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Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Robert, Data and Picard were working to stop Shinzon, not Nero. Lol

I’ll get in on ranking all of the first seasons on Star Trek series too:

1. TOS
2. DS9
3. PIC
4. VOY
5. DSC
6. TNG
7. ENT
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Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"It seemed to me a little self-centered of Picard to constantly say that Data gave his life to save his. Data gave his life to save Picard *and* the lives of everyone on the Enterprise."

That's true, Data and Picard were working together to stop Nero and more broadly save the Enterprise (and the Earth!!). The key difference between Data's sacrifice and Spock's sacrifice in The Wrath of Khan, for instance, is that either Data or Picard could have made the sacrifice of their own life, but Data unilaterally decided that the best decision was for him to die and Picard to live. Naturally, the result is that the Enterprise is saved as you say, but Picard alone is understandably left with the feeling that it could have or should have been him who made the sacrifice instead of Data.
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Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 10:56am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@B: completely agree. I'm deep into DS9 for the first time, and, while I dislike the focus on war (rather than the utopian style of TNG), it still manages to have great acting, character arcs and TALKING about the 'action' in fight scenes rather than simply showing off bland, Star Wars/Marvel/generic spam of special effects and SOOO MANY THINGS.

Orville, when it's not forcing comedy (Macfarlane probably had to put that in otherwise it's just "TNG" not "TNG but with family guy creator's humour"), is amazing. Especially the 'lost timeline' episode of the latest season, and the moral dilemmas it retells.

The immortality (What about the TNG episode where that guy takes over Data's mind? No callback to that?). The "organic androids" (??? Aren't they just Augments at this point? Why do they have weird memories?). Why kill off characters?

I hate it. Patrick Stewart doesn't care about the character. Roddenberry's dream is dead. "Consoomers"/rabid fanboys will just eat up anything with the logo of their favourite media. If this was NOT branded as Star Trek, ditched every character and reference, it would be great. A new IP, a new story to tell. A universe that's yet to be established.
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Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 10:47am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead


Entertaining read I must say -- but I think you are like 7-of-9 in "The Voyager Conspiracy". In some cases you've got some "interesting" interpretation of events to sew together your tale.

For example, regarding "Reunion" - Worf kills Duras in revenge for killing K'Ehleyr. He's acting very much on his own here, even if it does set in motion Gowron's ascent. This episode is not a PD issue. Picard never wanted to oblige K'Mpec in finding out who is killing the Klingon leader and who gets to be the one. Picard realized that is an internal Klingon affair, but he gets quasi-blackmailed into getting involved.

I do believe the Federation, through the lens of Picard's Enterprise, suffers some blows but I don't think it's quite as stark as you make it seem. Some of the episodes you mention "Measure of a Man" and "Suddenly Human" just to mention 2 -- I really don't believe they are meant to show a teetering Federation in the context of Alpha/Beta quadrant geopolitics.
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Peter G.
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 10:45am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

@ Mal,

I find it dubious that you're comparing the Federation (a) being tested by Romulans, (b) being unable to compete against the Klingons in an alternate reality, (c) the presence of the odd asshole like Cdr Maddox, to the Federation losing at Wolf 359. This latter event is much more likely than anything else to explain Federation paranoia, but even then your S4 examples seem to be an example of preferring peace and justice over expedient warlike behavior; hardly questionable by their own standards. Sheridan in B5 was specifically referring to Earth turning to totalitarian fascism and assassination, and then screwing over all of their neighbors for their own power. That seems to be precisely the opposite of what you're suggesting the Federation here has done.

I kind of get that your general point is that a series of failures can make people like Satie scared, but I don't think you need to try to concoct an analysis of TNG where the Federation is failing repeatedly to explain why certain people in it might be paranoid: it's because some people *want a war* even in peace, and want a fight even when there's nothing to fight about. But even putting that aside, Q's main point in Q WHo was that the universe is a dangerous place; so yeah, simply existing is dangerous and could potentially stress out a paranoid person. You don't even need to cite specific stressors for this to be true, but if you wanted to then Wolf 359 would be enough by itself.
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Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 10:01am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

I think we need to examine where Starfleet is at this point in Season 4.

In Conspiracy, back in season 1, we saw an alien takeover at the highest levels - every major Admiral, so many top Captains. The cream of the brass, compromised, infiltrated.

Immediately, Starfleet starts grasping at whatever it can get its hands on to protect itself. Very early in season 2, we see the Federation willing to trample on the rights of one of their own officers - Data - if it means they might get an edge. Fortunately the case in Measure of a Man came out in Data’s favour, but it could have easily gone the other way.

Things are so tense that even a seasoned diplomat like Picard is willing, by the end of season 2, to engage in war games (Peak Performance).

By early season 3, the Romulans have sensed Starfleet is weak. They risk an incursion into Federation space by sending people to Galorndon Core (The Enemy). The Federation’s reputation is so bad that in the very next episode, the Barzan decide not to partner with the Federation in developing their worm hole. That episode - The Price - plays like sour grapes, saying that the worm hole was not stable anyway, so no big deal. But the fact remains that the Federation is not the default preferred partners they might think they are.

Again the Romulans fuck with the Federation in The Defector. Picard only gets out with his ship intact thanks to help from the Klingons.

Indeed season 3 does something very sneaky with Yesterday’s Enterprise. It posits an alternative timeline where the Federation is at war with the Klingons. And truth be told, even this more militaristic and muscular Starfleet has only about 6 months to go before it will fall.

And then Starfleet again comes after Data’s rights, this time with his daughter. I think if Offspring was after BOBW, the result would be different. 9/11 changed everything.

Then in Tin Man, if you remember, the Romulans beat the Enterprise to the prize. Romulans reach Tin Man first because they want it more - they are willing to accept a one way trip if it means they get there first.

And so at the end of Season 3/ beginning of Season 4, when the Borg destroy 39 ships and kill 11,000 Starfleet personnel, one can safely say that this may truly have broken the back of the Federation. After 3 years of a string of loses, this was a body blow on par with 9/11 or Covid-19.

What does the Federation do now? It starts to withdraw.

Early in season 4, Picard backs down from a fight with the Talarians (Suddenly Human), and turns an Admiral’s grandson - her only living descendant and the last of her family - Picard turns this kid over to the Talarian captain. He finds some fig leaf for the decision, sure, but it is clear that the Enterprise is deep in Talarian space, and this is no time for a fight.

And what else does the Federation do? It starts to meddle in the internal affairs of its neighbours.

Specifically, in Reunion, a Starfleet captain ensures that a Klingon who might ally the Empire with the Romulans is prevented from ascending to the Chancellorship. That candidate is literally killed by a starfleet officer - Worf. Where’s your Prime Directive now?

And so when at the midpoint of season 4, the flagship of the Federation delivers a Romulan spy back to her people (Data’s Day), can we say this great United Federation of Planets is anything more than a paper tiger?

Quickly the Federation makes peace with its bloodthirsty neighbours, the Cardassians. Even though some of their best captains know the Cardi’s are arming the boarder and are not to be trusted (The Wounded). But the Federation simply cannot afford war any longer.

And like the Burzon, and their worm hole, even cultures that know nothing of the vast civilisations in space tell Picard they want nothing to do with his Federation (First Contact).

That is the background, those are the stumbles Starfleet has suffered - on every boarder (Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, Talarians), and even at the very heart of the Federation (Conspiracy, BOBW) in just the 3 years leading up to The Drumhead.

There is a great quote from Captain Sheridan in Babylon 5. He says:

"See, in the last few years, we've stumbled. We stumbled at the death of the President, the war, and on and on. And when you stumble a lot, you start looking at your feet. Well, we have to make people lift their eyes back to the horizon, and see the line of ancestors behind us, saying, 'Make my life have meaning.' And to our inheritors before us, saying, 'Create the world we will live in.' I mean, we're not just holding jobs and having dinners. We are in the process of building the future.”

By the time Star Trek: The Next Generation gets to Season 4’s Drumhead, the Federation has stumbled severely and repeatedly. That is the environment in which people like Admiral Satee thrive.

Witch hunt! Inquisition! Independent Counsel! Drumhead trial.

Three years of stumbles leaves everyone in a very precarious position. All this has happened before. All this will happen again.

So say we all.
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Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 9:50am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

It seemed to me a little self-centered of Picard to constantly say that Data gave his life to save his. Data gave his life to save Picard *and* the lives of everyone on the Enterprise.
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Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 8:06am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Call to Arms

Awesome ep. Leeta’s wedding dress was terrible.
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Janeway labrat
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 7:08am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: The Cloud

@Jamie Mann, stories sometimes reflect the time. James Redfield was very popular during the Voyager series with the Celestine Prophecy and it’s follow on the Tenth Insight. That latter book was all about animal guides. As soon as I saw hem in Voyager, I felt Redfield’s presence.
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Other Chris
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 4:48am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Ashes to Ashes

Just throwing in another compliment to Kim Rhodes; she kept me watching, and I knew the episode would fail her in the end. This was almost good.

All the complaints about continuity are absurd. Star Trek is infamous for shoehorning in unknown characters and relationships.
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Andy's Friend
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 4:42am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Peter G.

I see, thanks for the clarification. An interesting proposition. If I understand it correctly, you believe that Quincy’s argument is that Soong’s original programming of Data wasn’t enough. In other words, that he was indeed a glorified toaster in TNG. I can see how the argument can be made to defend such a hypothesis based on TNG alone. And as you know I haven’t watched ‘Picard’, so I am naturally at a disadvantage discussing future events in that parallel reality that may involve TNG.

Should that be Quincy’s proposition, it is of course a valid one. As I wrote here years ago, I defend the opposite view not only because I find that the TNG scripts make it more plausible, but also because of personal bias: *I want him to be alive*.

Incidentally, I wrote that in a post to you and William B years ago which I may as well quote:

“Also, and this is answering both of you now, it is true that we cannot know with absolute certainty that Data's "positronic" brain is an artificial brain. There are strong indications that it is, but we cannot know for sure; and it is true that Data, too, could simply be another Great Pretender.

(…) Some people *want to believe* that strings of code, like lead, can turn into gold.

But that of course is a bit like my belief that Data's positronic brain is an artificial brain, i.e., some sort of cognitive architecture affording him consciousness. I, too, *want to believe* that he has that artificial brain. Because to me, Data would lose his magic, and all his beauty, were it not so. As I wrote, there are very strong indications that this interpretation is a correct one; but as in religion, I have no proof, and I must admit that it is, ultimately, also an act of faith of sorts. I want Data to be alive.”
(‘The Measure of a Man’, 27 Jun 2016)

It's funny, isn’t it? We adapt so many scientific terms, use such scholarly style, attempt to make so ‘objective’ arguments. Sometimes we should just state our own biases and our personal preferences, for they guide our utterances much more than most of us are ready to admit. It would make conversations a lot easier, wouldn’t it?

What do you think of 'Picard', now that it's over? The sort of debate it seems to inspire doesn't strike me as a recommendation of it, but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.
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Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 4:22am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Identity Crisis

@ Diana, could Mona Grudt and the like be why Riker kept declining his own command ;)
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Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 3:57am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: First Contact

I am oh so late to this party but I'm well underway in my marathon of TNG (complete), DS9 (on S3), Voyager (S1) and the 1st two TNG movies having just completed First Contact.

I absolutely loved it, especially after being a little let down by Generations' treatment of Kirk's demise and the 'cameos' of the core support cast. The writers seemed to have taken note and given each of the latter mentioned a decent piece of the pie.

I am surprised no one commended the following visuals/ideas that were well done:

1) The new Federation uniforms were a great standout and the lack of such a new spin on Generations was disappointing but made up for here. They looked sharp!

2) The Enterprise E's sleek modifications definitely made the viewer believe that this ain't no TV series but the Big Leagues. Even the warp effect got an upgrade.

3) Geordie's upgraded, new eyes were a magnificent idea and made me wonder why this was not thought of sooner, but lends itself to the idea of the Federation's technology naturally evolving.

4) Liked the evolution of Worf commanding the Defiant, though he relinquishes his captaincy and falls back into his role a bit too easily after being beamed back on board the Enterprise. Would have been nice to get some more insight into how he was selected and by whom.

5) This was mentioned before but Data's more controlled use of his emotion chip was much welcomed.

6) Glad to see the Borg a formidable force again after the Lore storyline/ involvement in TNG derailed that potency somewhat, leaving their demise to interpretation.

This outing gets a 3.5 from me.
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Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 3:17am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

The worst season of Star Trek ever.

Except the Data stuff which was good, all the rest was just atrocious. I won't go into details, it was described in the comments before me. The loose ends, the sloppy writing, the cliches.

I forced myself to watch it like a week after the release, could barely get through it and will not be tuninv in for season 2.

Orville is the only Star Trek left, Picard is just atrocious and i hate them for bastardazing a beloved character.
What a disapointment of a season that was...
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Peter G.
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 3:07am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Andy's Friend,

"Ten days ago you were arguing that a mere software change in a machine does the trick, and that ‘learning’ for a machine is most likely synonymous with upgrading or updating the software. Now, you bring us Sardeshkar, who argues, as I have always maintained, the necessity of ‘synthetic biology’, those ‘analogue computers like nature does’, and imply that you agree with him. So you may perhaps understand my bewilderment."

I believe Quincy's argument is something to do with the assumption (by the actual episodes in question) that Data's hardware is already sophisticated enough to support sentience, but that it was lacking the requisite software to activate it. The positions seems to be based on the notion that while "ones and zeroes" cannot be sentience itself, the correct software is still necessary (but not sufficient) for the hardware to function properly. In this context Quincy defines software as the correct configuration or alignment of the correct type of hardware (which can be wetware or not), which need not be binary, or at least exclusively binary.

So while I can see why you were confused, I think the confusion originates from something that confused me too originally, which was that it sounded like Quincy was arguing that simply altering Data's programming ifso facto made him alive/sentient/conscious to the satisfaction of a telepath. Actually it appears to me now that the argument was that Data's brain was already sufficient but didn't have the right programming, so the change in programming got him the rest of the way. The "his hardware was already good enough" premise wasn't clear to me at the time, but I think that's what's causing the confusion.

Incidentally I'll note, specifically about those episodes (for instance the one with Ira Graves) for what it's worth, that the only change we register in data (about Data) is that Troi couse sense Data's thoughts. But it's entirely possible that her abilities are limited to similarly constituted humanoids and that her senses can't recognize other types of thinking and feeling patterns. So it's possible that Data *already was* sentient but not in a way she could sense, and after some transformation appeared on her radar, being sentient but just thinking in a way more familiar to her.
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Andy's Friend
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 2:30am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2


I didn’t respond to your conversation with Jason R. because that is uninteresting to me: I never defended the primacy of wetware. But surely men are allowed to take strands of conversations to initiate other conversations or return to old ones, don’t you think?

But you must understand that if you subscribe to your own example, Sardeshkar, then we are actually in agreement, you and I.

There have long existed two different and opposed views on the future of artificial consciousness:
— i) It is all a matter of software. With sufficiently complex, sophisticated, adaptive, etc., etc. programming, we can endow artificial beings with consciousness. This faction traditionally has spoken of artificial ‘sentience’ as ‘strong Artificial Intelligence’;
— ii) No amount of software will ever suffice. It is a matter of hardware. For beings to possess consciousness, they must possess cognitive architecture that replicates (‘duplicates’, ‘simulates’, ‘emulates’, ‘recreates’, let’s for a moment not delve on semantics) actual, natural, biological cognitive architecture. This growing faction, which Sardeshkar and my previous examples represent, speaks of artificial sentience as ‘Artificial Consciousness’;

I have maintained position ii) here for the past six or seven years . The posts are all there and are quite lengthy at that.

Note therefore that I have never defended the primacy of wetware over general hardware. I do *not* adhere to biological chauvinism. Or, to use Pandey’s euphemism, ‘ontologically conservative hetero-phenomenology’.

Ten days ago, you wrote to Peter G.:

“I just gave numerous examples of TNG demonstrating that androids can spontaneously start broadcasting emotions to Counselor Troi with no change in physical hardware. How is this possible? Shouldn't they lack the wetware to broadcast emotions? Unless... no such wetware is required. And *a mere software change in a sapient machine does the trick.*

Data is a *learning computer*. For Data and his progeny *"learning" is most likely synonymous with upgrading or updating their software* (…).”
('Et In Arcadia Ego, Pt I', 21 Mar 2020, emphasis added.)

Granted, you were talking about Star Trek, which as we know can be vague and inconsistent. And here and there, you also talk about hardware. But per quotes as the one above, I thought that you firmly adhered to position i) above. My mistake, it seems.

For now you give us Sardeshkar, who is arguing for the opposite side in the debate. Sardeshkar insists that it is not the software that matters, ‘the ones and zeroes that we think are so great’. As he so well puts it and I quoted, we must understand how the wet and the dry are very deeply connected, and we must therefore 'learn to be amphibians'. This is why he advocates for us to abandon modern digital computers and binary code and return to analogue computers. Sentience, consciousness, awareness: it would seem that the artificial mind must evolve organically (for lack of a better word) thanks to artificial, cognitive architecture that emulates nature; he outright calls it ‘synthetic biology’.

Ten days ago you were arguing that a mere software change in a machine does the trick, and that ‘learning’ for a machine is most likely synonymous with upgrading or updating the software. Now, you bring us Sardeshkar, who argues, as I have always maintained, the necessity of ‘synthetic biology’, those ‘analogue computers like nature does’, and imply that you agree with him. So you may perhaps understand my bewilderment.

I hope you agree with the scientist you referred. For in that case, we would seem to be in agreement, too.
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Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 2:16am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Fortunate Son

That was an epic circle-jerk by dlpb and micheal...
Poor guys, they seem so scared of change.
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Picard Maneuver
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 2:09am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Aquiel

All these scenes with Renée Jones and LeVar Burton and no Emmy for outstanding acting? "i'M sCareD GeoRdi" should have been the clincher. At least the dog should have been honored. It was the best part of the show.

LaForge is such a simp and ironically the opportunistic nice guy women need to be wary of, even though I realize that wasn't what they we going for. She gets him back, though, by dumping him the moment his advocacy no longer has any use in getting her out of murder charges. Not even a cushy job offering does it for her; she wants to get away from him that badly and with a "I'm doing my hair that day" tier excuse to boot.

P.S. Just use a fucking putty knife to scrape some DNA off the metal plate! Jesus Christ how hard can it possibly be? God awful CGI on that goo, too. Yikes.
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Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 1:50am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Primal Urges

@ Dave
I don't want to call it the genius of the Mandalorian because it really isn't all that genius, let's call it the smart gamble of the show is to tell small and simple stories. That is the real difference. For 10 years or more we have seen one doomsday scenario after another. Even STP used the incredibly overused "Beam creates gate to evil/doomsday" trope from almost every superhero movie. Society was in love with these stupid movies. The only superhero movie I really liked was "Logan" and that was coincidentally also a small story where the heroes were far from borderline/completely invincible. Bottom line. I think in the future we will see more small stories. And ,even though it is horribly manipulative, baby yoda is the cutest thing ever. I want to reach into the screen and hug and care for that little bugger.
The Orville, more by accident I believe, also tells smaller stories, which is one of the good things so far. I'm not sure when I will continue but there is definitely a good chance that I will like it somewhat because now that I know that STP was a thud like Discovery, the Orville shines a lot brighter. Still working my way through Disney+ though (7 day free trail) and I must repeat that I have no idea why anybody would need more than a few days of that subscription. Netflix has a gigantic library, Amazon Prime has a pretty big one and one can also rent stuff there but Disney+ has maybe half a dozen movies and the Mandalorian that interest me. Maybe it is aimed at families with young children. But starting your streaming service shortly before a pandemic that forces everybody to stay at home is almost incredible luck. I waiting for the conspiracy theories about secret Disney bio weapon labs in China.
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Dave in MN
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 1:43am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

In current English, how many colloquialisms, metaphors and slang terms come from Shakespeare?

How about Ben Franklin?

Mark Twain?

I'm assuming English won't be the same in 400 years, but I imagine that some modern phrases will still be in usage.
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Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 12:49am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"I'll definitely be tuning in for Season 2. "

Will be interesting to see how they bring Guinan into it.
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Dave in MN
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 12:47am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Primal Urges

@ Booming

To me, The Mandalorian has the same feel to it that The Goonies and Indiana Jones have: it's pure adventure with a likeable cast. I can't imagine a kid under 13 that wouldn't find it appealing.

No spoilers of course, but having seen the whole thing, my opinion is that there's not much by way of intellectual depth to the show, the characters are perhaps too broadly sketched and the nostalgia-baiting is sometimes too obvious.

Still, The Mandalorian generally succeeds at what it attempts and not many shows nowadays can say that.

PS: I can't wait to see your review of the next Orville episode! I think you'll like it (he said hopefully).
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James White
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 12:02am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Quincy, just stop. Honestly, you're making a fool of yourself
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Fri, Apr 3, 2020, 10:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

The use of contemporary slang ("pissing me off", "did you f**k any of them") is beyond tiresome.

It;s 2399. It would be like people in 2020 still using jargon from the era of Jamestown and Plymouth.
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Fri, Apr 3, 2020, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Andy's Friend

Once again you've come to an overblown and erroneous conclusion. Your entire post had nothing to do with what I was talking about. Jason R. claimed that you needed a physical body to interact inside some vaguely specified environment and together that is perhaps the recipe for the emergence of intelligence. I questioned the assumptions inherent in those specifications and the vagueness thereof.

I understood Sarpeshkar just fine. Did you? No, I didn't change my mind. No, I didn't argue against it's principles. I've stated them and you simply failed to understand what I was talking about. And instead of clarifying with me, you substituted your vague notion of what I was talking about and argued against that. A straw man by any other name is still a straw man.

Sarpeshkar's talking about emulating the principles of biology and leveraging the massive parallelism and built in logic/calculations/computations available in the laws of physics and chemistry. I never once claimed that digital programming was either sufficient or necessary for intelligence. That's something you pulled out of your ass, as my prior comment about 0s and 1s to Jason R. indicates. He was the one who brought up digital, not me. The prototype device would probably be a hybrid device: digital for ease of programmability and analog for the raw power of computation. Call it a digalog computer.

I don't know what you think software is. Software is just information embedded in some form. There is nothing called "software" floating around disembodied in some more delicate corner of space-time. It's an arrangement of particles in some structure. Sarpeshkar is suggesting we arrange those particles in a different fashion according to different principles, not get rid of them altogether. If you somehow believe that "software" will magically be exorcised from a world of analog computers you're delusional. The software will simply have most of its logic embedded in the laws of physics or chemistry, rather than trying to express it as a sequence of logic gates.

When Sarpeshkar talks about building an analog device that electronically represents the functions of a kidney that's exactly what the hell I was talking to Jason R. about, simulating a body, rather than actually having a body. Sarpeshkar's not talking about actually building a god damned kidney. There's no wetware. You couldn't stick Sarpeshkar's analog device in your ass so you don't have to go to dialysis tomorrow. It's a programmable device (which yes includes software) capable of representing all of the functions in a kidney in terms of analog electrical signals. We could scale up Sarpeshkar's approach to represent an entire human body. There wouldn't be an actual human body walking around in any kind of real environment; there would be an analog representation of a body interacting with an analog representation of an environment inside a device or a stack of devices as Sarpeshkar described in his talk, which is EXACTLY what the hell I was talking about.

Sarpeshkar even refers to his prototype concept chip as "Digitally Programmable Analog Cytomorphic Supercomputers." How the hell could you have missed that? He actually talks about placing a bunch of chips on a PC board and building multiple stacks of these boards as large as the room he was talking in. He then says that if they did just that "in five to ten years we could possibly SIMULATE the entire human body." If he calls it simulating, why the hell wouldn't I call it simulating? There would be no wetware anywhere in sight, despite your claims, only the simulation (there's that word again) of wetware with analog electronic signals. You don't need wetware; you only need something just as robust as wetware. And we have all of physics to search for that.

All that crap attempting to draw a distinction between the EMH and Data is just nonsense. The EMH's software, whatever form it takes, is implemented on some type of computer. Someone pointed out above that none of the computers in question need even be digital. In Voyager's case that's the Bio-neural gel packs of which Voyager's computer system was composed of, OR, the magical mobile emitter, which we have no idea of what it's composed of. How you expect me to believe that either one of those things can't do what also magical positronic circuitry could do is ridiculous, especially in light of the source material (TNG, Voyager, etc) telling us otherwise.
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