I like SHODAN. She has more personality than the Many.
Yeah but the many died with humility. I almost wanted to un-kill it after that lol.
I seriously wonder what would’ve happened with The Many and mankind if SHODAN couldn’t intervene. Would it actually be a bad thing? Maybe all those questions will be answered in the sequel
The problem with The Many is that they wanted to force you into their unity, which isn’t, in the least, ethic. They were as totalitarian as SHODAN. The best comparison I’ve seen so far is: SHODAN/Capitalism and The Many/Comunism (or Socialism). None of them are good when they try to force into them, but both have interesting ideas.
I wouldn’t describe SHODAN as a capitalist. If she ruled the world it would rather resemble a dictatorial, centrally-planned command economy.
The Many take it to the next level and introduce a kind of totalitarian mind control that probably would have been Stalin’s ultimate dream.
Both are inherently opposed to any idea of liberty, individualism or decentralization.
I mostly see it simply as juxtaposing two opposing themes, much like in the Thief games. Biology vs technology, evolution vs cybernetics, individual vs society, order vs chaos, nature vs civilisation, red vs green, etc.
Even the spiritual successors* Bioshock 1 and 2 had some limp capitalism vs socialism thing going on, but it fell completely apart by Bioshock Infinite and the Thief reboot. Having exaggerated opposing themes taken to the extreme works pretty well with fantasy concepts like rogue AIs, elder pagan gods or objectivism, but less so when dealing with serious real world issues like institutional racism or poverty.
- YMMV on how well they managed to capture that spirit.
SHODAN was doing the same thing though with her forced cyborg conversions in SS1. SHODAN/The Many are not really that different.
I agree SHODAN would establish an egocentric, centralized government on par with the fascist regimes of WW2.
As far as free will, that is a pernicious illusion. We spend most of our time as sleepwalkers, dreaming we are awake, relying on motorized actions to make our decisions.
I’ve seen Sam Harris and Jerry Coyne talk about that idea on Youtube, and I could hardly think of a scarier idea. Imagine if it were true (i.e. we don’t have free will).
No murderer or terrorist could be blamed for his/her actions. We couldn’t claim merit for our own achievements. The future course of history could not be altered. Wars and famines could not be prevented, because they are the product of actions made up in politicians’ brains without anyone having control over anything. All major world religions would necessarily have to be false.
I do agree with the notion that our decisions are to a significant degree influenced by subconscious processes (I like the city experiment Harris mentions in on of his speeches). But to suggest that we cannot influence our decisions at all is too frightening to contemplate.
But scientific evidence that we lack free will appears to be circumstantial at best.
I’m not one to take anything as certain, but I tend to believe we are mostly puppets of the world. Free will would mean we could be something out of nothing, but it’s not like this, our brains are made to respond to external stimulus, so if there’s nothing to react to, it just won’t work. If it has something to respond to, it will react by molding itself to recieve and respond to this stimulus the best way it can, and then there we’ll have all written up a code for ‘X’ thing, and if you could see such code, you would easily know how a person would react to something, so… Sadly, no free will. But, as I stated before, I don’t take this as certain, I just believe it’s the most logical conclusion.
Still, we feel as though we have free will, so no reason to be discouraged by this puppet logic.
From that logic, it follows that (1) you cannot believe in a just and personal God - ie rules out Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc. - and (2) you have to believe in a deterministic view of the history of humankind which no one has the power to change. People who starve to death are doomed to their fate just as are people who become billionaires.
That would also raise the question if it is even possible to construct an AI that has free will. Does SHODAN have free will? Or is she also trapped in the algorithms of her “brain” with no other choice than to destroy earth?
Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
We could go as far as to say that: all that’s happening today is just an echo of the beginning, so if you could quantify this beginning you would be able to find what’s going to happens in the future. And you would need to be a hell of a super computer.
But there are some things related to physics that seem to be unquantifiable, related to atoms and how electrons move or something around that corner.
We’ll never really understand this universe in time, so better believe we have at least a little free will.
Actually, the more you delve into physics, the more you come to the conclusion that there is no free will. Even quantum mechanics doesn’t allow for free will, merely alternate realities and the classical view of the universe is pretty deterministic. The universe is nothing but a particle simulator, teeming with cause and effect relationships that could in theory be quantified and even predicted. The fact that we can’t do this is a limitation of our observational and computational power, not of reality itself.
The reason we don’t admit this to ourselves is pretty much as you said. People would no longer feel responsible for their actions (which sounds like free will… how ironic) and you’d have anarchy. Can’t have the peons causing a ruckus in the backyard of the rich and powerful right? In the most technical sense, we are puppets, but to a quantum soup rather than to some deity.
Not to mention you spend very little of your time in actual beta state. Free will is an optical illusion, just like consciousness itself.
But then, why is there consciousness in the first place? Why bother create the illusion? Wouldn’t a non-sentient robot survive just as well?
And doesn’t that mean Charles Baudelaire is wrong?
Or to put that last question another way, is consciousness real?
If consciousness is an illusion that’s so good we treat it as though it’s real, why not accord the same status to free will?
Also, we are so far off the topic of the SS1 remake that it’s not even funny. (Except that it kind of is. )
We had no choice.
About consciousness, that’s the only thing that goes into a foggy realm. Why do we have this individual knowing? There’s actually, really, no reason for this. Why is it that you are yourself and only yourself? Couldn’t we do what we do and just be here, like things, with no something creating an illusion of being?
Consciousness is the only subject that gives me hope things are not so limited.
Looking for a reason for consciousness, presupposes intelligent design (ie. God). That’s why I personally find the question itself to be invalid. There is no reason for consciousness. It simply is, because it turned out to be superior to other mutations that may not have been self-aware. We are accustomed to things happening for a reason, ironically because we are conscious of ourselves and our own goals in life. We want to serve a purpose. Thus our actions serve that purpose, giving reason to everything we do or create. Nature, unlike us, is not conscious and does not have reasons for doing anything. IT doesn’t “do” anything. IT merely is and we observe things happening around us. There is no rhyme or reason to nature or the things that come from nature (such as ourselves).
About this: Einstein referred to our illusion of separation as an optical illusion.
As far as Baudelaire, he’s a poet, not a scientist. His quotes are as fictional as his work, but I love his twist of phrase.
As far as ‘consciousness,’ like everything else, the brain tends to tie our senses together to an interpret matter. We refer to this illusion as ‘consciousness,’ but like everything else, it is a product of evolution, and of the brain.
Quantum physics has a neat puzzle: if we can remember the past, how come we cannot remember the future? After all, spacetime is one, and time is just another measurement. Assuming we exist in said future, how come we cannot remember it as clearly as the past?