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Mesan Genies outside the Onion

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Re: Mesan Genies outside the Onion
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:26 pm

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tlb wrote:The concept of sentience is not as easy as you seem to imply. In particular, your statement that "dolphins and chimpanzees aren't sentient" is highly suspect. You seem to be defining sentience by how well they interact with humans. At the bottom I include the conclusion of an online paper that I found by Professor Juan Carlos Marvizon, copyright 2019.


Oh, no doubt it's a thorny subject. Clearly we don't have a good definition of what sentience is. In the Cosmos series, Neil de Grasse Tyson was also describing how many animals have behaviours that we "common sense" would say are exclusive to humans, like lying, tool-using, planning for the future, sense of society, etc. Your excerpt is an example of that discussion.

But in-universe, we have a sentience scale, which managed to score treecats quantitatively above dolphins (and that was before they revealed they could really communicate). That means there's a reasonably accepted formula. And if there's a formula, you can apply a threshold to say "these are non-sentient, these are semi-sentient and these are sentient."

Also I am not sure that uplifting simply means adding sentience; for example if humans could be modified to be empaths (like Honor) or even more to be telepaths, then that would seem to be uplifting.


That would go back to the definition of sentience. If tele-empathy isn't required for sentience, genetic modification to add it shouldn't be allowed. And yet eugenic selection could achieve it.

David Brin didn't address this as no species in the Civilisation of the Five (Four) Galaxies seem to have telepathy.
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Re: Mesan Genies outside the Onion
Post by cthia   » Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:54 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
tlb wrote:The concept of sentience is not as easy as you seem to imply. In particular, your statement that "dolphins and chimpanzees aren't sentient" is highly suspect. You seem to be defining sentience by how well they interact with humans. At the bottom I include the conclusion of an online paper that I found by Professor Juan Carlos Marvizon, copyright 2019.


Oh, no doubt it's a thorny subject. Clearly we don't have a good definition of what sentience is. In the Cosmos series, Neil de Grasse Tyson was also describing how many animals have behaviours that we "common sense" would say are exclusive to humans, like lying, tool-using, planning for the future, sense of society, etc. Your excerpt is an example of that discussion.

But in-universe, we have a sentience scale, which managed to score treecats quantitatively above dolphins (and that was before they revealed they could really communicate). That means there's a reasonably accepted formula. And if there's a formula, you can apply a threshold to say "these are non-sentient, these are semi-sentient and these are sentient."

Also I am not sure that uplifting simply means adding sentience; for example if humans could be modified to be empaths (like Honor) or even more to be telepaths, then that would seem to be uplifting.


That would go back to the definition of sentience. If tele-empathy isn't required for sentience, genetic modification to add it shouldn't be allowed. And yet eugenic selection could achieve it.

David Brin didn't address this as no species in the Civilisation of the Five (Four) Galaxies seem to have telepathy.


Telempathy could actually hurt mankind. His spiritual interaction with each other is not based on telempathy. Man may not be able to handle having everyone else in his business. We only think we cannot trust each other. God only knows what would happen if we knew for a shadow of a doubt that we couldn't. To suddenly know what everyone else is truly thinking? If we knew everyone's true colors?

Treecat's began life as an empathic species. They had no other choice than to become accustomed to it. Mankind wouldn't have the time to adjust. We'd self-destruct. We'd kill each other.

See more of my response here.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Mesan Genies outside the Onion
Post by tlb   » Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:18 am

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cthia wrote:Telempathy could actually hurt mankind. His spiritual interaction with each other is not based on telempathy. Man may not be able to handle having everyone else in his business. We only think we cannot trust each other. God only knows what would happen if we knew for a shadow of a doubt that we couldn't. To suddenly know what everyone else is truly thinking? If we knew everyone's true colors?

Treecat's began life as an empathic species. They had no other choice than to become accustomed to it. Mankind wouldn't have the time to adjust. We'd self-destruct. We'd kill each other.

However we would also know that there were people that we could trust. The question of self-destruction is always present (even today), whether we know what others were thinking or feeling or not. Obviously such a change would not happen all at once and the dangers are in this transition phase: if the mind-blind majority decides to fear and then hate those with mind-vision. I think one of the first changes would be to legally exclude them from juries, since they would not be making a rational judgement based on the presentation of the evidence and the legal arguments.

Basically if humanity survives such a change, then it clearly would have been uplifted.
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Re: Mesan Genies outside the Onion
Post by tlb   » Sat Oct 10, 2020 5:50 pm

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tlb wrote:Also I am not sure that uplifting simply means adding sentience; for example if humans could be modified to be empaths (like Honor) or even more to be telepaths, then that would seem to be uplifting.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:That would go back to the definition of sentience. If tele-empathy isn't required for sentience, genetic modification to add it shouldn't be allowed. And yet eugenic selection could achieve it.

David Brin didn't address this as no species in the Civilisation of the Five (Four) Galaxies seem to have telepathy.

On what basis? Are you talking about the Beowulf Code or some extraneous writings about sentience by David Brin (no matter how good they might be)?
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Re: Mesan Genies outside the Onion
Post by cthia   » Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:13 pm

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Meyerdahl


Meyerdahl was a planet in the Solarian League, the inhabited world of the Meyerdahl System.

It was colonized around 500 PD, and the Meyerdahl First Wave genetic manipulation was designed to adjust the settlers to the new environment. (SK1, HH9)

By the beginning of the 16th Century PD, it was an extremely domesticated planet with all predators dangerous to humans having been banished to isolated tracts of wilderness which were overseen by the Meyerdahl Forestry Service. Meyerdahl was also the planet from where the Harrington Clan originated: Stephanie Harrington was born and lived in the city of Hollister until she was nine T-years old. (HHA1.1: ABF)

Its population was about six billion when the Harringtons left for Sphinx. (SK1)


If Honor is a lost Alpha line, could Stephanie or Alfred's family have been too?

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Mesan Genies outside the Onion
Post by tlb   » Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:41 pm

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cthia wrote:
Meyerdahl


Meyerdahl was a planet in the Solarian League, the inhabited world of the Meyerdahl System.

It was colonized around 500 PD, and the Meyerdahl First Wave genetic manipulation was designed to adjust the settlers to the new environment. (SK1, HH9)

By the beginning of the 16th Century PD, it was an extremely domesticated planet with all predators dangerous to humans having been banished to isolated tracts of wilderness which were overseen by the Meyerdahl Forestry Service. Meyerdahl was also the planet from where the Harrington Clan originated: Stephanie Harrington was born and lived in the city of Hollister until she was nine T-years old. (HHA1.1: ABF)

Its population was about six billion when the Harringtons left for Sphinx. (SK1)


If Honor is a lost Alpha line, could Stephanie or Alfred's family have been too?

Presumably the line would have been lost in Meyerdahl before Stephanie; but I expect there could be a short story in the future that will tell us more.

The only story that I have heard RFC discuss, is about Alfred Harrington's experience as a marine that led him into the medical profession. RFC said that was the next Honorverse novel that he wanted to write on his own.
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Re: Mesan Genies outside the Onion
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:01 am

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cthia wrote:If Honor is a lost Alpha line, could Stephanie or Alfred's family have been too?


It kind of has to. The only other possibility, if it is not Alfred's lineage tracing back to Stephanie, is that it came from her mother's side. You know, the Benton-Ramirez y Chou of Beowulf? Can you imagine those being Alpha lines?

RFC hasn't explicitly said anything, but all indications are that either Richard and Marjorie Harrington (Stephanie's parents) were known Alpha line members, or their parents were. The dialogue we saw on the book is that contact is sometimes lost before a generation of sleeper agents can pass down the knowledge to their offspring. And the relocation from a core system to the boondocks way past nowhere would definitely be a "loss of contact."

I don't think there'll be a short story about this. I speculate may learn something in one of the next tree Star Kingdom books, with Stephanie discussing things with her parents or reading theirs or her grandparents' diaries. I also expect it won't have meaning to her, since she doesn't have the context.
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Re: Mesan Genies outside the Onion
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:06 am

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tlb wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:That would go back to the definition of sentience. If tele-empathy isn't required for sentience, genetic modification to add it shouldn't be allowed. And yet eugenic selection could achieve it.

David Brin didn't address this as no species in the Civilisation of the Five (Four) Galaxies seem to have telepathy.

On what basis? Are you talking about the Beowulf Code or some extraneous writings about sentience by David Brin (no matter how good they might be)?


I'm speculating both: what the Beowulf Code might say and what the rules for uplifting in the Uplift Universe may be. Neither are written down.

In the Uplift Universe, no patron would uplift a client species too high, since they want subservient races, not competitors. But there's probably a minimum you have to do if you do it at all: there are no zombie servants. If the Beowulf Code has anything to say in this matter, it probably says you can't create a slave race, one that can't reproduce or grow without the patron's help.
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Re: Mesan Genies outside the Onion
Post by tlb   » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:47 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:That would go back to the definition of sentience. If tele-empathy isn't required for sentience, genetic modification to add it shouldn't be allowed. And yet eugenic selection could achieve it.

David Brin didn't address this as no species in the Civilisation of the Five (Four) Galaxies seem to have telepathy.

tlb wrote:On what basis? Are you talking about the Beowulf Code or some extraneous writings about sentience by David Brin (no matter how good they might be)?

ThinksMarkedly wrote:I'm speculating both: what the Beowulf Code might say and what the rules for uplifting in the Uplift Universe may be. Neither are written down.

In the Uplift Universe, no patron would uplift a client species too high, since they want subservient races, not competitors. But there's probably a minimum you have to do if you do it at all: there are no zombie servants. If the Beowulf Code has anything to say in this matter, it probably says you can't create a slave race, one that can't reproduce or grow without the patron's help.

Although we have not seen the Beowulf Code completely written out, we do know a fair amount of it. We know that it would not be permitted to modify a human for telepathy, if it involved adding treecat DNA; since the rule is explicit that mixing non-human DNA is forbidden. Note that the rule applies to the geneticist, not to the resultant subject; so those people with added cat features are not punished.

However if there is potential telepathy within the human gene, then bringing it to full expression is not forbidden. RFC made a fairly long post about the Beowulf Code here:
Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"
And another long post here:
Genetic engineering ?
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Re: Mesan Genies outside the Onion
Post by George J. Smith   » Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:10 pm

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tlb wrote:However if there is potential telepathy within the human gene, then bringing it to full expression is not forbidden. RFC made a fairly long post about the Beowulf Code here:
Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"
And another long post here:
Genetic engineering ?


Assume Raul develops abilities to telepathically interact with the 'cats due to their communicating with him from birth, would that infer there is potential for telepathy within the human genome and as such gene manipulation to be allowed, or would it be considered unauthorised gene manipulation by the 'cats, i.e. his genome was changed to incorporate 'cat genes? Could his DNA be altered like that?
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