Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

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trooogdooor
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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by trooogdooor » Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:19 am

I like the way you think, Xefa. ^_^ I agree that Salvagers is an ok name, but not the best. A few points:

1) There would be two "types" of names.
  • The names that would be used by extremely technical humans, maybe even by machines for describing themselves
  • The names used by normal humans out in the wild, when referring to the dangerous friggin robots.

Perhaps the first name would be something extremely concise and technically elegant, while the second would be a name that you could shout in surprise. "Blargh, it's full of Scrappers!" I'm undecided about what kind of name would be best "main" name for the faction, but I do think there'd be one of each.

2) Really, the thing that distinguishes the faction isn't that they salvage stuff, or reuse stuff, or process stuff, or rebuild stuff, or that they originally were a recycling plant (some groups in the faction might not be!).

What distinguishes them is that they replicate and improve themselves from stuff they find. Right?

Name suggestions:
  • Von Neumann Machines
  • Self-Replicators
  • Universal Constructors
I like the Universal Contstructor name, because it implies not only that it can construct itself, but also that it can improve itself. As the things indeed do.

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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by slaughtergames » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:31 am

I kinda agree that salvagers isn't the best name, but I don't think they should have technical name either, since the CSU/Haussman wouldn't think about what it is. why not? Haussman only makes it ACT LIKE it is intellegent, but it isn't.

what i'm trying to say is that it needs a catchy name, that might even be slightly correct. but really, I'm not going to call my orks "insane half-plant war-lusty maniacs" or "animalus arborusque bellum desiderati", I simply call them orks :D
"i buy me new deffkopta!!"
"waaaagh!"
"i did research, to find out how to minimize the randomness of the shock-attack gun."
"huh?"
"waaaagh!"
"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGH!!"

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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by cymruvoodoo » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:08 am

Would they even name themselves? I ask this because perhaps the right approach would be to give them a name imposed upon them by the factions with whom they interact the most and have them be nameless, or simply chassis-number designated among themselves. The CRU might have named itself in the process of having an identity, or it might have been given an identity and name by the reclaimers.

Either way, you might could work with something like The Network (corporation/Reclaimer attributed name) or STA, the Secured Terminal Authority.

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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by Xefa01 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:27 pm

Wow I'm ecstatic at how much attention this has gotten! Thanks everyone for your arguments both for and against!

I think so far the general consensus is that the "Salvagers" isn't the best name for the faction and it is generally accepted that it should be something else, but "The Unified Logic" isn't perfect and doesn't quite fit the bill.

Consolidating the general points for:
-The Salavagers doesn't fit the feel of a self labeled race of machines
-The name is a synonym of Reclaimers, which is a faction name that fits that race better than the Salvagers fits with the robots, so if anyone has to move out of the house it should be Salvagers.

Consolidating the general points against:
-The Salvagers may not be perfect but it seems to fall in line with the fact that a robotic race of machines wouldn't necessarily find a reason to label itself.
-The Salvagers evokes a sense of robotic vultures shuffling through debris from the perspective of an ignorant race of bystanders.

My new thoughts:
Following everyone's great feedback I am willing to accept that The Unified Logic could be improved...it definitely doesn't encompass the breadth of this race.

I do however, still think that the Salvager race would find logical benefits in designating itself with organic friendly labels (after all there's are definite reasons behind why we as organics find necessity in naming things we interact with, including each other).

Another argument I have to stick to is that I still maintain the belief that from a gaming perspective the primary name should come from the point of view of the race itself, not onlookers. As the player of this faction your are supposed to BE this race, I feel like it would give the wrong impression if, while playing this race as an extension of yourself, you were designating yourself with nicknames and abbreviated labels given to you by other races that clearly don't understand the machinations of what you do and why you do it.

Keep the ideas coming!
"Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not."

-Isaac Asimov

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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by Xefa01 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:01 pm

Hey trooogdooor (big fan by the way, I've even mentioned you before in the prologue to my ongoing Fan Fiction piece 8) ),

I really like the Universal Constructors name. It gives an almost industrial feel without relying on a potentially confusing machine-like designation.

One thing I would say about it is that the term "constructors" makes it sound perhaps too human, like a union of construction workers.
I love the direction though, building off of your concept I've come up with a couple ideas to add to your list, tell me what you think:

-Universal Fabricators
-Genesis Constructors
-Genesis Network
-Constructor Mindnet (kind of terminator-y...meh, it's an idea)

Personally, I really like Genesis Network, to me the term "Genesis" gives a strong suggestion of "we're now in charge of our own destiny now", while the term "Network" maintains the integrity of the fact that this is a linked "machine race".

I think it fits a nice balance, what do you guys think?
Last edited by Xefa01 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by Xefa01 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:32 pm

cymruvoodoo and slaughtergames

I'm loving your guys' points.
cymru, the fact that you ask if the race would even feel the need to name itself I think is brilliant. It's hard to say I think because none of us really know how a computer with a sense of individuality would view the world. I've touched on this briefly before but I think it warrants taking a closer look.

Coming from the reality that it will be a playable faction we know it HAS to be called something. Accepting this truth I tried to plant myself into the mind of a synthetic, a being that is popularly romanticized as feeling superior to organics. The calculating mind of a machine would look at everything an organic does and look down on it with disdain, inevitably seeing cleaner and more logical (and therefore more obvious) routes to and for every conceivable solution. Therefore, it would inevitably learn of the names the "lesser" races had given it and immediately find flaw. Its synthetic mind would naturally look to improve the name as its capacity for error in anything is non-existent, like telling a calculator to get answer an equation incorrectly...or telling a dog not to get excited about a milkbone...it's just not in their DNA so to speak.

This is the line of logic I've followed in justifying why a synthetic race would find purpose in self naming. Not to mention, as I've said before, there is simple and logical benefit to having a designation...think about how difficult it would be to go through daily life without any way of deciphering between all the people you encounter if nobody had a name. You could see they were individuals but there was simply no way to hail an individual person.

slaughtergames, I love the point you made and I think you're on to my line of thought exactly. The Haussman Gene CSU wouldn't necessarily find utility in giving itself a technical name, yet it wouldn't really find utility in giving itself a simple name either. As you said it's not intelligent in a way that organics are, it wouldn't have the necessary intuition to say "hey this name is too crazy sounding let's town it down", nor would it think "this name is too simple sounding, let's gussy it up to make it sound more technical and cool".

What I do think however, is that the machine would immediately find and follow a pre-ordained, logical formula in naming itself. It would put elements together just like it makes calculations to create the most ACCURATE label it can with its given codices and indexes. I think this means that from the machine's perspective, the level of technical complication is irrelevant. Accuracy and logic is the only thing that it would consider.

From a gaming perspective, I believe we need to ere on the side of balance. As no machines minds will be playing this game (at least not yet), we have to reach an equilibrium between "technical reality" and "user friendliness" to make for the most interesting name for us, the players. This innevitably comes with willing suspension of disbelief to a certain point because who knows what flaws a machine would inevitably see in any name we give it.

This is where I agree with you that I don't think it should be overly complicated...yes CSU-Theta-01.01.3.9-Delta is an interesting name but it's too complicated for conventional, everyday use. Whereas an overly simplified name (i.e. The Salvagers) simply doesn't do justice to a synthetic race. This is the balance I've been stressing. We have to find a middle ground.

Another thing I wanted to mention was your apt comparison to your Orks...yet another thing we totally agree on. I'm not sure if you intended this but you made a solid observation saying you don't call them your half-plant-half-savage-whatever etc...this is another point I've been trying to stress...I don't think the GW canon around the Orks touches this a terrible amount but it is assumed that the Orks named themselves the Orks, and that's why the player of the Orks calls them Orks...whereas the rest of the galaxy calls them slang terms like "greenskins" and "savages". This is the same thing the "Salvager" player should experience. Maybe the rest of the world has base and innacurate nicknames and slang terms for who you are but you're not going to be using those yourself. You'll be going by your own name. If a bully at school cals you a name, you're not going to start calling yourself by that name (unless you're self deprecating or the bully has a really good imagination, but that's another story completely :P )

Thanks once again for all the support this topic has gotten!
"Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not."

-Isaac Asimov

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trooogdooor
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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by trooogdooor » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:28 pm

@Xef: Hey, awesome to read, and sorry that I missed your tribute in your fic! I wish I had more time to read them all through, a lot of gold lurking in the fanfic section.

I can't take credit for the "Universal Constructor" name, though.

It was invented by a WWII-era physicist, named Von Neumann.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_von_Neumann

IQ ca. 210 or so. Could recite almost any book he ever read by heart. Invented half the math I use every day. A lot of people thought he was smarter than Einstein and Bohr. I don't really agree with that, but he was crazy, crazy smart. Pants-on-head smart.

He essentially invented the first self-replicating machines. Yeah, he built Salvagers, in the friggin 1950's. They could only copy themselves from certain building blocks, but it's still mindblowing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_von_N ... er_science

He pretty much invented the concepts we use in science when we talk about self-replicating machines. To this day, in hardcore scifi and technical literature, when people are talking about self-replicating machines, they'll tend to call them "Von Neumann Universal Constructors", or some such. The man is the godfather of everything the Salvagers are about. ^_^

(a major difference is the Haussmann Gene, though)



*
That said, your names are more innovative, and have layers of meaning to add. I can only think of one addition, for using plausible jargon: replace "mindnet" with mesh.

"Universal Constructor Mesh",
"Universal Reprocessor Mesh",
etc.

"Mesh", in robotics, typically refers to batches of identical units in formation, and each one actively (not passively) talking to the others.

For example, check this out, and have your head asploded:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQIMGV5vtd4

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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by Xefa01 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:20 am

All I have to say is, whaaaaaaat?

Your entire post just melted my brain and the Nano Quadrotor video but a boot print in the puddle...

This guy was incandescently brilliant, I love Wikipedia!

This concept, it would almost seem criminal to not have something in the name that pays homage to Neumann. Not necessarily using HIS name because that may be too blunt, but something. I've changed my mind about Constructor, I think it needs to be used.

I love the mesh idea too, evokes a sense of unity that may not be as forward as the terms "unified" or "universal", does it imply that each machine would have to be identical though?

I also really am liking "Genesis" now as well. I think it evokes a feeling that these machines have started to realize a new horizon. A significant benchmark of development.

Not to mention, like you said, the major difference between Von Neumann and the Salvagers is the Haussman Gene...Gene, Genesis...eh?

Anyway, my new vote is Genesis Constructors I think.

I'm going to go try to read more on this guy now.
"Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not."

-Isaac Asimov

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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by cymruvoodoo » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:55 am

I think if we're talking faction self-assigned names then the concept of "genesis" might not be one a machine intelligence would find significant. The combination "Genesis Constructors" sounds like either the robots which are building the city of the future for smiling 50's-era housewives and their briefcase-toting beaus or bio-engineers making stronger, better, faster humans. Either way, it misses the mark on describing a machine intelligence whose sustaining motivation is self-preservation and the collection and integration of deactivated technology into its ... self? I am actually not sure about that. How many points of view do the Salvagers have?

In any case, perhaps a better name direction would be something like "Constructing Imperative" and the abbreviations/slang terms "CI" and/or "Imps"

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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by trooogdooor » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:43 pm

Seems the word "genesis" has different associations w different people. To me, I immediately and inevitably think of religion; but this is because I got burned in a previous topic, and learned to tread lightly:
http://www.miniwargaming.com/forum/view ... 15&t=70313

That said, I think ultimately, the machine faction will have as many subfactions as the humans (corporation, reclaimers, bandits, riggers, and several more - to say nothing of corporation 1, 2, 3, etc). I also plan for the X'lanthos to have as many subfactions as the humans, and for these to be as diverse and unique! Faceless monolith, they are not.

So, if we're to go by this with the machines, and each subfaction will have their own name, I think that most of the names we've written here would be obvious choices. Another subfaction, since you guys are going the abbreviation route, is VURM - VonNeumann Universal Recycler Mesh. There, got the great mans name in, without people needing to ponderously say it. ^_^ I could picture a front line soldier grunt actually talking about a VURM swarm.

Ultimately, I find myself leaning towards searching for a "Blargh!" type name for the meta-faction as a whole. Yet I don't think any of the candidates are clearcut yet, maybe they just haven't grown into place.

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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by Xefa01 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:06 am

Now that the Fan Fiction contest is over I want to revisit this thread.

I actually really like VURM...it's got kind of a "Locust" vibe.

The only other idea I've thought of is the "Nexus Mesh". Simple and elegant. It doesn't include Von Neumann which I think it should, but I don't really know how I feel about adding his name specifically.

This is more than a thousand years later. Even though it would be a great tongue in cheek shout out to the real life fact that he started it. I don't know if we should just come out and say it blatantly because would it really be applicable at that point? Would the robots know who Von Neumann was?

Even though we all wear clothes (I hope), I know I can't personally recall who first came up with the idea without looking it up, because it was too long ago and the name has become all but buried and irrelevant.
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trooogdooor
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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by trooogdooor » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:07 am

I hear you, I don't think anyone would know who he was, actually. In modern robotics - and in modern scifi! - people describe Neumann machines the same way as they describe Fermions, Bosons, Euclidian space, Platonic love, and many other such things - generally, without having the foggiest idea of what exactly the name they use is referring to, or even that they're referring to a name at all. If you youtube for "von neumann machine", it's just hundreds and hundreds of videos of self-assembling robots, but I doubt that most of the engineers know much about VN's life and history. It's just that Von Neumann Machine now means something specific, because it's been used a lot. To use your tailor analogy, I'm sure you have no idea of who invented the Windsor or Double Windsor tie knot. And 99% of the people who tie their necktie that way do. We just call it that.

Nexus Mesh too - the meaning is essentially intact, and it's pleasantly compact.

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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by BobofDoom » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:39 pm

Something that could be fun would be do call them VN's or something. As things today have a vin number, in homage to Von Neumann and to keep with the idea of machine naming a VN could be viable. I personally don't like VURM mostly because it sounds silly to me. Nexus Mesh is a bit cooler. And as it was said before, we need to find a balance between what is cool and what is practical. Machines aren't playing this, humans are. To get people to play a faction a name is important. It should also be said that these machines are linked, so it would be more practical to think of the CRU as a brain and a scrapper as an arm, to use biological terms.

Also, the robots should have the most knowledge in this world. This is because data is saved on hard drives which are being collected by the faction. Also, if power was never completely shut off as it has been stated at least in corp lore then the CRU should be able to hack into the internet of the time. I will believe a lot of things, but I will not believe the internet will ever go away.

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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by AirborneHam » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:01 pm

I agree with slaughtergames.
AirborneHam, author of several stories in the Dark Potential Fan-Fiction Forum.

Start here: http://www.miniwargaming.com/forum/view ... 19&t=63550

It only gets better.

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Re: Proposed name change for the Salvagers and Why

Post by Xefa01 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:40 am

Slaughtergames does have a good point. That's why I think it has to be a balancing act of user friendliness and technical realism.

Nexus Mesh meets that requirement in my opinion. I also think a bunch of other names we've come up with do that as well.
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