[TUC Spoilers] Metaphysics of the Second Apocalypse

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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2017, 04:33:16 am »
Well, to be fair that is the largest direct hint that the No-god is more than what his foes see.
It most certainly can be read this way.

For instance, when Kellhus confronts Aurang-as-Esme and (probably bluffing) says he talks to the No-god and that He regards Aurang as a failure (or similar). Aurang's reaction to that suggests it hits a nerve.
I understood that scene as Aurang being rattled by the fact that Kellhus talks to the No-God and not by the alleged contents of those conversations. I also think that Kellhus might be mistaken at that point in time.
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Digression;
I think it's a brilliant touch that the No-god is literally a Black Box.
I agree. The execution shines here. There are other inclusions of black boxes in fantasy, but the way Bakker has done it with the No-God is masterful. It invokes the sheer feeling of incomprehensibility. It was that feeling that got me into the series, actually.

It's becoming increasing likely in neuroscience that ignorance of how 'consciousness' itself functions is an integral part of its effectiveness in pattern recognition and decision making. The reason that neural networks are the heart of AI technology is because they operate as a black box. The problem that this raises is that it's impossible to prove they are not fallible.
There was a recent study on the subject of face recognition that seems to support the opposite, that the brain isn't a black box and its workings can be deciphered. It's outlined here:
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jun/01/scientists-discover-how-the-brain-recognises-faces-by-reading-monkeys-minds

Crtha

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« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2017, 08:26:21 am »
Yes, but why would Aurang be worried if the No-god doesn't ever say anything aside from the same phrases the Mandate hear?
(As ever, can't trust what Kellhus says, but it is the reaction that is important.)

My thought on it's repetitive questions is that they are analogous to echo-location. The no-god overrides the transmission band of the Outside and broadcasts existential questions that causes souls to resonate. Seems fair that if all men know the direction of the No-god, it in turn knows where people are and how many of them.

My rumination on consciousness as a black box was fairly obtuse and probably wrong, but thanks for the link.  :)

The article you link is very interesting, but the study itself concerns a common specific heuristic - enabled recognition of faces. In this case it seems 25 output nodes were identified and keyed to the output characteristics, enabling prediction of the result of neural activity rather than insight into the form of the function. It's definitely a step forward but I'm not sure it is really exposing the black box issue. But then, I am not an expert.

Here's another link on the subject, if you're interested. A bit more on the machine side.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 08:39:55 am by Crtha »
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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2017, 09:14:06 am »
Yes, but why would Aurang be worried if the No-god doesn't ever say anything aside from the same phrases the Mandate hear?
(As ever, can't trust what Kellhus says, but it is the reaction that is important.)
That's exactly what surprises him - that Kellhus might hear something new, something Aurang isn't aware of. Or that Kellhus is somehow connected to the No-God and can perceive it as its followers do, the mechanics of which are left unclear in the exchange. The No-God "speaking" in that scene might be literal or figurative even if Kellhus is actually being honest.

My thought on it's repetitive questions is that they are analogous to echo-location. The no-god overrides the transmission band of the Outside and broadcasts existential questions that causes souls to resonate. Seems fair that if all men know the direction of the No-god, it in turn knows where people are and how many of them.
Interesting thought! But people are aware of the No-God without hearing it. If this connection works both ways, then the No-God should be able to know where people are without speaking to them.

It's definitely a step forward but I'm not sure it is really exposing the black box issue. But then, I am not an expert.
Not in a comprehensive way, I'm inclined to say. It just reinforces my opinion that there is not enough information uncovered about the brain to come to conclusions. Many equivalent frameworks of reasoning about how it functions can be constructed; presently it's unclear how close any one of them is to the truth.

Here's another link on the subject, if you're interested. A bit more on the machine side.
Thank you! It's unfortunate that my understanding of neural networks is rudimentary. I only read entry-level papers on them, and even those I failed to absorb completely. So many things to learn, so many new (not to mention old) inventions, but so little time, and such a small head...

Crtha

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« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2017, 09:42:39 am »
That's exactly what surprises him - that Kellhus might hear something new, something Aurang isn't aware of. Or that Kellhus is somehow connected to the No-God and can perceive it as its followers do, the mechanics of which are left unclear in the exchange. The No-God "speaking" in that scene might be literal or figurative even if Kellhus is actually being honest.

True, true. Perhaps I'll remember some other scrap. Nevertheless.

Interesting thought! But people are aware of the No-God without hearing it. If this connection works both ways, then the No-God should be able to know where people are without speaking to them.

Yes that stands to reason. It talks to you inside your head or with the voice of the Horde only when you are in it's area of immanence, as it literally comes before you. My speculation is that it knows you completely (like a Dunyain) at that time and can mess more directly with your soul.

Not in a comprehensive way, I'm inclined to say. It just reinforces my opinion that there is not enough information uncovered about the brain to come to conclusions. Many equivalent frameworks of reasoning about how it functions can be constructed; presently it's unclear how close any one of them is to the truth.

Thank you! It's unfortunate that my understanding of neural networks is rudimentary. I only read entry-level papers on them, and even those I failed to absorb completely. So many things to learn, so many new (not to mention old) inventions, but so little time, and such a small head...

Totally agree. :D
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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2017, 11:01:15 am »
It talks to you inside your head or with the voice of the Horde only when you are in it's area of immanence, as it literally comes before you. My speculation is that it knows you completely (like a Dunyain) at that time and can mess more directly with your soul.
It appears to me that the No-God's perception of reality is metaphysically quite important to the series.
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« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 11:14:20 am by SmilerLoki »

Madness

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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2017, 01:34:58 pm »
Again, welcome to the Second Apocalypse, SmilerLoki, and I apologize for the issues you had to surmount to post in the first place.

Two quick things as I'm less interested in figuring out these details than many other readers are (so do keep on ;)):

- I don't think the No-God nor the God ever talked to Kellhus. For my reading, Ajokli is solely responsible for the Visions.

- We're missing a crucial data-point in this discussion. I believe, in similar fashion to the aforementioned Skafra quote, Wutteat and, if I recall correctly, the Skin-Spy Tsuor impersonating Mimara when speaking with Sranc clans, both speak of "the Black Heaven calling," which denotes some unique internal experience. Just another loose seed Bakker's planted in TAE's arc.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 01:36:54 pm by Madness »
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Wilshire

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« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2017, 05:35:23 pm »
btw, regarding spoilers:
Open spoilers in subforums up to and include the book they are named after. IE, in TUC subforum, open spoilers for all content including TUC. In TDTCB, only open spoilers for TDTCB.

General Earwa will be open spoiler for everything (like it normally is) after the release has been out for a few weeks.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2017, 10:01:34 pm »
Again, welcome to the Second Apocalypse, SmilerLoki, and I apologize for the issues you had to surmount to post in the first place.
Don't worry about it! I completely understand the problem that spammers present. I also don't think many people would have tried to register here with an e-mail on a Russian domain. It's unlikely the Second Apocalypse has many Russian fans (fortunately, it does have some), since someone managed to translate the title of "The Darkness That Comes Before" as "(The) Servants of The Dark Lord". This is not a joke.

- I don't think the No-God nor the God ever talked to Kellhus. For my reading, Ajokli is solely responsible for the Visions.
Right now I'm inclined to view this as by far the most likely possibility. It lacks only direct confirmation from Bakker.

- We're missing a crucial data-point in this discussion. I believe, in similar fashion to the aforementioned Skafra quote, Wutteat and, if I recall correctly, the Skin-Spy Tsuor impersonating Mimara when speaking with Sranc clans, both speak of "the Black Heaven calling," which denotes some unique internal experience. Just another loose seed Bakker's planted in TAE's arc.
I agree.

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2017, 10:07:25 pm »
btw, regarding spoilers:
Open spoilers in subforums up to and include the book they are named after. IE, in TUC subforum, open spoilers for all content including TUC. In TDTCB, only open spoilers for TDTCB.

General Earwa will be open spoiler for everything (like it normally is) after the release has been out for a few weeks.
Got it. I'm just overly cautious, because I know I would have spoiled everything for myself by just glancing at any discussion. I specifically refrained from visiting places with such discussions before I've read the book. But then again, I never was a regular there.

Madness

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« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2017, 07:13:10 pm »
Again, welcome to the Second Apocalypse, SmilerLoki, and I apologize for the issues you had to surmount to post in the first place.
Don't worry about it! I completely understand the problem that spammers present. I also don't think many people would have tried to register here with an e-mail on a Russian domain. It's unlikely the Second Apocalypse has many Russian fans (fortunately, it does have some), since someone managed to translate the title of "The Darkness That Comes Before" as "(The) Servants of The Dark Lord". This is not a joke.

Lol, damn.
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littlegrice

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« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2017, 04:28:49 am »
Maybe the No-God is a channel through which whomever is controlling the Ark can control the weapon-races, and perhaps the physical location of the No-God itself, but NOT control its mind.  So it is confused, asking questions and such, but its motor functions are controlled by the Consult.  Specifically, it refused to take the field when the "good guys" had the Heron Spear.  They also managed to cover him up with a hologram of Kellhus.  How else could they do that unless they knew what he was gonna do?  And the Chorae Whirlwind was particularly Dunyain-ie, the complete opposite of when Kellhus would create a whirlwind(not THE Whirlwind, of course) of floating shit to block Chorae.

LOL just thought of this...a Guardians of the Galaxy remix:
 "Well, he no talkie good like me and you, so his vocabulistics is limited to 'TELL ME...' and 'WHAT DO YOU SEE?' and, 'WHAT AM I?' Exclusively in that order."

I think that just became my signature.  I love this site!
Well, he no talkie good like me and you, so his vocabulistics is limited to 'TELL ME...' and 'WHAT DO YOU SEE?' and, 'WHAT AM I?' Exclusively in that order.

Madness

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« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2017, 12:25:17 pm »
I think that just became my signature.  I love this site!

Well met, littlegrice 8). Love the choice of avatar, by the way.
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littlegrice

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« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2017, 09:13:10 pm »
I think that just became my signature.  I love this site!

Well met, littlegrice 8). Love the choice of avatar, by the way.

Why thank you, good sir. 
Well, he no talkie good like me and you, so his vocabulistics is limited to 'TELL ME...' and 'WHAT DO YOU SEE?' and, 'WHAT AM I?' Exclusively in that order.

Baztek

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« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2017, 09:28:33 pm »
The No-God is the embodiment of the void/Absolute, the void that is "as death" described in Fanim scripture.

If subject and object collapse in it, that's simply because the void is the (groundless) ground of both, and as such prior to both. WHAT DO YOU SEE and TELL ME WHAT I AM is simply that void's hunger to be, to be something.

The darkness that comes before is this void, as precisely this primordial obscurity and source of all hungers. So the no-god is literally the "god" of materialism, the god of a Tekne-obsessed race: the Void itself, and Zizek says as much, that the prime axiom of materialism isn't some facile permutation of "dude atoms lmao" but that the first principle is nothingness.

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2017, 06:35:35 am »
The No-God is the embodiment of the void/Absolute, the void that is "as death" described in Fanim scripture.

If subject and object collapse in it, that's simply because the void is the (groundless) ground of both, and as such prior to both. WHAT DO YOU SEE and TELL ME WHAT I AM is simply that void's hunger to be, to be something.

The darkness that comes before is this void, as precisely this primordial obscurity and source of all hungers. So the no-god is literally the "god" of materialism, the god of a Tekne-obsessed race: the Void itself, and Zizek says as much, that the prime axiom of materialism isn't some facile permutation of "dude atoms lmao" but that the first principle is nothingness.
As I see it, unifying the darkness that comes before with the Absolute stands severely at odds with Dunyain philosophy.