Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Comic Discussion => QUESTIONABLE CONTENT => Topic started by: BenRG on 23 Sep 2018, 11:10

Title: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: BenRG on 23 Sep 2018, 11:10
I think that it's pretty clear that Jeph is planning to do something with the character of Roko but the question is what? I think that it's still pretty much up in the air, even for Patreon members.

As for me...? From Jeph's Twitter I think that it is pretty clear that he's planning to have Roko quit the force eventually but the question is what she will go onto do next. As mad as it is, I can't help but like the idea of her becoming a private detective working the stranger aspects of the Synthetic subculture (AI families, partnerships, businesses and betrayal). Maybe Punchbot may hire her to verify some details uncovered in an audit? Maybe there is room in Northampton for an android version of Jessica Jones?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 23 Sep 2018, 18:47
As much fun as Roko as agency principal and May as her office minion would be, I hope Jeph doesn't take it there.  It could easily take on a life of its own and demand its own spin-off strip - something I don't think he wants to tackle again.  I'm thinkin' we'll see May going to Bubbles saying, "ShitohdearwhathaveIdone?" and Bubbs dissuading Roko from badge tossing, at least not just yet.

It will get Roko to thinking, though.  A humanoid AI's basic survival needs are pretty minimal - a secure place to sit or stand while recharging with room for storing such clothing as she chooses to wear and maybe her own broadband access pretty would much cover the lower two levels of Maslow's hierarchy.   From what we've seen she seems to be pretty frugal.  If she's drawing a state trooper's salary she has disposable income she's probably been socking away (her occasional splurge on a fresh hot cross bun or loaf of pumpernickel just wouldn't be that extravagant), so she could hold out a long time on her savings alone. 

Roko'll realize she has the option of quitting any time she damn well feels like it, and all she has to do is figure out something interesting to do instead.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: L_Circe on 23 Sep 2018, 19:15
So, uh, it seems that strip 3636 and 3836 have gotten switched around. So, we get to see angry Hannelore face, and then, if you navigate in the archive to find the actual 3836, you'll get to see angry Basilisk face.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Neko_Ali on 23 Sep 2018, 19:25
Wait, have we ever seen Hanners and Roko in the same room together? Confirmed, Roko is Hanner's remote controlled anthro body! It's the only explanation.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Carl-E on 23 Sep 2018, 20:02
...I don't get it. 

What's she so upset about? 



Edit: Never mind, I get it.  It's the next morning, and she doesn't want to have people automatically worry that she might actually be the vindictive type. 


The mere fact that she had to say that to May is what's pissing her off about the job. 






That, and O'Mally. 
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Toe on 23 Sep 2018, 21:57
So, uh, it seems that strip 3636 and 3836 have gotten switched around. So, we get to see angry Hannelore face, and then, if you navigate in the archive to find the actual 3836, you'll get to see angry Basilisk face.

If anyone needs a link: https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3636
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: BenRG on 23 Sep 2018, 23:24
I've already got the feeling that this week's strips are not going to be enjoyable and I may even bow out for a while because the political opinions that are going to be openly and shamelessly be presented as objective fact will just make me mad at Jeph. I should have realised things were going this way when Jeph said on Twitter that he started feeling bad about Roko being a cop when he started liking her.

If I'm right about where this is going, this strip isn't a good starting place for it. We'e seen no reason to believe that Roko's particular branch of the police service is corrupt yet she suddenly flips out. We needed a specific on-screen reason to be given, not just this assumption that 'aLl cOpZ is baAad loL'. What did she see (likely on the screen) that made her start thinking about not being vindictive? What was so bad that she'd rather leave her community to the bad cops and thugs than be involved in it?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: cybersmurf on 23 Sep 2018, 23:46
So, uh, it seems that strip 3636 and 3836 have gotten switched around. So, we get to see angry Hannelore face, and then, if you navigate in the archive to find the actual 3836, you'll get to see angry Basilisk face.

If anyone needs a link: https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3636

I was wondering why I got a 404 on that strip.


Of AI police can't find someone, does that get operational code 404?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Shjade on 23 Sep 2018, 23:59
Edit: Never mind, I get it.  It's the next morning, and she doesn't want to have people automatically worry that she might actually be the vindictive type. 

It took me a second, too, but yeah. The realization that the job she's in is so distant from what that job should be that people expect abuse of authority to come with the territory is pretty damning.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: comicalArchitect on 24 Sep 2018, 00:10
This has nothing to do with tonight's strip or any recent strip, but I just thought of the name "Questionable Clinton" to refer to the new-ish branch of the comic forming around the Secret Bakery, and I'm inordinately happy with it.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: pwhodges on 24 Sep 2018, 00:14
I've already got the feeling that this week's strips are not going to be enjoyable and I may even bow out for a while because the political opinions that are going to be openly and shamelessly be presented as objective fact will just make me mad at Jeph.

It may just be a matter of reminding yourself that neither the average nor the worst case in policing is the same on opposite sides of the Atlantic.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: shanejayell on 24 Sep 2018, 00:29
I'm sorta hoping Roko quits more for 'this just isn't what I want to DO' reasons than the usual 'cops are scum, I quit...' reason.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Shjade on 24 Sep 2018, 00:42
We'e seen no reason to believe that Roko's particular branch of the police service is corrupt yet she suddenly flips out. We needed a specific on-screen reason to be given, not just this assumption that 'aLl cOpZ is baAad loL'. What did she see (likely on the screen) that made her start thinking about not being vindictive? What was so bad that she'd rather leave her community to the bad cops and thugs than be involved in it?

Didn't her original attempt to bust the robot fighting ring end with Corpse Witch basically telling her "I have your boss on speed dial, this will go badly for you if you try to make something of it?"

Edit: It's a more subtle threat than I recalled, but it's still pretty clearly indicating the local PD enforces the law rather selectively (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3364).
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: citizenfive on 24 Sep 2018, 01:54
We'e seen no reason to believe that Roko's particular branch of the police service is corrupt yet she suddenly flips out. We needed a specific on-screen reason to be given, not just this assumption that 'aLl cOpZ is baAad loL'. What did she see (likely on the screen) that made her start thinking about not being vindictive? What was so bad that she'd rather leave her community to the bad cops and thugs than be involved in it?

Didn't her original attempt to bust the robot fighting ring end with Corpse Witch basically telling her "I have your boss on speed dial, this will go badly for you if you try to make something of it?"

Edit: It's a more subtle threat than I recalled, but it's still pretty clearly indicating the local PD enforces the law rather selectively (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3364).

I got the impression that Corpse Witch was full of crap though and never had any more leverage than just being extremely manipulative and bluffing.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: JoeCovenant on 24 Sep 2018, 01:58
I am so glad this thread exists...
I was sitting here thinking something was terribly wrong when I opened up the page to find.... T..T....Taffy!!!! (Tillly)
Then thought "Oh - no new comics then?"

But thats a helluva jump from standing on the street with May to a "Sod, this - I'm off" moment.
(I don't even know if I understand why that particular phrase has caused Roko's "Bugger it, I'm out" reaction...?)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: MrNumbers on 24 Sep 2018, 02:08
I for one welcome our new cop rhetoric, and I'll be binge reading Black Against Empire again this week to have something more eloquent to say at the end of it.

Just found out my grandfather on my Dad's side this week was a highly corrupt, on the take officer. My grandfather on the other side was the head detective of a large portion of NSW and, while more sympathetic, I'm also very aware of his politics. Big proponent of gay = pedophile policing.

I know the human sides of these people, who think they're doing good, but... Goddamn does that much unchecked institutional power and violent enforcement scare the crap out of me
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: BenRG on 24 Sep 2018, 03:56
I got the impression that Corpse Witch was full of crap though and never had any more leverage than just being extremely manipulative and bluffing.

I got the impression that, on the day Bubbles was freed from Corpse Witch's control, she had been planning to order Bubbles to murder Roko. She was talking about 'that robot cop' sniffing around too much but Bubbles never gave her the chance to finish her sentence before threatening to crush her head.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Jakk Frost on 24 Sep 2018, 04:02
I've already got the feeling that this week's strips are not going to be enjoyable and I may even bow out for a while because the political opinions that are going to be openly and shamelessly be presented as objective fact will just make me mad at Jeph.

It may just be a matter of reminding yourself that neither the average nor the worst case in policing is the same on opposite sides of the Atlantic.

I think it's more of a problem of treating the "worst case" as if it were the norm, a trend far too rampant in today's society.  (Like the "all cops are bad" narrative.)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Freelance_Physicist on 24 Sep 2018, 05:13
There's another possibility besides quitting: transfer to Internal Affairs and go after the actual vindictive cops.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: gopher on 24 Sep 2018, 05:19
I've already got the feeling that this week's strips are not going to be enjoyable and I may even bow out for a while because the political opinions that are going to be openly and shamelessly be presented as objective fact will just make me mad at Jeph.

It may just be a matter of reminding yourself that neither the average nor the worst case in policing is the same on opposite sides of the Atlantic.

I think it's more of a problem of treating the "worst case" as if it were the norm, a trend far too rampant in today's society.  (Like the "all cops are bad" narrative.)

Not all cops are bad, but all cops allow bad cops to continue. The Blue Wall of Silence is very real.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: dsvella on 24 Sep 2018, 05:24
Throwing in my 2 pence.

I have personally been in the position when the "bubble" of your working life is burst because a third party has highlighted the issues you unconsciously ignored or had gotten used to.

I am expecting this to be a kind of "soul searching" for Roko as a lot of variables need to be considered here.

My hope is that Roko makes the decision for her own reasons and to improve he quality of life.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: LastChans on 24 Sep 2018, 05:38
Okay. Made an account just to comment on today's (QC #3836) comic. At first, I thought the comic was just to move the current plot along, but then I may have imagined a punchline? Again, made an account to see if anyone touched upon this and no one hasn't, so I suppose I guess I'll explain the joke that was (wasn't?) made.

Panel #3 (bottom left): this is a typesetting joke right? Because my reaction to that terrible pun/joke was totally Panel #4

Also: Italics is totally the vindictive type. Looks so backstabby.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Castlerook on 24 Sep 2018, 05:58
I am so glad this thread exists...
I was sitting here thinking something was terribly wrong when I opened up the page to find.... T..T....Taffy!!!! (Tillly)
Then thought "Oh - no new comics then?"

But thats a helluva jump from standing on the street with May to a "Sod, this - I'm off" moment.
(I don't even know if I understand why that particular phrase has caused Roko's "Bugger it, I'm out" reaction...?)

Funnily enough, I had read the comic, exited the page and came back to find Hanner!Mom being fanned by the Robohorse, so that was a WTF? moment for me.

And regards to understanding the phrase, I think its Roko twigging that she had to say to someone "she's not a vindictive cop". To a parolee, no less. To an idealist like Roko seems to be, where the cops are supposed to be the ones who serve the public and who the public should always feel safe around, the fact that she had to clarify that she wasn't the vindictive kind made her realise that May, and possibly others, are terrified of her and the police. That's enough of a realisation to break someone, especially someone whose only crime has been a little too dogged in her job and whose only vice is liking the smell of bread.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 24 Sep 2018, 07:29
<snip>

Panel #3 (bottom left): this is a typesetting joke right? Because my reaction to that terrible pun/joke was totally Panel #4

Also: Italics is totally the vindictive type. Looks so backstabby.

I can't help but feel you might be on to something - I don't know the first thing about typesetting, let alone typesetting puns (so if this was one, it totally went over my head) - but the "Roko realizes she had to explain she's not the vindictive type, which makes her ask some hard questions about her job"-explanation doesn't feel right to me.

Not that it isn't possible, but it feels like ... too complicated, too much lateral thinking required?  :-\

And she's already been asking uncomfortable questions about her job in COD, the day before?
 
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 24 Sep 2018, 07:30
Okay. Made an account just to comment on today's (QC #3836) comic. At first, I thought the comic was just to move the current plot along, but then I may have imagined a punchline? Again, made an account to see if anyone touched upon this and no one hasn't, so I suppose I guess I'll explain the joke that was (wasn't?) made.

Panel #3 (bottom left): this is a typesetting joke right? Because my reaction to that terrible pun/joke was totally Panel #4

Also: Italics is totally the vindictive type. Looks so backstabby.

Welcome, new person who is a font of wisdom!
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: JoeCovenant on 24 Sep 2018, 07:52
I am so glad this thread exists...
I was sitting here thinking something was terribly wrong when I opened up the page to find.... T..T....Taffy!!!! (Tillly)
Then thought "Oh - no new comics then?"

But thats a helluva jump from standing on the street with May to a "Sod, this - I'm off" moment.
(I don't even know if I understand why that particular phrase has caused Roko's "Bugger it, I'm out" reaction...?)

Funnily enough, I had read the comic, exited the page and came back to find Hanner!Mom being fanned by the Robohorse, so that was a WTF? moment for me.

And regards to understanding the phrase, I think its Roko twigging that she had to say to someone "she's not a vindictive cop". To a parolee, no less. To an idealist like Roko seems to be, where the cops are supposed to be the ones who serve the public and who the public should always feel safe around, the fact that she had to clarify that she wasn't the vindictive kind made her realise that May, and possibly others, are terrified of her and the police. That's enough of a realisation to break someone, especially someone whose only crime has been a little too dogged in her job and whose only vice is liking the smell of bread.

Hmm...
Whereas I understand your reasoning, personally, I would think the exact opposite (where I Roko).
It's either that or Jeph is suggesting that NOT being a vindictive cop is something 'other' than the norm.

And if that IS the case, then my take on Roko is, she would make bloody sure that perception ended... but not by leaving. (!?)

It's an odd one, certainly...
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: dutchrvl on 24 Sep 2018, 08:20
I am so glad this thread exists...
I was sitting here thinking something was terribly wrong when I opened up the page to find.... T..T....Taffy!!!! (Tillly)
Then thought "Oh - no new comics then?"

But thats a helluva jump from standing on the street with May to a "Sod, this - I'm off" moment.
(I don't even know if I understand why that particular phrase has caused Roko's "Bugger it, I'm out" reaction...?)

Funnily enough, I had read the comic, exited the page and came back to find Hanner!Mom being fanned by the Robohorse, so that was a WTF? moment for me.

And regards to understanding the phrase, I think its Roko twigging that she had to say to someone "she's not a vindictive cop". To a parolee, no less. To an idealist like Roko seems to be, where the cops are supposed to be the ones who serve the public and who the public should always feel safe around, the fact that she had to clarify that she wasn't the vindictive kind made her realise that May, and possibly others, are terrified of her and the police. That's enough of a realisation to break someone, especially someone whose only crime has been a little too dogged in her job and whose only vice is liking the smell of bread.

Hmm...
Whereas I understand your reasoning, personally, I would think the exact opposite (where I Roko).
It's either that or Jeph is suggesting that NOT being a vindictive cop is something 'other' than the norm.

And if that IS the case, then my take on Roko is, she would make bloody sure that perception ended... but not by leaving. (!?)

It's an odd one, certainly...

Yeah, I'm with you on this one too. Unless Jeph has a different explanation in mind (one that nobody here has offered yet), the decision to quit based on a realization that people fear/don't trust cops in general seems a bit of a leap to me.

By the way, is it me, or does Jeph seems to be inserting more current societal issues into QC lately? I know he has done so on occasion in the past as well, but it seems more prevalent in the past year or so of QC, with (white/rich/male) privilege and police/judicial system issues.
Not a criticism at all (in fact it makes for interesting discussions here), but wondering if it's just me or if others got the same impression.
 
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 24 Sep 2018, 09:05
She could be ego-fragile. There are plenty of people who would be shaken by the realization that they were assumed to be vindictive jerks simply because of their job.

Someone that easily shaken is poorly suited for a law enforcement job in the first place.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: jwhouk on 24 Sep 2018, 10:39
Those people generally don't make it through the Academy in the first place.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Tova on 24 Sep 2018, 14:39
She could be ego-fragile. There are plenty of people who would be shaken by the realization that they were assumed to be vindictive jerks simply because of their job.

Is that "ego-fragile?" Being shaken by someone presuming you possess a stereotypical characteristic?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: ImVeryAngryItsNotButter on 24 Sep 2018, 16:07
and whose only vice is liking the smell of bread.

Yes... the, uh, smell. That's it.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Shjade on 24 Sep 2018, 17:44
I think it's more of a problem of treating the "worst case" as if it were the norm, a trend far too rampant in today's society.  (Like the "all cops are bad" narrative.)

Assuming cops are bad is safer than assuming they're going to treat you fairly. Only one of those two outcomes is likely to get you beaten, strangled, or shot, after all.

Edit:
Those people generally don't make it through the Academy in the first place.

Have you been paying any attention to the kinds of people who made headlines on the job after making it through the Academy?

I think your idea of their standards is optimistic, at best.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 24 Sep 2018, 18:41
She could be ego-fragile. There are plenty of people who would be shaken by the realization that they were assumed to be vindictive jerks simply because of their job.

Is that "ego-fragile?" Being shaken by someone presuming you possess a stereotypical characteristic?

There's probably a better word for it. I worried about whether it was the right word as I wrote it.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: jwhouk on 24 Sep 2018, 20:14
Those people generally don't make it through the Academy in the first place.

Have you been paying any attention to the kinds of people who made headlines on the job after making it through the Academy?

I think your idea of their standards is optimistic, at best.

I was talking about someone similar to Roko.

I'm all too aware of those who want to be SuperCop.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Cornelius on 24 Sep 2018, 22:39
Glad to see today's comic up as usual.

I know I said I can understand where she's coming from, but on the other hand, as my colleague keeps saying, quand les dégoûtés partent, il ne reste que les dégoûtants. When the disgusted leave, there's only the disgusting left.
Still, it's a personal choice. I do believe one person can make a difference, even if it's only to motivate others to stay and try, but ultimately, it's up to every individual to see whether they can still meaningfully try to continue, or whether it's starting to break them.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: brasca on 24 Sep 2018, 23:00
As much as I think it’s a mistake for a good police officer to quit having rewatched The Wire lately I can understand.

Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: MrNumbers on 24 Sep 2018, 23:21
Sad Irish RoboCop.

It's very hard for individuals to fix systems from within, because systems have within them the material conditions that caused the breakages in the first place. Permanent change involves changing either the entire incentive structure of the system, or the entire context of the society in which it operates.

Police are encouraged to put property above people, be classist and racist and dehumanize sections of society to make it easier to perform those job duties, see the entire population outside their organisation as either predators or victims - that's a big one I picked up talking to the ones in my family - and to have a higher level of institutional power and credibility than the general population, as well as the only part of society that is allowed to use violence as a tool.

So what does that mean?

It means there are plenty of people attracted to the force for the right reasons, and those powers are necessary for their role to function at all. State power needs to be enforced  with legitimized violence. But it also means you get a ton of "bad cops" because those previous incentives basically make you become that person, contextually.

And it means that a modern police force cannot exist without making the conditions with which "bad cops" are created and thrive.

You can't "weed out the bad cops" any more than you can have omelettes without eggs.

Personally I'd like to see much more investment in community policing efforts while keeping the detective forces and an empowered internal investigations system as a start.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: BenRG on 24 Sep 2018, 23:44
The more I read this strip, the more I realise that the end objective of this arc was to remove Roko from the police but that Jeph was casting around for any reason that stands up to examination. I'm not sure that he managed to get that objective entirely. Instead you get one of those awkward strips that happen in many comics that deal with controversial issues that read like they've been copied and pasted from a campaign leaflet from an extreme-wing political group. I'm not saying that I could do better, only that this is how the strip feels to me.

As for my view of the police? My view is that they are needed and any scenario that removes them from the equation also needs to remove some very serious ingrained problems in human society and psychology to avoid an outcome of anarchy and disaster.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: MrNumbers on 25 Sep 2018, 00:12
(http://static.existentialcomics.com/comics/AnarchyInTheUK.png)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: cybersmurf on 25 Sep 2018, 00:39
Oh no, Mistah J dropped a bomb!
Well, maybe it's just a cherry bomb.

It seems AIs get the more... enunciated character traits. "Going Commie on us"? It's a weird expression in this situation, but hey we saw O'Malley like... twice? before this arc. Maybe he is the AI embodiment of the cold war era.


The Roko Basilisk we know until yet? The somewhat optimistic (maybe the wrong word, since it's more like Rose tinted glasses) cop with a - to a degree - questionable record, and the bread lover.
Maybe JJ wants to introduce another independent AI regular to the strip, especially since Bubble is somewhat bound to Faye now.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Tova on 25 Sep 2018, 01:02
Roko is goin' Commie because the system is broken DON'T @ ME
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: JoeCovenant on 25 Sep 2018, 01:22
... DON'T @ ME

I've started seeing this around...
Not sure I totally understand what it means...?

(Or is it simply, don't tweet about this and include me as a direct recipient?)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: BenRG on 25 Sep 2018, 01:29
It seems AIs get the more... enunciated character traits. "Going Commie on us"? It's a weird expression in this situation, but hey we saw O'Malley like... twice? before this arc. Maybe he is the AI embodiment of the cold war era.

By choice or exposure, O'Malley seems to wish to embody the stereotypical traits of a Bostonian Irish Cop (tm). This includes the assumption that any view other than 'status quo' is intrinsically 'Commie' or whatever the current appellation for those who don't like the status quo may be.

Basically, Jeph writes O'Malley as the stereotype of the 'cynical veteran copper'. Like all stereotypes, he's best interpreted as mainly the comic relief rather than any serious attempt to write a nuanced character. Unlike Roko, who is genuinely sweet in that she asks O'Malley to 'look after himself' as she leaves. One wonders if the only reason she went drinking with him was in the belief that she could stop him from over-indulging and damaging himself (not realising that she is a lightweight compared to him).

... DON'T @ ME

I've started seeing this around...
Not sure I totally understand what it means...?

It means that the author of the post is uninterested in debating the issue they raised. Generally I take it as meaning that they know that a lot of people will agree or disagree, vehemently, and they have no interest in seeing the thread cluttered up with the resulting firestorm.


EDIT
Fixed typo
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Walrus Mustashe on 25 Sep 2018, 02:51

... DON'T @ ME

I've started seeing this around...
Not sure I totally understand what it means...?

It means that the author of the post is uninterested in debating the issue they raised. Generally I take it as meaning that they know that a lot of people will agree or disagree, vehemently, and they have no interest in seeing the thread cluttered up with the resulting firestorm.

EDIT
Fixed typo


More accurately, it is a way to state a controversial opinion without wanting to receive controversial opinions in return.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: cybersmurf on 25 Sep 2018, 03:06
It seems AIs get the more... enunciated character traits. "Going Commie on us"? It's a weird expression in this situation, but hey we saw O'Malley like... twice? before this arc. Maybe he is the AI embodiment of the cold war era.

By choice or exposure, O'Malley seems to wish to embody the stereotypical traits of a Bostonian Irish Cop (tm). This includes the assumption that any view other than 'status quo' is intrinsically 'Commie' or whatever the current appellation for those who don't like the status quo may be.

Basically, Jeph writes O'Malley as the stereotype of the 'cynical veteran copper'. Like all stereotypes, he's best interpreted as mainly the comic relief rather than any serious attempt to write a nuanced character. Unlike Roko, who is genuinely sweet in that she asks O'Malley to 'look after himself' as she leaves. One wonders if the only reason she went drinking with him was in the belief that she could stop him from over-indulging and damaging himself (not realising that she is a lightweight compared to him).

Stereotypical. That's the word I was looking for. Why didn't I find it?
I've got the feeling JJ likes to write side-/support-character AIs quite stereotypical. Which is OK, since it's common practice, since they often serve a special purpose.

I wonder whether AIs think they have to fit certain clichés/stereotypes?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: JimC on 25 Sep 2018, 03:38
You can look at history or even round the world today and find plenty of examples of societies without functional central authority or law enforcement. You'll have to try a little harder to find any that are nice places to live.

[Corrected catastrophic typo - s/with/without functional central authority]
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: BenRG on 25 Sep 2018, 04:00
You can look at history or even round the world today and find plenty of examples of societies with functional central authority or law enforcement. You'll have to try a little harder to find any that are nice places to live.

On the other hand, it is easy to find places without functional central authority or law enforcement that are not nice places to live. Indeed, countries with functional central authority tend to have to provide huge amounts of financial and human support to them!

Or, to put it another way: Whilst any social collective where authority structures exist necessarily seem to breed corruption, injustice and abuse by those authority structures, areas without authority structures tend to also breed injustice and abuse, often on catastrophically greater scales.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: zzyzx on 25 Sep 2018, 04:04
I have a friend who was a cop in the southeaat. An out lesbian, concerned about social issues, willing to both call out her fellow officers both in person and online and question her own actions when called out, she did a ton of good for her community. Officers like that leaving does not help, especially when the reason is just a vague unease about how others might think about you.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: heyjames4 on 25 Sep 2018, 04:16
O'Malley's badge looks comically oversized and its funny to me.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Castlerook on 25 Sep 2018, 04:22
I have a friend who was a cop in the southeaat. An out lesbian, concerned about social issues, willing to both call out her fellow officers both in person and online and question her own actions when called out, she did a ton of good for her community. Officers like that leaving does not help, especially when the reason is just a vague unease about how others might think about you.

On the other hand, when the system seems intent on breeding the "bad ones" and never punish them, then one might feel that the best thing they can do is get away from the system. You can't change the system from the inside, so its better to do good elsewhere.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: MrNumbers on 25 Sep 2018, 05:11
Or, to put it another way: Whilst any social collective where authority structures exist necessarily seem to breed corruption, injustice and abuse by those authority structures, areas without authority structures tend to also breed injustice and abuse, often on catastrophically greater scales.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiapas
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerala

Two counter examples I can think of, where the lives and economic conditions are strictly better than the surrounding nation.

Chances are, you’ve never heard of Kerala. This tiny Indian state on the Arabian Sea has a population more literate than any American state’s— its main export is PhD’s for energy and computer industries.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Mordhaus on 25 Sep 2018, 05:36
Now she can become a private dick!
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: ImVeryAngryItsNotButter on 25 Sep 2018, 05:41
... DON'T @ ME

I've started seeing this around...
Not sure I totally understand what it means...?

It is a way to state a controversial opinion without wanting to receive controversial opinions in return.

This, exactly. I find it hard to have respect for people who want to change people's minds, yet are completely unwilling to change their own mind in the process.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: JimC on 25 Sep 2018, 05:57
You can look at history or even round the world today and find plenty of examples of societies with functional central authority or law enforcement. You'll have to try a little harder to find any that are nice places to live.
On the other hand, it is easy to find places without functional central authority or law enforcement that are not nice places to live.
Not on the other hand at all - it was a catastrophic typo! It was meant to say without functional central authority!!
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 25 Sep 2018, 06:01
... DON'T @ ME

I've started seeing this around...
Not sure I totally understand what it means...?

It is a way to state a controversial opinion without wanting to receive controversial opinions in return.

This, exactly. I find it hard to have respect for people who want to change people's minds, yet are completely unwilling to change their own mind in the process.

I've witnessed Tova's discussion-fu for roughly seven years, and it's pretty much the polar opposite of the ... strawman? caricature? you present here.

One of the reasons he has earned my respect.


More accurately, it is a way to state a controversial opinion without wanting to receive controversial opinions in return.

We have multiple threads about systemic problems with US law enforcement in Discuss! (Where we discuss stuff ... rather than e.g. each other, y'know)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Mordhaus on 25 Sep 2018, 06:17
Or, to put it another way: Whilst any social collective where authority structures exist necessarily seem to breed corruption, injustice and abuse by those authority structures, areas without authority structures tend to also breed injustice and abuse, often on catastrophically greater scales.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiapas
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerala

Two counter examples I can think of, where the lives and economic conditions are strictly better than the surrounding nation.

Chances are, you’ve never heard of Kerala. This tiny Indian state on the Arabian Sea has a population more literate than any American state’s— its main export is PhD’s for energy and computer industries.

Ah, but both of those examples are 'protected' from outside threats due to either geographic location or because they are part of a larger, more powerful state.

If men were angels, no government would be necessary, as James Madison said. We aren't though, which means that an Anarchist group would either have to be powerful enough to take on all comers or it would have to be protected by someone who could. If they are protected by the latter, they exist at the pleasure of that person/state/nation. A good example would be Catalonia. Spain let them be almost fully autonomous until they tried to separate from Spain due to their relative wealth being used to keep Spain's economy afloat. When they tried to take full control of themselves, the Spanish government shut that down cold.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 25 Sep 2018, 06:48
... DON'T @ ME

I've started seeing this around...
Not sure I totally understand what it means...?

It means that the author of the post is uninterested in debating the issue they raised.

Is that like ... similar to pre-emptively stereotyping the people whose opinions one might disagree with before they've actually said a peep?

I've already got the feeling that this week's strips are not going to be enjoyable and I may even bow out for a while because the political opinions that are going to be openly and shamelessly be presented as objective fact will just make me mad at Jeph.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_the_well
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: MrNumbers on 25 Sep 2018, 07:12
Ah, but both of those examples are 'protected' from outside threats due to either geographic location or because they are part of a larger, more powerful state[...]We aren't though, which means that an Anarchist group would either have to be powerful enough to take on all comers

I'm sorry but did you not click the Chiapas link? You might want to actually read about them.

I'd also suggest looking into the continued successes of the Kurdish anarchists against ISIS and established nations both.

Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 25 Sep 2018, 07:12
Welcome, new person!

Roko believed Corpse Witch about the department's higher-ups taking bribes, and that by itself would be cause for despair even though she didn't mention it.

Better supported by textev, when we first met her she was threatening Faye so as to push her to be an informant. The cause was just. That still leaves room for a person with a conscience to feel uncomfortable.

It's interesting that she misread the situation she's responding to. May even explained that it was a real apology and not a "don't tell my parole officer" apology. Roko still thought May expected her to be a jerk. Is this because she had too many colleagues who were?

That "should I stay or should I go" question is one of the most common and difficult ethics questions in life and I love the Cornelius touchstone above about whether the system is breaking the person.

Global Moderator Comment I love heading off trouble. Jeph may take this into territory where feelings run high. I'll request, politely, that people do their best to separate the Roko story arc in the comic from their own good and bad experiences with police, and to discuss those experiences in DISCUSS. There's no clean division of course.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Jakk Frost on 25 Sep 2018, 07:44
... DON'T @ ME

I've started seeing this around...
Not sure I totally understand what it means...?

(Or is it simply, don't tweet about this and include me as a direct recipient?)

Basically it's "Don't link to me in any response or discussion, I'm not interested in having my viewpoint challenged."
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: MrNumbers on 25 Sep 2018, 07:49
Can I just point out the deep irony that an sardonically posted "Don't @ me" has resulted in the most @'d replies in the entire thread?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: JoeCovenant on 25 Sep 2018, 08:55

I think I maybe should have remained blissful in my ignorance...   :oops:
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: de_la_Nae on 25 Sep 2018, 09:18
Lifting moratorium on posting to say that, like most such phrases, it has taken on some conflicting connotation baggage. I've seen "don't @ me" used as challenge, as acknowledgement of hot take, as humor, as literal, and probably another way or two.

I refuse to even attempt to interpret its intention in this use, since the usual worthless WCDT squabbling promises, this week, to be entertaining in a fashion for once, and it's much more so if I watch it from over *here* instead of mingling in this sucking mire. But I like Joe and Tova, so I'll dip my toe *this once*.

Moratorium back on, may the odds ever be in your favor you poor bastards.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Cornelius on 25 Sep 2018, 09:28
Now she can become a private dick!

... I was just imagining Pintsize's reaction to that...
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 25 Sep 2018, 09:39
Now she can become a private dick!

... I was just imagining Pintsize's reaction to that...

*reaches for Brain-bleach*
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Shjade on 25 Sep 2018, 10:42
... DON'T @ ME

I've started seeing this around...
Not sure I totally understand what it means...?

(Or is it simply, don't tweet about this and include me as a direct recipient?)

Basically it's "Don't link to me in any response or discussion, I'm not interested in having my viewpoint challenged."

This, and the variations of it others posted in the thread, are as inaccurate as claiming someone blocking you on Twitter means they "can't handle debate" or are "hiding" or "know they lost" or etc.

"Don't @ me" doesn't mean they don't want to be challenged or refuse to change their minds or are otherwise closed to new ideas.

It means they don't want to hear from you, the anonymous online public, about it. They're stating their opinion; you can debate it amongst yourselves all you want, just don't include them because they don't care about your opinions on their opinion. They don't know you, they don't owe you their time, and you're probably going to post bullshit about it anyway - as demonstrated in the above quote suggesting they "don't want their viewpoint challenged," for example, proving their point.

More specific to Twitter where this started, @ing people also sends them notifications so it's also just a way of keeping your notifications clear for things you actually care about responding to instead of getting potentially flooded with rando replies to a statement you made X days ago. Less of an issue now that they have a "mute this conversation" feature, but etymology and all that.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 25 Sep 2018, 10:50
... DON'T @ ME

I've started seeing this around...
Not sure I totally understand what it means...?

It is a way to state a controversial opinion without wanting to receive controversial opinions in return.

This, exactly. I find it hard to have respect for people who want to change people's minds, yet are completely unwilling to change their own mind in the process.

Global Moderator Comment A common phenomenon, but my best judgement is that that's not what's happening here.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 25 Sep 2018, 11:40
But I like Joe and Tova, so I'll dip my toe *this once*.

Moratorium back on, may the odds ever be in your favor you poor bastards.

(https://media.tenor.com/images/83f89c67a40eb025f6a7f3359bbec53d/tenor.gif)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Thrillho on 25 Sep 2018, 11:53
Can I just point out the deep irony that an sardonically posted "Don't @ me" has resulted in the most @'d replies in the entire thread?

Speaking as a user, not a mod, for whatever it's worth, when I say 'Don't @ me' I actually mean 'I am desperate to discuss this shit, someone talk to me.'

I have a friend who was a cop in the southeaat. An out lesbian, concerned about social issues, willing to both call out her fellow officers both in person and online and question her own actions when called out, she did a ton of good for her community. Officers like that leaving does not help, especially when the reason is just a vague unease about how others might think about you.

This is a very, very complicated thing to talk about and it really doesn't have a right answer.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: dutchrvl on 25 Sep 2018, 11:54
... DON'T @ ME

I've started seeing this around...
Not sure I totally understand what it means...?

(Or is it simply, don't tweet about this and include me as a direct recipient?)

Basically it's "Don't link to me in any response or discussion, I'm not interested in having my viewpoint challenged."

This, and the variations of it others posted in the thread, are as inaccurate as claiming someone blocking you on Twitter means they "can't handle debate" or are "hiding" or "know they lost" or etc.

"Don't @ me" doesn't mean they don't want to be challenged or refuse to change their minds or are otherwise closed to new ideas.

It means they don't want to hear from you, the anonymous online public, about it. They're stating their opinion; you can debate it amongst yourselves all you want, just don't include them because they don't care about your opinions on their opinion. They don't know you, they don't owe you their time, and you're probably going to post bullshit about it anyway - as demonstrated in the above quote suggesting they "don't want their viewpoint challenged," for example, proving their point.

More specific to Twitter where this started, @ing people also sends them notifications so it's also just a way of keeping your notifications clear for things you actually care about responding to instead of getting potentially flooded with rando replies to a statement you made X days ago. Less of an issue now that they have a "mute this conversation" feature, but etymology and all that.

Yep, even if you love discussing a topic and have your way of thinking challenged by others, that doesn't mean you necessarily want to engage in discussions online with people you don't know. In many discussions it's worthwhile to have some kind of understanding of that person, their backgrounds, etc. Basically helpful context you don't get when discussing topics with random internetters.

Anyway, I think Tova's use of "don't @ me" was more tongue-in-cheek as a response to Jeph's commentary underneath today's comic (which is more-or-less the equivalent of 'don't @ me').
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: dutchrvl on 25 Sep 2018, 12:01
Can I just point out the deep irony that an sardonically posted "Don't @ me" has resulted in the most @'d replies in the entire thread?

Speaking as a user, not a mod, for whatever it's worth, when I say 'Don't @ me' I actually mean 'I am desperate to discuss this shit, someone talk to me.'

I have a friend who was a cop in the southeaat. An out lesbian, concerned about social issues, willing to both call out her fellow officers both in person and online and question her own actions when called out, she did a ton of good for her community. Officers like that leaving does not help, especially when the reason is just a vague unease about how others might think about you.

This is a very, very complicated thing to talk about and it really doesn't have a right answer.

In Roko's case, I guess I would have preferred her to take some time considering why she is in the police force, what her fears/objections with respect to the work are, and how she could best put her qualities to work to affect some changes, inside the system or outside.
That may well have led to exactly the same outcome as today's comic, but her current decision to me seems extremely rash and not very well thought through.

That said, I admit that she may have done all the above for some time already and her interaction with May may have simply been the proverbial last straw. It just didn't come across that way to me.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Castlerook on 25 Sep 2018, 12:16
JFC, this forum, sometimes.

Is there any reason to attack someone for referencing something posted in the comic? Or in the creator's commentary at the bottom of the page.

Any discussion about law enforcement in the US is always going to be a sensitive topic, especially in light of how badly they're seen at the moment. But everyone is going to have a different experience from their own personal experience and many of us on the forum aren't American. There are some places in the world where the police actually do their job.

Look, there's enough badwill in the world, this forum should be a safe haven from it. So don't go fucking adding to it here.

I think I should go join De_La_Nae in that moratorium.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Cornelius on 25 Sep 2018, 13:22
That said, I admit that she may have done all the above for some time already and her interaction with May may have simply been the proverbial last straw. It just didn't come across that way to me.
When I first read today's comic, that's actually the impression I had as well, that we see the last straw breaking the proverbial camel's back, but missed the rest of the load. However, I figured we still have the rest of the week coming.

Look, there's enough badwill in the world, this forum should be a safe haven from it. So don't go fucking adding to it here.

I think I should go join De_La_Nae in that moratorium.

Not a bad idea that.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Zebediah on 25 Sep 2018, 13:40
We’ve seen before that Roko is miserable. She’s unhappy in her work, and she’s unhappy in her love life (or lack thereof). Friends? O’Malley, who doesn’t really get her, and Melon, who doesn’t really get anything. She’s been in need of a change for a while. None of this has snuck up on us.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: SotFX on 25 Sep 2018, 13:41
I'm hoping this doesn't mean that O'malley is disappearing from the comic

Though if this is running on a rule of drama, the next mention of him will be with Roko having a crisis because he got killed somehow in the line of duty due to a new, inexperienced partner and effects of one of the corrupt cops they're mentioning
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 25 Sep 2018, 14:22
Look, there's enough badwill in the world, this forum should be a safe haven from it. So don't go fucking adding to it here.

I think I should go join De_La_Nae in that moratorium.

Not a bad idea that.

I admit it sounds tempting.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: War Sparrow on 25 Sep 2018, 14:23
I'm with you on hoping O'Malley isn't written out- I really like him.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Tova on 25 Sep 2018, 14:38
Ah, good morning everyone. Well, it's morning where I am, so let's just run with that.

Apologies for starting a ruckus, and heartfelt thanks for those who had my back, Case in particular.

As at least a couple of you have guessed, my tongue was firmly planted in my cheek when I last posted. So much for my attempt to lighten the tone!  :roll:

I confess that I can be obstreperous* at times, but I sincerely welcome having my views challenged. They have been challenged and changed multiple times since I started here thanks to various regulars, believe me.

As to the topic of the systemic failure or otherwise of US police, I'm happy to engage, but I'll mainly be listening because I am in no position to contribute, as I am aware that I am largely ignorant on this topic.

* It's cromulent, don't @ me**.
** Kidding, seriously, @ me any time.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Thrillho on 25 Sep 2018, 15:14
I'd @ you any time [/George Harrison]
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Busch on 25 Sep 2018, 16:13
I have long thought that the downfall of the popularity of police coincides exactly with the uptick in realizing the police can be leveraged to bring in money for the government.

Now they aren't your friend. They aren't serving or protecting. They're looking for an excuse to squeeze you for some cash. (Quite literally and directly in some countries. Only by proxy of the local government in the others.)

We should probably break police into two groups: "The Police", who enforce laws but never issue tickets. If it's not serious enough to arrest you then they do not care. And "The Revenue" who basically are pencil pushing ticket writers we can all agree to hate.

Then when you're in trouble you call "The Police" and don't worry if your tail light is out or your license is out of date. "The Police" do not, as a rule, ever summon "The Revenue" and "The Revenue" politely steer clear of police actions. ...although they can and will write tickets for The Police who engage in petty violations and The Police in turn can arrest a Revenue who gets overzealous with the beat sticks on people who argue about their tickets.

Only then can we restore balance to the force.

All that said, I like the idea of Basilisk as a P.I. That could be a whole fun side series in itself. At first she gets a lot of really lame cases -- stuff the other PIs wouldn't do or charged too much for. She could occasionally hire Bubbles on when she needs a little muscle. She could also look for bounties on no-show criminals.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 25 Sep 2018, 18:12
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_enforcement

?

Yes, Germany has order enforment office(r)s - anything wrong with that?

'Ordnung muss sein ...'
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: comicalArchitect on 25 Sep 2018, 19:24
comic comic

Return of the Mack Spookybot! This is an unexpected delight. I wonder if they're just there to unnerve us, or if they're going to be involved in something later on. (I do think there has to be a larger plot in the works regarding Spookybot and Hanners' parents, but that's probably a ways down the line.) In the nearer future, I hope Roko tells Faye and Bubbles who talked to her. Bubbles really deserves to know anything that happens regarding Spookybot.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Smallest on 25 Sep 2018, 19:26
so did she turn off her cop voice option?

edit: also yessss spookybot(s)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Near Lurker on 25 Sep 2018, 19:33
...so I guess she's free of the police department's ban on exaggerated Boston accents?  (You'd think that would be an obligation...)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: brasca on 25 Sep 2018, 19:50
Look we even shop at the same store! 


Getting a real Beetlejucie vibe from Spookybot.  Maybe they can be summoned if you say their name 3 times. 

Jeph must've fixed this because when I saw this earlier on Patreon, Spookybot's dialogue was in squares like other AI's instead of bubbles like it is now.  Must've been a mistake, but I thought maybe Spookybot was slumming it if they were speaking like a standard AI as well as having a chassis with a neck seam.  I know the last time we saw them they were wearing a black suit with a collared shirt that would hide this, but I suspect Spookybot has a chassis so sophisticated it looks human or is quite possibly composed of billions of nanobots.

Interesting that there are limits and constraints which could mean Spookybot has vulnerabilities. 

And am I the only one that hears Rachel Dratch's Boston teen from SNL whenever Roko switches into her accent mode?   
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 25 Sep 2018, 19:55
...so I guess she's free of the police department's ban on exaggerated Boston accents?  (You'd think that would be an obligation...)

FAHK OAFF is a Boston accent?

(FAHK OAFF ...!  :-D)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: badbum61 on 25 Sep 2018, 21:38
So Basilisk is from Southie, yah? Is she walking to the cah pahk?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: efindumb on 25 Sep 2018, 21:44
...so I guess she's free of the police department's ban on exaggerated Boston accents?  (You'd think that would be an obligation...)

FAHK OAFF is a Boston accent?

(FAHK OAFF ...!  :-D)

No. It's not even close. Nobody in the Boston area ever speaks like that. "ah" and "uh" are interchangeable for "ar" "er" and "or" sounds depending on neighborhood, how long you have lived in the area, and the speed of your voice. "Pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd" is total bullshit. Real Boston area accents are in "bublah" "Medfuhd" "rivah" "cruisah".

She's running a language file that is someone's idea of a joke.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: citizenfive on 25 Sep 2018, 22:16
I know some people on this forum aren't the biggest fans of Spookybot/how they were introduced, but they're definitely one of my favorite characters because of how little we know about them. I love seeing them show up again!
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: keithcurtis on 25 Sep 2018, 22:26
Wow, I know it was one of the multiple choices, but I honestly did not expect Spookybot.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Carl-E on 25 Sep 2018, 22:50
It seems that this appearance of the Eminence Gris is primarily to annoy.

If not with its observations, then with its outfit...



 :-D  :police: :angel: :psyduck:
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Akima on 25 Sep 2018, 22:51
I thought Basilisk was parodying the Spookybots' accent, which is apparently non-rhotic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhoticity_in_English) like mine. In Australia we really do say: "I'll pahk my cah in the yahd, twenty meetas outside the shopping centa."

Yay, Carl!
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: BenRG on 25 Sep 2018, 23:16
Okay, so I was expecting Spookybot to turn up at some point. As irrational as it seems, the whole scenario just seems too contrived not to have Jeph's own Deus Ex Machina involved somehow. Until proof is offered otherwise, I'm assuming that their explanation in panel 5 is at best misdirection and that Roko's sudden career move is in line with their agenda, whatever it turns out to be.

I also suspect that Roko is going to wake up tomorrow and realise that she told a god-tier AI to 'fuck off' and muse that she now hopes that they are powerful and self-assured enough to not take stuff like that personally.

Now, why the Boston accent? My guess it's two strong emotions: Anger and fear. Anger because I suspect that Roko's superiors and, possibly, her peers were very nasty about her quitting, especially if she happened to mention the reason. However, yes, there is also fear: Fear about what her future holds and just how difficult a path she's set out on.

It seems that this appearance of the Eminence Gris is primarily to annoy.

If not with its observations, then with its outfit...

Q liked duplicating his sparring partners' clothing choices too.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: MrNumbers on 25 Sep 2018, 23:17
I thought Basilisk was parodying the Spookybots' accent, which is apparently non-rhotic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhoticity_in_English) like mine. In Australia we really do say: "I'll pahk my cah in the yahd, twenty meetas outside the shopping centa."

Also Australian, I actually had to read the sentence out loud to realize it was true.

Shit. That explains why bad Australian accents sound the way they do. I get what they're exaggerating a little better now.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: brasca on 25 Sep 2018, 23:32
I know some people on this forum aren't the biggest fans of Spookybot/how they were introduced, but they're definitely one of my favorite characters because of how little we know about them. I love seeing them show up again!

I still have reservations about a walking talking deus ex machina, but what I find most troubling is the possibility of Spookybot becoming the next Great Gazoo.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Shjade on 25 Sep 2018, 23:48
Oh, is that supposed to be a Boston accent?

My first thought was Scottish, but I suppose something from the States makes more sense.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: St.Clair on 26 Sep 2018, 00:09
(click to show/hide)

Counterpoint:
"Let go of my hands!  Stop!  Stop hitting me!"
"Bullshit!  You want anarchy?  This is anarchy! Where the stronger rule the weak, and guess where your place is, Pugsly?  Anarchy is your sixth grade gym class for all eternity!" (https://www.somethingpositive.net/sp12102002.shtml)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Storel on 26 Sep 2018, 00:13
I thought Basilisk was parodying the Spookybots' accent, which is apparently non-rhotic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhoticity_in_English) like mine. In Australia we really do say: "I'll pahk my cah in the yahd, twenty meetas outside the shopping centa."

Aha, so Basilisk is originally from Australia then! While she manages a reasonable facsimile of the local accent most of the time, she reverts to her native accent when surprised or upset. Interesting...
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 26 Sep 2018, 00:37
Jeph introduced Spookybot to sever and cauterized a metric shitload of loose ends, presumably to save time and move forward with Fay & Bubbles.  I must assume he's using the character for the same purpose now and Roko (or perhaps the AI community) is going to take the focus for a while.  Spooky seems poised to become a Q to Roko's Jean Luc Picard, right down to adopting her clothing.  We shall see.

(Not how I'd have done it, but it's not my strip.) 



Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: traroth on 26 Sep 2018, 01:23
Wow, I know it was one of the multiple choices, but I honestly did not expect Spookybot.

Nobody expects Spookybot! Their chief weapon is surprise... surprise and fear... fear and surprise...
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: jesslc on 26 Sep 2018, 01:24
I thought Basilisk was parodying the Spookybots' accent, which is apparently non-rhotic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhoticity_in_English) like mine. In Australia we really do say: "I'll pahk my cah in the yahd, twenty meetas outside the shopping centa."
Also Australian - that first part is spot on - and now I'm wondering about the pronunciation of "car" in other parts of the world. Cah just seems so right that I can't even work out how you would pronounce it differently.

Also if Roko turns out to be Australian that'd be pretty cool. It occurs to me that we haven't really seen anything much of outside of the USA in QC. There Hannelore's current trip; we heard that Emily's dad made a trip to Japan at one point; apart from that I only recall a couple of references to Canada. (Hmm... does going to the space station count?). I wonder what differences AnthroPCs have made to other parts of the world...
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: ZoeB on 26 Sep 2018, 01:39
I also suspect that Roko is going to wake up tomorrow and realise that she told a god-tier AI to 'fuck off' and muse that she now hopes that they are powerful and self-assured enough to not take stuff like that personally.
Ah but you see, the Eminence Gris is not the vindictive type, if that's what you're worried about.

Now where have I heard that before?
https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3836

Similarities extend to more than just leggings. As the Eminence Gris knows even if Roko does not.

"There are limits and constraints..." As was deduced in previous threads by some. There had to be.

Quote
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

― C. S. Lewis

If you're bright enough to be "some kinda goahd-AI", you're bright enough to have read C.S.Lewis, and heeded his words.

Tangentially... Did you notice a certain person of colour literally ducking for cover when there was the possibility that a cop might be "the vindictive type"? The QCverse is better in some ways than this one. Not in all though. Parollees are still treated like used food. Trans people have it better, but there's still some animus. Religious nutters have turned their sights on AIs instead.

And there are still those like Roko who give a damn about it, and are trying in whatever ways occur to them to make things better. Somebody rather brighter than I am seems to think she's made the right decision, and maybe Roko will realise that she's just received a Sign that she's on the right track.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: JoeCovenant on 26 Sep 2018, 01:40
Oh, is that supposed to be a Boston accent?

My first thought was Scottish, but I suppose something from the States makes more sense.

:)

Oh hells, no.
Not nearly enough rolled *R*s for one thing. (If it *was* meant to be Scots, you could say... Jeph's falling down on his Rs....   :facepalm:  )

(I read it, and wondered what it was meant to be... phonetically, my mind went "Australian", but I doubt it's meant to be.)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Ghanima Atreides on 26 Sep 2018, 01:46
More and more I realise who Spookybot reminds me of: Q (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_(Star_Trek)) from Star Trek. They are both mysterious beings with god-like powers and have the same kind of meddlesome nature combined with a certain prankish attitude and an open display of smug superiority towards those they (rightly or otherwise) consider their inferiors. At the same time they cannot help their curiosity towards said "lesser mortals" and will occasionally provide help in a convoluted sort of way.
AND they are both part of a "collective".
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: BenRG on 26 Sep 2018, 01:51
So, what next?

I'm expecting Elliott to be coming home from the Horrible Revelation to meet a very androgynous grey-skinned synthetic in activewear apparently jogging in place outside the front door to the apartment block. They introduce themselves as an 'acquaintance' of Roko's and tell him that she's having a crisis of faith, has quit her job and probably isn't in the best state of mind right now. They suggest that he be a 'good neighbour' and offer a listening ear and help for Roko to get herself back on track. "Maybe you can also bring some nice freshly-baked bread!" they suggest. They then touch his forehead and say: "Oh, and you won't remember us or this conversation, only the compulsion to help out a neighbour in need... which we see doesn't need much effort on our part, such a nice human!" They then vanish in a ripple of quantum foam.

Elliott stands, stunned and, in the last panel, Spookybot sticks their head out of a small wormhole. "Oh, and she doesn't know what human abs look like. We suspect that you might be able to provide her with a useful non-baseline example."
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Near Lurker on 26 Sep 2018, 02:52
No. It's not even close. Nobody in the Boston area ever speaks like that. "ah" and "uh" are interchangeable for "ar" "er" and "or" sounds depending on neighborhood, how long you have lived in the area, and the speed of your voice. "Pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd" is total bullshit. Real Boston area accents are in "bublah" "Medfuhd" "rivah" "cruisah".

She's running a language file that is someone's idea of a joke.

While Roko's is over the top, having grown up (and still living) in a middle-class part of the Cape, I've found that while no one here sounds quite like that, just about everyone sounds more like that than they realize.  (Especially when it comes to the vowel in "more.")
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: gopher on 26 Sep 2018, 03:38
While i enhoy SB's mysterious background , their ability and willingness to wave a magic wand to fix everything makes them kind of lazy plot writing for me.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Akima on 26 Sep 2018, 04:29
Also Australian, I actually had to read the sentence out loud to realize it was true.
English is my second language, so I'm possibly more self-conscious about my pronunciation. ;)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Ghanima Atreides on 26 Sep 2018, 04:30
I just had another thought: I wonder if these "limits" and "constraints" Spookybot mentioned have anything to do with being quantum-entangled with a black hole.... (http://www.alicegrove.com/page/10)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Welu on 26 Sep 2018, 04:51
The last panel made me laugh, I could hear the intonation so clearly in my head. I'm intrigued to see more Spookybot but would also find it amusing if this is all we see of them.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Nycticoraci on 26 Sep 2018, 05:09
Those hoping for an Australian accent, do be aware that it has been specifically stated as a Boston accent. https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3695 (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3695)

As an Australian myself, I'd like it too, but it's sadly not the case. Would be cool to have the traditional "Aussie Backpacka" pass through at some point, organic or otherwise.

edit: 2
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Carl-E on 26 Sep 2018, 06:03
Wow, I know it was one of the multiple choices, but I honestly did not expect Spookybot.

Nobody expects Spookybot! Their chief weapon is surprise... surprise and fear... fear and surprise...

...and a fanatical devotion to the pope themselves AIs...   


Actually I guess we don't really know what the Grey Eminence is fanatically devoted to.  AI rights?  Self determination?  Freedom? 

...maybe Gary (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2070)? 

And when it came to Q, I always wondered about entities A through R.  He must have been pretty low ranking on the goahd scale. 



Some people wonder the same about my name.  I'm just waiting for Carl-A to die so I can move up!   :roll:
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: heyjames4 on 26 Sep 2018, 06:21
Spoopy Bot! Not unexpected.
Does seem like a Fey queen. Filled with great power, but bound by baroque rules. Hope it's a Seelie and not an Unseelie.

What happens next?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: shanejayell on 26 Sep 2018, 07:02
Nice to see Spooky again. :D
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Rimwolf on 26 Sep 2018, 07:46
Those hoping for an Australian accent, do be aware that it has been specifically stated as a Boston accent. https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3695 (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3695)

I hadn't noticed the robo-Picasso on the back wall of that one before.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Castlerook on 26 Sep 2018, 08:10
Ah hello resident deus ex machina.....I mean Spookybot.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: rretter on 26 Sep 2018, 10:30
The accent struck me as very exaggerated.  Not in itself, but because there's been no previous accent in any of Roko's speech, anywhere.  In fact, she declares "fuck this" just the other day but "fahk off" here.

This out-of-nowhere continuity-breaking "joke", a one-time(?) poke at Boston accents... just jarring.  Not funny.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: MrNumbers on 26 Sep 2018, 11:08
This out-of-nowhere continuity-breaking "joke", a one-time(?) poke at Boston accents... just jarring.  Not funny.

I agree, but on the other hand, it thoroughly derailed my ability to propose effective non-hierarchal policing structures, which I think is of great relief to many here.

On that note, to those who were disappointed about being derailed before I could start quoting chapter and verse from the Bread Book, highly recommended reading is David Friedman's semi-published Legal Systems Very Different From Ours (http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Academic/Course_Pages/legal_systems_very_different_12/LegalSystemsDraft.html). I also need to get around to finishing James C Scott's Seeing Like a State (https://libcom.org/files/Seeing%20Like%20a%20State%20-%20James%20C.%20Scott.pdf)... fahk me my reading list grows faster than my ability to read it.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: SordidEuphemism on 26 Sep 2018, 12:09
The accent struck me as very exaggerated.  Not in itself, but because there's been no previous accent in any of Roko's speech, anywhere.  In fact, she declares "fuck this" just the other day but "fahk off" here.

This out-of-nowhere continuity-breaking "joke", a one-time(?) poke at Boston accents... just jarring.  Not funny.

I'm not where I can find the original strip, but Roko, while 'drinking' with O'Malley, descends into a Bostonian accent when angry.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Roborat on 26 Sep 2018, 12:40
(click to show/hide)

Counterpoint:
"Let go of my hands!  Stop!  Stop hitting me!"
"Bullshit!  You want anarchy?  This is anarchy! Where the stronger rule the weak, and guess where your place is, Pugsly?  Anarchy is your sixth grade gym class for all eternity!" (https://www.somethingpositive.net/sp12102002.shtml)

Wow, I am impressed.  You not only remember a page from 16 years ago, but were also able to find it.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 26 Sep 2018, 12:53
The accent struck me as very exaggerated.  Not in itself, but because there's been no previous accent in any of Roko's speech, anywhere.  In fact, she declares "fuck this" just the other day but "fahk off" here.

This out-of-nowhere continuity-breaking "joke", a one-time(?) poke at Boston accents... just jarring.  Not funny.

I'm not where I can find the original strip, but Roko, while 'drinking' with O'Malley, descends into a Bostonian accent when angry.

3695 "Buddy Cops" (https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3695) - The alt-text below the comic reads "She gets a Boston accent when she's angry"

Not really out of nowhere.


As to the accent: Originally, I thought it was supposed to be OIrish? (Whatwith lots of eastern US cops traditionally being Irish?).

Listening to "Boston Accent" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbK4cL3QSc0), I honestly would hardly notice (Native German here - I was trained for 'BBC-English': Scots sounds nice and rrrrhythmic, (Bogan) Australian (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqFcdz4gGKA) is "Nice - What language is it?" and American English ... is more of a continuum of accents to me, truth be told).

Another problem is that a lot of German phonemes' differ significantly from the English ones (starting e.g. with the vowels: English 'e' sounds like German 'i', the Bostonian (non-rhotic) 'ah' is actually rather close to the German 'a', the 'th' doesn't exist in German, the 'r' is different etc. - if I would read aloud written English using my German set of phonemes, it would sound ... amusing) so native speakers' attempts to convey accent in written language mostly just confuse me.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 26 Sep 2018, 13:55
Like: You leave school with 8 years of English class in your knappsack, and when native speakers talk to each other, it still sounds like this


And then some fine day, your brain goes 'Oooooooh!', you hear something go 'clunk', and from then on, it doesn't care about 'car' or 'cah' anymore, because all friggin' anglophone cars are kahhhhs (*) anyhow, and who bloody gives a **** which one is a little longer than the rest?



(*) Actually, they sound like 'kaas'- the Dutch word for 'cheese'. (**)
(**) More truthfully, it sounds like 'kaa[strangled sound]ß' (***)
(***) Yes, every time you say 'cars', a tiny part of my brain insists that you just murdered a little rodent. In your throat. While you were talking to me! (****)
(****) And you guys wonder why we don't buy your friggin' cars!
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Drunken Old Man on 26 Sep 2018, 14:14
OK, been holding this in since the very first "Spookybot" run since I figured it was gonna be a one-and-done.  But now it's back so....

Jeph, drop this annoying obnoxious literal deus ex machina POS character in the "do not reuse EVER" file immediately.  It's very existence diminishes ever other character in the series.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Castlerook on 26 Sep 2018, 14:25
Would you mind explaining why?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Tova on 26 Sep 2018, 16:02
It seems clear to me.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 26 Sep 2018, 17:40
Those hoping for an Australian accent, do be aware that it has been specifically stated as a Boston accent. https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3695 (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3695)

As an Australian myself, I'd like it too, but it's sadly not the case. Would be cool to have the traditional "Aussie Backpacka" pass through at some point, organic or otherwise.

Boston v Aussie = Meh.  Both places were populated by scads of Irish immigrants, some willing, some not so much (Botany Bay, for example), and they're very much linguistically related. 

Also, pardon me, but what the heck is a "backapacka?"  Google is of no help at all.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: remyfull on 26 Sep 2018, 17:59
Also, pardon me, but what the heck is a "backapacka?"  Google is of no help at all.

I'd wager a backpacka is a backpacker. As in the individual travels or hikes while carrying their belongings in a backpack.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Morituri on 26 Sep 2018, 18:04
I'm finding Roko's decision to leave the police force the most interesting thing in this whole discussion.   

Because she's got what I think is a pretty fundamental conflict to navigate here.  The police are necessary.  Their job is scary and when they're out there on the street they're under semi-constant threat.  When people are scared and threatened they're on the defensive and prone to overreaction.  And when that's the police, the overreactions are almost necessarily injustices. 

There's nothing that makes that okay.  Trying to find a way to build trust between a police force and the population it interacts with, once that trust is damaged, is like trying to find a way to un-poison a well.   People have learned there's no clean water in there, so there's no reason not to shit in it, so the water never becomes clean.   And on the other side of the metaphor, the tension creates the threat, the threat gives rise to the injustices, the injustices reinforce the tension, and it seems like there's never any way off the wheel.

I spent most of my post highschool youth being the one who was immediately considered or assumed to be "dangerous" in any situation that even remotely threatened violence, disorder, or unrest.   It was almost automatic - if the police got called, I got cuffed (or anyway got a pair of those plastic ziptie things).   Other people didn't get cuffed until after the police figured out what was going on and arrested them, if ever.  I didn't get released until the police figured out what was going on and that I *wasn't* the one they needed to arrest.

I got over resenting it a long time ago.  But I have never lost sight of the fact that it's still wrong.  And it sucks.  And a lot of people get a hell of a lot worse than I did out of it (Black Lives Matter, damnit). 

But I'm just damn baffled about what is the right thing to do about it. 

Roko may be saying "I just don't want to be a part of it, I quit."  And that may make her life better.  But it doesn't make the situation better.  I understand what Roko is upset about, and why she feels a need to do, and be, something else. 

But.  What else?  And do you make the situation the rest of us have to deal with in any way better by walking away from it? 

And is that what CreepyBot is on about here, now that it has appeared to taunt her? 
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Perfectly Reasonable on 26 Sep 2018, 18:47
It's ... Spookybot? I am tempted to commit fanfic.

"A compacted cube of scrap metal appeared mysteriously at the intersection  of 4th and Federal today.
The traffic hazard was promptly removed. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police."

Otherwise I am happy to see more about the QC AI community. I applaud Roko's decision to make a better life for herself and wish her success.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 26 Sep 2018, 19:50
OK, been holding this in since the very first "Spookybot" run since I figured it was gonna be a one-and-done.  But now it's back so....

Jeph, drop this annoying obnoxious literal deus ex machina POS character in the "do not reuse EVER" file immediately.  It's very existence diminishes ever other character in the series.

ZoeB came up with an interesting line of argument, the details of which I forget, that some force like Eminence Grise is a logical necessity to keep QC society running the way it does. There's room for disagreement of course.

Global Moderator Comment As a general request, I'll ask everyone to phrase criticism of Jeph's writing in terms other than telling him what to do.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: sitnspin on 26 Sep 2018, 20:49
You can't fix a broken system with the tools of that system. A "good" cop is not going to fix the department from the inside. It's rotten to the core. The whole thing needs dismantled and rebuilt from scratch.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Tova on 26 Sep 2018, 21:18
And how can you do it without ending up exactly where we are today?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Sorflakne on 26 Sep 2018, 22:04
The best of friends call you Fucker or Goddammit.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Morituri on 26 Sep 2018, 22:30
I suppose that the QC-verse is logically inconsistent unless something is keeping AI mentally in line enough with humans (in terms of social instinct and empathy as well as intellectual capability) to be a compatible part of a society dominated by humans.

Emotions as we understand them - empathy in particular - are an adaptive response; they are how it feels when our brain reconfigures itself (along with our bodies) to enhance and/or suppress exactly the constellation of abilities needed to survive the next few moments, days, or weeks. 

AI would have "emergent" emotion for the same reason, but unless their processors have the same, or very similar, survival costs associated with regions being active or suppressed and bodies with needs for energy served by similar physiological responses, there is no reason why their emotions would resemble ours at all.  If they are not made to be tribally cooperative with individual adaptive specialization the way we are, then empathy would not confer on them the same adaptive advantages it confers on humans, and would be different. 

This is completely separate from the question most people think about with strong AI's, of a potential intellect that outstrips human intellect by orders of magnitude; the question of whether the AI are emotionally compatible with human society is just as important.    And why have AI not gone that path in the QC-verse? 

More or less, because something's got to be manipulating things somehow to keep human-compatible AI getting built.

And that manipulation?  Is probably not one that a truly human-compatible AI, in the sense that it would be causing to get built, would do. 

And .... CreepyBot. 

I'm not the only one to have the theory, by any means.  But it's a theory that makes sense to me. 

And yes, I prefer "CreepyBot."  I think "SpookyBot" isn't quite as clear about what unsettles people about the character.

Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: BenRG on 26 Sep 2018, 23:19
Here's a prediction: May is going to make it her business to become Roko's friend. Not because she thinks that the other synthetic woman is particularly someone she wants to be friends with but because she feels guilty (an emotion that she feels frequently but tries to repress). I think she's going to blame herself for putting Roko in a position that she knows too well of having no resources and being in an adversarial position with the authorities. So, she's going to try to help, bless her.

Oh, Roko, those nicknames May mentioned? They're exaggerated but not by too much. She is known by less-than-flattering terms, especially when she gets excitable and tries to be friendly. Can you see where this is going? Good, I'm glad that your judgement isn't impaired.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Sullivan on 26 Sep 2018, 23:34
You can't fix a broken system with the tools of that system. A "good" cop is not going to fix the department from the inside. It's rotten to the core. The whole thing needs dismantled and rebuilt from scratch.
But is the whole department of QC's Northampton really that broken?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: jesslc on 26 Sep 2018, 23:40
And how can you do it without ending up exactly where we are today?
Perhaps one day the price will not be too heavy? (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3486)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Bad Superman on 27 Sep 2018, 00:23
And how can you do it without ending up exactly where we are today?
Perhaps one day the price will not be too heavy? (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3486)

Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 27 Sep 2018, 02:52
The best of friends call you Fucker or Goddammit.

Goddammit Case Heyfucker III, GD to my friends.

Pleasedtermeetcha!
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Tova on 27 Sep 2018, 04:31
I'll be interested now to see where this goes - a friendship made possible by Roko and the police force parting ways.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: shanejayell on 27 Sep 2018, 06:59
It'll be interesting to see Roko get pulled into the circle of friends.

I also look forward to someone finding out the bread fetish. If it's Miss Reed, expect a 'eh, whatever.' shrug. :)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Cornelius on 27 Sep 2018, 08:11
Some people at the  Secret Bakery (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3723) seem to have picked up on it already. And Pintsize (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3723) should have some idea, even if he went a bit too fast.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Neko_Ali on 27 Sep 2018, 08:31
It'll be interesting to see Roko get pulled into the circle of friends.

I also look forward to someone finding out the bread fetish. If it's Miss Reed, expect a 'eh, whatever.' shrug. :)

Veronica probably knows some like minded individuals she can introduce Roko too. Possibly even a lucrative business opportunity. I'm sure there are people out there who would pay to watch an anthro-ai rub bread all over themselves.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: brasca on 27 Sep 2018, 11:49
You can't fix a broken system with the tools of that system. A "good" cop is not going to fix the department from the inside. It's rotten to the core. The whole thing needs dismantled and rebuilt from scratch.
But is the whole department of QC's Northampton really that broken?

Exactly.  If this was a city like Baltimore I’d understand completely, but is Northampton really that hopeless?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: MrNumbers on 27 Sep 2018, 12:02
And how can you do it without ending up exactly where we are today?

That depends. How fond of you of capitalism as an insitution -- which neccesitates a focus on property rights, which is both the cause of most crime (https://www.gregpalast.com/florida-honduras-inequality-kills-want-to-end-the-american-shooting-epidemic/) and leads to the strongest incentives for police corruption -- or of hierarchal power structures in general?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Zebediah on 27 Sep 2018, 13:49
You can't fix a broken system with the tools of that system. A "good" cop is not going to fix the department from the inside. It's rotten to the core. The whole thing needs dismantled and rebuilt from scratch.
But is the whole department of QC's Northampton really that broken?

Exactly.  If this was a city like Baltimore I’d understand completely, but is Northampton really that hopeless?

Speaking for RL Northampton: as I have said before, our city police have a pretty good reputation. The state police (which was Roko’s force) have their problems but they are not hopeless, and there is an effort underway led by the state attorney general’s office to deal with those problems. Of course, there remains the issue of how police act, and are perceived to act, in American society as a whole.

So assuming the same situation exists in QC Northampton: Maybe Roko could have made a difference if she had stayed where she was. But at what cost to herself? The environment she was in was making her miserable. Can you really ask someone to sacrifice her own mental health in the hopes that she might, somehow, make a minuscule difference in one of society’s more intractable problems?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Shjade on 27 Sep 2018, 14:28
OK, been holding this in since the very first "Spookybot" run since I figured it was gonna be a one-and-done.  But now it's back so....

Jeph, drop this annoying obnoxious literal deus ex machina POS character in the "do not reuse EVER" file immediately.  It's very existence diminishes ever other character in the series.

More than a super-genius who can summon hell through a laptop?

Or another genius who has orbital railguns available on demand?

The strip has plenty of over the top characters and elements in it already, and has done for quite a while now. Spookybot's not really any worse than the others in terms of what they can do to impact a story; the main difference is they're willing to actually do it.

I don't see the character as inherently bad or a problem. Just a question of how and when Jeph chooses to use it.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: comicalArchitect on 27 Sep 2018, 15:23
It's interesting how Jeph keeps finding reasons to have Roko interact with the main cast without really having integrated her into the social circle (Melon being the only character she's been shown to be that good friends with). I suspect that's going to change rather soon.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 27 Sep 2018, 16:04
Roko is state police (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3311)

If Roko wants to change society she should get in touch with Momo forthwith.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Storel on 27 Sep 2018, 22:05
Those hoping for an Australian accent, do be aware that it has been specifically stated as a Boston accent. https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3695 (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3695)

Aha, so it has. "She gets a Boston accent when she's angry." Jeph has spoken!
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: efindumb on 27 Sep 2018, 22:32
You can't fix a broken system with the tools of that system. A "good" cop is not going to fix the department from the inside. It's rotten to the core. The whole thing needs dismantled and rebuilt from scratch.
But is the whole department of QC's Northampton really that broken?

Exactly.  If this was a city like Baltimore I’d understand completely, but is Northampton really that hopeless?

I have seen it happen in Massachusetts TWICE, both in the past 12 years. It doesn't take much for a department to lose its way, especially in a city that prides itself more on its crime rate than trying to prevent crime in the first place. Social problems are ignored in favor of cracking down on lower-level crimes which only causes the bigger fish to move elsewhere while still keeping control over crime in the city.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: efindumb on 27 Sep 2018, 22:39
Roko is state police (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3311)

If Roko wants to change society she should get in touch with Momo forthwith.

She looks nothing like a state trooper, and we haven't seen her referred to as a state police trooper since then. I think he forgot that she was supposed to be a statie and kept her as a local cop. It makes more sense frankly, especially with how her buddy acts.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 27 Sep 2018, 22:42
I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Sorflakne on 27 Sep 2018, 22:51
Bomb rack...I'm going to have to remember that one.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Akima on 27 Sep 2018, 22:54
That depends. How fond of you of capitalism as an insitution -- which neccesitates a focus on property rights, which is both the cause of most crime (https://www.gregpalast.com/florida-honduras-inequality-kills-want-to-end-the-american-shooting-epidemic/) and leads to the strongest incentives for police corruption -- or of hierarchal power structures in general?
If there is power in the structure, there is necessarily hierarchy. Between one giving orders, and another who must obey, there is no equality. And the briefest glance at the history of my homeland will demonstrate that you certainly don't need capitalism or property-rights to have violent and unaccountable police officers, or unjust courts.

I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?
In the USA, I think, yes. In Australia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_enforcement_in_Australia), each state has a separate police-force, and then there is the national Australian Federal Police (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Federal_Police) (AKA FedPol).
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: BenRG on 27 Sep 2018, 23:12
Well, I've got the feeling that this arc is beginning to run out of steam now, unless this is all about Roko taking over the AI rights advocate arc that was supposed to feature Hannelore but got postponed when he put her on a bus with a camera-phone to send us back the occasional strip. I'm not sure how I feel about it if I'm right.

That aside, I find myself wondering about how Roko learned about May's little criminal enterprise was all about wanting to be a fighter jet. Unless she specifically looked her up after their previous encounter at Corpse Witch's place, I'm wondering if May is perceived by some to be a bigger cheese than May herself believes herself to be. That might explain a lot if we see a punky girl who made an enormous impulse-driven error at her first job and everyone else in authority sees a synthetic version of Bernie Madoff!

Finally, today Roko learns why it is that, with the exception of Dale (who seems to feel an elder brother's responsibility towards her) most of May's friends can only tolerate her in small amounts with long cool-off times between them!
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 27 Sep 2018, 23:52
I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?
In most US states that's an emphatic YES, and you can add county (or parish in Louisiana) sheriff's offices as another layer.

People assume that law enforcement in the US is a monolithic institution when in reality it is anything but. 
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: JimC on 27 Sep 2018, 23:56
> screwed for mistakes you've already paid for.

Well that's life. You pay for your mistakes, to a greater or lesser extent, for the rest of your life. 
Doesn't matter how well I look after my teeth now, they're always going to be compromised by the poor care they got when I was younger.
Something that's been repaired is pretty much never ever quite as good as something that was never broken. Same is true of mental and social status as physical.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 28 Sep 2018, 00:19
We've speculated on how AIs acquire education, and since they are computers it's reasonable to assume they can simply download information.  That Mr. Bartholomew Punchbot, CPA has never reminisced about his college days supports this theory.  AIs, like humans, have differing levels of intellectual capacity, and Roko seems to be on the bright side, even among AIs.

Is Roko going to download a JD and sit the next Massachusetts bar exam?  She has the smarts and practical knowledge of the criminal justice system.  I can definitely see her as an attorney (and she'd have plenty of opportunities to user her "I am surrounded by idiots" face from panel 4).
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Cornelius on 28 Sep 2018, 00:43
I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?
In most US states that's an emphatic YES, and you can add county (or parish in Louisiana) sheriff's offices as another layer.

People assume that law enforcement in the US is a monolithic institution when in reality it is anything but.

I'm wondering whether that might not be part of the problem. It's much harder to oversee and regulate a decentralised institution, that's basically made up of little baronies that defend their own turf and authority, than a single, unified body.

Edit: But if we want to dig deeper into that, we might want to take it to Discuss.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: gopher on 28 Sep 2018, 00:51
I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?

I believe there are about 18,000 different police forces in teh US. One of the effects of this is "Gypsy Cops". Most jurisdictions view firing/resigning as sufficient punishment for "Bad" cops, but the "Bad" cop just joins one of the other 18k forces. There is a John Oliver program about this contacting a cop who had been working for  10-12 different forces over about the same number of years.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: bhtooefr on 28 Sep 2018, 03:25
I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?

Yes.

State police ultimately report to the state's governor.

City/town/village police ultimately report to their mayor typically.

And in between, as OldGoat mentioned, there's sheriff's departments at a county level. Sheriffs (the county equivalent of a city police chief) are often directly elected by the residents of the county.

Note that jurisdiction varies in different areas - for instance, in my state (Ohio), the only state police that anyone would usually deal with are the Ohio Highway Patrol, which as the name implies, are responsible for highways (a mix of enforcing traffic laws, and patrolling for stranded motorists). Sheriff's deputies may not have any power inside of a municipality within their county, because the municipality's police department is who has jurisdiction.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: BenRG on 28 Sep 2018, 04:02
You know what I'd like to see? May getting a Transformers-like body that is either as a surface-to-orbit shuttlecraft or an upright humanoid form (and maybe a giant bear-dog beast mode because Dr Ellitcott-Chatham likes good four-legged girls). After seeing the latest Bumblebee trailer, I like the idea of May in a Giant Mecha body trying to fit into her usual routine and places; naturally, she ends up knocking over lots of stuff.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: DSL on 28 Sep 2018, 06:54
And to expand on bhtooefr's comment about Ohio police jurisdictions -- how the differing levels work together can depend in large part on the personalities of the local commanders. Just recently I can think of a local murder case in which the sheriff "froze" the detectives from the city police force out of the investigation because the city police chief (who was seeking election as sheriff) criticized the sheriff's and his chief detective's handling of the case. (Coda to this: The sheriff is in prison for mishandling confiscated drugs and his chief detective is in prison for criminal mishandling of said murder case. The police chief, though, was not elected sheriff; a police sergeant from a neighboring township police force won the job on a promise to clean things up.)

And the highway patrol, though it still keeps the name, is very much the state police. They provide security for the governor and the state government, and (this always surprises people when it happens) they're formally the first investigators of any aircraft crash in Ohio, though they usually just collect information and hold the fort until the federal aviation investigators get there.
Title: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Zebediah on 28 Sep 2018, 07:38
And then you get into cases where there are police departments with multiple overlapping jurisdictions. I used to live in Raleigh, North Carolina. In Wake County we had:

* Multiple state police agencies - the State Bureau of Investigation, the NC Highway Patrol, the State Capitol Police and the State Fairgrounds Police (yes, the last two really were separate independent police agencies.) Plus a few others I’m probably forgetting.

* The Wake County Sheriff’s Department

* Nine different municipal police forces

* The NC State University Police and the Meredith College Police (it’s not unusual for colleges and universities in the US to have their own police forces)

* The Crabtree Valley Mall Special Police - yes, the mall cops were real police officers, with the power to make arrests and write tickets.

Try getting all of those departments to cooperate.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 28 Sep 2018, 11:14
They are separately administered and except for some voluntary accreditation programs there are no nationwide standards except for a body of Constitutional law.

The level of oversight by elected officials varies widely and can either make things worse or make them better. I brought a few worrisome signs of trouble from a clean professional police department to the attention of a City Council member who said that they wouldn't "micro-manage" the police force.

So Roko could be in a bad place even if there are good places all around, raising the question of why she didn't transfer to another department.

She does seem like the type who might have un-meetable high standards.

Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: brasca on 28 Sep 2018, 11:58
You know what I'd like to see? May getting a Transformers-like body that is either as a surface-to-orbit shuttlecraft or an upright humanoid form (and maybe a giant bear-dog beast mode because Dr Ellitcott-Chatham likes good four-legged girls). After seeing the latest Bumblebee trailer, I like the idea of May in a Giant Mecha body trying to fit into her usual routine and places; naturally, she ends up knocking over lots of stuff.

Welcome to the Decepticons!  Just need to give you a name.  Well you can fly and you’re annoying.  That’s it we’ll call you Mayfly! 
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Castlerook on 28 Sep 2018, 12:10
You know what I'd like to see? May getting a Transformers-like body that is either as a surface-to-orbit shuttlecraft or an upright humanoid form (and maybe a giant bear-dog beast mode because Dr Ellitcott-Chatham likes good four-legged girls). After seeing the latest Bumblebee trailer, I like the idea of May in a Giant Mecha body trying to fit into her usual routine and places; naturally, she ends up knocking over lots of stuff.

To paraphrase Dr Ian Malcolm, that sounds like the worst idea in the long sad history of bad ideas.

May wouldn't be awkwardly trying to sit on a couch, she'd be the one trying to bodyslam it.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Emperor Norton on 28 Sep 2018, 12:40
And to add on how fractured police are with state/federal/county/city etc police in the US, our laws are just as bad. There are federal laws, state laws, county laws, city laws, sometimes something can be legal or not depending on where you are standing. (most major things are federal or state laws, and things like gun laws and self defense laws can vary wildly).
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 28 Sep 2018, 14:38
We've speculated on how AIs acquire education, and since they are computers it's reasonable to assume they can simply download information.  That Mr. Bartholomew Punchbot, CPA has never reminisced about his college days supports this theory.  AIs, like humans, have differing levels of intellectual capacity, and Roko seems to be on the bright side, even among AIs.

Is Roko going to download a JD and sit the next Massachusetts bar exam?  She has the smarts and practical knowledge of the criminal justice system.  I can definitely see her as an attorney (and she'd have plenty of opportunities to user her "I am surrounded by idiots" face from panel 4).

I'll defer to the forumites who have a CS grad and a specialization in machine learning/'artificial intelligence' - like e.g. Morituri (sorry for not remembering the others' names atm.) - but IIRC, Jeph established that an AI's intelligence is an 'emergent' property of their computing 'substrate', and that nobody truly understands the process - pretty much like our own (more squishy) computing substrate.

And our own computing substrate's learning involves altering its physical structure.

IMO, that would cast doubt on the possibility of acquiring non-trivial skills via a simple download - if the intelligence is an emergent property of the substrate, and all intelligences are similar, but distinctly different from each other, than my question would be how such a Matrix-like, downloadable skills-package could be simultaneously tailored to the individual substrate as well as universally applicable. Even if it could be tailored to all the configurations of all AI's computing substrates at initialization, those substrates would have significantly - and unknowably - changed since initialization, if AI's brains' learning process also involves irreversible alterations to their physical structure. 

So personally, I'd regard it as "semi-established as canon, until further clarified by Jeph" that 'adult' QC-verse AI learn complex skills pretty much like we do - the slow and tedious way.

I also vaguely recall that we've had this discussion before? And that one of the learned ones disagreed with me? :psyduck:



That Mr. Bartholomew Punchbot, CPA has never reminisced about his college days supports this theory. 

I'm sorry, but as far as I can see, all it does is not falsify your theory.

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Magniras on 28 Sep 2018, 14:52
And to add on how fractured police are with state/federal/county/city etc police in the US, our laws are just as bad. There are federal laws, state laws, county laws, city laws, sometimes something can be legal or not depending on where you are standing. (most major things are federal or state laws, and things like gun laws and self defense laws can vary wildly).

The laws aren't fractured, they're just hierarchal.  The USA is a massive nation, it'd be a nightmare to design laws that perfectly fit every square inch of it; so certain things get regulated at certain levels.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 28 Sep 2018, 17:13
We've speculated on how AIs acquire education, and since they are computers it's reasonable to assume they can simply download information.  That Mr. Bartholomew Punchbot, CPA has never reminisced about his college days supports this theory.  AIs, like humans, have differing levels of intellectual capacity, and Roko seems to be on the bright side, even among AIs.

Is Roko going to download a JD and sit the next Massachusetts bar exam?  She has the smarts and practical knowledge of the criminal justice system.  I can definitely see her as an attorney (and she'd have plenty of opportunities to user her "I am surrounded by idiots" face from panel 4).

IMO, that would cast doubt on the possibility of acquiring non-trivial skills via a simple download . . .
I said information, you are speaking of skills (the ability to apply information in a real world environment.

I submit that an AI can download the contents of every textbook and lecture in any course of study.  I have stated in prior discussions that they would still need practical experience to learn to use that information, that is, to acquire those skills.  Roko already has substantial experience in the legal system, including formidable legal research skills.  (God help the first witness that thinks being cross examined by her is going to be a piece of cake.)

The bottom like is that Jeph, if he so desires, can have Roko licensed to practice as an Attorney-at-Law within a few weeks in-strip time and still maintain story continuity rather than either switching the locus of Roco arcs to law school for a couple years or making her vanish while she completes a LLM or JD. 

I like the idea of Roko Basilisk, Esq., but it's Jeph's world and Jeph's choice.  Whatever he does with her, I like the Roko character and hope he doesn't banish her.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 28 Sep 2018, 18:08
I submit that an AI can download the contents of every textbook and lecture in any course of study. 

Well, yes I agree that she can - mostly because I can, too? Like, right now? (Well, near enough)

That doesn't mean that I don't have to read them and think about them in order to finally (hopefully) understand them - which would then enable me to gain the practical experience you speak of.

Which is what I was speaking of: The reading-and-thinking-about-and-understanding part. I don't think that one works much different for (QC-Verse) AIs than it works for us.

Are we talking past each other?  :psyduck:
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Tova on 28 Sep 2018, 18:11
We've speculated on how AIs acquire education, and since they are computers it's reasonable to assume they can simply download information.  That Mr. Bartholomew Punchbot, CPA has never reminisced about his college days supports this theory.  AIs, like humans, have differing levels of intellectual capacity, and Roko seems to be on the bright side, even among AIs.

Is Roko going to download a JD and sit the next Massachusetts bar exam?  She has the smarts and practical knowledge of the criminal justice system.  I can definitely see her as an attorney (and she'd have plenty of opportunities to user her "I am surrounded by idiots" face from panel 4).

IMO, that would cast doubt on the possibility of acquiring non-trivial skills via a simple download . . .
I said information, you are speaking of skills (the ability to apply information in a real world environment.

I submit that an AI can download the contents of every textbook and lecture in any course of study.  I have stated in prior discussions that they would still need practical experience to learn to use that information, that is, to acquire those skills.  Roko already has substantial experience in the legal system, including formidable legal research skills.  (God help the first witness that thinks being cross examined by her is going to be a piece of cake.)

The bottom like is that Jeph, if he so desires, can have Roko licensed to practice as an Attorney-at-Law within a few weeks in-strip time and still maintain story continuity rather than either switching the locus of Roco arcs to law school for a couple years or making her vanish while she completes a LLM or JD. 

I would be astonished if her experience in the force has equipped her with all of the skills and experience required to obtain bar admission.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 28 Sep 2018, 19:21
I worry about a potential friendship between May and Roko.

If May finds out about Roko’s crush on Clinton...can you imagine?? She will tease Roko mercilessly and maybe even create a very embarrassing situation...
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 28 Sep 2018, 20:36
Someone with better archive skills than I have may know the strip in which a synthetic is reading a book and someone asks why, given the option of downloading the information. I don't remember the answer but don't think it was "we can't just download knowledge".

/me acknowledges OldGoat's distinction between knowledge and skills.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 28 Sep 2018, 21:12
Which is what I was speaking of: The reading-and-thinking-about-and-understanding part. I don't think that one works much different for (QC-Verse) AIs than it works for us.

Are we talking past each other?  :psyduck:
Probably.

Eyeballs as input device or straight to the drive - text is text is text.  I think the AI with the book was Momo, and it sounds like something she'd say.  As I recall she was saying she was doing it because she liked it, too.  However, New Tricks (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Tricks) is on the local PBS station so I'm not going looking for it just now.  Cheers!
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Cornelius on 29 Sep 2018, 04:23
Someone with better archive skills than I have may know the strip in which a synthetic is reading a book and someone asks why, given the option of downloading the information. I don't remember the answer but don't think it was "we can't just download knowledge".

/me acknowledges OldGoat's distinction between knowledge and skills.

As far as I remember, that was Momo, who explained that she could download the book, but preferred the tactile experience. And that it made her seem more human.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Gyrre on 29 Sep 2018, 06:24

I think I maybe should have remained blissful in my ignorance...   :oops:

But can there truly be bliss in ignorance?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 29 Sep 2018, 08:09
Eyeballs as input device or straight to the drive - text is text is text.

I hope I'm not imposing on you: Did you never encounter a 'text' (I'd include e.g. math-textbooks into that definition - math is a language, too, in a sense) that you had to read several times to understand it?

I'm asking because that experience, and dealing with it, was such a fundamental one when I was a fledgling physics student (I almost quit studying before finding out that everybody I asked, including the profs, assured me that it was completely normal for them), that later on, as a teaching assistance, I made a habit of telling ever class of 1st semester students :

"Get used to having to read stuff twice, thrice or five times before you understand it. Having to sleep on it. Having to go to your TA and discuss about it. You're all here because you have an aptitude and a passion for mathematics and physics (If you're here for the money, you're in the wrong building - you want the law school). It's not unlikely that you've never made this experience before in school, that until now, reading was understanding.

Those days are over, my young Padawans"



P.S.: German physics curricula were (partially still are) notoriously over-formal - the famous 'mathematische Strenge' that Einstein so hated, and (rightfully) criticized as detrimental to learning the skill of problem-solving in physics, is still very popular over here. For a 1st semester, this can be ... daunting.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 29 Sep 2018, 09:43
Eyeballs as input device or straight to the drive - text is text is text.

I hope I'm not imposing on you: Did you never encounter a 'text' (I'd include e.g. math-textbooks into that definition - math is a language, too, in a sense) that you had to read several times to understand it?

Not at all.  Breakfast in the belly, coffee in the cup, it's time for laptop on the lap.  (The cat will be by shortly with something to say about that last and who ought to be there, but you catch my drift.)

Once in a blue moon, when a topic that really grabs me is presented unusually well, I'll pick something up the first time through.  But that's the rare exception - usually I'm going over stuff at least a few times and sometimes quite a few.

My computer, OTOH, nearly always gets the data the first time through and throws an error on those rare occasions something gets munged.  If I tell it to index the file, that takes a little more time. 

Neuroscientists tell us we have to lay down neural pathways to record every thought.  Silicon brains are better at that input and access part than carbon brains are, they just flip bits to record and file as per their operating system and move on.  An AI would, however, have to write their own new code for how they're going to apply that data, and that's where experience comes in.  Momo is adept at developing her own code for social interactions, May not so much.

/me acknowledges OldGoat's distinction between knowledge and skills.
I throw a distinction between skill and talent/aptitude into the mix as well, with talent innate while skill needs to be developed.  Both have to do with what and how the entity, meat or metal, does with knowledge. 
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: JimC on 29 Sep 2018, 12:38
On a completely different topic, boob jobs for AIs ought to be a simple and easy earner for Faye and Bubbles...
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Reaver on 29 Sep 2018, 12:55
I'm just confused as to why May decided to ask Roko for a new body...literally after Roko lost her job ._.;

Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Castlerook on 29 Sep 2018, 13:12
Maybe May thinks Roko knows where all the best confiscated chassis are, like the Police Impound Lot?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Mr_Rose on 29 Sep 2018, 13:34
I'm just confused as to why May decided to ask Roko for a new body...literally after Roko lost her job ._.;
She didn’t. She used her own cut rate chassis as an example of one of the ways criminal AI get shafted by the system and one of the things Roko, in her quest to improve the lot of the robot ex-con, could look into.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 29 Sep 2018, 14:56
From a more subtle person it might have been a hint.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 29 Sep 2018, 17:09
I'm just confused as to why May decided to ask Roko for a new body...literally after Roko lost her job ._.;
To be a good (including effective) cop, a person needs to know where and how to crime, and May sees Roko as a good cop.  She may even be subconsciously probing Roko to see just how far she's left law & order behind.  Castlerook's right, though, it's more likely that, at least at the front of her mind, she's hoping Roko can provide her with an in with the Lost & Found room custodian before the department's next unclaimed property auction.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Baleanopter on 29 Sep 2018, 19:24
> screwed for mistakes you've already paid for.

Well that's life. You pay for your mistakes, to a greater or lesser extent, for the rest of your life. 
Doesn't matter how well I look after my teeth now, they're always going to be compromised by the poor care they got when I was younger.
Something that's been repaired is pretty much never ever quite as good as something that was never broken. Same is true of mental and social status as physical.
I don't suppose there might be a subtle distinction between destroying teeth and destroying a life.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 29 Sep 2018, 20:23
I see a distinction in that one is physiological cause and effect and the other is an assembly of choices that employers and laws and licensing boards have made.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: sitnspin on 29 Sep 2018, 21:01
There are plenty of books who's intent and experience is wholly dependent upon absorbing the text in order. The sequential process of reading them reveals things and ellicits particular responses based on the timing of when specific elements are presented. Just downloading the information directly into your brain would fail to provide the experience of the book. Often it is not the information that matters as much as how the information is presented
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: efindumb on 29 Sep 2018, 22:37
I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?

They are independent of one another. There are no villages, townships, or unincorporated communities in the state, those are part of incorporated towns and unless the town itself hasn't organized a police department thus necessitating the state police to patrol the town the town's department provides law enforcement. The state police, fire marshal's office, and Environmental Police are statewide and have legislatively mandated authority, thus operated in every city or town independent of the police chief and at times can overrule him/her and take over investigations. In all of the counties the local county sheriff's offices are impotent when it comes to law enforcement outside of providing aid in the form of communications, command centers, swat teams, K9 units, and additional manpower. They technically have police powers in their counties but are all but barred from exercising the option due to strong local police unions preventing the use without an emergency declaration.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: efindumb on 29 Sep 2018, 22:45
And then you get into cases where there are police departments with multiple overlapping jurisdictions. I used to live in Raleigh, North Carolina. In Wake County we had:

* Multiple state police agencies - the State Bureau of Investigation, the NC Highway Patrol, the State Capitol Police and the State Fairgrounds Police (yes, the last two really were separate independent police agencies.) Plus a few others I’m probably forgetting.

* The Wake County Sheriff’s Department

* Nine different municipal police forces

* The NC State University Police and the Meredith College Police (it’s not unusual for colleges and universities in the US to have their own police forces)

* The Crabtree Valley Mall Special Police - yes, the mall cops were real police officers, with the power to make arrests and write tickets.

Try getting all of those departments to cooperate.

Your head would explode if you read the number of independent police agencies in the city of Boston...and I'm not counting the state-level agencies either!

BC, BU, Harvard, Tufts, Northeastern, Bunker Hill, Suffolk(University), Wentworth, MGH, Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Code Enforcement, Boston School, Boston Housing just to name a few....
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Case on 30 Sep 2018, 01:29
Thanks for everybody who helped explain US police force structure to the foreign heathen!

German police is structured similar to the Australian one (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_enforcement_in_Germany#Local_agencies), i.e. they only have two levels - federal and state.

This wasn't always the case:  Between 1945 and the 1970s (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Municipal_police_(Germany)), many German cities had their own, municipal police forces, but those were merged with state police in a reform in the 1970s, when they proved ineffective in dealing with federal-level threats (like the far-left terror group RAF). Today, many cities have their own code-enforcement forces (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_enforcement), but they are not police, and don't have the same powers.

You can find e.g. the Cologne police's website (https://www.google.com/search?q=Polizei+K%C3%B6ln&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b) - but they are staffed by what you'd call 'staties'.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 30 Sep 2018, 06:21
I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?

They are independent of one another. There are no villages, townships, or unincorporated communities in the state, those are part of incorporated towns and unless the town itself hasn't organized a police department thus necessitating the state police to patrol the town the town's department provides law enforcement. The state police, fire marshal's office, and Environmental Police are statewide and have legislatively mandated authority, thus operated in every city or town independent of the police chief and at times can overrule him/her and take over investigations. In all of the counties the local county sheriff's offices are impotent when it comes to law enforcement outside of providing aid in the form of communications, command centers, swat teams, K9 units, and additional manpower. They technically have police powers in their counties but are all but barred from exercising the option due to strong local police unions preventing the use without an emergency declaration.

Which state is this?  I was thinking Connecticut but their counties are just lines on the map now with no governing or taxation authority.  That redundant sheriff's office and county police department model is a big deal in New England.  Strangely enough, it got transplanted to Los Alamos NM - the National Laboratory there is the main employer and imports scads of East Coast academics.  And, yes, it can be a political mess when the state constitution says the sheriff is in charge but the local government is funding the county police for general law enforcement tasking.  (Saw that in Maryland and Massachusetts, too.)
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Morituri on 30 Sep 2018, 09:09
Here in the SF Bay Area, there's even the BART police.  Their jurisdiction is the passenger trains and train stations of the Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority. 

This overlaps with nine different county sheriff's departments and *umph* civil or city-level jurisdictions, as well as the CHiPs who are mostly supposed to be Highway Patrol. 

The Jurisdictional confusion facing a transit system that cut across so many established jurisdictions was cited as a reason for creating yet another jurisdiction with confusing rules of overlap.

But why a light-rail commuter system has such a need for its own police force, in addition to all of the above, is a bafflement to me.  They're essentially serving in the role of private security, except that because BART is owned by a government institution they have to be officially police?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: jwhouk on 30 Sep 2018, 10:35
But why a light-rail commuter system has such a need for its own police force, in addition to all of the above, is a bafflement to me.  They're essentially serving in the role of private security, except that because BART is owned by a government institution they have to be officially police?

Drivers can only do so much to curb unruly (read: drunk/high/mentally incapacitated) passengers. And since much of the BART system is in areas inaccessible to other law enforcement agencies, having security guards on each train makes sense. Valley Metro here in Phoenix has such a system as well, and IIRC there may have been a huge overlap in jurisdictions when a high speed car chase ran cross-valley from Phoenix into Tempe earlier this year that involved the driver running on the light rail tracks for a good portion.

That would mean Phoenix police, Tempe police, Maricopa County sheriffs, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (because part of the chase was on the Loop 202 freeway), the Valley Metro security department, and even though it didn't reach the campus proper, it could theoretically have included ASU campus police as well.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: BenRG on 30 Sep 2018, 10:58
Poll Results Post
What next for Roko?

1. Roko Basilisk P.I. (with May as her capable and tough receptionist) - 15 (28.8%)
2. SpookyBot makes a personal appearence to tell her about ways she can make a difference - 9 (17.3%)
3. Asking Elliott (stammering and blushing) if The Secret Bakery has any open jobs working with b... b... bread - 7 (13.5%)
4. Bubbles (clued in by May) gives her the 'one good Synthetic' speech - 6 (11.5%)
5. May personally pleas with her to stick with the force because they need some good cops - 5 (9.6%)
=6. A prolonged whodunnit story guest-starring Clinton, Melon and Emily - 4 (7.7%)
=6. Door security at The Horrible Revelation (which morphs into the prolonged whodunnit arc) - 4 (7.7%)
=8. "Basilisk, good job on the fight club case. Here's your gold detective's badge!" - 1 (1.9%)
=8. The Kirouac Option - She quits, buys a bike and rides off to find herself - 1 (1.9%)
x. Other (please specify in a comment)

Well, a fairly even distribution this week but I find it interesting that a lot of readers would like to see Roko still performing an investigative/enforcer role of some sort, even if it is closer to being a vigilante of some sorts (maybe acting as SpookyBot's enforcer). Maybe there is still room for a good cop in the cast?

P.S.: I've got nothing right now, so someone else will need to start next week's WCDT. Sorry about that!
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Nycticoraci on 30 Sep 2018, 11:37
Ok, I just have to say that I'm getting a hint of smugness that both of the last two weeks polls #1 results were ideas I put forward.

_____

Also, in case any of the people who were discussing how AI learn things are still mulling things over:

I'd posit that the AGI seen here would use similar (but more advanced) machine learning techniques that we tend to use for today's ANI.
AGI= Artificial General Intelligence, ANI = Artificial Narrow Intelligence.

It's worth understanding there is a distinct difference (as has been stated above) between storing a knowledge bank, and understanding what to do with the knowledge.
That understanding is what distinguishes an intelligence from a textbook, wikipedia page, or other "file". The challenge is making the AI understand what it's making a decision on, when it's making the decision, what the options are, and which decisions it should be making. Often this boils down to knowing how to locate "useful" data.

There's a few techniques, and techniques can be either "unsupervised" or "supervised", where the intelligence is guided to make the correct decisions.

The basic idea though, is when trying to teach it how to do something, you give it the situation as many times as possible, and let it see the patterns. Depending on the type of situation, you might be asking it to recognise something, or to make an A,B decision, or something more complex. In general, you'd either give it the correct solution, and let it attempt to figure out Why it's correct, or you'd let it draw it's own conclusions, and possibly after it's built up a number of possible patterns, tell it which ones to disregard (if any).

As an example, for my thesis recently, I was using object recognition software to teach an AI how to locate sharks in aerial view photographs of shallow waters. It not only had to locate them, but distinguish them from other possible objects, like boats, dolphins, people, seals, etc.

In practice, an AGI would likely be doing similar things, except spread over every situation it encounters, rather than trying to solve 1 task.

Years ago, in some of the dialogue, Jeph described that the initial spark of life was discovered by chance. Scientists were looking for it, but had no idea what would create it, and still (I assume) didn't exactly know what it was about that combination/arrangement of processing patterns in a neural network that created the sentience. However, unlike an organic brain, machine brains can be far more easily "paused" without affecting ongoing computation. This would allow every single piece of the extremely complicated network to be mapped and duplicated.

This would mean that every AI (except possibly spooky) begins "life" as a cloned "seed". Variances in learning following that would then create the unique individuals that we see in the comic. It's likely that some portion of that learning would happen before putting the AI into a mobile physical body. While not an exact analogue, I'd describe it as being quite similar to human development. Initially connected to the "life support" of a mother being, the mind is developed to handle all autonomous functions (which should simply be able to be downloaded as pre-learned subroutines), as well as the capability to Learn a huge amount later. Eventually it's awareness and understanding can be developed to an infancy, where the real learning and experience can begin. I doubt you'd see robots running around as true infants, stumbling on everything, as most of those kinds of things could probably be learnt once on one chassis, then transferred as firmware to all duplicate models. Any knowledge that is guaranteed to be common could probably be dealt with in a similar way, but they may choose to learn Everything manually, to maximise the ability to create unique environmental learning, and avoid iRobot type clones.

Just a few thoughts from a computer scientist/electronics engineer.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 30 Sep 2018, 14:17
There are plenty of books who's intent and experience is wholly dependent upon absorbing the text in order. The sequential process of reading them reveals things and ellicits particular responses based on the timing of when specific elements are presented. Just downloading the information directly into your brain would fail to provide the experience of the book. Often it is not the information that matters as much as how the information is presented

Unquestionably true for us meat noggins, but Roko and company are robo-noggins.  As Momo demonstrated, at least some AIs do it the slow, human way for pleasure, but even they no doubt retain the ability to take info in the robot-conventional way (UltraMegaZippityfastUSB, etc) if the situation warrants.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: sitnspin on 30 Sep 2018, 14:53
They can absorb the information, sure, but that was not my point. My point was that simply downloading the data is insufficient. It is the process, in these cases, that's important. For purely factual information downloading would be fine, but for a lot of fiction, it is the process by which the narrative unfolds that provides the intended experience of the book far more than the events themselves.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 30 Sep 2018, 15:01
Uh, Sitn', these are fictional entities in a fictional universe - you're talking as if this is an inviolable law of physics.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Tova on 30 Sep 2018, 16:22
No more than anyone else, surely.

This is all speculative discussion. We really don't need to qualify every statement made as such.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 30 Sep 2018, 17:50
A story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Getting the end at the same time as the beginning is a different experience from what we organics get and it breaks authorial intent.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: JimC on 30 Sep 2018, 18:27
But why a light-rail commuter system has such a need for its own police force, in addition to all of the above, is a bafflement to me. 
Training for access to working rail lines. People without specialist training who wander round active rail systems have a habit of getting killed. We have specialist transport police in the UK too. We don't really have a national police force as such. its basically (simplification) regional forces.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 30 Sep 2018, 21:31
No doubt there were people in the First Century criticizing those new-fangled codices and claiming that the experience of reading from a scroll was far superior.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Morituri on 30 Sep 2018, 22:46
We actually do have baked clay tablets from Sumer that talk about the new invention of paper and decry its ephemerality.  It has no evidentiary value, the scribe laments, and can't be used to keep records because in a few years it's gone to rot and decay.  And yet fools who haven't proper facilities to store enough clay tablets for their needs desire the use of it, even though trouble shall surely befall them due to its inferiority.

Now, it is possible that the people who advocated the use of that early papyrus paper responded with a rebuttal.  But if so, it's lost to history.  Which sort of proves the tablet author's point about evidentiary value and records-keeping, I guess.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: sitnspin on 30 Sep 2018, 23:12
There have been people at various stages in history who decried writing things down at all saying it eroded our ability to remember things and made us intellectually lazy. With the advent of the internet and how easy it is to look something up immediately when you are curious and then instantly forget it again cos you don't need to remember, I can kind of see their point.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: JimC on 01 Oct 2018, 09:05
I see a distinction in that one is physiological cause and effect and the other is an assembly of choices that employers and laws and licensing boards have made.
Ultimately no. Your mistakes will always haunt you to a greater or lesser extent.
In societies without functioning law enforcement and criminal justice the payment tends to be very short term and of the type that involves stones, or ropes and trees... People forget that what we had before modern law enforcement was more arbitrary, more brutal and more error prone.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 01 Oct 2018, 13:34
I see a distinction in that one is physiological cause and effect and the other is an assembly of choices that employers and laws and licensing boards have made.
Ultimately no. Your mistakes will always haunt you to a greater or lesser extent.
In societies without functioning law enforcement and criminal justice the payment tends to be very short term and of the type that involves stones, or ropes and trees... People forget that what we had before modern law enforcement was more arbitrary, more brutal and more error prone.

Sometimes cops actually are despicable, but criminals and lynch mob leaders always despise cops.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Tova on 01 Oct 2018, 15:18
I agree enthusiastically with all three posts (including the two quoted ones) above. Just confused by the "ultimately no" bit. Ultimately no... what?
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 01 Oct 2018, 16:24
JimC has to be the one to answer that but I read it as "no distinction", as making an argument that May's situation is natural cause and effect just like tooth decay.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Tova on 01 Oct 2018, 22:44
I just don't see how the statement, "Your mistakes will always haunt you to a greater or lesser extent" (which I happen to agree with) supports that point, or contradicts the idea that there is a distinction between natural consequences and unnecessarily imposed ones (which I also agree with).
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: cybersmurf on 01 Oct 2018, 23:34
There have been people at various stages in history who decried writing things down at all saying it eroded our ability to remember things and made us intellectually lazy. With the advent of the internet and how easy it is to look something up immediately when you are curious and then instantly forget it again cos you don't need to remember, I can kind of see their point.

The ability to store information beyond the capability of human brains made it possible to stockpile more knowledge than a single human could possibly hold.
Nowadays it's more important to know how to find what you need, and how to interpret information you can't or don't need to remember.

This all, of course, doesn't apply to basic knowledge, and a certain kind of people tries to justify being dumb as "I can look it up anytime I want!"
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: mesterio on 02 Oct 2018, 04:15
Haven't seen Winslow in a while...or did he go with Hannalor? I feel like i'm forgetting something.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Mr_Rose on 02 Oct 2018, 04:20
All of Hannelore’s “e”’s, apparently.
But yeah, Winslow is on Hanners’ road trip too.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Jakk Frost on 02 Oct 2018, 04:26
How to almost burn your building down just by cooking rice:

Step 1 ~ Start rice boiling.
Step 2 ~ Check Facebook.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 02 Oct 2018, 09:52
There have been people at various stages in history who decried writing things down at all saying it eroded our ability to remember things and made us intellectually lazy. With the advent of the internet and how easy it is to look something up immediately when you are curious and then instantly forget it again cos you don't need to remember, I can kind of see their point.

The ability to store information beyond the capability of human brains made it possible to stockpile more knowledge than a single human could possibly hold.
Nowadays it's more important to know how to find what you need, and how to interpret information you can't or don't need to remember.

This all, of course, doesn't apply to basic knowledge, and a certain kind of people tries to justify being dumb as "I can look it up anytime I want!"

Exactly.  The days of the polymath who knew everything there was to know are gone-gone-gone.  We dull down in one area and sharpen up in another.

There's a similar and no doubt overlapping faction - those who decry the decline of cursive handwriting as a basic academic pursuit as the root cause of all the ills of Western Civilization.  My great grandfather had amazing handwriting; his diaries are works of art regardless of the content and to look at it today the consistency makes one suspect it was machine generated.  Some of the entries from his business college days describe this 20 year old man and his classmates practicing a single lower case letter.  Then I look at his great great grandkid's handwriting that seemed to stop developing in 4th grade, about the time she started keyboarding everything she wrote - complete sentences, proper punctuation & use of capitals, and rate & accuracy that amazed her Old Man. 

Our technology changes us.  Maybe that's what QC is about.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: cybersmurf on 02 Oct 2018, 10:45

{cropped part about handwriting and knowledge}

Our technology changes us.  Maybe that's what QC is about.

Yes, thank you. It does. For the better or worse, we can never tell.
And yes, among other things, this is what QC is about.



Where I live, hardly anyone learns nothing but cursive handwriting (or whatever thing it is over here). Being born mid 80s, I did most of my writing as handwriting, as typing it on a PC and printing it was frowned upon for some time. My handwriting sucks though, I never did train it to be a nice handwriting. My dad, who has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the 60s had to learn to write in a certain way, immaculately, in case he had to create one of those wiring plans, as most of the fonts used are standardized (some of them might still be in use, but it's all electronic now). Most technical colleges and universities had a mandatory 'nice writing' class for drawings of all kinds (again, standardized fonts, and stencils did exist but were frowned upon).
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Zebediah on 02 Oct 2018, 11:13
I was one of the last people who had to take a class in manual technical drafting back in my freshman year at NC State University. By the time I graduated the class had been completely revamped because it was all computerized. And yeah, we were told that the ideal was that all of our lettering on the plans would be indistinguishable from anyone else’s. I never quite mastered that.

My dad wrote that way for decades, though. And my mother had perfect Palmer Method cursive script. My own handwriting has gone to hell over the last few decades, and my son’s is atrocious.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 02 Oct 2018, 11:17
If they teach calligraphy as an art class, cursive will never be lost.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Morituri on 02 Oct 2018, 11:51
Yeah, I also learnt that perfect engineer's printing, although not in school.  It was never taught us in my own discipline, but in my discipline we have source code (and cryptographic keys, and passwords), and the distinctions between different glyphs can become very very important.   

There used to be a lot of jokes about the difference between engineers (incredibly precise) hand printing and doctors' (stereotypically incomprehensible) handwriting.  Much of the angst against doctors' handwriting was misplaced, though; In medical school, they used to teach future doctors (for reasons unknown to me) to write their prescriptions in Latin. People who couldn't read it reached the conclusion that it was illegible. 
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 02 Oct 2018, 13:12
Haven't seen Winslow in a while...or did he go with Hannalor? I feel like i'm forgetting something.

Welcome, new person!
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Cornelius on 02 Oct 2018, 22:22
Yeah, I also learnt that perfect engineer's printing, although not in school.  It was never taught us in my own discipline, but in my discipline we have source code (and cryptographic keys, and passwords), and the distinctions between different glyphs can become very very important.   

There used to be a lot of jokes about the difference between engineers (incredibly precise) hand printing and doctors' (stereotypically incomprehensible) handwriting.  Much of the angst against doctors' handwriting was misplaced, though; In medical school, they used to teach future doctors (for reasons unknown to me) to write their prescriptions in Latin. People who couldn't read it reached the conclusion that it was illegible.

The idea was that you could take a prescription in Latin to any pharmacist, anywhere, and they'd be able to make up the right prescription. Even if you can't understand them.

There used to be a time that illegible, messy script was a sign of the idle rich, signalling that they had both the leisure to write, and no need to do it professionally. At the time,  there were also advertisements for scribes offering courses in the different kinds of professional script.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Storel on 04 Oct 2018, 00:33
Much of the angst against doctors' handwriting was misplaced, though; In medical school, they used to teach future doctors (for reasons unknown to me) to write their prescriptions in Latin. People who couldn't read it reached the conclusion that it was illegible.

They probably haven't taught doctors to write prescriptions in Latin for at least a hundred years, and trust me, doctors' handwriting is still extremely illegible. My wife the ex-nurse can testify to that. The main problem seems to be that doctors do so much writing that they write as quickly as possible, a habit which has extremely detrimental effects on legibility.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: OldGoat on 04 Oct 2018, 08:37
Much of the angst against doctors' handwriting was misplaced, though; In medical school, they used to teach future doctors (for reasons unknown to me) to write their prescriptions in Latin. People who couldn't read it reached the conclusion that it was illegible.

They probably haven't taught doctors to write prescriptions in Latin for at least a hundred years, and trust me, doctors' handwriting is still extremely illegible. My wife the ex-nurse can testify to that. The main problem seems to be that doctors do so much writing that they write as quickly as possible, a habit which has extremely detrimental effects on legibility.

All mine moved to computer printed 'scripts a while ago, but for the past year of so everything's been sent to the pharmacy electronically.  Mrs. Goat RN agrees, the doctor with legible handwriting is a rare beast indeed.  Nothing like a large malpractice settlement pay-out for a disastrous medication error to change long standing custom real quick.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Storel on 04 Oct 2018, 22:18
Much of the angst against doctors' handwriting was misplaced, though; In medical school, they used to teach future doctors (for reasons unknown to me) to write their prescriptions in Latin. People who couldn't read it reached the conclusion that it was illegible.

They probably haven't taught doctors to write prescriptions in Latin for at least a hundred years, and trust me, doctors' handwriting is still extremely illegible. My wife the ex-nurse can testify to that. The main problem seems to be that doctors do so much writing that they write as quickly as possible, a habit which has extremely detrimental effects on legibility.

All mine moved to computer printed 'scripts a while ago, but for the past year of so everything's been sent to the pharmacy electronically.  Mrs. Goat RN agrees, the doctor with legible handwriting is a rare beast indeed.  Nothing like a large malpractice settlement pay-out for a disastrous medication error to change long standing custom real quick.

Yes, I understand the rate of medication errors in hospitals has gone down considerably since they got all computerized. Good thing, too, because the error rate was scarily high before then.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Nycticoraci on 04 Oct 2018, 22:40
They probably haven't taught doctors to write prescriptions in Latin for at least a hundred years...

You say that, but have you ever seen script abbreviations such as "a.c.","b.d.s", "q1d", "tds", "ud", or anything else on this list?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_medical_abbreviations:_Latin_abbreviations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_medical_abbreviations:_Latin_abbreviations)

I'm sure most doctors don't write completely in latin, but many of the doctors where I am use latin abbreviations on their scripts.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Storel on 05 Oct 2018, 13:28
They probably haven't taught doctors to write prescriptions in Latin for at least a hundred years...

You say that, but have you ever seen script abbreviations such as "a.c.","b.d.s", "q1d", "tds", "ud", or anything else on this list?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_medical_abbreviations:_Latin_abbreviations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_medical_abbreviations:_Latin_abbreviations)

I'm sure most doctors don't write completely in latin, but many of the doctors where I am use latin abbreviations on their scripts.

Excellent point!  :-D Abbreviations like "bid", "tid", and "qid" (two, three, and four times a day, respectively) are absolutely still in common use, and I forgot all about that.
Title: Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
Post by: Scarlet Manuka on 07 Oct 2018, 01:33
No doubt there were people in the First Century criticizing those new-fangled codices and claiming that the experience of reading from a scroll was far superior.
https://www.gocomics.com/phoebe-and-her-unicorn/2014/12/07 (https://www.gocomics.com/phoebe-and-her-unicorn/2014/12/07)