01/14/22 – The Sapient Problem

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, January 14, 2022.




Are you there, God? It’s me, Ruddock.


  1. Coyoty

    “Lucifer, did you make the meat candy here smart enough to think and form language?”

    The Bible may be God’s version of “stun”. It may be the version for both mice and men.

  2. someone

    Have they formed a language or are have they just learned the language everyone is speaking?

    This kind of things get really ambiguous when everyone is equipped with omnitranslator brain implants.

  3. Nomi

    Potential new gag: Every serious question Ruddock asks elicits a pause-take.
    It’d get old though.
    I love the comments section of this comic almost as much as I love the comic. Now I’ve got “What do we do with a bored Strip spaceship” playing on earworm.

      1. TB

        It’s human (and other) nature that when AI becomes readily available, we would want to give EVERYTHING a personality. Because it’s fun.

        It’s a running gag in many SF movies and stories, often involving toasters.

  4. Pete Rogan

    Artificially-created consciousness reduced to a punchline.

    I’m not sure it’s too early to be disappointed, as this entire concept has more going for it than the question of Furryite intelligence. If you can make food that thinks and talks, why CAN’T you eat it? If you made artificial Furryites, what keeps them off the menu? It sure isn’t the intent of the synthesizer, made by whatever hands. And you are close to making the argument that eating sentient races is merely a matter of taste.

    No, NO (sic). This was and is deliberate. Where’s the line, if any?

    1. Muzhik

      Larry Niven, in one of his “Draco Tavern” stories, the barkeep was listening to an explorer talking about being in the crew that met this new and important race. One of the things the new race did was to take DNA samples from all of the human crew.

      It turned out that this important new race was using the human DNA to develop … meat … for lack of a better term. The humans had to go along with it or the race would open the DNA data files and there would be millions of knock-off copies being sold. If the humans agreed to a licensing deal, though …

      1. Nathan Weyer

        He also had another short story where the first human FTL ship found a world that was nothing but humans and eatable algae, which implied it was someone’s ranch world.

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