“Do what you were build to do.” - Torbjörn & robots
Some of the heroes in Overwatch are very anti-omnic, most notably Zarya, Junkrat and Torbjörn. The first two are easy to understand, their home countries were (and in case of Russia are) wrecked by the Omnic crisis and its aftermath. While I might one day make a post about Omnic crisis, today I want to talk a little about Torbjörn, the engineer. First I’ll talk about what we know about Torbjörn’s own creations, and then why he is not fond of the Omnics.
Fine Swedish Engineering
Torbjörn was in his mid-thirties when he joined Overwatch. Before that he had already “gained notoriety for designing weapons systems used by countries around the world“. Aside from weaponry he was part of “Ironclad Guild” (at least as a consultant), which researched and developed robots.
Most notable for players of Torbjörn’s creations is his turret, “an enemy-tracking autocannon“. He also was “a critical resource for
all of [Overwatch’s] technological needs and signature weapons systems” (he may not have personally built everything, but he sure had a say). He designed Ana’s biotic rifle with Mercy, and it’s most likely that Soldier 76′s pulse rifle is his design as well. He also took care of Reinhardt’s armor personally. To sum it up, he was a very very busy man.
For the purposes of this post, I think it’s more interesting to look at Torbjörn’s robots. In the Destroyer, the titan was one that Torbjörn helped design as a member of the Guild. Originally it was made to help build skyscrapers, but during the Omnic crisis it was weaponized. (Note, the comic refers to the titan also as an omnic and the Omnica Corp did indeed make “automated construction machines“, so yes, Torbjörn has helped design omnics).
Some speculation: It’s possible that Torbjörn has also had input in Bastion’s design during his time in the Guild, because peace-keeping killing-machines are the kind of thing he seems to have made a lot. Also there’s similarities between the titan’s and Bastion’s design, notably the legs.
“I Hate These Talking Tin Cans”
Which brings us to the question of Torbjörn’s hate for the omnics. Even before the Omnic Crisis, Torbjörn had a mistrust and hatred on sentient robotic intelligence and he probably gained a bit of a reputation of being hard to work with because he refused to link up his creations to a “networked computer intelligence”, which many countries wanted for better control. Most wrote Torbjörn’s fears of as needless paranoia. Until the Crisis that is.
There’s two points I’m going to make. First one is pretty straightforward:
I think ultimately [Torbjörn] fears one day his technologies and weapons being
used to cause harm. So he definitely feels a responsibility to do good
for the world.“
There is of course some irony there, that Torbjörn would think his creations (most of them weapons) would not be used to cause harm (though in the case of the titan, it was not a weapon originally, but still a metallic creation the size of a building). But then again, this is the same universe where Bastion was made for “peace-keeping purposes”.
I got the impression that Torbjörn kept a pretty tight hold on where he sold his designs and what was done with them (the fact that these days he is on a mission to hunt down his weaponry that was scattered to black markets after Overwatch’s fall is a good indicator). The Omnics took that control right out of his grasp, they twisted Torbjörn’s creations to do something that they were never meant to do. Also note the quote in the title of this post:the intent of the creator is what defines a robot’s purpose. It’s pretty clear to see why there’s some resentment left there.
The other point, I think the most fascinating aspect of Torbjörn, is that he (thinks he) knows what robots are like. And why wouldn’t he? He’s an engineer who has designed and built countless of robots, he knows what they can do and what they can’t. What robots can’t do, is to act outside their programming. For most robots their programming is pretty static. But Omnics aren’t like most robots. Omnics were designed with “self-improving software algorithms”. They strove to constantly become better. But what was that better and who decided it?
You can’t program in empathy.
You can’t exactly type in Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics
(1. A robot may not injure a human being) to a weapon and except it still to “do what [it] was built to do”. The reason Torbjörn wanted to keep the control of his creations in human hands and not with computers is so that ethics & robotics wasn’t an issue that needed to be addressed. The issues remained between humans, and why weapons were needed to solve them.
I think that is why the concept of Omnic rights is so absurd and scary to Torbjörn; no matter how much the Omnics self-improve, they will not be able to cut themselves off the circle of logic that commandeers their progress of self-improvement. They can’t develop empathy like humans, and therefore they can’t be humans’ equals.
[[finally someone acknowledges that last bit, ty]]
ok imma meta/rant at u
it annoys me to NO end when people automatically assume that because nisha is with jack, her opinions, thoughts and actions are COMPLETE derivatives from his mentality.
do you honestly think nisha wants a clean and orderly pandora?
nisha is ruthless nisha is sadistic nisha is a tad unhinged
and guess what?
SHE WAS LIKE THAT BEFORE MEETING JACK.
and she would be like that even if she wasn’t in a relationship with him. nisha is not going to change for A N Y O N E, less likely for jack. even in BL2 when you’re trolling around lynchwood and she comes up on the intercom; ‘let jack have his ivory towers. i came to pandora for the action.’ i mean the whole ‘courting’ between them basically began when jack had those scientists sucked out the airlock. it was that building savagery that drew her to him but it’s the underlining aspects ( ie; shitty childhood ) that kept her around. plus getting to decimate an entire town was pretty enticing too. nisha doesn’t want order, she just want’s to be in thick of it when shit goes down. a lover of chaos she will always be.
and does nisha carry the same burning hate for the vault hunters as jack?
but dani wat abt brick’s puppy? well they were trying to get him to talk… and nisha hates puppies… so yeah, you find a weak point and you dig until they break. quite literal in dusty’s case oops. honestly i think she would have still done it just because she wanted to, or cause she could.
i mean if nisha hated them as much as some people seem to perceive, you really think she’d wait for them to come to her. like you don’t think that she would have way more fun hunting them down one by one, leaving little pieces for the others to find. y’know really get into their heads before sealing the deal. pay attention people, if pissed off enough i don’t think there is a limit to the lengths this woman would go to end someone.
nisha ≠ jack
nisha ≠ jack
nisha ≠ jack
S T O P ok please just stop
you are erasing the opinions and considerations of an already underrated female character to satisfy your obvious dislike of her.
i’m tired… this took more outta me than i thought and i still have so much more i wanna get off my chest but…. i’m tired -_-
“You should not stay here,” said Enjolras, his voice carefully measured. “The human world has no need for people of your sort. You have your politics, we have ours.”
Grantaire - that was the name the creature had gave him, though Enjolras knew it was not the real one - grinned at him unapologetically, and stood up with unnatural grace, moving closer to Enjolras.
“You would throw me away, you who gave me a helpful hand just a week ago!” he exclaimed. “I recognize here the inconstant nature of human beings. Who is a friend one day is a foe the next; you will fight for a king, and behead him afterwards, you will cheer for an empereur then refuse to pronounce his name once that empereur has fallen. My politics are much more restful, if one could call endless wars like that. When you are from a court, you respect your Queen, or you King, and that’s that. I can see you judging me like you find me less - what irony! What novelty! To see something so fleetingly human judge one who has seen more than he will ever do. I know enough to laugh at your disdain. You cannot order me anything, unless, of course, you call on your favor (here, his smile turned sly, and he placed a hand on Enjolras’s chest) which I cannot refuse you. So, unless you say the words, i will stay there. Human politics are so chaotic and so absurd. What is the point of what you say you fought about? What is your France, what is your Paris? It will be forgotten, one day, and you’ll have died long before that. Truly, why fight at all? Humans invent such delicious pleasures, and then they ignore them under the pretense that they’re not as important as words that mean nothing.”
“I cannot make you leave, I suppose you’re right about that,” said Enjolras coldly. “But why stay to listen at politics you laugh at? However futile you think the effort to be, there are brave men in that room who hope for a better future - I wouldn’t think you know what hope even is. I cannot allow you to mock them as you’ve done tonight. You have no place here. You do not belong either in this café, or this world.”
Enjolras was harsh; Grantaire, absurdly, seemed to soften in answer. He lowered his head, took a step back, and looked at Enjolras through his eyelashes.
“I belong here until I payed my debt,” he said. “Let’s forget about politics, then, if we must; I do not care about them, that much is true. I am here solely for you, at your service.”
In the dim light of the corridor, holding himself like he was right now, Grantaire looked almost human. His voice had turned gentle, almost servile. For a fleeting minute, Enjolras felt something dark uncurl in him slowly, curious and appraising. The ugliness of Grantaire, which made him so different from his race, had already been a source of odd fascination the week before. To hear him speak thus now made Enjolras want to -
“I told you before, there is no debt.” he said abruptly, ashamed of the thoughts running suddenly through his mind. “Stay if you must. But be warned that if you do anything that is harmful to our group, I will not be afraid to come for you, powerful magical creature or not.”