0236 - The ol' moneymaker - 2022.04.11



Faceless enemies being mowed down doesn't make humans as upset as hurting characters that do have distinctive faces, so, before you kill someone, be sure to rip their face off, so the audience isn't horrified!

...I honestly think that a lot of PR for celebrities - especially billionaires, in this time of guillotine "jokes" that are becoming increasingly less jokey - functions as a form of self-defense. I mean, sure, you might not feel especially bad about something happening to a soulless sociopath who inherited more money than you'll ever earn, then spent their life trampling others so that they can sit on a hoard that's worth more than the GDP of most countries, but hey... what if that soulless sociopath pouts at the camera? What if you know who they're dating? What if they have silly opinions about the same movies and music that you like?

Of course, in a future where everyone, by necessity, has to be trained not to ascribe personhood to a smiling face that's telling you the available side dishes, perhaps this effect is diminished somewhat. And also... what, exactly, counts as a face? Does it have to have two eyes and a mouth? Does it have to be unique? Does it have to be in 3D?

Zoa, of course, is still Zoa even with its face plate removed, in much the same way that you would still be you if your face was removed or obscured.


Or would you?

How long can you wear a mask before the part you're playing becomes indistinguishable from your actual personality? Does it matter if that "part" is the role of an unthinking, unemotional cog in a machine? To what extent is your appearance to others an essential element of your being? Is uniqueness essential to the specialness of your personhood? If a thousand clones all looked exactly the same, could you still make yourself care if one of them died? In order to comprehend a crowd of thousands, each individual would, by necessity, be reduced to a handful of integers and a blotch of pixels - could you muster up empathy (let alone the willingness to sacrifice) for such a minimal set of data?

Why is Zoa making choking noises?


0236 - 2167/07/06/17:25 - fifth floor hallway
LC: Zoa! Y- you're alive!
Zoa: I'm operational, if that's what you mean.
LC: I... what... how? Why?
Zoa: I told you I get beat up all the time and don't feel pain, right?
LC: Wait, so that was... that was all a performance?
Zoa: Yeah. I'm sorry, I know you said you didn't want to watch one of those, but, in my defense, I didn't know you were out here until we were almost done. Plus, y'know, I don't have my face on, so I figure it's not that traumatic for you.
Zoa: Convenient that I had it off, actually. Don't need Nina hurtin' the ol' moneymaker.
CP: Lee, when one machine actually attempts to disable or destroy another, I a-a-a-assure you, they d-d-don't yell insults at each other in English and d-d-do fisticuffs.
Zoa: Yeah, Nina and I have a whole routine we do. Technically, it was the pilot who initiated that fight, so nothing was nonconsensual, there wasn't any other property damage, and replacement costs for my stuff just gets added to their bill. I needed a new neck gimbal anyway.
LC: Oh. I guess that all makes sense.
Zoa: Ghhhkk!