Speaking Of Dead Dorothy

dr_malaki 12-31-2003 06:11 PM
Just how dead was she? How are we to interpret her apparently spontaneous resurrection? It sure startled the heck out of Beck, who I assume knew a lot more about robotics than I do, and it was my impression as well that she was pretty much finished. Frown

Should it be viewed as something actually miraculous, in the literal, supernatural sense? The way Christians believe that Christ *really* died on the cross (and wasn't just in a coma or a drugged stupor or anything like that) and *really* came back to life miraculously?

Don't get me wrong: I was *happy* when she sat up Smile -- even though it didn't quite go along with my own vision of how it ought to play out, which was a sort of "Sleeping-Beauty-saved-with-a-kiss"-type scenario, or like the happy, "eucatastrophic" ending of "The Black Bull of Norroway," cited by J.R.R. Tolkien in his famous essay "On Fairy Stories":

"It is the mark of a good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give to child or man that hears it, when the 'turn' comes, a catch of breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art, and having a peculiar quality.

Even modern fairy-stories can produce this effect sometimes, It is not an easy thing to do; it depends on the whole story which is the setting of the turn, and yet it reflects a glory backwards. A tale that in any measure succeeds in this point has not wholly failed, whatever flaws it may possess, and whatever mixture or confusion of purpose. It happens even in Andrew Lang's own fairy-story, _Prince Prigio_, unsatisfactoty in many ways as that is. When 'each knight came alive and lifted his sword and shouted "Long live Prince Prigio,"' the joy has a little of that strange mythical fairy-story quality, greater than the event described. ... Far more powerful and poignant is the effect in a serious tale of Faerie. In such stories when the sudden 'turn' comes we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart's desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame, rends indeed the very web of story, and lets a gleam come through.

*Seven long years I served for thee,
The glassy hill I clamb [climbed] for thee,
The bluidy [bloody] shirt I wrang for thee,
And wilt thou not wauken [waken] and turn to me?

He heard and turned to her.*"


Many times watching Big O has affected me just the way -- "indeed accompanied by tears" -- that Tolkien describes.

I got it when dead Dorothy sat up. I got it when Roger "heard and turned to her" there at the bottom of the sea.

But somehow the very end did not work for me that way. On the contrary I was filled with a kind of speechless horror and despondency. It seemed like a true, unmitigated catastrophe, not a "eucatastrophe." More than a let-down, beyond a disappointment -- almost a sort of betrayal. I thought of the line from the old Beatles song, "Eleanor Rigby":

Father McKenzie,
Wiping the dirt from his hands as he walked from the grave,
No one was saved ...

It was almost as if the Ringbearer(s)' quest failed in _LotR_, and Sauron did reclaim the One Ring, or even as if ... well, never mind, I can't say it. Frown

Doc
The Big Mo 12-31-2003 07:09 PM
I think its because without her core memory, she should not have been able to function at all. She was literally reborn as her own person, no longer with the memories of the original Dorothy.
Mr. Peabody 12-31-2003 07:18 PM
Dorothy lost her Core Memories, but she formed her own memories from her time with Roger.

Heartwarming, ain't it? Pleased
Malkhos 12-31-2003 07:19 PM
How strange we have the same name. They both go back to the West Semitic word for 'king.'

I notice you unusually intersting post has not received any replies--not suprising since it's pitched well above the heads of most of the audience here.

I can't agree with you however, that the endng of the series was depressive. It epxressed the cycle of renewal. I suspect the next incarnation of Paradigm City will be a far happier place than the last one--I susupect it will be the 'other world' in which Roger sometimes wandered when he was shown a vision by Big O--a place, where perhaps Dorothy is human.

If, you want to see what it would look like if Sauron had recoved the ring, just glance out your window.

keep up the good work,

Malkhos
Penny Century 12-31-2003 07:46 PM
I think Dorothy's resurrection is one of the genuinely transcendent moments of the entire series and is a wonderfully resonant and even thrilling answer to one of its central themes: Is memory destiny? Does it make us human? If not, what does?

By all the conventional logic defining her existence, Dorothy was very, very dead indeed. The system that drove her operation was stolen, even down to the interfaces that permitted her to use it, and no one alive had the knowledge to repair her even if the pieces were recovered. And yet she rises, speaks, saves Roger. What happened? The only answer that makes sense to me is that she was motivated by a consciousness -- dare I say a soul -- that existed outside her memory, outside even the mechanisms that allowed her to know she had a memory. Quite graphically, she transcended her previous existence and the limitations that defined it.

Dorothy may have been Paradigm City's first truly free being, but look also at the others who changed their roles and in doing so transcended themselves: Roger, Dastun and his men, even Angel. Hell, Michael Seebach, who really was closer to the truth than anyone. They did more than alter history and fate, they made their world real. I don't think describing this as a miracle is overstating the case.

And now it's time to go play like it's New Year's Eve. Have fun, everybody. Wink
dr_malaki 12-31-2003 08:06 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Malkhos
How strange we have the same name. They both go back to the West Semitic word for 'king.'

I notice you unusually intersting post has not received any replies--not suprising since it's pitched well above the heads of most of the audience here.

I can't agree with you however, that the endng of the series was depressive. It epxressed the cycle of renewal. I suspect the next incarnation of Paradigm City will be a far happier place than the last one--I susupect it will be the 'other world' in which Roger sometimes wandered when he was shown a vision by Big O--a place, where perhaps Dorothy is human.

If, you want to see what it would look like if Sauron had recoved the ring, just glance out your window.

keep up the good work,

Malkhos



Thanks for the kind words. It is a strange coincidence, but it's not my real name (though my real first name is the same as that of a famous Western Semitic king who reigned circa 1000 B.C.). My screen nick is actually a shortened form of Malachi.

It's the shortened version of the ending of Act 26 -- the only version I have seen -- that depressed me. I've been trying hard to take it on faith -- in an almost literally theological , Hebrews 11:1 sense, i.e., "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" -- that the ending I *haven't* seen, but have only heard tell of, seemed to offer some hope or hint or suggestion of a new, happier beginning, sort of in the Revelation 21, especially Revelation 21:5 "Behold, I make all things new" sense.

Yeah, I know what you mean about just looking out the window. Ugh.

"'All right, all right!' said Sam. 'That's quite enough. I don't want to hear no more. No welcome, no beer, no smoke, and a lot of rules and orc-talk instead.'"

-- excerpted from _The Return of the King_, Chapter 8, "The Scouring of the Shire." (This was the part left out of the movie, alas. It holds a special significance for me.)

Thanks again for the kind words.

Doc
dr_malaki 12-31-2003 08:19 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Penny Century
I think Dorothy's resurrection is one of the genuinely transcendent moments of the entire series and is a wonderfully resonant and even thrilling answer to one of its central themes: Is memory destiny? Does it make us human? If not, what does?

By all the conventional logic defining her existence, Dorothy was very, very dead indeed. The system that drove her operation was stolen, even down to the interfaces that permitted her to use it, and no one alive had the knowledge to repair her even if the pieces were recovered. And yet she rises, speaks, saves Roger. What happened? The only answer that makes sense to me is that she was motivated by a consciousness -- dare I say a soul -- that existed outside her memory, outside even the mechanisms that allowed her to know she had a memory. Quite graphically, she transcended her previous existence and the limitations that defined it.

Dorothy may have been Paradigm City's first truly free being, but look also at the others who changed their roles and in doing so transcended themselves: Roger, Dastun and his men, even Angel. Hell, Michael Seebach, who really was closer to the truth than anyone. They did more than alter history and fate, they made their world real. I don't think describing this as a miracle is overstating the case.

And now it's time to go play like it's New Year's Eve. Have fun, everybody. Wink


Why, thank you, Penny Century! I like that interpretation very much. Smile It's not very far from what I was thinking, but couldn't quite put into words, except that the phrase "the ghost (spirit?) in the machine" kept popping into my head.

You know, I think even Beck, of all people, might be added to your list of those who changed their roles and in so doing transcended themselves. Perhaps he represents a sort of archetypal "good thief," brought to a kind of repentance in the end, when he got a good look at the full, ugly horror of the consequences of what he had done, or made possible.

Happy New Year to you too! Smile

Doc
R. David Mcleod 12-31-2003 08:30 PM
I watched the whole second season on it's first run though. When Dorothy's mind was litterally ripped out of her head, I was really hoping that some potion of her would wake up inside Big Fau and fight Alex. I never thought that it would take the form of Dorothy's body refusing to stay dead. In a way, I like that even better that my first idea. Of course, I'm an old romatic.

Of course I haven't done much thinking about the final set of episodes since I saw the last one. It was so confusing that I wanted to wait until I had the time and the brain cells to digest it all.

R. Dave
TemporalRift 12-31-2003 08:36 PM
"Father constructed me from blueprints without a true understanding of the core technology"

I think ACT's interperation of Dorothy's "Ressurection" is probally the most likely, that Dorothy's "Core Memories" were really just training weels for her development. If you look closely, it's easy to see that what appears to have been removed was hardly more than a disc drive and a few bits of ROM. Her head was still mostly intact, the idea that her "Datacore" is in such a small space with inputs rather conveiently designed for Megadeus connections is a bit perposterous.

It almost seems like that piece was Designed to be removed, once the android had reached a certain state of development. Maybe Beck's tampering was just the right thing at the right time.
Pythagoras 12-31-2003 09:24 PM
I think your interpretation is closer to what actually happened, TR. If you recall in "Beck Comes Back," Norman and Roger discuss to some length the idea of removing her memory circuits and replacing them in order to prevent future attacks. Norman argued that she would lose some of her memories in doing so but he said nothing about her not being able to function.

However, obviously there was some sort of motivation for Roger in #26 just as there was in "Back." I believe there was also some connection to Big-O helping reactivate her since we know from "Underground Terror" (among other episodes) that Dorothy has a very special link to many megadei.
R Trusedale 01-01-2004 11:28 AM
I've got another spin on this. Dorothy as we know exchanges a lot of memories with the various Bigs. Her link with Dorothy 1 appeared to be total. It occurred to me that her resurrection is perfectly understandable if she had copied her memories elsewhere.

Consider this situation. Beck's scorpion bots are swarming the mansion. Norman tells Dorothy to go hide someplace safe. She climbs into Big O, but later sees Norman running out of ammunition. She knows she will be captured and destroyed if she leaves Big O, making Norman's battle pointless, but she goes anyway.

This is an Asimov law conflict. How to rescue the human (first law), while still preserving herself? (third law) Remember, Dorothy is very smart. If a way exists to do both, she will find it. And a way does exist. While Dorothy is sitting in Big O's cockpit, she transfers a copy of her Memories, her "self" into Big O's memory. (Plenty of room, since it's a Big memory Pleased ) Perhaps she leaves behind just barely enough personality to get the ammunition to Norman.

Consider that after this, Dorothy's body barely moves. Her body takes no initiative to escape the scorpions or to free herself once captured, even ignoring Roger's impassioned pleas. This is perfectly understandable if the personality has left the body. She does give her "surrender" speech, stating, among other things, that she is not like Norman or Roger. No mention is made of her other friend, Big O. That speech could have easily been said by Big O himself, operating Dorothy's voice, and the speech itself applies to Big O perhaps even more than it applies to Dorothy. (What does a megadeus do when it wants to speak anyway?)

When Dorothy transferred her Memory into Big O she was sitting in the cockpit, with a physical connection. After her body was recovered by Roger and taken back to the mansion, "Dorothy" would begin transferring back. But this would take more time, using the wireless transfer. And since Big O's processing power was of course taken up with his own battles, Dorothy's transfer back could only run as a low priority background task, taking a much longer time.

Now we move ahead to Big O sinking underwater, and Roger drowning in the cockpit. Big O offers the plugs but Roger refuses. I can see his point. All Big O could do with the plugs would be to absorb Roger's personality, his biological body would probably have perished.

With the fighting over for the moment, Dorothy's background transfer task could take first priority. It was rapidly completed, and she came "back to life" in her own body. And incidentally, also knowing everything that had happened to Big O and Roger, and how to save them, since "she" had just come from there.

Comments?
TemporalRift 01-01-2004 11:43 AM
Now That's ingenious. It would account for all of Dorothy's odd "Lost Hope" behaviour along with the time it took her to reactivate herself.

There is the minor flaw though that Dorothy seemed to be semi consious at the one point before she startled Beck, calling out Roger's name. Maybe that was a reaction to Roger being in danger at the time? It would make sense, if she had a total link with Big O she would know Roger's status.

Was he even fighting when she called out? I forget.
Penny Century 01-01-2004 11:47 AM
Awwww, you guys are no fun. Try to kill my metaphysics, why don't you. Wink
R Trusedale 01-01-2004 12:51 PM
quote:
Originally posted by TemporalRift
Now That's ingenious. It would account for all of Dorothy's odd "Lost Hope" behaviour along with the time it took her to reactivate herself.

There is the minor flaw though that Dorothy seemed to be semi consious at the one point before she startled Beck, calling out Roger's name. Maybe that was a reaction to Roger being in danger at the time? It would make sense, if she had a total link with Big O she would know Roger's status.

Was he even fighting when she called out? I forget.


Dorothy's body calls out "Roger!" when he is knocked out by Big Fau. At this point according to my theory, she was still transferring back as a low priority task from Big O. It could have been Big O speaking again, or a combination of Big O and Dorothy, since Roger is important to both.
Also notice at this point her eyes are the metallic looking grey circles. She hasn't gotten fully back yet. Later her eyes return to normal "human" animation.

Incidentally, looking back over my theory, I realized there was actually a triple Asimov law conflict. Save Norman (first law), obey Norman's order to hide (second law) and preserve self (third law). At the moment I can't think of any other way to satisfy all three except the memory transfer.

Now did the writers picture it this way? Its possible, since I thought of it in a few minutes after reading this thread. Presumably the writer spent quite a bit more time thinking about the plot.
R_Dorothied 01-01-2004 02:55 PM
Frankly, to be honest, I just wanted Dorothy and Roger to
make babies, but see? We don't always get what we want ... >_<


quote:
Father McKenzie,
Wiping the dirt from his hands as he walked from the grave,
No one was saved ...


Beatles. PWN3D!
Zopwx2 01-01-2004 05:30 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Malkhos
I notice you unusually intersting post has not received any replies--not suprising since it's pitched well above the heads of most of the audience here.


I dislike your condescending tone, I'm sorry the people who visit a forum about a giant robot show that airs on Cartoon Network aren't up to your standards.

quote:
Originally posted by R Trusedale
This is an Asimov law conflict. How to rescue the human (first law), while still preserving herself? (third law) Remember, Dorothy is very smart. If a way exists to do both, she will find it. And a way does exist. While Dorothy is sitting in Big O's cockpit, she transfers a copy of her Memories, her "self" into Big O's memory. (Plenty of room, since it's a Big memory Pleased ) Perhaps she leaves behind just barely enough personality to get the ammunition to Norman.


I think thats a great theory, but one small correction, according to Asimov whenever there was a conflict in the laws the higher one would take precedence and override the lower one.

Also the second law states that a robot must always obey a human, and norman told her to hide underground.

Hey.... but who said asimov's laws apply entirely to the big o univerese anyway, so your theory still stands.
Bentar 01-01-2004 06:52 PM
quote:
Originally posted by dr_malaki
Many times watching Big O has affected me just the way -- "indeed accompanied by tears" -- that Tolkien describes.

I got it when dead Dorothy sat up. I got it when Roger "heard and turned to her" there at the bottom of the sea.

But somehow the very end did not work for me that way. On the contrary I was filled with a kind of speechless horror and despondency. It seemed like a true, unmitigated catastrophe, not a "eucatastrophe." More than a let-down, beyond a disappointment -- almost a sort of betrayal. I thought of the line from the old Beatles song, "Eleanor Rigby":

Father McKenzie,
Wiping the dirt from his hands as he walked from the grave,
No one was saved ...

It was almost as if the Ringbearer(s)' quest failed in _LotR_, and Sauron did reclaim the One Ring, or even as if ... well, never mind, I can't say it. Frown

You do need to see the list 30 seconds (not show by Cartoon Network in the last couple of showings) - IE the bit with Roger driving the Griffon after Big Venus and Big O disappeared? On a side note, I (unlike others on the board) believe the agri-dome that burned was the primary source of food for Paradigm City - without it, the citizens were doomed to starve. Also, Roger (I think unintentionally) destroyed the majority of Paradigm City with the Big O (Final Stage) attack on Big Fau, blowing up the main dome. So at the end of The Show Must Go On, the race of man was pretty much toast. If that's as much as you saw, I can understand your feelings. But I do really think the last 30 seconds make a difference, as to me they do infer another chance for mankind.

Zola has made the ending available as a bittorrent, and I think Megadeus is setting up a download site for it. If you still can't get it, PM me and I'll presonally set something up for you Smile

quote:
Originally posted by Malkhos
I notice you unusually intersting post has not received any replies--not suprising since it's pitched well above the heads of most of the audience here.

Sigh. I get the impression there are alot of threads you haven't read. Sure, there are some fairly meaningless and frivolous threads (akin to Does Roger wear boxers or briefs?), but there are also many thought-provoking threads, about the nature of self and reality, what makes a cyborg a cyborg, are AIs sentient - and can they have souls?, religious symbolism, and many opinions about what Big O (particularly The Show Must Go On) means. I personally have found no lack of interesting posts.

quote:
Originally posted by Malkhos
If, you want to see what it would look like if Sauron had recoved the ring, just glance out your window.

Just remember with all the evil out there, there is great good. He who looks for evil finds some evil, he who looks for good finds some good. I don't think that the state of our reality has decended quite to the point of being similar to Middle Earth's, had Sauron recovered the ring, at least not yet - for a preview see the Book of Revelations.

quote:
Originally posted by R Trusedale
I've got another spin on this. Dorothy as we know exchanges a lot of memories with the various Bigs. Her link with Dorothy 1 appeared to be total. It occurred to me that her resurrection is perfectly understandable if she had copied her memories elsewhere........

That is indeed an excellent explanation of the physical mechanics of what happened, R Trusedale! It also beautifully explains how R. Dorothy knew 'Roger has made his choice' - she still had a channel open to Big O. Brilliant!

quote:
Originally posted by Penny Century
Awwww, you guys are no fun. Try to kill my metaphysics, why don't you. Wink

For what it's worth Penny, I have always chosen to believe an AI as advanced as Dorothy's would have a soul, irregardless of R Trusedale's explanation - simply because I want to believe. Only God knows for sure. Smile
Mr. Peabody 01-01-2004 07:17 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Bentar
For what it's worth Penny, I have always chosen to believe an AI as advanced as Dorothy's would have a soul, irregardless of R Trusedale's explanation - simply because I want to believe. Only God knows for sure. Smile


Well, they say God is in the details! Wink
R Trusedale 01-01-2004 07:37 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Peabody
quote:
Originally posted by Bentar
For what it's worth Penny, I have always chosen to believe an AI as advanced as Dorothy's would have a soul, irregardless of R Trusedale's explanation - simply because I want to believe. Only God knows for sure. Smile


Well, they say God is in the details! Wink


Isn't it "the devil is in the details"?
My apologies for removing some of the magic and mystery. I can't help it, it's how I'm constructed. Part of human nature I believe. The lack of curiousity shown by the citizens of Paradigm causes me to wonder about their humanity....
Zopwx2 01-01-2004 07:46 PM
well schwarzwald was one of those citezens who was a little too curious..

In fact he mentions their lack of curiousity on several occaisons.