10/27/23 – Seven Minutes

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, October 27, 2023.


The Kickstarter for Spacetrawler BIG Book THREE is LIVE!




Yay! She got her tech in the end!


  1. Henrik N

    Is Poudric’s ”7 minutes” just a translation by Christopher into our time measurement (that is related to the Earth’s rotation) so we could more easy understand how long Poudric could withstand the mob?

  2. Pete Rogan

    So Choan believes “rebuilding” her people will answer for the wrong she inadvertently — well, let’s be frank, blindly and unconsciously — perpetrated on them? It’s a technocrat’s solution, one as devoid of sympathy and fellow-feeling as any of her prior actions, murderous or no.

    Does this really quench Choan’s nascent feelings of guilt and responsibility? I suspect so. Which makes her pitiable, not that SHE cares. Confronted with a problem, Choan found a technical solution and applied it… never mind what her people (if she thinks of them that way, which may be erroneous) might think of resurrecting the dead by DNA. Survival is the only success Choan recognizes, even if involuntary.

    Makes me wonder what Choan’s stand on abortion might be. Or euthanasia. Or, for that matter, hospice care. She’d find a technical solution to keep people alive no matter the cost… to herself or anybody else. But of course, all costs would be borne by somebody other than Choan; that’s her infamous modus operandi.

    I have to say that one of the delights of fiction is watching the way events and personalities affect the protagonist(s) and bring them to a greater, and more humane, understanding. Doesn’t work with Choan here; to her, the world is one big LEGO set she can rearrange to produce the outcome her limited emotional capacity thinks is best. Here, it’s like watching the opening to “The Boys From Brazil,” and the success of Dr. Mengele’s cloning program to bring back a squad of Adolf Hitlers to finish what he began. What magnificently futile fatalism. Now I need to go wash.

    1. tlhonmey

      Well, when the costs are to be borne by Choan, then Choan puts her massive intellect to making them be acceptable. She’s spent pretty substantial, personal funds on things for other people. She’s just always found a way to leverage the work into earning a profit on it later.

      I would suspect that substantial costs that get placed on non-Choans due to her actions would be dealt with in a like manner, assuming she found out what was going on.

      She seems to be very much Chaotic Neutral. She doesn’t seem to subscribe to any particular ethical code, and refuses to be constrained by mere rules, but her near-total lack of empathy cuts in both directions. Yes, she doesn’t feel bad when others are suffering. But she doesn’t feel good about it either. She doesn’t get the feeling of power and dominance that motivates so many of the evil people in the world.

      And, at the same time, she *loves* making money. And since she doesn’t seem to consider stealing it an option, she gets it by doing things people are willing to pay her to do. So, even without instinctive empathy, she has developed an intellectual substitute as a way of creating satisfied customers and repeat business. She just needs to remember to turn it on more often.

  3. Totematika

    I both aspire to become like her, and fear that I might.

    I would love to have the skills to have all the possible outcomes of a situation at my fingertip, but I fear my pragmatic choices would make me worse that an AI overlord with a too simple utility function.

    Which begs the question:
    Can any entity with (near) unlimited power even be benevolent, or is morality an emergent property of impotence?

    1. Pete Rogan

      A central epistemic existential question. With the implied answer that morality limits power. A question Choan has simply sidestepped because she has no limits to her power and can’t, surgically, consider any.

      Important to note here that morality is not impotence, per se. We are every day faced with decisions that move our boundaries a little bit, a way we want them to move or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s shooting a fleeing murderer or swatting a fly. Our struggle is keeping on after the shift, and dealing with how we must live afterward. The essence of morality is dealing with that moral elasticity and how we behave from that time forward. Note this is also something Choan doesn’t do.

      Choan also doesn’t think of ‘benevolence’ normally; it’s a side-effect of her seeing people react to events, and if they seem better-off afterwards, or ought to be, well, that’s benevolent enough for HER. What you think about it is immaterial, and always will be. You see the problem.

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