0072 - In which a common goal is moved towards. - 2019.02.18



You may have noticed that "48" and "3", in the first panel, are written in numerals, whereas in normal dialogue, I would have spelled out "forty-eight" and "three", because the character is actually pronouncing the phonemes.

And it's true, Doc doesn't have a chassis. The tablet-on-a-telescoping-arm thing is a part of the couch, and literally any software can run through it. Doc is what someone who pronounces the phonemes might call an "intanj" (short for intangible, obviously), as are most AIs that you'd actually have a conversation with. Lee's butlerbot, in comparison (that cylinder tidying up their shoes in the fourth panel) is very intelligent about cooking and cleaning, but can't really grasp abstract concepts, much less offer insight. I'd say it has the intelligence of a dog, but that's not quite right. It's more like the inverse, if you could somehow take a human being and subtract the canine.

That's something that bugs me about people's reactions to C-3PO and R2-D2, actually. People talk about Threepio being cowardly and Artoo being plucky, but, if you were putting personalities into your expensive smartphone and your Swiss Army multitool, isn't that how you'd code them? Droids aren't people whose personality traits are shaped by their families and their histories, they're tools that can be and are adjusted to serve a purpose. Face follows function, if you will.

Doc has the personality it has because it needs to look after Lee's emotional wellbeing while lacking the ability to actually compel Lee to do anything. Zoa has the personality it has because it needs to secure its own existence, and to do that it needs to make money, and (a crude simulacrum of) sex sells.

Unlike Lee, if Doc or Zoa were repurposed into new jobs, they'd update their personalities immediately.


0072 - 2167/07/06/11:46 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, living room
Doc [data connection]: I want to know absolutely everything you said and did to Lee Caldavera.
Zoa [data connection]: Hey, I'd be happy to fork over all my memory from the past 48 hours, but the short version is: I got them to set an attainable goal, leave their apartment, and talk to at least 3 other people. You're welcome.
Doc [data connection]: And if any of those experiences were in any way even remotely traumatic, you've done immeasurably more harm than good.
Zoa [data connection]: Eh, a little trauma can be good for people.
Doc [data connection]: No! No it can't! That's what "trauma" means!
Zoa [data connection]: Alright, alright. Common goal, common goal. What do you need me to do?
Doc [data connection]: Well, for starters, you can get your semen-saturated phatex ass off Lee's therapy couch before you stink it up.
Zoa: Uh... don't currently have an ass, actually. Just joints and servos down there.
Doc [data connection]: You're not even a whole sexbot?
Zoa [data connection]: Hey, cut me some slack! You don't even have a chassis, existing in IRLspace is a lot harder than you think!