PDA

View Full Version : The best thing that happened in 'Lifeline'



HyperspaceDaemon
October 9th, 2007, 06:09 AM
There were both bad and good things to be said about 'Lifeline'.

The bad things first.
During the previous season, i had become more and more unhappy about the
uneven power balance in the Pegasus galaxy: the SGA team had extremely
powerful enemies and no friendly races at all. Even if the humans are the fifth
race and have great potential, the truth is that the SGA team always survives
thanks to incredible amounts of luck.
This makes some of the plots a little too exaggerated for my taste .


I had this feeling in 'Lifeline' as well : the team has escaped too easily from an
impossible situation.

For instance: the fact that dr. Weir is able to control her nanites in such a fine grade
that allows her to totally hack into the Asuran mainframes.
I can conceive that McKay connects his laptop to the nanites and uses them as
proxy for connecting further to the mainframes .
But I can't conceive that the human brain can instantly learn how to intuitively control
and interact with the nanites. In just a few seconds.
This is exactly as if i were connecting an usb stick to my fingers with some wires
and i were starting to read e-books directly from there !


The good things:
However, I am happy to forget about the exaggerated plot twists because the
writers have managed to significantly improve the city's strategic position in
only 3 episodes:
- the location of Atlantis is now unknown to others
- the bad ones will probably be at war with each other
- the city is properly fueled with energy


On conclusion : i am finally seeing a less exaggerated power balance in the
Pegasus galaxy. Now i'll be able to accept more easily that the SGA team
sneaks around unnoticed while the bad guys are busy with their war.

InUtero
October 9th, 2007, 07:56 AM
For instance: the fact that dr. Weir is able to control her nanites in such a fine grade
that allows her to totally hack into the Asuran mainframes.
I can conceive that McKay connects his laptop to the nanites and uses them as
proxy for connecting further to the mainframes .
But I can't conceive that the human brain can instantly learn how to intuitively control
and interact with the nanites. In just a few seconds.
This is exactly as if i were connecting an usb stick to my fingers with some wires


The good things:
However, I am happy to forget about the exaggerated plot twists because the
writers have managed to significantly improve the city's strategic position in
only 3 episodes:
- the location of Atlantis is now unknown to others
- the bad ones will probably be at war with each other
- the city is properly fueled with energy


On conclusion : i am finally seeing a less exaggerated power balance in the
Pegasus galaxy. Now i'll be able to accept more easily that the SGA team
sneaks around unnoticed while the bad guys are busy with their war.


Well if you remember Daniel Jackson was able to control the Replicator collective when he was linked to Rep Carter in Reckoning just through concentration of his mind, and considering that the Pegasus replicators are really the same in many ways then it is possible for Weir to do that as she was linked to Oberoth who in Pegusus terms is the same as Rep Carter.

I agree that Season 4 should be interesting with the new location and everything (I want to see that snake monster on the mainland they were talking about).

I think they could have stolen more than one ZPM though, they had a great opportunity to get as much as they could because they couldn't be detected until they went for the computer core.

Bakhesh
October 9th, 2007, 10:31 AM
For instance: the fact that dr. Weir is able to control her nanites in such a fine grade
that allows her to totally hack into the Asuran mainframes.
I can conceive that McKay connects his laptop to the nanites and uses them as
proxy for connecting further to the mainframes .
But I can't conceive that the human brain can instantly learn how to intuitively control
and interact with the nanites. In just a few seconds.
This is exactly as if i were connecting an usb stick to my fingers with some wires
and i were starting to read e-books directly from there !

If McKays laptop can control the Asuran mainframe, then why not Weirs brain. A human brain is a million times more powerful than a laptop. It is also much better at adapting to new problems and situations, whereas a laptop would stop at the first unexpecting thing that happened.

On top of this, Weir is pretty smart, and already speaks about 100 languages, so she must be good at communication. And the organic nature of her brain may be something the Asurans have simply not encountered before. They could be good at dealing with the rigorous logic of a computer, but completely flummoxed by the emotion and imagination of a human brain.

wise one
October 9th, 2007, 12:03 PM
i will qoute what a great mind once said

" space is quite vast"

bossluna
October 9th, 2007, 04:11 PM
i will qoute what a great mind once said

" space is quite vast"

buahahahaha! good one.

O'Neill is funny
October 9th, 2007, 06:53 PM
The replicators can use their beaming weapon to destroy the wraith from their own home. Who needs to leave the couch now?

Major Tyler
October 9th, 2007, 07:11 PM
On top of this, Weir is pretty smart, and already speaks about 100 languages...She speaks five languages, six if you include Ancient.

TheAccended
October 10th, 2007, 05:50 PM
Well if you remember Daniel Jackson was able to control the Replicator collective when he was linked to Rep Carter in Reckoning just through concentration of his mind, and considering that the Pegasus replicators are really the same in many ways then it is possible for Weir to do that as she was linked to Oberoth who in Pegusus terms is the same as Rep Carter.

I agree that Season 4 should be interesting with the new location and everything (I want to see that snake monster on the mainland they were talking about).

I think they could have stolen more than one ZPM though, they had a great opportunity to get as much as they could because they couldn't be detected until they went for the computer core.

I think Daniel was able to control the reps because of the Ancient Knowledge that Repla-Carter was retrieving from his mind. He was learning as she was learning and used that knowledge to gain temporary control.

Mitchell82
October 10th, 2007, 07:01 PM
I think Daniel was able to control the reps because of the Ancient Knowledge that Repla-Carter was retrieving from his mind. He was learning as she was learning and used that knowledge to gain temporary control.

Mabey but he was connected to the subspace link due to Replicarter having him in "her" world. Weir has milions of nanites in her blood the same kind that make up the Asurans and as someone else pointed out the human brain is a more effective computer than anyone could build. Weir was able to manipulate him because of that.

HyperspaceDaemon
October 14th, 2007, 09:06 AM
If McKays laptop can control the Asuran mainframe, then why not Weirs brain. A human brain is a million times more powerful than a laptop. It is also much better at adapting to new problems and situations, whereas a laptop would stop at the first unexpecting thing that happened.



Stating that "the human brain is more powerful than a laptop" is an
over-simplification because the human brain and a computer are
totally different things, with different origin and different purpose.

Unlike the human brain, a computer:
- shines at raw calculations
- does not understand the meaning of the data that it is processing
- it needs clear, step-by-step instructions
- doesn't think
- is much faster
- is completely incapable to do most of the things that are natural for
a human being to do (interpreting sound and images, speaking, etc).

In comparision, the human brain is amazing , but is very limited at
calculations and raw speed.

SG13-NightOps
October 15th, 2007, 05:30 AM
Stating that "the human brain is more powerful than a laptop" is an
over-simplification because the human brain and a computer are
totally different things, with different origin and different purpose.

Unlike the human brain, a computer:
- shines at raw calculations
- does not understand the meaning of the data that it is processing
- it needs clear, step-by-step instructions
- doesn't think
- is much faster
- is completely incapable to do most of the things that are natural for
a human being to do (interpreting sound and images, speaking, etc).

In comparision, the human brain is amazing , but is very limited at
calculations and raw speed.

If you have ever had to write the programs for the computer, you wouldnt think that. The Human Brain is adaptive. A computer ONLY does what a person has told it to do. Everything a computer does has to be conceived by the brain of a human first. I remember once I watched a show where a Mathematician calculated a sum times itself an unset number of times faster than the calculator the other guy was holding could just by pressing equals over and over. Our brains are far more capable of doing things than you seem to want to accept. You could be holding yourself back! ;)

That said, there is no set definition about how nanites work. They put her in an imaginary world. Its fair to say this kind of mental connection with the nanites was always to be expected.

HyperspaceDaemon
October 15th, 2007, 06:27 AM
If you have ever had to write the programs for the computer, you wouldnt think that.

Actually, I am writing computer programs. Daily.

That's why I'm saying that the two are not comparable : the brain is not a "powerful
computer". And a computer is not "a pathetic brain".

The computer is not supposed to duplicate what the human brain can do. It is
created to aid with certain data processing that are hard to do mentally or can't be
done at all by the brain.




The Human Brain is adaptive. A computer ONLY does what a person has told it to do. Everything a computer does has to be conceived by the brain of a human first. I remember once I watched a show where a Mathematician calculated a sum times itself an unset number of times faster than the calculator the other guy was holding could just by pressing equals over and over. Our brains are far more capable of doing things than you seem to want to accept. You could be holding yourself back! ;)


Oh yea? How fast can a human calculate the md5 sum of my "password" ? Or
create the HTTP, TCP, IP and ethernet data packets necessary for sending this posting
to the forum.gateworld.net server ? Or watch the favourite SGA episode by reading
the avi in hexadecimal and decode it mentally ?


Your example refers to a specific way of multiplying certain kinds of numbers. The
comparision is unfair: the computer is using the slow standard algorithm but the
mathematician is using a completely different, optimized, one. If the computer
was programmed to use the same optimized algorithm you can be sure that
the mathematician had no chance to calculate faster...

On the whole, the brain is superior. But not when it comes to speed and calculations.




That said, there is no set definition about how nanites work. They put her in an imaginary world. Its fair to say this kind of mental connection with the nanites was always to be expected.

That's true : debating what's possible in a SF show is often a waste of time because
it depends on what the authors want to make possible.

Yet, the idea of instant learning how to control some nanites simply doesn't fly
for me. It's too convenient for the plot .
Not to mention that the Asurans have no kind of authentication or security in
place - which is laughable.

SG13-NightOps
October 15th, 2007, 07:12 AM
Actually, I am writing computer programs. Daily.

That's why I'm saying that the two are not comparable : the brain is not a "powerful
computer". And a computer is not "a pathetic brain".

The computer is not supposed to duplicate what the human brain can do. It is
created to aid with certain data processing that are hard to do mentally or can't be
done at all by the brain.
Then you understand that its not fast until you get to the other end and have a working program.



Oh yea? How fast can a human calculate the md5 sum of my "password" ? Or
create the HTTP, TCP, IP and ethernet data packets necessary for sending this posting
to the forum.gateworld.net server ? Or watch the favourite SGA episode by reading
the avi in hexadecimal and decode it mentally ?


Your example refers to a specific way of multiplying certain kinds of numbers. The
comparision is unfair: the computer is using the slow standard algorithm but the
mathematician is using a completely different, optimized, one. If the computer
was programmed to use the same optimized algorithm you can be sure that
the mathematician had no chance to calculate faster...

On the whole, the brain is superior. But not when it comes to speed and calculations.
How does a computer get the "same optimized algorithm"? Its a function of a man's brain - not a program. Considering the guy had to verbalize every result, that slow calculator should have been able to keep up.





That's true : debating what's possible in a SF show is often a waste of time because
it depends on what the authors want to make possible.

Yet, the idea of instant learning how to control some nanites simply doesn't fly
for me. It's too convenient for the plot .
Not to mention that the Asurans have no kind of authentication or security in
place - which is laughable.

The "control" you spoke of in the first post, was not Weir hacking the mainframe. Her nanites are linked to the mainframe - always had been. Thats why Shep said No to using them to save Weir. McKay had to stop them transmitting to the asurans to save her life.
Then McKay, who is smart with these things, used that link to hack the mainframe, not Weir.
Finally, I doubt the Asurans expect people to infiltrate them that way, they are after all, arrogant - so lack of authentication seems reasonable. That, or McKay hacked his way through that as well.

You are crediting weir with far too much. McKay did it all, including reconnect her to the nanite network.

HyperspaceDaemon
October 15th, 2007, 10:59 AM
Then you understand that its not fast until you get to the other end and have a working program.

How does a computer get the "same optimized algorithm"? Its a function of a man's brain - not a program. Considering the guy had to verbalize every result, that slow calculator should have been able to keep up.


A computer needs to be programmed with both algorithms and with criteria for
choosing the best algorithm for a particular pair of numbers to be multiplied.
There is no such thing as "self-programming" computer, except in SF.



The "control" you spoke of in the first post, was not Weir hacking the mainframe. Her nanites are linked to the mainframe - always had been.

Not at all ... they've been disabled (like in "powered off") for a long time.



Thats why Shep said No to using them to save Weir. McKay had to stop them transmitting to the asurans to save her life.
Then McKay, who is smart with these things, used that link to hack the mainframe, not Weir.
Finally, I doubt the Asurans expect people to infiltrate them that way, they are after all, arrogant - so lack of authentication seems reasonable. That, or McKay hacked his way through that as well.

You are crediting weir with far too much. McKay did it all, including reconnect her to the nanite network.

I'm wondering whether we've watched the same episode.
Weir did not stand still (as a proxy) while McKay was "hacking" the network with
his tablet .

But instead : McKay has reconfigured the nanites to be unable to take control of Weir
and then re-enabled them to connect to the Asuran network.
After this, Weir was the one who started to visiualize the city , give step-by-step
instructions to the team, and even play games with the mind of the Asuran leader on
his own ground . So, I am indeed crediting dr.Weir for a lot of what happened in that
episode.

Schuey
October 18th, 2007, 03:49 AM
I liked the bit when Shepherd refers to the nanites as little [email protected]

I hope that this season really is darker than the previous ones, I want more action, more blood, more gore, basically more everything...

HyperspaceDaemon
October 18th, 2007, 04:29 AM
I liked the bit when Shepherd refers to the nanites as little [email protected]

I hope that this season really is darker than the previous ones, I want more action, more blood, more gore, basically more everything...

More action like in "more shooting"? There is plenty of that already. That's not a
good direction for improvement .

From my point of view the best idea would be to split all the plots in two parts : less
episodes but better created. In Stargate i often have the feeling that they needed 10
more minutes : the solutions to the various are rushed in the last 4 minutes of the
episode .
The two-part episodes are generally much more interesting because there is
more time to develop the plot and introduce plot twists .

SG13-NightOps
October 18th, 2007, 11:43 AM
A computer needs to be programmed with both algorithms and with criteria for
choosing the best algorithm for a particular pair of numbers to be multiplied.
There is no such thing as "self-programming" computer, except in SF.
So basically, by the time you have finished programming the right algorithm into the computer, the mathematician has finished and is having dinner. Ok.



Not at all ... they've been disabled (like in "powered off") for a long time.
Yes - by an EMP. I am not referring to the time when they were turned off. What good is that? They didnt do anything turned off and their being turned off at any point in time adds nothing to this debate.
I think everyone can accept as canon that while active, the nanites maintain an indefinite link to the mainframe by design. Its not some genius idea that McKay implemented - its what they do.



I'm wondering whether we've watched the same episode.
Weir did not stand still (as a proxy) while McKay was "hacking" the network with his tablet .

But instead : McKay has reconfigured the nanites to be unable to take control of Weir and then re-enabled them to connect to the Asuran network.
After this, Weir was the one who started to visiualize the city , give step-by-step instructions to the team, and even play games with the mind of the Asuran leader on his own ground . So, I am indeed crediting dr.Weir for a lot of what happened in that episode.


So because she could "see" the city in her head AFTER McKay reconnected her nanites to the collective, thats her hacking? The schematics and a few directions does not amount to hacking in my books. Its reading a map. One that McKay provided for her. HE connected her undetected to the mainframe, HE found the attack command. She gave directions by looking at a map that was like memory.

Don't get me started on the whole hand in the head thing... I have NEVER accepted that stupid plot device. Both Replicators and Nanites are still solid matter and neither their hands nor our heads suddenly become incorporeal to make it easy to go sticking their hands in.

HyperspaceDaemon
October 19th, 2007, 12:37 AM
So basically, by the time you have finished programming the right algorithm into the computer, the mathematician has finished and is having dinner. Ok.

Come on ...
The word "computer" comes from the verb "to compute".
The computers were created in the first place to free us from with the
tedious and boring need of computing numbers . And they are not
supposed to mimic or replace what the human brain can do (they
won't do that in the foreseeable future) , but they are doing well
(and fast ) their job : to compute numbers !

Ok, there are probably a few corner cases where a good mathematician could
find some faster ways to multiply certain kinds of numbers. But these corner
cases are maybe 0.001% of the total number of multiplication operations that the mankind
needs to be performed daily? Also, you are forgetting to take into considerations all
those years of study that allowed your mathematician to be able to observe that
he can use some shortcuts and find the right answer quicker.

I am accepting that you've seen an interesting case, but one particular case is
not enough to claim that the human brain is able to compute numbers faster.
You are making this generalization way too easily.

( what about : i see a taxi driver dressed in green and i state "wow: the taxi
drivers are wearing green today !" . I hope that it's obvious that this kind of
generalization is a big logical flaw . )




Yes - by an EMP. I am not referring to the time when they were turned off. What good is that? They didnt do anything turned off and their being turned off at any point in time adds nothing to this debate.
I think everyone can accept as canon that while active, the nanites maintain an indefinite link to the mainframe by design. Its not some genius idea that McKay implemented - its what they do.

T1 = the moment when the nanites were re-activated in order to repair dr.Weir
T2 = the moment where the team arrived in the Asuran city and McKay did
whatever he did to connect Weir's nanites to the network

During the period T1-T2 the nanites were certainly active, but disconnected from the
Asuran network - regardless how they were "designed" to perform.



So because she could "see" the city in her head AFTER McKay reconnected her nanites to the collective, thats her hacking? The schematics and a few directions does not amount to hacking in my books. Its reading a map. One that McKay provided for her. HE connected her undetected to the mainframe, HE found the attack command. She gave directions by looking at a map that was like memory.


For me, the whole thing seemed as if Weir had instantly learned a new language
(which is the Asurans' communication/control protocol). And the humans can't
just "adapt" to new languages instantly : it takes months or years .

By the way : if McKay was so capable to re-program the nanites so well , why
didn't he do the same in the episode when Weir was infected in the first place?
The poor woman had weird illusions with an alternate life in a hospital for a
whole episode , until they've found a way to disable them.
But now apparently it has become trivial for McKay to re-program the nanites !

These are just simplistic plot twists that aren't supposed to be consistent or
logical , but are convenient for saving the show's heroes from impossible
situations.




Don't get me started on the whole hand in the head thing... I have NEVER accepted that stupid plot device. Both Replicators and Nanites are still solid matter and neither their hands nor our heads suddenly become incorporeal to make it easy to go sticking their hands in.


In this case why are we debating ?!
My whole point was that the 'Lifeline' plot was exaggerated for many reasons , but
overall it had one good thing : they've started the war between the two bad enemy
races (this war will hopefully make the survival of the SGA team more plausible ).