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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. rkyeun

    rkyeun Cabbitus Maximus

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    Not Zoat, but:
    Just upload yourself. Humans terminal values are black boxed from themselves to try to prevent reward hacking. You can't know what you want just by introspection. And if you got it, you would die. Don't want to die yet? Then you still haven't gotten something you wanted.
     
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  2. Handlewithcare

    Handlewithcare I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    What makes you assume we would want to die? Because there would be nothing left to strive for?
     
  3. Stsword

    Stsword I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    I've seen Coluans come off even worse in the comics.

    There's a Legion of Superheroes where it's revealed that Coluans consider practical science beneath them, and find Brainiac 5's insistence on actually doing something useful with his intelligence creepy and off putting.

    I mean beyond just devotion to theoretical science but it actually seems they've crossed the threshold into pure mental masturbation just to prove how smart they are.

    Can you imagine a Paul's response to that? "An entire planet of supergeniuses and not a single one of you can actually do something worthwhile with it because that would be crass?" A meaty thunk as Paul beats his head against the nearest wall.
     
  4. Grimnar

    Grimnar Versed in the lewd.

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    They also had a small arguement during the whole Queen of Fairies thing, about where to imprison her.
     
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  5. PDV

    PDV The Revelation That Uncertainty is Itself a Answer

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    "Net" drain? Dispossessing the Jews/Romany/etc. and appropriating their belongings for the government certainly had some minor economic benefits, but that was pretty separable from the death camps. It's hard to see any economic upside, I think it's a pure drain rather than a net one. (Though I'll grant that a pure drain is technically also a net drain.)

    Can, but won't. Edison's favorite aphorism applies.
     
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  6. Cuchulin

    Cuchulin I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    An entire planet of Sheldon Cooper's? Now THAT is a nightmare!!
     
  7. quietwhile

    quietwhile Getting out there.

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    Isn't this it, though? Jokes aside, this is an exploration on the subject of desire literally dressed as a super hero. It is one of the things that got me into reading it.
     
  8. OrigamiPhoenix

    OrigamiPhoenix Making the rounds.

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    I was surprised this trope wasn't already on the page. So I added it.
     
  9. Threadmarks: Back Door (part 5)
    Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    8th July 2012
    22:37 GMT


    "Hello?"

    Okay, so far I don't like how places away from Earth handle reception. The lobby of a major political party should have at least three people available to handle drop-ins during the working day, whereas here they have precisely none. Sure, I can still see where everyone is as this is a thaumically dead world and no one has any shielding, and Lantern Gozzi could find them with a ring scan, but where would they be if a local journalist turned up?

    I've a good mind to have a word with their manager.

    "Hello!?"

    Lantern Gozzi's eyes flash orange.

    "I think they may have misunderstood your intent."

    That is quite a lot of yellow.

    "If I go after them, do you think they'll be amenable to reason, or just panic more?"

    She gives me a slightly puzzled look.

    "Rings can load huge amounts of data to your brain if you want them to. I can do it, but as a Coluan you're much better able to cope with it than me. And as you have better social skills than Clarissi Dox…"

    Her eyes are already flickering, so I wait for a decision.

    "Raids on political groups are unusual, though not unheard of." She blinks, her eyes clearing. "I surmise that they're mostly concerned because we're aliens."

    "That's simple enough to fix, then."

    A wave of orange washes over my body, changing my outward appearance to match the locals. Horns are… Weird.

    "They're almost certainly watching the internal feeds. They'll know that you're pretending."

    "Instincts are not rational things. If they see a familiar face, then hopefully it won't matter what they know."

    I walk over to the front desk and… There it is, activate the internal communications.

    "Hello there! I understand that certain parties in residence here are concerned about your world's involvement in the war with the Reach, and I've come here to discuss those concerns with you to see if I can allay them. If you're not interested in having that conversation with me, then I'm perfectly happy to leave. You just need to tell me that's what you-"

    "Ah."

    "-want." I move away from the microphone. "What?"

    "Political violence is unusual. However, the custom appears to be that meetings like this should take place at a neutral location. Going directly to someone's home or place of work appears to be a local taboo."

    "'Don't drop litter' taboo, or 'don't shit in the street' taboo?"

    "That's rather difficult to calibrate."

    I turn the microphone back on.

    "It's just been pointed out to me that coming here directly may have been in violation of local custom. I apologise. I was not aware of that. On my world, walking into the offices of a political opponent would be perfectly fine. If you'd rather have a discussion somewhere else, just let me know where and I'll go there at once. That… Will of course have to involve you actually communicating with me."

    I look through the walls at the crowds heading for the evacuation points. There appears to be a good deal less yellow, though most of them are still leaving. Darn it. Note to self: always phone ahead.

    And… Yeah, yeah, they appear to have designated the ritual sacrifice. With the danger of critical mission failure now abated I stop looking quite so closely. I don’t think 'I can see into your soul' is something I want people who are already scared of me to know. Not right off the bat, anyway.

    "Um, hello?"

    "Hello. I'm still in the lobby. Have you picked an address?"

    "I'll-. Ah. I'll come to you."

    "I'll be waiting."

    I turn off the microphone.

    "Highest ranker on site, or most expendable office junior, do you think?"

    "The local custom is to use junior managers for forlorn hopes. They get promoted if they survive."

    "This is a forlorn hope? I just.. walked into a building. I didn't even break through any sort of security."

    "I didn't claim that local custom made any sense."

    "Good, because it doesn't-."

    A local man wearing a shirt and sleeveless jumper nervously walks out of a corridor, raising two hands in what my rings tell me is a local deferential greeting.

    "If you don't want people to walk in, just put a sign on the door."

    "I'll.. pass that on."

    "Thank you."

    I walk towards him. Ring, local formal greeting is..? Stand just in front and touch your own horns..? Why-? Because you're demonstrating that you're not about to try and gore them, okay, that actually makes sense. So I do that and wait-. He just taps his points, which I suppose is probably the more 'street' way of doing it. Fine. I let go of mine, and he appears to have relaxed a little.

    "So do you want to do this here..?"

    "Since… You're here, we may as well. I didn't think that the br-. Ahh… The aliens had recruited any of us yet."

    "We're recruiting from all over. Are you interested in a power ring yourself?"

    "N… No. No, I'm not."

    "Alright. So… What actually is dynamistic functionalism?"

    He looks at me sceptically. "That's what you want to know?"

    "If I don't know what you think you believe, how can I possibly attempt to find common ground?"

    "Oh. You're not from home-. Ah, this planet, are you?"

    "No, I'm not."

    "Right." He grins, and slaps his cheeks. "Of course. you wouldn't-. Spacer, or an alien planet?"

    "Another planet."

    "Right, I didn't mean like-. Ah, I've just.. never had anyone directly ask me what dynamistic functionalism is, you know?"

    "No I very literally don't."

    "No! You don't! But if there's one thing we can do here it's explain what dynamistic functionalism is." He actually looks a little excited. A little too excited. "I suppose it starts about four hundred and eighty-. No. No no no, if you want to really understand it, you have to go back-. How good are you at history?"
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
  10. Idkusername

    Idkusername Versed in the lewd.

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    That junior manager is my spirit animal.
     
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  11. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    Assuming they have journalism.

    Carefull Paul, your inner Karen is showing.

    'to your brain'

    Not that difficult to have.

    Welp, you asked for it, so enjoy it Paul.
     
  12. Slayer Anderson

    Slayer Anderson Orthodox Heretic

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    I know, right?

    I have the same reaction when someone asks me why the Spanish Empire fell or to explain the causes of WW1.
     
  13. FeepingCreature

    FeepingCreature Not too sore, are you?

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    This sounds like the lead-in to a mid-first act musical number.
     
  14. moralrelativity

    moralrelativity Recovering pendant.

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    Love "junior manager's" combination of awkwardness, enthusiasm and cluelessness.
     
  15. Idkusername

    Idkusername Versed in the lewd.

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  16. hance1986

    hance1986 Not too sore, are you?

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    Is this going to be one of those things where the organization and bureaucracy has been going on so long, the political party is the point and what dynamistic functionalism actually is as a practical concept to be used has lost all meaning?

    Because I can see it. This organization is saying anti-Lantern things because being contrary grabs attention.

    Beyond that, asking Paul how good he is at history, running through the historical cause and effects that gave rise to dynamistic functionalism, Paul will still be linking that to his own historical cultural framework and enough things don't match, he'll consider dynamistic functionalism another one of those silly ideas he has to smile and nod at so he can get his way.
     
  17. Handlewithcare

    Handlewithcare I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Ah, so he isn't the most junior guy, just the one who gets on everyone's nerves.
     
  18. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker, Rookie Proofreader

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    I think it may be the glowing orange people, which they've probably heard will eat their soul or something. If they're a Reach front, who knows what the locals believe?

    You haven't quite the the right haircut for that, OL.Also, you never know when that will mean you want to fight the manager in a duel... Don't laugh, who knows what the local culture is like?

    Ah... A social faux pas, eh? ;) Did you bother reading up on local customs, OL, or are you just playing dumb so Gozzi can feel smart?

    Very good idea to be sure, especially if they have an interesting reaction to extreme panic.. such as exploding, or going into a warp-frenzy.

    So, gonna let her take the lead here? See how she handles things? It'd be a nice way to see how she resolves it.

    So it's more 'oh no, the strange people from space are coming!' than 'cheese it, it's the cops!'

    Hey, be glad they don't have other, more exotic physical traits. Like tails or tentacles. That'd take some getting used to.

    As long as you're sure you've got all the details right. Don't want to spark their uncanny valley reaction.

    OL... You might still be breaking a social convention...

    See! Honestly, did you bother to read the files at all about this place?

    I mean, that's a fair spread of reactions.

    Which, as noted, they may not be able to for any number of reasons. What if they need to perform a ritual cleansing ceremony to atone for the taboo?

    So, was Jan-Ken-Pon involved, or was it a mutual round of 'Not it!'? At any rate, pity the poor intern being sent out.

    At least OL is trying to be accommodating now he's had his error pointed out.

    Gee, that doesn't sound scary at all...

    Dude, I would have sent the lowest intern. Less risk of losing someone important.

    ;) You sound almost disappointed. Were you hoping to fight a scarab or something, try out some new methods for subverting them?

    Still, at least the prospects of advancement are good if they survive.

    Oh, god, the only way he could be more stereotypically a 'speccy nerd' is wearing coke-bottle glasses...

    Well, at least he's not at 'pants-wettingly terrified' anymore...

    Much like our western 'shaking hands' evolved out of a gesture showing you had no weapon in hand...

    'Br-...' I wonder what he was about to say? 'Brutes'? 'Bright ones'? Ah well...

    Smart fellow. Got to wonder what he's heard...

    I know, it's so anti-climactic. You're acting like you were expecting to get shot...

    :rolleyes: Gee, is it that obvious? OL will have to work harder to stand out...

    Well, nerves sorted out, I see. Now, for some nice rational discussion. And hopefully jolly cooperation!

    I'm guessing it's a very obvious thing to a local, but without cultural context, it's about as clear as any modern meme to someone not steeped in social networks...

    ...Oh no... You set off the nerd-splaining reflex. Good job, OL, now you're about to learn more than you ever wanted to know about the subject...

    Thankfully, we don't have to sit through the lecture. At least it doesn't sound like a Reach plot, judging by the amount of time he quotes. Unless they were playing a long, long game here... Still, perfect time for a cutaway!
     
  19. Cuchulin

    Cuchulin I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    The best answer is "it's complicated".
     
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  20. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    Technically true, from a certain point of view.

    Paul does have some experience with tentacles.

    Remember when he met Jade.

    And he criticized the League for not reading reports.

    As far as we know this guy could be what his people consider a jock.

    Now I'm betting the next chapter will be about this guy explaining it, and I blame you, you Murphy loving bastard.
     
  21. Mquz

    Mquz Versed in the lewd.

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    Judging by the name, dynamistic functionalism is a society that is always moving - there is always an election, or someone taking over a seat, while somehow remaining functional. Think of it as a society where everyone has a different position every few months, that is not necessarily a direct promotion. But they also have to remain functional, so every job is tied in a little to every other job. Think of it as a natural extension of a society where a political party has been overthrown every few months for centuries. Hence, it’s dynamistic. Maybe due to brain uploads, everybody is capable of every job, except for personality. If you’re functional, you’re competent. Hence, functionalism. Maybe due to groupthink not being a thing for the species beyond a certain point. People aren’t more likely to think a point is true just because they are told so. Somehow, they eventually learn to function under these conditions. Or at least that’s my guess. They can’t join the OLC because they’re against being a part of any social structure with an unchanging power base.

    Alternatively, dynamistic functionalism sounds like a government where if you believe you’d be better at a job than another person, you’re encouraged to duel them for the job, possibly to the death. And if you do a better job than the previous guy, you get to keep the job and are declared innocent.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
  22. PDV

    PDV The Revelation That Uncertainty is Itself a Answer

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  23. Laundromat2.0

    Laundromat2.0 Getting out there.

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    I don't know why, but this made me laugh out loud. I just really felt it.
     
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  24. Bramble Thorn

    Bramble Thorn Verified Silhouette

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    Need to be a different word. Into, probably.
     
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  25. theaceoffire

    theaceoffire Not too sore, are you?

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    ... Is this species a version of the space Amish?

    Please tell me we've discovered the space Amish!
     
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  26. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    Does anyone remember what episode it was that John Constantine entered the story by climbing up a mountain?
     
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  27. jasonh23761

    jasonh23761 Getting sticky.

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    History wonks, unite!
     
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  28. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
     
  29. Khettien

    Khettien Perpetually confused

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    "We just didn't factor in greed and panic." - Robin Williams, 2009
     
  30. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

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    Y'know, he's got a point, there.
     
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