Is Earwa doomed?

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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2017, 06:12:26 pm »
But, I just don't see the point thematically or narratively in showing us humanity dying off by being fucked by Sranc and tossed in the Whirlwind. We know that's what will happen, if the NG can't be stopped.
That would be my take, also. In principle, we already experienced the ending where the world is doomed. Just narrating the minutiae of that doom, as a rule, is not worth a story in my eyes.

But I dimly see possible exceptions to this rule. The problem is, they are extremely hard to implement. Expecting them would be like saying, "Hey, Mr. Bakker, please be so kind as to come up with fundamental innovations in writing, put them in 'The No-God' series, and obligatorily succeed in that endeavor, or we'll lynch you because you're just not good enough. Thank you! No pressure!"
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 07:00:20 pm by SmilerLoki »

profgrape

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« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2017, 06:59:00 pm »
Quote from:  profgrape
Of course, "belief in humanity" could mean an ending where "And thus the One-Hundred Forty-Four Thousand began the work of rebuilding humanity in a Meaningless world."

Not what I was going for, but ok, I get your humor.
I'm only semi-joking here; I honestly could see Bakker defining "a happy ending" as a hard reset of human existence. 

In my dream-world, the resistance to the NG is led by the Zeumi (persons of color) and the women of the Three-Seas.  What happens in Bakker's dream world, however, remains to be seen... :-)

TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2017, 08:25:53 pm »
As Kellhus said, the Inchoroi, the Consult, will eventually win. But it might not be this time. Though, it is hard, very hard, to imagine someone stopping the Consult this time:
Its now comprised of 4 dunyain who I assume are each individually smarter and better military tacticians than the old Consult, and in their sum they must be far far greater.
Far more Sranc - worse, mostly the sturdier horde from the Mountains, not to mention everything in the northeast, east, and western reaches of Earwa (where were presumably all cleared during Apocalypse 1).
There are now only the exhasted remains of the schools. Apocalypse 1 had at least 3 gnostic schools and the Quya.
Military power is at an all time low. All that remains are the Scylvendi and Zeum. (Btw, the last scene with Moenghus, it switches to 2nd person narrative (btw, fuck that, its worse than 1st person), so I expect Moenghus to do something strange).

I'm not convinced by this.  I don't think the Consult are in particularly great shape.  Golgotterath itself has been trashed inside and out.  One of the horns has been sheared off, and the insides of the other one have been half wrecked by Kellhus/Ajokli's foot stomp.  The horns are described somewhere in the text (I think in the appendix) as the 'Oars' of the Ark, which suggests to me they are important in how the Ark works, probably less fucntional following Arkfall (a crash), and now even less so.  The No-God as a 'Prosthesis of Ark' may be have some sort of function as a substitute, but more likely won't in my opinion.  The Consult have also lost (as far as I can recall) all their Non-Men mages.

The Dunyain have been shown to fail or fall short whenever they've been engaged outside Ishual and I don't see why the Mutilated should be any different in this respect.  Remember, that the Dunyain project at Ishual is an attempt to shut off influences from outside - I think we can read this as trying to shut the Outside (big O) is either going to fail or turn out in a manner that is not expected.

I don't see a military solution to the No-God.  However, there are still plenty of people in the Three Seas including millions of adult males, and thousands of potential sorcerors.  The upshot of TAE is that the military, sorcerous and logistical hierarchy/ organisation of the New Empire has been destroyed.  It can be replaced by something new and/ or different - which may be what is required.

I agree Moenghus is going to have a big role to play.
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TLEILAXU

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« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2017, 08:50:24 pm »
Quote from:  tleilaxu
No. The whole point is that the story now mirrors our own "crash-space".

Bakker stars that the Ark was the crash space. The Inchoroi have went their own little crash space or what have you, I don't see that being the case. Earwa is not technology advanced to have this crash space.
As Wilshire said, it's not about technology, but it's an analogy. The crash-space in the books is a literal death of Meaning where-as in our world it's a radically changed cognitive ecology.

Quote from:  tleilaxu
No. The whole point is that the story now mirrors our own "crash-space".
In along for the journey, no matter what. But, I wholeheartedly agree with that blogger that Bakker does believe in humanity and will use the last series to show that.
How do you define "belief in humanity" tho.

Bakker says little about how humanity can pull through. He's the doom and gloom type, and seems to think that we're rapidly approaching "too late" territory. Much closer to 'inevitable collapse' than holding out hope that humans will band together and save ourselves. Not only that, but much of what he says denies that that is even possible - we are shackled to our genetic and evolutionary inheritance.

We've hit an evolutionary dead end in terms of survivability. In fact, maybe we've hit upon the dead end of evolution: that the kind of animal survival that leads to superiority necessarily selects for low data prediction mechanisms that eventually leads to an inevitable downfall when deep-data processing is required in a high technology interactive civilization. The animal instincts that allowed us to become what we are is the very thing that prevents us from proceeding much further. We created a world that we can't persist in because the cognitive functions required for it are absent - and it will take too long for us to adapt properly, to evolve and select for humans with the kind of temperament and functions required to live in a system that moves and changes as fast as it does.

Michio Kaku somewhat famously suggested that the reason we might never see an advanced space-faring type 1, 2, or 3 civilization is because the transition from 0 to 1 destroys the species. He goes on to suggest that the reason for that is because an intelligent species that holds within itself both the power for total destruction and total permanence invariably ends up destroying itself before it can develop the necessary social function to operate cohesively and collaboratively as a planet-wide society.
I think Bakker neglects the variability in humans. After all, there are several people on this very forum who are very aware of these behavioral/cognitive traps.
Also, Michio Kaku is kind of a crackpot if you ask me. He's in the same category as Ray Kurzweil in my book.

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« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2017, 12:12:51 am »
Quote from:  tleilaxu
How do you define "belief in humanity" tho?

I meant it only pertaining to the book and that humanity will find a way to defeat the NG.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2017, 12:16:24 am »
Quote from:  SmilerLoki
That would be my take, also. In principle, we already experienced the ending where the world is doomed. Just narrating the minutiae of that doom, as a rule, is not worth a story in my eyes.

But I dimly see possible exceptions to this rule. The problem is, they are extremely hard to implement. Expecting them would be like saying, "Hey, Mr. Bakker, please be so kind as to come up with fundamental innovations in writing, put them in 'The No-God' series, and obligatorily succeed in that endeavor, or we'll lynch you because you're just not good enough. Thank you! No pressure!"

Great assessment! You put it words way better than I ever could. If the NG ultimately wins, why we just read that. No sense in going into the minutae of it all.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

TaoHorror

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« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2017, 01:59:00 am »
Would be so cool IMHO if Bakker flipped the table and wrote TNG with The Consult as the protagonists, screwing with us big time with our ( human's ) love of story. We've been "rooting" against them for 7 books, inundated with their depravity/evil/unholiness and now we start rooting for them. An extension of above post about Bakker possibly thinking the success of TNG would be a "happy ending".
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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2017, 03:36:48 am »
Would be so cool IMHO if Bakker flipped the table and wrote TNG with The Consult as the protagonists, screwing with us big time with our ( human's ) love of story. We've been "rooting" against them for 7 books, inundated with their depravity/evil/unholiness and now we start rooting for them. An extension of above post about Bakker possibly thinking the success of TNG would be a "happy ending".
It's very interesting to read posts like this since they are so far away from where I stand. I'm not rooting for anyone. I see logic in both sides of the conflict, i.e. for and against shutting the world, and honestly can't say whose arguments are stronger. So I just watch the story unfold. So far I'm very pleased, because that story, whether I like events described or not, is worth it.

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« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2017, 09:51:25 am »
Quote from: tleilaxu
As Wilshire said, it's not about technology, but it's an analogy. The crash-space in the books is a literal death of Meaning where-as in our world it's a radically changed cognitive ecology.

I understand what you and Wilshire are saying, and I won't say you're wrong. These philosophical theories are hard for me to wrap my head around. But, didn't Bakker say that the Ordeal coming to the Ark was the literal crash space of this story somewhere?

[EDIT Madness: Fixed quote tag.]
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 04:22:47 pm by Madness »
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2017, 01:22:43 pm »
Quote from: tleilaxu
As Wilshire said, it's not about technology, but it's an analogy. The crash-space in the books is a literal death of Meaning where-as in our world it's a radically changed cognitive ecology.

I understand what you and Wilshire are saying, and I won't say you're wrong. These philosophical theories are hard for me to wrap my head around. But, didn't Bakker say that the Ordeal coming to the Ark was the literal crash space of this story somewhere?

Quote
Yes. All the lines of moral speculation (many of which are incompatible, as you say) converge on Golgotterath, the point where all meaning and morality breakdown. And this crash site is meant reflect our contemporary crash space of meaning and morality. I wanted Golgotterath to be the point where the story climbs out of the World, and onto the skin of our planet.

Quote
These books are 'about' many things, but the overarching theme is the death of meaning. The crash site of the Ark echoes our 'crash space,' the way all the stone age tools we evolved to make sense of our lives and our time belong to an ancestral ecology that is in the process of collapsing before our very eyes.

We're IN the crash-space, now we explore what happens as Meaning dies.

[EDIT Madness: Same quote fix.]
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 04:25:19 pm by Madness »

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« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2017, 07:55:14 pm »
Ok, well that makes sense. I'd just hate to see it. Thanks for the quotes.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Madness

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« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2017, 04:46:14 pm »
...

Nice post ;).

Forgive the tangent, but I think it relates a bit to this conversation. Why was Yatwer hunting Kellhus with WLW's? If she is blind to her end, how would she know Kellhus was responsible for bringing about TNG? Forgive me if I missed the reason was revealed in the text, I don't recall ever coming across why she was hunting him.

As far as my reading and as profgrape says later in this thread: to stop Ajokli.

I've been wondering this too and really thinking that Kellhus would most likely be looking for AND finding that route. I DID think "killing faith" and thus starving/killing the beings on the Outside might have been a key. I had thought that Damnation and Heaven was based on Faith. Eliminate that and you eliminate eternal, well, anything. But, if it has nothing to do with belief and faith, then the key is to look for the cause. Isn't that how you find a cure?

I wish I could give a better answer. :(

That was a pretty good answer. Very interesting.

Or they're going after Ajokli. :-)

Yep. It's explicitly said by the one eyed Dûnyain before Ajokli implodes him.

+1

But I dimly see possible exceptions to this rule. The problem is, they are extremely hard to implement. Expecting them would be like saying, "Hey, Mr. Bakker, please be so kind as to come up with fundamental innovations in writing, put them in 'The No-God' series, and obligatorily succeed in that endeavor, or we'll lynch you because you're just not good enough. Thank you! No pressure!"

I have no idea what Bakker readerly catharsis might read like though I've long wondered about it.

In my dream-world, the resistance to the NG is led by the Zeumi (persons of color) and the women of the Three-Seas.  What happens in Bakker's dream world, however, remains to be seen... :-)

Well, I mean, as we've talked about this. Looking forward to it.

...

Kellhus arguably enslaved the entire Three Seas in two decades. The Mutilated don't have to manage the same complex social organization and they had unrestricted access to the Gnosis and the Tekne for half as long-ish as Kellhus spent trying to manage the South.

And they just routed the largest army ever assembled.

Advantage Mutilated.

Quote from:  tleilaxu
No. The whole point is that the story now mirrors our own "crash-space".

Bakker stars that the Ark was the crash space. The Inchoroi have went their own little crash space or what have you, I don't see that being the case. Earwa is not technology advanced to have this crash space.
As Wilshire said, it's not about technology, but it's an analogy. The crash-space in the books is a literal death of Meaning where-as in our world it's a radically changed cognitive ecology.

I've been thinking up my second guest post idea for TPB - since Bakker previously offered me a shot that I didn't take.

But I really think he's done a poor job of explaining his views on cognitive ecologies, crash space, etc, as he's developed his terminology across so many TPB posts. I have admonished him to post some definition elucidation.

You seem to get it a little more than most, tleilaxu, to the disservice of the story on Bakker's part because he uses his terms reflexively expecting individual fiction readers to understand their inception.

I actually think in terms of creating a SFF-narrative ecological crash that he's done a fairly good job. Totally lost on many readers.

« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 04:48:55 pm by Madness »
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Wilshire

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« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2017, 05:33:21 pm »
Quote from: tleilaxu link=topic=2473.msg41300#msg41300

Whether or not he negelcts them though isn't really the point either. I'm just pointing out that he doesn't seem to be the guy to look to if you want a cheerleader for humanity.
Bakker says little about how humanity can pull through. He's the doom and gloom type, and seems to think that we're rapidly approaching "too late" territory. Much closer to 'inevitable collapse' than holding out hope that humans will band together and save ourselves. Not only that, but much of what he says denies that that is even possible - we are shackled to our genetic and evolutionary inheritance.

We've hit an evolutionary dead end in terms of survivability. In fact, maybe we've hit upon the dead end of evolution: that the kind of animal survival that leads to superiority necessarily selects for low data prediction mechanisms that eventually leads to an inevitable downfall when deep-data processing is required in a high technology interactive civilization. The animal instincts that allowed us to become what we are is the very thing that prevents us from proceeding much further. We created a world that we can't persist in because the cognitive functions required for it are absent - and it will take too long for us to adapt properly, to evolve and select for humans with the kind of temperament and functions required to live in a system that moves and changes as fast as it does.

Michio Kaku somewhat famously suggested that the reason we might never see an advanced space-faring type 1, 2, or 3 civilization is because the transition from 0 to 1 destroys the species. He goes on to suggest that the reason for that is because an intelligent species that holds within itself both the power for total destruction and total permanence invariably ends up destroying itself before it can develop the necessary social function to operate cohesively and collaboratively as a planet-wide society.
I think Bakker neglects the variability in humans. After all, there are several people on this very forum who are very aware of these behavioral/cognitive traps.
Also, Michio Kaku is kind of a crackpot if you ask me. He's in the same category as Ray Kurzweil in my book.
I'm just pointing out that he doesn't seem to be the guy to look to if you want a cheerleader for humanity.

But even still, the variability in humanity is not particularly relevant in this case. We're talking about species wide sums of cognitive failure. Humans lack the ability to navigate this minefield. Much of the problem being that even those completely aware of the issue can't do anything about it. They are just as easily fooled as the rest. At least, that's what he seems to bring up.

And yes, Kaku is a radical that's for sure, and probably a nutcase too, but no more so than Bakker if you ask me. I mean, Bakker is a philosopher who disparages traditional philosophy, the underpinnings of his own field ... it doesn't get much more crazy than that.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 05:37:51 pm by Wilshire »
One of the other conditions of possibility.

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #43 on: October 30, 2017, 07:00:08 pm »
...

Nice post ;).

Forgive the tangent, but I think it relates a bit to this conversation. Why was Yatwer hunting Kellhus with WLW's? If she is blind to her end, how would she know Kellhus was responsible for bringing about TNG? Forgive me if I missed the reason was revealed in the text, I don't recall ever coming across why she was hunting him.

As far as my reading and as profgrape says later in this thread: to stop Ajokli.

I've been wondering this too and really thinking that Kellhus would most likely be looking for AND finding that route. I DID think "killing faith" and thus starving/killing the beings on the Outside might have been a key. I had thought that Damnation and Heaven was based on Faith. Eliminate that and you eliminate eternal, well, anything. But, if it has nothing to do with belief and faith, then the key is to look for the cause. Isn't that how you find a cure?

I wish I could give a better answer. :(

That was a pretty good answer. Very interesting.

Or they're going after Ajokli. :-)

Yep. It's explicitly said by the one eyed Dûnyain before Ajokli implodes him.

+1

But I dimly see possible exceptions to this rule. The problem is, they are extremely hard to implement. Expecting them would be like saying, "Hey, Mr. Bakker, please be so kind as to come up with fundamental innovations in writing, put them in 'The No-God' series, and obligatorily succeed in that endeavor, or we'll lynch you because you're just not good enough. Thank you! No pressure!"

I have no idea what Bakker readerly catharsis might read like though I've long wondered about it.

In my dream-world, the resistance to the NG is led by the Zeumi (persons of color) and the women of the Three-Seas.  What happens in Bakker's dream world, however, remains to be seen... :-)

Well, I mean, as we've talked about this. Looking forward to it.

...

Kellhus arguably enslaved the entire Three Seas in two decades. The Mutilated don't have to manage the same complex social organization and they had unrestricted access to the Gnosis and the Tekne for half as long-ish as Kellhus spent trying to manage the South.

And they just routed the largest army ever assembled.

Advantage Mutilated.

Quote from:  tleilaxu
No. The whole point is that the story now mirrors our own "crash-space".

Bakker stars that the Ark was the crash space. The Inchoroi have went their own little crash space or what have you, I don't see that being the case. Earwa is not technology advanced to have this crash space.
As Wilshire said, it's not about technology, but it's an analogy. The crash-space in the books is a literal death of Meaning where-as in our world it's a radically changed cognitive ecology.

I've been thinking up my second guest post idea for TPB - since Bakker previously offered me a shot that I didn't take.

But I really think he's done a poor job of explaining his views on cognitive ecologies, crash space, etc, as he's developed his terminology across so many TPB posts. I have admonished him to post some definition elucidation.

You seem to get it a little more than most, tleilaxu, to the disservice of the story on Bakker's part because he uses his terms reflexively expecting individual fiction readers to understand their inception.

I actually think in terms of creating a SFF-narrative ecological crash that he's done a fairly good job. Totally lost on many readers.
I wouldn't be to sure about that, maybe I'm just a Chinese room pretending to understand something. I have to fish carefully for the essential tidbits, since I don't know shit about philosophy. 

Quote from: tleilaxu link=topic=2473.msg41300#msg41300

Whether or not he negelcts them though isn't really the point either. I'm just pointing out that he doesn't seem to be the guy to look to if you want a cheerleader for humanity.
Bakker says little about how humanity can pull through. He's the doom and gloom type, and seems to think that we're rapidly approaching "too late" territory. Much closer to 'inevitable collapse' than holding out hope that humans will band together and save ourselves. Not only that, but much of what he says denies that that is even possible - we are shackled to our genetic and evolutionary inheritance.

We've hit an evolutionary dead end in terms of survivability. In fact, maybe we've hit upon the dead end of evolution: that the kind of animal survival that leads to superiority necessarily selects for low data prediction mechanisms that eventually leads to an inevitable downfall when deep-data processing is required in a high technology interactive civilization. The animal instincts that allowed us to become what we are is the very thing that prevents us from proceeding much further. We created a world that we can't persist in because the cognitive functions required for it are absent - and it will take too long for us to adapt properly, to evolve and select for humans with the kind of temperament and functions required to live in a system that moves and changes as fast as it does.

Michio Kaku somewhat famously suggested that the reason we might never see an advanced space-faring type 1, 2, or 3 civilization is because the transition from 0 to 1 destroys the species. He goes on to suggest that the reason for that is because an intelligent species that holds within itself both the power for total destruction and total permanence invariably ends up destroying itself before it can develop the necessary social function to operate cohesively and collaboratively as a planet-wide society.
I think Bakker neglects the variability in humans. After all, there are several people on this very forum who are very aware of these behavioral/cognitive traps.
Also, Michio Kaku is kind of a crackpot if you ask me. He's in the same category as Ray Kurzweil in my book.
I'm just pointing out that he doesn't seem to be the guy to look to if you want a cheerleader for humanity.

But even still, the variability in humanity is not particularly relevant in this case. We're talking about species wide sums of cognitive failure. Humans lack the ability to navigate this minefield. Much of the problem being that even those completely aware of the issue can't do anything about it. They are just as easily fooled as the rest. At least, that's what he seems to bring up.

And yes, Kaku is a radical that's for sure, and probably a nutcase too, but no more so than Bakker if you ask me. I mean, Bakker is a philosopher who disparages traditional philosophy, the underpinnings of his own field ... it doesn't get much more crazy than that.
I get what you're saying, I think I'm just more optimistic about this. Maybe I'm just an aspie though.
I think Bakker's disparagement of traditional philosophy is awesome. Now I don't have to feel like a total hack when I tell people that, say, the hard problem of consciousness is bullshit, I can just regurgitate something about cognition being heuristic and walk away.

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« Reply #44 on: October 30, 2017, 07:33:15 pm »
I get what you're saying, I think I'm just more optimistic about this. Maybe I'm just an aspie though.
I think Bakker's disparagement of traditional philosophy is awesome. Now I don't have to feel like a total hack when I tell people that, say, the hard problem of consciousness is bullshit, I can just regurgitate something about cognition being heuristic and walk away.

We're on the same page. I loved Bakker's little jab in the STBYM podcast. Badly paraphrasing: "philosopher's solution for the last two thousand years has been to think really hard at the problem, and it hasn't worked. Lets try something different".
One of the other conditions of possibility.