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With This Ring (Young Justice SI) (Thread Fourteen)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Mr Zoat, Jan 27, 2019.

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  1. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    No, renegade hasn't Awoken Lex.
     
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  2. Someguy Somewhere

    Someguy Somewhere The Critical Fumbler

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    It's a reference to the warhammer 40k universe, the Ciaphas Cain novels in particular. They're basically Blackadder in SPAAACE. Thus they use some rather interesting lexicon for insults and phrases. While GW's fiction hasn't quite entered public domain nearly as much as say, star trek, it does get around.

    40k phrase 'Going Ploin Shaped' -> British phrase 'Going Pear Shaped' = Things going horribly wrong.
     
  3. Vaermina

    Vaermina Versed in the lewd.

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    No, that was Paragon, Grayvon just blasted him, which didn't take because immortal.
     
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  4. Rafin

    Rafin Know what you're doing yet?

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    What's that? I vaguely remember a fanfic that has Lex as its main character and where it turns out that all of the insanity of the various human geniuses turns out to be Guardian induced. Is that Inviolate?
     
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  5. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    Yep.
     
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  6. Radix

    Radix Making the rounds.

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    Ah that explains a lot. Started reading it.

    I was a bit confused on the Gold Lanterns came from, I figured it was some obscure Elseworlds story or Morrison thing. Or even something Silver Age.
     
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  7. Vaermina

    Vaermina Versed in the lewd.

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    Gold Lanterns are official and much more recent.

    Played straight they would also completely curbstomp any lantern using the traditional emotional spectrum.
     
  8. Threadmarks: Back Door (part 4)
    Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    8th July 2012
    22:32 GMT


    "What people do is what they do. What people say they'll do isn't what they do."

    Lantern Gozzi looks around at the space-age city we're flying through, noting the stares we're attracting.

    "That's a tautology."

    "I'm building up to an important lesson in your education as an Orange Lantern. Please hold your questions until the end." She glances my way but doesn't otherwise comment. "The goals people follow are their goals. The goals they say they have aren't their goals."

    I pause, and she nods.

    "A fairly disturbing example of that last one was the actions of Nazi Germany towards the end of Earth's Second World War. Rather than put all of their effort into fighting their enemies, they instead stepped up the extermination campaigns they were conducting against minority groups in their own territory. They diverted more effort towards something that was a net drain on their economy, rather than put it into fighting."

    "There are other examples: people who say they want peace, compromise and coexistence but when pushed will admit to only wanting those things on their terms. So what they actually want is victory, supremacy and dominion but they don't say that because they've been taught that the other things are good and that those they actually want aren't. You can make people pull some quite amusing faces if you bring them to awareness of their own cognitive dissonance on some issues."

    "As an Orange Lantern, this is something you must be aware of in yourself. An Orange Lantern's ability to use their ring is dependent on understanding and working towards the realisation of your desires. And since as a Coluan I imagine that you're going to want to use more sophisticated constructs than the rest of us, that's doubly true for you. You'd be surprised how many Orange Lanterns get stuck on the first step and are remarkably weak until they actually get into combat and start being driven by a need to preserve their own lives."

    "I will try to avoid that."

    "Ego's another problem. One of my core functions in the Corps is to advise Lanterns on how to overcome their psychological limitations. And yet, only a few people have actually come to me for advice. Most of the time I've had to actually go to people myself, which… Rather undermines the whole process."

    "But getting back to my original point: if the stand we're taking against the Reach is a righteous and noble struggle because they exterminate conquered people, we ourselves cannot exterminate people we conquer. If the stand we're taking against the Reach is a righteous and noble struggle because we don't mind control people, we ourselves cannot mind control people. Ah, outside of combat, anyway. And if the stand we're taking against the Reach is a righteous and noble struggle because we value individual freedom, liberty, and the right of people to be involved in their own governance… We can't just go around quashing protests because they're inconvenient."



    "May I now-?"

    "Yes."

    "You appear to be entirely rejecting the idea that anything other than complete honesty is useful."

    "More or less."

    "That runs contrary to my experiences. In many situations, Amalak told people that he wanted one thing when he actually wanted another in order to gain an advantage in negotiations."

    "Was his most powerful weapon an orange power ring, whose output was dependent on the extent to which it enabled him to realise his desires?"

    "We prefer positron beams for anti-ship work."

    "Are you telling me that if I offered to trade Amalak rings for ships on a one-for-one basis-?"

    "He would refuse, as he could not control other power ring wielders in the way he can control people who use the ships he owns."

    "And where would I be, if I'd done the same thing?"

    "You.. would not be the Illustres of an Orange Lantern Corps."

    "Just so."

    We near the target address and I descend to street level, Lantern Gozzi a few metres behind.

    "There are an almost infinite number of approaches a person can take to almost anything. But if you've taken up an orange power ring, you have to proceed in a particular way or you cripple yourself."

    "You're certain?"

    "I am until a Lantern with abilities superior to mine comes along."

    She lands beside me.

    "And we are here because you wish to give these people the opportunity to explain themselves."

    We're attracting a degree of wary interest from the local pedestrians. The local humanoids have red-brown skin and cream coloured horns projecting forward from the sides of their skulls. Though this planet is a little more cosmopolitan than the makeup of this particular street suggests, this area isn't one off-worlders generally live in.

    "No. They don't need to justify themselves to me. I want the opportunity to discuss the subject with them. To see if I can allay their concerns. Not because I care about them at all-"

    One of the nearby pedestrians frowns at me.

    "-but because I care about the ideals that I hold. Because I want to be the sort of person who tries talking. Make sense?"

    "And what if I told you that I only care about efficiency?"

    "Then I'd ask why you were still in an organic body. Why you worked for Amalak rather than taking a position with a Crown Imperium noble family who could pay you better. Why you were speaking to me rather than using ring-based communication bursts, and so on and so on. And when you'd answered those questions to my satisfaction, I'd ask how the heck you were judging anything other than short term efficiency with any accuracy in such a complex situation."

    "You may assume that I'm Coluan."

    "You still need data you don't have. If anything, the fact that… You've read up on our first battle?" She nods. "Do you think you're more intelligent than Vril Dox the Second?"

    "No. So you plant your standard and let others rally to you or not as they see fit."

    "Pretty much. Though I'm happy to let other people fulfil any desires they may have which are not diametrically opposed to my own, because that's how I see the galactic community working best."

    I turn in the direction of the building displaying the name 'Dynamist Functionalist Union Party'.

    "So let's find out what they want, and how we can all get what we want."
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
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  9. Faiir

    Faiir Getting out there.

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    I feel too stupid to follow most of this discussion.
     
  10. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    Maybe 'the Orange'

    Getting some Zabrak vibes.
     
  11. Ciber

    Ciber Getting out there.

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    If Zoat put out a self help book I would buy it.
     
  12. hance1986

    hance1986 Not too sore, are you?

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    Philosophy 101, taught by Orange Lantern.

    How being honest with your drives and desires helps when you're wearing a hypertech superweapon that can be sword and shield and ice cream machine.

    How in a galactic war you have to actually be different from the enemy, just not another shade of the same shit to the sapient on the street. What the Reach does, N.E.M.O. can't do and certainly can't do where word would get out to the public.

    How having actual standards and not being flighty can help. Paul being seen as willing to hear out the grievances or issues of these aliens before he starts shooting holes in them can go a long way.
     
  13. Finagle007

    Finagle007 [Verified Great Old One]

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    No, Zabraks have horns on the tops of their heads, and they point up, not forward.
     
  14. Idkusername

    Idkusername Versed in the lewd.

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    It's basically enlightened self-interest. For examples in fiction, look here.

    The other half is realising that we as individuals are hilariously bad at self-reflection, but that's something an Orange Lantern must always strive to better themselves in, since their power relies on their desires and they can best use their rings when they are aware of what informs their desires and how their desires inform them.
     
  15. Coda

    Coda I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    dependent

    realise his desires
     
  16. Coda

    Coda I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    To be fair, it's somewhat abstract psychology/philosophy.

    Anyone can think. Most people, if they have a reason to take the time to do it, can think about how to think.

    This discussion is thinking about how to think about how to think. Not just deciding on a plan, or even deciding how to plan, but reflecting upon the decisionmaking process itself.

    It's easy to take the most obvious step towards what you think you want. It's significantly harder to understand the underlying desires that drive you, because they're more subconscious. You rationalize your decisions based on what you believe, but it takes a difficult, brutal sort of self-honesty to come to terms with the true reasons.

    Most people, on the other hand, don't NEED to do that. Striving to live according to one's idealized desires is usually good enough; you might make decisions that aren't the best in the long run, but most of the time it'll get you by without causing too much guilt or inner conflict.

    Orange Lanterns, on the other hand, must be in tune with their true desires in order to direct their thoughts towards how to achieve those long-term goals instead of just instantaneous gratification. That's why it's hard to be a good Orange Lantern.
     
  17. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    Maybe 'I'd have asked'
     
  18. Handlewithcare

    Handlewithcare I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    I liked this a lot.

    It feels like a variant of utilitarism, where thr focus is not just on immediate use but on....eventual value realisation, perhaps

    Zoat, if you had the opportunity to formulate an utility function for an Artifical Super Intelligence, how would you describe it?
     
  19. Laundromat2.0

    Laundromat2.0 Getting out there.

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    Paul makes a good point in this chapter that always bothered me in a lot of media: the stereotypical 'smart' people who care about efficiency and results always seem to eschew conventional things like interpersonal communication and the tiny social rituals which tighten bonds between people in favor of a sort of mechanical 'fastest way to accomplish short-term task', when in reality the marginal losses in short term efficiency that come with being, y'know, polite and gregarious and emotionally available would almost certainly be better for their long-term goals.

    Oh, another thing that's been bothering me that was brought up in a previous chapter: How come Paul hasn't integrated the Thinking Cap into his standard armor? It has almost no downsides when used judiciously, and enables two things that he can't really do right now: telepathy and illusions. Now, most of the investigative and diplomatic utility of telepathy is probably fulfilled by his ability to sense desires, but it would probably be wicked useful in a fight. While he uses all his normal strategies, he'd also be launching distracting and disorienting telepathic probes mid-fight. And the great thing about telepathy is that even EXTREMELY physically tough fighters are often vulnerable to telepathy, and the number of people who can adequately defend from telepathic attack mid-fight is vanishingly small.

    But I think the single greatest advantage of the thinking cap would definitely be illusions. The copious use of doppelgangers and illusionary attacks weaved into his real ones would be hugely effective.

    What even are the abilities of the Thinking Cap in this continuity. From what I'm getting online, there seems to be a pretty wide range in author's interpretation of it. And is there an in-universe explanation on how putting a metal hat on can grant a baseline human: a genius intellect, telepathy and telekinesis, the ability to create illusions, and in some continuities, the ability to phase through matter and teleport??
     
  20. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    I think it was mentioned the illusions made by the Cap were the result of bending light rather than psychic.
     
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  21. Vaermina

    Vaermina Versed in the lewd.

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    It amuses me greatly that he amounts his ring slinging abilities to a superior training method instead of his massive in built advantage of having no soul to act as a buffer to the crazy and then building his soul piece by piece out of Orange Light.
     
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  22. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker, Rookie Proofreader

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    Ah, giving his latest rookie a personal training session while checking on a local incident? OL, master of multi-tasking. Now, I have no doubt she's smart enough to follow what he says. But is she wise enough to grok it?

    What they say is not always what they mean. What they really want is not what they say they want. Perhaps even what they really want deep down. To put it simply, people lie, even to themselves.

    I see he's trusting her to look that up in the database, under the concerningly large entry for 'Earth'... Still, better than 'Mostly harmless'. Because it very, very much isn't...

    Which he's done on occasion. Far too many times to recount here, though.

    On the upside, she's got the smarts to make complex constructs. The true test is if she's got the emotional self-awareness to create strong constructs... Sure, Dox can manage because he's got his emotions under such tight control, but other Coluans? It'll be interesting to see.

    I mean, how many of the newer recruits even know who he is? Not in the 'oh, he's in the database' sense, but in the 'He's the most powerful Orange Lantern around, ask him how to be stronger. You might regret it later, but you'll improve' way...

    You can't look like 'new boss, same as the old boss.' It's a hard line to walk even in peacetime diplomacy. During a war where convincing people the other guy is 'real bad, m'kay,' it's even tougher.

    Polite, isn't she? OL does tend to ramble a little when he's being philosophical, doesn't he?

    Honesty to yourself is important as a Lantern. That much is true. Lying about what you want, to yourself especially, jsut weakens you.

    The good old 'speak softly, but carry a big stick'. He certainly didn't get where he was by being honest...

    Ah, there's the rub. It's all about control for Amalak, isn't it? He can't trust other people to act as he wishes, unless he knows them well enough to do so.

    He'd probably still be running around merged with Best Snek, for one.

    Not the most subtle approach vector. Any target with the brains to look out the window will have seen them coming a kilometre away. But by the same extent, it say 'I'm not concerned if you run. it just means you'll be caught tired.'

    Hey, it's worked for him so far. Wait... Is he angling to nudge her into seeking orange Enlightenment? She's probably got the focus to achieve it, certainly.

    And that may be some time, given the way things are going. Wartime isn't the best time to be experimenting spiritually with your power ring, and most of the recruits aren't the kind to do so anyway.

    The description puts me in mind of Iktotchi. :p You know, one of the Jedi Masters Sheev shanks with his flying drill attack in 'Revenge of the Sith'.

    Yeah, I'd say that guy (or gal, who knows?) took exception to that remark...

    Then you'd be short-sighted, especially if you only cared about short0-term benefits. These guys are protesting NEMO activity, right? Why are they? Is it because of cultural concerns, Reach influence, or some other personal reason? You wouldn't find out if you stepped on them like bugs...

    Yep. In a battle of hearts and minds, such as this is, you have to consider the longer term, the bigger picture. If the protestors has real, rational concerns, it's better to address them and resolve the conflict, not come in all jackbooted thuggery.

    Well, I doubt she'd open up herself to as much dataflow as Dox did while a memetic combatant is on the field, so she's probably got that much going for her.

    To quote someone: "In times of trouble: Foolish men build walls, wise men build bridges..." There's less hard feelings to be found when you can convince people to rationally come around to a line of thought you don't disagree with, rather than holding the proverbial Big Stick over their heads.

    As long as you don't trigger a revolution. I doubt Dox would be happy with that...

    Well, tomorrow promises to be a good chat with these people. I'm curious to see what the hassle they're causing actually is. From the name, I suspect it'll be protests or minor civil disobedience agaisnt NEMO forces...


    As noted in my commentary, the description immediately put me in mind of the Iktotchi. While the horns aren't quite as forwards-facing, they are similarly coloured... There's probably an actual DC character of that race, likely a Darkstar, that Mr Zoat used as inspiration...
     
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  23. moralrelativity

    moralrelativity Recovering pendant.

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    besides -> beside
    asked -> ask

    EDIT: I really enjoy these moments where we get to understand OL a bit more. It helps to better judge whether his future actions are in character or not.
     
  24. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    Given her intelligence she may be able to easily process the information.

    He also does that when he's not philosophical.
     
  25. moralrelativity

    moralrelativity Recovering pendant.

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    tbf, you're mixing fandoms here and, in the HHGTTG context "mostly harmless" is quite accurate.
    I assumed so, given the recent mention of the fact that no other orange lantern has made progress.
    I think you're putting it better than OL did. Or at least, this should have been included in the episode.
     
  26. Cuchulin

    Cuchulin I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Missing "significant" and "that we know of", that fact that he has trained a number of quite competent Orange Lanterns indicates to me at least that much of the OLC has taken at least a few steps down the path of Orange Enlightenment.
     
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  27. Vaermina

    Vaermina Versed in the lewd.

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    The problem is he's assuming it's possible for anyone when the only person who he knows that accomplished it did so starting from very much not standard circumstances.
     
  28. Agent Orange

    Agent Orange Versed in the lewd.

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    Well thank jumped up elementals you've got no problems there.

    D FUP?
     
  29. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    No, that's correct.
    Thank you, corrected.
    I wouldn't. I'd give the AI the tools for developing one itself.
    No. Not this time.
    Thank you, corrected.
    No, because it's a translation of the actual title and the locals don't break their concepts down in quite the same way. Their abbreviation would sounds more l ike 'quarm'.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
  30. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

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    To be fair, there are indeed 'smart' (or at least, 'high-achieving in the sciences,' because there's more than one type of intelligence) people who act kind of like that... or who specifically act that way around English majors, Theatre majors, and such, but not among those that they regard as peers. It doesn't cover all people who do well in school, or even all people who do well in 'hard science' subjects, but it makes some sense that the ones that do would stick in the minds of those that later become writers or directors in Hollyweird (or otherwise worked in making media).
     
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