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What would you find most useful about Augmented Reality Glasses?

travel directions
pretending to do one thing while actually using the glasses
tagged people
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recording
taking pictures
holo maid
porn
Come on, why didn't you mention my use for them?!

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Author Topic: WCDT: 2500-2504 (29 July- August 2, 2013) Weekly Comic Discussion Thread  (Read 83299 times)

Rimwolf

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Obviously, I think that Dale's part of the "modeling good behaviour" part.  With a puppy, the usual options are to have a person with them most of the time (and crating when they're alone), and putting them with a mature dog that models good behaviour.  Dale's a combination of these two, a companion who can "turn her off" (crate her) when he can't watch her, and a model for proper human behaviour. 

I wonder how he was chosen... I don't think the proposed "beta testers" for something like this should be randomly picked! 

That they're evidently* offering $1500 to beta testers does suggest a careful selection.

* I had thought that May was probably lying about that as well, but now I don't see why see why she would ("you still get the money") after telling him he can opt out any time.
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GarandMarine

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Nah less insidious. Google runs the robot jails. They just check your information on their databases. The NSA WISHES they could get access to everything Google has on all of us.
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So he just got a tsundere model?
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Faye and May meeting is like Emily and Raven meeting.
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Maybe I'm considering the AIs in the QCverse to be more "human" than they are, but that's something only Jeph could detail. I also don't really think that new AIs are "created" by humans. Once the first AI was brought to life I think they could reproduce (if they have the hardware)
Now I want to see an inbred AI...
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Maybe I'm considering the AIs in the QCverse to be more "human" than they are, but that's something only Jeph could detail. I also don't really think that new AIs are "created" by humans. Once the first AI was brought to life I think they could reproduce (if they have the hardware)
Now I want to see an inbred AI...
Well, MAYbe you have.

(Gordon? It's time for your performance review. Maybe you should upload yourself into a bipedal chassis and sit down.)
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Ah yes, one of those questions that answers itself....


"Am I fired?"
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Thinking of installing AIs on automatically-flushing toilets: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23575249
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The NSA WISHES they could get access to everything Google has on all of us.

This reminds me of movies where FBI and CIA officers have to have clandestine meetings by eating lunch on the same bench on the mall in Washington because of sources and methods secrecy requirements.

I'm imagining a scene where a Google employee in workout clothes jogging past Shoreline Amphitheater towards the bay has a "clandestine" meeting with a NSA operative wearing a suit who's trying to catch up.
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wiserd

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Is it just me or does May really not seem female. I mean, I'm not  taking issue with the portrayal since gender is likely a rather arbitrary construct for AI. But so far, pintsize has seemed very 'male' and Momo has seemed very 'female.'

Maybe you just need to re-evaluate your gender constructs.

So far, the comic has hewn pretty close to my gender constructs. Thus, I don't think it's unreasonable for me to play "one of these things is not like the other" where the AIs are concerned. 

I am curious, though. If someone wanted to be transgender would you advise them to 'just re-evaluate their gender constructs?' This is a sincere (but not personal) question. I ask this because the acceptance of trans-sexuality/body dysmorphic disorder/whatever as something "real" rather than an arbitrary or learned choice seems to indicate a pretty deep-seated human connection with a certain gender that precedes any constructs society might impose. People tried doing random gender reassignment on hermaphrodites a few decades ago, based on the notion that gender identification was arbitrary. The results are currently believed to have been pretty disastrous. This suggests that whatever gender is, it is more than just a social construct. As offensive or threatening as that notion may be to some people.

Granted, an AI might not be shaped by some of the same psychological and social forces that humans are. Perhaps an AI would not be afraid of rape the way that a human female would, resulting in a different persona. And some people are outliers because of personal experience, biologically based proclivity or what have you. But don't you think that Pintsize's character is pretty stereotypically male? And why would an AI (Pintsize) be deliberately programmed to like porn? There's something about the AI creation process in this world that is not strictly utilitarian, and seems to be a copying of the human psyche, warts and all. 

Considering that Jeph has been clearly willing to address notions of identity politics in his comics, and that each character's psychology seems based on a fairly rich back story, this makes me wonder what he plans to do with May and where she comes from.





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... There's something about the AI creation process in this world that is not strictly utilitarian, and seems to be a copying of the human psyche, warts and all. 

Considering that Jeph has been clearly willing to address notions of identity politics in his comics, and that each character's psychology seems based on a fairly rich back story, this makes me wonder what he plans to do with May and where she comes from.

They are (within the verse) people that grow and develop. They are (for story purposes) characters crafted to grow and develop. IOW, Jeph's a good storyteller.

Finding out what Jeph plans to do with May and where she comes from is a problem that solves itself, as long as Jeph continues to produce the comic. I counsel  patience.
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wiserd

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Quote from: psyduck
Is it just me or does May really not seem female.
:psyduck: I don't know; what are we supposed to seem like? And by whom?

To be completely clear, I'm not saying "supposed" as in "normative/this is how a woman should be." I'm saying she doesn't express herself in the manner females I've known do. (I've been in a number of different cultures. I'm not sure to what extent I can really have been outside the middle class in any of them, though. ) 

But it's a fair question. Compared to many women, May seems; more directly, needlessly confrontational, more 'trickster' ish in a sadistic way... her faked confidence in places comes across like a teenage boy's, she's more overtly libertine, she's less concerned with upholding and more concerned with deliberately violating social norms in an obviously offensive or harmful way. 

None of these are close to a knockdown punch, but as a constellation of effects, they seem unusual to me. I'm not saying most men are like this. I am saying that all the people like this that I've known are male.


« Last Edit: 05 Aug 2013, 13:23 by wiserd »
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wiserd

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Finding out what Jeph plans to do with May and where she comes from is a problem that solves itself, as long as Jeph continues to produce the comic. I counsel  patience.

That might be true. (Or not.)
But this form of reply could be used to obviate a LOT of forum posts, you know? We post anyways. ;-)

Think of how sports fans speculate on the outcome of upcoming games, even though the games will resolve themselves. It seems like part of the process of fandom.

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The key question is how Dickmouth Stinkface's actions compare with those of other sociopathic female inmates.

An unpleasant idea comes to mind, though. There's a sadistic American official who forces male prisoners to wear pink underwear. What if Dickmouth Stinkface is the victim of a warden like that? What if she's set to male in software but maliciously assigned to a humiliating female avatar?
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Valdís

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So far, the comic has hewn pretty close to my gender constructs. Thus, I don't think it's unreasonable for me to play "one of these things is not like the other" where the AIs are concerned. 

The things you're pointing your finger at stem from how you view humans, not how you view AIs. For the record AIs aren't "less than", they're their own characters and warrant the same amount of respect one would give to any human on the cast.

Also finger-pointing about "adequate femininity" isn't a game.

If someone wanted to be transgender would you advise them to 'just re-evaluate their gender constructs?'

I ask this because the acceptance of trans-sexuality/body dysmorphic disorder/whatever as something "real" rather than an arbitrary or learned choice seems to indicate a pretty deep-seated human connection with a certain gender that precedes any constructs society might impose.

People tried doing random gender reassignment on hermaphrodites a few decades ago, based on the notion that gender identification was arbitrary. The results are currently believed to have been pretty disastrous. This suggests that whatever gender is, it is more than just a social construct. As offensive or threatening as that notion may be to some people.

First and foremost "Hermaphrodite" is not an appropriate thing to call an intersex person at all. Nor is it "trans sexuality", as it isn't a sexual orientation. Also it's Gender Dysphoria.

Secondly, just because our genders aren't constructs doesn't mean there aren't constructs built around them, true, but which no one of any gender need adhere to. "Statistical tendencies" toward certain traits does not equate to them being a necessity for anyone of that gender. This is equally important to recognize when thinking of us, as transgender people, because it's so often precisely this type of thinking that brings up the "Well men can wear dresses have feminine mannerisms too, you don't need to change like that!" (or the eternally loathed "Can't you just be gay?"), but I have no particular intent of wearing an extraordinary amount of dresses. It isn't seeking permission for those constructs - because fuck all that nonsense, it's simply what I am. Nor would it invalidate who I am just because I'm wearing a t-shirt and jeans right now or that I happened to write the word "fuck" in that earlier parenthesis. Even if I admittedly mostly did to write that afterwards.

The sad reality of society's cisnormativity faced by transgender & intersex people does not make either of us an excuse for gender-essentialist sexism, such as doubting if a person can "really be" their gender given certain behaviors.

What if Dickmouth Stinkface is the victim of a warden like that? What if she's set to male in software but maliciously assigned to a humiliating female avatar?

Indeed. It'd be an awful thing for it to be the case. Certainly not out of the ordinary in our world, given all the trans people sent to the wrong prisons and suffering terrible abuse over it as-is... but it might be a tad grim as an ongoing situation for a character, maybe?
« Last Edit: 05 Aug 2013, 15:05 by Valdís »
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Akima

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I'm saying she doesn't express herself in the manner females I've known do.
Ah, I see. In that case, it is just you.

You have a model in your head of what women are supposed to be like, and if someone behaves in a way that doesn't fit your model, you question whether they are female, rather than questioning your model. That is not uncommon, but it is not good either.
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rschill

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I'm saying she doesn't express herself in the manner females I've known do.
Ah, I see. In that case, it is just you.

You have a model in your head of what women are supposed to be like, and if someone behaves in a way that doesn't fit your model, you question whether they are female, rather than questioning your model. That is not uncommon, but it is not good either.

The two biggest lessons I leaned from that trans* discussions here: 

Gender and sex are probably complicated than I imagine right now.  (even when I take the previous statement into account) 

Trans* people have a rougher time than I imagine right now (again, even after I take the previous statement into account) 




There are always more variations of Hofstader's Law than you expect. 
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mtmerrick

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lesson(s) i've learned on the topic from this forum
-its harder than you'd think to treat everyone pretty much exactly the same. do it anyways
-when you're not 112% sure what to say, use generic pronouns
-people take this shit seriously.
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Besides which, I don't know a lot of men who act like Dickmouth Stinkface either.

Mapping AIs into human categories may be a fundamental mistake to start with, but if I had to draw a comparison it would be to a disturbed child.
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wiserd

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So far, the comic has hewn pretty close to my gender constructs. Thus, I don't think it's unreasonable for me to play "one of these things is not like the other" where the AIs are concerned. 

The things you're pointing your finger at stem from how you view humans, not how you view AIs. For the record AIs aren't "less than", they're their own characters and warrant the same amount of respect one would give to any human on the cast.
[/quote]

Every personality has a psychology. That psychology comes from somewhere. I understand dogs as pack animals with rank and a loose social structure. I understand cats as... well, I don't understand cats. I understand humans in terms of rank, ego, identification, drives, aversions, etc. In short, I understand humans in terms of their goals and their capacity to achieve them which are the manifestation of evolutionary drives for reproduction and possibly kin selection (rejected by many scientists, but I'm still a fan) as well as things like ego defense, learned helplessness, etc. On a more general level, I understand social organization in terms of things like natural rights, compassion, equality before the law etc. I never claimed that the AIs were 'less than' anything. But there's some key portion of their psychological backstory which is still offscreen (and might always be.)  I just don't understand the underlying purpose behind the AIs' drives.(no pun intended) They aren't trying to reproduce, yet some exhibit behavior typically associated with a desire to reproduce. They aren't designed with the sole purpose of pleasing humans. They're designed as some kind of agents, but I don't totally grasp the deeper purpose (if there even is one) behind their agency. Was there a huge push for jumping the uncanny valley by adding really odd personality idiosyncrasies? Maybe I'm just expecting too much from a webcomic. But I don't think I'm totally off the deep end.

All psychology starts with projection, taking our own desires and extrapolating them to other agents with some kind of modification or correction. We empathize with a frustrated AI because we've been frustrated and because we have behavioral routines for dealing with other frustrated human beings. If AIs are not human beings, those learned behaviors might be incorrect or inadequate. But if so, that inadequacy hasn't manifested itself yet in the comic. Perhaps I'm looking too deeply into this and I should just take the comic as it rolls lightheartedly along. But I don't see how a person's view of any other agent would NOT be related to their view of themselves. And, by extension, humans in general.   


Quote
Also finger-pointing about "adequate femininity" isn't a game.

Uhh. Please reread where I already clarified that my statements weren't normative. So the use of 'adequate' isn't really relevant. Or are you implying that the notions of masculinity and feminity themselves should be taboo? May herself seems to clearly believe she's somehow inappropriately gendered.

If we were critiquing a story about the Victorian era and a character wore pants for casual activities, it would be completely in line to note how unusual/anachronistic that was and ask what the author was saying about the character. 

Quote
First and foremost "Hermaphrodite" is not an appropriate thing to call an intersex person at all. Nor is it "trans sexuality", as it isn't a sexual orientation. Also it's Gender Dysphoria.

Sure. Intersex is more PC. I did mistype re: Gender dysphoria, i.e. the inborn feeling that a person should be a different sex.

Quote
such as doubting if a person can "really be" their gender given certain behaviors.

I assume you're not quoting me, here.

The key question is how Dickmouth Stinkface's actions compare with those of other sociopathic female inmates.

An unpleasant idea comes to mind, though. There's a sadistic American official who forces male prisoners to wear pink underwear. What if Dickmouth Stinkface is the victim of a warden like that? What if she's set to male in software but maliciously assigned to a humiliating female avatar?

Very fair point on the first, and interesting notion on the second. May seems to believe that Dale's preferences are the reason for at least some portion of her avatar. And she knows what Moe is, indicating some pre-existing familiarity with anime.... Not sure what that means, but if AI were more intelligent then knowledge of a topic might not tend to indicate genuine interest in the topic as it does in humans.
« Last Edit: 05 Aug 2013, 22:20 by wiserd »
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GarandMarine

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For the record. I know women who make May seem like a goddamn fairy tale princess. They are most assuredly female, and can be feminine... sorta... rarely. But it happens. They certainly aren't dudes though. 
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rschill

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For the record. I know women who make May seem like a goddamn fairy tale princess. They are most assuredly female, and can be feminine... sorta... rarely. But it happens. They certainly aren't dudes though.

I kinda like women like that.   
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Masterpiece

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I'm fairly certain scientists in the qcverse have a hard time explaining AIs as well. I'm not going to evaluate how wiserd sees a personality, but I will say that that approach works only for humans themselves.

Now if I recall correctly then the AIs in the qcverse are emergent, aka a group of scientists accidentally managed to build an AI. How do you know what its drives, wishes, ego are, when you have no idea what's causing them in the first place?

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By using the discipline of Interspecific Co-agency.

It's an idea from science fiction. The actual term was coined by academics in the author's universe to describe what traders were already doing with "incomprehensible" aliens. The traders simply assumed the aliens were doing what the aliens wanted to do, and judged intentions by actions.

An example of how thinking about action could overcome communications problems came up in the story when someone asked an alien how he felt about the near-genocide of his species. The alien said it was funny. The someone almost blew a fuse, then remembered his training and rephrased the question as "What would you do to the person responsible if you found him?". The alien said "That would depend on whether we could come up with something equally funny to do in return".

It's only a heuristic, and it works best with mentally healthy members of a species. We could use it to choose ethical conduct toward Momo and Winslow, for example.
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Quote
such as doubting if a person can "really be" their gender given certain behaviors.
I assume you're not quoting me, here.

Is it just me or does May really not seem female.
Your earlier posting certainly expressed doubt about May's femaleness based on her behaviour.
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Just to add to the confusion, there's no inherent reason why an AI's gender setting should have the same effect as the identity setting(s) in a human brain.
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May said that she was dressed as a maid based on dale's interests. Perhaps that's why she manifests herself as female? I seem to remember pintsize freaking out when he learned that another anthropc he had flirted with online, assumed to be a female, turned out to be male. He also once explained that anthropc gender is merely defined by the intake or output of packets to them, but maybe that's not so canon?

So far I think anthropc gender is variable.

What's odd is that most of the male anthropcs we've seen have been kinda crazy in some way or another, from pintsize, to that neckbearded one, to Winslow, to station.

Until May came along, pretty much all female anthropcs were polite and friendly, and pretty calm too.

This isn't a judgement of mine on gender roles in society, but I wonder if our Creator has clear reasons for portraying characters this way. So, it's just a fictional judgement.
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He also once explained that anthropc gender is merely defined by the intake or output of packets to them, but maybe that's not so canon?

 
Quote from: Question
Do AI’s have any inherent concept of gender, or does that just get attributed to them by human society when they choose their chassis/holo-manifestation/whatever?
Quote from: Jeph
I did a little bit of exposition about this WAYYYYY back in the day with Pintsize and IIRC it still makes sense. Basically they’re free to choose a gender if they feel like it. They are also free to be a purple robot spider if they feel like it.
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Sage, I want to remind you of weird mall robot ("the malls are alive with the sounds of music")

my archive-fu is consistently failing me recently.

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Packet exchange is how they do sex.
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Software EXchange
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Almost forgot about that life-loving anthropc at the shop where momo got her new chassis. I STILL love that toaster. He looks so sad at the end of that comic, since he was just thrown away, despite making bread so much fun.

Now that I think about it, what other ways can you make bread fun, other than toasting it?

French toast is out.

Croutons? Nah.

Sexual fetish? Can't say from my own experience.

Back on topic, I'm not sure that anthropc was quite as much "weird" as she was ridiculously optimistic. As a pessimist, otherwise known as a constant downer, optimism does seem silly to me personally.

Momo is probably the most dedicated anthropc in QC. Actually, Station was really dedicated to Hanner's health too. But those seemed like some pretty serious characters.
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Beat me to it. Charlotte is an outlier for enthusiasm but she's not bonkers in the sense of eating cake batter or immersing a roommate's underwear in motor oil.
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French toast is out.
In that it can't be made in a toaster or that it's not fun? The former is true, but if you mean the latter, I must disagree.
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SageJiraiya

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Toasting does not have to happen in a toaster. Usually French toast is made by battering it, and toasting it in a pan. Or at least that's how I understand it.
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Method of Madness

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You misunderstood my post. I was saying I acknowledge that French Toast isn't made in a toaster, but it still a very fun form of bread.
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SageJiraiya

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I am just curious about potentially fun applications for bread, while untoasted.

Wait a minute.

Bread is made by toasting dough.

Toast is made from toasting bread.

I wonder what's more fun, freshly baked bread, or freshly toasted toast.
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SageJiraiya

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At what point during toasting does the product go from heated bread, to light, brown, and burnt toast?
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wiserd

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I'm saying she doesn't express herself in the manner females I've known do.
Ah, I see. In that case, it is just you.

You have a model in your head of what women are supposed to be like, and if someone behaves in a way that doesn't fit your model, you question whether they are female, rather than questioning your model. That is not uncommon, but it is not good either.

You seem to be misunderstanding what I wrote in the same way that Valdis was.

1. Do norms exist within a society? Yes. This question itself is non-normative. Saying that a thing is abnormal is not the same as making a values judgement about whether it is good or bad.

2. Can we say that certain norms are violated in some situations? Yes, of course.

If 1 and 2 are true, it seems fair to question what is causing the outlier.

Quote
"you question whether they are female, rather than questioning your model"

On the contrary, I am actively trying to incorporate their anomalous behavior  into my model. (Or perhaps Jeph's portrayal of their behavior. It's a toss up if I should be psychologizing May the character, Jeph the author, or Myself, the reader. It seems a complete analysis would include all 'participants.')

The notion  someone put forward that May violates norms because she is a psychopath is a reasonable explanation. It is not, of course, the ONLY explanation for such behavior.
« Last Edit: 06 Aug 2013, 13:01 by wiserd »
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Method of Madness

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I don't think anyone was suggesting that her sociopathic tendencies and her apparent violations of gender norms were at all related, unless I missed something.
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wiserd

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lesson(s) i've learned on the topic from this forum
-its harder than you'd think to treat everyone pretty much exactly the same. do it anyways
-when you're not 112% sure what to say, use generic pronouns
-people take this shit seriously.

There are women who would be quite upset if guys used the girls bathroom. There are women who wouldn't care. "Treating everyone exactly the same" is probably better, at our current stage of development, than what we did historically. Though historically I think there were reasons for gender roles that modern people don't often acknowledge. The one group that it's unequivocally okay to discriminate against is those people who lived a few hundred years ago. Because they're all dead.

Socially, even today, it's not necessarily adaptive to treat people "exactly the same" in all cultures and all situations. People are individuals and their individuality is frequently informed by their sex. Male behavior is not statistically identical to female behavior, for whatever reason. Look at prison populations and arrest rates for an example of that. I understand the benefit of seeing people as 'tabula rasa' politically but I don't think it holds up as a predictive model in day to day life.

I'd love to have a generic pronoun. Using "they" as a gender neutral singular seems the most natural to me.

And I agree that people take this shit seriously. Myself included.
« Last Edit: 06 Aug 2013, 13:04 by wiserd »
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wiserd

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Quote
such as doubting if a person can "really be" their gender given certain behaviors.
I assume you're not quoting me, here.

Is it just me or does May really not seem female.
Your earlier posting certainly expressed doubt about May's femaleness based on her behaviour.

I certainly think May could be female given her behavior (to whatever extent we apply the concept of gender to AnthroPCs.) I did question what exactly was going on there, and whether it was possible she was in some way not her gender.

can != might

If that makes sense.
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wiserd

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I don't think anyone was suggesting that her sociopathic tendencies and her apparent violations of gender norms were at all related, unless I missed something.

Is It Cold In Here wrote; "The key question is how Dickmouth Stinkface's actions compare with those of other sociopathic female inmates."
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Method of Madness

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He was comparing her to other inmates, I don't think he was saying that made her "less female".
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altheora

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I am rather morbidly curious about tomorrow's strip. >>
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This is actually last week's thread, but welcome to the forum! Here is this week's thread.
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Valdís

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I never claimed that the AIs were 'less than' anything.

You literally said "where the AIs are concerned" as if something inherently sexist and inappropriate was suddenly fine just because these people aren't human.

They're designed as some kind of agents, but I don't totally grasp the deeper purpose (if there even is one) behind their agency. Was there a huge push for jumping the uncanny valley by adding really odd personality idiosyncrasies? Maybe I'm just expecting too much from a webcomic. But I don't think I'm totally off the deep end.

The comic has talked about it. They're an emergent intelligence from things humans were doing without specifically making an AI, not a designed one.

Uhh. Please reread where I already clarified that my statements weren't normative. So the use of 'adequate' isn't really relevant. Or are you implying that the notions of masculinity and feminity themselves should be taboo? May herself seems to clearly believe she's somehow inappropriately gendered.

If we were critiquing a story about the Victorian era and a character wore pants for casual activities, it would be completely in line to note how unusual/anachronistic that was and ask what the author was saying about the character.

In no possible way were your statements not "normative" - merely saying they weren't doesn't make that the case. You called into question her very female identity over some traits you feel are too "male" for it to be the case.

Also QC isn't in friggin' Victorian England, apart from some bar visits, and the very fact that you would consider her being, in your eyes, "male-like" to be completely out of place and having to be a statement "saying something" says more about you.

Sure. Intersex is more PC.

It isn't "More PC", it's "Not completely fucking wrong and misrepresenting who and what they are". It's also worth noting that talking about how "PC" something is.. is generally a huge red flag going up.

Socially, even today, it's not necessarily adaptive to treat people "exactly the same" in all cultures and all situations. People are individuals and their individuality is frequently informed by their sex. Male behavior is not statistically identical to female behavior, for whatever reason. Look at prison populations and arrest rates for an example of that. I don't think it holds up as a predictive model in day to day life.

Since when do you have an urgent need for a predictive model on whether some woman is "really a guy", then?

You are clearly just making excuses for cisnormative sexism. Statistical differences between particular genders are utterly irrelevant as to whether or not you're justified in that kind of shitty gender-policing behaviour. Having your preexisting biases "informed" by people's gender and that "because people in your group tend towards X, it is correct to assume you are also X". It is more or less identical to saying that because in the U.S. black people are disproportionately put in prison that you're therefore justified in treating all people of that group as criminals. That clearly isn't true.

Even if you believe that it's inevitable that women will statistically end up different in such ways, then that still doesn't at all account for the fact that 100% of female characters wouldn't be like May as things stand. This betrays that fundamental misunderstanding of statistics. If you really understood that then there's no reason for her to be out of place at all, even when thinking of women in such a way. But no, even when talking about "statistics" you none-the-less revert back to "None of the women I know".
« Last Edit: 06 Aug 2013, 15:34 by Valdís »
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