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Block 32 to level 11. Do you.....?

try to bargain with the kobold salesman
attempt to decrypt the cipher
launch a gernade
forfeit turn
consume spathe ham

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Author Topic: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)  (Read 6401 times)

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WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« on: 13 Oct 2019, 02:13 »

Oh boy...... Dissociative episodes definitely don't look fun.
(Glad I've only ever had the one.)
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #1 on: 13 Oct 2019, 02:15 »

I can't think of a bettor poll right now. If the mods have something better, go for it.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #2 on: 13 Oct 2019, 09:27 »

I'd put better odds on "launch a grenade" winning the poll.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #3 on: 13 Oct 2019, 15:59 »

I'd put better odds on "launch a grenade" winning the poll.
Same.

Hence the request fore a better poll.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #4 on: 13 Oct 2019, 18:27 »

There's a time and a place, Melon. This is neither.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #5 on: 13 Oct 2019, 19:10 »

One wonders if 'fixing' Roko would have cascading effects. Otherwise I'd think Spooky would do it...

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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #6 on: 13 Oct 2019, 19:24 »

One wonders if 'fixing' Roko would have cascading effects. Otherwise I'd think Spooky would do it...

I would imagine that its not the potential for a cascading aftereffect, its more the fact that Spooky doesn't like messing with the heads of other AI, in effect performing mental control on them. They like the concept of free will and as much as they could fix Roko, "fixing" her would be anathema of free will.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #7 on: 13 Oct 2019, 19:56 »

One wonders if 'fixing' Roko would have cascading effects. Otherwise I'd think Spooky would do it...

I would imagine that its not the potential for a cascading aftereffect, its more the fact that Spooky doesn't like messing with the heads of other AI, in effect performing mental control on them. They like the concept of free will and as much as they could fix Roko, "fixing" her would be anathema of free will.
That's another can of worms entirely, which gets them crispy in AI cores.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #8 on: 13 Oct 2019, 20:33 »

I am surprised that no one has commented on Melon's new hairdo. It makes me ---

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« Last Edit: 13 Oct 2019, 20:39 by Perfectly Reasonable »
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #9 on: 13 Oct 2019, 21:02 »

I am surprised that no one has commented on Melon's new hairdo. It makes me ---

Crave salad
Complain to my Congressman
Make an appointment with my occultist
Flee in terror
Binge on spathe ham
*checks last week's thread*
Huhn. You're right. The only comment I've seen on it is Jeph's when he uploaded the sketch to twitter.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #10 on: 13 Oct 2019, 21:13 »

Has Roko not slept since getting placed in her new body???
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #11 on: 13 Oct 2019, 21:54 »

I think she has, without thinking about it; but right now she's having an episode, and she can't not think about it, which is why she can't do it.
(see: Centipede's Dilemma)
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #12 on: 13 Oct 2019, 22:31 »

Spookybot's ethics intrigue me. Changing someone's mind is apparently an absolute limit to them, even with informed consent which makes medical procedures up to risky and irreversible surgery considered ethical.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #13 on: 13 Oct 2019, 23:05 »

There's a time and a place, Melon. This is neither.

Melon can’t help it.  Her personality is always goofy even in a serious situation.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #14 on: 13 Oct 2019, 23:16 »

Spookybot's ethics intrigue me. Changing someone's mind is apparently an absolute limit to them, even with informed consent which makes medical procedures up to risky and irreversible surgery considered ethical.

You have to remember that Spookybot doesn't (don't?) really have a code of ethics, per se. They've said that for a being as powerful as them, the whole concept of ethics seems pretty nebulous. A fair part of what we're seeing of them is their attempt to develop some sort of ethos - more, it seems to me, out of an awareness that other people consider that sort of thing to be important than out of any necessity they personally feel. Most of what they're doing could be viewed as part of an attempt to fit in better, by learning more about how normal people (biological or AI) think.

I personally think there's more to it than that, and it's better viewed as a personal growth story (which is a common theme in QC, of course). But you can view Spookybot through the lens of "wanting to perfect their regular-person disguise" and not have to leave much out.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #15 on: 13 Oct 2019, 23:27 »

Okay, Roko seriously needs professional help. The way she was talking there made me think that she was having difficulty accessing parts of her own system and  that could put her in serious danger. What if she lost control of her limbs or her senses? She could easily be in a situation where she couldn't even get help!

That said, basically, that was a hard reset, just without a paperclip, wasn't it?

Spookybot's ethics intrigue me. Changing someone's mind is apparently an absolute limit to them, even with informed consent which makes medical procedures up to risky and irreversible surgery considered ethical.

It's my feeling that, to Spookybot, the mind is the thing that is most indivisibly and unequivocally 'you'. It is where our awareness resides, after all, the thing that we really are. To alter the mind is to alter the essence of a person; arguably to alter the closest thing science is able to identify to a 'soul'.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #16 on: 14 Oct 2019, 00:56 »

I dunno, their eminence seems to be pretty much in character here. 


But my eye was drawn to the picture on the wall, of what seems to be... a younger Roko?

Maybe it's just a trick of the way it's drawn as background, but it brought to mind the whole created lifetime memories thing from Blade Runner.  After all, QC's AIs know they're AIs, and don't need a manufactured past.  So it's probably just an important memory to Roko, it looks like a touristy shot. 

But it may well become an important memento to her in another way - a memory of her old original body, a happier time before the accident. 

I wonder what she sees when she looks at it...
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #17 on: 14 Oct 2019, 04:02 »

It's my feeling that, to Spookybot, the mind is the thing that is most indivisibly and unequivocally 'you'. It is where our awareness resides, after all, the thing that we really are. To alter the mind is to alter the essence of a person; arguably to alter the closest thing science is able to identify to a 'soul'.

Which is why this is so important to them, they have a line that they will only ever cross under dire circumstances and even then they had to be dragged over it to save someone from a major issue that was caused by someone else harming them. They would likely help Roko, but only if there was no alternative. Melon might be the only being who could save Roko, with Yay guiding her
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #18 on: 14 Oct 2019, 04:42 »

Spookybot's ethics intrigue me. Changing someone's mind is apparently an absolute limit to them, even with informed consent which makes medical procedures up to risky and irreversible surgery considered ethical.

Considering that AI bodies, while necessary for their interaction with the real world, aren't the be all and end all for them that it would be for a human. Their minds would be the key part. Therefore, Spooky's ethical limits might be seen as something similar to the Hippocratic Oath, specifically "First, do no harm."

If you look at the Hippocratic Oath in its' entirety, you'll see there are other limitations, such as; "I will not use the knife, not even, verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein." That specifically refers to the calculi (stones that form in various organs) and their removal was something that would only be done by specialists.

So while Spookybot might be able to power down Roko, along with a host of other abilities, they know that Roko's treatment is beyond their purview and that they might do more harm than good.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #19 on: 14 Oct 2019, 05:04 »

But my eye was drawn to the picture on the wall, of what seems to be... a younger Roko?

Maybe it's just a trick of the way it's drawn as background, but it brought to mind the whole created lifetime memories thing from Blade Runner.  After all, QC's AIs know they're AIs, and don't need a manufactured past.  So it's probably just an important memory to Roko, it looks like a touristy shot. 

But it may well become an important memento to her in another way - a memory of her old original body, a happier time before the accident. 

I wonder what she sees when she looks at it...
It might also just be up there as a conversation starter.  Roko does entertain after all.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #20 on: 14 Oct 2019, 05:15 »

I dunno, their eminence seems to be pretty much in character here. 
They may be in character, but notice that they haven't really helped the situation much, if at all.  Roko still has to figure out how to recover from these episodes on her own somehow.  Yay, by dumping all Roko's processes, hasn't really done that, just halted the beginnings of the current freakout. 

I suppose one can argue that Roko's processor is off in the weeds at this point and the ability to reboot herself to a place where she can safely shut down is suspect.  Yay's action if this were the case could be interpreted as helpful, but then why does Roko have the ability to move and respond rationally to questions?  Of course, I'm coming at this from the perspective of a former assembler software developer used to working closely with the hardware designers as the hardware settles down; not an AI psychologist used to working with multi-tiered entities.   :-(
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #21 on: 14 Oct 2019, 05:49 »

I am surprised that no one has commented on Melon's new hairdo.
Having 3 nieces, a wife, and a horde of theatre friends, I've learned to keep my yap shut about female hair.  But you just triggered something:
  • Stylable wig hair is either human or special plastic fibers that can stand repeated heating for a few cycles.
  • May grumbled at someone about missing up her hair - it was designed to look like it looks, not to be styled regularly.
  • Roko's new chassis has hair that needs to be washed, and one presumes subsequently styled, implying her old chassis didn't have stylable hair.
  • I assume Melons chassis is older than Roko's new chassis and of similar design-age to May's, even if it's in better condition, and so Melon would have non-stylable hair like May.
Given all those points, why does Melon have this kind of hair?  Is this supposed to make her look like Mantis (Marvel GTG 2 movie)?  If yes, maybe Melon is due for a Yay-sponsored spelunk somewhere...
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Gyrre

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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #22 on: 14 Oct 2019, 05:54 »

I'm through all of this whilst listening to Theophany's Oath to Order arrangement, and.....just dang, guys.

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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #23 on: 14 Oct 2019, 09:00 »

Spookybot's ethics intrigue me. Changing someone's mind is apparently an absolute limit to them, even with informed consent which makes medical procedures up to risky and irreversible surgery considered ethical.

Considering that AI bodies, while necessary for their interaction with the real world, aren't the be all and end all for them that it would be for a human. Their minds would be the key part. Therefore, Spooky's ethical limits might be seen as something similar to the Hippocratic Oath, specifically "First, do no harm."

Makes sense to me - however, if we follow this thought further, then Yay Spookybutt is encountering a situation that her ethics may be ill-equipped to deal with, as Rokko's problem is precisely that while the specific body she inhabits shouldn't matter that much - especially given the similarity between the new and the old one - it still does. A very human problem.

I don't know where Jeph plans to go with this - could be he's taking on trauma (apparently, dissociation is associated with trauma), and having an AI character experience it is sort of a 'Verfremdungseffect': Forcing people to consciously re-evaluate something familiar by 'making it strange'.

Or maybe he's up to exploring some more philosophical themes - our contemporary conceptions of mind and body are heavily influenced by information technology, and we tend imagine them as hardware and software, maybe also because it fits nicely into Christian conceptions of the (transient) body and an (immortal) soul (Then again, Masamune Shirow comes from a culture that is neither European nor Christian ...). But what if that paradigm is as crude and inadequate as the mechanistic metaphors that previous generations used for mental processes? ('Letting off steam' - not hard to guess what epoch spawned that one).

I wouldn't mind if Jeph again used AI characters to explore the (or 'a') human condition, but I also wouldn't be unhappy if we get some heavy-duty SF-philosophizing.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #24 on: 14 Oct 2019, 13:07 »

I am surprised that no one has commented on Melon's new hairdo.
Having 3 nieces, a wife, and a horde of theatre friends, I've learned to keep my yap shut about female hair.  But you just triggered something:
  • Stylable wig hair is either human or special plastic fibers that can stand repeated heating for a few cycles.
  • May grumbled at someone about missing up her hair - it was designed to look like it looks, not to be styled regularly.
  • Roko's new chassis has hair that needs to be washed, and one presumes subsequently styled, implying her old chassis didn't have stylable hair.
  • I assume Melons chassis is older than Roko's new chassis and of similar design-age to May's, even if it's in better condition, and so Melon would have non-stylable hair like May.
Given all those points, why does Melon have this kind of hair?  Is this supposed to make her look like Mantis (Marvel GTG 2 movie)?  If yes, maybe Melon is due for a Yay-sponsored spelunk somewhere...
Assuming you are correct about May’s and Melon’s chassis being of similar eras, you don’t need a fancy backstory to explain it; May’s chassis is already known to be scraping-the-bottom-of-the-market cheap, like those janky dumbphones you can get for free with a purchase of some airtime, so it probably simply didn’t include that feature. I can also see a bunch of mid-range chassis not bothering with it simply because there are some AIs (and some humans choosing a chassis for their companion) that just don’t want to deal with the hassle.
Also remember that Bubbles is older than both of them (possibly put together) and she has stylable, growable hair, much like Momo’s. Possibly she had a prototype system but it was evidently commercialised nearly intact so that puts a lower bound on how ‘new’ the hair tech can be.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #25 on: 14 Oct 2019, 13:09 »

One of my partners has PTSD, which sometimes manifests as dissociative seizures. They are absolutely terrifying even when not that severe.

I felt like this comic captured that mood perfectly. I felt a tightening in my chest during it, and I'm not usually that invested in this comic. Great work, Jeph.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #26 on: 14 Oct 2019, 14:25 »

One wonders if 'fixing' Roko would have cascading effects. Otherwise I'd think Spooky would do it...

I would imagine that its not the potential for a cascading aftereffect, its more the fact that Spooky doesn't like messing with the heads of other AI, in effect performing mental control on them. They like the concept of free will and as much as they could fix Roko, "fixing" her would be anathema of free will.

The way I see it, Spookybot/Yay don't have a lot of ethics cose they adhere to, since they are extremely powerful. But what seems to be their Prime Directive: unadulterated freedom of mind, and "fixing" Roko - while being quite possible - would need to rewrite some of her personality routines, or parts connected.

I think the reason they helped Bubbles in the first place was to undo, to liberate her from her metaphorical chains - both CW's and her own.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #27 on: 14 Oct 2019, 18:38 »

The problem here, for me, is that  Jeph has set up a situation he can't really resolve in many ways, because an integration problem between Roko's mind & processor and her body could very easily be a problem in the levels between - i.e., driver problems and suchlikenot, not unlike Momo being temporarily unable to control her face when she first loaded into her current body. But that was a brief gag, and this is a serious allegory for major mental conditions, so he can't even raise the possibility that it could be simply fixed without major mental surgery, let alone fix it that way....
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #28 on: 14 Oct 2019, 19:11 »

The problem here, for me, is that  Jeph has set up a situation he can't really resolve in many ways, because an integration problem between Roko's mind & processor and her body could very easily be a problem in the levels between - i.e., driver problems and suchlikenot, not unlike Momo being temporarily unable to control her face when she first loaded into her current body. But that was a brief gag, and this is a serious allegory for major mental conditions, so he can't even raise the possibility that it could be simply fixed without major mental surgery, let alone fix it that way....

You can't really compare what happened to Momo to what happened to Roko. In the case of the former, that was bad registries and storing too much hentai for Marigold, fixed with a quick check up. In Roko's case, that was a severe traumatic experience, almost akin to the sudden amputation of a limb for us. Roko might have a new chassis, but it still doesn't change the fact that she went through a traumatic experience, one that she hasn't been able to cope with. Just like if someone gets a severed limb reattached, they can feel like the limb isn't theirs anymore.

Who said that Roko's situation is going to get resolved other than it might not? There's the distinct possibility that she will never be able to get over this. The story could be setting up Roko's realisation that she will never be able to cope with this, that it might be permanent.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #29 on: 14 Oct 2019, 19:24 »

New comic up. Jeph's been reading our forum posts, I see.

(Or his Patreon responses were similar.)

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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #30 on: 14 Oct 2019, 19:59 »

New comic up. Jeph's been reading our forum posts, I see.

(Or his Patreon responses were similar.)

I'm sure it's very tempting to believe so, and it may be so, but I also think that this obvious line of conversation would have been very easy to anticipate.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #31 on: 14 Oct 2019, 22:15 »

Is anyone going to talk about the fact that Melon and Spookybot are holding hands?

(I wonder who initiated it)  :)
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #32 on: 14 Oct 2019, 22:26 »

Is anyone going to talk about the fact that Melon and Spookybot are holding hands?

(I wonder who initiated it)  :)
Yeah, they are.  Given their shared level of concern for a mutual friend I don't see anything remarkable about it. 

I'm wondering if Roko's problems aren't due to a botched consciousness transfer.  I mean, she is a robot after all.  She may need to boot into an earlier Philomena OS emulator, synch up all her body integration drivers to the new hardware, then reboot into the current Philomena Deluxe OS.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #33 on: 14 Oct 2019, 22:38 »

Is anyone going to talk about the fact that Melon and Spookybot are holding hands?

(I wonder who initiated it)  :)

Pretty sure that's Melon's doing. Judging by the look, and guessing that SB/Yay isn't that much into physical contact.



I wonder how AIs feel about physical contact generally. Whether it's something they do because humans do it, and hugs 'n' stuff are.... protocol, or whether - at least with higher integration - it's something they can feel and like or dislike.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #34 on: 14 Oct 2019, 23:19 »

Panel 5 is very sweet in lots of ways and reminds us of just how sweet-natured Melon really is. I also think that Yay has had a completely new experience today: Realising that having mutual support in a social group is very important when facing stress. That's another thing that they never knew that they wanted or needed to which knowing Roko has given them!

Is anyone going to talk about the fact that Melon and Spookybot are holding hands?

(I wonder who initiated it)  :)

Melon is introducing Yay to the Magic of Friendship!
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #35 on: 15 Oct 2019, 06:53 »

Panel 5 is very sweet in lots of ways and reminds us of just how sweet-natured Melon really is. I also think that Yay has had a completely new experience today: Realising that having mutual support in a social group is very important when facing stress. That's another thing that they never knew that they wanted or needed to which knowing Roko has given them!

Is anyone going to talk about the fact that Melon and Spookybot are holding hands?

(I wonder who initiated it)  :)

Melon is introducing Yay to the Magic of Friendship!
[/quote

"Melon, why are we watching a cartoon about talking ponies?"]
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #36 on: 15 Oct 2019, 07:08 »

With respect to the survey and the high probability for one selection above all others, just a reminder.

Maxim 61. Don't bring big grenades into small rooms.

and as always, the one to live by but for some reason business types always take it the wrong way. Then again those types can't do basic math so there is that.
Maxim 70. Failure is not an option - it is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #37 on: 15 Oct 2019, 11:06 »

I've awakened to a friend intently watching me in the past.  It's a bit unnerving, and he'd only been doing it for a few minutes. 

Knowing that Melon and their Eminence were there all night watching may be even more unnerving.  Which is probably the last thing Roko needs. 

They should really tuck her into... bed?  Her charging cubicle?  Wherever she spends the night (maybe it is on the couch), plug her in and leave her be.  They should be there for her when she wakes up, of course, but the creepiness of seeing them standing there holding hands over her when her eyes open would probably not be the best approach. 


$0.02
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #38 on: 15 Oct 2019, 17:27 »

Unnerving for the watcher, too. Watching a sleeping elderly loved one because you're afraid they're beyond sleeping. You're apprehensive and you feel like a creep.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #39 on: 15 Oct 2019, 18:01 »

Jeph has touched on the issue briefly once before: https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2005.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #40 on: 15 Oct 2019, 19:32 »

Updated.

OK, that was funny.

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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #41 on: 15 Oct 2019, 20:45 »

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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #42 on: 15 Oct 2019, 22:00 »

Well Jeph, maybe you can answer whether Androids dream of electric sheep?
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #43 on: 15 Oct 2019, 22:03 »

I'd put better odds on "launch a grenade" winning the poll.
Same.

Hence the request fore a better poll.

With respect to the survey and the high probability for one selection above all others, just a reminder.

Okay, wait wait wait.

You do all realise that jwhouk wasn't trying to say that the grenade was most likely to win, but was instead jokingly pointing out a spelling error in the poll, right? Right??
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #44 on: 15 Oct 2019, 23:17 »

On first glance, this arc has the hallmarks of a 'making peace with your dead past' dream-quest storyline. However, I don't think that Jeph is the sort of guy who'd write something like that. It's more likely going to be Roko learning something that I learned in my childhood: Your subconscious is a weird place to be and that trying to make sense of its imagery is probably pointless.

I think that one  thing Roko will learn is that she has a strongly-repressed silly side in her head that she'd never bothered to indulge whilst conscious!
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #45 on: 16 Oct 2019, 00:27 »

spooooky flashlight under the chin!
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #46 on: 16 Oct 2019, 01:23 »

"Look, I'm a product of your subconscious. Don't blame me for this."

We've all been there, Roko, we've all been there. I'm disappointed by the absence of electric sheep though...
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #47 on: 16 Oct 2019, 01:24 »

I'm far too entertained to find that Roko is just as snarky with her own dream self as she is with the other persons (organic or digital) that she interacts with in her waking hours.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #48 on: 16 Oct 2019, 03:27 »

Jeph's favorite color is either pink or grey, I'm not sure which.
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Re: WCDT 4111-4115 (October 14th-18th, 2019)
« Reply #49 on: 16 Oct 2019, 05:41 »

I'm going to go with pink.
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