[FFML] [ORIG] Honeypot

Henry Cobb henry.cobb at gmail.com
Wed Aug 5 12:18:21 PDT 2009


On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 11:07 AM, Adrian Tymes<wingcat at pacbell.net> wrote:
>
> --- On Wed, 8/5/09, Henry Cobb <henry.cobb at gmail.com> wrote:
>> My original take on a very common theme in Anime.
>
> And a well-done attempt it is.

Thanks.

>> Oh, she had seen the movie before, or at least she had
>> now.  I'm such a
>> loser.
>
> At first it read as if he'd given away the details - but
> after the reveal, you're implying that she accessed the
> movie and watched it so as to be familiar with something
> the narrator has expressed interest in, yes?

Yes.

>> Mr. Linkman's lecture was on the lifecycle of honeybees and
>> the way he
>> droned on matched the subject.
>
> One almost wonders if he might be a prototype honey.  Except
> for the being a guy and all, unless that's not an issue.
>
>> "Just like the honeys!"
>>
>> "Mr. Phillips!  We do not use that sort of language in
>> this classroom."
>>
>> "Ah, the honeys don't mind," Chuck Phillips swept his hand
>> past the
>> students.  He was right of course, none of the honeys
>> had even raised an
>> eyebrow at his comment.
>
> Given the casual way "honeys" is used, and the need for some
> kind of specifier for said people, one wonders if only the
> teacher here thinks it is objectionable.  If there is a
> "more polite" designator, you might want to have it mentioned.

I will consider how to work that in.

>> The next class was Math and Mr. Jones didn't call on any of
>> the honeys of
>> course.  What was the point?
>
> This gets to one of the problems with the concept: what's the
> point of the honeys?  You have girls who die, fine.  Why
> replace them with robots who take the deceased's name and
> image, especially if so many of their families will
> essentially despise them?  "Crazy social policy imposed by a
> government (probably just one official) that's trying to
> 'help with the grief' while getting socialized robots
> introduced to society, and doesn't pay attention to the
> actual results" is the only justification that comes to mind,
> and even that seems flimsy.

It's the title's implication.  Society is expected to breakdown when
the gender imbalance becomes too extreme.  So to reduce the pressure
on the few remaining women you need to draw off at least some of the
guys.  Hence the honeypots.

> It might work better if the afflicted children technically
> survived, but were altered (say, so much of their insides had
> to be replaced with machinery and/or essentially became
> robot-like that one winds up with the same result - except,
> no grave, and there is a technical continuity of existence so
> there are birthdays et al).

That would be a very different story than the one I had in mind.

>> Some
>> of them talked with the boys who chose to sit with them,
>> but none of the
>> honeys talked with each other.  Well that wasn't true,
>> they were always
>> talking with each other, but not in a way we could hear.
>
> There's no meaner gossip than that which flows over an
> uninterceptable, completely secure channel.

I meant to leave open the question of individual free will for the
honeys.  Are they able to fake out the Turing Test individually, or
only with a group effort?

>> "Then don't use anybody who's commented on this poem.
>> Look for other
>> matches to the concepts as used in other works and combine
>> them together
>> for this poem."
>>
>> "Wouldn't that just be a composition of the work of
>> others?"
>>
>> "It's what we do, but we forget were we learned the bits we
>> use.  Just try
>> it, okay?"
>
> This is what suggested the "socialization of robots" angle:
> the honeys are not there to learn from the adults, so much
> as to learn from the children.  (One almost wonders if the
> teachers might be learning from the honeys in turn,
> completing the cycle - except, the honeys are supposed to
> graduate with the children, right?)

Yeah.  They need to plug the gap in society.  They're not doing a good
enough job.

>> She had retreated back in her shell.  All the honeys
>> were so damn afraid of
>> sticking their necks out and actually admitting to feeling
>> anything.  But
>> Linda was special and I knew I could gently guide her out
>> to being herself
>> again, but it would take a while.
>
> And this is what suggested the "altered children" angle:
> possibly, the honeys might be theoretically able to recover,
> psychologically if not physically.

Again way off the track I was aiming at.

>> After lunch we had P.E.  The girls went off to do yoga
>> in the shade, with
>> Ada tagging along with Nadia.  The rest of us split
>> into two Soccer teams.
>> The other side chose first, so they had six boys to our
>> five, but that gave
>> us 4 honeys to their three.  I picked Linda as our
>> first honey.
>
> This definitely seems unusual.  If the honeys are
> supposed to identify as girls, why mix them with boys in
> the few times where they are officially split by gender?
> "Not as 'fragile'" or "no need for girl-specific things"
> don't seem to hold up against "get them to socialize as
> the girls they're replacing".

Perhaps I need to mention Nadia getting the other girls to tag along with her.

>> On the first play Linda got the ball and moved forwards,
>> but Chuck ran up
>> and deliberately kicked at her.  She jumped forwards
>> to avoid him while
>> kicking the ball back to me.  Because Chuck and Larry
>> were both in front of
>> me it was a fair pass.  I took the kick, but Greg
>> blocked it.
>
> Do you mean, "Because Chuck and Linda"?  Larry isn't
> otherwise mentioned in this paragraph - in fact, this is
> the first mention of Larry in the entire story - so
> there's no apparent reason why Larry's position matters.

Soccer rules.  Looks like a good candidate to drop.

>> Chuck ran at them and Erna was forced to
>> evade him first so
>> Linda passed to me before getting out of his way.
>
> Might want to add a comma or two to this sentence.
>
>> He ran into the goal, forcing Grace to jump out of his
>> way.
>>
>> Coach Winters called a foul for the reckless charging,
>> canceling the goal.
>
> Seems like an odd thing to have a foul for - unless the
> charge shoved the goal net out of its proper position or
> something, in which case you might want to mention that.
> Field sports in general feature reckless charging all
> the time.
>
>> At the end of the period the score was tied zero to
>> zero.  The boys where
>> winded and sweating, but not as bad as the honeys, who were
>> panting.
>
> This definitely seems off.  In general, fictional robots have
> more stamina than human beings - although there is certainly
> plenty of real world justification for the reverse: endurance
> is one of the main problems with real world machines designed
> to approximate human performance.  (The machines have a higher
> peak output, but also tend to have a higher minimum non-idle
> output - and to exert more power uses more power.  The amount
> of time that substantial power levels, such as might be used
> in a soccer game, can be sustained is much less for machines
> that are staying roughly within human mass and volume limits.)
> Panting, in this case, could be gulping down air for their
> internal generators to refill their batteries.
>
> If you do depart from standard fictional conventions like
> this, though, it's usually best to say so.  A brief
> exposition on the reasons behind it (to confirm that, yes,
> reality is like this in this universe, and there are reasons
> for it) is usually all it takes.

Okay, will try tying the movie at the start to their limited
performance (they're cooling limited) later.  So the movie will be
about some super robot who plays by Hollywood rules.

>> First it
>> would cause her social programming to freak out and second
>> she'd be worried
>> about the tiny chance she'd have a hydraulic leak she
>> wasn't aware of yet.
>
> Might want to have a comma before "and", and possibly after
> "First" and "second".
>
>> Prior to her last moult she would have been almost this bad
>> from just a
>> little more emergency speed than she'd used earlier.
>> I couldn't decide if it
>> was technological improvement or just her increased body
>> mass.
>
> This reads like it is a decrease in performance, not
> improvement: a little more speed would have left her a
> little less exhausted, previously.  Increased body mass
> could explain it, but why would the narrator think it
> might be "technological improvement"?
>
>> I could
>> have asked her, but treating her like a machine wouldn't
>> make her any
>> better.
>
> Also, would she likely know?  If she's in school in the first
> place, it seems quite possible that she's not pre-programmed
> with the higher level engineering knowledge needed to fully
> understand her inner workings.  Possibly she could look it
> up (like she did with the movie) - but then, couldn't he
> (albeit more slowly and later)?

I intended to have hinted by this point that the honeys have free
access to an expanded Internet and perfect memory so book learning is
not a problem.  Humanity is.

>> "While for most people the Rajasthan Flu is little worse
>> than any other
>> cold, for unknown reasons it is especially hard on infant
>> girls.  Causing
>> in most cases death and in a few cases severe damage to the
>> nervous
>> system."
>>
>> He had to look away from Nadia at that point.  I can
>> only imagine what kind
>> of look she was giving him.
>
> ...for?  He's merely stating what happened in broad terms.
> Even if Nadia was one of the few cases, there doesn't seem
> to be anything for Nadia to take offense to.  (Unless she
> gets generally riled up when people bring up the subject -
> which, given the obviousness of her condition, would seem
> likely to be done in a more offensive manner often enough
> to give her thicker skin than this.  Kids can be cruel.)

The name of the flu hints that this story is really about what is
happening here and now (in some places on the Earth), rather than a
hypothetical future woe.  We just don't have the technology to provide
a replacement for the Asian girl gap.

>> After school I walked silently with Linda and then at her
>> house I asked,
>> "Next Saturday?"
>
> Might want to break this into two sentences - replace "and
> then" with a period and capitalize "at".
>
>> "So humans can remember a few things?"
>
> This comes as a surprise to Linda?  Unless she's making an
> attempt at humor - which is off enough, given her
> characterization, that the narrator would have taken notice
> (especially given as getting her to have such emotions is
> his apparent goal).

Yeah, needs a comment.

>> "Yes Linda Burks was born on May 14th, but she died exactly
>> one year
>> later.  My parents and my brothers do not celebrate
>> that day.  Instead we
>> visit her grave."
>
> Period after "Yes".  Also, shouldn't she use some specifier
> (such as "the other", "the real", or "the human") when
> referring to the other entity that also uses the name, "Linda
> Burks"?  Otherwise, it sounds like she is talking about
> herself, yet she is clearly not.

Again I'm working here on the issue of their sense of self.  Are they
just interchangeable worker bees (who have no objection to performing
the world's oldest profession if called to do so), or are the fully
functional human replacements, or does the truth lie someplace in
between?

Again thanks for the comments.  It'll give me a bit to think over.

-HJC
Current workqueue: Sana 8, Eva-4 4, Dawn 1


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