Can't find the appropriate forum for your topic? Post it here!

Moderators: Omphalos, Freakzilla, ᴶᵛᵀᴬ

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


Postby Schu » 09 Feb 2009 01:39

At DN there's been a discussion I thought should be brought here too. I'll quote the important bits:

Old Worm wrote:When Odrade and Co. got to Junction to face off with Great HM, the hotel they arrive at has a number of robots, not just mindless ones but the reception robot that talks to Odrade.

It surprised me that this was all met by the BG delegation with little more than a batting of eyes - now I know by this stage we are a long way from the Jihad times, but given Odrade's concerns about the cybrog Clairby, who else thinks the blase reaction to the robots was a tad unusual?

IIRC there was also some mention of servo droids in Heretics also.

(that was the original post)

(a while later..)

Schu wrote:Frank used the fact that the more extreme loathing of all machines due to the BJ was wearing off as an interesting foil in many cases.

Having archives be computerised was a great way to get Odrade to rail against archivists, especially Bellonda, about their laziness and their manner of correcting, "as if archives gave them a better view of reality" (I don't think that's a direct quote, but it's pretty close). I thought he was less trying to show us a degraded society, and more showing us that there's nothing wrong with machines, only how they're used.

So basically, the fact that somewhat-thinking-machines were being used again (which had started as early as GEoD) was being used as a way for major protagonists in the novels to rail against the "machine mind" in humans, and the propensity of people relying on machines to create that.

arnoldo wrote:
Schu wrote:. . So basically, the fact that somewhat-thinking-machines were being used again (which had started as early as GEoD) was being used as a way for major protagonists in the novels to rail against the "machine mind" in humans, and the propensity of people relying on machines to create that.

In addition the return of more "sinister" technological devices such as Ixian probes and T-probes certainly forebode that machines were being created which were designed to link with the human mind. The HM also appeared to use a communication device of some kind during battle which linked with the human mind like a T-probe. . . Thus the idea that return of forbidden technology as depicted in CH:D was entirely benign doesn't follow, for example:

. . .The operations console where Logno concentrated her attention was smaller than the showcase ones. Fingerfield manipulation. The hood on a low table beside Logno was smaller and transparent, revealing the medusa tangle of probes.

Shigawire for sure.

The hood showed a close affinity to T-probes from the Scattering Teg and others had described. Did these women possess more technological marvels? They must.

Schu wrote:I think the t-probes were used as more of a plot device than anything to point at the BJ: I mean, take the fact that it failed to create a simulation of Teg. That was symbolic of a kind of "whole greater than the sum of the parts" view of the human mind, and the fact that ultimately you can't "counterfeit a human mind".

Because of this, I don't think FH wanted to depict t-probes as anything sinister in a "machine mind" kind of way, just as one of the many dangers of these new opponents, and in fact as a clever, admirable new invention.

And that was also a clever contrast to the face dancers and their new (as of HoD), analogous abilities.

Zeropoint wrote:Exactly! I dont think the BG had anything "against" computers, only how they were used. Keep in mind, the first Dune took place 10,000 years after the Jihad. What perversions entered human perception in that time?? I think Leto tried to correct that, in some way.

In other news... Frank wrote (in other novels) about cyborgs and potential loss of humanity as a result. I imagined pre-Butlerian times to be filled with cyborged humans and automated everything.

Schu- Concerning the T-probes: I think they were a "machine mind" in a sense. It couldnt simulate Teg, I believe, because he (unconsciously) found a way to counteract it. The operater of the probe even said it wasnt working correctly, right? That leads one to believe that the T-probe COULD simulate a human mind in order for the operater to gather the needed information.

I agree that the Probes werent a "sinister" thing, rather a way for Frank to show that machines ultimately rely on user-interface to distinguish "good and evil".

Face Dancers, however. . . It seemed Frank moved the "threat" from machines to genetics. He certainly implied that Humans would need machines to defeat this new threat the HM ran from.

Schu wrote:
I'm going to elaborate here, because I don't disagree with you but I don't think the big picture is being seen here.

You'll notice I carefully said "human mind" when I said about simluations and it's failure with Teg. I find a lot of parallels with the gom jabbar test here:

Teg forces himself to live through the pain so that the machine can't isolate his consciousness from his memories, meaning the machine can't use his memories without his permission. This is much like the human that instead of chewing his limb off, bears the pain and removes the trapper and a threat to his kind.

So I think it's a lot like an unintentional test of humanity, which just happens to set his abilities free too.

So, what do you think about the analogy between Teg's t-probe ordeal and Paul's Gom Jabbar test? Apt or not?

User avatar
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18257
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Postby Freakzilla » 09 Feb 2009 10:24

Not even close. The T-Probe was like Teg's Water of Life.
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

User avatar
Drunken Idaho
Posts: 1197
Joined: 15 Sep 2008 23:56
Location: Ontario, Canada

Postby Drunken Idaho » 09 Feb 2009 12:34

Yeah, didn't he say (in his head, IIRC) that the probe does mechanically what the BG do when they Share?
"The Idahos were never ordinary people."
-Reverend Mother Superior Alma Mavis Taraza