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Messages - K∅ringhus

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General Misc. / Would immortal humans be subject to the Nonmen Dolour?
« on: February 06, 2019, 12:00:33 am »
I've always found Bakker's depiction of Nonmen insanity a rather clever twist on the notion of immortal elder fantasy races. One can only imagine how LotR would have played out, had Elrond been as nuts as Incariol.

If some future advancement in life-extension technology allows humans to live for hundreds or even thousands of years (albeit in our current meat bodies, rather than as computer uploads or anything like that), and barring any sort of biological malfunction like super-centuries-long-Alzheimer's, how do you imagine human memory would hold up?

Would most people, like the Nonmen, find themselves remembering and rehearsing their trauma far more than anything else, until they become shambling piles of misery? Or would memory be more of a bubble trailing the present, so that one only clearly remembers things from the last century or two, with all else fading into obscurity? Perhaps another possibility?

Would such humans eventually become jaded to practically everything, both positive and negative? What would a society of Methuselahs look like? Supposing no one had to work, how would people spend their time?

General Misc. / Re: Vampires(Blindsight universe) vs. Dunyain
« on: February 05, 2019, 11:37:41 pm »

General Misc. / Re: Vampires(Blindsight universe) vs. Dunyain
« on: February 05, 2019, 02:08:56 am »
Physically, the Dunyain are doubtlessly superior, and probably by a significant margin.

Intellectually, though, that's a more interesting question. I feel that, depending on the exact nature of the mental contest, either could come out on top. The Dunyain would be much better at anything involving social manipulation. Humans instinctively find Blindsight vampires creepy, and they have some inbuilt tics that they apparently can't or don't care to control, like their habit of making clicking noises when they speak. It's been a while since I've read the Firefall series, but I'm sure that someone (Siri?) describes vampires as essentially super-autistic universal savants, which means that unlike the Dunyain, they are expressly not genetically optimized for social competence. Quite the opposite, really.

On the other hand, vampires may have some esoteric abilities that even Dunyain do not. I recall that in Echopraxia, Valerie did some bizarre thing where she essentially reprogrammed a human's mind or implanted some hypnotic suggestion over the course of several weeks by emitting specific patterns of sounds in their presence, below the conscious threshold of hearing (forgive the vagueness--as I said, it's been a while since I've read the books). Scanning through the online text of Blindsight, I found this:
"Anyway, that's not the point. The point is they can do something that's neurologically impossible for us Humans. They can hold simultaneous multiple worldviews, Pod-man. They just see things we have to work out step-by-step, they don't have to think about it. You know, there isn't a single baseline human who could just tell you, just off the top of their heads, every prime number between one and a billion? In the old days, only a few autistics could do shit like that."

And from the "Notes" at the end:
Vampire grey matter was "underconnected" compared to Human norms due to a relative lack of interstitial white matter; this forced isolated cortical modules to become self-contained and hypereffective, leading to omnisavantic pattern-matching and analytical skills

So for example, Sarasti might be better than Kellhus at mathematics, or at the very least, certain domains of mathematical ability.

The two above quotes also seem to suggest that the Metagnostic technique of speaking an utteral string whilst simultaneously holding two inutterals in mind would be rather trivial for a Blindsight vampire. A vampire who was one of the Few would be an (un)holy terror--their sorcery might even surpass the Metagnosis. Three inutterals? Four? What to call those, Supragnostic cants? There's a great fanfic in here somewhere....

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