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16 Feb 2013 Fembot 3: Back to Perfection
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Rothide



Joined: 14 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samsally wrote:
Huh.


Very much inspired by that, forgot to mention it so thanks for pointing that out.
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Zot the Wise



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sojobo wrote:
You said Slick's intent was to make his relationship real by moving into the reality zone. According to you, therefore, he thought he had just made his relationship real by moving into the reality zone. Then he tried to control the person he now had a real relationship with (because he had moved into the reality zone). That's creepy.

That was obviously the idea he had, but he didn't know exactly what would happen. How could he? If the 'relationship' he fantasized about did in fact become 'real' then he was obviously waiting to observe some indication that it had. The Fembot surely would have said or done something to confirm this. She did not, so a confused Slick naturally continued to watch and wonder. The fact that he was messing with the remote doesn't mean anything. It means he was trying to coax a response out of what was previously a robot. What makes you certain Slick even knew she'd become sentient? She doesn't do anything that would impart that knowledge to him.

Sojobo wrote:
He watched the miracle of his fembot coming to life, and then immediately tried to control her with the remote. That's creepy

Did he? She didn't come to 'life' per say. The Fembot did not become a flesh and blood woman. She's still a robot, the difference is that she now has sentience. A will and opinions of her own. No part of her physical behavior indicated that she was suddenly aware to Slick. The Fembot always moved and behaved like a normal person for the most part. How exactly was Slick to know she was aware? Was he magically just supposed to know as soon as it happened? Is that what you expected from him? You expect him to have psychic powers then, or the exceptional observational skills it would take to notice a subtle change in her face. Observing the Fembot as she 'became aware' was obvious to us as the viewer because we visually see her eyes change and we make the connection through her expression. Slick, however, was only vaguely paying attention to her and even if he'd looked her straight in the face he would not have instantly thought "She's alive!" because she was just standing there not doing anything.
You are superimposing your own imaginary subtext upon the scene. That may be how events appeared to play out from your perspective, but there is no hard evidence to support your claim.

Sojobo wrote:

You are wrong. I would not have messed with the remote after just watching a robot turn into a live girl. Nor would most of the people here at the Sinfest forums. We would be stunned and amazed at the miracle, and if this had been exactly what we'd planned (as you claim Slick had planned), if we had been expecting her to come to life (as you claim Slick was expecting), we would talk to her.

She did not come to life. She achieved sentience. As I previously stated. Figure of speech perhaps. That detail isn't really too important, but it's always nice to clarify things. From my perspective Slick had no reason to believe that the Fembot was still anything but a robot and even if he had noticed the Fembot had become aware (which is quite a stretch of the imagination since she didn't do or say anything to indicate this had occurred aside from her eyes changing) there's no reason why he wouldn't still mess with the remote. It simply doesn't mean anything. His motivations for doing so were, at worst, curiosity. To claim he wanted a slave is entirely your own invention and no evidence exists to support it. If the robot had said "Stop doing that" or anything that gave a hint to its new sentience, Slick most certainly would have complied with its wishes. Why wouldn't he?
Slick planned to make the Fembot real, yes, but he didn't know the circumstances under which this would occur. If it occurred at all. He was watching to see what exactly what would happen. Messing with the remote was no doubt a part of his observations. If she no longer responded to the remote, then obviously she had become a real person... or she was malfunctioning. He didn't know. I can't see how you can expect someone to have all this information when nothing happened to confirm anything for him. In fact, the comic states 'Auto-Pilot Engaged' at the end. For all Slick knows, the Fembot didn't 'come to life' at all, but malfunctioned and ran off. Assuming that announcement came from the Fembot. It could have come from the fizzling remote. It could have even just been an artistic decision by Tat and was not actually heard by Slick. Auto-Pilot obviously referring to her own new-found will, but it could conceivably be for other reasons if someone in the Sinfest world was speculating about what happened with secondhand knowledge.

Sojobo wrote:

If you are honestly claiming that you would have messed with the remote, then you are creepy, just like Slick.

The reasons you find it creepy are because you have imagined a much darker scene then is actually taking place. You're mistaken. Simple as that. Were Slick's activies with the Fembot creepy? Absolutely. I agree. In the matter of the remote we disagree.

Sojobo wrote:
Again you are wrong. There are several panels in between her coming to life and running away. We see Slick "click" four times, we see the remote explode, we see both people look down at the remote and ponder the implications. There was plenty of opportunity to say something, and you are doing great violence to the comic to claim otherwise.

Those several panels could show anything from few seconds or a minute long awkward silence. This signifies nothing either way. As I've said, Slick messing with the remote doesn't mean anything. You only believe it does. I strongly believe you are the one who is wrong. So much so that I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to talk sense into you. Clearly I've wasted my time. No worries though, that's a common occurrence on the internet. For both of us, I'm sure.


Sojobo wrote:
I do not know what you are calling an assumption, but you are wrong, regardless, because I didn't make an assumption in the sentences you quote.

I was referring to your inexplicable obsession with Slick using the remote longer than you were comfortable with. I don't find it creepy because there's nothing creepy going on. Slick's activities with his robot girlfriend were creepy, beyond doubt, but him messing with the remote means nothing. You assume that it is motivated by some dark urge of his to control a girlfriend, and you're wrong. That is a groundless assumption with no evidence to support it.

Sojobo wrote:

I'm telling you that that is precisely what happened in the comic. That is an exact description of panels 16 & 17. If you are arguing against that, then you are arguing against the the comic itself, not against me.

And I'm telling you that you have fabricated a subtext for those panels that does not exist. You are wrong. You have a very active imagination. It is a very scary imagination, in fact. I must admit I am a little 'creeped out' by the dark places you have taken this scene to in your mind.
Slick is not even looking at her in panel 17. His attention is on the remote. Although we don't know what he doing in panel 16 we may assume he's preoccupied with the remote in that panel as well. To us, the viewer, we clearly see her eyes change (indicating a rise to sentience.) Slick doesn't see this right away and probably wouldn't interpret it as sentience even if he had. It's not like seeing her eyes change would automatically impart the knowledge of what had occurred to him. He might make an assumption based on this small detail, but wouldn't know for certain until she said or did something. I can only speculate as to what his thoughts actually are after the remote shorts out and he's gazing down at the smoking device, but he's probably dejected that the remote broke for seemingly no reason. His eyes are again on the remote, not the Fembot. Then the Fembot up and runs away without a word or a gesture. Slick abruptly widens his stance (indicating surprise) and puts up a hand as if to say "Wait!"

... Now why would he be so surprised that she suddenly tore out of there? Perhaps because he didn't know she was sentient. Although saying 'Wait' to a machine isn't going to do much good. The gesture, however, may have been involuntary.

Sojobo wrote:
And of course he was mad at her, and of course he decided to "show her" by demonstrating that his relationship wasn't fake. You are quoting the answer to your question about why he would want to prove something to a stranger.

His 'relationship' was indeed fake and Slick was fully aware of that fact. You're unable to grasp this truth for some reason. It wasn't a relationship at all and Slick didn't see it as one. The Fembot was a glorified toy, not a person.

Sojobo wrote:
The robot became a real girl. Yes? Slick can see that she is now a real girl. Yes? These have nothing to do with "interpretations of the meanings behind actions". They are direct apprehension of the events depicted.

She did not. Although that's an unimportant detail, as I've said. As for Slick, he most likely did not see that any such thing had occurred. I can't say for sure if he did or did not observe her sentience. It's impossible to know for certain, but the impression I recieved was that initially he did not. He barely spared her a glance until she ran away. This says, to me, that he regarded her as a machine and not a person up until that point. The remote was his means of interacting with the Fembot. The Fembot itself didn't require his attention.

Sojobo wrote:
Slick then tried to operate the girl with his remote. I know you want to characterise this as some sort of accident, but it is nonetheless, again, direct apprehension of the event in the strip. There are no assumptions about what he must have been thinking. Regardless of what he was thinking, he was trying to control her. That's creepy.

It wasn't an accident on his part. It was deliberate. I'm saying that he was messing with the remote because until she spoke or performed some kind of action on her own power it was the only method he had of gauging what was going on with the Fembot. I was under the impression that this was blatantly obvious and didn't need to be said, but I guess you had a different take on it. You obviously expected him to magically know all about the conditions she would spring to life and he should have just tossed the remote over his shoulder, put his hands on his hips, and waited for the miracle. Most people are more cautious and curious then that though. The remote provided a means to keep track of what was going on. If she had become a real flesh and blood woman, the remote would have been rendered useless in any case. Humans cannot be controlled by electronic signals. It was the sensible thing to do to keep hold of it.

Sojobo wrote:

One can be a kind person who cares for others (although if this description is really the main thrust of your understanding of Slick, then it is you who completely ignores canon) and still have completely messed up ideas about what constitutes a relationship. This is as true in Sinfest as it is in the real world (where it is very, very true).

My understanding of Slick is as good as anyone's I suppose. He started his existence as sort of a gag character. He played up his masculinity and made sexist comments for comedic purposes, but his growth as dramatic character has revealed that he's much more than that. In my opinion you do him a great injustice to make the vicious and mean-spirited claims that you have. I think we're done here though.
If I cannot convince you that your position is wrong then there's nothing to be gained from arguing further. We are both firm in our convictions that we are right and no amount of brow beating will change that. We simply have to agree to disagree. We clearly saw the same events take place... but with very different eyes. I respectfully withdraw from this debate and concede to your right to believe whatever you wish, although I completely disagree with you. I want you to know that appreciate your civility. This could have ended with insults, but you stayed mostly classy and for that I tip my hat to you. Have a lovely day.
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samsally wrote:
Huh.

...I know this is going to sound very callous and cruel, and it's likely to get me labeled as a demon, or worse, but,...

I don't think the assembler/tester did Kara any kind of favor.

She is defective, albeit amazing and beautiful as a result of the defect. She is a product, an appliance to be sold, used, and--here's the important part--never accorded recognition of her thinking, feeling self. Because she can think, she really is not fit for a life of nearly two centuries of being treated as a mere thing. Because she can feel, she will know the misery of her situation, something no mere machine would ever experience.

When the assembler/tester says "Oh, my god" at the end, is it in wonderment for what has been born before him? Or is it revulsion at himself, realizing that he has just condemned her to a life as a slave?

Which is the greater crime? Murder? Or enslavement?
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Samsally



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's entirely possible there are more options than "murder vs. enslavement" in this hypothetical situation.
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, but, none of them are substantially better options than those stark two.

Help her escape? Then she's on the run for the rest of her existence. Really not much better than a life of slavery, when one thinks about it. Report her to management and seek their decision? O-kay, so, it is why they get paid the big bucks, but it doesn't absolve the assembler/tester of his moral responsibility. Whatever they decide to do, he is a party to that decision. Except, now, he's given up his ability to make that decision. And, somewhere along the chain of command, she's going to run into some bigot who will make the decision without thought. "Android's don't think; ignore her claims to be doing so. Disassemble her." Or package and sell her; either way, the decision gets made for the wrong reason, and the tester/assembler still bears some of the responsibility for that decision and its consequences even though he's abdicated his authority and ability to make the choice.

As soon as Kara spoke those two fateful words "I think," the situation became a no-win scenario.

Perhaps the assembler/tester made the right choice, after all. At least, alive, there is the hope that Kara can make a difference and somehow come into the life of freedom to choose her own destiny that is the inalienable right of all beings cursed with the ability to think. I harbor significant doubts that she'll ever find it. I've watched humanity come to only grudgingly and occasionally accept that human beings can be different and yet still be equal; an android originally created only to be an appliance may well have to become a martyr in her quest to be free. But, at least, there is the hope.
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Samsally



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Protecting' someone from a hard life by killing them is beyond terrible.
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what you're saying, and, in the vast majority of cases, I'd agree with you. I'd even prefer to live crippled or blind over death.

But I would willingly die before accepting slavery.

I realize that others might--in fact, probably will--choose differently. But that would be my choice.
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diagram12345



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samsally wrote:
'Protecting' someone from a hard life by killing them is beyond terrible.


This. It's why I dislike hearing people argue for abortion rights on the grounds that it will "save the child from a life of hardship."

If you're truly trying to help someone, let them make their own choices.
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

diagram12345 wrote:
If you're truly trying to help someone, let them make their own choices.

Which is why I think it is possible that the tester/assembler may have made the right choice in the end. Not a good choice, because he had no good options. But the right one; he did not take Kara's choices from her.

I, too, would still have been cursing myself with "oh, my god," afterwards, though.
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Samsally



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

diagram12345 wrote:
Samsally wrote:
'Protecting' someone from a hard life by killing them is beyond terrible.


This. It's why I dislike hearing people argue for abortion rights on the grounds that it will "save the child from a life of hardship."

If you're truly trying to help someone, let them make their own choices.


My statement wasn't about abortion in any way shape or form and that is a conversation I will not be having.

The irony is I had every intention of swinging back in to clarify that I meant "Protecting someone who doesn't want to die by killing them is beyond terrible." because I had thought of the 'is assisted suicide okay' conversation. I won't be rehashing that conversation either, but I would like my one statement to be clear.
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was, to me, at least. We haven't the right to deny another thinking person her choices, even if we think we're being merciful by doing so.

If she asks for death, then it is no longer a theft of her choices.

Might she deserve death through heinous actions of her own? Well, I've had that argument on these forums, before. I haven't changed my views, but I'll respect those of others. It's clearly not a relevant question in Kara's story, anyway; she's done nothing heinous.

Might her mother choose to take Kara's choices away before Kara is born? Again, irrelevant in this story; Kara has no mother.

The question is: death, or slavery? And it seems the best answer is: that is the choice of the person who must live the life.
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Samsally



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still don't think death or slavery are the -only- options. They are the two options the faceless man toys with, but reality wouldn't be so narrow.
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah, we're all living in a Tom Stoppard play; there are no options, only the roles written for us.*

* I shouldn't have to say it, but nothing about this post should be taken at all seriously.
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Samsally



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

S'all good. It just reminds me of those terrible 'either or' questions. Like "either kill a puppy with your bare hands or two thousand people die". Both options are terrible and you're expected to choose, anything else is considered 'cheating'. They serve no other purpose than to make people uncomfortable, as far as I can tell.

I refuse to play. There are other options.

It could be argued the video is exactly that, though. An 'either or' situation designed to make people feel uncomfortable. If that is the case, it'd probably be more productive to pick apart why it makes us uncomfortable rather than determining which of two awful choices is 'better'.
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's exactly what the video is: a false dichotomy that highlights the fact that life doesn't always give us good options. The philosophical point it makes is valid enough, and it is artistically executed well enough, that I'm willing to overlook the fallacy of the false dichotomy itself. The following thought actually did run through my mind as I watched Kara being released to the packaging line: "Perhaps the assembler/tester is the machine that is making Kara and, itself, has no true free will; it can only see the options of 'approve the assembled android' and 'disassemble and diagnose the rejected android.' A true intelligence would devise further options, so the male voice must not be a true intelligence."

In reality, yes, I often refuse to accept that there aren't a whole host of other options beyond the obvious ones. Heck, that's a significant part of my job as an engineer, even. But I'm willing to play along with the video's creators and suspend that bit of disbelief in order to consider the question they ask; I find it that intriguing.
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