Apr. 9th, 2016

cazarilsraven: (Default)
An aspect of the Ultron argument that frustrates me, both in ‘verse and in fandom, is the position that Tony shouldn’t have performed any research on the Stick of Disgruntlement.

As a scientist Tony has an obligation to study new tech. As the forerunner of AI research, he’s the best person to study Loki’s staff. The idea that ‘there are just some things we’re not meant to know’ is antithetical to the purpose of the Avengers. They cannot function if they believe there are just some things they shouldn’t investigate, and they really can’t win if they don’t know how to counter their enemies’ weapons.

Take the atomic bomb. Yes, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were and are horrific events that still impact the people of Japan. But once people knew it was possible, refusing to understand the science neither prevents others from building them nor prevents the US from being bombed by them.

The Staff of Doom had been used once already on the Avengers, and then HYDRA had been doing hinky stuff with it for an unspecified amount of time (would watching AoS clear this up?), of course Tony would be studying it! The world would have known if HYDRA had messed up and made their own Ultron level screw up, and they had worse safety features than Tony’s system.

I have yet to see anyone actually suggest that Howard Stark had no business studying Nazi HYDRA weapons. The Howling Commandos needed to know how to take out the tanks, how to handle the guns, to not touch the ammo, all things Howard and his science team would have found out by taking apart and testing confiscated tech. Yeah, the argument can be made that Howard should have left the Tesseract on the ocean floor, but I would argue that leaving something that disintegrates organic matter and puts off gamma radiation (and who knows what else) in the ocean is asking for Kaiju. At the very least it was creating a dead zone, which if it grew, would start to affect current flows. And fandom certainly isn’t vilifying Howard for all the deaths that happened because he recovered the Tesseract. (maybe it’s just not making it to my dash...)

In MCU it can be argued that Tony has one of the most sophisticated program development platforms, outside of Wakanda. He had every reasonable expectation to believe his research would be contained: he was working on an isolated VM, on a simulation of the AI in the staff, with JARVIS running security. An outside source would be needed to tell him that the best computer system on the planet (outside of Wakanda) would not be secure enough when HYDRA’s was. An outsider like, say, Thor, whose people are so advanced their tech looks like magic.

Think on this analogy: we send an English major back to the 1800s to explain the basics of computers to the lead scientists of the time. Imagine them explaining computers to Ada Lovelace. They have just enough information to jump her understanding forward about 100 years. Now replace the English major with Thor and Lovelace with Stark. And it’s not like Thor is unwilling to do this, he explained the bifrost to Jane, and saw Jane understand Asgardian tech when she visited. A different analogy: A responsible adult would lock up a loaded gun if they know a curious 10 year old is around. If anyone is to blame for the series of events that lead to Ultron being created, it is Wanda for pushing Tony and Thor for leaving Tony alone with the staff without any warnings or advice. (Seriously, why? Where was Thor for those three days?) But the person most responsible for Ultron’s nonsensical spontaneous creation is Whedon’s plotholed anti-intellectual script.


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