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mlooney

EGS TvTropes pages

54 posts in this topic

I just spent more time than I should on updating the EGS Non Human characters page. Mainly adding in the actual legal status of them (which I assumed current law applies do to the masquerade) and "fixing" Pandora's section to reflect current information about her.

I did this on a tablet.  Not doing that again.

More as I work on other pages.  Any requests?

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2 hours ago, mlooney said:

I just spent more time than I should on updating the EGS Non Human characters page. Mainly adding in the actual legal status of them (which I assumed current law applies do to the masquerade) and "fixing" Pandora's section to reflect current information about her.

I did this on a tablet.  Not doing that again.

More as I work on other pages.  Any requests?

Are the recap and other character pages up to scratch?

And I know your pain on using tablets to edit pages on TvTropes.

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52 minutes ago, partner555 said:

Are the recap and other character pages up to scratch?

And I know your pain on using tablets to edit pages on TvTropes.

1) Nope.  Project for the rest of the couple of weeks.

2) Not doing that any more.  Even if I do it "lazy" in bed, as of tomorrow I'll have a lap top.  Running Linux, I hope.

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1 minute ago, ijuin said:

Yup, for anything that involves LOTS of typing, one really needs a proper keyboard.

Yeah, and my Model M style keyboard has an "incident" with some pseudo beef gravy so I going to need to get a new one next month or so.  The keyboard on the iMac is just a Logitech toy that is driving me nuts.

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I have not yet gotten a keyboard for my new iPad, although I'm considering it.  I've made almost every post here using the on-screen keyboard on my old iPad.  Guess I'm used to it.

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Just now, CritterKeeper said:

I have not yet gotten a keyboard for my new iPad, although I'm considering it.  I've made almost every post here using the on-screen keyboard on my old iPad.  Guess I'm used to it.

I have a Bluetooth keyboard for the tablet, but there seems to be something about using more than one Bluetooth device on Android 5.x that makes it run like a slow thing in a deep mud.

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Meh, I type about four times slower with a touchpad than with a standard keyboard. With a standard keyboard with full-sized key spacing, I can use all of my fingers in the classic "touch typing" configuration and do maybe fifty words per minute, whereas with the touchscreen, I have to actually look at where my fingers are.

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Do we actually know that US Code 1¶8 exists in universe in the same form that it does in ours?  Unless something in the comic or some author commentary addresses the issue, I don't think we can assume it does.  People who know about uryuoms, immortals, etc., could probably get the law to be more vague without attracting too much attention, and even without that, there could still be differences in the law from our universe (just like there are differences in natural hair colors—not everything non-magic is necessarily the same as our universe), not to mention the possibility that cases involving such beings are handled by a different court system that does consider them to be equivalent to humans.  And, of course, William said he could run for president (and nothing in the comic gave any indication this was false).

(That said, I would suspect the law wouldn't cover immortals, since they have their own laws, don't really need much protection from our laws, and I doubt a human justice system could effectively punish an immortal.  I don't think this applies to uryuoms, though.)

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26 minutes ago, chridd said:

Do we actually know that US Code 1¶8 exists in universe in the same form that it does in ours?

Given that there is an official branch of the government (DGB) that exists solely to hide aliens and magic, I suspect that it is in place.  You can't be vague about what a person is, other wise people will say killing an animal is murder.  At some point a legal definition of "person" and "individual" has to be made and it needs to be precise.  Given that the USC is public information, if there is a masquerade in place, it can't name the non humans.

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Yes. The United States Government (and presumably most governments) in the EGS world have not officially acknowledged the existence of non-homo-sapien sapient beings as being more than hypothetical. The definition of "all homo sapiens" as persons was formed in our world in order to eliminate the still-existing-far-too-recently legal concept that certain members of "homo sapiens" were not persons due to their genetic or cultural heritage or outside-of-mainstream behavior.

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Issues over personhood of Uryuoms would only come into question in practice if their being Homo sapiens is brought into doubt.  Which would require seeing through Ed Verres' T-shirts, which are of course impenetrable.

That being said, by one of multiple biological definitions of species (a group of organisms living together which can breed to produce fertile offspring, the so-called "Biological Species Concept") a possible argument could be put forth that Uryuoms do actually constitute Homo sapiens, at least for certain purposes.

I suspect the DGB wouldn't find it too difficult to weasel in something somewhere to ensure that Homo sapiens is legally defined based on that concept, which would consequently technically include Uryuoms on fertile-hybrid grounds (although this would not be obvious from reading the law with no knowledge of Uryuoms).

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3 hours ago, mlooney said:

Yeah, and my Model M style keyboard has an "incident" with some pseudo beef gravy so I going to need to get a new one next month or so.

My shop teacher (shop as in woodworking, welding, automotive, etc) used to brag about the Model M's ability to be submerged in water for cleaning should something get spilled on it. Is that not the case with the M styled ones?

I did once take apart a keyboard that I accidentally spilled milk on causing it to stop working, it wasn't Model M or M styled though as it used a silicon membrane with the domes where the keys pushed down to make contact with a plastic sheet that had all the contact points, wiping off the contact sheet and washing the membrane then letting it dry before  reassembling got it working perfectly again.

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26 minutes ago, Scotty said:

My shop teacher (shop as in woodworking, welding, automotive, etc) used to brag about the Model M's ability to be submerged in water for cleaning should something get spilled on it. Is that not the case with the M styled ones?

Alas this one isn't quite as good as a real model M.  Weight is about 60% and I don't think it's quite as bullet proof.  Also cost about a third of what a "as new" model M costs.

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Also, if Edward's department can get Ellen to be legally over eighteen, they should be able to get uryuoms to be legally Homo sapiens.  Also, we don't really know much even about how the law applies to humans in EGS, so it's hard to make conclusive statements about how they'll apply to non-humans.

In any case, we don't know how laws in-universe deal with uryuoms etc. until something about it is said in the comic or author commentary.  We can make arguments about which makes more sense or seems more likely, and we can perhaps determine what would happen in our universe if uryuoms were real, but neither of those are enough to say for certain how the law applies to these beings, especially when the idea that uryuoms etc. are treated differently by the law hasn't even been hinted at in the comic.

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13 minutes ago, chridd said:

Also, if Edward's department can get Ellen to be legally over eighteen, they should be able to get uryuoms to be legally Homo sapiens.  Also, we don't really know much even about how the law applies to humans in EGS, so it's hard to make conclusive statements about how they'll apply to non-humans.

  1. I assume that the EGS universe is fundamentally the same as ours, aside from Magic and "Aliens", with the same legal systems in place. You know that thing that y'all keep telling me about "conservation of detail"? Yeah, that's what I'm invoking here.
  2. You have to legally define person and individual, as a base point in your legal system.
  3. If there is a masquerade in place publicly available documents can't even hint about non Homo sapiens intelligent life forms.
  4. Trying to get tricky with what is a Homo sapiens means you have to get tricky with a carp ton of life sciences texts, which means bringing a lot more people into the conspiracy than is safe.  Scientist that aren't kept isolated from the rest of the world1 tend to talk a lot, and publish papers that get read and commented on by other scientists.
  5. Trying to get tricky with scientific technology in legal documents is doomed to fail, mainly because most law makers aren't scientists and don't fully understand science or engineering.  Way to much evidence of that in the real world, from both the left and the right.
  6. I will grant that it might not be exactly USC 1¶8 in universe, but there is no reason to assume that there isn't something like it in the first chapter of the USC, in fact basic legal logic says there must be some thing like that.

1Like say, keeping them all in the desert of New Mexico to build a bomb.

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A single agency could be enough to maintain the masquerade, for a time.

It would need to be an agency with enough influence that individuals and groups across a wide spectrum of departments, agencies, borders, and jurisdictions would believe it to be in their own best interest to comply with any reasonable request (i.e. every order) from that agency.

And it would require that everyone in the know maintains the cover story at all times.  Especially in situations that are not anticipated in the SOP.

In theory this could work.

In practice?   People are a problem.

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49 minutes ago, mlooney said:
  1. I assume that the EGS universe is fundamentally the same as ours, aside from Magic and "Aliens", with the same legal systems in place. You know that thing that y'all keep telling me about "conservation of detail"? Yeah, that's what I'm invoking here.
  2. You have to legally define person and individual, as a base point in your legal system.
  3. If there is a masquerade in place publicly available documents can't even hint about non Homo sapiens intelligent life forms.
  4. Trying to get tricky with what is a Homo sapiens means you have to get tricky with a carp ton of life sciences texts, which means bringing a lot more people into the conspiracy than is safe.  Scientist that aren't kept isolated from the rest of the world1 tend to talk a lot, and publish papers that get read and commented on by other scientists.
  5. Trying to get tricky with scientific technology in legal documents is doomed to fail, mainly because most law makers aren't scientists and don't fully understand science or engineering.  Way to much evidence of that in the real world, from both the left and the right.
  6. I will grant that it might not be exactly USC 1¶8 in universe, but there is no reason to assume that there isn't something like it in the first chapter of the USC, in fact basic legal logic says there must be some thing like that.

1Like say, keeping them all in the desert of New Mexico to build a bomb.

This entirely ignores my second point, though.  You can speculate all you want about this, but we won't know for sure until the issue actually comes up, which it hasn't.  If it comes up, the author could agree with you; he could give perfectly logical reasons why you're wrong (possibly including things that haven't been brought up yet); he could give a handwavy explanation why you're wrong; he could just say "screw logic" on this issue.  We don't know yet.  Also, perhaps even more importantly, it's not relevant to anything that's occurred in the story so far.  Putting it on the page like that, with no indication that this is speculation or anything, implies that this is something that's actually come up in the story or at least been addressed or hinted at somehow, and it hasn't.

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5 minutes ago, chridd said:

Putting it on the page like that, with no indication that this is speculation or anything, implies that this is something that's actually come up in the story or at least been addressed or hinted at somehow, and it hasn't.

Point taken.  I've removed it and will be chunking it into either the YMMV or WMG section "Soon".

On the other hands, my edits about Pandora ARE in canon, so they are staying.

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10 hours ago, HarJIT said:

That being said, by one of multiple biological definitions of species (a group of organisms living together which can breed to produce fertile offspring, the so-called "Biological Species Concept") a possible argument could be put forth that Uryuoms do actually constitute Homo sapiens, at least for certain purposes.

I suspect the DGB wouldn't find it too difficult to weasel in something somewhere to ensure that Homo sapiens is legally defined based on that concept, which would consequently technically include Uryuoms on fertile-hybrid grounds (although this would not be obvious from reading the law with no knowledge of Uryuoms).

But the definitions that include Uryuom would also include squirrels, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, and bats. That we know of.

(Of course, none of them have been conclusively proven fertile, so far, that we know of.)

7 hours ago, chridd said:

Also, if Edward's department can get Ellen to be legally over eighteen, they should be able to get uryuoms to be legally Homo sapiens.  Also, we don't really know much even about how the law applies to humans in EGS, so it's hard to make conclusive statements about how they'll apply to non-humans.

Ellen just needed a backdated birth certificate. She's, to all appearances and medical tests, an ordinary human (perhaps with one slightly-weird X chromosome).

6 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

A single agency could be enough to maintain the masquerade, for a time.

It would need to be an agency with enough influence that individuals and groups across a wide spectrum of departments, agencies, borders, and jurisdictions would believe it to be in their own best interest to comply with any reasonable request (i.e. every order) from that agency.

And it would require that everyone in the know maintains the cover story at all times.  Especially in situations that are not anticipated in the SOP.

In theory this could work.

In practice?   People are a problem.

The first problem with most conspiracy theories is that they require an improbably high, improbably consistent level of competence and dedication among the conspirators. This becomes particularly apparent with multi-generation conspiracies.

The second problem with most conspiracy theories is that they assume conspiracies are unusual, strange, and sinister. Here's the reality: the world economy consists of (a) single people running sole-proprietorship businesses on their own property without outside financing, and (b) people involved in conspiracies. Nothing in between. A couple guys named Steve conspired together to shake up the computer industry - they founded a company they named Apple Computer.

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20 hours ago, Scotty said:

My shop teacher (shop as in woodworking, welding, automotive, etc) used to brag about the Model M's ability to be submerged in water for cleaning should something get spilled on it. Is that not the case with the M styled ones?

I did once take apart a keyboard that I accidentally spilled milk on causing it to stop working, it wasn't Model M or M styled though as it used a silicon membrane with the domes where the keys pushed down to make contact with a plastic sheet that had all the contact points, wiping off the contact sheet and washing the membrane then letting it dry before  reassembling got it working perfectly again.

Ferret owner forums are full of advice on how to deal with various things spilled into various keyboards.  I've seen several photo series taken by people who use the top rack of their dishwasher on a low- or no-heat dry setting; the most important advice there seems to be taking a very clear photo of which keys go where, so any that fall off can be replaced properly.  Consensus is, no matter how well you think you know your keyboard, you will get something in the wrong place if you try to do it by memory.

16 hours ago, chridd said:

This entirely ignores my second point, though.  You can speculate all you want about this, but we won't know for sure until  the issue actually comes up, which it hasn't.  If it comes up, the author could agree with you; he could give perfectly logical reasons why you're wrong (possibly including things that haven't been brought up yet); he could give a handwavy explanation why you're wrong; he could just say "screw logic" on this issue.  We don't know yet.

As has been pointed out before, much of fandom is speculating on and extrapolating from the official canon of a work, to try to guess what might be coming or how events and characters might be interpreted.

16 hours ago, chridd said:

Putting it on the page like that, with no indication that this is speculation or anything, implies that this is something that's actually come up in the story or at least been addressed or hinted at somehow, and it hasn't.

Speculation does need to be properly identified as such, yes.  That's exactly what WMG and its Epileptic Trees are for.  :-)

10 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

The first problem with most conspiracy theories is that they require an improbably high, improbably consistent level of competence and dedication among the conspirators. This becomes particularly apparent with multi-generation conspiracies.

Somewhere in a box in my spare room is a book titled It's A Conspiracy! which combined famous popular conspiracy theories (e.g. the mob killing JFK or Elvis still being alive) with a surprising array of genuine historical conspiracies, from selling bad meat to feed troops in the Spanish-American war to the plot to kill not only Lincoln but also his Vice President and the Secretary of State simultaneously.  Generally, we know about the real conspiracies because someone screwed up or didn't keep quiet about them.  Which makes you wonder how many we don't know about because they were successful....

10 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

The second problem with most conspiracy theories is that they assume conspiracies are unusual, strange, and sinister. Here's the reality: the world economy consists of (a) single people running sole-proprietorship businesses on their own property without outside financing, and (b) people involved in conspiracies. Nothing in between. A couple guys named Steve conspired together to shake up the computer industry - they founded a company they named Apple Computer.

That's a business, not a conspiracy.  The word conspiracy implies keeping things a secret, and also that there is a reason to keep things secret, either that it involves wrong-doing (Watergate) or avoiding the notice of evil forces in power (underground railroad).  A benign version would be a collaboration.

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And most businesses put a great deal of effort into keeping certain things secret. Don't believe me? Just go to your favorite restaurant (that isn't run by members of your own family) and ask for the recipe for your favorite dish from their menu.

Creative startups often try to keep most of their plans - or even the fact that they HAVE plans - secret from anyone they aren't actively seeking support from. For those few, they have things called "non-disclosure agreements".

(At one time - I don't know if it's still true - under British law you could be charged with the crime of "conspiracy" simply for being part of a group that had a secret plan. What the secret plan was, and what you had or hadn't done about it, was legally irrelevant. So if you and your neighbor planned to tell your spouses you were going to work, and instead went fishing, that qualified. Enforcement of this law was, of course, normally rather less strict. US law is rather different: a criminal conspiracy must be for an illegal end or explicitly embrace illegal means, AND there must be at least one criminal act actually committed in furtherance of the conspiracy.)

 

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49 minutes ago, Don Edwards said:

(At one time - I don't know if it's still true - under British law you could be charged with the crime of "conspiracy" simply for being part of a group that had a secret plan. What the secret plan was, and what you had or hadn't done about it, was legally irrelevant. So if you and your neighbor planned to tell your spouses you were going to work, and instead went fishing, that qualified. Enforcement of this law was, of course, normally rather less strict. US law is rather different: a criminal conspiracy must be for an illegal end or explicitly embrace illegal means, AND there must be at least one criminal act actually committed in furtherance of the conspiracy.)

I guess I see the word in the modern/American sense, then.  A company keeping trade secrets isn't a conspiracy; a company president authorizing illegally hacking into the competition's computers to steal their trade secrets is.

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16 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

I guess I see the word in the modern/American sense, then.  A company keeping trade secrets isn't a conspiracy; a company president authorizing illegally hacking into the competition's computers to steal their trade secrets is.

Some laws are like that. I was amazed by how comparatively lenient American laws on counterfeit money are in comparison to Danish laws. I learned this when I heard from a NJ news channel that someone had paid their bill at a Dairy Queen with a $200 bill. The bill prominently featured a picture of George W. Bush and the obverse featured a White House with two signs reading 'No More Scandals' and 'No More Taxes.' (This was back in 2002 or 2003, I think.) All these facts together meant that this did not rate as attempted counterfeiting because it was 'obvious' it was not legal tender. (To everybody except the poor sap behind the counter at the DQ, that is.)

In Denmark it counts as counterfeiting if you make something that even vaguely LOOKS like something that could conceivably be legal tender. If the text on it reads 'Kroner', there is a number and it is roughly shaped like a paper money bill, you can get nailed HARD for producing it and risk from six to twelve years of prison. Even if it is a 1337-kroner bill with nekkid women on it. It is still attempted counterfeiting.

I am not attempting to criticise either law. I am sure both governments had their reasons for formulating their respective laws the way they did. I am simply bemused by the variations and am morally certain that if you look at just a few more countries you will see even more extreme differences.

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