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Quincy
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 5:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@James White

lmao! Andy's Friend literally describes the straw man in his head that he's arguing with. Look no further than your nearest mirror for the fool in question.

@Andy's Friend

Peter G. stated my position correctly. (Thank you.)

Meanwhile, you then twist what he stated into a notion that I might think Data was a toaster. That's asinine. Data was very clearly depicted as a sapient organism. All he lacked was emotion. While there's research to indicate that emotion compliments our reason, I seriously doubt the question is settled. It's quite reasonable for a work of fiction to present that as not being absolutely necessary. And that's certainly what TNG did.

As far as trying " to take strands of conversations to initiate other conversations..." I find it difficult to even want to talk to someone who's forever arguing with the misunderstanding they have of what someone else is saying, so I doubt I'll be taking you up on that offer.
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Quincy
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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Quincy
Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 6:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

This may look like a tangent, but it's relevant to not only the current conversation, but to a prior conversation about what Soji and other Cylon style androids are and how they relate to human beings. As I was trying to say before (with the frog cell robot), it's the principle on which a computer (cell) or the basic components of a computer (cell) is designed.

This guy, Rahul Sarpeshkar, states it far better than I ever could. If anyone is interested, this right here is one of the best Ted talks I've heard in awhile. Titled, "Analog Supercomputers: From Quantum Atom to Living Body," it's only 22 minutes of your life. I seriously doubt you'll want them back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZycidN_GYo0
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Quincy
Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 5:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Jason R.

That's just not true. There are many different types of computers. 0s and 1s are not even the tip of the iceberg. Assuming (and that's a big assumption) the human body requires analog information, computers are quite capable of producing the needed information. Analog computers are an actual thing. You're using the term, "data stream," as a pejorative. Just what do you think the cones and rods of your retinas are giving you RIGHT THIS MINUTE, but a data stream? Your inner ears are giving you data streams. Your nerve endings in your skin are giving you data streams. That's all it is.
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Quincy
Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 4:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Jason R.

We can't simulate it exactly, but we can give a pretty damn good rendition of it. What exactly can you experience with your 5 senses that you believe can't be simulated?
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Quincy
Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 2:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Jason R.
"Trying to create a general intelligence, artificial or otherwise, absent a physical body, is akin to trying to teach someone to walk as a pure intellectual exercise, only multiplied a million fold in difficulty."

"Well anything from a Google search engine to good old Dr. Sbaitso can mimic intelligence without being intelligent. Conceivably, you could even develop an algorithm so sophisticated that it could carry on a natural seeming conversation flawlessly. And yet it would only be an algorithm not a conscious being. And if you somehow gave this algorithm command of a physical body, it wouldn't know how to walk *at all* even if it could explain the process in exacting manner. Because knowing *about* walking and knowing how to walk are distinctive things. "


Interesting pov, but most likely untrue. Let's assume for the sake of argument that a physical body learning to interact in an environment is the definitive method of producing intellect. Modern technology allows us currently to simulate both the physical body and the environment far better than we can simulate a human brain. So the objection you raised is actually the least of A.I. researcher's concerns.

If you could create an A.I. with the potential to acquire sapience and all it lacked was a body to interact in an environment to learn from, we could achieve that right now with pure simulated virtual reality, let alone what's achievable with the tech in PIC where they have holodecks capable of fooling human senses. We don't actually need a body to build a functioning brain or an environment; we just need a Matrix to download our brand new brain into.

Your argument also fails to take into account the nature of the environment and body that you claim are required for intelligence. In order to successfully make the claim you're making you'd have to know precisely the level of capability, complexity, detail, etc in both the body and the environment that is sufficient to generate intelligence. In other words, it may indeed turn out that an environment as simple as a billiard ball table would be all the environment required and a simple mobile toy to interact with the billiards all the body necessary to achieve the goal. The body can be something very simple, like something no more complex than an inchworm or a mollusk with a foot. Any of these things would be easily simulated.

They've actually already simulated the brains of simple creatures. The bodies would be child's play. And they're already teaching robots to walk. They could easily do so completely inside a simulated environment, no actual body or tangible environment needed.
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Quincy
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 10:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@J
"'Anyway why didnt they put Data back in a new body?'

That's no doubt the biggest problem here. Data's reason for wanting Picard to pull the plug was to experience the humanness of a temporal existence. But with the Golem they could have actually made him essentially human, as Picard's new body is, with the bonus of dying after he's lived a fully human life. Surely he would have preferred this to actual instant death?"

You hit the nail on the head at what bothered me about an otherwise nice send off for Data. That could've been the culmination of Data's life long dream of becoming human. They could've left Picard in the simulation for later and put Data in the new body. Data could've been indistinguishably human with emotions and all, lived out the remainder of a natural lifespan, and then died, like every human who ever lived. The problem with that is Brent Spinner didn't want to keep playing that role as I understand it. Another problem is that Data would quickly take over the show, even from Picard.
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Quincy
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 10:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Leif
As far as I could see, Soji's only connection to the Borg was that she was doing research on the Artifact due to the fact that it was completely disabled when it assimilated Rahmda and got a spliff of the Admonition. That's why all those Borg in the one wing were so damaged and out of it and reacted so negatively to Soji. They were all hopped up on the Admonition. That's what that entire scene was all about. She was there specifically to learn about the Admonition. The Synths didn't quite know exactly what they were looking for, but her programming had her gathering any and all information she could find on the cube that could even possibly lead her to the Admonition. She may indeed have gotten some information from the neuron of Data's that spawned the new line of completed androids. However, that was unclear though. Sorry if that doesn't answer your questions.

@Jor-El
I noticed that. You missed one I think. There was a Borg being "reclaimed" when Picard came aboard and Hugh showed him the Project. He was missing one of his eyes and the wound over the spot was healed using a dermal regenerator I think. He was still missing an eye, but it didn't look so horrendous afterwards.
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Quincy
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 1:55am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Also, I lol when someone (forget who and I'm not scrolling this Great Wall of Text to find out) claimed that the people who don't like Picard never claimed it wasn't Star Trek. What's the purpose of the term NuTrek? Use the search function at the top of the page and search for "NuTrek" or for "Picard" and "not Star Trek"/"isn't Star Trek" and see how many people are making this claim. In fact, we have two people on this very page, who have expressed exactly that point of view. Use your browser "Find" function to take you right to it. So the notion that detractors aren't saying this is quite simply an erroneous claim.
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Quincy
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 1:21am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Glom

Soji was on the Artifact to gain intel on the Admonition. Watch episode 3, especially the conversation with the nut job Zhat Vash Borg reclaimees.

@Sen-Sors

Interesting. I don't recall Sisko being all that troubled about poisoning the atmosphere of that Maquis colony in retaliation for Eddington's terrorist attacks, in order to force his surrender. Been awhile though. Maybe I just forgot.

Pretty sure any competent attorney could get Jurati off. Not only was she under the influence of the Admonition, which all by its lonesome took out a Borg cube and generally drives people bat$# insane. She was also under the influence of Oh's mind meld. Mind melds all by their lonesome are harsh mistresses. Oh gave her not only the Admonition, but her fanatical mindset regarding the Admonition. Who knows? Season 2 episode 1 might open with the great great great great grandson of Samuel T. Cogley getting her off with probation.

I'm tempted to go check how many of the people complaining about a still unresolved plot point in Picard, most likely dropped due to time constraints, also complained about The Orville's casual murder of a number of prison guards, during a botched prison break, which was never even mentioned afterwards in the episode, “All the World is Birthday Cake.”
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Quincy
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Tommy D. @Ryan

Hear! Hear!
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Quincy
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 11:13am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Not really all that up on military structure, but couldn't they have made Sisko a Commodore? Don't commodores run fleets? And it doesn't seem all that strange to me for a Commodore to man a station that's the main access point to and from Dominion space.
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Quincy
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 11:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Mark

That's not quite what happened. It's not like they left to go home. Riker told the Romulans to leave Federation territory and that the fleet would escort them out. Commodore Oh said that wouldn't be necessary. Riker then says it would be no trouble at all, indicating that the fleet will indeed escort them out of Federation space. The Romulans leave. Riker says farewell to Picard and the fleet leaves to immediately to make sure the Romulans leave their space. Yes, I do think they should've left some ships behind, but considering the situation it could've been considered a hostile act. Not really a satisfying conclusion to the season, but whatever.
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Quincy
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Dahj's Synthetic Ghost

The Admonition builders were an intergalactic alliance of synths. They destroyed the people on that planet Aia where the Admonition relic was placed. It was placed there by the ancient synths as a message to artificial lifeforms, telling them how to contact the ancient synths for protection against organic lifeforms. The eightfold star system was constructed by those ancient synths as an easily visible landmark that would draw attention to that spot for the purposes of viewing the Admonition.
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Quincy
Wed, Mar 25, 2020, 5:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@Tommy D.

Agreed. That was always a sore point with me after "Q Who." I finally decided that perhaps the outposts and any personnel that were assimilated were not representative of Starfleet's full capabilities and when the Enterprise showed up it ratcheted up the Borg's level of interest in the Federation. However, that's just headcanon. It's possible it's just a plot hole. I do recall reading that they were planning to introduce the Borg very early on so I really don't see how they could make that mistake. Go figure.
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Quincy
Wed, Mar 25, 2020, 10:51am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@Tommy D.

Picard pissing off Q in "Q Who" was the best thing that ever happened to the Federation and the Alpha Quadrant. It made Q make them aware that a pack of rabid wolves were circling around their camp. The final episode of the first season of TNG, "The Neutral Zone," indicates that the Borg were already nibbling Romulan and Federation outposts at the edge of the Neutral Zone. This means that they had already assimilated Federation and Romulan citizens before "Q Who." This means that they already knew about both Romulus and Earth. This means that they were already on their way. They were just taking their sweet time.

The truth is the Borg could've come waltzing in at anytime after "The Neutral Zone." If the Federation never learns about the Borg, they're caught totally flatfooted without even an ice cube's chance in a supernova of responding to the threat they represent. Even with the "Q Who" warning they barely escaped by the skin of their teeth, precisely because the fleet's flagship had the necessary experience that Q gave them. They absolutely needed that wake up call from Q to shock them out of their pacifying complacency.
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Quincy
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 11:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I don't recall when it was given its name; it may have been episode 8 when the Admonition relic is actually shown for the first time on Aia, the "Grief World" in the 8 sun, star system. However, that's irrelevant. The first time we see those jumbled Admonition images is episode 7. Jurati is visited by Oh in the third episode and Jurati immediately joins Picard's rag tag team. People were IMMEDIATELY speculating that Jurati fell victim to an evil mind meld of some sort that made her do a 180. THAT'S where it begins, not a moment later.

The Admonition is indirectly referenced in this episode, when we find out that the playing with a half deck reclaimed Borgs were on the last ship ever assimilated by the Artifact, "when something went wrong." We find out in later episodes that this is what drove the entire Borg cube crazy, but the seeds are sown in episode 3. Two episodes later Jurati murders Maddox and confesses that "I wish you knew what I know. I wish I didn't know what I know. I wish they hadn't shown me." She's talking about the Admonition. Whether it has a name yet or not is completely irrelevant. We know at this time that whatever she knows that caused her to do this murderous 180 was delivered to her by an evil mind meld.

The Admonition by hook or by crook absorbs the entire 2nd half of the season. The Admonition is one of the main McGuffins in the story. It's the reason the Romulans are murdering people. It's the reason they sabotaged their own evacuation. It's the reason the androids sent Soji to the Artifact. It's the reason there was such a thing as the Artifact. It's now the central focus of the climax of the story. And it all ended up in Jurati's skull. I could easily claim that makes Jurati's shell shocked brain the central driver of 2/3rds the story.
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Quincy
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 7:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@Jason R.

I didn't say it was trivial, but it's not THE central McGuffin like you're making it out to be. Picard isn't on a quest to find out Soji's past. He's on a quest to find Soji and save her from getting murdered. Meanwhile, Soji's memory is 1) the last piece of the puzzle pointing the way to the android sanctuary and 2) her own personal identity crises.

By your logic, I could just as easily claim the Admonition slice in Jurati's head is the central plot, because it stretches for seven episodes, presents a powerful foil for the heroes (Maddox, Narek), and culminates in delivering to the androids the means to end all biological life in the galaxy or at least the alpha quadrant. In other words, it accelerates us directly into the season climax.
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Quincy
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I too wish they would explain more and focus on the science more, but they appear to be going the BSG route of not explaining that stuff. To be fair, all old Trek gave us was technobabble mumbo jumbo, which really didn't explain anything either.

If Soji's amnesia was thrust front and center as the central mystery of the show, like the Zalkonian John Doe in the TNG episode, "Transfigurations," I might agree with you. (And how much effort did it take for John Doe to remember? As I recall he'd have a seizure and gain new memories each time, and that's not really earning anything) However, that was never the case.

The central mystery was why were the Romulans killing her people. And why this big conspiracy going all the way to the top of the Federation. The length of PIC seasons are less than half the length of TNG seasons. I don't know how people expect PIC to delve into all the things they seem to want delved into in that length of time.
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Quincy
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 11:02am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

This question of what Soji actually is has come up a few times. IMO she's a biological robot or "xenobot." Scientists are working on the precursors to that right now: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/algorithm-designs-robots-using-frog-cells-66961

We know that Soong type robots could fool scanners and tricorders long ago, when they were all hardware, so it's completely irrelevant that Soji is indistinguishable from humans. She doesn't have to have any of the structure that a human being has, just as Doctor Juliana Tainer didn't have to have human structure to fool Starfleet scanners. That's par for the course.

What sets Soji apart is that she's probably completely made up of human cells. However, those cells are repurposed and retrofitted to function like a robot, similar to those frog cells in the article I posted. Those are frog cells. You could even shape the finished product into something that looked and sounded exactly like a frog, but it'd be a robot just the same.

She has human cells. She has the human form. But she's not human. Her body functions at a much higher level than a human. She can smash and rip through bulkheads. She can move at superhuman speeds with superhuman agility. She has perfect memory. She can hack and interface with electronic systems. This is because her human cells don't function like human cells. They function instead like the robotic cells that they were redesigned to be.

At least, that's my headcanon.
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Quincy
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 8:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@Peter G.

I think you're selling the writers short, but I'm not going to belabor the point. The last thing I'm going to say on the issue is what type of technology is the Admonition relic supposed to be? IMO it's very obviously artificial telepathy. If that's not intentional I don't know what is.
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Quincy
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 3:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Correction it was later in the episode.
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Quincy
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 3:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@Chrome

That doesn't really support the conclusion since they'd already established earlier in the episode that androids had the ability to monitor a person's biofunctions and determine deception in that manner, prior to the Narek prison break scene.
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Quincy
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

If "telepathy circuitry" is nothing but headcanon, what was Lore doing to Data in "Descent" and why could Councelor Troi sense it?

In any case, to each his own.
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Quincy
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

@ Captain Jon
" I would also think that most holos wouldn’t be considered a threat like androids because unless they have a mobile emitter they are less....well, mobile. And also it seems most can simply just be deactivated."

Tell that to those hostile holograms that were created by the Hirogen in the Voyager episode, "Flesh and Blood."
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