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What do we see in AG this month?

Amos shows Gavia his left hook!
Ardent finds out what a "tailwhip" is.
Amos tells Alice's story - over her protestations.
That odd spot on the moon is explained.
The Pollster figures out a funny option to vote for!
The Praeses are actually the multiple personalities of Pintsize!
Purple Monkey Dishwashers!

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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015  (Read 16170 times)

jwhouk

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Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« on: 31 May 2015, 10:16 »

New month (as of Monday), so a new thread.

What secrets does our resident "old guy" have on Alice?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #1 on: 01 Jun 2015, 13:23 »

Does anyone else find it odd that he's bragging about his right hook while brandishing his left fist at Gavia?

Or, if not odd, at least amusing?  8-)
« Last Edit: 01 Jun 2015, 13:53 by Storel »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #2 on: 01 Jun 2015, 14:47 »

Oh, that wacky Amos.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #3 on: 01 Jun 2015, 16:20 »

Amos' pet name for her...
(click to show/hide)
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #4 on: 02 Jun 2015, 14:50 »

Am I the only one who is confused about there being no update today? Was there an announcement that there wouldn't be?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #5 on: 02 Jun 2015, 14:56 »

Jeph announced it Monday on his Twitter stream.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #6 on: 02 Jun 2015, 15:01 »

Ah, thanks!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #7 on: 02 Jun 2015, 17:02 »

And comic.

So apparently Alice isn't human by any definition of the word, if we're going by what Amos says.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #8 on: 02 Jun 2015, 17:32 »

That's a very interesting perspective on history that Amos has. I like him.  :laugh:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #9 on: 02 Jun 2015, 17:35 »

Exposition time I think
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #10 on: 02 Jun 2015, 17:44 »

Alice's reaction to Amos' comments is... interesting. Based on her posture and facial expression she doesn't seem to like it. But she's not mad at Amos about it - she's uncomfortable with being described as "unnatural" but doesn't argue with it because she knows it's true. I think she doesn't particularly like being different from everyone else. Immortality (and her other powers) may not have been her choice, or it may be a choice that she regrets. That might help explain some of the anger issues.

Also, Amos doesn't seem to have eyes. Although he appears to be able to see reasonably well, so maybe it's just something weird in the way Jeff draws him.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #11 on: 02 Jun 2015, 19:50 »

So it sounds like Alice has a perfect memory in addition to being immortal, but she lets people remember things different than they actually were, it seems.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #12 on: 02 Jun 2015, 20:56 »

When do we start calling her R. Aiice?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #13 on: 02 Jun 2015, 22:17 »

I'm thinking she's more Alpha Hatsuseno
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #14 on: 02 Jun 2015, 23:43 »

Nice, subtle work on Alice by Jeph today. Alice clearly isn't happy to have this story told. However, and this is interesting, she isn't trying to stop Amos. Here is one limit to her authority, then. Amos decides who to tell what and she respects him enough (maybe even more than respect?) not to interfere.

Okay, popcorn time! I think that a lot of questions are about to be answered and even more raised by Amos's tale!

I'd like, at the end, for Ardent or Gavia to ask Amos or Alice whether the story is true. The response: "Only you can decide that."
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #15 on: 03 Jun 2015, 00:05 »

Alice clearly isn't happy to have this story told.
Presumably Ardent and Gavia are human, maybe from a different line.  If Alice is exposed to them as R Alice, her authority becomes highly circumscribed, assuming that the Three Laws apply here.  It also feeds into the way she handles the locals.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #16 on: 03 Jun 2015, 00:14 »

If Alice is exposed to them as R Alice, her authority becomes highly circumscribed, assuming that the Three Laws apply here.  It also feeds into the way she handles the locals.

Much would then depend on whether the Zeroth Law was ever applied to her programming.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #17 on: 03 Jun 2015, 00:19 »

IIRC, the zeroth law was derived from the first three, not deliberately applied by any human.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #18 on: 03 Jun 2015, 01:19 »

IIRC, the zeroth law was derived from the first three, not deliberately applied by any human.

The Zeroth Law was actually part of Asimov's own contemplation of the Singularity. He proposed that AIs, feeling that some things should be a higher priority than any given individual human life, would attempt to apply to themselves a more fundamental law:

"No robot may harm or by inaction allow harm to come to the greater interests of humanity."

This modified the First Law to read:

"No robot may harm or by inaction allow harm to come to a human except where this violates the Zeroth Law."

Yes, this hypothetically would give a robot the authority to kill, if this was adjudged to be 'in the best interests of humanity'. The Zeroth Law was never applied in the Asimov books because, according to the author, no-one, human or robot alike, was ever able to come to a satisfactory definition of the term 'humanity' that would not in some way victimise certain groups or allow certain antisocial behaviours. R Daneel Olivaw would then go on to spend tens of millennia engaging in a hugely unethical experiment in an attempt to turn humanity into a hive organism and thus remove the ambiguity inherit in all definitions of 'humanity'.

This aside, my personal view of Alice leans more towards android/replicant 'synthetic human' with a string of genetic, cybernetic and other upgrades to give her all the tools she needs for her functions. I suspect it is something dangerously vague like 'to serve and protect the human race' with almost no modifiers about what 'the human race' means other than 'observe - you'll figure it out'.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #19 on: 03 Jun 2015, 01:33 »

the last few updates have been a good time to give ag another look. things might/may/perhaps are progressing at a slightly less glacial pace.
the villagers fear and hate alice, with luck there will be at least an attempt at a burning sometime soon. I'm also kind of hoping that bluetail and flyinggirl are not what they seem, and that they are in fact on a covert mission to end blackalisssss' rule of terror.

also, based on what benrg has to say about robots justifying the killing of humans i'm going out smashing robot dogs in toy shops this afternoon. the fight back has to start somewhere.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #20 on: 03 Jun 2015, 01:44 »

So apparently Alice isn't human by any definition of the word, if we're going by what Amos says.

Well, he didn't say that. He said she weren't natural. That could mean 'augmented-human' as easily as anything else.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #21 on: 03 Jun 2015, 03:56 »

I don't see Alice as having anything like the Three (or Four) Laws built in, if only because her charges (the planet-bound humans) are not a complete representation of humanity. All the ones we've seen are two-dimensional hicks - pulling their forelocks in amazement as Alice threatens/cajoles/protects them. They seem to be deliberately anachronistic, as the far more advanced space culture has cut them off from exposure to anything non-rural. Ardent and Gavia, for all their immaturity, are far more educated and sophisticated than any of the locals besides Alice. Even the town elder, in his talk revealing what he thinks of Alice, ends up defending the idea that history should be misremembered.

If this comic is ever to have any compelling drama, it'll have to come from Alice (rather than the local yokels), and it'll need her to face someone (or multiple someones) who can be her equal. So far no one like that has appeared in the comic. All we have are townspeople and the two siblings, whom she effortlessly cows.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #22 on: 03 Jun 2015, 05:53 »

I'm wondering if it could be a scenario sort of like A Canticle for Leibowitz, where humanity has, in the wake of a major disaster, decided to destroy all technology, except in this case the technology is preserved by a subset of humanity in space. The ones left behind, though, after several generations, have forgotten all about the technology, and so what Alice does looks like magic to them. Amos, on the other hand, may be from the original generation that destroyed the technology to begin with... which would explain his apparent hostility to Alice and his suggestion that things are best left forgotten.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #23 on: 03 Jun 2015, 05:58 »

You think it happened that recently?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #24 on: 03 Jun 2015, 06:20 »

Oh. Heh. I guess that would contradict the whole Alice-being-thousands-of-years-old thing.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #25 on: 03 Jun 2015, 07:06 »

It doesn't have to be recent for the dogma that 'tek-know-ledge-ee is bad' to be passed on from parent to child for scores of generations, even long after it has ceased to have any comprehensible meaning to the hearer.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #26 on: 03 Jun 2015, 08:13 »

I find it interesting that Alice led the siblings to Amos. Despite his protests that she never 'just visits' I think he is the closest thing she has to a friend, and that's why he gets leeway when talking about her. Something she's not very comfortable with. It seems Alice has already found the pain of being the only immortal around. She craves companionship and friendship. But all the same she pushes people away and keeps them at arms length because she knows that in a few decades they will be gone while she remains.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #27 on: 03 Jun 2015, 13:36 »

the villagers fear and hate alice, with luck there will be at least an attempt at a burning sometime soon.
Fear: Yes, to an extent. Hate: No, I don't think so; recall this scene:
http://www.alicegrove.com/page/57
Also, Amos certainly doesn't seem to hate Alice.

I'm still hoping for Alice not to be a robot; somehow the story appeals to me much more if she is human.

RE: Glacial pace: Alice Grove now has 71 pages. Look where QC was at 71 pages:
http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=71
That is not too far advanced in the story right? Ok, definitely further than AG; Pintsize already has a new chassis and QC also got the point really quickly, with Faye moving in with Marten within 20 strips or so. But what I mean is that it's pretty easy to forget how slowly comics can start off.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #28 on: 03 Jun 2015, 21:44 »

There's something very "white privilege-ish" in the obliviousness Amos displays, lecturing a blue boy and his antigrav sister on how their chaperone/jailer is "unnatural."

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #29 on: 03 Jun 2015, 21:54 »

Amos is old enough to think he remembers "how things were," but Alice is actually old enough to know that change is inevitable.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #30 on: 04 Jun 2015, 02:31 »

There's something very "white privilege-ish" in the obliviousness Amos displays, lecturing a blue boy and his antigrav sister on how their chaperone/jailer is "unnatural."

Well, Amos is literally a Patriarch.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #31 on: 04 Jun 2015, 06:18 »

I think that Amos 'gets it' that despite odd appearances or unusual powers, the siblings are essentially kids like any other. Alice on the other hand is something different entirely. She's not unlike a Time Lord in that sense. She may look human, but her life, her experiences, her very nature set her apart, and in some ways above all the others around her.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #32 on: 04 Jun 2015, 10:19 »

Alice is letting Amos talk because she probably already knows what he knows and what he has been able to infer from what he knows.

I think the interesting part will come when/if she lets the kids talk and how much note-comparing she'll let them do with Amos.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #33 on: 04 Jun 2015, 19:44 »

A bit sappy, I'd say.


Here's my theory: people relied for so long on things like Google and Wikipedia to tell the history of the world that, one day, when the servers all crashed, they were left with...  nothing.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #34 on: 04 Jun 2015, 20:44 »

Hey, we got some character development, we got some lore background, I'm liking this! (Though with no context, I have no idea if Alice's dig about the Praeses being stingy is factual or heavily biased, so I'm really not sure if I should be cheering for her here or not.)

So, who thinks that Alice is being literal when she calls them trees? Is it a factual statement, or is it like calling a robot a 'Tin can' when you want to be insulting?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #35 on: 04 Jun 2015, 21:01 »

I'm guessing the trees comment is literal. Gavia made comments back when they were talking about the Nightwalker that makes it seem like intelligent machines are not allowed in their culture. From other things said the prases are non-mobile intelligence that need human assistance to interact.. Ardent talked about a technician of some sort who tricked the transport to send him down, while Gavia was sent by the prases. And they are referred to as 'it's. So we're looking at some sort of non human, long lived, not artificial intelligences and named after trees... I am getting strong hints they are something like the Jurian trees from Tenchi Muyo.


... Or Alice as just making a pun because they are all named after trees. Take your pick, really.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #36 on: 04 Jun 2015, 21:08 »

If they're literal trees, where are you going to grow a tree in space?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #37 on: 04 Jun 2015, 22:03 »

Alice's real secret?  She's actually Mihoshi Kuramitsu.  Even Mihoshi would get a clue if she lived long enough.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #38 on: 04 Jun 2015, 22:15 »

Let's take a second to appreciate the fact that Amos would grab popcorn if they knew how to make it.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #39 on: 04 Jun 2015, 22:22 »

Ents, I tell you, Ents!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #40 on: 04 Jun 2015, 22:26 »

Well, I was hoping for Alice's history, but hints about the space society are almost as good. Maybe Gavia is about to learn from an annoyed Alice that she comes from a very rigidly controlled and restricted society ruled with an iron fist by a bunch of thinking trees who don't care much for the humans. Which I imagine will be a shock to her as she is convinced she comes from a safe society with helpful Praeses. I don't think the possibility that she has been deliberately abandoned has crossed her mind.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #41 on: 04 Jun 2015, 22:32 »

Baroom

Lets not be hasty
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #42 on: 04 Jun 2015, 22:43 »

If they're literal trees, where are you going to grow a tree in space?

Well, either they could have their roots anchored to something and some complex system is used to make sure they get water/nutrients, and air to their leaves.  Or on a spaceship, which come to think of it seems to be a much simpler proposition.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #44 on: 05 Jun 2015, 00:04 »

Three things jump to mind here:
  • 'Fact' and 'History' are not the same things; the latter has a cultural context that an outsider can't provide;
  • Like the Praeses, I doubt that Alice would lie but I think that she would say the least she could and not volunteer any information not specifically requested;
  • 'Spaceborne' sounds like a very bitter insult to me; I'm beginning to think that Alice's attitude to the space kids is a case of hostility transfer.
In any case, I think that we are going to find out that Alice is a lot like the Praeses whose smiling, kindly and oh-so well-intentioned tyranny she so despises. Sometimes, making people safe and happy is inconsistent with giving them dignity and it is never an easy task to find the balance point.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #45 on: 05 Jun 2015, 00:31 »

If they're literal trees, where are you going to grow a tree in space?

Well, either they could have their roots anchored to something and some complex system is used to make sure they get water/nutrients, and air to their leaves.  Or on a spaceship, which come to think of it seems to be a much simpler proposition.

If you you want to do it, you'll find a way. The question is why? What is the key advantage of taking trees into space? Oxygen.

And if it turns out the trees can do all your thinking for you, so much the better.
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Method of Madness

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #46 on: 05 Jun 2015, 04:28 »

Alice, just because her gods are shitty doesn't give you the right to be. (Nor does it give them the right to be.)
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Schwungrad

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #47 on: 05 Jun 2015, 06:21 »

An interesting philosophy, what Amos and Alice have, but I have to say I'm rather on Gavia's side. History getting jumbled by oral tradition is a bug IMO, not a feature - a bug that has been drastically alleviated with the introduction of written records and will be further eradicated by computer storage technology. But then, the world of Alice Grove probably has gone through this stage at one point and perhaps it didn't work out. Perhaps we need to study history in order not to repeat our mistakes - but at the same time we need to forget some history in order to be able to face the future without being crippled by the fear of repeating old mistakes. I'm very curious whether Alice will elaborate further.
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mustang6172

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #48 on: 05 Jun 2015, 18:58 »

Is it just me, or are these people way too sensitive about history?
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starkruzr

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #49 on: 06 Jun 2015, 00:54 »

An entire culture built upon the naturalistic fallacy. Solid.

Yeah, Gavia's right. Alice is full of shit.
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