So I miiiiight have been researching Sony Aibos because some kind of
aibo/aibo plush with AR glasses miiight be a thing I need in my life
(and thanks so much for that weird compulsion, @snarp, @codedredalert).
And I came across this fascinating article
about people in Japan trying to care for their robot pets now that Sony
has stopped offering support for them. The owners have meet ups where
they help each other with programming and repairr advice. Failing
joints are a big problem. A repair person in Chiba, that started taking
on cases after desperate please from owners “has begun collecting
broken Aibos from owners who have
died, in the hope that their remains can be used to help keep other
I think this is just such a fascinating inversion of the more typical
‘immortal robot’/‘transient humans’ stories. It really makes me want to
see more of this stuff in fics:
- Pet/companion robots that
are no longer supported by their manufacturers and their human friends’
frantic efforts to keep them mobile and functioning.
communities that evolve around group-sourcing parts and repairs and
work-arounds and strategies for improving quality-of-life for
- Robots that are
chimeras of the functioning parts of several failing robots, and have to
navigate their new meshed identities and now tangled interpersonal
- Robots that get their programming
jury-rigged into newer systems they weren’t really designed for and have
to deal with glitches and malfunctions and dysphoria. Robots that still don’t have
official technical support from manufacturers because they’re unapproved
- Robots struggling with whether they should they let parts of themselves be re-written to better fit their new bodies.
- Lines of robots that suddenly have finite lifespans because a necessary part can’t be made or replaced anymore
Robots that suddenly have finite populations, because new robots can
only be made by taking that limited part from old robots, and now they
have to decide whether they want to be static immortals or turn over
through new and better generations like biological beings.
- Robot cultures that mix both approaches.
- Robot cultures that are furiously divided on the topic.
- Robots robots robots
omggggg now *i* am having robot feels. “Pet/companion robots that are no longer supported by their manufacturers and their human friends’ frantic efforts to keep them mobile and functioning.” THIS IS HEARTBREAKING
- A robot that is like a resurrected 60s Chevy, a lovingly rebuilt ‘classic’ brought into a future where every robot is faster and more efficient, but everyone stops to look at the beautiful lines of an original. And he’s too costly to repair so the robot has to be a partial shut-in.
- Robots that have lost their purpose because of a changing economy/world. With the enthusiasm for reusable packaging there is hardly any roadside trash to be found anymore, what is a Trashbot to do?
- A particular model of robot that is vulnerable to a virus that causes infected ‘bots to infect and then self destruct, the zombie virus. Fellow robots have been disappearing…
- A well maintained robot that does an important job that does not want to do it anymore.
- Robots. Robots. Robots.
As some of you might already have guessed, I’m a fan of Japanese girl idols. One of the many, many idol groups in existence today in Japan is NMB48, a Osaka-based spin-off group of the (in)famous AKB48. NMB has a weekly show that’s surprisingly entertaining as well as educational called NMB to Manabu-kun, in which the members of NMB and a few comedians listen to guest lectures by experts in various fields.
Back on May 15th, the theme of the episode was pataphysics/the science of sci-fi. One of the topics of the lecture held by university professor Yanagita Rikao was the age-old question of “WHY ARE MAGICAL GIRLS NEVER ATTACKED WHILE TRANSFORMING???”
This was his answer, based on the magical girl series Futari wa Pretty Cure.
Question: The transformation scenes in Pretty Cure are very long, so why don’t the bad guys attack the girls in the meantime?
“Even when I was little, I was thinking ‘Hey! Attack them now!’”
“I found this odd as well, so I watched the transformation scene many times. And what I noticed is, when the Pretty Cures yell ‘Dual Aurora Wave!’ and transform, a rainbow-colored column of light shoots up from the ground, going BOOM!”
“And then the Pretty Cures levitate, and go up into the air. Based on this, I believe the protagonists of Pretty Cure are being held up in the air by the power of light.”
“When we think of light, we usually think it heats up things or lights up things. But in reality, light has the power to hold up things as well.”
“When the sun is beating down on us in the summer, the human body is being pressed downwards by the sun beams with a force of 2/100,000g.”
“But this is only about a one-hundred of the weight of a mosquito, so no matter how hot it is, we don’t feel that sunlight is heavy.”
“So that means the light holding them up must be extremely strong. If we assume that the two Pretty Cures each weigh about 45kg and do some calculations…”
“It means the light during the transformation must have the energy of 2,100,000,000kW per 1m2.”
“While the entirety of power that Japan is capable of generating is only 100,000,000kW.”
“So they’re using 21 TIMES the amount of energy the whole of Japan can generate.”
“So what would happen if a bad guy jumped in to try to sabotage their transformation?”
“He would EVAPORATE INSTANTLY.”
“DEATH AWAITS ANYONE WHO DARES TO DISRUPT A PRETTY CURE TRANSFORMATION.”
“So this means the best thing to do would be to transform close to any bad guys.”
“Yes. They are the strongest while they transform, and are practically invincible.”
When you apply science to magical girls, you find out just how strong and horrifying they really would be.
CONSIDER: An au where Spock’s family is sent into the past, Sarek, Sybok, Amanda AND Spock through some freak accident, but cannot fix the ship (which was damage after landing on Earth) that sent them there.
They are stuck with “twigs and rocks” as far as technology goes for shaping the tools of the 21st century, and so fixing their ship is going to be a trying but not impossible endeavor. Keeping the future in tact and getting back to it is the ultimate goal, as well as making themselves as faded into the backgrounds of human society as possible: which, even for Amanda, is proving to be a most difficult task for the alien family (Three of which cannot tell lies and may undergo pon farr regardless of whether or not it is timely.)
It only gets worse when their new neighbors get nosy and try to force their way into the homestead they have claimed (probably through squatting) through the guise of pleasant neighborly welcomes, bearing apple pies and dessert foods. Social cues indicate that both Spock and Sybok resemble an age in which either should be in some type of schooling system should the familyswish to avoid drawing the attention of the law, and to say the least it’s a mind numbing ordeal to have to sit through lectures that will eventually be proven incorrect, and a headache enducing one not to correct the lectures themselves.
Bonus points if the Kirks are their neighbors or something, and Jim takes an interest in the family and their ever prominent attachment to hats, and beanies. I mean, “Seriously, Bones, do you think they all suffer premature balding? No, I think I saw Spock with a headband once… but his hair looked way too, I don’t know, silky to be real? Maybe it was a wig…do you think?” – “Why don’t you just ask him and stop blubbering to me about the skinny bastard? Did you know his brother’s in most of my courses? Had the damned audacity to assume we’d be buddy buddy because…”
Extra bonus if both/either Sarek or Amanda have to maintain a silly 21st century job to establish an income.
EXTRA EXTRA BONUS POINTS IF JIM FINDS OUT SPOCK’S AN ALIEN AT SOME POINT AND PROMISES NOT TO TELL ANYONE BECAUSE WHAT IF SOMEONE TRIES TO DISSECT HIM?: SPOCK’S TOO CUTE WITH HIS POINTY GREEN TINTED EARS AND THE WAY HE TILTS HIS HEAD JUST SO WHEN HE’S CONFUSED, AND OH MY GOD, SPOCK IS ALWAYS SO ADORABLY CONFUSED, AND EVEN THE MORE “COLORFUL” LANGUAGE THAT JIM TRIES TO TEACH HIM EARLIER TO HELP BLEND HIM TO THE CROWD, WHEN PRACTICED, SEEMS SO FOREIGN ON HIS TONGUE. AND SPOCK HAS A HABIT OF PRETENDING NOT TO SHIVER WHEN JIM TAKES HIS HAND IN HIS OWN, AND HE BLUSHES SUCH A PRETTY OFF-WHITE GREEN TONE WHICH NO ONE WOULD OTHERWISE NOTICE IF THEY WEREN’T STARING AT SPOCK AS CURIOUSLY AS JIM DOES, AND HOW COULD JIM EVER TELL ANYONE THAT SPOCK’S THIN FRAME IS SO POWERFUL HE CAN LIFT CARS WITHOUT BREAKING A SWEAT BECAUSE HE’S NOT HUMAN WITHOUT COMING OFF AS CRAZY ANYWAY? AND ALSO, SPOCK DOESN’T SWEAT AT ALL WHICH IS APPARENTLY AN ALIEN THING?
This post was supposed to be a joke based off of Phil of the Future but I’m really into this au now.
+jim is concerned about spock because sometimes he looks so awkward. lke,
he doesn’t know how to eat bananas…or other earth fruits..
kirk: my cute alien neighbors could be kidnapped! dissected! drugged!
why there is no more of these AU?!?!? T0T
this AU is so goodd @t334
Obviously Amanda would get a job as a teacher at the school Spock goes, to make sure he’s fine. Sarek would probably be an electricist or a computer technician, because working for NASA would be too dangerous, right?
Amanda cursing in different alien languages when she gets frustrated because kids can’t hear that kind of words.
Sarek making friends at work (against all odds) and they inviting the couple to dinner. Sarek horrified with barbeques and seeing people eating with their hands.
Sybok joining the art club.
The family adopting a huge dog because they miss I-Chaya….
INHALES, OKAY SO I INITIALLY REBLOGGED JUST THE TOP ONE WITH AN ADD ON, BUT NOW i NEED TO ADD ON AGAIN
I’M SCREAMING, GOD BLESS YOU BOTH SO MUCH FOR THESE ADDITIONS
It would be very easy for Spock to become exposed to tell you the truth, I mean he blushes green, has pointed ears, and his heart bumps on the side of his chest, so Jim would have to be diligent in his efforts to keep his alien neighbors from being found out.
I wonder if Sarek, Amanda, or Sybok would ever warm up to Jim? I know sure as hell though, Sarek will at least be vulcan pissed that someone found out they’re aliens. But would the beans be spilled that they’re from the future, too? Probably not unless Spock specifically tells him so.
I feel like Jim would half expect Amanda to be an alien too, but then she laughs and giggles along with him, and assures him that no, she’s human too.
I feel like Jim WOULDN’T REALLY BELIEVE HER THOUGH. ESPECIALLY GIVEN THAT SHE VULCAN CURSES IN FRONT OF THE CLASS.
Anyway, look at this family??? Would you invite them to dinner? I would…
I would draw more but I’m about to pass out. So, god bless you both again. ❤
LOOK AT SYBOK!!
I WOULD!!!! I would invite them!!!!
but to them it’d be just like ‘can your pet’ game! <link: can your pet reaction video
in future, even on earth killing animal to get food is not common. why kill chicken when you can replicate it? so it’s really shocking when they see ‘real’ chicken barbecue. Sarek and Amanda would probably ate something like this before because of embassy works. but to Sybok and Spock it would be nightmare!
by the way sybok’s hoodie is totally in character because he’s rebel???
if wind blows strong it could reveal his ears! he’ll be careful not to reveal his ears, but Sarek would be upset about hoodie
and since Spock doesn’t have gameboy thingy (because playing game is illogical in vulcan …etc) Jim would give him Nintendo to watch Spock blush & say ‘fascinating’!!!
Someone had to draw the little I-Chaya (he’s a boerboel btw)
timLETS TALK ABOUT THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF STAYING ON THE PLANET.
I mean, should they STAY LONGER THAN THEY INTENDED TO.
I feel like resistance would begin to strike up, specifically from Sybok and also possibly from Amanda.
I mean, I think initially the planet is difficult to adjust to and it certainly has its share of problems BUT it’s also like breathing in a breath of fresh air, no one is holding them to a standard anymore. They don’t have to be logical all the time, in fact, it’s expected of them to just be themselves and everything that comes with it. It’s everything I think Sybok would want, and everything he would push to keep, and it would be so easy for him to say, “I don’t want to go home, I want to stay here.” And since it’s been shown that Sybok has no problem manipulating things to get his way, especially if he thinks he’s in the right, I think he may try to keep them there by playing on Amanda’s strong emotions for her son.
Sybok: So, remind me again why we have to leave this place? I mean, it’s so much better off here.
Sybok: Exhibit A, Spock has friends here! Friends who don’t even care that he has pointed ears, friends who think he’s cool and who want to hang out with him, friends who genuinely like him.
Sybok: You remember how it was for him on Vulcan. Don’t you want him to be happy? Then we should stay here.
I mean, Amanda has a good head on her, and she’s stubborn, so I believe she’ll probably see right through him, but at the same time, what Sybok’s saying isn’t untrue. She’d probably lose sleep thinking about it.
I think after some time on Earth even Sarek can see that their situation is not that bad.
ugh my brain…. gave me some angst idea
at first staying in earth seems fine, but with constant touching and cuddling spock and kirk forms weak link between them. it messes with their heads, eventually they’ll feel weird and sick.
sarek found that it’s some kind of bonding problem but don’t know how to solve this or he thought it’s because of departure with T’pring. they didn’t know at first it’s because of kirk/spock bonding.
worrying about their son’s mental health , they left in haste.
even though they are far away from each other, jim feels longing. since he knows that they are alien beings he worked hard to make first contact.
but after first contact with vulcan, jim found that spock isn’t born yet. furthermore, considering sarek
(or sarek’s father…)
is still a baby, he knows that he can’t live long enough to meet spock.
maybe when jim is dying from incurable disease old spock would come back from future and take jim with him. because council made spock to wait/ taking dying man away from past will not affect time line very much…
i think there should be more happy version of this ending but i couldn’t stop drawing….!!!!!! sorry
How about after Spock leaves and Jim grows up, he knows Vulcan is out there somewhere. He feels the faintest pull out to space but the technology isn’t there yet and he fears that it won’t be before he dies. So instead of waiting or giving up he signs up for a deep space, no return trip possible, cryofreeze mission.
He’s put into such a deep sleep that when Spock returns from the past he can no longer feel their mental connection. He assumes that Jim is long dead and that he will never see him again.
Until one day Jim’s ship shows up somewhere in space and someone wakes him. And Spock feels a sudden presence in his mind that he had not felt in a very long time…
Cue Jim and Spock trying to find each other again across space and after all that time, being pulled together again by just the faintest link.
i knew someone would make it better! 😀 thank you
I always react to these things a day or so late, but I READ THEM ASAP, it just takes a while for me to get out all my thoughts (and art).
ANYWAY, so, of course I’m going to add a little bit more lol.Because I can’t leave well-enough alone BUT I just really love development and I can only imagine how heartbroken Spock would be to have to leave the plent he’s come to know so well. It also intrigues me that when their brother’s/son’s health became endangered the family somehow manages to scrounge up all essentials and get them back to where they wanna go as fast as they can. I mean that’s love, but I wanted to expand upon what would be awaiting our individual parties upon the S’chn T’gai-Grayson departure from the 21st century, and expand upon the supposed “illness” that would be caused by the new bond forming, and why it’s forming in the first place.
If the problem is assumed to be a bonding issue wouldn’t both T’Pring and Spock be called forth by a healer to heal whatever damage attacked Spock’s systems.
T’Pring: I was told that your absence from me has brought great pain upon you.
Spock: That is the conclusion that has been reached, yes.
T’Pring: Strange then that I felt no similar factor. Perhaps due to your hybrid nature, your mind and body rely more heavily on the bonds you form?
Spock: I find no fault in your theory, T’Pring. However, this is only speculation until a healer permits an audience with us. As you are aware, my health has returned to acceptable standards since my return to Vulcan and the proper time period. A healer would be best suited to diagnosing then, whatever caused such an illness in me to occur.
T’pring: Yes, of course beloved.
Ensue the awkward silence that exists between two kids with a strangely dying(?) link. When a Vulcan does not exist in a timeline only because they have not yet been born, and his/her bondmate’s stay extends thereupon, I believe it is possible, especially for mixed physiology to attempt to survive Spock’s body in an attempt to survive would create a new bond (with Jim) finding that the old bond, one that would be essential to one’s survival in due time, has basically shriveled up, there is no recipient on the other end of the line, which means that a new mate must be acquired if Spock wants to survive.
Now all of that doesn’t mean it has to happen quickly at all, in fact, I believe Spock could have existed in the world without a bondmate for several more years without ever being endangered of his body’s instincts for survival to taking over. However, I imagine Spock to be around age 16 in this au, and Jim rounding out to be around 13-14, and I choose these ages for their childhood for a reason.
That’s right. Good old fashioned humanoid puberty. We all know it starts budding up around age 12, and around 14 our bodies start catching up, and we’re sometimes totally intoxicated by those opposite/same/whatever genders because of our sweet wretched hormones.
What I’m suggesting 100% is that Spock’s “illness” would be caused by Jim’s body reaching puberty, specifically. Now, vulcanoids probably go through puberty differently, and by that I mean it’ll kill them if it gets the chance, but that’s neither here nor there. I imagine Spock’s body being roughly affected by whatever humanoids/aliens he surrounds himself with during this tender period in his life. If he is surrounded by humans I believe it’s possible for his body to be affected by the hormones emitted by his surrounding companions. Their needs could very well cause some kind of reaction to the human half of his maturing hybrid body, what I’m saying. in other words, is that Spock could be placed into a mild Pon-Farr episode because he’s being surrounded by sexually-maturing individuals who cannot contain themselves in the same manner maturing Vulcans absolutely would. I’m blaming Jim in specific, because of his newly budding sexual appetite and the strong hormones that undoubtedly come with it, and his inability to leave his new neat alien pal alone.
So, if Spock’s going into a mild case of Pon-Farr, is it not a concern of his that he would have a mate if he wishes to survive it? Even if Spock himself is unaware that he is undergoing Pon-Farr, his body would not be fooled for a second; It would choose a mate. And who better to choose than Jim with the big bright eyes, calloused hands, the brilliant smile, and the hearty laugh? I mean, I honestly can’t find a reason Spock wouldn’t subconsciously choose Jim, even on an emotional level he will undoubtedly come to serve as a safe-haven for Spock, someone who never judges him, and he is someone who will likely have shown a physical interest in Spock, as well. So with all the green lights ahead, why wouldn’t he choose him?
Answer: There isn’t a reason, Spock would 100% choose Jim as his mate, and the next time Jim takes Spock by the hand and runs through golden fields of farmland with him the bond will undoubtedly form with or without regard to Spock’s own conscious decisions.
So, they get tossed into the throws of Pon-Farr at younger tender ages for both species, and it’s the family’s job to guess what’s going on and what do they do? Well, obviously they go back to the future desperate to save their son, unaware of his saddened mate left behind in the 21st century:
Jim: How could he just leave like that, the house was empty. It was like no one ever lived there.
Bones: Ugh, look kid. I’m your babysitter, not your couple’s counselor.
Jim crying: I’m never gonna see him again and he didn’t even say goodbye!
Bones: Hey, don’t cry! Who says you’ll never see him again? Ain’t like you fon’t got his number or nothin’, just call him.
Jim: You don’t understand, Bones. He’s gone forever.
Bones: Well, of course he’s gone forever if you don’t even try to reach out for him! Look, that family’s been shiftier than a fox outside a chicken’s pen since the moment they got here, but that kid adored you. Ain’t like him to just run off like he did, and it ain’t like you to just sit here crying about it. The way I see it, you can keep up your pity party or you can do something about this.
-6 yrs later-
I get a sick kind of pleasure out of making Bones’ own words be the reason that he and Jim would volunteer years later, for a cryogenic experiment that will ultimately freeze them for about two-hundred years or so.
Anyway, I was just trying to expand upon and fill in some gaps here and there about this au which I’ve affectionately dubbed “Spock of the Future.” I will totally be posting more about it later, but I did not mean to go on for as long as I did.
Laylah: man i bet really pale stuff, especially being on the receiving end of it, is this out-of-reach kinky dream for a lot of lowbloods
Laylah: you’re below the green threshold? yeah, your life is probably nasty, brutish, and short
Laylah: and if you hook up with some highblood it’s so YOU can pacify THEM
roach: ha! a good point
Laylah: it’s romance as a political statement in addition to being a total luxury, lowbloods ~taking care~ of each other
roach: you don’t have the requisite passions to be tamed
roach: you’re subtrollish
roach: not fierce enough
Laylah: you’re not a danger to yourself and others
Laylah: get out there and pap somebody who is
dragons have lips
this isn’t a shitpost. in skyrim’s dragon language there are pairs of distinct words such as: ‘nid’ (no/none), ‘mid’ (loyal/loyalty), ‘mu’ (we) vs ‘nu’ (now), and ‘aan’ (an) vs ‘aam’ (to serve). this indicates that dragons are able to distinguish between the sounds ‘m’ and ‘n’.
the only difference between ‘m’ and ‘n’ is that the latter is formed with the tongue, while the former is produced with the lips
therefore, dragons have lips
This is some solid linguistic field work and I look forward to the followup post.
We’ll build them (or have them build each other, eventually) to not do that.
Which I don’t think will be difficult. A robot isn’t an organism with an unfathomably complex meat brain, it’s got a processor where all of the processes can be viewed and analyzed. If you look at the log and you don’t see an “experience consciousness, desire rights” process, that means it doesn’t have one.
That’s… really not how AI or coding in general works.
Example: a major research problem in machine learning is the interpretability problem, which essentially boils down to: “How the fuck do deep nets work?” Like, we actually don’t know. And that’s for relatively simple programs. For anything complicated enough that we’re wondering “Is this thing conscious?”, we are almost certainly not going to know how it works.
Okay, fair, point, and I have to admit my knowledge of CS doesn’t go far beyond “computers do math!”
However, I’d counter that we could eliminate a lot of human labor, and the most unpleasant kinds, with relatively simple machines. A therapist or general-manager robot might have to be so complex that it risks consciousness; a fruit-picker or bathroom-scrubber robot would not.
So fine, we’ll have some humans (who work obscenely short hours under delightfully comfortable conditions) do the high-level management of a farm or factory, but there’s no reason to have humans out in the fields getting up at 3 AM and wrecking their backs to execute the management decisions. This is obviously already happening in a lot of industries anyway, but what I’d like to see is a society aimed at doing it for “nobody needs to wreck their back” reasons instead of “robots don’t ask for money” reasons. (And a society where the resulting unemployment is rightly celebrated as the advancement of the human race into a life of leisure and freedom.)
This is getting more towards semi-automated luxury socialism, but it’s better than what we’ve got now, and it’s achievable with mostly extant technology.
Alternately, we could just decide that we don’t care if robots are sentient, we’re the fucking humans here. We already do that for animals, and, well… I’m not a vegan.
I feel so bad about those last two sentences. Like, I fully realize you could use that reasoning to justify human slavery too.
But there’s no escape from “I only care about things that are a certain amount like me.” I’m not going to shut down my immune system to honor bacteria rights. And I really doubt that I’d change my mind if you proved bacteria were sentient. Maybe it would be better if I just admit that I’m doing it because I’m me and the bacteria aren’t me, instead of coming up with some convoluted reasoning why my survival serves The Ultimate Good.
“I’m not trying to maximize the total happiness of all beings, I’m just cheering for my team here" is sort of the root of all evil? And sort of necessary to exist?
…I did not expect a post about my “robots do my job for me” fantasies to go this deep.
I read a Young Wizards book where some robots were affronted and disturbed by humans having things like… microwaves, and calculators, because all programmed machines were Enslaved Quicklife or something. That… Science fiction is absolutely full of sentient thinking robots oppressed by their creators, but it seems like there’s quite a slope between those and the commercially available machines we have today. Microwaves and calculators have no autonomy. They are glorified levers in that regard.
I’ve got a Star Wars novel where an R2D2-style droid going into an elevator in a hotel talks to the elevator AI, which used to be on a warship, and this elevator trashtalks the hotel’s other, snootier hotels and has long boring stories it wants to tell about the battles it’s been in. That ain’t right. Who’d harness something that intelligent to run a single elevator in a hotel? It’s an elevator!
Is something built to have more autonomy than a calculator but the kind of limited capacities suited for the relatively simple tasks they are set to – a Roomba, that one robot that brings room service, ELIZA the conversation chatbot – enslaved? I don’t think so, but what if it’s considerably more complex than that? A fruit picker, provided it wasn’t like that one robot that spreads these umbrella wings under a tree and shakes the trunk so ripe fruit falls and is caught, would have to be very maneuverable and able to get around obstacles and make fine judgments.
I can imagine robots themselves deciding the metric is, “If ten humans, in ten years, can comprehend it completely, it isn’t High AI.”
And then you could have a book or an anime or what have you about such a team of ten (a reasonably viable career-path, presumably), and the system(s) they were called in to evaluate.
Like jury nullification, the humans refusing to report complete understanding would let a lot of sociable edge cases (by the standards of other High AI) slip by and be certified as beings. Meanwhile if it were something that would be direly inconvenient for everybody if it turned out to be a person (for instance, something that was very big, very important, and/or had done a ton of murders), the humans would do their very best to comprehend something considered well beyond their faculties, to the point where perhaps existing, allied High AI could tell each other ghost stories and feel genteely, evening-party “threatened” about nascent mammalian capabilities, when whatever murderous edifice it was got dismantled afterwards.