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TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization 
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Post TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
I really like your idea, it's great and unique


Last edited by henryblack on Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:18 am, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:12 am
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Post Re: TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
If you assume that the Tron Legacy plot of deploying an army from within the machine to take over the world would have worked, and I guess even if it didn't if you account for the realization of Quorra, then you're breaking the laws of physics really really hard. Re-outputting someone who'd been previously absorbed in a different configuration, but generating new person sized masses from direct conversion would take multiple days of the entire earth's power output per person. So for it to work that way you'd have to break conservation of energy, and then you've got about the hardest post-scarcity technology possible.

What would be the effect of that? It'd be the most disruptive technology in the history of mankind. If one person or organization could control it they could be gods. If it got into everyone's hands you'd have chaos. Maybe things would sort out to be a star trekian utopia after enough time, but in the short term... what if anyone who had a grudge could just print a loyal army? Or a battleship? Or an ICBM? What if everyone who felt they didn't have enough time in the day could just ctrl-c ctrl-v themselves? The consequences are extremely open-ended.

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Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:47 am
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Post Re: TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
This would be essentially the same technology as Star Trek's transporter, and it would completely transform anything to do with transportation or fabrication. It could also be used to transform medicine, as you could probably tweak the settings to alter the properties of people being transported in or out, to cure diseases, repair injury, reset someone's age or physical state, or bring them back from the dead. The problem, of course, is that it's a completely anachronistic technology; it's far too advanced even for Star Trek's 24th Century tech, to say nothing of TRON's 1980's tech. There's not enough memory in all the computers that have ever existed to store the information required to describe every particle that makes up a single human being, and as Siber mentions, if you're converting matter to energy and back again, that's quite a lot of energy.

The original TRON didn't explicitly say that they were converting matter to energy; rather that they were "digitizing" Flynn. The computer version of Flynn was a sort of special program, rather than a virtual copy of the real Flynn. Flynn and the other programs in the virtual world didn't follow the same rules of physics as in the real world; they were sort of digital abstractions with gray skin and glowing circuitry, that could drink energy, divert beams, have magic energy sex (in a deleted scene), etc. It was a very different reality. Flynn was somehow converted into data, not energy. Computers aren't energy storage devices; you can digitize someone and store that information in a computer, but if you convert matter to energy, you can't "put" that energy into a computer; it has to go somewhere else. We could suppose that Flynn's molecules were digitized and stored somewhere in the ENCOM laser system, and then returned when he was magically spat back out. If he had really been converted to energy, that would be more energy than many, many thermonuclear explosions.

TRON Legacy, on the other hand, depicted the Grid as a one-for-one simulation of reality (Flynn Jr. still has a physical body with blood, etc., and the circuitry-like elements are just clothing and gear), so the idea of moving entities back and forth between the Grid and reality is more straightforward, but it doesn't address the energy component of the matter to energy conversion. It also kind of glosses over how the virtual beings (I don't recall if they were still called Programs) operate in the real world; they don't have flesh or blood, and a lot of their devices don't seem to follow the laws of physics. Was Quorra brought into the real world as-is, or was she transmogrified into a human? I don't think it's clear.

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Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:37 am
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Post Re: TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
hi hi

It was my impression that they implied in Legacy that the digital world was full of unexpected properties and perhaps not entirely contained within the physical computer in the real world, but existed partially outside of it.

In any sci-fi setting where someone finds a workaround for thermodynamics though, it would have consequences for human society that are difficult to predict, and even more difficult for an audience to wrap their heads around. Star Trek: The Next Generation started out trying to work in a post-scarcity world, but they had to backpedal on that because it just didn't make sense to audiences, and it turned into a bit of a muddled mess.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:46 pm
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Post Re: TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
The impression I got was that in original Tron, yes Flynn and those in the know at ENCOM thought indeed they were converting mater into energy by making a digitized facsimile of a real world object converting it into an approximation of an analog signal sustainted on a digital matrix, but what Flynn discovered when he was restructuring the Grid with Clue, and came to full realization while he was trapped in the coup by Clue was that the digital realm the 'Grid' was not contained in a computer... it was not a digital realm inside a computer at all... it was a quantum reality created by the digital computer. Don't think of the ENCOM system as a mater/energy convertor... its a dimensional transporter... it open a portal to a quantum reality that is semi-created or more likely the result of the real world digital computers of our reality... a "perifery realm"... sort of like the shadow of a 3 dimensional object. In effect our computers of our 3 dimensional reality create a shadow dimension on a quantum level that that we can enter and vaguely is defined loosely by our societies vast computer data that is growing and evolving, sort of like an emerging consciousness,...a 'ghost' of our reality created inadvertly by the emerging consciousness of our growing vast amounts of data and processing power of our computer machines.

That deep enough for you? Flynn Jr and Quorra did not create a body of mater for her ... she was transported from her quantum universe to our 3 dimensional reality.

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Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:45 am
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Post Re: TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
sunphoenix wrote:
..quantum reality that is semi-created or more likely the result of the real world digital computers of our reality... a "perifery realm"... sort of like the shadow of a 3 dimensional object. In effect our computers of our 3 dimensional reality create a shadow dimension on a quantum level that that we can enter and vaguely is defined loosely by our societies vast computer data that is growing and evolving, sort of like an emerging consciousness,...a 'ghost' of our reality created inadvertly by the emerging consciousness of our growing vast amounts of data and processing power of our computer machines.


Reminds me somewhat of one of the main topics in Ghost in the Shell in general and GITS: Solid State Society more specifically, i.e. blurring of the real and virtual and people's minds subconsciously creating new sentience in the virtual world and so on.


Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:07 pm
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Post Re: TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
Wow... I had not expected my comment to END the discussion.. so sad.

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Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:08 pm
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Post Re: TRON Tech and How It Would Effect Civilization
How did I miss this thread?

I remember getting into a fairly detailed discussion regarding Tron tech, specifically regarding a Mass Effect crossover. Let me just dig up some of my old ruminations and pare out some of the extraneous details...

Quote:
The thing about Tron is that pretty much everything in it results in a singularity event; it becomes nigh impossible to predict how human culture and technology develops as a result.

The first major aspect is the time dilation factor. The thirty years that Kevin Flynn was trapped in the Grid for equated to about a thousand years of subjective time for him. That, in and of itself, is massive for technological, sociological, and even material reasons. Put an R&D lab on the grid and they can more or less outpace any amount of competition in a few short years.

It gets a bit sticky when you put people on the grid. Sure, you get huge sociological changes when your population can be effectively immortal due to the medical treatments you can now achieve (code that cancer away!), but consider the population factor. Put a thousand people on the grid, leave them there for 30 years. When you return, you'll have roughly 21 million people at a 1% growth rate, assuming of course that those born on the grid age 'naturally' and can in turn have children of their own. The main sticking factor is whether they age in line with the grid, or if they age in line with the physical reality, or some combination. If they age in line with physical reality, as is the case with Flynn, then children wouldn't meaningfully age for centuries of subjective time, meaning they'd need to be raised in physical reality to take any real advantage. On the other hand, if they age in grid time, then children of the grid would need to be pushed out into physical reality to ensure a lengthier lifespan, but then we have the conundrum of how users get to be immortal while children born on the grid do not. Alternatively we go for a half-way solution, and have additional programming on the grid that ages children to the age of majority before the graceful User orientated aging aspect of the grid kicks in, which is probably the best but also the most powerful combination.

So, in short, assuming a best-case scenario, a majority of the Tron Earth's population likely resides in grids. Assuming that the grid became public knowledge in 2012, and that widespread adoption of grid technology was achieved in 2030, then by 2157, that would be 4000 years of technological development and population growth courtesy of the grid. Assuming a starting population of three billion to relieve environmental and population pressures, to say nothing of starvation et al, and assuming the same 1% growth rate over that time, you get a population of: 5,789,171,098,419,500,000,000,000.

I don't even know what that number is. Let me look it up.

Okay. That's the better part of 5 septillion living in digital reality, plus a few billion living in physical reality and colonising outer space. I can't even begin to guess what the politics and social factors are given the immense population disparity between physical and digital reality are for the internal workings of The Alliance, let alone what the galactic repercussions would be of essentially out-populating the entire galaxy would be.

This isn't even taking into account the effect that grid based technologies and mass effect technological development would have. Grid tech is clearly broken, and CLU seemed to believe that it would work perfectly well in physical reality. I don't have the time to speculate on that right this second, but I'm guessing that any first contact war scenario is an instant stomp in favour of humanity if they're fully invested. If the digital reality humans aren't concerned by such a war, it becomes more of a tossup, but the added technological development and light based weapons tech is a massive advantage.

And don't get me started on programs. Honestly, this is just scratching the surface. If I didn't have work, I could probably write a god damned dissertation on this.


Quote:
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Quote:
Wait... The Reapers would likely have similar technology, unless it went full HFY.

Maybe that's what they mean by each of them being a nation and preserving organics, that each contains a Grid hosting the minds of the species it was made from?


I imagine so, it's just that they use the messy goopification method of digitising living beings instead of good clean and efficient lasers.

That being said though, since the Reapers are more or less Paperclip Maximisers with the goal of PRESERVE SENTIENT LIFE AT ALL COSTS set to max, their version of the grid is likely a zoo of some kind or a permanent formaldehyde prison. The biggest problem with life is that it's alive. That which is dead may never die, Ia Ia Cthulhu Fthagn etc.

That being said, I figure the Reapers are also the answer the Tron's biggest questions; what if the MCP or CLU had won?

You basically get an AI that has a single goal in complete control of a system. The MCP valued control above all else. Humans are an uncontrollable element; it would have turned against humanity in your bog standard Skynet scenario. CLU on the other hand valued perfection. Humans aren't exactly perfect, and thus you would have had the same situation arising for different reasons. In the case of the Reapers, the Starbrat is their version of CLU or the MCP. There was no Leviathan Kevin Flynn to stop it. The Starbrat represents order and control, which it views as absolutely necessary towards preserving sentient life at all costs.

Contrast this with the grid as envisioned by Flynn, an open system, a living world with deep connections between physical and digital reality. If Reapers represent the order and control required to preserve sentient life, then the grid and Flynn's vision represents the freedom and perhaps even the chaos it needs to flourish like it never has before.

To put it in basic terms, Grid-tan wants to be your waifu, while Reaper-tan is an isolating type yandere with unlimited power.


And now that you can't get that image out of your head, a few more thoughts.

In my prior post I ruminated about population at a natural rate of growth. Emphasis on the word natural here. In Legacy Flynn created a copy of himself and called him CLU, but it was fairly clear from the get go that he was a program through and through. Still, there's no real reason he couldn't have a perfect clone of himself other than "I'm not touching that ethical problem with a barge pole". If ethics go out the window, there's no reason you can't just clone all the humans you want from a simple copy/paste command.

Of course, that's completely and totally bullshit. For one, I figure nobody would sign off on that, ever, if they had the choice, and no government would either, if they hadn't banned it outright from the get go. Things do get a bit tricky when it comes to programs though. They need to be able to be copied and pasted as needed in order to even function, so I figure that would get grandfathered in, and that in turn basically gives you loads and loads of programs to draw from, which in turn means you can have all the medics, soldiers, expert technicians, or <<Insert Desired Profession Here>> that you could ask for.

I figure this could be balanced out as most programs being essentially rote performers of their task (BASICS) with only a few capable of innovation, learning and so on (WISE). Most programs are BASIC. They do their thing and aren't very much good for anything outside that task, soldiers, troopers and various others are essentially BASIC. If you know that the Light Trooper is going to throw in a left hook, just like the five other guys before him, then you can easily counter his move and eliminate him because he's a rote fighter.

Tron on the other hand, and programs like him of course, are WISE programs. They can innovate, learn, and do things that other programs can only dream of. They blur the line between User and Program for this reason, and leads into my next point.

ISO's. If conditions are right in the grid, this spontaneously produces ISO's, digital life made manifest in the human form. It's hard to tell if they're human, alien, artificial life form, or something else entirely. Perhaps they're the end product of what WISE programs had. They were complex, intelligent, wise, perhaps a bit naive and if Quorra was any indication, human to the core. Hmm. Perhaps they're the bridge between humanity and program? I also figure that humans and ISO's can age and die, but Programs are immortal until derezzed, which would be another fundamental difference that sets them apart. It also serves as a bridge between the settings. Tron is still around, and he still fights for the user.

Spoiler: show
All of this of course would send heads in Citadel space spinning. At this point you kind of have to ask what the hell an AI is when you can have programs pop out of friend computer, to say nothing of the Geth. The way I see it, as intimated in my earlier Reaper example, an AI is essentially a CLU or MCP that's acting out in the physical world. They have no convenient digitisers to begin their invasion, so they're lashing out the only way that they can.

The Geth are a bit different. Because of the quirk in how they were programmed and how their intelligence evolved, they're essentially an aggregate of BASIC programs that, when acting in concert, can give rise to emergent WISE behaviour. The more programs working together, the more WISE behaviour they can partake in. Put enough Geth in an area and you might even generate Geth ISO's under the right conditions. Geth ISO's would effectively be their end goal, and would likely be what Legion gained in canon if you saved the Geth in ME3.

So, yeah. Council reaction would likely be to shit many bricks until a lot of stuff gets clarified or sorted out. Eventually the Citadel has to begin adopting this technology for their own use, and I really do mean that they have to, if they don't want to be completely outclassed in the coming years. With grid technology, humans, even if you discount their population factor, can plan, research, and manufacture everything faster than the Citadel could ever hope, transport vastly more goods at the barest fractions of their costs. It'd be like a stone age society trying to fight an information age one in terms of sheer manpower, industrial output, military might and so on. Anyone that fails to adopt grid tech for themselves is rapidly outpaced and absorbed by those that do. It takes the book of civilisation and throws it out the window, then starts a new book in digital format.

I figure that out of the council species, the salarians will likely have the highest rate of adoption, followed by the turians and the asari. Salarians get an especially good deal, given their much shorter lifespans, and would probably have the highest percentage of their population go digital out of the non-human species, set to overtake humans by the end of the century. They'd likely start using programs as proxies to physical reality, perhaps even legalise limited digital cloning of individuals. Of course, this assumes that aging hasn't been nixed entirely already. It's likely that salarian systems produce a higher amount of WISE and ISO type programs in comparison to human systems.

The turians would be idiots not to see the benefits of grid technology. It cuts down on training times, gives them access to immense amounts of personnel in the form of programs and potential ISO's, it boosts manufacturing, practically eliminates logistics, the list goes on. The asari are a bit of a mixed bag. They're probably the most hesitant to take to grid tech on the basis of the teleport problem, and the lengthier lifespan is not as attractive since a thousand years is quite a lot to work with anyway. Of course, anyone who wants more than a thousand years will still jump at this. Generally, I'd say that the societies more open to innovation and change are going to benefit from this a lot more than the entrenched and conservative ones, who will quickly find themselves increasingly irrelevant in the face of an increasingly rapidly changing galaxy.




TL;DR: The time dilation factor combined with extended lifespans offered by the grid is as much a singularity event as having an effectively post-scarcity society. You've effectively got two singularities happening at the same time. Is there a term for a singularity that's been squared? Squareularity? :P

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