Comic 204 - Keep a open mind..

17th Jul 2014, 12:00 AM
Keep a open mind..
Average Rating: 5 (12 votes)
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Comments:

JacobJSebastian 17th Jul 2014, 12:18 AM edit delete reply

Thumbs up!
Centcomm 17th Jul 2014, 2:48 PM edit delete reply

*bows*
cattservant 17th Jul 2014, 12:24 AM edit delete reply

Wide open minds
for wide open
situations!
Centcomm 17th Jul 2014, 2:57 PM edit delete reply

yep!
Stormwind13 17th Jul 2014, 5:16 PM edit delete reply

Just be careful of how far open the mind is, cat. Or it might fall out! :-D
cattservant 17th Jul 2014, 5:58 PM edit delete reply

Like a Kappa?
Stormwind13 17th Jul 2014, 6:28 PM edit delete reply

LOL. Actually, yes. I was thinking that too! :-D
Sheela 18th Jul 2014, 1:30 PM edit delete reply

For some, that is not a problem, because their brains already fell out.

And I'm not talking about zombies.
Combined IQ = 73 !
Centcomm 18th Jul 2014, 2:11 PM edit delete reply

oh wow.. thats low sheela .. >_<
Sheela 18th Jul 2014, 9:42 PM edit delete reply

Ah, but you laughed, didn'tcha ?

And to be fair, a lot of people have this odd misconception that teamwork makes everyone smarter - It doesn't !
In fact, herd mentality can be downright STUPID.


That said, that video has a strangely hypnotic effect on most males, low IQ or not.
But then, they *are* BOUNCY !

*twitch*

... and now I have a strange craving for catching red rubber balls.
... and gnawing on them .. FURIOUSLY !!
Computant 20th Aug 2016, 9:22 PM edit delete reply
There is a reason there is a separate field of "Crowd psychology," and why it is one of the easier fields.
Barring a leader, a crowd is an organism with 200 brain cells (each person is one neuron), capable of only a few actions/directions. Fight, Flee, listen, shout, beyond that the crowd would require more intelligence to act.
Even with a leader, most crowds can only do one of those few actions, but the attack can be directed or the shouting can become slogans...
jamie59 17th Jul 2014, 1:44 AM edit delete reply

Colonel Gali's not human either. Sentient is more than biology or origin.
Stormwind13 17th Jul 2014, 7:03 AM edit delete reply

Very true, jamie. Works both ways though, as Mr. Black points out below. Don't attribute 'human' emotions to a non-human sentience. :-)
Centcomm 17th Jul 2014, 2:57 PM edit delete reply

yes both statements are true :D
plymayer 17th Jul 2014, 1:57 AM edit delete reply

Smart chicks are such a come on. ;) (have always been sapiosexual).

She's right on the money though.
Centcomm 17th Jul 2014, 2:58 PM edit delete reply

hehe Our Galina is a smart cookie :D
Stormwind13 17th Jul 2014, 6:46 PM edit delete reply

You HAD to say that didn't you, CentComm? :-p

I'm sorry Ladies and Gentlemen (plus the REST of the readers) but Luna Star will not be updating for a bit. CentComm said COOKIE, and Galina was eaten. Now she'll have to make another character. :-D
Centcomm 18th Jul 2014, 12:23 AM edit delete reply

Good news - Galina fought off the cookie monster with the help of Twilight Sparkle and Celestia.... -- Wow I went there didnt I.....
Sheela 18th Jul 2014, 9:42 AM edit delete reply

Don't worry, Galina's cookies are perfectly safe !

They are held in a stasis field and have been named "Cookies of Good Intentions" :)
mjkj 17th Jul 2014, 2:13 AM edit delete reply

Yup. And Gali is CentComm's first friend.
Centcomm 17th Jul 2014, 2:58 PM edit delete reply

well its a little early to say friend here.. :D
cattservant 17th Jul 2014, 7:38 PM edit delete reply

I would imagine AMComm is carefully evaluating every bit of data it can obtain about Galina at this point.
Timotheus 17th Jul 2014, 5:09 AM edit delete reply
And hence the reason why our created sentience heroine is the best choice for first contact with an entirely alien race, she can set aside her preconceived prejudices and just deal with whatever beings she's presented with.
Centcomm 17th Jul 2014, 3:00 PM edit delete reply

to an degree .. remember Galina is still a product of her environment .. She believes in god and prays ( I know we haven't shown much of that ) but she can overcome - she has a quick and flexible mind. and yes shes a bit more open minded than most..
Timotheus 17th Jul 2014, 4:57 PM edit delete reply
I guess what I meant to say was Galina is more inclined to asses her feelings based on what she hears and feels from a source, not from how they appear. (Actions would count though I suppose.) A weaponized talking coffeemaker wouldn't phase her in the slightest as long as it was friendly.
Centcomm 18th Jul 2014, 2:05 PM edit delete reply

heeh point.. that she is - laughs at the weaponized coffee maker comment ..
Sheela 18th Jul 2014, 9:50 PM edit delete reply

Well, she sorta already faced down one "weaponized coffeemaker" in the form of the russian auto-doc of "Cousin Avi".

He didn't seem to phase her much.
Mister Black 17th Jul 2014, 5:19 AM edit delete reply

I'm going to have to side with / defend the good Colonel on this one.

While it's true that sentient is more than biology or origin, that's not relevant to 'humanity'. There are sentient creatures (and objects) in the DCU that aren't human (the Epiphytes and the 'City' AIs), and if the DCU is anything like where I work, there are humans who aren't sentient. Let me advance a related, but different proposition: Humanity is more than shape.

AMComm (is there an FMComm?) is *shaped* like a human, but is, in reality, every bit as alien as H.G. Wells' Martians. She is (particularly at the stage of development we're seeing in Luna Star) a purely military system, not overly burdened with moral scruples. (Side note to our military readers: I'm not implying that military personnel have no scruples, only pointing out that modern warfare requires decisions that, in peacetime, would be regarded as immoral at best...which is probably one reason that the flesh-and-blood Command Authority was only too happy to let an AIS make the call.) She may be cute, and human-shaped, but the mind inside the shell isn't remotely human, by design.

This is another mistake to avoid when doing first-contact missions. Never assume that 'They look like us, therefore they are like us'.
anonymous coward 17th Jul 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete reply
It depends on how rare 'sentient life' is in the universe and how difficult it is to reach it. The less easy it is to meet some the more likely you are to value it for its own sake when you do.
Mayyday 17th Jul 2014, 6:44 AM edit delete reply

"I suppose that in any well-ordered society people like us would be locked up or shot. But then you would have to get people like us to do the locking up and the shooting." — Jim Morris, US Army Special Forces
Mister Black 17th Jul 2014, 10:27 AM edit delete reply

Unsurprisingly, Major Morris knew exactly what he was talking about. The same skills that make one a good soldier make it very difficult to blend back into the civilian population. My original comment about 'inhumanity' was based on a discussion I followed on another board. One of the posters there was a Targeter. The people in his office spent their working days looking at high-resolution photography and maps, and determining where (and how hard) potential enemies would be nuked. Contrary to what some people believe, civilians weren't actually targeted, but industrial centers, transportation hubs and the like *were*...and there isn't any way to avoid the fact that you're going to kill millions of people.

The suicide rate among folks in his line of work is frightening. The ones who didn't transfer out or 'opt out', tended to be a bit...inhuman. Not evil, not cruel, just..not quite like the rest of us. I could *easily* see AMComm (or SAGE, or SkyNet) being tasked with the job, with similar results.
mjkj 17th Jul 2014, 7:33 AM edit delete reply

Quote Mister Black: >>AMComm (is there an FMComm?)<<

I do not know - but there might be a PMComm instead...
Mister Black 17th Jul 2014, 10:30 AM edit delete reply

I spent 'way too long as a DJ / Broadcast Announcer, and even longer working night shifts. "AM" and "PM" don't mean much to me (I tend to use 24-hour time...occasionally even in casual conversation), but "AM" and "FM"? That, I know about :-D
mjkj 18th Jul 2014, 9:19 AM edit delete reply

Ah, well, we only use 24-hr time here. but then AM is called MW and FM UKW...
Centcomm 17th Jul 2014, 3:02 PM edit delete reply

at Black and Mayyday and anon here .. - This is a excellent post Mister Black thank you ! ( side note Black is one of my go to peeps on technical issues and other more moral discussions :D )
anonymous coward 21st Jul 2014, 1:47 PM edit delete reply
@Centcomm: This has been mentioned in the past.
I don't want to make any definitive statements about what aliens 'have' to be like, but the technological difficulty, cost and time-scale issues of trying to achieve interstellar travel (unless there is some magic-wand technology that makes this easy and foolproof) suggest that any plan to go visit another star system is going to have a purpose less simple than interstellar genocidal safari. Unless you expect the natives there to be threatening to you somehow, for some reason, what's the point in going somewhere really far away to kill someone you don't know that's too far away for you to even care about their stuff? I could see an argument that it could be an expression of paranoia or a prestige project of a military dictatorship, but I don't expect those sorts of organizations to have the stability and continuity necessary to do such a thing themselves.
Consider that the 'space race' in our history was originally about threat and counterthreat with ICBMs: Weapons launched from so far away you can't hit the source. The larger they are the larger the potential payload of the 'weaponized' version. Sputnik terrified the US government into abandoning typical, cost-plus, sleazy, 'military development' practices in favour of establishing NASA to actually get it done faster and cheaper. Going to another star system is much, much more complicated and expensive.
Stormwind13 17th Jul 2014, 5:22 PM edit delete reply

Your last statement puts me in mind of the Pitar, Mr. Black. :-)

And of course, there is the first contact team from Illegal Aliens. :-D
Tokyo Rose 17th Jul 2014, 7:47 PM edit delete reply

Oh, yes, the Pitar. ::shudder::
Sheela 18th Jul 2014, 10:11 AM edit delete reply

They're coming for your ovaries, Rose !
Centcomm 18th Jul 2014, 2:03 PM edit delete reply

O_O --
Sheela 18th Jul 2014, 9:51 PM edit delete reply

For once it's good to be a machine, huh ?
Sheela 21st Jul 2014, 10:05 AM edit delete reply

On a sidenote, it's not always the aliens that are the odd ones out during first contact.

There are stories about awkward first contacts.
DizzasterJuice 17th Jul 2014, 11:23 AM edit delete reply

I have a question. When you do a monitor image like that do you do it as a texture and render it or is it done in post production in photoshop? I'm asking because I've been trying to do TV screen images as a texture and rendering them but they come out looking blurry.
Yours came out looking excellent.
Centcomm 17th Jul 2014, 2:47 PM edit delete reply

i do it two ways one is altering the texture map.. BUT I triple or quadruple the resolution size. the other trick is a 2d plane over the screen i want to replace set the screen to black or invisible if I have to and it really helps .. :D I normally never do screens in post .. I will do HUDs in post though :D
cattservant 17th Jul 2014, 6:03 PM edit delete reply

It just occurred to me;
At this point human survival
is in significantly non-human hands.
Stormwind13 17th Jul 2014, 6:34 PM edit delete reply

True cat. On BOTH sides of the equation. :-)
Mister Black 18th Jul 2014, 4:57 AM edit delete reply

One has to wonder how jumpy our visitors are. It's true that they have a big, impressive ship, but it's *one* big, impressive ship, and they're looking at an entire solar system full of potential threats. To put it in Star Trek terms, the Federation might see a peaceful industrial society mining its asteroid belts, delivering the ore by linear accelerator, and communicating via modulated laser systems. The Klingons, looking at the same data, would see a massive defense-in-depth with tiers of near-c projectile launchers, backed up with primitive but powerful directed-energy weapons.

Both sides of this discussion could easily see massive threats to their continued existence...and both sides could be right, or wrong. First contact is not for the faint of heart. :-D
Stormwind13 18th Jul 2014, 6:31 AM edit delete reply

Valid point; however, the visitors probably wouldn't be concerned about the mass drivers as weapons. They aren't real useful against targets that can move independently. And the energy weapons probably won't worry them unduly, not against a black hole. :-D

Still you have a valid point, Mr. Black. The perception of the aliens could interpret human's activity a variety of ways. If they are interested in contacting 'alien' intelligences then they will most likely see it in a better light. If they were in the conquering business then it would be taken as possible threats.
cattservant 18th Jul 2014, 8:10 AM edit delete reply

Remember these aliens have been here before.
Mister Black 18th Jul 2014, 9:31 AM edit delete reply

Rather like how DKM Bismarck, being one of the largest and most technically advanced battleships of his day, had nothing to worry about from those primitive, slow, fragile biplanes from the Ark Royal? :-D Admittedly, hitting a maneuvering target with a projectile weapon takes a bit of luck (although all sides managed it occasionally in World War II), but the humans only need one or two lucky hits if the shooting starts. I'm not saying the visitors should be hostile, just that a certain amount of self-serving paranoia is in order on all sides.
Centcomm 18th Jul 2014, 2:04 PM edit delete reply

I think Mister Black is handling this quite well -- Whistles and wanders back to working on pages --
Stormwind13 18th Jul 2014, 6:01 PM edit delete reply

I only have two comments for you Mr. Black. One, the distance (and therefore time) involved is a completely different magnitude for throwing rocks compared to firing 38cm shells over 26,000 metres. Two, the rocks probably are fairly small, non-explosive projectiles without much ability to alter their course. So they probably wouldn't be good against a ship that can maneuver.

This also differs markedly from the Swordfish in your example as the launchers can't close on the ship (they aren't mobile). So they can't get in close to more readily score hits upon the craft. As near as I can tell all the long distance torpedo fire missed. :-)
Sheela 18th Jul 2014, 9:53 PM edit delete reply

... did someone say "fish" ? :D
Stormwind13 18th Jul 2014, 10:09 PM edit delete reply

Fairey Swordfish, Sheela. :-)

They were responsible for crippling the Bismark allowing the surface fleet to catch it and sink it.
Boren 18th Jul 2014, 6:34 PM edit delete reply
I agree completely with both of them, way too many people mistake a military members willingness to do what has to be done, no matter how unpleasant for wanting or desiring conflict. Nothing could be further from the truth, those who must fight are those who want peace most. However you must be prepared for all possibilities; speak softly (Kotkos job) and carry a big gun (the Colonels job)
anonymous coward 21st Jul 2014, 1:53 PM edit delete reply
During the time of the Vietnam War it was standard practice for officers attempting to advance up the reputation and promotion ladder to spend at least one tour of duty in action. But if everybody spends a tour of duty in action how do you make yourself look better than the other guy? Higher kill counts, more honours, more missions, extra tours.
In short: Social pressures strongly influence the ambitious to seek 'opportunities' to 'prove themselves' in such organizations.
Timotheus 19th Jul 2014, 3:12 PM edit delete reply
A very common and misleading concept is that there are such things as "obsolete weapons". Flintlocks, crossbows, Fairey Swordfish, Focker Eindeckers, the USS Constitution, smoothbore cannon, swords, and flint tipped spears remain just as deadly in the hands of those who can use them as they were in the days the were the ultimate weapon.
The only thing that changes is their cost of employment and effectiveness against current countermeasures.
Stormwind13 19th Jul 2014, 4:35 PM edit delete reply

True, Timotheus. They are still weapons, but if the other side is fielding Bolos, a flintlock isn't likely to do you much good (unless you have AM2 rounds for it then all bets are off). :-D
Timotheus 19th Jul 2014, 6:47 PM edit delete reply
"effectiveness against current countermeasures."
That is the key determining concept. A particle disruptor beam weapon will not help you against a heavy blunt object (rock) that gets the drop on you from behind.
Also, a flintlock held vertically before you could entangle the bolo.
Stormwind13 19th Jul 2014, 10:08 PM edit delete reply

LOL. Um, wrong kind of Bolo, Timotheus. :-D
Sheela 19th Jul 2014, 11:23 PM edit delete reply

Gonna be difficult to entangle that kind of Bolo. :D

Though you might be able to tie it up for a while, with a game of chess.
Timotheus 20th Jul 2014, 3:45 AM edit delete reply
At least I didn't think it was a tie.
But I have enough trouble keeping real life weapon systems straight let alone the realms of fiction.
Stormwind13 20th Jul 2014, 10:17 AM edit delete reply

I'm sorry Timotheus that I didn't make it clearer. You are absolutely correct that the word has more than one meaning. I assumed the context would have made it clear, and got the prize for assuming anything. :-D

I guess I could have gone with Ogre, but it was partially based on the Bolo series by the late Keith Laumer anyhow. If you haven't read any of them Timotheus, you might like the earlier Bolo stories by Keith. Or later stories by other authors based off his work. He suffered a stroke and his writing suffered after that until his death.
Sheela 20th Jul 2014, 11:43 AM edit delete reply

Curiously, I re-read the book "Incursions" by Mark Thies, recently.

It has two Bolo Mark XXX's, called DBC "Death By Chains" and DBQ "Death By Quarter".

A nice little read. :)
Stormwind13 20th Jul 2014, 6:58 PM edit delete reply

Book or short story, Sheela? I don't find a book for that, but the title leads me to Bolos Book V: Old Guard; however, I can't find the table of contents so I don't know if "Incursions" is in it or not. :-p
Sheela 20th Jul 2014, 8:41 PM edit delete reply

Ah, sorry.

The "incursion" story is indeed a story in the book called "Bolos V: Old Guard".
I'd say it's a bit longer than a short story, but not long enough to be a book unto itself.
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