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April 25, 2003

Playing to lose

Aida-kun ( writes:

Maybe 343 Guilty Spark had some agenda he wanted to pursue away from the Halo, but was forced to watch over it as Monitor by directives programmed by the Forerunners. He couldn't directly go against his preprogrammed directives, but he COULD play to lose -- make "mistakes" at certain junctures, such as failing to activate the mass sterilization protocols until the Covenant freed the Flood.

If you've read The Ringworld Engineers, you'll know what I mean with [SPOILER if you haven't] Teela's inability to allow them to succeed -- so she fails, to achieve a more important goal than immediate victory. [END SPOILER] With the Halo and (hopefully!) Flood destroyed beyond salvaging, 343 GS cannot continue his duties as Monitor, therefore is free to do whatever he wants, within any other limitations he has. I think the assumption that he's angry about the destruction of Halo is not one we can safely make...


Speaking of programming, Darryl Henderson comments,

Could GS 343's insanity have been caused by a programming conflict? (Think of HAL-9000 in 2001: A Space Odysey and the resulting diagnosis found in the sequel 2010: The Year We make Contact.) GS could have unknowingly comitted an act that was in conflict with his programming, and it snowballed into insanity.

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