Aging

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Aging

Post by Il Direttore on Mon 12 Aug 2013 - 18:07

There's been a few informal discussions on the topic, but I'd like to get some stuff written down into an actual thread for reference. 

Basically, how do you think cyborgs age? 

I feel as if manufacturing age-progressed parts is too much effort, and I don't see any particular reason why the conditioning medication would prevent a cyborg from aging mentally and maturing over time. Consequently, I'm personally inclined to say that cyborgs age in mindset and in maturity as time passes, starting from their baseline at time of activation and progressing as per standard adolescent psychology.

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Re: Aging

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 12 Aug 2013 - 18:50

Physically, I assume they don't age once converted. That being said. I did make accommodations for age-progressed parts - in Giuoco Pianissimo I had Claes modified to appear 22 as opposed to 12. 

Mentally, they do appear to grow, but they live a "sheltered" life so I expect that growth to be restrained compared to a girl the same age living a "normal" life in the "real" world.

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Re: Aging

Post by Il Direttore on Mon 12 Aug 2013 - 18:57

Well, on the other hand, they do also go out and blow people's brains out. It seems like there should be SOME sort of effect, I think. But maybe not.

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Re: Aging

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 12 Aug 2013 - 19:02

@Il Direttore wrote:Well, on the other hand, they do also go out and blow people's brains out. It seems like there should be SOME sort of effect, I think. But maybe not.
I've always assumed the conditioning process makes them totally amoral in regards to inflicting violence and taking life.

It's the handlers that have to live with it, not the cyborgs.

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Re: Aging

Post by Thescarredman on Mon 12 Aug 2013 - 21:16

@Il Direttore wrote:There's been a few informal discussions on the topic, but I'd like to get some stuff written down into an actual thread for reference. 

Basically, how do you think cyborgs age? 

I feel as if manufacturing age-progressed parts is too much effort, and I don't see any particular reason why the conditioning medication would prevent a cyborg from aging mentally and maturing over time. Consequently, I'm personally inclined to say that cyborgs age in mindset and in maturity as time passes, starting from their baseline at time of activation and progressing as per standard adolescent psychology.
 That's the way I see it (and write it), with one addendum: the second-generation girls aren't necessarily the same physical age as they were when converted.
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Re: Aging

Post by Alfisti on Tue 13 Aug 2013 - 5:49

@Kiskaloo wrote:
@Il Direttore wrote:Well, on the other hand, they do also go out and blow people's brains out. It seems like there should be SOME sort of effect, I think. But maybe not.
I've always assumed the conditioning process makes them totally amoral in regards to inflicting violence and taking life.

It's the handlers that have to live with it, not the cyborgs.
Pretty much this.


As to aging: I'm pretty much in agreement with the rest of the thread so far. Physically, I picture the girls being locked in at whatever age they were converted at (changes in Yu's art style not withstanding). Those appearances will then only change if the techs decide to change them.

Mental aging though: since their bodies don't change, anything mental related to physical changes (hormones and the like... someone with more biology knowledge than me could explain/disprove this further) is going to also be locked in stasis. I would say they can, however, accrue life experience, and with that have their world view altered and get a form of mental aging through that. What you get essentially is a 14 year old (or whatever age you want) who has (to borrow the phrase of a mate off dA) "seen some shit", but they're still viewing it as a 14 year old... not to mention one who has been conditioned to disregard or not be effected by some of the brutal stuff they do.

As Kisk also noted: the girls have a pretty sheltered life inside the SWA. Yes, they go out and kill people, but in terms of knowing how the world works and interracting with it they do not have so much experience, which is also likely to have some form of stunting effect.

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Re: Aging

Post by Odon on Tue 13 Aug 2013 - 9:45

I also thought the girls didn't get any older until I saw this picture of Triela.  It's a flashback to when Hilshire brought her to the Social Welfare Agency and she'd just been conditioned to forget all her trauma.  Triela definitely seems younger here.


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Re: Aging

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 13 Aug 2013 - 11:01

@Odon wrote:I also thought the girls didn't get any older until I saw this picture of Triela.  It's a flashback to when Hilshire brought her to the Social Welfare Agency and she'd just been conditioned to forget all her trauma.  Triela definitely seems younger here.
I think that is more a by-product of Yu's "moeification" of the girls in later volumes than a conscious decision to portray Triela as being physically younger just after conversion compared to how she looked three-four years later.

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Re: Aging

Post by Nachtsider on Tue 13 Aug 2013 - 11:06

Bottom line in my eyes: they can mentally age, but do not physically mature one bit.

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Re: Aging

Post by Officer_Charon on Tue 13 Aug 2013 - 14:06

That's pretty much how I see it.

Bear in mind, mental aging can carry over into how they carry themselves physically, too. There is a world of difference in the way a veteran and a rookie carry themselves, how they walk, talk, look at you etc.

These girls have seen and done things that others several times their ages haven't done. In addition, they've been subjected to chemical treatments of a highly experimental nature, constantly being refined, and with unknown long-term side effects. There is little doubt in my mind that they should have extensive mental trauma, and it's probably only through sheer force of will (or more chemicals) that it doesn't come out in a way other than long-term amnesia.

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Re: Aging

Post by tremec6speed on Tue 13 Aug 2013 - 20:40

Yeah, I agree with that too, at least canon wise.
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Re: Aging

Post by Odon on Wed 14 Aug 2013 - 10:26

@Kiskaloo wrote:
@Odon wrote:I also thought the girls didn't get any older until I saw this picture of Triela.  It's a flashback to when Hilshire brought her to the Social Welfare Agency and she'd just been conditioned to forget all her trauma.  Triela definitely seems younger here.
I think that is more a by-product of Yu's "moeification" of the girls in later volumes than a conscious decision to portray Triela as being physically younger just after conversion compared to how she looked three-four years later.
 I don't know.  He's turning up the moe eyes to eleven, yes, but that body looks pretty scrawny to me.

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Re: Aging

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 14 Aug 2013 - 10:29

@Odon wrote:
@Kiskaloo wrote:
@Odon wrote:I also thought the girls didn't get any older until I saw this picture of Triela.  It's a flashback to when Hilshire brought her to the Social Welfare Agency and she'd just been conditioned to forget all her trauma.  Triela definitely seems younger here.
I think that is more a by-product of Yu's "moeification" of the girls in later volumes than a conscious decision to portray Triela as being physically younger just after conversion compared to how she looked three-four years later.
 I don't know.  He's turning up the moe eyes to eleven, yes, but that body looks pretty scrawny to me.
Perhaps the cybernetic augmentation and body armoring "fills out" the girls a bit?

I don't know how much, if any, input Hilshire had in Triela's "design", but considering they normally operate like a pair of detectives, if he did have input I could see him asking to make her look a bit older to help pass her off in society. Sandro did a fair job at making her look 20 during the original protection mission for Roberta Guellfi.

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Re: Aging

Post by Alfisti on Wed 14 Aug 2013 - 16:38

I dunno mate, I don't think Hilshire has the personality to want a cyborg "modified". Moreover, I was under the impression he was not aware of what was happening to Triela until after the fact.

I also seem to remember that picture being post-conversion.

To be honest, I've always put Triela down as one if the more slender girls. Much of the appearance changes in the manga, as I said before, I put down to changing style and, frankly, the pain in the arse that is remaining consistent across the work. Sometimes a panel gets done, doesn't look quite right, but you need to move on because there's a deadline to hit.

As to "aging" her: it's amazing what can be done with cosmetics and some padding... enough at least to make anything extra believable under "because story".

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Re: Aging

Post by ElfenMagix on Thu 15 Aug 2013 - 1:05

Francesca was aged in Solution's Resolution, and simply done. She was found as a deformed person who outgrew her cybernetics and surgically altered to fit her replacement parts and made to look her appropriate age of 20-something.

Though the cyborgs can not grow because of their carbon fiber bones, they can be adjusted to a needed height. It was done to Triela when protecting Roberta for that mission. And it looks like Claes was aged as well. The other cyborgs look like they were aged to some limited extent.

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Re: Aging

Post by Odon on Thu 15 Aug 2013 - 9:39

When did they mention extending Triela's height?

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Re: Aging

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 15 Aug 2013 - 10:51

@Odon wrote:When did they mention extending Triela's height?
They didn't. And based on the character height chart Yu Aida did, Triela and Petrushka were there "normal" heights (Triela did gain an inch or so from her heels). As such, I personally do not believe they can adjust the height except via limb replacement and I do not think they would do that just for a mission.

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Re: Aging

Post by ElfenMagix on Thu 15 Aug 2013 - 22:24

@Kiskaloo wrote:
@Odon wrote:When did they mention extending Triela's height?
They didn't. And based on the character height chart Yu Aida did, Triela and Petrushka were there "normal" heights (Triela did gain an inch or so from her heels). As such, I personally do not believe they can adjust the height except via limb replacement and I do not think they would do that just for a mission.
I'm talking about the assassination attempt on Prosecutor Roberta, where Triela's height, shape and size was made to look older.

There are several techniques used that can be easily used on the cyborgs to lengthen and then shorten with very fast recovery time. I'll give four:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limb_lengthening_methods#Internal_method_with_drive_device_.28Bliskunov.2C_Dragan.29.5B19.5D.5B20.5D
http://voices.yahoo.com/limb-lengthening-procedure-uses-internal-technology-11385260.html
http://www.paleyinstitute.org/?q=node/47
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/york-man-grows-inches-surgery/story?id=15776730

Since its doable, I believe it was done with Triela on this one mission.

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Re: Aging

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 15 Aug 2013 - 22:49

@ElfenMagix wrote:I'm talking about the assassination attempt on Prosecutor Roberta, where Triela's height, shape and size was made to look older.
I understand, but I don't believe they made any internal modifications to Triela - they were all "cosmetic" by Alessandro. She's wearing heels instead of her usual flat-soled shoes, which would add a couple of inches to her height. And Alessandro padded out her chest and shoulders plus some tailoring of her blazer to fill out her shape. Add a new hair style and some cosmetics and voila - you've aged her from 14 to 20.

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Re: Aging

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 30 Aug 2013 - 23:09

Weighing in a little late on this one, but...

I'm right on board with the consensus that partially mechanical girls do not age physically.  Carbon fiber bones can not get bigger and without room to grow the rest of the organs would get squeezed.  Chemically stunting the growth of children is possible with today's medical technology; as evidenced by the case of a family that medically stunted the growth of their child with cerebral palsy.  That part isn't even science fiction.

As for emotional aging, I think there's a certain degree of "age freezing" there too.
Current neurological research points to the fact that the undeveloped brains of children are extremely adaptable because they have far more pathways open than we adults do.  As the brain matures the pathways that get used the most become insulated with fat deposits, protecting them and making them more efficient.  The trade-off is that the unused connections atrophy, making us less adaptive than children.  As adults we get very good at what we do often, but as a consequence it becomes harder for us old dogs to learn new tricks.

This may explain why the SWA needs to use children for cyborg conversion.  Only their brains can adapt to the interface with technology.  But that means the brain would need to be locked in to a certain age just like the rest of the body.  The technology could not cope with constantly changing physical parameters.  Somehow the SWA doctors would need to prevent their cyborgs brains from maturing into adult versions.

In my opinion this all just makes for a better story.  One of the cornerstones of GsG is the un-natural existence of the girls balanced with their humanity.  Seeing them locked in at a certain age; human yet unable to grow & expand like a normal human is part of the tale's pathos...and one of the cruel, morally ambiguous elements that drew us to this story in the first place.

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Re: Aging

Post by ElfenMagix on Sat 31 Aug 2013 - 0:11

Good @ VooDoo

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Re: Aging

Post by Il Direttore on Sat 31 Aug 2013 - 9:50

@Professor Voodoo wrote:As for emotional aging, I think there's a certain degree of "age freezing" there too.


Current neurological research points to the fact that the undeveloped brains of children are extremely adaptable because they have far more pathways open than we adults do.  As the brain matures the pathways that get used the most become insulated with fat deposits, protecting them and making them more efficient.  The trade-off is that the unused connections atrophy, making us less adaptive than children.  As adults we get very good at what we do often, but as a consequence it becomes harder for us old dogs to learn new tricks.

This may explain why the SWA needs to use children for cyborg conversion.  Only their brains can adapt to the interface with technology.  But that means the brain would need to be locked in to a certain age just like the rest of the body.  The technology could not cope with constantly changing physical parameters.  Somehow the SWA doctors would need to prevent their cyborgs brains from maturing into adult versions.
If they've already adapted to the implants, why would increasing the efficiency of the pathways that control those implants be bad? As I understand it, the increased efficiency of the neural pathways allows for much higher precision and accuracy in an adult when conducting the same action when compared to a child, so it seems like it would make more sense to let the natural aging occur and allow for increased effectiveness over time. 

Then again, I'm assuming you've done more research than me on this, so I'm not sure.

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Re: Aging

Post by Alfisti on Sat 31 Aug 2013 - 10:46

@Il Direttore wrote:If they've already adapted to the implants, why would increasing the efficiency of the pathways that control those implants be bad? As I understand it, the increased efficiency of the neural pathways allows for much higher precision and accuracy in an adult when conducting the same action when compared to a child, so it seems like it would make more sense to let the natural aging occur and allow for increased effectiveness over time. 
Flipside to that argument though is that the SWA is continually developing new technologies. Speculating here, but if they gradually upgrade the girls as old parts wear out and need to be replaced (eg. Triela's leg being swapped), they may need that mental agility to adapt quickly to the slightly different component? I'm sure the boffins would do everything in their power to try and make the new part work and react the same way the old one did (so not massive "start from square one again" changes, but more akin to getting new glasses on a new prescription... just more-so), but any difference between the two may still need to be taken up by the cyborg.

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Re: Aging

Post by Il Direttore on Sat 31 Aug 2013 - 11:19

That's true, especially if you're increasing power output or reducing component size. Changing responses to the same input would require greater adaptability on the side of the patient in order to ensure implant success.

On the other hand though, does emotional maturity come as a result of the myelation, or should we separate psychology and physiology into distinct realms?

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Re: Aging

Post by Alfisti on Sat 31 Aug 2013 - 22:54

@Il Direttore wrote:That's true, especially if you're increasing power output or reducing component size. Changing responses to the same input would require greater adaptability on the side of the patient in order to ensure implant success.

On the other hand though, does emotional maturity come as a result of the myelation, or should we separate psychology and physiology into distinct realms?
Well, I don't know if you read my earlier posts, but I don't see why some emotional maturation (is that even a word?) shouldn't happen. The girls are, after all, accruing life experiences. Anything that is the result of hormonal changes however I don't think is going to happen as their bodies are (at least to my reckoning) locked physically at the age they were converted at. As to the brain itself developing, I'm no biologist (so maybe someone with more interest in the subject can comment more), but I assume some sort of stop would need to be put to the thing's growing so it will continue to fit inside the girls' skulls.

Yu never really seems to have made comment, so at the end of the day though from a fanfiction perspective, and with the usual caveat of "within reason" I think it really depends on which character's being written and how the author wants to play the story.

That said, I guess the tagline remains "A girl has a mechanical body, but she is still an adolescent child." Go figure

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Re: Aging

Post by tremec6speed on Sat 31 Aug 2013 - 23:17

Not sure about Gen 2 girls, but the Originals lose their memory after a certain period of time so mental maturity by virtue of growing up is sort of offset by the amount of knowledge they inherently lose due to the infamous Conditioning Drugs. I think...... right? Puzzled 
Something like that...... sweat W\'ever
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Re: Aging

Post by archivist on Sat 14 Sep 2013 - 19:11

This is my view on things:

The conditioning acts as a narcotic of sorts, dampening the brain's activity causing memory loss and subservience. However, this also halters emotional development. Meaning, the girls do age mentally, but slowly. This would explain Triela's occasional childish behavior, even while being over 18-20 years old. As for physical maturity, narcotics can stunt growth, but I think the major factor in that is the implants. All of the Gen 1 girls had their bones replaced with carbon fiber. This would almost entirely halt growth. Their bones would have to be slightly supple (as carbon fiber is) to allow for shock impact, and this would allow them to get slightly taller. Both Triela and Henrietta seem to grow slightly taller over the course of the manga. As for the Gen 2, this is only an assumption, but it seems the Gen 2 cyborgs are all at the apex of maturity. Meaning, they would not grow any taller. Petrushka, towards the end of the manga, seems to become more endowed, but whether this is actual maturity or one of Yu Aida's less than satisfactory 'changes' to the characters is unknown.

My final thesis:
The girls mature, but very slowly. Emotional maturity is entirely based on conditioning, while physical maturity focuses more on the implants. The girls would never reach physical and emotional adulthood before dying.
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Re: Aging

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