Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Comic Discussion => QUESTIONABLE CONTENT => Topic started by: Gyrre on 19 Oct 2019, 15:15

Title: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Gyrre on 19 Oct 2019, 15:15
I'm sure nobody's done this for a poll before :roll:

Anyways, that was certainly a thing in 4115. I'd agree with cesium123 about Roko hearing what Melon was saying through the ghost of her newbody, but Roko, OBG, & NBG all say something afterwards instead of Roko immediately waking up.

EDIT: redid the poll to be more vague about personal  info.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: shanejayell on 20 Oct 2019, 14:48
I picked Romance Sci-fi, as that's basically what QC is.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: oddtail on 20 Oct 2019, 16:10
Went for "fantasy noir", because I enjoy both components and it, well, just works. Also, removing some of the real-world context makes it possible to keep tropes that are noirish but can be pretty "yikes" to many modern audiences if not given a fantastical remix.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Theta9 on 20 Oct 2019, 16:31
Went for "fantasy noir",...
Isn't that basically what The Dresden Files is?
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Stoutfellow on 20 Oct 2019, 16:49
Not to mention the "Garrett, P.I." series, and perhaps "Hawk & Fisher".
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Gyrre on 20 Oct 2019, 18:00
There's also the book Magic for Liars, which the book jacket claims to be of the 'California Noir' subtype.

If I recall correctly, I went with sci-fi noir or sci-fi slice of life.
EDIT: I was 2/3 awake when replacing the poll I made while half awake. Hence the janky genre order.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Castlerook on 20 Oct 2019, 18:29
Melon...you might want to run, I think Roko might be about to do her impression of the comedian Gallagher.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: St.Clair on 20 Oct 2019, 18:49
poor Roko.
In between the punctuation - the freakouts, the um "bread fancying" and such - her life is just an endless series of "what."
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: badbum61 on 20 Oct 2019, 19:15
WHAT
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Tova on 20 Oct 2019, 19:59
And everything was fine, the end

that was fun wasn't it
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Carl-E on 20 Oct 2019, 20:01
Well, that dream degenerated pretty quickly. 


Roko seems to have an "Oh, the horror" look about making out with herself.  I guess it's just too many levels of weird for her...




But it compares well with some human dreams, as I understand.  Don't know for sure - I know I dream, but haven't remembered any since I was 5. 
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Stoon on 20 Oct 2019, 20:03
Roko's expression upon wakening made me LoL.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Magniras on 20 Oct 2019, 21:04
Roko looks like she’s enjoying the sight to me.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: cybersmurf on 20 Oct 2019, 22:43
Well, there's easier ways to say "love yourself"...
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: brasca on 20 Oct 2019, 23:15
I chose sci-fi slice of life.  I’m curious about what everyday people do in the Star Trek or Star Wars universe.  It’s one of the reasons I liked Alice Grove so much even though it was more of an adventure.

I don’t think Roko coupling can get too hot and heavy, but then again the ghost of Roko present is more anatomically correct than the ghost of Roko past.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: BenRG on 20 Oct 2019, 23:19
Just in case we needed a reminder that Roko really, really wants to get into this 'human intimacy' thing quite badly! So badly that she's having erotic dreams like poor Momo before her!

Of course, this raises the question that I suspect Jeph is going to play with for a while as to whether this dream actually meant anything at all or whether it was just... well, just the usual randomness of a dream! When she is fully awake, we'll see whether anything has changed.

I'm sure some will be annoyed  because 'dysphoria doesn't work like this' and they're right: it doesn't. However, do remember that, whilst she is doubtlessly psychologically modelled on humans, Roko isn't human and the exact way her mind malfunctions and may be repaired could turn out to be very, very different. I'm sure people who suffer from dysphoria would love to be able to just alter their software settings and not have the problem at all anymore but it is quite possible that synthetics actually do that once they get the right synchronising information (new!Roko's nonsense message may be that).

Well, there's easier ways to say "love yourself"...

Good point! That may be the subconscious message to that scene.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: TinPenguin on 21 Oct 2019, 01:12
(https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/641/906/ade.png)
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Marco on 21 Oct 2019, 04:21
(https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/641/906/ade.png)

It makes sense if Yelling Bird was the one swallowing Pintsize in the dream.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Wingy on 21 Oct 2019, 04:41
Poor Roko.  Lookout May and Melon!  Will Lemon reappear and in the flesh this time?
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: mike837go on 21 Oct 2019, 05:05
Sci-fi/Comedy!

I LOVE Douglas Adams.

--------------------

Has that dream helped Roko further on her path to reconcile with her new body/loss of the old one?

Or just drive her deeper down the rabbit hole of confusion?
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: shanejayell on 21 Oct 2019, 07:29
Or just generally pissed her off....  :-D :laugh:
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: BenRG on 21 Oct 2019, 07:39
@Shanejayell,

I'm sure that Roko would prefer to have a sane and linear subconscious but that would make her in a global minority of one.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Gyrre on 21 Oct 2019, 08:00
On the subject of the poll, I'm currently reading Terra Incognita. It's a historical fiction murder mystery set in Ancient Rome.

EDIT: Ruth Downie is the author, and it's the sequel to Medicus.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: OldGoat on 21 Oct 2019, 09:36
Roko's expression in panel 4 is NOT that of a well-rested person.

When I look like that it usually means I've been dreaming about work.  I hate it when that happens.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: mneme on 21 Oct 2019, 09:49
Well, that was a dream.  I also hope that newbody's message was actually useful.

The weirdest thing to me is that this erotic/troubling dream did not include bread.  Or, like, butter, that being the natural opposite of bread (if it's not cats)--huh; is the bread fetish because some people have a butter fetish (do some people have a butter fetish?  I mean, I guess it makes a pretty usable, if unsafe lube)?

I picked noir/fantasy just because that's a genre I actually read (Toby Daye is urban fantasy/mystery, but it certainly contains a passel of noir elements.  Slice of life sometimes works well in comics (this, Castle Waiting, large portions of Gunnerkrigg Court and Finder), but I'd rather it be the side genre for novels and short stories rather than the main genre.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Tormuse on 21 Oct 2019, 12:13
If this was Roko's fantasy, I would have expected more bread.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Wingy on 21 Oct 2019, 12:48
But dreams are not always fantasy or vice versa.  I had a dream last night that I was creating a business plan for a man I know died last week and closed the business I was creating the plan for at least 20 years ago.  Not something I would fantasize about at all.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Wingy on 21 Oct 2019, 12:58
Roko's expression in panel 4 is NOT that of a well-rested person.
It does raise the question of how Roko rebooted.  Did Melon reset her with one of Melon's thousands of paperclips?  Did Yay include an auto-restart in the shutdown sequence?  Does Roko have a built-in reboot at time X:YY AM already set, and if yes, how did she get that set up if she couldn't do a self-shutdown?  I'm baffled that Roko would be able to walk out of the body shop without some of these basic user questions answered for this model body.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: OldGoat on 21 Oct 2019, 14:28
I'm baffled that Roko would be able to walk out of the body shop without some of these basic user questions answered for this model body.
Lemon.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: cesium133 on 21 Oct 2019, 14:37
Yes, it does seem as if her new body is a lemon.:clairedoge:
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: cybersmurf on 21 Oct 2019, 15:12
Roko's expression in panel 4 is NOT that of a well-rested person.
It does raise the question of how Roko rebooted.  Did Melon reset her with one of Melon's thousands of paperclips?  Did Yay include an auto-restart in the shutdown sequence?  Does Roko have a built-in reboot at time X:YY AM already set, and if yes, how did she get that set up if she couldn't do a self-shutdown?  I'm baffled that Roko would be able to walk out of the body shop without some of these basic user questions answered for this model body.

sleep mode. Probably a low power state leaving a few basic aensory functions running (maybe selectable), but the conscious stays more active, or does memory sorting/pruning (storage probably isn't abundant enough to just keep everything), or cross-referencing memories. Running things that need processing power, but may or may not glitch out the consciousness process. And since the system is not in deep sleep or completely off, it can come back to normal once those other processes have finished
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Tova on 21 Oct 2019, 17:50
Lots of votes for science fiction. Double feature.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: St.Clair on 21 Oct 2019, 18:38
new comic!

"right before the really good part", huh?


EDIT: Weird, looks like the next one was posted early and has now been withdrawn.  Ah well, it will return in another couple of hours.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Somebody on 21 Oct 2019, 18:57
new comic!

"right before the really good part", huh?
Sure. The guy below "my message is--" in 4114 (https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=4114) hadn't joined in yet.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: shanejayell on 21 Oct 2019, 19:57
Manually go to the next number.

https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=4117
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: TheCollector on 21 Oct 2019, 20:34
Roko is bi confirmed! :D
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Gyrre on 21 Oct 2019, 20:59
new comic!

"right before the really good part", huh?


EDIT: Weird, looks like the next one was posted early and has now been withdrawn.  Ah well, it will return in another couple of hours.
Not sure, but Jeph could also be trolling us.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Milayna on 21 Oct 2019, 21:51
Roko is bi confirmed! :D
Seems more complicated than that to me. Not even really self-cest, since those are *her bodies*, not *her* (though the degrees of separation are on ongoing question), and all the differential EXPERIENCE of being an AI rather than a meatbag. I think the question of "what she was really feeling", and how it relates to her identity, her self-image, her crises, and sexuality, are wrapped up complicatedly there.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Tova on 21 Oct 2019, 21:59
TODO

Resolve Roko Storyline

Leave it hanging no, I need to give the fans resolution somehow
Yay Omnipotence nah I promised not to... hmmm..
Qurky Melon genius much as I love that trope, having quirky genius solve an actual problem might be a bridge too far... hmmm...
Yay and Melon use the power of FRIENDSHIP tempting... hmmm, nah. maybe I'll suggest it for a guest strip or something.
It was all a dream ugh this is horrible... so blocked...
Roko solves the problem in a dream! brilliant, but people will whinge that it was too easy again. Ugh. Fans. Why do I put up with them. C'mon, think...
Roko apparently solves the problem, with the vague possibility of it returning in the future

Brilliant. And not at all the same as leaving it hanging, I SWEAR
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: cybersmurf on 21 Oct 2019, 22:39
Resolution of Roko's dissociation seems to be:
Sometimes getting used to it helps, and the subconscious is a weird place, even for AIs.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: BenRG on 21 Oct 2019, 23:21
I'm going to stick with my theory that newbody!Roko's nonsense phrase were actually the proper synchronising configuration settings of some kind. It had to happen when Roko was unconscious and thus couldn't interfere with the process. However, I'm not expecting Jeph to go into too much technical detail on this. However, I think that hearing those words have meant that Roko how has had several checkboxes ticked and slide-bars adjusted in her settings panel. Consequently, things are working a bit better. Not perfectly, because most of this is psychosomatic anyway, but better.

In reply to Yay's question in panel 4, a Spooky Dream is one where you are forced to confront your personal demons that take a bizarre and non-threatening form and that also makes you think about the world in different ways.

I know that it is just a 'horny robot' joke but, in my head, the 'good bit' that Roko missed was to watch the archetypes of her old and new body merge into a single being because, of course, all three people in that dreamscape had just been Roko.

Finally: Jeph, quit making me worried about poor Melon possibly being exploited and having serious psychological damage.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: cybersmurf on 22 Oct 2019, 00:44
I like the idea of the words being configuration expressions, leftovers from human readable code. Like the configuration files being adjusted in semi-offline mode, and Roko's consciousness sniffing a few pieces accidentally.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Cheetaur on 22 Oct 2019, 06:37
I think YAY is lying to Roko, telling her she had nothing to do with her dream. I think she initiated it and perhaps suitably guided the dream and gently corrected things. To allow  Roko's mind to fix things on its own.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: gprimr1 on 22 Oct 2019, 07:04
I think YAY is lying to Roko, telling her she had nothing to do with her dream. I think she initiated it and perhaps suitably guided the dream and gently corrected things. To allow  Roko's mind to fix things on its own.

No question in my mind.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Baphomet on 22 Oct 2019, 07:14
I think YAY is lying to Roko, telling her she had nothing to do with her dream. I think she initiated it and perhaps suitably guided the dream and gently corrected things. To allow  Roko's mind to fix things on its own.
I thought this too. Yay doesn't actually answer the question of whether or not they're responsible.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Marco on 22 Oct 2019, 09:49
(...) do some people have a butter fetish? 

Dunno, ask Marlon Brando
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Wingy on 22 Oct 2019, 11:41
...poor Melon possibly being exploited and having serious psychological damage.
Melon.  An AI that doesn't believe in apartment door numbers as signifiers are important, apparently lives with Barry that as an accountant (not just a fight-enthusiast) gets his arms ripped off regularly, and keeps at least one kitchen drawer full of paperclips.  And you're worried she might have serious psychological damage by being exploited at some future point? 

I submit for your consideration that she's already suffering from serious psychological damage and that it's a major part of what makes her Melon.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Gyrre on 22 Oct 2019, 17:30
...poor Melon possibly being exploited and having serious psychological damage.
Melon.  An AI that doesn't believe in apartment door numbers as signifiers are important, apparently lives with Barry that as an accountant (not just a fight-enthusiast) gets his arms ripped off regularly, and keeps at least one kitchen drawer full of paperclips.  And you're worried she might have serious psychological damage by being exploited at some future point? 

I submit for your consideration that she's already suffering from serious psychological damage and that it's a major part of what makes her Melon.
Melon lives with Arthur, who happens to have a similar chassis to Barry and is a terrible chef w/ thought proceses in a similar vein to Melon.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Zebediah on 22 Oct 2019, 17:40
You’re also confusing Barry the robot (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3018) with Bartholemew Punchbot, CPA.

And Barry the robot should not be confused with Barry the human, who is definitely not called Dolphin Jack.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: TV4Fun on 22 Oct 2019, 18:35
Comic.

I wonder how long it'll be before people start hollering about Beepatrice's sweatshirt.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: shanejayell on 22 Oct 2019, 19:05
Interesting.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: cesium133 on 22 Oct 2019, 19:36
My headcannon (which always misfires): Greg L. is a neural network that doesn't actually have any intelligence, and just spends all its time on Facebook.


Also, I've accidentally followed people like this on Twitter...


edit -- And considering Beeps' shirt, "Robot Overload" would be an interesting name if Jeph ever decided to rename the comic.  :evil:
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: St.Clair on 22 Oct 2019, 20:01
1. I can only assume Jeph already has that hoodie in the design pipeline.

2. Most of us have probably encountered humans that would have difficulty passing a Turing test.  :-\
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Gyrre on 22 Oct 2019, 20:59
Comic.

I wonder how long it'll be before people start hollering about Beepatrice's sweatshirt.
I should get one of those for work. I've been accused of being an unfeeling controling bastard by whiney temps often enough for it to be ironically funny. (Seriously, just put your stupid beardnets on. I'm your fair warning, the super is the one you got in trouble with.)
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Perfectly Reasonable on 22 Oct 2019, 21:04
Had to squint my browser. Still not sure it isn't 'Robot Overlord'.

What are Melon's dreams like if she doesn't know about 'good parts'?
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: KoalaBro2 on 22 Oct 2019, 22:14
1.  It is *definitely* Robot Overlord.
2.  Any thoughts on the title and footer?  Just a random statement of support for Warren, or does it somehow relate to the content of the comic?
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Tova on 22 Oct 2019, 23:11
Interesting.

Huh...

2.  Any thoughts on the title and footer?  Just a random statement of support for Warren, or does it somehow relate to the content of the comic?

Jeph got annoyed at someone on Facebook and decided to express his feelings through Roko, I suppose.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: BenRG on 22 Oct 2019, 23:20
I'm starting to suspect that Roko has a lot of anger in her, not just in behalf of May but just anger in general towards the whole world for all the things that annoy her, even if those things aren't any one person or group's 'fault' in particular. I think that it's going to cause her problems. I mean, it's probably a bad idea to go into a meeting planning for a fight of one sort or another. It colours one's perceptions and maybe makes you ignore easier and less-confrontational options.

My feeling is that 'Greg L' is a fake 'front' account to prevent Roko from doing just what she is doing here - Trying to find dirt on-line to coerce them into cooperation. I wouldn't even be surprised if is a trap of some kind and that, at some point, Greg will use Roko's research as proof of ill intent on her part (and wouldn't it be ironic if her aggressive behaviour were to only make May's situation worse?). Like some others, I wonder if Greg will turn out to be an unembodied AI of some kind who has set aside an autonomous subroutine to create a fake accounts full of random trivia. If They're smart, they may even be linking to paid articles for which they're claiming ad fees!

Regarding Beepatrice's shirt, my headcanon is that 'Robot Overlord' is a long-defunct techno-punk band; Beeps found one of their old tour hoodies in Goodwill and thought it was funny. She was right, it is!
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: OldGoat on 23 Oct 2019, 00:28
I don't know how much time Jeph is going to put in to building a throw-away character, which makes me wonder if "Greg L." is actually someone we've met already. 

Maybe Greg L. is what/who Melon becomes when she's "at work."  She can't abide her job, so she remembers her work days as being slithered upon by vermin rather than the soulless duties she must perform as her alter ego, Greg.  And of course, her dreams would have no "good parts."

Or maybe Whale Sperm Barry in his lucid moments is Greg.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Case on 23 Oct 2019, 05:20
2.  Any thoughts on the title and footer?  Just a random statement of support for Warren, or does it somehow relate to the content of the comic?

Jeph got annoyed at someone on Facebook and decided to express his feelings through Roko, I suppose.

I thought it was a statement on The Gift of FacebookTM - every creep being able to creep random people on their social media - being creepy to some people?

Or maybe that's just me getting being old again ...  :-\
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Wingy on 23 Oct 2019, 05:43
I don't know how much time Jeph is going to put in to building a throw-away character, which makes me wonder if "Greg L." is actually someone we've met already. 
Of course, Mittens Romney has already done such, and maybe this strip is a comment on that. 

Another manifestation of Yay, who has far more resources available?

Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Perfectly Reasonable on 23 Oct 2019, 12:07
( looks at Roko ) My favorite color is violet!

( looks at Beepatrice ) My favorite color is orange!
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Inconsequential on 23 Oct 2019, 15:06
Some real live meatspace people maintain their FB accounts in a similar way. Just some small amount of innocuous nearly random activity so as to not seem like a luddite, but nothing that could possibly offend anyone rational.

Still, "Greg L." is pretty obviously a bot of some sort. In a universe with fully sentient AIs wandering around, it should be trivial to come up with something more believable than that, so perhaps it's a trap of some sort.

I wonder if "Greg L." is related to Gary (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2070)?
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: m112358 on 23 Oct 2019, 19:01
2.  Any thoughts on the title and footer?  Just a random statement of support for Warren, or does it somehow relate to the content of the comic?

Jeph got annoyed at someone on Facebook and decided to express his feelings through Roko, I suppose.

I thought it was a statement on The Gift of FacebookTM - every creep being able to creep random people on their social media - being creepy to some people?

Or maybe that's just me getting being old again ...  :-\

Notice in the right hand column on the facebook post the little disclaimer text
(Legal disclaimer
Were a giant tech monopoly
laws dont apply to us, lol)

Not to say its not in support of Warren but an intersting aside
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: m112358 on 23 Oct 2019, 19:09
Also new comic!
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: shanejayell on 23 Oct 2019, 19:34
I'm really not SURPRISED that Roko wants to be able to blackmail enemies....
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: cybersmurf on 23 Oct 2019, 21:43
I'm really not SURPRISED that Roko wants to be able to blackmail enemies....

Yeah, it's almost like she's used to everyone having some dirty past.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 23 Oct 2019, 22:31
Very early on we saw her arm-twisting Faye into becoming an informant. Part of the job. She needs to drop some of her cop reflexes now.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: oddtail on 23 Oct 2019, 23:05
I'm really not SURPRISED that Roko wants to be able to blackmail enemies....

I'm gonna just go ahead and say it.

I like Roko as a character. And I know she means well, she's not an evil person or anything.

But I'm glad she quit being a cop. I wouldn't trust someone who handles interaction with reople this way to be a cop. Nor would I assume she can suppress this impulse to dig up shit as a potential dirty tactic *when* she is being a cop.

I don't like the phrase "power corrupts", but I've recently been introduced to a similar sentiment, and that's "power reveals". Roko has a certain attitude towards, let's say, justice. And her attitude seems to be "I'm one of the good ones, so of course I need the capacity to leverage my power against someone". This is precisely what I hope never to have to deal with when I have interaction with a police officer.

I may be harsh, but maybe Roko wasn't so above all the dirty cops as she believed herself to be. And sure, it's Roko we're talking about, she isn't out to hurt anyone, she just wants results.

The issue being, I imagine most any cop that takes shortcuts is like "come on, it's me we're talking about! I'm not out to hurt anyone".

Granted, if Roko quit her job as a cop because she wanted to avoid abusing her power and to have less baggage attached to uncompromising approaches due to not being in a position of authority anymore, that's understandable and  get it. I'm not exactly condemning her current preparation, but I *am* glad she is not acting in an official capacity as I don't believe that'd be a good fit.

I hope the comic addresses this in some way.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: BenRG on 23 Oct 2019, 23:18
This is probably me but I suspect that Roko may be projecting a bit here. I'm sure that her public personal social media accounts are quite bland but her private ones are all filled with bread and human abs. She does it so why shouldn't everyone else? :lol:

Seriously, though, I'm glad that Beepatrice agrees about the 'adversarial' thing.

But I'm glad she quit being a cop. I wouldn't trust someone who handles interaction with reople this way to be a cop. Nor would I assume she can suppress this impulse to dig up shit as a potential dirty tactic *when* she is being a cop.

This does seem to be an unfortunate side-effect of modern-police training: It reduces all interactions between your organisation and 'outsiders' to a pseudo-warfare 'us and them' conflict. Everyone else is a potential enemy until proven otherwise and you're only likely to be successful (let alone safe) if you have coerced total control over any scenario.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Wingy on 24 Oct 2019, 04:56
I wouldn't trust someone who handles interaction with reople this way to be a cop.
As a negotiator, the more you learn about your counterpart(s) in a negotiation scenario, the better prepared you are to arrive at a win-win result.  So it's not always about blackmail - it's about understanding why your opposite number(s) are reacting to your suggestions that way.

Now, it's clear Roko has some anger issues to get through.  I'm expecting her to lash out at Yay sometime soon for not reaching in and fixing Roko's issues.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: jwhouk on 24 Oct 2019, 05:06
If all you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Marco on 24 Oct 2019, 05:42
Someone has to remember Roko why did she quit the Police...
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: rtmq0227 on 24 Oct 2019, 06:33
I hesitate to read too much into Roko's FB stalking this person.  As previous posters have said, it is a common and helpful strategy in negotiations to know who your counterpart is.  You can use that to lean on them, sure, but you can also use it to help get them to your desired outcome on their terms.  If she found this person had a tendency towards social justice, she could present arguments that helping May out of the pit she's stuck in with a new body would serve that interest.  If they are PR driven, she could pitch it as community outreach.  You can shift your argument to fit your audience without it being corrupt, and it's not like she hacked his social media accounts (She's just looking at public posts), though I sense that's where this is going.

Will Roko be willing to accept defeat here and move on, or will she have Yay hack their accounts (or do it herself)?  And if she does the latter, how likely is it that it's going to backfire?
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Inconsequential on 24 Oct 2019, 16:04
Someone has to remember Roko why did she quit the Police...

I think any minute now, Roko might come to her senses and have a "what have I become????" moment.

Then again, perhaps she considers this person (or AI, or dumb algorithmic bot, or whatever the hell "Greg L" really is) to be a sworn enemy who screwed over her buddy and countless others with brainless decisions. She's a robot on a mission, and has no chill...
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Tova on 24 Oct 2019, 22:37
Some of you are reading the final panel's sentence, "I'm not saying I want to destroy him, I just need to have that option available," very generously.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: cybersmurf on 25 Oct 2019, 01:58
Personally, I think Roko is following her force of habit, looking for dirt. Also, dealing with bureaucracy, she'd like to have some kind of edge to get stuff moving rather sooner than waaaaaaaay later. Especially given it's about someone on parole, a case not many people may care about speed.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: St.Clair on 25 Oct 2019, 03:58
New comic!

Someone on another forum supplied this relevant line:
Quote from: Terry Pratchett
There’s lots of people will help you with alcohol business, but there’s no one out there arranging little meetings where you can stand up and say, "My name is Sam Vimes and I’m a really suspicious bastard."
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: BenRG on 25 Oct 2019, 04:08
Roko? Welcome to the human race. Every one of us has a whole raft of behaviours, our own justification for which make us sound like the worst kind of asshole when you say them out loud no matter how brilliant and witty it all sounded in our heads!

You know, I really love the Roko/Beepatrice dynamic. One one hand, you have the physically stunning and very capable Roko who has some behavioural and mental issues hiding 'under the hood'. On the other hand, you have the sweet and somewhat-nerdy Beepatrice who, despite her anxiety issues and generally weaker knowledge base has a more balanced view of the world and really is needed to keep Roko from going completely off the rails.

Someone on another forum supplied this relevant line:
Quote from: Terry Pratchett
There’s lots of people will help you with alcohol business, but there’s no one out there arranging little meetings where you can stand up and say, "My name is Sam Vimes and I’m a really suspicious bastard."

Sam Vimes always felt that a good copper had to be most suspicious of themselves and their own motives. To him, 'Who Watches the Watchman' was the man in the mirror and he was very good at all aspects of his job. 'The Policeman' was a distinct part of his psyche and, in Thud sent a demonic berserker running out of his head as fast as it could!
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Wingy on 25 Oct 2019, 04:37
4120: <Snicker/>

During my bout of insomnia last night, it occurred to me that maybe May gets Roko's old body, suitably (and probably only somewhat) repaired.  Not only do we get all the mis-identification fun, we also get Roko's continual existential crisis for free!  :-\ :lol:
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: BenRG on 25 Oct 2019, 04:51
Roko's old chassis was totally mashed but I like the idea of May getting a rebuild special that might have some refurbished Roko-bits but mostly comes from other sources. This could be really weird for Roko because the RF transceiver is one of them and it freaks her to hell that May is transmitting her old RFID code.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Marco on 25 Oct 2019, 05:26
When Beeps is the most reasonable person in the room, it has to trigger some warning.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: shanejayell on 25 Oct 2019, 07:48
Heh. Glad Roko is starting to figure her own issues out too...
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: drewdane on 25 Oct 2019, 07:52
Sci-fi/Comedy!

I LOVE Douglas Adams.

I was going to pick Sci-fi/Comedy, but then I remembered Robert Asprin's books.  Wait - I guess that would be fantasy/comedy.  Oh well, either way you end up with nerd humor, and that's not good for anyone.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: drewdane on 25 Oct 2019, 07:55
Honestly, I don't really care about Faye's robot shirt that Jeff's been flogging, but I would totally pay cash money for a "Robot Overlord" shirt!
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: JoeCovenant on 25 Oct 2019, 09:37
Honestly, I don't really care about Faye's robot shirt that Jeff's been flogging, but I would totally pay cash money for a "Robot Overlord" shirt!

In

3...

2...

1...
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Wingy on 25 Oct 2019, 12:58
OK, points taken for the Barry/Arthur confusion.  But that doesn't change my expressed opinion that Melon already has some kind of psychological damage based on some of her prior utterances and actions.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Perfectly Reasonable on 25 Oct 2019, 16:52
Like:
"Dreams can have good parts?"
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Penquin47 on 26 Oct 2019, 15:16
Sci-fi/Comedy!

I LOVE Douglas Adams.

I was going to pick Sci-fi/Comedy, but then I remembered Robert Asprin's books.  Wait - I guess that would be fantasy/comedy.  Oh well, either way you end up with nerd humor, and that's not good for anyone.

The Phule books are sci-fi/comedy.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Ariaspinner on 27 Oct 2019, 08:34
Sci-fi/Fantasy FTW.  Got to love a good Shadowrun or Star Wars adventure!

And "Power Corrupts" IS the correct phrase. Anyone who has seen Petty Dictator Syndrome can tell you that.
It is Success that reveals. If you want to see someones true self then grant them success.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: oddtail on 27 Oct 2019, 09:14
And "Power Corrupts" IS the correct phrase. Anyone who has seen Petty Dictator Syndrome can tell you that.

I'm aware that the phrase exists, I just fundamentally disagree with it. And "Power doesn't corrupt, power reveals" is a sentiment coming from Robert Caro, who in turn was commenting on Lyndon B. Johnson.

I don't believe in power corrupting. People in power always, ALWAYS have the chance to do things that they would face harsh consequences for if they had less power. If you choose to believe they were somehow amazing (or at least decent) people before they came into power and somehow their personalities got rewritten just because they could do more, it's your prerogative. But if we dig into earlier lives of powerful people who did horrible things, you nearly always see warning signs that hindsight helps identify, of behaviour that was either ignored or well-hidden. So, to me, it stands to reason that they were simply unable or unwilling to act on their worst impulses openly.

"Petty Dictator Syndrome" - I'm not sure if this refers to anything specific, Google is no help. If it's simply a generic statement on how dictators act - I mean... uhh, yeah. People who are upstanding and moral and exercise restraint and forethought do not usually clamor to BECOME dictators. I think correlation reveals a causal relation in the opposite direction than you're implying. It's not that being a dictator makes you petty, it's that it's a certain kind of people who become dictators.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Ariaspinner on 27 Oct 2019, 09:30
Sorry, Petty Dictator Syndrome is my own made up term... I do that. Using the Google the correct term is Petty Tyrant. Sorry.

But no I don't get what you're saying at all. Watch what happens when a regular worker gets promoted to boss. Now instead of having to get approval or consensus to change anything they can just demand change. And then punish anyone who doesn't like it. It happens so often it's scary. THAT is corruption not revelation.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Case on 27 Oct 2019, 12:41
But no I don't get what you're saying at all.

https://www.thecut.com/2016/11/how-power-reveals-personality.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/give-and-take/201304/yes-power-corrupts-power-also-reveals

https://www.businessinsider.com/wharton-professor-organizational-psychologist-adam-grant-what-leaders-get-wrong-with-promotions-exit-interviews-power-moves-2019-1?IR=T

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/01/magazine/robert-caro-working-memoir.html

...

Watch what happens when a regular worker gets promoted to boss. Now instead of having to get approval or consensus to change anything they can just demand change. And then punish anyone who doesn't like it. It happens so often it's scary. THAT is corruption not revelation.

Nope, that is fiction. Moreover, it is fiction about behaviour, not about the character that animates that behaviour. And most importantly, it is fiction that would fit both theories - of character corrupted by power or revealed by it. I don't see anything here that'd be relevant to-, or helpful with deciding which theory fits reality better.

Flourishing Old Occam's shaving implement rather than wielding it, so to speak ...  :laugh:
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: oddtail on 27 Oct 2019, 14:07
But no I don't get what you're saying at all. Watch what happens when a regular worker gets promoted to boss. Now instead of having to get approval or consensus to change anything they can just demand change.

But it doesn't invalidate my point. They can do stuff now that they couldn't before. The notion that they became worse people is, to me, completely unsubstantiated. They act in a way they *couldn't* act before, as far as I'm concerned, not in the way they didn't *want to* before.

If I give someone a knife and they stab me, my conclusion won't be "that person didn't ever want to stab anyone, and holding a knife makes a person want to stab people!". My conclusion will be "that person always wanted a knife to stab someone, and now they got it". If you substitute any real power for "knife", it works the same. There's PLENTY of people who wield power in many forms and don't use it in horrible ways. And there's plenty of people who don't wield power and are still petty, cruel and dangerous in small ways. You know why they are only bad in small ways? Because they haven't had the *opportunity* to be bad in large ways.

Why does it matter? Because it removes the responsibility from powerful people to do good. People just accept that that's the way of the world. Well, it isn't. People who want to do bad things often CRAVE power, and often end up in positions of power as a result. That absolutely happens. But I have seen no compelling evidence that having more power leads people to be more cruel, less responsible or otherwise bad. If anything, I've seen more (anecdotal) evidence that when people are handed responsibility, that motivates them to step up to the task.

"This person was promoted to boss and acted badly, look what being a boss made them become" is backwards reasoning to me. "Power corrupts" implicitly removes agency, culpability and reasonable discourse about the limits of the use of power. And that's just no good as far as I'm concerned. Handing bad people power and shrugging "eh, it was bound to happen" is deliberate obfuscation engineered by immoral people in power so that the rest of us don't pay attention.

It builds the narrative that anyone would act this way, so we might as well keep on, business as usual. It's also  way for people who want to misuse the little power they have to feel better about themselves. It's just human nature, right?

No, I don't think so. "Power corrupts" is just the same message as "look what you made me do!" shouted by every abuser in the history of the planet, repackaged to sound smarter. The fact that we have the notion of "bad boss" shows that there's nothing inherently bad about being a boss. Sure, people who end up *becoming* bosses may be bad people, because they may have more drive, ambition and be more ruthless. But again, if those people climb up more easily, it just shows that corrupted and corruptible people crave power. NOT that power corrupts them. Those who climbed to the top no matter the cost were, pretty much by definition, pretty bad already when they started their climb.

I can honestly think of only one powerful person that I would call unequivocally corrupted by too much power, and that's Maximilien Robespierre. For most historical and modern figures to hold power of any sort, digging a little into a person's biography is a pretty decent predictor of what they would do later in life, from a greater height.

Imagine a person who worked as a lawyer and was a community organiser and who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. Now imagine, if you will, an enterpreneur of inherited wealth, with questionable financial sense and a history of screwing his business partners. Now - purely hypothetically, of course - is it possible to make some educated guesses what those two very different people might do when being handed considerable power? In the form of, I don't know, the presidency of a major Western nation?
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Ariaspinner on 27 Oct 2019, 18:47
Ok Case the best of those articles is that opinion piece by Dr Grant. So I will focus on that.
He says power corrupts AND reveals. That takers hide their taker qualities until they get power and that the corruption reveals their hidden dark side. But that hasn't been my experience. People always show whether they are givers or takers, having power or not. Manipulators are great at hiding the truth but only manipulators. So for many promoted people nothing is being revealed. Their co-workers know exactly what horrors are about to happen once the taker gets promoted. So what changes? Power corrupts their already selfish behavior into that of a Petty Tyrant.
   ---==+==---
Ok Oddtail I understand you now.
You see it as an excuse. I see it as an explanation. In my eyes power corrupts doesn't exonerate anyone. It just explains the crime. Just because power has a corrupting influence doesn't mean it isn't wrong to become corrupt. Power offers an easy path to getting what you want by forcing others. Not everyone takes the path but most do. Even good people take the easy path and become corrupt ("for the greater good" they tell themselves) but they are just as criminal as the selfish one who took it knowing it was wrong and not caring.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Gyrre on 27 Oct 2019, 20:21
I guess the poll's results aren't really all that surprising.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 27 Oct 2019, 21:13
The original quote was that power _tends_ to corrupt, allowing for exceptions.
Quote
Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: St.Clair on 27 Oct 2019, 21:15
"Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat."
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Ariaspinner on 27 Oct 2019, 21:58
I guess the poll's results aren't really all that surprising.

Not completely as expected though.
I mean yes the Comic is Slice of Life/Sci Fi so the forum readers are probably biased that way.
But I honestly thought Drama would do better since it combos SO GOOD with other genres...
I view Drama as seasoning. Adding it to a meal is awesome but a big handful of it by itself is gross.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: OldGoat on 27 Oct 2019, 22:37
In my experience and observation, those who insist most vehemently that power invariably corrupts are usually quite eager to acquire some, even when they protest to the contrary.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: notStanley on 28 Oct 2019, 12:33
Power corrupts, power outages crash completely
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: hedgie on 28 Oct 2019, 12:39
I live in northern California, but thus far have dodged that bullet.  Not to mention that I'm not currently at risk of having to evacuate.  I will say that for-profit power companies are absolutely corrupt, though.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Carl-E on 28 Oct 2019, 15:02
I don't think power corrupts. 


However, corruption does have a tendency to weasel its way into power...
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Gyrre on 28 Oct 2019, 20:47
I live in northern California, but thus far have dodged that bullet.  Not to mention that I'm not currently at risk of having to evacuate.  I will say that for-profit power companies are absolutely corrupt, though.

Tell me about it.
Westar and KCP&L just merged into Evergy. KCP&L has been notoriously terrible in north KC for decades. And our franchise fee has now tripled switching over from Westar.

EDIT: 'evergy' clearly being a portmanteau of 'evil' and 'energy', but I'm sure they'll claim it's something else.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Tova on 29 Oct 2019, 01:17
I have the feeling that the notion that power “reveals” rather than corrupts is unfalsifiable.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Thrudd on 29 Oct 2019, 07:49
OK, points taken for the Barry/Arthur confusion.  But that doesn't change my expressed opinion that Melon already has some kind of psychological damage based on some of her prior utterances and actions.
This brings up an interesting thought/observation.
It is so very easy to be diagnosed as some form of crazy but it is near impossible to counter that once someone makes that label and sticks it on you.
As for mental issues?
I liken that to the human genome - full of busted or weird bits and yet able to remain functional.
We are pretty much a MacGyver assembly of odds and ends that can be repurposed in any emergency to get out of an unforseen situation [mostly]
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: oddtail on 29 Oct 2019, 08:58
OK, points taken for the Barry/Arthur confusion.  But that doesn't change my expressed opinion that Melon already has some kind of psychological damage based on some of her prior utterances and actions.
This brings up an interesting thought/observation.
It is so very easy to be diagnosed as some form of crazy but it is near impossible to counter that once someone makes that label and sticks it on you.
As for mental issues?
I liken that to the human genome - full of busted or weird bits and yet able to remain functional.
We are pretty much a MacGyver assembly of odds and ends that can be repurposed in any emergency to get out of an unforseen situation [mostly]

This is gonna be about as legitimate as any "I've read this somewhere, but no, I don't have a link" since I read about it about 15 years ago, but there were actual experiments conducted where psychiatrists were admitted to mental hospitals under the pretense of having some (minor but somewhat disruptive) mental issues. IMMEDIATELY after being admitted, they stopped faking the symptoms.

Some took notes about their stay in the hospital, and hospital staff made a note that they were "engaging in writing activity" without ever asking what the patient was writing. Which, call me crazy, strikes me as the first thing a doctor should do? Scratch doctor - if I knew someone and they started taking extensive notes, human curiosity would drive me to ask "hey, whatcha writing?".

Some simply said they were psychiatrists and were fine and this was an experiment, and they were disbelieved or ignored altogether by the staff. Note that the symptoms they had been faking had nothing to do with delusions or a disconnect from reality, and this would be a pretty strange lie for someone who admitted themselves voluntarily to a hospital to tell.

The conclusion seemed to be that if a person is perceived as mentally ill by doctors and nurses and whatnot, it's impossible to convince them otherwise. It doesn't matter how "normal" you talk to them and behave, and even having specialist knowledge about the human mind is not enough.

Here's the kicker. The staff of a few other hospitals were TOLD a similar experiment would be conducted (e.g. some patients would really be doctors with no mental illness symptoms). The staff became extremely suspicious of many newly admitted people, to the point of being certain they were actually doctors. From what I remember (don't quote me on that), up to HALF of people admitted were believed to be faking it. Of course, the experiment consisted in NOT sending a single doctor to the hospitals. When people with legitimate mental problems - or at least people who were genuinely thought to have some - were implied by other circumstances to maybe actually be healthy, doctors second-guessed themselves a lot.

YMMV, but to me the notion that whether you're mentally healthy or not can largely depend on the completely subjective reasoning of a doctor and you're evaluated on the basis of expectations more than your actual behaviour? Pretty scary. And I'm sure it's changed, because medical knowledge has surely advanced in the decades since that experiment probably took place.

But y'know, still makes me uneasy. And that's just about misdiagnosis, as opposed to committing, medicating or crippling people because they were inconvenient to deal with - for personal, political, racist reasons. Which is well-documented in many countries' histories. Lobotomy was a way to cripple a person permanently in order to essentially make them less disruptive. It offered literally no benefits other than making the patient docile. And it received a Nobel Prize in medicine.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: oddtail on 29 Oct 2019, 09:08
I have the feeling that the notion that power “reveals” rather than corrupts is unfalsifiable.

Fundamentally? Yes. It's impossible to fully explain a person's motivations as opposed to actions, not without being able to read their mind.

But it's possible to point to earlier, less obvious behaviour and show that there is no apparent pattern of worsening behaviour when a person gets more power.

In other words, when a dictator has a history of acting like a power-hungry, petty tyrant, saying that power influenced their behaviour and restraint may be a stretch.

Besides, isn't "power corrupts" also unfalsifiable on a fundamental level? And it's a commonly accepted wisdom.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: hedgie on 29 Oct 2019, 10:40
This is gonna be about as legitimate as any "I've read this somewhere, but no, I don't have a link" since I read about it about 15 years ago, but there were actual experiments conducted where psychiatrists were admitted to mental hospitals under the pretense of having some (minor but somewhat disruptive) mental issues. IMMEDIATELY after being admitted, they stopped faking the symptoms.
Okay, story time:

I was never a shrink conducting an experiment in a mental hospital, but I have been to a few.  The most recent times, I was even there voluntarily after the initial hold was over.  But the first time, there was this extremely corrupt doctor.  Granted, I was having some issues, which were compounded by having been really depressed/erratic after an argument with the young lady I was dating at the time, which did land me down in there.  But I played nice and figured that, hells, I'm going to be out in three days, no big worry.  And on the third day, I get called into the doctor who said that he planned on keeping me there another two weeks because he thought that I was a "danger to myself", and "gravely disabled" due to technically being homeless, although I don't think that really counts if one is working, and between that and savings is staying in a hotel every night until I found a new place.  People who were actually on the streets, and seeing people who weren't really there were getting thrown out nearly as fast as they came in.  But I had decent insurance, so they were pocketing about $3k/day to keep me in there.  I ended up talking to the patient's rights advocate, and she was filing the paperwork to get me out, and told me that several of the nurses had signed on, since they thought that there was no reason to keep me there.  My then-gf flirted with ending up inside herself, or at least charges when she threatened the doctor.  Okay, maybe that wasn't the best thing for my case.

What got me out within 24 hours of doing so was having her talk to her older sister, who had just passed the state bar about a week prior.  She didn't have a job in the field yet, and had never tried a case, but that didn't matter.  Just having someone who was able to practice law sending a nastygram, and I was out as soon as the ink on the paperwork dried.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: oddtail on 29 Oct 2019, 10:57
Thank you for sharing your story, hedgie.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: hedgie on 29 Oct 2019, 11:05
NP.  The system here for both outpatient and inpatient is just terrible.  I still can't get the most effective medication that has the fewest side-effects for my anxiety because unless one pays a premium or has good coverage, doctors won't give out controlled substances. 

Edit: I know that I've ranted about this before, but honestly, I'd rather risk becoming a functional addict working with my doctor to manage things than completely non-functional because literally everything else out there either doesn't work, or makes me too sedated to function.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: rtmq0227 on 29 Oct 2019, 11:31
I still can't get the most effective medication that has the fewest side-effects for my anxiety because unless one pays a premium or has good coverage, doctors won't give out controlled substances.

To jump on your tangent, even WITH coverage and a doctor on your side, you can get shafted by the US medical system.  I was prescribed a medication once to assist with mental health issues, and was super excited to start this new medication as my doctor seemed to really have a handle on what was messed up in my headspace.  I was excited all the way until the pharmacist told me it would be $400 for my 1-month scrip.  I was still on my dad's health insurance at the time, but was living on my own and struggling financially.  It would have drained my savings to pick up the scrip and then I'd be unable to continue to pay for the scrip.  The problem?  There wasn't a generic alternative, and it wasn't viewed as a life-critical medication, so it was on the list of meds that insurance didn't cover.  So I had to walk away from the specific med that may have solved the problems I was struggling with and gotten my life started up again because someone didn't think the medicine should be covered.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: hedgie on 29 Oct 2019, 11:57
That too.  I used to pay for my meds entirely out of pocket.  It was painful but doable.  Then one day, the cost of all my scrips went up from ~$200 to ~$700 a month pretty much overnight.  I found that by shifting them all to Costco, I saved about 80%, and one doesn't even need a membership to use the pharmacy there.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Tova on 29 Oct 2019, 20:50
I have the feeling that the notion that power “reveals” rather than corrupts is unfalsifiable.

Fundamentally? Yes. It's impossible to fully explain a person's motivations as opposed to actions, not without being able to read their mind.

But it's possible to point to earlier, less obvious behaviour and show that there is no apparent pattern of worsening behaviour when a person gets more power.

In other words, when a dictator has a history of acting like a power-hungry, petty tyrant, saying that power influenced their behaviour and restraint may be a stretch.

True. Power isn’t revealing anything in that case, though, is it?

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Besides, isn't "power corrupts" also unfalsifiable on a fundamental level? And it's a commonly accepted wisdom.

Both theories are adequate explanations of observed changes in behaviour.

But if you want to claim that, in a specific instance, an individual was already “evil” but exhibited no behaviour or evidence of that evil, then fundamentally you are making a claim based on zero evidence. Unless you want to claim that all humans are evil. Which I don’t feel inclined agree with.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Mr Intrepid on 29 Oct 2019, 20:59
Hmmm... no new strip has been posted as yet.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: BenRG on 30 Oct 2019, 00:07
None on Patreon either, which is very unusual. Jeph also hasn't done anything on Twitter for almost a day.

He did say that he wasn't feeling well, though.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Penquin47 on 30 Oct 2019, 00:10
This is gonna be about as legitimate as any "I've read this somewhere, but no, I don't have a link" since I read about it about 15 years ago, but there were actual experiments conducted where psychiatrists were admitted to mental hospitals under the pretense of having some (minor but somewhat disruptive) mental issues. IMMEDIATELY after being admitted, they stopped faking the symptoms.

Some took notes about their stay in the hospital, and hospital staff made a note that they were "engaging in writing activity" without ever asking what the patient was writing. Which, call me crazy, strikes me as the first thing a doctor should do? Scratch doctor - if I knew someone and they started taking extensive notes, human curiosity would drive me to ask "hey, whatcha writing?".

Some simply said they were psychiatrists and were fine and this was an experiment, and they were disbelieved or ignored altogether by the staff. Note that the symptoms they had been faking had nothing to do with delusions or a disconnect from reality, and this would be a pretty strange lie for someone who admitted themselves voluntarily to a hospital to tell.

The conclusion seemed to be that if a person is perceived as mentally ill by doctors and nurses and whatnot, it's impossible to convince them otherwise. It doesn't matter how "normal" you talk to them and behave, and even having specialist knowledge about the human mind is not enough.

Here's the kicker. The staff of a few other hospitals were TOLD a similar experiment would be conducted (e.g. some patients would really be doctors with no mental illness symptoms). The staff became extremely suspicious of many newly admitted people, to the point of being certain they were actually doctors. From what I remember (don't quote me on that), up to HALF of people admitted were believed to be faking it. Of course, the experiment consisted in NOT sending a single doctor to the hospitals. When people with legitimate mental problems - or at least people who were genuinely thought to have some - were implied by other circumstances to maybe actually be healthy, doctors second-guessed themselves a lot.

YMMV, but to me the notion that whether you're mentally healthy or not can largely depend on the completely subjective reasoning of a doctor and you're evaluated on the basis of expectations more than your actual behaviour? Pretty scary. And I'm sure it's changed, because medical knowledge has surely advanced in the decades since that experiment probably took place.

But y'know, still makes me uneasy. And that's just about misdiagnosis, as opposed to committing, medicating or crippling people because they were inconvenient to deal with - for personal, political, racist reasons. Which is well-documented in many countries' histories. Lobotomy was a way to cripple a person permanently in order to essentially make them less disruptive. It offered literally no benefits other than making the patient docile. And it received a Nobel Prize in medicine.

Here you go: Rosenhan Experiment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosenhan_experiment)
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: oddtail on 30 Oct 2019, 01:08
Thanks! Seems I misremembered some details (in my defense - again, that's from something I read once, and at least 15 years ago), but reading the wiki article, I'm pretty sure that's the experiment I read about.
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: BubblesWasRight on 05 Nov 2019, 05:48
It seems like Roko is having a time of it, so I found something that  might cheer her up (https://instagram.com/boyswithbread)
Title: Re: WCDT 4116-4120 (October 21st-25th, 2019)
Post by: Thrillho on 05 Nov 2019, 12:43
It seems like Roko is having a time of it, so I found something that  might cheer her up (https://instagram.com/boyswithbread)

It is genuinely unbelievable to me that you registered just to post this. I'm so happy.