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Poll

Pancake!Roko! What happens next? (Choose two)

Roko has to deal with a low-spec temporary body until Faye and Bubbles can somehow fix her original chassis
- 14 (21.2%)
Spookybot: "I can repair her although she may find the specification of the replacement a bit more... cutting edge."
- 10 (15.2%)
"Bubbles, that's not a humanoid chassis, it's a Transformer. A 30-foot tall one too!"
- 2 (3%)
Roko in Momo-tan
- 10 (15.2%)
Roko in iWinslow
- 3 (4.5%)
Roko in a robo-girlfriend prototype chassis
- 7 (10.6%)
Roko in an immobile sensor & communications pod that ends up being carried around by a main character
- 10 (15.2%)
Uploaded into the experimental town data grid. She now IS Northampton
- 4 (6.1%)
Other (specify in comment)
- 6 (9.1%)

Total Members Voted: 39


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Author Topic: WCDT strips 3606-3910 (31st December 2018 to 4th January 2019)  (Read 8902 times)

BenRG

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Okay, I don't think that there's any doubt that Roko's chassis has likely been seriously damaged or even destroyed, so what happens next? I've given the option two vote for two possibilities because it is possible that we'll see Roko go through a temporary stage before getting a permanent fix.

My preferred idea is that she temporarily installed into an immobile sensor and communications pod that doesn't have any ability to manipulate its environment or even move on its own. So, she needs an assistance person to carry her around. Melon gets the job and Roko spends a few stressful weeks acting as Melon's objective reality  indicator until a permanent chassis is found.

Getting a high specification chassis would have been difficult if not for Spookybot's help. However, Faye and Bubbles are suspicious about just what the specification is of the chassis they're given because what is delivered by the guys in dark suits, dark glasses and radio earpieces is on a level of complexity neither of them have ever seen before.

What do you guys think?
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Pennepasta

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We back to plot next week? Never entirely sure if filler/timeoff takes more than a week or so (and asking always feels a bit pushy, which isn't really my goal!). I'm of the "Temporary low-spec" opinion, potentially involving May and leading to more empathy between them etc.. Not sure how Roko would react to a body from Spookybot, other than that she'd be wary as heck, which would be interesting as well. Server only, without manipulation, feels like it breaks laws for non-felons, considering how Robot Jail is discussed. Seems too close to that for my tastes, but we'll see.
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shanejayell

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Sticking her in the original Momo body would be amusing as hell.

"WHY does this body have TASERS?"

brasca

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Sticking her in the original Momo body would be amusing as hell.

"WHY does this body have TASERS?"

That's definitely a possibility unless it was already donated to help AIs without chassis.  If not I'm sure Momo wouldn't mind since Roko should be able to do her charity work without much difficulty, but I'm not sure about baking.  It would be like having the Pillsbury Doughboy around.  Cute mascot, but I don't think she'd be able to do much else at the Secret Bakery. 
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Near Lurker

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2048?  And here I'd have guessed only 119.

(Wait, 2048?  Who releases a line of 3*683 androids?)
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Tyr

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That's definitely a possibility unless it was already donated to help AIs without chassis.  If not I'm sure Momo wouldn't mind since Roko should be able to do her charity work without much difficulty, but I'm not sure about baking.  It would be like having the Pillsbury Doughboy around.  Cute mascot, but I don't think she'd be able to do much else at the Secret Bakery.
She would still be able to learn from training, and original flavour Momo was capable of helping to make tacos.

(Wait, 2048?  Who releases a line of 3*683 androids?)
Presumably Two-Zero-Four-Nine was made Special in her own unique way, not as a controller, but as a console for the Melon Network.
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traroth

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If you have memory space to store 2049 of them, you have space to store 4096...
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BenRG

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I already like Lemon. She's sweet, kind and friendly whilst still having the bumbling social uncertainties that makes her instantly relatable to me.

It looks like Roko was hurt pretty badly, based on Lemon's description of her chassis. It's quite likely that she's running on an emergency system of some sort whilst her chassis is either repaired or replaced. Question: Is she in the AI equivalent of a medically-induced coma? :-o

Oddly enough, I think that this is the closest we're likely to get to seeing what May went through in Robot Jail - totally cut off from external input in a featureless mindspace that others can only access by jacking into the system on which the drive is running. I think that Robot Jail may have had a virtual environment but I think it's unlikely they'd have had the time to set one up for Roko yet; she's probably only just been rebooted.
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oddtail

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Question: Is she in the AI equivalent of a medically-induced coma? :-o

I'm assuming her body is destroyed (dead, I guess) and AIs have relatively physically robust memory cores (I vaguely remember the comic establishing something like that?) that house their personalities and memories. I wouldn't say it's the equivalent of a coma because human consciousness and yes, even brains are inseparably linked to our bodies. My understanding is that AI consciousness can work independently of a body, so Roko is probably hooked up to a network or something like that?

If I remember the technical aspects of AI in QC-verse wrong, I'll be happy to be corrected.
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Tyr

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Question: Is she in the AI equivalent of a medically-induced coma? :-o

I'm assuming her body is destroyed (dead, I guess) and AIs have relatively physically robust memory cores (I vaguely remember the comic establishing something like that?) that house their personalities and memories. I wouldn't say it's the equivalent of a coma because human consciousness and yes, even brains are inseparably linked to our bodies. My understanding is that AI consciousness can work independently of a body, so Roko is probably hooked up to a network or something like that?

If I remember the technical aspects of AI in QC-verse wrong, I'll be happy to be corrected.

The Robot Fight Club members have what are described as 'triple-reinforced AI drives'. which may or may not be standard issue (if it was standard issue, wouldn't it just be 'AI drives are reinforced'?)

as for what Roko is experiencing, I imagine it's a variation on the 'invocation creche' Clinton mentioned here. a pared back system to keep the intelligent mind from going insane without input while Roko is repaired. Alternatively, she's in the Medical Creche so she can give informed consent as to how professionals should care for her, e.g. should they just install her into a a new body or would she prefer they repair the old body, fix what can be fixed and she'll live with the results because damaged or not, it's HER body?
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Skewbrow

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Given that may be about an hour ago (in comic time) it was observed that Roko has a high level of bodily integration it would make sense that she wants the chassis repaired. If at all possible that is. Of course, Lemon may be just about to spill the piece of news that Roko's next chassis (whether a new or the repaired old one) may not be able to sense ... contact with bread ... the way it used to.

I'm uncertain where Jeph wants to take this. Crushbot ex machina is a wonderful excuse to give Roko a new look. OTOH, building up to it with the linked discussion suggests that Roko's mind may not react well to the change. Well, this much cruelty to a character may work nicely (for we the readers if not Roko).
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oeoek

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Well, it sems Roko's back upo system is up to date if she remembers a loud noise, so I would say that's a good starting point. I am sure Union Robotics can fix her. Rebuild her. Better... stronger... faster... Or at least with more arms. Perhaps a tad flatter.
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Castlerook


Judging by the look on her face, I'm betting Roko is thinking "Oh crepe!"
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Sticking her in the original Momo body would be amusing as hell.

"WHY does this body have TASERS?"

Imagine the excitement when she accidently triggers the Eel-Launcher!   :mrgreen:
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Tai Fanboi

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I said it before, I'll say it again:

Quote
Hmm, so one crushed AI who's still technically un-employed (I mean, hasn't started her job day one yet.)  Costly repairs, no insurance...  Roko/May arc where Roko has further development into the insight of the lives of the "criminals" she was punishing?  Maybe even a "your one bad day away from being me" type of thing where she contemplates crime?  The glorious return of Hanners who will swoop in as a patron and activist for the plight of the Robotic class? 

Also..  i like that shade of yellow on Lemon

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Pennepasta

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The Robot Fight Club members have what are described as 'triple-reinforced AI drives'. which may or may not be standard issue (if it was standard issue, wouldn't it just be 'AI drives are reinforced'?)

Bear in mind - Roko was a cop. A dangerous profession like that would probably be likely to get reinforced drives, I'd suggest.
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oeoek

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I said it before, I'll say it again:

Quote
Hmm, so one crushed AI who's still technically un-employed (I mean, hasn't started her job day one yet.)  Costly repairs, no insurance...  Roko/May arc where Roko has further development into the insight of the lives of the "criminals" she was punishing?  Maybe even a "your one bad day away from being me" type of thing where she contemplates crime?  The glorious return of Hanners who will swoop in as a patron and activist for the plight of the Robotic class? 

Also..  i like that shade of yellow on Lemon



Looking at the AI's, wondering about the 'Electrical banana'...
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shanejayell

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Well, at least she's not DEAD dead. Just splatted.

brasca

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I noticed Lemon has mismatched socks, but it's a very eccentric model so I suppose she has to have some visible quirk. 

From what I gather with the news Lemon is trying to break to Roko either her body was flattened into a pancake or she's been downloaded into a computer oven.  I suppose the latter wouldn't be a terrible fate. 
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Milayna

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Next week: Bubbles is taking a break from fixing Roko's body, having a relaxing spot of tea in her chair...

...And then Lemon's sister Durian walks in.
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Kincaid

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Possibly a technical glitch, the new comic is showing both as https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3901 and https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3906 (with a different number in the image itself), was there an original 3901 that just got overwritten by accident?
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Stoutfellow

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Possibly a technical glitch, the new comic is showing both as https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3901 and https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3906 (with a different number in the image itself), was there an original 3901 that just got overwritten by accident?

It seems so; the original 3901 was one of the filler pages from last week.
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OldGoat

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This isn't a one-off environment created just for Roko's accident.  There are 'bots galore in this universe and some of them are bound to have been seriously damaged in the course of everyday life.  Roko's in the AI equivalent of Intensive Care with a clinician trained for such work.  The analogy doesn't run completely in parallel.  People like Bubbs and Faye fill the role of surgeons dealing with the mechanical layer while Lemon and her colleagues handle the emotion & mental parts.  Not being biological entities, AIs don't really have any need for physicians, although there are probably Assembly Language programmers who specialize in the hardware/software interface who might come close to that role.

I'm favoring the idea of our current Hero, Roko, harrowing Hell by spending some time in a substandard or at least not-quite-so-premium chassis. 

Finally, My Gawd, there are 2047 or so other Melons around with varying levels of functionality?  Until/unless Jeph gives them another name I'll call these groups "builds."  Since it's apparent that they form some kind of AI kinship group they need a name.  It looks like they're formed when a group of AIs are installed in a run of a given chassis.
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OldGoat

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I noticed Lemon has mismatched socks, but it's a very eccentric model so I suppose she has to have some visible quirk. 

"Life is too short for boring socks."
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Pennepasta

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Next week: Bubbles is taking a break from fixing Roko's body, having a relaxing spot of tea in her chair...

...And then Lemon's sister Durian walks in.

You'd be able to smell her from miles away! As long as it's not Durian flavoured tea (my brother brought coffee that was durian flavour. Fortunately, I don't drink coffee, so... not getting brewed in this house!).
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Carl-E

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Isn't 2048 = 211?  Maybe that has something to do with the skin/hair color palette available for that model chassis? 


Also, did anyone else get a bit choked up at this "apres vie"? 
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Perfectly Reasonable

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If they come in batches that are powers of two, Lemon should have 2047 sisters. Plus herself makes an even 2048.

I'm starting to wonder if Roko is having a sort of hallucination. Like everything is a bit off, somehow... yellow. mismatched socks. 2047.

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specter177

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New comic!

Looks like everything will eventually turn out all right for Roko, but now I'm terrified of depressed nuclear reactors.
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Very much unlike their minds, the bodies of QC synthetics seem to be manufactured assembly-line quality-controlled items.

Roko could presumably get a near-identical replacement.

Would that be good enough?
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This is why you don't give jobs like nuclear reactor control unit to self-aware AIs :P.
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jwhouk

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I don't think getting an exact replacement is in the cards, because she's no longer a police-bot.

I honestly don't like where this may be going for Roko...
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St.Clair

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This is why you don't give jobs like nuclear reactor control unit to self-aware AIs :P.

A line I remember from another comic:

"You really don't want something designed primarily or exclusively to kill humans to have the ability to get bored."
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Castlerook


If they come in batches that are powers of two, Lemon should have 2047 sisters. Plus herself makes an even 2048.


Well, there was the batch with Lee Mann.

He does manual handling courses and spatial awareness seminars for AI in heavy industry.
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A small perverse otter

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Very much unlike their minds, the bodies of QC synthetics seem to be manufactured assembly-line quality-controlled items.

Roko could presumably get a near-identical replacement.

Would that be good enough?
That's the key question, isn't it? Is her sensory integration a part of the particular chassis, or of the class of chassis?
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Neko_Ali


I see this as both being a plot line of it's own, and the resolution of the Union Robotics solvency plot line. For a while now we've had the on going thread of whether or not Faye and Bubbles can be successful at their business. The silver lining of this accident is that it just dropped a nice big fat paycheck into their laps. The accident happening literally on their doorstep to a friend they would immediately rush to action. Crushbot and his insurance policy are clearly going to pick up the check with no contesting it. And knowing how integrated Roko is with her chassis, plus Roko being able to communicated despite her pancake body means they can push for the much more expensive restoration of Roko's original body, rather than the cheaper alternative of just going to the shop for a new one. And it will bring Roko into the fold of the cast fully now, being firmly entangled with multiple main and secondary characters. Not that there was any doubt in that.

All in all, it's a very Jeph resolution. Some tense moments drawn out, a bit of a comedy bit with Crushbot's pratfall, and everyone's immediate problem get neatly tied up. If only real life worked like that.
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Milayna

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Huh. So I'm kind of going to have to call Lemon out on this, from what i can remember when I had a therapist 10 years ago, turning the therapy around on yourself is pretty dang unprofessional. Maybe you've got self-esteem or success issues and legitimately should be seeing someone for that, but that someone isn't YOUR CLIENT.

Also, is there such a dearth of AI therapists that the coordinators have to shoehorn them into completely unrelated specializations like that? If Lemon isn't qualified or desiring to do the job, then she shouldn't be doing the job. I get that she's not a private therapist, but probably a state-retained generalist who's provided as part of Roko's retirement package, but still.
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OldGoat

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I don't think getting an exact replacement is in the cards, because she's no longer a police-bot.

I honestly don't like where this may be going for Roko...

Want a police car but the dealer won't sell you one?  Order a taxi cab with the trailer towing package.  Costs less, too.  Or at least that was the case when I was in on municipal budgetary shenanigans.   I reckon there are similar things that can be accomplished with an AI chassis.   Maybe that's how Jeph will keep the arc going long enough to have some fun and/or build his universe with it.  Resolving it too quickly would make it nothing more than filler.
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nice nod to HHGTG,

Many respectable physicists said that they weren't going to stand for this, partly because it was a debasement of science, but mostly because they didn't get invited to those sorts of parties.
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BenRG

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So, the big news of today's strip is that Roko actually had a brush with death. If her chassis and core hadn't been upgraded to law enforcement standards, she'd probably have ended up brain damaged or dead!

The second big news (and important news) is it looks like Crushbot's insurers are picking up the bill, given that liability is clear.

The third big news is that I now know why Emily Azuma exists: There are so many AIs who need to be networked together so that they can have parties and fun together in the virtual world! Maybe she can link the nuclear reactors up with the spy satellites!

FWIW, I'm expecting Roko's temporary new chassis to be a Dr Theophilus, from Buck Rogers. Basically an immobile processor, communications and sensor array that has to be carried around by someone else. I'm voting Melon gets the job as Roko's Twiki.
« Last Edit: 01 Jan 2019, 00:41 by BenRG »
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Pilchard123

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That's definitely a possibility unless it was already donated to help AIs without chassis.

Roko has no chassis right now. It would require a big coincidence, but it could come back to Roko.

"You really don't want something designed primarily or exclusively to kill humans to have the ability to get bored."

Schlock Mercenary?
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BenRG

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Very much unlike their minds, the bodies of QC synthetics seem to be manufactured assembly-line quality-controlled items.

Roko could presumably get a near-identical replacement.

Would that be good enough?

It depends to what level she'd fine-tuned her sensor settings and parts to her preferences; she could be in for months of monkeying around with her preferences trying to get the darn thing working right.

There is also the psychological problems that sci-fi occasionally directs towards cloning. It looks like her body but she knows it isn't her body. That could lead to disabling dysphoric issues.
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Tova


Huh. So I'm kind of going to have to call Lemon out on this, from what i can remember when I had a therapist 10 years ago, turning the therapy around on yourself is pretty dang unprofessional.

You're right! She's not doing a very good job.
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New comic!

Looks like everything will eventually turn out all right for Roko, but now I'm terrified of depressed nuclear reactors.

Depressed is safe. Manic on the other hand...

If I were involved, I'd pick AI personalities that were a little on the anxious and cautious side for such work. Then make sure they got plenty of rest and relaxation, so they really valued the world and wanted to protect it and keep it safe.

Now as for Lemon - nice girl but woefully undertrained.

I am reminded of the old WWI British army dark joke about the diplomatic abilities of Sergeants major.

"Sarnt major, 681 Jones is in 12 platoon, isn't he? Just got word his parents were killed last night in a Zeppelin raid. Please break it to him gently, there's a good chap"
Later, on parade.
"COMPANY! ATTEN..wait for it you horrible little man..SHUN!
"12 Platoon! All those not orphaned take one step forwarNOT YOU JONES!"

Lemon means well, but her oblique speech about bodily damage rather fell flat. I suspect she's still learning on the job.


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Stoutfellow

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You're right! She's not doing a very good job.

You're saying she may be ... a lemon?
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Pennepasta

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Lemon means well, but her oblique speech about bodily damage rather fell flat. I suspect she's still learning on the job.

Well, it was accompanied by a pancake comment...
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Annemoon

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Huh. So I'm kind of going to have to call Lemon out on this, from what i can remember when I had a therapist 10 years ago, turning the therapy around on yourself is pretty dang unprofessional.

You're right! She's not doing a very good job.

Professionally speaking, no not really. Although I think the distraction of it was useful at the moment, roko was going full panic spiral and the topic switch both breaks this spiral for a moment, as potentially provides a lever to be able to look at her own perspective more from a mental place instead of fully in the emotion. By identifying or sympathising with another first, it's often easier to more purposefully sympathise and work with your own emotions from a healthier standpoint. I mean, variants of this process are actually used professionally. It's just not *how* you're supposed to do it.
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Carl-E

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Very much unlike their minds, the bodies of QC synthetics seem to be manufactured assembly-line quality-controlled items.

Roko could presumably get a near-identical replacement.

Would that be good enough?

It depends to what level she'd fine-tuned her sensor settings and parts to her preferences; she could be in for months of monkeying around with her preferences trying to get the darn thing working right.

There is also the psychological problems that sci-fi occasionally directs towards cloning. It looks like her body but she knows it isn't her body. That could lead to disabling dysphoric issues.

Oh dear.  I'm sure the bread fetish is somehow tied into her sensory array. 

What happens to her when the smell of baking bread becomes... normal? 



Poor thing. 
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I'm very glad to see that Roku will likely come out of this relatively unscathed - at least physically.  The mental trauma may take some time.

Isn't anybody else surprised that after millions of years of evolution and survival of the fittest processes humans have become MORE susceptible to major damage from minor events?  Look at gorillas or rhinos.  You can wail on their bodies with a pipe wrench with relatively little effect.  Why are we so goddanged 'delicate'   I'm also thinking that we should all be fitted with reinforcement for our processors and memory cores.  Could someone please get on that STAT!
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themacnut

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Most of our evolutionary development went into our intellect, which in turn develops safety devices for our delicate parts like helmets for our heads and various kinds of armor for the rest. If you're not wearing any of that when something bad happens, well, that's the price you pay for random evolution. Now on the other hand, when we learn enough about the genetic code to be to engineer things like humans born with thicker skulls, then evolution will get more directed.

 
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The Vanguard - superhero space opera

Milayna

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Millions of years of evolution also produced mice and aphids and those are pretty dang squishy
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