Roger... Who/what is he?

SEELE 08 05-23-2006 11:01 AM
Just out of curiousity what is with the clown!Alex avatar?
Dangerous 05-23-2006 12:23 PM
quote:
Originally posted by SEELE 08
Just out of curiousity what is with the clown!Alex avatar?

No. But he is like his father.
SEELE 08 05-23-2006 01:06 PM
Poor Alex, he was sort of programmed to pyschotic. Did his father program him to do that knowingly? What kind of man damns his own son to the fate of insanity without remorse? And than rejects the person he created later? When Roger talks about making choices is it because he knows somewhere deep down the innate nature of Paradigmn or that he wasn't programmed like the other people around him?
Daemonaetea 05-31-2006 11:23 PM
Alright, if we accept the fact that Dastun really did see his own self towards the end of the city, we can come to certain facts, or rather possibilities. First off, it could be that there is some sort of time loop going on. Second possibility, that cloning is going on in some large manner unsuspected. Third takes more time.

Angel is said to be a memory. In a way it could be said she is the collective memory of the entire town. She could be considered their God. If she is responsible for all the lives within the city, don't you think it would be hard to manifest all of those people? Perhaps certain forms, for whatever reason, are used over and over. In a large city, it is unlikely that doubles would ever meet. Also, if we accept resets as the ultimate goal of the city, this prepares the way for the next wave of citizens, as it were.

Sorry, but another thing I had never even thought of. We know that certain people have false memories, correct? I think we have been far, far too trusting. Several things make sense if we make one assumption: THE CITY DIDN'T RESET FORTY YEARS AGO! What if, instead, it was reset rather more recently? This brings several timelines into focus, such as Dastun meeting his child self.

Now to the point I originally set out to make (forgive my ramblings). Lets accept what Gordan told us as the truth. Smith accepts the offer. We are told that, at that point, he had memories. Could it be that he was truly outside the cycle? Perhaps even involved in whoever was in charge of the process. This inference might be made from near the final parts of Act 26 when he and Dorothy were able to enter the recording room angel was in. Anyway, combining Gordans comments and Roger's statements that he had cast away his own memories, we might gather that he did just that. He cast off his own memories to try to find Gordans answer. In the end, he did just that. He cast away his role, and carved a new one for himself. However, this only seems to raise more questions than it answers.

Sorry for the rambling, I tend to do that. Start to answer something and, in the process of bringing forth my thoughts, find ten more. Can't even remember what I was orginally going to say. Hope you find something in there interesting, anyway.
ScionofDestiny 06-01-2006 07:23 PM
I've always theorized that 'memory' could just mean a clone of someone who lived prior to forty years ago. In which case, all of the tomato children would be memories of varying nature.

Memory or not - Angel seems susceptible to the laws of physics and biology.

quote:
"God' and "The power of God" is a theme used often in the series. God can either be actual God or a power so far above humanity it appears to be *a* God. If humanity had developed the technology naturally, it wouldn't appear to be godlike.


Well, if people lost memories of how they made steel giants of apocalyptic power, and said steel giants rose from the earth, I'm sure some people might consider it godlike. In fact - Alex Rosewater does.

MOREOVER - we're talking about engineering and theoretical physics here. I assure you that if a Big popped into our reality from some point in a forgotten past.

The alien theory doesn't make much sense to me. It sounds like over complicating an already complicated plot. The plot doesn't need the aliens - it has an advanced human society waging WWIII. It doesn't need anything else. I'm pretty sure if they showed aliens in Big O, people would say it was just sci-fi garbage (as opposed to the potential film noir people consider it right now). It would ruin the plot for most people.

Moreover, the 'giant eels' were engineered by memories from human beings (remember Electric City). That means they were used in biological warfare. If they had invaded the earth, humans wouldn't be concerned with cloning more of them - they would be concerned with defeating them.

I'll repeat that.

The giant eels were engineered from memories by human beings - important scientists. The fact that a scientist (such as in Electric City) could bring back with such average equipment shows that mankind was obviously skilled with making such beings.

It just seems a hundred times more likely that the giant 'eels' were just one of many genetic monsters created through science to kill people in an apocalytpic war (POWER OF GOD - WIELDED BY MAN)
Alek 06-03-2006 09:04 AM
quote:
Originally posted by ScionofDestiny


Moreover, the 'giant eels' were engineered by memories from human beings (remember Electric City). That means they were used in biological warfare. If they had invaded the earth, humans wouldn't be concerned with cloning more of them - they would be concerned with defeating them.

I'll repeat that.

The giant eels were engineered from memories by human beings - important scientists. The fact that a scientist (such as in Electric City) could bring back with such average equipment shows that mankind was obviously skilled with making such beings.

It just seems a hundred times more likely that the giant 'eels' were just one of many genetic monsters created through science to kill people in an apocalytpic war (POWER OF GOD - WIELDED BY MAN)


If you will repeat yourself, then allow me to do the same.

"At some point, mankind, having developed technologically, comes across the electrical eels, either naturally or through their own meddling with science"

Big O has a special "stage" used to fight off the electric eels attack. Roger remembered how to activate it from a piece of memory. There have been flashbacks to a number of Bigs fighting a number of electric eels. Thus it stands to reason that the eels were the catalyst for the creation of (or the receiving of the technology to create) the bigs.

And saying that the alien theory can't be true because it makes Big O too "complicated" is like saying that the ocean can't hold any more water because then it would be too wet. In fact, even if you believe that humans came up with the Bigs and that whole "power of God" and "cast in the name of God" doesn't refer to some kind of higher power, SOMEBODY had to make the overarcing stage that looms over the whole city.

Actually, now I feel more confident in my theory that the city is a play- a test to see how things turn out if the people who screwed things up in the beginning can redeem themselves. An upper intelligence literally changing memory- to see if humanity is worth saving. In a way, Roger is unknowingly negotiating for humanity's future.
ScionofDestiny 06-09-2006 08:51 PM
Big O can be explained rationally, if you know where to look. The details can't all be figured out, but the symbolism for the series exists mostly in Plato's Republic - namely, the theory of forms - then deviates and gets more into Judeo-Christian themes. Then again, some Judeo-Christian faiths have been influenced by Platonic thought.

Since I don't want to go into a long-winded lecture about Greek philosophy, I'll just stick to a basic intro on Plato's theory of forms. Bear in mind this is extremely basic, not specific, and not necessarily completely accurate.

Plato held that the universe we live in is just the 'shadow' - a place cast off from a higher universe. This has come to be called the 'Platonic heaven'. Anyway, he said that everything within our universe is just a incomplete shadow of something in that universe. He call the complete versions of things that existed in the Platonic heavens 'forms'. In Plato's view, there were forms for dogs, cats, humans, magazines, languages, courage, love, good - pretty much everything. Evil, Plato said, is simply an ignorance of good. Plato held that the Forms were good. Plato held that people who could think philosophically (like himself) were capable of 'entering' this universe via mind - but only for a temporary amount of time. The knowledge they could glean from this universe would then be applied to make our own universe a better place.

Anyway, to explain his theories through metaphor, he developed scenarios like the allegory of the people in the cave without sunlight. In Big O, Paradigm City is the 'cave' - the people within it are clones - people based on people who lived prior to forty years ago.

In a nutshell, Paradigm City is the cave without a Sun. Plato held the Sun to be the form of Good. The fact that Paradigm city lacks the sun makes it very much like the cave.

Note: In the series, Paradigm City doesn't have a sun - it is blocked by the giant dome (a.k.a. the cave)

Also, Big O is very much like the Truman Show (how similar has not yet been deduced, as that would require a third season) - both Big O and the Truman Show have been acknowledged for containing Platonic themes.

In general, Big O is very, very . . . Greco-Roman (Greece and Rome). There is German and and American influence in there too, but it seems based on classical philosophy.

I'm well aware it sounds somewhat sketchy when presented like this. You'd have to read some of Plato's work yourself before you could truly draw the correlations.

ON THE MATTER . . . of ALIENS

I agree about the giant eels in mass numbers, but I don't think they were aliens. I think that they are bio-mechanical weapons designed to destroy Bigs. It happens all the time - Military theory. Whoever makes the bigger and more destructive weapons wins. I can't deny that there is a possibility the Bigs were built specifically to deal with the giant eels, but the alien theory is still out there.

'Power of God' - Mankind is (in Judeo-Christian thought) made in the image of God - it would stand to reason that humans who have grown powerful through science might confide themselves with God. In fact, that was part of Adam's folly - he was made in the image of God, but he was not God. Attempting to make himself like God brought about the Fall - and mankind was forced to live by the cheek in the hard world.

Big O is more about Platonism than Judeo-Christian symbology though. I'm almost certain of it.

ALIENS CONTINUED . . .

quote:
Actually, now I feel more confident in my theory that the city is a play- a test to see how things turn out if the people who screwed things up in the beginning can redeem themselves. An upper intelligence literally changing memory- to see if humanity is worth saving. In a way, Roger is unknowingly negotiating for humanity's future.


You seem to have a good mind, but I feel like that if you knew more about Platonism (or do you already?) you might be more inclined to drop the alien theory.

As Plato explained it, there are Forms for everything - including ourselves. Our Forms have 'thoughts' of what they could be or are. Remember, the Platonic heaven is eternal, never changing.

Thus the Form of Alek (the form of yourself) had something like a 'dream' of you - a role it could play in this incomplete universe that we all live in. You are an incomplete you, whereas your Form is a complete you. Upon death, you achieve reunion with your Form and eternal bliss continues.

THE BIG POINT

Plato explained that we actually have memories of our Forms built inside us - that they will come to us at need from time to time.

Thus the memories Roger has of before forty years ago are the memories of his Form - the original Roger (whom we see shaking hands with Alex Rosewater)

All of the things in the series - memories, the sun, Schwartzwald's speeches, Roger's psychological mumblings - they all seem very much like Plato.

Heck, even android is Greek - it means 'man made by man'.
Alek 06-09-2006 11:34 PM
quote:
Originally posted by ScionofDestiny


You seem to have a good mind, but I feel like that if you knew more about Platonism (or do you already?) you might be more inclined to drop the alien theory.



I certainly appreciate philosphy in the theoretical sense. However, I reject it as a way of explaining a plot or rejecting an explanation of a plot because it doesn't explain anything per se, it only defines things in general terms. Big O is an" allegory of a cave without sunlight". Well, okay. But that doesn't explain the plot, it only assigns symbolism to the players. It doesn't confrim or reject any specific explanations.

Moreover, even if we assume that Plato is the source, the writers can take that as loosely or tightly as they want. Gnostic christianity was the source for the Matrix movies. That doesn't mean that the writers were chained to a specific plotline. Me, I look for actual explanations based on plot and story clues rather than general symbols. What is the cause and effect? What makes sense? Who built the stage? Where did the Big O's come from? What is the truth Swartzald found? Why did the Big O freeze up at times? Why did Roger say he had memories he regretted? Why is he a negotiator? And what does it mean in the context of the story?

I take the pieces of the puzzle and assemble it into a picture. In this case, that picture all fits when you consider in in the context of a staged "play" that is also a negotation for the survival of humanity. It both gives meaning to the story and makes the actions of the players critical. It also explains everything. When you tell me that the theory can't be right because "it doesn't fit into a specific philosophy that the series is based on- trust me on this- and your explanation can't be part of that philosophy- trust me on this, too" I cannot reasonably be expected to accept that as a rebuttal because it is only a definition of things in a general term. It's essentially saying that "any explanation besides mine is wrong because there is no explanation". That the puzzle pieces don't fit together, but we're just supposed to admire the colors. In that case, all the clues, the revelations, and surprises in Big O were all red herrings. No one built the stage, it only represents a symbol. There's no explanation for the tomatoes, it's only symbolism. There's no real truth Swartzvold discovered, it's all symbolism. But I would consider that the ultimate betrayal of a writer- to mislead your audience into thinking you had a deeper element, something to discover that wasn't there. Kind of like having an easter egg hunt and forgetting to hide any eggs. Or again, a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces don't fit. Personally, when I get a jigsaw puzzle, I fit the pieces together.
SEELE 08 06-10-2006 12:05 AM
quote:
That the puzzle pieces don't fit together, but we're just supposed to admire the colors. In that case, all the clues, the revelations, and surprises in Big O were all red herrings. No one built the stage, it only represents a symbol. There's no explanation for the tomatoes, it's only symbolism. There's no real truth Swartzvold discovered, it's all symbolism. But I would consider that the ultimate betrayal of a writer- to mislead your audience into thinking you had a deeper element, something to discover that wasn't there. Kind of like having an easter egg hunt and forgetting to hide any eggs. Or again, a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces don't fit. Personally, when I get a jigsaw puzzle, I fit the pieces together.


You just summed up both the intents of the authors of Big O and NGE...two intarnets are awarded. Its symbolism, not an actual sci fi story. Both NGE and BIG O just used sci fi, mystery, and mecha as elements to tell a bigger pyschological and in some cases political. In Big O heavy political influences were apprent. It seem to be a bizarre contest between ultra-capatilism (paradigmn) and ultra communism (the union) on one level, but I think the pyschological was far more important. The relationships on one level were about a soap opera element if you will that drew in viewers (especially within Eva) but the characters of Big O like the ones in eva show different aspects of personalities and flaws. As I watch Big O i'm entertained and intrigued but on another level the whole show seems to be a hypothetical question on the part of the author about man without his memories and the nature of free will.
Generalissimo D 06-10-2006 12:18 AM
Roger is a ladies' man.
SEELE 08 06-10-2006 02:28 AM
D-Boy I already gave TWO intarnets away...I'm afraid all I can offer you is a lesser interwebs for your comment.
Ollen70 06-12-2006 08:10 PM
Those are some pretty big ideas, but I'm thinking I have to agree with Scionofdestiny on this one. Aliens don't make sense. The evidence definitely favors human creation of the eel creatures, which were used to power paradigm. They were created for a purpose, they're not invaders.

The union seems pretty well-versed in using the eels against paradigm - Vera seems to have no problem getting the Hydra to follow her orders. If it were an alien intelligent enough to wage an all-out war on earth, I'm thinking it wouldn't be taking orders from a human. As far as the comment on the special stage of the Big O that was intended just to fight eels, you might want to watch that episode again. When it's used in the flashback, it's used against a Leviathan big, not an eel creature.

I find it pretty interesting how many people go off the board when they talk about the Big O. Yeah, there are definite aspects of philosophy, but I'd stick more with what we're given to work with from the series itself.

Here are a few of what I've taken to be guiding principles to the storyline. They're all debatable, sure, but they also hold water themselves.

First, Roger is the only actual 'Dominus' we ever see in the series. What a Dominus actually is, and exactly what it all entails, we never really know. All we can know is that every other character who pilots a Big loses, in one way or another. Swartzvald is betrayed, Alan is... eaten? Alex disappears. Roger's the only one left standing right up at the end.

If Roger is the only actual Dominus, then look at things this way; according to the "Roger the wanderer" episode, Roger's a military Major who knows about and pilots "It," which is the Big O. Hmm. we've got one applicable pilot, and an entire army of Big Os that parade through his memories about a billion times in the series. How do we solve this problem? Easy! We make a Roger-bot assembly line. And basically Beck did the same thing, when he tried to run the Big O off the pier.

Apparently the whole thing doesn't work out too well (check out the flashback scene in "Hydra." There's only one Big O left standing, which I'm assuming to be the one piloted by the "real" Roger Smith.) The Leviathan-bots, probably controlled by the Union (I say that only because the Union is the only other organization we're ever told about in the entire series. It's possible someone else constructed the Leviathans, but since Swartzvald, again, was able to communicate with one and get it to work, I'm guessing it's not alien technology,) pretty much wipe everything out. This is where Angel shows up and resets everything, somehow losing her "wings" in the process. When she shows up in the series, she's already being referred to as the fallen angel.

Secondly, Alex calls Paradigm city "the last stage on which humanity can continue to preserve its civilazation." A lot of people dismiss this, but look at it this way - yes, Alex might have been crazy, but only he actually gets ahold of Rosco's memories in "bring back my ghost." He knows that there's a director of the city, and he (presumably) at least has an idea of how to reset Paradigm, given what he tells Beck before the final battle.

I've put those two little tidbits together this way; Paradigm city is a real place, outside of the program, or hologram, or whatever it is we're seeing in the series. Something very bad happened to the world, probably something apocalyptic or at least very close to it (as per Gordon's "The world destroyed by cataclysm, giant robots run amok, everything is a lie" comment. I think he says that everything is a lie because it didn't necessarily happen insiden the program, it happened in the real world, outside of it.)

Paradigm, you could theorize, was put together to be some sort of a holding place for society while the world recovers enough so that people can live there again. The people are kept without memory so that they come to accept life as it is. How depressing would it be to wake up and find yourself in a desecrated ruin of your old world? Humans prove themselves adaptable enough to learn to use technology again, even without memory, so maybe the program director (i.e. Angel) figures they'll be able to do the same outside the program, when the time comes. They just accept life and keep living, rather than letting the past hold them back and destroy them, so memory, as Roger later says, becomes largely unimportant.

Yes, there are probably some holes in this theory, as there are with every theory anyone has ever come up with about the Big O. Yes, there are quite a few things I didn't even try to address (what exactly Angel is, what exactly memories are, who Norman, Big Ear, Beck, and Swartzvald were, and what Dorothy's role in the whole business is, the relationship of God to mankind in Paradigm, the need for the program to actually *be* a stage. Aside from the fact that it looks REALLY cool...) but if you think about it, they can all be inserted into the military-actual-end-of-the-world theory without any massive logical leaps.

And at the end, this is all my own opinion. In the end, this show is left up to the interpretation of the viewer, which is one of the coolest things about it. The philosophical and theological aspects definitely accentuate it, but I'd agree with Alek in that I don't think they do anything to restrict the plot. I think the evidence presented in the series does that well enough on its own.
Alek 06-13-2006 04:15 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Ollen70
Those are some pretty big ideas, but I'm thinking I have to agree with Scionofdestiny on this one. Aliens don't make sense. The evidence definitely favors human creation of the eel creatures, which were used to power paradigm. They were created for a purpose, they're not invaders.

The union seems pretty well-versed in using the eels against paradigm - Vera seems to have no problem getting the Hydra to follow her orders. If it were an alien intelligent enough to wage an all-out war on earth, I'm thinking it wouldn't be taking orders from a human. As far as the comment on the special stage of the Big O that was intended just to fight eels, you might want to watch that episode again. When it's used in the flashback, it's used against a Leviathan big, not an eel creature.

.


That was Scion's mistatement of my theory. In fact, I suggested that the eels were created through mankind's usage and got out of control, thus the usage of the Bigs against them. I said the Bigs were the influence of an alien power.

Actually, I really do like your idea of "a holding place" and I have no facts to disprove it. It's just as good as my theory. But, barring a third season to prove or disprove, I doubt the ability or motivation of humankind to create a giant stage to hold or view themselves. A higher intelligence than man in the picture just explains too many things- the stage, the connection with the bigs to "God," the way all of humanity could be affected in such a strange manner, who Roger might be "negotating" with, the unusual way the bigs act, etc. etc., while everything else leaves me scratching my head and asking questions.

However, *I* would love it if they actually answered their own questions and put the discussion to rest. I'm more of an concrete engineering personality and less of a philosopher. Happy
Big Big Moon 10-01-2006 08:14 PM
quote:
And at the end, this is all my own opinion. In the end, this show is left up to the interpretation of the viewer, which is one of the coolest things about it. The philosophical and theological aspects definitely accentuate it, but I'd agree with Alek in that I don't think they do anything to restrict the plot. I think the evidence presented in the series does that well enough on its own.


After spending hours looking through every theory I could find on the subject, I have to say that yours is the most logical and the one I'd subscribe to. The only problem with your theory is that it doesn't address the stage lights, and brings up another question: did the memory wipe happen before or after cleanup of the Event? Was it voluntary? And of course, why?

Also, I disagree with your assertion that Swarzwald is not a Domineus. First, Gabriel was expelled after a fairly short interval and pronounced GUILTY. Obviously he is not a chosen Domineus. On the flip side, at no point was Swarzwald addressed as anything other than NOT GUILTY. Second, Rosewater was also pronounced unacceptable via NOT, and his only method of piloting Fau was through synthetic Memory Core spoofing. Again, Swarzwald was never rejected by Duo, and was capable of piloting Duo for extended time periods without the need of a Memory Unit. Third, Duo Inferno clearly showed a tendency to emulate Swarzwald, right down to the monologues and desire to find the truth behind Paradigm in the only way he knew: the sky. Swarzwald is a Domineus. The only question is: why him?

Also, to refute the alien claims: why would the aliens create Bigs in the image of man? God created man in the image of himself. It makes no sense for the "Gods" of Paradigm to humble themselves to humanity. The allegory doesn't fit. Further, humans have repeatedly demonstrated an ability to manufacture and repair Bigs. This is not hyper-advanced otherworldly technology, it's machine guns and oil leaks. The only extremely advanced technologies are the inner mechanics of Memory Cores and Big self-awareness, and Beck has repeatedly provided solutions to problems involving these devices. Thirdly, the eels have been repeatedly shown for the purposes of generating electricity, not warfare. At best, Roger's flashback Hydra was an escapee, not a shock troop. I'd wager that Hydras were used for more infrastructure maintenance than warfare.