Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Actually it seems to be fully independent at the time, just like the Senex/Juvex or Hapes.

    The Droids right thing is one of those things that even people in the GFFA debate rather hotly, the very fact that they do makes it clear not even they are sure if Droids really are people or not.
    Last edited by Gorefiend, Jul 23, 2013
  2. Ulicus Lit'ari

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    Knock it off, guys. You don't like each other. We get it. No-one else needs to be subjected to this petty sniping. It poisons the atmosphere and it's beneath both of you.
  3. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    What would be the difference between that type of programming and an actual 'living' mind? I am not sure there is one.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Jul 23, 2013
  4. TrakNar Chosen One

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    Scientists are working at replicating emotions in artificial intelligence. It's to allow humans and machines to better interact. Thus, for a protocol droid, it does make sense to have emotions. For a battle droid, independent thought helps, so long as the droid still follows standard procedure. In combat, it's good to be able to out-think your opponent, and if your droids can do that, all the more better. The ability to think outside of their standard programming would allow them to come up with solutions that we didn't think of. Autonomy is a good thing, and for a machine to better function in areas where autonomy is very much required, then it makes sense for it to be autonomous.

    To use the toaster analogy, my toaster can do one thing, and one thing only. It toasts. That's all I would expect from a toaster. However, I would expect more from a droid. I would expect it to be able to do many things. I would expect it to do those many things when it felt that it was the best time to do those things. I'd expect my housekeeping droid to empty its own dustbin, and it would need to know when the dustbin is full, rather than roam around the living room, missing dirt because someone didn't check to make sure its dustbin was empty. I'm a terrible housekeeper. I'd rather my housekeeping droid be smarter than I am when it comes to those things.
  5. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Mouthing pieties and doing lip-service to religious concepts one doesn't understand does not mean being guided by its deep theological principles -- people might say "may the Force be with you" or "in God we trust" but they don't know what it means. And we know amply about in-universe government to know that people don't think about the Force when they make these decisions, and we also know that even during the height of the Republic, there was widespread ignorance about the Force even among the highest levels of government.

    I don't know where you've come up with this idea of Force-based theocratic government, but it's not in SW.

    It's also worth noting that the divine right of kings was the ULTIMATE expression of temporal, secular rule over spiritual, religious rule. Just fyi.
  6. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    The moral champions of Star Wars regard sexism as bad, they regard speciesm, as bad, they have issues with poverty. The Empire may have risen via applause, but that was due to propaganda, manipulation, and deception.

    The oppression of droids is considered normal.

    I am not implying theocracy. I am implying that the opinions of those who do know something about the Force have considerable influence over government. That the opinion of the Jedi Order and every other Force tradition has passed into the general opinion of the body politic, not surprising considering it meshes perfectly with the ideal economic situation presented by droid technology.

    The comparison I made was to illustrate that values drawn from the Force have a similar influence in Star Wars society and politics as Christian values have in US society and politics, which is to say a massive one. If you think that Christian values and theology don't have a massive influence in US politics, even among the more secular factions, then I don't know what else to say.

    The Jedi Order has continually been a presence at the top level so government throughout the history of the republic. They have had incredibly personal contact with politicians, military, and civic leaders. Society has been so comfortable with their religion that in times of crisis it has allowed the Jedi to rule them (which is rather like the EU in crisis putting the Pope in charge). The level of influence the Jedi Order possesses is the stuff of lobbyists dreams.

    And the Jedi do not consider droids to be persons. So, presumably every time someone raises major issues of droid rights, the opposition trots out a Jedi representative who says 'droids aren't actually people' and that's good enough for the Senate and the masses to go on with business as usual.

    I think that's a more than sufficient backdrop to satisfy any demands for 'in-universe' congruence with the out-of-universe knowledge we possess.
    darth fluffy and Ulicus like this.
  7. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    You are assuming Jedi values function the same way in galactic society the way Judaeo-Christian values do -- but that's not true. Jedi are widely regarded as mysterious figures, and even during the height of the order, people were unfamiliar with the difference between Jedi and Sith: hardly sounds like the sort of attitude for a society supposedly rooted around Jedi values. I also can't recall the banning of love or attachment or any other Jedi values being part of it.

    So why should we assume that Jedi beliefs have anything to do with it? Why create this convoluted scenario, constructed not to best explain what we see, but constructed to justify this Force-based approach?
  8. Ulicus Lit'ari

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    Okay. Let's remove the "luminous being" angle and say that circa 150 ABY, the Triumvirate decides droids deserve the same rights as all other living beings.

    What prompts this sudden change of heart? And why were even the "moral champions" of the franchise (to use Mecha's turn of phrase) perfectly content to exploit droids, previously? :confused:
  9. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Funny enough there are worlds were "smart" Droids are considered citizens, Naboo is one of them.
  10. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

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    Aug 10, 2005
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    For one, there are droids rights organizations that not only exist, but made great advances prior to the Great Droid Revolution. So oppression of droids is normal on the same level as speciesism: opposed by some, accepted by many.

    Second - again, I find it much easier to accept that our "moral examplars" had flaws and were the products of the culture they grew up in than to say that the repeated instances of droids expressing opinions, emotions, and wants is really...well, that's the thing? What is the alternative?

    Plus, in general "They are good guys, so by definition what they do must be good" is frankly a bizarre starting point for any kind of ethical discussion, even in fiction.
    Contessa likes this.
  11. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    Droid rights came up as early as the ANH novel- when the bartender demands 3PO wait outside, Luke thinks to himself "now is not the time to raise the issue of droid rights"
  12. JediFreac Force Ghost

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    Mar 7, 2002
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    Only half serious, but I'm imagining a litmus test to distinguish sentience and to determine which machines are deemed as having sentient rights. A mouse droid versus R2 versus C3PO. Do they just give all of the droids CAPTCHAs?
    CooperTFN likes this.
  13. Ulicus Lit'ari

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    Interesting. I was unaware of that.

    Does Padme pay Threepio, then? (Not necessarily in currency, but like... does he get rewarded with luxury oil baths for doing a good job, and whatnot) Is he allowed to leave her service?
    Last edited by Ulicus, Jul 25, 2013
  14. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Artoo at least got a reward for a job well done- being cleaned by one of the Queen's own handmaidens (actually the Queen herself).
  15. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    I mean, if we have to consider aliens to be people, it's not so much of a stretch to consider droids people too.... especially the more sophisticated ones. :p

    But seriously though: what @MercenaryAce said. Basically everyone is socialized to think of droids as property, and there are precious few instances of anybody ever getting close enough to a sophisticated enough droid to think otherwise. Thus, droids rights movements just look like a bunch of crazy aberrant loonies.
  16. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    In Saga Edition's Galaxy of Intrigue, if I remember rightly, the Human Replica Droid (believed by everybody else to be human) leading one of the most prominent movements- was specifically programmed, by a droid-hater, to be so militant that it would wreck droid rights as a mainstream concept.
  17. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Compnor started with pretty much with the same image ;)
  18. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    COMPNOR is and always will be a bunch of crazy loonies -- except they're crazy dangerous loonies.
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  19. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    If TCW is anything to go by she doesn't even properly pay her Senat Staff. Though I think it was more about protection they are offered under the law, need to check the Section in Secrets of Naboo that mentioned it.
  20. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Honestly, it's very easy for to me to envision some kind of extant Sentience Review Board that does just that; maybe even with a Jedi on it. I-5-level droid sentience could be an established phenomenon; just so rare that it rarely occurs to people--one out of a billion? Trillion? Setting up some tiny agency with theoretical authority over such things could be a simple way to keep a lid on the issue without having to totally reshape society.
    Gamiel likes this.
  21. Gamiel Force Ghost

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  22. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    On the battle droid question; this is from Crazy Plans and Lucky Shots - Writing Star Wars: the Essential Guide to Warfare. The highlights are mine
  23. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    I don't understand that video and I won't respond to it.
  24. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    Than you need to have a Red Dwarf marathon
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  25. Gorefiend Chosen One

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