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The Fate of ArdentSis

Twenty years in an IsoCube - Judge Alice
- 1 (2.6%)
Assimilation - "We are the Alice, resistance is futile"
- 1 (2.6%)
A shock collar and no release till she cleans up her mess
- 3 (7.7%)
Flashback time
- 8 (20.5%)
Alice the Slavemaster
- 2 (5.1%)
We don't want to know
- 5 (12.8%)
Jeph surprises us
- 13 (33.3%)
Blue Ardent Dishwasher
- 6 (15.4%)

Total Members Voted: 39


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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015  (Read 24349 times)

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #100 on: 12 Jan 2015, 18:27 »

Even better - the Praeses will be May.  :evil:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #101 on: 12 Jan 2015, 18:30 »

CONFIRMED: The Town and its surroundings are a sealed environment/preserve of some kind.
No, it could be the whole planet, with "Outside" being orbital habitats or just a station for an even bigger culture.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #102 on: 12 Jan 2015, 18:33 »

CONFIRMED: The Town and its surroundings are a sealed environment/preserve of some kind.
No, it could be the whole planet, with "Outside" being orbital habitats or just a station for an even bigger culture.
Yeah, I thought this was strongly implied.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #103 on: 12 Jan 2015, 19:11 »

I can't imagine May or Pintsize allowing themselves to be modified with rules they couldn't break.

Can the Borg really be called a group? If it really is a single minded entity, does it matter how many parts it is made of? I'm not saying the word can't be applied. I'm saying that it is a group in the same way as I am a group. I'm a population of trillions, all by myself. But my cells aren't individuals in the same way a borg drone isn't an individual.

I figure if the Praeses is a collective, it's either one mind or a very small  group.

Consider this: So far, Alice hasn't been wrong in what she has said about the way world works--how the Grove relates to the Outside. If that trend is continuing, it suggests the most important question is the one Alice is implying--What are the siblings hiding?

Right now, the only thing I can think of that fits all the facts is that they have discovered some means to circumvent or subvert some core aspect of the Praeses or the infrastructure it runs on. Unfortunately, that analysis depends on the assumption that everything they've said is true.

Ardent is "on vacation," but it's not a sanctioned trip by any means. His absence--and the place he went--poses a threat to whatever he and Gavia know because it makes it obvious that they know something. This explains Gavia's anger, as well as means she chose to find out where he was. That she was willing to do something that flashy suggests that it's difficult to "see" into the Grove from Outside. No one's going to notice a few explosions, and no one's likely to believe Ardent did something impossible, unless he's caught in the act of doing the impossible thing.

So the faster Gavia finds him and brings him back, the better.

At this point, Gavia and Ardent have different goals. Ardent wants to continue his vacation, and Gavia wants to bring him back. If we assume that they really do know something valuable, it's not in either of their interests to let Alice know. They likely ended up giving the game away by assuming Alice wasn't aware of the nature of the impossibilities. (Ardent did twig to the fact that Alice is better informed than he expected, but he was distracted. Gavia has less of an excuse, given the fact that "primitive" Alice just gave her an epic smackdown.)

Of course, that all rampant speculation. Not a thread of evidence to support it. And it ignores the most pressing question of all:

Where's Jack?

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #104 on: 12 Jan 2015, 20:48 »

Of course, that all rampant speculation. Not a thread of evidence to support it. And it ignores the most pressing question of all:

Where's Jack?

No,no,no the question is:
If Alice lives in a one story house, why does it have a staircase going up?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #105 on: 12 Jan 2015, 21:17 »

Alice's house doesn't have a "ceiling" hanging under the eaves in that corner. The ceiling is vaulted, following the line of the roof. There's clearly something under the vault, since there's a ladder leading to it. I looks like there's six and a half feet of clearance between the top of the exterior wall and the peak of the roof. Not what I would call a comfortable head room, but I'm six feet tall. Alice doesn't seem quite that tall to me.

I guess Jack could be up there.

Also, worth noting: Gavia is a loon.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #106 on: 12 Jan 2015, 22:35 »

No, all loons are Gavia.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #107 on: 12 Jan 2015, 23:16 »

Also noticed: the windows are set deep into the walls. That could indicate that the walls were made that way on purpose.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #108 on: 12 Jan 2015, 23:25 »

I'm getting the feeling that we now have our main cast of characters (Ardent, Jack, Gavia, and obviously Alice,) and that our main conflict is going to revolve around whatever the heck a Praeses is, and whatever is going wrong with them.

And it only took, uh, three and a half months to set that up... I've made my issues with the pacing clear in the past.

That being said, I'm really liking where this is going!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #109 on: 12 Jan 2015, 23:27 »

I'm sticking with my theory that the Praeses deliberately allowed the Vicissitude kids in. The reason? Either a malfunction or a part of an ancient experimental protocol that a human could never understand even if the Praeses were programmed to explain, which they aren't.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #110 on: 13 Jan 2015, 01:17 »

No, all loons are Gavia.

Multiple personality disorder?

If the Praeses is involved in something fundamentally incomprehensible to humans it would be a really dull story--"Just as it is impossible to conceive of intelligent live totally different from our own, so we find our Earth trained minds unable to comprehend the weird phenomenon that may exist on this strange new planet."

I have no idea where the quote comes from, but it makes the point well enough. We can't have real stories about the incomprehensible because the author can't comprehend it. As such, the audience couldn't understand either. Certainly a story could be told. Ultimately we tell stories about people, so having the inconceivable in the background works just fine. But...

It's an X-Files problem. At a certain point your learn that the author has no intention of ever answering the questions, or ever moving closer to resolution. The threat ceases to have power because you know that the sword cannot fall. It's possible Jeph is going to do that, but I'd be let down if he did. The single reason I am a fan of QC is that he set up his story based on one of those questions that authors of consumer fiction often pose with no intention of answering, "Will they or won't they?" Authors don't like answering those questions because they often build all of the tension around them. Answer the question, and you lose the tension.

But Jeph answered the question.

Writing alien intelligence--even if it's just artificial--is hard. It's hard because it's impossible. It's always humans in funny make up. But people can write stories about humans in funny make up well enough that they seem alien (Asimov's Robots make a good, if jarringly anachronistic, example).  Whatever motive the Praeses has, it will be explicable if it's important to the story. Otherwise it's a cheat (unless, of course, the whole point of the story is that the Praeses is inexplicable. But I still think that's an X-Files problem).

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #111 on: 13 Jan 2015, 01:33 »

Asimov's Second Foundation provides a good idea for where this may go. The 2F was originally founded by Harri Seldon to monitor and protect his grand plan for the salvation of human civilisation of the galaxy, his so-called 'prime radiant'. However, with time, his plan was 'refined' by later leaders of the 2F (much in the same way as later clerics 'refined' the teachings of their prophets and turned them into divine mandates for imperialism, misogyny and a clerical dictatorship). Ultimately, the direction of the Foundation became increasingly perverted and more and more about the ego of the leadership of the Second Foundation.

I'm wondering whether this is what we are seeing to a certain extent here. The Praeses (those who preside) are responsible for maintaining and overseeing the successful conclusion of The Experiment, of which the Town and the Vicissitudes' home environment are both part. However, the Praeses are flexible enough (with self-modifying code) that they are able to refine their instructions to improve the efficiency of The Experiment and fidelity of the results. Based on this, they may have been subtly and sometimes overtly altering the conditions of The Experiment because they have concluded that the original researchers' were too imperfect to fine-tune it properly. There may have been lots of modifications over the years (Alice's introduction may have been one). Ardent and Gavia are just a more overt modification.

I wonder if this story will be Alice's voyage to discover the truth behind The Experiment and to see if the Praeses' modifications are benign or the result of a dangerous malfunction ("I'm bored, lets start a war between two Environments because we can!").
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #112 on: 13 Jan 2015, 03:19 »

Have we had a discussion recently of the nature of Alice herself?  I mean, is she another outsider with a special role in maintaining the "primitives", or is she a "primitive" who has gained some (externally provided) extra skills and knowledge?  The first seems more likely, but at one point Gavia implied the second.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #113 on: 13 Jan 2015, 03:24 »

Have we had a discussion recently of the nature of Alice herself?  I mean, is she another outsider with a special role in maintaining the "primitives", or is she a "primitive" who has gained some (externally provided) extra skills and knowledge?  The first seems more likely, but at one point Gavia implied the second.

Gavia has no special knowledge; she's just assuming that, because Alice lives amongst the primitives and basically looks like one, she is one. My call remains is that Alice is a Caretaker, one of the Praeses' human agents within the Environments that keep things in good repair and occasionally enact upgrades or deal with... security issues.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #114 on: 13 Jan 2015, 07:42 »

Well, the Viccistudes have said they are on vacation... I think that may be a literal truth. The town and surrounding areas are essentially a zoo. One of those 'Views into the ways our ancestors lived' except instead of actors in period outfits, they don't know about the outside world. Alice is there as Caretaker and janitor. She fixes things that the residents/zoo animals don't understand and she deals with interpersonal issues that could disrupt the town to much. I'm guessing she's from Outside, and modified to look like the locals, but with a few hidden tricks she might need. She seems isolated from the Outside though. When Ardent showed up she didn't try to contact the upper management or Parses, and she didn't grab him and send him right back. It seems her choices are trying to minimize the social damage a blue alien boy might cause in her bubble, or make him disappear permanently.

Ardent seems like a  bored kid who decided he wanted a closer look at the zoo animals. Especially the laaaaadies. So he tricked/bribed/whatever one of the volunteer workers to try and teleport down to the surface. Something he was surprised actually worked. I suspect that when it was found he was gone and where, Gavia was sent down with the Prases' permission to get him back as quickly as possible and minimize the disruption. They/it probably figured that Gavia looked sufficiently like the zoo animals (or was changed quickly to look like them) so she could get in and remove him quietly when she found Ardent. They didn't know she was going to get all explosion happy as soon as she arrived.

Alice seems the odd one out. Apparently the outside world can send agents down to the surface, but didn't tell them to find Alice. Or couldn't contact her. Or tried to but she wasn't home/near her communicator so they sent Gavia. That or the Prases doesn't know Alice is there for some reason. Maybe she is a native who found a bit of outer world tech and figured it out, and decided to become a caretaker on her own. There are still so many questions, but we're starting to get some answers.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #115 on: 13 Jan 2015, 07:57 »

My current take is that Gavia and Ardent are just a couple of bored and spoiled kids with an immature regard (if this is not a redundant statement) of the world around them, including the "primitives." Ardent thought he could play with the zoo animals and Gavia is -- as older but not adult siblings will do -- taking her role of older sibling a little too seriously.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #116 on: 13 Jan 2015, 08:16 »

Ardent asked someone who apparently had physical access to a transporter and they were able to hack it; how is this tricking anybody?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #117 on: 13 Jan 2015, 08:21 »

Ardent asked someone who apparently had physical access to a transporter and they were able to hack it; how is this tricking anybody?

My guess that the trick was to do so without alerting the Praesis in charge of him and Gavia to his actions. As Alice points out, that is supposedly impossible, which is what inspires my theory that Ardent and Gavia's misadventures to date have been entirely with the Praeses' knowledge and that they are following some bizarre agenda that only a centuries-old AI could formulate.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #118 on: 13 Jan 2015, 08:23 »

A lot of things that are 'supposedly impossible' are that way only because nobody challenges that assumption.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #119 on: 13 Jan 2015, 09:35 »

Exactly. It's only supposed to be impossible because the Praeses is supposed to prevent it. And I'm going to throw out the possibility that this isn't some incomprehensible plan by the Praeses, but rather that it is suffering from the AI equivalent of senility. Time and entropy have degraded it to the point where it can't fulfill its duties any more. Which is kind of frightening when you think about it - an incredibly powerful but senile AI.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #120 on: 13 Jan 2015, 11:37 »

Alice keeps saying it impossible. It could be that it's just a schtick. Thing happens: Alice says it's not possible. Que Inigo Montoya.

But I don't buy it. It's early in the story, but this point keeps coming up. Alice, Ardent, and Gavia know what she's talking about. They just haven't told us.

If Ardent and Gavia aren't lying (omission counts here) then there's nothing really special about their being there other than a broken rule, and Alice is wrong. But if Alice is right, and they aren't lying, then they really are the specialest goddamn snowflakes Alice has ever met.

Maybe its a bias toward responsible people, but I can't help but believe that Alice knows what she's on about. If that's the case, it's vastly unlikely that Gavia and Ardent are super special snowflakes. Ardent's guilty look seems to support that.

Jeph promised exposition on the twitfeed. He also promised more questions than answers. Ardent and Gavia as simple troublemakers doesn't raise any questions. Ardent as troublemaker and Gavia as recovery agent does raise any questions--or if either scenario does, they still answer more than create (The answers of Ardent = troublemaker, Gavia =troublemaker/troublefixer, and Alice = obstinately misinformed act as first level answers to every question but "what is a Praeses and what is the Outside). Alice being right raises a bunch of questions (Everyone in the scene is more than appear to be, so what are they? The Praeses should have prevented this, so why didn't it? This all has to add up to a threat to Alice's world--a personal threat--she is the main character--so how? Where's Jack? What happened to Ardent's tail? Is Gavia's outfit self cleaning or did Jeph decide he didn't want dray dirt and blood stains? Did Gavia's teeth grow back?What is the question of life the universe and everything? Did I leave the iron on?).

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #121 on: 13 Jan 2015, 11:42 »

I'm also a little troubled by a transporter that works but apparently delivers you unconscious.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #122 on: 13 Jan 2015, 13:23 »

I'm also a little troubled by a transporter that works but apparently delivers you unconscious.

Ardent's reaction when he awoke was so joyful that I suspect that he genuinely feared not waking up at all. Maybe there are shields and programme lock-outs designed to stop people doing what he did and his accomplice's claim to be able to 'hack' them was of dubious plausibility.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #123 on: 13 Jan 2015, 13:30 »

Rhat makes me wonder why he risked it. I mean, we could just chalk it up to the stupid, but maybe Ardent's gadfly pose is more act than he'd like to admit. Which raises the question, what was so dangerous that risking death by transporter was a more sensible option?

(Note: given his unconscious arrival, we can guess death by transporter is painless--or no one has time to scream before they're gone. So it's not far fetched to think a fate worse than that particular death might be possible.)

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #124 on: 13 Jan 2015, 13:41 »

(Note: given his unconscious arrival, we can guess death by transporter is painless--or no one has time to scream before they're gone. So it's not far fetched to think a fate worse than that particular death might be possible.)

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There are deaths and there are deaths.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #125 on: 13 Jan 2015, 14:11 »

I suspect Alice is an ex-soldier.  She retired to what she thought was going to be a nice, relaxed place where the problems are simple and small, and where she expected not ever to have to fight again.  Because when she does fight, she gets rather nasty, as can be seen in her fight with Gavia. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #126 on: 13 Jan 2015, 14:25 »

Ardent's reaction when he awoke was so joyful that I suspect that he genuinely feared not waking up at all.
I dunno, maybe it took hours to set up and he fell asleep on the transporter and didn't wake up until he was already in...Town.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #127 on: 13 Jan 2015, 14:42 »

I doubt we'll get full exposition on entities that will become characters in the story. In other words, I think Jeph will let the Praeses tell its(their?) own story(ies) when the the time comes for it(them) to participate.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #128 on: 13 Jan 2015, 15:13 »

I'm also a little troubled by a transporter that works but apparently delivers you unconscious.

I would hope it works some way other than most people agree the Star Trek transporter is supposed to work: basically a people-fax that destroys the original after transmission.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #129 on: 13 Jan 2015, 21:23 »

Actually, that's not how the transporter works. The transporter uses good old E=mc2 (or more accurately, E=(mc)+(pc)) to turn the target into engery, then fires the energy at the destination, where it reassembles the energy as a person. Sine mass and energy are equivalent, it isa supposed to be the same person (same matter/energy) on each end.

My objection to the transporter is that turning even a tiny fraction of a person to energy would be a huge explosion. Then there's the whole method of handwavium behind converting matter to energy. I'm not against handwavium. I love the stuff.  but the thing about turning matter into energy is that some of the energy likes to whiz off as neutrinos. those thing are pretty much impossible to catch.

Those things aside, there's also the dead pan delivery and the implausible driving. Jason Statham's fun to watch in a fight, but something about flying Audis breaks suspension of disbelief.

Granted, any way you design a transporter, it's going to violate some law of physics (thus flying Audis) but the way the transporter is meant to work, there's no physical reason it couldn't make copies--it's not a fax as much as it is a factory. It takes you apart and puts you back together. There's no reason it has to reassemble you as you. It could assemble you as someone else (Tuvix anyone?). Given the right starting mass, there's no reason it couldn't assemble any starting material as you. The transporter can make people from scratch.

That's not a bad thing on its own, but it doesn't actually fit with the world Star Trek presents. The implications of what the transporter can do (including some of those kicks) are mind boggling. I'm all for a story that keeps to that--that doesn't try to sweep them under the rug, as were (or leg sweep them and punch them in the face). But if you aren't going to explore those implications, I'd rather just handwave in something equally improbable without the explosions and replication effect--like a wormhole or something.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #130 on: 13 Jan 2015, 22:05 »

Don't be silly, all you need to do is say "Energise."
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #131 on: 13 Jan 2015, 22:33 »

The implications of matter transport and replication technology are huge, in the social, philosophical, legal and technological sense. And most of it was ignored in Star Trek. Even the most basic question of.. if you are destroying a person's body and rebuilding it at the destination, how is their consciousness transferred? Does this mean that the consciousness of a person is merely electrochemical impulses? How does this impact the concept of the soul? Patterns of people can be saved in the transport buffer, does that mean you could make multiple copies of a person by just providing the energy to churn out duplicates? What about medical  uses? Could you alter someone's transport pattern to change how they are reassembled? Couldn't that eliminate most diseases, injuries and possibly even old age by 'resetting' a person's pattern in the transport buffer?

And then there are the social and financial implications of replicators. That was only ever glosses over in the most vaguest of terms in the shows. Mostly by saying everyone's physical needs were taken care of, leaving people to pursue their interests, rather than slave away at jobs for the sake of survival. Star Trek was just very good at handwavium and junk science to fix plot problems, rather than technology and science driving the plot, most of the time. It was pretty much in the state of 'any advanced science is indistinguishable from magic'. And it never took a very close look at the magic.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #132 on: 13 Jan 2015, 23:52 »

Exactly. When Dr. Pulaski got infected by the antibodies from the perfect children, there's a throwaway line about how the Transporter should filter out disease vectors like bacteria or viruses. That's just amazing right there. If the transporter can filter out things, why can't it add things? Lose an arm? No problem. Step into the transporter with this bucket of organic matter.

Let's say the Transporter is all or nothing. That is, it can always assemble you as you are when the sensors read you. We'll handwave the ability to remove vectors as super special snowflake circumstances. But we'll assume that the pattern from the last time you used the transporter can't be combined with the one generated just now (ignoring the fact that the Dr. Pulaski issue I mentioned was solved by doing just that). So it can't just add back an arm. It reassembles you exactly as you were the last time you used the transporter. So if you used the transporter 3 days ago, you become you 3 days ago. Everything you learned/experienced in those 3 days is lost.

So obviously you don't want to do that to fix a paper cut. But what about a more serious injury. Like death.

From your POV you're dead either way. But from the POV of the people who know you, from your contribution to society, your death can be fixed!

Peter F. Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga has this idea of implants that track your experience. Then you go to a shop and and download your life. If you die, you can be brought back from your backup. A transporter pattern is a backup like that, except it's not just your memory/personality. It's you, right down to the clothes you had on at the time.

There's a lot of story potential there. Such a story would be kinda difficult to tell, since we are used to death being a serious thing--it's the same problem as creating a truly alien intelligence, writ small. But it is writ small, so it's actually do able. Some of the theories about why Gavia was so cavalier about using (seemingly) deadly force relate. if death isn't a permanent thing, people behave a little different.

(Hamilton's world, with the fact that body-loss also equals losing everything since your last trip to the back up--though, IIRC recovering your chip allows you to be restored right up to the time of you death. So if I shot you in the head, I've caused you a body-loss. If I then shot you in the chip, it's murder, even though you have a an earlier backup--has interesting results. Like a character is declared legally dead due to disappearance, so they restore him from backup. Not knowing if the other him is still alive somewhere gives him an anxiety complex. I think there's a side plot where a person has faked their death so that they'll be restored from backup and the backup will have to deal with the repercussions of their actions and debts. Been a long time since I read those books.)

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #133 on: 14 Jan 2015, 02:14 »

Alternative Possibility - The transport volunteers fly stealth shuttles to drop off supplies for Alice and the other Caretakers (as well as do  things like cloud seeding). This is done exclusively at night. Not wanting to wander into (or even find) the town at night, Ardent just decided to take 40 winks at the point where the pilot dropped him off and that's where Jack and his uncle found him.

This doesn't entirely explain Ardent's actions. One explanation is that he didn't entirely trust the guy and he half expected to wake up on the wrong planet or in the exercise yard of one of the Praeses' prisons for those who are persistently naughty (for example by trying to break into Preserves).
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #134 on: 14 Jan 2015, 03:13 »

Some of the transporter issues were discussed in TNG. Biggest one was Scottie's idea of saving his transporter pattern in his doomed ship, which resulted in him suddenly appearing - still at the age he was in ST:G - on Enterprise D.

Transporter use was glossed over in TOS because of the expedience of telling the story. They couldn't have the captain and crew fly down via shuttlecraft every single episode, as that would increase the budget of the show. So, they developed the idea of a transporter which would allow the actors to just "suddenly" be in the place where they could start telling the story.

However Jeph wants to explain it is fine, but I think the similarity is clear - in developing the story, we need to get all the characters in the same place, while indicating that this isn't the world of QC (or even the Real World) that we're dealing with.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #135 on: 14 Jan 2015, 04:20 »

I suppose I could go on about the inconsistency of the transporter some more, but that's not the point I was trying to make. And it leaves the topic of Alice Grove completely.

The main point I was making was that transporter isn't really a fax machine (A fax scans an object, sends the results of the scan. The recieving fax then recreates the object with materials on hand). What the transporter does is scan the object, then turn the object into something more portable. It send both the object and result of the scan to the destination, where the object is reassembled in the less portable form. All the technobabble about buffers, matter streams, confinement beams, etc is refering to this process.

In Alice Grove we know they have transporters, but we don't know what those devices do.

After thinking about Star Trek's transporter for an old idea I had about reinvent Star Trek for the modern age, I came to the conclusion that the transporter was a terrible idea--basically for all of the reasons I mentioned above, and then some. I'll the biggest and then some:

It removes danger from the story.

Kirk and crew beam down. Danger happens! What do they do? Well, they can beam right out.

The obvious fix is to say something prevents the transporter from working. I'd be cool with that for something that ran like old school Doctor Who, with season long stories. But a 22 episode per season show starts to get wonky when your high tech stuff breaks every other episode just introduce drama. At the same time, I felt that Star Trek without a "transporter" isn't star Trek. So I reinvented it.

Mind ylu, I've never written any of this, and this the first time I've mentioned it to anyone else. So, it's not a declaration that my idea is better. It's just a different way of looking at the idea, given that I don't have the limitations of a tv production budget in 1966.

The transporter is a ship. Well, it's system, part of which is carried by a ship. An autonomous shuttle. The system ALWAYS requires a receiver. To beam from the Enterprise to Earth you have to beam into a transporter facility. So the shuttle part of the system is for beaming to places without a pad. The shuttle brings one down. This is better than just using shuttles for ship to surface movement because it is one trip down, one trip back up for the shuttle, but once it lands the crew can go back and forth between the ship and surface all they want.

It induces drama because even if the solution to "Danger happens" is "beam back up," you first have to get from the danger to the transporter.

Whether this version of the transporter was going to have all those other abilities was a question I haven't answered. One issue with updating Star Trek to a modern version of the future is that our ideas of what the future might be like are a lot different. As much as I want to do the project, I also want it to feel like Star Trek. Having actual backups of one's self seems aodd in that context.

Anyway, this all relates to AG in the sense that a generic "transporter"--the Star Trek default--adds the same problems. No writer is obliged to actually solve those problems, but I'd said originally that I'd hoped Jeph was handwaving in an idea that didn't create those issues--like a wormhole. (The energy involved is still titanic, but wormholes don't copy people---unless they are turned into time machines, but that's actually a pretty tricky thing to do, so...). If it's going to be a basic matter/energy transporter, it would be nice to see that some of the implications of that technology actually influence the world the characters live in. (Like the occasionally used trope of, "we live this primitive way because we can. We can because we aren't primitive at all.") Matter/energy manipulation means you can have anything you need, which makes you question what the word "need" means.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #136 on: 14 Jan 2015, 05:43 »

As I'm ignorant about the non-Discworld sci-fi of the past twenty years or so, I won't comment on the references. But I just get the vibe that the Vicissitudes really are the specialest snowflakes. As in Ma or Pa Vicissitude is ranked higher then they care to admit. Of course, the Praeses may habitually break the rules, or break them for a reason of their/its own (some interesting possibilities have been proposed), but it might also be the case that the Vicissitudes are exempt from some of the rules strictly enforced on commoners (whatever equivalent they have among the spacers). Ardent's look in the last panel suggests that he still has something to confess... In other words, Alice hit very close to the truth.

I, too, wonder, what Jack thinks of this discussion. Narrativium has probably made him temporarily deaf. Or may be his running errands like hoisting bucketloads of water from the well in Alice's garden?

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #137 on: 14 Jan 2015, 06:49 »

Outside of the past 20 years gives you all of Star Trek up to the second season of Voyager ;p

I still think Alice's certainty that tricking the Praeses isn't possible and that getting in from the outside isn't supposed to be possible has significant meaning. If family connections are all it takes to circumvent impossible, then I'd expect Alice wouldn't think of it that way. If there's one consistent rule of reality it's that the rules don't apply to the powerful, and the powerful live that to the fullest.

If subverting the directives of Praeses was just one of the rules, Alice would have seen a lot more tourists. (Generally rules against doing things people do people don't want to do don't exist. Either demand creates a rule or the existence of a rule creates demand. So the fact that not contaminating the primitives is a rule suggests a demand for breaking it.) This suggests to me that there are some aspects of the Praeses control that you can't buy your way past.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #138 on: 14 Jan 2015, 07:33 »

:)

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #139 on: 14 Jan 2015, 07:44 »

Did you realize that that comic came out four years ago?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #140 on: 14 Jan 2015, 11:48 »

Did you realize that that comic came out four years ago?

That's meta (that's what the Kids These Days say, right?)
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #141 on: 14 Jan 2015, 11:53 »

I don't know what the Kids These Days say. I was born closer to the moon landing than the present day.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #142 on: 14 Jan 2015, 11:54 »

There are no kids these days.


Only Zuul.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #143 on: 14 Jan 2015, 12:23 »

I don't know what the Kids These Days say. I was born closer to the moon landing than the present day.
You could be as young as 22 for that to be true. Almost 23 but still.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #144 on: 14 Jan 2015, 12:27 »

That's true. I had a senior moment thinking of that one. Then again, I was born closer to the Eisenhower administration than the present day.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #145 on: 14 Jan 2015, 12:32 »

So was I, albeit barely. I'm 27.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #146 on: 14 Jan 2015, 12:54 »

Well, since I was born in '62.......
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #147 on: 14 Jan 2015, 12:56 »

...you were born closer to the Taft administration than the present day.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #148 on: 14 Jan 2015, 13:31 »

[LostInSpaceRobotVoice]Oh ha ha ha[/LostInSpaceRobotVoice]
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - January 2015
« Reply #149 on: 14 Jan 2015, 15:11 »

I was born closer to the moon landing than the present day.

I was first married the same week as the moon landing.
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