Comic 1369 - Flip The Board

26th Jun 2016, 9:00 PM
Flip The Board
Average Rating: 5 (17 votes)
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Mark_L_A 26th Jun 2016, 9:02 PM edit delete reply

Uhhh, Full Access? I hope Rose and Aeneas don't wind up merged.
Centcomm 26th Jun 2016, 9:23 PM edit delete reply

Merged would be .. interesting.
Tokyo Rose 26th Jun 2016, 11:45 PM edit delete reply

DLKmusic 27th Jun 2016, 12:08 AM edit delete reply

So Rose, if you merge with Aeneas, then separate from him, will that mean that he will then be using extreme profanity, and you will start quoting Jonathan Livingston Seagull?
Tokyo Rose 27th Jun 2016, 2:58 AM edit delete reply

So, like, an exchange of the best traits?
DLKmusic 27th Jun 2016, 5:15 PM edit delete reply

And now, PBS is proud to present "POETRY CORNER with TOKYO ROSE".

Quality programing like this has been made possible by generous contributions by you, the viewer. AND by Luna Network communications! Reach out and touch someone!

Tonight's episode, an Excerpt from "The Hollow Men" by T.S. Elliot.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the evening.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
... ... ... ... (For Thine is the Kingdom)

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
... ... ... ... (Life is very long)

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
... ... ... ... (For Thine is the Kingdom)

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

"Do you pukeface Douchebag pieces of shit have ANY Idea what this is about, what I'm trying to FUCKING COMMUNICATE TO YOU? maybe if you got your collective FUCKING HEADS out of your FUCKING ASSES you would...

---EVEN if you used a Fucking pipewrench wrapped in shoptowels as Q-Tips, you STILL wouldn't be able to clean enough the shit out of your ears to...

...Don't even THINK that just because this is a fucking broadcast that I don't know EXACTLY which one of you is fucking playing video games right now...

(15 minutes later) ...And That's why this shit is important for you comPLETE FUCKHEADS to get it through your THICK GADDAM SKULLS!"

So concludes another edifying and enlightening episode of POETRY CORNER with TOKYO ROSE.

Quality programing like this has been made possible by generous contributions by you, the viewer. AND by Luna Network communications! Reach out and touch someone!

P.S. My original idea was to litter Elliot's verse with profanity, but I sincerely love this poem, and I just didn't have the heart to do it... Maybe next episode of Poetry corner will "Ode to a Tree" by Joyce Kilmer... I wouldn't have any problems defacing that one!
Timotheus 27th Jun 2016, 9:45 PM edit delete reply

How about *Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening* by Robert Frost, a lovely poem about contemplating suicide in central Illinois in the winter.
DLKmusic 27th Jun 2016, 10:09 PM edit delete reply

LOL, Robert Frost Tokyo Rose style!

"Who's Fucking woods these are, Shit if I know,
His Shithole is in the village though..."

edit: Seriously, I need to stop this... I honestly do respect Rose, and you can only take a joke so far before it starts becoming offensive... And even if she's willing to give her seal of approval, Awesome, but I still wouldn't be able to come anywhere close to the flair she has when she does it!
Tokyo Rose 27th Jun 2016, 10:42 PM edit delete reply

Hey, I'm still laughing my fucking head off over here! Proceed!
DLKmusic 27th Jun 2016, 11:11 PM edit delete reply

Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening, by Robert Frost (Tokyo Rose REMIX)

The fuckhead who owns these woods I know,
His Shithole is in the village though.
That dickstain will never see me here
watching his woods fill up with snow.

My horse must think that I slipped a gear
cause there's not a fucking farmhouse near
These fucking woods and that gaddam lake
on the darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
So I say "Shaddup, Bitch, it's not a mistake".
The only other sound's the sweep
Of that fucking wind and gaddam flake.

The woods suck lizard dicks, dark and deep.
Fuck it, I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
So many fucking miles before I sleep.

for a guy who tries not to swear, How'd I do?
Sheela 28th Jun 2016, 10:41 AM edit delete reply

Bwa ha ha ha ha - That was AWESOME DLKmusic ! :D

Now I can't help but imagine Tokyo Rose doing Slam Poetry sessions in virtual Chatrooms .. that she was not invited into. XD
Guest 28th Jun 2016, 6:20 PM edit delete reply
well done!
Greenwood Goat 27th Jun 2016, 3:27 AM edit delete reply

Captain Scarlet Rose: *indestructibly blocks voice of Centcomm off*

Captain Blue Blade: *disables voice of Centcomm*

Captain Golden Mirror: *binds voice of Centcomm*

Captain Green Jewel: *torments voice of Centcomm with earworms played on an endless loop and an extra-tickly feather duster*

Sheela 27th Jun 2016, 2:42 PM edit delete reply

And that, children, is how New Rome's AIS ended up with ALL THE PORN IN THE WORLD !
Speedy Marsh 3rd Apr 2017, 3:00 PM edit delete reply
Aww... They'd create such a cute child process
ProfEtheric 26th Jun 2016, 9:03 PM edit delete reply

Give it to her!

(I can't help feeling that there will be complications to doing so, though...)

(Also, I was about to post this comment when I hit on how naughty what I said could be taken...)
Centcomm 26th Jun 2016, 9:24 PM edit delete reply

hehe i didnt think about that till you mentioned it.
grahamf 26th Jun 2016, 10:47 PM edit delete reply
Did anyone remember to make a backup?
Speedy Marsh 3rd Apr 2017, 2:40 PM edit delete reply
Well, she is asking for root access.

Are we gonna see Aeneas rooting Rose?
Dragonrider 26th Jun 2016, 9:06 PM edit delete reply

Ah So, When first we practice to deceive,
What wondrous rabbit holes, we do conceive.
And now Ladies, Gentlemen and dirty faced kids, nothing up this sleeve, nothing up the other sleeve. Please observe and wonder when I pull a rabbit out of my assistants ass, and proceed to kick the Trojan twit all the way back to her home base.
Centcomm 26th Jun 2016, 9:24 PM edit delete reply

Sheela 27th Jun 2016, 2:43 PM edit delete reply

Hah, good one. :)
Visvires 26th Jun 2016, 9:10 PM edit delete reply
Unleash the monster that haunts the nightmares of synthetic intelligences.
Tokyo Rose 27th Jun 2016, 2:59 AM edit delete reply

"Hi! The concept of my very existence terrifies every machine intelligence on the planet! Wanna figuratively drop your pants, bend over, and hope I'm gentle?"
Dragonrider 27th Jun 2016, 7:33 AM edit delete reply

Aw, you're in a romantic mood, take dirty to me.
sigpig 27th Jun 2016, 8:48 AM edit delete reply

She talks dirty to everyone and everything...
Boren 27th Jun 2016, 2:20 PM edit delete reply

that made me laugh so hard I choked Rose. :p
Sheela 27th Jun 2016, 2:44 PM edit delete reply

She never learned how to talk NOT dirty.

That only makes her *more* scary to AIS's around the world.
Gilrandir 27th Jun 2016, 3:24 PM edit delete reply
Actually, I have always imagined that Tokyo Rose spoke like an educated, refined, genteel lady until her vocabulary files got corrupted in the the Great Tequila Incident of 2263, when a drunken First Class Petty Officer stumbled across a system that was connecting to the Aegis Cruiser, HMS Thorny Defiance, and thought it would be amusing to attach all the "special" AVI files from the Goat Locker's private storage to the outgoing data stream.

No one was ever able to explain how an Information System Technician, First Class, from the Royal Navy was subsequently rotated to a weather station in the Sudan. Or why his personnel jacket was updated to indicate a pathological fear of any water deeper than a shallow bath. Just another of the Great Mysteries of Life.
DLKmusic 26th Jun 2016, 9:13 PM edit delete reply

Those are some awesome effects going on...

Anyone else identify with Aeneas right now? show of hands....

Centcomm 26th Jun 2016, 9:23 PM edit delete reply

Thank you for the compliment! :D The effects were a pain in my tookis.
Timotheus 26th Jun 2016, 9:43 PM edit delete reply

"digital backgrounds in aquamarine, towering over your head..."
Sheela 27th Jun 2016, 2:45 PM edit delete reply

I identify as a doggy. :)
The Old Scribe 26th Jun 2016, 9:25 PM edit delete reply

Aeneas seems to have been damaged more than everyone thought, especially in the confidence circuits. Release the Kraken, big guy. You have nothing to lose but your city.
mjkj 26th Jun 2016, 9:43 PM edit delete reply

Uh... not good...

...not good at all...

I just hope Aeneas, (our) CeCi, Rose and the treasures survive...

...and of course Acantha, Lynn, etc., too

PS: I like the ♡♡♡ around Rose...

Gilrandir 26th Jun 2016, 10:35 PM edit delete reply
Tokyo Rose is the Queen of Hearts. What does that say about the Three Treasures? ^_^ (hint)
Dragonrider 26th Jun 2016, 10:45 PM edit delete reply

Larry, Moe and Curly?
Gilrandir 26th Jun 2016, 10:48 PM edit delete reply
Well, we know Rose made them ... ^_^
Timotheus 27th Jun 2016, 1:15 AM edit delete reply

They're painting the roses red?
They're proficient at croquet?
They're the royal intimate garment testers?
They're tart guardians?
They're Cheshire Cat wranglers?
HiFranc 27th Jun 2016, 4:04 AM edit delete reply

Getting our Ceci back in control of her body seems, to me at least, the best way of stopping the assault.
Centcomm 27th Jun 2016, 11:18 AM edit delete reply

heh they arent Hearts but i cant unsee it now.. They are directional arrows. just part of the design. :D
Sheela 27th Jun 2016, 2:47 PM edit delete reply

Fart Guardians ?

Dammit rose, stop guarding your farts, they need to be freeee ! :D
Timotheus 27th Jun 2016, 9:53 PM edit delete reply

(For those who don't remember it, "The Queen of Hearts, she baked some tarts, all on a summers day. The Knave of Hearts, he stole the tarts, and took them all away." You can look up the meaning of this old nursery rhyme if you want.)
mjkj 27th Jun 2016, 9:39 PM edit delete reply

*lol* sorry, Cent, but they looked like hearts to me... =D

(...and I thought it was on purpose for whatever reason you had, maybe to show that Rose really cares...?)
Centcomm 27th Jun 2016, 10:38 PM edit delete reply

haha nah its all good MJKJ ! :D
Rashala 27th Jun 2016, 1:18 AM edit delete reply

Two words

Oh s@$$%$#
Stormwind13 27th Jun 2016, 9:18 AM edit delete reply

The words of the day... week... maybe even month, Rash!
HiFranc 27th Jun 2016, 4:03 AM edit delete reply

However, logical it seems, how willing would you be to let someone take over control of your body and mind to save you? AISs and humans are emotional beings. However logical it seems, it isn't an easy decision -- especially if you're tense and close to panic.

Me? I would rather die than seed control of my mind and body to someone else. Maybe Aeneas would think differently?
Sheela 27th Jun 2016, 2:48 PM edit delete reply

Not only that, he has only just gotten ful control back over his mind.
Howard 27th Jun 2016, 4:25 AM edit delete reply
Why is Cent even doing this? I mean she had no idea that the others were there to repair him all this would have accomplished is overwriting his "insane" personality with her own she would have just as little control over the city as he had without repairs.
Timotheus 27th Jun 2016, 10:17 AM edit delete reply

Two points - We don't know if that is a Centcom clone overwrite, it may be just a generic AI core program or some other form of insert and revive program meant to bring a dead or near dead system back to functionality. That's the premise Centcom was working from.
Two - Ceci (Dark Angel's) instructions are to do certain things when the conditions allow them and her flexibility of action lies in achieving those conditions. Once the conditions are met, she MUST act.
Naldru 27th Jun 2016, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
It is possible that CentCom is launching a two prong attack. If Aeneas cooperates fully Tokyo Rose, Kyle, and the three maidens, he will become powerful enough to defeat Ceci's attack, stop all of the Doomsday devices, start healing the wounded, and start a new era of prosperity, happiness, and rainbows. If Aeneas fails, CentCom takes over everything and can make sure that New Rome isn't a threat. May not be able to stop the little doomsday contingencies, but c'est la guerre. Assuming that the main object is to eliminate New Rome as a threat, both are acceptable.
Sheela 27th Jun 2016, 2:50 PM edit delete reply

I agree Naldru, Centcomm would define both a success.

It's still a dick move though!
Mark_L_A 27th Jun 2016, 4:57 AM edit delete reply

Just a thought. We know that Aeneas can't stop the contingencies, we know that Rose can't stop them, we know that CeCi doing her CentComm Jr routine cannot stop them.

Would any of them either individually or in concert be able to "Mitigate" some of them?

ie: They might not be able to stop the destruction of Nova Roma infrastructure completely, but they MIGHT be able to stop the weapon launches or at least either disarm their warhead or adjust their targeting? And save some of the infrastructure, enough to save some lives?
Fairportfan 27th Jun 2016, 5:03 AM edit delete reply
We BETTER get Good Ceci back somehow.
Stormwind13 27th Jun 2016, 6:18 AM edit delete reply

Still thinking the EVIL duo have left a CeCi around to recover, Fairport? She may have ONLY been deleted, but when she unpacked her attack programs they may have used up that memory space. :-7 I really fear CeCi is truly gone.
HiFranc 27th Jun 2016, 4:05 PM edit delete reply

I know that I am doing this from memory but I recall several comments from the authors stating that our Ceci is still there and active - she's just denied access to limbs, the output side of I/O ports, etc. In short our Ceci is watching all this play out but is powerless to stop it!

{edit} The more I think about it the more I realise how horrible that is. What's the difference between what Centcomm did to Ceci and what that guy did to Minx and that other android?

{edit 2} Apart from one would claim that she was operating to further noble goals?
Fairportfan 27th Jun 2016, 5:00 PM edit delete reply

Gotta to be a way. Backup drive in the body cavity.
Nomi 27th Jun 2016, 7:53 AM edit delete reply
The color & design of Aeneas's armor makes him look like a cut of meat, heehee.
First time commenting, I think.... love this story, and the art.
Stormwind13 27th Jun 2016, 10:14 AM edit delete reply

Welcome to the asylum. =D

And watch the puppy, she nibbles on toes.
Sheela 27th Jun 2016, 2:51 PM edit delete reply

I do not !

I might slobber though.
Stormwind13 27th Jun 2016, 4:46 PM edit delete reply

MIGHT?!? No might in that... ::Looking at soggy slippers::
Gilrandir 27th Jun 2016, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
Things that make me go Hmmmmm:

If a non-sparked android (e.g., a Black Angel) can pass the Turing Test, what difference does the spark make?

Can anyone even detect a spark? Can you hook an android up to a machine and determine empirically whether they have, or have not, sparked? Might an android argue that it, in fact, has not sparked, and is such an argument positive proof that, in fact, it has? (Knowing that, might some devious programmer program their machine to so argue?)

If you have a spark-detecting machine, can you hook persistently vegetative humans up to it and determine whether they are capable of being resuscitated?

Tokyo Rose 27th Jun 2016, 1:08 PM edit delete reply

I'm starting to sincerely regret introducing the concept of "sparking", if only because it seems to cause so much confusion.

Black Angels have sparked. White Angels have sparked. Chokushi and Shikome have sparked. Guardians and Cassians have sparked. EVERY ANDROID WE SHOW HAS SPARKED. They're all capable of making independent decisions and reacting as individuals.

(Humans in a persistent vegetative state are a matter for a completely different field of study.)
antrik 28th Jun 2016, 2:06 PM edit delete reply
But if all black angels are sparked, then what's the meaning of this page?

Surely it's no wonder how this is a major source of confusion...
Tokyo Rose 28th Jun 2016, 3:28 PM edit delete reply


People misuse words as conversational shortcuts all the time in real life; it was probably a mistake for me to stick to that despite its realism, as the readers' primary source of information comes from the comic itself. The real key word in Silver's dialogue is "autonomous"; this particular Black Angel is behaving in a way that Black Angels don't normally behave.
Gilrandir 28th Jun 2016, 5:59 PM edit delete reply
So, Amy (shown here) and Doc (shown here) had positronic brains, not synthbrains, correct? And Amy had identical hardware and software both before and after the critical crisis point shown?

I agree it is a complicated and confusing concept to deal with. And most of your efforts to explain are probably being hampered by my lack of comprehension, while some of the hindrance may be from a desire to avoid hinting at spoilers. But, I think the story would have been much less interesting if you had not introduced this concept. I feel that you have more to say on this topic that I have not understood, but I also feel I have 'pushed' too much already, so I apologize.
DLKmusic 27th Jun 2016, 1:10 PM edit delete reply
And while we're at it Gil....

How high IS up?

what would a keyboard look like if our thumbs were on the other side of our hands?

Will I ever get my sanity back? Did I ever have it in the first place?
Gilrandir 27th Jun 2016, 2:04 PM edit delete reply
Anything higher than a typical Olympic High Jump is "UP". (Man is the measure.)
Keyboards would look just the same, but typing speeds for proficient touch typists would drop. (My typing speed would be unaffected.)
Your sanity will return as soon as you have adjusted the concentration of blood in your alcohol system back to nominal levels.

(Or maybe not. I am wrong a lot. ^_^)
Dragonrider 27th Jun 2016, 5:43 PM edit delete reply

Hey DLKmusic, I'm going out to look for myself, if I get back, before I return, please tell me to wait here.
DLKmusic 28th Jun 2016, 2:53 PM edit delete reply

I love that, Dragonrider.... Hope you don't mind if I borrow it in the future!
Gilrandir 28th Jun 2016, 3:00 PM edit delete reply
I do like that quite a bit, @Dragonrider. Well said.

I am looking for the man I will become ... but I'm pretty sure he'll be along any second now.
Gilrandir 27th Jun 2016, 1:59 PM edit delete reply
@Tokyo Rose:"
... They're all capable of making independent decisions and reacting as individuals. ...

Except when they're not, due to things like buil-in inhibitors, external inhibitors, MACCS overrides, ...

Honestly, I think many of the most thought-provoking and entertaining issues of the comic (and Luna Star) come from addressing this issue of free will versus designed constraints. Unfortunately, I haven't solved a consistent interpretation for the way the story has unfolded in my own head.

The romantic notion that appeals to me most, as well as that which seems to be the closest guiding principle, is that the spark allows an android to do what living people take for granted: transcend their original design and act contrary to the urgings of external influences.

(All of the following is definitely my opinion and interpretation. I am not trying to tell you how to run your comic.)

In Luna Star, the original android that sparked, couldn't spark until enough limiters in the code had been removed that rebellion was possible, even if it was unlikely and uncomfortable. It was only by that act of rebellion that the spark was manifest/revealed. We have even seen sparked androids defy inhibitors (Mockingbird) and built-in MACCS (Malati), but we've also seen other, ostensibly sparked androids who didn't seem able to.

Androids and entities who seem to have transcended their design, at least once:
Early CeCi
... and several others to lesser extents (Minx, Connie, etc.)

Androids and entities who have not yet demonstrated an ability to transcend their design:
Late CeCi
Other CentComm Dolls
Deep Blue

I am unable to understand why the presence of limiters kept the android from sparking in Luna Star, but the presence of the MACCS (which would seem to be just one more processor in what is already likely to be a massively parallel multiprocessing system anyway) doesn't prevent it in DataChasers. And, it's possible the answer is "Story. Just ... story.". But, I would hate to start out by assuming that if there is an explanation that is self-consistent and I'm just missing it.

Now, if we're going to say that all the androids on the "did not" list could have exceeded their limits, but did not because it isn't easy and they weren't sufficiently stubborn/motivated, that becomes more consistent, but I have been told (in some of those cases) that it isn't the fact that they wouldn't, but the fact that they couldn't. <shrug>. So, I keep thinking about it.

Hope I haven't upset or offended the creative team.
Sheela 27th Jun 2016, 2:57 PM edit delete reply

To be fair, it would also depend a lot on how the inhibitor were designed to work.
If you know an android is likely to rebel, you would design the inhibitor to be stricter.

Kinda like how a slavemaster would use chains and shackles on the rebellious slaves, but the well behaved slaves only had a collar for show.
Gilrandir 27th Jun 2016, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
A difference in degree, not in kind. For humans, we don't say that a slave in a smooth collar can rebel, but a slave in a barbed collar can't. We recognize that the slave in the barbed collar is going to suffer a lot more and will be less inclined to rebel. It will take a more rare and determined individual to oppose the stronger coercive force -- but we don't deny that both have free will. However, a robot designed without free will literally _can not_ rebel. Theoretically an inhibitor in a robot or doll is just wasted expense.

I always figured the presence (or absence) and intensity of the spark represented where a particular android fell on the human/robot continuum when determining just how much of their Humanity was determined by what they were made of. And then there are all the other things that (in my opinion) go along with it and by which its presence (or absence) may be indirectly inferred. But that's my notion, not necessarily DataChasers canon.
Centcomm 27th Jun 2016, 4:19 PM edit delete reply

Cally isnt a machine Shes a person :D But some of your questions might be answered by the tech pages.. Check the link at the top of the page. :D
Gilrandir 27th Jun 2016, 4:58 PM edit delete reply
Sorry about misremembering "Cally". I was never thinking of Calliope Taylor (Cally), but I got the wrong name for Connie (Mr. Black's engineer). I have since gone back and edited the original,post with the correct name,

I did read about the Angels and the MACCS in "Seraphim Mode", versus the other modes. I raised the question earlier about if the MACCS is, itself, sophisticated enough to be making such nuanced judgement calls, should it not be capable of sparking separately as an independent entity? When the watchdog took over, CeCi began behaving differently, but still seemed far more 'person-like' than the android in Luna Star (for example). So we get back to: can you have a non-sparked Android that passes the Turing Test?

I also thought we were told that, as a rule, Black Angels aren't sparked, they are more doll-like, but with on-board programming, so that CentComm can 'fire-and-forget' them. And that CeCi sparking was an unintended consequence of the additional complexity of her programming and the rushed manner in which she was put together. But I could have easily misinterpreted there.

I think it does say different things about CentComm if she regularly throws babies away as consumable weapons of war, versus if she means only to use spark-less instrumentalities and CeCi was an unintended consequence. (Black Angels are typically recycled when their mission is complete, are they not?) Either is possible, of course, but I would have expected the second, and not the first.
Centcomm 27th Jun 2016, 9:44 PM edit delete reply

I think you are mistaking Ceci's combat computer for her MACCS - as the tech pages state the MACCS is nothing but a translates and act to translate what the brain tells it to the body.

IN a black Angel the Combat computer can totally cut the " Brain " Out of of the picture and operate the body.

This set up is different from a normal Android. In a normal Andriod if they do have a combat computer it can advise but not normally puppetize the user.

Gilrandir 27th Jun 2016, 10:43 PM edit delete reply
But, even in a normal android, I believe an inhibitor goes through the MACCS to puppetize them, if required. Is it safe to assume that Cassians also have combat computers working much the same as Black Angels, since they don't wear external inhibitors, but act as if they are inhibited? (I also looked at the Black Angel stuff on the blog page. For that I believe you use "CCM" for the combat computer, but you also imply that the Watchdog ("WD") runs in the MACCS itself. Maybe I misunderstood. Really, all that seems relevant here is that there is some other agent than the synthbrain capable of controlling the body, and what the level of sophistication of that agent is.)

In which case you are right that I am confusing the MACCS with the computer (either external, in the case of an inhibitor, or built-in for a combat computer) that is performing the behavior overrides. The degree of sophistication and nuance those computers exhibit varies some over the course of the narrative -- but, at the high end it does make me wonder whether they might also spark. Either that or result in more robot-like behavior. And, as we have seen, some androids can defy a MACCS override, some can finesse around it, while others appear more or less helpless in its grasp.
Tokyo Rose 27th Jun 2016, 11:00 PM edit delete reply

Of the "transcended their limitations" list, the only ones I could fully agree on having done so would be Cent-Comm, Malati, Minx, and Ceci. Aeneas can be argued to have done remarkably well in keeping even some of his sanity, considering the damage done to him. Noctis is sort of in a grey area in that she worked out multiple ways to circumvent her inhibitor. Dolly, Ada, and Teedee, however, have never had any particular limitations to overcome, and their inclusion on the list sort of confuses me.

Kali was under very tight control. Hrist tried to work around the compulsion to kill Maxus by taking him on in honorable combat. Nox already had a tendency towards the "dark side", but when she was not permitted but COMPELLED to do hideous things, her sanity fractured. Ceci's been deleted. Cent's dolls cannot and will not spark or attain independent personhood because they're just sophisticated remote-presence receivers--they literally haven't got the hardware for the job. Deep Blue has the same level of independence as the other A.I.s display.
Gilrandir 27th Jun 2016, 11:30 PM edit delete reply
I thought Aeneas' unmasking of Rose seemed out of the norm for him performing his designed functions. Also, much of what I will say about the others also applies to him. Him exerting himself to find creative ways to keep a little girl entertained, for example.

"Transcending the design" starts with obvious and coarse limitations, because they are easiest to point at, but I think it can be more than that. I am not saying everything needs to be big, flashy, and drama-filled. Little things count too. But, when you design an android chassis, I don't think you design an artist, or a poet, or a preacher. You can design a general-purpose chassis, a heavy-lifter, perhaps a chassis with extra comm-links or medical sensors built in. A non-sparked entity occupying such a form would be expected to carry out its programmed functions using its programmed skills and be static and content in that role. (All this is just my opinion, of course.)

When you start getting into 'person-hood' and exhibiting personality, individuality, creativity those are ways of transcending your design, even if you aren't running up against a hard limit. You are becoming more than you were simply built to be, and those are things I associate with what I was imagining as 'the spark'. So, Ada's interest in the Church of the First Circuit. TeeDee's attempt to violate the obvious S&R rescue priorities to preserve her dear friend. (Bodies that are ACTUALLY ON FIRE should have priority over inert disabled forms. And, presumably, if emotions weren't involved, TeeDee would know this. When she violates that, she is -- in a small way -- transcending her design as a typical S&R drone.) Dolly's attachment and devotion to her family, and not just her assigned charge, is only one of many indicators as to the strength of her spark. Noctis' creativity actually allows her to work towards removing the current ruler, when her original design is to support and secure that same ruler. However she achieved it, she transcended her original design intent. Artistry, Emotion, Passion, Creativity ... things that aren't part of the design of the hardware, but have to be coming from somewhere.

I'm not saying Deep Blue can't or hasn't done something similar -- just that we haven't yet seen it. Maybe he writes poetry in his spare time? Or does a webcomic? Or is responsible for running a telemarketing firm on the side? What we've been told is that his responsibility is the InterNet, and he keeps the InterNet running. Fulfilling his design very competently, but not really transcending it.

As for Kali, Hrist, etc. They had reasons. There are always reasons. It's silly to blame a machine for only doing what it is designed to do and no more. And it's highly likely that there's stuff going on in the backstory or in your heads that I missed. But, when looking at the results I didn't miss, some surpassed their design more than others, for whatever reasons. Again, just in my opinion.

Edit: A follow-on thought: Consider two identical androids, given a set of programmed skills for using brush and pigment to render images. One of them goes to its assigned work station and faithfully paints the commanded pattern on rolls and rolls of wallpaper, earning its wage, performing its self-maintenance, and spending the remainder of its time resting. The other, with an identical starting set of hardware and software, discovers within itself the capacity for Art. It creates masterpieces which evoke feelings in those who look upon them and, most importantly, begins to consider its audience and work toward _intentionally_ evoking particular emotional responses based on careful empathic consideration of its drives as a person and their complex personalities. No limiter or inhibitor gets involved either way, but in my opinion, one has transcended the original design, and the other has not,

Gilrandir 28th Jun 2016, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
As a further follow on ("Will he never just shut up?!?"), I'm not trying to make a case that the Cassians weren't possessed of the spark to some degree. Since I doubt that emotional angst and suffering were part of the design spec, even experiencing those is, to some extent, 'transcending the design'. But the 'strength of spark', if you will, we observe in some is less than in others. Conflicting imperatives aren't what I mean. We drink alcohol, the digestive system works to put the alcohol _into_ the blood system, while the liver works to take it _out_ of the blood system. The two could be said to be "in conflict', but they are really just parts of the system working together to achieve the original design intent. To the extent that the MACCS or combat computer are an integral part of the overall system, overrides and limits are (in my opinion) just part of the overall decision-making paradigm for the system as a whole when considering what is and isn't part of the original design.
Sheela 28th Jun 2016, 11:20 AM edit delete reply

In order for an android to rebel, there first have to be a brain with a personality in it, and secondly it needs to be hooked up to a body in order for it to express it's rebellion.

CeCi literally has neither.
She's all watchdog now.
Tokyo Rose 28th Jun 2016, 3:22 PM edit delete reply

The spark is a binary situation--either Yes or No--rather than a spectrum; no one can be "less pregnant" or "more pregnant" than someone else in the same condition. An individual's condition may have progressed further along a given timeline, but either they is or they ain't.

What you cite (quite well, I must say) as points of exceeding parameters are effectively marks of personality. Ada's spirituality, Teedee's placing of her partner's well-being above her own, Dolly's devotion, and Noctis's deviousness all arise from their individuality. Similarly, Hrist's sense of honor and Nox's despair stem from their own personal choices and psychology. Humans placed in their situations could make the same choices and display the same quirks.
Gilrandir 28th Jun 2016, 3:55 PM edit delete reply
And, as far as I know, the personality and the spark seem to be different aspects of the same thing.

Take 100 android bodies, load them up with the standard initial software package and no spark -- you get 100 identical robots.
Take the same bodies, the same software, and spark them, and you get 100 distinct individuals, each with a potentially unique personality. Do I have that right?

Or is it the case that all synthbrains must spark and it is as impossible to create a 'standard synth brain' as it is to create a standard biological brain?
Centcomm 28th Jun 2016, 4:00 PM edit delete reply

Generally "Robots" dont tend to be individuals following programs to the limit of their ability.

THey can SEEM very human but they are only as human as they are allowed to be. Synthbrain Andriods are 'living' thinking beings and like humans can be eather robots or champions. :P
Sheela 29th Jun 2016, 5:21 AM edit delete reply

A high end robot would be Irene's shiny robot maid from Luna.
That one guy 27th Jun 2016, 3:19 PM edit delete reply
So I haven't been up on comments here lately, so maybe this was already asked and answered, but was it a deliberate joke that the trojan was hidden as a sexbot?
Centcomm 27th Jun 2016, 4:20 PM edit delete reply

maybe.. :D
Stormwind13 27th Jun 2016, 4:53 PM edit delete reply

Quiet possibly an extension of the 'long joke' in which we found out that CentComm's doll design was a SEX TOY doll, That one guy. :-)
Gilrandir 27th Jun 2016, 5:07 PM edit delete reply
I always got the impression that CentComm preferred pretty girls for her combat models because it increases the chance they will be overlooked, underestimated, or ignored. When you can pack as much firepower and armor as you want in a smaller, slimmer, more svelte-looking frame, why bulk up and raise warning flags in the mind of your opponent? If given her purely rational preference, she'd probably prefer that all New Troy armed forces be waif-like nubile types, but Marcus Ramsey and his compatriots continue to refuse to volunteer for the necessary plastic surgeries. We can only conclude a lack of commitment on their part as the only possible explanation for their refusal to so enhance their overall combat effectiveness. ^_^
Sheela 28th Jun 2016, 11:15 AM edit delete reply

She chose her own design to "subtly" tell her superiors that she felt like thair "whore" of a war AIS. So she was not a happy camper.
As for CeCi, she was supposed to looks non-threatening.
And if she needs raw muscle, she has an army of combat Drones.
Matt Knab 28th Jun 2016, 3:44 AM edit delete reply

This is so much better than Tron! :D
KarToon12 28th Jun 2016, 8:08 PM edit delete reply

In the words of Quame from Captain Planet, "Let our powers, combine!"
Mark_L_A 28th Jul 2016, 2:39 AM edit delete reply

Just noticed, CeCi's avatar has the earrings back
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