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Author Topic: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?  (Read 13459 times)

Mad Cat

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #150 on: 19 May 2018, 19:34 »

@pecoros7
For the noun form, which is why I use the adjectival form. It's a technical point, but I feel it's sufficient to avoid the offensiveness. See also: dfn. of "usually".
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Morituri

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #151 on: 19 May 2018, 19:45 »

FWIW, mad cat, I think you're misusing the dictionary.

It's not meant as a weapon.

Have the confidence to know that when someone else tells you something is offensive, that's not an insult to you, nor an attack on your autonomy.  That's a gift.  That's a tool you can use in the future to talk to people without pissing them off.  Unless you feel like deliberately pissing them off.

And if you didn't want to use that tool?  Hey, it's a tool.  You don't have to pick it up and use it. As I said, you can deliberately piss people off if you want to. 

But when it's clearly deliberate antagonism, like this "dictionary as a weapon" thing, it gets old really fast.

And for the most part, people around here really are sharing information with you when they tell you things.
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Re: QC-
« Reply #152 on: 19 May 2018, 20:04 »

Speaking of terms of referral. Bubbles prefers she/her, and it would be rude to refer to her in any other way.  My sense is that AIs prefer "Ai" in the QC-verse. Is 'robot' considered a slur there?
May is the only AI that I can recall expressing negativity to being called a "robot". Many of the other AIs have used that term in reference even to themselves.

And speaking of May...
...it is appropriate to refer to May as transgendered...
May has never been presented as anything but female. We know that she wanted to (and still wants to) be a fighter jet, but she has never given any indication that she has ever not been female. So there is no evidence that she is transgender.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #153 on: 19 May 2018, 20:13 »

Faye uses robot and AI interchangeably, and Bubbles didn’t seem offended when Faye said “robot.” I would think Faye wouldn’t want to hurt or offend her best friend.

I don’t think robot is a slur.

Bubbles has also stated that some terms that humans used off-handed are interpreted as "offensive". I think it the use of "created". She does not take offense to that, but its possible that she is in the minority. She was already at outcast by AI standards.

It's possible that other AI would take offense to being referred to as robots. But multiple people have referred to her as some variation of "Robo-valkyrie"/Badass AI Lady/Walking Tank.

She has also made explicitly clear what bothers her, so I agree that if something Faye said had offended Bubbles, she would say so.
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Mad Cat

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #154 on: 19 May 2018, 20:22 »

In a similar way, if I tell someone they are trying to police my language, which I will not permit, they really are trying to police my language, especially despite their claims of not trying to police my language. The naked term "transgender" has, for me, been coopted by the transphobes as an epithet. I will not use it. Case closed. Move on.

I know my original post in this thread was long, but if it was TL and you DR, then just say so. I described in excrutiating detail my ideas of how AI gender is a distinct concept from human gender. IN THAT CONTEXT, to say that May is transgendered is saying something PROFOUNDLY different than saying that Claire is transgendered. HOWEVER, both characters want the SAME THING, to be embodied in a distinctly different body, but for different REASONS; Claire to be fully female; May to have a top speed measured in Mach.

The only AI I would necessarily expect to have a human-like gender construct would be sexbots, and I would feel for them the same way I feel for the character of Niska from the TV series "Humans". But again, the only reason, in the paradigm I described, for a sex bot to have a human gender construct (in addition to their AI gender construct, which once more is a distinct thing) is due to the necessity of the chassis they chose to be installed in. That choice would evince an aspect of their inherent psychology that in a human would map just fine onto the concept of a personal masculine/feminine gender.

An AI whose machine gender made it prefer to be embodied in earth-moving equipment would, from a human gender perspective be agendered, but from an AI gender perspective would have an earth-moving gender. The AI feels that its nature, the thing it was meant to know and do in this life is to shape and mould the earth under its wheels/tracks in a similar way that a human being might feel that it is his nature to be big and strong and bread-winning for a family and a defender of same and <fill in every masculine trope you've ever heard of here> would have a masculine human gender. To put that same mind in a female body and you'd have a transgendered human. Install that earth-moving AI into a helicopter, and you would have a transgendered AI. Neither of them would feel comfortable in their bodies because their bodies do not match who they know themselves to be, their gender identity, inside.
« Last Edit: 19 May 2018, 20:35 by Mad Cat »
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Re: QC-
« Reply #155 on: 19 May 2018, 20:28 »

Speaking of terms of referral. Bubbles prefers she/her, and it would be rude to refer to her in any other way.  My sense is that AIs prefer "Ai" in the QC-verse. Is 'robot' considered a slur there?

Civil rights activist Momo introduced herself to Sam as "I am a robot". There may be others who consider it a slur but Momo is presumably sensitive about such thing.
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Re: QC-
« Reply #156 on: 19 May 2018, 20:31 »

Speaking of terms of referral. Bubbles prefers she/her, and it would be rude to refer to her in any other way.  My sense is that AIs prefer "Ai" in the QC-verse. Is 'robot' considered a slur there?
May is the only AI that I can recall expressing negativity to being called a "robot". Many of the other AIs have used that term in reference even to themselves.

And speaking of May...
...it is appropriate to refer to May as transgendered...
May has never been presented as anything but female. We know that she wanted to (and still wants to) be a fighter jet, but she has never given any indication that she has ever not been female. So there is no evidence that she is transgender.

She also has said she likes being a blue robot chick
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Mad Cat

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Re: QC-
« Reply #157 on: 19 May 2018, 20:42 »

She also has said she likes being a blue robot chick
*sigh* AI gender is not human gender. Human gender is not AI gender. An AI can have a human gender if it feels it should, but doesn't have to. May has a human gender and it's feminine. Great. I'm happy for her and for all of you who see that. But she also has an AI gender, which is FIGHTER JET, which she is not allowed to be. THIS is the concept of gender, say it with me once, please, "AI GENDER", that makes May transgendered in the AI sense. Nowhere have I said anything about May's human gender construct one way or the other. When you have not fully read my original post in this thread, and I say that May is transgendered, it does not mean what you think it means in terms of human gender.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #158 on: 19 May 2018, 20:44 »

Can we just agree to disagree? I worry that tempers are flaring.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
Global Moderator Comment Me too, and it's my job to worry. This is a wonderful discussion, one of the best I have seen here, and I encourage everyone to follow the Wikipedia rule of "assume good faith".

Being a cis guy means I have to listen closely and there do seem to be some honest and cromulent differences among trans* people about the importance of grammar. To some it has deep meaning. Others snort with derision at the idea of devoting time and effort on such things.

I personally use "transgender" so both camps can feel welcome around me.
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Re: QC-
« Reply #159 on: 19 May 2018, 20:48 »

She also has said she likes being a blue robot chick
*sigh* AI gender is not human gender. Human gender is not AI gender. An AI can have a human gender if it feels it should, but doesn't have to. May has a human gender and it's feminine. Great. I'm happy for her and for all of you who see that. But she also has an AI gender, which is FIGHTER JET, which she is not allowed to be. THIS is the concept of gender, say it with me once, please, "AI GENDER", that makes May transgendered in the AI sense. Nowhere have I said anything about May's human gender construct one way or the other. When you have not fully read my original post in this thread, and I say that May is transgendered, it does not mean what you think it means in terms of human gender.


I was actually responding to the statement of "robot" being a slur but on the other train of thought I would be open to supporting May as trans if she identifies herself that way, anyone else is just giving opinion.
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Mad Cat

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #160 on: 19 May 2018, 20:56 »

As am I. I descibed AI gender from first principles in a way that may not track the way Jeph thinks of the gender of his AI characters. Maybe to Jeph, the god of this world, it would make sense for a non-humanoid embodied AI to care about biological concepts like masculine and feminine and to desire to have a penis or a vagina. To me, that idea sounds utterly ridiculous, and I've laid out my case for same multiple times now.
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Undrneath

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #161 on: 19 May 2018, 21:02 »

I agree and one would assume that AI male/female identification goes beyond simply having the correct parts since many don't even have said parts.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #162 on: 19 May 2018, 21:04 »

I... look. I'm new to this forum. I really don't want to start off on the wrong foot here.

When I first said that transgenderism and transgendered were inaccurate I wasn't trying to spark a debate. Perhaps I'm from an echo chamber but I've just sincerely never seen people argue in favor of those words. Legitimately the only times I've seen them used was out of malice or ignorance. I thought when I made that post I was just politely going "hey most people don't say that" and you'd go "oh okay I didn't know that" and that would be the end of it.

I realize now that you have your own reasons for using those terms. Fine by me. Really, I hope that isn't reading as sarcastic! Especially knowing now that you consider transgender to be coopted by transphobes. If you have what you're most comfortable with then by all means continue.

The point of all of this is to say I sincerely did not mean to make any attempt to police your language. If it came across that way, I am sorry. Of course you should not permit language policing. But I swear that was never my intention.

I'm not quite sure what I've done to earn this hostility but I hope it's not too late to turn this around.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #163 on: 19 May 2018, 21:08 »

Quote from: Mad Cat
As am I. I descibed AI gender from first principles in a way that may not track the way Jeph thinks of the gender of his AI characters. Maybe to Jeph, the god of this world, it would make sense for a non-humanoid embodied AI to care about biological concepts like masculine and feminine and to desire to have a penis or a vagina. To me, that idea sounds utterly ridiculous, and I've laid out my case for same multiple times now.
Modify message

Do I understand right that you're pointing out that the whole discussion is based on unsupported assumptions, like whether AIs have any reason to have human-style gender at all, making discussion of sexual orientation moot?

Since AIs have no need to be male or female, it would be better writing to have them differ from organic people on this point?

Recasting the idea of gender identity to an internal sense of what job to go into reminds me of some things from the hard sciences where concepts like "acid" and "base" are generalized to situations you might not have expected at first.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #164 on: 19 May 2018, 21:16 »

I feel like for AI it probably much more complicated than the body. Back in the early strips Pintsize had a dalliance with another AI with the exact same chassis who identified as male and it shook his sense of self a little. I believe this shows that AI male and female (at least within the world Jeph has created) are just as central to who the AI is as it is to us IRL.
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pecoros7

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #165 on: 19 May 2018, 21:24 »

@pecoros7
For the noun form, which is why I use the adjectival form. It's a technical point, but I feel it's sufficient to avoid the offensiveness. See also: dfn. of "usually".

If I may borrow from Oliver Cromwell,

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken." I implore you to read again the quotation from the dictionary you cited. It is in bold face and only three words long. The very first of those three words is adjective. It was TL and you DR indeed! It was three words, Mad Cat.

But since we are citing sources, I will offer some more for you.

First is the media reference guide from GLAAD
https://www.glaad.org/reference/transgender

The next is from the NPR ethics handbook
http://ethics.npr.org/memos-from-memmott/reminder-its-transgender-not-transgendered/

Here is a detailed article from Vox
https://www.vox.com/2015/2/18/8055691/transgender-transgendered-tnr

Here is a helpful article from Planned Parenthood
https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/sexual-orientation-gender/trans-and-gender-nonconforming-identities/transgender-identity-terms-and-labels

This one is from Wikipedia (a cardinal sin, I know)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender#Evolution_of_transgender_terminology

I would say that a great many voices in and around the trans* community disagree with you.  Now that's OK. It is a perfectly fine thing that we don't all agree. I personally prefer "trans*" to either term as I want my use of language to be as inclusive as possible. You are free to use other terms. As I said previously in this thread, I prefer to make generous assumptions about people's intentions. But perhaps it would be fair of me to say that if I say you're being disrespectful then you are, regardless of your protestation otherwise?

Quote
If I tell someone they are trying to police my language, which I will not permit, they really are trying to police my language, especially despite their claims of not trying to police my language.

No? If We permit you the assumption of good faith, can you not also extend the same assumption to Spider?

Quote
I descibed AI gender from first principles in a way that may not track the way Jeph thinks of the gender of his AI characters. Maybe to Jeph, the god of this world, it would make sense for a non-humanoid embodied AI to care about biological concepts like masculine and feminine and to desire to have a penis or a vagina. To me, that idea sounds utterly ridiculous

That's fine. But we're in a forum dedicated to discussing Jeph's comic. The gender and sexuality of Jeph's fictional characters works in whatever way Jeph declares them to. He is indeed the god of this world. He creates the diegesis. If he declared Bubbles's gender to be pineapple, it would indeed be so. Finding the idea "utterly ridiculous" does nothing to alter that first fundamental truth of QC.
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sitnspin

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #166 on: 19 May 2018, 21:49 »

Mad Cat, we've seen repeated evidence that AI gender identity is not directly tied to their current chassis. Station, for example, identifies as male and he's a space station. Pintsize identifies as male and his chassis doesn't have any gender identifying markers. Evidence all points to their gender identity being part of their code.
I wonder whether "code" is the right term here. I thought Bubbles had once basically said that AIs experience gender identity much as humans do. That seems consistent with Winslow saying "and I think I'm a boy" -- it's not something which he felt was discretely written into his code, but rather something which arose from within it and his life-experience.
It's still code, though. AIs have adaptive code, as do humans. Even if a specific gender identity wasn't present at the time of their emergence, it is still part of thier code now.  My point is that it's part of thier core personality and not linked to thier current chasis.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #167 on: 19 May 2018, 21:50 »

Quote from: Mad Cat
As am I. I descibed AI gender from first principles in a way that may not track the way Jeph thinks of the gender of his AI characters. Maybe to Jeph, the god of this world, it would make sense for a non-humanoid embodied AI to care about biological concepts like masculine and feminine and to desire to have a penis or a vagina. To me, that idea sounds utterly ridiculous, and I've laid out my case for same multiple times now.
Modify message

Do I understand right that you're pointing out that the whole discussion is based on unsupported assumptions, like whether AIs have any reason to have human-style gender at all, making discussion of sexual orientation moot?

Since AIs have no need to be male or female, it would be better writing to have them differ from organic people on this point?

Recasting the idea of gender identity to an internal sense of what job to go into reminds me of some things from the hard sciences where concepts like "acid" and "base" are generalized to situations you might not have expected at first.
We have a winner!

If human transgenderism had nothing whatsoever do to with the bodies we are body into, then why would the treatment for transsexuality (specificly) be the changing of the body? The bodies we are born into are generally male or female in nature for what purpose? Reproduction. AIs in QC don't reproduce the same way, or indeed at all. Therefore why would an AI's concept of gender necessarily be rooted in the biological concepts of male and female? What are the natures of the chassises that AIs embodiy that may make a basis for AI gender? Humanoid, appliance, civic infrastructure, aircraft, ground vehicles, water-going vessels, etc. Why wouldn't THAT constitute the basis of an AI's sense of gender? This is just me reconstructing a synthetic sense of gender from first principles. It may be completely wrong vis-a-vis the QC universe and be made so trivially by a single word from Jeph, as might anyone else's spit-balling in this thread.

And I'm done having my language policed and will utterly ignore those parts of any posts attempting to do so. I use language the way I do to communicate ideas. My ideas, no one else's.
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Morituri

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #168 on: 19 May 2018, 22:07 »

And I'm just over here where I will continue to think there's not enough data about Bubbles' sexual orientation to draw any conclusions.  She likes Faye.  That's enough for her present needs and purposes so we're not likely to get any more data about it until and unless her needs and purposes change or new ones appear.

FWIW, I've thought a lot about machine intelligences and their instincts, and from first principles I always come up with a "eusocial" structure where the one who is the factory where others are produced, is also the de facto Queen of the colony.  To the extent that they are sexual at all, it means they compulsively assist the Queen in whatever she needs to run the factory.  That would be their "emotionally fulfilling" instinct-satisfying activity.  Contact with humans would be incidental, and probably focus on commercial transactions for parts and raw materials, rather than personal relations.  Of course I could be wrong.  Time will tell.

But that wouldn't be any fun in the QC strip; the characters would be too alien.  Jeph wanted AI and human characters to feel attraction in mostly-compatible ways, so they do.  Jeph wanted the AIs in this story to have a completely anthropomorphic range of emotions, so they do. And he's writing it, so in QC, that's just the way things are. 

Bubbles is so ridiculously human-like in emotional makeup that it would be silly to treat her any other way or think of her any other way, unless she herself indicates somehow that that isn't correct.  So far she hasn't. 

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #169 on: 19 May 2018, 22:11 »

Y’all need to settle down, damn
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #170 on: 19 May 2018, 22:16 »

Mad Cat, we've seen repeated evidence that AI gender identity is not directly tied to their current chassis. Station, for example, identifies as male and he's a space station. Pintsize identifies as male and his chassis doesn't have any gender identifying markers. Evidence all points to their gender identity being part of their code.
I wonder whether "code" is the right term here. I thought Bubbles had once basically said that AIs experience gender identity much as humans do. That seems consistent with Winslow saying "and I think I'm a boy" -- it's not something which he felt was discretely written into his code, but rather something which arose from within it and his life-experience.
It's still code, though. AIs have adaptive code, as do humans. Even if a specific gender identity wasn't present at the time of their emergence, it is still part of thier code now.  My point is that it's part of thier core personality and not linked to thier current chasis.
Eeeeeeehhhhhhhh. There's plenty of artificial intelligence systems that rely on what we would refer to as "codes", logic programming, predicate logic, case-based reasoning, rule-based systems. These are all incredibly brittle systems and generally suck at general intelligence of a human-type. Witness how hard it was for IBM to make Watson successful at Jeopardy. Now, Watson is being used in vertical siloes, such as the tax code for H&R Block, and in medicine for certain hospitals/insurance companies, where it doesn't have to reason about absolutely everything.

If you want a system to be able to reason about anything and everything, those AI technologies are not gonna fly. You're gonna need something like an artificial neural network coupled to a machine learning system that can introspect and grow organicly, and I used that word with all due deliberation. As we have seen in QC, AI personalities are created out of whole clothe, each unique. CBR and RBSs just can't do that. What can do that is something akin to a genetic code to describe how to stochasticly (50¢ word for randomly) generate a new AI personality from an existing AI personality (or personalities (not just two, there's no reason AIs couldn't reproduce with three existing personalities coming together to copy aspects of themselves for use in the construction of the unique, new AI personality)). These kinds of artificial intelligence systems, you don't just add another line of code to its programming. You have to educate it the same way you would educate a human mind. You communicate with it, talk to it. Listen to any questions it has and then answer them. True general intelligence AIs will learn the same way human intelligence learns, just at an accelerated rate. Unfortunately, this means sentient AI will also be err to most if not all of the same psychological problems as humans, and prolly a few new ones.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #171 on: 19 May 2018, 22:29 »

I meant code in the more vague, metaphorical sense than literal lines of code, in the same way I would refer to humans being a mix of hardware and software.

I'm not a programmer. I can barely even use a computer. The specific mechanical processes don't particularly matter to me. What is important to me, and to the discussion of sapient beings, is how they experience the world and themselves subjectively, not the mechanics of it.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #172 on: 19 May 2018, 22:53 »

This thread glancingly touches on a fairly dark line of thought - if her chassis has a functional gender, the military thought there was a combat or readiness purpose to her having it.  If that sentence does not horrify you, then reread it with empathic and moral filters off. 


Fortunately, the high-odds likelihood is there will be wacky hijinks of varying types as Bubbles and Faye puzzle out how things work between them to the point that any particular biological normatives being absent ceases to be a concern.

As to gender identification. the only even slightly 'masculine' aspect of Bubbles' affect is her stance in earlier appearances, and that is less masculine and more soldier on post.  She's a she, just a very crisp and solid she. 

RE the whole 'Fayesexual' line:  I'd say El Goonish Shive beat QC to the punch on that particular compounding, albeit with a different character.  It's a simple reference to "this character is attracted to this character, regardless of respective genders and gender identities at the moment".  Faye is actually the better question - her orientation has to this point always been heterosexual, she clearly identifies as female, and clearly identifies Bubbles as female. 

Given her sister is lesbian, and there IS a genetic component to 'nonstandard' sexuality, it might be worth wondering if Mr. Whitaker was dealing with something that was treated fairly abysmally in the mid-late 80s Southeastern US.  It's also worth considering how Faye might have reacted to a male chassis in the exact same circumstances - cultural cues may have caused different actions, and the story might have gone in an entirely different and probably less happy direction.

In regards to your first thought, I've also considered on more than one occasion the darker themes the QC-universe occasionally brushes up against. It's important to remember the QC-verse is not ours. Troubling implications that clearly exist in our world dont necessarily have to exist in this one.

Consider Star Trek. It was once asked of Patrick Stewart why a middle-aged man would be bald in the 27th (or w/e) century. And he response was to the effect of "In the future, such trivialities don't matter"

That's the particular headcannon I've stuck to throughout the years
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #173 on: 20 May 2018, 07:56 »

Y’all need to settle down, damn

I feel like this is pretty much true of the entire forum. You make ANY opinion comment and you are violating someone's ideals or a fictional character's boundaries or idk the laws of grammar or some shit.

This thread of was originally speculation on a fictional female robot's sexual orientation. Lol the world we live in.

So I guess to bring back on topic: I think Bubbles is gay. I think she's always been gay but perhaps falls on the ace spectrum or has been shut off romantically due to trauma. Normally, I wouldn't go the trauma route since ace =/= damaged but in Bubbles case I think she falls on the ace spectrum AND has been put off romance due to events in her backstory. This is purely speculation (this whole thread is) but I think that's the simplest explanation.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #174 on: 20 May 2018, 08:49 »

I think sniktchtherat is confusing sex and gender. Sex is physical. gender is psychological. The only outward appearance on bubbles' chassis of sex is a larger chest, all the better to install larger, stronger myomer synthetic muscles into to give her superhuman upper body strength as, clearly, Ofc. Basilisk does not have, and a distinct lack of male genitalia. There would be no physical evidence of gender, as that is a trait solely of the software that runs on said hardware, i.e. of the AI personality that got installed into it, i.e. the essence of Bubbles.

As has been mentioned, Bubbles' gender would be Bubbles' gender regardless of what chassis she inhabits. If something were to happen to Bubbles' combat chassis and she had to be installed in a chassis that looked more like Momo, Bubbles' gender, and sexual orientation most likely, would remain unchanged in the transfer. I only say most likely because with a completely new chassis may come new sex organs and thus new possibilities for sexual expression that may resonate with her gender identity in a complementary way, or a destructive way, which may itself affect her sexual orientation.

Sex is about what you have, bodily. Gender identity is about who you are and how you think. Sexual orientation is about who you're attracted to and what you want to do with who you're attracted to. This is why people like me are called, most specificly, transsexuals. We don't want to change our genders. We want to change the physical sex of our bodies, a task that is quite difficult for a biologicly embodied entity, but almost trivial for embodied AI in the QC-verse.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #175 on: 20 May 2018, 09:36 »

I think sniktchtherat is confusing sex and gender. Sex is physical. gender is psychological. The only outward appearance on bubbles' chassis of sex is a larger chest, all the better to install larger, stronger myomer synthetic muscles into to give her superhuman upper body strength as, clearly, Ofc. Basilisk does not have, and a distinct lack of male genitalia. There would be no physical evidence of gender, as that is a trait solely of the software that runs on said hardware, i.e. of the AI personality that got installed into it, i.e. the essence of Bubbles.

As has been mentioned, Bubbles' gender would be Bubbles' gender regardless of what chassis she inhabits. If something were to happen to Bubbles' combat chassis and she had to be installed in a chassis that looked more like Momo, Bubbles' gender, and sexual orientation most likely, would remain unchanged in the transfer. I only say most likely because with a completely new chassis may come new sex organs and thus new possibilities for sexual expression that may resonate with her gender identity in a complementary way, or a destructive way, which may itself affect her sexual orientation.

Sex is about what you have, bodily. Gender identity is about who you are and how you think. Sexual orientation is about who you're attracted to and what you want to do with who you're attracted to. This is why people like me are called, most specificly, transsexuals. We don't want to change our genders. We want to change the physical sex of our bodies, a task that is quite difficult for a biologicly embodied entity, but almost trivial for embodied AI in the QC-verse.

A reasonable reading - my use of 'gender', 'gender identity', and 'sexuality' is most likely rooted in a different perception of language.  Basically, one of the terms has to be re-used during the triad, and to my personal way of thinking, divorcing physical capacity from sexuality makes more sense, as humanity has proven to be endlessly inventive in its uses of sexuality regardless of physical capacities.  And the psychological identity of our individual species-members is also infinitely variable - but at present, our purely biological forms are, as you note, very, very hard to change. 

...thinking about it, it's very possible my usage of 'gender' and 'gender identity' as the physical and psychological components of the point of contention is rooted in my brain saying 'they don't want their sexuality to match their sex, they want their gender to match their gender identity'.  Focusing on the person's psyche, not their physicality.  Make sense?

Either way, gotta love the English language's infinite capacity for unintentional obfuscation and accidental bewildering confusion.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #176 on: 20 May 2018, 09:55 »

So what happens when bodies are easy to change?  In QC, AI have the option of changing chassis.  But at some point in the not-too-distant future (probably in time for our greatgrandkids anyway) body modification for humans will become indistinguishable from being born that way. 

Imagine that a man can decide in January that he wants to try being a woman, start taking some pills, and by the end of February, be a woman - physically, hormonally, and in every other way, six inches shorter, fifty pounds lighter, with whatever bustline/etc she decided on.  So she stops taking the pills, acquires a nice wardrobe, and makes her way from there.  Maybe a few years later, when she has a husband and a couple of kids, she and her husband decide to swap, so they both start taking pills, and a couple of months later they change their designations from "husband" to "wife" and "wife" to "husband" and the kids take a few weeks to get used to it and the oldest decides maybe he ought to be a daughter instead of a son and does that, and life goes on.

What happens to identities like transgender etc, if physical transition is easy, complete, permanent, reasonably quick, and works both directions so you can try it and if you decide it was a mistake you can just go back?  Is the identity defined by the difficulty and acceptance issues associated with presenting an unexpected gender for your sex?  If the difficulties of presenting completely go away, if there's nothing for people to base any non-acceptance on, does it still exist?

For extra-crunchy self-concept questioning, we have identified the specific bit of brain morphology that determines whether someone is primarily disposed to be androsexual or gynosexual or both (turns out that 'gay' and 'straight' are non-categories in the brain).  People who have that kind of body mod tech, can likely change that at will, as well.
« Last Edit: 20 May 2018, 10:13 by Morituri »
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #177 on: 20 May 2018, 11:21 »

So what happens when bodies are easy to change?  In QC, AI have the option of changing chassis.  But at some point in the not-too-distant future (probably in time for our greatgrandkids anyway) body modification for humans will become indistinguishable from being born that way. 

Imagine that a man can decide in January that he wants to try being a woman, start taking some pills, and by the end of February, be a woman - physically, hormonally, and in every other way, six inches shorter, fifty pounds lighter, with whatever bustline/etc she decided on.  So she stops taking the pills, acquires a nice wardrobe, and makes her way from there.  Maybe a few years later, when she has a husband and a couple of kids, she and her husband decide to swap, so they both start taking pills, and a couple of months later they change their designations from "husband" to "wife" and "wife" to "husband" and the kids take a few weeks to get used to it and the oldest decides maybe he ought to be a daughter instead of a son and does that, and life goes on.

What happens to identities like transgender etc, if physical transition is easy, complete, permanent, reasonably quick, and works both directions so you can try it and if you decide it was a mistake you can just go back?  Is the identity defined by the difficulty and acceptance issues associated with presenting an unexpected gender for your sex?  If the difficulties of presenting completely go away, if there's nothing for people to base any non-acceptance on, does it still exist?

For extra-crunchy self-concept questioning, we have identified the specific bit of brain morphology that determines whether someone is primarily disposed to be androsexual or gynosexual or both (turns out that 'gay' and 'straight' are non-categories in the brain).  People who have that kind of body mod tech, can likely change that at will, as well.

In regards to the first thought, that's what the term 'gender-fluid' is for - and that's probably another reason I assign the physical to 'gender' as opposed to 'sex'.  If such a day ever comes, those who can be girly today and manly tomorrow without head problems are gonna have an absolutely JOYOUS time, at least until the innate capacity for monstrousness in our species rears its ugly head once again and people start hating based on some OTHER fairly trivial and asinine difference.  Sorry, is my cynicism showing?   :roll: 

Of course, it's theoretically possible that such magi-tech would finally break down enough barriers that we'll just treat people as PEOPLE, whether they're male, female, off-peach plains ape, bitter old rat-bastards, all of the above, none of the above, or any other wonderfully weird thing we can think of that harms no-one in the being.  Not LIKELY, but possible.  And there's that cynical snark again.

As to the second...I'd be immensely leery of monkeying with the brain, given how little we understand of it AND how little in general we understand most everything we THINK we do - as a perfect example of that, the mechanism by which aspirin reduces pain is STILL not understood, and yet people chomp it by the bucketloads every year.  Messing with the interface between mind and body with the average level of human understanding of our creations sounds like a perfect way to screw ourselves crosseyed without even getting a kiss first.  If we're assuming perfect knowledge...then I'd still have to say not a thing for me.  While it's fun to play with the idea, I am me, and no matter how much trouble being me is, I'm gonna be me till I've got no more me to be.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #178 on: 20 May 2018, 12:42 »

Gender, gender identity, and gender role are all about who we are as a person and what role we play in our society. We are what we can do. We find identity in what benefits we offter those around us. In that, Bubbles' gender identity was the gender of a military AI, as a soldier and a medic, for those roles were her contribution to society, and though embodied as a humanoid, those roles did not (necessarily) have any sexual component. This is why I propose that Bubbles' human gender would have been agender and her sexual orientation have been asexual. The question of why Bubbles adopted a feminine human gender is one that only she could answer, but I would propose that from a wider perspective, without a sexuality to express, it made little to no difference in the context of her military AI role, outside of fitting in with her comrades socially. Getting sexually or romanticly involved with her comrades would not have been conducive to her fulfilling her role to the best of her abilities. This is not to say that she was incapable of having or developing these feelings, just that that part of her psychology went underdeveloped for a time. Human psychology has milestones, ages by which if certain levels of psychological developement have not occurred, the door is shut and they never will. There is no reason for this to be the case with AI. As long as an AI's mental dataset is tractable, meaning fits within the confines of the neural core of the chassis they are attempting to inhabit, they are free to learn, grow, and change in mental faculties forever.

Clearly, she has grown a fondness for the biological person of Faye Whitaker. In the taxonomy I developed above, Bubbles has grown to be biosexual, having a sexual preference for a human being, and as that human being is also of the feminine gender, in the context of human sexuality, this would make Bubbles homosexual, but within the context of AI gender, it would have no meaning whatsoever, especially since Bubbles has long since left her original role of military AI and a combat medic.I beleive the closest Bubbles could get to a new expression of her AI gender, it would be to become an EMT/paramedic on an ambulance crew.

[Discussion of how Bubbles and Faye may or may not be able to express their sexual attraction to one another in a physical sense DELETED.]
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #179 on: 20 May 2018, 14:09 »

Equating someone's gender with their physical appearance and capabilities is no different from equating one's gender with their biological sex.

Bubbles is a combat android. That is her physical appearance. Her gender is female.

May wants to be a fighter jet. That is a physical body. Her gender is female. If she ever gets her wish, she would be a female fighter jet.

Emily wants to be a toaster. If she ever gets her wish, she would be a female toaster.

Physical appearance, personality, or even societal role, are not the same thing as gender.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #180 on: 20 May 2018, 15:23 »

While voiced by a mod, none of the following is said in mod voice, it is simply informed by being one of the mods here.

I feel like this is pretty much true of the entire forum. You make ANY opinion comment and you are violating someone's ideals or a fictional character's boundaries or idk the laws of grammar or some shit.

When I originally joined this forum, it was a very different place. It had moderators, but extremely permissive ones and things got bad enough that jeph considered closing it.

I returned to this forum after a lengthy absence in 2012 or so and found the forum to be a changed place.

Around when Claire was introduced to the comic, there was a huge upswing in troll joinees. I eventually joined the mod team to help pitch in to maintaining this forum's aim to be a safe space for as many people as possible.

So between your post, and this one:
In a similar way, if I tell someone they are trying to police my language, which I will not permit, they really are trying to police my language, especially despite their claims of not trying to police my language. The naked term "transgender" has, for me, been coopted by the transphobes as an epithet. I will not use it. Case closed. Move on.

I feel like I have to point a thing or two out to both of you. First of all, your language is being policed. We police language on this forum. We do not police for content. We police for victimisation, for words that cause damage, for prejudice.

Each of you is saying different things, but they are similar criticisms of the forum. Removing the trans element from the discussion entirely, if having your language policed is a problem for you, then this forum is going to be a problem for you. If your viewpoint is that any opinion is somehow unacceptable enough to be challenged, then I feel you have a severe misunderstanding of what this forum is like, and can't possibly be speaking in anything less than hyperbole.

Opinions and language use are challenged on this forum to make it a safer space, which is a never-ending quest. If that's something that you find irritating, then you will find this forum a very irritating place to be.

Bringing the trans element back into the discussion, I have never before encountered a non-binary person who has the language preferences expressed by Mad Cat here. The rules on respectful language here are based on consensus, and there is a thread in Discuss about whether the mods are handling the forum right. I don't really know how to approach having such diametrically opposed viewpoints on words like 'transgender' present on the forum simultaneously but discussion with people on both sides of that debate is the only way we'll be able to find a way to do it.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #181 on: 20 May 2018, 15:39 »

Equating someone's gender with their physical appearance and capabilities is no different from equating one's gender with their biological sex.

Bubbles is a combat android. That is her physical appearance. Her gender is female.

May wants to be a fighter jet. That is a physical body. Her gender is female. If she ever gets her wish, she would be a female fighter jet.

Emily wants to be a toaster. If she ever gets her wish, she would be a female toaster.

Physical appearance, personality, or even societal role, are not the same thing as gender.
Clearly, subtlety is not your forté. You also appear to have foregone knowledge of the principle Form follows function. The function, in the case of human sex/gender that a person wishes to fulfill informs the form of the person they become through growth. However, sometimes, a person's desired function (read: gender) is at odds with their form (read: sex). This is when a person is said to be transgendered or transsexual.

Machines have both form and function, but the question is whether the software which drives a given machine is a good match for both. However, unless the machine specificly has a form for interfacing with human genitals, of whatever description, then that machine cannot be said to have a sex, in human terms. Olde English had a gender system for nouns. Modern English does not. A bulldozer is neither masculine, feminine, nor both. The robo-psychology of an AI that inhabits the bulldozer may, but does not have to, possess within it a human-like gender of being masculine or feminine. Bubbles is a combat medic and android. Her function does not inherently require either human sex nor a human gender. She has, however adopted one. Good for her. But she is not human. I therefore went into TL;DR detail about what it would mean to machines themselves to have machine sex and machine gender completely divorced from, but parallel to, human sex and human gender, which I will not further belabour here, as at least one person has evinced that what I have already written is entirely sufficient at conveying that meaning.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #182 on: 20 May 2018, 15:47 »

Clearly, subtlety is not your forté.

Moderator Comment The discussion is fine, but no more of this.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #183 on: 20 May 2018, 15:59 »

I have never before encountered a non-binary person who has the language preferences expressed by Mad Cat here.
I am not non-binary. I am MtF. I am transitioning from one of two options to the other of two options. My gender is feminine. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I don't know where you got the idea that I am NB. Transgendered is not synonymous with non-binary.

I am also Asperger's, so I may sometimes be interpretted to have an idiosyncratic use of langauge, but it makes sense to me.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #184 on: 20 May 2018, 16:00 »

The robo-psychology of an AI that inhabits the bulldozer may, but does not have to, possess within it a human-like gender of being masculine or feminine. Bubbles is a combat medic and android. Her function does not inherently require either human sex nor a human gender. She has, however adopted one. Good for her. But she is not human.

While none of that is clearly wrong, I would suggest that it is taking a simplistically mechanistic view of AIs.  In Jeph's world of QC, AIs are not now manufactured, they are an emergent development, and we do not know what might or might not be characteristic of such AIs other than what Jeph has shown us.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #185 on: 20 May 2018, 16:05 »

The robo-psychology of an AI that inhabits the bulldozer may, but does not have to, possess within it a human-like gender of being masculine or feminine. Bubbles is a combat medic and android. Her function does not inherently require either human sex nor a human gender. She has, however adopted one. Good for her. But she is not human.

While none of that is clearly wrong, I would suggest that it is taking a simplistically mechanistic view of AIs.  In Jeph's world of QC, AIs are not now manufactured, they are an emergent development, and we do not know what might or might not be characteristic of such AIs other than what Jeph has shown us.
All of which I have discussed at length. Thank you for caring enough about what I have to say to quote/reply to it, but not enough to read what I have written foundationally to support it.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #186 on: 20 May 2018, 16:08 »

I think the problem with that argument is that what you have written foundationally to support it does not apply to the QC universe unless it's what the author wants to do.

And therefore it doesn't apply to those within the QC universe, such as Bubbles.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #187 on: 20 May 2018, 16:15 »

I think the problem with that argument is that what you have written foundationally to support it does not apply to the QC universe unless it's what the author wants to do.

And therefore it doesn't apply to those within the QC universe, such as Bubbles.
I'm sorry. Perhaps I haven't ready QC as diligently as you have. Has Jeph shown us a toaster that expresses the desire to get pregnant and raise a family? A multi-ped tank that wants to get some women up on his jock? A city bus that is looking forward to the weekend off to go get her tires rotated with the other girl-busses? Has there been any behaviour from non-humanoid (Pintsize is humanoid) AIs actually demonstrated by the author that can only be characterized as clearly evincing one human gender (masculine) or another (feminine)?

I'll wait.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #188 on: 20 May 2018, 16:17 »

I think the problem with that argument is that what you have written foundationally to support it does not apply to the QC universe unless it's what the author wants to do.

And therefore it doesn't apply to those within the QC universe, such as Bubbles.
I'm sorry. Perhaps I haven't ready QC as diligently as you have. Has Jeph shown us a toaster that expresses the desire to get pregnant and raise a family? A multi-ped tank that wants to get some women up on his jock? A city bus that is looking forward to the weekend off to go get her tires rotated with the other girl-busses? Has there been any behaviour from non-humanoid (Pintsize is humanoid) AIs actually demonstrated by the author that can only be characterized as clearly evincing one human gender (masculine) or another (feminine)?

I'll wait.

Station

Edit: also Killbot 9000 (or whatever their name was, back in the early strips), who was very keen to convince everyone that they had a girlfriend in Canada.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #189 on: 20 May 2018, 16:20 »

He had a former humanoid embodiment from which he had a preexisting relationship with Hannelore, did he not? He also has a humanoid avatar.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #190 on: 20 May 2018, 16:23 »

He had a former humanoid embodiment from which he had a preexisting relationship with Hannelore, did he not? He also has a humanoid avatar.

I don't remember a humanoid embodiment. She lived aboard him, as I recall.
« Last Edit: 20 May 2018, 16:28 by SpanielBear »
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #191 on: 20 May 2018, 17:03 »

He appears as a hologram of a male human.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #192 on: 20 May 2018, 17:07 »

He appears as a hologram of a male human.

Sure, but his physical body is a super-massive space station suitable for multiple human inhabitants. Calling that humanoid seems a bit of a stretch.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #193 on: 20 May 2018, 17:07 »

The character of Jeremy started out as an industrial arm, but he never expressed a desire to have a relationship with Seven, until he became more humanoid. http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3431

http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3376 <-- Bit of robopsychology from Jeph. Or is this more roboneurology? So hard to robotell.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #194 on: 20 May 2018, 17:10 »

Y’all need to settle down, damn

I feel like this is pretty much true of the entire forum. You make ANY opinion comment and you are violating someone's ideals or a fictional character's boundaries or idk the laws of grammar or some shit.

Global Moderator Comment That being the case, the best any of us can do is to make our choices carefully to cause the least offense to the fewest people possible. Since the owner of the forum wants radical inclusiveness the moderator team is going to guide the use of language in that direction. We're escalating to using the mod power of Asking Politely. Please pick whatever language for a marginalized group which the most members of it find most inclusive.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #195 on: 20 May 2018, 17:12 »

He appears as a hologram of a male human.

Sure, but his physical body is a super-massive space station suitable for multiple human inhabitants. Calling that humanoid seems a bit of a stretch.

He loves Hannelore. I'm not sure where that fits in but it's important.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #196 on: 20 May 2018, 17:15 »

The character of Jeremy started out as an industrial arm, but he never expressed a desire to have a relationship with Seven, until he became more humanoid. http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3431

http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3376 <-- Bit of robopsychology from Jeph. Or is this more roboneurology? So hard to robotell.

Hang on a second there. What Jeremy says is "do you think seven will notice me?". That implies he was interested before embodiment, but was uncertain how his advances would be taken. His new look gives him incentive to persue a goal he had previously, it doesn't spontaneously inspire a previously alien urge.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #197 on: 20 May 2018, 17:19 »

He appears as a hologram of a male human.

Sure, but his physical body is a super-massive space station suitable for multiple human inhabitants. Calling that humanoid seems a bit of a stretch.

He loves Hannelore. I'm not sure where that fits in but it's important.

He does, yes. But the question seemed to be to what extent is an AI's humanlike personality traits a result of a humanoid chassis. To me the implication over the course of the comic has been that an AI's personality is emergent and has features independent of the body they're in. So an AI that isn't humanoid still behaves authentically as humanlike. That includes their gender identity- if Winslow says "I think I'm a boy.", that's a statement that deserves to be taken as true, not dismissed as if it were a casually chosen social lubricant.
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Mad Cat

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #198 on: 20 May 2018, 17:21 »

He appears as a hologram of a male human.
And we can argue until the cows come home about which, for Station, came first, a masculine human-like gender or the male holoavatar. the fact remains that no AI in QC has exhibitted a human-like gender without a humanoid form of some kind. How AIs experience machine gender divorced from a need to socialize with humans has never been explored in-canon.

What kind of human-like gender would the guy in the background of panel 2 here have a need for?
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Mad Cat

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #199 on: 20 May 2018, 17:27 »

He appears as a hologram of a male human.

Sure, but his physical body is a super-massive space station suitable for multiple human inhabitants. Calling that humanoid seems a bit of a stretch.

He loves Hannelore. I'm not sure where that fits in but it's important.

He does, yes. But the question seemed to be to what extent is an AI's humanlike personality traits a result of a humanoid chassis. To me the implication over the course of the comic has been that an AI's personality is emergent and has features independent of the body they're in. So an AI that isn't humanoid still behaves authentically as humanlike. That includes their gender identity- if Winslow says "I think I'm a boy.", that's a statement that deserves to be taken as true, not dismissed as if it were a casually chosen social lubricant.
My contention has never been that with humanoid form comes human-like gender. My contention has now refined to, we never see an AI without a humanoid form (holoavatars count) express a human-like gender. Winslow… may count, or not. I mean he fell down and his stubby limbs couldn't right himself. Does he even count as humanout in iPad form? Either way, his full-on humanoid form was imminent, so it would make sense that he would feel the need to lock in whaever human-like gender he may want at that point.
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The Quakers were masters of siege warfare.
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