Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

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Re: Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-01-20 01:22pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-19 08:04am
Sometimes, no leadership really is better than leadership that crosses enough lines in the process of trying to accomplish a goal "for the greater good."
Goddamn that read was depressing.

But I just want to say as someone who was very interested in the way B5 portrayed telepaths and tended to shy away from black/white morality, there's been a few times I wanted to reply, but waited till I had more time, and Alyrium beat me to it with a better post than I could come up with. This thread has been a very good read.

Sorry, generally don't like to shit up threads with "me too" crap, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

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Re: Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2018-01-20 10:27pm

TheFeniX wrote:
2018-01-20 01:22pm
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-19 08:04am
Sometimes, no leadership really is better than leadership that crosses enough lines in the process of trying to accomplish a goal "for the greater good."
Goddamn that read was depressing.

But I just want to say as someone who was very interested in the way B5 portrayed telepaths and tended to shy away from black/white morality, there's been a few times I wanted to reply, but waited till I had more time, and Alyrium beat me to it with a better post than I could come up with. This thread has been a very good read.

Sorry, generally don't like to shit up threads with "me too" crap, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
It's not over yet, dear.
Simon_Jester wrote:Sometimes, no leadership really is better than leadership that crosses enough lines in the process of trying to accomplish a goal "for the greater good."
Which is why we see Terrible Things(tm) taking place inside the Corps. An oppressive regime can always find someone willing to work with them either in exchange for special treatment, bare survival, a misguided attempt at saving people etc. Recognizing that is never an issue.

What is a problem is, at that point, attacking the partisans who fight the oppressive regime, or blaming the population as a whole for their subjugation.
Steve wrote:Alright. OTOH, I won't blame the rogues for attacking someone who wants to drag them back to a "re-education camp".
Neither does Bester, that doesn't mean he's going to shy away from doing it.
The issue is that even Bester admits his motives are entirely self-serving. He confesses to him that his promise to Carolyn is the only one he "gives a damn" about. IOW, he presents himself purely as an ally of convenience pursuing a personal goal and gives them no reason to think the Corps as an institution, might be anything but loyal to Clark.
His promise to her is the only promise he gives a damn about. That is different from saying she is the only person, thing, or goal, he gives a damn about. Why would the telepaths of the Psi Corps be loyal to an individual they had no hand in electing and who gives them nothing?

There are high-ranking individuals within the Corps who are loyal to Clark (or at least the Director, who is loyal to Clark). But the Corps itself isn't. In much the same way that the EPA as an institution hates Trump, but the people appointed into positions of authority over them are loyal to Trump. And the penalties for disobedience are far far worse than simply being fired.
But I think you might be demanding a bit too much of the characters, requiring them to know things and feel things that, honestly, requires information they don't have access to. All they "know", as of that point, is that Psi Corps is supporting Clark and that Bester's own personal motivations led him to come to them to rescue the blips in "Ship of Tears", and that his rage over Carolyn getting turned into a ship control unit is why he's declared war on the Shadows as well. And all they know of the Corps is what happened to Talia and the experiments that led to Ironheart, as well as the abuses that the blips testify to. They don't have the knowledge of internal Corps politics to know the Psi Corps resents being used as cat's paws by Clark and his allies to bring about their dictatorship and that all they ultimately want is freedom.
That may be true. They don't know. On the other hand, I can't excuse their bigotry and ignorance of other matters that they damn well should know.

They SHOULD know that Sleepers and the Breeding program are Mundane-imposed, because those are black letter law. They damn well should know that telepaths within the Corps have no political rights. But they don't. They should all know that a latent telepath is in no danger of being brought in by the Corps. The list goes on and on. They might not have specific details about what's going on inside the Psi Corps, but they also have a tendency to assume the absolute worst without ever questioning those assumptions.

And if they did know what was going on inside the Corps? Only Franklin and maybe Zach would give a fuck. We can tell because of the way they treat Lyta.
Edit: A quick P.S. I suspect the Psi Corps idea of "Freedom" may not match our own, and like any case of an oppressed minority... there's always a risk that their idea of what the endgame of the "War of Liberation" is will end up a reversal of roles, with non-telepath Humans made into second-class citizens instead.
Well, no one's ever asked them what they want. Bester has ideas (and admittedly, they're not good ones). But no one's ever once let telepaths decide what they want for themselves. Ultimately, there aren't enough of them to actually control the mundane population, so they physically cannot do what you are worried about. What they can do is win the right of self-determination.

Civil War Man wrote:The rank-and-file of the Corps are probably on the same level as the Earth Force Lieutenant on an Omega destroyer. The reasons for them being on Clark's side are varied, from being willing, to keeping quiet out of fear, to the idea of questioning their superiors never occurring to them. I do not consider Psi Corps to be a particularly benevolent organization, but I do find it interesting that Season 5 seeks to rehabilitate the mundane soldiers who fought for Clark, but not the telepaths.
You are failing to distinguish between The Psi Corps as a government agency that is ultimately ruled by mundanes with an iron fist, and the Psi Corps as a population and national identity.

You see a few individuals in Psi Corps uniform working with Clark's regime. As I've already established at great length, the Psi Corps was infiltrated--against the interests of its own population--by the Shadows, who propped up Clark's regime. And it wasn't very many Quislings. Just the ones high up in admin and some of the secret internal agencies that have the power of life and death over others. The one's in the Director's inner circle.

Most workaday telepaths have no clue what is going on behind closed doors. Even the Psi Cops don't. Bester only knows because he's been running what amounts to a covert operation against the Director's Office since the Earth-Minbari War, and even he didn't actually know very much.
As for the Psi Corps top brass, if what Edgars claims (and we have little reason to doubt him in this particular instance), they are going along with Clark with the goal of gaining political power. Presumably, if Sheridan's rebellion had failed and Clark let Psi Corps off the leash to become full-on Thought Police, a faction of telepath supremacists like Bester would have eventually overthrown the mundane administration and replaced it with themselves.
The man who is such a bigot he's willing to commit genocide and who believes all telepaths are in on some massive conspiracy? And we have no reason to doubt him? That makes no sense.

First of all, Bester's faction and the faction working with Clark are entirely different. It wouldn't be the telepath supremacists replacing mundane administration, it would be the faction of the Psi Corps actively working against their own people.
If you want a really villainous telepath, though, my vote's for Byron. The guy's basically David Koresch if the Branch Davidians could read minds. A lot of his interactions with Lyta use classic cult indoctrination tactics. He obviously has a psychological stranglehold on his followers, considering that the only ones who even talk are either special cases (like Lyta or the stuttering TK) or have broken free of his influence (the ones who turn violent). Though, on reflection, can we really say that the violent ones are free of Byron's influence? It's obvious that Byron was expecting to martyr himself and his followers, since even several episodes before his death he was telling Lyta that she would need to leave him behind. The violent followers also meekly follow Byron and sing along when he decides to kill them all in the explosion. In fact, it's rather interesting that, if Byron was expecting the surrender to Sheridan and Lochley to go smoothly, he'd let his violent followers show up heavily armed, particularly when you take into account his claim that he hates violence.

And, of course, Lyta immediately begins a large-scale terrorist campaign targeting the Psi Corps in his memory. So either she immediately forgets everything he tries to teach her, assuming his aversion to violence is genuine, or his real goal was to radicalize the telepathic WMD to carry out his anti-Psi Corps war if it's not.
On this, we're in complete agreement.
Cinnabar wrote:Except the Corps became like the Narn, abused children who now had the power to abuse others and continue the cycle of pain and hatred. We know how that ends for the Narn.
You have zero evidence of the first part.

Also, for there to be a cycle of abuse or revenge, there actually has to be a back and forth with the revenge. Can you point to a single solitary incident where telepaths committed harm upon mundanes that was not in self-defense or extracting the justice mundanes would deny them in the courts? Any incident where the Psi Corps did anything like a pogrom on mundanes? No.

For the rest of your post, you basically ignore everything in the post you were responding to. The Psi Corps is Bad, and needs to be disbanded? For what? You make a lot of claims without backing any of them up and without responding to the specific charges in my post. I have no reason to consider your argument further.
FaxModem1 wrote:No, he sacrifices Omega Squadron so that he can save his lover, as said in "Ephiphanies".
Oh right, that. I rewatched the episode. What's your point? He also works to save 98 other telepaths. It also furthers his work against the Clark regime. They might be men he trained, but at that point they were also an enemy asset because they answered ONLY to Clark.
Clearly a man who is working for the greater good, and not throwing lives away on the off-chance that he'll save his girlfriend.
And someone can't have multiple reasons for doing something? Six people for the possibility of saving ~100? Not bad. Might that have been the most important to him? Yes. I bet most people put in a desperate situation like that with a loved one would make a similar choice. So while it might make him a bad person, it doesn't make him any worse than anyone else.

How do you do on Trolley problems?
Or, you know, telepaths have a culture of being raised as superior to everyone
Not so much, no. Did Talia have an attitude like this? Did Lyta? Both were raised in the Corps. Bester did, but he's kind of a special snowflake.

Even if that's true, why the fuck shouldn't they at least have an Us vs Them mentality? They've been living under the Nuremberg laws in an instutional ghetto for 100 years.
What proof do we have of slavers?
Psi Corps trilogy. Human trafficking in rogue telepaths is rampant. Just go fucking read it.
Did Franklin happily sign them over to people he knew ran slaves? Are you saying that Franklin was that much of an evil dick, or was he that apathetic?
No. But that isn't required. A rogue telepath or a blip is a vulnerable target, especially if they haven't been trained. Just like illegal immigrants are on earth right now. How well do you think Franklin et al could have vetted ship captains etc without being noticed? Probably not very well. Just like today. Who do you think is doing most of the transport? Document forgery? How do you think those telepaths are going to make enough money to feed themselves?

The answer to those questions is organized crime. Organized crime often trades in what? Might that be slaves? Why yes. Do the fucking math.
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Re: Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-20 11:51pm

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
2018-01-20 10:27pm
TheFeniX wrote:
2018-01-20 01:22pm
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-19 08:04am
Sometimes, no leadership really is better than leadership that crosses enough lines in the process of trying to accomplish a goal "for the greater good."
Goddamn that read was depressing.

But I just want to say as someone who was very interested in the way B5 portrayed telepaths and tended to shy away from black/white morality, there's been a few times I wanted to reply, but waited till I had more time, and Alyrium beat me to it with a better post than I could come up with. This thread has been a very good read.

Sorry, generally don't like to shit up threads with "me too" crap, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
It's not over yet, dear.
Simon_Jester wrote:Sometimes, no leadership really is better than leadership that crosses enough lines in the process of trying to accomplish a goal "for the greater good."
Which is why we see Terrible Things(tm) taking place inside the Corps. An oppressive regime can always find someone willing to work with them either in exchange for special treatment, bare survival, a misguided attempt at saving people etc. Recognizing that is never an issue.

What is a problem is, at that point, attacking the partisans who fight the oppressive regime, or blaming the population as a whole for their subjugation.
I don't know Babylon 5 and will not make a claim about the issue on the whole. It's mostly a related comment on the general merits of "the oppressed people were led by Hard Men making Hard Choices." Namely, how that can go wronger than it has to, which is not to say it always does go wronger than it has to.

I have literally no problem with the idea that homo sapiens tele... something or other, you're better qualified to come up with a Latin adjective there than I...

Anyway, no problem with the idea that there is a need for resistance, just that sometimes, even the oppressed group can look back with a critical eye and question "was this the way to go about it?"

Nobody BUT the Israelis really has a full, unadulterated right to look back on the Jewish ghetto leadership of World War Two and criticize them for their complicity in the Holocaust (incidentally the author of the book review commentary I quoted is himself Jewish). But they do have that right, and if they find something to criticize... well, they may have a point.
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Re: Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2018-01-21 02:14am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-20 11:51pm
Alyrium Denryle wrote:
2018-01-20 10:27pm
TheFeniX wrote:
2018-01-20 01:22pm
Goddamn that read was depressing.

But I just want to say as someone who was very interested in the way B5 portrayed telepaths and tended to shy away from black/white morality, there's been a few times I wanted to reply, but waited till I had more time, and Alyrium beat me to it with a better post than I could come up with. This thread has been a very good read.

Sorry, generally don't like to shit up threads with "me too" crap, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
It's not over yet, dear.
Simon_Jester wrote:Sometimes, no leadership really is better than leadership that crosses enough lines in the process of trying to accomplish a goal "for the greater good."
Which is why we see Terrible Things(tm) taking place inside the Corps. An oppressive regime can always find someone willing to work with them either in exchange for special treatment, bare survival, a misguided attempt at saving people etc. Recognizing that is never an issue.

What is a problem is, at that point, attacking the partisans who fight the oppressive regime, or blaming the population as a whole for their subjugation.
I don't know Babylon 5 and will not make a claim about the issue on the whole. It's mostly a related comment on the general merits of "the oppressed people were led by Hard Men making Hard Choices." Namely, how that can go wronger than it has to, which is not to say it always does go wronger than it has to.

I have literally no problem with the idea that homo sapiens tele... something or other, you're better qualified to come up with a Latin adjective there than I...

Anyway, no problem with the idea that there is a need for resistance, just that sometimes, even the oppressed group can look back with a critical eye and question "was this the way to go about it?"

Nobody BUT the Israelis really has a full, unadulterated right to look back on the Jewish ghetto leadership of World War Two and criticize them for their complicity in the Holocaust (incidentally the author of the book review commentary I quoted is himself Jewish). But they do have that right, and if they find something to criticize... well, they may have a point.
The problem with your comparison is that the Resistance to Oppression is, in no way, responsible for the Terrible Things(tm) going on the Corps in the same way that occurred in the Holocaust.

Within the Corps, there are essentially four groups.

1) An alliance between active telepath nationalists and telepath supremacists who work to undermine Mundane control of the Corps. Can't move openly.
2) Quislings working out of the directors office, against their own people to further mundane interests. They might actually number only in the few dozens to hundreds, out of 10 million, but they've been systematically placed in positions of power. Can move openly within the Corps as a result.
3) Everyone else just trying to survive, forced to comply with Mundane-created laws and policies that oppress their own people because the alternative is genocide. Most of them are, of course, not exactly neutral. If you gave them guns they'd be telepath nationalists for the most part.

There isn't really an analogue to say, the Jewish officials in the Ghettos of Europe.
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Re: Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-01-21 07:44am

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
2018-01-20 10:27pm
FaxModem1 wrote:No, he sacrifices Omega Squadron so that he can save his lover, as said in "Ephiphanies".
Oh right, that. I rewatched the episode. What's your point? He also works to save 98 other telepaths. It also furthers his work against the Clark regime. They might be men he trained, but at that point they were also an enemy asset because they answered ONLY to Clark.
Clearly a man who is working for the greater good, and not throwing lives away on the off-chance that he'll save his girlfriend.
And someone can't have multiple reasons for doing something? Six people for the possibility of saving ~100? Not bad. Might that have been the most important to him? Yes. I bet most people put in a desperate situation like that with a loved one would make a similar choice. So while it might make him a bad person, it doesn't make him any worse than anyone else.

How do you do on Trolley problems?
Except, we saw Bester's answer to the trolley problem. Everyone who isn't Carolyn < Carolyn.

This means that if he had to sacrifice all those poor souls taken to be used as spare parts for the Shadows to fix Carolyn, he would do so. This is why at the end of season 4, when he's talking to Sheridan, he only really cares if Carolyn made it out okay. You can't ascribe a noble saving the list souls goal to Bester when he flat out admits that he just wants to save her.
Or, you know, telepaths have a culture of being raised as superior to everyone
Not so much, no. Did Talia have an attitude like this? Did Lyta? Both were raised in the Corps. Bester did, but he's kind of a special snowflake.

Even if that's true, why the fuck shouldn't they at least have an Us vs Them mentality? They've been living under the Nuremberg laws in an instutional ghetto for 100 years.
You're right, commercial telepaths are all right people, as they like making friends with mundanes, and just consider it a trade skill they have. The Psi Cops are the Supremacists of the bunch, as we see with Bester, Byron, and those at Psi Cop HQ. But they don't have to be that way.

For one, mundanes vs telepaths isn't a zero sum game. Having a cultural attitude like that of the Minbari towards their telepaths, as that of gifted helpers, would do wonders for relations. Or more of a, 'We can coexist' mentality. This is why the Corps from Crusade works so much better, as individuals like Harriman Gray can go after their dreams without having to be forced to work as Internal Affairs.

The Corps is the one wanting stronger telepaths, literally raping them to make them stronger, and cutting off any prior access they have with their families.
What proof do we have of slavers?
Psi Corps trilogy. Human trafficking in rogue telepaths is rampant. Just go fucking read it.
Did Franklin happily sign them over to people he knew ran slaves? Are you saying that Franklin was that much of an evil dick, or was he that apathetic?
No. But that isn't required. A rogue telepath or a blip is a vulnerable target, especially if they haven't been trained. Just like illegal immigrants are on earth right now. How well do you think Franklin et al could have vetted ship captains etc without being noticed? Probably not very well. Just like today. Who do you think is doing most of the transport? Document forgery? How do you think those telepaths are going to make enough money to feed themselves?

The answer to those questions is organized crime. Organized crime often trades in what? Might that be slaves? Why yes. Do the fucking math.
[/quote]

Again, where is the Sheridan bids for telepath slaves scene from season 3? If he needed telepaths so desperately to fight the Shadows, why doesn't he just buy them by the bushel? Or why doesn't it come up? If telepath slavery was such a big issue, someone should have brought it up and considered it as an option. Even if it was Sheridan handily dismissing it as too much like Shadow tactics.

Instead, it's treated like the telepaths are in hiding and they just need to call Franklin's contacts for info.

There's also the question of why the telepaths just take it. If they aren't being confined by Psi Corps rules, why are they openly going into the arms of slavers? Those kind of thoughts being broadcast by their potential slavers should send them red flags that they can happily walk out of using their telepathic powers.

Telepathic slaves doesn't really fit the Babylon 5 setting without bringing a host of problems and inconsistencies.
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Re: Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

Post by Steve » 2018-01-21 11:54am

I think the issue is the slavers getting the young and untrained who don't know how to scan or pick up on specific thoughts. Although I've yet to read the Psi Corps trilogy (it's the only one I haven't)/
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Re: Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-01-21 01:27pm

Steve wrote:
2018-01-21 11:54am
I think the issue is the slavers getting the young and untrained who don't know how to scan or pick up on specific thoughts. Although I've yet to read the Psi Corps trilogy (it's the only one I haven't)/
Which isn't the group we saw in the Underground Railroad. We saw a group of former Psi Corps trained telepaths who were very capable at telepathic tricks. Enough that they could at least be aware that they were in danger from any potential slavers.
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Re: Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2018-01-21 03:37pm

FaxModem1 wrote:Except, we saw Bester's answer to the trolley problem. Everyone who isn't Carolyn < Carolyn.
You have no evidence of that, and have zero idea how human psychology works, do you? When people make decisions, they rationalize those decisions so they can sleep at night. You also missed my point.

Bester has an ego the size of Mars, but he's been living for others for 60 years in the show. He's in an arranged marriage with a wife who doesn't love him, who he doesn't love. There are precisely two people he's ever loved, one of whom was murdered/forced to commit suicide (his mentor, not romantic but filial), and both of these individuals were as a teenager.

I say this because that's the context for him. So after 60 years of effectively being alone, not letting anyone else in, not making yourself vulnerable to anyone ever. For that long. How do you think you'd respond if you finally loved someone and they were taken from you?

That's why I asked how you are with those trolley problems. You know what happens in trolley problem experiments? Most people take the utilitarian option so long as everyone is faceless and they just have to pull a lever. But you ask them to shove someone over a bridge to block the train (they are very very fat in these scenarios) and suddenly people have trouble. Put a loved one on the tracks, and they suddenly start running large groups of people over.

This is normal human behavior. So unless you are willing to call just about everyone evil... you don't actually have a point.
This means that if he had to sacrifice all those poor souls taken to be used as spare parts for the Shadows to fix Carolyn, he would do so. This is why at the end of season 4, when he's talking to Sheridan, he only really cares if Carolyn made it out okay
Because *gasp* she's the one he cares about on a personal level. Horror! Shock! Are the families of terrorism victims terrible people for only inquiring about their loved ones and not necessarily wringing their hands over people they don't know?

How about this: Sheridan requires a quid pro quo to do anything to actually help all those people, and even after that uses them as weapons and kills a bunch of them. Unlike his soldiers, they didn't sign on for any of it. They don't consent to take that risk at all. At least Black Omega pilots know they are at risk and might die, and accept that risk. They KNOW they might be sacrificed. They know they might be
You're right, commercial telepaths are all right people, as they like making friends with mundanes, and just consider it a trade skill they have.
You're speaking from ignorance again. No. They don't. Telepathy isn't just a trade skill you dumbass. It's a part of who they are the same way being gay is for us. Or the way being black is for a black person. It matters to them. Moreso, because they are not actually integrated into mundane culture.

Look at Harriman Gray from "Eyes". His views are pretty typical and he isn't a commercial telepath, he's a P10 military teep.
The Psi Cops are the Supremacists of the bunch
Really? You base that on what? Two people? Out of several thousand. Nice generalization!
those at Psi Cop HQ. But they don't have to be that way.
Really? And what do any of them say or do that indicates this to you? That they need to make sure the Mundanes see everything inside the Corps is okay so they don't stick their nose in where they're not wanted? Really? How is that bad? Mundanes have the power of life and death over every telepath. Internal rules like that are basic self-defense. Tell me, does it annoy you when straight people criticize the gay community or try to dictate what our cultural norms should be? When they see one gay person acting badly and decide we're all like that? Now dial that up to 20, because in the B5 universe, telepaths have Zero legitimate political power and no control over their own destiny. They don't even have control over the curriculum used to teach their children.

Jesus fucking christ. You say these things and you convince me you didn't actually read my megaposts (here or on facebook) but instead broke your nose with your own knee spasms.
For one, mundanes vs telepaths isn't a zero sum game.
No, it isn't. But telepaths are held under the Nuremberg Laws. You cross that bridge once you're out of the fucking ghetto.

Having a cultural attitude like that of the Minbari towards their telepaths, as that of gifted helpers, would do wonders for relations. Or more of a, 'We can coexist' mentality.
So you DID just ignore my megapost on the history of the Psi Corps' formation. You are literally blaming telepaths for their own ghettoization. I am going to say this exactly once.

THE PSI CORPS EXISTS BECAUSE MUNDANDES MANDATED IT. MUNDANES WROTE ALL THE LAWS AND ALL INTERNAL POLICIES AND ENFORCE THEM AT GUN POINT. THE PSI CORPS CULTURE ADAPTED TO THIS.

But let's talk about the Minbari for a second. Telepaths still exist to serve mundanes. Minbari culture basically pigeonholes them into being itinerant monks who exist to serve and at the sufferance of, mundanes. They are still effectively an underclass.
This is why the Corps from Crusade works so much better, as individuals like Harriman Gray can go after their dreams without having to be forced to work as Internal Affairs.
You know how many telepaths were involved in crafting the new laws? Zero. You know what those new laws are?

Most jobs are still closed to telepaths. They can join the military, sure, but they are still discriminated against freely. The Psi Corps is gone, completely disbanded, so they don't have a culture or society of their own anymore at all. That was taken from them. There are no more communities of telepaths where they can simply *be* without having to constantly suppress their own senses.

When it comes privacy, they were on the honor system before. If a telepath accidentally picked up someone's surface thoughts, all they had to do was not mention it or act on it at all. NOW they are subject to twice-yearly compliance scans and get punished if they know things they shouldn't. The law is written so that politically inconvenient telepaths (like Matheson) can be removed from their positions, because no telepath is ever innocent.
The Corps is the one wanting stronger telepaths, literally raping them to make them stronger, and cutting off any prior access they have with their families.
Mundane policies, enforced at gun point. The selective breeding program (including "enforcement") was cooked up by mundanes. And remember, compliance is enforced at gun point. If the Psi Corps stopped complying with EA law, things get really bad for telepaths. They have no due process rights, so the Director can simply order them killed.

Also, the Corps does not cut off family access. First off, the requirement that telepaths be raised in the Corps is a policy written by Mundanes. The Psi Corps has no say in that, and never did. That includes telepaths born in the Corps. Second, for Mundane and Telepath parents, visits are permitted. Kids can go home for holidays and there are visit days on sundays. There are Psi Corps schools and other facilities scattered all over EA space, including most major cities on earth. TeepTown in Geneva is just the first one and serves as Psi Corps HQ.

If the Mundane parents don't visit, that's on them.

Again, where is the Sheridan bids for telepath slaves scene from season 3?
Nice strawman you're burning.

If he needed telepaths so desperately to fight the Shadows, why doesn't he just buy them by the bushel?
Probably because if he knew about it, he'd balk at slave-trading. Doesn't mean he's going to do anything about it. There are 20-45 million slaves in the world right now. How often does that come up? How much do you think about the fact that much of the chocolate you eat is made from cocoa that is grown by slave labor?
There's also the question of why the telepaths just take it. If they aren't being confined by Psi Corps rules, why are they openly going into the arms of slavers? Those kind of thoughts being broadcast by their potential slavers should send them red flags that they can happily walk out of using their telepathic powers.
You'd be surprised. It's easy to hide that sort of thing if the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Sympathetic UR agent arranges for a telepath to get a job with a corporation performing illegal scans. Whatever. Telepath gets there, they're not being paid, and they live in a concrete box. No money means they'll have a hard time escaping.

Most telepaths, even those raised in the Corps, are not trained in attack probes either. It simply wouldn't occur to the average P5 to kill someone with their mind, and even if it did, there are more mundanes. When she was being attacked by that Free Mars dude, Talia could have scragged his brain. It simply didn't occur to her to do it because she was never trained for it, and she doesn't know what to attack.

Lyta knows how to do it because her original internship was with Metapol, and they expect that even their back-line profilers and the like might come under attack. Harriman can do it because... Military Teep. Talia, not so much.
Telepathic slaves doesn't really fit the Babylon 5 setting without bringing a host of problems and inconsistencies.
That's only because you are not reading the very much cannon novels.
Which isn't the group we saw in the Underground Railroad. We saw a group of former Psi Corps trained telepaths who were very capable at telepathic tricks. Enough that they could at least be aware that they were in danger from any potential slavers.
Again, not necessarily. Golmar Kuhn (the little person) probably could. The P11 likely could. We don't know about anyone else.

A P5 can scan someone until they stroke out, but that's really obvious and they're vulnerable while they do it. A P5 can also see through one person's eyes, but they have to be familiar enough with the nervous system to do it, or figure it out through trial and error.

It isn't until someone's a P8 or so that a telepath becomes a nightmare for mundanes to deal with, and that's only if they know how. A lot of telepaths don't, and there are still countermeasures like cutouts that can be used.
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Re: Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

Post by Steve » 2018-01-21 05:45pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-01-21 01:27pm
Steve wrote:
2018-01-21 11:54am
I think the issue is the slavers getting the young and untrained who don't know how to scan or pick up on specific thoughts. Although I've yet to read the Psi Corps trilogy (it's the only one I haven't)/
Which isn't the group we saw in the Underground Railroad. We saw a group of former Psi Corps trained telepaths who were very capable at telepathic tricks. Enough that they could at least be aware that they were in danger from any potential slavers.
Ben's reply aside... the UR is by necessity going to be a cell-based structure, you cannot use one group to judge the circumstances and situation for the entire group. When you have desperate people, there are people who will gladly take advantage of that.

Although I think dismissing the Minbari model as having telepaths as second class citizens is out of hand. We've been given no sign Minbari are such, only how they generally function in Minbari society, which functions on entirely different motives and attitudes than the general Human society we see. Telepaths are enough of a minority that only the involvement of their running arcs justifies the number of them we see in the series.
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Re: Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2018-01-21 06:17pm

Steve wrote:
2018-01-21 05:45pm
FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-01-21 01:27pm
Steve wrote:
2018-01-21 11:54am
I think the issue is the slavers getting the young and untrained who don't know how to scan or pick up on specific thoughts. Although I've yet to read the Psi Corps trilogy (it's the only one I haven't)/
Which isn't the group we saw in the Underground Railroad. We saw a group of former Psi Corps trained telepaths who were very capable at telepathic tricks. Enough that they could at least be aware that they were in danger from any potential slavers.
Ben's reply aside... the UR is by necessity going to be a cell-based structure, you cannot use one group to judge the circumstances and situation for the entire group. When you have desperate people, there are people who will gladly take advantage of that.

Although I think dismissing the Minbari model as having telepaths as second class citizens is out of hand. We've been given no sign Minbari are such, only how they generally function in Minbari society, which functions on entirely different motives and attitudes than the general Human society we see. Telepaths are enough of a minority that only the involvement of their running arcs justifies the number of them we see in the series.
The Minbari are... jesus christ, they have a fucking caste system. What we see of their culture is autocratic as fuck. Even moreso than the EA. It's just a relatively benevolent autocracy.

Now, you're right, we don't see a whole lot about how their culture treats telepaths day to day. But trying to apply that to earth would be a Mistake.
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Re: Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

Post by Steve » 2018-01-21 07:20pm

It goes without saying that the Minbari are on the autocratic side, yeah. "To Dream in the City of Sorrows" even showed that Sinclair had to fight to open up recruitment for the worker caste (which, of course, has greater meaning when it's remarked that Valen had allowed workers into the Rangers).
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Re: Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-01-21 08:42pm

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
2018-01-21 03:37pm
FaxModem1 wrote:Except, we saw Bester's answer to the trolley problem. Everyone who isn't Carolyn < Carolyn.
You have no evidence of that, and have zero idea how human psychology works, do you? When people make decisions, they rationalize those decisions so they can sleep at night. You also missed my point.

Bester has an ego the size of Mars, but he's been living for others for 60 years in the show. He's in an arranged marriage with a wife who doesn't love him, who he doesn't love. There are precisely two people he's ever loved, one of whom was murdered/forced to commit suicide (his mentor, not romantic but filial), and both of these individuals were as a teenager.

I say this because that's the context for him. So after 60 years of effectively being alone, not letting anyone else in, not making yourself vulnerable to anyone ever. For that long. How do you think you'd respond if you finally loved someone and they were taken from you?

That's why I asked how you are with those trolley problems. You know what happens in trolley problem experiments? Most people take the utilitarian option so long as everyone is faceless and they just have to pull a lever. But you ask them to shove someone over a bridge to block the train (they are very very fat in these scenarios) and suddenly people have trouble. Put a loved one on the tracks, and they suddenly start running large groups of people over.

This is normal human behavior. So unless you are willing to call just about everyone evil... you don't actually have a point.
No. I'm noting that Bester, as you claim, was motivated by the noble goal of saving his fellow telepaths. What we see instead is that Bester cares about himself, his love, and other telepaths if convenient. If a problem, he treats them as an obstacle to eliminate. Bester seems to enjoy his work, even when torturing his fellow teep. He had it rough growing up, but that doesn't absolve him of being the monster he is in Babylon 5. It just makes his actions understandable.
This means that if he had to sacrifice all those poor souls taken to be used as spare parts for the Shadows to fix Carolyn, he would do so. This is why at the end of season 4, when he's talking to Sheridan, he only really cares if Carolyn made it out okay
Because *gasp* she's the one he cares about on a personal level. Horror! Shock! Are the families of terrorism victims terrible people for only inquiring about their loved ones and not necessarily wringing their hands over people they don't know?

How about this: Sheridan requires a quid pro quo to do anything to actually help all those people, and even after that uses them as weapons and kills a bunch of them. Unlike his soldiers, they didn't sign on for any of it. They don't consent to take that risk at all. At least Black Omega pilots know they are at risk and might die, and accept that risk. They KNOW they might be sacrificed. They know they might be
Yep, as the NCO on Mars notes to Franklin, they were using them. I'm not going to deny that it was morally heinous. Franklin even admits as much. They considered 30 lives worth the sacrifice to disable 30 ships full of Earth force personnel, around 30,000 people. It was probably the most evil thing Sheridan's side did in the civil war.

What I'm going to note is that Bester never approached the B5 staff and offered to join the Army of Light in cleaning out Clark's regime, or briefed them on how the Psi Corps was under Clark's thumb thanks to the Shadows and he needed their help. Or how Bester never comes clean unless he has to, making himself untrustworthy in B5 crew's eyes out of worry that he is manipulating them. Or reporting to Clark's regime. A valid fear, as Free Mars had telepaths spotting their plants them and turning them in.

Bester, as noted, thinks Mundanes breed like rabbits, and stayed neutral, waiting to see who came out on top. Or how, aside from Lyta, most telepaths were openly helping the Clark regime and not, say pulling the wool over their Mundanes master's eyes and aiding the Resistance, or their fellow telepaths in escaping, or anything to free themselves from their oppressors, more on that below.
You're right, commercial telepaths are all right people, as they like making friends with mundanes, and just consider it a trade skill they have.
You're speaking from ignorance again. No. They don't. Telepathy isn't just a trade skill you dumbass. It's a part of who they are the same way being gay is for us. Or the way being black is for a black person. It matters to them. Moreso, because they are not actually integrated into mundane culture.

Look at Harriman Gray from "Eyes". His views are pretty typical and he isn't a commercial telepath, he's a P10 military teep.
Fair point, but that's going around my point, non-Psi cops are pretty affable, but Psi Cops are not.
The Psi Cops are the Supremacists of the bunch
Really? You base that on what? Two people? Out of several thousand. Nice generalization!
It's a TV show, we have to generalize. Same way that Londo and Vir give us the impression that Centauri are generally all about blood nobility, tradition, and duty to the Centauri Republic, while still showing how Londo is a washed up politician with a hedonistic side, and Vir is an exception to the rule when he puts doing the right thing above country. Or how Delenn and Lennier show us how Minbari Religious caste are religious, traditional, and meditative, but that there is a fire deep beneath them when they get angry. Or how G'kar and Na'toth show us that the Narn are militaristic, cunning, and duplicitous, while also showing that G'kar is a horndog with a spiritual side, and Na'toth is a bit of a cynic.

The Psi Cops we see are professional, uniform, and civil, while also being cruel and cold.
those at Psi Cop HQ. But they don't have to be that way.
Really? And what do any of them say or do that indicates this to you? That they need to make sure the Mundanes see everything inside the Corps is okay so they don't stick their nose in where they're not wanted? Really? How is that bad? Mundanes have the power of life and death over every telepath. Internal rules like that are basic self-defense. Tell me, does it annoy you when straight people criticize the gay community or try to dictate what our cultural norms should be? When they see one gay person acting badly and decide we're all like that? Now dial that up to 20, because in the B5 universe, telepaths have Zero legitimate political power and no control over their own destiny. They don't even have control over the curriculum used to teach their children.

Jesus fucking christ. You say these things and you convince me you didn't actually read my megaposts (here or on facebook) but instead broke your nose with your own knee spasms.
And we're supposed to side with Bester's rampant enforcement of this regime instead of sabotaging it from the inside because....? Oh right, we're not. The show tells us that telepaths are getting a raw deal, and that there's a war coming because of the actions between mundanes and telepaths. The Psi Cops not building any bridges on frontier colonies or via grassroots, and instead going for a telepath dominated society makes them, as said above, like the Narn, becoming exactly like their oppressors.

In fact, going by the B5 wiki, in the Telepath war, the Psi Corps even tried to dominate the Earth Alliance and take over in a coup d'tat. It was in spite of the Corps and oppressors like Bester and fellow Psi Cops, not because of them, that telepaths got more rights later on in Crusade.
For one, mundanes vs telepaths isn't a zero sum game.
No, it isn't. But telepaths are held under the Nuremberg Laws. You cross that bridge once you're out of the fucking ghetto.
Or you build bridges and help transform public opinion so that you have allies. Go WikiLeaks to ISN about how telepaths are being treated, or distribute literature, or pirate broadcasts like the Voice of the Resistance did, or only obey when actually watched and then rebel when you can bypass the watchers, or a dozen other options. They're telepaths, being able to subvert a mundane despotic regime, even if supported by fellow telepath, should be an option.

It's hard to root for people who their only defense is, "I was only following orders."
Having a cultural attitude like that of the Minbari towards their telepaths, as that of gifted helpers, would do wonders for relations. Or more of a, 'We can coexist' mentality.
So you DID just ignore my megapost on the history of the Psi Corps' formation. You are literally blaming telepaths for their own ghettoization. I am going to say this exactly once.

THE PSI CORPS EXISTS BECAUSE MUNDANDES MANDATED IT. MUNDANES WROTE ALL THE LAWS AND ALL INTERNAL POLICIES AND ENFORCE THEM AT GUN POINT. THE PSI CORPS CULTURE ADAPTED TO THIS.
See above. I was only following orders is no defense. If they were really against it, they would have adapted harder and resisted in harder methods and only followed orders to the barest possible interpretation. The Psi Corps should be full of bureaucratic resistance, with misfiling, incompetence, and "We did as ordered, not my fault you gave me such bad directives." Not an efficient machine that has no cracks and gleefully hunts down harmless runaways.
But let's talk about the Minbari for a second. Telepaths still exist to serve mundanes. Minbari culture basically pigeonholes them into being itinerant monks who exist to serve and at the sufferance of, mundanes. They are still effectively an underclass.
Fine, then like the Centauri, where they do a job and get paid, then move on. Point is, human telepath relations should be a lot better.
This is why the Corps from Crusade works so much better, as individuals like Harriman Gray can go after their dreams without having to be forced to work as Internal Affairs.
You know how many telepaths were involved in crafting the new laws? Zero. You know what those new laws are?

Most jobs are still closed to telepaths. They can join the military, sure, but they are still discriminated against freely. The Psi Corps is gone, completely disbanded, so they don't have a culture or society of their own anymore at all. That was taken from them. There are no more communities of telepaths where they can simply *be* without having to constantly suppress their own senses.

When it comes privacy, they were on the honor system before. If a telepath accidentally picked up someone's surface thoughts, all they had to do was not mention it or act on it at all. NOW they are subject to twice-yearly compliance scans and get punished if they know things they shouldn't. The law is written so that politically inconvenient telepaths (like Matheson) can be removed from their positions, because no telepath is ever innocent.
Never said it was perfect, I said it was an improvement. Matheson is able to be a shining example of telepaths in mundane society, can convince fellow officers like Gideon that telepaths belong with them in society, and isn't (apparently) ostracized by society.

They can also work in the private sector, doing whatever they want, as opposed to a P10 having to be a Psi Cop or military affairs or whatever.

There's no longer telepath ghettos 'enforced at gunpoint'. There's still political corruption and problems, but not to the extent of science experiments and forced breeding of them.
The Corps is the one wanting stronger telepaths, literally raping them to make them stronger, and cutting off any prior access they have with their families.
Mundane policies, enforced at gun point. The selective breeding program (including "enforcement") was cooked up by mundanes. And remember, compliance is enforced at gun point. If the Psi Corps stopped complying with EA law, things get really bad for telepaths. They have no due process rights, so the Director can simply order them killed.

Also, the Corps does not cut off family access. First off, the requirement that telepaths be raised in the Corps is a policy written by Mundanes. The Psi Corps has no say in that, and never did. That includes telepaths born in the Corps. Second, for Mundane and Telepath parents, visits are permitted. Kids can go home for holidays and there are visit days on sundays. There are Psi Corps schools and other facilities scattered all over EA space, including most major cities on earth. TeepTown in Geneva is just the first one and serves as Psi Corps HQ.

If the Mundane parents don't visit, that's on them.
Sayings like "The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father", and preventing individual thinking and independence during training is on the Corps. You may say that the brainwashing and propaganda is all for show, but Bester seems to heartily believe it, or at least use it at any opportunity in order to get other telepaths to comply.
Again, where is the Sheridan bids for telepath slaves scene from season 3?
Nice strawman you're burning.
Because telepath slaves being a thing that should have come up in-show when they were scrambling for telepaths? That it was only in a book and not mentioned elsewhere strains continuity, as it presents options the main characters could have pursued, but never took, or even discussed.
If he needed telepaths so desperately to fight the Shadows, why doesn't he just buy them by the bushel?
Probably because if he knew about it, he'd balk at slave-trading. Doesn't mean he's going to do anything about it. There are 20-45 million slaves in the world right now. How often does that come up? How much do you think about the fact that much of the chocolate you eat is made from cocoa that is grown by slave labor?
Again, yes, slaves exist today, and in B5, this is established back in season 1 of Babylon 5's "Born to the Purple". However, when the topic of telepaths comes up, and they're scrounging for them, why isn't the telepath slave market brought up, at all? There should have been at least one line from Garibaldi or somebody saying, "Well, we do know that there are reports of telepath slaves coming out of (insert fake planet here), we could try and buy a lot.", only to have it swiftly dismissed. Instead, they rely on hunting down Franklin and hoping that he has contacts from the Underground Railroad days.

Instead, it seems like the author's justification after the fact for why the Psi Corps was a good thing.
There's also the question of why the telepaths just take it. If they aren't being confined by Psi Corps rules, why are they openly going into the arms of slavers? Those kind of thoughts being broadcast by their potential slavers should send them red flags that they can happily walk out of using their telepathic powers.
You'd be surprised. It's easy to hide that sort of thing if the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Sympathetic UR agent arranges for a telepath to get a job with a corporation performing illegal scans. Whatever. Telepath gets there, they're not being paid, and they live in a concrete box. No money means they'll have a hard time escaping.

Most telepaths, even those raised in the Corps, are not trained in attack probes either. It simply wouldn't occur to the average P5 to kill someone with their mind, and even if it did, there are more mundanes. When she was being attacked by that Free Mars dude, Talia could have scragged his brain. It simply didn't occur to her to do it because she was never trained for it, and she doesn't know what to attack.

Lyta knows how to do it because her original internship was with Metapol, and they expect that even their back-line profilers and the like might come under attack. Harriman can do it because... Military Teep. Talia, not so much.
Point about Lyta's attack capabilities, but that still doesn't explain random teep wandering into a dungeon and not picking up on their escort thinking about how rich this individual will make them or whatever. They also don't have to attack the slaver, just trick them somehow, or use one of the telepathic tricks they're taught as children in the academy.
Telepathic slaves doesn't really fit the Babylon 5 setting without bringing a host of problems and inconsistencies.
That's only because you are not reading the very much cannon novels.
Mostly because I'm going to hold the TV shows' themes and influences above novels where they contradict, and telepathic slavery is one area it readily seems to contradict hard due to setting and character abilities.
Which isn't the group we saw in the Underground Railroad. We saw a group of former Psi Corps trained telepaths who were very capable at telepathic tricks. Enough that they could at least be aware that they were in danger from any potential slavers.
Again, not necessarily. Golmar Kuhn (the little person) probably could. The P11 likely could. We don't know about anyone else.

A P5 can scan someone until they stroke out, but that's really obvious and they're vulnerable while they do it. A P5 can also see through one person's eyes, but they have to be familiar enough with the nervous system to do it, or figure it out through trial and error.

It isn't until someone's a P8 or so that a telepath becomes a nightmare for mundanes to deal with, and that's only if they know how. A lot of telepaths don't, and there are still countermeasures like cutouts that can be used.
Going by the B5 wiki, they could still institute a 'fugue'(a thought feedback loop in the opponent), a 'glyph'(a telepathic image broadcast onto the other person), and other 'tricks'. Though, I will freely admit that these kind of things might be beyond most untrained telepaths.

They should still be able to pick up on someone's intentions, and figure out if someone means to do them harm.
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Re: Alyrium: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. Motherfuckers.

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-01-21 09:12pm

Steve wrote:
2018-01-21 05:45pm
FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-01-21 01:27pm
Steve wrote:
2018-01-21 11:54am
I think the issue is the slavers getting the young and untrained who don't know how to scan or pick up on specific thoughts. Although I've yet to read the Psi Corps trilogy (it's the only one I haven't)/
Which isn't the group we saw in the Underground Railroad. We saw a group of former Psi Corps trained telepaths who were very capable at telepathic tricks. Enough that they could at least be aware that they were in danger from any potential slavers.
Ben's reply aside... the UR is by necessity going to be a cell-based structure, you cannot use one group to judge the circumstances and situation for the entire group. When you have desperate people, there are people who will gladly take advantage of that.

Although I think dismissing the Minbari model as having telepaths as second class citizens is out of hand. We've been given no sign Minbari are such, only how they generally function in Minbari society, which functions on entirely different motives and attitudes than the general Human society we see. Telepaths are enough of a minority that only the involvement of their running arcs justifies the number of them we see in the series.
I'm going how they were portrayed on-screen, same as how we are only given two characters of the Lumati, who only appear in one episode, to judge them as rather xenophobic assholes.. Feature of television with only one-off characters. I will admit that the UR probably has a large variety of telepaths in it, with temperate differences, simply because telepaths seem to come from all walks of life. Unlike Byron's group, who seem to have personal tailors, infinite supplies of shampoo, and none of them appear to be over 40.
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