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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:57 am 
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Now how did I miss this interesting little development for so long? I must say, I think we have a rather large clue on our hands as to who Minerva is and what she wants.

Consider first this quote:
Quote:
Processes: 76 total, 3 running, 1 stuck, 72 sl4eeping... 322 threads 15:39:16
Load Avg: 0.63, 0.62, 0.59 PCH hfntr: 34.65% hfrr, 9.21% sys, 56.14% idle
SharedLibs: num = 8, resident = 48M code, 1376K data, 3792K linkedit.
MemRegions: num = 18621, resident = 417M + 21M private, 222M shared.
PhysMem: 165M wired, 5sr33M active, 284M inactive, 989M used, 35Z serr.
IZ: 7852Z + 374Z 436867(0) cntrvaf, 246664(0) cntrbhgf

I freely confess to being a bit of a computer geek, but you don't need much computer knowledge to see the following: Minerva has access to one heck of a computer system. To have access to 322 threads suggests some kind of data center, even a small supercomputer, or a portion of some larger construct (although I must say that the idea of Minerva willingly sharing such power is farfetched at best). She also seems to be using a great deal of this computing power; notably, however nearly half her threads are "sl4eeping". To me, this implies a sort of dependence on her computing power - to leave nearly half of her work in apparent sleep mode would indicate that she cannot simply stop what she's doing. So it would seem that she is a (partially?) computer based being (transhuman?), or an AI of some kind. The sleeping threads are those aspects of herself she simply doesn't need at the moment.

Another idea: the system has been compromised, and rather than just shut everything down, she put whatever the previous user(s) were doing in sleep mode, so that she could leave as quietly as possible. That could explain why things are so broken looking.

So what do we gain from all of this? In summary: Minerva's existence is at least partially computer based. AI? Human personality mapped into a computer program? Half-biological, have-technological transhuman? I think its safe to say one of these is at least the right idea. Minerva wouldn't be using that kind of system unless she needed to - she needs those threads, those processes, those memory regions. Unless, of course, there are competing theories, I think we can safely work with that.


Last edited by Terrapin on Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:41 am 
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I don't think you have any clue what a Thread is in Computer Science. A program, when executed is called a process. Each process has a number of threads, which it has complete control over. A thread is a piece of a program that executes for a while, then stops and lets the next thread execute for a while, and so on. That's how Windows work, multiple threads running at once, almost. Many programs use a few threads and some a few more, very few Win32 programs use only one thread.
My system is a standard 1GB machine and it's running kinda idle right now, yet I have 511 threads running already. That's twice as such as the machine above, and I'm idle, and I'm using no super computer.

What freaks me out is that Adam used the megabyte unit incorrectly, instead of MB he just wrote M. It doesn't make much sense except from formatting. In case it means Megabyte, that computer has just above 1GB memory available. Seeing the Combine Invalid happened somewhere this century, from 2000 to 2009, this isn't terribly much.

She has access to much better data terminals, than this little machine, no doubt. But yeah, your theory is flawed.

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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:25 pm 
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Maybe the computer that produced the above output (hereafter referred to as the 'traitor machine' because that's the filename of the page, and I like the sound of it) is the cpu of a combine soldier of some sort, or rather the computer based part of their implants.
Herself has shown her aptitude at subverting combine kit, and what other computer hardware is out there and accessible after the 7 hour war has presumably taken care of most of humanity's machines?
As for it being part of a combine soldiers implant, well, that's just fancy on my part. It could equally be the cpu of one of those hovery robots that takes pictures of you, or even a manhack...


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:57 pm 
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Well, it does indeed look like I got a few steps ahead of myself. I saw threads and immediately though of threads as in how many instructions a computer can process at a time, or something like that - I'm into computers and all, but I've never taken any really in-depth courses on how they work. I saw "threads" in the sense that a Q6600 processor has four threads, while an E8400 has two (or is that the wrong interpretation?). By my logic then, a parallel computing system, supercomputer, or some such group of computers could have tens, even hundreds of threads. You know more than I do about this, but by your reckoning, that kind of system set-up just doesn't make sense given what Minerva seems to be doing.

From what we see in the image, we can gather that Minerva is doing some fairly high-end work. We don't know what it is, but I can almost guarantee that it's something that would require more threads than a common computer does now. By your counting, I have 650 threads running, and all I've got open are three Firefox windows. Also by your observations, Minerva's computer has half the memory mine does. To handle that kind of data, Minerva would need to be running way more than 322 threads. And we still have to consider that half the processes she's running are apparently sleeping.

My point is this: from a technical, objective standpoint, my observations, and thus my theories, are flawed, and you're absolutely correct. But take a practical look at things and realize that: one, by your method, Minerva's computer is, by your interpretation, not much better than a modern PC, two, the work she's doing is certainly more intensive than surfing the internet, and three, that she has, using this system and that (purportedly) modest amount of computing resources, hacked into the computer system of an incredibly advanced alien species. All three of these seem to violate common sense. However, I'm always one to give both credit and respect where it is due; you seem to know more about this than I do. You seem to know your stuff, which leaves my theories in limbo at best. In my mind though, while your ideas looks better on paper, they just don't match with the data we have. By all means, however, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how Minerva does what she does with a computer less advanced then mine. ;-)

An afterthought: you pointed out Adam used the wrong abbreviation for MB. Whether this is intentional or accidental, we might want to take any of the other technical figures with a grain of salt.

phuzz wrote:
Maybe the computer that produced the above output (hereafter referred to as the 'traitor machine' because that's the filename of the page, and I like the sound of it) is the cpu of a combine soldier of some sort, or rather the computer based part of their implants.
Herself has shown her aptitude at subverting combine kit, and what other computer hardware is out there and accessible after the 7 hour war has presumably taken care of most of humanity's machines?
As for it being part of a combine soldiers implant, well, that's just fancy on my part. It could equally be the cpu of one of those hovery robots that takes pictures of you, or even a manhack...

Similar to what I said above, would that not imply that the computer running an artificially intelligent robot or cyborg super-soldier, manufactured by a civilization with technology centuries beyond our own, is less advanced than the PC sitting on my desktop right now? And as for what else Minerva might use, well, look at any of the resistance labs. Kleiner has a pretty decent computer set up in his lab, and White Forest has enough computing power to decrypt Combine data, and help construct and launch a heavily modified rocket. I'm pretty sure Minerva could set something up.


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:11 am 
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Cheers on the thread tutorial there Sortie, you inspired me to do some reading on that. (and Terrapin; you might want to just give it up. Or better yet, read,read, and read some more).

I started looking at that task manager-like readout again, and of the processes listed, MDWORKER looked potentially meaningful, so I googled it and it's a Mac OS X process. I was assuming all this was unix (like Adam's version of the HEV suit, and black mesa terminals), but I couldn't find any reference to that process with unix, just the Mac OS. I know OS X is unix-based, but perhaps that program is specific to Mac's? So then Minerva would seem to be using a Mac OS? (I also looked up tty and it's a Mac command, er whatever, too.)

I think what we need is someone who can rival Adam's knowledge of Unix (and Macs) to comment on the technical stuff. Anyway, perhaps there's some significance to the fact that it appears to be at least a human-made OS in there? Rather than some combine/alien stuff. I mean I doubt the combine use Unix. Or OS X.

(oh, and Sortie, I've seen MiB/MB shorted to M plenty of times before, that must be used somewhere, perhaps it could give us a clue as to the exact OS? I wouldn't buy that it was a mistake of Adam's.)

Oh, and 'bolide octet' anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:40 am 
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Mac OS X? That surely explains why the citadel exploded in a chain reaction. Also Tarrepin, who said it was Minera's own personal computer? All data hint towards it's just an empty terminal, an idle server.
I did some googling of all the applications running, and most didn't exist, or were an abbriviation for a botanic garden in Cambridge. One other turned out to be a virus too. Anyways, I think Adam may have based his programs of some real programs, cleverly renamed.

Now let's show the forrest, by removing a few trees. Did any of you guys ever think of simply googling the header?
Code:
pid command      %cpu   time   #th #prts #mregs rprvt  rshrd  rsize  vsize

Because there's results! http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=pi ... ize++vsize

Guess what, it's a Mac OS X console output! And better yet it also uses M instead of MB! This is clearly a Mac Terminal.

There's also an explaination available.
Quote:
RPRVT - amount of resident memory consumed by our heap allocations
RSHRD - amount of resident shared memory (shared libraries)
RSIZE - ~equals RPRVT + RSHRD
VSIZE - the total amount of memory consumed by the process (resident and paged mem combined)


This thread surely explained how some guy made an output of the stuff running at his Mac OS X computer. Guess what? Does thing look faimilar?

Code:
Processes: 93 total, 3 running, 1 stuck, 89 sleeping... 323 threads 20:46:12
Load Avg: 0.27, 0.38, 0.23 CPU usage: 4.9% user, 7.1% sys, 88.1% idle
SharedLibs: num = 212, resident = 43.7M code, 5.93M data, 6.73M LinkEdit
MemRegions: num = 14677, resident = 774M + 29.3M private, 167M shared
PhysMem: 166M wired, 855M active, 465M inactive, 1.45G used, 48.7M free
VM: 12.9G + 135M 102017(0) pageins, 100163(0) pageouts

PID COMMAND %CPU TIME #TH #PRTS #MREGS RPRVT RSHRD RSIZE VSIZE
2160 pcscd 0.0% 0:00.06 3 31 42 228K 1.39M 1.02M 28.4M
2159 top 11.5% 0:13.36 1 19 20 556K 828K 1012K 26.9M
2158 bash 0.0% 0:00.00 1 14 16 180K 1.13M 756K 27.1M
2157 login 0.0% 0:00.01 1 16 40 172K 916K 620K 26.9M
2148 mdimport 0.0% 0:00.14 3 61 45 924K 2.30M 2.68M 38.6M
2144 mdimport 0.0% 0:00.16 3 61 45 904K 2.72M 2.62M 38.6M
2143 mdimport 0.0% 0:00.29 3 65 57 1.43M 2.50M 4.13M 39.0M
2140 mount_webd 0.0% 0:00.02 8 84 39 452K 1.12M 868K 30.3M
2136 lookupd 0.0% 0:00.22 2 34 38 516K 1.28M 1.27M 28.5M
1882 Microsoft 0.0% 0:09.58 3 98 179 8.83M 22.5M 17.0M 334M
1881 Microsoft 1.8% 3:15.17 6 136 435 38.2M 32.7M 57.1M 498M
1781 Microsoft 0.0% 0:08.73 2 97 161 11.3M 21.6M 19.0M 311M
1779 DiskManage 0.0% 0:00.10 1 41 44 604K 1.85M 2.11M 37.2M
1778 Software U 0.0% 0:07.44 7 113 164 4.83M 5.76M 9.66M 238M
1638 AppleSpell 0.0% 0:00.03 1 45 34 680K 1.70M 1.47M 37.8M


What I think is odd, is that Adam didn't change the formatting, but has renamed several names. It suggests some kind of localization, but it clearly isn't a speakable latin-based language. For instance, taking the above example as how it should be, we get

Code:
VM: 12.9G + 135M 102017(0) pageins, 100163(0) pageouts


While Adam has changed it to.

Code:
IZ: 7852Z + 374Z   436867(0) cntrvaf, 246664(0) cntrbhgf


Googling that does not produce any results. I think Adam is just fooling around with us, laughing at our theories, laughing at that we finally think we figure something out.

However, it is amazing what one can poke up using Google.

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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:24 pm 
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Blimey! Good work Sortie! Blimey! It's a substitution cipher! That comparison you made there Sortie provided the key!
From the traitor page, take the processes that look like gibberish, and apply the following substitution:
Code:
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
n o p q r s t u v w x y z a b c d e f g h i j k l m


you get sensible processes like login, httpd, dashboardc, and interestingly, itunes!!

Upon some investigation, I discover that this is apparently a common cipher in some quarters, ROT13. According to wikipedia: "ROT13 has been described as the "Usenet equivalent of a magazine printing the answer to a quiz upside down"." I think we're being played with here.


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:14 pm 
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Bloody brilliantly spotted Ace! I'll just post the entire corrected version!

Code:
Processes:  76 total, 3 running, 1 stuck, 72 sleeping... 322 threads    15:39:16
Load Avg:  0.63,  0.62,  0.59    CPU usage: 34.65% usee,  9.21% sys, 56.14% idle
SharedLibs: num =    8, resident =   48M code, 1376K data, 3792K linkedit.
MemRegions: num = 18621, resident =  417M +   21M private,  222M shared.
PhysMem:  165M wired,  5sr33M active,  284M inactive,  989M used,   35M free.
VM: 7852M + 374M   436867(0) pageins, 246664(0) pageouts

  pid command      %cpu   time   #th #prts #mregs rprvt  rshrd  rsize  vsize
 7204 NTPD         11.0%  0:01.05   1    18     29  724K   188K  1320K    18M
 7172 MDWORKER     0.0%  0:00.28   3    50     31  636K  3500K  2268K    32M
 7091 MDWORKER   0.0%  0:00.11   2    24     24  284K   184K  1336K    19M
 7089 CUPSD        0.0%  0:00.03   2    30     30  388K   224K  1260K    19M
 7086 %%% PHOT   1.5%  2:12.09  19   224   1099   54M 4    24M    1'6M   269M
 7072 HTTPD        0.0%  0:00.04   1    11    370  392K  3416K  1928K    33M
 7071 lwqr        0.0%  0:00.04   1    11    370  352K  3416K  1892K    33M
 7067 HTTPD        0.0%  0:00.^^^^^ 109    289   11M    10M    21M   244M
 7007 MDWORKER         0.0%  0:00.09   1    14     19  324K   184K   988K    18M
 7006 login        0.0%  0:00.02   1    17     55  284K   224K  1056K    19M
 7004 ITUNES       4.1%  1:46.66  10   197    509   30M    15M    48M   285M
 6800 MDWORKER     0.0%  0:02.65   4    73    164 4488K  7076K    12M    49M
 6757 DASHBOARDC   0.0%  0:06.32   4   44131    330   20M    11M    30M   217M
 6756 DASHBOARDC   0.0%  0:01.88   4   124    209 8040K  8340K    15M   210M
 6694 HTTPD        0.0%  0:00.08   1    11    370  368K  3416K  1888K    33M
 6447 NTPD    34.7%  0:18.18   4   106-   169 2652K+   10M  8384K+  217M
 6109 NTPD      24.5% 52:45.56  10   302   3011  112M    40M   138M   551M
 4367 SUBETHAEDI   0.0%  0:40.60  12   179    416 5820K    21M    28M   257M
 1110 LKDCHELPER45   0.0%  0:00.01   1    18     27     0   184K   352K    19M
 1012 ICAL         0.0%  0:52.99   5   115    226 4648K  8588K  7072K   222M
  779 NTPD         0.0%  0:15.70   1    15     21  116K   184K   616K    18M
  424 FIREWALL     0.0%  0:00.01   1    19     26     0   184K   392K    19M
  320 SSH-AGENT    0.0%  0:00.04   1    23     33     0   212K   448K    19M


There're still a few things wrong with the output, but it makes much more sense now. I guess we're on the wrong track, Adam just posted his specs and we decrypted them..

So I think we've figured out what everything on that page means now. Except from this
Code:
--[//URB-LOC-C44/ovrw44.002543.a: *443353-46343-6]--
-[spurious non-injury neuromechanical infarction: bolide octets from ttys000 rinsed: -- "Why fight, if there is no chance of winning? Why believe, if there is no chance of being remembered? Why live, if you know that you are amongst the last? Why die, if you know that you can be reborn?" -- ]-
--[//URB-LOC-C44/ovrw44.002543.a: *443353.4444444.444444.444 ---------- ---s]-- ]-- thrombus]] ]]


Neuromechanical infarction? That thing really set me off. I think this is the mind of a Combine Soldier, and Minerva has fuckingly hacked into it! And she's posting messages. Also ttys000, that's some kind of username on a Mac computer and perhaps all UNIX-Based systems. Some guy said it was an account made for Keyboards on Mac OS X computer, but that's not comfirmed, but makes logical sense here.

I think next time Adam should encrypt the information using RSA or something and then let us guess the keys. That should take a few months before we figure that one out. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:43 am 
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Yeah it's quite possible Adam just took the readout from his Mac and added a ROT13 cipher to some of it. (without the cipher we would've noticed iTunes right away, and things wouldn't have seemed nearly so cryptic.) It must be a joke, I can't think of any other reason to use ROT13 here. Heh, well maybe I'd find it funny too if I had ever read a newsgroup in my life, or wherever they did such things. Reminds me of another of Adam's in-game jokes. I just don't seem to be equipped to catch Adam's jokes without some research, rather killing the humor unfortunately. Oh well. (I'm sure if we never figured this out he'd have gotten a good chuckle over watching us try to make sense out of it. Now that I can appreciate.)

Perhaps its a message to those of us who over analyze these things? To, you know, not over analyze things? (on that note, he didn't exactly pick a hard to find picture to use as the main image. I stumbled across that when trying to figure out what bit of land was what country, etc.) Well, he does seem to have put some effort into it, and take it seriously elsewhere though, so I think we can for a bit. As long as we don't go overboard!

Anyway, the rest of it gives me a general bio-mechanical vibe, with medical terms like infarction, thrombus, entoptical phenomena, along with all the computer stuff. Like I said on the blog, I'd say lends credence to the idea that Minerva may be some sort of technologically enhanced human. Or something. Maybe.


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:04 pm 
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Oh mind it's console output, not input. It's the reciever who's biomechanical, and guess who Minerva's favorite combine-enhanced traitor is? Calling this proof for Minerva is a technology-based entity, is just as valid as Minerva using iTunes because the other output said so, but it could be the case.. I dunno.
Judging from the sender of the cryptic message, ttyss000, which is a part of the Mac OS X operative system, it could be Minerva is using an Mac OS X based computer. That would explain why she didn't see the outpost on the Island.

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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:38 am 
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sortie wrote:
Oh mind it's console output, not input. It's the reciever who's biomechanical, and guess who Minerva's favorite combine-enhanced traitor is? Calling this proof for Minerva is a technology-based entity, is just as valid as Minerva using iTunes because the other output said so, but it could be the case.. I dunno.
Judging from the sender of the cryptic message, ttyss000, which is a part of the Mac OS X operative system, it could be Minerva is using an Mac OS X based computer. That would explain why she didn't see the outpost on the Island.


So that's why Combine stuff seems to break so easily - their soldiers run OS X!

On a more serious note, this could explain how Minerva was able to subvert Perseus (the Metastasis protagonist) in the first place. As far as we know, the Combine use some pretty intense methods to prevent rebellion - even Civil Protection units, despite still being biologically human, never seem to question orders. Since Perseus is/was a Combine soldier, I'm guessing he didn't, or rather couldn't, simply decide to change sides again. So the question is, did he voluntarily quit the Combine Overwatch after Minerva allowed him to make that choice, or did she play a larger role in "encouraging" his decision? Also explained: how Minerva was able to commandeer the Helicopter and turrets.

This certainly points more toward Minerva being largely computer-based. I'm seriously doubting now, however, that the Combine played a role in her creation. That just seems too... inelegant. My guess is she's the result of some project or experiment, intentional or otherwise. She tried to warn us of the impending danger of our experimentation - that it would attract the Combine, etc - but failed, partly due to her situation, and partly due to sheer stubborn human nature. Thus, she feels compelled to make things right. This "guilty conscience theory" seems to match with what she tells us of her past here. Straightforward to say the least.

Anyway, standard theories and overthought interpretations aside, I think this is probably more of a joke, as has been said. Telling us where City 44 is, and telling us that it is connected somehow to Metastasis Island, is interesting, but this is likely Adam just giving us something to chew on while he works. I bet he's laughing his head off, reading all the work we've done just to figure this out. Ah well, it is a great way to pass the time. ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:48 am 
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You know what's even more amusing than watching us overanalyse every bit of information? The fact that we're commenting it's amusing. On the other hand, commenting that commenting it's funny, is even more hilarious, and so on. ;-)

Interesting point about the player not having any free will, it reminds me of the BioShock plot, if you guys ever played it, if not beware of my spoilers! Could Minerva hack the player's brain and take control? If so, is she doing it? Somehow I doubt it, why would the player be using a HEV Suit then? Why haven't she just taken control of all the combines on the island? Probably because the soldiers cannot be converted remotely and requires another operation.
Is the player actually a soldier? I suddently doubt that fact; seeing as the player "wouldn't been a stalker, if it wasn't for [Minerva]", so he'd be a rebel or something?

If Minerva controls the player's free will, why would she feel anything for him? She doesn't need brain control to control the player; knowing he has no choice but to obey: She's the only one not directly wanting to kill him, at least not at this moment. The player is still useful for other tasks.

In conclusion, I think the player has a free will and is just not a mindless soldier doing whatever Minerva wants.


I somehow don't believe Minerva is a computer-based entity, but on the other hand I don't know what she is either. Maybe it's much simpler than we think it is and it's just some human sitting behind a computer, monitoring the player's action and sending messages when required?

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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:08 pm 
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I've said it before, and I shall say it again: Minerva is not fully human. Modified human? Maybe. Based on a human? Also possible. Completely inhuman? Highly unlikely, but still more probable than her being just some computer hacker. I have a metaphorical ton of evidence behind this - just take a look through the titles.txt files in SE and Metastasis, and the website. If you remain unconvinced, I can post the relevant quotes, with explanations if you so wish. But really... in my mind, the idea that Minerva is just an otherwise ordinary human has gone the same way as the idea that the world is flat. Knowing what we know, it simply is not so.

Now, free will. (Warning - Bioshock spoilers ahead!) When Minerva contacts the player through the suit radio, we hear a sound like a modem. Maybe that's her equivalent of "Would you kindly?" - whenever Perseus hears that modem dial, he has to obey whatever message follows it. Notice we always wind up doing exactly what Minerva tells us, despite the fact that, for all their technology, the Combine couldn't keep us under control. Mind you, Minerva does seem genuinely concerned for our survival, so this, in my opinion, could go either way.

I kind of think it irrelevant though, because as you pointed out, we really have no choice but to obey Minerva, with the exception of death, or whatever else the Combine has planned for us. So whether Perseus had/has any free will to speak of is really irrelevant - she's Minerva's now, either way.

And yes, the player is a soldier:
Quote:
Let me brief you on something. You're a recycled carcass trapped in a gorgons' nest - without your mirrored shield, winged sandals or invisible cloak, you're just a dumb, processed grunt with your larynx torn out.

Quote:
From manufactured war criminals to saviours of the universe - quite a progression for discarded pieces of shit.

Quote:
Continue to the surface. Every moment longer that you survive is a further insult to your former Combine masters.

Quote:
Their Citadels provide them with accommodation far more suited to their purpose, as I'm sure you're well aware.

Quote:
Violence is certainly one of your stronger points, that was nasty. I'll try to help more next time.

Your security pass is both revoked and insufficient for the force fields blocking your access, so try to find a security station of some kind.

Quote:
You were a traitor to our species, but also a traitor to the Combine - so just hope you've redeemed yourself in the eyes of whomever, or whatever, you may still hold dear.


Need I go on? ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:44 pm 
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Acolyte
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Thanks. ;-). I was just looking for proof, I had forgotten where we knew this from. Also in the last quote she says "Our Species", that backs on the theory she's humane, but semihuman is a pretty good theory too, while I cannot imagine anything semihuman that'd make much sense. Perhaps she's just lying; acting like she is an AI?

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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:59 am 
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To be technical, a human can't act like an AI. By definition, you can't really act like something that's better than you are; a chimpanzee can't act like a human - at least, not very well - and a human can't act like an AI.

"Our species" could mean that she was originally human, before becoming what she is now, or that she was created by humans, and thus feels a connection with them. We know that Minerva is partially responsible for the Combine invasion, having helped us discover teleport technology (I'm thinking: research AI gone rampant). She tried to warn us, but failed, and now feels some responsibility to help make things right. Of course, this just happens to mesh with her own agenda, related somehow to the world beyond the portal, and a zealous hatred of the Combine. Really, I think Minerva would rather just forget the whole thing, move on, and let us suffer the mess we created. But whether this is the product of some hard-coded synthetic morality, the need to take a side in a war she started, or a genuine guilty conscience, Minerva is somehow inextricably connected to humanity.

As I said above, I'm really starting to think that Minerva is the product of human science, more specifically, Black Mesa. She seems far to familiar with humanity for this to be a coincidence; she has a level of experience with humans that could only come from a life once lived among them. She even knows our ancient mythology! She uses our information technology with an eerily professional ease, be it computers, radio, or research equipment. My current inclination is to think that she was created by Black Mesa as part of an experiment. Whether she was a means or an end is uncertain, but we know she has deep connections to that place.

Remember: keep it simple! An AI created to help research teleport technology, only to have the inconvenient results ignored by the hairless apes she had to work with, sounds exactly like the way Adam thinks - I think.


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