Like any good story or any good work of art, it should make us stop and think. Re-evaluate ourselves and our humanity. So I think that makes this ARG a success because it certainly has done that.
Having just taken the survey I just noticed something that maybe was said before but I’m only noticing now.
We’ve known since last ARG that the Mercury Process is the ARGs nod to No Man’s Sky and the Mercury process team is Hello Games, but is this the first time that A&S have referred to themselves as the Atlas Operations Team?
At the end of survey it asks for feedback for the AO team and the MP team, essentially asking us to give feedback to the puppet masters of A&S and HG. Maybe it’s always been this way and I Just never noticed them using the AO team moniker before I guess?
If we assume that our primary goal is to get everyone out, or at least to save everyone we can, then we need to decide whether to rescue those who are most stable (ie. those without corrupted data) first, or to focus on those whose vital signs and critical values indicate that they are very unstable and need more immediate attention. I agree with those who don’t think we should be deciding whose life is more valuable than others, but if we want to try to save everyone, then some type of triage priority might be helpful. Do we save the uncorrupted ones first, because he have the greatest chance of success, or do we focus on those who need the attention the most?
Nina’s blood oxygen level rarely goes over 80%. Mike’s life support and blood oxygen are even lower. #23’s vitals are all over the place, and his/her life support is about 60%, and diastolic blood pressure is nearly 200 with very little pulse pressure. How will we decide what values are critical, especially since the numbers change so rapidly?
If the number of nodes corrupted indicate the difficulty of extraction, do we try to rescue the easiest ones first in an effort to save the most dreamers we can? Or is the number of corrupted nodes even relevant?
The other issue to consider is futility. We clearly don’t want to focus on an impossible rescue, and fail to rescue others as a result. At this point, however, the only futile task I see is Tariq. I’d really like to do our best to save everyone else, including the nameless #23.
Since #23 is the iteration before your own within NMS as made apparent when you start a new game and telamon starts booting up suit systems.
I’m of the opinion that #23 is the only one that doesn’t have a physical body, or if they do, perhaps a stooge was used to insert #23 into the system and its their intrusion that has caused the issue.
I believe #23 is an agent of the big bad of the ARG or perhaps another AI with its own intentions, perhaps tariq was another agent inserted to ensure #23 gets to see its intentions to fruition.
If there are 12 bodies to match these 12 dreamers, then I believe that the body representing #23 was nothing more than a trojan horse to get into the system with the other dreamers and cause this mayhem we’re presented with.
I see people here having good priorities in place for trying the best at saving those simulated entities. Good luck.
Personally, I take it as the fiction it is, only having a real emotional response when it has crossed the “fifth wall” of my dear NMS.
But this was also a role-play of sorts… In which I have no agency beyond not acting. So they were supposed to take us “somewhere”! All I see was hints of deeper stuff that lead nowhere, abandoned paths everywhere… Like it truly was spewed out by an AI based on some unknown parameter they wanted tested… The only sense I make of it all is by wearing the tin hat and imagine it as a parabola of NMS and its corporate affairs.
It’s like watching Lost.
On the slight course of action that we are allowed, I have stopped helping Atlas long time ago, and Loop, since V/ARE and her are buddies.
I did this last part survey, since curiosity breaks even more walls than A&S.
But… (On-role) whoever placed that bomb was on the right track. We need to stop the basilisk and their scheme by breaking all the eggs if necessary!
(*why did I think more darkness was needed? Might be a natural response to unfulfilled questions.)
FWIW, I think the crucial question is the one about the Dreamer’s attitude.
Some of them don’t appear to want to be extracted.
I agree. It is a good idea to make a plan of action now. If a person’s DNA is scrambled, there is no way they can survive. If hard choices must be made then this is the data we should look at, not their personality, etc…It would be no different if this was a mass disaster and there was limited time and supplies. You can save more by attending to the less wounded. And that is the bottom line. We want to save as many as we possibly can.
Is there a Google doc or something that has a brief summary notes for each dreamer? Something like that could be useful for when the stream starts and it gets popular. We will have to explain to people what is going on and why to vote for who or whatever. I have been taking notes and could contribute.
I remember one of the dreamers said the others can communicate with each other in the satellite, that could be important to know who can hear who. But after one of the early dreamers said that, I don’t remember any other dreamers saying they could talk to each other.
Phillip - lies to get out of trouble, paranoid
Eun Ha - would lie for self-preservation, Engineer
Alexander - 86 years old, dementia/alzheimer of some sort
Claire - teen, aversion to adversity
Tariq - Ware employee
Toby - 5 years old
Mike - military, issues accepting responsibility, lies daily but tries not to
Nina - anxiety/low self-esteem, lies “frequently enough”
Simon - streamer, hides in persona, hard time making decisions
Isabella - lies to get out of trouble
I am trying to think about what the end game would be? Is it to simply save all of them or is there something that will impact the game? Could the dreamers who can not be disconnected live on in the simulation(NMS)?
From Gmr Leon on Discord
My involvement in this ARG has been minimal because I dislike the blurring of the lines between my experience of reality and my experience of media (be it a game, a novel, a tv show, or a movie).
In life we do the best we can always without enough resources (knowledge/information, emotional resources, financial resources, etc) to make the right/perfect/best decision.
Additionally, each of us is subject to biases of our ambient culture. What Bacon described in his Novum Organon as the “Idols of the Tribe, the Cave, the Marketplace, the Theatre”. http://www.sirbacon.org/links/4idols.htm
The intense pain of truly heart-rending decisions we have to make in real life, like that which you had to make for your mother @MacForADay, can be re-evoked by situations like being involved in an ARG like this, or watching a film, or reading a novel. It can reopen a gaping wound that has barely had time to heal. My heart goes out to you.
We do the best we can with so little time and so little information and sometime with so few resources. At these times we need to withdraw to allow the healing to continue, while at the same time we need the understanding of our community. There is never an uncomplicated solution to the really major decisions in life.
Fictional situations often can forewarn those of us who haven’t yet experienced having to be responsible for life and death decisions for someone we care about or are attached to. But nothing. Nothing can prepare us for the actuality of them.
The main thing for me, is to not allow these events RL or otherwise, to harden us to the pain others experience. Compassion is the hallmark of humanity.
For those of you able to continue with this alternate reality game, best of luck going forward. thanks for taking it on.
Now I think I’m going to go away and have a little self-indulgent
To honour @MacForADay’s recent loss, and to share something with @Emily that might suit her self-learning algorithms, I will now share a true story that once happened to 8 year old me. As a disclaimer: I just wanna say that I was never really a religious person by any means. Anyways, here it goes.
When I was in elementary school, on the last day of school we’d all assemble in a local protestant church as per tradition in Sweden, and talk about the year that’s passed and what we’ve learned.
At one point, the priest, a 65 year old man, walks down from his pulpit and grabs a young boy from one of the front benches. I knew who this boy was. He was two years older than me and in my older brother’s cohort. He was called “Henrik”.
The priest turned to the audience and asked: Who of us two is more valuable? Who do you think God cherishes the most? Me, or this little boy?
All the kids remained silent. After a few seconds, I shyly raised my hand. The priest saw me and let me speak: “Henrik!” I shouted. Everyone turned their heads, and the priest looked at me with surprise.
My logic at the time was that surely the young boy must be more valuable to God. And to society as a whole, since he represents the future, he can contribute, he can become important, he can help us solve the challenges that lie ahead. Surely, a 65 year old who doesn’t have as many more years left, should not be placed on the same level as that young boy.
You see that’s where you’re wrong, the priest answered. - In the face of God, we are all equal, valued equally, and loved equally. God doesn’t make lists, he doesn’t have priorities. Some say that in the face of God, we are not even persons in the way we are used to think of it, we are mere different embodiments of his one and unique love.
Then, the ceremony with all the compulsory speeches and songs sung by students continued, and summer break officially started. We all went out from the church and onto the courtyard.
Even though I was still confused by who this “God fellow” really was, I felt that I had truly learned something that day.
All that remembers me something about “ethical decision”:
A professor in a college ethics class presented to his students with a problem. He said, “A man has syphilis and his wife tuberculosis. They have had four children: one has died, the other three have what is considered to be a terminal illness. The mother is pregnant. What do you recommend?” After spirited discussion, the majority of the class voted that she abort the child.
“Fine,” said the professor, "You’ve just killed Beethoven!"
@MacForADay I’m sorry to hear what you’ve been through. And you shouldn’t have to take part in this bit of the ARG if you don’t want to! I wanted to provide one quote from the book Man’s Search for Meaning. This is from an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” -Viktor Frankl. This book played a big part in forming my worldview.
That’s just one quote of many that I like from Frankl. I recommend giving it a read.
I fully respect the decision you had to go through, and how that must have altered some of your emotions forever. So I’m not going to tell you how you should feel about this.
But to me (who admittedly never had to go through anything like that, so I might be wrong) this does not feel like the same decision. This feels really just like a prioritisation that you do in any kind of accident with multiple casualties that you have to do to increase your chances of saving everyone.
I learned the first such prioritisation model in the first aid course that is mandatory for a drivers license in Switzerland. When coming onto the scene of an accident, you ignore everybody that is screaming, because they’re likely being the ones that need help the least urgent (since they’re still capable of screaming), and make a rough assesment of everybody that doesn’t respond first (because the poor guys might not even be breathing anymore). If you don’t follow that rule, the chances that everybody will survive are lowered.
I learned the next such prioritisation model as a military fireman, when looking for victims in a burning building. There it’s a strict “first found, first served” rule as long as they’re still breathing. You’re trained to leave anybody that isn’t breathing anymore, because the chances that he’s still alive under the circumstances are small, the chances that you can get him out fast enough even if he’s still alive are almost zero, and every additional run increases the risk of currently still concious people dying of smoke inhalation or the whole building coming down (making your way into and out of a burning building takes ridiculous amounts of time. Contrary to what movies tell you, you have zero visibility).
Learned a third prioritisation system in additional paramedic training, that was kind of similar to the one from regular first aid, except that people with their guts out get first priority after everybody’s been taken care of that isn’t breathing.
Now, I learned and trained all that stuff (well, the paramedic training wasn’t much to speak off honestly), but I never had to use them in a real scenario. Maybe I would think differently about them if I had to. But the way I see them, these prioritisation systems have nothing to do with moral dilemmas. They are tools intended to give you the best possible chance to save everybody. Sometimes (oftentimes) saving everybody is not possible, and wasn’t possible from the beginning, but you follow these priorities exactly because you don’t want to make morally hazardous decisions in the heat of the moment. Instead, you stick to what has been proven to save the most people in the given scenario.
I empathize with all who are having difficulty about the Extraction. Bicycle Walrus has a good point to make about the situation. It will be a Triage situation and not a "choose who lives or dies. He discusses it here: https://youtu.be/kN30MSYLD6c?t=18m19s
I’m not sure that it will be even a total triage situation though. We have 11 Dreamers left. Some of them are at the final node of Extraction. We have a week before Extraction begins. I think in this week we will be working on bringing up as many of the rest of the Dreamers up to the final Extraction node.
Remember that ALL the dreamers before Emily opened them were corrupted. Each of them opened when Emily was able to un-corrupt the initial files. Then we worked with her to unlock the next nodes, whether through conversations or events.
I believe that the same situation we had with Tariq will happen. We will do our best to solve the puzzles related to the unlocked nodes. We will be unable to control, or even know what will come of our choices until we make them.
And even if we make the “right” choices things may not work out the way we want them to.
Interesting background. Between 1973 and 1984 I served as a Firefighter with Merseyside Fire Brigade.
The majority of people don’t realise the difficulties getting in and out of a burning building. Nice to see that mentioned. The other thing is how short the life of a breathing apparatus set is when you’re working hard. And how heavy the things are.
And yes, in a major incident, triage is essential. You can waste hours trying to save hopeless cases, while people who might have survived are left to die. When you have limited time and resources, hard decisions have to be made.
I never did it professionally. Swiss Army is all militia, so you probably had a lot more thourough training.
Since most of our training was in the context of rather extensive underground installations (Switzerland has whole airports built into the mountainsides), we always used closed-circuits, which actually have a pretty amazing lifetime ( ours had somewhere up to 2 hours in the dry, which translated to to about an hour and a bit of margin when actually working). Trouble is, you’re breathing very hot air the entire time. As far as I could tell, none of our civilian firefighters use closed-circuits anymore.
This is EXACTLY what it means by “Working Together”!!! I haven’t seen lists like this before (maybe I’m blind)! (Yes, I am blind!)
Sorry, going through some Real Life issues and it spilled into these forums…I was in a frustrated / out-of-sorts frame of mind when I posted the message. I apologize for anything I’ve said.
I have personally posted links or answers to every bit of information I have on the dreamers. Summaries, profiles, patient files, codes, exosuits etc. Not including all the various info on ciphers, live chats and updates. Everything I know is here on this site. Everything.