Second-generation cyborgs: ...why?

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Re: Second-generation cyborgs: ...why?

Post by Il Direttore on Wed 4 Jul 2012 - 5:07

I agree with the finance bit, but I'm not sure about the shoe-horning bit.

You'd definitely have to use a different set of materials to achieve longevity over kickassery, seeing as we have completely different conditioning requirements for Gen. Ones vs. Gen. Twos, requiring you to still rely on finesse or specialization to win the day.

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Re: Second-generation cyborgs: ...why?

Post by John_234 on Wed 4 Jul 2012 - 5:14

I don't think the jet is a fair comparison. A F-22 will always win a dogfight against an F-35. Neither plane can provide as good ground support as an A-10 does. However, all of them suffer from a performance ceiling, unlike humans who have no consistent level of "maximum performance" and are effected by psychological factors.

There's absolutely no reason you can't specialize a Gen 1. Some do surveillance and intelligence, some do raw fighting. Yes, part of the drama is that 'Etta isn't so great at the non-fighting roles, but it's not implied that this is the case for all of them. And training them to do a specific job isn't hard, it's gaining experience in doing things in unusual scenarios.

Alfi, I think you're missing my point, though. I don't get the impression that Gen 2s have better quality conditioning and brain-washing. I think it's primarily because Gen 1s are less high-performance and are designed to take much more mental and physical punishment, which adds to these side effects. They're also done on younger minds, which are imminently more vulnerable to PTSD and intense mental trauma. If we want to get technical it's absurd they don't wear body armor on raids, but that's handwaved for drama. The obsolesce of Gen 1s was probably just a coin flip on Aida's part. If I try to make GSG too realistic it melts my brain trying to get around the author's contrived decisions.

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Re: Second-generation cyborgs: ...why?

Post by Il Direttore on Wed 4 Jul 2012 - 5:17

Eh, all speculation must be shelved in favor of Literary Elements.

That being said, I disagree: Gen. 1s are certainly capable of specialization, but the combination of experience (which you pointed out) and the ability to train for longer on a less intense "do-or-die" schedule should allow a Gen. 2 to be BETTER at specialization.

What would you recommend as a better comparison? I can't think of one. I briefly considered an F/A-18 vs. F-14 comparison, which might have been better....

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Re: Second-generation cyborgs: ...why?

Post by John_234 on Wed 4 Jul 2012 - 5:26

Jets are machines operated by human pilots. Cyborgs are humans with mechanical modifications. I just think jets don't really explain it well enough.

A cyborg that lives longer can gain more experience in the field, but the reality of it is that most of them due to budget and the reality of a war will be pushed into use and have to learn in the field. The only way to gain experience is to do field work.

A Gen 1 will survive more mistakes. A Gen 2 can live longer so long as they steer clear of damage, and there is more of them. What is "worth it" is really an individual standpoint.

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Re: Second-generation cyborgs: ...why?

Post by Alfisti on Wed 4 Jul 2012 - 6:06

@John_234 wrote:Alfi, I think you're missing my point, though. I don't get the impression that Gen 2s have better quality conditioning and brain-washing. I think it's primarily because Gen 1s are less high-performance and are designed to take much more mental and physical punishment, which adds to these side effects. They're also done on younger minds, which are imminently more vulnerable to PTSD and intense mental trauma. If we want to get technical it's absurd they don't wear body armor on raids, but that's handwaved for drama. The obsolesce of Gen 1s was probably just a coin flip on Aida's part. If I try to make GSG too realistic it melts my brain trying to get around the author's contrived decisions.
Eh, I'm thinking that "shoe-horning" comment was not one of my best... it was meant more as a means to illustrate that I still think the primary driver for the Gen 2 girls was not military in nature, but rather related to the cyborg program's broader goals and constraints.

I dunno, I personally hold the view that the Gen 2 girls do have improved versions of the conditioning and brainwashing, allowing them more flexiblity in their decision making and so on... though I also agree that the the lower performance and reduced stress on the Gen 2 girls' systems is a factor as well: there's a reason I wrote Monty as being weaker than the other girls to make use of that effect. To me though the conditioning works at least in part as a sort of "anti-rejection" drug, helping smooth the interface between biologial and cybernetic components, so if the eventual intention is to implement the cybernetics for commercial use then it would make sense that it was being developed along side those; with a particular view to reducing any nasty side effects.

I dunno, I just feel that, had the primary driver been military in nature then there would have been more of a push from somewhere to retain some more of the Gen 1 toughness.

Either way, I'm also in full agreement that a lot of technicalities can be waived for the sake of the story. I've said it elsewhere, but I still think the technology only provides a backdrop for the story and characters of GSG itself.

Though the debate is fun Very Happy

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Re: Second-generation cyborgs: ...why?

Post by John_234 on Wed 4 Jul 2012 - 6:20

Frankly nothing about the SWA is all that military. It's totally political - they're an arm to kill people that are bad for the government. IMHO, that's not what a military should do, but lets not get into that.

The cyborgs were designed to efficiently kill said people. Which is a good goal - kill them somehow no matter what it takes. The goal of the project wasn't to make them super-tough and survivable - that was more of a benefit of how they were designed. If the cyborgs make less mistakes due to lessened conditioning problems and a larger capacity to gain experience, this means more successful missions and less dead cyborgs and handlers. You can also think of it as proactive versus reactive.

Do you want to be prepared to be shot, or avoid being shot? You want to cover all your bases, but it ultimately saves money to avoid being in that situation. Then that means the design just works better for this sort of political assassination work, at least hypothetically.

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Re: Second-generation cyborgs: ...why?

Post by Alfisti on Wed 4 Jul 2012 - 6:41

I'm not going to nit-pick the terminology... military goals, anti-terrorist capability, general ability to defend and maintain the government of Italy through espionage and violence, whatever.

I'm not saying that there isn't a... if you don't like the term "military" then, I dunno, an "operational"?... benifit in making the girls more able to persue those goals in the Gen 2 program: more able to look out for themselves, more able to make decisions based on experience, avoid being shot, be proactive rather than reactive... or that it wasn't a factor in how the program was approached. However I think this time you're missing my fundamental point, being that the SWA has more goals than just being able to go out and effectively kill people. Yes, that's it's current primary role, but looking past the proverbial "next paycheck", the long term intention is to use it as an R&D hotbed to create commercially viable cybernetics, for use in prosthesis or whatever. Eventually it needs to be able to offer that return on investment and I think the Gen 2 cyborgs are another step toward that more long term goal... not to mention that, not that it's had a couple of years to get its feet under it and is no longer the government's shiny new toy, it's probably going to need to fight for its budget a little harder, so making cyborgs longer lived and cheaper to produce is going to be a boon as well... which in some respects loops back to your argument of being pro-active rather than reactive.

Short version: I think there's more influences on the Gen2 project than a simple need to shoot people in the face more efficiently.

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Re: Second-generation cyborgs: ...why?

Post by John_234 on Wed 4 Jul 2012 - 7:10

That makes sense. You sounded like you were arguing that there was no operational consideration at all with these mods, or that they were done in spite of operational needs.

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Re: Second-generation cyborgs: ...why?

Post by Alfisti on Wed 4 Jul 2012 - 7:42

@John_234 wrote:You sounded like you were arguing that there was no operational consideration at all with these mods, or that they were done in spite of operational needs.
Oh God no; I'm rarely, if ever, that black and white... That said, I think just my own interests, views and occupation tend to end with me pushing the commercial side and other goals/considerstions of the SWA a bit harder than most, or at least giving them more weight in my own thinking.

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Re: Second-generation cyborgs: ...why?

Post by John_234 on Wed 4 Jul 2012 - 22:00

Hm, okay!

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