Can you condition non-cyborgs?

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Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by Il Direttore on Sun 14 Jul 2013 - 11:06

Referring specifically to the brainwashing and allegiance-forcing process, not the medication that keep the cybernetics working. 

I know that some members of this forum are of the opinion that it's a thing, and some aren't. As for me, I feel, as you can tell, that forcing a cyborg's allegiance to be in concert with the SWA, bonding them to a handler, and the other assorted things we associate with the little death machines is an entirely different process from acclimatizing them to cybernetic limbs and making sure that said limbs don't break down. It seems to me that, in principle, you should be able to take any old patient and force them to be allied with the SWA, if nothing else. 

However, I can also see this being an impossibility. It's not unlikely that the "helmet process" only works because the patients are so young, making it easier to manipulate their brains without causing a catastrophic memory fault. IDK, and that's why I made the thread. 

So, thoughts?

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by PolosElite23 on Sun 14 Jul 2013 - 14:27

I would guess that it would "work" on a non-cyborg, along the lines you've specified. However, for the successfulness it would need to be a younger subject as stated in cannon that the younger subjects were more susceptible to the conditioning process, or something along those lines.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by Odon on Sun 14 Jul 2013 - 16:00


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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 14 Jul 2013 - 17:09

El Conservatore wrote:It's not unlikely that the "helmet process" only works because the patients are so young, making it easier to manipulate their brains without causing a catastrophic memory fault. IDK, and that's why I made the thread. 

Doctor Bellisario noted at Lake Maggiore that wiping the girl's memories was a trivial matter. That they have not done so with adults (Hilshire and Raballo being two obvious examples) implies that this is a trivial matter when performed on children only.

Also, that the handlers have not themselves been conditioned to be loyal to the SWA and State (again, see Raballo) implies that this process does indeed only work on young brains.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by PolosElite23 on Sun 14 Jul 2013 - 19:45

@Kiskaloo wrote:
El Conservatore wrote:It's not unlikely that the "helmet process" only works because the patients are so young, making it easier to manipulate their brains without causing a catastrophic memory fault. IDK, and that's why I made the thread. 

Doctor Bellisario noted at Lake Maggiore that wiping the girl's memories was a trivial matter. That they have not done so with adults (Hilshire and Raballo being two obvious examples) implies that this is a trivial matter when performed on children only.

Also, that the handlers have not themselves been conditioned to be loyal to the SWA and State (again, see Raballo) implies that this process does indeed only work on young brains.

 That is pretty much my thought as well. Younger is easier to manipulate due to the development of the brain in adolescent years from 10 to 18 or so. The brain is very susceptible to manipulation so...in comparison a fully developed adult brain wouldn't be very workable or manipulable, as the workings are already there and connections created and are now ingrained and wired to that already developed personality, its likes and such. Changing that isn't easy, the brain has developed in that way and you can't change it as easily as a developing one, where the chemical bonds are weak.

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Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
----
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by Nachtsider on Mon 15 Jul 2013 - 6:05

El Conservatore wrote:Referring specifically to the brainwashing and allegiance-forcing process, not the medication that keep the cybernetics working.

I was under the impression that they are one and the same. 

Given the fact that the stuff has the side effect of shortening the cyborgs' lifespan, I imagine that it would outright kill a non-cyborg subject in a very short period of time.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by Odon on Mon 15 Jul 2013 - 7:03

There are other considerations.  Seriously, if someone invented a successful brainwashing technique for adults, wouldn't anyone who knew of it worry that it might be used on them?  This could lead to all kinds of unpredictable behaviour from normally loyal people, including blowing the whistle or sabotaging the project.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by Il Direttore on Mon 15 Jul 2013 - 10:09

Who says they aren't being conditioned? Maybe every time a cyborg goes in for repairs, the handler follows.... 

...just kidding. Very Happy 

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@Nachtsider wrote:
El Conservatore wrote:Referring specifically to the brainwashing and allegiance-forcing process, not the medication that keep the cybernetics working.

I was under the impression that they are one and the same. 

Given the fact that the stuff has the side effect of shortening the cyborgs' lifespan, I imagine that it would outright kill a non-cyborg subject in a very short period of time.

I'm basing my judgment off of the scenes we have of Petrushka and Henrietta undergoing the process. It seemed like they were being injected with sedatives more than any specific drug cocktail, and that the main influencing factor was the helmet. I may be wrong, but that's what the evidence suggests to me.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by ElfenMagix on Mon 15 Jul 2013 - 17:36

I agree with Nachtsider here, a drug is a drug and its effects will work on anyone it is given too. In fact I put in SWA Beginnings: Francesca a warning given by Chief Lorenzo to both Ferro and Priscilla "The condictioning drug works well on normal people as it does on cyborgs..."

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 15 Jul 2013 - 18:15

Well we can certainly decide in our own fandom that it does, but I'd argue that Yu Aida does not believe it does since there were opportunities for him to use it to solve issues he created, but he did not.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by Thescarredman on Mon 15 Jul 2013 - 19:05

I've sort of reconciled the issue by positing that the conditioning drugs not only allow the subject's brain to accept the weird feedback from their cybernetic bodies, it makes them much more suggestible, thus turning the hypnotic sessions under the helmet into a powerful and effective means of behavior modification.

This wouldn't alter the oft-quoted assumption that the drugs and brainwashing work best on young patients.
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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by ElfenMagix on Mon 15 Jul 2013 - 21:59

Found the phrase, its in Chapter 10 of SWA Beginnings: Francesca.


“The conditioning medication works extremely well on regular humans. So unless you don’t want to be targeted for termination, we can fix it so that you will follow orders regardless of what those orders are. Or, you can mind your own business and do your jobs here like proper members of a top secret law enforcement government agency. The choice is yours.”, Chief Lorenzo says to them.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by taerKitty on Tue 16 Jul 2013 - 12:22

While it's good to try to unify the fandom diaspora, I think some axioms on which various authors base their works will preclude that.

Having said that, I think it'd be good to try to focus this on canon, lest we fracture into sub-threads of increasingly smaller relevance.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by John_234 on Tue 3 Sep 2013 - 13:55

Maybe it's not so much feasibility as ethics? Like, these children are basically dead as far as the system is concerned, but they can't exactly experiment on handlers that volunteered for a job which exists on official documents.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by taerKitty on Tue 3 Sep 2013 - 15:23

It hasn't come up in my fic, but I'd just handwave it away as, "there's a reason they use kids - it won't work with adults."  I don't want it in my particular universe because it'd be the magic bullet of interrogations.  Why have Rico pound the snot out of someone if we can just shoot them full of C-juice?

Now, to condition an all-meat kid?  I see no reason why not.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by ElfenMagix on Tue 3 Sep 2013 - 22:11

Conditioning is Brainwashing.

You can brainwash anybody in the real world.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by taerKitty on Tue 3 Sep 2013 - 23:24

You can, but not to the extent that the cyborgs are conditioned.  The handler need only ask, and they'd divulge any secret save one that the Agency or some other "higher ranking person" has forbidden them from speaking.

Brainwashing in the real world isn't nearly as complete.  You can brainwash someone into codependency, or into a fantasy world of conspiracies and secrets, but you cannot directly direct their actions, not to the extent, accuracy, and surety as is in the manga.

Or, you can in your writing's world, but not mine.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 4 Sep 2013 - 0:08

That would depend on what cases you are talking about. From Primitive man to today's secret organizations, there have been absolute brain washing of individuals BUT it has been for a single objective - like killing a leader or winning a battle at the cost of their very lives.

But none have been used for long time objectives until recently with Al Quida and their brainwashed warriors.

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by Three Dog on Wed 4 Sep 2013 - 2:37

I'd always considered the conditioning to be a combination of a drug cocktail and helmet thingy, and that it's just a simpler matter to adjust a child's still developing mind than an adult's fully/mostly developed mind. It could also be a matter of cost though. Does anyone know how much it costs to condition a 'borg? We know that erasing memories is a piece of cake, but know little of how they get the 'borgs to act submissively toward their handler and other agency personnel. Could be a combination of the two things. Doesn't work well on adults and it's expensive. Why waste all that money and effort trying to erase Roballo's memory when there is no guarantee that it will work and that it might kill him. It's cheaper to kill him with bullets and call it a drive-by.

That would also explain why they don't use it for interrogations either, as the probability of success is too low for the price. They're already spending something-illion euros on the 'borgs, they need to save money somewhere before someone that shouldn't looks at the books and goes, " 'Ang on, somethin's up 'ere."

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Re: Can you condition non-cyborgs?

Post by Alfisti on Wed 4 Sep 2013 - 4:54

Well, it's certainly possible to brainwash someone to an extent and, seeing as part of the intent of the cyborg programme is to develop technologies for the mainstream market, I assume at least some of it would be transferable to a regular human physiology.

That said, I would also think that, for a normal human, a different drug cocktail would be required for that component, particularly the "maintenance" drugs (those the girls appear to take with reasonable regularity). I've generally considered that particular set of drugs more about maintaining the cybernetic/squishy-human-part interface rather than the upkeep of their brainwashing, though it has been speculated that it also helps keep the girls psychologically stable.

Either way, if you took the cybernetics out of the equation I think a different mix would be required but, if someone were willing to spent the time/effort/funds, then I don't see why not.

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