Mutilated "Art"

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JerakoKayne

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« on: September 17, 2017, 03:26:46 pm »
I haven't been able to parse the interaction between Kellhus and the Mutilated, most specifically when Kellhus asks (reasonably) why the No-God is necessary.

They respond that it's not just killing people indiscriminately, but it needs to be "artful," even if they had another nuke which gives me a big wtf. How is any of this conducive with the Shortest Path? It sounds like an Inchoroi response, not Dunyain.

It perhaps becomes Shortest, if in fact the Mutilated objective lies after the world has been shut, but what could such an objective possibly be? Do they want to dominate the closed world for domination's sake? It seems more likely they would want to go back to isolation. Unless they've abandoned the pursuit of the Absolute?

Thoughts?

Francis Buck

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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2017, 09:05:40 pm »
I imagine the confrontation between Kellhus and the Mutilated will be something that people will be parsing for years to come (not unlike the Kellhus & Moenghus showdown in TTT), so you're far from alone.

That being said, the general thought line regarding the "purpose" of the No-God and the Apocalypse and all that goes with it is to "close the world shut from the Outside", the exact particulars of which are still kind of opaque. Nonetheless, it seems to boil down to those who are Damned seeking to escape Damnation.

As for the "artful" comment, I believe this is simply the Mutilated's way of explaining that the method of achieving the above result (closing the World from the Outside and the Gods and all that) is not a matter of complete and total extinction of mankind, but rather the reaching of a very specific number of deaths (or, alternatively, a specific number of people left living, since there are supposed to be some 144,000 individuals that will survive the Apocalypse).

What happens after that I think is very much open to debate I'm afraid. I personally have numerous pet-theories, but my inclination at this particular moment is that by reducing the population of Earwa to the aforementioned number creates a sort of metaphysical paradigm shift, altering the nature of Damnation, the Outside, the Gods, and so forth.

And indeed, the Dunyain (or at least the Mutilated, who've almost certainly been subjected to the Inverse Fire) share many, shall we say, cultural similarities with the Inchoroi and pretty much everyone involved with the Consult.

Lastly, I do not think the Mutilated have abandoned the Absolute -- rather, to them, the No-God actually IS the Absolute. Whether that's true or not is seemingly open for interpretation both for us readers but also for the in-universe characters themselves. I doubt we'll ever get a conclusive "answer" to this since it's kind of intrinsically unanswerable (which is why we humans in the real world have been -- and still are -- debating this idea since, like, forever).

Hopefully that answers some of your questions! You're asking the big ones, so there are many and variegated possible interpretations.  :)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 09:13:46 pm by The Horned Mod »

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 03:20:11 am »
I haven't been able to parse the interaction between Kellhus and the Mutilated, most specifically when Kellhus asks (reasonably) why the No-God is necessary.

They respond that it's not just killing people indiscriminately, but it needs to be "artful," even if they had another nuke which gives me a big wtf. How is any of this conducive with the Shortest Path? It sounds like an Inchoroi response, not Dunyain.

It perhaps becomes Shortest, if in fact the Mutilated objective lies after the world has been shut, but what could such an objective possibly be? Do they want to dominate the closed world for domination's sake? It seems more likely they would want to go back to isolation. Unless they've abandoned the pursuit of the Absolute?

Thoughts?
IIRC they something like "it is the art of human extinction", which I take to mean the way of human extinction. That his, souls need to be parsed by the No-God in order for the world to be shut, random mass genocide doesn't work.

Sausuna

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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2017, 01:04:38 pm »
I took it as Tleilaxu did. The statement about 'the art of human extinction, not the fact' is meant to mean 'how we achieve it, not that we are achieving it.' Simply wiping out humanity would not, in-fact, shut the outside. They mention how the No-God is a prothesis for Ark. That it allows Ark to read some sort of 'code' in the flow of souls. And it is by reading this code that it will be able to eventually shut the Outside.

For a long time the implication/thought was just that they needed to exterminate humanity to complete their goal. But now we know it can only be done by reducing humanity while the No-God exists in the world.

H

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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2017, 02:20:56 pm »
I took it as Tleilaxu did. The statement about 'the art of human extinction, not the fact' is meant to mean 'how we achieve it, not that we are achieving it.' Simply wiping out humanity would not, in-fact, shut the outside. They mention how the No-God is a prothesis for Ark. That it allows Ark to read some sort of 'code' in the flow of souls. And it is by reading this code that it will be able to eventually shut the Outside.

For a long time the implication/thought was just that they needed to exterminate humanity to complete their goal. But now we know it can only be done by reducing humanity while the No-God exists in the world.

But also in how it is done.  I don't think simply having an active No-God plus, say, carpet bombing everyone out gets it done either.  It's not just anguish, or death, but something with how that is achieved and possibly something to do with witness of such.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

Sausuna

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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2017, 02:44:21 pm »
I took it as Tleilaxu did. The statement about 'the art of human extinction, not the fact' is meant to mean 'how we achieve it, not that we are achieving it.' Simply wiping out humanity would not, in-fact, shut the outside. They mention how the No-God is a prothesis for Ark. That it allows Ark to read some sort of 'code' in the flow of souls. And it is by reading this code that it will be able to eventually shut the Outside.

For a long time the implication/thought was just that they needed to exterminate humanity to complete their goal. But now we know it can only be done by reducing humanity while the No-God exists in the world.

But also in how it is done.  I don't think simply having an active No-God plus, say, carpet bombing everyone out gets it done either.  It's not just anguish, or death, but something with how that is achieved and possibly something to do with witness of such.
I don't really agree. The how is the No-God, from how it read.

"Our Salvation lies in the art of human extinction, not the fact," his burnt brother explained.
"Only the Object can Shut the World against the Outside," the one-eyed Dunyain explained.

These lines directly following why they wouldn't just use nukes. We know (or at least intuit from other evidence) that the Inchoroi did use their nuke-like weapons against the Nonmen in prior ages. But that the existence of the No-God is the vital aspect to reading the code. And, as someone else noted, I believe they had a limited time of use as well for it.

TaoHorror

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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2017, 10:51:06 pm »
They respond that it's not just killing people indiscriminately, but it needs to be "artful," even if they had another nuke which gives me a big wtf. How is any of this conducive with the Shortest Path? It sounds like an Inchoroi response, not Dunyain.

It perhaps becomes Shortest, if in fact the Mutilated objective lies after the world has been shut, but what could such an objective possibly be? Do they want to dominate the closed world for domination's sake? It seems more likely they would want to go back to isolation. Unless they've abandoned the pursuit of the Absolute?

Thoughts?

The "Shortest Path" is not an equivalent statement to either "Easiest Path" or "Fastest Path", but the path with highest probability of success and then from there ties are broken for ease and speed ( or at least some kind of weighting system for these considerations - I'm not an expert  ::) ). The Probability Trance reveals paths, the shortest is the one that will succeed. There is a connotation for "directness" which implies speed, but more in the sense of most plausible.
Remember to brush before bed

H

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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2017, 12:53:59 pm »
I don't really agree. The how is the No-God, from how it read.

"Our Salvation lies in the art of human extinction, not the fact," his burnt brother explained.
"Only the Object can Shut the World against the Outside," the one-eyed Dunyain explained.

These lines directly following why they wouldn't just use nukes. We know (or at least intuit from other evidence) that the Inchoroi did use their nuke-like weapons against the Nonmen in prior ages. But that the existence of the No-God is the vital aspect to reading the code. And, as someone else noted, I believe they had a limited time of use as well for it.

My own personal reading, but I took "art" to mean "process" and process to mean more than just the No-God being present.  It could certainly be untrue, but I don't think that, say, a plague with the No-God present would work.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

Sausuna

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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2017, 01:28:25 pm »
I don't really agree. The how is the No-God, from how it read.

"Our Salvation lies in the art of human extinction, not the fact," his burnt brother explained.
"Only the Object can Shut the World against the Outside," the one-eyed Dunyain explained.

These lines directly following why they wouldn't just use nukes. We know (or at least intuit from other evidence) that the Inchoroi did use their nuke-like weapons against the Nonmen in prior ages. But that the existence of the No-God is the vital aspect to reading the code. And, as someone else noted, I believe they had a limited time of use as well for it.

My own personal reading, but I took "art" to mean "process" and process to mean more than just the No-God being present.  It could certainly be untrue, but I don't think that, say, a plague with the No-God present would work.
I mean, I agree that art would equate to process. But the question Kellhus was asking was, 'why use the No-God at all instead of say, the nuke-like weapons?' He wasn't asking simply, 'why don't you guys use more nukes' or 'why didn't the Consult use more nukes when the No-God was around.' He was asking why would the Consult want to use the No-God at all over other methods. And the answering being, 'how we exterminate humanity is important, because only the No-God can actually shut the Outside.' And then the bit about how the No-God has to be used to read the code for the Ark to parse.

I can technically see how one might read it as you did. But I feel like the strong direction of the question and following No-God discussion sets it up too much for that to be the meaning.

H

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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2017, 02:16:42 pm »
I mean, I agree that art would equate to process. But the question Kellhus was asking was, 'why use the No-God at all instead of say, the nuke-like weapons?' He wasn't asking simply, 'why don't you guys use more nukes' or 'why didn't the Consult use more nukes when the No-God was around.' He was asking why would the Consult want to use the No-God at all over other methods. And the answering being, 'how we exterminate humanity is important, because only the No-God can actually shut the Outside.' And then the bit about how the No-God has to be used to read the code for the Ark to parse.

I can technically see how one might read it as you did. But I feel like the strong direction of the question and following No-God discussion sets it up too much for that to be the meaning.

A good point.  I still feel like there must be something else in the process, or else, why bother invading other words where Ark was fully functional?  Why bother warring at all?  Just devise a plague unique to their bios, or orbital bombardment the place into the stone age with the No-God functioning?
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

Sausuna

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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2017, 02:40:25 pm »
I mean, I agree that art would equate to process. But the question Kellhus was asking was, 'why use the No-God at all instead of say, the nuke-like weapons?' He wasn't asking simply, 'why don't you guys use more nukes' or 'why didn't the Consult use more nukes when the No-God was around.' He was asking why would the Consult want to use the No-God at all over other methods. And the answering being, 'how we exterminate humanity is important, because only the No-God can actually shut the Outside.' And then the bit about how the No-God has to be used to read the code for the Ark to parse.

I can technically see how one might read it as you did. But I feel like the strong direction of the question and following No-God discussion sets it up too much for that to be the meaning.

A good point.  I still feel like there must be something else in the process, or else, why bother invading other words where Ark was fully functional?  Why bother warring at all?  Just devise a plague unique to their bios, or orbital bombardment the place into the stone age with the No-God functioning?
I'd say probably two theories, probably part of both.
1. Because that'd be a boring story. Why does the Empire always funnel all their resources into massive, world destroying weapons when the process is kind of unnecessary? Something, something, Dark Side.
2. A theory I find more compelling - they had done that previously, to an extent. I mean, we know from The Plague of Wombs that they had some capacity with race devastating bio-augmentation. The history of the Nonmen has records that all but confirm that the nuke-like weapons were previously used by the Inchoroi against them. And I remember a comment from Bakker at some point that implied this was the case because of all the similar looking ring mountains around the continent that looked like the Ark crash site.

But the difference being the crash. For whatever reason they And with the loss of Ark, such things are now beyond them. And beyond that, even on a typical planet, it'd probably take at least some level of ground troops to properly wipe out the population, even with disease and nukes. Such based on sheer size, people living underground, etc.

H

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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2017, 04:51:57 pm »
I mean, I agree that art would equate to process. But the question Kellhus was asking was, 'why use the No-God at all instead of say, the nuke-like weapons?' He wasn't asking simply, 'why don't you guys use more nukes' or 'why didn't the Consult use more nukes when the No-God was around.' He was asking why would the Consult want to use the No-God at all over other methods. And the answering being, 'how we exterminate humanity is important, because only the No-God can actually shut the Outside.' And then the bit about how the No-God has to be used to read the code for the Ark to parse.

I can technically see how one might read it as you did. But I feel like the strong direction of the question and following No-God discussion sets it up too much for that to be the meaning.

A good point.  I still feel like there must be something else in the process, or else, why bother invading other words where Ark was fully functional?  Why bother warring at all?  Just devise a plague unique to their bios, or orbital bombardment the place into the stone age with the No-God functioning?
2. A theory I find more compelling - they had done that previously, to an extent. I mean, we know from The Plague of Wombs that they had some capacity with race devastating bio-augmentation. The history of the Nonmen has records that all but confirm that the nuke-like weapons were previously used by the Inchoroi against them. And I remember a comment from Bakker at some point that implied this was the case because of all the similar looking ring mountains around the continent that looked like the Ark crash site.

But the difference being the crash. For whatever reason they And with the loss of Ark, such things are now beyond them. And beyond that, even on a typical planet, it'd probably take at least some level of ground troops to properly wipe out the population, even with disease and nukes. Such based on sheer size, people living underground, etc.

Well, from what Wutteät tells us, they didn't really do that, they descended onto world after world, murdering much like they tried to do on Eärwa.

I mean, I realize it's all a narrative contrivance, we are just left to try to make sense of it all after the fact.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

Sausuna

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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2017, 06:09:11 pm »
I mean, I agree that art would equate to process. But the question Kellhus was asking was, 'why use the No-God at all instead of say, the nuke-like weapons?' He wasn't asking simply, 'why don't you guys use more nukes' or 'why didn't the Consult use more nukes when the No-God was around.' He was asking why would the Consult want to use the No-God at all over other methods. And the answering being, 'how we exterminate humanity is important, because only the No-God can actually shut the Outside.' And then the bit about how the No-God has to be used to read the code for the Ark to parse.

I can technically see how one might read it as you did. But I feel like the strong direction of the question and following No-God discussion sets it up too much for that to be the meaning.

A good point.  I still feel like there must be something else in the process, or else, why bother invading other words where Ark was fully functional?  Why bother warring at all?  Just devise a plague unique to their bios, or orbital bombardment the place into the stone age with the No-God functioning?
2. A theory I find more compelling - they had done that previously, to an extent. I mean, we know from The Plague of Wombs that they had some capacity with race devastating bio-augmentation. The history of the Nonmen has records that all but confirm that the nuke-like weapons were previously used by the Inchoroi against them. And I remember a comment from Bakker at some point that implied this was the case because of all the similar looking ring mountains around the continent that looked like the Ark crash site.

But the difference being the crash. For whatever reason they And with the loss of Ark, such things are now beyond them. And beyond that, even on a typical planet, it'd probably take at least some level of ground troops to properly wipe out the population, even with disease and nukes. Such based on sheer size, people living underground, etc.

Well, from what Wutteät tells us, they didn't really do that, they descended onto world after world, murdering much like they tried to do on Eärwa.

I mean, I realize it's all a narrative contrivance, we are just left to try to make sense of it all after the fact.
Wutteat doesn't exactly give a lot of elaboration. He just mentions they descended. At least that's all I recall, did he explicitly outline their stratagems? I'll have to see if I can find what he said again - but that hardly precludes some orbital bombardment and disease. Shoots some nukes, shoot some stuff in the area, go down to the planet to mop up the remnants.

JerakoKayne

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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2017, 11:57:21 pm »
You folks certainly don't disappoint. There's a lot of thoughts to consider here already. I've taken a rather strong liking to this one, for the moment:

But also in how it is done.  I don't think simply having an active No-God plus, say, carpet bombing everyone out gets it done either.  It's not just anguish, or death, but something with how that is achieved and possibly something to do with witness of such.

Particularly regarding the idea of witnessing the shutting of the world. At first I had a great degree of trouble reconciling the Dunyain, of all people, having any real personal meaning to the word "art" in their idiolect, at least when speaking among themselves. Though considering it now, it could be a rather profound tell. Art, after all, is an act (or creation) that has as much meaning in the observation of it, as it does in the act itself. And if Mog-Pharau is collapsing subject and object of the "art" of extinction itself...

Perhaps its rudimentary personality is actually significant? To witness these things without witnessing could be a form of contradiction, perhaps? Chorae are rooted in the semantics of contradiction, which could make Mog a sort of giant, metaphysical Chorae for the World itself? i.e. "Those who die here go no farther", like the process of the afterlife itself is negated, Chorae-style.

solipsisticurge

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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2017, 03:33:36 pm »
My own personal reading, but I took "art" to mean "process" and process to mean more than just the No-God being present.  It could certainly be untrue, but I don't think that, say, a plague with the No-God present would work.

"Why not an engineered plague?" has been my question in response to every sci-fi invasion story since a young age, and learning that smallpox was a thing and America didn't belong to my distant ancestors.

Of course, the answer usually has some degree of "because then there'd be no story, asshole," as Sausuna states.

Could the emotional state of the victims have a role in the Apocalypse successfully shutting off the outside? Would help explain my old "why rape monsters, specifically" query if so. (I know Bakker's explained his authorial motives there, but as yet there's no in-universe reason beyond the Inchoroi being incredibly carnally inclined.)
Kings never lie. They demand the world be mistaken.