0209 - Turbocrush - 2021.10.04



I don't like when someone's instinctual or anatomical state is used as evidence of their true opinions or emotions.

Someone being angry or flustered is not proof that they are in the wrong. Someone being calm and charming and eloquent does not correspond to true or well-reasoned arguments. A faster heartrate and dilation of the pupils doesn't necessarily mean that someone is passionate. Certainly, vaginal mucous or penile tumescence proves neither true love nor informed sexual consent.

(I've done a bit on this before, during Leftover Soup, and I think that parable holds up pretty well.)

All the same, Zoa's analysis of human reactions is an essential tool for how it interacts with the world, in much the same way that a dog trainer might rely on wagging tails or tilted heads. Certainly, you too rely on smiles and frowns and laughter and tears for managing your social interactions, don't you? If you could read someone's blood pressure and skin conductance and hormone levels as easily as you can see the corners of their mouth turn up or down, would that affect the way you interact with them?

And yes, if you look back, Caleb wasn't stuttering in strips #204-208. I'm subtle like that.


0209 - 2167/07/06/16:57 - Caleb's apartment, living room
Ziggy: Caleb, you've handled the stresses of the day very well so far. You were very brave and I'm proud of you. A new semester is very challenging. I think you were well-prepared for those challenges, and you followed our behaviour models to a tee.
CP: I don't know that that's the case, but I certainly tried my best.
Ziggy: And that's all anyone can ask of you, yes.
Zoa (sitting on the floor): Yeah, it's not often that you get a turbocrush on someone your first day of school and they turn out to be a maladjusted shutin who believes you to be a mass murderer. I imagine it's tough.
Ziggy: A "turbocrush", you say?
CP: I... what? For Lee? I... I don't know what you...
Zoa: Yeah, you know, I can just see bloodflow and heartrate and pupil dilation and all that, and that's before the aforementioned chattering components. Don't worry, I didn't disclose any of your bio info to Lee, obviously, but, y'know, I assumed Ziggy was privy.
Ziggy: I would have assumed so as well.
CP: I... I don't... I wasn't... you can't j-just assume what s-someone is th-thinking or how they're feeling from... uh... b-biometrics!
Zoa: Well, there's also the fact that your stutter disappeared during the elevator ride down, and, now that I've reminded you of Lee's existence, it's back.
Ziggy: Your stutter is back? I thought we'd fixed that.
CP: I d-d-d-did a... th-th-that's n-n-not p-p-proof of, of, of... y-y-you c-c-can't... y-y-y-y-you c-c-c-c-can't..... FUCK!
Zoa: Mm, not yet, no, but someday I'll be able to afford the attachments...