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Messages - Francis Buck

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General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: July 15, 2020, 01:15:42 am »
2:1 - Wherefore are the Kings of thy nations, those who allege rulership over other Men, just as these same Men do allege rulership over the beasts of the land and the trees of the forest? Wherefore are the High Priests of thy wretched temples, who mock the birds of the air, or the misers, the moneylenders, who hoard all the precious gems and fine metals? Not a one of these worked for earnest betterment of their fellow man, and so it is they have vanished from the earth, gone below into the Pit that is the Dragon's Maw, and their souls given to my cruelest and most cunning daughter, and in wrath did she Judge. Know thee now righteous fear at last? Now, in the claws of the Black Lioness, She: my most clever and carnivorus daughter, that Mistress-of-Ashes, whose name Men know as Annhilation?
2:2 - And lo! see how others now arisen come to take their place...Will they recall their forerunners whose labours were beyond measure? Nay. This is the land where man wages war forever on his kinsmen without worthy cause, over and again. They do not learn even when my Laws have been set in the foundations of the world's beginning and although they may be allowed to bend, only my by hand can they be broken.
2:3 - See now how this land is burnt down? The souls are gathered as wheat from harvest and facing up like their forefathers did to that snarling visage of the Lioness, my daughter: the Lady-of-the-Crowns, Anaretar! whose eyes are lightning and whose roar is thunder, before which such wicked souls are stricken dumb, deaf, blind. Before her they know not how to atone; so it is that they are all of them eternally Damned.
- Divine Laws, the Enchiridion.

"At the background of the Cosmos are the eternally spinning spheres of the Dau-Dei, expressed in the World as the primordial twins, as the Ensifera -- Sword-Bearer. Forever do they dance in perfect discord, and constantly they are at play as the life-breath of Creation. Therefore the Ensifera is not any special person, not confined to any specific country, race nor by any border. This is the highest secret of the Metaphysique, and it is full of science. In the formula of the Twins, the primeval human is qualified by the same quality as the God."
- The Book of Singularities

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: July 14, 2020, 11:55:35 am »
"Man fears Time -- Time fears the Pyramids."
- Arabian Proverb

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: July 14, 2020, 02:33:29 am »

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: July 09, 2020, 09:11:25 am »
"For all that modern Western civilization draws from ancient Greece, there is a subtle yet profound difference in their perspective of history. The Classical Greek worldview may be characterized by appreciation for the beauty of the human body and mind, and crucially, a preference for the local and the present moment. The Greeks, as yet untainted by the traumas of Roman Catholic oppression, were a fundamentally ahistorical people. That Classical culture -- not unlike the Hindhu or Far East even today -- did not feel so strongly a pang of anxious, borderline existential terror when confronted with a new, previously undocumented event or discovery. But when Christian ideology permeated Western thought, this natural flexibilty was utterly lost. History became a largely fixed narrative, tweaked gingerly here or there but never radically renovated, and so it was rendered intrinsically dogmatic. And yet to this very day, when the West has by all appearances become secular, rational, and scientifically-minded, there remains a deeply ingrained and vestigial mindset of the Biblical historical predisposition, a useless relic that has yet to be cast aside for no other reason than that too few even recognize that it still lingers at all. Should one dare to point out this tragic irony, the proposition is met inevitably with outright denial, unthinkingly bereft of introspection or self-awareness, and in-so evoking the very same non-scientific, irrational, childlike attitude that is otherwise so easily recognized as the identifying characteristic of the staunch, Abrahamic worldview in any other context."

Philosophy & Science / Re: Why Hasn't Evolution Invented the Wheel?
« on: July 05, 2020, 02:46:05 am »
I mean, I feel like the reason is because wheels kinda suck as a form of locomotion? When would wheels be better than multiple, articulated, terrain-adaptable limbs (which usually double as a gripping mechanism, self-defense, interacting with the environment, climbing, masturbation, etcetera). Long story short, wheels are overrated.

Also, this:

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: July 01, 2020, 05:48:51 am »
Hah, in a way the Elder Scrolls games do this (can't remember exactly, there's definitely part of your characters build that involves an element of this). But, I actually think you're spot on in regards to IRL application. I've never thought of it in the RPG context but it totally fits. I definitely could see that part of the (at least western) Zodiac was/is like having a "class" in life of sorts, albeit an entirely optional one lol (of course in the past it was likely to have been taken much more seriously, depending on the individual).

This also makes me think of the Tibetan Lamas, who are alleged to have incredibly complex astrology with individual horoscopes being a massive undertaking. And since everything in Tibetan Buddhism is turned up to 11, they also claim that the zodiacs used by most of the world are all useless, since the skies they're based on are ancient and don't actually correspond with present times. The Tibetans update theirs...which, while interesting, does not actually explain how one can determine with great accuracy when and where someone will be reincarnated lol. (Not to mention the reincarnation itself)

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: June 28, 2020, 02:44:16 am »
"The meaning of the water bearer for Aquarius is that the star sign can carry the emotions of others and not be influenced by them. This has to do with their quest for higher truth. They are able to carry emotions to reach an understanding of the truth. Aquarius bears the water, it can carry the water, or it can pour out the water with their mind. Aquarius has the ability to do this because carrying or transmitting water, which represents our emotions, happens through language. And, the Air signs, such as Aquarius, represent language. Aquarius is able to express emotions but it’s not the emotions -- or the 'water' -- itself."

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: June 18, 2020, 10:12:51 am »
"Let me tell it to you like this; inside one's head there is a brain. Now that brain is blind, deaf, and dumb. It can only go about animalistic procedures, and it has no real knowledge of what it feels like. For an illustration let us say that the very high entity so-and-so wanted to experience what it was like to be burned. Well, in his own body he would not be able to get down to the rough, crude vibrations necessary for one to feel the burn, but in this lower entity body—yes, burns can be felt, so the super-entity enters the substitute body and then the necessary conditions occur and perhaps the super-entity can get to know what it is like through the experience of its substitute. The body can see, the brain cannot.”
- Tibetan Sage

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: June 03, 2020, 07:19:59 am »
"Given the opportunity, humanity will use science to explain themselves out of existence entirely."
- Francis Buck

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: March 13, 2020, 08:40:09 am »

- 14th Dalai Lama

For the precise reason that without this primordial antagonism we could not explain the minimal distinction between the void and its vibrations, between the nothing and the ontologically incomplete realities barely distinguishable from it—in short, how the symmetries between particles and forces could have been broken in the first place.
- Slovaj Žižek

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: March 13, 2020, 08:21:54 am »
What if we posit that “Things-in-themselves” emerge against the background of the Void of Nothingness, the way this Void is conceived in quantum physics, as not just a negative void, but the portent of all possible reality? This is the only true consistent “transcendental materialism” which is possible after the Kantian transcendental idealism. For a true dialectician, the ultimate mystery is not “Why is there something rather than nothing?” but “Why is there nothing rather than something?”

-Slavoj Žižek

General Misc. / Re: Strings
« on: March 10, 2020, 03:59:33 am »
I am inclined to view the strings or their hypothetical puppets being one thing, itself being a part of a larger system.

Here's a three hour lecture by Alan Watts that deals with these ideas precisely called "Do You do It or does It do You?" and it is essentially aligned with my own views on this topic, only described with far greater articulation and wisdom than I could actually ever achieve. Despite its length, the first 15 minutes are probably more than enough to get the jist of my beliefs:

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: March 07, 2020, 02:09:02 am »
I once asked the lama of Enche what would be the post-mortem subjective visions of a materialist who had looked upon death as total annihilation.

"Perhaps," said the lama, "such man would see apparitions corresponding to the religious beliefs he held in his childhood, or to those, familiar to him, held by the people among whom he has lived. According to the degree of his intelligence and his post-mortem lucidity, he would, perhaps, examine and analyse these visions and remember the reasons which, during his life-time, made him deny the reality of that which now appears to him. He might, thus, conclude that he is beholding a mirage. "A less intelligent man in whom belief in total annihilation was the result of indifference or dullness, rather than of reasoning, will, perhaps, see no vision at all. However, this will not prevent the energy generated by his past actions from following its course and manifesting itself through new phenomena. In other words, it will not prevent the rebirth of the materialist."

-Alexandra David-Neel

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: March 01, 2020, 01:37:43 am »
Want to take over the world?
Think again.
The world's a holy place.
You can't just fuck around with it.
Those who try to change it destroy it.
Those who try to possess it lose it.

~Lao Tzu

Sorry, me, for the double post but...

On topic, Bakker does write with a healthy selection of botany books within reach and I have it from more than a few readers (some I know personally with degrees in forestry) that Bakker's tree knowledge is on point.

Wait... really? Why??

Barring some kind of deeply-entrenched, long-planned botanical super twist, I'd wager it is for worldbuilding purposes.

Having spent an obssessive amount of time creating my own fantasy world that is also (like TSA, presumably) intended to be at least kinda realistic and accurate to real life, something that hits you fairly early on is the task of actually describing the natural features of the fictional places one is conconcting. Given the pretty vast range of biomes and ecological diversity on display throughout TSA, and since RSB does in fact describe the flora of most of the wilderness regions he creates (I can't speak to accuracy, but I've certainly noticed the attention to detail here), then in order to have an idea of what sort of plants grow in what kind of climate, during what season, what they look or smell like, and their agricultural/economic value...well, a few good books on botany are kind of a requirement eventually.

Plus, RSB grew up on a tobacco farm, so I would think he was somewhat equipped early on with an appreciation for how important flora is to describing...almost any type of outdoor location. I mean, if you're describing a place that is meant to be relatively reminsicent of its real life counterparts, the two big parts are the plants, and geological terrain it is growing from -- which both kinda go hand-in-hand to climate and ecology, all of which will inform the worldbuilding eventually, even if one starts with a city or whatever and works backwards.

(I mostly just use the internet, but I wouldn't turn down a nice botanical encyclopedia)

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