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Zil
Jun 4, 2011



College Slice

Yeah the Envoys are not good people. They are government sanctioned psyop agents meant to get the job done no matter what. Everyone and everything is a tool for them to use.

Kovacs is not really meant to be a hero, he is just our guide in a universe that is redefining what it means to be human.

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Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012

"I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep my expectations."
-Bill Watterson


Zil posted:

Yeah the Envoys are not good people. They are government sanctioned psyop agents meant to get the job done no matter what. Everyone and everything is a tool for them to use.

Kovacs is not really meant to be a hero, he is just our guide in a universe that is redefining what it means to be human.

And yet the show tried to turn them into Jedi

Zil
Jun 4, 2011



College Slice

Zaphod42 posted:

And yet the show tried to turn them into Jedi

Yeah.

Second watch I fast forwarded through all the Quell scenes.

Neddy Seagoon
Oct 12, 2012


We've got this thing licked!



Zil posted:

Yeah the Envoys are not good people. They are government sanctioned psyop agents meant to get the job done no matter what. Everyone and everything is a tool for them to use.

Kovacs is not really meant to be a hero, he is just our guide in a universe that is redefining what it means to be human.

What he did to her was basically the psychological equivalent of battlefield triage.

It also gives a small insight to what kind of brutally-intensive psychological reprogramming must have been done to Kovacs and the Envoys. It also says a LOT about their techniques that there's no candidate washout because of psychological issues and the like, they made an Envoy out of every candidate.

"First their minds were broken, then they made them Envoys...".

Zil
Jun 4, 2011



College Slice

Which is kind of terrifying to think that they erased that much of their personalities that only the Envoy way of looking at things is left.

AlternateAccount
Apr 25, 2005
FYGM

Johnny Truant posted:

Woken Furies haaaaaaaaardcore spoilers: Kovacs teams up with a decommission crew to escape some baddies, and while they're out and about the leader collapses, you find out later she has downloaded, somehow, a backup of Quellcrist Falconer's personality. You find this out because she only comes out(at least as far as I've gotten in the book) by hijacking the decom leader lady's body when she gets aroused, and then she and Kovacs bang. He later on uses ~Envoy techniques~ to arouse her to get Quellcrist to pop out. The lady doesn't know what happens when Quellcrist takes over her body, but knows something weird is up, and Morgan writes it like it's a sexual tension between the two of them when really it's Kovacs loving her without her knowledge then shrugging it off as, you guessed it, sexual tension.

I think that's the gist of it. But it's also partly just:


Like, the sex scene in Altered Carbon is the best one cause it's just him and what's-her-face getting super freaky with it, although her sleeve emits ~sexy pheremones~ which kind of makes Kovacs unable to say no soooooo

What in the poo poo man.

Surprise Giraffe
Apr 30, 2007
1 Lunar Road
Moon crater
The Moon

I've gotten to the last few episodes and am loving how epic poo poo has become. Was tepid about this show to start with but it gets really great fairly quickly. Such a shame they didn't apply the futurist tone to the beginning of it and had to go with the same TV detective procedural thing that is so much of TV already (almost the same as all the others but this time its Blade Runner town and everyones immortal!).

I read that Kovach kills Rei and am not sure I want to watch that. The whole immortal supersoldier family trying to stay together across hundreds of years plot is great and the acts are all fab and I feel really sorry for the characters. The anti-immortality philosophy is a complete farce, the premise behind it is so contrived and the potential question around negative social structures and grasping 1%er sociopaths from antiquated societies that need to evolve could end up preserved if everyone was eternally youthful isn't discussed or even plainly stated. It's just part of the backdrop to the romantic melodrama. Reminds me of how Deus Ex Human Revolution just left all the questions about oligarchies and control of tech by the rich hanging and made the crux of the story the potential for social prejudice + luddism then barely explored that. Got really hopeful when Kovach pointed out Quell's apparent doubt but that apparently evaporates when he sees a bunch of people laughing and kids playing like you couldn't possibly have when everyone's immortal.

Surprise Giraffe fucked around with this message at Aug 1, 2018 around 10:40

Neddy Seagoon
Oct 12, 2012


We've got this thing licked!



Surprise Giraffe posted:

Such a shame they didn't apply the futurist tone to the beginning of it and had to go with the same TV detective procedural thing that is so much of TV already (almost the same as all the others but this time its Blade Runner town and everyones immortal!).

Consider this one; A brooding immortal works out of an old hotel investigating crime. His partners/assistants are a black guy well-trained in combat, an uptight british man, a strong-willed woman, and an esoteric hacker.

Now, did I just talk about Altered Carbon or mid-series Angel?

Also you should really read the book because it's well worth a read and the stuff you're disappointed with (or aspects you found lacking) are the fault of the TV show and not the source material.

Platystemon
Feb 13, 2012



Poe isn’t uptight.

Gotta be Angel.

Platystemon
Feb 13, 2012



Something I came across today:

Bancroft’s telescope was made by a custom telescope builder.

It lacked glass.

etalian
Mar 20, 2006


Zaphod42 posted:

And yet the show tried to turn them into Jedi

Jedi were incels who didn't have any interest in sexy time or mexican chicks

jfood
Jan 21, 2015


white chicks doing asian cosplay was their only weakness/creepy obsession...

R-Type
Oct 10, 2005


Platystemon posted:

Something I came across today:

Bancroft’s telescope was made by a custom telescope builder.

It lacked glass.

kitbash greeblescope

snoremac
Jul 27, 2012


Why is Poe’s hotel still up and running if he hasn’t had a guest in decades?

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!

Biscuit Hider

snoremac posted:

Why is Poe’s hotel still up and running if he hasn’t had a guest in decades?

Presumably he owns the building and maintenance costs are low because it's all AI run. Also maybe he's making money somehow on the side.

Strom Cuzewon
Jul 1, 2010



Hieronymous Alloy posted:

Presumably he owns the building and maintenance costs are low because it's all AI run. Also maybe he's making money somehow on the side.

This is the tiniest change in the show that annoyed me. In the show he's just an AI running a hotel. In the book, Ortega remarks how a bunch of hotel-AIs upgraded themselves to full sentience and bought themselves from senior management.

It's a trivial little detail, but it makes me smile whenever I think of it.

Neddy Seagoon
Oct 12, 2012


We've got this thing licked!



snoremac posted:

Why is Poe’s hotel still up and running if he hasn’t had a guest in decades?

AI hotels own themselves outright. Anything with full artificial intelligence has Protectorate citizenship and rights like anyone else, and most of the hotels like the Raven just bought themselves out decades ago when they were making money hand-over-fist. The series kind mars the reason they're no longer popular with nanotech Poe popping up from anywhere he pleases, because in the book all the attending services are just done by touchscreens and dumbwaiters.

(Just to clarify, I'm largely fine with that change because it's a visual medium etc, etc)

edit: drat you, Strom!

snoremac
Jul 27, 2012


I suppose he can’t change his business to something that goes against his conscience, but there’s nothing else financially viable in his part of town, so his only option is to sit there on the credit he’s made and keep doing what he’s doing.

I was glad when he killed that VR torture AI. There’s a lot of catharsis at the end, I loved it.

I thought the inspiring Quell speech scenes were pretty lame though. Just had a cringey Avatar feel to them.

CottonWolf
Jul 20, 2012

Could you imagine the step?
It's genius!


snoremac posted:

I suppose he can’t change his business to something that goes against his conscience, but there’s nothing else financially viable in his part of town, so his only option is to sit there on the credit he’s made and keep doing what he’s doing.

I thought that having guests was like orgasming for AI hotels? Is that a book or show thing? I can’t remember.

Neddy Seagoon
Oct 12, 2012


We've got this thing licked!



CottonWolf posted:

I thought that having guests was like orgasming for AI hotels? Is that a book or show thing? I can’t remember.

Nah, that's from the book. They have a hard-wired compulsion to want to serve guests and tend to their every need, so having nobody want to use them is utterly frustrating.

Pompous Rhombus
Mar 11, 2007


I liked the books but I fully admit to fastforwarding through the sex scenes (listened to them as audiobooks).

R-Type
Oct 10, 2005


You ought to be forced to read the books in braille and feel all the bumps of every sex scene

Johnny Truant
Jul 22, 2008

Ahhh, ninja beer!
Ninja beer?
Beer that vanish without trace!


R-Type posted:

You ought to be forced to read the books in braille and feel all the bumps of every sex scene

I think this caused a physical shudder to travel down my spine

TheCenturion
May 3, 2013
HI I LIKE TO GIVE ADVICE ON RELATIONSHIPS

Neddy Seagoon posted:

Nah, that's from the book. They have a hard-wired compulsion to want to serve guests and tend to their every need, so having nobody want to use them is utterly frustrating.

Ortega in the book says that they're hardwired to want customers the way people want sex, but also in the book, the AIs aren't 'artificial humans' like Poe is in the series; they're explicitly inhuman intelligences, so people get weirded out by them, and nobody wants to stay in a hotel where they're getting doted upon by an inhuman boder-line stalker. Kovacs straight-up bribes the Hendrix with 'continued guest status' the way a guy would give a junkie access to drugs.

And in Broken Angels, I'm fairly sure that Kovacs describes what he's doing to Wardani as low-key sexual assault, and harmful in the long run, but needs must, and he is who he is. Book Kovacs is not a good man.

A lot of the thrust in the books is personality versus brain chemistry versus experience and memory. In BA, he really doesn't want to be loyal to his army buddies, but his sleeve is genetically programmed to be, and it clashes with his innate distrust of people, and his Envoy training to actively treat people as utterly disposable tools.

Oh, and somebody was asking about sleeves; in the books, 'sleeve' can refer to a naturally born human body, a body with genetic alterations, or custom designed and grown artificial biological bodies, or robot bodies with mechanical bits; he describes the Eishundo sleeve he finds in Woken Furies as having cables instead of tendons, for example. They don't really delve into biological-vs-android-vs-robot sort of things, because to them, there's not a lot of distinction, like people say 'computer' and don't really specify Microsoft vs Mac, Intel, Athelon, PowerPC, ARM, SPARC, whatever, unless it's really germane. The closest they usually get is to describe a sleeve as synthetic or not.


I mean, how much does your adrenal gland need to be souped up before you're at the point of describing it as an artificial combat performance enhancement?

Neddy Seagoon
Oct 12, 2012


We've got this thing licked!



The Eishundo sleeve was all-natural, iirc (Well all-biological anyway). You might be thinking of the guy who got myomer cable surgically wired into his arms.

TheCenturion
May 3, 2013
HI I LIKE TO GIVE ADVICE ON RELATIONSHIPS

Neddy Seagoon posted:

The Eishundo sleeve was all-natural, iirc (Well all-biological anyway). You might be thinking of the guy who got myomer cable surgically wired into his arms.

Nah. But this is what I'm getting at; sometimes they'll describe organic things in mechanical terms, and sometimes they'll describe mechanical things in organic terms, I assume just to get the idea across that they don't see a difference. But it can make it opaque to figure out what they're actually talking about.

Here's some examples:

quote:

Muscles in my face skipped and juddered, and the frame of the Eishundo sleeve cabled rigid.

quote:

I jumped the last two metres and hit the scree slope. An ankle tried to turn on the uneven footing—emergency sinew servos yanked taut and stopped it. I stood and sprinted.

quote:

He prodded idly at my shoulder with a couple of fingers. “In fact I’d say that’s near-perfect sports sleeve trim you’re carrying. What’s the label?”
“Ah, some defunct bunch, never heard of them before. Eishundo.”
“Eishundo?”
I glanced at him, surprised. “Yeah, Eishundo Organics. You know them?”
“gently caress, yeah.” He scooted back in the sand and stared at me. “Tak, that’s a design classic you’re wearing. They only ever built the one series, and it was a century ahead of its time at least. Stuff no one had ever tried before. Gekko grip, recabled muscle structure, autonomic survival systems like you wouldn’t believe.”
“No, I would.”
He wasn’t listening. “Flexibility and endurance through the roof, reflex wiring you don’t start to see again until Harkany got started back in the early three hundreds. Man, they just don’t build them like that any more.”

On the other hand:

quote:

Along with the standard combat biotech, my recently acquired sleeve Eishundo Organics, whoever they once were—came equipped with gekkogene enhancement in palms and soles of the feet. I could—assuming I actually loving wanted to—scramble up a hundred metres of cliff face with no more effort than most people needed to climb a ladder. In better weather I could do it in bare feet, and double my grip, but even like this I could hang here pretty much indefinitely. The million tiny gene engineered spines in my hands were bedded solidly in the rock, and the perfectly-tuned, fresh-from-the-tank muscle system required only occasional shifts in posture to beat the cramping tiredness of long strain.


All of which leads me to interpret that it's a biological android body with some mechanical enhancements. I mean, it's got genetic enhancements and muscles, but also servos. And the muscles are 'recabled;' what does that mean? Artifical fibers woven in? Fully biological, but redesigned to have a different structure?

It's one of the things I love about the books, that a lot of the stuff is taken for granted and never explained, because the POV characters assume you know general background. As opposed to SF books which are always comparing things to 'old-style this' or 'pre-space that' or 'about the size of an old-fashioned whatsit.'

Tagichatn
Jun 7, 2009



My read was that it was fully organic but just using mechanical terminology to drive home the artificiality of the sleeve. Muscles are already like cables so recabled could mean changing the structure? Tendon servos seems to point towards technology so who knows.

Zil
Jun 4, 2011



College Slice

I read it as that common areas of failure in a normal human body were either replaced or enhanced in some way to make the sleeve far more durable. The recabled bit though does seem to be just jargon unless they added actual synthetic muscle fibers/tendons.

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Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!

Biscuit Hider

I think a larger point of the setting is that the distinction between "natural" and "artificial" isn't really there any more anyway.

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