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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:51 am 
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Funny, I always thought it was closer to a lambda from our favorite video game.

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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:31 pm 
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Halo's a pretty good game, tho personally I don't like the way the shield works,
(you have basically no health, but a shield that will recharge after several seconds, so to get a kill you have to shoot them enough to destroy the shield, then a little bit more to kill 'em, fail to get the kill and the shield will recharge and you have to start again).
I did enjoy the story, it's not much better than the average scifi rubish, but you can tell Bungie put quite a bit of effort into the backstory (google: The Cortana Letters).
The mapping is of the same league as HL2, and the enemies are intelligent and challenging, basically if you enjoyed HL and you've got nothing better to do it's worth your time.

I guess at the end of the day I identify more with an out-of-his-depth-physicist than a cloned killer ;)
(and HL2 has the better allies)


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:34 am 
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Myself, I enjoyed the first Halo. The second was just more of the same with incremental improvements, and the third was basically an interactive sci-fi chick-flick with bad one-liners. That's not to say they were bad games, but for me, the whole one-man army thing was way over done. In my mind, Halo 2 lost all sensibility when Master Chief single handedly destroyed an entire Covenant battle cruiser in the first level. I mean really, why is it that despite all their advanced technology, they have absolutely nothing to counter heavy infantry? They have fusion engines on their ships, according to the books, so they obviously have nuclear technology; even Master Chief couldn't take a nuclear detonation and survive. And if they don't want to desecrate their precious artifacts, just detonate a nuke in the atmosphere; the EMP would fry his suit. But then, I do tend to overthink these details (like why Gordon's decades-old HEV-suit can outperform the latest Combine battle technology).

But whatever; I still want to see a deathmatch between GLaDOS and Cortana. Now that would be awesome.

In any case, such discussion is best left to a more appropriate venue. We do have an identity to uncover.


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 4:05 am 
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Another theory to add to the compendium, but as a minor variation of the "post human" idea:

Minerva is dead.

Or rather, was clinically deceased after the OBMI in 1974.

"Considering the sensitivity of the research taking place, and the recent failure, I would recommend a temporary halt to the program while safeguards can be put in place, both to prevent security incidents and reduce the risk of further personnel casualties."

http://www.hylobatidae.org/minerva/archive_3.shtml

Perhaps she was one of the casualties, and somehow they managed to transfer her conscious mind into a computer, a la an episode of Stargate SG1 where they had a sentient Major Carter in the base's computer system. It's a bit of a geeky theory but it has some merit...

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Finished Minerva on Normal...
What about Hard?...



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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 7:01 pm 
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Kenny wrote:
Another theory to add to the compendium, but as a minor variation of the "post human" idea:

Minerva is dead.

Or rather, was clinically deceased after the OBMI in 1974.

"Considering the sensitivity of the research taking place, and the recent failure, I would recommend a temporary halt to the program while safeguards can be put in place, both to prevent security incidents and reduce the risk of further personnel casualties."

http://www.hylobatidae.org/minerva/archive_3.shtml

Perhaps she was one of the casualties, and somehow they managed to transfer her conscious mind into a computer, a la an episode of Stargate SG1 where they had a sentient Major Carter in the base's computer system. It's a bit of a geeky theory but it has some merit...


Interesting...I like it. Who knows how it will stand up under the close scrutiny of Terrapin, but I think it brings together the AI and post human theories into a somewhat unified theory.

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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 12:10 am 
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Nesretep wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Another theory to add to the compendium, but as a minor variation of the "post human" idea:

Minerva is dead.

Or rather, was clinically deceased after the OBMI in 1974.

"Considering the sensitivity of the research taking place, and the recent failure, I would recommend a temporary halt to the program while safeguards can be put in place, both to prevent security incidents and reduce the risk of further personnel casualties."

http://www.hylobatidae.org/minerva/archive_3.shtml

Perhaps she was one of the casualties, and somehow they managed to transfer her conscious mind into a computer, a la an episode of Stargate SG1 where they had a sentient Major Carter in the base's computer system. It's a bit of a geeky theory but it has some merit...


Interesting...I like it. Who knows how it will stand up under the close scrutiny of Terrapin, but I think it brings together the AI and post human theories into a somewhat unified theory.


or perhaps Minerva caused the casualties?


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 10:37 am 
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It does add weight to the idea that Minerva used to be a flesh and blood human, but isn't any longer. A researcher who's had her(?) conciousness transferred into a machine (or whatever), won't be going home for christmas and would presumably be listed as an unfortunate casualty in a lab accident, as far as the outside world was concerned...


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 10:58 pm 
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Well, this new theory is very interesting, I must admit. I thought of something similar at one point, way back before Metastasis three was out, but the interesting twist to Kenny's theory is that Minerva was "made" not by choice, or by force, but by necessity. We know Minerva was quite brilliant (helping discover teleportation and all), which explains why they would want to save her, but this theory has a few problems.

One, Minerva calls herself and the protagonist "manufactured war criminals". Manufactured, yes, but how would that make her a war criminal? My thinking is that at some point, she switched sides, or committed some other act of great betrayal to further her own cause. If all she did was flee to Xen, trick the SE protagonist into giving her a way home, and start setting things right, that would hardly warrant lumping herself into the same category as a person who has single handedly betrayed both humanity, and the Combine. Mrs. M is certainly not one to give herself unwarranted criticism, after all.

Two, how did she even get to Xen in the first place? We're well aware that technology in the Half-Life universe is a great deal more advanced than reality, but transferring a dead or dying mind into a computer system isn't something one does in an unstable border world. They would very likely have "uploaded" her at Black Mesa (or somewhere on Earth at any rate). As far as we can tell, transferring data through a portal is tricky. In Blue Shift, just transmitting radio through a portal over a couple of meters is problematic. But sending an entire human mind, freshly uploaded and likely quite traumatized, to Xen, all while the entire facility is still realing from the damage of the OBMI? Unlikely. Even if they could have, they probably would have wanted to keep her at Black Mesa so she could continue her research. And no, she did not go to Xen of her own accord. Her very first transmission establishes that she is there "against her will", along with the SE protagonist.

Third, why is she afraid of dying (again) during Metastasis? If she's an AI, or otherwise non-physical, physical destruction is almost impossible. She can clearly move about quite competently; yet she expresses fear when she realizes that the Combine can find her. Quoth Minerva, "I know they can reach me now, and that makes me afraid." If she was, in fact, put into an AI-like state, she could just transfer herself to another computer system. She might lose contact for a while, but it's certainly nothing for the nigh-unshakable Minerva to be "afraid" of.

My fourth, and probably weakest point, is this quote: "The Overwatch tactical networks are seriously confused - my screens are alight with bureaucracy and crossed wires.". An AI-like being would not need screens. The data is as much a part of them as our memories are part of us; thus, unless she has an affinity for pointless hardware, she must have a body distinct from the computer systems she uses.

An interesting theory, but I really doubt that it's the correct answer. I just wouldn't fit with the hard facts we have, unless I've missed something.


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 5:40 am 
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You also forget her subtle reference to her self referencial viewpoint- frankly her personality is somewhat like a well layered state of chaos to me. She does refer to herself as "someTHING like me" in SE when she tells the protagonist to turn the gravity nullifier back on. And yet she mentions screens. In a way this supports the transhuman theory. Perhaps she's a mole inside the combine empire? And if so, perhaps she transfered her conciousness back into a host body (like what Dr. Breen was going to do at the end of HL2, or possibly having done so...). As for the data transfer problem? If the combine can send data through an explosion, perhaps the OBMI was enough to send her data through a pipeline to Xen, and she blames herself for the OBMI. Then again, she seemed somewhat disattached from the OBMI: "It's a shame no one learned from that incident."

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Finished Minerva on Normal...
What about Hard?...



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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 9:40 pm 
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Kenny wrote:
As for the data transfer problem? If the combine can send data through an explosion, perhaps the OBMI was enough to send her data through a pipeline to Xen, and she blames herself for the OBMI. Then again, she seemed somewhat disattached from the OBMI: "It's a shame no one learned from that incident."


Ah, but remember, the Citadel explosion was designed specifically to send data, and even with the Combine's advanced technology, that took a lot of work. So I doubt that we humans could spontaneously get an inter-dimensional data transfer of an entire human mind out of a chance explosion.

Also, I figured we were going with the idea that the OBMI was chiefly responsible for Minerva's genesis. Either it killed / mortally injured her, necessitating her revival as whatever she is now, or it gave her a way to get off Earth, where she could get up to bigger and better things, or, finally, it gave the Combine the chance to snatch her up from the chaos and re-create her. The OBMI is important, to Minerva, and to the plot in general. We cannot disregard it as something Minerva is simply detached from, at least, not without a great deal of evidence that we ought to do so. Thus, if there is no argument to the contrary, I think we should establish the fact that the OBMI was directly responsible for Minerva's creation.

For your other points: I don't think we can really use her viewpoint as evidence of anything, simply because it is likely so skewed by her borderline-narcissism that anything we infer would likely be inaccurate. Plus, it seems like reading very deep into comparatively minor details. Remember, Adam has said many times that the truth is relatively obvious. Based on the data we have, this is more like a game of connect the dots than anything else.

And what have we connected so far?

* She was human, or at least of human origin, but now she is not. She views what she is now as both greater and lesser than humanity, viewing humans with, on separate occasions, contempt and jealousy.

* She is incredibly intelligent, as she was able to see the Combine invasion coming years before they arrived, not to mention helping discover teleportation.

* She has experience with Black Mesa, and is well aware of the Original Black Mesa Incident.

* She possesses intimate knowledge of Combine systems, structures, and military operation, and has (had?) access to a wealth of information about their history and practices.

* She is aware of things that even the Combine are not.

* She is either incapable of carrying out, (or is unable to carry out) even simply physical tasks independently. The only thing we have ever actually seen her do is take control of a Combine helicopter, and even that is done via a "subverted Combine pilot".

* She also has great knowledge of human history and mythology, and has a love for experiment and knowledge.

I'm sure there's more, but that's the idea I think we need to stick to. No over-analysis; we need to lay out our facts, and see where they lead. But then, that's just me.


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 4:22 am 
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Yes, I think it's rather odd that Minerva has such an acute knowledge of human and Combine history and technology and also helping to discover teleportation and the OBMI. Particularly the human history element. I can see a brilliant scientist like Minerva puzzling through various alien technoloigial elements and fauna during her time in Xen and watching the takeover of Earth from afar, but why would she be so into Greek mythology? Perhaps she began her career as a professor in the social sciences before gaining an interest in theoretical physics.

And what's weirder is that she seems to know a lot about the universe's history (more than the combine as you put it), since apparently Lux Aeterna is certainly a sign of something out there that is older than humans, older than Combine. Possibly as old as time itself. Those structures looked pretty old, and yet they were huge. Plus I think someone pointed out similar objects on Someplace Else (the massive spikes made me recall Lux Aeterna). Perhaps the two structures are connected by the same civilization, or perhaps (since human technology was involved in the Xen labs in SE) their "scattered discarded playthings" were the chief cause or one of the contributing factors to the OBMI.

So when the accident happened, Minerva was permanently disabled. Perhaps the radiation release gave her terminal cancer. They send her to this area and she begins to become fully absorbed in studying the history of the surrounding structure, building reams of computer data. Someone was there initially to help or visited her periodically (The soldier she mentions, but why is he referred to as "Way before your time?" The timespan between the OBMI and SE's timeline is around 30 to 40 years), but died. (His corpse is where you get the pistol and shotgun, and he wasn't dead for long before the player arrived). More puzzling is that there was more than one grunt corpse. At any rate, terminal illness began to eat away at her body, and in a manner of speaking, she managed to transplant her concious mind into the very computer system she built to avoid complete death. Hence, she has trancended human form, but is not an AI construct in the strictest sense.

Perhaps later she managed to acquire a host body after the Combine invasion, and blended among the ranks of the Combine to study their innards, learn how the massive organization worked. (She even has been inside at least one Citadel, perhaps even had meetings with Dr. Breen himself?) And once she got the opportunity to split, she did, along with freeing our beloved Perseus and Pegasus, setting off on a covert study of the more shady side of the Combine's dominion. Hence, where we were in Metastasis.

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Finished Minerva on Normal...
What about Hard?...



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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 4:04 pm 
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I'm pretty sure Adam has stated that the soldier she referenced was the player character in his unfinished HL1 mod Parralax, hasn't he?

That said: no reason why she couldn't have majored in theoretical physics and minored in the social sciences, as it were. Though for some reason, I'm mildly hesitant about assuming that dropping references to Greek mythology means she's more familiar with it than Adam, who simply speedread Wikipedia for references to drop... ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 10:42 pm 
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Keep in mind that we don't know how much knowledge Minerva has acquired before and after her transformation to her present state. It's fairly obvious that interfacing with almost any kind of technology is easy for her, so her knowledge of mythology could have come from simple ability, or even boredom; while she was trapped in Xen, she may have passed the time by sifting through all the data she now had easy access to.

One thing we can be certain of is that her knowledge of science, mainly physics, was extremely high before her transformation. She was in her present form on Xen, and claimed to have helped invent the very technology that brought her there, so she was a great scientist to begin with.


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:38 pm 
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Just a minor bit of negative data to add:

from E-mail to minerva@hylobatidae.org wrote:
On 10 May 2008, at 07:49, Obliterous wrote:

> Is that you, Lieutenant Weinberg? Or does that name even have meaning anymore?


Ha, nice thinking - but dear Minerva most definitely didn't have a military rank. ;-)


Adam


I noticed the M. Weinberg on http://www.hylobatidae.org/minerva/archive_3.shtml and figured it was worthy of a try...

OB


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:07 am 
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Well, that could remove a few million theories. Now let's focus on the billions left. :P

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