The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

    Abandon all sanity ye who enter here

Moderators: Omphalos, Freakzilla, ᴶᵛᵀᴬ

User avatar
SandChigger
KJASF Ground Zero
Posts: 14492
Joined: 08 Feb 2008 22:29
Location: A continuing state of irritation
Contact:

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby SandChigger » 31 Oct 2009 00:27

Lundse wrote:I am just saying those distinction were not relevant to the Jihad. All machines which simulated the mind of man were destroyed, the closest things which are allowed is apparently servoks and fencing-machines.

And I wrote nothing to imply that I thought the distinction relevant to the Jihad, either. But not ALL of the machines were actually destroyed: the BG hid and kept some of theirs, for their records. How widespread that knowledge was within the Sisterhood, especially at the time period in question (it's obviously an open secret by the time of Heretics, for example), is an unanswerable question, but it would be a nice hypocrisy by those in the know to claim that no machine could be trusted while relying on non-thinking, non-conscious machines for data storage and processing. To me it seems that at least some people were making some sort of distinction.

But I am not convinced that Frank had any clear distinctions in mind - when he wrote "computers, thinking machines, and conscious robots", I believe he was being comprehensive, not describing three distinct and precise categories of machines which in no way overlapped.

Perhaps, perhaps not. I prefer to think the words have meaning. We disagree. :)

And I do not think his warning against trusting tools to think and guide us is concerned with niceties such as whether the advice comes from a moving robot or a mainframe in a basement, nor whether the machine in question does only data processing, simulates human thinking or appears actually conscious.

Agreed.

(And I don't think he believed machines could ever be conscious either, see Without Me, You're Nothing for details).

Well, if you mean in the real world, yes, that seems right, based on what he wrote in WMYN. But if you're going to bring in non-Dune books, don't you need to mention Destination: Void (1966) and its sequels, in which he portrayed artificial consciousness as a real possibility in a fictional universe?

(Seriously, some of what he wrote in Without Me, You're Nothing is still relevant, but much is woefully outdated. His basic assumption is that computers will always be dependent on the same basic architecture and method of processing that they used then (still use now), which is debatable in the real world but rather untenable in a fictional setting ... especially one 10,000 years in the future.)

redbugpest wrote:[snip]

The bug turned and faced the floating red eye, thought Hmm, is that really an eye or a seriously inflamed anus?

"Follow me well, pretard pest," he warned, using a voice mode which said: You are not a discussant, have never been a discussant, cannot be a discussant. "When I want to hear from you I'll pull your chain. Otherwise shut up and fuck off."


unfunny pest wrote:01010100011010000110010100100000011001100110111101110101011011100110010001100001011101000110100101101111011011100010000001101111011001100010000001110100011010000110010100100000011000010111001001100111011101010110110101100101011011100111010000100000011010010111001100100000011001100110110001100001011101110110010101100100

0100011101101111001000000110011001110101011000110110101100100000011110010110111101110101011100100111001101100101011011000110011000101110
"Let the dead give water to the dead. As for me, it's NO MORE FUCKING TEARS!"

User avatar
redbugpest
Posts: 424
Joined: 23 Jun 2009 14:17
Location: Lost in La Manancha

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby redbugpest » 31 Oct 2009 08:36

SandChigger wrote:
Lundse wrote:I am just saying those distinction were not relevant to the Jihad. All machines which simulated the mind of man were destroyed, the closest things which are allowed is apparently servoks and fencing-machines.

And I wrote nothing to imply that I thought the distinction relevant to the Jihad, either. But not ALL of the machines were actually destroyed: the BG hid and kept some of theirs, for their records. How widespread that knowledge was within the Sisterhood, especially at the time period in question (it's obviously an open secret by the time of Heretics, for example), is an unanswerable question, but it would be a nice hypocrisy by those in the know to claim that no machine could be trusted while relying on non-thinking, non-conscious machines for data storage and processing. To me it seems that at least some people were making some sort of distinction.

SandChigger wrote:quote]But I am not convinced that Frank had any clear distinctions in mind - when he wrote "computers, thinking machines, and conscious robots", I believe he was being comprehensive, not describing three distinct and precise categories of machines which in no way overlapped.

Perhaps, perhaps not. I prefer to think the words have meaning. We disagree. :)


I agree with SC here. I do not thing that FH made the distinction to be "comprehensive". This wasn't a research paper he was writing. FH could have just left it at "thinking machines" if machine like attitudes was his only concern. He deliberately broke it out into categories for a reason.


(And I don't think he believed machines could ever be conscious either, see Without Me, You're Nothing for details).


Look at "On Intelligence" by Jeff Hawkins - he has quite a bit to say on teh subject, and has founded a Numenta, a company devoted to his view of AI.
__________________________________________________________________

User avatar
Seraphan
Posts: 749
Joined: 03 Jul 2008 08:36
Location: Right Behind You!
Contact:

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Seraphan » 31 Oct 2009 09:39

redbugpest wrote:Wrong on all counts - I do not have to confirm their version, just the fact that there is the possibility for any other version than the narrowly defined one put forward here.


I never said anything about agreeing with others and you call a view taken directly from what is written by Frank and viewed in light of his ideas as narrow minded while you try to corroborate a juvinile view of a war between machines and humans.

redbugpest wrote:The interpretation put forward by Lundse is not the only one that can be inferred from the text. You are just being blinded by your preconceived notions.

They're not preconceived notions, they are views than come simply from reading the novels.

And since you've read the novels more than once, go re-read God Emperor of Dune, namely the chapter where Leto II gives audience to the Bene Gesserit.
Image
"The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand." - Frank Herbert
“This tutoring is dialectical. Literature makes us better noticers of life; we get to practice on life itself; which in turn makes us better readers of detail in literature; which in turn makes us better readers of life. And so on and on.” - James Wood

Lundse
Posts: 524
Joined: 01 Jul 2008 11:36
Location: Århus, Denmark

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 31 Oct 2009 10:13

redbugpest wrote:
Lundse wrote:
redbugpest wrote:You tend to try and keep this discussion to a micro focus, when it is a maco topic. You are too focused on Alia's one statement. The answer to how she can think this is interwoven into the fabric of the story.


It is not a "macro topic", I am concerned with a specific argument and you claim you can show how it is wrong. If you want to step down from this claim, fine - but until you do, don't complain that the discussion is narrow in focus. I am having enough problems as it is, with keeping you comparatively on-point.


redbugpest wrote:
Lundse wrote:Why does she feel this, when she knows a machine once turned on its creators and almost annihilated mankind?


We will hit this at the bottom in your flawed conclusions list.


It is not a list of conclusions. Please understand how my argument works before you attempt to criticize it.


redbugpest wrote:
Lundse wrote:If you do not at least try to answer this question, this conversation is over. I am tired of running around corners with you. You either do not get the argument (and I do not think you arethat stupid), or you are deliberately confusing matters and avoiding the issue.


You are just refusing to accept my viewpoint.


No. I am asking you about your viewpoint. If you will not answer, the discussion is over. We will get back to this...


redbugpest wrote:I agree with the above...
Lets explore the lat two

Lundse wrote:3) Alia believes all machines, specifically those from the time of the Jihad such as Omnious, to be trustworthy.


3 - She never says that, that is you viewing the "you can never distrust a machine" statement and extrapolating it to an extreme that validates you argument. if your argument were true, she should say something like "I have never met a machine I could not trust" or something similar that would make a more direct connection to thinking machines.


OK. Now we are actually entering the discussion here. This is where our claims differ:

I think that the statement "You could never distrust a machine" means that noone (at least noone of Alias intelligence, in her entire store of OM memories) could ever trust a machine. That machines are trustworthy. I further summize from the context that Alia is not only talking about screwdrivers, but is specifically thinking about machines from the time of the Jihad, comparable to mentats in their capabilities.

I am sorry if you think this is "extrapolating", and I will gladly hear your opinion on what else that statement could possible mean.


Your comments on 4 do not address the conclusion of my argument. At all. You talk about how "she could conceive of a trustworthy machine". Which is of course true, but irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that the could not even conceive of one which was not trustworthy. Please note this difference before answering, it is quite important.


redbugpest wrote:I prefer "Disagree with the foundational premise that you argument is based on" See my previous arguments. Or Alia does mean what she thinks, but not in the way that you think.

I know that this is an argument that I cannot win, because I realize the you will not be willing to accept that any other explanation other than Alia must see all of the Jihad machines as being 100% trustworthy because of her statement and and her ability to access OM. To do so would open the doors to possibility that you find distressful and uncomfortable (even though it would necessarily validate the Legends series as the only possibility).


I am perfectly willing to change my reading of the statement. As soon as your explain how in heaven it can mean anything apart from what it says. This is frighteningly close to the whole "island can mean satelite, when it has to"... Your psychological explanations for my opinions have no interest to me. Please just stop, it is so silly for you to try to second-guess me from where you are sitting. Address the argument, or just shut up.

Your quotations seem to be more of the same, and suffer from the exact same problem as your first one. Just stop it and argue your point.


redbugpest wrote:If you choose to end this debate it is not because I do not understand or the argument or I am not putting forth an argument, it is because you choose not to see my arguments for what they are.


I am not so sure that you do understand the argument, or even what constitutes an argument (eg. it is not a list of conclusion). And you are not putting forth an argument at all. At all. You are trying to criticize mine, which is fine. But you are mostly failing because you end up on tangential issues already set aside (eg. McNelly), rhetoric (irrelevant quotes that do not address the content of the argument) and snide personal remarks (about my motivation, my sig, etc.).

I will gladly follow the discussion through, as long as you actually stick to it.

And we did move one step ahead this time. We found out that you do not believe "You could never distrust a machine" means that a machine is always trustworthy. I hope you can enlighten me as to other things that sentence might mean, or how it can be thought by one who believes machines can sometimes chose to try and eradicate mankind.


Maybe a sentence with the same structure, and a person in the same position re. the truth of the relevant statement might help:

Imagine a teenager whose best friend was abandoned by her mother. She is thinking about how safe and happy she is about her family, and thinks to herself; "You could never distrust family".
Does that make sense to you too? What if she once fled over a cliff and broke both legs because of hallucinations and is now thinking; "You could never distrust your senses"?

Lundse
Posts: 524
Joined: 01 Jul 2008 11:36
Location: Århus, Denmark

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 31 Oct 2009 10:15

redbugpest wrote:Of course it has bearing. Lundse is desperately trying to bake a shades of grey topic and apply black and white rules to it. Alia should have OM knowledge of the BG computers (obviously trustworthy machines), but as soon as you say "Omnius" all machines must be untrustworthy.


Hahaha. You think that is my argument? Really?

Go back and reread it. You would not believe how wrong you have been getting it...

Lundse
Posts: 524
Joined: 01 Jul 2008 11:36
Location: Århus, Denmark

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 31 Oct 2009 10:18

redbugpest wrote:I do not have to confirm their version, just the fact that there is the possibility for any other version than the narrowly defined one put forward here.


I agree. That's all you have to do.


redbugpest wrote:The interpretation put forward by Lundse is not the only one that can be inferred from the text.


Then why don't you show me just one other interpretation? I've asked 5 or 10 times!

Lundse
Posts: 524
Joined: 01 Jul 2008 11:36
Location: Århus, Denmark

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 31 Oct 2009 10:28

SandChigger wrote:
Lundse wrote:I am just saying those distinction were not relevant to the Jihad. All machines which simulated the mind of man were destroyed, the closest things which are allowed is apparently servoks and fencing-machines.


And I wrote nothing to imply that I thought the distinction relevant to the Jihad, either.


OK, then I don't think we disagree all that much...


SandChigger wrote:
Lundse wrote:But I am not convinced that Frank had any clear distinctions in mind - when he wrote "computers, thinking machines, and conscious robots", I believe he was being comprehensive, not describing three distinct and precise categories of machines which in no way overlapped.

Perhaps, perhaps not. I prefer to think the words have meaning. We disagree. :)


No no. Don't. There is such a thing as synonyms, and there is plenty of room for grey areas here.

What I am convinced of is merely that the distinctions cannot be used to support any arguments, they are too vague for that. I also happen to think that this was not meant to be a list of precise categories - but we do not have to resort to strawmanning each other because our interpretation here differs.
I am not saying there were not different machines, or that they were not subsequently treated differently. I am just saying that to the Jihadist (and to Frank's points re. Heidegger, technology and tool use), they did not matter.


SandChigger wrote:
Lundse wrote:(And I don't think he believed machines could ever be conscious either, see Without Me, You're Nothing for details).


Well, if you mean in the real world, yes, that seems right, based on what he wrote in WMYN. But if you're going to bring in non-Dune books, don't you need to mention Destination: Void (1966) and its sequels, in which he portrayed artificial consciousness as a real possibility in a fictional universe?

(Seriously, some of what he wrote in Without Me, You're Nothing is still relevant, but much is woefully outdated. His basic assumption is that computers will always be dependent on the same basic architecture and method of processing that they used then (still use now), which is debatable in the real world but rather untenable in a fictional setting ... especially one 10,000 years in the future.)


All true. But his arguments in WMYN seem more in line with his thinking in Dune. Both call on Heisenberg and Heidegger, for instance. And those arguments sidestep the entire problem of what future computers might do and look to the special role humans have in the universe (this is where it begings to look religious, and I am not even sure I agree with the man on these points).

Lundse
Posts: 524
Joined: 01 Jul 2008 11:36
Location: Århus, Denmark

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 31 Oct 2009 10:34

redbugpest wrote:
(And I don't think he believed machines could ever be conscious either, see Without Me, You're Nothing for details).


Look at "On Intelligence" by Jeff Hawkins - he has quite a bit to say on teh subject, and has founded a Numenta, a company devoted to his view of AI.


I see. Does he write about Frank Herbert's view of Artificial Intelligence, which is what we are discussiong here?

Because, in Without Me, You're Nothing, Frank Herbert does...

User avatar
SandChigger
KJASF Ground Zero
Posts: 14492
Joined: 08 Feb 2008 22:29
Location: A continuing state of irritation
Contact:

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby SandChigger » 31 Oct 2009 13:10

redbugpest wrote:FH could have just left it at "thinking machines" if machine like attitudes was his only concern.

You do realize that this makes zero sense, right?

(Been meaning to ask, what's it feel like talking out of your ass? Pretty much like farting, or somehow different? Can you qualify it for us?)

Look at "On Intelligence" by Jeff Hawkins - he has quite a bit to say on teh subject, and has founded a Numenta, a company devoted to his view of AI.

Irrelevant, as Lundse has already pointed out. This isn't a discussion of the possibility of machine intelligence or artificial consciousness in general, but Frank Herbert's ideas on it.

Not a discussant, never have been... :roll:
"Let the dead give water to the dead. As for me, it's NO MORE FUCKING TEARS!"

User avatar
SandChigger
KJASF Ground Zero
Posts: 14492
Joined: 08 Feb 2008 22:29
Location: A continuing state of irritation
Contact:

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby SandChigger » 31 Oct 2009 14:06

Lundse wrote:OK, then I don't think we disagree all that much...
...
I am not saying there were not different machines, or that they were not subsequently treated differently. I am just saying that to the Jihadist (and to Frank's points re. Heidegger, technology and tool use), they did not matter.

Complete agreement on this.


I prefer to imagine a more varied and interesting situation before the Jihad, admitting the existence of sentient/conscious machines (but not of course Kevin J. Anderson's moronic version of what those would be like ... seriously, the Legends "thinking machines" are ridiculous to the point of being intellectually insulting and quite offensive). When the fighting began, the mujahideen would have started smashing machines without making fine distinctions; machines with the capability would presumably have fought in self-defense. (Self-preservation was a key to consciousness in D:V, no?) I like the idea of machines fighting and being used as combatants on both sides of the conflict.

(Does the possibility of a sentient machine attacking first—presumably on the basis of some conclusion it had reached, that it was being threatened, etc.—mean that you could not trust them? ;) )
"Let the dead give water to the dead. As for me, it's NO MORE FUCKING TEARS!"

User avatar
SimonH
Posts: 179
Joined: 10 Feb 2008 18:28

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby SimonH » 31 Oct 2009 19:28

FH in Children of Dune wrote:And his skin was not his own! Past and present tumbled through him, surging
across the barriers of his terror. He could not separate them. One moment he
felt himself setting forth on the Butlerian Jihad, eager to destroy any machine
which simulated human awareness. That had to be the past -- over and done with.
Yet his senses hurtled through the experience, absorbing the most minute
details. He heard a minister-companion speaking from a pulpit: "We must negate
the machines-that-think. Humans must set their own guidelines. This is not
something machines can do. Reasoning depends upon programming, not on hardware,
and we are the ultimate program!"


(my added bolding at the end)

just my 2 cents worth...

Why would humanity need a religious jihad against machines if there was a direct threat of violence? It would just be a war.

Why would a minister need to rally religious fervor to move people into action against the crutch that machines represented, if they were actually killing people with their own agendas?
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” Albert Einstein

Slugger
Posts: 158
Joined: 11 Aug 2009 20:13

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Slugger » 31 Oct 2009 20:31

Short story:

We got our first GPS this summer. It's a handy device -- when it works. Regardless, I like it. I took it to Pittsburgh with me one weekend after we bought it in order to become familiar with it; I knew where I was going, so I figured it was a good trial run. Well, there was a bike race, the primary road was detoured. No problem, the GPS redirected me. Followed its directions down a block, right into another detour. Still no problem, third route...right into a road that was closed for construction. When I prompted it for a new route, it took me back to the first. Since I knew the area, I managed to find my own way to my destination; much to the displeasure of the GPS, who kept on repeating: "Wrong turn. Please turn around and resume route."

When I arrived, I realized that this dependence on machines is EXACTLY what the Butlerian Jihad was about. If I was in a foreign city, relying solely on this device, no maps or prepping involved, I would have not known what to do. The BJ was not a colossal war for extermination (although I agree with Chigger that sentient machines would probably fight back), but rather the sudden ideological realization that things which are supposed to make life easier for us complicate it, that these things strip us of human attributes (it was ingenuity that created the GPS, but it was also my own ingenuity that got me to my destination).

This vs. killer machines (that in 10 000 years are still afraid of Foldspace, whatever) :roll: .

User avatar
SadisticCynic
Posts: 2051
Joined: 07 Apr 2009 09:28
Location: In Time or in Space?

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby SadisticCynic » 31 Oct 2009 20:46

SandChigger wrote:
Lundse wrote:OK, then I don't think we disagree all that much...
...
I am not saying there were not different machines, or that they were not subsequently treated differently. I am just saying that to the Jihadist (and to Frank's points re. Heidegger, technology and tool use), they did not matter.

Complete agreement on this.


I prefer to imagine a more varied and interesting situation before the Jihad, admitting the existence of sentient/conscious machines (but not of course Kevin J. Anderson's moronic version of what those would be like ... seriously, the Legends "thinking machines" are ridiculous to the point of being intellectually insulting and quite offensive). When the fighting began, the mujahideen would have started smashing machines without making fine distinctions; machines with the capability would presumably have fought in self-defense. (Self-preservation was a key to consciousness in D:V, no?) I like the idea of machines fighting and being used as combatants on both sides of the conflict.

(Does the possibility of a sentient machine attacking first—presumably on the basis of some conclusion it had reached, that it was being threatened, etc.—mean that you could not trust them? ;) )

(Put in bold the part I'm responding to).

I quite like the idea of a three-way conflict. Machines that can attempt to preserve themselves, jihadists and then the humans who still worShip "machine-logic". That would be quite interesting, no?
Ah English, the language where pretty much any word can have any meaning! - A Thing of Eternity

User avatar
SandChigger
KJASF Ground Zero
Posts: 14492
Joined: 08 Feb 2008 22:29
Location: A continuing state of irritation
Contact:

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby SandChigger » 01 Nov 2009 01:04

Four-way: what guarantee is there some machines wouldn't voluntarily side (not simply be reprogrammed to fight along) with the anti-machine humans? Unwanted, unwelcome allies, in effect. ;)

Phrasing it as "worshipping machine logic" doesn't seem quite right, does it, for most people? Wouldn't it be more a case of giving up personal convenience?

Getting a bit off topic, though. One still has to decide what to do about "You could never distrust a machine."


(Re Slugger's GPS: getting lost in an unfamiliar area doesn't seem like that big a deal, like something that would prompt a jihad on car navis. Until you consider the case of someone in a medical emergency who's trying to get a loved one to a hospital, etc. A person in that situation might blame not just the machines but also the manufacturers for any loss they suffered. And hey, I understand Miley Cyrus is trying to drum up support for a jihad on Twitter! :P )

Lundse
Posts: 524
Joined: 01 Jul 2008 11:36
Location: Århus, Denmark

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 01 Nov 2009 09:53

I think we agree sandchigger... This section is where I start to think of the Animatrix' Second Renaissance:

SandChigger wrote:When the fighting began, the mujahideen would have started smashing machines without making fine distinctions; machines with the capability would presumably have fought in self-defense. (Self-preservation was a key to consciousness in D:V, no?) I like the idea of machines fighting and being used as combatants on both sides of the conflict.

(Does the possibility of a sentient machine attacking first—presumably on the basis of some conclusion it had reached, that it was being threatened, etc.—mean that you could not trust them? ;) )


The possibility of selfdefence, or hurting humans at all, is up to debate. What I will not accept, based in part on Alias thoughts, is that a machine did something which it was not meant to, that it somehow took it upon itself to betray humans. I think the Dune encyclopedia entry (which there was some talk of expanding into a canon prequel), got it about right:

There was stagnation and few human decisions mattered.
Those with access to the computers, and understanding of them, lorded over those without - leading to cultural stress and social stratification.
Machines were allowed to make increasingly imporant decisions, politically and ethically.

And I think the example of an abortion is perfect - the machine never considered the fetus human, nor weighed the emotions regarding self-determination on such a decision (even if one is not religious, as Jehanne was, it must be a difficult decision). The fetus was hurting the mother and aborted as a lump cancer would have been. The machine did not betray anything, least of all it's programming, it just gave us an example of the kinds of considerations we might forget to program even the best machines with. And how abhorrent it is to let something outside of you make ethical judgements on your behalf!

Lundse
Posts: 524
Joined: 01 Jul 2008 11:36
Location: Århus, Denmark

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 01 Nov 2009 10:04

SimonH wrote:Why would humanity need a religious jihad against machines if there was a direct threat of violence? It would just be a war.


Exactly!
Same with "mob motivation", which a rather intelligent BG determines to be part of the Jihad. One wonders how that would be needed in a fight for survival...

But then again, it is so hard to write a good story about the dangers of such solutions (took Frank quite a while). Much easier to go with the "evil AI" route!

User avatar
Hunchback Jack
Posts: 1983
Joined: 30 May 2008 15:02
Location: California, USA

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Hunchback Jack » 01 Nov 2009 14:16

redbugpest wrote:I know that this is an argument that I cannot win, because I realize the you will not be willing to accept that any other explanation other than Alia must see all of the Jihad machines as being 100% trustworthy because of her statement and and her ability to access OM. To do so would open the doors to possibility that you find distressful and uncomfortable (even though it would necessarily validate the Legends series as the only possibility).


I know this statement was directed at Lundse, so sorry if I'm hijacking the discussion. But I have my own reasons for preferring the explanation highlighted in your statement above.

On the face of it, Alia's thoughts about the trustworthiness of thinking machines encompasses all such machines, past and present. This reinforces the idea that the Jihad-era machines were just tools (as is implied elsewhere in the text).

To accept that Alia considers Jihad-era machines to be untrustworthy, we need to introduce a distinction that is not in the text - Alia is somehow dividing all machines into those of the Jihad (untrustworthy) and those she considers trustworthy, and only including the latter in her thoughts about machines. The need to introduce this distinction comes *only* from a desire to interpret the original text in light of the KJA/BH version of the Jihad. Taken as read, Alia's thoughts contradict the KJA/BH Jihad, so we must introduce this distinction to bring them into agreement.

That's why I don't accept that argument, because it requires a convolution of the original text which is not required otherwise. Far from finding that possibility "distressful", I just find it unlikely, because you have to add something to the text that wasn't there, just to make it plausible.

HBJ
"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
- Carl Sagan

I'm still very proud of The Quarry but … let's face it; in the end the real best way to sign off would have been with a great big rollicking Culture novel.
- Iain Banks

User avatar
SandChigger
KJASF Ground Zero
Posts: 14492
Joined: 08 Feb 2008 22:29
Location: A continuing state of irritation
Contact:

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby SandChigger » 01 Nov 2009 16:36

Lundse wrote:The possibility of selfdefence, or hurting humans at all, is up to debate. What I will not accept, based in part on Alias thoughts, is that a machine did something which it was not meant to, that it somehow took it upon itself to betray humans. I think the Dune encyclopedia entry (which there was some talk of expanding into a canon prequel), got it about right: ...

Well, I have no problem reading the Alia passage as her being under the influence of the Baron (we are after all reminded of his presence with the voice rumbling "Exactly!" in the paragraph before the one with the "distrust" statement), who expressed similar thoughts with respect to his own Mentat in Dune.

To be quite honest, if FH was going to go with the McNelly "Oh Miss Jehane, I done aborted da baby!" version of the Jihad, I'm almost glad he didn't write it. :(

User avatar
Schu
Posts: 756
Joined: 18 Dec 2008 00:51
Location: Adelaide, Aussie
Contact:

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Schu » 01 Nov 2009 21:15

WHY ARE THERE 10 PAGES OF THIS!??

User avatar
SandChigger
KJASF Ground Zero
Posts: 14492
Joined: 08 Feb 2008 22:29
Location: A continuing state of irritation
Contact:

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby SandChigger » 01 Nov 2009 22:51

Improper Western potty training? :P

Lundse
Posts: 524
Joined: 01 Jul 2008 11:36
Location: Århus, Denmark

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 02 Nov 2009 05:18

Hunchback Jack wrote:To accept that Alia considers Jihad-era machines to be untrustworthy, we need to introduce a distinction that is not in the text - Alia is somehow dividing all machines into those of the Jihad (untrustworthy) and those she considers trustworthy, and only including the latter in her thoughts about machines. The need to introduce this distinction comes *only* from a desire to interpret the original text in light of the KJA/BH version of the Jihad.


Indeed. This is why I have consistently asked redbug to tell me how else to interpret the line in question. Your explanation focuses very precisely on why such an explanation must be based in Frank's own text. Where does the distinction come from?

A further problem is that the passage, as seen below, clearly is about the machines from the time of the Jihad, and is clearly about intelligent, mentat-level-advice-giving ones. As I pointed out just before the last major "break" in the discussion, notice how the 5 sentences would have to be interpreted, if Alia is thinking indeed thinking about two different types of machines (Trustworthy and Potentially-humanity-eradicating, T and P):

The human-computer replaced the mechanical devices destroyed by the Butlerian Jihad.
Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind!
But Alia longed now for a compliant machine.
They could not have suffered from Idaho's limitations.
You could never distrust a machine.


1 and 2 are about P. 3 is about T. 4 is past tense, so it must be about P. 5 is obviously T.

I have so far received no answer on why we should assume Alia's thoughts are going all over the shop. Or as you point out, why we should even assume she is thinking about two different kinds of machines?

I don't want to be closeminded, but I would like to have a reason...

Slugger
Posts: 158
Joined: 11 Aug 2009 20:13

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Slugger » 02 Nov 2009 17:28

Could you never distrust the machine itself or could you never distrust the machine's results (i.e. machines are always impartial)?

Mentats, for all their logical training, are still still human, and their Projections are tainted by human emotions.

User avatar
Hunchback Jack
Posts: 1983
Joined: 30 May 2008 15:02
Location: California, USA

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Hunchback Jack » 02 Nov 2009 18:46

I think the issue was not one of accuracy but one of *compliance*. A Mentat might be perfectly capable of returning an accurate projection, but may not be willing to.

HBJ
"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
- Carl Sagan

I'm still very proud of The Quarry but … let's face it; in the end the real best way to sign off would have been with a great big rollicking Culture novel.
- Iain Banks

Idahopotato
Posts: 103
Joined: 08 Oct 2009 13:06

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Idahopotato » 02 Nov 2009 19:20

Hunchback Jack wrote:I think the issue was not one of accuracy but one of *compliance*. A Mentat might be perfectly capable of returning an accurate projection, but may not be willing to.

HBJ


Kind of like Windows Vista?

User avatar
SadisticCynic
Posts: 2051
Joined: 07 Apr 2009 09:28
Location: In Time or in Space?

Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby SadisticCynic » 03 Nov 2009 15:39

Idahopotato wrote:
Hunchback Jack wrote:I think the issue was not one of accuracy but one of *compliance*. A Mentat might be perfectly capable of returning an accurate projection, but may not be willing to.

HBJ


Kind of like Windows Vista?


No, just kind of like Microsoft.
Ah English, the language where pretty much any word can have any meaning! - A Thing of Eternity