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 What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?


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J
User

Posts: 247
What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Wednesday, August, 22, 2012 7:11 AM
Chalk it up to late nights and some canon review.

Given the premise of the story we're working with, what does being a User mean and what are their ethical responsibilities to the Programs they create/utilize?

After all, it seems we're neglectful precursors at best, abusive at worst - reformats, server crashes, uninstalls. We rez up these living, sentient beings to do our bidding, essentially creating a slave race that we destroy callously for the price of a quarter in the arcade (or on a home console).

So why would a Program revere our kind when it makes as much sense to hate us for our callous attitudes? Did Clu have a point when he called Flynn out on a charge of neglect? Was Jet right in saying our worlds aren't ready to co-exist? Were Flynn's actions in creating The Grid ethical or even sane?

And how would one go about being the kind of User a Program would not be ashamed to have?

It's an entire universe in there, one we created, but it's beyond us now. Really. It's outgrown us. You know, every time you shut off your computer...do you know what you're doing? Have you ever reformatted a hard drive? Deleted old software? Destroyed an entire universe?"

-- Jet Bradley, Tron: Ghost in the Machine on why being a User isn't necessarily a good thing.
 
Kat
User

Posts: 2,338
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Thursday, August, 23, 2012 10:40 PM
One of the perils, I believe, of mixing the two worlds. You can't run a system as a system, because now you know better.


Oh, the parallels to religion. No idea if they're intentional or not (at least not all of them).


And of course our worlds are not meant to co-exist. Agent Smith was right: the human race behaves like a virus or a parasite. I can only imagine what we'd do to that world... especially if we believe that the programs are "less than" humans. (And as I've asked before: SHOULD we believe otherwise?)

I have a section in one fic where Alan takes Sam and Quorra and my OC Elise to visit Walter Gibbs in the nursing home, and they tell him about the project. Gibbs pulls Elise aside, thinking she's the only one who hasn't got enough of a personal stake in it to be too biased to listen to warnings, and among other things he tells her, "Sam thinks your project will change the world. I think the world will change it, instead. Your beautiful digital world will become commercialized. Someone will find a way to make it a new way to hurt other people, or to further crime and corruption. Be careful who you tell about it, be careful how and when you tell the world and think carefully about how you market this to them, consider what the snags and consequences may be." (I imagine Gibbs might be cautious about it. After all, even in '82 he speculates that some day the computers will start thinking and the people will stop...



And to further bake our noodles: would we have ethical responsibilities if we didn't know we had them? Would it be wrong to reformat a hard drive if we had no clue there was a digital world in there? And if not, why would it be wrong to do if we did know? For that matter, is it wrong to not use the system as it was intended to be used, simply because you DO know there's a digital world in there that you don't want to harm?

What do you want? I'm busy.


Program, please!


Chaos.... good news.
 
TRON.dll
User

Posts: 4,312
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Friday, August, 24, 2012 2:41 AM
I've always assumed that the ethics and responsibilities of being a user in the computer are the same as outside of the computer.

From what I've been able to gather, it seems to me that "user powers" are essentially a visual method of showing how a computer function is done. That said, I've always assumed that what user powers you have are the same as what you would know how to do on a computer.

Now, we need to take into consideration the timeframe of Tron and the context of Flynn's use of the computer. First, this is the 80's. While today, moving a program to a different location on the computer would be as simple as a few mouse clicks, back then it was all text-based, so anyone who knew how to move a file to a different location probably knew their stuff about computers. Second, Flynn is in this system unauthorized. He's a hacker. So when Flynn disguises himself as the MCP warrior program, he's essentially doing the equivalent of taking the permission set from that program and assigning those permissions to himself, and then deletes the program so it can't send out any kind of security error message.

So, for comparison's sake, lets look at some basic computer functions and speculate how they would be represented in the computer world:

Moving a file to a different location - Some kind of force grab?
Deleting a file - Force choke?
And so on..

So, in the 80's anyone who knew how to do that kind of stuff with a computer in the real world probably knew their stuff about how to use computers. Today, anyone can click and drag an icon to a different hard drive location through Windows Explorer or Finder or whatever.

So basically, the danger of any average joe being beamed into a computer today is much higher than it would have been in the 1980's, assuming it's an open system where everyone has full read/write access. In that situation, everyone is a Jedi. It's just like if you invited a group of people to mess around with your computer. There's a pretty good chance they're going to do some things you don't want them to do, but they have full access to your system.

Now, lets assume we're in a closed system. You don't have the necessary permissions to move files around. How does that work? Maybe/hopefully, Tron 3 will cover some of that. My guess for now is that you just can't, like Luke Skywalker trying to lift the X-Wing out of the swamp in Episode V, but he isn't focusing hard enough, so he can't.

That said, and as a TLDR answer to your question: I think the ethics and responsibilities you would have as a user in the computer are identical to the ones you would have outside, in the real world.

Additionally, it should also be noted that Tron 2.0 is not part of Tron Legacy canon. Main evidence being that Lora is alive in Legacy's canon and she is dead in 2.0's.


TRON 2.0 (PC) name - TRON.dll
I'll play any mode, but I'm best at LC.



PSN - TRON-dll
XBOX Live/Games for Windows Live - TRONdll
-I have a Wii, DS, and 3DS. PM me to exchange friend codes.
 
J
User

Posts: 247
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Friday, August, 24, 2012 6:48 AM
Re Canon: I'm used to working in fandoms where there are multiple, conflicting sources of canon. Star Wars is bad, the DCU is worse, and the crown jewel of canon conflicts goes to anything involving the Land of Oz (Baum was cranking them out ahead of the bill collectors and it shows).

Legacy's timeline is the one Disney is building on, of course. 2.0 and Ghost in the Machine can just as easily be considered an alternate timeline, with Lora's fate as the lynchpin. Uprising may or may not be another alternate timeline, depending on how the whole Rinzler thing is handled. Kingdom Hearts? Definitely alternate universe and alternate timeline.

That's a good explanation of how User Powers work. Actually, it's very good.

The ethical issue I hit is how should a User in this universe treat their Programs? Should the two worlds even mix?



It's an entire universe in there, one we created, but it's beyond us now. Really. It's outgrown us. You know, every time you shut off your computer...do you know what you're doing? Have you ever reformatted a hard drive? Deleted old software? Destroyed an entire universe?"

-- Jet Bradley, Tron: Ghost in the Machine on why being a User isn't necessarily a good thing.
 
Kat
User

Posts: 2,338
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Friday, August, 24, 2012 9:29 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall seeing anything in T:L that mentions Lora at all, let alone whether she is alive or not.

(Sorry, probably would post more of a thoughtful reply at another time, but a lot of shit going on right now for me and I'm too swamped to have the energy to take care of much of my own business, let alone 'net posts.)

What do you want? I'm busy.


Program, please!


Chaos.... good news.
 
TRON.dll
User

Posts: 4,312
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Friday, August, 24, 2012 12:18 PM
Kat Wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall seeing anything in T:L that mentions Lora at all, let alone whether she is alive or not.

She was in Tron: Betrayal and was also at the Encom press conference ARG event.


TRON 2.0 (PC) name - TRON.dll
I'll play any mode, but I'm best at LC.



PSN - TRON-dll
XBOX Live/Games for Windows Live - TRONdll
-I have a Wii, DS, and 3DS. PM me to exchange friend codes.
 
Kat
User

Posts: 2,338
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Friday, August, 24, 2012 7:18 PM
Yes, but I thought we were discussing T:L?

(and she was in T:B, but we don't see anything of her past '89 when T:B ends-- and a lot can happen between then and 2010. I'm not arguing for her one way or the other, just saying she's a bit like Schrodinger's cat if we base it on the film-- we have nothing to inform us as to whether she's alive or dead. And remember, didn't the ARG you're speaking of come out well after the film and AFTER fans started bitching about the lack of Lora/Yori, hence it could be a retcon?)


(I write her both ways. The stuff I started before I found out T2.0 wasn't canon tends to have her dead-- in my private fic there would've been too much to go back and change to have her alive once I figured it out, so I just had to retcon it to her dying of cancer when Sam was 15. Other stuff has her alive, especially if it works better for the plot to have her that way. But then, some of that stuff is AU stuff anyway so it doesn't really matter.)

What do you want? I'm busy.


Program, please!


Chaos.... good news.
 
TRON.dll
User

Posts: 4,312
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Saturday, August, 25, 2012 2:07 AM
The ARG happened before the film came out, and is canon. For all I care, Betrayal is also canon. The only issue most people have with it in regards to its canonicity is the ending, which I believe was done by an entirely different group of people. The rest of the comic fits into canon perfectly fine.


TRON 2.0 (PC) name - TRON.dll
I'll play any mode, but I'm best at LC.



PSN - TRON-dll
XBOX Live/Games for Windows Live - TRONdll
-I have a Wii, DS, and 3DS. PM me to exchange friend codes.
 
Kat
User

Posts: 2,338
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Tuesday, August, 28, 2012 11:48 PM
TRON.dll Wrote:The ARG happened before the film came out, and is canon.

I thought the Encom press conference came out within the last year? Did we not have a relatively-recent thread with pics? Or was it an old one that was resurrected?


What do you want? I'm busy.


Program, please!


Chaos.... good news.
 
KingJ.exe
User

Posts: 371
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Wednesday, August, 29, 2012 2:33 AM
Must have been an old one, cuz the ARG was to promote Legacy.

As for the question at hand, I guess what we must ascertain is, do programs really live? Yes, they appear to have personalities and lives when inside the computer, but if you were to delete one you didn't want to, you could simply reinstall it. They have a regeneration cycle, so to speak, if their user gives it to them. Do they REALLY live? For a program, the recycle bin may not be the end. I suppose that programs may pray privately to their users asking for a safe cycle, and if they do get derezzed, to rerez them again.

Since a user can just as easily recreate program "life" as he can destroy it, what does that mean for his responsibilities when he becomes aware that programs have a life, such as it is?

Personally, I think a user has the same responsibilities inside the screen as out. Their responsibility to the computer is to make it serve him properly. Should he discover the program world, that doesn't change. He may develop friendships with programs, and try to keep other programs from being derezzed, but I think at the end of the day, when he's outs I the screen, he would derez that outdated Microsoft Word program to install a newer one.

Another interesting question, would a new version of a program such as Microsoft Word or Firefox be the same person gridwise, with just more abilities, and less bugs, or would it be a whole new grid person?

Everybody go join End of Line, an awesome TRON Roleplay forum! http://troneol.b1.jcink.com/index.php?
 
Mechazilla
User

Posts: 5
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Wednesday, September, 05, 2012 7:08 PM
I gotta chime in on this, since my answer has a lot to do with my dissappointment with how the Legacy story was presented....

If you assume a program is "living" on some level, and you are its creator then you do bear some responsibility for your conduct in how its treated. On the other hand, if the program is a digital representation of you, or your personna in an alternate "living" form then your conduct is your own prerogative. I don't have any moral qualms about how I treat my finger if I use it to tickle a puppy, flip someone the bird or pull a trigger on a gun. Its doing what I desire, because its a part of me. When i write a program I'm doing the same thing, i'm doing something (in the digital world) with an extension of myself.

By that same notion, a program will desire to fulfill its programming and do what it was created to do, its purpose. I ( and this is where i take a leap of personal logic ) would expect a program i wrote to do my accounting to be "happy" with its task, since this is what it was made for. Its doing it for me and in a sense it it doing it AS me, in the digital realm. A program that by design was made to fight on the games should be happy and enthusuastic to do its thing, and enjoy the process.

This is where Legacy lost me. In the original, the fact that programs were being seperated from their Users (and the purposes) that they were made for was critical in establishing the user/program relationship. Ram was an actuarial program, he wanted to do that and for his user but was denied by the MCP and you know the rest. I felt like this dynamic was completely missing in the Legacy story and that was a big letdown for me.

My moral responsiblities to programs as a User? Simply use them for what they were meant to do. Anything to the contrary would be illogical, and cruel.

Just my 2 bits,
Mech

Yes I'm old. Old enough to remember when the MCP was just a chess program!
 
laphtiya
User

Posts: 938
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Friday, September, 07, 2012 10:43 AM
I suppose if I were an in universe user I wouldn't be very ethical what with the Total War games I play with 6000+ programs fighting it out in a single battle :P


 
DV8ER
User

Posts: 145
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Wednesday, September, 12, 2012 8:18 AM
laphtiya Wrote:I suppose if I were an in universe user I wouldn't be very ethical what with the Total War games I play with 6000+ programs fighting it out in a single battle :P

Don't worry they will be re-rezzed next time you play.


 
Traahn
User

Posts: 3,188
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Tuesday, September, 18, 2012 12:41 AM
Kat Wrote:
TRON.dll Wrote:The ARG happened before the film came out, and is canon.

I thought the Encom press conference came out within the last year? Did we not have a relatively-recent thread with pics? Or was it an old one that was resurrected?

The following press conference, if this is the one you're referring to, happened before the film's release:
http://www.flynnlives.com/operationtron_overview/
Lora enters the first video a couple minutes into it. Alan indicates she's his lovely bride. (Bruce and Cindy look cute together!)

That said, I don't consider the ARG, video games, comics, etc. to be Tron canon. I know some things from them are, and that's fine. But I seem to remember some errors or discrepancies between them, and between the films. As far as I'm concerned, whatever gets put on the big screen dictates what is canon. Everything else is almost just side adventure fanfic to me, even if it's sponsored by Disney. There are and can be exceptions to the rule, but I haven't seen it yet for the Tron franchise. Tron Uprising might be an exception, but I still need to watch the series. I'm only two or three episodes into it *gasp! what am I waiting for??*


I'm getting out of here right now, and you guys are invited. ------^
 
Kat
User

Posts: 2,338
RE: What are the ethics and responsibility of being a User in Tron-verse?

on Tuesday, September, 18, 2012 7:41 AM
Traahn Wrote:
Kat Wrote:
TRON.dll Wrote:The ARG happened before the film came out, and is canon.

I thought the Encom press conference came out within the last year? Did we not have a relatively-recent thread with pics? Or was it an old one that was resurrected?

The following press conference, if this is the one you're referring to, happened before the film's release:
http://www.flynnlives.com/operationtron_overview/
Lora enters the first video a couple minutes into it. Alan indicates she's his lovely bride. (Bruce and Cindy look cute together!)


Very confusing. I thought all the outrage was because Cindy wasn't asked to be involved AT ALL with this whole thing, which is perhaps why I thought the press conference was a response to that. So she WAS involved, she just wasn't in the film.



Traahn Wrote:That said, I don't consider the ARG, video games, comics, etc. to be Tron canon. I know some things from them are, and that's fine. But I seem to remember some errors or discrepancies between them, and between the films. As far as I'm concerned, whatever gets put on the big screen dictates what is canon. Everything else is almost just side adventure fanfic to me, even if it's sponsored by Disney. There are and can be exceptions to the rule, but I haven't seen it yet for the Tron franchise. Tron Uprising might be an exception, but I still need to watch the series. I'm only two or three episodes into it *gasp! what am I waiting for??*

That's my problem. I'm used to taking additional material as, well, simply additional material (I even take novelizations with a grain of salt, as just sponsored fanfic in a way). I consider all the extra stuff to be like the Animatrix-- you get a better idea of where they're going with the storyline, but it shouldn't be essential to understanding the basic story (like, you shouldn't find stuff there that changes the game from what the films show) and I don't consider it hard-and-fast canon. That's kinda what throws me for a loop with this whole thing. One should have pretty much the whole idea just by watching the films; one shouldn't see other sources and then be like "but wait, I thought it was THIS way!" (Or maybe that's just me being difficult because I'm too lazy to be a source-chaser.)

What do you want? I'm busy.


Program, please!


Chaos.... good news.
 
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