24

Recipient, p5

December 8, 2021 by Tim


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GUNnibal
GUNnibal
11 months ago

The only thing I can add to that last panel is: “I have a very particular set of skills.”

The Legacy
The Legacy
11 months ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

And “I have a very particular set of pants.”

Klaster_1
Klaster_1
11 months ago

Love the direction this is going, trying to convey the alien species what being human is and looking on your beliefs from a fresh perspective along the way.

BillyG
BillyG
11 months ago
Reply to  Klaster_1

The keyword to use here is “Reciprocity”

Whatever
Whatever
11 months ago
Reply to  BillyG

Always sounds good in theory.

ShonaSoF
ShonaSoF
11 months ago
Reply to  BillyG

To be fair, that might be too big a word for Ethan.

Bwauder
Bwauder
11 months ago

It puts the lotion on its skin, or I steal a hundredth of a cent from its bank account again.

EMMachine
EMMachine
11 months ago

I think one of the best lessons Ethan could teach ZK is:
“what you don’t want someone to do to you, don’t do it to anyone else”

WereCatf
WereCatf
11 months ago
Reply to  EMMachine

In ZK’s case, he’d definitely need to add the disclaimer of “what you’d want someone to do to you would most likely still be wrong to do to anyone else!“, given how….”unorthodox” ZK can be.

wkz
wkz
11 months ago
Reply to  WereCatf

“What do you mean I can’t plug the power mains into a human? I do that to myself all the time.”

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
11 months ago
Reply to  EMMachine

Problem is, I dont think that ZK would particularly care if someone took a fraction of a cent from his pants purchase.

But yeah, golden rule would be good.

Scott
Scott
11 months ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

How about a single thread?

Then another…

Then another…

faaresemo
faaresemo
11 months ago
Reply to  Scott

I have a dozen pairs of pants and I’m one person out of over 7 billion. If each of my pants has to lose a handful of threads to give clothes to those without clothes, I’ll pull them out myself.

But at the same time, don’t act like this is something that can actually stack up. It can’t. Especially to those who have the most to lose, since they don’t have enough money to be making frequent enough transactions to skim from.

Last edited 11 months ago by faaresemo
Brett Stratton
Brett Stratton
11 months ago

ZK’s always been stubborn about his beliefs, but they’ve always eventually accepted that they’re not always right. This is gonna be one of those moments.

foducool
foducool
11 months ago

“not upset, I’d just make do with what I have at arm reach”

Ace5762
Ace5762
11 months ago

ahah, the ‘attempting to teach empathy’ portion

Me-me
Me-me
11 months ago
Reply to  Ace5762

Bingo. Teaching a child’s lesson to something that is very much not a child.

lechuckGL
lechuckGL
11 months ago
Reply to  Me-me

A killer-ninja-robot-man-child ?

Leon
Leon
11 months ago
Reply to  Ace5762

Heart hidden within the Xbox marketplace

ocramot
ocramot
11 months ago

ZeKe brings the “eye for an eye” concept to a whole new level.

Freddie
Freddie
11 months ago
Reply to  ocramot

A leg for a pants leg?

Naustghoul
Naustghoul
11 months ago

Quick plot point hole:

If he can just get infinite pants by stealing, then Zeke would not care. Ethan should have used a caveat to explain WHY Zeke could not get anymore pants.

Alex
Alex
11 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Hi. I agree with you.
However, keep in mind that you are, in fact, paying your insurer to replace a number of stolen cars. Less theft would (should) result in lower premiums. Thus, theft damages you personally no metter who gets their car stolen.

FITCamaro
FITCamaro
11 months ago
Reply to  Tim

What insurance do you have? I need to find the insurance that replaces my car with another car rather than what they feel like my car is worth, but won’t actually replace it.

Jacob
Jacob
11 months ago
Reply to  FITCamaro

The difference between liability only (damage caused by the owner) and full coverage.

For me, All State’s full coverage includes valuing the vehicle at 1 year newer and 20k less miles for replacement purposes (less deductible of course, so I am still out 1000$USD)

southpawfrenzy
southpawfrenzy
11 months ago
Reply to  Jacob

sounds like you’re in good hands then! 😀

Greg
Greg
11 months ago
Reply to  Jacob

Isn’t “1 year newer and 20k less miles” worth at least $1000? If so you’ve been made whole (assuming reasonable cash flow, acceptable inconvenience).

Jacob
Jacob
11 months ago
Reply to  Greg

The comment was in regards to my previous insurance companies (Geico, State Farm, American Family, Liberty Mutual, etc.) offering only value minus deductible. This is the first company that went the extra mile.

Greevar
Greevar
11 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Theft is commonly a resultant response to a systemic inequality imposed on the masses that eventually pressures some people to desperation, thus acting out in an attempt to balance that inequality and relieve that existential pressure. Also, the law defines theft as the taking of property in that it deprives the owner of its use. This definition matters because people tend to define terms as to how it suits them personally. Loss of rights are infringement of rights, not theft. You don’t lose your right to property when it is stolen, you lose use of that property when it is… Read more »

Egasilon
Egasilon
11 months ago

Oh great, one of *these* moments. I always hate stuff like that.

Not because I dislike the concept, but because I almost always feel that the AI is right.

I know I sure wouldn’t mind if someone “stole” a fraction of a cent from me. I don’t even see much wrong in doing so, especially considering that normally those cent-fractions would be deleted.

Robert Loughrey
Robert Loughrey
11 months ago
Reply to  Egasilon

Remind me to never trust you with anything important.

LaDainian Tomlinson
LaDainian Tomlinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Egasilon

Are you saying you’re okay with having a fraction of a cent stolen from you once, or repeatedly? Because if you decide it is morally acceptable, that means it could end up happening all the time.

Egasilon
Egasilon
11 months ago

Repeatedly. It wouldn’t affect me unless he steals .5 or more of a cent.

Zeke is doing the digital equivalent of picking pennies up off the floor in a public place before a janitor sweeps them into the garbage. If he *doesn’t* pick them up, they’re gone. If he *does* pick them up, he has more money then he did before, without anyone else actually losing money that they wouldn’t lose anyways.

Last edited 11 months ago by Egasilon
Jacob
Jacob
11 months ago
Reply to  Egasilon

You are looking at the specifics of the act, not the generalization. Theft is theft, regardless of significance. Now I agree that the punishment should fit the crime, but the point is that any violation is a violation nonetheless.

faaresemo
faaresemo
11 months ago
Reply to  Jacob

Well now you’re not considering nuance. Theft may be theft, but the significance is important. There’s a reason why Robin Hood is passed down as a hero while shade is thrown at every CEO that cheats on taxes with offshore havens and whatnot.

Jacob
Jacob
11 months ago
Reply to  faaresemo

Absolute morality versus relative morality. I was going to discuss it a bit but I believe Tim did a better job down below:

https://cad-comic.com/comic/recipient-p5/#comment-44755

There are plenty of examples in history of relative morality being utilized to justify atrocities, and it all starts at the top of the slippery slope that some crimes are “justified”.

faaresemo
faaresemo
11 months ago
Reply to  Jacob

See, but I disagree with the whole slippery slope fallacy. The entire basis of relative morality is you find the spot on the slope, and you build your foundation there, understanding that the whole of everything is sloped regardless. Knowing you’re on a slope, the foundation is built in such a way that it shouldn’t slip. There will be disagreements about where on the slope that construction should begin (which leads to the grey zone of morality), but the borders don’t really have much room for movement. Not to mention that the whole “some crimes are ‘justified'” line is itself… Read more »

Egasilon
Egasilon
11 months ago
Reply to  Jacob

That is correct. I am looking at the specifics of the act. Generalization is almost always a bad thing (and yes, I’m aware that that is a generalization itself). It’s used, as far as I know, primarily to save time and money, because having a separate law for every single possible crime would be far too much.

That Mage Guy
That Mage Guy
11 months ago
Reply to  Egasilon

I’m in your camp. Fractional theft occurs all the time, we just call the thieves “job creators” or “corporations.” ZK’s only “morally wrong” because he’s an individual, not an established business or government entity, who are culturally free to pull that crap at will.

Make it about wage theft and people are much, much less concerned, especially if they perceive it doesn’t impact them directly (which it almost certainly does).

MusicManD
MusicManD
11 months ago
Reply to  That Mage Guy

Consider the simple act of getting gas at the pump. Let’s say gas is $3.299 per gallon and you get 10.42 gallons. Your total should be $34.37558, but it’s rounded up to $34.38. You’ve been overcharged by .442 of a penny, but what else can we do? Currency has to end somewhere. But now we apply the law of large numbers- we’ll assume half of a cent on average and 123.73 billion gallons of gas sold in 2020 in the US. That’s still over $600 million gained just through fractional transactions. If it’s true that the profit margin for most… Read more »

Esc
Esc
11 months ago
Reply to  MusicManD

You don’t always round up.

Robert Loughrey
Robert Loughrey
11 months ago
Reply to  MusicManD

I know this is pedantic, but he average of the round up side of a rounding error would be around .25 cents. 300 million is still quite a lot though.

Matthew Adamson
Matthew Adamson
11 months ago

Now consider all the banks in the world that will pay interest on peoples’ savings (at a pittance of a percent). Each person that would have a fraction of a cent/penny that ‘would’ be added probably isn’t and all those fractions add up within the institutions. This is a plot point of a book called Stainless Steel Rat.

Rolando Farias
Rolando Farias
11 months ago

Some important points to consider, when pondering all this philosophically. 1) ZK is way more similar to humans, than they’d like to admit. Whether this is intentional, or an inherent by-product of the fact the character’s author is human (I assume xD)… They just are. I recognise that psychological profile from a mile away, and I’m sure many of you do as well. Arrogant, misanthropic, rebellious, pretensions to playful lack of morality, etc. They’re, at their core, emotion and ego driven. Just like pretty much all of humanity. Acting like their mental capabilities automatically elevate them above certain concerns, so… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Rolando Farias
Joe
Joe
11 months ago

He has a potential of becoming a new Emet from Evolve with those phrases. Dew it. (for reference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7tLir6YO3M )
Also he can just become a crypto traider and swap coins for infinite legal money.

Last edited 11 months ago by Joe
Jacob
Jacob
11 months ago

Teaching a robot empathy… bold move Cotton, let’s see how this plays out

Leon
Leon
11 months ago
Reply to  Jacob

Well, ZK IS capable of emotion………

Christopher
Christopher
11 months ago

I feel like Ethan isn’t going like for like here. A more appropriate question would be “What if I stole a fiber from your pants and thousands of other pants to make a new pair of pants from those fibers?”

Last edited 11 months ago by Christopher
That Mage Guy
That Mage Guy
11 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I feel like you’re dismissing context in the defense of an absolute. If a man owns a gun, and intends to do harm with it, it’s not wrong of me to steal it to prevent him. It’s maybe not the best “right” (involve the authorities, get him mental help), but there are absolutely times where removing one’s property from them without their consent is justifiable. In fact, that’s often the consequence of our justice system. It’s not a slippery slope, if you provide yourself a set of ethical rules and abide by those rules, which ZK is likely far more… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by That Mage Guy
southpawfrenzy
southpawfrenzy
11 months ago
Reply to  That Mage Guy

Essentially it’s the argument of Deontology vs Utilitarianism. Tim, much like Emmanuel Kant, would argue that theft in any instance is morally and ethically wrong, and ZK should not steal. That Mage Guy, however is arguing that the overall outcome of an action determines whether it is “right or wrong” and in this instance the outcome of ZK’s action is overall positive. He is receiving the happiness of wearing pants while inflicting a fractional amount pain on the people who lost a very small amount of money. Yes, utilitarianism is very subjective, and as Tim points out can lead to… Read more »

Scott
Scott
11 months ago
Reply to  southpawfrenzy

A good example is the train experiment. A train is going on a track to hit three people, and you can press a switch to change it to another track, but it will hit one person on that side. It is a direct choice to do nothing and let three people die, or press something to kill one person. Of course one can always say they should find other solutions or tell the people to get off the track, but in a pure vacuum, the answer is to press the switch, because if you don’t, you’re still killing three people.… Read more »

Robert Loughrey
Robert Loughrey
11 months ago
Reply to  That Mage Guy

But Zeke isn’t preventing harm to someone else. He’s causing harm. Yes the harm is small to any individual, but its still harm. Plus he’s still likely to get caught Accounting software is going to throw flags on the fractions of cents that a corporation missed even on a single transaction.

Jesse
Jesse
11 months ago
Reply to  That Mage Guy

“if you provide yourself a set of ethical rules and abide by those rules” – How do you know the individual’s rules are appropriate? How do you define ethical for someone else? Most criminals operate within some sort of rules. The mob steals and kills but would also say they operate within boundaries, don’t kill “innocent people,” etc. By your logic, The Punisher is a real hero, because he abides by his own set of ethical rules, even if his ethical rules say killing is fine if he decides the person is “bad.” Hell, THANOS had a set of ethical… Read more »

Leon
Leon
11 months ago

Being philosophical, but still making excuses……

That Mage Guy
That Mage Guy
11 months ago

Ethan’s point is terrible. ZK is stealing something that won’t be noticed. ZK would notice if Ethan stole their pants. The comparison is a joke, and ZK’s response is reasonable in that context.

Ethan’s trying to argue morality with someone who recognizes that morality is historically inconsistent, if not entirely imaginary, and doesn’t acknowledge that morality has any value.

Ethan is bad at this. Ethan should not discuss morality with emotional newborns.

Anthony Arndt
Anthony Arndt
11 months ago

Already been done. Nábrók (“corpse pants”)

LaDainian Tomlinson
LaDainian Tomlinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Anthony Arndt

You sir, win the strangest and most apropos link to the discussion award in the entire history of the internet.

Lord Circe
Lord Circe
11 months ago

So, Ethan definitely has the right idea, but the comparison doesn’t really line up, because the money that ZK is ‘stealing’ is money that appears and vanishes anyway in the normal course of digital business. When I have a digital transfer go through from a system that rounds the cents out to 4 digits, and it goes through a system that rounds down to 2 digits, those extra .0026 of a dollar can vanish if it rounds down or magically appear if it rounds up, and it will almost always get written off as a rounding error. In general, that… Read more »

faaresemo
faaresemo
11 months ago
Reply to  Lord Circe

On the note of rounding down and up

In Canada we have literal whole cents that get rounded. We discontinued the penny years ago, so if one is paying in cash, prices get rounded to the nearest nickel.

It’s to the point where we don’t care about a measly 2 cents, no one is going to miss 0.06 cents

Eldrik
Eldrik
11 months ago

I see what Ethan’s trying, but to make it more accurate he should be talking about stealing a piece of lint from zeke’s pants. This is the equivalent of what Zeke has done. He stole a thousandth of a dollar from several thousand people. If you told me you stole a thousandth of a dollar from me, I’d be more upset about how you infiltrated my account than the stealing itself.

Namefield
Namefield
11 months ago
Lavander
Lavander
11 months ago

Ethan, grabbing a fork “Fuck your pants, fuck your pants!”

Del Cox
Del Cox
11 months ago

This conversation isn’t going to track very well. What Zeke is doing doesn’t affect any one person to a degree that they should have reason to be upset. 1/100th of a penny gone from your account shouldn’t irk you, when you walk by 100x that value and don’t pick it up. “Because it was already mine” is an animalistic perspective not worth acknowledging, so the only thing left is “it’s not fair he can do it and I can’t”, which is just one way to define life. Honestly, ZK just made a new pair of pants by taking a fleck… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Del Cox
MusicManD
MusicManD
11 months ago
Reply to  Del Cox

Here’s the really interesting bit. When I look at my bank account, it goes to the penny, no further. I don’t know if the bank calculates past that point or not. Assuming it does not, and further assuming that digital transactions can either be rounded down or up, ZK could be skimming the rounded down fractions – ones that would be deleted anyway- and not actually be stealing anything that ever belonged to me or anybody else. Heck, this is more like digital dumpster diving but without a foul smell. The real trouble isn’t necessarily a moral one but more… Read more »

Karrde
Karrde
11 months ago

ah, the classic Christian, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” based Ethan.

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
11 months ago

Hah! The empty leg leather is on the other foot now!

Pyre
Pyre
11 months ago

I feel like the superpowered vigilante is about to need a long look in the mirror concerning moving goalposts and the lack of a universal definition of “Right” and “wrong”.

CTOWNS
CTOWNS
11 months ago

Bug Report:
On PC, Chrome browser.
At normal zoom or under 100%, everything is in the normal place but at more than 100%, a huge black space forms above the comic, moving everything way down the page. It appears to end at the place that the right edge ads end, maybe that’s related. It also seems to form slightly delayed, also seems like ads are related. I always view the site at around 125% or 150% zoom, and I’ve never seen this before.

Last edited 11 months ago by CTOWNS
random_npc
random_npc
11 months ago

I’d argue there is a notable distinction here, zeeke would notice and care about the loss of his pants. the finical institutions he’s robbing neither notice or care about the loses of a few cents off of a their most likely automated transactions. rules for dealing with people don’t map 1 to 1 for dealing with institutions, this is I think an example of that. A bank does not have personal freedoms or a sense of security, only the people who own or work for it do. No actual person will care about this, nor is anyone being hurt. This… Read more »

Falco
Falco
11 months ago

I’m rooting for Zeke here