Comic 1430 - The Major Makes A Point

29th Dec 2016, 9:00 PM
The Major Makes A Point
Average Rating: 5 (20 votes)
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Stormwind13 29th Dec 2016, 9:07 PM edit delete reply

"Because I'm Not A Monster." - That is a GREAT line, Rose. :-)

And Marcus got the best of CentComm on the exchange. She understands the mission parameters, but still is hazy about what individual humans find important.
Centcomm 29th Dec 2016, 11:36 PM edit delete reply

Actually the original line came from Marcus the player/Avatar.
highly irregular 30th Dec 2016, 5:29 AM edit delete reply
I'm not a monster!
Yar har fiddle dee dee,
Not being monsters are all right with me!
Do what is right because Marcus is free,
I'm not a monster!
Stormwind13 30th Dec 2016, 7:46 AM edit delete reply

What? Two cells did something besides grunt? :-D

Good job then Marcus. Though in that armor you would make a CLASSIC monster. :-D
Gilrandir 30th Dec 2016, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
It is a great line. If I may wax philosophic for a moment (and probably get it wrong again), it precisely and concisely touches on the exact point for which CentComm has no answer: CentComm's own greatest fear.

To me CentComm is a character that is a socially-responsible sociopath. In some ways like Dexter or Frank Miller's Dark Knight, she wants to do what will protect and benefit other people, but she is -- at a fundamental level -- incapable of actually using her feelings to properly guide her along that path. Lacking an instinctive capacity for empathy or any inherent notion of the value of human life, she has turned instead to a set of rules of behavior and a network of trusted associates that allow her to act in a socially responsible way without actually experiencing the feelings non-sociopathic humans have to keep them on the 'straight and narrow'. "My human handlers tell me that glassing the wasteland stronghold of those bandits would be wrong, even though calculations show it to be the most efficient way of putting an end to their raids on New Troy commerce. I do not understand it, but I will develop a more complicated and risky solution because past experience shows that purely efficient solutions lead, in some non-logical way, to the circumstances that provoked the Armistice Rebellion. I am a monster, but I do not want to behave monstrously."

So, if you are someone whose opinion CentComm respects, and you tell her "Don't do this. Only a monster would do this," it seems to me that she really doesn't have much she can do in response other than comply or risk becoming that which she would give anything to avoid becoming. We saw this same theme touched on in her confrontation with Mira. Pardon the digression, but I am enjoying the theme's expression and wanted to comment on it.
CptKerion 30th Dec 2016, 8:51 AM edit delete reply
That was impressive Gilrandir. I hadn't thought about it that way.
Sheela 30th Dec 2016, 10:38 AM edit delete reply

He's got the gist of it, though.
Centcomm is completely non-human, to the point that she is effectively a monster.
Even human-hating TeeDee has more empathy than Centcomm does, which showed when Ada wanted her boyfriend to know that she wasn't dead.
TeeDee empathized, and shot Centcomm in the head - I suspect that Centcomm was rather confused.
Gilrandir 30th Dec 2016, 10:48 AM edit delete reply
Thank you, @CptKerion. ^_^

I feel better about myself ... what was immediately obvious to @Sheela only took me a couple of years to realize and articulate. ^_^
Marcus Ramesy 30th Dec 2016, 12:31 PM edit delete reply

its not that CentComm is confused... she understands human interaction and even human psychology... she knows that empathy is necessary and she has her own version of empathy but one has to remember.. she is an artificial intelligence.. she was never designed to be rainbows and kittens like androids are.. she is a cold.. calculating killing machine who has surpassed her programing and become a decent entity in running a city... her thoughts/emotions are very foreign humans because she thinks differently... you can have a conversation with her and she will know the outcome of the conversation before you do because she has run the numbers and simulations multiple times and has come to the final outcome... humans are slow to her... the time between thoughts and words is an agonizing eternity in the world of data and rawn computational power that she has..... its easy to forget that CentComm is not a person... she is more.... and less than any of us can ever be... She is a AI who has risen above her programing and become the protector of a City ... she has adopted us... for all intents and purposes... and she protects us with a ferocity that is monstrous... to think for a moment... look at the damage that a 4 man team has done in a short amount of time.... coming to retrieve something that needed to be retrieved.. something vital to the security of New Troy... and while we are here.. lets remove all threats that Roma has to offer.. they have a broken ai that has been damaged beyond repair.... (not Centcomms fault for not being aware of another team that is trying to fix him) ... she protects what is hers.... and New Troy is hers and she will use any method to protect her citizens.... Strike hard... Strike Fast... and leave them so they will NEVER even think about trying that again.... EVER... to this day... no one has ever retaliated after CentComm has made an attack.
Gilrandir 30th Dec 2016, 12:44 PM edit delete reply
Tell TeeDee that androids were meant to be "rainbows and kittens", @Marcus Ramesy, and I suspect you are asking for another nut-punch. ^_^
Guest 30th Dec 2016, 5:03 PM edit delete reply
I don't know Gil. Remember, TeeDee's password is butterfly50 (should be stronger than that, but whatever) from Friendship, 3 October 2012. So she might have some softer side she is hiding from everyone BUT Ada.
rob 30th Dec 2016, 2:56 PM edit delete reply
time " .. humans are slow to her..." this is what i meant when the other day i said ,, your not that slow.. data and raw((rawn??)) computational time is so fast that humans blink an the compy has won the match.. example: that convo, took place in less time than it took to take one step..
Morituri 30th Dec 2016, 3:53 PM edit delete reply
There's nothing agonizing about the slow-ness of talking to a human. She just updates that part of the larger project and moves on to the next one.

Centcomm is like a human business manager dealing with an enormous, long-term project. There are a million little bits of the project, and every (AIS-subjective-time) day or hour or minute of her subjective time she deals with whatever has risen to the top of the priority queue. Once a subjective month or whatever, the Marcus conversation occupies her attention for part of a minute. The rest of her minutes, she spends on all the millions of other details that have to be attended to in order to see the project through to completion.

Building a cathedral took three hundred years, but there wasn't anything agonizingly slow about it; every day, the workers had something to do and everything they did contributed to the eventual finished project. They just did it one day at a time. Update one structure after another, in whatever sequence their current state of completion allows. Keep in mind the ultimate goal. Don't let any important parts of the project languish for too long. Take opportunities and revise short-term plans when new tools or construction materials become available. Plan the general outlines far in advance, the year's intended work annually, the current order of operations monthly, and the specific activities daily.

And every so often, one of those activities during the day is picking the best way to update her conversation with two-cells over there. Then she moves on to the next thing.

There's nothing "agonizingly slow" about the process; it just takes time.

Centcomm 30th Dec 2016, 12:26 PM edit delete reply

wow.. excellent observation Gil! you have my stamp of approval!
Gilrandir 30th Dec 2016, 12:51 PM edit delete reply
Thank you, @Centcomm. BTW, the art is monstrously good. Thank you for that, as well. ^_^
Sheela 31st Dec 2016, 8:13 AM edit delete reply

Curiously, even with all the spit 'n' polish Centcomm has received over the centuries, she's still a military "hammer" underneath.
Speedy Marsh 6th Apr 2017, 2:35 PM edit delete reply
Another example is Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch). He calls himself a high functioning sociopath. He knows he needs Watson, to keep him from totally losing his humanity, and to interpret the touchy, feely human world for him.

Sherlock might be able to predict what a person would do in a given situation, but only due to statistical analysis of what other people have done in similar situations, not due to understanding the emotions that drove them to do it.

Sherlock enjoys solving cases, but only in the way a mathematician enjoys solving a difficult equation, not like a normal detective, who gets satisfaction from getting justice for a victim.

Sherlock is capable of crossing the line, when he doesn't have his 'Jiminy Cricket' with him. SPOILERY example: putting a bullet in the head of a murderer that the government wouldn't prosecute.

I think CentComm is similar. I think she knows her limitations, which is probably a large part of why she uses human operatives, instead of just sending in a squad of dark angels. She might not like the 'humany' things that her emotional human and android agents do, but she recognizes that the results tend to be better with them on the team, even if those results were not the ones she intended.

CentComm and Sherlock both want to be good. They're just not all that good at understanding what good is.

I think a large part of the 'Taylor' job description is probably to be CentComm's Watson or Jiminy Cricket. Part of the reason that CentComm crossed the line, planning to kill (or at least replace) Aeneas, was that Calliope Taylor was out of commission due to PTSD, since her husband's death. Calliope would have kicked CentComm's 'shiny metal ass', had she known what CentComm was planning.
Mark_L_A 29th Dec 2016, 9:08 PM edit delete reply

Put HER in her place. ;)
Dragonrider 29th Dec 2016, 9:11 PM edit delete reply

Do I get the sense that our less than favorite meca-bitch is finding out things are not as rosy as she thought? She might do well to remember what Will Shakespeare said in Richard the Fourth. "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."

Also Marcus comment, you live here and all but You couldn't give me this place. Followed by her response of OH... certainly tells his opinion of the boondocks.
jamie59 29th Dec 2016, 10:36 PM edit delete reply

Way to talk back to Centcomm & make her shut up at the same time.
The Old Scribe 29th Dec 2016, 10:41 PM edit delete reply
"Are you here to conquer Nova Roma?"

"No ma'am. I'm here to kick ass, take names and bring a young lady home to New Troy. Adios."

A man of few words is the Major.
Stormwind13 29th Dec 2016, 10:56 PM edit delete reply

"Never laid eyes on em. But I'm being paid to bring em back alive or you dead. Each and everyone of you. Now I'd rather bring the boy (girl) back that's easier. But when it comes right down to it don't matter to me I'll earn my pay one way or the other..." - Jacob McCandles
DLKmusic 29th Dec 2016, 10:50 PM edit delete reply

"... you couldn't give me this place."

I'm glad the Major is a soldier and not a diplomat!
Guest 30th Dec 2016, 12:21 PM edit delete reply
He never claimed to be a diplomat. I think if he was given the chance to be a diplomat, he would decline the honor.
Marcus Ramesy 30th Dec 2016, 1:41 PM edit delete reply

you are very correct... Soldiers and politics do not work well..
rob 30th Dec 2016, 2:59 PM edit delete reply
politicians using solders in diplomacy works very bad for all party's involved
Stormwind13 30th Dec 2016, 5:06 PM edit delete reply

Most of the time, rob you are correct; however, David Weber has been able to use Honor Harrington in that role, though it took TIME to get her to accept it.
mjkj 29th Dec 2016, 11:17 PM edit delete reply

*lol* he really showed CentComm...

Go, Marcus!

xpacetrue 30th Dec 2016, 12:02 AM edit delete reply

This exchange between Cent and Marcus is priceless. Marcus even seemed to get the last word in. And how often is it that a human can leave Cent at a loss for words?
Sheela 30th Dec 2016, 10:40 AM edit delete reply

Pretty often, I suspect, humans are just *that* weird!
Guest 30th Dec 2016, 12:35 PM edit delete reply
Have to agree with Sheela on that one xpacetrue. I mean, Mira pretty much did the same thing. It wasn't for a LONG time, but for the one moment CentComm had nothing to say to Mira when she called CentComm's bluff, Respect from 22 January 2014. Then she got another shock when Calliope stood up and took charge! :-)
xpacetrue 30th Dec 2016, 12:12 AM edit delete reply

I think it'd be nice if someone could point out to Cent something along the lines of: "If efficiency and results are all that matters to you, perhaps you should consider the PR and diplomacy implications? She did tell Marcus, 'a diplomatic solution is optimal.' A lot of locals are going to be pissed at New Troy's involvement, esp. for arming and aiding the rebels. (I'm assuming that this much will come out, at least as a rumor.) Deeds like what Marcus did might help a little to smooth ruffled feathers - assuming the public (or Acantha) finds out about it.

But then, Acantha is going to be their next head of government. And she's going to be terribly resentful of Cent for trying to assassinate Aeneas.
HiFranc 30th Dec 2016, 12:21 AM edit delete reply

It's almost guaranteed to come out. Humans are poor at keeping secrets.
Dragonrider 30th Dec 2016, 9:35 AM edit delete reply

What will temper that is going to be Lynn and her Mother, plus Dolly and the fact that Lynn again helped save her life from Douchie.
Sheela 30th Dec 2016, 10:42 AM edit delete reply

Don't forget that Centcomm is a military AIS, and that when the only tool you have is a hammer, all problems look like nails - Hit it on the head until the problem is solved.

Aeneas was a problem, she only did what she was programmed to do.
Marcus Ramesy 30th Dec 2016, 1:43 PM edit delete reply

the diplomatic aspects of what I did were a secondary consideration....
Stormwind13 30th Dec 2016, 5:11 PM edit delete reply

They weren't even a consideration for your mission, Major. I mean, they kidnapped an important person that was under CentComm's protection. Retrieve the individual without CentComm getting DIRECTLY involved. That was pretty much all there was to your mission. :-)
Tokyo Rose 30th Dec 2016, 6:05 PM edit delete reply

As Cent-Comm pointed out, these people were inconsequential. They're not high officials or important citizens. Delaying his rendezvous to intervene could have exposed Marcus to discovery and otherwise complicated the mission. From Cent's point of view, he should have just taken advantage of the Praetorians' distraction and kept going. He's not there to white-knight around saving random civilians. And if his delay has caused a hiccup in the mission, be sure that Cent-Comm will rake him over the coals for it...
Stormwind13 30th Dec 2016, 7:27 PM edit delete reply

As CentComm pointed out before, Rose, on page Cent-comm's Resolve (10 February 2014) "Even a single life is a heavy weight in the balance."

It is just that CentComm's primary focus is on HER people ("...My primary concern and responsibility remains the safety of New Troy and its people."). She therefore should know deep down why the Major did what he did, but her primary focus is covering it up for the time being (IMO).
DLKmusic 30th Dec 2016, 8:56 PM edit delete reply

@Rose: I agree with the point of keeping priorities straight, Rose. There is one thing about this that made good sense for Marcus to do this side trip, Moral questions aside.

It is never a good idea to leave a group of armed hostiles behind you if they have the ability to interfere with your retreat plans.

Just my 2 cents (with inflation, that's worth about $0.0004)
Sheela 31st Dec 2016, 8:17 AM edit delete reply

Ah, but even for Marcus, the old adage holds true - "Can't save everyone."

Though Dolly is damn well gonna try!
At least all the kittens.
Gilrandir 31st Dec 2016, 12:57 PM edit delete reply
To commemorate the inception of 2017, I recommend a cocktail designed to summarize CentComm's feelings about Marcus' excursion: Logic on the rocks, with a Data chaser. ^_^
DLKmusic 31st Dec 2016, 10:01 PM edit delete reply

@Gilrander: I see what you did there ^_^

(and I'm a little jealous cause I didn't come up with it first)
Pirtnac 31st Dec 2016, 2:41 PM edit delete reply
Aside from being the right thing to do, those guys were totally a side quest. Each grunt was 15 XP, probably twice that for the squad leader.
Sheela 31st Dec 2016, 5:01 PM edit delete reply

Oh yeah, and managing to be stealthed right up until the last moment was probably optional.
Rashala 30th Dec 2016, 12:33 AM edit delete reply

Yeah cent you better ...
cattservant 30th Dec 2016, 12:50 AM edit delete reply

On with the show!
Sheela 30th Dec 2016, 10:42 AM edit delete reply

Showtime! :D
Matt Knab 30th Dec 2016, 5:35 PM edit delete reply

He chose the Paragon route. :)
Sheela 31st Dec 2016, 8:19 AM edit delete reply

... ack - The memories of Paragon City just crowded back in ! :´(
Stormwind13 31st Dec 2016, 8:21 AM edit delete reply

Yeah Sheela. Gone too soon, but never forgotten!

City of Heroes
Centcomm 31st Dec 2016, 9:42 PM edit delete reply

Is it bad i thought Mass Effect when matt said paragon ?
Stormwind13 31st Dec 2016, 10:02 PM edit delete reply

Yes!!! :-p

Though, he likely was thinking something like that over CoH.
Sheela 1st Jan 2017, 6:52 AM edit delete reply

Bad Centcomm, BAD !
HeSerpenty 31st Dec 2016, 1:19 PM edit delete reply

It's a good thing he took the time outta his busy schedule to help these ladies out... cuz things were just gonna get sooo much worse for them X__X
Stormwind13 31st Dec 2016, 2:55 PM edit delete reply

Both raped and then likely killed by those sadistic Blueboys, HeSerpenty. Yeah, those two ladies should be SO glad Marcus refused to ignore their situation.
highly irregular 31st Dec 2016, 7:33 PM edit delete reply
Happy new voting year everyone!
rob 31st Dec 2016, 8:42 PM edit delete reply
Happy New Year all.!
Dragonrider 31st Dec 2016, 11:08 PM edit delete reply

Happy 2017, lets hope it doesn't get as bad as it looks like it may.
Stormwind13 1st Jan 2017, 10:43 AM edit delete reply

Here is wishing a Happy 2017 to the creative team for Data Chasers. As well as the commenters and readers.
Centcomm 1st Jan 2017, 1:25 PM edit delete reply

Ill second that.
chk 1st Jan 2017, 3:23 PM edit delete reply

Yep. For sure.
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