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The ethics of hollowmen

Discussion in 'Nomads' started by inane.imp, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Hollowmen are a spin on the 'shellperson' idea from Anne McCaffrey's "Ship Who Sang"/etc setting.
     
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  2. Nemo No Name

    Nemo No Name Aleph Cultural Atache
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    First, this would not work at all as it would not provide the full control that is the key to Hollowmen idea. It is not their ability to use remote bodies that makes them valuable to Tunguska, it is the fact that the brains are fully within their power, thus ensuring their "loyalty".

    You are assuming that it would be setup in this fashion. The rules in Bakunin are: do what you like within your own section. Do not disturb the public spaces. End rules. There is no reason to assume they could be "collectively" managed, or if it would be again a rich money provider running his own personal service.

    Even if the collective was somehow jointly led, again, not like (practically speaking) any of them could leave, could they? Thus subjected to the whims of the group.

    Wooow. False equivalences much.

    You could also point to KuangShi. The fact other factions also do bad things doesn't excuse your faction. You don't even get the "ethics of the time" defence, as it's quite clear in the wider sphere this is not acceptable.
     
  3. benn

    benn Well-Known Member

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    I also agree Jannisaries, Kuang Shi, Fidays, Hexas, Kempeitai, and Dasyus are morally wrong and not welcomed by the Human Sphere with open arms. No faction in this game has a clean war crime/atrocity slate and acting any differently is silly. We can all win gold medals in mental gymnastics arguing why our preferred factions are the good guys, but until they FAQ that my money's on Shasvastii as secret good guys.
     
  4. Nemo No Name

    Nemo No Name Aleph Cultural Atache
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    That's a nice mental contortion going on there. Impressive moral equivalences you've drawn. :)
     
  5. benn

    benn Well-Known Member

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    Goin for the gold baby.
     
  6. Fathi Amirmoez

    Fathi Amirmoez Active Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  7. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    Not really talking about that. I was talking about the chains people clasp on themselves: social media, "what do they think of me", addictions (computers, mobile phones, drugs...).
    But most of all, unwillingness to breach their comfort zone.

    Meh, I had so much fun thinking "Mi-Go brain cylinder" I never considered other options :P

    As I just said on this post, I was not talking about being dependant on others, but on the chains and limitations we load ourselves with. In that regard, the Hollow Men "total dependency" for Tunguska is quite similar to a mutual assured destruction situation: No Hollow Men program, no really loyal enforcers for Tunguska... and no Tunguska means no VR for the plugged brains.

    Since our mothers forced us to eat all our vegetables! That is why Tohaa players are friendless!!! XD
     
  8. Nemo No Name

    Nemo No Name Aleph Cultural Atache
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    That has nothing to do with this discussion. If you cannot differentiate between the two cases, I don't think we have much to talk anyway.

    It is nothing akin. No Tunguska, no enslaved murderous brains in jars. Really, this is an atrocity far beyond any other mentioned in Infinity lore.

    On a sidenote, plenty of VR available otherwise, just not enforced VR.

    You mean the native-population-murdering-and-enslaving, pregnant-women-infecting Ariadna? These "good" guys? :)
     
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  9. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    Keep focusing on the tree so you can miss the woods if that makes you happy.

    You and I have VERY different set of values, it would seem. Or I have different memories of the setting.

    [SPOILER ALERT!!!] -> iNFINITY BACKSTORY & OUTRAGE (manga)

    In no particular order:
    Uprising (clusterfuck of war crimes)
    Tohaa luring the CA to the Human Sphere to ease the pressure on their worlds (not publicly known)
    The CA blowing up planets and exterminating civilizations for not surrendering ASAP (and, I assume, not having really anything to offer to its Trascendency project)
    Tohaa redirecting a human colonization vessel from Dawn to Paradiso, and attempting to "Sepsitorize" the cubeless humans (not publicly known)
    Tohaa "exalting" other races to use as slaves (it is a reference to the Uplift series of books, and I am assuming only known, and without all of its impications, among the Tohaa).
    Tohaa using extreme methods to send agents outside (Armand Le Muet) and keep comms open with their people in the Human Sphere (multi copying of cubes).
    PanOceania's Hexadrome activating a 2nd instance of an operative (Knauf, first seen on the 3rd Takeshi Kovacs book).
    PanOceania's Atek "caste" of poor, dependant, 3rd rate "citizens" (who die for not having Augmented Reality access, where all the warnings and indications are).
    Haqquislam's "selective assassination" of those who "impede the advance of humanity" (no guide given to avoid such classification).
    Haqquislam's "State Sanctioned" Assassination arm (the Hassassin). Now legal, because O-12 was bitching they were not legal.

    I could go on, but seriously... even thousands of babies SAVED from death, even if they are then placed as indentures, is quite gray for me. All the others on that list? Black marks (fully black) that grey factions in combination with their good points.
    Now, Tunguska is no nest of angels, on that we can agree (in fact, I'd prefer the frigging Corregidor people as neighbours instead of the madhouse that is Bakunin -since their rules say nothing about doing or not doing stuff outside of their ship- or the Mafia that is Tunguska. And Corregidor was the prison ship). And not because they are a fiscal paradise (the last or biggest, it's implied), but because of their datacrypts and all those secrets and blackmails stored there.
     
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  10. Ben Kenobi

    Ben Kenobi Well-Known Member

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    It was the Triumphirat, a splinter group of Tohaa who won't only destroy CA on all cost. They betrayed the other Tohaa too
     
  11. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    An enslaved AI which cannot act outside of its constricted programming, for the safety of humanity... So I would say Aleph is not morally competent, so to say, to be judged ;)

    The Triumvirate, yeah, but I was making broad strokes by "faction" as general

    Assassination is not legal while not at war (and inside one, it depends to a "is your government backing your actions up?"), and I doubt you can declare war on individuals...

    Once as demonstration to the Morat, several times while battling Nemesis (the "daughter" AI the EI created, which lead to a civil war), and it's been mentioned that the CA does that to species that do not surrender when demanded to (thus my caveat of "and you are useless to the EI's objectives").

    You are judging from your frame of reference, the same way you would condemn ancient Roman civilization as "evil" because slavery (and gladiatorial combats to the death) were legal and accepted, and in more ways than one.
    While diagnosing the volunteers to the Hollow Men program as "psychopath slaves" could be done, since they were at one time "normal humans" in the real world, the "inducted" babies (leaving aside possible cybernethic augmentation to incentivate the brain's development) cannot be cathegorized: they grow from nearly birth in a virtual environment of which we have no data, aside that they can do whatever they want (kinda like Neo and the Architect thrown together inside the Matrix), so nope, psychological profile is not applicable.

    As for "slaves", let's be clear: Tunguska could simply provide them with battle VR, keeping them in a drugged state (they have the brains at hand!) or affect the brains directly, exciting precise parts of the brains to provide pleasure and pain to induce a pawlonian conditioning.
    Yet the Hollow Men are free to do as they want in VR, and only "getting out of their room" to do some missions is demanded of them. Sure, they don't own the means for their survival. But neither do us (most of us work in the services sector... few own land and cattle).
     
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  12. Nemo No Name

    Nemo No Name Aleph Cultural Atache
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    For one thing, the current rules of war have a lot of leftovers from romantic notions of war and combat, mixed up with various humanitarian causes. It does not make it any less a war action.

    I am, in fact, judging them by our standards since they developed from our frame of reference and presumably have at least our understanding of ethical concepts. It is the exact opposite of judging Romans by our standards - at best, it's Romans judging us and finding us failing.
    Admittedly, maybe they somehow developed their ethical ideas into something else that makes it acceptable, but - there is no indication of this in lore. If anything, lore supports that they have roughly our understanding and acceptance of ethics. And Nomads are individualistic enough to be perfectly fine with this kind of thing.

    Also, just because it is legal, does not make it ethical.

    Let's be clear on something. Fetuses cannot volunteer for anything.

    Sure we can. Psychopathy (taken from wikipedia, but I imagine it's close enough to formal definition and DuckDuckGo was not providing a link to one): "impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, and egotistical traits."
    All of these are clearly exhibited by the small piece of lore we have on Hollowmen behaviour.

    Just because you treat your slaves nicely and allow them some free time with bonuses does not make them any less the slaves.

    Except they are intelligent. You can pretend all you want. And yes, humans tend to be bastards, but we are discussing ethics here.
     
  13. Brother Smoke

    Brother Smoke Bureau Trimurti Representative

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    Anywho, regarding hollow men, I would much rather be a brain in a jar that occasionally takes over a cool robot body to PWN N00BS IRL than a horribly mutated abomination

    or dead
     
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  14. A Mão Esquerda

    A Mão Esquerda Deputy Hexahedron Officer

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  15. Borlois

    Borlois Yu Jing Imperial Service Agent

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    HolloweMen: CounterStrike ratkids.
    Or even worse... YOUTUBERS!!!!
    Hahahahaha headshot!!! Tebag in U fais faggot!! LoL YOLO SWAG Kurwa :D XD XD
     
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  16. jherazob

    jherazob Well-Known Member

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  17. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    To be sincere here, I have a feeling the ethics have been more "sacrificed" in exchange for pragmatism in Infinity than in our actual time. Then again, it seems like we are presented with the worst excesses of the military organizations of each nation, and not the day-to-day people, at least in the wargame (for the P&P, I have not looked it up, but it would be the first I've ever seen with a comparison between our ethical code and that of a setting).

    Was talking about the other Hollow Men. People that volunteered, as written in the article by Interruptor. By context, I think it was hard to confuse, since I talked about 2 type of Hollow Men: those that could be measured by psychological human baseline (volunteers) since they had a body and interacted and knew the "real world", and those that cannot (the fetuses) because all they ever knew has been the simulation, and can be 100% controlled if desired by manipulating the data stream they receive.

    The failure in your reasoning is at the base, I'd say: by your word, all the Shasvastii as psychopaths... except they are not humans, so yeah, to us they are psychopaths but among each other not so much... same as the Tohaa (they only consider "civilized" those who can speak their pheromonic language...) or the Morat (who see every other race as inferior, not even worthy of serving a Morat warrior as slaves), etc...
    My point is that to analyze the psyche of the non-volunteer Hollow Men, a new baseline is needed. After all, if all you ever knew was a virtual construct (real to you since you never knew reality) and everything could be re-done, un-done, copied and pasted, etc..., it is quite harder to be empathetic for the NPC's in this shooter you are asked to play for extra achievements and cross-game advantages.

    Yep, but how do you define a slave? They spend ALL their time in a gamified VR environment without ever having known anything else, and sometimes they have to perform a "daily grind" in that boring shooter with weird NPC's and maybe some other players.
    Imagine you play World of Warcraft. And by playing a match a day on Overwatch you would get extra resources for your base to expand and build. Or for your Black Desert Online toon, or your whatever. Or earn credits to buy the new expansion/game/show...

    Truth is Tunguska does not need to force anyone to fight for them as Hollow Men... just keep them happy gaming with some needed actions.
    And those who want to opt out of the program? Load the brain in a cube and give them a basic Lhost. After a few days they will beg to go back to VR; and if they insist they want to go... sure, earn enough credits (a fair amount) and send them away, not only will they be very few, unless they got some serious skills in VR they will stay in Tunguska working in VR services or maybe as hackers.

    ... Unless said powers can grind them to dust if they deem the war profitable enough... see the middle-east. In the end, strength is 6/10s of the law (the others being custom and legitimacy).
    Ariadna was the Underdog... now the JSA is XD

    Not like they have the resources to be more black... (not enough tech, population, etc...). And now, the Underdogs are the JSA... yet I still have to see them outside of demos XD
     
  18. Nemo No Name

    Nemo No Name Aleph Cultural Atache
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    That is neither here nor there. You may know what is ethical and still not do it.

    First of all, you misunderstand psychopathy. It is not being egoist, or caring only about your own race (like Shasvastii, Morat and Tohaa). That's just regular callousness. Psychopathy is caring nothing about anybody else except you, singular, single person.

    Furthermore, to imply fetuses, just because they were grown in VR should not be categorised under human normative standards is plain silly. But even if we take your point about that, your whole premise is flawed by thinking we are here to judge the Hollowmen. We are not. We are judging those who financed, authorised, and implemented such measures. For our purposes, the difference between growing psychopaths, abhuman intelligences, or merely utterly brainwashed and used intelligences is the worst kind of abuse, things that should (and would) be classed as "Crimes against humanity".

    While Hollowmen provide some public services to Nomad Nation, they are described primarily as Tunguskan unit serving Tunguska purposes. Tunguskas primary goal is described as providing safe haven for money, thus, Hollowmens service is extracted work from abuse victims, without informed consent or appropriate recompense. Slaves.

    Being abused and brainwashed so much you do not want to leave does not make your case look any better.
     
  19. kinginyellow

    kinginyellow Well-Known Member

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    A part I find interesting about the hollow man that came from babies is that they may not even understand what real life actually is. If you live your life playing a shuffle game of xbox games. Is call of duty more realistic than meat man? The lack of realistic awareness means I truly think the Halloween cant even understand if they are in real life, all the while driving robotic armored suits and shooting at yu jing soldiers.

    They are worse then slaves, they cannot even understand the world their brain lives in and just playing a game regardless.
     
  20. Golem2God

    Golem2God Just a Kooky Kumotail serving others.

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    That is quite a profound statement.