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Poll

So what is Roko's new chassis going to be like?

Pretentious like a Porsche.
- 9 (28.1%)
Big Badonkadonk like a Kardashian.
- 4 (12.5%)
Pigtails (and her other accoutrements) like Momo.
- 2 (6.3%)
Attitude and glitches like May.
- 2 (6.3%)
HAH! She looks like Lemon!
- 3 (9.4%)
Worse - she looks like PINTSIZE.
- 0 (0%)
That dream of being a toaster is FINALLY REALIZED!
- 4 (12.5%)
Purple Monkey Dishwasher!
- 8 (25%)

Total Members Voted: 32


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Author Topic: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)  (Read 8270 times)

jwhouk

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WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« on: 06 Jan 2019, 08:46 »

New Year, New Week, New Poll!
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #1 on: 06 Jan 2019, 11:25 »

I expect that Roko's new chassis will look mostly like her but will just be that extra bit refined. Refined to the point where sentients with the appropriate sexual interest will have difficulty concentrating around her (much to her embarrassment). I also expect lots of minor 'quirks' (actually software issues due to over-focus on marketing and form and not enough on function).

Well, at least she'll be able to get her way a bit easier, if she adopts just the right pose!
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #3 on: 06 Jan 2019, 12:56 »

I expect that Roko's new chassis will look mostly like her but will just be that extra bit refined. Refined to the point where sentients with the appropriate sexual interest will have difficulty concentrating around her (much to her embarrassment). I also expect lots of minor 'quirks' (actually software issues due to over-focus on marketing and form and not enough on function).

Well, at least she'll be able to get her way a bit easier, if she adopts just the right pose!

Yup, a physical appearance so hot she'll find it embarrassing.  (I'm still shipping Roko and Clinton.)
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #4 on: 06 Jan 2019, 19:34 »

Everyone deserves a fancy butt emblem, especially Roko.
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #5 on: 06 Jan 2019, 19:42 »

Be careful about EUA terms or you could get stuck with a Galvatron upgrade and be tormented by your benefactor whenever they want...  or Spookybot. 
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TV4Fun

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #6 on: 06 Jan 2019, 20:55 »

Phew, that was close. For a second there I was afraid we were going to have some drama or tension in the plot.
« Last Edit: 06 Jan 2019, 22:23 by TV4Fun »
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #7 on: 06 Jan 2019, 20:56 »

Counseling session or chassis sale?
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #8 on: 06 Jan 2019, 21:48 »

Yesssss gimme a fancy butt emblem too!
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BenRG

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #9 on: 06 Jan 2019, 23:24 »

Our time with Lemon has, IMO, strongly suggested that the eccentricities of the series are demonstrated by all of the units produced in that batch. Melon is just turned up to eleven!

I wonder how someone with such an endearing personality got to be a counsellor, a job that normally is associated with dryer personalties? She's cute but, like Melon, I imagine she'd be wearing to know over the longer term and, as others have pointed out in the past week, that's not ideal for counselling. One wonders if the AI community have a problem with having sufficient trained personnel to the point where Lemon got the job as she was the only mildly-qualified applicant?

As for Roko, whilst I understand her impulse here, I am always slightly suspicious of the top-spec model as they can also be the ones with the least-tested components!
« Last Edit: 07 Jan 2019, 00:11 by BenRG »
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #10 on: 07 Jan 2019, 02:13 »

Our time with Lemon has, IMO, strongly suggested that the eccentricities of the series are demonstrated by all of the units produced in that batch. Melon is just turned up to eleven!

I wonder how someone with such an endearing personality got to be a counsellor, a job that normally is associated with dryer personalties? She's cute but, like Melon, I imagine she'd be wearing to know over the longer term and, as others have pointed out in the past week, that's not ideal for counselling. One wonders if the AI community have a problem with having sufficient trained personnel to the point where Lemon got the job as she was the only mildly-qualified applicant?

As for Roko, whilst I understand her impulse here, I am always slightly suspicious of the top-spec model as they can also be the ones with the least-tested components!

Well she normally cheers up nuclear reactors which would require a cheerful disposition.  A better counselor would make more sense, but wouldn’t be funny so for the sake of comedy we get Lemon.
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #11 on: 07 Jan 2019, 03:59 »

Everyone deserves a fancy butt emblem, especially Roko.
Too bad we'll never get to see the butt emblem unless it's a detachable butt like Melon's (which would be funny if the chassis had a no-return clause in the Terms & Conditions so she would either have to keep it or buy the Classic one and have to cope with living with her own "corpse" as no one would buy it second hand)
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #12 on: 07 Jan 2019, 04:09 »

Jeph could just show the butt emblem as a context-free close-up that's just an image on a Roko-shaded background.
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #13 on: 07 Jan 2019, 04:32 »

Phew, that was close. For a second there I was afraid we were going to have some drama or tension in the plot.

Plenty of time for drama over dealing with being in a new body, new body being not quite right.
Maybe bread doesn't smell the same in the new model.
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Tai Fanboi

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #14 on: 07 Jan 2019, 04:38 »

Hey..  Hey Roko...  Roko..  Hey...

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #15 on: 07 Jan 2019, 08:36 »

Phew, that was close. For a second there I was afraid we were going to have some drama or tension in the plot.

Plenty of time for drama over dealing with being in a new body, new body being not quite right.
Maybe bread doesn't smell the same in the new model.
I'll believe it when I see it. Jeph has gotten very good at setting up for drama and then completely copping out on it.
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dutchrvl

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #16 on: 07 Jan 2019, 08:55 »

Phew, that was close. For a second there I was afraid we were going to have some drama or tension in the plot.

Plenty of time for drama over dealing with being in a new body, new body being not quite right.
Maybe bread doesn't smell the same in the new model.
I'll believe it when I see it. Jeph has gotten very good at setting up for drama and then completely copping out on it.

Do you perhaps have an example of this?
I am not trying to be argumentative here, but in my view Jeph has generally been quite good at setting events up way in advance, so I am genuinely curious which comics/set-ups you are referring to.

Keep in mind that Jeph's storylines not having the drama you anticipated is not the same as 'copping out', just that your anticipated storyline was not the one Jeph envisioned himself. Unless of course you know of Jeph planning for a dramatic storyline and then ultimately deciding not to follow through...
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #17 on: 07 Jan 2019, 08:56 »

Copping out or simply disappointing the loud legions of commenters who read gloom, despair and agony with each building plot arc, only to have it resolve at less than peak catastrophe?
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #18 on: 07 Jan 2019, 09:25 »

I wonder if new Roko will be different enough that people wont recognize her right away?
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Shremedy

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #19 on: 07 Jan 2019, 09:28 »

 So, is Roko's new body new-new or is it used?

And is it is used, is there a....


LEMON LAW?
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Perfectly Reasonable

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #20 on: 07 Jan 2019, 09:28 »

Roko's appearance is not going to change much -- assuming she is happy with the way she looks now.

Except for the fancy butt emblem. I kinda wish I could solve -my- problems with a fancy butt emblem.

no google dont show me that
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #21 on: 07 Jan 2019, 10:28 »

Copping out or simply disappointing the loud legions of commenters who read gloom, despair and agony with each building plot arc, only to have it resolve at less than peak catastrophe?

Remember that time that people were convinced we were going to see Union Robotics taken to court and fiscally destroyed?  Pepperidge Farm remembers :P
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Tova

Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #22 on: 07 Jan 2019, 11:42 »

Phew, that was close. For a second there I was afraid we were going to have some drama or tension in the plot.

Plenty of time for drama over dealing with being in a new body, new body being not quite right.
Maybe bread doesn't smell the same in the new model.
I'll believe it when I see it. Jeph has gotten very good at setting up for drama and then completely copping out on it.

Do you perhaps have an example of this?
I am not trying to be argumentative here, but in my view Jeph has generally been quite good at setting events up way in advance, so I am genuinely curious which comics/set-ups you are referring to.

Keep in mind that Jeph's storylines not having the drama you anticipated is not the same as 'copping out', just that your anticipated storyline was not the one Jeph envisioned himself. Unless of course you know of Jeph planning for a dramatic storyline and then ultimately deciding not to follow through...

Alice Grove.
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SpanielBear

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #23 on: 07 Jan 2019, 11:48 »

Phew, that was close. For a second there I was afraid we were going to have some drama or tension in the plot.

Plenty of time for drama over dealing with being in a new body, new body being not quite right.
Maybe bread doesn't smell the same in the new model.
I'll believe it when I see it. Jeph has gotten very good at setting up for drama and then completely copping out on it.

Do you perhaps have an example of this?
I am not trying to be argumentative here, but in my view Jeph has generally been quite good at setting events up way in advance, so I am genuinely curious which comics/set-ups you are referring to.

Keep in mind that Jeph's storylines not having the drama you anticipated is not the same as 'copping out', just that your anticipated storyline was not the one Jeph envisioned himself. Unless of course you know of Jeph planning for a dramatic storyline and then ultimately deciding not to follow through...

Alice Grove.

This burn just went back in time and set fire to Fae's apartment.

(The level of drama vs. comedy is about right for me, honestly.)
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Case

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #24 on: 07 Jan 2019, 13:19 »

Phew, that was close. For a second there I was afraid we were going to have some drama or tension in the plot.

Drama and tension is what WCDTs are for.  :-D
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #25 on: 07 Jan 2019, 13:45 »

Phew, that was close. For a second there I was afraid we were going to have some drama or tension in the plot.

Plenty of time for drama over dealing with being in a new body, new body being not quite right.
Maybe bread doesn't smell the same in the new model.
I'll believe it when I see it. Jeph has gotten very good at setting up for drama and then completely copping out on it.

Do you perhaps have an example of this?
I am not trying to be argumentative here, but in my view Jeph has generally been quite good at setting events up way in advance, so I am genuinely curious which comics/set-ups you are referring to.

Keep in mind that Jeph's storylines not having the drama you anticipated is not the same as 'copping out', just that your anticipated storyline was not the one Jeph envisioned himself. Unless of course you know of Jeph planning for a dramatic storyline and then ultimately deciding not to follow through...

Alice Grove.

Your comment did make me laugh, so well done  :-D
On a serious note, while I was very disappointed with Alice Grove's 'resolution' myself as well, I honestly have no idea whether Jeph had always planned AG that way or if he originally intended to do much more in terms of drama/development etc. If it's the former, then we can't really call it 'copping out', no?
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Tova

Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #26 on: 07 Jan 2019, 16:00 »

No, you're quite right. We can't ever really claim he's copped out. I don't seriously believe that he "cops out" of dramatic storylines myself.

I still think that there is a kernel of truth to the complaint here, and it might be interesting to explore what that might be.

It should be obvious that there's a lot that I think Jeph does well (or I wouldn't be here reading and commenting). He creates characters that resonate with people. He also creates dramatic situations that echo real-life tensions and that stimulate much discussion (and drama) here at WCDT.

What I would really like to see from QC is dramatic climax and resolution that has feels a bit more earned. We all like it when the solution to an uncomfortable situation has been found, but it shouldn't be dropped in the characters laps or it feels like a deus ex machina. Even better, it would be good if the resolution were driven by some kind of internal transformation.

Spookybot is an example that comes to mind of a conflict resolution in QC that worked better than most, but didn't quite get there in my opinion. What was good was that there was an internal transformation for both Faye and Bubbles, which obviously culminated in their relationship. But their internal transformation did not drive the conflict resolution. There was a nice moment when Bubbles went to Faye's apartment and finally explained why Corpse Witch had her over a barrel. That was a good moment, and it did "kind of" drive the resolution. But in the end, they didn't really earn it. Spookybot was dropped into their laps. I know a lot of people liked it because they felt Spookybot is cool. Hey, they are. But still, it would have felt so much better if Faye and Bubbles had put their heads together to come up with a solution themselves.

The current storyline still hasn't played out fully necessarily, so we shouldn't draw too many conclusions. But the setup is so good. On the one hand, we have the much-discussed difficult problem of Roko losing the body she is so obviously attached to. And we have Lemon, who is apparently not very good at her job. There's a lot of story potential there. And - I repeat - maybe the last comic isn't the end of this, but the problems appears to have magically resolved in four panels. It was, in my opinion, too easy. It wasn't earned. And there has been no internal transformation.

There are others that I would have to search through the archives to find, but what about the infamous Dora and Marten split up? Arguably the last time we saw conflict play out over a long period of time, and maybe the reason Jeph now shies away from it? I'm speculating wildly, obviously. But looking back on that storyline, it has kind of resolved in that they are now happily involved in separate relationships and have reconciled. That's nice. But what internal transformation have we seen? From either of them? Nothing as far as I can tell. For all I know, jealousy still lurks under the surface with Dora, even though we haven't seen it (we haven't really seen Dora much at all). Marten's ability to negotiate relationship issues hasn't been addressed as far as I can tell. He has grown in confidence, though I have no real idea what motivated that change. His aimlessness and passivity seem unchanged.

One good example of resolution a bit more motivated by internal transformation would be the conflict between Winslow and May. Winslow decided to help AIs and did some counselling. I'd like to see more of that kind of thing.

Anyway, sorry for my improperly thought through ramble.

TLDR I don't believe Jeph "cops out," but I would love to see his conflicts, which I genuinely think are well constructed, to have better-earned resolution motivated by internal transformation.

Warning: while you were typing, no-one said a damned thing. Yeah, hit that "post" button, what could go wrong?
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Theta9

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #27 on: 07 Jan 2019, 16:40 »

Remember that time that people were convinced we were going to see Union Robotics taken to court and fiscally destroyed?  Pepperidge Farm remembers :P

Remember when Family Guy was funny?

Neither does Pepperidge Farms.
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Case

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #28 on: 07 Jan 2019, 16:48 »

<snip>

The words 'conflict' and 'resolution' keep coming up again (We've been here before, but last time, the discussion sort of fizzled out). A few thoughts(ketches) - and apologies that my vocabulary is very much not up to the task:

As you said, today's strip may not be 'the resolution'. Maybe this is merely the prologue to a longer arc - Jeph has done that before (Remember Faye's sister's visit? Ok, y'all can stop twitching now. Sorry!).

I'd go further and ask: What if this isn't even a 'conflict' in Jeph's mind? Maybe this arc serves as exposition. He's also done that before, if memory serves (Momo perusing the history of the evolution of AI-rights)

And what do people even mean by 'conflict'? And what do they mean by 'resolution'? This sounds to me like there's either an expectation that QC should follow some dramatic arc, like a novel, or a play - It's been fifteen years, is anybody seriously still waiting for Marten's 'Hero's Journey' to kick into high gear? - or that QC should be sort of a sequence of 'mini-dramas/novels/whatever' ("Goddamit Jim, I'm a physicist, not a critic"), with each arc conforming to some greek-theatre drama concept (Some Humanititarian please tell me what I'm trying to say. Thanks.)

And who said that QC has a plot in the 'conventional' sense? Again: Fifteen! Years! Jeph has said that he writes a few weeks ahead, and maybe he has some story-ideas for 2021 already planned - but I don't have the impression that he has a huge plot laid out, with Marten dying at age 47, heroically sacrificing himself so his comrades on the botched first manned mission to Mars can survive (Hey, mind my headcannon, would you?)

This is a slice of life webcomic. Is your life one unending sequence of dramas (dramata? Dromedar?)? Are you on one hero's journey after the other - or are you expecting there'll be only one? Or are there times where the river runs more slowly, where nothing much is outwardly happening?   

TL;DR - when people talk about 'conflict' and 'resolution' - and especially about 'plot' - I'm a bit confused as to what they mean or expect.

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TV4Fun

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #29 on: 07 Jan 2019, 16:48 »

Phew, that was close. For a second there I was afraid we were going to have some drama or tension in the plot.

Plenty of time for drama over dealing with being in a new body, new body being not quite right.
Maybe bread doesn't smell the same in the new model.
I'll believe it when I see it. Jeph has gotten very good at setting up for drama and then completely copping out on it.

Do you perhaps have an example of this?
I am not trying to be argumentative here, but in my view Jeph has generally been quite good at setting events up way in advance, so I am genuinely curious which comics/set-ups you are referring to.

Keep in mind that Jeph's storylines not having the drama you anticipated is not the same as 'copping out', just that your anticipated storyline was not the one Jeph envisioned himself. Unless of course you know of Jeph planning for a dramatic storyline and then ultimately deciding not to follow through...

Alice Grove.

Your comment did make me laugh, so well done  :-D
On a serious note, while I was very disappointed with Alice Grove's 'resolution' myself as well, I honestly have no idea whether Jeph had always planned AG that way or if he originally intended to do much more in terms of drama/development etc. If it's the former, then we can't really call it 'copping out', no?
I'll call it copping out. Planning to cop out is still copping out. If you set up a dramatic conflict in your story and then just resolve it by magic (spookybot e.g.), that is bad writing, and whether you planned to write badly or not, it's still a copout.
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Case

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #30 on: 07 Jan 2019, 17:12 »

Phew, that was close. For a second there I was afraid we were going to have some drama or tension in the plot.

Plenty of time for drama over dealing with being in a new body, new body being not quite right.
Maybe bread doesn't smell the same in the new model.
I'll believe it when I see it. Jeph has gotten very good at setting up for drama and then completely copping out on it.

Do you perhaps have an example of this?
I am not trying to be argumentative here, but in my view Jeph has generally been quite good at setting events up way in advance, so I am genuinely curious which comics/set-ups you are referring to.

Keep in mind that Jeph's storylines not having the drama you anticipated is not the same as 'copping out', just that your anticipated storyline was not the one Jeph envisioned himself. Unless of course you know of Jeph planning for a dramatic storyline and then ultimately deciding not to follow through...

Alice Grove.

Your comment did make me laugh, so well done  :-D
On a serious note, while I was very disappointed with Alice Grove's 'resolution' myself as well, I honestly have no idea whether Jeph had always planned AG that way or if he originally intended to do much more in terms of drama/development etc. If it's the former, then we can't really call it 'copping out', no?
I'll call it copping out. Planning to cop out is still copping out. If you set up a dramatic conflict in your story and then just resolve it by magic (spookybot e.g.), that is bad writing, and whether you planned to write badly or not, it's still a copout.

If you set people up to believe you're interested in a genuine discussion - y'know, with folk actually engaging with each others' points n' stuff and mutual learning going on and all that - and then treat them to a bouquet of moved goalposts, equivocations and circular reasoning, that's a cop out, too.

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #31 on: 07 Jan 2019, 18:09 »

Phew, that was close. For a second there I was afraid we were going to have some drama or tension in the plot.

Plenty of time for drama over dealing with being in a new body, new body being not quite right.
Maybe bread doesn't smell the same in the new model.
I'll believe it when I see it. Jeph has gotten very good at setting up for drama and then completely copping out on it.

Do you perhaps have an example of this?
I am not trying to be argumentative here, but in my view Jeph has generally been quite good at setting events up way in advance, so I am genuinely curious which comics/set-ups you are referring to.

Keep in mind that Jeph's storylines not having the drama you anticipated is not the same as 'copping out', just that your anticipated storyline was not the one Jeph envisioned himself. Unless of course you know of Jeph planning for a dramatic storyline and then ultimately deciding not to follow through...

Alice Grove.

Your comment did make me laugh, so well done  :-D
On a serious note, while I was very disappointed with Alice Grove's 'resolution' myself as well, I honestly have no idea whether Jeph had always planned AG that way or if he originally intended to do much more in terms of drama/development etc. If it's the former, then we can't really call it 'copping out', no?
I'll call it copping out. Planning to cop out is still copping out. If you set up a dramatic conflict in your story and then just resolve it by magic (spookybot e.g.), that is bad writing, and whether you planned to write badly or not, it's still a copout.

If you set people up to believe you're interested in a genuine discussion - y'know, with folk actually engaging with each others' points n' stuff and mutual learning going on and all that - and then treat them to a bouquet of moved goalposts, equivocations and circular reasoning, that's a cop out, too.
Please give an example of where I have moved goalposts or employed circular reasoning. I expressed exactly one opinion about Jeph's writing before that post, and I don't recall setting up any goalposts or employing any reasoning. I didn't respond to dutchrvl's request for an example because Tova said basically the same thing I was going to say, except perhaps that we disagree on the definition of a copout.

It is true that most people do not live grand dramas or engage in heroic journeys, and I never said I expected that from QC. QC is a slice of life comic, and so I expect the stakes of its story to be somewhere on that scale. People of all walks of life do have problems, and when problems emerge, they are not usually instantly resolved as if by magic. If I were to open up a robotics shop without any seed capital, needing a friend to cosign on the lease, and seeming to be lucky if I got one customer on a given day, I would quickly go out of business because I couldn't make rent. If I were beholden to a shady employer because they had valuable data of mine encrypted with high-grade encryption that everyone agreed was technologically impossible to break, it is unlikely that an all-powerful robot would show up and just hand me the means to break it. Real people, when they have problems, have to exert actual effort to fix them. This is true whether the problem is large or small.

This goes to the larger point of storytelling. Most of my life is pretty boring, but on the odd occasion that something interesting happens to me, if I tell someone else a story about it, I am going to do my best to stick to the interesting part and not spend excess time on trivialities. I am also unlikely to start a story by saying something really interesting happened and then spend a lot of time on setup to something that wasn't really interesting. If you are going to tell a story, you need to make sure that you don't build up expectations that you can't deliver on. I didn't ask for QC to have a long arc that goes from one end of the universe to the other—if Jeph wants to keep his character's lives relatively mundane and focus on day-to-day things that mere mortals like us can more directly relate to, that's fine. If he wants to be totally episodic and not try to tell any long-term stories, that's fine. But Jeph has on more than one occasion now set up a problem that all rational thinking, both in-universe and out says should require a great deal of effort to solve and then either just forgotten about it (Union Robotics e.g.) or set up a ridiculous plot convenience to fix it (spookybot e.g.). Going from one anticlimax to another begins to be a little grating after a while.

Let me take the Bubbles/Corpse Witch plot as a specific example. A great many strips were devoted to the fact that CW had ensured 10 years of Bubbles' loyalty by encrypting memories that she didn't want to lose. Now let us completely set aside all real-world logic, and only look at the internal logic of the QC verse. Bubbles clearly believes that it would a functional impossibility to decrypt her memories without the key—in comic 3379, she says "Using current technology, it would take approximately 2 million years to break her encryption." Bubbles clearly hates her situation. In comic 3370, she is about ready to kill, or at least dismantle CW, and it is only the reminder of her encrypted memories that stops her. Bubbles is an intelligent, resourceful robot. Do we honestly believe she would put up with so much from CW if she thought there was ANY other way to get her memories back? In the world of comic, as established, Bubbles has absolutely no choice but to continue working for CW if she ever wants her memories back. This is further reinforced in comic 3389, where Station, who has been established as being one of the most, if not the most sophisticated AIs in existence, says that even he could not break the encryption in a realistic amount of time. We are told repeatedly that breaking this encryption is impossible, which means that Bubbles needs to either continue working for CW and suck up her problems, or accept that she will never get those memories back. But not to worry, two strips later, Spookybot shows up and offers to break the encryption that the most sophisticated AIs known to exist said was impossible to break. Introducing Spookybot at this point in the story is the equivalent of writing a realistic medieval adventure, and then in the last two pages having a time traveler from the future come and use advanced technology to instantly make everyone happy. It's not that it's not realistic, or that in a world full of sentient robots, I am complaining that this wouldn't happen to me, it's that Spookybot completely throws the internal logic of the QC world into question. How did Spookybot come to be? How could such an advanced AI exist and be so very clearly casual about approaching people with their powers, and remain totally unknown to everyone in the story up until now? We don't necessarily need answers to these questions, but we need to at least believe that there are answers that are reasonable. Setting up your world in one way, and then introducing an element so incongruous to everything previously established is changing the rules of the game after we have started playing.

This brings me back to the current storyline. The previous strip before this one seems to strongly indicate that Roko will have a difficult time finding a suitable new body, given that her previous chassis was discontinued, and the new model is substantially more expensive. Yet exactly one comic later, all of those problems seem to have vanished and Roko is ready to get a new body almost instantly. It almost feels like there were some pages missing there that I really would've liked to have read. Now it is possible that these few comics are meant to set up some larger storyline where Roko has to adapt to her new body and deal with the emotional impact having been separated from her old one so unceremoniously, but as I said, I'll believe it when I see it. Jeph seems to like setting up plots and then rushing the resolution of them, and this one doesn't seem any different. I do hope I'm wrong, but this is becoming a pattern.
« Last Edit: 07 Jan 2019, 18:15 by TV4Fun »
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Tova

Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #32 on: 07 Jan 2019, 18:46 »

Hi Case, you've made good points as always.

TL;DR - when people talk about 'conflict' and 'resolution' - and especially about 'plot' - I'm a bit confused as to what they mean or expect.

In storytelling terms, the term 'conflict' is quite a bit broader than what it means in everyday terms. Normally, it would mean a disagreement or fight. But in storytelling, it usually takes the form of a gap between desire and reality.

Usually, there is an external conflict and a corresponding internal conflict. For instance, take Faye, and the conflict set up by The Talk. You could say that her external conflict was that she wanted a relationship and stability. Her internal conflict was that she needed to overcome her abandonment issues. And while it's true that this is a slice of life comic, the throughline of where she was at The Talk to where she is now (in a stable relationship) is probably the most successful arc in QC.

I think that this throughline has in fact set up an expectation among the QC audience that there will be dramatic arcs within the overall setting of the daily slice of life. And I get the impression occasionally that one is being set up. Often, I don't comment on this when it appears to be magically resolved because it is always possible that Jeph is playing the long game. He certainly did that with the slow burn of the Marten/Dora relationship, where they would 'talk it out' periodically and it would kind of appear that the issue was resolved, but of course it was not. And while Jeph has resolved the external conflict of that story, the internal ones largely remain.

I think in the case of the current storyline, people have begun to expect - as I guess you've seen - that Jeph is preparing to tell a story that is a metaphor of the experience of gender dysphoria. I know at least a couple of people expressed a hope for something along those lines. The most recent comic appears to suggest that, in spite of somewhat slipshod counselling, this may not happen after all - that, to paraphrase Lemon, she will simply be fine. And HEY LOOK THERE IS A NEW COMIC it also does look as though the changes to her new body are pretty minor.

I am still holding out hope that the story might still follow through with its promise. In the words of Roko, maybe we just need to give the comic a moment here.

Do bear in mind that I am deliberately avoiding phrasing my thoughts in terms of Jeph's intentions. I am really more concerned about audience expectations and how they are fulfilled or otherwise. As one frequent poster so likes to remind us, intent is not magic.
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #33 on: 07 Jan 2019, 18:49 »

Phew, that was close. For a second there I was afraid we were going to have some drama or tension in the plot.

Plenty of time for drama over dealing with being in a new body, new body being not quite right.
Maybe bread doesn't smell the same in the new model.
I'll believe it when I see it. Jeph has gotten very good at setting up for drama and then completely copping out on it.

Do you perhaps have an example of this?
I am not trying to be argumentative here, but in my view Jeph has generally been quite good at setting events up way in advance, so I am genuinely curious which comics/set-ups you are referring to.

Keep in mind that Jeph's storylines not having the drama you anticipated is not the same as 'copping out', just that your anticipated storyline was not the one Jeph envisioned himself. Unless of course you know of Jeph planning for a dramatic storyline and then ultimately deciding not to follow through...

Alice Grove.

Different webcomic and while rushed I still like how it ended.
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Tova

Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #34 on: 07 Jan 2019, 19:05 »

Yes, and that is fair enough. I can only speak from my personal reactions to the comics, and I am sure that my reactions are not universal.
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #35 on: 07 Jan 2019, 19:38 »

"I wanted to keep your crushed head as a momento..."

MELON. NO.

Seriously.

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #36 on: 07 Jan 2019, 20:27 »

Such a conversation starter that would be. Especially if you can get the voder to work.
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #37 on: 07 Jan 2019, 21:35 »

"I wanted to keep your crushed head as a momento..."

MELON. NO.

Seriously.
I hold your hand in mine, dear //
I press it to my lips //
I take a healthy bite //
Of your dainty fingertips

The night you died, I cut it off //
I really don't know why //
For now each time I kiss it //
I get blood stains on my tie

I'm sorry now I killed you //
For our love was something fine //
But until they come to get me //
I shall hold your hand in mine.

-- T. Lehrer.
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #38 on: 07 Jan 2019, 23:19 »

Poor Melon though; this further reinforces my earlier impression about how much this incident has upset and traumatised Melon (possibly much more than it has affected Roko, as bizarre as that sounds). The poor thing seems quite distraught although I can't help but laugh at the complete stream-of-consciousness of her babble and the reminder that she genuinely doesn't understand 'appropriate behaviour' at all!

Looking at the cubicle in which Roko booted up, it looks similar to the equipment in Spookybot's apartment. So, they seem to be making (or possibly growing) their own chassis. I wonder how many nodes of Spookybot are not yet embodied?

With regard to the discussion of Jeph 'copping out', I wouldn't use such an accusative phrase that implies a flaw on his part. What he has stated is that he finds some of his dramatic storylines emotionally hard to write and draw and it doesn't surprise me when he tries to resolve them quickly and without prolonged harm to his characters. I've seen comments from him on Twitter that suggest very strongly to me that he has an emotional connection with them that greatly impacts what he is able to do with them. Unlike some webcomic creators whose works I read, he literally cannot easily do them harm or even disrespect their privacy and deeper dignity. FWIW, I don't consider that a flaw on his part but part of what you need to understand to 'get' his work and the stories he wants to tell.
« Last Edit: 07 Jan 2019, 23:28 by BenRG »
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #39 on: 07 Jan 2019, 23:22 »

Real people, when they have problems, have to exert actual effort to fix them. This is true whether the problem is large or small.

Sure; but most of that effort is tedious and boring - filling in forms, visits to lawyers, and the like.  In the spirit of "show, not tell" we can see that this must have happened for the setup of Union Robotics, for instance, without having it spelt out to delay a glimpse of another aspect of the characters' lives.  Bearing in mind how much slower than real life this comic runs, that would make it a comic about watching paint dry.

And glimpses of the characters's lives is all we get, really, in four/six panels a day.  Of course there are many ways to write even a simple slice-of-life comic; but I for one am pleased that this one is not a constant barrage of OTT tensions, arguments and absurdities like so many TV soap operas.
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #40 on: 07 Jan 2019, 23:23 »

It took a bit to find it, but here's George Carlin going over the misuse of common phrases (including "copping out").

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #41 on: 07 Jan 2019, 23:26 »

Hi Case, you've made good points as always.

TL;DR - when people talk about 'conflict' and 'resolution' - and especially about 'plot' - I'm a bit confused as to what they mean or expect.

In storytelling terms, the term 'conflict' is quite a bit broader than what it means in everyday terms. Normally, it would mean a disagreement or fight. But in storytelling, it usually takes the form of a gap between desire and reality.

Usually, there is an external conflict and a corresponding internal conflict. For instance, take Faye, and the conflict set up by The Talk. You could say that her external conflict was that she wanted a relationship and stability. Her internal conflict was that she needed to overcome her abandonment issues. And while it's true that this is a slice of life comic, the throughline of where she was at The Talk to where she is now (in a stable relationship) is probably the most successful arc in QC.

I think that this throughline has in fact set up an expectation among the QC audience that there will be dramatic arcs within the overall setting of the daily slice of life. And I get the impression occasionally that one is being set up. Often, I don't comment on this when it appears to be magically resolved because it is always possible that Jeph is playing the long game. He certainly did that with the slow burn of the Marten/Dora relationship, where they would 'talk it out' periodically and it would kind of appear that the issue was resolved, but of course it was not. And while Jeph has resolved the external conflict of that story, the internal ones largely remain.

I think that really does sum it up. Perhaps it's helpful, to think of conflict, here, as the elements that provide narrative tension. Tension seems to be pretty central to the western experience of art, as it's a concept you'll find everywhere. Plot derives from that,  as it is what is needed to set up that tension, and it's eventual release, or resolution.

What the plot is, exactly, isn't always directly obvious from the beginning, and neither is the central conflict always immediately obvious. But I think all that has been argued pretty thoroughly in the posts above.

On the other hand, I think the point Case tried to make was also that there is not necessarily one central conflict in QC, or overarching plot. Which is probably true. We don't need to hold onto the story as it started, as that's ended; we're still in its continuity, but the story has gone elsewhere.

Do bear in mind that I am deliberately avoiding phrasing my thoughts in terms of Jeph's intentions. I am really more concerned about audience expectations and how they are fulfilled or otherwise. As one frequent poster so likes to remind us, intent is not magic.

Lesson one in literature studies, or just about: beware the auctorial fallacy. However tempting and obvious it may seem, you cannot ever know the author's intentions, unless they unequivocally state them outside of the work you're trying to interpret. And even then, that's not necessarily relevant, as the work is more important. Caveat lector: Whatever your interpretations or opinions are, they are the result of your own interaction with the work.
« Last Edit: 08 Jan 2019, 00:57 by Cornelius »
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #42 on: 07 Jan 2019, 23:34 »

From an earlier post:

[quote author=TV4Fun link=topic=34313.msg1419415#msg1419415 date=1546913362]
[quote author=Case link=topic=34313.msg1419413#msg1419413 date=1546909959]
[quote author=TV4Fun link=topic=34313.msg1419412#msg1419412 date=1546908506]
[quote author=dutchrvl link=topic=34313.msg1419406#msg1419406 date=1546897546]
[quote author=Tova link=topic=34313.msg1419400#msg1419400 date=1546890149]
[quote author=dutchrvl link=topic=34313.msg1419392#msg1419392 date=1546880119]
[quote author=TV4Fun link=topic=34313.msg1419388#msg1419388 date=1546878962]
[quote author=AJ_ link=topic=34313.msg1419379#msg1419379 date=1546864348]
[quote author=TV4Fun link=topic=34313.msg1419366#msg1419366 date=1546836919]

Administrator Comment It's a long time since I bothered to make a fuss about it, but people have recently become really profligate with their quoting. It actually makes it harder to read a conversation when it reaches the point that you have to scroll in a single post to find where the new bit is. Trimming quotes to the points you are replying to is not hard, makes your own contribution easier to find and place in context, and is a courtesy to other forum users. The oldest post in the block shown above as an example had been quoted nine times! Would people prefer me to turn on the facility that removes multiple quotes automatically? That has downsides too, but perhaps the result would be more like other social media in which quoting is not so easy to abuse.
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #43 on: 07 Jan 2019, 23:45 »

Oh, and as for conflict in today's comic, I note that Roko hasn't yet had a chance to feel how well her mind integrates with this body.  We all know how different samples of anything can vary just through normal manufacturing variability, so I am waiting to see how this body responds to bread, for instance.  Tomorrow's comic may well be at the bakery; and even if Roko is satisfied, I will have experienced a day's (mild!) tension waiting for that answer.
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #44 on: 07 Jan 2019, 23:48 »

You’d think if the emblem was so important Roko’s new body would have thong underpants to show it off.  Those look like hot pants.
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #45 on: 08 Jan 2019, 00:26 »


It's a long time since I bothered to make a fuss about it, but people have recently become really profligate with their quoting.  It actually makes it harder to read a conversation when it reaches the point that you have to scroll in a single post to find where the new bit is.  Trimming quotes to the points you are replying to is not hard, makes your own contribution easier to find and place in context, and is a courtesy to other forum users.  The oldest post in the block shown above as an example had been quoted nine times!  Would people prefer me to turn on the facility that removes multiple quotes automatically?  That has downsides too, but perhaps the result would be more like other social media in which quoting is not so easy to abuse.

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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #46 on: 08 Jan 2019, 00:36 »

Roko's new body has more accurate ears! :D
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Tova

Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #47 on: 08 Jan 2019, 00:56 »

It took a bit to find it, but here's George Carlin going over the misuse of common phrases (including "copping out").

That was a lot of fun to listen to, but I think you meant to link this one.


What he has stated is that he finds some of his dramatic storylines emotionally hard to write and draw and it doesn't surprise me when he tries to resolve them quickly and without prolonged harm to his characters. I've seen comments from him on Twitter that suggest very strongly to me that he has an emotional connection with them that greatly impacts what he is able to do with them. Unlike some webcomic creators whose works I read, he literally cannot easily do them harm or even disrespect their privacy and deeper dignity. FWIW, I don't consider that a flaw on his part but part of what you need to understand to 'get' his work and the stories he wants to tell.

I don't follow him on Twitter (nothing to do with him - I just don't use Twitter in general). But this makes sense to me. No, I wouldn't use that kind of wording either. It is a strong characteristic of his work that probably determines to a large extent whether or not you enjoy his comics.

P.S. I don't know about other people, but I would quite like it if you did turn on automatic removal of nested quotes. I agree that removing nested quotes is easy... unless you're on a phone, in which case it's a PITA. It's also an easy thing to forget about when you're focused on the conversation.
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #48 on: 08 Jan 2019, 03:30 »

Roko needs to see what she paid for.
IT'S BUTT LOGO TIME PEEPS
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Re: WCDT 7-11 January 2019 (3911-3915)
« Reply #49 on: 08 Jan 2019, 03:54 »

I didn't respond to dutchrvl's request for an example because Tova said basically the same thing I was going to say, except perhaps that we disagree on the definition of a copout.

Ah! Honi suit qui pense ex post facto ...  :laugh:

Please give an example of where I have moved goalposts or employed circular reasoning.

? Ok. How about this one?

On a serious note, while I was very disappointed with Alice Grove's 'resolution' myself as well, I honestly have no idea whether Jeph had always planned AG that way or if he originally intended to do much more in terms of drama/development etc. If it's the former, then we can't really call it 'copping out', no?
I'll call it copping out. Planning to cop out is still copping out. If you set up a dramatic conflict in your story and then just resolve it by magic (spookybot e.g.), that is bad writing, and whether you planned to write badly or not, it's still a copout.

Basic Syllogism:

premise1) All A (crows) are B (black)
premise2) c is A
conclusion: Therefore, c is B

Now look what you're doing instead:

premise1) Jeph copped out writing Alice Grove
premise2) Jeph planned/did not plan to cop out before writing Alice Grove
conclusion: Jeph copped out writing Alice Grove

See? Your major premise already contains the conclusion. That's what's called circular reasoning, vicious circle etc.


P.S.: Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I disagree on a bunch of things, but I'm glad that my fear of 'lazy, provocative drive-by posting' turned out to be wrong. My apologies for thinking wrong of you.
« Last Edit: 08 Jan 2019, 04:01 by Case »
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