Difference between revisions of "Oni2 talk:Truth Number Zero/Digest"

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::::Note, though, that despite her "anti-hero" antics, Mai turns out great (so far) as a symbiote - we don't see her "giving in" to Imago as Muro does, or going schizo like Mukade, etc.
 
::::Note, though, that despite her "anti-hero" antics, Mai turns out great (so far) as a symbiote - we don't see her "giving in" to Imago as Muro does, or going schizo like Mukade, etc.
 
::::Somehow she manages to "stay human" (c.f. "saboi astatsa dolshe" from Origa's "Inner Universe" - to stay oneself longer) while accepting the Daodan's upgrades. Arguably this is just another gameplay necessity, because she needs to remain relatable as a character. But the in-universe explanation is that Mai is a relatively "good" example of symbiosis, and so she might be holding the answer of "better humanity" as you say - she is balancing on the razor's edge, undergoing radical transformation without losing her identity. So, monsters or not, this is still about Hope, Faith and Love. --[[User:Geyser|geyser]] ([[User talk:Geyser|talk]]) 11:36, 22 May 2020 (CEST)
 
::::Somehow she manages to "stay human" (c.f. "saboi astatsa dolshe" from Origa's "Inner Universe" - to stay oneself longer) while accepting the Daodan's upgrades. Arguably this is just another gameplay necessity, because she needs to remain relatable as a character. But the in-universe explanation is that Mai is a relatively "good" example of symbiosis, and so she might be holding the answer of "better humanity" as you say - she is balancing on the razor's edge, undergoing radical transformation without losing her identity. So, monsters or not, this is still about Hope, Faith and Love. --[[User:Geyser|geyser]] ([[User talk:Geyser|talk]]) 11:36, 22 May 2020 (CEST)
 +
:::::"The only guarantees about the Daodan is that it will deceive any expectations" The means it would also deceives Mai's hope (in the outro sequence) that the Daodan will help out the people. Looking at Muro, Barabas and Mukade and your comment there rather will be more monsters and destruction. --[[User:Paradox-01|paradox-01]] ([[User talk:Paradox-01|talk]]) 11:03, 23 May 2020 (CEST)
  
 
==Speeding up unification==
 
==Speeding up unification==

Revision as of 11:03, 23 May 2020

Isn't the secret goal more naive than the official goal?

Arguably, adapting to overwhelming pollution - and ultimately embracing the BioCrisis as a new way of life - is both naive and cynical.

Hasegawa's true plan (under the "Truth Number Zero" theory) was far less naive and less cynical

And arguably wanting to change the entire world including Syndicate and WCG is not naive? It is a bit of a stretch... That is why it is important to explain stuff and not lose the reader on big jumps. Just food for thoughts.
The initial idea of the Daodan was to rather not try to repair the world because it looked hopeless. The less naive way was to create something he had a chance of realizing. --'Dox
0. Thanks for asking (that was a question, right?).
1. I didn't want TNZ to turn into a wall of text that even I wouldn't have the courage to read and maintain. The "digest" that you are quoting needed to be even more compact - like the "abstract" of a science article, it just lays the main blocks, and it is natural if the reader has questions at that point. Also, as you see, I have been reformulating the digest, and since we are on a wiki it will never be "final". I intend to keep it short, though, linking to other pages for explanations or FAQs (i.e., to this talk page, or to the main non-digest page - which I am about to rewrite as well).
2. We do not know if TNZ was a true "plan" from the beginning, or a contingency that came up later. When Hasegawa started Daodan research, he may have wished/hoped to develop a perfectly controllable "resilience patch" for mankind, as a better-than-nothing solution. It does look cynical when you take it to the extreme (mutants roaming the wasteland, freed from WCG's authority - perhaps not unlike Muro's vision?), but in the earliest development stages it is easy to envision/advertise it as a cure that "consolidates" the current world order, instead of completely disrupting it. However, the uncontrollable nature and disruptive potential of the Daodan became clear very soon: that is why the research moved to Syndicate labs - "we couldn't get backup from any legitimate source" - and also why the experimentation stayed very cautionary, at least according to Kerr - "we never planned to implant those Chrysalises". Once Hasegawa realized the "world-changing" potential of the Daodan, the rest of the plan began to take shape (helped by the insight and advice of the "true Mukade") - first as a "what if?", then as a growing certainty that this is what Jamie would have wanted.
3. Hasegawa was not a rebel initially, but Jamie's activism grew on him, and upon trespassing the Wilderness Preserve he already saw it as their collective struggle. He didn't follow Jamie into the Zone reluctantly, and he didn't follow her as a protective father figure. Instead he says "we" the whole time, like they're comrades/buddies in this activism thing, as well as young lovers. Literally - "we were young and thought we were indestructible" - it looks like Hasegawa was a very young professor, without much of a generation gap between him and Jamie, so he naturally identified with her naive idealism, eagerness to change the world for the better, disrespect for the conservative establishment, etc. Thus the naivety of TNZ is somewhat more natural for Hasegawa (both as a follow-up to his own activism and as a way to honor Jamie's sacrifice), as compared to the half-naive-half-cynical concept where we deal with pollution by changing people so that they can live in their own shit.
4. Naive or not, the first steps of the supposed TNZ plan are consistent with what actually happened. It quickly became clear that the Chrysalis was dangerous - a perfect weapon rather than a perfect cure, and with potentially monstrous side effects - i.e., absolutely not compatible with the current world order. The conservative Syndicate was destroyed from within and completely repurposed: lucid bosses and businessmen were replaced with maniacs and military types; organized crime and technological black markets became vestigial; the main ideological/financial focus was irreversibly shifted to STURMANDERUNG. Also, the cops-and-criminals equilibrium between TCTF and Syndicate had already been fragilized by the BioCrisis (if there is a permanent state of emergency on the ecological front, then the WCG does not really need the Syndicate to justify its authority). At the time of Jamie's death and/or early Daodan research, the trends were already towards an actual crackdown on crime by the TCTF, and a more or less radical militarization of the Syndicate. The TNZ plan/contingency merely saw this instability and exploited it - first by using the Chrysalis as "warlord bait", and then by alienating/radicalizing the Syndicate even further, around the raw charisma of an angry monster boy. --geyser (talk) 12:39, 20 May 2020 (CEST)

Bravo. That is the kind of explanation that should be available - although in a self-telling way as you too already proposed. --paradox-01 (talk) 20:29, 20 May 2020 (CEST)


Re: Was the Daodan's danger really clear from the beginning?

"we couldn't get backup from any legitimate source"
For the beginning it is way too early to argue the Daodan is the perfect weapon. They had only theories and prototypes. They were not sure what mutations could emerge - the Daodan could turn out to be a flop. Some proof is needed.
Also it seems the WCG is very strict about high tech and regenerative meds, see inaction: letting people die because of overpopulation.
See Bertram Navarre (propaganda: pirate island, really?). Look at all the science prisons. They are there but we tend to ignore them.
In that context it is rather "normal" that Kerr and Hasegawa couldn't get funding.
The game worked because there was a high focus on Mai(?). But as the stories continues more question pop up. This is maybe more of a general concern than a specific critic.
Of course Barabas and older Muro show the danger but add quite late to the picture. --paradox-01 (talk) 20:29, 20 May 2020 (CEST)
0. I am not sure I am getting your argument, so feel free to reformulate/elaborate later.
1. "For the beginning it is way too early to argue the Daodan is the perfect weapon. They had only theories and prototypes. They were not sure what mutations could emerge - the Daodan could turn out to be a flop. Some proof is needed." -- It's unusual for a scientist to work with the mindset that his work "could turn out to be a flop". They don't need proof that the work of their life is the most important thing ever. However, it's true that Hasegawa&Kerr didn't come to the Syndicate saying "hey, we're making a resilience patch that you can sell for big money, interested? or you can use it to make your soldiers invincible - neat, eh?". More likely they said: "We're experimenting with illegal Phase-induced mutation of living cells. We'll let you know when we move from lettuce to mice."
2. "we couldn't get backup from any legitimate source" is just Kerr fumbling for words as he tells Mai's story, so it's full of understatement and open to interpretation. But it does imply that the project was too risky and/or unethical by WCG standards. This means that Hasegawa's "official plan" - to make the human civilization pollution-resistant - was never going to work, one way or another. He couldn't make/spread the cure with WCG support, and he couldn't complete the project under the Syndicate's wing, either - because giving out the cure to everyone is "too nice" and brings no new profit or influence. At "best", the Syndicate would have ended up selling Chrysalises to the highest bidder, maybe with extra bio-terrorism to motivate their clients - which is close enough to what we see in Oni (Muro's STURMANDERUNG), but hardly in line with Hasegawa's altruism.
3. "the WCG is very strict about high tech and regenerative meds, see inaction: letting people die because of overpopulation." -- sorry, I don't see what you're getting at. That the WCG wouldn't have backed up the Daodan project even if it was proven 100% safe and ethical and kawaii? (because if undermines the WCG's authority by taking away the BioCrisis threat) - well, sure, that's one of my points too, but it does not demonstrate that the Daodan looked 100% safe and ethical and kawaii when the project started - by design it's "smart cancer" that overcomes disease by filling you with tumors.
Strict: let me exaggerate for this example: the TCTF controls any hightech research because it is seen as danger making the Daodan more automatically illegal. --paradox-01 (talk) 09:03, 22 May 2020 (CEST)
4. Even if the Daodan did not seem dangerous at the planning stage (and was rejected by the WCG for other reasons), the risks certainly became clear while working on the first prototypes. When Kerr says "we never planned to implant those Chrysalises", he can only mean that the risks for Muro and Mai were too great. Whe he implanted Mai's Chrysalis later, it took some hard persuasion from Griffin.
5. "See Bertram Navarre (propaganda: pirate island, really?)." -- You are suggesting that the Picasso Island record is a badly written cover-up, but for what, exactly? Admittedly it's a bit cheesy, but you can't dismiss all of Oni's cheesiness as "propaganda", or there won't be much left. By the way, it's not a pirate island, but a freak scientist's lab; the pirates were just hired to abduct test subjects.
6. "Look at all the science prisons. They are there but we tend to ignore them." -- We played Oni, we know Kerr is Griffin's "pet doctor", we have visited a Science Prison, so who tends to ignore what?
7. "The game worked because there was a high focus on Mai(?). But as the stories continues more question pop up." -- I have no idea what this "general concern" is about, sorry. Please reformulate.
8. "Of course Barabas and older Muro show the danger but add quite late to the picture." -- It's OK if a game starts by trivializing the Daodan (superpowers, yay!) and reveals sinister aspects later. If that's what your previous point was about, then I see no contradiction. Whether she's brainwashed or not, Mai knows as little about the Chrysalis as the player when the game starts. It is implied that she never experienced the "overpower effect" and had no idea that she's not like "other people". Of course it's "just a gameplay choice", but there are also reports of her training at TCTF HQ: she is treated like a normal trainee, the "Daodan spikes" observed by the science staff are not revealed to her, and training staff is having a hard time reining her in - because their tongues are tied.
9. I really think you should separate the player's (Mai's) level of knowledge (guinea pig level) from Hasegawa's and Kerr's understanding of what's going on (inventor/designer/researcher level). When telling Mai about the Syndicate's raid, Kerr admits that he didn't see it coming - "They left us alone for the most part. We didn't think they were interested in our work. We were wrong." - but it also makes sense to him that the Syndicate took over the project once they realized its potential - "They has been watching us very closely. When they figured out what the Chrysalis was, they raided our lab." It doesn't matter if the Syndicate saw the Chrysalis as a weapon or as a source of profit - the risk of the Chrysalis falling in the wrong hands was clear both to Kerr and to Hasegawa.
10. From the TNZ perspective, the risk of the Syndicate stealing the initiative on the Daodan project was so obvious to Hasegawa that it became part of the plan. The realization and final decision - spontaneous or helped by the "true Mukade" - came at least at this point in time (while working under the Syndicate's wing, but before the raid), if not earlier. Also, this time range (initial research at the Syndicate, before the raid) offers good opportunity for meeting/exchanging/plotting with the true Mukade - Hasegawa does not have perfect intuition and determination for this enterprise, but this is compensated by Mukade (general insight about the system, specific intel, bushido wisdom). --geyser (talk) 00:25, 21 May 2020 (CEST)
10. "From the TNZ perspective, the risk of the Syndicate stealing the initiative on the Daodan project was so obvious to Hasegawa that it became part of the plan." -- Kerr admits that he didn't see it coming.
The two were working close together with the same motivation. It is not really believable that Hasegawa left Kerr in the dark unless Mukade almost instantly corrupted Hasegawa. I don't say the stretch could not work, it's just difficult. --'Dox
Kerr didn't see it coming because the Syndicate did a good job pretending they didn't care, and also because he is an absent-minded introvert. Post factum, it made sense to him that the Syndicate would want full control of their research once they found out the details. So it's a statement on Kerr's perceptiveness and wishful thinking, not an indication that the Daodan was not tempting per se.
Of course Hasegawa would have had the choice to let Kerr know about Mukade and about his new plan - but it's predictable how Kerr would have reacted. Hasegawa is young and daring (and a bit of a mad genius now that Jamie is dead), and Kerr is a cautious lab rat who abhors recklessness in general (and can also bring up a certain hike in a certain Zone where a certain someone shot his sister). I see Kerr as a very protective father figure both for Mai/Muro and for Jamie, whereas Hasegawa is very radical in his love for Jamie - ready to make new sacrifices to give a meaning to hers. --geyser (talk) 11:40, 21 May 2020 (CEST)
6. You seem to overlook the scale/importance of science prisons. The daodan research is not illegal because its whitepapers seem dangerous. (They could have said to TCTF supervisors whatever they wanted to get founding, relocate after research and use help of eco activists network to spread the daodan, not necessarily very fast.) Instead, the Daodan research wasn't going to happen because of strict TCTF. -- Ironically Kerr ended up there anyway but that was to protect Mai. (For the sake of security Griffin would let them implant the Daodan. Not much persuasion needed here. It's rather the rest of TCTF (critics) that would would be concerned, calming them midway with idea of cryofreezing. But for the general part Griffin had approval. "A calculated risk.") -- The TCTF wouldn't let have them dev the DC freely but now that the Syndicate has a prototype and Muro they are forced to get on par. ("Griffin wanted to make sure we had a match for any weapon the Syndicate ended up with. He's a cold hearted man.") --'Dox
Sorry, but I still don't see what you're getting at with your "theory of strict TCTF/WCG", and I probably missed the point the first time, too. Can you make actual sentences that explain what "strictness" means, instead of just saying "strict" and then winking (sort of)? You're saying "wasn't going to happen because of strict TCTF" as if it was a self-sufficient definition of strictness.
Starting Daodan research with WCG support seems improbable enough ("Hi, we have a project that has absolutely 100% nothing to do with mutation, please fund us! And don't look too closely, because otherwise you'll see that it is absolutely 100% about mutation ^_^") - even if you forget Hasegawa's bad record of activism and Zone trespassing (and murder). Perhaps this is what you mean by "strict"? As for "relocating" afterwards and arranging mass production and distribution from scratch - it seems rather hopeless unless those "eco activists" already have genetic labs or at least some large-scale infrastructure (fluffy version of the Syndicate?). It also sounds like a perfect recipe for being tracked down by the TCTF and put into a Science Prison or worse (with full termination of the project).
"For the sake of security Griffin would let them implant the Daodan. Not much persuasion needed here." -- You missed my point. How Griffin convinced the Directorate to greenlight the appropriately named Damocles project is a separate question - in my view the WCG agreed only because they were hedging their risks, and enlisted BGI as their main insurance against both Muro and Mai. My point was about Griffin persuading Kerr. Somehow Kerr was forced to cooperate and make his own niece into a monster - we don't know what Griffin's means of pressure were, but clearly it's not something that Kerr would have done by himself (which you seem to imply by "Griffin let them implant the Daodan"). Kerr is very conflicted about how unethical/creepy/dangerous the Daodan is. --geyser (talk) 11:40, 21 May 2020 (CEST)
3. Willingly let people die by holding back life science and medical applications (WCG wants reduction of overpopulation) and 5. Bertram were meant as an example that the TCTF and WCG is strict on holding research under control on a big scale. --'Dox
You are not detailing your conspiracy theory about Navarre, so I cannot see how it's an example of the WCG's "strict" attitude. For me, it's just a freak science project, and also one with innocent victims, so, PR or not, it makes total sense for the TCTF to crack down on it at the first opportunity. They'd do the same with the Flatline Zombie makers if they knew where to find them.
We are on the same page about the WCG being attached to population control: the BioCrisis establishes the WCG as vital (because it runs the ACCs), justifies martial law (curfews and such), and naturally keeps the people home (where they can be indoctrinated 24/7 through the WorldNet). Overpopulation or not, any radical cure for the toxic threat would undermine the WCG's authority. --geyser (talk) 11:40, 21 May 2020 (CEST)
However, from all the talk we might take note that the prototypes are an important milestone. At this point the DC's potential is clear - either as a "Daodan in a box" (for Kerr) and as "weapon" (for Syndicate/Stumanderung) and is close to the raid event. In your TNZ it is also showes Hasegawa readiness to "leave Mai behind". If you write (or plan for John) any past scenes his one should be included, I think. --paradox-01 (talk) 07:19, 21 May 2020 (CEST)
I detail the scenes that I think need detailing, thank you very much. If I can avoid overstatement (a 100% factual account of "how it really happened"), I will. Blurry memories are fine, verbal accounts are fine, basically anything "falsifiable" is fine (or rather "non-falsifiable", in the sense that you can never know if such a revelation is true or not - it needs to be plausible, no more, no less). For example, I can imagine Mukade's conversations with Hasegawa, but I cannot imagine exposing them as blunt facts, because that would be "too much fact" in Konoko's uncertain past.
Kerr "managed to escape with" Mai, and TNZ does not say to what extent this was wanted/arranged/accepted by Hasegawa or Mukade. Maybe the plan was to let Kerr save Mai (if Griffin didn't insist on weaponizing her, she'd have been in relatively good hands at the TCTF, as per Kerr's initial intuition). At the Syndicate, it was clear that Muro and Mai would have both been raised as soldiers, perhaps with some cruel competition between the two. So it's hard to tell which plan looked best - infiltrate the Syndicate as a trio, and possibly have more flexibility later, or stick to a somewhat simpler (more predictable?) father-and-son operation. That's one thing that Mukade and Hasegawa may have disagreed on and, again, the ultimate "choice" (Kerr's escape) may have been accidental. --geyser (talk) 11:40, 21 May 2020 (CEST)

NOTE: Follow-up reactions to new statements of mine (and not to the digest itself) should be indented as sub-sections of the initial question. --geyser (talk) 19:46, 21 May 2020 (CEST)

"They don't need proof" ? - That's quite an unscientific mindset/statement ;) --'Dox
That was just a remark on a scientist's unconditional dedication and enthusiasm for his current project. If you look at the complete sentence and its context, it should be clear. --geyser (talk) 19:46, 21 May 2020 (CEST)

The Daodan Chrysalis is unproven "super" technology - How can they be so confident about it?

The Daodan is so powerful and was done in so little time that it raises the question of how a mere "two man army" could have developed it. Obviously it is not the full picture. --'Dox
That's two plus Mukade in the TNZ perspective (and any resources/knowledge he might have), but I get your point. --geyser (talk) 19:46, 21 May 2020 (CEST)
Iritscen has basically split the amount of work by saying the Daodan was invented and the Chrysalis was discovered (originating from behind the Phase Veil, IIRC). --'Dox
Basically, yes, but the other way around: "My approach to the backstory has Hasegawa inventing the Chrysalis — the implantable form of the Daodan — but not the Daodan itself." (Backstory) --Iritscen (talk) 19:42, 22 May 2020 (CEST)
In that case it's close enough to "my" theory below... well, except for the plants and alien invasion and time travel. --geyser (talk) 20:30, 22 May 2020 (CEST)
For me, the Daodan (aura) not only comes from the Phase but is also sentient. This adds a "new dimension" to the term 'symbiosis', besides the mere coexistence inside one body with one's own "tumor clone". However, the Daodan does not speak English, and its "sentience" can only be judged by the "optimal/optimizing" behavior of Chrysalis cells under its influence. Kerr's poetic tirade - "whatever your final form, it is an expression of your true nature" - is of course totally unscientific bullshit wishful thinking, and he mainly says it to reassure Mai and himself - but it does tell us that, somehow, the Chrysalis is really good at preserving its host's life and integrity.
I don't have a "full picture" to show you right now, but imagine - if you can - that both the Daodan and Screamers (and Phase entities in general), are transdimensional, i.e., they are either 100% "latent" (fully residing in their home dimension), 100% "present" (pulled entirely into our world), or something in between. In some conditions the entities can flow freely back-and-forth between the two worlds. In other cases there will be little bits - "tips of the iceberg" - sticking into our dimension while the bulk of the entity remains "home". Force fields, for example, can be seen as "slices" of the other dimension temporarily inserted into ours - light can travel through such a slice, but for matter it will behave like a solid barrier. As another example, phase cloak wearers are still mostly in "our" dimension, but the molecular agitation slightly "displaces" them in the direction of the Phase (a dangerous process that can lead to cellular damage or disintegration). Teleportation is similar to cloaking, but it's an even deeper (and more dangerous) excursion towards the Phase - thus, in the TNZ view, only fully integrated Daodan symbiotes can survive a teleport.
Screaming Cells are an example of entities that normally live "elsewhere" (out of Earth phase, as Oni puts it), but can venture into our dimension - the higher or lower "presence" of a Screamer can be seen as a larger or smaller projection of its transdimensional/multi-dimensional form onto our familiar 3D space (see HERE for a typical illustration of how a "hypersphere" is perceived in lower dimensions as a sphere of variable size). A Screaming Cannon's projectiles are material pieces of Phase tech that "hook" the Cell in our world and make sure it sticks around for long enough to do some damage (without the hook, the Cell could probably disappear into the Phase right away, and wouldn't need to fly around looking for "food").
A Daodan is similar to a Screamer, in the way that its extension/projection into our dimension can appear as a smaller or larger "presence" (the aura's glow, the amount of available "energy", and the "bandwidth" if you think of the Daodan as a supercomputer residing in the other dimension and "connecting wirelessly" to the host and its Chrysalis). The Daodan also has a "hook" (the Chrysalis cells), which maintains the Daodan in contact with the host even at full (or nearly full) "latency" - and allows the aura/energy/information to flow from the Phase into our dimension and back.
The Chrysalis biomass can also be seen as a portal between dimensions. When the process is initiated, the portal/hook is the size of a single cell, so there is a narrow "bottleneck" in terms of the energy and information that can come through "from the other side" (thus the growth and adaptability of the Chrysalis are slow at this stage). However, as the Chrysalis grows further and produces "metastases", the "energy throughput" and informational "bandwidth" increase dramatically - allowing faster, more powerful and more intelligent transformations. It is important that this process is not rushed, otherwise there's a risk of "instability" (integrity loss; deformity, inhuman features, insanity, etc). Finally the whole body of the host turns into a transdimensional portal, and the "aura" has direct access from the Phase to any of the host's cells - what happens then (Imago) is anyone's guess, but "the possibilities are endless!!!" (teleportation, telekinesis, flight, summoning...).
Seen from that perspective, the Daodan is "just" a benevolent Screamer. Instead of draining energy from living cells, it provides them with extra energy and "motivation". Hasegawa's first experiments may have been with Screaming Cells as a tunable "source of damage" (trying to genetically engineer cells that would resist a Screamer's draining for as long as possible) - until one day the parameters of the "Phase hook" changed and, instead of "fishing" a Screamer as usual, it is a Daodan that came out of the Phase and "bit" the tissue sample. The amazing properties of this new entity became clear immediately: the sample doesn't die from energy draining; in fact the cells look healthy and start dividing/mutating, even without a growth medium (!); the mutant cells are able to infiltrate/assimilate other cells from the same organism; they resist surgery; if extended to larger samples, they inexplicably enhance the original while preserving its integrity.
That's just real-time brainstorming up there - generated on the spot, as usual - but it fits in rather well with my general ideas-so-far about the Daodan/Chrysalis entity, so I will probably add it to TNZ as "plausible fact". Let me know if you think it makes sense as an alternative to your ideas and 'Scen's. --geyser (talk) 19:46, 21 May 2020 (CEST)
My approach is computation. Kerr and Hasegawa heavily relied on Avatara's power to pull off that kind of research. Also to adapt to any threat (through non-random mutation, smart cancer) the Daodan needs to be a quantum computer in blood and flesh. That's totally another research field.
Avatara would not only explain the fast dev phase but also why they can be so confident. The AI made some simulations proving the capabilities and effectiveness of the DC. --paradox-01 (talk) 07:19, 21 May 2020 (CEST)
My subjective problem with your "computation" approach is that it yields too much confidence and control, and is completely stuck in the "paradigm of controlled technology" - which IMHO doesn't apply to the Daodan at all, even on paper. We know the project turned out to be creepy and unpredictable, so if the results (and operational safety) were somehow "guaranteed" by an AI, then this AI and its guarantees suck (and the people who rely on such an AI are arrogant fools).
My other "subjective objection" is that you have computers and AIs elsewhere in your story. This trivialization of advanced AI is nowhere to be seen in Oni. Instead Oni has rather stupid droids, not-quite-reliable SLDs, rampant Deadly Brains, and lots of human operators supervising all this "artificial stupidity", ready to flip the killswitch at a moment's notice. In my view, AI science in Oni is nowhere close to a complex man-made computer designing another free-running "biocomputer" that somehow will - by design - perform major upgrades on human beings while preserving their overall integrity.
My "terminological" problem with AVATARA is that "AVATARA" is sort of reserved for a VIP surveillance/intelligence/communication network, so you should call your AI "Deep Thought" or something. Or maybe you want to recycle the "STURMANDERUNG supercomputer" and imply that its main task - at the time of Oni's events - is to "predict" the evolution of Muro's Chrysalis (and that earlier it was built/repurposed to analyze/design the whole Daodan technology - supposedly it was smaller then, and located elsewhere).
My most objective problem is that the "team of two" would have needed a genius AI coder, and - if the Daodan is indeed the fruit of Computer-Assisted Design - it is this improbable "AI specialist" who should get most of the credit for the invention. As far as we can see, Kerr and Hasegawa are both biologists with a background in computing science, not the other way around. So they might know a thing or two about protein folding, but when it comes to designing completely new life processes on a computer - if that's even possible! - someone else would need to formulate the problem, set up the "deep learning" scheme, and more generally do some regular maintenance work on those q-bit arrays (of which there would need to be a lot).
To me, Daodan symbiosis works as a "leap of faith" (both for an unwitting subject such as Mai and for the "designers" of the project, like Hasegawa - Kerr's "true nature" tirades are a good example). It is much less convincing as "controlled technology" or "calculated risk" - Griffin's failure is a testament to that. The only guarantees about the Daodan is that it will deceive any expectations - other than expressing the "true nature" of its host (whatever that means) - and elude any form of control. It can be "invented"/"discovered", but not "mastered" or "harnessed" --geyser (talk) 20:47, 21 May 2020 (CEST)
Are you crushing Mai's hope of a better humanity? Monsters everywhere. ^_^ --paradox-01 (talk) 09:10, 22 May 2020 (CEST)
Monsters!?? Where!?? No, seriously, which part are you reacting to? If the Daodan isn't 100% man-made, that makes it "more monstrous" somehow? Or is it the unpredictable/uncontrollable aspect?
Either way, if there's just Mai and Muro (and Mukade; and Barabas), that's hardly "everywhere". Or is it the Screamers and Daodans that you're objecting to? Too many sentient "creatures"?
Mai's "hope of a better humanity" would be the part where she says "Mankind as we knew it is doomed. The Chrysalis will change us all."? And then she breaks a mirror, just to make sure.
Note, though, that despite her "anti-hero" antics, Mai turns out great (so far) as a symbiote - we don't see her "giving in" to Imago as Muro does, or going schizo like Mukade, etc.
Somehow she manages to "stay human" (c.f. "saboi astatsa dolshe" from Origa's "Inner Universe" - to stay oneself longer) while accepting the Daodan's upgrades. Arguably this is just another gameplay necessity, because she needs to remain relatable as a character. But the in-universe explanation is that Mai is a relatively "good" example of symbiosis, and so she might be holding the answer of "better humanity" as you say - she is balancing on the razor's edge, undergoing radical transformation without losing her identity. So, monsters or not, this is still about Hope, Faith and Love. --geyser (talk) 11:36, 22 May 2020 (CEST)
"The only guarantees about the Daodan is that it will deceive any expectations" The means it would also deceives Mai's hope (in the outro sequence) that the Daodan will help out the people. Looking at Muro, Barabas and Mukade and your comment there rather will be more monsters and destruction. --paradox-01 (talk) 11:03, 23 May 2020 (CEST)

Speeding up unification

Looks like we are drifting into pit fights again. How about you just name the things you would like to keep of the material of others and mine - and then further discussion could take place. --paradox-01 (talk) 09:03, 22 May 2020 (CEST)

""It is important that this process is not rushed, otherwise there's a risk of "instability" (integrity loss; deformity, inhuman features, insanity, etc)."" ^_^
Please let me take care of updating TNZ first, at least (merging 2017 French into 2007 English). Besides, it doesn't look like we're fighting, so feel free to keep asking questions. --geyser (talk) 10:54, 22 May 2020 (CEST)
"the things you would like to keep of the material of others and mine" -- ooh, so I'd also have to (re)read all of RS/CB/SOW first (and either ask questions, or take some time to rationalize it on my own)... That could take a while, especially since I didn't plan for that kind of activity these days. --geyser (talk) 11:41, 22 May 2020 (CEST)
Honestly, it's faster for you to read it (at least, I know that's the case with my writing) than for me to explain it all again somewhere else on the wiki. --Iritscen (talk) 19:42, 22 May 2020 (CEST)
I think Dox's idea is that by re-stating our fetishes (with the most concise wording, and in a common space) we are more likely to achieve consensus in a reasonable time frame. I already work iteratively (i.e., paraphrasing what I said earlier is not a waste of time for me, more like an opportunity to "stir it up"). But we all have our methods and priorities, so, yeah. --geyser (talk) 23:16, 22 May 2020 (CEST)
P.S.: My writing is pretty focused and concise if you only look at Overview, Factions, and Story (only the "Wilderness" through "Daodan" sections would probably be of interest to you). Most of the meat is there. There's no actual plot, which was deliberate on my part. --Iritscen (talk) 19:51, 22 May 2020 (CEST)
I guess if you take some time to revisit your pages (as you've been doing) and/or invest in a one-page digest ("elevator pitch"), that will essentially be the same as what 'Dox is proposing. --geyser (talk) 23:20, 22 May 2020 (CEST)
I don't think I can sum it up more than I have on Overview. Any additional details given on the other pages are still in flux — for instance, exactly what's on the other side of the phase veil. I'm not willing to narrow down the possibilities more at this time, nor to write an explicit plot at all. I also don't necessarily endorse this idea of unification, but I couldn't help but reply when my name/project was mentioned ^_^ --Iritscen (talk) 00:28, 23 May 2020 (CEST)
So is "Oni 3 = yellow" beyond trimming, too, or what? "You are such a disappointment." - well, not, really, c.f. what I said above about "to each his own". --geyser (talk) 09:21, 23 May 2020 (CEST)