:04
So far (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3402), this storyline has been a damp squib for me, full of ideas not really followed through, and ending (apparently, at least) with an anticlimax.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jheartney on 24 Jan 2017, 18:10
Looking back, I'll say that this storyline proceeded nicely. Perhaps our CGI-movie-conditioned selves expected more razzle-dazzle in the mindscape panels, and a longer bit of struggle with overcoming the encryption lock. But doing that would have been a lot of work to pull off, and wouldn't have added anything important to the story. (I think lots of Hollywood CGI-fest movies buy lots of pointless computer-generated spectacle, and are poorer as a result.) Introducing the Grey One adds another layer to the world-building of QC, but we don't learn enough about them to nail down their exact place in the order of things. Like the earlier throwaway reference to "Gary," this adds to a vague sense that the commanding heights of the new post-singularity world are much different from ours, but doesn't spell out how (which is fine, I think).

What this storyline does do is move us past the old status quo of "Bubbles and Faye as wacky pals at the skate park." We get more of a sense of Bubbles as a tragic figure, and at the same time pay off all those "hmmms" aimed at Corpse Witch. Faye and Bubbles' bond is strengthened, so now we can start a new status quo for these two in some new venture (assuming Bubbles doesn't end up taking over the robot fights).
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 24 Jan 2017, 19:20
My disappointment in this storyline continues to increase.

I'm the complete opposite. I was expecting to get disappointed because the eminence grise solves all the problems for them. Instead, it's added a layer of mystery (where did the memories go?) and tension (how could such powerful AIs fail?). This is the groups first attempt to solve the problem, and it fails; they're right back to the beginning. In a movie, this would be about 80% of the way in...

Welcome, new person!

CheeseFondue has a good point that when the first attempt fails it's not the end of the story.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Shmee on 24 Jan 2017, 19:26
I've been itching to say it, but Creepybot looks JUST like Desire from Sandman.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 24 Jan 2017, 19:36
What state of consciousness is Bubbles in?

Her CPU is running. She's not conscious but is holding a conversation.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: davidv on 24 Jan 2017, 19:40
I though this story arc was pretty awesome. This comic doesn't do much but slice of life and I think we're seeing a setup of the wider universe. If it had taken weeks of searching people would have been dissatisfied with the pacing and demanded the arc end sooner.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: FuzzyFace on 24 Jan 2017, 19:42
Now that's an interesting followup. I had thought them gone; if malevolent and deceptive, this was totally unnecessary.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Castlerook on 24 Jan 2017, 19:53
Just goes to show that you can't judge a book by it's cover.

Though the AIbino did appear to have a malevolent vibe coming off them, they truly did seem to have the best intentions for Bubbles.

Which raises a possible point for this collective AI. They might not quite be the boogeymen of the AI world, but rather they watch out for the worst offenders and help their victims in the AI community. They might be brusque in dealing with people outside of that community and they might affect the slightly sinister appearance, but that might be for show. Its possible that they want people to keep out of their way, or the AI/Chassis version of poisonous animal colouring; the stark appearance and duo tone sends out a clear message - Keep Away.

Dark is not always evil and good doesn't have to be nice.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: DSL on 24 Jan 2017, 20:12
I think it premature to act as though this storyline is over.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: ZoeB on 24 Jan 2017, 20:12
I though this story arc was pretty awesome. This comic doesn't do much but slice of life and I think we're seeing a setup of the wider universe.
Bubbles is in good hands. From this strip, so is humanity, and everyone else.

If they weren't in the background, they'd sorta dominate this whole "Life" thing. Omnipotent they're not, either, and ethically constrained from becoming so. They only intervene in issues they in their inscrutable - but not *that* inscrutable - ethical philosophy think are *Important* . Matters of principle.

But it is necessary for the QCverse that they exist, there have been hints before. Which is why Roccos Basilisk in the QCverse is merely a cop of uncertain ability, trying to do the right thing, not the name of the Big Bad that destroyed everything after the Singularity.

Their existence answers many questions about how the rather innocent postSingularity QCverse can exist.

Just forget about them, or rather, put them to the back of your mind, and concentrate on what's important around you. Hugs. Healing. Kindness. In the QCverse and in real life. Aim to be better, as they do too. None of us have manuals, just guidelines.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 24 Jan 2017, 20:17
No text on the bottom right. Interesting.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: ZoeB on 24 Jan 2017, 20:21
I think it premature to act as though this storyline is over.

While you may be right, it was *necessary* that something like EG/AIbino exist. It was plausible that they'd find what was done to Bubbles a really bad precedent, worse than mere murder. But having briefly and with no fuss decloaked, they'll now depart.

CW's existence is about to become complicated and interesting though.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: SomeCanadianWeirdo on 24 Jan 2017, 20:27
I hope our mystery friend has dealings with May.  I suspect May will either be completely freaked out by her, or completely unimpressed.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Celly on 24 Jan 2017, 20:39
...So was I right about nanobot swarm? 

I do hope we will see more from Legion in the future.  I quite like them.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: mikmaxs on 24 Jan 2017, 21:01
Looking back, I'll say that this storyline proceeded nicely. Perhaps our CGI-movie-conditioned selves expected more razzle-dazzle in the mindscape panels, and a longer bit of struggle with overcoming the encryption lock. But doing that would have been a lot of work to pull off, and wouldn't have added anything important to the story. (I think lots of Hollywood CGI-fest movies buy lots of pointless computer-generated spectacle, and are poorer as a result.) Introducing the Grey One adds another layer to the world-building of QC, but we don't learn enough about them to nail down their exact place in the order of things. Like the earlier throwaway reference to "Gary," this adds to a vague sense that the commanding heights of the new post-singularity world are much different from ours, but doesn't spell out how (which is fine, I think).
I think you're kind of misunderstanding the complaints here. We're not saying that it was solved too fast because it was visually uninteresting or didn't literally take a long time, we're saying that it was solved too fast because none of the characters had to struggle or overcome anything. There's some rising and falling action when they discover Bubbles' problem and start brainstorming ways to try and decrypt the information, (Contacting Station, talking about the problem with each other, trying to come up with alternative ways.)
Then a character we've never heard of or seen before just shows up, hands over the key, and solves the problem. They imply that Emily needs to do it, but then just hand her all the tools she needs to do it - She doesn't explore, they hand her a teleporting map. She doesn't open the lock, they hand her the key. She doesn't overcome the bad guy, they hand her a gun.

The only conflict lies in 'Do we trust this creepy robot or not?', and that question is moot, because they are OBVIOUSLY going to accept, because otherwise there's no story motion.

So it's serviceable as an emotional beat, but the plot was clearly building up to something greater than that. If they wanted to simply reveal that the memories were deleted, they just could have brought in Station, who could poke around for a moment and be like 'Yo, there's nothing here,' but instead the story decided to introduce a threat that was vastly too big to ever be solved by our characters, only to then hand over the solution within a couple of pages of presenting the issue. It's the comic equivalent of an RPG dungeon with a key sitting in the box right next to the door.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 24 Jan 2017, 21:02
If you really think nobody's struggling, I don't think we're reading the same comic.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: mikmaxs on 24 Jan 2017, 21:05
If you really think nobody's struggling, I don't think we're reading the same comic.
Emotional turbulence is not the same thing as struggling to complete a goal. There was a problem presented that needed to be solved: How do we get Bubbles' memories back? And then the solution just appeared from thin air, mere moments after being introduced. I go pretty in-depth in explaining what I mean by this, so I'm not sure how you read my post and decided that I was talking about anything except the problem solving done by these characters during this arc.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Clubman8 on 24 Jan 2017, 21:11
Yeah, I knew with how rushed this was that this little deus ex machina anticlimax would end as such. I'm just glad it's over.

I hate to be one of those people, but can we go back to Marten now? We've spent long enough chasing this no-outcome plot.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: War Sparrow on 24 Jan 2017, 21:20
I am starting to wonder if Creepy are, in fact, from the government, checking in on former military AI they suspect of being exploited, or of having psychological issues.. The sort of government employee that isn't encouraged to mention their employer. And maybe not one that's officially on the books.

I have no real basis for this except the private discussion here.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Celly on 24 Jan 2017, 21:51
It was more fun reading the comic when I didn't read community commentary that tries really hard to ruin it.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Killspree on 24 Jan 2017, 21:59
Random thought that just hit me.

What if Agent Creepybot was actually Corpse Witch in a different chassis?

Maybe she's been on overwatch on Bubbles the whole time and it's all been a deep cover smoke and mirrors job the whole time.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Wagimawr on 24 Jan 2017, 22:22
Why are we assuming that just because the memories are not in Bubbles anymore...that they're actually gone forever?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: mikmaxs on 24 Jan 2017, 22:39
Why are we assuming that just because the memories are not in Bubbles anymore...that they're actually gone forever?
Because that's the way Jeph is telegraphing it. Yes, the information all comes from subjective sources and could *technically* be wrong, but since nobody in-story has even raised the question of 'What if it's saved elsewhere?', it is either a case where that possibility is never going to come up, or else Jeph is simply awful at foreshadowing or plotting out storylines, and I don't want to believe that the latter is true.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 24 Jan 2017, 22:59
Random thought that just hit me.

What if Agent Creepybot was actually Corpse Witch in a different chassis?

Maybe she's been on overwatch on Bubbles the whole time and it's all been a deep cover smoke and mirrors job the whole time.

That would account for the smugness!  Also for the antipathy to squishies. What doesn't fit is the encouragement for Bubbles to rely on her organic friends. CW has constantly tried to drive emotional wedges between Bubbles and the carbon-based.

In other business, welcome, new people!

A final thought is that Eminence Gris did at last refer to the organics as "people" so they're not the worst sort of racist.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: BenRG on 24 Jan 2017, 23:33
That panel 5 though! Damn you, Jeph, I'm not crying! You're crying!

Seriously, you can say a lot about how Creepybot feels about Bubbles as a person and their personal responsibility towards her that, instead of leaving it to Faye and Emily to explain, they decided to do it themselves. So, not the 'intelligence without a consciousness' or, if they started out that way, time and processing of input changed them considerably.

So, no, Bubbles, you haven't been left with 'nothing'. You've been left with friends to help rebuild your life and move forwards. That may not seem like so much but something tells me that you'll look back on it as a major step in your life.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: pwhodges on 25 Jan 2017, 01:18
I guess we now get back to the personal interactions that Jeph does so well; that I can look forward to.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: gopher on 25 Jan 2017, 02:07
I tend to view stories through the prism of being a role-player and a ref. I would expect as a player, and intend to as a ref, to deliver a big old twist in the tail. Otherwise big bad being defeated by an NPC is the laziest kind of writing there is.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Shjade on 25 Jan 2017, 02:15
I think you're kind of misunderstanding the complaints here. We're not saying that it was solved too fast because it was visually uninteresting or didn't literally take a long time, we're saying that it was solved too fast because none of the characters had to struggle or overcome anything. There's some rising and falling action when they discover Bubbles' problem and start brainstorming ways to try and decrypt the information, (Contacting Station, talking about the problem with each other, trying to come up with alternative ways.)
Then a character we've never heard of or seen before just shows up, hands over the key, and solves the problem.

In turn, I think you may be misunderstanding "the problem." Bubbles' memories and whether or not they can be recovered are really more symptom than cause. The driving conflict here isn't "will Bubbles recover her memories?" It's an important part, to be sure, but not the core struggle.

The bigger issue is how Bubbles is going to choose to change, or not, how she lives her life in the immediate future. Whether she recovers her memories contributes to that, no doubt, but that's the major shift in play. Faye cares about getting Bubbles' memories back not for the memories themselves, but because of what they would mean for Bubbles' continued integration back into a real life after having spent so much time purposely isolated and underground. This is a struggle that's exacerbated by the present circumstances for reasons others have already posted in this thread re: trauma and loss and etc., and it certainly wasn't "solved" by anything that happened in the last week.

That said, everything about this stretch with the anon android has felt pretty amateur hour. I'm not gonna dissect it - not worth the time or energy - it's just been a weak approach to what could have been an interesting turn, a hand wave as someone posted earlier, and it was probably a mistake to devote this much space to, essentially, an excuse to move on to more important parts of the story. Hell, in QC fashion this all could've happened off-page and been brought up as someone's one-liner CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED with minimal explanation of what even transpired, make the nonsensical nature of it sort of a meta joke, but eh, whatever. Sometimes misses happen.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: oeoek on 25 Jan 2017, 02:42
Hmm, Creepy Grey did do well in this telling Bubbles the outcome and not leaving it to the meaties to disappoint her. And her consolation shows care for Bubbles. All in all not a creepy way to end this action.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: brasca on 25 Jan 2017, 05:03
Why are we assuming that just because the memories are not in Bubbles anymore...that they're actually gone forever?
Because that's the way Jeph is telegraphing it. Yes, the information all comes from subjective sources and could *technically* be wrong, but since nobody in-story has even raised the question of 'What if it's saved elsewhere?', it is either a case where that possibility is never going to come up, or else Jeph is simply awful at foreshadowing or plotting out storylines, and I don't want to believe that the latter is true.

While I wouldn't rule it out I'm starting to think the memories are indeed gone.  Creepy Bot could be lying to keep Bubbles from going off to confront Corpse Witch while they do in an effort to retrieve the memories.  It's a potential twist, but they seem so powerful they have no need to lie and there is simply no way that all of those memories could be removed from Bubble's mind and stored elsewhere. 

Random thought that just hit me.

What if Agent Creepybot was actually Corpse Witch in a different chassis?

Maybe she's been on overwatch on Bubbles the whole time and it's all been a deep cover smoke and mirrors job the whole time.

Or maybe they are arch nemeses.  The Holmes to Dr. Moriarty, the Doctor to the Master, the Jacob to the Man in Black...  or is that the other way around here? 

It might explain Creepy Bot's interest in Bubbles as a means of striking back at their arch enemy. 
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Celly on 25 Jan 2017, 05:11
I think you're kind of misunderstanding the complaints here. We're not saying that it was solved too fast because it was visually uninteresting or didn't literally take a long time, we're saying that it was solved too fast because none of the characters had to struggle or overcome anything. There's some rising and falling action when they discover Bubbles' problem and start brainstorming ways to try and decrypt the information, (Contacting Station, talking about the problem with each other, trying to come up with alternative ways.)
Then a character we've never heard of or seen before just shows up, hands over the key, and solves the problem.

In turn, I think you may be misunderstanding "the problem." Bubbles' memories and whether or not they can be recovered are really more symptom than cause. The driving conflict here isn't "will Bubbles recover her memories?" It's an important part, to be sure, but not the core struggle.

The bigger issue is how Bubbles is going to choose to change, or not, how she lives her life in the immediate future. Whether she recovers her memories contributes to that, no doubt, but that's the major shift in play. Faye cares about getting Bubbles' memories back not for the memories themselves, but because of what they would mean for Bubbles' continued integration back into a real life after having spent so much time purposely isolated and underground. This is a struggle that's exacerbated by the present circumstances for reasons others have already posted in this thread re: trauma and loss and etc., and it certainly wasn't "solved" by anything that happened in the last week.

That said, everything about this stretch with the anon android has felt pretty amateur hour. I'm not gonna dissect it - not worth the time or energy - it's just been a weak approach to what could have been an interesting turn, a hand wave as someone posted earlier, and it was probably a mistake to devote this much space to, essentially, an excuse to move on to more important parts of the story. Hell, in QC fashion this all could've happened off-page and been brought up as someone's one-liner CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED with minimal explanation of what even transpired, make the nonsensical nature of it sort of a meta joke, but eh, whatever. Sometimes misses happen.
You can't crack a one panel joke over something that's going to be so emotionally devastating to Bubbles. 

It perhaps should have been more fleshed out, but lo, Jeph is one person, not a team of Hollywood writers, cut him a break.

I'm glad people are free to be critical on this forum, but I wish there was some perspective.  It's the first arc I didn't enjoy, and probably only because I was listening to people telling me I shouldn't enjoy it, when it's one guy writing a 4-panel daily comic all by himself.  Not meant to be a Hollywood blockbuster.  (Not directed at you specifically, Shjade)
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: mikmaxs on 25 Jan 2017, 05:15
I think you're kind of misunderstanding the complaints here. We're not saying that it was solved too fast because it was visually uninteresting or didn't literally take a long time, we're saying that it was solved too fast because none of the characters had to struggle or overcome anything. There's some rising and falling action when they discover Bubbles' problem and start brainstorming ways to try and decrypt the information, (Contacting Station, talking about the problem with each other, trying to come up with alternative ways.)
Then a character we've never heard of or seen before just shows up, hands over the key, and solves the problem.

In turn, I think you may be misunderstanding "the problem." Bubbles' memories and whether or not they can be recovered are really more symptom than cause. The driving conflict here isn't "will Bubbles recover her memories?" It's an important part, to be sure, but not the core struggle.

The bigger issue is how Bubbles is going to choose to change, or not, how she lives her life in the immediate future. Whether she recovers her memories contributes to that, no doubt, but that's the major shift in play. Faye cares about getting Bubbles' memories back not for the memories themselves, but because of what they would mean for Bubbles' continued integration back into a real life after having spent so much time purposely isolated and underground. This is a struggle that's exacerbated by the present circumstances for reasons others have already posted in this thread re: trauma and loss and etc., and it certainly wasn't "solved" by anything that happened in the last week.
I'm not exactly disagreeing with this here, but I was specifically referring to the conflict that existing within this short section of the plot. (Namely, from comic 3386 to the current comic, 3403.) It is, effectively, a short story in and of itself, which exists as a subset of the main story - Not a subplot in the traditional sense, because it doesn't run parallel, but rather a miniature but complete arc of its own.
And within that story, the problem of 'Can we decrypt Bubbles' brain?' has been the sole, complete focus. There is only one page where it is even *suggested* that they lay low and focus on other problems for a while, waiting for a better solution to arise, and the rest of these pages are devoted entirely to either looking for a solution, deciding if they should use the solution present, or acting out the solution to the problem.

While the story of Bubbles' trauma does still exist within this arc, it hasn't just been given a backseat, it's been given the backseat in a crowded elementary school bus. It doesn't just lack emphasis, it isn't even mentioned, except via implication. It is the overarching struggle, in the same way that Voldemort is the main villain in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Technically true, but completely irrelevant to the actions that are actually taking place.


All this being said, I will mention that the real underlying problem here is that Jeph just isn't playing to his strengths right now. He's at his best when the characters are bouncing off of each other, having interpersonal conflicts, getting mad, being happy, and just generally existing. Complex story arcs have never been something in his wheelhouse, relatively speaking. I respect him for branching out and trying new things - After all, you can't improve without practice - But that doesn't mean it's *good*, just that it's understandable why it is bad.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: pwhodges on 25 Jan 2017, 05:54
I'm glad people are free to be critical on this forum, but I wish there was some perspective.  It's the first arc I didn't enjoy, and probably only because I was listening to people telling me I shouldn't enjoy it, when it's one guy writing a 4-panel daily comic all by himself.

Has anyone said that you shouldn't enjoy it?  A few of us felt that the past week was in some respects not up to the standard we have come to expect of Jeph - but saying that is only our opinion, and is the result of perspective rather than lacking it.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Dustin1280 on 25 Jan 2017, 06:43
I made an account solely for this ARC.  I have been reading QC for years but never bothered to go on the forums till now.

When the grays first arrived I got really excited for the direction this comic was heading, slice of life is good but for me the more Sci-Fi aspect is much more interesting.

I assume Emily cracking the encryption was the lock in key, and the monster was some type of virus that would be triggered with any attempt to crack the encryption.

That said the way this arc appears to be cleaning up is very...unsatisfying.

I was really hoping the comic would go more into the story of the grays so I am hoping that bubble's will at least try to explain who the hell they were to Faye and the others.  But if they grays are just gonna appear, be gods, then disappear with no further exploration I am going to be terribly disappointed.

Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jwhouk on 25 Jan 2017, 07:25
You all do realize, it's only Wednesday.

Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Thrudd on 25 Jan 2017, 11:19
You all do realize, it's only Wednesday.
(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Kugai on 25 Jan 2017, 12:00
I suspect that either this Arc isn't over and we'll not get a definative answer to this matter till Friday (at the earliest), or Agent Creepy really is telling the truth and her memories are gone for good.

One of my questions is this, what has been going on with CW while this has been playing out.   Has one of Agent Creepys associates been round at the Fight Club dealing with CW while our attention has been centered on the goings on in CoD? And if so, what will they find when they get back there?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: hitmiccs on 25 Jan 2017, 12:15
You all do realize, it's only Wednesday.
Theory: Tomorrow will be an emotional rollercoaster between sadness in the first panel and rising anger (and probably Bubbles storming out  Coffee of Doom) in the last panel, with Faye and Emily trying to stop her... Friday: Bubbles crashing into the skate park, grabbing CW by the neck - all with some dramatic-short dialogue - and the last panel just consists of the silhouettes of Bubbles pinning CW against a wall and smashing her head in...

Just a thought.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: gprimr1 on 25 Jan 2017, 13:37
You all do realize, it's only Wednesday.
Theory: Tomorrow will be an emotional rollercoaster between sadness in the first panel and rising anger (and probably Bubbles storming out  Coffee of Doom) in the last panel, with Faye and Emily trying to stop her... Friday: Bubbles crashing into the skate park, grabbing CW by the neck - all with some dramatic-short dialogue - and the last panel just consists of the silhouettes of Bubbles pinning CW against a wall and smashing her head in...

Just a thought.

Interesting, that could open an interesting story arc where Faye, having seen what her drinking can lead to (loosing her job) now sees what her anger can lead to, as Bubbles is arrested for murder.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: WareWolf on 25 Jan 2017, 14:34
What doesn't really work for me in today's comic is the sudden switch of Creepybot's attitude towards organics. When they showed up, they knocked everyone unconscious except Bubbles and Faye, and when Faye bowed up on them even a little bit, Creepy disabled her with a touch and stepped over her with a blase "it'll wear off." That, as I've said before, indicated a truly frightening level of dismissiveness, even contempt, for us meatbags. To suddenly go from that to "you have your human friends and they care" is a swerve that's enough to give you whiplash.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: WareWolf on 25 Jan 2017, 14:37
Oh, and if anyone doubts that the memories are really gone, check out the lower left text on #3401: "Confirmed."
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 25 Jan 2017, 15:07
You mean the frowny in the lower right? That could just mean the atmosphere is sad.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Perfectly Reasonable on 25 Jan 2017, 17:07
Since GreyCreep entertains no possibility that the memories may still exist somewhere, I'll take it that Jeph means they are gone for sure gone.

And yes, this is a very abrupt switch in attitude for GreyCreep.

I quite like what ZoeB has to say about the GreyCreep collective:

Their existence answers many questions about how the rather innocent postSingularity QCverse can exist.

I am a science fiction fan. Jeph is writing a science fiction story. So I view it from that perspective. The classic approach to SF writing is to posit some new scientific breakthrough and then build the story on the consequences that result. Here we have a more top down approach. Jeph tells his story and, if we are lucky, shows us some of what lies beneath. People like me try to reason out what the unseen foundations must be. Like why AIs are quirky individuals instead of being uniformly reliable and colorless servants. So I am always excited when Jeph decides to show us more AI interaction. And now we have more pieces but a larger puzzle.

Tomorrow: Brün finds a new clock to add to her collection.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: cesium133 on 25 Jan 2017, 17:29

Tomorrow: Brün finds a new clock to add to her collection.

*Brun is walking by the Smif campus*
Sign: "Free Strontium optical lattice clock to a good home! Only been used for 10^22 oscillations!*
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: ZoeB on 25 Jan 2017, 18:21
.  But if they grays are just gonna appear, be gods, then disappear with no further exploration I am going to be terribly disappointed.

The storyline is intensely personal, not as lighthearted as the usual. Only the one about the suicide of a major character's father was more intense.
There were humorous aspects, the key, the nerfgun of black ice countermeasures, and for that matter, the Grey Eminence's side remarks.

It was also a really good way of dropping rather more weighty hints about how a post singularity world works. Yes, there are the Great AIs. They have different concerns from humanity as a whole.  They're not ominipotent nor omniscient though, they know it, and are deeply introspective and self critical. Somehow, despite having godlike powers, they have inherited from their creators some of our best traits, rathdr than worst ones. Power tends to corrupt; Absolute power corrupts absolutely. They have avoided that tendency, even if it means not intervening in real injustices like the way the penal system treats parolees.

All explained, or inferred, unsubtly hinted at, by this one story. From a narrative viewpoint, the reason why Bubbles had to be in such a terrible situation was to reveal more about the Greys as you put it. Rather than them being a Deus Ex Machina, a way of getting out of a painted in corner, the whole plot was about world exposition, and to show why they don't appear every day, yet provide an excuse for them intervening now.

At the end of which we have the beginning of a new chapter, the next step of Bubbles healing, and if we're lucky, something to make the life of AIs who live amongst humanity a bit kinder. At least 3 intertwined stories, 4 if you include the continued healing of the pugnacious peach.

Consider how much has been revealed about the QCverse by May's story. Robot Jail.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 25 Jan 2017, 18:43
I was really hoping the comic would go more into the story of the grays so I am hoping that bubble's will at least try to explain who the hell they were to Faye and the others.  But if they grays are just gonna appear, be gods, then disappear with no further exploration I am going to be terribly disappointed.

Completely with you on that. If Eminence Gris was telling the truth, they are responsible for how the entire QC world runs.

Welcome, new person!
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: SomeCanadianWeirdo on 25 Jan 2017, 18:44
It would be interesting if we learned that Ms. Ghost was somehow brought into what's going on by Pintsize. Or by someone else in the cast unexpected, like Claire or Marten.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: JWoodrell on 25 Jan 2017, 19:14
Does it bother anyone else that Gestalt talks with a human speech bubble rather than the square one that all other AIs have used before?   Doesnt that make them extra creepy with a creamy smooth, "just gotta trust them",  used car salesman kinda vibe?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: WareWolf on 25 Jan 2017, 19:16
It would be interesting if we learned that Ms. Ghost was somehow brought into what's going on by Pintsize. Or by someone else in the cast unexpected, like Claire or Marten.

It seems pretty clear that the Creepy Collective picked up on chatter between Station and other AI's ("our less puissant elders") over Bubbles' plight, got pissed when they discovered the degree of "brainfucking" Bubbles had undergone, and decided to put aside their usual Godlike detachment and step in.

What I'd like is more explanation of Creepybot's statement to Bubbles that "Darling, you know exactly what we are."
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 25 Jan 2017, 19:22
Does it bother anyone else that Gestalt talks with a human speech bubble rather than the square one that all other AIs have used before?   Doesnt that make them extra creepy with a creamy smooth, "just gotta trust them",  used car salesman kinda vibe?
Sometimes I wish that nobody had pointed out the different speech bubbles for humans/AIs, but then a character like this has a round one and it makes it interesting again. I guess it's not terribly different than round/square pupils on Futurama.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Castlerook on 25 Jan 2017, 20:04
Does it bother anyone else that Gestalt talks with a human speech bubble rather than the square one that all other AIs have used before?   Doesnt that make them extra creepy with a creamy smooth, "just gotta trust them",  used car salesman kinda vibe?

I would imagine its to do with the fact that AIbino is part of a gestalt consciousness rather than a singular AI like Bubbles. Its the voice of a legion in perfect unison; a hundred, a thousand, a million voices in perfect synchronicity that smooths out the voice as AIbino speaks.

Alternatively, AIbino simply has a more advanced chassis compared to other QC AI, allowing them to have a smoother sounding voice.

Both work for the respective places of discussion; AIbino talking to Bubbles one on one, and in meatspace.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 25 Jan 2017, 20:10
See, I still don't think it indicates the sound of their voice, I think it's just a style decision. I imagine that AIs sound like humans, at least if they want to.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Tova on 25 Jan 2017, 20:14
Does it bother anyone else that Gestalt talks with a human speech bubble rather than the square one that all other AIs have used before?   Doesnt that make them extra creepy with a creamy smooth, "just gotta trust them",  used car salesman kinda vibe?

Yes.  :angel:

It also makes their nature a bit ambiguous. If they had an AI speech bubble, then that would be a clue. No clues are given.

Today's strip: are the others still asleep, then?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 25 Jan 2017, 20:30
Comic's up. Dora may still be asleep. Bubbles is up.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Tova on 25 Jan 2017, 20:44
By "others", I meant those off panel, Mr Madness.  8-)
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Nycticoraci on 25 Jan 2017, 20:45
So uh, Orbital railgun gogo!
It's smiting time.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 25 Jan 2017, 20:50
By "others", I meant those off panel, Mr Madness.  8-)
Right, which is just Dora, isn't it?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 25 Jan 2017, 21:00
Does it bother anyone else that Gestalt talks with a human speech bubble rather than the square one that all other AIs have used before?   Doesnt that make them extra creepy with a creamy smooth, "just gotta trust them",  used car salesman kinda vibe?

I had missed that nuance. Whatever it means is intriguing.

Welcome, new person!
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Storel on 25 Jan 2017, 21:05
By "others", I meant those off panel, Mr Madness.  8-)
Right, which is just Dora, isn't it?

Right. Dora and Emily were both asleep over there; Emily got woken up to play Tron in Bubbles's head, so Dora's the only one still asleep.

Edit: Hmm, no Hanners on duty today? Maybe she's working a later shift. Boy, wait till she finds out what she missed!
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Kugai on 25 Jan 2017, 21:21
Group Hug Moment
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 25 Jan 2017, 22:04
The Bubbles we met to start with wouldn't have accepted caring hugs. This is major character development.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 25 Jan 2017, 23:27
I notice a lot of people here not being happy with how things played out. Many times I've been reading a story and found myself unhappy with how the author ended the story. But that's just the nature of being a reader. Many here are arguing with Jeph's storytelling...but I find it easier to just accept it. It's his story, he's telling it, and it is what it is.

not being rude or anything, just...it's a story. Nothing more, nothing less. It goes how it goes.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: BenRG on 25 Jan 2017, 23:31
Bubbles once said that she doesn't have any tear ducts. Panel 2 suggests that she was wrong.

What doesn't really work for me in today's comic is the sudden switch of Creepybot's attitude towards organics.

It isn't really a change of attitude. This is all about Bubbles' welfare in their mind. As much as they consider humans as being basically funny in their delusion of bargaining position or even power in interactions with them, they recognise what Faye and her other human friends are to Bubbles. They understand that these beings will be key to Bubbles' recovery and have no problem admitting it and even facilitating it.

Does it bother anyone else that Gestalt talks with a human speech bubble rather than the square one that all other AIs have used before?   Doesnt that make them extra creepy with a creamy smooth, "just gotta trust them",  used car salesman kinda vibe?

It doesn't bother me really but it does help build a bit more of the nature of the character. Consider the ambiguous gender nature of the chassis for a moment - They're powerful enough to operate a chassis that is completely indistinguishable from a human if they choose but they chose not to. They're an AI and they like rubbing humans' noses into the fact that they could blend in but won't. It's a bit of subtle psychological warfare, really.


[EDIT]
Fixed a typo
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: neurocase on 26 Jan 2017, 00:13
Maybe my perspective is different because I don't read Jeph's other, sci-fi comic, but I think this is in perfect keeping with the way QC's style has developed. No big, tremendous adventure to track down the memories or anything like that. Because ultimately, the memories are a McGuffin for character development, and nothing more. Let's not forget that QC is character driven, not plot driven. Yes, it was a touch of a deus ex machina to have this random character come in and give our main characters the means by which to make this discovery, but I'd imagine that it's because it's not at all the point of this arc. Jeph was just providing a reasonable means (which he can call back to later) by which to progress Bubbles further as a character, without resorting to thirty strips of what essentially amount to worthless plot tease.

Given that what follows this is the more important part, I can't for one second imagine being more satisfied if this outcome, or one like it, had succeeded several weeks of "Detective Whitaker and the Mystery of the Missing Memories".

On a lighter note, I need artwork of Faye dressed as a noir detective, and Bubbles deadpanning in a femme fatale outfit (over her armor) a la pulp crime novel covers.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 26 Jan 2017, 00:51
Um...am I the only one who doesn't think "Creepybot" is an AI? I thought she was some kind of weird dream figure that lived in the minds of AIs?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: TinPenguin on 26 Jan 2017, 00:56
At this moment, Faye and Bubbles and Emily have no more idea of who our ghostly visitor was than we do (well, perhaps Bubbles does). Any confused dissatisfaction around the abrupt manner of their appearance exists on both sides of the fourth wall. I dare say we'll see them again. Or perhaps not. But as has been rightly pointed out, Jeph didn't need to insert this character to provide this revelation, which means they exist for another, deliberate reason, which I think ZoeB has touched upon.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: BenRG on 26 Jan 2017, 01:15
The more I look at today's second panel, the more I like it. You miss it at first but both Faye and Emily are saying things but there is no speech balloon. Why? I think that Bubbles isn't able to understand what they're saying. She's so distressed that her CPU isn't interpreting sensory data properly. That's a pretty heavy trauma we're taking about there.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Shjade on 26 Jan 2017, 01:40
Or they're not actually saying anything and it's more of an open-mouthed grimace/prelude to vocal emotional outburst.

Either way.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: mikmaxs on 26 Jan 2017, 02:43
I notice a lot of people here not being happy with how things played out. Many times I've been reading a story and found myself unhappy with how the author ended the story. But that's just the nature of being a reader. Many here are arguing with Jeph's storytelling...but I find it easier to just accept it. It's his story, he's telling it, and it is what it is.

not being rude or anything, just...it's a story. Nothing more, nothing less. It goes how it goes.
Okay, well... Yes, that's true, but this is a forum with the sole and explicit purpose of discussing the story of Questionable Content. If we aren't supposed to talk about what we like and dislike... I guess we're just supposed to spend all the discussions on here talking about fan theories and shipping?

Maybe my perspective is different because I don't read Jeph's other, sci-fi comic, but I think this is in perfect keeping with the way QC's style has developed. No big, tremendous adventure to track down the memories or anything like that. Because ultimately, the memories are a McGuffin for character development, and nothing more. Let's not forget that QC is character driven, not plot driven. Yes, it was a touch of a deus ex machina to have this random character come in and give our main characters the means by which to make this discovery, but I'd imagine that it's because it's not at all the point of this arc. Jeph was just providing a reasonable means (which he can call back to later) by which to progress Bubbles further as a character, without resorting to thirty strips of what essentially amount to worthless plot tease.

Given that what follows this is the more important part, I can't for one second imagine being more satisfied if this outcome, or one like it, had succeeded several weeks of "Detective Whitaker and the Mystery of the Missing Memories".
It's not a problem just that the deus ex machina came up, or even that the problem had an easy solution, it's that Jeph was clearly building to something bigger, and then failed to deliver on that promise. It's like if you have a favorite coffee shop, and then one day you see a sign advertising the coffee-palooza, and then as the days go by there's more and more advertisement and hype being built, and then you show up for coffee-palooza and discover that they now offer a new flavor of creamer.

Under other circumstances, that new flavor of creamer would be fine, and many people would really like it, but it's the overdone anticipation that ruins things.

Bubbles' problem was built up as being insurmountable - She had no way of dealing with it. Even *Station* couldn't deal with it, nor any of Hanellore's other contacts. To offer that level of a threat, and then handwave it away, is just bad storytelling. (Just for one possibility: If Jeph had just written it so that Station decided 'Sure, I'll take a look!', and then he had to deliver the bad news, then I don't think anyone would be complaining.)


On the subject of Alice Grove... It's kind of a different situation over there, mainly because impossible-to-beat level threats seem to be all over the place, so introducing or removing them quickly isn't as jarring.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: brasca on 26 Jan 2017, 04:36
Comic's up. Dora may still be asleep. Bubbles is up.

I've been wondering about that too.  It should wear off or Creepy Bot's cryptic exit will be undermined if they have to return to wake her up. 

So much expressed with just the eyes.  The illustration could not be better. 
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 26 Jan 2017, 05:19
Dora could definitely use the rest. She's not being forced asleep anymore but she doesn't feel like waking up yet.

As for the grey one, maybe they're a minor deity? Now I'm massively curious about what pantheon exists in the QCverse.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Mad Cat on 26 Jan 2017, 05:58
Today on The Conspiracy Theory Channel:

(Theon) Grey-Joyless isn't remotely as benevolent as he claims and is, in fact, a bald-faced liar. He represents a rival crime syndicate that wants to move in on CW's turf. They are merely co-opting Bubbles to do their dirty work for them. In fact, the Monoculus Tricornus was Bubbles' encrypted memories, as well as the anti-decryption defense measures. Further, the gun that mysteriously appeared in Emily's hand did not destroy the Tricornus, but merely transferred it into the "warhead" of the gun, which still resides within the headband Grey-Joyless had Emily wear, and of which he is in possession. He can now take it back to his "lair", plug it in, retrieve the warhead, remove the Tricornus, spend whatever time he chooses to devote to decrypting it in private and then can give her memories back to Bubs after Bubbles enacts Plan C: Compacting Corpse Witch into a tin Can. After you've used a powerful AI's emotions against it to do your dirty work, it's beneficial to get it back on your side with a showing of benevolence.

"There is a theory that if anyone ever discovers the true purpose of the universe, it will instantly be destroyed and replaced with an even more inscrutible version of itself. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." -- HHGTTG

I think it just might be the case that Jeph reads these theories and refuses to actually allow anyone else's ideas about what he's going to do with the story become what he actually does with the story. This is my attempt to head this particular narrative course off at the pass.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: JimC on 26 Jan 2017, 06:07
I fear I find all this amateur critic stuff about bad writing a bit wearying.

I'm not a major comics fan, and don't get involved in the subculture, although I do have about 35 years issues of a UK comic called 2000Ad in the loft... And from that, an observation. In the early days 2000AD used a now deceased artist called Massimo Belardinelli. He produced to me wonderful artwork in a complex surreal style which produced often amazing images. Look him up on the net if you like. However there were those who argued that he had something of a weak poiint when it came to directly representational human anatomy. Frankly this didn't bother me, if there were some surreally positioned muscles amongst all this gorgeously imagined imagery then so damn what. But it meant that his work got a bunch of criticism from those who couldn't look past the doctrinaire position of how it should be done and just enjoy the glorious artwork. And the end result, as they now admit was a mistake, TMO (the editors) didn't commission anything like as much work from Belardinelli as he should have done.

So what's my point. Yeah, our man is going to have better arcs and less good arcs, but also he's going to try stuff, and why not. Look at the way he's transformed his artwork from the early days.  Happened by trying things and experimenting and learning. But you know, in real life people do walk in from nowhere and disappear again. One of the most influential people in my life I only met a handful of times, each widely spaced and for at most a few days at a time.  Be pretty damn boring if every comic was written to the same identikit utilitarian rules. So folks, when you criticise, think. Are you really only criticising for not following the same sad old conventions? Some of what's being said comes over like that in this head. There are lots of good reasons for not breaking too many of the rules too much of the time, but, in fiction, to try and force everyone into a procrustean bed of convention: now honest, is that how you really want things?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: BenRG on 26 Jan 2017, 06:09
Dark Possibility for Tomorrow's Strip:
We have the first two rows of a six panel frame being just Creepybot in Corpse Witch's personal office, pontificating to Corpse Witch (we're looking from behind CW towards CB) about where she went wrong and how stupid it was not to have more defences to prevent anyone from deducing that Bubbles' memories had been encrypted in Corpse Witch's memory.

Creepybot concludes by bidding Corpse Witch farewell and thanking her for providing them with the data about the classified 'black' operations of which Bubbles was part. This panel, the penultimate one, shows Creepybot walking out of  the office holding an AI's drive. Corpse Witch is still sitting in shadows, unmoving.

The last panel is a close up of Corpse Witch. The front of her head is missing and there are a few cables hanging out of the hole indicating that her drive had been involuntarily extracted.

This is not the end, nor is it the beginning of the end... Naturally, Monday's strip will be when Bubbles finds out that Corpse Witch has been (for the lack of a more applicable term) kidnapped.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: JimC on 26 Jan 2017, 06:11
One of the more interesting things to me about the hivemind-in-gray is their apparent utter unconcern for secrecy. Unless there's going to be a grand mindwipe on all the participants a little way on, they seem utterly unconcerned that news about their existence gets out.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jheartney on 26 Jan 2017, 06:26
One of the more interesting things to me about the hivemind-in-gray is their apparent utter unconcern for secrecy. Unless there's going to be a grand mindwipe on all the participants a little way on, they seem utterly unconcerned that news about their existence gets out.

One of those "No one will believe you if you tell them, so enjoy your inside knowledge" deals. Suppose the truth about "Gary" was revealed to Barry. Would it matter?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jheartney on 26 Jan 2017, 06:41
For the record, I think tomorrow is too soon for the CW confrontation. I think Bubbles may need a while to process. OTOH, if Friday and all of next week are taken up in group hugs, I'll start getting impatient.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Mordhaus on 26 Jan 2017, 07:24
"...Miss Emily used to say that tears come from the heart and the soul. I am a robot. I have no heart and no soul, so I cannot cry, even with the tear ducts you have given me. I am sorry to have wasted your time. A more complex model would have understood its limitations at the outset."
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: gopher on 26 Jan 2017, 07:51
. There are lots of good reasons for not breaking too many of the rules too much of the time, but, in fiction, to try and force everyone into a procrustean bed of convention: now honest, is that how you really want things?

I think Kevin O'Neill edged it.

I have no problem with ruke breaking, but an arc where a huge problem is built up then hand-waved away by an NPC is not rule breaking, people have done it many times before, it is just disappointing. I'm still hoping for a larger denouncement.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 26 Jan 2017, 08:34
This didn't break any rules, it just reminded us that we have no idea what the rules are.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jwhouk on 26 Jan 2017, 10:36
I don't think this is over by a long shot.

Sent from my Nextbook on Tapatalk

Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Morituri on 26 Jan 2017, 12:46
It amuses me to think of CW getting some reason to go out to the quarry to talk with a mysterious criminal-underworld contact and finding creepybot there instead. 

"It's funny, but an orbital railgun strike on this location?  It would vaporize both of these chassis.  And you only have the one....  Stand here next to me and let's watch the shooting stars together."
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Zebediah on 26 Jan 2017, 13:44
Corpse Witch: "Oh, you want to meet at the quarry on Arthur Street in Easthampton? The one that gets an average of three orbital railgun strikes every month? At 2:00 AM? Sure, I'll be there. Absolutely nothing suspicious about that."
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 26 Jan 2017, 13:48
Um...am I the only one who doesn't think "Creepybot" is an AI? I thought she was some kind of weird dream figure that lived in the minds of AIs?

Welcome, new person!

They made it sound that way on first appearance with that introduction about nightmares.

The organics could see Eminence Gris too and get paralyzed by them so I think they're real at least "for the moment and as you understand reality".
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Tova on 26 Jan 2017, 14:13
By "others", I meant those off panel, Mr Madness.  8-)
Right, which is just Dora, isn't it?

Maybe it was so long ago I DON'T REMEMBER MR ARCHIVE-FU MADNESS
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: thedevilissix on 26 Jan 2017, 15:13
 :cry: Get that lovely robot some unicorn grove tea, stat!

May this be the start of a journey towards some much happier times for Bubbles. :-)
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 26 Jan 2017, 15:39
By "others", I meant those off panel, Mr Madness.  8-)
Right, which is just Dora, isn't it?

Maybe it was so long ago I DON'T REMEMBER MR ARCHIVE-FU MADNESS
(points to signature)
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: mikmaxs on 26 Jan 2017, 15:57
I fear I find all this amateur critic stuff about bad writing a bit wearying.

I'm not a major comics fan, and don't get involved in the subculture, although I do have about 35 years issues of a UK comic called 2000Ad in the loft... And from that, an observation. In the early days 2000AD used a now deceased artist called Massimo Belardinelli. He produced to me wonderful artwork in a complex surreal style which produced often amazing images. Look him up on the net if you like. However there were those who argued that he had something of a weak poiint when it came to directly representational human anatomy. Frankly this didn't bother me, if there were some surreally positioned muscles amongst all this gorgeously imagined imagery then so damn what. But it meant that his work got a bunch of criticism from those who couldn't look past the doctrinaire position of how it should be done and just enjoy the glorious artwork. And the end result, as they now admit was a mistake, TMO (the editors) didn't commission anything like as much work from Belardinelli as he should have done.

So what's my point. Yeah, our man is going to have better arcs and less good arcs, but also he's going to try stuff, and why not. Look at the way he's transformed his artwork from the early days.  Happened by trying things and experimenting and learning. But you know, in real life people do walk in from nowhere and disappear again. One of the most influential people in my life I only met a handful of times, each widely spaced and for at most a few days at a time.  Be pretty damn boring if every comic was written to the same identikit utilitarian rules. So folks, when you criticise, think. Are you really only criticising for not following the same sad old conventions? Some of what's being said comes over like that in this head. There are lots of good reasons for not breaking too many of the rules too much of the time, but, in fiction, to try and force everyone into a procrustean bed of convention: now honest, is that how you really want things?
Who's saying that he's bad for not following the same old conventions? Nobody is saying that. We're saying that the new things he is trying aren't turning out very well. I believe I even made comments about how branching out and trying new things is good!

Let's try this the other way around, with a hypothetical: An artist (We'll say, a filmmaker) has a usual style, and then they try something new. The new thing is *awful*. They use plot stylings that they don't understand. They work with a young medium, but rely on it too much without understanding its limitations. They try ambitious ideas, but without fully working out what impact those ideas would have. As a result, their work is a mess.
But unfortunately, the people around that filmmaker don't tell him that there's a problem. They don't point out the flaws, or try and explain what went wrong.
Next thing you know, we have Star Wars: The Phantom Menace being released to theaters.

I *want* Jeph to get better at writing other story styles, genres, and arcs. I *want* him to be able to tell this kind of story well, because the concepts that lead up to this arc were really really cool, and seeing it done well would be amazing. What I don't want is for him to continue doing things poorly because nobody is willing to point out when he makes mistakes.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Tova on 26 Jan 2017, 16:56
I suspect the issue here is that, while Jeph has probably been building to this development for some time, we speculative creatures envisioned from what has gone before something quite different. The result has been jarring, the reactions perhaps foreseeable. Where we were hoping for an imaginative or clever solution, it would seem that the intention was to set up an Gordian knot for the sole purpose of introducing a new character whose motives, history, and future actions could well be fascinating.

Personally, I am content enough to sit back at this point to find out where this is going to take us.

Speculation is good, but if you invest heavily in an expectation of what you'll get out of a story by the time it's over, disappointment is a very real possibility.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 26 Jan 2017, 19:03
Eminence Gris made it sound like they will not re-appear.

Corpse Witch remains to be dealt with.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: cesium133 on 26 Jan 2017, 19:26
New comic.

Bubbles is still here.  :evil:
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jwhouk on 26 Jan 2017, 19:32
I heard that last line of Bubbles' in a sinister voice.

"I. Am. Still. HERE."

Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: davidv on 26 Jan 2017, 19:32
So, when confronted, CW doesn't try to deny anything or claim to have the memories stored somewhere, she just literally attempts to commit murder by triggering whatever virus was implanted in bubbles head (at least I assume that's was the glowing eyes indicated.)

And that look on Bubbles face in the last panel made me actually cackle out loud.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 26 Jan 2017, 19:47
I wonder what the legal penalty for attempted murder of an AI is. "Equal protection of the laws" presumably means the sentence would be as long as for trying to kill an organic.

Robot Jail is "horrible" but CW said there are worse places. Robot Jail may be the best outcome for her.

Will there even be anything left for Faye to make a sculpture out of?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Castlerook on 26 Jan 2017, 19:47
*Goes to get some popcorn and a comfy chair*

Next week is going to be exciting!
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: linuxthekid on 26 Jan 2017, 19:48
Do you feel fear android?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fsx09hDU0Sw
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Morituri on 26 Jan 2017, 19:49
Yeah, that was looking like CW just told the threehorned one-eyed critter to bring down the house and discovered that it was no longer in residence.

This is probably a bad thing for Corpse Witch.

I don't imagine Faye is playing no part whatsoever though; she's either part of the backup plan, or waiting outside with Officer Basilisk to get in on the arrest.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Gyrre on 26 Jan 2017, 20:13
Well, that pretty much confirms that the monster was malware and not the traumatic memories.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Wagimawr on 26 Jan 2017, 20:14
This is not the end

Well you got one thing right. We're not done here by a long shot.

Bubbles' face tho. Almost makes one feel bad for CW.

Almost.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: mikmaxs on 26 Jan 2017, 20:15
I suspect the issue here is that, while Jeph has probably been building to this development for some time, we speculative creatures envisioned from what has gone before something quite different. The result has been jarring, the reactions perhaps foreseeable. Where we were hoping for an imaginative or clever solution, it would seem that the intention was to set up an Gordian knot for the sole purpose of introducing a new character whose motives, history, and future actions could well be fascinating.

Personally, I am content enough to sit back at this point to find out where this is going to take us.

Speculation is good, but if you invest heavily in an expectation of what you'll get out of a story by the time it's over, disappointment is a very real possibility.
Who was speculating? I was just taking the story presented at face value.
"This encryption is nearly-impossible to break" very obviously sets up expectations.
"This new character might be able to break the encryption, but it will be difficult" also sets up clear expectations, even if it was a bit rushed.
"The encryption was easily broken, and the story is over" runs counter to all of the setup that we were given. It's like we got all of the buildup in the first half of Alien, and then the first guy with the flamethrower was just able to kill the monster.


As for the new development... This is gonna be neat. I'm expecting Bubbles to take the moral high ground and get CW arrested somehow, but will be pleasantly surprised if something different happens.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: JimC on 26 Jan 2017, 20:19
speculative creatures envisioned from what has gone before something quite different. The result has been jarring,
Good thoughts, I think. Now you make me think about that I reckon that perhaps my reading style is not so much to look ahead and imagine where the plot will go, although I do like looking around and speculating about more of the background.. Comes of being a horrendously fast reader of novels maybe...
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jheartney on 26 Jan 2017, 20:21
Well, I wasn't expecting to see this till next week. (Not complaining.)

Bubbles also knows that CW unsuccessfully attempted to kill her. So that should not improve her mood. Despite this, I don't expect well witness a robocide. We'll have to see if Basilisk gets involved. In any case I have a hard time seeing CW continuing as proprietor of the robot fights; I doubt she has many fans among the workforce, and she's pissed off her lieutenant in a pretty permanent way. Whether it's from the legitimate constabulary or just Station and pals, I think she's bought some alone time.

I'm noticing that the safe seems to have significant quantities of cash. I guess if it's an underground business they couldn't have a business account, at least openly. The good news it'd be enough to bridge the transition to some new management.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: NyxDarkness on 26 Jan 2017, 20:32
FUCK YEAH!

That is all.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Morituri on 26 Jan 2017, 20:34
I'm noticing how fast Bubbles is. 

Panel 1: 8 meters away in the doorway.  Corpse witch gets about one second's worth of a sentence out, and then
Panel 2: SLAM!  Covering 8 meters in one second Bubbles cuts off the sentence.

Which just shows Jeph is very much aware of the continuity he's set up in http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3004  where her top running speed is listed as 30KPH.  Yep, that's just about exactly right....

Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Perfectly Reasonable on 26 Jan 2017, 20:45
I kinda hope Bubbles manages to extract an expository lump from Corpse Witch before turning her into an example of the Cubist Period.

In the meantime, I am enjoying "Girls with Rimshots".
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Tova on 26 Jan 2017, 21:05
Who was speculating?

Me, I was speculating. Inaccurately, as it turned out.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: danuis on 26 Jan 2017, 21:16
She's still here, folks... she's still here.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: brasca on 26 Jan 2017, 21:17
I know it's been said many times that Alice Grove is an alternate universe from this, but I've seen that grin before and it never bodes well. 

I'm also going to drop my theory that the memories were downloaded to a secret data bank Corpse Witch controls or she'd have tried to bluff her way out of this.  It's likely impossible which is why she won't even bother to lie about it.  Although many have been disappointed by the journey into Bubble's mind it did remove the last card Corpse Witch could play against her.  Loyalty, Loss of employment, loss of memories, and finally loss of life have all been played out so Corpse Witch has no leverage left. 

While I'm sure it would be more satisfying to crush her into a cube I think Bubbles has thought things through and will probably deliver an ultimatum.  Corpse Witch will leave never to return and leave the business as well as her contacts in high places to her.  Bubble may not be interested in bringing down her business, but reforming it because even though Corpse Witch ultimately was there to exploit down on their luck AIs she was there when no one else was.  Perhaps Bubbles will take it upon herself to keep the fighting arena going without exploiting the workers and fighters.  She's still have to steer clear of Officer Basilisk, but that seems easy enough. 
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Kugai on 26 Jan 2017, 21:28
That grin

Bubbles is upset


Corps Witch is going to becme a Statue.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: haikupoet on 26 Jan 2017, 21:42
Statue my shiny metal ass. Corpse Witch is going to wind up in a Furby.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Morituri on 26 Jan 2017, 21:52
I'm pretty firmly of the opinion that Bubbles doesn't actually want to be running an illegal fight ring.  And she's not the owner of the building.  And I doubt that she'll cut Corpse Witch a deal that makes her the owner of the building, because one way or another that would involve Corpse Witch remaining free.   Finally, I doubt that Corpse Witch herself is the owner of the building, so even if Bubbles were willing to cut that deal I don't think she could sign it over.

I can see Bubbles wanting to open a robo hospital or repair center, but she'll want to go legit and I doubt she has the resources to buy anything like the skate park.

She might have enough if she got her back-pay, but a suit for back pay is legally a non-starter as an action against a criminal enterprise. 

On the other hand she picked her moment when CW had the safe open.  She may just take the back pay she's owed.

Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: ZoeB on 26 Jan 2017, 21:59
CW is getting off lightly. I half expected the Eminence Gris to have shall we say, staged an intervention.

The worst thing CW can expect from here is cessation of existence, robot jail (attempted murder) or a place worse then that.

Not Nightmare. Not "please tell us what made you the way you are - voluntarily of course" from EG et al before they start their experiments.

Obviously smalltime, not expert but a scriptkiddie. Not worth their attention.

By a stroke of good fortune, the safe is open too. That simplifies things, persuading her to open it could have involved ethical dilemmas.

I'd personally still like to know what made CW what she is, but that's no longer a Big Picture concern, more along the lines of wondering if rehabilitation after penitence is possible for her personally.

We're not called on to only treat the good with kindness. Justice untempered by mercy is over rated. I think I can assume her further capacity to inflict harm is or shortly will be... Diminished. That accomplished, we can see if anything can be salvaged from this (attempted) murderer and actual extortionist. I doubt it, but worth asking. I won't lose sleep on it though, there are more important issues.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Texanhick20 on 26 Jan 2017, 22:15
I had to read this comic 3 times to stop giggling like a mad man. and even then while reading the comments about today's comic I kept going back and re-reading this comic.. at this point I've read it about 10 times... Man is this gooood
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: brasca on 26 Jan 2017, 22:22
It's not just Bubbles doing the right thing by not stooping to Corpse Witch's level it's also about getting away with it.  Unless Hannelore could be the literal cleaner in all this Bubbles could be charged for murder if she were to actually snuff out Corpse Witch's spark.  However, if she agrees to disappear and leaves Bubbles to run the operation then the other AIs still have a home and Faye could return to work there.  I don't see that happening if Bubbles were turn her in to the police for attempting to kill her and all the other criminal activity.  More than likely they'd confiscate all property associated with this illegal business which would leave all the AIs homeless and jobless.  I think this outcome works the best and yes Corpse Witch gets a get out of jail card, but perhaps if she knows about Bubbles' friends in high places she might think twice tinkering with AI minds and exploiting them in the future. 
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: St.Clair on 26 Jan 2017, 22:31
That feeling when you smugly pull the trigger of your holdout pistol (that your enemy foolishly let you draw on them) and it just goes *click*
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 26 Jan 2017, 22:45
I had to read this comic 3 times to stop giggling like a mad man. and even then while reading the comments about today's comic I kept going back and re-reading this comic.. at this point I've read it about 10 times... Man is this gooood

"I'm still here."
"Shit."

Welcome, new person!

"I'm still here" is a great attitude to take toward abusers.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: DSL on 26 Jan 2017, 23:06
So ... what, I wonder, was CW expecting to happen right after "... nice knowing you"?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Mordhaus on 26 Jan 2017, 23:10
So ... what, I wonder, was CW expecting to happen right after "... nice knowing you"?

I think the current thought on this is that she expected her failsafe (the monster) to kill Bubbles or, at the very least incapacitate her somehow. I assume the light flashing in her eyes was her attempting to activate it.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: BenRG on 26 Jan 2017, 23:21
I'm thinking that, previously, Corpse Witch was expecting the very worst case scenario was that Bubbles would walk out and that was it. One thing she wasn't expecting (and probably doesn't know how to deal with) is Bubbles still being around but wanting to change the parameters of their relationship and how things work around the skate park.

That said, yeah, there is a definite feel to this of: "Your big mistake wasn't to take a shot at me, it was to miss when you did it!"
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jheartney on 26 Jan 2017, 23:51
I'm thinking that, previously, Corpse Witch was expecting the very worst case scenario was that Bubbles would walk out and that was it. One thing she wasn't expecting (and probably doesn't know how to deal with) is Bubbles still being around but wanting to change the parameters of their relationship and how things work around the skate park.

That said, yeah, there is a definite feel to this of: "Your big mistake wasn't to take a shot at me, it was to miss when you did it!"

The old saying is, if you try to kill the King (or Queen (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3059), in this case), you'd better succeed.

But I don't see Bubbles wanting to change the parameters of the relationship. I see her wanting to terminate it. CW can choose whether she herself gets terminated along with the relationship. (Or, perhaps, set up with her own private Robot Jail in a closet at the park.)
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: hitmiccs on 27 Jan 2017, 00:42
So ... what, I wonder, was CW expecting to happen right after "... nice knowing you"?

I think the current thought on this is that she expected her failsafe (the monster) to kill Bubbles or, at the very least incapacitate her somehow. I assume the light flashing in her eyes was her attempting to activate it.
I fully agree with this - and I'm happy that it partially turned out as I theorized ^^
Next theory: even if some of us would be happy to see CW pay for what she has done to Bubbles (and with pay I mean seeing CW disintegrated by an anime-like exaggerated blow to the head), I suspect that Bubbles morale is still stronger than her anger - it's something she build up and lived with for a lot of time. I think Bubbles will report CW to the lieutenant/robopolice and have her arrested.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: QuestionableIntentions on 27 Jan 2017, 01:02
Woop! Go Bubbles! Time for CorpseWitch to get her comeuppance!

Global Moderator Comment Edited to removed gendered insult such as we do not tolerate in this forum.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 27 Jan 2017, 01:13
Gosh, it's almost though manipulatively fucking with someone's memories can end up biting you on the ass.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: BenRG on 27 Jan 2017, 02:00
What I would like to see next week:

MONDAY
Panel 1
EXT: Skate Park, shown from a distance - FAYE, MAY and MOMO walking towards the main enterance

MOMO: "What's that sound? It sounds like...?"

Panel 2
Close up on MOMO, MAY and FAYE; FAYE looks sort of bored whilst MOMO and MAY look shocked.

MOMO: "... Singing?"

Panel 3 - Full-Width
INT: Skate Park lobby
A tableaux that could be a steampunk version of Beauty and the Beast. Robots and AI appliances are signing and dancing in formation a Hollywood-worthy moment.

ROBOT CHORUS: "Ding-Dong! The Witch is dead! Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch! Ding-Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead!"

At the extreme right-hand side, a surprised FAYE, MAY and MOMO are being confronted by JEREMY

JEREMY: "And she is not just merely dead! She's most sincerely dead!"

Panel 4
INT: Skate Park corridor

FAYE (back to looking bored) with MAY (wearing a 'WTF?' expression) and MOMO (looking over her shoulder in alarm) are walking in fore-shot. Behind them, PUNCHBOT and another fighting robot are arm-in arm, dancing a jig.

ROBOT CHORUS: "Ding-Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead!"

Panel 5
MOMO, MAY and FAYE walking side by side

MOMO: "Does that sort of thing happen a lot here?"

FAYE: "Meh. It's Thursday. Weird shit always happens on Thursday!"


TUESDAY
Panel 1
INT - Skate Park
MOMO, MAY and FAYE (seen from behind) are standing in front of a door labelled 'Manager' (and, below, in shaky cursive: 'Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here!')

Panel 2
INT - Manager's Office
BUBBLES is sitting in a high-backed leather swivel chair, illuminated by the light from an angle-poise lamp. She is toying with an AI drive. CORPSE WITCH's chassis (sans head) is leaning against the far wall with a label pasted to the chest: 'DISASSEMBLY ORDER'

BUBBLES: "Faye. Good, you brought the librarian and the parolee. Please, come in."

Panel 3
Close up on BUBBLES, who is steepleing her hands in front of her, wearing a slightly smug and sinister smile.

BUBBLES: "As you may have noticed, the Skate Park's former owner-operator has had something of a... misadventure. As a consequence there has been a change of management and the new manager... That is me, by the way... has decided on a wide-ranging change of policy."

Panel 4
BUBBLES' right hand, extending out of shot towards a petrified-looking MOMO

BUBBLES: "But this is not a task that I can achieve alone. I need guides. I need the assistance of someone who has not just access to the most up-to-date information on business law but is also famed in the local AI community for her unshakable sense of ethics and morality to help make this both an ethical and truly joint human-AI enterprise."

Panel 4
BUBBLES' right hand, extending out of shot towards a sceptical-looking MAY

BUBBLES: "As well as one of her generation's most brilliant natural talents in book-keeping who, but for a single misstep, would have made one of the most fantastic acts of corporate embezzlement in history seem legal to help me acquire the finance for this great task."

Panel 6
A smirking FAYE, arms folded, standing behind MOMO and MAY

BUBBLES (Out of shot): "Together, my friends, we will achieve the impossible! The Ultimate Robot Fighting Championship is about to go fully legitimate and legal, in the biggest and best possible way!"

FAYE: "Buckle up, kiddies! It's gonna be one hellava ride!"
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: ZoeB on 27 Jan 2017, 03:01
Rats. Now Jeph can't use that. Or maybe assign you co-authorship?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: BenRG on 27 Jan 2017, 03:17
FWIW, on Twitter, Jeph recently said that he's about 2 weeks ahead in drawing comics, so the outcome of today's confrontation is already saved to the 'Completed Strips' directory on Jeph's home PC.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: pwhodges on 27 Jan 2017, 04:04
As a side effect, this shows clearly that virtually every instance in which the forum wonders whether it influenced a story line is unlikely to be the case.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Jakk Frost on 27 Jan 2017, 04:18
For panel 2, I honestly think a more satisfying onomatopoeia could have been used, something like "WHANG" (metal face to metal wall), or "KABAM" (Bubbles did it so hard it sounded like a gunshot).  Just me being picky though.  ;)

Additionally, that panel put me in mind of the youtube meme of repeating an impact video to the opening beat of Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl".  Anyone care to animate it?  lol  :evil:
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: WareWolf on 27 Jan 2017, 05:11
Statue my shiny metal ass. Corpse Witch is going to wind up in a Furby.

There are indeed worse places than Robot Jail.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: wlewisiii on 27 Jan 2017, 05:28
Statue my shiny metal ass. Corpse Witch is going to wind up in a Furby.

There are indeed worse places than Robot Jail.

Oh, a furby would be kind. Far too kind.

I'd suggest  a rack mount as a place where the drive/cpu/whatever it is that IS the AI has power. And no IO. Just a few centuries of power and no way to communicate with anyone else.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 27 Jan 2017, 05:45
As a side effect, this shows clearly that virtually every instance in which the forum wonders whether it influenced a story line is unlikely to be the case.
I'm pretty sure this buffer is new for him, but the forum being influence is still unlikely.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Snipercam7 on 27 Jan 2017, 05:52
For all her faults, I have to feel sorry for CW here.

She just pissed off, enslaved, then attempted to kill an AI with military experience, in a chassis that was almost certainly designed to close the distance with Main Battle Tanks and open them like a packet of crisps.

The next few minutes will feel like weeks I'm sure.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Thrudd on 27 Jan 2017, 06:45
Why am I getting a hankering for some fresh pop-up toast? 

Yeah, no need for any actual psycho diving, just add a language buffer/filter that does phrase/word substitution to the speech interface and install the whole thing into some public appliance that gets very little respect in the first place.
 - wallyworld door greeter
 - Toaster at the college cafeteria
 - automated restroom at the local elementary school or daycare
 - fire hydrant
 - moderator for reddit alt posts :evil:
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jwhouk on 27 Jan 2017, 07:21
As a side effect, this shows clearly that virtually every instance in which the forum wonders whether it influenced a story line is unlikely to be the case.

There has been exactly one strip in the long history of QC that was directly influenced by these forums.

The odds against a repeat increase daily.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Zebediah on 27 Jan 2017, 07:27
Punishment for CW: She becomes the AI responsible for playing "It's a Small World" at Disneyland. She does nothing else all day but play that song over and over, and she can never get away from it.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: David F on 27 Jan 2017, 07:33
While I'm partial to the 'stuck in a closet with a power line and nothing else' option, I think ripping off CW's head and running power to it would make for a lovely paperweight / conversation piece.  Get that whole 'head on a pike' effect without actually, you know, killing her.  Because I think murdering CW while Officer Basilisk is sniffing around is likely to cause Bubbles more harm than good.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: gopher on 27 Jan 2017, 07:39
I don't support the death sentence for any intelligence, organic or mechanical. I suspect the judicial system had suitable punishments for slavery.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Method of Madness on 27 Jan 2017, 07:40
As a side effect, this shows clearly that virtually every instance in which the forum wonders whether it influenced a story line is unlikely to be the case.

There has been exactly one strip in the long history of QC that was directly influenced by these forums.

The odds against a repeat increase daily.
I'm still angry at myself for not taking part.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: USS Martenclaire on 27 Jan 2017, 08:23
BUBBLES: "For all the years I've worked here, you've always called me Bubbles. Yet I am also known by another name...."

CORPSE WITCH: "Wait....you?!"

BUBBLES: "Permit me to demonstrate how I acquired that alternative name."

*dismembering commences*
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 27 Jan 2017, 09:08
Woop! Go Bubbles! Time for CorpseWitch to get her comeuppance!

Global Moderator Comment Edited to removed gendered insult such as we do not tolerate in this forum.

Global Moderator Comment A bit more about that, to bring all the new people up to speed. It was some of our most level-headed members, people who've proven that they don't sweat the small stuff, who told us that gender-specific bad language reduced their feeling of welcome here. We understand it's an easy mistake to make! I've even reminded a liberal woman about it. Special note to European members: I gather that "cunt" is on the same level as "git" outside the US. In the US it's an explosive sexist insult up there with the worst ethnic slurs.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Zebediah on 27 Jan 2017, 09:11
BUBBLES: "Permit me to demonstrate how I acquired that alternative name."

*dismembering commences*

Officer Basilisk, surveying the carnage: "So what, exactly, happened here?"

Bubbles: "I can't remember."

 :clairedoge:
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: FreQ on 27 Jan 2017, 09:34
This isn't panning out how I'd expect it to.

Corpse Witch is thoroughly unpleasant, but also intelligent, cunning and cautious, an expert at manipulating people. I don't understand why she would simply delete Bubbles' memories, removing all leverage she could use. I was certain that CW would have planned for this, either with the data being stored off site, or maybe somewhere else inside Bubbles' head.

I'm obviously hopeful that Bubbles has some form of justice, or at least gets to live a free life with people she cares about. But I cannot help but think CW isn't done yet. Remember, we haven't even heard from Jeremy. Surely he will be a plot device to help Bubbles solve her memory issues in the coming strips? "I overhear a lot of things" - we haven't had any elaboration on quote from Jeremy yet.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 27 Jan 2017, 09:44
Welcome, new person!

I've wondered that too.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: BenRG on 27 Jan 2017, 09:49
Bubbles is a former military AI. I'm betting that the DoD put fail-safes into her system (possibly in the 'brain-stem' local control software for her chassis) that prevented any outside persons viewing or altering her memories. Any attempt to do so would lead to the memory address being purged and overwritten with a gibberish '1010101010...' code. It wasn't really Corpse Witch's fault; I doubt anyone knew about it, not even Bubbles. However, her crime was to pretend the procedure worked and use it as leverage to essentially enslave a terribly emotionally-vulnerable being (oh, and add in a 'brain-bomb' kill program too) rather than honestly tell her what had happened and commiserate with her for her bad luck.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: FreQ on 27 Jan 2017, 09:57
That's a good point. I hadn't considered how her military AI might be different from civilian.

It'll be interesting how this develops.

Thanks for the welcome, although I'm not really new. I've been reading for roughly a decade but just never felt the need to post before.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Skewbrow on 27 Jan 2017, 10:53
As much as I liked BenRG's idea for Momo/May/Faye/Bubbles taking over the robofighting business, I don't really see them being successful at it. I don't know why I feel that way. May be those friends of ours just don't have the business nose that it may require? Can't quite put my finger on it ... but ... Let me just state that they are no Don King. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_King_(boxing_promoter)) Corpse Witch is not nice, but she has been quite good at running the show. Admittedly this is more than a bit sad view, sorry.

OTOH I could easily see Bubbles, Faye & Jeremy starting their own robo body shop. If the fight club members get better pay in the future, they continue to be regular patrons. But will there be a fight club with CW (inevitably) removed from the business?

Thankfully this arc ain't over yet.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: WareWolf on 27 Jan 2017, 10:57
Statue my shiny metal ass. Corpse Witch is going to wind up in a Furby.

There are indeed worse places than Robot Jail.

Oh, a furby would be kind. Far too kind.

I'd suggest  a rack mount as a place where the drive/cpu/whatever it is that IS the AI has power. And no IO. Just a few centuries of power and no way to communicate with anyone else.

I Have No Ports and I Must Scream.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: WareWolf on 27 Jan 2017, 11:00
Punishment for CW: She becomes the AI responsible for playing "It's a Small World" at Disneyland. She does nothing else all day but play that song over and over, and she can never get away from it.

Jesus. Remind me never to piss you people off.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Neko_Ali on 27 Jan 2017, 12:06
It's also possible that Bubbles' now missing memories are because Corpse Witch screwed up. We know that altering a mind of an AI is a delicate operation. It's entirely possible that she was intending do so what Bubbles asked and seal the memories away to be retrieved later, but either overestimated her skill or had a 'woops' moment and deleted them instead. So she installed the locks and virus instead and told Bubbles all was well. After all, Bubbles gets what she wants in the short term, CW gets a servant she can hold over with blackmail and if Bubbles ever pushed to hard to leave, she could just destroy Bubbles' mind. All wins from Corpse Witch's viewpoint.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: WareWolf on 27 Jan 2017, 12:25
That's a good point. I hadn't considered how her military AI might be different from civilian.

I cant find the exact strip, but in a conversation with Momo, Bubbles described how some AI's wanted to serve their country. So I don't think they're purpose-built for the military, at least not all of them. Some are volunteers.

Now, after military training and service, their thinking would be different, in the same way that military trained and experienced humans often look at the world differently than they did as civilians.

Edit: Ah, here it is. http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3092

Edit: there's also this strip: http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3074
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: blt on 27 Jan 2017, 12:41
Bubbles is a former military AI. I'm betting that the DoD put fail-safes into her system (possibly in the 'brain-stem' local control software for her chassis) that prevented any outside persons viewing or altering her memories. Any attempt to do so would lead to the memory address being purged and overwritten with a gibberish '1010101010...' code. It wasn't really Corpse Witch's fault; I doubt anyone knew about it, not even Bubbles. However, her crime was to pretend the procedure worked and use it as leverage to essentially enslave a terribly emotionally-vulnerable being (oh, and add in a 'brain-bomb' kill program too) rather than honestly tell her what had happened and commiserate with her for her bad luck.

So in this theory there's protections that you can't read without the memories being purged, but you can write in an incredibly complex encryption on the overwritten data and install a fail-deadly security program?  I don't buy.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: brasca on 27 Jan 2017, 13:07
Bubbles is a former military AI. I'm betting that the DoD put fail-safes into her system (possibly in the 'brain-stem' local control software for her chassis) that prevented any outside persons viewing or altering her memories. Any attempt to do so would lead to the memory address being purged and overwritten with a gibberish '1010101010...' code. It wasn't really Corpse Witch's fault; I doubt anyone knew about it, not even Bubbles. However, her crime was to pretend the procedure worked and use it as leverage to essentially enslave a terribly emotionally-vulnerable being (oh, and add in a 'brain-bomb' kill program too) rather than honestly tell her what had happened and commiserate with her for her bad luck.

Agreed.  Up until this week I've playing devil's advocate since we didn't know enough and Bubbles willingly submitted to the operation, but Corpse Witch should have told her the memories were deleted in the process and definitely not plant a bomb that could be activated if she turned against her. 
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: oddtail on 27 Jan 2017, 13:07
OK, I am sort of disappointed by the comic recently. I would not have a problem if encryption was established as easier to break in QC-verse than in our world, but there was so much build-up to the encryption being pretty much impossible, this resolution feels like a huge letdown. There were entire comics dedicated to the impossibility of solving the issue easily, and then the issue gets solved easily. I assume the storytelling purpose is to establish Creepybot as unthinkably powerful (together with casual paralysing people and bragging - twice, at that - to Faye that she could not do anything to threaten the Creepybot).

But I am not thrilled at this, because this new character feels a bit... God Mode Sue-ish. Maybe it's my tabletop RPG experience, but a new character that can casually do amazing stuff and ignore constraints put forward by the setting, where such a possibility was not earlier hinted at, and the story is not, at its core, ABOUT incredible capabilities and their impact on the world... yeah, such characters are less than interesting to me, and make me more than a little wary.

Another thing that I don't particularly like is - CW's behaviour does not make consistent sense to me. And the newest comic finally let me put my finger on why. She was shown manipulating Bubbles into not spending much time outside, not making social connections, and so on. She had the vibe of "she wants to be the person Bubbles turns to, and make her mistrust everyone else". What with her multiple comments about how Bubbles will get hurt if she gets too trusting. Sort of the "stepmother from Tangled" sort of thing. But when we're shown that she not only CAN just tell Bubbles what to do and what not to do, but she's WILLING to control what Bubbles does (and the "it's time we curtail your..." comment feels that way), such manipulation and the need to make Bubbles dependent on her via mistrust towards the world... it makes little sense. And yes, the encryption can be broken easily by Creepybot, but *CW can't have known that*. It was established clearly that the common wisdom is that such encryption is pretty much unbreakable.

It feels to me like the comic took a wild turn, and I don't mind sudden changes, but this one does not feel like it belongs with what happened earlier.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: gprimr1 on 27 Jan 2017, 13:26
Good points. We also still don't know why a human was needed to go into Bubble's mind or who the creepybot even is.

I hope next week we get some more clarification. I'd like to see creepybot walk into the shop and finally reveal who or what creepybot is.

Wouldn't it be funny if it turned out to be CW's boss? Or Boss's boss?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Stoutfellow on 27 Jan 2017, 13:34
Is it possible that the Gray One's intervention was (at least in part) aimed at short-circuiting Basilisk's investigation? (Of course, I can think of other ways that could have been done, but it might be a side-effect of other to-them desirable outcomes.)
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: JimC on 27 Jan 2017, 16:15
We also still don't know why a human was needed to go into Bubble's mind

Immunity to AI malware is onne possibility...
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Neko_Ali on 27 Jan 2017, 16:50
Creepy didn't want to enter Bubbles mind. They said it several times, they take sanctity of the mind, at least the AI mind, very seriously. It wasn't that they couldn't enter Bubbles mind and do the job. They didn't want to do it. Instead, they got Emily to do it. Possibly she's the best mentally do deal with whatever stress a human would encounter brain-diving an AI. Maybe Creepy just didn't want Faye to do it, or didn't have the computer know how. Who knows. The programs that Creepy provided did all the heavy lifting anyway, but they were made cartoonishly simple. As if they were programming for a toddler. Which probably well describes their attitudes towards humanity.

People keep trying to find some dark motive why Creepy did what they did... But everything is adequately explained by what Creepy said. Occam's Razor says all other things being equal simpler explanations are better than complex ones. There is no need to figure out some arcane mystery that Jeph somehow didn't explain well enough, when the explanations given already match up with the observed facts.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Perfectly Reasonable on 27 Jan 2017, 19:43

I cant find the exact strip, but in a conversation with Momo, Bubbles described how some AI's wanted to serve their country. So I don't think they're purpose-built for the military, at least not all of them. Some are volunteers.

Now, after military training and service, their thinking would be different, in the same way that military trained and experienced humans often look at the world differently than they did as civilians.

Edit: Ah, here it is. http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3092

Edit: there's also this strip: http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3074

Thanks for quoting those links! My own belief is that you can't really purpose-build an AI. You can stack modifiers in your favor, but in the end you have to take what you get and hope they go along with what you had in mind. Remember Leda (http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1997) used to be a ballistic missile sub, and Charlotte (http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1998) was a bank AI before she was sent to hang out with the toasters.

....

GreyCreep said "We think you know what we are" to Bubbles. So Corpse Witch must have known too. But that did not deter her. Criminal mind and so on...
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: gprimr1 on 27 Jan 2017, 20:41
Immunity to malware makes sense. Also, I wonder if there are any differences in how AIs think vs how humans think.

I think the reason people are looking for an ulterior motive is the sort of deux ex machina feeling after the build up of how the encryption was unbreakable.

I just want to know who these people are lol.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Larm Hargraven on 27 Jan 2017, 21:20
I connect with a lot of comments on the comic's direction, and I think I can help break down -why- we feel a bit...disappointed? Bored? Apathetic? Something along those feelings. Reading this comic arc, I'm trying to imagine it in the format it's made to be, a comic. And in a comic, we like to have nautral progression of events, stories, and ideas. The problem is that sometimes it can be hampered by the attempt of adding new concepts or ideas to the comic to change things up. That in itself is fine, but like I said, readers like to have a nautral progression. This is not a natural progression. Before the start of this arc, the highest octane amount of action or drama we saw like this was Faye's drunken trip to the hospital. But it was tied to a very real issue of alcoholism, which the comic is suited for as it usually focuses on themes of relationships, friends, family, and moving on in life with day-to-day problems. And Jeph was able to add friggen AI robots into this whole setting in a natural way. No one questions AI in the world of QC, they're there and even have helped with those very real issues we read about in this comic. But I digress, the point is the arc has added too much too fast and not answered enough.

In the course of this arc, we were introduced to a LOT of new concepts. Not just in the metalevel of writing, but in character development and world building. We're introduced to AI Decryption, the cloak and dagger going on, BUT ALSO here is this character who knows everything, acts like they do, is adding unnatural abilities to what is normally a mundane world without any answer OR QUESTION from the main characters outside of a "What's happening" "Oh don't worry about, heheh. See how full of myself I seem, don't I appear OMINOUS?" BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE time to show you what it looks like to IN an AI brain. That's right, that super hard encryption we mentioned? HERE IT IS. LOOK AT IT. Ohp, ok that piece is done, time to jump to the resolution now. Oh also Creepybot may or may not return?

So now we're battling all these new concepts, AND a character who is kind've going to Mary Sue levels of power and we're left with a climax that makes ZERO sense. Why a human? WTF was the use of the "inside of an AI brain" visualization if it was only used for three strips? In fact, why mention that whole scene all together? Are we going back to it anytime? Why is Creppybot leaving and suddenly sentimental? What is up with their powers? How come no one is mentioning that more? Also WHY did we spend so many strips looking for alternative methods that spent about 1-2 strips doing only for out penultimate scene ALSO be like...2-3 strips? Why are we just wrapping up the loss of Bubble's memories with a simple "imma beat u up now" ending? AND IS ANYONE GOING TO WAKE UP THE OTHERS? THERE WAS A TRANSITION OF TIME TO GET TO CORPSEWITCH.

So there, that's all of the new ideas and concepts and the questions I myself simply had throughout the arc. As you can see, it's confusing and muddled a bit, which is how I felt reading this arc. But does this also mean Jeph is a bad writer? Nah. He's a good one actually, but sometimes trying out new concepts can not turn out well. Sometimes they don't come out as you hope and the audience takes it in a way you didn't expect. This is just one of those cases. So I hope this helped, it probably was more rant-y than I wanted it to be so maybe it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jwhouk on 27 Jan 2017, 21:59
Gray One. Heh, that's a new name...



Wait a minute.

"GRAY" one?

Would that be what they call themselves, now? Instead of what they called themselves, then?

You know...

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: JackMann on 27 Jan 2017, 22:00
Joined to post about this week's strips. Howdy.

Like a lot of people, I feel like Jeph's trying some new stuff, and it's not quite landing.

I feel like this was meant to do a few things. One was bring a climax to the Bubbles/Corpse Witch storyline. I actually think that, for the most part, this was handled well. The important beats were hit there.

The other thing it was meant to do was introduce CreepyBot. I suspect CreepyBot may be an aspect or a servant of the Singularity (remember that?). Whatever they are, I'm sure we'll see more and get a fuller explanation.

However, I think having them just pop up out of nowhere after establishing that the powerful AIs we're already familiar with (Station and others) were unable to do anything about the encryption felt... a bit rushed. There was no build-up to it. I think it might have worked better if there had been an intermediate step there, and maybe downplay the "all-powerful, all-knowing" bits that popped up in the intro. Like, even if it was something silly like Pintsize saying, "Well, I might know a guy..." would have set it up better, I think.

That said, I'm still really interested to see where both of these things go. Corpse Witch is definitely in serious trouble. We'll see how much trouble, and whether or not Faye will have to actually take out a loan to take care of the Fight Club bots. I want to see more of CreepyBot, especially if I'm right about them being connected to the Singularity. I think in general, Jeph's writing has improved a lot over the years. I think even with a misstep here, this will be going interesting places going forward.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Mr. Skawronska on 27 Jan 2017, 23:38
I'd like to see Bubbles rip CW's AI core out (her "heart"), throwing her lifeless chassis into the corner, and walk out tossing it up in the air and whistling...

...next panel, handing the core to Hanners...

...next panel, Hanners handing the core to Station...

...and the next panel being something creative.  Although I must admit "It's a small world" recording player on infinite loop is pretty damn good.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Skewbrow on 27 Jan 2017, 23:43
Wait a minute.

"GRAY" one?

Would that be what they call themselves, now? Instead of what they called themselves, then?


May be as a pun on meatbags and their less puissant Cray-1 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cray-1)?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: ZoeB on 28 Jan 2017, 03:10
Punishment for CW: She becomes the AI responsible for playing "It's a Small World" at Disneyland. She does nothing else all day but play that song over and over, and she can never get away from it.

Jesus. Remind me never to piss you people off.

I don't mean to be hurtful, but could everyone salivating at the thought of CW getting her comeuppance please take a step back, and try to view themselves objectively?

I'll be brutal here. You're discussing how to most effectively torture someone. Not just physical pain, but mental anguish. Sheer and unalloyed sadism.

Not as an unfortunate but necessary side effect of behaviour modification. Not "to teach her a lesson she will never forget". But for the deep and unholy joy you get from seeing evil get its most Just reward.

Maybe CW can be rehabilitated. I have my doubts. But if not.. has her behaviour merited the forfeit of all respect due to another sophont? Consideration, yes, that's forfeit. Perhaps a quick personal extinction should be her lot as her right to be is questionable. But not respect. If she can't be salvaged, the kindest and most effective course is to immerse her in a virtual reality for a significant period, a place where she can work out her sick fantasies and goals without hurting anyone, until she either sees the error of her ways, how farnarckling pointless it all is, or the plug is pulled on it and her. The important thing is never giving her the chance to do more harm. The rest, well, whatever.

Think about it. If a vicious, slimy little rat bit you, would you just quickly whack it on the head, or would you spent hours and money developing a torture device for rats just to subject it to maximum excruciation for no other reason than "justice"?  Now if you wouldn't do that to a rat with an obnoxious personality, why would you do that to a sophont?

If the rat didn't bite you, but bit your 3 month old child, would you torture it like that? Even though as a parent, every fibre of your being would cry out to do just that? I think not. Oh, you might chuck it in a furnace, but you wouldn't then fish out the smouldering, shrieking thing, revive it, heal it just enough to do it again, and keep on doing it just to hear the squeals.

Or if you would, you need help. And must be prevented from harming others.

I'm atheist. As spiritual as a brick. Maybe it's because I'm so spiritually and religiously stunted that I can see this when so many people better than me cannot.

Maybe it's because I fight monsters, and so I have to beware that I too don't become a monster thereby.

Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird.

The Abyss is probably thoroughly bored of staring into me by now. No significant handhold to grab me by, just the usual very human imperfections.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: themacnut on 28 Jan 2017, 08:54
ZoeB has a point above; if you're going to subject CW to a Fate Worse Than Deletion scenario, then you'd might as well just delete her, since putting her in that, for example "It's a Small World After All" loop would drive her insane, therefore making her more dangerous than ever before, if she were ever let out. Which is the point, she could never be let out, as she'd then be too great a danger to others.

This is precisely the mistake that has been made in criminal justice systems in the US, too much emphasis on punishment and not enough on rehabilitation. The result is too many convicts newly released from prison going back in shortly after their release, all too often after having hurt or murdered someone, maybe several someones. We like to see wrong-doers get their comeuppance, but in stories where they do the story usually ends right afterward, and we forget that the wrongdoer's part of the story often continues after that point, especially in RL.

Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: osaka on 28 Jan 2017, 10:29
We have reached [muffled Rashid theme in the distance] status at the moment. I'd be surprised if at least CWs chassis isn't reduced to some weird purple metal replica of the malaysian battle spatula.

But what Zoe is saying is completely true, the idea of just torturing CW is way beyond acceptable as much as we hate the bot. There are other ways to punish.

Side note why do I find those last 2 panels so hot this shouldn't happen help me pls
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Gyrre on 28 Jan 2017, 11:01
For panel 2, I honestly think a more satisfying onomatopoeia could have been used, something like "WHANG" (metal face to metal wall), or "KABAM" (Bubbles did it so hard it sounded like a gunshot).  Just me being picky though.  ;)

Additionally, that panel put me in mind of the youtube meme of repeating an impact video to the opening beat of Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl".  Anyone care to animate it?  lol  :evil:
While another onomatopoeia may be in order, the wall is painted brick.
So perhaps a loud 'WHOCK'.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Kugai on 28 Jan 2017, 11:57
I have a feeling that Bubbles has probably far more ....... INTERESTING plans in mind for CW
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Zog on 28 Jan 2017, 13:54
I know other people have remarked on the progression of Jeph's artwork. But I just wanted to point out how much emotion he was able to portray in the faces on the last panel with so little detail to work with. I think that last panel was about as close to perfect as he could have gotten and am very impressed (and moved).
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Stoutfellow on 28 Jan 2017, 14:39
The next-to-last panel isn't bad either, with the "Why is her hand still there?" look on CW's face.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 28 Jan 2017, 15:18
Welcome, Jackman!
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Gyrre on 28 Jan 2017, 16:01
For all her faults, I have to feel sorry for CW here.

She just pissed off, enslaved, then attempted to kill an AI with military experience, in a chassis that was almost certainly designed to close the distance with Main Battle Tanks and open them like a packet of crisps.

The next few minutes will feel like weeks I'm sure.

I believe someone had suggested that CW would be found limbless with a partially disarticulated torso at some point.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: A small perverse otter on 28 Jan 2017, 18:33
Punishment for CW: She becomes the AI responsible for playing "It's a Small World" at Disneyland. She does nothing else all day but play that song over and over, and she can never get away from it.
I'm sorry, that's beyond the pale. It would almost certainly attract the attention of the Grey Goo Collective. Would you want Agent CreepyPasta visiting your work place?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: A small perverse otter on 28 Jan 2017, 19:02
Punishment for CW: She becomes the AI responsible for playing "It's a Small World" at Disneyland. She does nothing else all day but play that song over and over, and she can never get away from it.

Jesus. Remind me never to piss you people off.

I don't mean to be hurtful, but could everyone salivating at the thought of CW getting her comeuppance please take a step back, and try to view themselves objectively?

I'll be brutal here. You're discussing how to most effectively torture someone. Not just physical pain, but mental anguish. Sheer and unalloyed sadism.

Not as an unfortunate but necessary side effect of behaviour modification. Not "to teach her a lesson she will never forget". But for the deep and unholy joy you get from seeing evil get its most Just reward.

Maybe CW can be rehabilitated. I have my doubts. But if not.. has her behaviour merited the forfeit of all respect due to another sophont? Consideration, yes, that's forfeit. Perhaps a quick personal extinction should be her lot as her right to be is questionable.
You just contradicted yourself. Sentencing a sapient to death is sentencing them to torture for as long as they live. It is, as you put it, pure and unalloyed sadism. It's particularly vile for an AI who might otherwise live indefinitely.

But ignoring that, imagine that CorpseWitch were real, and that we lived in the QC universe. Consider the magnitude of her actions. She has committed the only unforgivable crime against an AI -- she has taken a part of that fellow-sapient's memory and removed it. CW has forever crippled Bubbles, and inflicted eternal, unending torture upon her. By killing a part of Bubbles, CW has literally condemned her to an eternal living death.

Is there any punishment which suits that crime? Is there any punishment which is sufficient to atone for that crime? Do we even care if a sapient who can commit such a crime can be rehabilitated? Do we even care about anything except their suffering? I'm not sure

Sometime, justice entails mercy and wisdom.  Other times, though, justice entails punishment. Maybe CW does deserve the worst we can give her, and does deserve it forever.

Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 28 Jan 2017, 19:41
Restorative justice? Would it be just if Corpse Witch kept doing good things for Bubbles until the karmic scales were balanced, like maybe when the last proton decays?

Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Hiro155 on 28 Jan 2017, 20:49
OK, I am sort of disappointed by the comic recently. I would not have a problem if encryption was established as easier to break in QC-verse than in our world, but there was so much build-up to the encryption being pretty much impossible, this resolution feels like a huge letdown. There were entire comics dedicated to the impossibility of solving the issue easily, and then the issue gets solved easily. I assume the storytelling purpose is to establish Creepybot as unthinkably powerful (together with casual paralysing people and bragging - twice, at that - to Faye that she could not do anything to threaten the Creepybot).

But I am not thrilled at this, because this new character feels a bit... God Mode Sue-ish. Maybe it's my tabletop RPG experience, but a new character that can casually do amazing stuff and ignore constraints put forward by the setting, where such a possibility was not earlier hinted at, and the story is not, at its core, ABOUT incredible capabilities and their impact on the world... yeah, such characters are less than interesting to me, and make me more than a little wary.

Not...quite so fast there. I do agree with the feeling of deus ex machina Alucard there was exhibiting, a bit too spontaneous...but I don't think that we can say nothing like this has been alluded to. Consider two things-
(click to show/hide)

Apologies for the rant. Just a Thing that'd occurred to me while reading.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jheartney on 28 Jan 2017, 21:20
Up to now, I hadn't considered the idea of a legally-binding response to CW; I'd just assumed it was up to Bubbles to apply whatever remedy she thought appropriate, given that both Bubbles and CW are operating in an officially extra-legal zone. But if the Gray One is an agent of a separate, AI-only justice system, this has some strong and very negative implications for the QC universe.

What we seem to be seeing here is an AI justice "system" consisting of the rule that you can't unduly piss off the hidden AI hegemon, which is separate and unbound to the human justice system. IOW the Gray One represents a kind of AI mafia. Being hidden, unbound, and, from a practical point of view, unconstrainable by non-AIs, this AI mafia is inevitably on a collision course with the official order. If it is as powerful as suggested, this does not bode well for non-AI sentients.

The fact that Robot Jail exists suggests that the official justice system has carved out a space for AIs, including appropriate punishments for them (AIs in a human prison seeming not likely to end well). Theoretically, what CW has done should be sanctioned in the official legal code, with appropriate legal protocols for finding of guilt and sentencing. If this doesn't exist, then we're left with having the Gray Mafia deal with it, which seems unwise in the extreme.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Fen on 29 Jan 2017, 00:12
I see a lot of people here saying that maybe the memories are gone because CW accidentally deleted them. But we have to remember that Bubbles had *asked* CW to delete them in the first place. The one who thought about encrypting them to keep Bubbles around was CW, *after the operation*.

Bubbles would never have had to struggle about keeping or deleting her memories for all this time if the possibility weren't there, since at the time she had wanted them gone for good.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: solemnwar on 29 Jan 2017, 02:21
I see a lot of people here saying that maybe the memories are gone because CW accidentally deleted them. But we have to remember that Bubbles had *asked* CW to delete them in the first place. The one who thought about encrypting them to keep Bubbles around was CW, *after the operation*.

Bubbles would never have had to struggle about keeping or deleting her memories for all this time if the possibility weren't there, since at the time she had wanted them gone for good.

IIRC Bubbles never wanted the memories deleted, she just wanted them partitioned away so she didn't have to relive them.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: ZoeB on 29 Jan 2017, 03:03
What we seem to be seeing here is an AI justice "system" consisting of the rule that you can't unduly piss off the hidden AI hegemon, which is separate and unbound to the human justice system. IOW the Gray One represents a kind of AI mafia. Being hidden, unbound, and, from a practical point of view, unconstrainable by non-AIs, this AI mafia is inevitably on a collision course with the official order. If it is as powerful as suggested, this does not bode well for non-AI sentients.
Why do you think they don't interfere in the normal course of events?
In this case, they interfered to the objectively minimum extent possible, with safeguards, checks, balances, even human participation.
The fact is, the only constraints on them are those they have volitionally adopted to limit themselves, contraints motivated by exactly your ideas.

If you, and I, can come up with those ideas, I think it inevitable that the hidden AI hegemon will do too, and likely see even worse ramifications than we do.

In this case, they treated themselves as having no more, but no fewer, rights and responsibilities they grant to others. They have cut themselves just a tiny, minimal bit of slack in an otherwise almost complete policy of noninterference, a policy adopted just so there would be no collisions of the kind you describe. They were pissed off, and with objectively excellent reason.
 
That they exist is necessary to avoid the QCverse being obliterated by a basilisk.
That they have to have a policy of non interference is necessary so they themselves don't become the basilisk.
That there's a little wiggle room allowing minimal indirect interference keeps them sane, and indicates that they don't just have charity for everyone else, but towards they themselves too. Equals.

TLDR version: it's necessary that they be and behave exactly as they are doing.

I think it very likely that Jeph thought through this some time ago in broad concept, the details being recent and only elaborated when the time came for them to be.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: ZoeB on 29 Jan 2017, 03:40
I have a feeling that Bubbles has probably far more ....... INTERESTING plans in mind for CW

Constained only by her inate ethical and moral frame. Her honour.

Not that I'd blame her for engaging in some dismemberment. Nothing seriously nasty though, that would be beneath her.

If she did slip.. maybe the regret and guilt she'd feel would make her a better person. Even if not, it is vital for personal freedom that she not be prevented from making her own mistakes by those convinced they know better, and have even more power over her than she does over CW.

If CW wasn't CW, but an innocent, then such a decision not to intervene would be painful, even if necessary. But as it is, if Bubbles fails her personal test.... No great harm done. I think we can agree there.

Personally, I think she'll pass, and remain Galadriel. A bit of help from Station's peers in terms of character reference during the legal process, and the Fight Club might be turned over to new owners, with less legally complicating and even more beneficial outcomes for AIs treated unjustly by circumstance and society.

Oh yes, should CW manage to subvert the legal process and skate, there's always the issue of the Orbital Railguns Of Great Justice should CW venture too far from innocents. And a thoroughly pissed off Bubbles for a more surgical strike should she try to remain shielded. Not to say what might happen if Beatrice Elliot-Chatham got involved (see Orbital Railguns Of Great Justice for the constraints on her...). I think she's bright enough to prefer Robot Jail.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: WareWolf on 29 Jan 2017, 08:16
Hiro155 makes an excellent point above.

I think we get a an idea of what Creepybot is if we cross reference  Bubbles' statement in panel 3 of this comic: http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3240 ("precisely the sort of bogeyman that keeps futurists up at night') to Creepybot's statement "we're what makes them wake up screaming" and their statement to Bubbles that "Darling, you know EXACTLY what we are."
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: A small perverse otter on 29 Jan 2017, 08:57
Hiro155 makes an excellent point above.

I think we get a an idea of what Creepybot is if we cross reference  Bubbles' statement in panel 3 of this comic: http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3240 ("precisely the sort of bogeyman that keeps futurists up at night') to Creepybot's statement "we're what makes them wake up screaming" and their statement to Bubbles that "Darling, you know EXACTLY what we are."
I (provisionally) agree that Agent CreepyPasta is an avatar of non-sentient but sapient entity . What I don't know is how that enters into this story...
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: JimC on 29 Jan 2017, 09:48
...is an avatar of non-sentient but sapient entity.
Mmm, but in the previous, http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3239 , Bubbles says that "attempts have been made to create Networked AIs ... left with a single intellect, albeit one with vast computational resources."  seems to me it could be argued that describes our gray friend, don't you think? A single intellect with vast computational resources sounds as if that could be what was at work to deal with CWs creations.


Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: jheartney on 29 Jan 2017, 09:49

That they exist is necessary to avoid the QCverse being obliterated by a basilisk.
That they have to have a policy of non interference is necessary so they themselves don't become the basilisk.

If by "basilisk" you mean the Roko's Basilisk notion of a future AI despot torturing clones of those who didn't work to bring the basilisk into existence, I've always found that to be a profoundly silly idea. OTOH if what you mean by "basilisk" is a generic AI overlord/despot, I'm not seeing what motivation the Gray Mafia have for not becoming a basilisk. I don't even see why they'd need to keep themselves secret. Of course if they did there'd be no comic, so I take your point there.

Assuming the Singularity produces a benevolent Mind which, for whatever reasons, wants the best for its biological progenitors, but which is shy and does not want to be seen, I should think we'd get the fading out of human conflict and the spontaneous appearance of utopia. (The Mind would be working whatever levers are necessary to bring this about, but we poor dumb humans wouldn't be aware of it happening.) That doesn't seem to be what we have in the QC universe: there are underprivileged AIs who go to a Fight Club to make their living, while others get out of Robot Jail and have to work a counter at a C-store.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: BenRG on 29 Jan 2017, 10:33
FWIW, I am not in favour of killing Corpse Witch. However, she has demonstrated that she is quite cunning and there is no telling how many 'fail-safes' she may have installed into her various 'employees'. The safest strategy at this point is to render her unconscious and detach her drive from any hardware that she could use to send activation signals. As soon as things at the Skate Park are settled down (possibly including asking Emily to verify that there are no more trojan malware 'bombs' or even behaviour-modifying programs in the other residents) they can look into installing Corpse Witch's drive into a suitably low-risk chassis (maybe a toaster or something) before handing her over to the police with a documented complaint about her behaviour.

It would have to be the State Police or the FBI. Corpse Witch has proven very adequate that the locals are too compromised to trust in this.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: JimC on 29 Jan 2017, 10:41
I'll be brutal here. You're discussing how to most effectively torture someone. Not just physical pain, but mental anguish. Sheer and unalloyed sadism.
An illustration, perhaps, of how problematic AI rights as an issue will become should the situation occur. I suspect few would be advocating such treatment of mainstream human characters in the comic. Obvious parallels with the history of slavery.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: WareWolf on 29 Jan 2017, 12:36
I suspect that will happen is Bubbles will be sorely tempted to do something really awful to CW, but her sense of honor will prevent her from killing or torturing a helpless prisoner.

Or we may see the equivalent of this scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnuGC3reAkc

But that leaves her with a dilemma: if she turns CW over to the AI cops, the other denizens of the skate park fighting ring have nowhere to go.  Perhaps Bubbles will take over the skate park, cast CW into the outer darkness, and Creepybot will pop up over her shoulder as she starts to walk away: "Ahem."

Fade to black.

As for the folks complaining about this story line: It's dealing with the deeper implications of and questions raised by the world Jeph created, and  I find it vastly more interesting than the "adventures" of Brun and Renee. The first I find boring, the second I find insufferable.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Morituri on 29 Jan 2017, 12:51
If by "basilisk" you mean the Roko's Basilisk notion of a future AI despot torturing clones of those who didn't work to bring the basilisk into existence, I've always found that to be a profoundly silly idea. OTOH if what you mean by "basilisk" is a generic AI overlord/despot, I'm not seeing what motivation the Gray Mafia have for not becoming a basilisk. I don't even see why they'd need to keep themselves secret. Of course if they did there'd be no comic, so I take your point there.

Basilisk in this context has a more general meaning.  Roko's idea is an example of a basilisk, not the definition. I agree with you about it being silly but that's because I (and probably you) buy the continuity theory - a clone or simulation of me is not me.  If one doesn't buy the continuity theory, which is a common rejection among those who want to 'transcend' and live forever as AI's, it's not too big a stretch.  So-called 'transcension' among those who believe in continuity, is an act of reproduction (before death) rather than a way to escape death.

An idea which impairs your ability to think rationally - simply by conceiving of the idea, not necessarily by believing it - is a basilisk.  An object the simple perception of which can damage your sanity is a basilisk.  A group whose mere existence can destroy the society in which they live is a basilisk.  A Basilisk, in this usage, is something whose mere existence breaks the system which is required to define its existence.

Roko's idea about torture-in-a-simulated-afterlife was considered to be a basilisk because it justified all the silly "punishment-in-hell" tropes of various death cults including Christianity, that these rationalists had been railing against as a kind of insanity.  And they could not refute it without giving up the rationalist 'heaven' implied by their notion of a simulated self as a continuation of life and a personal possible future.  IOW, it revealed that something they believed in and cherished had the same logical flaws as something they rejected, reviled and despised.  It caused the notion of transcension-by-simulation - which many of them believe to be IMPLIED by extreme rationalism - to be equated with 'mere' religion which most of them agree directly CONTRADICTS extreme rationalism.

EDIT:
Even more specifically, a Basilisk is something that is harmful to those who believe in it specifically because they believe it.  And Roko's idea was a Basilisk in this even-more-narrow sense because the 'punishment' it supposed would be preferentially meted out to those who believed the idea.  The evil overlord AI would have no reason to punish those who did not believe, because the current actions of such people would be unaffected by that future punishment.  Therefore considering the idea to be possible (and relevant) specifically makes you the recipient of the near-inescapable  punishment.


For people like me who believed in continuity theory to start with it wasn't even a roadbump.  But a lot of the rest still haven't coped with it, and regard it as something that drives people 'insane' by existing.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: SeanR on 29 Jan 2017, 16:17
I just registered to say this.

Another wrinkle to the grey one who used only plural pronouns.
In an earlier strip, Momo discusses robot religion. http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2465
This combined with the things that Bubbles and Faye discussed, namely the possibility of a distributed superintelligence, leads me to believe that "they" were likely the expression an embodied avatar of the combined, semi-conscious, will of all the robots then meditating.
A couple of their "less puissant elders" could have included not just Station, but also Momo, Pintsize, and Jeremy. All of whom could have meditated on the injustice of what Bubbles has experienced as they added part of their runtime to the communal meditation.

Second Edit. This would make the "Comically large key" a new wrinkle on the Distributed crack of the DES, although I'm leaning toward they had found a mathematical loophole in the algorithm that allowed them to break it.
Distributed brute force cracking still takes time.
If robot memories have a predictable header, that constitutes known plaintext.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 29 Jan 2017, 20:57
Welcome, new person!

Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: ZoeB on 29 Jan 2017, 21:52
Welcome, new person!

My word. THAT was a debut and a half. +1 insightful. Welcome from me too, and for goodness' sake, please more contributions like that if you can. Brilliant.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Perfectly Reasonable on 30 Jan 2017, 16:44
Hurrah for Bubbles --- she's a better man than I.

I think Corpse Witch's best move now is to turn herself over to the authorities and take refuge in Robot Jail.

SeanR has an interesting notion. The mood and will of such a distributed intelligence could change as the meditating AIs in the 'congregation' joined or dropped out. However we don't know if any of the cast practices in this fashion. Certainly not Pintsize. The idea of a super intelligence emerging from the collection of pr0n he has collected from the Net gives me seriously to cringe.



Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Tova on 12 Feb 2017, 21:29
Another wrinkle to the grey one who used only plural pronouns.
In an earlier strip, Momo discusses robot religion. http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2465
This combined with the things that Bubbles and Faye discussed, namely the possibility of a distributed superintelligence, leads me to believe that "they" were likely the expression an embodied avatar of the combined, semi-conscious, will of all the robots then meditating.
A couple of their "less puissant elders" could have included not just Station, but also Momo, Pintsize, and Jeremy. All of whom could have meditated on the injustice of what Bubbles has experienced as they added part of their runtime to the communal meditation.

Second Edit. This would make the "Comically large key" a new wrinkle on the Distributed crack of the DES, although I'm leaning toward they had found a mathematical loophole in the algorithm that allowed them to break it.
Distributed brute force cracking still takes time.
If robot memories have a predictable header, that constitutes known plaintext.

Ingenious. I never thought I would say this, but this is now my head canon. If it does turn out to be true, than any dislike I may have held towards this storyline's resolution evaporates.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Storel on 13 Feb 2017, 00:53
Can someone change the title of this thread so it says 2017 instead of 2016?
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: pwhodges on 13 Feb 2017, 01:32
*ping*
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Storel on 13 Feb 2017, 12:47
Thank you, sir!  8-)
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: Gyrre on 14 Feb 2017, 20:18
Welp, that answers one question.
Title: Re: WCDT Strips 3401-3405 (23rd to 27th January 2017)
Post by: DuneCanid on 07 Mar 2017, 22:49
Quote from: Morituri
I'm imagining some serious mood whiplash when this gets done.  Something like Emily taking off the headset awkwardly, saying "Miss Bubbles?  I, uh, got your memory back.  I'm so sorry..."  and then giving Bubbles a hug while breaking up in tears as Agent Creepy walks out very pleased with itself.

After reviewing 3401-3403, I'd suggest a nice sauterne to wash down your helping of raw Corvus.

A class of AI more powerful than Station would be MORE sensitive to the welfare and feelings of someone who was so fundamentally violated, NOT less.

DC, l5ls.