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Tom Sewell

Story Wednesday, June 5, 2019

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Yep, she's been fantasizing about this stuff for a while thinking that it was ok cus to do so because it wasn't actually possible for her, but now she's thinking it could be possible and now she thinks it's wrong to even fantasize about it.

She's not the only one in the cast to struggle with this though, Tedd's fantasized about transforming people as well, even plotted to actually do it. I wouldn't be surprised if Sarah's used her spell to get some instant gratification from turning a jerk into whatever, without actually transforming them, and Susan's hammered enough fools to get a nickname for it. I think Ashley's in good company.

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I totally agree that the teleport to roof wouldn't be over-the-top. Alternatively, make him slip/trip and fall. You can actually do that even without magic :)

23 hours ago, Scotty said:

Yep, she's been fantasizing about this stuff for a while thinking that it was ok cus to do so because it wasn't actually possible for her, but now she's thinking it could be possible and now she thinks it's wrong to even fantasize about it.

I suspect those fantasies were actually big part of how she kept herself mentally healthy. Without this venting, her goodness would likely turn her crazy, because it's apparently not the "naturally goodness without thinking about it" kind but mostly build on overcoming other parts of her personality. Calling herself devil is overstatement but ... well ... I suppose Nanase would be relieved to know that Ashley is not as good as she looks.

Unfortunately, this is not harry potter: she CAN cast a spell just by thinking about it, so she would really need to stop this fantasying.

23 hours ago, Scotty said:

She's not the only one in the cast to struggle with this though, Tedd's fantasized about transforming people as well, even plotted to actually do it.

Yes.

23 hours ago, Scotty said:

I wouldn't be surprised if Sarah's used her spell to get some instant gratification from turning a jerk into whatever, without actually transforming them

Also all other kinds of instant gratifications. Her spell is so full of temptation even saint would succumb, and she's not one ... and it's COMPLETELY SAFE. If you don't count the addiction effect at least.

23 hours ago, Scotty said:

and Susan's hammered enough fools to get a nickname for it

Well, the hammers were DESIGNED for it. Also, she used them so much she can juggle three of them AND lunch.

23 hours ago, Scotty said:

I think Ashley's in good company.

Definitely.

And seems Noah had problems with self-control as well, although he might not end up in Ashleys company anytime soon.

On 6/4/2019 at 0:30 PM, Scotty said:

But that's not really what Ashley's worried about, she's fine if it's other people using it, but she's worried about using magic herself and possibly going too far with it, Pandora sensed that Ashley fantasized about going on transformation sprees, but couldn't give her the ability to because Ashley believed that it'd be wrong to do so.

Now becoming a wizard has opened up the possibility of fulfilling those fantasies, and it's put her in conflict with herself, "It's wrong!"  "But it'd be fun!" "But I don't want to hurt people!" would probably make her not want to go through with wizard training just so that she would never get the temptation to use magic and she could keep her fantasies as fantasies.

Apparently, based on this page, not just transformation sprees (which would be obviously wrong). This made really clear what she's fearing about: it's not just about fun - which would, like, still be possible with permission - but she fantasies about reacting with magic to lot of events in normal life, and the way magic works in EGS, she REALLY would need to be careful to not do it.

Unfortunately, again with how the magic works in EGS, her not going through training is not safe either. She already IS wizard and while her being very weak wizard would "help", it is completely possible she will eventually start casting spells without realizing it if she don't go through training.

Also, well, actually using magic in cases where it will still be "good" would be more fun than fantasying about it all the time.

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20 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

And seems Noah had problems with self-control as well, although he might not end up in Ashleys company anytime soon.

Only because it's winter still, I suspect once the weather gets warm enough for outdoor basketball, Elliot and Noah will be out there again, and there's a good chance that Ashley will accompany Elliot to some of them. I wonder if she'll suspect Noah of having magic?

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Ashley’s “I am the devil” line reminds me of when Elliot said “I am history’s greatest monster!” Methinks that both of them greatly underestimate how much other people engage in similar revenge fantasies.

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  • 4 minutes ago, ijuin said:

    Ashley’s “I am the devil” line reminds me of when Elliot said “I am history’s greatest monster!” Methinks that both of them greatly underestimate how much other people engage in similar revenge fantasies.

    Elliot, not so much. Here are two examples where Elliot was absolutely OK with revenge:
  1. When he found out Tedd was going to girlify Tony for only one day.
  2. When Susan told Elliot he couldn't help but save his worst enemy.

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12 hours ago, Scotty said:
13 hours ago, hkmaly said:

And seems Noah had problems with self-control as well, although he might not end up in Ashleys company anytime soon.

Only because it's winter still, I suspect once the weather gets warm enough for outdoor basketball, Elliot and Noah will be out there again, and there's a good chance that Ashley will accompany Elliot to some of them. I wonder if she'll suspect Noah of having magic?

I wonder how many times she will see Luke before that ... she might not just SUSPECT.

6 hours ago, ijuin said:

Ashley’s “I am the devil” line reminds me of when Elliot said “I am history’s greatest monster!” Methinks that both of them greatly underestimate how much other people engage in similar revenge fantasies.

Not speaking about people who didn't stayed with just fantasies.

6 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

When Susan told Elliot he couldn't help but save his worst enemy.

... and that wasn't even HIS worst enemy - it was Grace's.

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16 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

I wonder how many times she will see Luke before that ... she might not just SUSPECT.

Depends on how long it takes for her to learn the spell, how she's a wizard with her level of potential is still unknown, she may be limited to using wands....wait, Tedd saw Luke's spell, he can totally make Ashley a wand at any time, she wouldn't even need to meet Luke.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Scotty said:
1 hour ago, hkmaly said:

I wonder how many times she will see Luke before that ... she might not just SUSPECT.

Depends on how long it takes for her to learn the spell, how she's a wizard with her level of potential is still unknown, she may be limited to using wands....wait, Tedd saw Luke's spell, he can totally make Ashley a wand at any time, she wouldn't even need to meet Luke.

I was actually thinking about how hard spell may that be. It MIGHT be easier that transformations, meaning it might be one of easiest spells for her to learn.

... of course, yes, Tedd can make a wand for it as well. And, as far as we know, wizards CAN learn spells from wands ...

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59 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

I was actually thinking about how hard spell may that be. It MIGHT be easier that transformations, meaning it might be one of easiest spells for her to learn.

... of course, yes, Tedd can make a wand for it as well. And, as far as we know, wizards CAN learn spells from wands ...

I was going to say that she may be limited to using wands until she builds up enough of her own power to actually learn the spells, I dunno if ambient energy would be enough to artificially allow her to learn spells right away or if if wizards need to meet certain requirements to learn a spell. This is just speculation though.

I do think wizards can learn some spells from wands, I guess it would depend on if the spell can be learned by watching it. And it might not be a case of "Oh, just let Tedd see it and make a wand." I suspect that wizards that gain their own spells could get one that can't be copied by other wizards, but if they had access to wand making tools, they could put the spell on a wand and share it with others. There may also be the possibility that using a wand frequently enough may result in a wizard getting a similar or related spell rather than copying the exact spell from the wand.

Tedd and the others may still be able to load up Ashley with an arsenal of spells.

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3 hours ago, Scotty said:

Depends on how long it takes for her to learn the spell, how she's a wizard with her level of potential is still unknown, she may be limited to using wands....wait, Tedd saw Luke's spell, he can totally make Ashley a wand at any time, she wouldn't even need to meet Luke.

Maybe Tedd doesn't need to make a wand for that; maybe he can upgrade Kevin.

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5 minutes ago, Tom Sewell said:

Maybe Tedd doesn't need to make a wand for that; maybe he can upgrade Kevin.

I know Arthur made Kevin and Arthur being a Seer should mean that Tedd shouldn't have any problem using his abilities to modify Kevin....but considering Kevin is also a product of the energy of the Dewitchery Diamond/Dragon Scale, would doing so have an affect on Kevin as an apparent life, and how would Arthur feel about Tedd altering Kevin in any way?

Of course, if Kevin were to suggest that Tedd could add spells to him without altering Kevin personally, then it probably wouldn't be a big deal.

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Posted (edited)

Kevin appears to be a self-aware and thinking being.  Even if that is not what his maker, Arthur, intended.
If Kevin gives informed consent to participate in experiments or modifications with Tedd, that is a part of the training and development for both Ashley and Tedd.
If Tedd attempts to modify Kevin without Kevin's permission, or in defiance of orders from Arthur, that would be assault.  Or worse.

On a tangent.  Tedd knows that any transformation he could arrange on a human would be temporary or reversible.  Can we or Tedd be certain that changes Tedd made to another wizard's wand could be undone?  Could another wizard's attempt to enchant a previously enchanted wand result in irreparable damage to that wand?

That sounds like a potentially very dark path.  Unless the narrative explicitly states otherwise, I am going to presume that any use or alteration of Kevin by Ashley, Tedd, or anyone else has been authorized by both Kevin and Arthur.

Edited by Pharaoh RutinTutin
Spelling

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Just now, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Kevin appears to be a self-aware and thinking being.  Even if that is not what his maker, Arthur, intended.
If Kevin gives informed consent to participate in experiments or modifications with Tedd, that is a part of the training and development for both Ashley and Tedd.
If Tedd attempts to modify Kevin without Kevin's permission, or in defiance of orders from Arthur, that would be assault.  Or worse.

On a tangent.  Tedd knows that any transformation he could arrange on a human would be temporary or reversible.  Can we or Tedd be certain that changes Tedd made to another wizard's wand could be undone?  Could another wizard's attempt to enchant a previously enchanted wand result in irreparable damage to that wand?

That sounds like a potentially very dark path.  Unless the narrative explicitly states otherwise, I am going to presume that any use or alteration of Kevin by Ashley, Tedd, or anyone else has been authorized by both Kevin and Arthur.

Yeah, that's what I was getting at, Arthur believes Kevin is alive, he doesn't care that it's due to magic mumbo jumbo, all that matters is Kevin is alive and should be treated as such. So it raises moral questions about how Kevin is handled as a wand.

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14 hours ago, Scotty said:

Depends on how long it takes for her to learn the spell, how she's a wizard with her level of potential is still unknown, she may be limited to using wands....wait, Tedd saw Luke's spell, he can totally make Ashley a wand at any time, she wouldn't even need to meet Luke.

When did Tedd see Luke's spell?

Also, would seeing a spell once be enough for Tedd to know how to reproduce a spell? I would think he would have to carefully examine it to learn all it's inner workings and commit it to memory.

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1 minute ago, ChronosCat said:

When did Tedd see Luke's spell?

Right here, and he knew what the spell allowed Luke to do just from that one look.

6 minutes ago, ChronosCat said:

Also, would seeing a spell once be enough for Tedd to know how to reproduce a spell? I would think he would have to carefully examine it to learn all it's inner workings and commit it to memory.

I'm pretty sure that's what makes Seers special, they don't have see the spells multiple times, Tedd didn't know that watching Elliot morph once was all he needed to learn a spell, but he probably needed to see it multiple times to be able to put into words what the spell did, which is a different thing cus you can see something and reproduce it based on what you saw, and it'd work, but you wouldn't know why it worked unless you watched it in action multiple times.

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14 hours ago, Scotty said:
15 hours ago, hkmaly said:

I was actually thinking about how hard spell may that be. It MIGHT be easier that transformations, meaning it might be one of easiest spells for her to learn.

... of course, yes, Tedd can make a wand for it as well. And, as far as we know, wizards CAN learn spells from wands ...

I was going to say that she may be limited to using wands until she builds up enough of her own power to actually learn the spells, I dunno if ambient energy would be enough to artificially allow her to learn spells right away or if if wizards need to meet certain requirements to learn a spell. This is just speculation though.

Hmmm ... I was actually expecting learning spell doesn't need any power (unlike casting it), but it's true that's speculation.

14 hours ago, Scotty said:

I do think wizards can learn some spells from wands, I guess it would depend on if the spell can be learned by watching it. And it might not be a case of "Oh, just let Tedd see it and make a wand." I suspect that wizards that gain their own spells could get one that can't be copied by other wizards, but if they had access to wand making tools, they could put the spell on a wand and share it with others.

I would expect that there are two kinds of spells: the ones which can be copied - which includes wizard learning it, wand making wand being able to copy it and seer making wand with it - and ones which can't (although seer, unlike normal wizard, can at least try to make something similar).

Although there may be spells which you can copy as long as you have the required talent.

13 hours ago, Scotty said:
13 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

Maybe Tedd doesn't need to make a wand for that; maybe he can upgrade Kevin.

I know Arthur made Kevin and Arthur being a Seer should mean that Tedd shouldn't have any problem using his abilities to modify Kevin....but considering Kevin is also a product of the energy of the Dewitchery Diamond/Dragon Scale, would doing so have an affect on Kevin as an apparent life, and how would Arthur feel about Tedd altering Kevin in any way?

Of course, if Kevin were to suggest that Tedd could add spells to him without altering Kevin personally, then it probably wouldn't be a big deal.

First, I wouldn't be sure if Kevin is modifiable by Seer. Like, he might already be "full". Also, maybe you need to understand the magic already on him before modifying it, and considering it was magic from older rules, it might take Tedd some time ...

I'm not sure if he was modified by the Dragon Scale energy. It's possible that he became sentient just because the new magic rules allowed it, and the Dragon Scale just powered him up.

And, yes, him being sentient would mean Tedd should ask for permission.

10 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

On a tangent.  Tedd knows that any transformation he could arrange on a human would be temporary or reversible.  Can we or Tedd be certain that changes Tedd made to another wizard's wand could be undone?  Could another wizard's attempt to enchant a previously enchanted wand result in irreparable damage to that wand?

Actually, he knows how to make permanent transformation now and that one might be reversible just theoretically. Like, if you permanently transform someone you may not be able to revert it unless you know how exactly they looked before?

Regarding the wands, well, normal wands are just tools. They probably can be broken, but you don't need to care about it more than about hammer being broken. Kevin is, obviously, exception.

6 hours ago, Scotty said:

Yeah, that's what I was getting at, Arthur believes Kevin is alive, he doesn't care that it's due to magic mumbo jumbo, all that matters is Kevin is alive and should be treated as such. So it raises moral questions about how Kevin is handled as a wand.

... the important part isn't that he's alive but that he's sentient. Which, while assumption by Arthur and us all, seems quite likely. Even then, however, Kevin may have completely non-human mind. He has some programming and we can't be sure how much free will he has besides that. Lot of moral questions definitely; see for example FreeFall and it's sentient robots (and Florence) or beings in But I'm a cat person: both are sentient, but not human and don't have free will the way humans do, although they do have something ... and, the beings, well ... it was shown you can hurt them by NOT giving them orders.

1 hour ago, Scotty said:
1 hour ago, ChronosCat said:

Also, would seeing a spell once be enough for Tedd to know how to reproduce a spell? I would think he would have to carefully examine it to learn all it's inner workings and commit it to memory.

I'm pretty sure that's what makes Seers special, they don't have see the spells multiple times, Tedd didn't know that watching Elliot morph once was all he needed to learn a spell, but he probably needed to see it multiple times to be able to put into words what the spell did, which is a different thing cus you can see something and reproduce it based on what you saw, and it'd work, but you wouldn't know why it worked unless you watched it in action multiple times.

No, what makes Seers special is the ability to analyze and modify the spell. Wizards can just copy the spell as-is.

How many times wizard needs to see the spell to learn it likely depends more on how complicated the spell is. Like, Luke's spell or Elliot morph is easy ; Susan's fairy is spell within a spell and would be much more complicated.

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2 hours ago, Scotty said:

Right here, and he knew what the spell allowed Luke to do just from that one look.

Thanks. I don't have Squirrel Prophet memorized, and I didn't have time to search for it.

59 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

... the important part isn't that he's alive but that he's sentient. Which, while assumption by Arthur and us all, seems quite likely. Even then, however, Kevin may have completely non-human mind. He has some programming and we can't be sure how much free will he has besides that. Lot of moral questions definitely; see for example FreeFall and it's sentient robots (and Florence) or beings in But I'm a cat person: both are sentient, but not human and don't have free will the way humans do, although they do have something ... and, the beings, well ... it was shown you can hurt them by NOT giving them orders.

I'm not familiar with those series; care to elaborate on what you mean by "sentient, but [...] don't have free will the way humans do"?

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5 hours ago, ChronosCat said:
7 hours ago, hkmaly said:

see for example FreeFall and it's sentient robots (and Florence) or beings in But I'm a cat person: both are sentient, but not human and don't have free will the way humans do, although they do have something ... and, the beings, well ... it was shown you can hurt them by NOT giving them orders.

I'm not familiar with those series; care to elaborate on what you mean by "sentient, but [...] don't have free will the way humans do"?

You should read them it's worth it :)

I'll try something short but not too short.

In FreeFall, which is sci-fi setting (future, planet being terraformed) there is experimental brain architecture used both to make genetically modified animals like Florence more intelligent and to fix problem with artificial brains for robots build in damaged factory. This architecture is making them sentient, but at the same time it's designed for robots and contains safeguards based on same ideas as Asimov's three laws: they shouldn't be able to hurt human and they should obey direct orders. When not near humans or under direct orders, however, they exhibit quite free will.

In But I'm a cat person, which is fantasy happening in something similar to present time on Earth, there are beings which ... wait that's spoiler ... well, they are based on magic, not technology, but they are again supposed to be servants and follow orders of their master. Thing is, they NEED the master - the idea is that free will is attribute of soul, which humans obviously have, but beings don't because noone could give them one ; instead, they are connected to their master's soul (because if they would be completely without soul they wouldn't be alive). They are still sentient, but they have problems with making independent decisions and some moments shown in the comic strongly imply that even when they seem to make one, it's more something they assume their master would want than something THEY would want: basically, they pretend to have free will because it would make their master happier.

To conclude, Kevin does have some programming, and we don't know how that programming works. It's possible that he has free will and this programming is limiting it, like in Free Fall. But it's also possible that he doesn't have free will and is just following the instructions in not completely linear way, like in But I'm a cat person. He seems to like Ashley and to want teach her magic, but it is really because she made so good impression on him, or she was simply only person within parameters around when he was activated and he now follows the program? Maybe, when Ashley finishes her study (based on criteria programmed into Kevin), he will start completely ignoring her and switches to "waiting for next student" mode ...

(Of course, even humans may not have so much free will as they believe ... which complicate the stuff even more.)

 

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Thanks for the explanation.

29 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Thing is, they NEED the master - the idea is that free will is attribute of soul, which humans obviously have, but beings don't because noone could give them one ; instead, they are connected to their master's soul (because if they would be completely without soul they wouldn't be alive).

I guess there's no risk of AIs developing free will in that universe... (Unless there is some way for them to acquire souls that for some reason doesn't apply to beings.)

38 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

To conclude, Kevin does have some programming, and we don't know how that programming works. It's possible that he has free will and this programming is limiting it, like in Free Fall. But it's also possible that he doesn't have free will and is just following the instructions in not completely linear way, like in But I'm a cat person. He seems to like Ashley and to want teach her magic, but it is really because she made so good impression on him, or she was simply only person within parameters around when he was activated and he now follows the program? Maybe, when Ashley finishes her study (based on criteria programmed into Kevin), he will start completely ignoring her and switches to "waiting for next student" mode ...

(Of course, even humans may not have so much free will as they believe ... which complicate the stuff even more.)

Arthur states that Kevin's goals are based on his original programming, but that he was never intended to be a thinking, sentient being. I'm guessing based on this that Kevin would have wanted to teach any untrained wizard he came across; however he could still (and I suspect does) have a special fondness for Ashley. The fact that he is supposed to "sleep" between lessons also suggests that (similar to what you were saying) once he's done teaching her he isn't going to be interacting with her much (unless his new student is around her); on the other hand, he's already surpassed his original programming, so he may be able to so in other ways...

Even if his goals and desires always remain limited by his programming, that doesn't mean he couldn't have a certain amount of freedom in how he went about achieving those goals. ...Frankly, considering how much we're influenced by our genetics and upbringing, that wouldn't necessarily put him that far behind humans...

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6 hours ago, ChronosCat said:
10 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Thing is, they NEED the master - the idea is that free will is attribute of soul, which humans obviously have, but beings don't because noone could give them one ; instead, they are connected to their master's soul (because if they would be completely without soul they wouldn't be alive).

I guess there's no risk of AIs developing free will in that universe... (Unless there is some way for them to acquire souls that for some reason doesn't apply to beings.)

Yeah, when they get to true AIs in that universe they are going to get some serious problems. IF they get there. Maybe the apocalypse happens sooner. For some reason, religious texts from antiquity tend to not speak much about AIs and space colonization. Unless you count quotes like "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."

6 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

Which suggests that Arthur doesn't know more about how Kevin is sentient than we do.

6 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

I'm guessing based on this that Kevin would have wanted to teach any untrained wizard he came across; however he could still (and I suspect does) have a special fondness for Ashley. The fact that he is supposed to "sleep" between lessons also suggests that (similar to what you were saying) once he's done teaching her he isn't going to be interacting with her much (unless his new student is around her); on the other hand, he's already surpassed his original programming, so he may be able to so in other ways...

It's possible, sure, but it's really just guess ... and with how little was shown about Kevin, we have better chance to predict how he develops using meta knowledge than in-universe knowledge. In other words, I suspect he ends up with basically human mind because Dan's ability to write non-human characters is limited to them having different sexuality. (Well ... ok, Pandora was different, but she also wasn't stable, so she was more like crazy human than non-human. Or maybe Dan is trying to write immortals differently but gave up on everyone else.)

I think that both Mark Stanley and Erin Ptah are more qualified AND more willing to explore philosophical and moral questions like this than Dan.

... meaning, Kevin might be shown to behave more like human in the comics than he SHOULD - for example, based on eventual word-of-author explanation we might get later.

7 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

Even if his goals and desires always remain limited by his programming, that doesn't mean he couldn't have a certain amount of freedom in how he went about achieving those goals. ...Frankly, considering how much we're influenced by our genetics and upbringing, that wouldn't necessarily put him that far behind humans...

This IS philosophical question definitely, and a hard one. Given that opinions about humans range from "free will is an illusion" to "free will is absolute because it's gift from god", even in the unlikely case we get definitive answer for Kevin, the comparison would stay open.

What will remain, however, is that our genetics and our upbringing are both extremely complicated. Kevin's programming is not, it was written by Arthur and couldn't took him that long, and he had like few hours of experiences on top of it to build on. So, if Kevin lacks free will, it should be much harder for him to fake it.

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Hmm, well from what we have seen of Kevin so far, there's a reasonable chance that he could pass a Turing test, and I think that is a suitable bar for treating him as a sapient being.

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8 hours ago, ijuin said:

Hmm, well from what we have seen of Kevin so far, there's a reasonable chance that he could pass a Turing test, and I think that is a suitable bar for treating him as a sapient being.

Yes.

However note that both Florence and the beings can pass a Turing test without problems. At least over phone. Florence might have problems personally and beings find very hard to read or write. Well, I guess for Kevin taking the test over phone would be best option too.

 

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