Re: [gundam][OT] The Matrix the deep philosophical debate!

Prabal Nandy (nandy@U.Arizona.EDU)
Thu, 8 Apr 1999 15:54:19 -0700 (MST)

> Deep." Though even Vinge now says he's given up doing high-tech sci-fi
> since he can't keep ahead of real-world technology...

  Heh heh. The solution: "Don't write stories focused on the technology!"

> >As for how mobile suit technology would affect virtual
> >reality tech, and vice versa, that would take me longer to come up with
> >some sort of theory.
> I'd like to see what you come up with, though. I've recently seen some
> discussion of the feasiblity of remote-controlled mobile suits, which
> seems like one way of approaching the subject...

  Pah, reality is always cooler than fiction!
  Right now we already have fighter-aircraft linked into VR-headsets to
allow pilots to control them remotely, expert systems that can take off
and land fighters and recon aircraft as well as fight with them, etc etc.
Hell, even the DCX-SSTO spacecraft was designed to be piloted from the
ground with a VR headset.
  If anything like a mecha existed of _course_ it would have a VR
interface. A better question is: "Would every car, bus, and plane in the
entire UC universe be controlled by expert systems or telepresence?" I
would posit that in fact this is the way things will be within 30 years.

> The contrast between a "false" world of high-tech drama and a "true"
> world of slavery and spiritual crisis could make for a great
> bait-and-switch along the lines of Evangelion...

  Yeah, it's a nice idea, but it's been done before. I think "Outer
Limits" had several episodes based on just this sort of thing. Of course,
there's always "Total Recall" too!

> Yes, to a large extent. All the cockpit displays are "enhanced"
> computer graphics. When a mobile suit is recognized by the computer, it

  Cute idea!

> Good point. Knowledge, and even media control and public sentiment, are
> irrelevant in Gundam. But then again, looking at the modern world of
> stock inflation, eyeballs, and clickthrough, one has to wonder how well
> it would hold up to a physical crisis. ;-)

  Not at all, because it's not supposed to. We're piling electronic
rubbish on the Ivory tower. Don't be surprised if it comes crashing down!

> it, the main reason the shelves weren't flooded with VR headsets in the
> Christmas of '96 was that lb testing revealed really gnarly side-effects.
> You know, like nausea, dizziness, and - my favorite - LSD-like
> flashbacks. At this point, it seems they're still trying to figure out

  I love it!

> whether these effects are technical glitches or inherent problems with
> immersive virtual reality displays. List techies, any insights?

  It's the defects in the human flesh causing the problem. Our brains are
easily overloaded

> >Another point, I always wonder why the psychommu system was use for weapons
> >control before communications.
> And, for that matter, Zeon Daikun posited the emergence of newtypes as
> an evolutionary adaptation to hold human society together in the vastness
> of space...
> >I could see having one or more MS's in a unit
> >with an extra New Type crew member that uses the psychommu system to channel
> >the units communication uninterrupted by Minovsky particles. Then, each MS's
> >computer would interpret the thought waves as audio and visual
> components for
> >combat coordination.
> That should be possible, though there'd be no way for the other team
> members to broadcast _back_ to the psycommu controller...
> >But the down side is that, again, New Types will become tools for humanities
> >use. Instead of living weapons of war, they will be living Internet servers.
> Well, you could always grow 'em in tanks to create living routers... <grin>
> -- Mark
> -
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