Devs: Episode 5
March 27, 2020 5:35 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Kenton pays Jamie a visit to guarantee his silence, while Katie covertly exploits the Devs system for her own ends.
posted by octothorpe (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Jamie lives!
posted by octothorpe at 3:59 AM on March 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

Told yoooooouuuuu! And he's a hero!

I am wondering what Katie's deal is. She's a many-worldser, and Forest knows it, but he fired the other dev for using that theory to get better fidelity. I guess because he is on trial? For... being on the phone? Anyhow, sounds like Kenton is gonna get Kentoned soon.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:04 PM on March 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I really feel like Forest has it all backwards, (some amount of) determinism is a necessary prerequisite for free will. Our brains are physical objects, bound by physical law. Even if quantum effects are relevant to the functioning of the brain, the brain has almost certainly evolved to somehow work around them or exploit them (like chloroplasts with quantum coherence), because they could only add more noise to the already noisy system.
A choice is more free, the more likely it is to push the world towards the state you want it to be in. Any noise or randomness will only conflict with the effectiveness of your choice. The alternative to our behaviour emerging from a (more or less) deterministic system is not free will but a world where our choices are made randomly, ineffectively and without any meaning.

Ironically, it's the the application of many-worlds interpretation to their work which would have the best chance of figuring out his culpability for the accident. By examining a window of several minutes around the time of the car crash in each of thousands or millions of parallel universes they could get a really good idea if anything he could have done would have made a difference. However Forest can't seem to bring himself to identify with any of his parallel selves so it would be of no use to him. There's also the problem that assuming the real world version of the many-worlds interpretation, each moment still has a unique past, which means that Lyndon's implementation would have either been showing a consistent past, or it was making up fictional pasts.

In summation Forest is a crazy person and must be stopped.
posted by thedward at 3:10 PM on March 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

I've always sort of had a problem with the idea that determinism and foreknowledge were incompatible with free will. To consider a macro example; if I ran a secret test over and over an arbitrary number of times where I placed two plates in front of my sister and she had to take a bite off one of the plates, while unbeknownst to her I recorded my prediction of which she would choose beforehand, would the fact that I would predict correctly 100% of the time mean she had no free will? Because I know she has a deadly seafood allergy, and would make sure one of the plates was always a shrimp or something similar. My relatively perfect knowledge of the system means I could correctly predict the future with unfailing accuracy... but I wouldn't claim that meant she had no choice in how to act? She wouldn't be on rails simply because I knew before-hand how things would always play out.

Scale that upwards (or downwards?) to perfect omnipotent knowledge and the ability to predict future events unerringly and I'm not sure how it changes my evaluation of the situation. That someone can predict how you act doesn't mean you're as Katie and Forest believe "on rails", does it?

But this does make Katie's question about what happens if she watches a future event and then just does something else aninteresting one. Can she do that? There's no evidence that there is an unseen force of some sort which would intervene and cause her to follow her script. Would the computer break? Would the universe break? I'm not sure where they are going and that's a good thing.
posted by Justinian at 8:32 PM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Are we to believe that Lily is playing three moves ahead in all of this, and her call to the cops was a power move?
Katie is definitely watching AlphaGo/Alphazero but she's not playing the same game that Kenton is playing. It's weird to have also been watching Picard where Alison Pill also plays creepy badperson. sometimes the characters bleed together.

I'm comfortable believing that Kenton doesn't know what Jamie's hobbies are, and that some deep ninja hackery is about to go down -- but Lily only worked for the parent company, so she won't be able to get him access to Devs.

I continue to love the soundtrack to this show.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:40 PM on March 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

I think the important takeaway was the bit where Lily said she played a move because it felt strong, and was apparently correct, not that she was thinking 3 moves ahead and that's impressive. 3 moves ahead is really, really not much in Chess, much less Go. But perhaps Garland doesn't think the audience would know that?
posted by Justinian at 11:35 AM on March 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

Nice to hear Paul Rogers / Free. I don’t know if that was one or two different songs but his voice is so distinctive and welcome to someone with ears trained on 70s FM radio.
posted by hwestiii at 6:46 PM on April 14, 2020

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