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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    It is, frankly, entirely possible and quite likely that Beeps was horribly intimidated by the bureaucracy of funding a nonprofit, managing the paperwork, and actually making decisions about what to spend the money on, such that she chose to simply... not do that instead. And Roko, not having done this for more than a couple weeks, legitimately doesnt know where to get started with that, or at least does not think in those terms yet.
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  2. - Top - End - #272
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    I will be honest, I dont think they cost anywhere near as much as a new car. At most they might reach used car levels. Otherwise there is no way marigold could have brought momo to the shop and bought her a new body. New cars are like 36k nowadays or more. But I could maybe see them costing upwards of say 7k as its clearly a big hit to a persons finances but not an insurmountable one. And still beyond what someone living on minimum wage is going to be able to shell out or else roko would have bought her own by now. My car comparison was more about utility and necessity. Just like a person can survive without a car, so can an ai survive without a chassis was my basic point.

    As for the AI nonprofit, maybe there are laws in place about how you can raise funds? I have absolutely no idea how that works. For all I know it may be similar to things like benefits from the state where if you make more than x amount of money, you no longer qualify for funding from the government.
    We actually do have some price information about AI chassis - the one Momo was looking at is said to be $30,000. And while the price of the chassis Momo ended up getting isn't mentioned, based on Marigold's reaction I'd say it's probably higher than that.
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  3. - Top - End - #273
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Ok, where does this come from now?

    It's no secret that May's body is falling apart. May complains about that all the time. And both Faye and Bubbles know that May is just scrapping by, and will fix what needs to be fixed, because she can afford that (most of the time), but she can't buy a new chassis. So why are both of them suddenly, "Well yeah its $80, but really its not worth it, the whole thing is junk, get a new one"? WTH people, really?

  4. - Top - End - #274
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    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Morquard View Post
    Ok, where does this come from now?

    It's no secret that May's body is falling apart. May complains about that all the time. And both Faye and Bubbles know that May is just scrapping by, and will fix what needs to be fixed, because she can afford that (most of the time), but she can't buy a new chassis. So why are both of them suddenly, "Well yeah its $80, but really its not worth it, the whole thing is junk, get a new one"? WTH people, really?
    Doyalist Answer: Because Jeph wants to wrap up the "May's chassis sucks" plot point, and probably he wants to make a new character design without introducing a new character.

    Watsonian Answer: Because Roko is there. If you notice, they don't directly address May until the last panel, even though she's the one who asks how much it costs to fix in the first panel. Bubbles says "May's Body" rather than "Your body". In panel 3 it's clear that they're addressing Roko, who they know has been working to try to get May a new body. They're appealing to Roko to have her convince May to accept charity, or maybe they're just hoping that this New Element will present a solution.

    Also, it's not uncommon for repairpersons to, at some point say, "We can keep fixing it, but it's falling apart and needs to be replaced".
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  5. - Top - End - #275
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    It isnt just an arbitrary thing either. As technology ages, finding replacement parts that are compatible gets harder and more expensive. Eventually they start needing to be completely custom designed, which means if you dont have a blueprint youre SOL. You see it frequently with old cars, where actually keeping them running ends up costing more than a brand new car would just because of how much harder it is to actually get the stuff you need, and how frequently it needs to be replaced.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  6. - Top - End - #276
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    I remember seeing a series of sketches about that online, though with trans-humans instead of robots. "Oh, sorry, the company who uploaded your wife's consciousness to a computer went out of business. No, we still have the data, but it's in a proprietory format." "No one makes cables for the charging port on your cyber arm anymore." "You have the wrong firmware version for your heart, Sir. Very sorry."
    Last edited by Eldan; 2020-07-15 at 10:27 AM.
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  7. - Top - End - #277
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    But I could maybe see them costing upwards of say 7k as its clearly a big hit to a persons finances but not an insurmountable one. And still beyond what someone living on minimum wage is going to be able to shell out or else roko would have bought her own by now.
    My bad - I didn't mean a "New" new car, just like... new to her. Second or even third-hand, if necessary, but good quality. You can get a very decent car almost As-New from $5000 or even a bit less, that's the sort of thing I was thinking of. On credit over 2 or 3 years, and especially with Momo earning her own wages and with comparatively few overheads except for rent and repayments, it seems reasonable.

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC
    Watsonian Answer: Because Roko is there. If you notice, they don't directly address May until the last panel, even though she's the one who asks how much it costs to fix in the first panel. Bubbles says "May's Body" rather than "Your body". In panel 3 it's clear that they're addressing Roko, who they know has been working to try to get May a new body. They're appealing to Roko to have her convince May to accept charity, or maybe they're just hoping that this New Element will present a solution.
    If I'm going to be honest I think you're not far of the mark, but the focus is partly on how this situation pertains to Roko. She was the one who went through traumatic bodily damage and has since developed body dysphoria while trying to integrate with her new chassis, and now she's in the unpleasant position of, having gone through all of that, having to sit down with May and potentially tell her that she can't keep her body and will have to move into a new one too.

    May has never shown any particular fondness for her own chassis, outside of it being preferable to being in an AI server, but now we get a chance for someone who has been on both sides of the argument (Roko wanting to keep her old body repaired and being forced to get a new one) to sit and discuss the options with her. Will Roko remain objective? Will May reveal a similar sort of apprehension, or is she going to be excited about having a new body that can actually be hers and not someone else' hand-me-down? This could be a really interesting story, and I hope that Jeph takes it where I think it could be going.
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  8. - Top - End - #278
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    Especially now, when they can go round telling people "Hey, Dr. Chattham who invented AIs thinks they need better rights and universal body-care and is going to court to get it put into law, would you mind helping us out in the meantime?"
    I'm not sure that that would help. A number of people might hear that as 'the problem is being solved, no need to help out.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    It is, frankly, entirely possible and quite likely that Beeps was horribly intimidated by the bureaucracy of funding a nonprofit, managing the paperwork, and actually making decisions about what to spend the money on, such that she chose to simply... not do that instead. And Roko, not having done this for more than a couple weeks, legitimately doesnt know where to get started with that, or at least does not think in those terms yet.
    It seems to me that Roko previously was focused on the notion that May deserved a functional body from the system that placed her in the wreck she is in. With someone at least looking into changing this problem, she can now shift focus away from that priority.

  9. - Top - End - #279
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    I'm not sure that that would help. A number of people might hear that as 'the problem is being solved, no need to help out.'
    I imagine that some will think that way, but they don't need everybody to be onboard; just enough to help get May re-embodied. Play up the "This could easily happen to you" angle and point out that it will be years before anyone might try to help them, so wouldn't it be nice if their neighbours and peers were doing a little bit now to help them get by?

    I doubt it would have to be that cynical, though. This area of Boston seems pretty liberal, being full of LGBT+, allies and a big student population, so I would expect that quite a few people would take pity on the poor girl whose ass is about to crumble to dust because of something as outrageous a civil rights/healthcare "violation". Especially if May keeps her mouth shut.

    Heck, they wouldn't necessarily need to donate money - just ask around to find out if anyone has an old chassis that they could spare? Hannelore literally has a prototype one gathering dust in her closet from when her dad sent her the "Practice Boyfriend" so it's possible that someone else will too, and practically anything would be in better shape than May's as a stop-gap until something permanent could be found.
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  10. - Top - End - #280
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    I doubt it would have to be that cynical, though. This area of Boston seems pretty liberal, being full of LGBT+, allies and a big student population, so I would expect that quite a few people would take pity on the poor girl whose ass is about to crumble to dust because of something as outrageous a civil rights/healthcare "violation". Especially if May keeps her mouth shut.
    Northampton is actually in Western Massachusetts, it's at least a two hour drive from there to Boston and it's geographically closer to Hartford. However, it's wikipedia page kindly notes that it is "the most politically liberal medium-size city (population 25,000 - 99,000) in the United States."
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  11. - Top - End - #281
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    I said "Boston" because I keep confusing Questionable Content with Something*Positive. My bad, thanks for setting me straight
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  12. - Top - End - #282
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Northampton is actually in Western Massachusetts, it's at least a two hour drive from there to Boston and it's geographically closer to Hartford. However, it's wikipedia page kindly notes that it is "the most politically liberal medium-size city (population 25,000 - 99,000) in the United States."
    This reminds me of the strip where the characters were all freaked out about the idea of living more than 5 minutes from work or their favorite stores.
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  13. - Top - End - #283
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Philosophically, I think Bubbles has it backwards.

    It's the job of "broader institutions" to step in when a community has failed.

    May's problem could have been solved quite some time ago, had they just started with this step.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2020-07-16 at 09:59 PM.
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  14. - Top - End - #284
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    I was of the impression that the "broader institutions" were... instituted by the community in order to better serve said community's needs. They're how the community is supposed to step in in the first place.

    As an aside, I hate when the English language forces me to use the same word in succession. Personal gripe.

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  15. - Top - End - #285
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by John Cribati View Post
    I was of the impression that the "broader institutions" were... instituted by the community in order to better serve said community's needs. They're how the community is supposed to step in in the first place.
    It's partly a matter of scale. Broad-scale institutions, like in this case the federal government (May illegally transferred her funds across international lines, which is a federal crime and she was presumably prosecuted in federal court as a consequence) inevitably produce broadly-targeted solutions. There will inevitably be cracks in the system due simply to the lack of precision in the bureaucracy, which in this specific case comes in the form of no budget to actually provide a very small specific class of AIs with bodies so they get stuck with the dregs. Its quite common for governments and NGOs to work in partnerships or overlap for precisely this sort of reason, which in fairness to the comic is actually what is happening, it's just that Roko and co. stumbled around rather ridiculously for a while before figuring out that they should just raise some money.
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  16. - Top - End - #286
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    stumbled around rather ridiculously for a while before figuring out that they should just raise some money.
    I think it was more a case of convincing May to accept a donation drive.
    * my emphasis

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    The discussion about car prices got me thinking. Is there a used AI body market?

    If so, what's the price fall off like? I'd imagine it's pretty high. You don't know what the previous occupant was doing, after all. What if the previous owner was Pintsize or May? Bodies also get a lot more use than most cars, which are driven for an hour or two a day in most cases.

    Is there a "Honest John's Used Body Dealership"? I would love to see that. Or is it like used smart phones, where there are no physical stores and shopping for them is done on EBay? Do bodies have internal memory storage that would need to be wiped, or is all of an AI's knowledge stored in a portable AI core?

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Both Momo and Winslow donated their old bodies to charity (or at least, expressed an intention to do so) when they upgraded, so there absolutely is a market for second-hand chassis.

    The falloff from that is "price of a high-end sentient iPad" to "free" - maybe that just speaks exceptionally well of Marigold, Momo, Hannelore and Winslow, but I wouldn't expect to see something that retails for over $1000 be donated to a charity store let alone something that might originally have cost 10 times that, so maybe that's a unique example.

    This is why I tend to use the "AI chassis as a car" as a metaphor. They cost a significant but not insurmountable amount of money, and while you might get very, very lucky and be given one for free it's far more likely that they retain enough value that they're probably going to be sold in a secondary market.

    Although now that you've said it, I would love to see what a Used Chassis Dealership looks like. It'd have to be run by the most sketchy, serial-killer-y guy in the world who just hangs out with "corpses" all day, trying to sell them with slimy sales pitches after going through all their pockets for loose change....
    Last edited by Wraith; 2020-07-17 at 02:47 AM.
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  19. - Top - End - #289
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    Both Momo and Winslow donated their old bodies to charity (or at least, expressed an intention to do so) when they upgraded, so there absolutely is a market for second-hand chassis.

    The falloff from that is "price of a high-end sentient iPad" to "free" - maybe that just speaks exceptionally well of Marigold, Momo, Hannelore and Winslow, but I wouldn't expect to see something that retails for over $1000 be donated to a charity store let alone something that might originally have cost 10 times that, so maybe that's a unique example.

    This is why I tend to use the "AI chassis as a car" as a metaphor. They cost a significant but not insurmountable amount of money, and while you might get very, very lucky and be given one for free it's far more likely that they retain enough value that they're probably going to be sold in a secondary market.

    Although now that you've said it, I would love to see what a Used Chassis Dealership looks like. It'd have to be run by the most sketchy, serial-killer-y guy in the world who just hangs out with "corpses" all day, trying to sell them with slimy sales pitches after going through all their pockets for loose change....
    You get the bottom rung junkyard bodies that are horror show amalgamations of loose parts tacked together from random models to create a single functioning unit. Think mays chassis with a single arm from crushbot, half the face is momo stretched out to fit, and it makes noises with every movement because the internals arent properly connected. But hey, it only cost you 200 bucks! A used body starts at 2k from the dealers!
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    You get the bottom rung junkyard bodies that are horror show amalgamations of loose parts tacked together from random models to create a single functioning unit. Think mays chassis with a single arm from crushbot, half the face is momo stretched out to fit, and it makes noises with every movement because the internals arent properly connected. But hey, it only cost you 200 bucks! A used body starts at 2k from the dealers!
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleBison View Post
    Everything needs 4 arms and more lightsabers.
    Dude, aren't we screwed enough already, what with the bear with nunchucks?

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Dude, aren't we screwed enough already, what with the bear with nunchucks?
    Why do you think we need 4 arms and lightsabers? TO FIGHT THE NUN-CHUCK BEARS!!!!
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    Think Mays chassis with a single arm from crushbot, half the face is momo stretched out to fit, and it makes noises with every movement because the internals arent properly connected.
    So long as its not on the verge of catastrophic failure, May strikes me as the type who might actually go for that for intimidating customers into leaving her alone.
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    Both Momo and Winslow donated their old bodies to charity (or at least, expressed an intention to do so) when they upgraded, so there absolutely is a market for second-hand chassis.

    The falloff from that is "price of a high-end sentient iPad" to "free" - maybe that just speaks exceptionally well of Marigold, Momo, Hannelore and Winslow, but I wouldn't expect to see something that retails for over $1000 be donated to a charity store let alone something that might originally have cost 10 times that, so maybe that's a unique example.

    This is why I tend to use the "AI chassis as a car" as a metaphor. They cost a significant but not insurmountable amount of money, and while you might get very, very lucky and be given one for free it's far more likely that they retain enough value that they're probably going to be sold in a secondary market.

    Although now that you've said it, I would love to see what a Used Chassis Dealership looks like. It'd have to be run by the most sketchy, serial-killer-y guy in the world who just hangs out with "corpses" all day, trying to sell them with slimy sales pitches after going through all their pockets for loose change....
    Do you know if financial assistance charities restrict their help to non-felons?

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr2 View Post
    Do you know if financial assistance charities restrict their help to non-felons?

    That might explain why no charity is willing to help out a robot in need.
    Charities may or may not, depends on the purpose of the charity, but banks certainly do. Cars, after all, are usually bought primarily on credit, and presumably an AI chassis would be as well. AIs are actually a very good credit risk, since their day-to-day expenses are minimal: their needs are some modest electric charge for power and maintenance, they don't eat, need health care, or have any of the other messy expenses associated with a biological metabolism. Oh, and they're apparently not at risk to die or old age or accidents. 30-40K is a lot for someone making minimum wage, as it represents essentially the total annual salary (assuming a $15 minimum wage, which admittedly Mass won't have until 2023 in our world, but seems reasonable in the QC universe), but given the reduced expenditures accrued by an AI, a 5-year loan for a chassis would seem perfectly doable for May.

    But she probably cannot get such a loan due to her conviction status. She might even still be actively on parole (she was released early after all) since it's unclear how much time has passed since her release. Also, it's possible her income is being garnished in some way if her conviction included a large fine in addition to the jail time, something quite common in the case of financial crimes (after all, if she was fined even 1% of what she stole, then she owes the government millions).
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    It isnt just an arbitrary thing either. As technology ages, finding replacement parts that are compatible gets harder and more expensive. Eventually they start needing to be completely custom designed, which means if you dont have a blueprint youre SOL. You see it frequently with old cars, where actually keeping them running ends up costing more than a brand new car would just because of how much harder it is to actually get the stuff you need, and how frequently it needs to be replaced.
    A few days late, but there's a broader issue where things simply can't be fixed anymore because of underlying structural fatigue. At some point, "repairing" an old vehicle becomes "fabricate a new chassis and put all the other replacement parts on it". This is one reason why classic car collectors often don't drive their prizes very often.

    Stands to reason that a robot body would have similar issues with less time.

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    As a banker, I suppose this is my version of the PDF thing. Yes, checks aren't nearly as popular as they once were, and most retail customers don't bother ordering them 90% of the time. Until they run into a situation that requires something physical or a paper trail and then they have to go buy a certified check or money order because they don't have any paper checks. Businesses however, use them all the time. So they're not THAT rare.
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  29. - Top - End - #299
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    In the case of both this and the PDF joke, while I could entirely sympathize with "jokes that amount to 'this is obsolete, ha ha' aren't funny enough to justify the panels you put into this one, Jeph," I am puzzled by the reactions to them that seem to be 1) offended, and/or 2) reliant on the premise that Jeph must be making an intended-to-be-factual statement that PDFs and checks are obsolete in the real world when he has his sapient robots say that they are in his world.

    (That's assuming Hannelore's "I- I see" line isn't explicitly intended to be a polite suppression of the reaction, "You've never seen a check before? Wow that's weird.")
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  30. - Top - End - #300
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVI: Yes, Butt

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    In the case of both this and the PDF joke, while I could entirely sympathize with "jokes that amount to 'this is obsolete, ha ha' aren't funny enough to justify the panels you put into this one, Jeph," I am puzzled by the reactions to them that seem to be 1) offended, and/or 2) reliant on the premise that Jeph must be making an intended-to-be-factual statement that PDFs and checks are obsolete in the real world when he has his sapient robots say that they are in his world.

    (That's assuming Hannelore's "I- I see" line isn't explicitly intended to be a polite suppression of the reaction, "You've never seen a check before? Wow that's weird.")
    People are making the statement that it does not make sense for these things to be true about PDFs and Checks to be true in-universe based on all other available data. Meaning, they are pointing out that these jokes lack verisimilitude and break the suspension of disbelief, which, it should be noted is critical for a plotline intended to present an in-universe social issue in a serious light. If I, as a member of the audience, am unable to suspend my disbelief about the workings of a fictional world, my ability to care about social policy as regards that world (and as a functional allegory to the real world), collapses, rendering the entire plotline pointless.

    In the specific case of QC, what seems to be happening is that Jeph has/is conducted/conducting a soft reboot of the QC universe while the comic is still running. In a very real sense the world presented in the early run of comics roughly 1-1500ish is no longer compatible with the world presented now because the internal histories of those two worlds aren't compatible, especially in terms of when and how the AI revolution occurred. This has a very direct impact on many characters are certain entities like Pintsize are not the same sort of cognitive entity in the two different parts of what is nominally the same comic.

    QC is, effectively, two entirely different comics at this point - with the divergence happening somewhere between 1500-2500 (a wide range to be sure, but individual plots kind of seesawed back and forth for a while) - the first was a comic about underemployed hipsters in the early 2000s who computers happened to be able to talk like a really snarky version of Siri, and the second is a soft-scifi/paranormal romance set in a bizarre future shocked version of the world that diverges pre-2008. Oh, and while QC 2.0 isn't exactly bad, per se, it is dramatically inferior to QC 1.0.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

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