0255 - Split - 2022.08.22



Yes, for those of you who aren't up on the latest ten seconds of skimming on Wikipedia, if you split a molecule, you get an atom, and if you split an atom, you get electrons, protons, and neutrons, if you split those, you get quarks, and if you split quarks, you get preons - not "prions", that's something different. Given those facts, I don't think it's so wild to project that, over a century hence, we will split preons further into sub-sub-sub-sub-atomic particles. Current models aside, it would be hubris to assume we've hit bottom.

And I'm talking about preons here because I wrote the script for this strip BEFORE the abortion shit hit the US Supreme Court fan, and I'm writing this comment file AFTER the aforementioned shit hit the aforementioned fan, and, although I'm not changing the plot of the comic, my non-uterus-having self would rather not publicly wax theoretical about the topic of what is and is not a person right now, if that's alright with you. (Even if that question is a major theme of Forward as a whole.)

Don't worry, we'll move on soon.


0255 - 2167/07/06/18:57 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, living room
Zoa: So the question, as I understand it, is:
Zoa: What specific physical reality corresponds to "person"?
Zoa: And "personhood" is a boolean. Things either are people or they aren't. Society doesn't work otherwise.
Zoa: But physical reality isn't accomodating to that. "Persons" are complex systems that could always be added to or removed from. You can tweak the neurons, you can tweak the DNA, you can plug in circuitry. A person isn't like an indivisible quark or something.
CP: Th-they can split a quark.
Zoa: A preon, then.
CP: Th-they can split a preon.
Zoa: You know what I mean. Personhood is not a fundamental property of physics that we can observe.
LC: Maybe that's why people like the idea of "souls".
LC: If a soul exists... if there's some supernatural law of physics where a person is a specific indivisible phenomenon, then... then it all works.
Zoa: Except that, in the first episode of Gu Gu JaxxonFive, we literally saw someone's soul get broken into seven pieces and scattered. If Jaxxon had only put six of the seven anima gems together, is that a person?
LC: Well, no, the ritual doesn't work with only six of the seven gems.
Zoa: What if they swapped out one of Praga's gems for someone else's gem, then?
LC: Mm, that actually happened in episode thirty-seven, it was the origin story of Hyperion Amalgamax, but that was later retconned into a dream sequence.
CP (to Doc): Y-you following th-this?
Doc: I'll be honest, Lee tells me about this show all the time, and I literally can't retain it. Just smile and nod.