Could it be that Omega is a person? Or perhaps a sophisticated computer?
Por que no los dos?
Still leaning towards either direct time viewer or some kind of prediction engine, but the idea of it being based off a person/creature/being's prophecies or statements which the machine then interprets is an interesting one.
Post by imaginaryfriend on Oct 27, 2021 7:13:42 GMT
Also of note in today's comic is a rare instance of telling an upset person that they can't be upset that actually makes them not be upset. I think I've only seen that happen once In Real Life and that was telling a then-gf that she couldn't get upset with me for doing something that she asked me to do. I've seen it not work or make things worse many times, though.
Dos cervesas, por favor! I bet they'd go good with the revelations that Omega is CLEARLY A GODLEVEL A.I.!
Wouldn't that be funny? The Court going: "nono, we didn't create a god through imagining it and letting the aether do the rest! We BUILT a god with our own bare hands!... after imagining it, BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT! Also, we don't know how it actually works, 40k orc-magic?"
At first I thought that Zimmy was responding to Loup, but looking at this page a second time, to me it looks like she's turning around, seeing someone, and recognizing them. Asking their name to confirm, because maybe she hasn't seen them in a while. I'm definitely on board with the "Omega is a person" theory. Maybe someone we already know.
With that in mind, I had the sudden thought that maybe Tony, with his mysterious background and poorly developed emotions, is Alpha. At first I thought no, because his name starts with a T - but that's short for Anthony, so... throw that on the wildspec heap, I guess?
I would like my cookie for that first guess.
The second guess... Remains to be seen!
Shell is extremely endearing despite all the reasons I have to dislike them.
The fact that Shell mentions readouts and numbers makes me think some sort of etheric computer AI or something.
Probably something that will be impossible to work properly until Kat the robo-goddess has a fiddle with it and "fixes" it for the Court.
The other side to this though is we already have one etheric computer the Court "sees as a useless system" so while the Donlans have built them anyway, there has to be more to it than that.
As we have seen with the secret appropriation of Anja's tech to make the robot shield, or their collecting of students with supernatural abilities which are not explainable either, such claims by "the Court" (which likely has several factions with different opinions anyway) don't mean much.
If Omega is an artificial intelligence designed to analyze and manipulate the ether, one wonders how long it will be before she decides that humanity's survival is dependent on being controlled by her superior algorithms...
"But now they made some kinda machine. No, Not a machine... It's like... a way of looking into the unseen world." Reference Interestingly, the graphic accompanying this shows machinery. So it's not exactly a machine, but perhaps it started as one?
We know from various sources that they've been trying to collect etheric energy. The power station system, for example. I've always just assumed this was to be used to power something. Omega, presumably. Or maybe they need a little of it to power or make robots? Unclear.
Who can make a computer that can use the ether? Or anything that can use or be powered by the ether, for that matter? Only three obvious candidates: Anja, Kat, and Diego. Diego is dead and was taken into the ether - we saw his final testimony. The other two are around. I remain concerned about what Anja actually does for the court. Don is also a possibility, and we know he also works for the court directly - he seems to be at least partially an unbeliever, but really he's pretty accepting of his wife's computer and activities, so perhaps that is dated information.
If we assume that Omega is an ether-powered computer or robot, or at least started out as one, that would seem reasonable. But! That doesn't necessarily mean it is entirely a slave of the court! What if Omega doesn't really want to see Coyote sucked of all his energy, or just doesn't want to see the court have so much of it? Then his plans may be a little suspect. Like, perhaps he knew this current one might fail. Or, perhaps he just isn't quite as clever as Coyote. I mean, who is???
I'm running out of steam here and don't feel like digging up the reference, but I remember seeing the shadow men doing something with some sort of interface and a huge monitor or screen recently. Perhaps that was them talking to Omega? Tom likes to drop stuff like that in, without comment.
I should have started a new thread for all of this, but was just too darned excited to see someone in-comic actually mention Omega!
One last thing:
Have we seen anything that can access or use the ether, that isn't in some sense alive? Or once alive at least, like Mort.
If we assume that Omega has to be alive, and yes that's an assumption, I don't really know, but it seems plausible... Then the question is, was Omega always alive (meaning, it is an entity either captured by the court or voluntarily working for them) or did they actually manage to create life?
This loops around to Kat and her robots. Were they alive in their old bodies? They certainly seem to be now! I bring this up because I feel like we're really touching on some of the fundamental questions about Tom's universe here.
It almost seems like humans can create life, powered by belief and the ether. Coyote said outright that he doesn't exist... Jones pointed out some of the scary implications to Annie. If that is all correct, then maybe Omega really is a created entity, created by the court's need for their own pocket god. Even Loup has realized the court is up to something bad, and Coyote already knew this, probably long ago.
Have we seen any supernatural entities that couldn't have been created as a result of human belief? Coyote and Ysengrin both had stories about them, which even Annie was aware of. The psychopomps? I've looked up several of the names, and they really do seem to be rooted in mythology (loosely at least). Interesting reading, BTW. Um, the various forest critters also seem to have some basis in myths or fairy tales. The fairies? Literally fairy tales.
The only things we've seen that I can think of that don't seem rooted in stories or myths are the robots. We already know that they have some sort of etheric roots - Diego made the original ones, as well as the arrow. Perhaps this is really his big sin - stealing energy from the ether, which is supposed to be used to keep the world turning, to power his little toys.
The only one that has even figured out what he did at all (that we know of) is Kat. Actually, perhaps Anja as well, to a lesser extent (her computer), but I've always assumed she did her stuff a different way - more direct. She never figured out how Diego did his stuff, right? She never got to see the puppet show...
Looping back around to Omega, I have to assume that Omega is alive, at least in some sense. If so, which honestly seems likely, it may be acting out of fear. I'm sure it wants to continue to exist (just as Loup does). What that means exactly? We'll just have to wait for Tom to tell us. I'm sure it'll be cool.
Last Edit: Oct 27, 2021 16:04:50 GMT by drmemory: minor clarification added
Having sent Cvet away, Annie's alone with Shell now, and rather than being comforting to Shell, she presses her about the plan to steal Coyote's power.
Shell maintains that all the data looked good before letting slip two very important words before stopping herself: "Omega said …" This implies that Omega exists and can communicate.
First there's the question of whether this "Omega" is the same thing as the "Omega Device." Occam's Razor, though; we've got no reason to believe that there's a person and a device both named Omega. Let's go on the assumption that there's only one Omega, lacking evidence to the contrary.
Omega exists – it's not some long-term end-goal that will eventually be reached. It's here now. It may still be a work in progress; they may still be improving it. But it works when they run it. I don't think they run it all the time, because there are only certain times when Loup saw that thing in the Court that he couldn't get a better look at. But it's functional and in use.
Omega communicates – now, this might be "said" in the same sense that the output of a computer program or the results of a scientific study can say something. Statistics can say something. Or this might literally mean it spoke (or produced words on a screen, or carved a message on a wooden ball that rolled down a tube, or whatever). This could mean that it's programmed to respond in verbal form, as many computers can do right now, or it could mean it's an artificial intelligence.
And finally, it said something specifically about this plan, most likely that the plan would work. This means that it's capable of error, unless they worded the question wrong. I mean, a "yes" answer to a question like "Will this plan to steal Coyote's power result in the success of the program?" doesn't necessarily mean that the plan to steal Coyote's power will itself succeed.
Then Annie seems to realize she's gotten all she's going to get out of Shell and turns toward actually comforting her, pointing out that if Aata sacrificed everything to save her, she must mean more to him than the Program. Shell doesn't have much to say about that, but she blushes more. Then she goes back to being all business, which probably means that Annie comforted her enough.
Found the possible picture of shadow men talking to Omega: 2nd panel
Hmm, maybe? But it's used as an illustration behind Aata while he's saying that the Shadow Men installed the shielding protocol in the robots over the years. On the other hand, where is there a robot in that image?
*Receives a dollop of delicious lore* "Please, sir, I want some more." Tom: "Whaaat? You'll have two chapters of Anthony and Reynard sorting socks and like it." Bizarrely, I'd probably like that chapter. Colorful socks. Strained and odd conversation.
Still not enough to do more than guess. Omega must be/have been alive. Or worse, the Court has created something unalive, capable of Etheric action. How would Coyote and others see such a thing? Etheric undead?
The fact that Shell mentions readouts and numbers makes me think some sort of etheric computer AI or something. Probably something that will be impossible to work properly until Kat the robo-goddess has a fiddle with it and "fixes" it for the Court.
I think we're forgetting that there's already been mention of an Omega Device, with experiments and readouts going back decades, and predictions that seem to stretch further than a single human lifespan, including possibly the union of Anthony and Surma. "Omega" is a device, one that's been in the works for such a long time, that Shell has started thinking of it as a person. If anything, it could be Aata who is the very old person who's behind the program's inception.
Omega is straight-up just Tony crunching numbers in Excel spreadsheets.
We know that Tony is just one of the Shadow Men working on the Omega project, so he's not in charge. As much fun as it would be to imagine that the Omega Mastermind is Tony crunching Excel spreadsheets.