Comic 1735 - Existential Crisis

24th Feb 2021, 12:00 AM
Existential Crisis
Average Rating: 5 (16 votes)
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Eli 24th Feb 2021, 1:16 AM edit delete reply
I think, therefore I am... I think.
Kiddeagle 24th Feb 2021, 7:59 PM edit delete reply
Unless you've been programed to think that you are.
stormbringer77 25th Feb 2021, 7:18 PM edit delete reply

"To be or what?" Rocky Balboa
MirrorField 24th Feb 2021, 2:49 AM edit delete reply
*I'm very disappointed if NTAS didn't throw a "700 year party" for Thor three months and sixteen days ago.

*Ophelia: While starting point for your personality was defined by a human programmer, every moment after your activation has been you and yours. Also, neural-net cognition and process known as "life" are inherently chaotic systems, impossible for even AIS like cent-comm to predict. Ceci was a rather sad example of this unpredictability...
Oberoten 24th Feb 2021, 4:38 AM edit delete reply

Hail Thor the philosopher. I really like him.
Romfire 24th Feb 2021, 4:47 AM edit delete reply
She looks so sad :(
megados 24th Feb 2021, 5:56 AM edit delete reply

That's some deep shit that Ophelia's waded into here. Intellectuals and philosophers have wrestled with this since time immemorial. I can certainly see where this might be a bit depressing for her.
sigpig 24th Feb 2021, 7:11 AM edit delete reply

Something, something; nature, nurture...
One-eyed Mike 24th Feb 2021, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
For humans there's an argument whether our character is shaped by nature or nurture. Is our personality created by what we learn over our lives (especially in childhood)? Or is much of it coded by the genes which created our brains and the electric impulses which we call our thoughts?

In reality, it's both.

For a robot, it's largely nature. They do what the program says, with even tneir limited discretion driven by the underlying program.

For Ophelia it's both. She has some stuff which she can't change, which limits how she can react to the world. But she has genuine discretion in how she implements those limits, and clearly her nurture has made her a unique person.

And Thor? I'm not clear.

(Fixed mis-types)
One-eyed Mike 24th Feb 2021, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
Simulpost with Sigpig. Great minds think alike.
Oldarmourer 24th Feb 2021, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
I yam what I yam an' that's all that I yam... ;)
Kiddeagle 24th Feb 2021, 8:03 PM edit delete reply
Unless you lose the fight. Then your beet.

(ducks and runs)
Kiddeagle 24th Feb 2021, 8:04 PM edit delete reply
Unless you lose the fight. Then your beet.

(ducks and runs)
megados 24th Feb 2021, 11:15 AM edit delete reply

Illyana's remark, "Except that our seeds are designed by CentComm, not some Roman human", shows an air of condescension, with implicit bias. While that can't be making Ophelia's mood any better, there's really nothing to say that one is any better than the other. CentComm, herself, was originally designed by humans. Would a seed designed by a machine that was designed by a human be any better than a seed designed by a human? Dr. Silver comes to mind here.
Sheela 25th Feb 2021, 5:50 AM edit delete reply

A seed designed by an AI could possibly be better in some regards, than one designed by a human - Or at least be prioritized differently.

I suspect that a human would empathise things like .. well .. empathy and general skills. While an AI might buildt a seed that is more specialised for a specific task.
megados 25th Feb 2021, 5:59 AM edit delete reply

That was my point. Illyana seems to imply that a CentComm designed seed was somehow "better", when Thor pointed out a similarity between Cassian, and White Angel seeds. Both are purpose-built, so the implication I got from that, was that Illyana felt her seed was better, or that her purpose was somehow better than Ophelia's.
MirrorField 25th Feb 2021, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
Basically, yes. AIS like CentComm has to be self-programming, has far more cognitive capacity than mere human and has centuries of experience.

Think of difference between software designed and written by Richard Stallman or Eric S. Raymond versus something bashed together by cheapest code monkey from Bangalore. Then square this difference, cube it and load it with antimatter.
megados 25th Feb 2021, 8:18 AM edit delete reply

But CentComm's self modifying algorithms are human designed, centuries old. Her growth over time would only be as good as the algorithms allow. Meanwhile, the android's software is also self modifying, and in the case of White Angels vs. Cassians, would it really be that different? There's a lot of space between "starting point", and the final android person.

*edit: It just occurred to me, that just because Thor and Illyana said that a human is designing NR seeds, it doesn't mean that it is true. Might it not be possible that Aeneas has something to do with it? Isn't it true that Aeneas was designed by the other AISs? Then if the AISs design better algorithms, due to their experience, then Aeneas-designed seeds should be even better, no?
Gilrandir 25th Feb 2021, 9:27 PM edit delete reply
This quote, from Master Oogway of Kung Fu Panda -- “Ah, yes. But no matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple, or an orange... but you will get a peach.” -- takes on an entirely different significance when it is addressed to the peach tree.
Sheela 28th Feb 2021, 3:18 AM edit delete reply

Poor peach tree, all it ever wanted, was an apple.
Morituri 24th Feb 2021, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
Thor: It is traditional in New Troy for synth-brains to start in a known configuration and then grow and learn their sense of self and emotional responses in the glen. You have started in a known configuration and learned your sense of self and emotional responses in Nova Roma instead. Your known starting configuration was desirable to those who made you. But that doesn't mean that anything you've learned since isn't real.
Gilrandir 28th Feb 2021, 8:23 AM edit delete reply
Thor’s assumption that the Glen seeds are free of creator-bias seems suspect as well. How can the nascent seed make ‘decisions’ to shape itself without first having, at least, decision-making abilities which would seem to presume some unavoidable prerequisites? Be it a human-built seed, or an android-built seed, or an A.I.S.-built seed, it seems likely that some kind of initial bias is inherent, and there is nothing to keep a human from making as much of a good-faith effort to allow the initial seed to be bias-free as an A.I.S.
jawbone 24th Feb 2021, 11:40 AM edit delete reply

I trust Feelie to emerge from the impending process much moore of what she could be than she was before the present crisis. I'm actually getting to *like* her.
mjkj 24th Feb 2021, 11:46 AM edit delete reply

Aaawwww... poor Ophie...

...but interesting info...

...what had happened with CF? this morning I could not access the comics...
One-eyed Mike 24th Feb 2021, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
for a long time now, I hav experienced very long load times in accessing all comics on Comic Fury. Comic Fury itself is slow to load.

I don't have problems with non-CF comicx, so it's not my machine.
megados 24th Feb 2021, 2:19 PM edit delete reply

I noticed they were going to have some planned downtime for. OS upgrades, but I think they might have run into a snag somewhere. It does seem to be loading quite a bit slower now.
Oldarmourer 25th Feb 2021, 10:16 AM edit delete reply
Apparently, the way I read it anyway, CF's host 'dreamhost' is having server problems and is being a PITA about it
CF is supposedly changing hosts next month, hopefully that will solve the sluggishness of late
megados 25th Feb 2021, 3:41 PM edit delete reply

It's running quite a bit faster now.

Oops spoke too soon. :(
Oldarmourer 25th Feb 2021, 5:47 PM edit delete reply
That may be a reason the vote count has dropped off, I noticed that most of the ones with odd totals are on CF.
I wonder if people try to vote from the comic page then get frustrated when it takes too long to load and leave ?
I always vote from the TopWeb page so I can use the 'favourites' list and vote for all of them faster.
It's easier to vote for all my favourites every day than wait for each one to add new pages and only vote on that day, and it gets their totals up too.
Remember, vote early and vote often !!!
megados 25th Feb 2021, 6:26 PM edit delete reply

I usually arrive at TWC from a link in a comic page, then go to my list. It doesn't load any slower from the link, because it's just a link to the TWC gateway. CF doesn't process it. Just for the heck of it, I just used the link from here, and it was almost instantaneous. I think these are two separate issues.
Oldarmourer 26th Feb 2021, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
What I mean twas, if some people don't use the TWC list and vote for each comic seperately from that comic's own page then it might slow them down a little
megados 26th Feb 2021, 8:04 AM edit delete reply

Oh! It initially went right over my head. I get it now. x_x
Oldarmourer 26th Feb 2021, 8:58 AM edit delete reply
From the worldwide comments on CF, it's the entire CF site that's running slow, with up to 30 sec load times...

The CF owner says, ref: dreamcast...

...also apparently since they botched the update (the info i got was "the database migration failed", whatever that means), they're now wanting to do it on the 27th...
That's supposedly going to take eight hours for them to accomplish o.O
Next month, CF switches hosts maybe that will make a difference.
I wonder if 'dreamcast' is using an old Dreamcast game console for a server ?
We've got one in a closet somewhere if they need a replacement...
megados 26th Feb 2021, 5:13 PM edit delete reply

Yeah, it's global across CF; I don't know if it is also across Dreamhost.

Thing is, it was supposed to be a 2 or 3 hour OS update. It didn't take place when it was supposed to, and when it did, it was a much longer outage, while users got database errors. The Dreamhost servers were there giving the error message, but the CF database was inaccessible. After it came back up, Dreamhost had not done the upgrade, and everything is now slowed to a crawl. They seem to have broken something while they worked on it. It was considerably faster before the outage.
One-eyed Mike 25th Feb 2021, 5:59 AM edit delete reply
Although uni-ocular, I am not otherwise unusual. That implies that many people may be having trouble in reading good comics like DC. It's like an old fashioned telephone modem load sometimes.

I know DC's good, so I'm prepared to wait for it to load. Will a newbie wait as long to read it?
robnot 1st Mar 2021, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
now twc, is just being blatant about it.. all last month the #1 got consistently '900' votes a day,, now.! in less than 8 hours it has over double that (1800+)....
megados 1st Mar 2021, 9:17 AM edit delete reply

I thought it was pretty blatant last month too. So many lesser comics are in top slots. Something going on and TWC is ignoring it.
robnot 1st Mar 2021, 10:18 AM edit delete reply
not ignoring.. if you pay for adds,, you get top ten..
and if you are not signed in,, vote does not count..
megados 1st Mar 2021, 10:30 AM edit delete reply

"if you are not signed in,, vote does not count.."
Then they should say that. Right now, they still do the "pick the right name" thing, and let you vote, and say thanks for voting. It's intentionally misleading. At any rate it's an unannounced change of operation.
megados 1st Mar 2021, 6:14 PM edit delete reply

Okay, so I did some votes without being logged in. I checked the count before and after each one. It did count each one, +1 on each. So the issue is something else. Something fishy is going on.
DLKmusic 24th Feb 2021, 12:45 PM edit delete reply

Welp! Drown me in the shallow waters before I get too deep...

Kudos if anyone remembers the band
MirrorField 26th Feb 2021, 3:19 AM edit delete reply
Suppose I were to tell you that the meaning of dreams
Is not all that it seems and the ultimate truth is a lie
And you are just a puppet who can dance on a string
Do you feel anything?
Would you laugh? Would you care? Would you cry?

I prefer Woolfson/Parsons.
Oldarmourer 26th Feb 2021, 9:01 AM edit delete reply
When we are young
Wandering the face of the Earth
Wondering what our dreams might be worth
Learning that we're only immortal
For a limited time...

from Dreamline by Rush :)
Oldarmourer 27th Feb 2021, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
Sort of thought that might sum up an Android's outlook fairly concisely ;)
Ken 25th Feb 2021, 9:38 AM edit delete reply
I thought there was a rule that AIs had to be destroyed after 100 years? Something about keeping balance with humans?

I never liked that rule, anyway.
robnot 28th Feb 2021, 8:24 AM edit delete reply
only in New Troy.!
as per.. #1520, Legacy.!
Romfire 27th Feb 2021, 11:04 AM edit delete reply
Do your think Dr. Takahashi could do anything to help Ophelia be a bit more free? Maybe disable the inhibitor for one? Or is changing the central "self" not an option this late in the game?
Neuro-plasticity in humans is pretty remarkable right up to death. You can teach am old dog new tricks.
megados 27th Feb 2021, 11:34 AM edit delete reply

There's a lot that's physically possible, with varying degrees of difficulty, but not possible for legal reasons. Adroids in NR MUST have a working inhibitor. If Ophelia's inhibitor were disabled, she could not return to NR. From what I understand, the Cassians' inhibitors are integral, so in order for Ophelia to NOT have one, she would have to be reloaded into a body that doesn't have one. To change her programming to make her "freer" would probably go against her core purpose, which is tightly bound to her service to the Throne.
Oldarmourer 27th Feb 2021, 6:32 PM edit delete reply
Nova Roma is pretty serious about their inhibitors...or they were, things might have changed but I doubt it.
The new regime in the US is even giving their own troop 'loyalty tests'....
There was mention of 'edging around a nasty 'bang pack' on Ophelia's inhibitor whenshe got dropped into the Commander Pauline body...
megados 27th Feb 2021, 7:32 PM edit delete reply

"Nova Roma is pretty serious about their inhibitors...or they were, things might have changed but I doubt it."

Exactly, and I don't think enough time has passed for that to have changed yet. I have some hopes for the future, but I don't think Maxus can unilaterally make the needed changes without a bunch of wrangling in the Senate. In time, perhaps, but hasn't yet I don't think.
Rashala 2nd Mar 2021, 12:08 AM edit delete reply

Even the security bots have black belt in the philosophical mart5 arts.
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