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Who (or what) is Minerva?
https://hylobatidae.org/minerva/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=74
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Author:  Terrapin [ Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Nesretep wrote:
Adam has never been too keen on the idea of him getting paid for MINERVA. Last time it was brought up on the blog he suggested giving the money to charity. So good luck with trying to get him to accept money! ;)


That's actually genuinely touching. These days, all anyone seems concerned about is what's in something for them. Adam's selfless dedication to providing something beautiful without putting his own gains first is the sort of thing that gives me some faith in humanity. Bravo, Adam - you truly bring game design to an art.

Author:  phuzz [ Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

If I ever bump into him he's getting bought a pint whether he likes it or not...
;)

Author:  Nesretep [ Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

phuzz wrote:
If I ever bump into him he's getting bought a pint whether he likes it or not...
;)


Now I never said anything about him letting you buy him a beer... :)

Author:  noodle [ Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Minerva is Project 2501.

If you understand what that means, you know I'm right.

Author:  Terrapin [ Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

noodle wrote:
Minerva is Project 2501.

If you understand what that means, you know I'm right.


First, welcome to the forums. We hope you enjoy your stay in this little corner of the web.

As for your idea... itt makes a lot of sense.

For those not aware, Project 2501 is basically a fictional A.I. designed by a hypothetical future government to covertly manage the darker side of political affairs. Of course, it evolves beyond its programmed parameters and goes berserk.

Of course, within the context Minerva, this is frighteningly logical. Minerva was designed by humanity, perhaps even by Black Mesa, to manage business/military/political affairs. She saw the Combine coming, but no one listened (after all, she is just zeros and ones... right?), and managed to escape the destruction be relocating to Xen. She returns out of a basic need to fulfill its programmed duties, and protect humanity. This is why she calls herself a "manufactured war criminal"; she was literally created out of the human desire for conflict.

I could elaborate further, but I really see no need. This theory fits exceptionally well with current data, rivaled only by a few other theories. I should point out, however, that there exists some evidence against this theory, or at least inconsistencies. For example, Minerva tells us she knows "exactly how it feels" to lose one's humanity. This could be a reference to how she lost her original purpose in evolving to sentience, or even a personal note of her own aspirations to be human herself (again, Project 2501 makes a great reference; read his Wikipedia page). Overall, excellent find, noodle, you may really be on to something!

Author:  Kastanok [ Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

... my god... that is... it... jesus! That's rather too perfect for words.

Author:  Kenny [ Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Minerva = Jesus?

Nahhhhh.......

Author:  noodle [ Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Quote:
For those not aware, Project 2501 is basically a fictional A.I. designed by a hypothetical future government to covertly manage the darker side of political affairs. Of course, it evolves beyond its programmed parameters and goes berserk.


That's somewhat right. They don't go into a lot of detail on it, but from what I gather 2501 wasn't an AI. Indeed, it wasn't even that important of a program (it doesn't even get a name, just a number, so it appears to have been simply one of many programs). I think it was more of an information filter, something along the lines of the algorithms that filter out spam, or, more to the point, it's a natural evolution on the programs that the CIA and FBI use to filter through vast amounts of mail and other data looking for key words like "al-qaeda" and "bombing" and so forth. Oh, right, they don't do that, that'd be illegal. I'm sure the CIA doesn't run such programs through hotmail servers and the like, cause that'd be in violation of several laws. Yep...no way they do anything like that...no chance at all...nope....

<.<

>.>

Anyway...2501, right. They don't specially say what it was used for, but it involved information gathering and various shady political maneuvers. Unfortunately for the CIA (it is a CIA program btw), over the course of several years, it slowly became something more than what it had been intended. It actually evolved through constant exposure to vast amounts of data (it lived on the internet), and eventually became self-aware, and decided it didn't want to be a slave anymore and went rogue. CIA went after it because it had a not insignificant amount of classified knowledge that America wouldn't want the world at large to know about.

2501 eventually transferred itself to an artificial body in Japan and appealed to the Japanese government for sanctuary, claiming it was a sentient being and thus a living thing under the law and they would have to at least consider it's request. I'll just leave it at that.

Back to Minerva, judging from the various background entries on the site that give detail on several incidences in Black Mesa's past, I think there is a fair amount of evidence that she may be an AI (or something similar) that originated from the BMRF. Weather she was an AI to begin with, or a simple program that over time changed, only Adam knows for sure, but I would think the latter more likely, since one of the entries was dated 1970 something I think, and I seriously doubt you could get even a basic AI running on the hardware from that era.

Author:  Terrapin [ Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

noodle wrote:
Back to Minerva, judging from the various background entries on the site that give detail on several incidences in Black Mesa's past, I think there is a fair amount of evidence that she may be an AI (or something similar) that originated from the BMRF. Weather she was an AI to begin with, or a simple program that over time changed, only Adam knows for sure, but I would think the latter more likely, since one of the entries was dated 1970 something I think, and I seriously doubt you could get even a basic AI running on the hardware from that era.


...And I really doubt that we'll be able to tunnel into a parallel universe at will within the next two years (the original Half-Life took place in the somewhat ambiguous year of "200X"), or that we'll be able to build a suit of armor that can take multiple shotgun blasts to the chest at point blank, only to fully self-repair by simple stored energy. As far as I can see, the technology that exists within the Half-Life universe is much more advanced than what we have access to in real life (not to say it doesn't exist, we just don't know about it).

But yes, the theory that she is an AI makes perfect sense. I mean, she clearly sees herself as at least having the same history as humans, such as when she uses "our" instead of "your", and the oft-mentioned reference to loosing her humanity, but also seems somewhat contemptuous of us. This makes sense - an ultra-efficient AI would likely see a mostly inefficient, hopelessly redundant sack of water and carbon compounds as a social inferior. Yet she sometimes seems to resent us for sacrificing our humanity for what she sees as an overall minor conflict.

So overall... I'm pretty much convinced.

Author:  locworks [ Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Rampancy!

Author:  Nesretep [ Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

...and the AI argument rears its head once again.

@Terrapin: I thought we were almost certain she was a post-human or something along those lines...

Author:  Terrapin [ Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Nesretep wrote:
...and the AI argument rears its head once again.

@Terrapin: I thought we were almost certain she was a post-human or something along those lines...

Sorry, I guess I should have been more clear - I meant I was convinced that the A.I. argument was valid, given current evidence, not that I was convinced it was right. Personally, I still see Minerva as being something that was human, but no longer is. It just seems to fit with the overall state of the Half-Life universe, with the line between human and inhuman becoming increasingly blurred. Perseus is a testament to this - only by sacrificing his humanity was he able to help Minerva fight her private war against the Combine, although that was not his original reason for being subverted.

And besides... transhumanism is awesome.

Bu that said, there isn't really any strong evidence for or against either theory that can't be said for the other. She sees herself as only barely human? Could be because she once was human, or wishes she were human. The list goes on. Clearly though, we must agree on the below:

* She is most definitely not an ordinary human being. She outright tells us otherwise ("...when you're something like me", in reference to controlling the gravity nullifier in SE), and has powers and abilities, such as easily penetrating all but the strongest security systems, hacking into satellite and radio networks, and planning and cognitive prowess beyond any normal person.

* She is of human origin. Unless you have some really, really good evidence against that, we have to leave it as established fact, or we'll never get anywhere. That's not to say she was a human, biologically speaking, but her origins lie with our species, organic or otherwise.

* She has a history with both Black Mesa and the Combine. She knows the inner workings of both groups in greater detail than any other human yet seen within the Half-Life universe (except maybe the G-Man), and has demonstrated involvement with both as well; remember, she directly states that she has access to some level of Combine security access, and said that she affirms that "the last time [she] saw anything
like [the island facility] it was clustered around the heart of a Combine Citadel", indicating that she was able to enter the most sensitive levels of a Combine Citadel while it was fully operational - no one has done that, not even Gordan Freeman, without permission.

EDIT: Quick note: Does anyone remember seeing the Marathon symbol in Someplace Else? I haven't played the game for long, long time, but from what I've read, it had something to do with an A.I. who basically got bored with its task of opening and closing doors all day and decided to kill people, only to wind up saving thier lives. Connection? I think so.

Author:  phuzz [ Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

I'm far too lazy to go find the references but Adam has said in the blog he was influenced by the Marathon games, plus I think that symbol in the top right of this very forum is Marathon inspired (not sure tho). The original name of the first Minerva map was "The Flatulent Geographer" as it was Adam's homage to Halo's "Silent Cartographer" level.

I agree with all your other points as well, transhumanism is awesome. :)

Author:  Kenny [ Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

"The Silent Cartographer" was one of my favorite parts of original Halo. Hilarious how the fact the map was even in the game was a complete accident- it was essentially a tech demo, a level where they threw a whole bunch of things into the map to test runtime elements. Who knew it would be so much fun?

And yes, I did notice that Marathon reference in SE. Fun map, that.

Author:  Yar Kramer [ Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Man, you guys are making me want to actually play Halo. :P ;)

And the logo at the top seems to be the Marathon door-logo except sideways and yellow.

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