Интервью с Флоренс Амброуз
Вопрос от Wirewolf:
«Как не-человек, воспитанный людьми, скажите, какой самый большой недостаток вы видите в нас?»
Если она ответит, то спросите ещё:
«Как вы думаете, что нам нужно сделать, чтобы избавиться от него?»
Вопрос от Peter da Silva:
Вопрос от Jeep-Eep:
Я думала, что моей карьерой будет поводырь. Без шуток, по шкале IQ я насчитала около 80. Мой владелец смог записать меня в школу инвалидов, и я считаю их самыми первыми своими друзьями. Это также дало мне перспективу. У меня может быть мокрый черный нос и хвост, но я знаю людей, которые поменяются со мной местами в одно мгновение. Ричард, один из моих самых дорогих друзей, страдает церебральным параличом. Я хотела быть его поводырём. Когда его инвалидная коляска сломалась по дороге домой, я заинтересовалась, как чинить вещи. Я не хотела, чтобы он застревал под дождём. Жаль, я не смогла пойти по этому пути. Всё изменилось, когда мне исполнилось 13. Я начала вставать на задние лапы (хотя и не очень хорошо), мои руки развивались, и я прошла через процесс сокращения нейронов, через который люди проходят в 5 лет. Единственный способ, которым я могу описать это, - вещи начали приобретать смысл. Я могла видеть, как концепции и идеи сочетаются друг с другом. Я начала посещать «нормальную» школу. И мой владелец Скотт ушёл в колледж. Это было самым большим изменением для меня, так как до этого мы всегда были вместе.
Things were more challenging at the new school. My balance wasn't very good, and I kept dropping down to all fours. Wearing clothing still a new experience, and it took a while before I found clothes that were comfortable. There were little things, decisions on whether the tail should be covered or exposed. (Most of us feel it's okay to have the tail exposed, though a couple of us use tail sleeves to keep it covered.) I had a lot of catch up to do in the school work, though it came pretty easily. The teachers wanted me to succeed, I think they were proud of their handiwork. I was seen mostly as a person, but I was also an experiment. Rather like if a robot were attending your high school, people would want to see what it was capable of. Socially, well, I got along better with the boys than the girls. I don't know if it was the hunter mindset, or if it were that the social cliques were just too subtle for me. I had girl friends, but most of my friends were male. I didn't date in high school. I was too different. When I was out with friends, it was just being out with friends.
College. I knew at this point that I wanted to be an engineer. The idea of starships fascinated me. Using magnetic fields to grab the positrons and electrons that form from quantum vacuum and accelerating them out of the area creating a spot of negative energy. Then building on that as you create an area of lower space/time density. But I digress, if I start going into the technical issues we could be here all day. I could walk pretty well on my hind legs at this point, though I still needed to use a cane or a wall for stopping and standing still. Richard was there as well, and college was much easier for both of us with and old friend we could count on. I found out about tai chi and started taking classes, which finally improved my balance enough to toss away my cane.
I suppose this point is as good as any to bring up that humans are very immediate in how they think. I don't believe Bowman's Wolves would have ever come up with the phrase «out of sight, out of mind». We think more in paths. I've spoken to people who think that technology will take a jump forward when we meet an alien race. Bowman's wolves are, in many ways, an alien race.
I bring that up because it had an application in how starships work. I was watching cows when I was told that they don't go the shortest path from the barn to the pasture, they go the easiest. The least amount of energy. Space isn't smooth, it's lumpy. There are knots and whorls, and I got to wondering if the straightest path between stars might not be the easiest. I was able to get a job at the space station that serviced the star ships and began collecting records of their energy use as they traveled. It took some time, but we were able to convince them to alter their routes. They're still not at the lowest energy paths, that's going to take more time and more mapping, but it's a start. Already they've saved two percent of the energy they needed to travel, which may not sound like much but when you're talking interstellar distances, that's a lot of fuel.
The fate of my kind? That's a very good question. I really don't know. We are prototypes. Test beds. There are restrictions and safeguards built into us. I understand why. I'd insist on the same thing if a new artificial intelligence went on line. But after we've proven ourselves, after we've gone a few generations and shown that we're safe, I'd like to see those safeguards removed. It could be that Doctor Bowman is a step ahead of us on this one. The robots here have worked around their safeguards, and there is the possibility that is the point, that the safeguards are like training wheels. Designed to help us do what is right until we are responsible enough to do so ourselves.
There are still very few Bowman's wolves. I'd like to see more of us, it feels very fragile to know that with three deaths that all the males of your species could be gone.
It's going to be interesting. There's so many unknowns. They'll be problems to overcome. But I'm looking forward to it. Early humans found that with domesticated wolves, they could do more. It was a partnership in which both sides benefited. I see us as a continuation of that partnership.
Вопрос от Stuffington Fluffypants aka Fluffy:
I've read a few stories to get a better understanding of wolf perceptions, but none have approached Mark's treatment of Florence.
Maybe during the half hour the conversation would turn to how a wolf would perceive hominid society. To what extend they carry the ideas of pack life to various social instutions… For example would they think thoughts like… «My manager is the Alpha of this group, but he's treated as the Omega of the pack of managers, and Beta of his family». Do you dynamically manage overlapping pack structures applying them to social groups? What social groups are least packlike?
We'll just have to talk later about my fictional wolf species and their protolanguage. They are based a bit on what I know about Bowman's wolves… I'd also like to hear more about your adolescence, shifting as it were from a normal looking canine to an intelligent bipedal one.
Yeah… I fear I would talk with her for months at a time if we could…
Everyone I knew until I came to Jean was human. I was raised as a pet before I started talking. I wasn't raised as a wolf. I've read about wolves, especially the red wolf on which I'm based. While my instincts pull at me a bit differently than humans, I've never lived in a true pack structure. My conjecture shouldn't carry any more weight than human conjecture.
One of the smallest human groupings is the band. Essentially a family. Wolves have never gone past this level. Primates and monkeys have gone to the tribe level and even beyond that where food is plentiful. Humans, of course, have gone to villages, nations, worlds. Wolves, beyond the band level, fight. I don't know if that's a something Bowman's wolves will avoid or if that's going to be problems when there are enough of us. Humans as overlapping packs sounds logical, much like overlapping social circles where the «edges» contact and interact with other circles. The largest pack like structure I can think of is Japanese society, where there are no equals, but every person is either superior or inferior in social position to another. The least pack like structures are in the creative endeavors like a think tank, where whoever gets the best idea first runs with it and others are free to follow or not depending on their whim.
Going from four feet to two. It was an… interesting time. I had walked on my hind legs before, it's a common trick that you teach to pets, and it's nice to be able to see things on tops of tables and counters. Also my family was less likely to tell me to «Get down!» if I didn't put my paws on the table when I was looking. My hands got more sensitive as they developed, and along with the changes to my hips, made walking on my hind legs grew easier. I'm glad of the changes to the hip sockets, that's a weak point in canines. One detail that got overlooked is that I needed to use the bathroom more often. My hips did go to the bowl shape to support the internal organs, just the details of those organs resting on the bladder got overlooked. Two legs are more efficient than four, I can run farther as a biped than a quad, though not as fast. Best sequence I've found is to take off on all fours and shift to two legs once I'm up to speed. I started wearing clothing. Velcro is a godsend when you have paws that aren't yet developed as hands. Luckily I could grip even before I started standing on two legs, a cane was very helpful. Mentally, that's when things started to come together for me. Neural pruning in action. Having mental, physical, and social changes happening all at the same time did keep things from getting boring, though on the plus side, I never had to deal with pimples.
Вопрос от Sleepy John:
Вопрос от The Old Wolf:
There have been enough hints dropped about the other Bowman's Wolves to indicate that they are as diverse in their personalities and character traits as humans are. An entire society of gengineered wolves with the qualities that Florence posesses might well decide that humans are just too ignorant to be worth associating with other than for trade purposes, and go off to establish a world of their own somewhere.
If, however, a viable population of sentient wolves decided that they liked where they were, this raises other questions.
It's to be assumed that the huge overpopulation of robots on Jean is a temporary phenomenon, and that once completely established as a viable and terraformed world, humans would colonize in vast numbers. Would humans be willing to share society with a large population of anthropomorphized animals? Knowing my species, I can almost hear the prejucicial epithets being invented…
There are more humans coming to Jean. Big slow colony ships. Though big here means thousands of colonists, not millions. The majority of people on colony worlds are born there. Biotic potential, geometric progression, whichever you call it, humans can fill open spaces very fast when they want to.
I've encountered people who don't like the idea of talking animals. Man playing God. Bad idea to create a competitor race. What are the rules of etiquette for begging for scraps in a French restaurant? Culturally, I like to believe we're enough alike to get beyond our differences.
Вопрос от Tuyu:
Вопрос от The Old Wolf:
It's to be assumed that the huge overpopulation of robots on Jean is a temporary phenomenon, and that once completely established as a viable and terraformed world, humans would colonize in vast numbers. Would humans be willing to share society with a large population of anthropomorphized animals?
Considering the number of robots on Jean who are opposed to scrapping themselves, asking that question in regards to them is far more germane…meesa don' think the robot population is gonna be shrinking any time soon…ask Florence what she thinks about that!
Вопрос от Murray:
Вопрос от Jeep-Eep:
So many questions, so little time… I'd ask her about her history, what her life had been like I mean her early life and all the way through to Uni and her first job.
That sounds like what I would ask, though if I had time for another subject, perhaps what she thought of science fiction, and it's fans, in the late 20th and early 21st century.
Fans sounded like they were among the hopeful. With the cold war and the two major powers at the time each with enough weapons to destroy the other, you got Star Trek. A show that portrayed the conflict as temporary, and old enemies can become allies with the passage of years. There was conflict, but overall, it was very positive. The fans left behind more than they knew. With so many people writing blogs, I wonder what they would have thought about their words being preserved and read hundreds of years later by people looking for a glimpse of life in the twenty first century?
Вопрос от M. Reynard G.:
«Miss Ambrose, being raised by humans, a species that perceives things radically different from you, having worked under an extra-terrestrial, and having observed closely the unique electro-mechanical A.I.s of Jean, what would you say is that characteristic most noble and worthy in any of the above.
Oh, and speaking of working under an extra terrestrial, when can I get my wallet, wrist watch, and left shoe back?»
Here's your watch and wallet back. As for your left shoe, I need to catch up with experiment 626 for that one.
Вопрос от Nebulous:
Вопрос от Nohbody:Вопрос от Phantasm00:
1: Are you seeing anyone right now?
2: What are you doing Saturday night?
Looks like someone didn't read the last paragraph of my original post… [Razz]
*evil grin* I just can't help it.
1: Would you like a date with me?
2: How about some raisins?
Seriously though, maybe something like
Is having your sense of smell blocked more like being blind or being deaf?
From there, I'm sure that the discussion of differences in sensory limits would veer towards color blindness, but I'm not sure by what path.
Much would depend on how the sense is blocked or avoided. If something is downwind, I can't smell it. It's like seeing a book and not being able to open it to read the contents. Ammonia keeps me from smelling and it hurts. I think the closest analogy to that is getting soap in your eyes. Spacesuits make the world seem small. It's like being in a tiny, tiny room that you know is a stadium. Everything seems close until you start walking and it takes a long time to reach the wall that appears to be in reach from where you stand.
Вопрос от e_voyager:
Miss Ambrose have spent some time with your new captain «Sam» can you honestly say that you've learned something useful and productive that may be of benifest to future generation of humans and AI's of whatever nature?
Вопрос от Nohbody:
While there are some similarities in the social functionality (for lack of a better term, off the top of my head) of humans and wolves, there are also differences of various kinds, and more than a few of them (much coming, I think, from the different perspectives as an omnivorous species that tends to be prey to a lot of things, and a carnivorous one that tends to eat prey).
My question to Florence would be this:
Of those societal behaviors of humans that have been adopted by you, how much of it is because they make sense to you, as a sapient being, of being the better way to do things, and not just adopted as «go along to get along» measures, to keep from being incarcerated or terminated as a «danger to society»?
Or, to put it more briefly, how much is «you like the idea,» and how much is «you like the idea of continuing to live outside of a prison»?
Hunting. Most people don't like to hunt. There/s no rush for you in the chase, and the thrill of catching a thrown ball doesn't come close to that of catching a running rabbit. People really don't like the idea of catching a living animal in your teeth. It's something I don't talk about with most people. Though I would love to see though human eyes for a day. You guys see things that are standing still far better than I do. Maybe it was for recognizing plants you could eat.I can never find Waldo.
A better way to do things. Dangerous question to ask an engineer. Every engineer I know has a better way to do things, myself included. I often have to research why something is done the way it is before making any «improvements», and most of the time I find I've overlooked something. It would be nice if there were a more even distribution of resources, though I don't favor seizing what other people have earned. A better way would be to teach people to be more ethical and to look out for more than just you and yours, but how to do that effectively is beyond me.
Society wise, I prefer co operative to competitive, and if competitive, I prefer group against group. Individual competitiveness in a group feels wrong once the social order is established.
Вопрос от TimberWolf:
Seriously, just hanging out would be cool. I'm sure everyone ELSE would be asking her things, testing her… I'd rather just play some videogames or something, and the only personal questions I'd be asking would involve which foods might not be very good for her to eat because of her alternative physiology.
Вопрос от Jeep-Eep:
Also, I'm curious about the size and shape of her feet. How does she keep her balance, besides Tai Chi(being that that would require certain prerequisites like a suitable pair of feet and sufficiently sensitive inner-ears)?
This is professional interest, being that I'm working on a bipedalized, semi-anthromorphosized canid design myself (Urocyon-derived, not Canis.) although, the engineering geek in me would like to have a look at the wonder of bioengineering that is her body.
Also, I'd ask what she'd name her kids. [Big Grin]
My early biology is easy. Look at a red wolf, increase the size of the cranium, and change the jaw muscle anchors to the side of the head instead of the top. (Allows for greater skull growth.)
Now that I'm standing on two legs, the pelvis is more of a bowl shape to cradle the internal organs. Legs are a bit straighter than when I was on all fours, and more heavily muscled. I can run faster than a human, though the bent knees keeps me from being able to carry as much as a human my size. My feet are fairly large. I have more surface area than a human on their toes, though not as much as a human flat footed. My balance is pretty good for a non primate, though I still find it easier to take on a third point of balance if I have to stand still for any length of time.
No idea what I'll name my children yet.
As for pictures, Eric Elliot did a nice cross section of a biped wolf leg.
There are bones done by a model maker.
This is how they did the werewolves from Underworld.
And while the skin is on, many of the artists are good enough to show the underlying structure at The top 100 werewolf images
Вопрос от Robson Carr:
What do you think about your isolation from other Bowman's wolves? Is this a normal state of affairs with the other wolves? Do you believe this has been detrimental or beneficial?
Also, on a completely different note, what do you do for fun? Are there any activities that you are prohibited (by safeguards or physical limitations) from doing?
What do I do for fun? Richard Feynman had a phrase. «The joy of finding things out.» I love learning about new things, or seeing how older things can be put together in new ways. Physically, I like running. And digging. Chasing things. Running works best when you have a friend on a bike to be a packmate and mock prey. I'm not prevented by safeguards from doing anything I like doing. Physically, I don't have the hand/eye co-ordination for sports like racquet ball or tennis. I do fine in casual sports playing, though I don't fit in well enough for professional level playing. Which is fine with me since I play for fun anyway.
Вопрос от Tiger_T:
Hi there, Florence!
So, uhm… If I may ask you… What scents and foods do you relish? Like: What do you enjoy smelling and what's your favourite foods?
Foods. Deer liver is my favorite, though hard to get. Liver of any type comes after that. Kidneys. Lungs aren't bad either. I like rice, especially when flavored with something else such as shrimp. I like ice cream (plain vanilla), but I have to be careful to only have small amounts because of… side effects.
Вопрос от ARF:
BTW, with all the backstory this thread is inspiring, perhaps «Interview with the Bowman's Wolf» should be added to the Welcome Basket.
Вопрос от InsertWittyLineHere:
Also, should humans apply genetic engineering to themselves to try and transcend their limitations, or should they be content with what they are, flaws and all?
Human modification. Another touchy subject, and one that Dvorac and I have talked about. Going transhuman would allow humans (or what humans become) to evolve at a greatly accelerated rate. But with any technology, some people are going to be VHS's, some Betas. What laws should there be to support technologically/genetically obsolete people? I'm in favor of adding some fixes to the human genome. An immunity to A.I.D.'s occurs naturally in about 1 out of 100 people. That would be very helpful in Africa. The biggest danger I see is that when «production models» are made, they're all the same. In organics, this is a recipe for a single attacker to take down an entire gene line. Any modifications that are done should be done very, very carefully.
Вопрос от SeaGROL:
Normal Theobromi(n/d)e levels found in chocolate and coffee is poisonous to your endocrinology, yet low level theobromi(d/n)e types of each is apparently available. But which chocolate/coffee do you prefer the taste of? The 'real' stuff or the low Theobrmi(n/d)e kind?
Would you describe the way you think your brain interprets your safegaurds? It's obvious that the original intent was for them to be 'written in stone' rule set, yet I'm curious as to what model you percieve them to follow.
How do you prefer your rabbit prepared: braised with carrot juice, rare dusted with oregano, raw with fresh vegetables, or slowly limping with a side of mint sauce?
Safeguards. They're sort of like guardrails. Most times, I don't even notice them. If I start to get too close, such as getting mad at a human, I can feel a sort of uneasiness in my stomach. If I actually do get mad at a human, there's a sort of flip from fight to flight reflex. It's hard to describe. Direct orders. Bleah. Those are a pain. They're a compulsion, and they don't quite synch up with my normal thoughts. It's like having someone yell unexpectedly in your ear, or your hand jerked in a direction by an unseen force. I think the direct order thing is a bolt on, it doesn't feel like it's part of the original brain design. As for the genetic safeguard, there not being enough of us to continue the species, that's one I don't feel at all other than the knowledge it's there.
Our model is all stick, no carrot. The chimps had both carrot and stick, and it caused problems. They got a positive «jolt» every time they carried out a direct order, which lead to an addiction problem.
I'm spoiled. I like my rabbit cooked and seasoned. Fur never tastes good, and heat kills the parasites. There is a certain satisfaction to cracking open the bones to get at the marrow, but cooked marrow does taste better than raw.
Вопрос от M. Reynard G.:
Вопрос от Daniel Cougar:
First, what's your opinion on the morals and ethics of creation of artificial self-aware and self-motivational creatures?
Second, is there anything about humans that you've never been able to understand, no matter how you've studied it?
My feelings are that a species does need to have social forces applied. Equality is going to be very tough to have on a one for one basis. I'll never be able to match a human on color vision. I don't even understand some of the concepts in how to match color to emotions except in the most abstract of terms. Humans don't really «get» scent except in the most basic of terms. In a perfect world, this would lead to both sides making strides they couldn't have done alone. In the real world, I expect there to be some problems. I expect the best way would be a gradual introduction of artificial intelligences, both to let humans get used to the idea, and to see if the A.I.s in question will perform well in society. I'd like to see equality between humans and their creations, just like colonies have become equals to the countries that founded them. It will be a hard road, but I am a bit of an optimist.[Smile]
Things I've never been able to get on a gut level. Color. Multiple mates. How it would feel to get drunk. And why some people think the Three Stooges aren't funny.
Вопрос от Peter da Silva:
Вопрос от Somber Requiem:
How does sex work with you? Do you have sexual experience with humans, perhaps from back in college? Do you or have you gone into heat? What was it like? Do you find humans sexually attractive? What about canines or lupines? Or are you more sexually interested in the social advantages of a mate rather than the genetic advantages? Do you see yourself ever getting married? Do you masturbate, and if so how much? Do you ever feel a sexual itch to breed outside periods of fertility?
«Someone has to ask the questions.»
Sigh. Isolation is doing strange things to us. Everything I see showing what beauty is and what a mate should look like is human. Advertisements, media clips, movies, you name it. I've seen other Bowman's wolves in messages, and they are kind of funny looking. Even with me being one, they don't seem like my species. In short, I find humans attractive. I'm sure this will play merry havoc with us down the line, we may be the first species to go extinct because of cultural conditioning. While I find canines and lupines to be good looking if they are in good health, there's no sexual desire there. At all. It would be like a human wanting to live with a baboon.
Social. The chances of my even seeing another Bowman's wolf (other than my own offspring) are close to zero. I would like to get married some day. There are already cases of humans marrying dogs, though usually they're to break an evil spell and are not considered legally binding. Whether or not I could have a real marriage would depend on laws being changed to permit it.
While it's hard to tell what others feel, I don't seem to get the itch for sex in the same way as humans. I do get the itch to hunt. To put it into perspective, I believe that the two urges might be close to the same. I know very few humans get the urges to hunt like I do, and while people enjoy it when that's brought up as part of their culture, most people go through their day without even thinking about it.
Вопрос от ARF:
Ms. Ambrose, what would you do if you found out that Sam has had more of a hand in your diversion to Jean than he has let on so far. Would you forgive him because he did not know better at the time, but he has improved since (mostly as a result of your continuing effort to make him the best alpha he can become, by the way)? And just how much have you figured out so far?
Personally, I think he is not entirely to blame. He had to have been made aware that an engineer was available just when he needed one.
Вопрос от Robson Carr:
Ms. Florence, are your safeguards removeable (not just circumventable) by any known means, fair or foul?
A simple, though ugly way to circumvent most of the safeguards would be to deafen myself. Though I would consider that cure worse than the disease.
Вопрос от Anglerfish:
Вопрос от Tiger_T:
Uhm… Anyway. Say, just how fast can you get, running? What was your average time for the 100m sprint in school?