Deus Ex Machina?

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Deus Ex Machina?

Post by Guy_VO on Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:59 pm

On Kobol, people lived among the Lords of Kobol.
This is probably a very advanced species.
The “One True God” is a real character in the series. It is not a deus ex machina. The OTG/very advanced being/God plays an active and important role from the start of the series. It could be one of the Lords of Kobol. It/he/she is very powerfull, but not omnipotent. But how exactly could a person like us distinguish a god from a very powerful and extremely advanced alien?
Why should such an entity be absolutely omnipotent and not just a bit very powerful?
It is impossible to make this distinction. Very powerful can be very god-like for us.
This is all quite common stuff in SF, correct me if I'm wrong.
The OTG manipulates mankind for his own purposes. We probably wouldn’t understand these purposes anyway. It is futile to try to explain the motives of a god or an extremely advanced alien species. We probably could not understand those motives anyway. Just like an ant can't understand why we're messing with his scent pathway - it could be for research, or just for fun, but anyway it beats the intellectual capacities of the ant by far.
In BSG, people (and cylons) are the ants?
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Re: Deus Ex Machina?

Post by President Ackbar on Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:27 pm

Unfortunately, none of us will ever know the answer to this question.

I am not even sure that RDM knew when he wrote it.

But, maybe it's better this way.

It prods our imaginations, and provokes thoughtful discussion!
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Re: Deus Ex Machina?

Post by Guy_VO on Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:48 pm

True.
Apparantly the OTG (or whatever aliens) had a special interest in the future of humans or humanoid species. I referred to this as a researcher and his lab rats.

In our modern world we are trying to recreate extinct animals with a breeding process called "back breeding".

Perhaps the OTG did the same. Trying to bring back an extinct humanoid species. With varying degrees of success, because until now his previous attempts only led to species that eventually built their Cylons and destroyed themselves. He examines what is necessary to suppress this tendency to built artificial life, and is trying out specific DNA combinations.

Fun to think about it.
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Re: Deus Ex Machina?

Post by President Ackbar on Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:05 pm

Very interesting!
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Re: Deus Ex Machina?

Post by jock_tamsons_wee_brother on Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:56 am

One of the more, shall we say, outlandish theories I had about the series was that it was in a simulated universe created by the OTG. The purpose of this was was to be used by the OTG and it's race by having multiple simulated universe versions in which they played out various scenarios of the outcomes of their interaction. With this information, they could determine the highest probability of success when they did interact in the real world to try and break the cycle of violence between man and machine.

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Re: Deus Ex Machina?

Post by President Ackbar on Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:35 pm

I don't think that is all that outlandish, really.

It's quite plausible.
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Re: Deus Ex Machina?

Post by jock_tamsons_wee_brother on Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:01 pm

President Ackbar wrote:I don't think that is all that outlandish, really.

It's quite plausible.

Thanks Pres.

Of course it is possible but I termed it outlandish because there is nothing in the series to support this.

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Re: Deus Ex Machina?

Post by Metatron_Fallen on Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:16 pm



I agree with you that there is nothing in the show to support it. And I think when you create a story, if something like that is in your mind, as the writer, you have an obligation to put something- even if it's very minimal- that supports this into the story.

E. Hemingway had an idea that I actually share that if you have properly internalized the thing you want to write about- or the underlying theme- you didn't actually need to specifically state it, that the characters you create and the things you have them do will let the reader know on an almost subconscious level that this is what the story is about. He called this the 'iceberg theory' and it is well worth the time and trouble to read up on if the art of story-telling is interesting to you. Hemingway believed that if something were important, it actually strengthened the story to omit it. Just don't talk about it and the reader will feel the thing that is there beneath the surface. (his novel, The Sun Also Rises is a good example)

This links up well with Hemingway's minimalist style, obviously, but it DOES create the debate: if you didn't put it in the story and people don't get it, does the failure lie with the reader or the writer?

So, while I agree with Ernie about this underlying meaning that is unstated, I think a writer has to always take a step back and imagine what the reader will take or will want from the work. If you want to posit a 'simulation theory' for example, you really ought to state it at least once or at least make the implication clear enough not to be missed.

.............

However, having said that.

I, personally, do not believe the simulation theories are accurately stated. I think any world that is created on such a detailed level that a sentient occupant/denizen of that world can investigate it within the physics of that world and come away thinking that this is the actual universe, is de facto a universe or world in itself.

It might sound like a small thing- but it is an important distinction. If you initially think 'simulation' the implication is 'not real' and a further implication or association of this word is 'can't happen'.

It, in effect, creates a cognitive prejudice in the mind.

But if you accept the idea that a computer generated world is, indeed, an actual world- as viewed from the perspective of those living in it- then it makes the whole thing seem a bit more plausible from the outset.

And once this idea seems plausible from the outset, it quickly becomes obvious that WE, ourselves, might be living in such a world.

Once you start pondering this, if you assume that any sentient species that develops to a certain level will inevitably create computer generated worlds- then you arrive at the conclusion that we almost certainly exist within one of these worlds. The logic of it is quite basic actually.

Think of it like this: without even checking your lotto ticket, once the draw is announced, you are forced to bet all your savings on the result. What would you pick- that you won or lost? If you wager correctly, you will double your savings (including the amount of the lotto prize). The odds against you winning are so great that you wager your savings in every case that you lost, no? In other words, it is not really rational to assume you have won the lottery.

Likewise, Fermi's paradox. Since we are here, it is not the most rational choice to assume 'we are the first ones'. Because if life can and does rise spontaneously, then there must be any number of civilizations out there who have come into being before us, thus we should see these civilizations somewhere in the galaxy, but we do not. Therefore we are alone in the galaxy. This is important. The conclusion to Fermi's Paradox implies that perhaps life does not rise readily and that we are a fluke and perhaps alone- not only in the galaxy but in the entire universe. Another plausible conclusion is 'well, perhaps we are simply the first ones in this galaxy and other civilizations are millions of years away'. But this leads you to have to acknowledge that if you just randomly selected any civilization, you would almost certainly not be the first one to arise (for the same reason as the lotto odds).

But the reverse is also true. Once you know for a fact that something is possible, then you can almost always bet the percentages and win. Therefore, if simulations are possible and the only thing required is a big computer and the right program, then anyone with a big computer and the right program can create a simulation. If we look at human ownership of fish aquariums as a guide, then owning a simulation would be a thing many people would do. Thus a lot of simulations exist (more than reality) and if the point to having a simulation was to study a sentient species, then any simulation that led to a sentient species arising within it would probably not be deleted by the owner. And since we are alive and here, then chances are, we are in such a simulation.

If we really accept this idea, then any story has to be viewed in this light.

That is all.
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Re: Deus Ex Machina?

Post by throw-41 on Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:03 am

Guy_VO wrote:True.
Apparantly the OTG (or whatever aliens) had a special interest in the future of humans or humanoid species. I referred to this as a researcher and his lab rats.

In our modern world we are trying to recreate extinct animals with a breeding process called "back breeding".

Perhaps the OTG did the same. Trying to bring back an extinct humanoid species.  With varying degrees of success, because until now his previous attempts only led to species that eventually built their Cylons and destroyed themselves. He examines what is necessary to suppress this tendency to built artificial life, and is trying out specific DNA combinations.

Fun to think about it.

I don't think building Cylons/artificial life was the actual problem. Neither were specific DNA combinations or back breeding.
The real issue was that that this artificial life was created as servants and slaves.

The lesson the humans had to learn was that when you create new life you have to treat it well and love it. So stated flat out by Anders: "We knew they would continue to create artificial life. We needed to tell them...treat them well. Keep 'em close."

And like Helo states in The Farm: "They have this theory maybe the one thing they were missing was love. So Sharon and I… we were set up to (fall in love)"

The significance of Hera was that she was the love child of two individuals who stared out as mortal enemies but fell deeply in love with each other and through that overcame their hate, not only for each other, but in ultimate consequence for each other's entire "species".

If DNA was the issue a mixed child could have been created in a test tube. But that approach was specifically mentioned to have failed.

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