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Poll

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 16137 times)

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #50 on: 06 Jun 2015, 10:33 »

I think Gavia may be wrong.

Not that I think Alice is right. There's a reason that writing persists, despite the advent of recording sound and video, and it's not just ease.

That said, I think Alice is heavily implying that Gavia's space people are quite a bit like Banks's Culture. They rely on their AI. The Culture, however, were well educated and not given to letting their AI serve them answers. I think Alice is implying that the Space People are not like that. That they trust information from the trees, implicitly. Given the strong hints that trees straight lied to both Ardent and Gavia, Alice probably has a point. Given her faint hostility towards the trees, I suspect it's a personal point.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #51 on: 06 Jun 2015, 15:28 »

So I just had a thought, and this could just be me looking too much into this but here is what I am theorizing

A fraction of humans become technologically advanced. Something catastrophic happens ( A war, pollution, etc.) that causes mass destruction and brings human society everywhere to a halt. The remainder of highly advanced civilization leave earth for the stars, abandoning earth and leaving the less advanced humans to clean up their mess.

As for Alice's origin, I think she may have come from the advanced society at one point, which would explain why she knows so much about it. She learns about what the advanced civilization did and she abandons the advanced society for earth, helping the humans who are still barely surviving form some sort of society. She provides them with electricity, specifically clean and energy efficient electricity from wind turbines (Alice does not want to give the earth humans technology they could use to harm the earth or each other).

Alice doesn't want to give the locals any of this information because they will get angry and want to destroy the advanced space society, arcing their technological trajectory to one of war. Which would essentially be a repeat of the catastrophe. SO she is trying to guide the remainder of humanity into a peaceful, advanced culture. Or she is just trying to keep them alive. (Either of which may or may not be futile, we don't really know the situation)

This would explain her dislike of the Praeses, as well as her disdain for humanity itself. She's seen the horrible things humanity can do if left unchecked and she isn't going to tolerate it. (See: Alice's "discussion" with Jeb)

Now this is just speculation, another interesting theory is that she is an indentured servant/criminal that the Praeses use to maintain the zoo/reservation of primitive humans. Though I feel like this theory lacks as much evidence as the former
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #52 on: 07 Jun 2015, 01:05 »

To me the first theory sounds quite likely; I've been thinking something similar myself.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #53 on: 07 Jun 2015, 08:27 »

If Ardent's goal is befriending Amos, he is doing great.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #54 on: 07 Jun 2015, 19:12 »

I have a feeling Ardent's goal is to befriend everyone he meets. "Hi! Hello everyone scowling and terrified because my sister is with me!" "Teach me about pitchforks! Fascinating!" Way back at the start when Alice told him she planned to stay with him and make sure he didn't screw up her perfectly balanced society he didn't react by being annoyed at the implication he was dangerous and needed a babysitter, he was thrilled he had a tour guide.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #55 on: 07 Jun 2015, 19:22 »

I think that's just his goal in life, really. He seems like a generally friendly guy.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #56 on: 07 Jun 2015, 19:39 »

He's certainly the Twoflower of the AG 'verse.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #57 on: 07 Jun 2015, 20:11 »

I don't get that reference...I'd google it but I don't wanna accidentally spoil something for myself.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #58 on: 07 Jun 2015, 23:17 »

I don't get that reference...I'd google it but I don't wanna accidentally spoil something for myself.
It's a reference to a character in the Discworld Series, by Terry Pratchett.  It's fantasy humour.  Terry Pratchett has been called the "Douglas Adams of Fantasy."
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #59 on: 08 Jun 2015, 00:07 »

Twoflower was basically a massively na´ve tourist who thought the best of everyone no matter how many threats they make and weapons they are pointing at him, who thought all the dangerous adventures he had were thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable. The other character he had them with, Rincewind, disagreed mightily on that point.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #60 on: 08 Jun 2015, 01:39 »

Something just occurred to me on rereading that last comic:

Is Ardent and Gavia's society also being preserved at a lower-than-possible tech level? We knew before there were restrictions on AIs, and now we know that there are limits on what the Praesides share with the spaceborne.

So are the spaceborne Amish with nanotech?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #61 on: 08 Jun 2015, 01:49 »

Is Ardent and Gavia's society also being preserved at a lower-than-possible tech level? We knew before there were restrictions on AIs, and now we know that there are limits on what the Praesides share with the spaceborne.

My guess is that Praeses only allow the humans access to technology that they either need to remain healthy and happy or to provide them with harmless distractions to stop them from building nuclear weapons and trying to kill each other (and everything else) with them.

I suspect that, like Alice, they are programmed to 'serve and protect' with worryingly few (if any) limitations on how they go about achieving those goals.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #62 on: 08 Jun 2015, 02:26 »

Twoflower was basically a massively na´ve tourist who thought the best of everyone no matter how many threats they make and weapons they are pointing at him, who thought all the dangerous adventures he had were thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable. The other character he had them with, Rincewind, disagreed mightily on that point.

Rincewind: (Name I have forgotten), from where no one ever comes back.
TwoFlower: I must see that!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #63 on: 08 Jun 2015, 15:52 »

Y'know, now that I think about it, given her attitude, could Alice be a reformed May in the far future?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #64 on: 08 Jun 2015, 19:31 »

Rincewind: (Name I have forgotten), from where no one ever comes back.
TwoFlower: I must see that!

Just as long as he doesn't forget his iconograph, so that others may know of the experience.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #65 on: 10 Jun 2015, 12:28 »

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #66 on: 10 Jun 2015, 12:39 »

Well, that's an interesting insight into the culture of Gavia and Ardent's people. I don't know if the Praeses are really trees or if a 'forest' is a metaphorical name for their space habitat and a reference to how the Praeses have brought harmony to their human charges.

(click to show/hide)

FWIW, it's more and more likely that Alice is either an AI or a first-generation nano-machine-enabled bio-mechanism.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #67 on: 10 Jun 2015, 12:41 »

Amos may have the right of it. "Kicked them out for being jerks" would explain a lot about Ardent and Gavia. Of course, it's probably no more correct than Gavia's fairy tale.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #68 on: 10 Jun 2015, 12:44 »

PREDICTION for Friday:

GAVIA: "There are no truly sentient machines because that's impossible! The Praeses are firm on this whenever they're asked!"

ALICE: "They tell you that do they? Tell me, human, how do you explain this?"

ALICE somehow exposes a very, very mechanical endoskeleton somewhere on her body.

ALICE: "Now listen to me very carefully."


To be continued in volume 3!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #69 on: 10 Jun 2015, 12:59 »

Ugh, I'll be so fucking disappointed if Benergy's last post is right.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #70 on: 10 Jun 2015, 13:05 »

How interesting, Alice. I am intrigued to hear more about this if you want to share the information.

(click to show/hide)
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #71 on: 10 Jun 2015, 13:31 »

If this is done well, neither Amos or Gavia is right. Much like the American Civil War was about slavery and wasn't. Depending on who you ask. If we could ask someone who witnessed the actual events leading up to the war, as an adult, we'd probably learn that things weren't so cut and dried. That the people who, supposedly, were only fighting against federal aggression really were into that whole owning people and using them to death. That the people standing up for human rights were motivated by economic issues, as well.

Of course, since neuroscience makes a strong case about how thinking about a past event isn't so much remembering that event as it is remembering the last time you remembered it, Alice may or may not be a reliable witness, either. It depends on what she is, really.

Of course, it could all be much simpler. Alice could be a perfect witness, Gavia could be the rube, and Amos could be the guy who knows what's up. It would definitely be an inversion of expectation, though a fairly typical one.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #72 on: 10 Jun 2015, 16:40 »

Alice  "For starters, my name is Alice Chattham-Reed, and i am not quite Human.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #73 on: 10 Jun 2015, 16:56 »

I'm hoping for something more along the lines of "Alice Augustus-Azuma", but that's a long shot.  :-D
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #74 on: 10 Jun 2015, 17:04 »

Alice  "For starters, my name is Alice Chattham-Reed, and i am not quite Human.

I see no reason for that to go wrong at all.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #75 on: 10 Jun 2015, 17:19 »

She's an Bio-AI construct. Only explanation for that.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #76 on: 10 Jun 2015, 17:56 »

If she's a robot, then I'm betting that technology has been stagnated for millenia up in Gavia and Ardent's world. (Even if AI was simply avoided or made illegal, technology would have developed well past Alice's robotics level, and nanotech should be remarkably different.)  Heck, even if Alice isn't a robot that is the only thing that really makes sense.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #77 on: 10 Jun 2015, 17:58 »

Am I the only one who still thinks that Alice isn't an AI of any kind?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #78 on: 10 Jun 2015, 18:26 »

Nope. I think she's mostly human. With a few artificial preservatives.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #79 on: 10 Jun 2015, 18:30 »

And an extremely long shelf life... I'm of mixed thoughts. I don't think she's a robot. The siblings would have noticed it after living with her for a few weeks. I don't think she's entirely human though. Enhanced, or constructed body and mind seems the most likely. She might have something like three laws programming though. She doesn't seem to much care for most of the people of the town, but she looks over them and protects them. It's possible she does so because she has to, not because she wants to. It could also explain the absolute glee she gets when an opportunity appears to flex her muscles. She could be  constrained from harming people except when certain circumstances happen, like Gavia firebombing the town, or Jeb questioning her orders.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #80 on: 10 Jun 2015, 18:36 »

I don't think she's either. I think she's some sort of minor deity.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #81 on: 10 Jun 2015, 20:21 »

Nope. I think she's mostly human. With a few artificial preservatives.

This is my gut feeling as well. But I'll bet she remembers when there _were_ sentient machines walking around.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #82 on: 10 Jun 2015, 21:59 »

Alice is human, IMO. She could be AI, but her comment makes me think that this isn't related to QC in any way.

I think she's human partly because I can't imagine a self-aware machine failing to move past whatever hostility she has against the trees after a millennium, but I can see a human holding grude forever, if they want to enough.

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #83 on: 11 Jun 2015, 03:41 »

The level of venom in Alice's statements the most recent strips strongly implies to me that she is either an exile or someone who rejected the attitudes of the space-borne society despite choosing to use their methods.

"Alice Grove" - The tree reference does make you think, now Gavia has used a 'forest' metaphor to describe her own home culture. Alice has as much as said that she is, in a way, the Presides to the townsfolk, hasn't she?

I am hoping that volume 3 will be mostly Alice and Amos explaining the schism of humanity from the perspective of those left behind on a supposedly-doomed Earth. Also, I think, from the perspective of one of a very special breed of being who had been created to serve and to protect and didn't accept her peers' arguments that the planet and those determined to live on it by the old ways were somehow a lost cause. Someone who, instead, chose to keep faith with her creators under the terms they set and not her own. One, perhaps, tired after too long labouring alone, who needs to be reminded of the joys of her chosen course.

The sALICaceae are the willow family of trees.
« Last Edit: 11 Jun 2015, 08:54 by BenRG »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #84 on: 11 Jun 2015, 03:49 »

My first confused thought when I read the comic was: "Gavia's ancestors wanted to be free of earth so they grew a forrest of trees to get away from it? I do not think they know what earth is and how important earth is for a forest." But yes, a misreading, free of the toil and burden of the earth as in place is what she meant.

My first thought at the last panel wasn't: "Alice is about to reveal she is an AI" it was "Alice is about to reveal the Praeses are AIs". From her delivery and how pissed off Alice is with Gavia right now, I'm thinking the Praeses don't want people to know they are AIs for some reason.

From the way Amos thinks the story is them throwing the spaceborn out for being jerks, I think it is possible the people on this planet are not being forced by Alice to have what the spaceborn would consider primitive lifestyles and their level of technology is by choice. Their ancestors may be people who felt that technology had led them somewhere really bad that must never be repeated. If I had to guess, I'd say the creation of an intelligent AI had something to do with this conviction.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #85 on: 11 Jun 2015, 06:48 »

spaceborn

Please note, spaceborn and spaceborne are quite different things, although probably both accurate in this case.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #86 on: 11 Jun 2015, 07:31 »

Alice is a Sentient Machine or as I loving refer to as a Synthetic Consciousness "SC".  Kinda like how a Diamond and a man made Diamond are still the same thing only one was created by good old fashion Nature the other Humans.

I really hope this is the Direction it is going!  I really hope Jeph is going to really get into how Humanity will do one of two things when a real SC is born into this world.

Either we do what Humanity has done for generations and one we seemly take pride in doing, oppression and slavery thing we have almost perfected over the years.  This includes but is not limited to, Sex Slaves, 24/7 Labor, Entertainment, Fight's to the death, replacement for lost loved ones, bodyguards, and so-on.  Also the idea that we would intentionally cripple their minds so they actually love being these things without question, in other words we take away what some people think "God" gave us, "Freewill" just image the fucked up life you would live if you were forced to believe you actually liked Reality TV and industrial processed food.

Or we embrace them and treat them as equals and together with them we overcome every last Human frailty such as War, Money, Death, and the big one Finally knowing we are no longer alone in the Universe by basically creating a lifeform that helps enhance our own understanding of existence.

That being said I think is Jeph is going down this road it'll be #1 the good old fashion Human superiority to anything that ain't them!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #87 on: 11 Jun 2015, 08:52 »

Going back to the earlier part of the argument where analogies with trees and sap were used, maybe they were not analogies after all?  :psyduck:

Could it be that the Alice that we have seen up to now is an avatar of the local Praeses?
The Praeses being sentient trees equivalent to the cedars of the Sierras.
Those trees being pretty much all one plant and therefore possibly older than the Bristle-cones themselves.

- This thought came to me as I remembered a specific science fiction short story based on that premise.
- The space version may have been inspired by the trees from Tench Muyo.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #88 on: 11 Jun 2015, 08:56 »

- The space version may have been inspired by the trees from Tench Muyo.

About 30 years ago, the BBC showed a one-off sci-fi short/nature documentary where future humans have been miniaturised to about the size of harvest mice and are living in a gigantic space station that turns out to be a huge genetically-engineered intelligent tree.

The spaceship that they used to visit past Earth turned out to be a genetically-engineered cucumber!  :laugh:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #89 on: 11 Jun 2015, 09:12 »

You see, this is what people are warning about GMOs! Today it's larger tomatoes! Tomorrow it's space trees and cucumber ships!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #90 on: 11 Jun 2015, 09:30 »

Tomorrow it's space trees and cucumber ships!
If this sentence is supposed to turn people against GMOs I don't see how :roll:
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Zebediah

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #91 on: 11 Jun 2015, 10:15 »

- The space version may have been inspired by the trees from Tench Muyo.

About 30 years ago, the BBC showed a one-off sci-fi short/nature documentary where future humans have been miniaturised to about the size of harvest mice and are living in a gigantic space station that turns out to be a huge genetically-engineered intelligent tree.

The spaceship that they used to visit past Earth turned out to be a genetically-engineered cucumber!  :laugh:

Did Douglas Adams have anything to do with that? Because a cucumber-spaceship sounds like exactly the sort of thing he would dream up.
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jwhouk

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #92 on: 11 Jun 2015, 14:15 »

Boss stated on Twitter that Friday's update (double-sized) will be the end of chapter two.
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DillyDolly

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #93 on: 11 Jun 2015, 14:56 »

Possible spoilers -

....

....

....


Actually... I'm betting Alice *is* not just human—but the only human (besides Ardent and Gavia). Her charges (the villagers) are the sentient machines. Think about it. Look at how "evolved" Ardent and Gavia are. We know they are humans who have been modified.

Now look at Alice's villagers. They are down to Earth. They have advanced technology (like the windmill), but they appear to living like people lived a hundred or so years ago in our time. It's like they are living as green as you can. Then there's the nanotechnology. If it's strong enough to build humans, why not make it to make "artificial" life? My guess is Alice's world began as normal Earth and the people's ancestors were AI experiments. Alice cares for everyone, because she could be one of the original scientists. She may dislike other humans, because she's seen them being jerks, and this is why she want Ardent and Gavia gone. The humans try to become more artificial. The robot people try to be more natural (even going as far to procreate like humans, age and die). It seems actually like what could happen to the QC universe in several thousands of years considering robots are sentient.
« Last Edit: 11 Jun 2015, 15:08 by DillyDolly »
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jwhouk

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #94 on: 11 Jun 2015, 15:14 »

I'd agree if it wasn't that she said she'd known Jebediah since he "was a bump in her mother's belly."

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Schwungrad

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #95 on: 11 Jun 2015, 17:13 »

I'd agree if it wasn't that she said she'd known Jebediah since he "was a bump in her mother's belly."
She could be using anthropomorphizing metaphors to describe machine functions. Humans do this all the time. Or the "artificial life" has a self-replication method that is closely modelled on mammal pregnancy.
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ReindeerFlotilla

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #96 on: 11 Jun 2015, 19:46 »

I agree that the townies are likely just human. But that's a good plot twist, Dilly. You should write that story.

jwhouk

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #97 on: 11 Jun 2015, 20:05 »

And we just got our exposition.

The AI's went up, the rest of humanity went down.
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Energia

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #98 on: 11 Jun 2015, 20:13 »

No, the AIs went up and humanity was kept up while the AIs went away.

So were they sent or did they leave?

I'm also totally digging the abstract war panel.

However, how dare Jeph take a vacation!?  I'm going to be clicking refresh forlornly all next week!
« Last Edit: 11 Jun 2015, 20:29 by Energia »
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Kugai

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Re: Alice Grove MCDT - June 2015
« Reply #99 on: 11 Jun 2015, 20:31 »

So, we are on Earth, just an Earth a fair few centuries in the future - that's one point cleared up

There were AI's in this Universe, another point cleared up, but whether they were advanced versions of the AI/AnthroPC's of the QCverse is open to conjecture.

There was a War - that explains a few things.

Alice is either an immortal Human remnant of one of the two civilisations, or a highly advanced AI who is so close to Human it's virtually impossible to distinguish the difference.   I'm guessing she's not entirely Human in the terms we would understand them, but neither is she an AI Construct.

The Praeses are some form of lower level AI/Advanced Semi-sentient Computer Life left behind after the true AI's left.

'The Blink' may have been AI's taking a hand in ending a war that was ruining Earth before completely seperating themselves from the two societies - the new stars might actually be the AI's who have left to live beyond the Solar System, but still close enough to be seen and to watch over the system of their birth
« Last Edit: 11 Jun 2015, 20:36 by Kugai »
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