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    Default Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Welcome to the fifth installment of the thread regarding the popular webcomic Grrl Power, where our heroine is probably not an octopus. We're pretty sure, at least.

    This is a comic that began as a look into the logistics of a semi-realistic (though still comedy-driven) world of superheroes. Since then, it's expanded into a more supernatural side of things, along with aliens. There's also fanservice - a lot of fanservice. So, if a fanservice-y deconstructive look at superheroes - with an artefact-empowered comic-book geek protagonist as she stumbles around in a ragtag pseudo-military organization - sounds about up your alley, well, take a look.

    Updates regularly, Mondays and Thursdays.


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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Grow... a space elevator... and it's going to grow itself into space... right.

    I suggest you do some research on the actual challenges of building a space elevator, and where the points of failure are, and then ask yourself again if these are workable ideas.
    I mean, considering the verse this thread's about?
    Growing one seems plausible.
    They might also magic it up.
    Or build some kind of... gate to the stars.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Because that's how science and technology actually develop. The questions we're asking are blatantly obvious, and obviously haven't been asked.
    Please don't lecture me on how Science develops. I am aware. Sure each discovery builds on another. But also each discovery also can be impacted by random chance, not to mention lost, and rediscovered. Which means it isn't just a hierarchy.

    Not to mention Cephalopods science would have different starting point, environment, perspectives, senses, etc. So you get a completely unique "tech tree".


    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Grow... a space elevator... and it's going to grow itself into space... right.
    It was an outlandish idea, but this is GRRLPOWER. Everything is magic.

    For real, but a Hypothetical Real Earth Cephalopod could have discovered a material stong enough to fit the bill. And a way to make something synthesize it. And a way to grow a structure out of it, that they can expand upon. Maybe not enough for a space elevator, but probably big enough for a staging ground for said elevator.

    Hypothetical Cephalopod on Green Mars, meanwhile, can just make a big enough Zylon rope.
    Last edited by -D-; 2019-08-05 at 05:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    If your entire premise is built on a stack of "could haves" without any explanation of how, then you don't have a premise, you have a whimsy.

    Especially when most of the "could haves" turn out to be unfounded fantasy.

    But when someone confuses the attempt to peel back their premises and assumptions, for "moving the goalposts", I do have to wonder if some things need to be explained.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2019-08-05 at 07:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Woo, I named my first thread!

    Anyway, I would be totally fine for "octopi are literally magic" as an explanation in comic if they wanted to use that, but if they were technology based then I think "how do they ever get past stone age tech" is a relevant question.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Actual octopi are pretty fascinating, as it happens.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Actual octopi are pretty fascinating, as it happens.
    Oh, they are. Some species are frighteningly smart.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    "The Soul of an Octopus" if you can find it. Utterly amazing book, if a tad bittersweet at times (Octopi don't live very long).
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    If your entire premise is built on a stack of "could haves" without any explanation of how, then you don't have a premise, you have a whimsy.

    Especially when most of the "could haves" turn out to be unfounded fantasy.
    That's how a hypothetical scenarios work...

    If there are a few holes in theory, they are mostly because humans never needed to do stuff that way, so there is less theory on electrical chemistry in water, because we have more experience on land.

    Let's do an experiment, imagine a role reversal, we are intelligent cephalopods on Earth arguing that primates e.g. homo sapiens could evolve into intelligent beings. Prove to me that humans can become space faring race, based on a knowledge octopi have. You can make cases for it, an I will shoot them down.

    And you are being unreasonable in the amount of details you require, and have demonstrated time and time again you inflexibility in thinking (water organism having to have fire and fire based metallurgy is one such inflexibility).
    Last edited by -D-; 2019-08-06 at 02:48 AM.

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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by -D- View Post
    Let's do an experiment, imagine a role reversal, we are intelligent cephalopods on Earth arguing that primates e.g. homo sapiens could evolve into intelligent beings. Prove to me that humans can become space faring race, based on a knowledge octopi have. You can make cases for it, an I will shoot them down.
    But that's the problem. I could point you to the wikipedia page for the moon landings to prove that Homo sapiens can become a space-faring civilization. If you're making the claim that Octopi could do that too, the burden of proof is on you. I don't often agree with Max, but in this case I do.

    Now, if you where just trying to come up with an alternate universe in which magic ideal materials for space elevators exist that can be made with a lower tech level than humanity currently has, and octopi have evolved into land-walking/crawling tool wielders, that's fine, and more power to you. But unless I'm wrong, you're stating that humanity instead of octopi being the dominant species in this world is just a random fluke, and that's a claim you can't expect others to take seriously without some serious explanation of how the octopi would conquer all the challenges we have.
    Last edited by DeTess; 2019-08-06 at 05:09 AM.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    This does seem like a really silly conversation. I guess my only two cents is that I don't see why the hypothetical Octo-People would need to become terrestrial. Capable of using land, yes, but living on land no. So long as they can bring water up with them, they can stay pretty much aquatic.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Well.. i honestly cant see how our level of technology can be developed under water.
    When it comes to it, water, especially salt water, is actually pretty destructive.
    And likely going to ruin any attempt at progressing past the stone/bone level of technology.

    So for a Cephalod to actually become a space faring specie on its own, then i can only see 2 options.
    Either it develop lungs and crawls up upon land.

    Or b), it cheats, bypass technology that generally run on chemical reactions, and instead develop the sort of magic-tech that we have seen among other Sciona use.

    This does seem like a really silly conversation
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by -D- View Post
    That's how a hypothetical scenarios work...

    If there are a few holes in theory, they are mostly because humans never needed to do stuff that way, so there is less theory on electrical chemistry in water, because we have more experience on land.

    Let's do an experiment, imagine a role reversal, we are intelligent cephalopods on Earth arguing that primates e.g. homo sapiens could evolve into intelligent beings. Prove to me that humans can become space faring race, based on a knowledge octopi have. You can make cases for it, an I will shoot them down.

    And you are being unreasonable in the amount of details you require, and have demonstrated time and time again you inflexibility in thinking (water organism having to have fire and fire based metallurgy is one such inflexibility).
    That's not inflexibility.

    Your idea that we don't know 'cause we don't live underwater and stuff... just isn't in line with the actual chemistry, etc, which don't change based on who's doing the work.

    You actually proposed using static electricity UNDERWATER as the basis for electrically refining metals.... and using metal to conduct electricity requires metal before electricity... the reason we have all these questions is because all your what-ifs simply don't work with the details you've given, so we ask you to fill in the missing details that would make them workable, and the response so far is that WE "lack imagination"?


    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    But that's the problem. I could point you to the wikipedia page for the moon landings to prove that Homo sapiens can become a space-faring civilization. If you're making the claim that Octopi could do that too, the burden of proof is on you. I don't often agree with Max, but in this case I do.

    Now, if you where just trying to come up with an alternate universe in which magic ideal materials for space elevators exist that can be made with a lower tech level than humanity currently has, and octopi have evolved into land-walking/crawling tool wielders, that's fine, and more power to you. But unless I'm wrong, you're stating that humanity instead of octopi being the dominant species in this world is just a random fluke, and that's a claim you can't expect others to take seriously without some serious explanation of how the octopi would conquer all the challenges we have.
    Yeah, it's not the "some other imaginary world" part that's got me saying "wait a minute", it's the assertion that nothing more than a random fluke of chance in the real world kept the octopus from dominating the world... and being told "oh you just lack imagination" when we try to point out all the extra challenges in simple basic chemistry and physics and geology and so on -- that don't change just "because they're not human" -- that an aquatic species faces is what makes it irksome.


    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Well.. i honestly cant see how our level of technology can be developed under water.
    When it comes to it, water, especially salt water, is actually pretty destructive.
    And likely going to ruin any attempt at progressing past the stone/bone level of technology.

    So for a Cephalod to actually become a space faring specie on its own, then i can only see 2 options.
    Either it develop lungs and crawls up upon land.

    Or b), it cheats, bypass technology that generally run on chemical reactions, and instead develop the sort of magic-tech that we have seen among other Sciona use.
    Right -- and the nature of seawater doesn't change just because it's an octoperson instead of a homonid.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2019-08-06 at 10:48 AM.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    That's not inflexibility.

    Your idea that we don't know 'cause we don't live underwater and stuff... just isn't in line with the actual chemistry, etc, which don't change based on who's doing the work.

    You actually proposed using static electricity UNDERWATER as the basis for electrically refining metals.... and using metal to conduct electricity requires metal before electricity... the reason we have all these questions is because all your what-ifs simply don't work with the details you've given
    Kinda is.

    My point is applied marine chemistry, is going to be highly different than applied terrestrial chemistry. They would need different solutions for wildly different problems.

    I'm pretty sure you can find some metal in some ocean somewhere, whether from meteorite or from a rock in a cave somewhere, over the duration of 100,000 years. Humans accidentally discovered magnetism and metals after all.

    So, to summarize, I'd need to take into consideration highly different set of senses, a completely alien intelligence, completely different social structure, in a completely alien surrounding, with a different set of initial conditions. And project a "realistic" tech tree of how would they send their members to the moon? And this is a realistic proof of work? That's a Hard Sci-Fi novel and not a forum post.

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Well.. i honestly cant see how our level of technology can be developed under water.
    When it comes to it, water, especially salt water, is actually pretty destructive.
    Said the creature that breathes what is essentially fire, and is made of a highly destructive solvent and probably drinks another industrial grade solvent (alcohol), while using what's essentially highly advanced sand.

    Do you understand how bizarre you would look to an anaerobic based life form?

    To answer your question, yes saltwater is abrasive to human-built structures, but we don't also build the structures underwater often enough for us to be an interesting enough question. So our hypothetical Octopi would need to construct based on materials that aren't. At first, they could use shells, grow useful critters that aren't saltwater soluble and hide in rock crevasses. Next step is of course trying to replicate materials that aren't water soluble, probably some for of calcium carboate based material. Or maybe something completely different.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    But that's the problem. I could point you to the wikipedia page for the moon landings to prove that Homo sapiens can become a space-faring civilization. If you're making the claim that Octopi could do that too, the burden of proof is on you. I don't often agree with Max, but in this case I do.
    That's survivorship bias. As a great philosopher once said, if Lions could talk, their Gods would look like Lions.

    I made a different challenge. You're an octopus person, you live in world without human Wikipedia. Prove to me homo sapiens can reach the moon.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    Now, if you where just trying to come up with an alternate universe in which magic ideal materials for space elevators exist that can be made with a lower tech level than humanity currently has, and octopi have evolved into land-walking/crawling tool wielders, that's fine, and more power to you. But unless I'm wrong, you're stating that humanity instead of octopi being the dominant species in this world is just a random fluke, and that's a claim you can't expect others to take seriously without some serious explanation of how the octopi would conquer all the challenges we have.
    Of course it is. All life, is a random fluke (human civilization on galactic scale is essentially Planck time fenomena), unless you think evolution is a load of hogwash. The fact we are breathing oxygen is a fluke. The self replicating molecule is a fluke. Five fingers on your hand is a fluke.

    Or are you saying that a different arangement of matter than our own couldn't become intelligent? Because we already know that isn't true.

    Would sentinent Octopi be different than our own Octopi? Yes, the same way humans and homo erectus aren't the same. But if they rolled a bit better, and we a bit worse, I could see us switching places.
    Last edited by -D-; 2019-08-06 at 05:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by -D- View Post
    Kinda is.

    My point is applied marine chemistry, is going to be highly different than applied terrestrial chemistry. They would need different solutions for wildly different problems.

    So, to summarize, I'd need to take into consideration highly different set of senses, a completely alien intelligence, completely different social structure, in a completely alien surrounding, with different set of initial conditions. And project a "realistic" tech tree of how would they send their members to the moon? And this is a realistic proof of work? That's a Hard Sci-Fi novel, and not a forum post.
    Youre, ironically, trying to make this more complicated than it needs to be, I think. Forget the tech tree for a moment. Forget the octopi. Youre magically somehow a human who lives in a stone-age society underwater, and you cant live on land. Where do you go from there? What can you do to get out of the stone age, underwater, in an otherwise human body?

    Heck, if that's still tripping you up, lets go one step further. Youre a stone age human, on land, only air has all the properties of salt water, conductivity, corrosion and all. Youre a genius among your kind, gifted with supernatural knowledge of chemistry and physics. Where do you go from the stone age?
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Youre, ironically, trying to make this more complicated than it needs to be, I think. Forget the tech tree for a moment. Forget the octopi. Youre magically somehow a human who lives in a stone-age society underwater, and you cant live on land. Where do you go from there? What can you do to get out of the stone age, underwater, in an otherwise human body?

    Heck, if that's still tripping you up, lets go one step further. Youre a stone age human, on land, only air has all the properties of salt water, conductivity, corrosion and all. Youre a genius among your kind, gifted with supernatural knowledge of chemistry and physics. Where do you go from the stone age?
    As I said, emulate nature, tame what you can, scrounge what you can't, find ways to make more energy. Explore, emulate, exterminate, expand. Repeat ad nauseam.

    Obviously, in that environment, electricty is a better weapon than fire. Find something that uses electricity as defense, then tame it, or find out how it works, and emulate it.
    Carbonates are a better structural support than metals, try building your house out of them. Etc.
    Last edited by -D-; 2019-08-06 at 05:53 PM.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    So... the underwater space empire discussion is drifting away from the comics, so I thought it might be a good idea to open a topic on this subject in hopes also to make it a bit more constructive, since it gets a bit repetitive here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by -D- View Post
    As I said, emulate nature, tame what you can, scrounge what you can't, find ways to make more energy. Explore, emulate, exterminate, expand. Repeat ad nauseam.

    Obviously, in that environment, electricty is a better weapon than fire. Find something that uses electricity as defense, then tame it, or find out how it works, and emulate it.
    Carbonates are a better structural support than metals, try building your house out of them. Etc.
    So you're going to abandon the oceans to go crawl up one particular river to find the one species that uses electricity as effectively a contact poison. So either you die in the fresh water, or you drag them to the ocean and they die from the salt water. Again, basic chemistry (tolerance for saline).

    Also calcium carbonate is limestone, which dissolves in water (hence the sinkholes slowly eating Florida). Most bicarbonates are also water soluble at low temperatures, and many others as temperature rise. If you're going to build with those, you need to invent cooling systems first.

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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    @Rogar Demonblud: Radar is right, this probably belongs in the linked topic.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    A new comic. A new disappointment.

    Yeah, no. Octopus wouldn't build a human suit to go on land. And they already go onto land. It would be less moon, and more like diving.

    And by that measure humans would just freak the **** out when they see underwater bizzaro creatures and never enter that realm of living nightmares. Except, that's not how curiosity works, now does it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by -D- View Post
    A new comic. A new disappointment.

    Yeah, no. Octopus wouldn't build a human suit to go on land. And they already go onto land. It would be less moon, and more like diving.

    And by that measure humans would just freak the **** out when they see underwater bizzaro creatures and never enter that realm of living nightmares. Except, that's not how curiosity works, now does it?
    Obviously that panel was a joke. A sea creature wouldn't be speaking English either, nor quoting the moon landing.

    Also, we do use suits to go diving? We even need special training and licensing because it turns out that, even without the whole drowning thing its still possible to injure or even kill yourself accidentally simply through the process of going up and down because the pressure differential is simply so great that the gasses in our body start to act in dangerous and unpleasant ways.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Well this is three pageant of needless exposition about the nature of parallel evolution across blah blah blah blah Charlie Brown Noises.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Also, we do use suits to go diving? We even need special training and licensing because it turns out that, even without the whole drowning thing its still possible to injure or even kill yourself accidentally simply through the process of going up and down because the pressure differential is simply so great that the gasses in our body start to act in dangerous and unpleasant ways.
    Yeah, let me just get my Octopod diving suit it's right next to my Dolphin swimming suit and Bipedal diving suit for my cat and the Cat swimming suit for my Octopus

    It's about as dangerous for an octopi, as it is for a human to take a deep breath and dive in the shallows. Example:


    And Octopi in aquarium are known for getting out of their aquarium, getting onto dry ground, walking to nearby aquarium with fish, snatching a fish and returning to their own aquarium.
    Last edited by -D-; 2019-08-08 at 07:41 AM.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Well it is as such relevant enough to explain for why there are so many humanoids.
    I do think its something that needs at least a token excuse. Even if it doesnt really fit that well under close scrutiny.

    Hopefully we are done now though.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by -D- View Post
    Yeah, no. Octopus wouldn't build a human suit to go on land. And they already go onto land. It would be less moon, and more like diving.
    Except that this isn't an octopus, it's a moistoid, which apparently does need to build a human suit to go on land.

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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by -D- View Post
    Yeah, let me just get my Octopod diving suit it's right next to my Dolphin swimming suit and Bipedal diving suit for my cat and the Cat swimming suit for my Octopus

    It's about as dangerous for an octopi, as it is for a human to take a deep breath and dive in the shallows. Example:


    And Octopi in aquarium are known for getting out of their aquarium, getting onto dry ground, walking to nearby aquarium with fish, snatching a fish and returning to their own aquarium.
    But they do have to return eventually yes? They cant just stay out of the water for a day or two, motoring around dry land and be fine? So why wouldnt an intelligent octobeing design a suit to allow it to stay out longer and in greater safety? While yes a human can go shallow water diving without any gear, the more gear they have, the longer they can stay under the water. The reverse would be true as well. At this point I think some of you guys are just so offended by the whole notion of sentient octopi reaching beyond stone age tech levels that you are being incredibly negative about the whole thing. For gods sake this is a webcomic, not a doctoral thesis on alternative evolutionary potential. Just nod at the fridge logic and move along rather than being so dead set against it you feel the need to assault every portion of it and deny that any of it could ever have even the slightest potential.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    But they do have to return eventually yes? They cant just stay out of the water for a day or two, motoring around dry land and be fine? So why wouldnt an intelligent octobeing design a suit to allow it to stay out longer and in greater safety?
    Again, my problem wasn't that it needs a suit. It's that it's a using a suit designed for an entirely different creature. Why don't you wear a swim suit designed for a shark?

    Also apparently when they sent their best and brightest to the "moon" (aka the beach), they sent Zoidberg.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by -D- View Post
    Again, my problem wasn't that it needs a suit. It's that it's a using a suit designed for an entirely different creature. Why don't you wear a swim suit designed for a shark?

    Also apparently when they sent their best and brightest to the "moon" (aka the beach), they sent Zoidberg.
    Again, its a joke. Of course its silly.
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    Default Re: Grrl Power V: Probably Not an Octopus

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Again, its a joke. Of course its silly.
    It's a joke. I agree. But a stupid one.
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