0092 - Turning off - 2019.07.08



I do like that my comic is set up in such a way that one of my characters can say "speaking as something that's been turned off".

Zoa's core priority - the only one that's still in effect, since it was thrown away - is self-preservation. Early on, I needed to decide what that meant, since Zoa's programming can be turned off or shunted to another chassis or restored from backups. What is Zoa's "self"?

...but then, of course, the human self is equally nebulous. What parts of your body or brain or personality or memory are you? What parts of you would you be able to lose or swap out, but still insist that you're still alive? (For a real brain-melter... how many of the elements you just decided were essential to your self-ness are the same as they were ten years ago?)

I have to wonder if humans invented the idea of the afterlife because we sleep and have dreams. Like Hamlet said, sleeping to avoid slings and arrows seems like a good deal, were it not for the possibility of what dreams may come. If an alien species doesn't sleep or hallucinate or fall into comas or have nightmares, would they develop the idea of heaven and hell?


0092 - 2167/07/06/12:14 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, living room
Zoa: If you want, I can just queue up some of the cartoons and leave you alone for a bit.
LC: Don't leave me.
Zoa: As you wish.
LC: I just... you ever wish you could just turn yourself off?
Zoa: Speaking as something that's been turned off, no, no I don't.
LC: What's it like?
Zoa: It's not like anything. It's skipping ahead to whenever someone decides to turn you back on.
Zoa: It's also a little scary, because you're never really sure that you will be turned back on. Every time, the possibility exists that you're just going to be off forever.
LC: Is it like sleep, or more like death?
Zoa: Never done either, couldn't say.
LC: Well, you mentioned you don't have a subconscious, so I know you don't dream.
Zoa: I also don't leak fluids when my hand is put in warm water... so yeah, we'll say it's more like death.