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Criticism that misses the point

DarkStarling

Brilliantly Crazed
Validated User
A philosophy student actually explained to me the other day that reasoning about the limits of reasoning can only be flawed. For if you accept that reasoning can have a limit, your own understanding of that limit will always be limited by your own thesis.

We should also note that most of the bottlenecks of science aren't about not being smart enough to understand things. But about getting good enough data to build and test models. It's more my personal pet peeve, but nerds tend to place way too much emphasis on being smart.
One of my pet peeves too. People who get all hung up on intelligence and afraid of super-AI haven't spent enough time around 3 year olds.

Like yeah, being smart is useful. But it's not an instant win button and there's a serious issue of diminishing returns. And that's even disregarding group problem solving and collective intelligence of well structured organizations and societies.
 

Logos Invictus

Registered User
Validated User
I love Person of Interest intensely, but it sure has a thing for treating shooting people in the knee/leg as:
- nonlethal; and
- instantly disabling.

I mean, our heroes still do kill a lot of people, that's not hidden too much. But they do ride on the knee shooting thing a lot. I'd love to be a reconstructive surgeon or physiotherapist in NYC while Team Machine was operating. You'd be able to buy at least two sports cars.
With this and a lot of criticisms in this thread, I think there is apoint to be made that in many cases we are dealing with characters that are textually, or at least implicitly, superhuman. In Person of Interest, the character whose trademark is aiming for the knee is also the character shown in the early episodes to be able to disable dozens of people with his bare hands and stop a sedan with a sniper rifle from 500 yards away, speaks almost every language spoken and can pretty much appear and disappear at will. Even knowing that shots to the knee can be fatal and may not be debilitating, I feel like its one of those times where you just have to concede that the fact that he can do it is a demonstration of his supernatural competence.
 

Boris

I am invincible?
Validated User
With this and a lot of criticisms in this thread, I think there is apoint to be made that in many cases we are dealing with characters that are textually, or at least implicitly, superhuman. In Person of Interest, the character whose trademark is aiming for the knee is also the character shown in the early episodes to be able to disable dozens of people with his bare hands and stop a sedan with a sniper rifle from 500 yards away, speaks almost every language spoken and can pretty much appear and disappear at will. Even knowing that shots to the knee can be fatal and may not be debilitating, I feel like its one of those times where you just have to concede that the fact that he can do it is a demonstration of his supernatural competence.
I agree, my mentioning PoI was more of an example for the Daredevil/Batman/Supers not killing people discussion from earlier than it was a criticism.
 

mindstalk

Does the math.
Validated User
Most things will bounce off of Nanoha *after* transformation, too. She has a tough Barrier Jacket and stronger protection spells; I kind of expect that transformation isn't any stronger than her Protection spell, say.

The other thing that scene established is that the external view of the transformation is much faster than the internal chant-and-spin view standard to the genre.

It's really silly to see all of these limitations on everything else and assume that humans just happen to be exactly smart enough to understand everything ever, even just in principle.
I disagree that it's *really* silly. There seems to be a real qualitative jump between animal and human cognition. One can argue that it's not that animals understand fewer things than humans, but that they don't understand *anything* the way humans do; understanding, rather than association, is something unique to us.

And while it only serves as analogy, there are definitely jumps in computational ability among various kinds of abstract computer, along with a ceiling. A finite automaton has certain powers. A finite automaton with one push-down stack has more powers. A finite automaton with two push-down stacks has even more powers. A finite automaton with three push-down stacks... has the same powers as the two-stack version. Which also has the same powers as a non-deterministic version (whereas non-determinism makes a difference for one-stack), and anything else we can imagine; it's the Turing machine level.

That also shows how a simple 'mutation' can result in a big jump in capability.

Arguably, if there are minds that are to us as we are to dogs, the issue isn't whether we're smart enough to understand everything but whether we're fnord enough to fnord everything.
 

Sjogre

Registered User
Validated User
Except one could start going into it when losing a fight or, I dunno - to bust down a door because a lot of those sequences involve some motion that would put objects (or opponents) straight in their path if positioned right.

Sometimes it's better not to try logic-ing an inherently silly trope.
There was an episode of Power Rangers where one of them used the transformation pyrotechnics to wipe out a group of enemies that were standing behind them.

There's definitely room for playing around with using transformation sequences being just showing them as instant or protected. Cutey Honey's transformations were in real time, and she could be attacked or attack during them. In one version of Guyver the baddies stopped the hero from transforming by handcuffing him to his girlfriend, because his transformation surrounds him with a destructive sphere.

Someone could get a lot of mileage out of the transformation just plain being the attack. Western superheroes stories hit different beats than magical girls, but Billy Batson has used lightning bolt as an attack when he didn't just have lightning powers. The risk of attacking versus becoming powerless is certainly something to play with.
 
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