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The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



I'm two episodes in but at least so far it's very faithful to the book, also I haven't noticed any difference in Envoy agenda and they seem to be exactly what they were in the book: hypersodliers/diplomats trained for interstellar warfare and beaming their stacks into combat sleeves. There's a scene in the pilot that makes it sound like the Envoys as a group were committed to fighting Meths like Bancroft, but it could also just have been Kovacs copping to his own days as a Quellist.

e: should have waited til third episode.

The Ninth Layer fucked around with this message at Feb 2, 2018 around 14:48

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The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



I just finished my watch. Also very much enjoyed it, and was glad to see how close they stuck with the book's plot.

Rhyno posted:

Wrapped up the series about an hour ago. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Do they explore the s dual-sleeving in the books at all? Like how was Rei able to tell that Kovacs had done it just by looking at him? You'd think she'd have done it herself at some point.

It more or less happens the same way in the book.

Rei knows Kovacs double-sleeved because she's watching him and saw him take up Miriam Bancroft's offer. So the Kovacs showing up on Head In The Clouds must be a double.

The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



The book is great. If you enjoyed the show there's no reason at all not to read the book.

The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



Solkanar512 posted:

Is any of the alien stuff ever covered? Like how stacks were developed for human use or anything like that?

Edit: In the books I mean.



The second book especially goes into it, most of the book's focus is on a discovered alien artifact.

The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



LORD OF BOOTY posted:

The part you're missing is that, unless you're using clone bodies, there's a finite limit on how many times you can get new sleeves before poo poo gets hairy. Immortality is only a thing for the rich; the poor just get decently extended lifespans.

Not only this, but most people don't want to go through the aging process more than once. Your first time around everyone wants to be young again, by the second time around most people have had enough.

The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



Neddy Seagoon posted:

It's nice that the new you thinks that, but you're still cooling meat making GBS threads itself on the floor.

Why would this have to be the case, assuming the technology is sophisticated enough? Imagine a system in which you were hooked up to a virtual reality system, a fusion of biological and digital signal processing, and as you were connected a software system slowly deactivated parts of your biological brain and replaced them with digital processes stored on hardware, in such a way that you yourself would not be able to tell the difference. Couldn't this process slowly kill off your biological self while maintaining your continuous state of consciousness, in such a way that *you* would be fully transferred over in a way you could be satisfied with?

If that's indeed the case then why couldn't this process happen just a lot more quickly, according to whatever CPU you're using?

The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



Neddy Seagoon posted:

At some point your mind keeps on going separately as software, but you yourself just die as your brain gets shut off.

The basic thing people don't seem to comprehend is that when you transfer data of any kind from one system to another, there is no actual magical data entity moving through the signal to its new home. System A sends instructions to System B for how to write down its own copy of the data. Once transfer is complete and verified, System A deletes the original. That's it.

Well this depends on whether you view yourself as your brain, heart, lungs, hands, feet, etc. or if you view yourself as the entity that experiences the functioning of your brains, heart, lungs, hands, feet, etc. As human beings we generally consider ourselves to be -both- as there are merits for both views, our consciousness is a function of the structure of our brain and a bunch of biological processes, and our brain is essentially a computational network of processes that individually can be simulated (if poorly) by computer networks.

Altered Carbon comes down firmly on one side, aka you are the network overseeing a wide variety of processes, of which any component could theoretically be replaced by an artificial or synthetic component without interrupting the whole. You seem to be coming down hard on the other side, but I'll bet I could put forward tech scenarios in which you would accept that indeed your consciousness can be transferred.

For example, say I have a virtual reality machine that will incidentally depower your neural functions, while simultaneously keeping your brain healthy and sending the appropriate signals to the biological systems that rely on your brain to function. Say we go about this in the same way I did in my first post: I slowly shut down your biological neural components but in such a way that subjectively you cannot tell the difference. Once I've transferred you all the way over, and provided I can prove to you in a sufficient way that your brain was shut off, I proceed to "restart" various portions of your brain and discard the corresponding digital systems in such a way that you wouldn't be able to tell. Eventually I disconnect you from the VR and you're at 100% brain power. In this situation would you now accept that I have transferred your *self* back and forth, or would you insist that I have simply created and then deleted a copy while I paralyzed you?

The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



Neddy Seagoon posted:

Your comprehension of conservation of information seems to be very selective, because the concepts you're playing with are still a pattern of information and not a transferred instance. You have created a separate entity with delusions of continuity because there is no blip in the perception of the replacement, not actual continuity. There is no place in your argument that actually governs transfer, only alteration or creation of identical information in a second object.

So then you are left telling us where the dividing line is that you are no longer you and now become the copy. If you cannot tell this line by experience, to the point where I could transfer you into my VR system and back out of it without you experiencing the journey any differently than you'd experience riding the subway from home to work and back again, then where is the line?

I could shut down your visual cortex and eye, and replace it with a digital network that did form processing and object recognition on a pair of camera in the exact way that your brain does and have it connect to your biological brain in an identical fashion to the cells I disconnected, and you would probably agree that *you* would experience sight out of these cameras.

I could shut down your long term memory and how it relates to semantic networks, and maybe I'll take your language processes and semantic network with it, and replace it all with identically structured and connected replacements. Now maybe at this point you are no longer *you* if we consider consciousness and memory and semantic language to go hand in hand... but we'd hesitate to say someone is no longer *them* if they got into an accident and lost those areas, or that they have lost total conscious experience (depending on how severe and localized the accident was).

If any one of these components could be seamlessly replaced individually in such a way that you would still consider you *yourself* then where's the line where suddenly you are not *yourself?*

The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



bring back old gbs posted:

So do you think you can just learn a skill like chopping wood well by arranging neurons or atoms in the right structure in the brain? Is a memory the specific structure and arrangement of neurons or can this change from person to person - how to chop wood from the same bundle of whatever in the same spot in the same arrangement? And further on from that copy all the skills one has ever acquired in their life. And somehow do this for emotions too. And then you put that same order in a different brain, transferring all those skills/emotions and whatever paths muscle memory has worked out, and this process actually works.

Does this person get angry in traffic like the original? Do they have the same taste in food? Where does that poo poo come from? How do you quantify the "data" or even begin to parse it?



Assuming brains have perfect control of their bodies, you absolutely could do all of this because our brain is structured with all of these things weighted. In other words you have a neural network for wood chopping that puts certain strains into moving some muscles and not others in a way that would facilitate your chopping, and through biological feedback systems those weights get adjusted as necessary. If you were in a robot body with corresponding robot muscles, joints, touch/sensory information and so on to where it'd be a 1:1 copy with the human body then you could easily acquire an "optimal wood chopping"" network of motor actions etc.

Could you take ~someone else's~ chopping system and put it into ~your~ physical brain? I think that's harder to answer and it's unlikely we all form our networks exactly the same way. What's effective for a 7'4" muscled giant may not work for me at 5'10" but if we're not limited by the tech we're using then it's perfectly possible that a computer algorithm exists that could "convert" the giant's muscle chopping skill into something that would work for my physical wiring.

The decision to yell in traffic is absolutely calculated and could easily be a part of a digital simulation of personality, you may have to simulate the effects of hormone production and how it affects your emotional state, but even without that you could explain someone yelling in traffic through learned neural network responses. Traffic is frustrating, frustration creates a feedback loop of worry/anxiety, and yelling may be a learned method of breaking that feedback loop.

The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



Altered Carbon sides with the view that Bancroft killed himself and erased his current mind-state from existence permanently. However, it also suggests that backup-Bancroft will go on experiencing life as if he was the original Bancroft who went on a drinking bender for two days and did awful unthinkable things, a description not far from reality.

Altered Carbon also takes the view that Takeshi Kovacs and his resleeved double are identically the same person, with equal standing and even equal protection under the law that is indifferent to which one is deleted. One must experience a full death, yeah, but that's a consequence of double-sleeving that the two discuss right from the start.

In both situations it's acknowledged up front that the copy has died and completely ceased consciousness, and that it's an unfortunate, undesirable and scary outcome. In both situations there is no fundamental distinction between the original and the copy, both are treated as equivalent if divergent mindsets.

Nobody is claiming that consciousness would jump from one copy to the other. What we are saying is that a copy is functionally identical to what I experience to the point that it may as well be me at an equal level. At no point does Kovacs think "well I'm the original, gently caress if I'm gonna die for some copy," he understands that the "copy" is as much Takeshi Kovacs as he is. There's no big deal made out of being the original, there's nothing that makes the original more valuable.

So what's really at question is whether consciousness can be preserved across the transfer of mediums. And because this is sci-fi there's no reason philosophically to say that it couldn't be. Death is scary, it's scary to think you could be shut off and then never come back on again, but there are a billion ways you could test out and establish a technology that could move consciousness out of somebody without any perceptual change in a way that would safely satisfy everybody. If my perception is that I have gone instantly from being a meat person on Mars to a different meat person on Earth, then there's no reason to worry about whether some first person was left to die in a bag of meat and I'm just some ghostly digital clone.

The Ninth Layer fucked around with this message at Feb 14, 2018 around 08:36

The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



Zaphod42 posted:

I've literally posted like 5 times in this thread "you could theoretically transfer consciousness with technology. However what SOMA and Altered Carbon go out of their way to demonstrate is that in their worlds they are making copies, not transfers"

People believing its a transfer doesn't mean it isn't a copy. In both cases, actually.

E: And again, the real issue is Battuta insisting that it doesn't even matter if its a copy, because you're the same "you" so you somehow never actually die, especially in SOMA where they explicitly said that you are copied not transferred and that sucks, not a good thing.

I don't think we know enough either about how consciousness actually works or about how AC's tech works to say definitely they are copy tech and not transfer tech. Certainly you could design a number of scenarios to test out that would prove one way or the other that a consciousness was transferred rather than copies to one place and erased from another. Also any system where you could transfer would also be able to copy, so the mere existence of copies doesn't prove that transferring is impossible.

Copying mind-states raises a bunch of ethical concerns (Black Mirror scenarios) and anyway you're right that a copy doesn't prevent me from drowning at the bottom of the sea, or one Kovacs from eating a bullet and facing oblivion. But Battuta is right that a "copy" of you is still you, a backup of Bancroft is still Bancroft, Reileen's backup is still Reileen, and that's still an existence.

The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



No idea why people are coming into this thread to complain about philosophy discussion, it's exactly the kind of discussion the show's technology facilitates having.


Zaphod42 posted:

NO IT IS NOT. A soul is something outside of this universe. I'm not talking about anything outside of this universe.

If you have two USB sticks with the same exact data on them, they're still not the same thing. They're not 1 USB stick. They're not the same USB stick, even though they have the same state.

Do USB sticks need to have souls to be distinguishable from each other, if the data is identical? NO!

If I have a pirated copy of Kanye West's new album on one USB stick ad then copy it to another, it would functionally make no difference to you which USB stick I gave you, either way you would get to listen to Kanye's album.

Maybe if one USB stick was red and the other was blue you might want the red one more?? But this would be an arbitrary distinction.

If I put both USB sticks on the ground and told you that you could take one with you if you smashed the other up with a hammer, you wouldn't worry about accidentally losing Kanye's album to the ether. In fact you probably wouldn't worry about this decision at all, or to the extent that you did, you would make your choice based on an arbitrary factor like which USB stick color you liked more (or which one came out ahead in rock-paper-scissors).

The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



Battuta do you at least agree with him that in the case of SOMA someone drowns, in the case of two Kovacs' someone gets deleted, in the case of Bancroft a Laurens Bancroft died from a bullet (or plasma ray or w/e) to the head?

I think if you could straightforwardly admit this you guys would settle a lot of disagreements.

The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



We don't need to debate that dying in Altered Carbon sucks, backup or not. Kovacs says outright that Bancroft had a ton of brass balls to shoot himself, even knowing that he had a backup; he would have sooner died than lived with what he had done. To the wider world it doesn't make a difference which Bancroft presents itself, and legally it seems backup Bancroft is liable for the crimes he committed, whether it was really -him- or not. But to the Bancroft at the time it was a choice of oblivion vs life long guilt.

The same goes for Kovacs' double. The surviving Kovacs isn't comfortable with the idea that another him was killed and implicitly feels guilty for surviving, to where he worries whether his double intentionally threw the RPS game.

The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



It makes a difference to Sam A that at 14:00 he dies.

Or put it another way, if at 13:00 I back myself up and at 14:00 I die because my house burned down, the intense amount of pain and suffering I'm experiencing is not going to be diminished by the fact that at 15:00 my backup will be restored no worse for wear. In addition it doesn't matter to me what my restored backup gets to experience at 16:00 because by that point I'll be a smoking charred mass of bones and burnt meat.

Backup me may wake up and functionally be me in every way, but upon waking up safe and sound I would be unsettled to discover that somewhere in the last two hours I experienced the vivid sensation of burning to death, even if in the moment I don't have any memory of it.

This is what Zaphod42 is getting at and is the problem that is not solved by a backup or a copy. It is not enough to say that nobody experiencing this horrible death is around now. Somebody did experience it. In this way I don't see how my burned-to-death self would be any different from say my neighbor being burned to death and then never getting backed up, in terms of the suffering experienced.

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The Ninth Layer
Jun 19, 2007



Grognan posted:

I WILL MULTISLEEZE AND WE ALL WILL ENJOY OURSELVES AND NOT GIVE A poo poo ABOUT WHO THE gently caress COMES TO CLIMAX.


So having not read the books is this closer to the expanse's reimagining or game of throne's rewriting?

It's about 90% true to the book plot but took some dramatic liberties the book didn't.

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