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  • Dave Van Domelen

    Just DARING us to look at her File, yes?

  • Aile D’Ciel

    You know… The eggbots might think that ACTUALLY PUNCHING THE SUN will be the humorous thing to do, and they’ve got direct access to all the equipment, and other robots. She really needs to add “Besides, it wouldn’t be funny” before any of them will get any… “Funny” ideas

  • Sabriel

    I’m worried that Paladin is being set up to learn a lesson about the dangers of pride. That would really suck. A black woman working in STEM is the last character I want to see “taken down a notch.”

    I’d think that SFP would know better than to do that, but this reads as heavy foreshadowing. If this were any other comic she’d be screwed.

    • Ryan Thompson

      If anything, this is setting Lisa up to attract the attention of the conspiracy that Patrick discovered that assassinates potentially world-changing biodynamics. From that perspective, her “federally-recognized super powers” might be landing her on the wrong kind of watch list.

      • Keith

        I’m reminded of something I saw recently:
        “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from video games, it’s that if I’m facing more enemies, I’m going the right way.”

        • Mechwarrior

          Everything in that general direction must die!

        • Banana

          Also that if you’re getting a lot of things.. normally that means there’s a boss in the next room.

        • Subbak

          The problem with this kind of “be positive in the face of adversity” aphorisms is that they fit Hitler perfectly. Except the part about playing video games.

          • Keith

            Hitler probably also ate food just about every day. What’ your point?

    • dragonus45

      Well if they need to get taken down a peg they need to get taken down a peg what do race or gender have to do with it?

      • Floweramon

        The problem is that, historically, people who were not white or male who tried to better themselves, showed a little pride in themselves, or who went against society’s image of what they should be, have been punished and seen as needing to be put back in their place aka “taken down a notch.” Women are regularly made to feel like they don’t belong in STEM and that their contributions are worthless, doubly so if they are a WOC. So to have a WOC character who is a brilliant scientist, fully recognizes her talents, and has lots of pride and confidence in herself go through an arc that amounts to “taking her down a notch” has unfortunate implications that wouldn’t be there if the character were white and male.

  • Potatamoto

    The more we get to know Lisa, the better I like her. And she’s totally right about ‘hubris.’ Being told that being too good at something or being too proud of something you’re good at will get you smacked down by a higher authority is actually a pretty crummy lesson. For that matter, for all that Icarus is supposed to be about hubris, it’s actually not a good example of the genre…the creator of the technology didn’t destroy himself with it, the moron he shared it with did. It’s more like a reverse-Prometheus lesson.

    Pride’s only bad if it outstrips your abilities, or if the focus moves from being proud of your abilities in and of themselves to pride in your superiority over everyone else.

    And she’s right about the AI thing too…in a world like this, actual AI is pretty much an inevitability. Wouldn’t it be better to create it under controlled conditions so that you have a better shot at understanding it and coming to an accord, rather than let it just happen by accident to a military computer or the more unsavory parts of the Internet?

    • Jack Lostthenames Warren

      I mean, I think Moonshadow’s murderous vigilantism is a pretty apt counterpoint to Paladin’s “fuck hubris” philosophy. She seems to have as much confidence in her moral ideology as Lisa, to very different ends.

    • tygertyger

      Oh, thanks, Potatamoto. Now I have the image of an AI spontaneously generated by Internet porn stuck in my head. 🙂

      • Rule 34 has myriad applications, apparently.

      • Potatamoto

        Oh yes. I was pretty much thinking of 4chan suddenly becoming self-aware. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  • serenagold

    If all her AI robots insist on killing themselves, why not imbed a programmed desire to punch the sun as a means of suicide. The sun’s had it too good for too long. I say it has it coming.

  • tygertyger

    Heh. I told you it was hubris. Interesting that she’s not bothered by that.

  • JustinR

    She has a point that is almost too valid.
    I do wonder, though, that if ‘robots’ are to be her ‘one-punch-solution’, then how does having the level of AI that she is attempting help to solve anything?
    Why not attempt to somehow manage to put us into a post-scarcity-economy.

    • Some would argue that we’ve been in a post-scarcity economy since some time after the post-war recovery, and definitely after the Green Revolution of the Long Sixties. People don’t starve today, barring gross tyrannical interference (see: Ethiopia for a classic “all modern famines are political” example, and the ongoing wartime ugliness in the eastern Congo for a muddier example). Generic physical “stuff’ is increasingly cheaper in comparison with IP and real estate and “Veblen goods” and financial instruments and so forth.

      The ongoing absorption of 3D printers and other “machine tools for the masses” has interesting “post-scarcity economy” implications, with power, credit, regulation, and demand being the primary drags on a potentially impressive flowering of petty entrepreneurial expansion. On that note, see how people with full-spectrum 3D printers gravitate towards making guns – they’re the small-scale equivalent of Lisa with her research laboratory immediately reaching for the single most dangerous toy she can make, short of playing around with nanobots in hopes of making Grey Goo in a can.

      • Some guy

        People 3d print ‘guns’ because it’s easy, somewhat counter-culture, and helps justify the purchase of said 3d printer. The end result is you get a terrible gun for way more than a real one costs, and even more than making an actually useful one with a drill press, file, and a lot of time costs.

        It’s the “I posted a status on Facebook/Tumblr, so I’m an activist!” of gunsmithing.

      • KatherineMW

        People certainly do still die of hunger. From the World Health Organization:

        Malnutrition is estimated to contribute to more than one third of all child deaths, although it is rarely listed as the direct cause. Lack of access to highly nutritious foods, especially in the present context of rising food prices, is a common cause of malnutrition. Poor feeding practices, such as inadequate breastfeeding, offering the wrong foods, and not ensuring that the child gets enough nutritious food, contribute to malnutrition. Infection – particularly frequent or persistent diarrhoea, pneumonia, measles and malaria – also undermines a child’s nutritional status.

        There is not a global lack of food, but there are still many, many people who starve or are malnourished because they can’t afford sufficient food. By the latest estimates, using weight-for-age, 15% of children under 5 are malnourished.

        The world has plenty of “stuff”, but the problem is what “stuff” we prioritize creating, and how we distribute it.

        • S.I. Rosenbaum

          “People don’t starve today, barring gross tyrannical interference” is what OP said. I think I’d entertain an argument that those prioritizing creation and distribution of stuff are committing tyrannical interference.

          • KatherineMW

            “Those prioritizing creation and distribution of stuff” aren’t a few evil tyrants, they’re the entire capitalist economic system. The people with money to pay for stuff are the ones who decide what stuff gets made, and stuff gets distributed to the people who can afford to buy it. The wants of the rich are prioritized over the needs of the poor.

          • S.I. Rosenbaum

            Agree. Tyranny of the mob is still tyranny.

          • dragonus45

            That isn’t tyranny.

          • Ryan .

            you do realize that American homeless people are richer than the average Bangladeshi, right?

    • tygertyger

      That solution is what the Innate whose powers include economic theory would come up with… and that person is either wisely staying under the radar or was among the first biodynamics killed by the conspiracy.

  • Patrick

    I want panel 3 as a t-shirt and/or bumper sticker.
    “So fuck hubris! Punch the sun, baby!”

  • Oh, Lisa. Anthromorphisng God as “Jealous Sky Daddy” doesn’t mean you’ve transcended those evil old myths The Man uses to keep you down. It just makes you a rebellious adolescent who regards all advice and caution as conspiracies against the unbounded expression of all your wants and desires. Except most adolescents express their rebellion through booze, fast cars, and STDs, and in the worst cases rarely hurt more than a few people other than themselves. The sky’s the limit when your drug of choice is hubris, and your fast car is a fusion-powered time bomb with a potential yield in the mid-teen kilotons.

    How has she managed to avoid including a mural of Prometheus unchained from his rock in her menagerie of New Myth?

    • Ian Osmond

      We probably haven’t seen ALL her murals yet, and, yeah, Prometheus Unbound has got to be one of them.

    • MrSokar

      I feel Prometheus riding a fire-breathing robot eagle might be appropriate.

  • John Smith

    This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 🙂

  • Ryan Thompson

    I wonder if Alison is going to inform Lisa that there is a shadowy conspiracy out there actively punishing “hubris”. And how Lisa will react.

  • Emmy

    I take the last 4-5 pages of this comic as evidence the authors read the comment section.

  • Sabe Jones

    I’m guessing they do, because the comments are moderated (unless they’ve hired someone or taken on a volunteer to do that bit). It’s a little concerning, if the comments do have substantial influence on the content–I doubt anyone wants this to be a comic-by-committee affair.

    • RobNiner

      It could be like Homestuck – occasionally the author will include nods to the audience but the story is largely set.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Punching the Sun ? That’d be so hot.

    • About 5778 K at the surface, several million at the core.

  • TheGonzoMD .

    Her speech would come off a lot better to me if it wasn’t right after seeing one of her robots brutally kill itself with it’s bare hands.

  • KatherineMW

    Issue 5 is feeling odd because all of the previous ones had a clear arc (Issue 1 shows how Allison’s confrontation with Menace led to her current path; Issue 2 examines the problems with trying to be a hero by fighting, including the issue of civilian deaths; Issue 3 is all about Feral; Issue 4 is backstory).

    But Issue 5 started out with a clear arc/theme revolving around Moonshadow and Allison and the way our gifts influence the choices we make and the solutions we envision (“when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”), as outlined in Allison’s Greek mythology essay at the beginning. It also worked in issues involving sexual assault.

    But now it’s changed to a complete focus on Paladin, for the last 20 issues, which has almost exclusively involved in-depth descriptions and depictions of Paladin’s ideology (and much fancier art than usual – which is really neat, and I don’t at all begrudge Molly the chance to upgrade her art, but it needn’t supersede plot). At this point, the term “character filibuster” is beginning to come to my mind.

    I can see some connections to the earlier theme of Issue 5 in this particular page – because Paladin is good at robotics, she sees robots as the solution to the world’s problems – but it feels like we’ve gone on a major tangent.

    I’m still interested in seeing where things go with Moonshadow.

    • Hey, John Galt got 70 pages of text for his filibuster, Lisa can get 70 comic pages for hers.

  • Ryan .

    At first I thought it was ridiculous that a college student would ask if a person would try punching a ball of hot gas. But than I remembered Allison was deprived of a normal education.

  • Ryan Thompson

    Do we know that the buffer size is for SFP? For all we know, these pages were already finished weeks ago.

  • dragonus45

    … The hubris in that statement is rather ironic.

  • Ryan Thompson

    The point is that if a bunch of people are against you, it might just mean that you’re a bad person. Or that you kicked a hornet’s nest for no good reason. You also have to pay attention to who is aligning themselves against you and why.

    • Mechwarrior

      Lots of people were against Martin Luther King Jr. The problem with broad strokes is that they tend to be so broad that they encompass too diverse a section of the population to provide a meaningful distinction.

  • Zixinus

    Well, that was a speech that was just asking for it, especially with the scene we just had.

    Checking yourself from time to time or before you make a big endevour and asking yourself just what are you doing is not holding yourself back, it’s wisdom. Sometimes the only way to solve problems you could otherwise only solve by hindsight.

    I am sure that there will be many problems that she can solve with robots. The question is whether she will make more problems along the way.