Random Questions Thread:

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Hello, fellow writers! Got any question that you can't find answer from Google or Wikipedia, but you don't think it needs a separate thread for? You came to the right place!

Don't be shy, and just ask away. The nice folks here, writers and non-writers, experts and non-experts, will do their best to help you.

The folder below contains links for special interest threads, mostly at OTC, but also from Yack Fest and Troper Coven.

    Special Interest Threads 

Also take a look at Useful Notes on various topics. They can be pretty useful.

Now, bring on the questions, baby!

edited 16th Feb '15 12:47:26 PM by dRoy

Cheesus!
Better yet, make that one who decide you. Because your idea of worth defines the "equivalent" part, anyone who can control his beliefs can game the system.

Inception meets XXXHolic.

edited 25th Feb '13 10:00:12 AM by sunember123

6852 Noaqiyeum25th Feb 2013 11:48:21 AM from a thought-experiment gone horribly wrong , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
Get together a miserly wizard and a starving wizard and you could end world hunger for free and still become fabulously wealthy!

edited 25th Feb '13 11:49:57 AM by Noaqiyeum

Liberté, Égalité, Absurdité
How legitimate is "It's based off of me/my friends" in terms of research?

Like, say you have a character with depression. You are depressed yourself. Is that enough to go off of? Just curious to see what you guys think.
6854 SeptimusHeap25th Feb 2013 02:47:22 PM from Zurich, Switzerland , Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
I have no idea what the "-ed bit means.
6855 LastHussar25th Feb 2013 03:20:53 PM from the place is here.
The time is now,
Do men buy themselves cologne/aftershave? I never have - tend to be gifts.
Do the job in front of you.
Seeking for Light
@Hermie: For something like that I think it's sufficient, but keep in mind personality will affect that way people react to things like that.
Insert witty title here
I'm very sorry, but could you guys help me see which character of these: http://usui.moo.jp/rpg_actor_f.html would be a best fit for her: http://mysoundofwaters.tumblr.com/post/44042307868/jue-acharn-ar-tonelico

Either that, or faceclaim. And hooray for being allowed to use these characters as long as you credit.
Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker
6858 MCE26th Feb 2013 02:10:52 PM from Elsewhere
Grin and tonic
Is it feasible that a humanoid robot could be to be intentionally designed to be in the uncanny valley, yet not upset people? Basically it would have a humans shape but you wouldn't mistake it for a human.

Also: Anyone one else had to repeatedly rephrase a question and still not be sure if it makes sense?

Update: question badly phrased/incorrect use of term. Please read clarification in my next post. Sorry about that.

edited 27th Feb '13 3:33:29 AM by MCE

6859 LastHussar26th Feb 2013 02:16:11 PM from the place is here.
The time is now,
If it's not upsetting/discomforting then is it really in the uncanny valley?
Do the job in front of you.
Insert witty title here
I'm thinking... Maybe OP meant something "not creepily human-like" but still human like. Like BJ Ds.
Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker
6861 Noaqiyeum26th Feb 2013 02:36:11 PM from a thought-experiment gone horribly wrong , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
Like... C 3 PO?
Liberté, Égalité, Absurdité
Insert witty title here
Pretty much, yeah.
Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker
6863 LastHussar26th Feb 2013 03:47:28 PM from the place is here.
The time is now,
The Uncanny Valley entry seems to specifically rule out robots like C 3 PO. Uncanny Valley is the point where acceptance drops due to not-quite-rightness, thus being creepy.
Do the job in front of you.
I agree. Uncanny Valley is pretty much about getting wigged out because something is clearly trying to come off as human but just isn't quite succeeding.
6865 Noaqiyeum26th Feb 2013 04:12:51 PM from a thought-experiment gone horribly wrong , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
Right. So MCE was definitely misusing the term, but we were trying to figure out what was actually wanted.
Liberté, Égalité, Absurdité
6866 MCE27th Feb 2013 03:26:27 AM from Elsewhere
Grin and tonic
My bad, could have phrased that better. You want it to be human looking enough that it can do jobs that require a human normally, but after spending a couple of minutes with it you would realise two things 1) definitely not human 2) I'm perfectly okay with that.

Probably more personality programming than physical appearance, although giving in unnatural coloured eyes and some kind of mark would probably be a good idea as well.

On the note anyone have any suggestions for a 'symbol of artificiality'? Like a tattoo that means 'this is a robot'. A bar-code is a good start, but I was hoping for something more elegant.

The kind of work they would be doing includes

  • Tour guide
  • Secretarial work
  • Long term care of special needs people
  • Care of the elderly

edited 27th Feb '13 3:28:42 AM by MCE

6867 fishsicles27th Feb 2013 05:10:34 AM from Down The Curtain , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
An Ex-Troper
1) definitely not human
2) I'm perfectly okay with that.

I doubt there is any kind of design that would automatically get everyone to have this reaction; refer to the Uncanny Valley being a Subjective Trope.
Not nearly a good enough singer for the Choir Invisible, and the Basement Room With A Synth Invisible is much less prestigious.
6868 ArsThaumaturgis27th Feb 2013 06:39:54 AM , Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
Perhaps your "symbol of artificiality" might be something related to the standard "power" symbol; perhaps, instead of a broken circle with a vertical line, you might have a closed circle either containing a vertical line or with an intersecting vertical line. The association with other machines should provide the connection to "artificiality".
6869 Noaqiyeum27th Feb 2013 08:29:37 AM from a thought-experiment gone horribly wrong , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
[up] That's a good idea. Or something like the autonomous device warning sign?
Liberté, Égalité, Absurdité
6870 LastHussar27th Feb 2013 11:32:29 AM from the place is here.
The time is now,
I think going with a C 3 P 0 would be better- you know what you're getting from the start. A Data or Bishop is too realistic, and freaks humans. A 'Marked Human' may produce the same reaction as a 'slightly not perfect' human gets- you couldn't take your eyes off the mark - think of someone with a hairy mole!

Rimmer gets away with the perfect with-an-H because it's comedy, and its about his character, the holographic bit is incidental.
Do the job in front of you.
6871 MrAHR27th Feb 2013 12:02:38 PM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
How important are the first 3 weeks of development for a baby? As in, if the first three weeks were abusive and painful (but not brain damaging), but then immediately stopped once put into a loving home, what would be the long lasting effects?
6872 MCE27th Feb 2013 12:06:07 PM from Elsewhere
Grin and tonic
fishsicles:I doubt there is any kind of design that would automatically get everyone to have this reaction; refer to the Uncanny Valley being a Subjective Trope.

Perhaps 'I'll accept this' would be more likely and the rest would come as society comes to adjust to them.

Ars Thaumaturgis:Perhaps your "symbol of artificiality" might be something related to the standard "power" symbol; perhaps, instead of a broken circle with a vertical line, you might have a closed circle either containing a vertical line or with an intersecting vertical line. The association with other machines should provide the connection to "artificiality".

That could work.

Noaqiyeum:Or something like the autonomous device warning sign?
Good idea, nice site recommendation.

Last Hussar:I think going with a C 3 P 0 would be better- you know what you're getting from the start. A Data or Bishop is too realistic, and freaks humans. A 'Marked Human' may produce the same reaction as a 'slightly not perfect' human gets- you couldn't take your eyes off the mark - think of someone with a hairy mole!

Rimmer gets away with the perfect with-an-H because it's comedy, and its about his character, the holographic bit is incidental.

Would most people be happy to interact with a C3P0 like robot? Including those with mental health problems? C3P0 isn't know for his reassuring facial expressions. There would also be the fact that extensive exposure to that kind of robot could have people forgetting how to interact with normal humans.

edited 27th Feb '13 2:01:15 PM by MCE

6873 MorwenEdhelwen27th Feb 2013 12:56:34 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
How plausible is it that an African-American person in the future would have a very obviously Scandinavian name, especially an uncommon one? I'm thinking of naming my hero's mother Hiordis, which was her name in the original legend (the reveal of who she actually was would be part of the plot). Hiordis is an uncommon name even in Scandinavia. (Most of the Google results refer to the legendary figure). Would it be stretching it to have the parents have the same names?

edited 27th Feb '13 1:07:44 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on. -Tolkien
[up] Does he live in Scandinavia? Or have any Scandinavian relatives/ancestors? Or is he (or rather, his parents) immersed in/exposed to Scandinavian culture in any other way? If your answer is no to all of the above, then I think it would be stretching it a little for your character to have a Scandinavian name. Basically, it's not so much a question of plausibility but WHY a parent would give their child such a name. If you can think of a reason, it should be fine(-ish).
6875 ArsThaumaturgis27th Feb 2013 04:18:42 PM , Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
[up][up] I don't see a problem, especially if information becomes more available in the future. Indeed, I see a number of options, I believe, including Scandinavian ancestry (even if it's not immediately apparent to the eye), a liking for Scandinavian culture, myths or stories (or even a liking for appropriate stories in general, including those from Scandinavia), Scandinavian names having become more common in the intervening time or even simply having seen the name once and liked it.

edited 27th Feb '13 4:19:44 PM by ArsThaumaturgis


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