The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

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What is your opinion about Refuse and the possibilities with IT (multiple votes possible)?

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Total Votes : 137

Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Terramine on Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:45 am

draconian139 wrote:Liara in refuse:"We built the crucible but it didn't work."

Everyone assumes that because Liara says we built the crucible but it didn't work, not that we built it and then didn't use it. To me it makes more sense from a literal perspective to assume that they take that at face value and not base their strategy around it.

Why would they have died already if its possible to beat them conventionally? Its not like they've been around for an infinite amount of time, merely an extremely long amount of time.
Yes but "it didn't work" is vague, at face value is not that it CAN'T work.. simply for an unknown reason it didn't work. It didn't work for the Protheans either, or those before them. Yet our cycle tried it :/

"Why would they have died already if its possible to beat them conventionally?" It's not possible to beat them conventionally, I'd think you'd have a field day with Rif if you tried to say otherwise. Though in all honesty he is right, it is an absurd notion.

Not unless this next cycle has about 4x the amount of dreadnaughts as there is Reapers -_-

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Terramine on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:14 am

I want to point out that this is just my opinion. I'm just trying to make sense of it, maybe there is another way to view refuse...

I'd also like to point out from a non-biased point of view, refuse is just as untrustworthy. You guys say Destroy could trick Shepard.. I accept that possibility but so could Refuse, to keep Shepard from picking Destroy.

I mean if the Reapers at least wanted Destroy as a scape goat why treat it the worst even out of Refuse? Control is a perfect example of "alternatives" for the Reapers, basically their attitude should be more neutral about Destroy.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by draconian139 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:53 am

IronicParticle wrote:I want to point out that this is just my opinion. I'm just trying to make sense of it, maybe there is another way to view refuse...

I'd also like to point out from a non-biased point of view, refuse is just as untrustworthy. You guys say Destroy could trick Shepard.. I accept that possibility but so could Refuse, to keep Shepard from picking Destroy.

I mean if the Reapers at least wanted Destroy as a scape goat why treat it the worst even out of Refuse? Control is a perfect example of "alternatives" for the Reapers, basically their attitude should be more neutral about Destroy.

Yea, just saying my opinion as well. Control is a perfect example for a good alternative the way I see it. Destroy isn't a good alternative, its just slightly less crappy than refuse to them, which is why they'd still kill Shepard unless things were somewhat dire. They'd much prefer to actually indoctrinate Shepard. Refuse isn't an option he even mentions, Shepard is directly rejecting him therefore its difficult for me to view it as a trick particularly when none of the three options are actually doing anything in the real world other than possibly effecting Shepard's mental state(when synthesis or control are chosen). Now if we're talking WNT then I could understand refuse being called a trick. Also, the catalyst's opinion of refuse vs destroy is subjective I suppose, I always felt like he disliked refuse more than destroy, "So be it."

With destroy you're not actually being tricked into doing anything bad. Shepard's mental state is unchanged its just that Shepard's establishing a precedent for falling for something not real . Its possible that you don't fall for the hallucination the next time.

We're never told that another cycle built the crucible but didn't have it work. We are told that other cycles worked on it, there's a large difference. The way its phrased its pretty clear that we completed it. I viewed the crucible diagram as a warning, Liara of all people would know that the next cycle might find it, best to show the diagram so they know not to attempt it if they find it elsewhere.

About conventional victory, its not possible for this cycle to beat them conventionally. I view it as very likely for them to be beaten conventionally at some point though. Despite losing in this cycle the Reapers lost more ships than they would build just going off of their losses prior to Priority Earth. Even though they beat us its a bit of a pyrrhic victory. We then seed numerous locations with warnings and advanced tech that don't rely on mental powers. Its not impossible for them to actually heed these warnings and build a strong enough force to defeat the Reapers. Essentially I feel that if the galaxy received a convincing warning 1000 years in advance and worked in earnest to prepare they could defeat the reapers.
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by jojon2se on Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:25 pm

draconian139 wrote:
@Jojon:What do you make of the kid running through the locked door and the locked symbol staying there as he runs through? Simple bug?

I could easily take it as just an oversight, with the door being scripted to be locked until Shepard is done with the husk bashing -- the scripter simply didn't bother- (..or maybe even think-) to check- and mess with the lock state, for a sequence that you do not see up close anyway.

Don't get me wrong; the child being an illusion, already at that point, and the way it distracts Shepard, both momentarily and throughout the entire game, and some strange mannerisms, fits the IT pattern to a tee, but usually we are shown things "inserted", while Shepard is in a "vulnerable state", so to speak; asleep or otherwise unconscious, or concussed, where the "slightly off" way they are presented, is inconspictious: 'it's a dream; /of course/ things are "dreamy"'.
The kid in Vancouver would have to be a full-on seamless Augmented Reality insert, nigh indistinguishable from the real thing. (Mind you; Given the tools the reapers have at their disposal, an indoctrinee might only need to give your brain the /idea/ that the kid is there, in the right way, and your brain would do the illusory job of for them - I'm aware of this - however; the implications of this, is that there'd be /nothing/ in the game, that you can be sure of being what it seems.)
So I'm thinking the kid represents (as a subconscious visualisation and avatar) a strain of thought, which the Reapers didn't plant themselves, but do co-opt and exploit. (...maybe they could have been stoking the embers of doubt and fatalism, even as early as during your downtime in Arrival, before you'd ever seen the kid, and then Shepard latched the memory of the real kid onto that, following weeks of whistful watching him from confinement (like when the game begins) and then seeing his end.)

@IronicParticle:

I thought we were over this: "refuse equals falling back on fighting with sticks and stones" misconception.

"...THEN I won't use the crucible."

Whether your waking up free, after the decision chamber, is having chosen Destroy or Refuse (assuming the choices allow it), the only thing that differs, is a declaration of intent on your part, given certain terms -- the Reapers are still there, in both cases and the Crucible remains an unknown, untested property.

The blind and blinkered faith in the crucible, that is foisted on us, with only a single suspicious bit of musing, at its first mention, is really disconcerting and remniscent of what Sovereign said about our reliance on means that they control and leave for us to find.

No matter how busy each of them may be on their respective little part; so many brilliant minds working on the Crucible and not one even considers trying to figure out what its overall function might be, or even how to operate it (...or telling the designated operator :P), or how and at what stage its interfaces with "the catalyst", whatever that may be - physically it makes sense to have it inject something into the relay network "bloodstream", though the Citadel, but what about control protocols and whom we hand the reins over to?
As for Hackett's saying it's a weapon... When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail, I suppose, especially if you're a desperate hammer...

It is actually kind of cheap of the writers, if they use our habitual following a game's nailed down narrative, against us -- "would you kindly" - Yes, I would bloody kindly, I suppose - that's the only way given, to progress YOUR blinking story and the one alternative is to not play at all. :P

So, in any case; nothing has yet happened in the real world. Maybe the Crucible does exactly what starkid claimed, maybe it doesn't - if it serves the purposes of the Reapers, maybe we can repurpose/reconfigure it, to better suit ours, maybe we can't. Point is - just because you won't cross a certain line, doesn't put all and any "unconventional" approaches out of your reach - a refusing Shepard can still try to use the Crucible on her/his terms, or try to find a completely different unconventional method -- as can destroyers, just with their "renegade" mindset allowing for a greater range.

The obvious problem is that we do not have much room to manouvre: We have put all our eggs in one basket and hurled it towards the Citadel -- If the Crucible is a trap, whether with an actual use, or in no more than a white elephant way; one could make the assumption that the second you deliver it, would be the moment the Reapers shut the relay network down, having left it up only to allow your getting the thing built (assuming they HAVE gained control of the citadel, as opposed to just having it in their possession).

All personal interpretations and opinions, of course. :)

EDIT: I need to stop posting - too much of my chattering. :P

EDIT2: Refuse is not an option presented by Starkid - you have to pick that choice out of your own mind -- I see your use of the reverse psychology argument, which does have its merits, but can be turned back and forth infinitely. :7

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Restrider on Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:20 pm

On that matter, you have to take into account the MO of the Reapers.
The unusual success of this cycle is due to the fact that the Reapers were not able to funnel through the Citadel Relay and decapitate the cycle's government, military leadership, economy and travelling infrastructure while at the same time gathering valuable census data. To add, no one would've had any clue what was going on and would've had no idea what they were facing.
BUT this cycle had three years to examine Sovereign's specifications and apply the gathered data for their own use (i.e. Thannix cannons).

Now imagine a cycle having a century or more to investigate the Mass Relays, the Citadel and the plans for the Crucible, Thannix Cannons and all the gathered data during the Reaper War of Shepard's cycle. If we assume that the politicians of the future cycle are not incompetent as in Shep's cycle, this is actually a huge advantage to beat the Reapers head on.

The only question that remains for me is what the Reaper left behind to observe the organics would do?

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Terramine on Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:15 pm

@All of you... In real life if an asteroid was heading towards us we could probably prepare to take it out easily, but what if it was 50 asteroids? See the one asteroid we can take care of with a space laser..

One might propose you just make 50 space lasers for the 50 asteroids, that's all fine and dandy until your economy gets in the way, or ethics, or politics. Considering how evolutions works, a cycle can't just pop out thousands of dreadnaughts without the right amount of resources, and a successful GALACTIC society in regards to Economy and progression. So maybe it's possible, but it'd be a pretty sticky situation for any future cycles. We'd also have to be jelly of the fact that SOMEHOW they achieved galactic peace and galactic teamwork way before the Reapers came along, unlike us who are obtaining it BECAUSE of the Reapers.

This is also ignoring how the Reapers may adapt, knowing they were interrupted who's to say they don't change things up to something even harder to crack in order to prevent any further damage? These guys are past a singularity, heck they may have already went through several singularities by now, their thought processing is so advanced they should be able to pretty much rape their enemies in ways that make us so pathetic in comparison that we are lower than Amoebas.

I mean are we really expecting them to not prepare? They haven't changed their setup for a time longer than we can fully grasp with our attention spans because of a lack of a need to and yet it probably was a very small fraction of what they could think up. This is why I don't believe conventional victory is possible, did we give them a run for their money? It seems like it at face value...

But remember EDI's point at the end? They could have ended it right then and there in an instant, for some reason they choose not to. They have things so under control they can afford to hold off however long they want to practically. Sure we've done more than any other cycle so far probably, but if that meant anything to the Reapers why not end it like EDI points out?

Now I'm sure they are underestimating us to some degree, they think we bend to their will 100% no matter how hard we struggle. So it's possible whatever they are doing by delaying the end, could lead to their downfall in a non conventional way. But considering everything I have said here, is conventional possible AT ALL?

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by jojon2se on Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:25 pm

@Ironic:

If I am among the "all of you", it looks to me, that you and I are not even debating the same issue. (EDIT: the expression term: "non sequiteur", comes to mind)

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Terramine on Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:06 pm

The "So Be It" was as monotonous as ever, it didn't show anger rather than it's like "Ok whatever, business as usual we can ignore this ant now". I think the most questionable thing about Refuse, is it doesn't take much for the Catalyst to give up. You just say no a couple of times and he's content with your answer, somehow he's ready to give you up so easily when he delayed ending the resistance likely ALL for the sake of obtaining YOU? The FRAKITTY FRAK?

@JonJon I didn't mean as to argue against you, I meant it more like "everyone listen"... I was addressing some other points before I got to yours. First off I don't see how anyone could think the child is real at LEAST at any point after we first see him, why? The behavior of this "Child" is not that of a Child, not even close.

You could say TIM wanted control but I don't believe that, TIM has been more about protecting Humanity more than evolving Humanity. His idea of what is necessary for that is more grey, however he's never been willing to sacrifice children for example(yet children were used at sanctuary likely with his full awareness of it), nor sacrifice all of Humanity for that matter for the obvious reasons. He may have been supporting human advancement, but the more and more he gets closer and closer to the Reapers the more he decides our evolution is more important than our survival.. which makes no sense at all. So he has actually changed his resolve, the Reapers used his less important values and boosted them to a priority higher than what he originally thought was most important.

Heck do you know what you do at the end? You get him to kill himself because he realizes control is wrong, why? Because it's what the Reapers want not what he wants.... and you convince him that Destroy is right, because it is what HE actually wants because it will save Humanity unlike Control. So Destroy is TIM's choice, Control is the choice that sways him from his values.

Saren didn't seem all that intelligent in the first place, also he blatantly had a weak ass will. So he was likely much easier to control in the first place, but the funny thing is while indoctrinated he is the exact OPPOSITE of what HIS resolve is. Do you remember what he did that screwed Anderson's chance at being a Spectre? He killed loads of innocents to get the job done, making Destroy once again HIS choice, Synthesis being Reaper suggestions.

If we follow this logic so far it is not using your own resolve against you, it's changing your resolve. Refuse is not Shepard's resolve, and we have yet to see someone's resolve be used against them, rather than they changed their resolve. I mean even Shiala starts babbling about the Asari ascending, being a scientist she probably had a desire to advance her people but it likely wasn't her actual resolve.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Terramine on Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:09 pm

In case you are wondering the relevance jonjon, you think Refuse has good odds of being the best option because the Reapers are trying to twist Shepard's resolve, correct?

So I presented the case that all the evidence seems to suggest it's not about twisting your own resolve, rather than changing you resolve to a different one.

Edit: Destroy is not inherently Renegade, because Control is definitely Renegade. So then both should be Red if the colors and the catalyst's attitude is supposed to be sincere rather than a ploy. Reality is Synthesis and Control are evil, and Destroy is not yet it is BOTH Renegade AND Paragon because from both stances Destroy is the right option in terms of right and wrong.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by jojon2se on Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:51 pm

@Ironic:

I do not necessarily see where we contradict eachother.

What I am saying, is that changing somebody's opinions is not a simple matter of flicking a switch (unless you really have the revelatory material to pull off a shock effect, making somebody wonder: "how could I have been so wrong, all this time?", which, to your credit, tends to produce the worst kind of zealots - especially in literature), but a slow and gradual thing. There is such a thing as a slippery slope, that is not a other than the fallacious debating technique.
That is all.
YES - the goals of the indoctrinated shifts over time - we are in perfect agreement - I just believe it is a drawn out process, going slowly enough to pass unnotived by the one being changed (since every new change, from your already accumulated changed position, is no greater than any previous one), and accelerating after you've come to the point where you accept receiving their implants - the reapers just need to get a foot in the door.

You may also want to remember that under most IT variations, the TIM we see, is not the actual TIM, but an image that serves as avatar for the part of Shepard that would consider Control, based on Shepards perception of him. (EDIT2: ...but hallucinations COULD of course begin after Andersson's death scene. I believe I may prefer for any "true ending" DLC to pick up at Chronos station, giving you new information (maybe somebody finally turned a critical eye on the Crucible, e.g), that prompts you to forego the entire ill concocted London operation... :7 )

The so called Catalyst seems no less content with just standing there and watching, when you ascend the Destroy ramp (and the others), than with dropping you as a lost cause if you refuse, so him giving up on you that easily is hardly an argument, if one were to try to use it to reinforce Destroy - like for like.


As for the kid ever being real, or not; That was in response to draconian and just one interpretation. I am open to any possibility and am very, very mindful of the matter you brought up - it's just that in summing all things up, I attribute more weight to the one I mentioned.
(same goes for anything I write, of course.)

EDIT: And now I bid you good night. :)

EDIT3: Blaargh, one final addition: Any way that lets you pick up where the game currently ends, truly and fully free of any trace of indoctrionation, may be the least satisfying to play, if it is not the only way to continue, since it wouldn't likely have any of the mindbending gameplay elements that ones under influence might have... :7)

EDIT4: *sigh* ...as for the matter of Renegade/Paragon: despite the dialogue wheel analog, I have never viewed the colours of the options as indicative of where they might be pidgeonholed in that way and don't really believe the developers use them to manipulate their well conditioned players -- the colours are just colours. ...and indicative of suggested emotion, if anything.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by draconian139 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:44 pm

@jojon the thing is that the door doesn't slide apart as you'd expect it to. As the door slides open the indicator light stays where it would be as if it hadn't. If that wasn't the case I'd be inclined to agree that it was just an oversight. Another point is that Shepard never unlocks the door, its always shown as locked it just gets blown away by a Reaper, they could have just had it unlocked the whole time with no issues.

Watch the below video between 1:10 and 1:25. I find it fairly convincing but it could just be a bug...it'd be an odd one though since it makes the door behave completely different to any other in the series.




In terms of them achieving a successful galactic community before the Reapers...they're still achieving it because of the Reapers. I'm sure the data left by our cycle would have plenty of horrific imagery and video to ensure they take the threat seriously. Just like the Protheans included such imagery, they just failed to account for our mental abilities not being as advanced as theirs.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by jojon2se on Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:24 am

draconian139 wrote:@jojon the thing is that the door doesn't slide apart as you'd expect it to. As the door slides open the indicator light stays where it would be as if it hadn't. If that wasn't the case I'd be inclined to agree that it was just an oversight.
...

On the contrary, actually - it strengthens the case for the possibility of it being an oversight, even if it's rather glaring when seen in game (but probably not in the level editor) and one would think the designer, or at least a tester, would have noticed.

When editing the level, the designers may well have a prefabricated compound object that they can "paste" into the world, and which can consist of, e.g: the door 3D objects (frame and possible wall section, moving individual parts), one or two "button" 3D objects, depending on whether the door can be opened from both sides (there can be one single prefab for both cases, with flags to determine whether each button is used), maybe some separate collision meshes, a pair of player detection regions, which can trigger an action, or work as a conditional for another trigger (say like a door, whose button lights up when you walk near and goes into powersave mode when you leave), animations for each of the different visible parts of the prefab, audio emitters, and a set of conditionals, to determine the behaviour of the whole thing - possibly in scripting language form, or as parameters for hardwired methods - dunno, I am not familiar with Unreal Engine.

So; the button would be an activator type object, which the player will normally interact with. When doing so, given the button being in "green" state and any proximity conditional (along with any other) also being fulfilled, the button will set a sequence of events in motion; playing an animation for each animated part, playing soundeffects, enabling or disabling colliders (all with timing and synchronisation), storing the door's current state and possibly setting up for future events, such as a timed automated closing, which may in turn need to check that the opening is unblocked, before starting and otherwise wait or push the obstruction out of the way, with or without an animation that shows the doors starting to close but "thinking better of it". :P). If the button is red, maybe another sequence starts; perhaps flashing the button and triggering a negative-sounding noise.

When the level designer sets the boy to run through the door, that would be without the player ever triggering the button and its script, and (s)he could perfectly well be forcing the door animation(s) to play, directly, forgetting about the separate animations and flags for- and mere existence of the button (unlike with a squadmate class NPC, whose routing AI might on approach automagically trigger the same sequence, or a similar one, as the player's button pressing).

-So, in that case; Why didn't this hypothetical level/cinematic designer signal the same trigger as the player, or "free-ranging" NPCs?
-Beats me - maybe there was a good reason...

Umm, sorry... That went into way more detail than it should (I guess it does show, though, how the simplest things can become rather convoluted, when you break them down)... :P

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Restrider on Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:10 pm

@ Ironic

I agree with you that indoctrination in its first steps is to change your resolve.
This holds true for Synthesis and Control.

However, you can argue that Refuse shows more than a few traits that you can associate with Shepard:

The will not to compromise who/what you are and especially compromising with the Reapers (cue end of ME2 conversation with TIM).
The will to find a possibility to beat all odds and find another way (Suicide Mission, Geth/Quarian conflict resolution, cure of the Genophage, end of ME1...).
The will to fight, even if the end is total annihilation (cue Arrival DLC) (I'm referring to the speech and shooting here, not the (non)-action afterwards).

Of course these are traits that are also present in the Destroy ending.
Both, Refuse and Destroy have a lot in common, but differ in the question whether you are willing to sacrifice some and are "playing" the child's game.

So, I cannot see how Refuse is changing someone's resolve, especially since Refuse is not an option that the Guardian seems to expect.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Terramine on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:13 pm

As I was sitting here typing I realized something... is Destroy actually Shepard's resolve? I mean sure there is loads of dialogue and behavior from Shepard that makes it seem that way. But think about this for a second: We all accept Anderson's resolve is Destroy right? He isn't real here, but Shepard's mind is using him as the representation of Destroy.

Anderson is the representation of Destroy, and I realized something. Shepard's mind actually ended up creating Anderson for the sake of making this resolve as a separate entity. One could argue that the Reapers are trying to make Shepard think Control>Destroy. This in fact is true however at the same time I think the subconscious decides a good portion of how the indoc attempt is perceived by Shepard.

Shepard's subconscious specifically created a separate entity for Destroy, for whatever reason. Thinking about it now there is a representation for each option: TIM represents Control, Anderson represents Destroy, and the Catalyst aka Reapers represents Synthesis. I mean this is pretty clear, TIM favors Control, Anderson favors Destroy, and the Reapers favor Synthesis. But what does Shepard represent? Now think about this: All 3 of these options have a visual representation, but Refuse does not... right? Nor does Refuse at any point during this dream APPEAR to have someone representing it, right? Shepard seems to highly support Destroy. But if we look at it closer is that because Shepard's friends, loved ones, and respected ones all have that resolve? Rather than it actually being Shepard's resolve?

Think about it, Shepard is this soldier with a complex Character and a Complex life. In fact you start this trilogy not knowing a damn thing about Shepard, you just hear what he/she has done. As we play through the series Shepard grows on us like the other Characters. However our "relationship" with Shepard is different. With other Characters you are supposed to either like them or not like them, do you like Tali? She's cute, funny, hot, etc... I could list the traits for all the Characters that grows on us in a way that they feel like actual friends.

However this isn't how it's supposed to work with Shepard because you don't interact with Shepard, you interact with all those other Characters THROUGH Shepard. This means your relationship is different because you are able to understand them better than anyone else, in fact you should be capable of understanding them just as good as they understand themselves. Though it's not likely something the player would even realize, so they'll neglect Shepard anytime without thinking about it.

If we dig deeper into this person named "Shepard"... they are this soldier asked to do a routine thing. Yet that normal routine gig turned out to be so beyond bizarre and horrifying you can not even imagine, it's something you have to see for yourself. Shepard doesn't even EVER get a break, there is no way Shepard has processed all of which that has happened so quickly.

My point? How fucking confused and mind fucked is this random soldier? In Shepard's own words their just a soldier, it's like getting the janitor to defuse a bomb... except INFINITELY WORSE! How can we assume to know Shepard so well if we just listen to what he says and look at what he does? He's confused, anything he does always has to be the right choice and he doesn't have time to PERSONALLY think about it. A person is much deeper than their words or their actions.

Destroy is a perfect reflectance of Shepard's words, and his actions. But maybe he isn't using his own resolve this entire time? Maybe Refuse is so lacking in representation because Shepard is beyond outspoken? Maybe Shepard is that representation. I'm sure Shepard has actually said things that reflect his/her own resolve, but it was masked by everything else that was not his resolve, and maybe that's why Refuse doesn't seem like a perfect example. It also might explain why it seems so out of place, Shepard probably already feels their resolve is beyond alienated, this is reflected by Shepard's subconscious and the Reapers could even manipulate that.

This discussion we've had has made me realize this subject is very important, because we have to be as sure as we can be about what Shepard's resolve actually is. Indoctrination is about changing your resolve, for the sake of Shepard we better be trying to figure what his resolve is otherwise we end up making a bad decision >.>

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Terramine on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:21 pm

Wow... OK I think I just topped my biggest wall of text. I don't know what it is but discussion on this series makes someone want to talk... a lot lol

Edit: What's funny is I think that thanks to my own wall of text, I'm leaning a bit towards Refuse now Magic!

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Restrider on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:52 pm

IronicParticle wrote:Wow... OK I think I just topped my biggest wall of text. I don't know what it is but discussion on this series makes someone want to talk... a lot lol

Edit: What's funny is I think that thanks to my own wall of text, I'm leaning a bit towards Refuse now Magic!
Your wall-of-text is something I've thought about myself and why I do not tend to dismiss Refuse as others do.
As you pointed out, this makes someone lean more towards Refuse.
I think we should discuss this more, but I am kind of in a rush right now.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Terramine on Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:37 pm

Restrider wrote:
IronicParticle wrote:Wow... OK I think I just topped my biggest wall of text. I don't know what it is but discussion on this series makes someone want to talk... a lot lol

Edit: What's funny is I think that thanks to my own wall of text, I'm leaning a bit towards Refuse now Magic!
Your wall-of-text is something I've thought about myself and why I do not tend to dismiss Refuse as others do.
As you pointed out, this makes someone lean more towards Refuse.
I think we should discuss this more, but I am kind of in a rush right now.
You know I can add something to that thread asking what we learned about ourselves... I learned I'm pretty open minded, I mean I've always considered myself such but I'm now certain of it. When your own thoughts, little alone someone Else's... can direct you away from your own position even in the slightest, you know you are open minded Grin

Anyways yeah I think there is something to this. Thinking about it now, Destroy does have it's own sales pitch even if it's not coming from the Reapers. Everyone can admit that Destroy feels like it is being shoehorned because the series has so many supporting themes. But is that a good thing? Thinking about it now Destroy could be considered Peer Pressure, and Refuse does have the theme of thinking for yourself more so than Destroy considering.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by jojon2se on Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:19 pm

It is indeed kind of difficult to determine where Bioware mean for the predefined character, that is Shepard, to end, and their player influenced (...and even player imagined...) permutations to begin.

Whenever you make a decision, you weigh pros and cons and false pros and cons, from the set of information available to you, and there is rarely any one way to go, that consists solely of one or the other.

I'd say the Anderson and TIM avatars would represent conclusion drafts, which, while externally inspired, both exist in Shepard's mind and are created by Shepard's mind. Shepard does show a clear preferrence, but this TIM figment is still part of Shep, no matter how insignificant it may be when there are no meddling reapers to artificially boost it.

Your question of what sort of a conclusion Shepard would come to, entirely on their own... Difficult... Not only is there the matter of "making a decision in a vacuum", but there is also that thick blurry line between the authors' clearly defined Shepard and the parts of the definition that allows for player customisation... :7

I'll say this: Playing ME3, it was striking, to me, how Shepards do not *really* ever do anything in ME3, on their own initiative -- at the end of the day, Shepard is the "perfect" soldier, who obeys orders without question, suppressing any doubts.
Mandate, yes. Initiative, weeelll...

This is probably entirely natural to many people and I won't deny it has logical merit, Shepard being a career soldier, but to me it was very jarring.


Now, I hope you can forgive me for being the one to bring sematics into this (all too often used to distract and misdirect), but there may be reason to be a little bit wary with the word "resolve", because of how easily one can unconsciously go from that to unreasonable obstinacy.

Resolve must always be a transient enough state, to allow for reevaluation, given new or revised data.

As a rather extreme example, which I elect to take from a fictional world, over anything real; There is this videogame that takes place in a seriously trippy universe, where one NPC, that you pass early in the game, has resolved to take as his singular purpose in life, to simply walk in a straight line, never deviating.
Later you come across him again - he stands dead, up against a tree, where he has starved.
I suppose he died happy, knowing he never strayed from his path, in accordance with the peculiar philosophies of himself and the universe that bore him -- Me, in my universe; I think I would have made an exception for the tree. :9

EDIT: Oh damn! Another overly verbose piece of saying next to nothing. Sorry.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Terramine on Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:09 pm

Well jonjon your methods and viewpoints can change, but your motivations usually wont because they are fueled by who you are. This is what resolve is, it's what's behind your actions and beliefs. Your actions and beliefs can easily change as long as the change stays in line with your resolve.

Now it is still possible to change your resolve, but that happens when the person you are changes. This is something the Reapers try to do, but in reality they just suppress who you are, they cannot control such a thing and that is why it should be possible to break free from indoctrination.

Anyways my point is of course there should be room to try alternative methods, but it shouldn't be expected that the very core of you must change. Furthermore the REASONING for changing your methods and opinions needs to actually have enough merit to justify the methods and opinions in the first place.

Say for example I will not compromise with the existence of the Reapers. This is because even what they ARE is beyond forgivable, trillions of years of the worst injustice ever, how I achieve destruction of the Reapers does not have to be limited to or achieved a specific way as long as they get destroyed. But nothing could possibly justify the Reaper's existence and in turn I cannot change the fact that I will only settle for their destruction.

Your tree example is nice, but making an exception for said tree cannot be compared to what the Reapers ARE... little alone what they do >.>

Edit: So just so it's clear, even if I end up going with Refuse it's because I think it leads to the destruction of the Reapers, and thus is in line with mine and hopefully Shepard's resolve :P


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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Terramine on Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:13 pm

Also I don't think Shepard would blindly follow the Alliance, he is justified when he does so every single time. But if the alliance was the ones trying to control the Reapers, instead of Cerberus? Shepard would be hunting Hackett down at the help of TIM lol

All in all though either way they seem to have made it very hard to tell Shepard's resolve, it's a hell of a challenge.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by jojon2se on Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:11 pm

Hmm, ok... That is not a definition of the word, that I am familiar with, but then again, English is not my first language.

Anyway, I got us sidetracked with semantics and I'll try to avoid speaking further of that, in order to get off that side track, although it did inform us that we are somewhat talking past eachother, by ascribing different meaning to words, so there is a silver lining. :P

I am also not sure you took away the intended point, from the tree example, but now that you do bring up the matter of what to do with the Reapers; I am perfectly happy to admit that I'd consider alternatives to destroying the reapers, the way we traditionally think of "destroying".

This is how I see it: You are in a naval battle and have just rammed and sunk a Roman warship -- Do you regard the galley slaves, that have just died by your hand, as the enemy?
If I had no way to avoid the situation and the way it played out, I'd call them unfortunate collateral damage, but never enemies. Many express a different opinion, with regards to the organic part of the Reapers.

Now; those who were "melted down", to produce the Reaper armada, may well be long gone in every way that matters and impossible to redeem, or the only way to help them may be to give them a mercyful liberating death. In these cases, I'd have no qualms about wiping them out.

*But* in the unlikely event I could find a way to free what remains of the old cycle races, from the actual Reaper part of the Reaper (so to speak), and rehabilitate them, I would seriously coinsider it and its consequences.

EDIT: Oh, and I do not in any way find Hackett's blind faith in- and complete reliance on- the Crucible (which every order boils down to be in support of), justified. :7
It is blind, desperate flailing, at best. One should definitely try to figure out what one is doing; rather than just follow the conveniently surfacing assembly instructions (without descriptions of purpose or operation), and hope for the best.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Terramine on Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:39 pm

Wait I'm kind of confused what you mean by you'd free them. It's not like their souls were placed in the Reapers, that'd be impossible. They definitely are dead, a Reaper just has all their knowledge and memories as far as I know. Especially since nothing ever indicated it does what happens in Control, where your consciousness is simulated.

A Reaper seems to have a single mind, that has the memories and knowledge of those who were melted. This makes them greatly intelligent because their mental capacity would be great, especially Harbinger due to having all those Leviathan's intelligences combined. Intelligence is technically separate from the "person", as shown by the fact that we all accept that a person with brain damage is no less of a person.

What I am saying is, is a Reaper's mind is not a Consensus of organic minds... It's a very intelligent singular being. Meaning there is nothing to free.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by jojon2se on Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:24 pm

@IronicParticle:

I take it you refer to "souls" in the metaphorical sense, for the sum of the state and processes of one's nervous system (and if it's in the spiritual one, I'll just beg to bow out of this discussion, right now).

We don't know what happens, when you are molten down.
My guess is that you are reconstituted as a new cell mass, that closely approximates the full function of your original brain, but with some added flexibility (which allows you to be pumped around, without disintegrating) and self-sustainability (which allows you to live directly on the plasma you are suspended in), along with new nodes to connect with neighbouring brains (EDIT (last, I hope): ...or not - maybe isolation is part of the control and the collator serves as proxy for every sharing of thoughts), and, most importantly, components which amplifies reception of the Reaper's indoctrination field (which would have control and utilisation of the Reaper's internal population as its primary function, with the external influence pretty much being a side effect: boost the tranciever power and people around you are in effect integrated with your thoughts, as in "you touch my mind").

There *is* indeed a singular personality governing the Reaper, the head of state for the "nation", as it were -- being in a sort of twisted, subordinate, symbiosis with the indoctrination field emitter and AI/"bus_controller/collator" - the latter setting directives (indoctrination) for every organic entity within the reaper, including the "personality".
I imagine this "head of state" position, is what Harbinger has in mind for Shepard in the next Reaper - this is how Shep is "The One", in this piece of fantasy. (EDIT: ...and Shep's getting the Crucible built, would be her/his "crucible" - test - as a "leader", proving capability to inspire a nation, with the actual hardware maybe even being involved with the construction of the Reaper - maybe as a huge antenna/indoc_field_emitter, which facilitates mass indoctrination, at large ranges, through the relay network, with Shepard stepping in right there, to lead his flock to the slaughter.)

There are mentions, e.g, by Sovereign (yeah, reliable source ;), and Legion, in ME2, to suggest that there is indeed something of a "culture" in there.
It may be wrong to cite unused material, but there are also some lines of text in the ME2 files, which never appears in game, but could be supportive.

Memories (which includes knowledge) alone do not constitute intelligence - where are the algoritms and general thought patterns, which inspires and finds new solutions, through diversity and parallelity? (not that the Reapers show a lot of that)
I like the idea that this "chaos", that Sovereign speaks of so derogatively, is right there inside him, powering his intelligence -- without it, he'd be but a machine; only this chaos is under tight control: "order".

I also like the idea that given certain enormously unlikely circumstances, one could imagine the collective of minds sobering up and uniting to outvoice the boom of the controlling entity, through its own WIFI, rebelling.
It's the epitomy of wishful thinking, but... :)
I like to think this is what happens when you "paragon interrupt" the Rannoch Reaper - all the "free" minds become empowered by Shepard's words, screams STFU to the shot up controller and commits mass suicide.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Terramine on Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:35 am

There is a interrupt with Jim(Rannoch Reaper don't know his name, so for lulz he is Jim)? Since when?

FYI by soul I did not mean in the spiritual sense... "you are reconstituted as a new cell mass" Which would really be killing you and making a copy, and saving them would require the same making it genocide and also as pointless and unethical as cloning.

Also there is another problem with your idea, because Shepard as the head would not be willing to be a Reaper nor to force all those people into being part of said Reaper. In fact no organic mind would, so it makes infinitely more sense for the mind to be synthetic.

Memories and knowledge don't constitute intelligence, but they do make a mind more intelligent. For example someone educated is likely more intelligent than someone who is not... So it's probably just a synthetic mind who is really smart because it has access to all of the knowledge and memories that are stored within all Reapers aka Catalyst.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by jojon2se on Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:18 am

IronicParticle wrote:There is a interrupt with Jim(Rannoch Reaper don't know his name, so for lulz he is Jim)? Since when?

FYI by soul I did not mean in the spiritual sense... "you are reconstituted as a new cell mass" Which would really be killing you and making a copy, and saving them would require the same making it genocide and also as pointless and unethical as cloning.

Depends on the processes.
Neurons could be altered, or switched out, one by one, on the fly, without ever shutting down the system, and you may not necessarily need to change any freed individuals, or hive minds, or whatever, back to how they originally were.

Is cloning, in itself, unethical?
You touch on some philosophical burning points, which I'm reluctant to drag into this discussion, which has already left the topic of the thread way behind. You can find tons of debates on what constitutes the "you", and among these you'll also see lots of people who want to "upload" their minds, to "live forever" -- here I'm kind of in agreement with you - I am just as dead, no matter how many identical copies (whether full body, or just brain pattern), there are of me, out there - my runtime has halted. I *could* switch myself out part by part, though -- Supposedly, over a 7-10 year period every cell in your body has been replaced anyway - naturally.

There is a Renegade interrupt, where you target Jim, for one final blow and drop an action movie oneliner, and a Paragon interrupt, where you point out that the race that Jim was made out, has been dead ever since, calling him on his "preservation" schtick spiel, at which point he falls silent and shuts down.
Unfortunately you can not get these if you take the "investigate" option on the conversation wheel, which I personally always do :7 - you must be quick to dismiss, alas.

IronicParticle wrote:Also there is another problem with your idea, because Shepard as the head would not be willing to be a Reaper nor to force all those people into being part of said Reaper. In fact no organic mind would, so it makes infinitely more sense for the mind to be synthetic.

Not an unindoctrinated Shepard, no. Once fully won over, however...


IronicParticle wrote:Memories and knowledge don't constitute intelligence, but they do make a mind more intelligent. For example someone educated is likely more intelligent than someone who is not... So it's probably just a synthetic mind who is really smart because it has access to all of the knowledge and memories that are stored within all Reapers aka Catalyst.

Ah yes, the old matter of cogency and literacy and so on... Another age-old philosophical debate.
I hope you'll forgive me for declining this one, as well.


Last edited by jojon2se on Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:37 am; edited 1 time in total

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