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What is the custodian's conscience?

-- cynical (, April 17, 2002


What is the conscienc's conscience?

-- Logo (, April 17, 2002.

Correct. Or rather -to word this better- when the custodian is forced to react, what are its motives, values, etc. Does it influence a person's behavior if that particular person does not do any 'wrong' moves... ?

-- cynical (, April 18, 2002.

I would've thought the custodian, as well as keeping someone from doing the wrong thing in general, compells them to remain perceptive of and act on all the good deeds they may be able to accomplish.

-- Sam (, April 18, 2002.

Do you mean the custodian would react at different times depending on the situation & how the hosts state of mind was affected. Or is it controlling the host completely from the moment of secured entry, as in it reacts immediately and establishes its hosts moral requirements regardless, predetermining his or her behaviour from there. I seem to recall a change of facial expression come over Bambara (is that his name? I cant remember) just after the custodians insertion, that indicated the latter to me, I figured hed just been reprogrammed. However I guess it could well be that the custodian reactions are indeed that, reactions, so a host with a perfect conscience would not change. Upon suddenly gaining a conscience, did Bambara feel guilt and remorse for his past evil acts? If yes, is that why he was so generous to the boy? Was he starting to make amends? Or, does the custodian opperate on a more constant level, with simpler intentions. Perhaps it assimilates the hosts bad thoughts into good thoughts, but indeed good thoughts of an equal magnitude to the bad thoughts(Did Bambara not intially have some kind of snarl on his face which turned into a grin, or something). It could be that the Custodian was forced to react, because of Bambara's nasty state of mind & we witness the assimilation visually, the change in facial expression being reflective of what is going on inside his mind and perhaps also reflective of the way the custodian works. When Bambara wakes up and notices the boy, his true self probably would have done something horrible to the kid, (the opening scenes do build on his being a rather malicious bastard, I recall his instantly lunging at Trevor) instead he commits an act of extreme generosity, donating his arm to the complete stranger. Sort of the opposite of what you'd expect right. In the scene when Aeon infiltrates Bambaras eating booth, he simply whatches with a a smile as she renders him unconscience. Was this because his normal self would surely have attempted to stop her with violence & the opposite of that would have been to accept her actions with a smile? If the Custodian already had its own specific conscience mabey it felt that a man like Bambara should die so it had him remain unresisting knowing through his memorys that she was his assasin. Or perhaps Trevor programmed the custodian to allow harm to come to Bambara.

-- Sam (, April 18, 2002.

The Custodian does not HAVE a conscience, it IS a conscience. To have a conscience implies making a choice, for ill or for good, yet the Custodian itself does not make a choice, it is simply the counteractive force by which a choice is made. You may as well ask yourself what kind of conscience your own conscience has. The question becomes a ridiculous labyrinth of ever decreasing consciences. However, if you mean what values is the Custodian programmed with, that is different, and we don't know other than to say that they were probably programmed by Trevor. An interesting thing about conscience though, is that since it does involve choice, that implies that each individual would get a Custodian that is custom made for their "needs." The act of utilizing your conscience requires a synthesis of competing force - your desires and your morals - so for those with more wicked desires, stronger morals would be required to control them. Of course that assumes that the Custodian is in fact a conscience. If everyone who is implanted acts the same way, that could also mean that their wills have been completely overrided and their is no choice at all. Regardless of how it is accomplished though, the end result seems to be the same.

-- Logo (, April 18, 2002.

Since the custodian is Trevor's invention -what is Trevor's conscience? And how does the custodian sway a person's conscience? Does it "control" ? Questions of that sort - of course I know the custodian doesn't have a conscience... You see, I made you say that Logo, by using vagueness. But that right there -is that control, or what? Is that how we attempt to control situations -by correctly predicting events and having prepared reactions for them? Is that what the custodian does?

-- cynical (, April 18, 2002.

I guess that's a very loose definition of control, so nevermind.

But the question still stands: in the whole ethics of the episode -what are the values the custodian has been programmed with?

-- cynical (, April 18, 2002.

To elaborate:

Let me pick out specific examples from the episode to be clear about what I'm talking about. The question I'm asking is in regards to the custodian itself.... it's hard to explain without going abstract. Humor me, Logo. Here are the cases which I find semi-significant:

1. "...when the need for illusion is deep." -said by Trevor while looking at a screen of Bambara. Custodian/Artificial conscience = illusion? Is it Trevor's conscience? Trevor doesn't act like he has a custodian...

2. After the implant, Bambara introduces himself to the kid: "Hi. My name is Bamabara. I'm a fir-tee six year old Vergo and a former KILLER, who's hobbies include..." etc. etc. Is this enough to say that the custodian's conscience (and when I say the "custodian's conscience" Logo, you know I mean its values/programming, function/cause, etc.) dictates that telling the truth is a favorable trait in a "good" conscience, EVEN IF the information (in this case, Bambara's past) hurts the individual?

3. When Bambara buys the balloons from the kid, Bambara releases the balloons into the air. Probably not significant. Do you suppose this means that the custodian's programming puts more value on supporting the boy (donating money) rather than keeping/possessing the bought items? OR is it simply the exchange itself that is important? In our society do we align a good conscience with one who values a feeling/experience over material objects?

4. Whistling tune replaces "Piss OFF!!" Bambara's catch-phrase "Piss oFF!!" is a component of Bambara's personality, I take it, but it also contains anger and aggression. The custodian is changing Bambara's... identity now... ?? He is different, that's for sure - he's not quite the same. He is not Bambara with additions -he doesn't have his regular behavior overlayed with the "good" conscience. Here, his impulses are being replaced completely and his "old" behavior is inhibited. Same person?

5. Bambara gives his arm to the kid. But even more impressive - - - he tells the boy that he loves him (!!!) and that he's "what it's all about." (!) Exaggeration of 3. Bambara's actions suggest that the custodian's conscience enforces empathy and sacrifice -are these important traits in a "good" conscience? In a much different context, "sacrifice" can be used for destructive purposes (September 11th)... Also, is this incident enough evidence to say that the custodian places "love" as an important trait in being "good"? So what is apathy then? The gray between "good" and "evil"?

6. The general nature of Bambara (see 4). Bambara seems to be more carefree -almost as if he's not thinking. His behavior is very... in my eyes, diluted. Is ignorance somewhat = to having a "good" conscience (according to the custodian)?? How might a child, with no moral bearings, act with a custodian?

7. Custodian removed from Bambara. So we're on the stage with Bambara after he's broken down the wall. He knows everything that has happened to him; he was aware, but not in control of his own body. Does a good conscience require that one does the "right" thing naturally -without having to think twice about it? If so, Bambara is not truly "good" being himself, he quite possible might not have the capacity to do so if he behaves the way he does -this validates 1... ?

8. Higher-order conscience levels. Aeon to shoot Bambara who is a threat to society, at the cost of an innocent person's life. In the beginning - it was a... bluff (to scare Bambara)?? Take two- Bambara and Trevor. Is the situation different in that Aeon knows Trevor? Flips the lever -custodian-style- we now have no Trevor and an audience, displeased with Bambara's reaction ("...dirty carbuncle, festering... !!"), that kills (??) off Bambara. So many what-ifs... : (

From what we learned (??) about custodians, do we know if the audience is implanted? Can we tell if Aeon is implanted? Can we really know for sure? Does this validate 1?? In "moral" people, is the illusion there? In really bad people is the need for illusion deeper? Deepest?? In 4, is the extreme of "good" behavior evntually harmful and self-destructive?

-- cynical (, April 18, 2002.

"In the scene when Aeon infiltrates Bambaras eating booth, he simply whatches with a a smile as she renders him unconscience. Was this because his normal self would surely have attempted to stop her with violence & the opposite of that would have been to accept her actions with a smile? If the Custodian already had its own specific conscience mabey it felt that a man like Bambara should die so it had him remain unresisting knowing through his memorys that she was his assasin. Or perhaps Trevor programmed the custodian to allow harm to come to Bambara." -Serious Sam ;)

You bring up a good point here. In a whole different point of view, Aeon seems to be the harmful one. She is acting in a manner that, not only undermines the grain of Breen society, but, in this case, she may actually be the bad one. When she considers killing Bambara, there is no way we can tell what she is thinking. She stops because she has a conscience, but what she considers is grounds for a good debate. Since she was returning Bambara to his regular being, she realizes that he will be harmful to society again... ? Why didn't she just kill him when he had the custodian? But by then, the custodian tries desperately to dive into Aeon's navel.

I am reminded of why I decided to phrase it that way, Logo. I say, "the custodian's conscience" because it suggests that the custodian has its own set of moral values in different situations for different individuals. Given, it's a program and not a human being with a conscience, can we say that the custodian's values in arbitrating a person is its conscience? We also cannot pin the custodian's conscience (programming) on any individual -not even Trevor. The custodian's conscience is its own non-biased (?) programming -meaning, if Trever were around, the custodian would probably try to dive into him as well, and cause him to behave differently. True?

-- cynical (, April 18, 2002.

"this is what happens when a great deal of intelligence is invested in ignorance, when the need for illusion is deep"

Ironic, because with the Custodian, Trevor is investing a great deal of *his* intelligence in keeping people ignorant... and because he is creating an "illusion" of Bambara. Notice that Trevor is watching Bambara on (through?) a screen (filter?). Considering the guy's breathing down his neck, CCTV is probably not the best option.

"you're what it's all about" is just a funny Clinton-ism, IMO... think of the children, Bambara! :)

-- Inu (, April 18, 2002.

Also, isn't Trevor's toy in one of those balloons?

-- Inu (, April 18, 2002.

Hahaha!!! Good point! Why do you need to watch Bambara on a screen when the bastard's right behind you?? (Pardon the language) Doesn't make any sense I tell you!!

-- cynical (, April 19, 2002.

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