Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby ftl » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:56 pm

Tonot wrote:Someone just tell me what facts about them makes so many of you convinced they are human.


All the reasons you which lead you to already agree they are people.

The fact that they are, in canon, listed as having "men" as their race.

Because I have explained what facts about them I think prove they are not, and all that has been offered to me in response seems to be feelings and wistfulness.


Because you haven't explained why the things you point out about them that are different than typical real-life people make them inhuman, rather than just different humans.

It's perfectly natural, to me, that "humans in a fantasy world" are going to have pretty significant differences from you and me.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby Not Me » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:03 pm

ftl wrote:
Tonot wrote:
No one in particular wrote:I have nothing insightful to add re: plot development, character development or greater understanding of he mechanics of Erfworld.

BUT

I will say this sounds like some grade-A shipping bait. Can we see some Parson/Maggie fanart soon? Maybe Maggie & Ace fighting over him? :D



Your saying that made something occur to me. Parson is a human being who is being constrained, by the various "game mechanics" that act on him now, to act like a game character. Some various things like Duty with a capital D, Loyalty, etc, that don't really have coercive force on humans now are part of his "emotional make-up". However!.

He also remains a human being, wouldn't he also be vulnerable in ways other game characters are not?. He wants friendship, feels bad about (what he thinks is) its denial from Maggie, feels like he has lost it from Sizemore. It affects him in ways that "normal" game characters don't get effected in the course of their game play. They might feel things similar, but maybe it would not effect them so much because , after all, they are made to be kind of robotic about their function.
Plus the whole thing about him being a nerd, a male one, a male who has not had a lot of luck with the ladies.

So would this sort of pre-dispose him to being extra vulnerable to attacks through his emotions?. What is its path, Signamancy, Date-a-mancy?. Would it make him easily lead by casters acting along the lines of loyalty spells?. "Be my Friend?". Or, "Hmmm, Lover, be my Special Friend?".


I think no.

I think a big part of the point of Erfworld is that the people ARE real people. Erfworlders want friendship, feel bad about their friends betraying them or drifting apart from them, fall in love and make irrational decisions based on love, and so on and so forth. Jillian went to war for love of Ansom. In Book 1, Parson riled up Ansom into making bad decisions by pushing his emotional buttons about Royalty and so on. They're not game pieces, even though the rules treat them as such.



If I'm not mistaken, all the people/human/inhuman discussion started with these posts. I'm not very sure about how to define each of those terms to see where to place each part of the discussion, but from the "trigger" of the discussion I read something in the line of:

"Since Parson is in many ways different to Erfworlders, will he be subject to having some of his emotional buttons pushed to do things he wouldn't normally do?"

And to that I think that yes, he might have different buttons than Erfoworlders, but I don't think those differences are as big as some imply.
He already showed some of this when going to Spacerock to lead the battle in person. When he got appointed Chief Warlord his "morale and ethic" made him go through the MK to get to Spacerock despite being able to lead the battle safely (and probably win it with less casualties) from GK.

So to those "different buttons" Parson has (see also the things about sexuality and the archons), I say yes, they can be pushed and they can make Parson act in a different way his reason would normally advice.

Still, I don't think he is so different to Erfworlders in that regard. Stanley is also bugged for having to be kept safe at GK instead of being in the front lines leading the battles. Not for moral/ethic reasons, but he would also love to be riding his dwagons and conquering Erfworld himself instead of having to see Wanda and her decrypted do so from the safety of GK (that might not be so safe anymore :twisted: A decrypted Stantely just came to my mind). If Parson was Overlord and his whole side could be terminated just by ending his life, I believe he would also act like Stanley in having to command everything from a safe place.
We've already seen many Erfoworlders having the "love button" pushed to do things despite common reason and the "pride/royalty" button that Ansom had. We've just been told that Maggie's button might be "destroying Charlie"

So Parson has his own personal buttons (in some ways different from the rest, specially with regards to moral/ethics), but they can be pushed in the same way Erfworlders buttons can be pushed (will be interesting to find out what are Charlie's buttons besides from taking Parson out of the equation).


Now from what I read in the last update, I'm surprised no one discussed much in this thread about Loyalty after reading:

"Maggie, how deep in with this guys are you? Where's your real Loyalty? Somehow I doubt it's to the Tool."
"Loyalty is more complex than you know, Lord. That is one of the many secrets we protect." She tilted her head, looking worried. Her voice softened. "That is all they want, Lord Pasron. Someone to protect their secrets. That is why they summoned you."


I find it interesting that the GMTTA are so fixated in "protecting their secrets" as to summon Parson to destroy Charlie. And it kind of mirrors with how fixated is Charlie in protecting his own secrets.
Also, understanding some more about the complexity of how Loyalty works might shed some light in all the "free will" discussions.
And the same way people in here speculate about Charlie's secrets, what might be the secrets the GMTTA are trying to protect (probably the G-strings are one of them)?
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby MarbitChow » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:02 pm

Tonot wrote:Someone just tell me what facts about them makes so many of you convinced they are human. Because I have explained what facts about them I think prove they are not, and all that has been offered to me in response seems to be feelings and wistfulness.
If you went with "Homo Sapiens", I'd be more inclined to agree with you. What it means to be "human" is a whole different ball of wax.

Is a 'brain in a box' human? Replace everything except the human brain, and wire it up so that all of the normal inputs work. It's 98% manufactured, but it still sees, feels, speaks, etc. and believes itself to be human. Is it?
What if we transplant a human brain into a monkey's body? Is it still human?
What about transplanting it into a cloned version of it's original body? Is it still human now? If so, and you answered 'no' to the monkey body, what's the difference?

I believe that the man-like Erfworld denizens are as human as Parson is. If you believe Parson is still human, then they are. If he isn't, they aren't. But I REALLY don't think you can prove that something that walks, talks, acts, eats, loves, and hates like a human isn't a human.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby Lipkin » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:17 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
Tonot wrote:Someone just tell me what facts about them makes so many of you convinced they are human. Because I have explained what facts about them I think prove they are not, and all that has been offered to me in response seems to be feelings and wistfulness.
If you went with "Homo Sapiens", I'd be more inclined to agree with you. What it means to be "human" is a whole different ball of wax.

Is a 'brain in a box' human? Replace everything except the human brain, and wire it up so that all of the normal inputs work. It's 98% manufactured, but it still sees, feels, speaks, etc. and believes itself to be human. Is it?
What if we transplant a human brain into a monkey's body? Is it still human?
What about transplanting it into a cloned version of it's original body? Is it still human now? If so, and you answered 'no' to the monkey body, what's the difference?

I believe that the man-like Erfworld denizens are as human as Parson is. If you believe Parson is still human, then they are. If he isn't, they aren't. But I REALLY don't think you can prove that something that walks, talks, acts, eats, loves, and hates like a human isn't a human.

I can prove something that walks, talks, acts, eats, loves, and hates like a human isn't a human if it was an elf raised by humans.

All of your examples are based on that they start as human, and then the changes are made. Brain in a box, monkey, or clone all started as human. Erfworlders were never anything other than what they are. And that's the most literal that phrase can be, because they were never even children.

The argument that the race is called Men in Erfworld doesn't hold for me, because it's hardly the first time different realities have used the words familiar to us to describe things that are different than what we know. I'm thinking specifically of humans being referred to as cows in the dimension of Pylea on the show Angel. Different worlds use words differently. And Erfians and Stupidworlders have enough apparent differences that are not solely based on mechanics that I can judge them as being different creatures. Doesn't mean Erfians aren't people, any more than other races in other fantasy settings aren't people. They just aren't human.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby No one in particular » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:25 pm

Personally, I'm sticking with my theory that Erfworlders are lizard-sharks.

Human beings in the homo sapiens sapiens sense? No.
Still people though.

Just as I wouldn't call a fully sentient AI or robot a "human", or an alien that breathes methane and farts helium "human", or a chess-playing dragon that has shitty taste in music "human"... I'd still call them people.

Whether they're human in a biological-classification sense or not is irrelevant.

... actually, seriously, what's the discussion here? Why are we talking about this? I've lost the point between many long, long posts and thoughts about Erfworld/Reality TV fanfics.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby vintermann » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:56 pm

Lipkin wrote:Unless she starts ordering him around like he's just another minion. If he starts feeling she doesn't view him as a brother, and as just another slave, I could see him rebelling then. Maybe.


Not much. Really, little has changed for Jack. He's been reminded of the long history they share, but it makes little practical difference. He'll obey Wanda, but he would obey Wanda when he was alive as well. Maybe he'd feel differently about it, but for some reason, Jack was already completely loyal to Gobwin Knob.

The more serious thing is what it will do to his relationship with Parson. Parson can't trust him anymore, can't even ask him about what being decrypted feels like or how he thinks of Wanda. This will probably make Jack rather unhappy.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby Sir Shadow » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:37 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
Tonot wrote:Someone just tell me what facts about them makes so many of you convinced they are human. Because I have explained what facts about them I think prove they are not, and all that has been offered to me in response seems to be feelings and wistfulness.
If you went with "Homo Sapiens", I'd be more inclined to agree with you. What it means to be "human" is a whole different ball of wax.
See now you're being just as dense as him. Tonot clearly means they are not human as in 'homo sapien'. He already admitted that each and every erfworlder is a 'person', but he is saying that they are not the same species as Parson, which really seems to be the case.

Do they have 'human' emotions and such? Sure. Do they have the same physiology as Parson? They don't seem to, though there are similarities.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby drachefly » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:40 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
Tonot wrote:Someone just tell me what facts about them makes so many of you convinced they are human. Because I have explained what facts about them I think prove they are not, and all that has been offered to me in response seems to be feelings and wistfulness.
If you went with "Homo Sapiens", I'd be more inclined to agree with you. What it means to be "human" is a whole different ball of wax.

Is a 'brain in a box' human? Replace everything except the human brain...


As far as I'm concerned, you can even replace that part so long as it's functionally equivalent... which makes erfworlders not effectively human, unless the differences are externally imposed.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby Tonot » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:12 pm

Not Me wrote:
If I'm not mistaken, all the people/human/inhuman discussion started with these posts. I'm not very sure about how to define each of those terms to see where to place each part of the discussion, but from the "trigger" of the discussion I read something in the line of:

"Since Parson is in many ways different to Erfworlders, will he be subject to having some of his emotional buttons pushed to do things he wouldn't normally do?"

And to that I think that yes, he might have different buttons than Erfoworlders, but I don't think those differences are as big as some imply.
He already showed some of this when going to Spacerock to lead the battle in person. When he got appointed Chief Warlord his "morale and ethic" made him go through the MK to get to Spacerock despite being able to lead the battle safely (and probably win it with less casualties) from GK.

So to those "different buttons" Parson has (see also the things about sexuality and the archons), I say yes, they can be pushed and they can make Parson act in a different way his reason would normally advice.

Still, I don't think he is so different to Erfworlders in that regard. Stanley is also bugged for having to be kept safe at GK instead of being in the front lines leading the battles. Not for moral/ethic reasons, but he would also love to be riding his dwagons and conquering Erfworld himself instead of having to see Wanda and her decrypted do so from the safety of GK (that might not be so safe anymore :twisted: A decrypted Stantely just came to my mind). If Parson was Overlord and his whole side could be terminated just by ending his life, I believe he would also act like Stanley in having to command everything from a safe place.
We've already seen many Erfoworlders having the "love button" pushed to do things despite common reason and the "pride/royalty" button that Ansom had. We've just been told that Maggie's button might be "destroying Charlie"

So Parson has his own personal buttons (in some ways different from the rest, specially with regards to moral/ethics), but they can be pushed in the same way Erfworlders buttons can be pushed (will be interesting to find out what are Charlie's buttons besides from taking Parson out of the equation).



Yeah, good points, Not Me. Especially "When he got appointed Chief Warlord his "morale and ethic" made him go through the MK to get to Spacerock despite being able to lead the battle safely (and probably win it with less casualties) from GK".
You are quite right in that really the differences that exist end up being only differences in quality, not effect. Parsons' senses of ethics and morale and morality and so forth actually act on him with the same sort of "compulsion" in the end. And after all, he didn't develop them himself in isolation, something like morality is kind of like an imposed compulsion that society inflicts on us, a little like Duty is imposed on Erf-worlders by the game mechanics.

My initial question was about the differences possibly making him more vulnerable to some casters than an average Erf-worlder. I think he is vulnerable in ways they are not, because he is a different person than anyone in Erf-world.

ftl wrote:
Tonot wrote:Someone just tell me what facts about them makes so many of you convinced they are human.


All the reasons you which lead you to already agree they are people.


That is both a subtly persuasive point and an encapsulation of the reason we have a disagreement about it in the first place. :D
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby CorrTerek » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:41 pm

Tonot wrote:No, you got my meaning reversed there, maybe because you seem to have accidentally only quoted half the thought, I understand why you did I guess, it was a long thought. My point started there with this
"And specifically to what I was asking, Parson has spent his entire life as a ( assuming we nerds still qualify) human, in human company, human society. Now his company, society, is these non-human, randomly-controlled-often people".
I went on to make the point that ftl knew in his own experience of how even one of the human cultures can be so different as to be impossible for a stranger to live safely in. And that by analogy I was saying ftl also knew perfectly well my point about Parson being vulnerable in particular ways to the alien culture he is in now.


...I understand every word you used, but I'm still not really getting what you're trying to say. Guess we'll just have to drop it, because I don't particularly enjoy being talked down to and I imagine that's what will ensue.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby Tonot » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:04 pm

Fine, all I was doing was answering comments you addressed to me anyway. To my way of thinking, treating people to less than your full attention and truth when they talk to you, is dis-honest, so I always try to honestly answer anything someone addresses to me. :|

People often imagine something, then bring it "true" by claiming it happens just as they imagined. Subjectively I suppose it does become true for them.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby Jabberwocky » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:42 pm

So, who should or even can Parson turn to now for advice?

Maggy is either compromised or overeager for Parson to whip out his Rod of Lordly Might
Jack is Decrypted.
Wanda is insane. And mean. And fanatically devoted to Fate. And mean.
Stanley is Stanley.
Sizemore looks like he's fermenting the angriest crap golem ever.
The Great Minds want to jam their collective hands up his muppet hole.

Parson needs to recruit Janice*. Or start being penpals with Jillian.

*Time to start shipping Janice/Parson! She's outside his chain of command, which takes care of that moral problem. She has her Peace Hulk powers to, ahem, save herself from 'being broken in like a feral mount'. She seems like she'd be able to keep up with him intellectually and be an excellent counterpart to his personality. And they'd probably enjoy discussing philosophy and Stupidworld vs. Erfworld.

And with her connections, she could probably get a Turnamancer or Strangeamancer to make babies!
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby Lilwik » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:56 pm

Jabberwocky wrote:Time to start shipping Janis/Parson!
When I think of Janis and Parson, I think of Book 2, Page 71. To me it looks like Marie is a far better fit for Parson.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby Jabberwocky » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:00 pm

Lilwik wrote: To me it looks like Marie is a far better fit for Parson.


Well, thats an interesting mental image right there. Yes. Yes it is.

Though I get more of a 'supportive friend' vibe from Marie. Janis/Parson would just have such an interesting dynamic, considering that she's wanting him to wage war on war.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby ftl » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:04 pm

Janis and Marie both are trying to manipulate Parson, just like the Great Minds are.

Really, that's a problem for Parson now. He's got nobody.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby Tonot » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:05 pm

Stanley, funnily enough, is beginning to appreciate and maybe even like Parson a little. And wants to mentor him.

And he might be a tool, but when you look at his career, he is also a pretty experienced and undeniably lucky Tool. In fact, he may be the biggest Tool in the game.
;)
Maybe, if Parson is going to unplug Charlie, and hopefully attune to the Dish, he needs to become a Tool-understudy?. An apprentice Tool?.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby Jabberwocky » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:09 pm

ftl wrote:Really, that's a problem for Parson now. He's got nobody.


Now to spin off on a complete tangent.. Given that the GM, Predictamancers and Hippiemancers all want a piece of Parson and that Gobwin Knob is both rich and powerful..

Do you think he could get a 'Summon Perfect Companion for Perfect Warlord' scroll? And how horrified would he be when he managed to summon a version of himself from Stupiderworld?
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby Lipkin » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:47 pm

It's lonely at the top. But I agree that Stanley is actually Parson's best bet for someone to talk to. Stanley is guileless. Even if they don't agree, Parson will never have to wonder what Stanley is thinking, or where he stands. If they could put aside their clashing personalities, they could be each others best allies. On paper, they should be able to trust each other, as they share motives and enemies.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby drachefly » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:01 am

Also, since Stanley saved Parson's life, he can drop the defensiveness and inferiority complex... if he can get as far as not turning it into a superiority complex.
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Re: Book 2 – Epilogue 06 – Parson and Maggie Discuss Matters

Postby davidj » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:45 pm

Lipkin wrote:I would argue that the people of Erf are the same genus as the people of Stupidworld, but are a different species. They are not homo sapien, but they do belong to the homo group.


Biologically, they're not even Kingdom Animalia. Not even Domain Eukaryota. Not part of any terrestrial biology. They don't reproduce in any of the fleshy ways that Earth-evolved organisms do. They don't bleed when they're cut. There are emotional and cognitive similarities, but biologically, they are profoundly extraterrestrial.

Except that they and Parson can eat the same food. Which (with Earth physics, anyway) would require similar sugars, proteins, lipids, and other biochemistry, but not necessarily DNA. Probably they have cells, but with Erf physics there might be some other way to get a similar external effect.
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