"Singularity" + Mental Disorders

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30 Replies - 3856 Views - Last Post: 11 February 2014 - 11:02 AM

#16 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 13 January 2014 - 03:27 PM

Neither the Butlerian Jihad or the Destruction of the Twelve Colonies will be forgotten.
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#17 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 13 January 2014 - 04:49 PM

View PostLieoften, on 13 January 2014 - 05:24 PM, said:

my rational behind the repetition destroying the simulation/upload is simple. I imagine it like this; picture if there were some way to install an OS via a record player. It would work fine for most records, but what happens when you get a skipping record? it would just keep uploading the same file over and over and over and over again.

I use this anology because well.. Its the best thing i can think of.


I +1'd and didn't mean to, mean to hit quote+reply. But whatever.

Problem I see with that analogy is what I already said. If you designed a system that you designed to install OS's via a record player. That system has expectations... that the record will play for its duration with no skipping. Skipping is something you don't want, but is a known error possibility, so if you were to find repeating information you as the designer would assume after so many times this must be a skipping record and halt operation. The skipping didn't actually hault the installation, it was the system doing the installation that halted because it recognized data that had the signature of symptoms that are synonymous with a skipping record. We want to halt, because we're basically just spinning our wheels, no point in proceeding with this installation.

Why would the design of a brain simulation halt on such a scenario? What if that brain were listening to a skipping record. The brain in processing that sound coming in heard a repetition of the same data. If it then halted... that's a poorly designed brain.
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#18 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 13 January 2014 - 04:59 PM

Here's my opinion, back at the 3 possibilities of the brain.

Let's split these up into the 3 again, and I'm going to start with the 'simulation comparable to a human brain". How would mental illness act in there? Probably the same way it acts inside the human brain... it's comparable simulation, it's designed to act the same. The only consideration here is how it will react to its knew body and that bodies capabilities. Thing is... a sane person would also have issue with that as well. We've documented this with real people after losing limbs, they in turn get phantom limbs. And in the end, we can't have a discussion about this until what type of body this simulated brain will be placed is defined. If the simulation is then wired up to a virtual body that lives in a virtual world... shit, the brain might not even REALIZE anything has changed (depending on how good the world it is placed is simulated). Where as if it was placed in an automaton to walk around the real world... well that'd depend on how good the automaton was and how close it was to real life.

Anwyays, getting to far on a tangent there. So lets real it in.


If it was in a super-brain simulation. Well, the previous issue of body still comes into play. Anything beyond that has yet to be defined as well. How is it better? We can't suppose the implications until we know in which way it's better. If it could just do math faster... well, probably wouldn't much difference. If it was able to resolve emotional bias faster, it'd probably have a HUGE difference.



If it was a sub-par brain. Repeat, same body issue. But now it is handicapped in the ability to even cope with that. This area I think has the most interesting potential for story... a story of the first human minds placed in sub-par simulations (merely because it's burgeoning technology... someone has to go first and work out the kinks) with sub-par interfaces to its world. And they're driven to inhuman behavior merely to no longer being human. Playing on the age old sci-fi theme of 'what is human' and the very blurry line between not and it.
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#19 Lieoften  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:45 PM

View Postlordofduct, on 13 January 2014 - 04:59 PM, said:

If it was a sub-par brain. Repeat, same body issue. But now it is handicapped in the ability to even cope with that. This area I think has the most interesting potential for story... a story of the first human minds placed in sub-par simulations (merely because it's burgeoning technology... someone has to go first and work out the kinks) with sub-par interfaces to its world. And they're driven to inhuman behavior merely to no longer being human. Playing on the age old sci-fi theme of 'what is human' and the very blurry line between not and it.


This is more on par with what I have in mind in my story; it's an 'experimental procedure' that hasn't been fully tested out yet. Someone created The Upload Machine, has tested it on animals, but has gotten no further than that. They finally start testing it on people--namely people on their death bed.

The first chapter in my story--named "Memory"--starts with the main character realizing she can remember everything that has ever happened to her, not just little details of it, but everything; the upload has either removed or inhibited the ability to filter out useless details that her brain was fully capable of. Which leads her to go a tad bit crazy but nothing insane.

THe Mental Illness aspect of it comes in when she realizes that she's not uploaded into a singular... well, let's call it a Drive for now. She's essentially Bulk Uploaded into a harddrive that has multiple people in it, some of them are sane and the other ones are absolutely insane and have no idea that they are inside a computer system. I'm trying to resist writing in a character who believes he's Jesus... just because I would take that a tad to far.
but anyway--someone on reddit (the only person who posted something worthwhile) brought up an interesting topic; do the Uploades have the ability to rewrite others? which is going to play more into the craziness as soon as I get a better grasp on the storyline.
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#20 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:48 PM

Personally I think adding in those brains of people who were already insane is going overboard, just like the jesus thing. Your combining two tropes together that will steal focus from one another.

See you initial theme is that of people going mad due to losing their humanity. The second is now introducing people who've lost their minds and then had their humanity stripped from them. This juxtaposition? What's the point? Is it merely because you think it'd be entertaining, or are you getting at something with it? You don't have any substantive reason as for why it'd be entertaining, that's why you're digging for possibilities of how this scenario would play out... loading the minds of mad people into a brain simulation. Why force two themes together, why force them together when you don't yet have a good reason to. The original theme is interesting on its own. Why can't some of the people there just be mad because they're there... not because they were mad in the first place. Why play on tropes of schizophrenia, especially when you yourself don't have a good understanding of schizophrenics... unless you really think you can do the character some justice instead of creating yet another story of 1-dimensional "mad people". But from the sounds of it, you're not doing this to do justice to the trope of 'schizophrenics', but instead to entertain the weird idea of uploading mad people into this simulation.

Speaking of, why would who ever load these minds in there be loading mad people into it? Wouldn't that skew the results of any early testing they're doing? What are they just sadistic bastards who want to see those who've already suffered, now suffer more in an inhuman world? Now we're getting into even more themes, full of more 1-dimensional tropes.

Here's the thing about a trope. Tropes aren't necessarily bad (though some people out there may like to make it out like it is), tropes are just recognizable archetypes that can be used as a vehicle to get at more important details. A trope is basically just an overused archetype, a cliche (I'm using the modern cliche definition of trope, not the older 'figurative speech' meaning). The more cliche the trope is, the harder it is to use as a vehicle... because it looks cliched. But done right it can work, even if cliched.

See a trope... or an archetype really is good for establishing expectations in the reader. We can easily paint a story around an archetype with out having to explain the motivations of that character because they're baked right in. This means that the greater theme of the story has more to do with what happens to the archetype, and not about the archetype's motivations or background.

The problem with the 'mad-man' trope is that its a well established trope that paints the 'mad-man' as an adversary. The character is established as something that can't be identified with. Characters you can't identify with make good antagonists, you don't have to explain WHY they did something ludicrous... it's just in their unknowable nature.

It's lazy.

And that's why the trope is looked down on. Combined with the fact that it's a bit offensive to those with mental disorders (yep, it's not just PC police).

Now the trope can be done well. By breaking the trope, which requires basically humanizing the character. So no longer is it your character is a 'mad-man' who does this that and the other. It's that your character is a person who, combined with other traits, is mad. This requires a lot of effort, which can easily take over your themes. Stripping tropes of their cliche status, especially offensive cliche status, requires a more stable narrative for that, less it just looks contrived.

Which leads me a question...


Why is it important to have 'mad-men' in your story (initially mad, not driven mad by the circumstances)?
How does this further the narrative of your story?
Are you relying on a cliche'd trope for the sake of explaining the actions of an otherwise inconsistent character? (Ala modi's reference to Virtuosity)
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#21 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:54 PM

It seems to me that you are writing a sci-fi setting for the sake of describing an inventive sci-fi setting.

I'm sorry, that sounds boring.

This is the reason I can't get into the fantasy and sci-fi genres... they're plagued with book after book that is merely just a long description of this "cool world full of cool things that you'll never have".

Think of some of the best sci-fi stories out there though. The classics, the ones everyone knows about and has read. Why have they read them?

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep"

"Fahrenheit 451"

"2001 - A Space Odyssey"

"Brave New World"

These books aren't just tech porn, they intend to tell stories about deep human conflict, in the setting of a sci-fi world. The sci-fi is a vehicle for a more important narrative.




Of course, if your interest is sci-fi for the sake of sci-fi. Go all for it. Utilize whatever trope you want as a vehicle to show off this weird world.
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#22 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:14 AM

i watched 'Her' last night and i think anyone interested in AI should watch it. (i also think everyone should watch it, but the AI part is what pertains to the conversation)
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#23 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:33 PM

Do you look at your own phone a little different now?
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#24 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:58 PM

nope.
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#25 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:28 PM

I think it looks stupid and creepy, but I am interested in AI. Maybe when it comes on cable.
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#26 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:32 PM

so does gabehabe but you always put up with him.
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#27 Minimalist  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:16 PM

A loopy brain uploaded into a singularity will will go into an indefinite loop
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#28 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:17 PM

Oh it will, will it? How so?
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#29 Minimalist  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 17 January 2014 - 03:28 PM

Well, think of it like a chewing gum bubble. As a singularity it would be compressed into a point - well or not defined or only defined by its location. Because it is a chewing gum bubble it has an inside and outside. Now the brain which is loopy energy gets in put in the inside. What does it do? It goes around and around - indefinite loop. The question is, why do I respond to this? grrrrrrrrrrr
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#30 h4nnib4l  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Singularity" + Mental Disorders

Posted 17 January 2014 - 04:02 PM

Yes, THAT'S the question I had too.
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