Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

  • 16 Jul 2019, 21:36
  • Welcome, Guest
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.  (Read 3506 times)

sniktchtherat

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 35
Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« on: 22 May 2018, 07:10 »

The poker game got me thinking.  Most of us see Pintsize as Annoying Wacky Hijinks personified - an unleashed id.  But a lot of the more overtly jerkass-flavored things he's done have had interesting side-effects....they've caused things to change for the better for other cast members.

The most immediate to memory examples I can think of are both connected to the current long arc - Faye was desperate for work, had just gotten nomphed on for falling off the wagon, and suddenly here's Pintsize offering legally questionable work in an occupation that's a perfect fit for Faye's personality and skills, in the sketchiest way possible.  He does everything he can to make the connection seem as sleazy as possible...but he still hand-set Faye into a possibly lifesaving job. 

Then, when May was scraping to get the last cash needed to have the temp fix on her head properly finished, here's Pintsize offering her a little cash to sit on his face, then a little to let him sit on HER face...and then a bidding war with Marten to add almost double what Pintsize just paid May, making the repair cost a lot less fraught for May.  Sleazy on the first glance...except they're both AIs in neuter bodies, and they BOTH seemed mostly bored rather than disturbed by it, and it's high odds even if Pintsize had won the bidding war, May would have pointed out that sans Marten's consent, she'd be jailbound.  Following this thread further, May immediately gets her repair job... on a day when Roko's on-duty watching the park.  The tensions of Roko poking her nose in cause Corpse Witch to threaten May...which causes Faye to do her standard action on anyone who legitimately threatens her friends, leading into the whole mess that finishes Corpse Witch and frees Bubbles.

If you really, really think about the things Pintsize has done, even in failing to transgress he's done things that arguably benefitted the cast.  Triggering Marten's Loom Of Doom in pre-emptive defense of Claire is a good example - he caused no harm and nudged Marten into being a bit more visibly assertive.  This arguably has helped that relationship.  The similar incident with Bubbles' houseplant Arthur comes to mind as well.

Another point in favor of this way of thinking is the Vespavenger - while it's an admittedly silly bit in context of the modern style and storylines, it still shows something:  Pintsize is willing to actively, decisively put himself in harm's way for the cast.  This is not a small thing, and when thought of in these terms, his transgressiveness could be seen as willingness to suffer harm to improve the lives of others, masqueraded under a jester's antics.  Even the "replacement Dora" incident can be viewed in this context - a kick in Marten's brain, forcing him to examine the relationship the hard way, making him question if it was a truly mutual thing or just him going along to get along and/or get some, all nicely hidden by the crudity of the 'gesture'.

Following this, consider how many times Pintsize has faced what might be considered an AI's chief fear - deactivation.  Being manually shut down, in a way that prevents him from kicking back on.  Externally being rendered non-conscious is TERRIFYING to most people, and I honestly can't imagine it being any less so for an AI.  Pintsize has, on 5 occasions by my count and feel free to correct me if I've missed one, been forcibly shut off.  Four of those were arguably medical emergency equivalents - cake batter, de-lasering, de-Brit'ing, and de-virusing.  The fifth was the result of whatever happened between him and Faye the night she nearly drank herself to death. 

Really think about that.  Faye was arguably into diminished capacity territory, a mindset where right and wrong just do not scan at all to the subject.  She cared about drinking the pain away, and nothing else.  Pintsize did something that made her do what nobody other than Marten has ever done, and Marten only in case of arguably dire emergency.  The general consensus amongst forumgoers is he tried to stop her, and she reacted to that by stopping HIM.  Pintsize, whatever his affect, is not dumb.  He HAD to know that if she was that openly, visibly out of control, trying to step in in any way would be like tapdancing on an anti-tank mine. 

He still did it.  He has never called her to account for her actions, either.  That says something about a person.

Shred my mini-novel at your leisure, folks!
Logged

Undrneath

  • Pneumatic ratchet pants
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 345
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #1 on: 22 May 2018, 07:26 »

So what you are saying is that he is altruistically an asshole.
Logged
__________oO0___(_O_  _O_)___0Oo_____________
                                     U
                                   Kilroy wuz here

SpanielBear

  • Curry sauce
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 294
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #2 on: 22 May 2018, 07:27 »

I can agree with your reasoning on most of this. I'd hesitate to say his motivations are entirely altruistic- he seems to enjoy transgression too much for it to be entirely an act. But I think you are right that a)he's brighter than he lets on and b)he genuinely wants to be a positive force in his friend's lives. He'd just *prefer* that positivity to include horse-porn...

I also think he is fallible and sometimes misreads the situation and acts poorly/can't control his worst impulses. I see where you're going with the post-Dora thing, but I struggle to see how that was the *best* thing he could have done. It was borderline cruel. I don't think Pintsize meant it that way, he just acted without thinking in that case.

But yeah, I think you are right that Pintsize is probably, on balance, a good person. A particularly grubby kind of Good that you wouldn't bring home to meet your parents, but good nonetheless.
Logged

Is it cold in here?

  • Administrator
  • Awakened
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19,323
  • He/him/his pronouns
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #3 on: 22 May 2018, 07:46 »

I wish I could Like that more than once.

Take that picture you've drawn and look at the negative space in it. When have we seen one of Pintsize's antics cause actual harm to Marten?  The closest I can think of is that Marten had to pay the landlord and the LAN Park for laser damage.
Logged
"Non-compliance is a social skill"
Quote from: an unnamed minister's sermon
In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

sniktchtherat

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 35
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #4 on: 22 May 2018, 08:07 »

So what you are saying is that he is altruistically an asshole.

Boiled down to one line, essentially yes.

I can agree with your reasoning on most of this. I'd hesitate to say his motivations are entirely altruistic- he seems to enjoy transgression too much for it to be entirely an act. But I think you are right that a)he's brighter than he lets on and b)he genuinely wants to be a positive force in his friend's lives. He'd just *prefer* that positivity to include horse-porn...

I also think he is fallible and sometimes misreads the situation and acts poorly/can't control his worst impulses. I see where you're going with the post-Dora thing, but I struggle to see how that was the *best* thing he could have done. It was borderline cruel. I don't think Pintsize meant it that way, he just acted without thinking in that case.

But yeah, I think you are right that Pintsize is probably, on balance, a good person. A particularly grubby kind of Good that you wouldn't bring home to meet your parents, but good nonetheless.

Specifically regarding the 'replacement Dora':  while I'm nowhere near as gung-ho about 'tough love' or 'hard lessons' or whatever cutesy name is being applied to the principle today, it is a simple fact that pain teaches.  The three pillars of knowledge are see much, study much, and suffer much for a reason.  I far prefer the first and second be applied wherever they can...but some circumstances all but REQUIRE the third option to have any effect.  Did Pintsize's action hurt Marten?  I think any decent human being can answer that quickly and cleanly.  Would it have hurt Marten more in the long term if he'd stayed in a drunken daze, letting the friendship with Dora sour more and more, instead of confronting the elephant in his head?

Doctors sometimes have to do horrible things to people to ensure worse things don't happen to them.  I am often glad I am not a doctor.

Regarding fallibility, misreading, and general affect:  Oh, he DOES enjoy being disruptive, certainly, and no way in Hell is he perfect - a 'perfect' mini-mastermind wouldn't have let the mouth-pigeon go until AFTER the flying Roomba passed.  Everyone makes mistakes, certainly, and Pintsize is no exception;  I'd even go so far as to say the virus incident, despite giving Marigold her intro to the circle of friends, was a straight 'Ooops" moment.  But more of his jackass shit goes 'right' than goes 'wrong', and the ones that do blow up only ever seem to catch HIM in the blast radius.

I wish I could Like that more than once.

Take that picture you've drawn and look at the negative space in it. When have we seen one of Pintsize's antics cause actual harm to Marten?  The closest I can think of is that Marten had to pay the landlord and the LAN Park for laser damage.

Thank you - and IIRC, the landlord was covered by the security deposit, not out-of-pocket.  A cost, yes, but in several ways an already-sunk cost.

But yeah, if you look at Pintsize's shenanigans in the broad view, HE is the only one who generally suffers for them. 
Logged

SpanielBear

  • Curry sauce
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 294
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #5 on: 22 May 2018, 08:48 »

Specifically regarding the 'replacement Dora':  while I'm nowhere near as gung-ho about 'tough love' or 'hard lessons' or whatever cutesy name is being applied to the principle today, it is a simple fact that pain teaches.  The three pillars of knowledge are see much, study much, and suffer much for a reason.  I far prefer the first and second be applied wherever they can...but some circumstances all but REQUIRE the third option to have any effect.  Did Pintsize's action hurt Marten?  I think any decent human being can answer that quickly and cleanly.  Would it have hurt Marten more in the long term if he'd stayed in a drunken daze, letting the friendship with Dora sour more and more, instead of confronting the elephant in his head?

Doctors sometimes have to do horrible things to people to ensure worse things don't happen to them.  I am often glad I am not a doctor.

You may well be right that Marten needed a hard reset. But that very evening? In that way? If Pintsize has a modus operandi and prefers to do things in a certain way, his commitment to his own style there seemed to push things too far.

But that's almost certainly a YMMV. I don't think your point of view is so unreasonable that I feel I have to convince you otherwise. I guess we have different perspectives on what counts as "Dude, not cool." in this instance, which is fair enough.
Logged

sniktchtherat

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 35
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #6 on: 22 May 2018, 08:56 »

Specifically regarding the 'replacement Dora':  while I'm nowhere near as gung-ho about 'tough love' or 'hard lessons' or whatever cutesy name is being applied to the principle today, it is a simple fact that pain teaches.  The three pillars of knowledge are see much, study much, and suffer much for a reason.  I far prefer the first and second be applied wherever they can...but some circumstances all but REQUIRE the third option to have any effect.  Did Pintsize's action hurt Marten?  I think any decent human being can answer that quickly and cleanly.  Would it have hurt Marten more in the long term if he'd stayed in a drunken daze, letting the friendship with Dora sour more and more, instead of confronting the elephant in his head?

Doctors sometimes have to do horrible things to people to ensure worse things don't happen to them.  I am often glad I am not a doctor.

You may well be right that Marten needed a hard reset. But that very evening? In that way? If Pintsize has a modus operandi and prefers to do things in a certain way, his commitment to his own style there seemed to push things too far.

But that's almost certainly a YMMV. I don't think your point of view is so unreasonable that I feel I have to convince you otherwise. I guess we have different perspectives on what counts as "Dude, not cool." in this instance, which is fair enough.

Oh, I completely agree it's an enormous dick move, on a lot of levels.  I also think Civil War surgeons performed way too many amputations even considering the conditions they had to operate under - but when all you have is a hammer....
Logged

SpanielBear

  • Curry sauce
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 294
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #7 on: 22 May 2018, 09:07 »

Oh, I completely agree it's an enormous dick move, on a lot of levels.  I also think Civil War surgeons performed way too many amputations even considering the conditions they had to operate under - but when all you have is a hammer....

... Don't take up dentistry?
Logged

sniktchtherat

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 35
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #8 on: 22 May 2018, 09:12 »

Oh, I completely agree it's an enormous dick move, on a lot of levels.  I also think Civil War surgeons performed way too many amputations even considering the conditions they had to operate under - but when all you have is a hammer....

... Don't take up dentistry?

You have found the tooth of the matter.
Logged

SmilingCat

  • Bizarre cantaloupe phobia
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 248
  • You is friend or food?
Logged

awgiedawgie

  • FIGHT YOU
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 411
  • DON'T PANIC
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #10 on: 22 May 2018, 13:53 »

I think Pintsize is really a nice guy. He truly loves Marten and all his friends (maybe not all to the same degree). His problem is that he doesnít always know (OK, rarely knows) how to act appropriately. Heís a little pervert, so his first instinct is always something perverted. I think that most times, he doesnít even realize that his ideas are bad.
Logged
When, in the course of human events,
You can keep your head when all about you
Took the one less traveled by,
It's up to you to cremate those last remains.

Staff_Inflection

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 44
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #11 on: 22 May 2018, 16:04 »

He's chaotic good

Spookybot is chaotic neutral
Logged

awgiedawgie

  • FIGHT YOU
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 411
  • DON'T PANIC
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #12 on: 22 May 2018, 18:18 »

He's chaotic good

Spookybot is chaotic neutral
While I tend to agree that Spookybot is neutral, having expressed not wanting to involve themselves in the affairs of others, I do not agree that they are chaotic. In fact, they are extremely well-ordered, and they seem to like to maintain that order, but they step in directly only when absolutely necessary. They defy the old saying "if power corrupts, then absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Logged
When, in the course of human events,
You can keep your head when all about you
Took the one less traveled by,
It's up to you to cremate those last remains.

sniktchtherat

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 35
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #13 on: 23 May 2018, 02:37 »

He's chaotic good

Spookybot is chaotic neutral
While I tend to agree that Spookybot is neutral, having expressed not wanting to involve themselves in the affairs of others, I do not agree that they are chaotic. In fact, they are extremely well-ordered, and they seem to like to maintain that order, but they step in directly only when absolutely necessary. They defy the old saying "if power corrupts, then absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Spookybot adheres to their own order - and no other.  They don't go into Bubbles' mind until they need to confirm Emily's discovery, and continually express distaste at being in another's mind.  Then they jump right into Corpse Witch's noggin without even introducing themselves.  Even allowing for the difference between Bubbles and CW, that's a 180 turnaround.  Further, I'd bet money the only reason CW got the chance to surrender to the cops is because the last people to be in CW's presence were Bubbles and Faye, and if Spooky rendered CW a sparking slagheap, they'd be the prime suspects.  It wasn't mercy, it was simple pragmatism.  I honestly doubt Spooky fits anywhere on the D&D alignment system.
Logged

Is it cold in here?

  • Administrator
  • Awakened
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19,323
  • He/him/his pronouns
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #14 on: 23 May 2018, 09:57 »

If Corpse Witch hadn't turned herself in to the authorities, Spookybot was prepared to make her disappear forever.
Logged
"Non-compliance is a social skill"
Quote from: an unnamed minister's sermon
In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

sniktchtherat

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 35
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #15 on: 23 May 2018, 10:54 »

If Corpse Witch hadn't turned herself in to the authorities, Spookybot was prepared to make her disappear forever.

The effective translation of what Spooky said to CW was "Turn yourself in or die".  That's not offering a choice, realistically - they'd already demonstrated their absolute superiority to CW. 

Their own expressed reason for providing the choice was Bubbles' self-restraint 'inspiring' them - but the logic also reads that if Corpse Witch vanishes, or explodes, or otherwise has a tragic accident, Bubbles and Faye are the prime suspects, having just had a violent confrontation with the vic.  Yes, Spooky left visual tracks wrapping up the investigation for Roko, transferring ownerships to Jeremy and Punchbot, etc. - but I'll eat my nonexistent hat if that swanning asshole left a single piece of actual physical evidence.  The same would hold true if they vaporized CW's brainpan. 
Logged

Greymoon

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 39
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #16 on: 23 May 2018, 14:46 »

He's chaotic good

Spookybot is chaotic neutral
While I tend to agree that Spookybot is neutral, having expressed not wanting to involve themselves in the affairs of others, I do not agree that they are chaotic. In fact, they are extremely well-ordered, and they seem to like to maintain that order, but they step in directly only when absolutely necessary. They defy the old saying "if power corrupts, then absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Spookybot adheres to their own order - and no other.  They don't go into Bubbles' mind until they need to confirm Emily's discovery, and continually express distaste at being in another's mind.  Then they jump right into Corpse Witch's noggin without even introducing themselves.  Even allowing for the difference between Bubbles and CW, that's a 180 turnaround.  Further, I'd bet money the only reason CW got the chance to surrender to the cops is because the last people to be in CW's presence were Bubbles and Faye, and if Spooky rendered CW a sparking slagheap, they'd be the prime suspects.  It wasn't mercy, it was simple pragmatism.  I honestly doubt Spooky fits anywhere on the D&D alignment system.

Frankly I interpreted that as "I deeply respect other AI's right to mental privacy and it squicks me having to invade that... exceeeeept for this one, who's already shown she has no respect for anyone but herself."
Logged
DO NOT TAINT PEGASUS COVE WITH TALK OF DILDOS

pecoros7

  • Bizarre cantaloupe phobia
  • **
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 248
  • She/her or they/them
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #17 on: 23 May 2018, 15:17 »

I interpreted Spookybot's position on mental manipulation to be one of pure self interest and fear, not respect or principle. Being as powerful as they are and being distributed across multiple platforms (of which their humanoid chassis may only be a few; they could also be distributed across industrial equipment, server rooms, space stations...), they have very little to fear from physical threats. But the kind of mind altering abilities Corpse Witch possessed and the kill software she used might actually be quite dangerous for them. They wouldn't want such skills loose in the hands of a self serving criminal like Corpse Witch. She didn't want to enter Bubbles's mind because she didn't know what sorts of nasty things were lurking inside. She sent Emily because a human wouldn't be threatened by such malware. They only went in after Emily cleaned house.

I do have my own conjecture as to why Spookybot went out of their way to help Bubbles rather than going directly for Corpse Witch, but it is not well supported by the text and is almost pure speculation.
Logged

awgiedawgie

  • FIGHT YOU
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 411
  • DON'T PANIC
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #18 on: 23 May 2018, 22:04 »

I suspect that Spookybot helped Bubbles as a part of dealing with Corpse Witch. If they had eliminated Corpse Witch without doing anything for Bubbles, it is very possible - probable, even - that the kill software would have been automatically released into the rest of Bubbles' mind at the end of her ten year "sentence", quite likely killing her slowly and painfully. It was easier, safer, and more certain for them to right the wrong done to Bubbles themselves, rather than demanding that Corpse Witch do it.

As for their not wanting to go into Bubbles' mind themselves, their basic principle of the sanctity of mind, and that no AI should go poking around in another AI's head, includes themselves. Which is why, when they had to go into Bubbles' mind to confirm what Emily had seen, they said "Forgive our intrusion, Bubbles."

And as for going into Corpse Witch's head, they didn't. They created a virtual environment, and brought Corpse Witch into it, just as they had done with Bubbles after they had confirmed that her memories were gone.


If Corpse Witch hadn't turned herself in to the authorities, Spookybot was prepared to make her disappear forever.
The effective translation of what Spooky said to CW was "Turn yourself in or die".  That's not offering a choice, realistically - they'd already demonstrated their absolute superiority to CW. 
Except that they did not threaten to kill Corpse Witch. It was more along the lines of "Turn yourself in, or suffer for eternity." Whatever the authorities have in store for her, or even death, would be mild by comparison.
Logged
When, in the course of human events,
You can keep your head when all about you
Took the one less traveled by,
It's up to you to cremate those last remains.

pecoros7

  • Bizarre cantaloupe phobia
  • **
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 248
  • She/her or they/them
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #19 on: 23 May 2018, 23:02 »

But if Spookybot was only interested in taking down Corpse Witch, they wouldn't care what happened to Bubbles. Helping Bubbles was either something separate from taking down CW or taking down CW followed from helping Bubbles. Spookybot must have had a specific interest in helping Bubbles (which I have my own favorite headcanon about).

Protecting sanctity of mind wouldn't be limited to only AI. The fact that they didn't want to go in themselves but were quite willing to send Emily in seems like it was less a matter of not being intrusive and more a matter of not wanting to do it themselves. Sending anyone in is still an intrusion. Maybe they thought it was less of an intrusion since Emily was significantly less capable of shenanigans than Spookybot. That's certainly possible. But it seemed to me more like Spookybot found the idea distasteful rather than immoral. I read it as "Ew! No. I'm not going in there. I'll send a meat sack." "Forgive our intrusion, Bubbles" may well be a matter of whatever sympathy lead them to help Bubbles in the first place rather than a general moral principle.

And yes, they met CW in a separate environment rather than entering her mind. But I also see that as a potential matter of not allowing CW access to their mind as much as not wanting to access hers.

Since Spookybot seems to have no other moral guidance beyond their own self interest as Bubbles suggested they might, why have an exception? Why would the idea of the sanctity of ones own mind be important if not for matters of self preservation? For a distributed AI like Spookybot, an attack on their consciousness might be the only thing that threatens them. I suspect their aversion to entering AI minds is about protecting their mind as much as anyone else's.
Logged

Is it cold in here?

  • Administrator
  • Awakened
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19,323
  • He/him/his pronouns
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #20 on: 23 May 2018, 23:29 »

Didn't Spookybot say it was a "principle" for them?

We never saw them lie, did we? So it might really be a matter of principle to them.
Logged
"Non-compliance is a social skill"
Quote from: an unnamed minister's sermon
In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

awgiedawgie

  • FIGHT YOU
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 411
  • DON'T PANIC
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #21 on: 23 May 2018, 23:32 »

They did say that it was one of the moral principles to which they adhere. They may not have many, but sanctity of mind is one of them. I reason that they find it distasteful because they consider it immoral.
Logged
When, in the course of human events,
You can keep your head when all about you
Took the one less traveled by,
It's up to you to cremate those last remains.

Gyrre

  • Scrabble hacker
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,414
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #22 on: 23 May 2018, 23:39 »

So what you are saying is that he is altruistically an asshole.
I'd say a very niche subtype of the Gadfly (TV Tropes link).
Logged
Quote
and the universe said you are not alone
and the universe said you are not separate from every other thing

pecoros7

  • Bizarre cantaloupe phobia
  • **
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 248
  • She/her or they/them
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #23 on: 24 May 2018, 00:13 »

They did say that it was one of the moral principles to which they adhere. They may not have many, but sanctity of mind is one of them. I reason that they find it distasteful because they consider it immoral.

Yes, but why? Why would that be the one? Most morality (that isn't presumed to be divine diktat) is the product of self interest. We find murder repulsive because we want to not be murdered. We oppose theft because we want to not be stolen from. When we see the benefit of living in a society that does not permit its members to murder and steal, we adopt those principles. Granted, there is a lot of pro-social behavior that is hard wired into our brains; sympathetic neurons that imagine ourselves in other people's situations and such, but those mechanisms arise because altruism is compatible with self interest.
Logged

Carl-E

  • Awakened
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10,283
  • The distilled essence of Mr. James Beam himself.
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #24 on: 24 May 2018, 05:12 »

Sounds like Spookybot (and I preferred the term Eminence Grey when they were introduced) is actually Lawful, not chaotic.  Carefully controlled, and deeply principled. 


Probably Neutral, but definitely Lawful. 
Logged
When people try to speak a gut reaction, they end up talking out their ass.

Gyrre

  • Scrabble hacker
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,414
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #25 on: 24 May 2018, 05:38 »

Sounds like Spookybot (and I preferred the term Eminence Grey when they were introduced) is actually Lawful, not chaotic.  Carefully controlled, and deeply principled. 


Probably Neutral, but definitely Lawful.
Would Momo be neutral good, then?

EDIT: typo fix
Logged
Quote
and the universe said you are not alone
and the universe said you are not separate from every other thing

awgiedawgie

  • FIGHT YOU
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 411
  • DON'T PANIC
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #26 on: 24 May 2018, 08:17 »

They did say that it was one of the moral principles to which they adhere. They may not have many, but sanctity of mind is one of them. I reason that they find it distasteful because they consider it immoral.

Yes, but why? Why would that be the one? Most morality (that isn't presumed to be divine diktat) is the product of self interest. We find murder repulsive because we want to not be murdered. We oppose theft because we want to not be stolen from. When we see the benefit of living in a society that does not permit its members to murder and steal, we adopt those principles. Granted, there is a lot of pro-social behavior that is hard wired into our brains; sympathetic neurons that imagine ourselves in other people's situations and such, but those mechanisms arise because altruism is compatible with self interest.

The "why" will remain uncertain unless they decide to reveal it themselves.

Personally, I find murder and stealing repulsive because of the value I place on others. However, I can only speak for certain about why I myself think, feel, or believe the way I do. The same goes for you, Spookybot, or anyone else. Granted, the study of psychology can shed a little light on why humans think in certain ways, but AI psychology is an unexplored area, particularly when the AI has demonstrated that level of omniscience and omnipotence.

We can each have our own theories about the uncertain, and that's fine (well, you know... as long as those theories aren't completely bloody insane). I think Spookybot is absolutely sure of their power, and I don't think they are at all unsure about the safety of their mind - from Corpse Witch or anyone else. So I don't think their principles on the sanctity of the AI mind are selfishly derived.
Logged
When, in the course of human events,
You can keep your head when all about you
Took the one less traveled by,
It's up to you to cremate those last remains.

Is it cold in here?

  • Administrator
  • Awakened
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19,323
  • He/him/his pronouns
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #27 on: 24 May 2018, 13:06 »

Momo is Lawful, I'm sure, and it may limit her effectiveness.
Logged
"Non-compliance is a social skill"
Quote from: an unnamed minister's sermon
In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

bhtooefr

  • Vulcan 3-D Chess Master
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3,750
  • ⌘-⌥-⌃-N
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #28 on: 24 May 2018, 14:29 »

Momo's shown signs of embracing the Neutral perspective, though, when realizing where Lawfulness breaks down.
Logged
Blodwyn is the Chessmaster

pecoros7

  • Bizarre cantaloupe phobia
  • **
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 248
  • She/her or they/them
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #29 on: 24 May 2018, 20:56 »

I suppose what I'm trying to get at is that sanctity of mind is the one thing about which they can actually relate to other AIs about. Even if they don't think Corpse Witch could actually hurt them, the idea of having their mind altered or attacked is one which they can imagine. It is something which, at least in theory, could happen to them. Being distributed across so many platforms, having a single body damaged or destroyed isn't a real threat. Being attacked physically just doesn't have the same weight as it would to other AI or to humans. I suspect that's why they're so blase about knocking out Dora and Emily or paralyzing Faye.Even if they are technically aware that it's something humans don't like, they simply cannot relate to their objections in any meaningful way. But violating Bubbles's mind was something they could understand in a real and visceral way.

Of course we don't kill and steal because we have compassion for our fellow sapient creatures. I genuinely want to go through life hurting as few people as possible. But that desire is rooted in my own desire to not be hurt. If I didn't have a sense of violence as something I want to not happen to me, I would not likely be moved by violence happening to anyone else. I can picture myself in their position and imagine how they would feel about it. And even when my compassion is overrun by my anger, I can still realize that giving in to the temptation to violence is a bad idea for myself and society because I know how bad things would get if we, as a society, tolerated violence no matter how thoroughly I had convinced myself they deserved it.

Spookybot is someone completely alien to us. They have few moral standards because they cannot relate to us or our suffering. But the one thing they can relate to is being a conscious mind. They can look at Bubbles's situation and say "I may not know what it's like to have your mind altered, but I can imagine it and I would be equal parts terrified and outraged." And I suspect that's why they were hesitant to enter Bubbles's mind themselves. It would be dangerous for them or any other AI to do so. Even if they were absolutely confident in their ability to handle any malware present in Bubbles's mind, why take a chance if you don't have to? Emily, however, was a perfectly safe choice. There was no way for any malware to harm her even if it tried.
Logged

Greymoon

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 39
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #30 on: 24 May 2018, 22:06 »

I seem to recall a conversation that was had between Bubbles and Faye at some point, where Faye tossed out something about "someone somewhere creating a whole bunch of you guys" and then the subject went toward a collective consciousness. And Bubbles said something about how it had been attempted but the idea scrapped because of Reasons. I've always kinda wondered if Spookybot was actually the result of something like that, and for the sake of self-preservation they keep to the deepest and darkest of shadows, as we did see Spookybot represented (presumably at 'home') by several copies of themself.
Logged
DO NOT TAINT PEGASUS COVE WITH TALK OF DILDOS

Undrneath

  • Pneumatic ratchet pants
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 345
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #31 on: 24 May 2018, 22:23 »

I seem to recall a conversation that was had between Bubbles and Faye at some point, where Faye tossed out something about "someone somewhere creating a whole bunch of you guys" and then the subject went toward a collective consciousness. And Bubbles said something about how it had been attempted but the idea scrapped because of Reasons. I've always kinda wondered if Spookybot was actually the result of something like that, and for the sake of self-preservation they keep to the deepest and darkest of shadows, as we did see Spookybot represented (presumably at 'home') by several copies of themself.

I believe this is the conversation you are talking about.
Logged
__________oO0___(_O_  _O_)___0Oo_____________
                                     U
                                   Kilroy wuz here

Greymoon

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 39
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #32 on: 25 May 2018, 01:00 »

I seem to recall a conversation that was had between Bubbles and Faye at some point, where Faye tossed out something about "someone somewhere creating a whole bunch of you guys" and then the subject went toward a collective consciousness. And Bubbles said something about how it had been attempted but the idea scrapped because of Reasons. I've always kinda wondered if Spookybot was actually the result of something like that, and for the sake of self-preservation they keep to the deepest and darkest of shadows, as we did see Spookybot represented (presumably at 'home') by several copies of themself.

I believe this is the conversation you are talking about.

That's the one! Thanks. :)
Logged
DO NOT TAINT PEGASUS COVE WITH TALK OF DILDOS

ImVeryAngryItsNotButter

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 41
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #33 on: 25 May 2018, 01:31 »

consider how many times Pintsize has faced what might be considered an AI's chief fear - deactivation.  Being manually shut down, in a way that prevents him from kicking back on.  Externally being rendered non-conscious is TERRIFYING to most people, and I honestly can't imagine it being any less so for an AI.  Pintsize has, on [several] occasions... been forcibly shut off.  The [most recent] was the result of whatever happened between him and Faye the night she nearly drank herself to death. 

The general consensus amongst forumgoers is he tried to stop her, and she reacted to that by stopping HIM.

He still did it.  He has never called her to account for her actions, either.  That says something about a person.

Has it been established that Pintsize actually lives in his chassis? I know some AIs like Roko and Bubbles have had only one body, and May is confined to hers due to probation, but I'm not sure that same rule applies to Pintsize; I think he has backup servers that he can go to in case his main body is put out of commission.

My understanding is that for Pintsize, it's not so much being rendered unconscious and more like his roommates are kicking him out and confiscating his housekeys; admittedly that's not a nice thing to do to someone, but it's a far cry from knocking them out.
Logged

Cornelius

  • Bling blang blong blung
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,115
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #34 on: 25 May 2018, 02:17 »

I think so far we've seen only one example of AI not living in one space: Spookybot. What I remember from that arc, suggested that distributed intelligences are fairly rare. So far, we've seen no suggestion that Pintsize lives anywhere outside his chassis - even in the virus episode, he had to be manually uploaded to Marten's PC.

I'm just wondering what that means for their memories, though. If there is a backup, that could be activated, would that be like coming back after having been in a coma? Is it possible to fabricate and insert memories, just like CW deleted memories?

Anyway, like Pintsize told Momo, there's not one way of doing their Companion job.
Logged
Nothing so deadens a man as ignorant numbness and conformity!

Pennepasta

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 42
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #35 on: 25 May 2018, 03:38 »

consider how many times Pintsize has faced what might be considered an AI's chief fear - deactivation.  Being manually shut down, in a way that prevents him from kicking back on.  Externally being rendered non-conscious is TERRIFYING to most people, and I honestly can't imagine it being any less so for an AI.  Pintsize has, on [several] occasions... been forcibly shut off.  The [most recent] was the result of whatever happened between him and Faye the night she nearly drank herself to death. 

The general consensus amongst forumgoers is he tried to stop her, and she reacted to that by stopping HIM.

He still did it.  He has never called her to account for her actions, either.  That says something about a person.

Has it been established that Pintsize actually lives in his chassis? I know some AIs like Roko and Bubbles have had only one body, and May is confined to hers due to probation, but I'm not sure that same rule applies to Pintsize; I think he has backup servers that he can go to in case his main body is put out of commission.

My understanding is that for Pintsize, it's not so much being rendered unconscious and more like his roommates are kicking him out and confiscating his housekeys; admittedly that's not a nice thing to do to someone, but it's a far cry from knocking them out.

There's been worries that pintsize might be gone forever after one of the technical issues he's had. Probably the rerouting power idea, but can't quite remember offhand. Marten was panicked, so doubt pintsize is living elsewhere.
Logged

sniktchtherat

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 35
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #36 on: 25 May 2018, 04:20 »

RE the 'virtual environment' - per http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3403 it's not a physical environment - Bubbles is able to see her body still sitting in the chair.  If her body is not experiencing it, then her mind must be - which de facto makes it mental intrusion by my logic.  If the same visual effect means the same thing for Corpse Witch, then Spooky got into her head regardless of the overlay they provided. 

Does it mean they violated their own principle?  Possibly.  It could also mean their sanctity of mind principle is flexible, or far more nuanced than presented; it's not TECHNICALLY invading a mind if all you do is broadcast an overwhelmingly-powerful line-of-sight data transmission that on standard protocol decoding resolves into a mental projection that feels completely real to the AI in question and forcibly triggers a reciprocal connection...  Obi Wan showed just how far that sophistry can be pulled.  I'll also point out it is fairly well-established that AIs CAN lie, and as such trusting Spooky on their word is not without risk, doubly so given their open joy at screwing with other people's heads - and the three-mile smile on their face when they're making Corpse Witch dance.  This is not a Nice Person. 

RE Pintsize and chassis:  Pintsize is pretty solidly established as being a standard AI - his mind is in his chassis.  If his chassis is shut off, the BEST outcome I can imagine is unconsciousness for him.  The worst is sudden, complete sensory deprivation for an unknown and unknowable span of time.  Thus why him not attempting to call Faye out on shutting him off is significant to his character. 

Momo is an interesting case - she is VERY by-the-rules, save when May's welfare was in play.  Even then, it took a failure of the system in a pretty big way AND a fair amount of working up before she suggested the fight club solution.  I'd argue she is more motivated by justice than law, but recognizes that without law, 'justice' is whim.  Which leaves her open to some interesting conflicts if Jeph ever decides to move the series in a darker direction.
Logged

Is it cold in here?

  • Administrator
  • Awakened
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19,323
  • He/him/his pronouns
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #37 on: 25 May 2018, 07:48 »

Entering someone's mind for the purpose of protecting others might be OK to them. Many humans hold themselves to similar rules about physical violence.
Logged
"Non-compliance is a social skill"
Quote from: an unnamed minister's sermon
In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

awgiedawgie

  • FIGHT YOU
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 411
  • DON'T PANIC
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #38 on: 25 May 2018, 10:34 »

consider how many times Pintsize has faced what might be considered an AI's chief fear - deactivation.  Being manually shut down, in a way that prevents him from kicking back on.  Externally being rendered non-conscious is TERRIFYING to most people, and I honestly can't imagine it being any less so for an AI.  Pintsize has, on [several] occasions... been forcibly shut off.  The [most recent] was the result of whatever happened between him and Faye the night she nearly drank herself to death. 

The general consensus amongst forumgoers is he tried to stop her, and she reacted to that by stopping HIM.

He still did it.  He has never called her to account for her actions, either.  That says something about a person.

Has it been established that Pintsize actually lives in his chassis? I know some AIs like Roko and Bubbles have had only one body, and May is confined to hers due to probation, but I'm not sure that same rule applies to Pintsize; I think he has backup servers that he can go to in case his main body is put out of commission.

My understanding is that for Pintsize, it's not so much being rendered unconscious and more like his roommates are kicking him out and confiscating his housekeys; admittedly that's not a nice thing to do to someone, but it's a far cry from knocking them out.

There's been worries that pintsize might be gone forever after one of the technical issues he's had. Probably the rerouting power idea, but can't quite remember offhand. Marten was panicked, so doubt pintsize is living elsewhere.

Faye did apologize for turning Pintsize off, so there was no need for him to call her to account for it.

The time Marten expressed concern that Pintsize might be... well, "gone forever" isn't exactly right, because he'd still technically be Pintsize... but definitely never the same, was after the virus, because his memories might be gone, and Marten didn't have a backup. They were concerned about him after he rewired himself, but it seemed to be more of a concern that his chassis wouldn't boot up, rather than him. But no, Pintsize doesn't live anywhere else. If Marten doesn't keep backups (which would be creepy, even by Pintsize's standards), then Pintsize really is only inside his chassis. So shutting him off really is similar to knocking someone out.
Logged
When, in the course of human events,
You can keep your head when all about you
Took the one less traveled by,
It's up to you to cremate those last remains.

SmilingCat

  • Bizarre cantaloupe phobia
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 248
  • You is friend or food?
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #39 on: 25 May 2018, 15:44 »

There's been worries that pintsize might be gone forever after one of the technical issues he's had. Probably the rerouting power idea, but can't quite remember offhand. Marten was panicked, so doubt pintsize is living elsewhere.

The "might be gone forever" comment was when Pintsize picked up a virus. In that comic it was stated that Marten had a backup of pintsize, but deleted it after pintsize got the new chassis. In a much later comic, when they were trying to figure out what the unknown (pizza delivery) beacon did, Marten specifically comments that Pintsize has a backup, having apparently learned from his mistake.
Logged

Is it cold in here?

  • Administrator
  • Awakened
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19,323
  • He/him/his pronouns
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #40 on: 25 May 2018, 20:22 »

Then come all the philosophical and ethical problems that arise if the backup gets loaded into a second body while the first is still operating.
Logged
"Non-compliance is a social skill"
Quote from: an unnamed minister's sermon
In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

Carl-E

  • Awakened
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10,283
  • The distilled essence of Mr. James Beam himself.
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #41 on: 25 May 2018, 21:49 »

There's probably a line or two (thousand) of code that prevents that from happening. 
Logged
When people try to speak a gut reaction, they end up talking out their ass.

ImVeryAngryItsNotButter

  • Plantmonster
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 41
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #42 on: 25 May 2018, 23:08 »

Then come all the philosophical and ethical problems that arise if the backup gets loaded into a second body while the first is still operating.

Will Riker, I believe you've met Thomas Riker.
Logged

awgiedawgie

  • FIGHT YOU
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 411
  • DON'T PANIC
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #43 on: 25 May 2018, 23:43 »

There's been worries that pintsize might be gone forever after one of the technical issues he's had. Probably the rerouting power idea, but can't quite remember offhand. Marten was panicked, so doubt pintsize is living elsewhere.

The "might be gone forever" comment was when Pintsize picked up a virus. In that comic it was stated that Marten had a backup of pintsize, but deleted it after pintsize got the new chassis. In a much later comic, when they were trying to figure out what the unknown (pizza delivery) beacon did, Marten specifically comments that Pintsize has a backup, having apparently learned from his mistake.
Good memory. I had forgotten about that one.


Then come all the philosophical and ethical problems that arise if the backup gets loaded into a second body while the first is still operating.
Marten only said they were memory backups, so not necessarily a backup of his core self. The memories on their own may not even be able to be loaded successfully to a different AI.
Logged
When, in the course of human events,
You can keep your head when all about you
Took the one less traveled by,
It's up to you to cremate those last remains.

Thrillho

  • Global Moderator
  • Awakened
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12,382
  • Definitely DEFINITELY not touching my balls
    • Do They Have To Use Drums?
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #44 on: 26 May 2018, 07:35 »

Just to swing in here for a sec, I don't remember the comic's history well enough to know if Pintsize's actions all reflect it, but he is absolutely correct that good is not necessarily nice.
Logged
There's a difference to being bisexual and taking what you can get.
www.madcap156.wordpress.com

wlewisiii

  • Bizarre cantaloupe phobia
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 235
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #45 on: 26 May 2018, 16:42 »

Pintsize as Trickster? Coyote in an anthro-PC? I like the image. If I were an Artist I'd have to paint Pintsize like Coyote from Gunnerkrigg Court  :evil:
Logged
Emily is the Avatar.

alc40

  • Not quite a lurker
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #46 on: 29 May 2018, 19:08 »

Then come all the philosophical and ethical problems that arise if the backup gets loaded into a second body while the first is still operating.
Marten only said they were memory backups, so not necessarily a backup of his core self. The memories on their own may not even be able to be loaded successfully to a different AI.
Bubbles' phrasing in comic #3376 is a little different, referring to the "transfer, back-up, and even editing of artificial consciousness", which seems to be broader than just memory.  And the comic's illustration of this certainly suggests that an AI stored on a computer can be successfully transferred to a different chassis.
Logged

awgiedawgie

  • FIGHT YOU
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 411
  • DON'T PANIC
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #47 on: 29 May 2018, 19:34 »

Then come all the philosophical and ethical problems that arise if the backup gets loaded into a second body while the first is still operating.
Marten only said they were memory backups, so not necessarily a backup of his core self. The memories on their own may not even be able to be loaded successfully to a different AI.
Bubbles' phrasing in comic #3376 is a little different, referring to the "transfer, back-up, and even editing of artificial consciousness", which seems to be broader than just memory.  And the comic's illustration of this certainly suggests that an AI stored on a computer can be successfully transferred to a different chassis.
That is true. But as I pointed out, Marten only said Pintsize has memory backups. He didnít say it was a backup of Pintsize himself. It might be, but thatís not what he said. If itís not a backup of his ďoperating systemĒ, as it were, and if those memory backups are linked or tied specifically to Pintsize, then the memories on their own could not be uploaded into a different AI. For example, when Marten backed up Pintsize himself before acquiring his current chassis, Pintsizeís face appeared on Martenís computer screen, indicating that Pintsize himself, and not merely his memories, had been transferred into Martenís PC. Pintsizeís old chassis was then wiped clean and vacant. When both Momo and Winslow got their new chassis (chassises?), they transferred themselves directly from their old chassis to the new one.


Incidentally, it was the ďeditingĒ to which Bubbles referred, that raised Spookybotís attention... and their anger.


By the way, welcome to our little neighbourhood. Breakfast is at 7, but room service is closed for the night, Iím afraid.
Logged
When, in the course of human events,
You can keep your head when all about you
Took the one less traveled by,
It's up to you to cremate those last remains.

Labrat

  • Notorious N.U.R.R.
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1
  • Connoisseur of fancy cheese
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #48 on: 29 May 2018, 19:55 »

Forum newbie here. My first post is just to say how much I love the insight of your analysis into Pintsize's character. To further credit your point, does anyone remember the time that he helped Faye get gum out of her hair with peanut butter, thus preventing her from being forced to cut it awkwardly? Even if occasionally obscured by his trademark crass humor, you're absolutely right that he has genuinely good intentions where it counts. Bravo!
Logged

OldGoat

  • The Tickler
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 918
  • Give me heresy, or give me death.
Re: Pintsize: Good is not necessarily nice.
« Reply #49 on: 31 May 2018, 23:30 »

Pintsize as Trickster? Coyote in an anthro-PC? I like the image. If I were an Artist I'd have to paint Pintsize like Coyote from Gunnerkrigg Court  :evil:
Spot on. 
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up