Commentary on Robot Fighting pt. 2

(I’ve continued to Twitter bits and pieces of the history of Robot Fighting, and other stray facts and commentary on robot fighting, so figured I’d better keep cataloging them here, or I’ll lose track of them)

I built my Robot Fighter HQ (Pacific North-West district) over the weekend. This is the red alert alarm. – http://blip.fm/~1t52d – Could always use a touch of the Enterprise klaxon though. Really, what couldn’t though?

I may have to write a robot fighter manifesto. Better now, before they all run wild (the robots, not fighters, of which there are too few.)

http://blip.fm/~1uv5e – Rest your weary head, robot fighter. The sun is rising over the junkyard you fought hard all night long to create.

Japan, surprisingly, has few robot fighters. They are, however, global leaders in mechanoid robot fighting equipment. 67% of world market.

A quick lexicon lesson – you know what a robot fighter is. A human trained to fight robots mano a machina;

Robot – More specific than dictionary definition. An artificially created, mechanical entity that has a notable level of self-awareness. This self-awareness is what often leads to malicious action on the part of the entity, either by rules confusion in the low-level thinkers; or in inhuman goals and desires without human moral or ethical checks, which can happen to the high-level thinkers.

A mechanoid is a robot by strict definition, but has no awareness. A car assembly line robot is a mechanoid. A mechanoid can run amok, but can often be dealt with by authorities. A warehouse loader will not protect its power supply, for example. Hence, the required distinction. Finally, there are cyborgs and androids.

Cyborgs are part human, part machine. An artificial mind in a human body has never been successful, thus most cyborgs are considered humans with artificial parts. There are no robots with human parts, you see. It’s a philosophical discussion.

An android is an artificial mind in an artificial body. They are extremely rare, numbering just over 300 worldwide. What distinguishes them from robots is that their extremely high level thought process nearly equals human thought. This thought brings with it a certain amount of human values, and by extension a sense of right and wrong in a society. Androids have, very rarely, done wrong, but they are completely aware of it and take responsibility. Their crimes are never violent however. It’s been suggested, by some androids even, that their unique existence is something they don’t take for granted as humans do and thus their generally peaceful nature. And the fact that no android has had to be violently dealt with. Except for Gen. Shennong (將軍神農), who fought and killed three robot fighters in Shandong province, China, 1973, before being defeated.

The tides are turning in the human’s favour in a robot fight, when everything goes slow mo and this song comes on. http://blip.fm/~1zzue

This one’s for the 1999 UN Expeditionary Force that dropshipped from Mars orbit to face 100-1 odds. 10 years, today. http://blip.fm/~1zzzk

It might seem a cheeky pick, but that’s actually what the Flight Commander played over the comm during the orbital insertion. They only discovered how badly the robot forces outnumbered them one month out from Mars. 100-1 and conventional weapons only. No bombing from orbit – the commanders opted to drop right on top of enemy, engage as quickly as possible. The men nicknamed it Meat Bombing, with typical battlefield humour. Flight Commander’s choice makes more sense with that in mind. The victors said it helped turn fear to fight during the critical drop – with only 10% casualties, few historians have argued otherwise.

Interesting fact, early experiments in electronic music were conducted to see if humans could learn to think more like a robot. Understand their minds more – it was the 60s. They did a lot of strange things. Nobody learned how to think like a robot but it did influence popular music. And many robot fighters say they use the precision of electronic music as a metronome while practicing. For timing as well as motivation during grueling routines.

Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer’s I Feel Love was a fighter favourite in the 80s http://snipurl.com/bq2ci (expand) until House and Techno climbed. Since some of you asked, I vary, but when I began training, it was a lot of Prodigy. http://tinyurl.com/b7v97j

Yes, the music is a good clue that robot fighting in the 70s and 80s was a lot different than the 90s to now. They got faster.

Magnus class fighters tend to use close-quarter mixed styles these days – Cali, Muay Thai-Boran-Lao, that sort of thing. You can’t fight a robot at arms length – you don’t have the stamina and sometimes nowhere near the reach. As scary as it is, you have to get in close, fast, and disable. Think John Cusack in Grosse Pointe Blank or Matt Damon in Bourne Identity. Only replace their European opponents with, like, a 12 foot tall, alloyed monster. The big ones are the worst. I’d fight 100 5 footers over one 12 footer, any day. Conversely, if you’re not a Magnus class fighter, use everything you can to stay out of their range. Or just stay away, really.

Most world military, many police forces, and several large corporations maintain “drop teams” – insanely high skilled snipers essentially. A good shot from a 50cal rifle can drop most rampaging, commercial grade robots, and the teams are far less of an investment than a fighter.

There’s a fighter saying, “Those who can, punch. Those who can’t, shoot.” And they say the converse about us. It’s a friendly rivalry though. The media lavished attention on Marine Specialist Johansen after the defeat of Titano-naut in Philadelphia, 1996, but Johansen would be the first to tell you the credit goes to the Marine drop team out of Quantico.

Unable to seriously damage the rampaging giant, LCpl Hauser and spotting partner PFC Williams hit a 1 inch light sensor at 500 yards. It triggered a 15 min period where the robot analyzed its options, allowing an inbound Johansen time to reach the scene before it restarted. In an interview with Jane’s magazine, Johansen was quoted “With that one shot, a six year old with a can opener could have taken it down.”

I’ve been asked the classes of robot fighters – it’s not a rank thing, but a discipline thing. Magnus class fighters, like myself, are martial. It is the singular ability to punch chassis with bare fists. But there are others. Babbage class fighters attack using electronic warfare. Spearman class fighters employ psychology. There hasn’t been a Spearman class fighter in over 50 years. A Davidson class uses a keen knowledge of mechanical engineering to disable a target. Next to Magnus class, they are the most hands on. They don’t use fists so much as tools. Wrecking bars are common. One Irish fighter in WW2 reportedly used a large screw driver. Name unknown. The Soviet army’s Rabota Ubitsa Brigade (literally “robot murderer”), unsurprisingly, issued hammers to their Davidsons. It’s optional now.

(after catching a Beyonce video while channel surfing)

That’s interesting – that’s a shock gauntlet Beyonce wears in Single Ladies video. Seems a strange thing to borrow for a video. Only NATO robot fighters (non-magnus class) use them. I’m assuming Jay-Z might know some people. Robot fighting is popular in the Hip-Hop community. One of the Wu-Tang completed basic training, or so I’ve heard. I can’t recall the name…

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