Comic 131 - Tired

21st Oct 2011, 10:31 PM in Rain
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes) Rate this comic
<<First Latest>>


Mr Muffins 21st Oct 2011, 10:50 PM edit delete reply
OOH!!! Philosophical conundrums!!!

That is the say is the person being downloaded and processed into the new body the same person? or a different person?
jst56strong 21st Oct 2011, 11:07 PM edit delete reply
*step back* *take a puff* DDDDDAM that some deep shit.
Greeb 22nd Oct 2011, 1:16 AM edit delete reply
It's a pretty fundamental question she's asking really, what defines an individual. If you want to get extremely nuanced you're almost never the same person from day to day, because your experiences change you in minute ways; until the you from your college years is barely recognizeable by the you from your retirement years.

What she's talking about though is the more modern philosophical quandary of, really, whether a complete copy or clone of an individual is still an individual. If Gretel's hardware is changed, but her software is copied onto the new hardware, is it still the same Gretel? What happens to the old software, is that still Gretel? If we discard it, is the old Gretel dead?

As for myself, I'm not really sure if there is a good answer; to the common man a clone is really no different than the original; but I think what really matters is consciousness (or soul, if you're so inclined) which is intangible, and uncopyable. So if you were to say that a quantum robotic brain has a consciousness, and through the process of upgrading it you remove that consciousness; then yes, I would say that the old Gretel is gone; but for any real intent, the new Gretel will be exactly the same as her predessesor, so the only one it should matter to at all is the old Gretel.

I assume that on some level the robots do realize this is what happens; they simply choose to ignore it. And I guess, this is also one of the reasons they have 'Birthday parties', not only for the robots to get used to their new chassis, but also for the humans (and other robots) to get used to the upgrade.
view 22nd Oct 2011, 2:59 AM edit delete reply
You've got the heart of it. But, really, the personality change is so minor that the others are more about getting used to her looking different, not acting different.
Krinkle-Kut 22nd Oct 2011, 1:21 AM edit delete reply
I always love this argument. I spent so many computer science classes is college working on it.

Basically it will come down to this;
A copy/clone(exact or otherwise) of one thing, moved or duplicated, will contine to be as it was prior to the action taking place insofar as the curruption if data is negligible. Standardised decay will occor and continue with and be caused by each consecutive transfer/duplication. The decay that existed previosly will continue and will amass unto itself new decay creating a dead zone of data. This will occur up until the currupted data negates any point of continued transfer/duplication. Progession must be haulted once the point of curruption becomes too great.

In the case of a body it would cease the ability of certain functions e.g. the ability to produce certain hormones/bacteria/fluids/abilities.
In the case of the mind it would be similar to Alzheimer's disease.

Simply put, have you ever copied a jpeg file so much that the quality gets really shitty. Same exact thing, just far less complicated.

That's it. You would never be the same person each time, but never a totally different person from one to the next. Over multipe copies changes would occur but never too noticable. Unless the data was perpusfully changed, but thats a tangent we don't need to get into.

Gahh, it's too late for me to be thinking like this (°□°)
Also I'm really enjoy the comic, keep up the good work.
view 22nd Oct 2011, 3:00 AM edit delete reply
Well, this isn't a copy per se. It's more like... you know those new lightfield cameras? It's like exporting a hundred normal images of the lightfield image at various focal lengths.

Yeah, there's some data lost, but it's not data that anyone is ever going to notice is missing.

And welcome!
kill3st 22nd Oct 2011, 3:35 AM edit delete reply
More like...

If they don't deactivate old Gretel, will the world explode due to a divide-by-zero kinda thing?
view 22nd Oct 2011, 3:57 AM edit delete reply
No, it's a destructive copying. They have to take apart the old program to develop the new one.
Greeb 22nd Oct 2011, 4:09 AM edit delete reply
View's said that the creation of Gretel Mark 2 necessitates the destruction of Gretel Mark 1; because the analysis of her brain's quantum structure destroys it in the process. Like, if we had a technology to clone people down to the molecular level; but the beam required to scan a person for cloning produces so much radiation that it kills them near-instantly. That sort of thing.
view 22nd Oct 2011, 4:36 AM edit delete reply
That's actually a pretty good analogy. It's like scanning someone well enough to create a cell-by-cell clone, but you have to use so much juice to scan them that they disintegrate.
JasperWB 22nd Oct 2011, 5:01 AM edit delete reply
Here's my answer to this long talked problem, I don't care.

Not in a mean way. Just in a "I'm too lazy to argue" kind of way. I found not arguing is the ultimate way to win an argument.
jst56strong 22nd Oct 2011, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
Mr Muffins 22nd Oct 2011, 3:18 PM edit delete reply
Ooh I got one.

In Star Trek the technology of teleportation essentially breaks down all the molecular matter of an object and re-assembles it at another point in space. Essentially what happens is a person is killed and reborn at a different point. So the question is, is person B being assembled at point B the same as person A being dissasembled? They actually have an episode that goes into this idea where Riker is "cloned" because of a teleporter malfunction

Yeah I know I'm a nerd
view 22nd Oct 2011, 4:17 PM edit delete reply
This is slightly different because it's not an exact duplicate, merely one which is the same as far as normal interactions can see.

It's more like those Stargate episodes that have the robot version of SG1.
Gydde 23rd Oct 2011, 2:31 AM edit delete reply
wouldn't it be more like what the Asgard do? clone a new body as a blank slate then imprint an already existing consciousness onto it? Also, (slight tangent) why didn't they just keep a master copy and make copies of it? kind of like we do with vinyl records.
view 23rd Oct 2011, 4:31 AM edit delete reply
They don't keep the master or original around for the same reason it's not like the Asgard's body-hopping:

The actual "living mind" is a quantum computer. You can't copy a quantum computer, because you can't scan it. If you scan a quantum bit, it "collapses" into a binary bit and loses its quantum characteristics.

The minds work by functions which use certain quantum bits to process large numbers of other quantum bits, then those outlying bits are read to create the outputs. But that core of quantum bits cannot be read without destroying it.

So that's what they're doing here: destroying it so they can create a normal computer version that does all the same things. An expert system that could not be built without the intermediate step of running a quantum computer for a few years.
elfolampo 23rd Oct 2011, 3:26 PM edit delete reply
Well, they could also, in theory, use the normal computer seed to create several quantum computer new Gretels in several new bodies, like, right now, right?
Each one would become a different entity the moment the quantum computer goes online, but then, who could you consider the 'real' Gretel? They would all be.

(There's probably some law or custom that prevents it, I guess)
view 23rd Oct 2011, 4:44 PM edit delete reply
It's not culturally acceptable, but yeah, there's no reason they can't.

It used to be fairly common practice with "early sentient" robots, back when there were eight billion humans. Just before things started going crazy, there were a lot of movements to make it illegal, both to prevent robotic intelligences from being abused and to prevent them from proliferating into "distributed individuals".
kill3st 23rd Oct 2011, 4:32 PM edit delete reply
Thinking back a couple chapters, we were talking about her face being a touchscreen interface. Does her face have a screensaver?
view 23rd Oct 2011, 4:45 PM edit delete reply
Ha ha... no, but that's a clever point.
HimitsuNotebook 23rd Oct 2011, 4:49 PM edit delete reply
Hey there, just got done reading through all of this and I must say, I'm really enjoying it!

I really love the concept, as a small town person myself, I think you've fairly accurately captured small town life here...with robots of course. ^_^

(Although my dad does in fact make robots, they aren't sentient...yet)

Would you mind if I made you a TV Tropes page? :D
view 23rd Oct 2011, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
If your dad ends up making robots like these, have him give me a call, and I'll make sure to ride his coat tails into the future!

I don't mind if you want to make me a TV Tropes page, but I can't imagine TV Tropes will care much. I only have around 200 viewers.
HimitsuNotebook 23rd Oct 2011, 11:31 PM edit delete reply
I have even less, but I still went ahead and made myself a page, it's all good exposure! ^o^

elfolampo 24th Oct 2011, 1:23 PM edit delete reply
"There is no such thing as notability."

If anyone cares enough to make it, TV Tropes will accept it.
duLapel 25th Oct 2011, 2:49 AM edit delete reply
Mary has it right! If you want to call it ego, soul, ghost, or even Schrödinger's Observer, that small part that makes us unique in the universe isn't just memories or even a quantum snapshot of a mind. It is an epiphenomena of a whole host of things coming together. Collapse that wave form and you have death.

The birthday party for robots is two fold: A party for the birth of a new soul and a wake for the old one that passed. View characterized both of Gretel's parents as having this understanding by the reaction to their daughter going to sleep (a euphemism if I've ever heard one). It wasn't the happy-sad of a child growing up... it looked more like grieving.

Which makes me think that View's robot's must believe in some form of transmigration of the soul to tolerate the repeated pain of loss and renal. The promise of immortality is just a canard to fool rational creatures into a kind of suicide (reminiscent of Logan's Run).
view 25th Oct 2011, 3:16 AM edit delete reply
Robots aren't stupid: it really is for immortality. Just not immortality for their own sake.
cattservant 23rd Feb 2012, 12:17 AM edit delete reply
view said: "Robots aren't stupid: it really is for immortality. Just not immortality for their own sake." Do you mean that they must <in the very long term> carry on in place of humanity?
elfolampo 27th Oct 2011, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
Well, to be honest, I think they do think of it as being the same person afterwards. Otherwise, I don't think Gretel would be so excited about getting a new body. And I doubt, being a robot, that she doesn't understand what this means.