[TGO Spoilers] Threads of White

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Bolivar

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« on: July 15, 2016, 08:31:51 pm »
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Anasûrimbor Serwa was no more than three when she realized that it all gave way, the World. She would find her eye drawn to the threads of white knotted across all things illuminated, and she would know, This is not real. And since her memories began at three, it had always been thus. The Unreality, as she called it, had forever sapped her surroundings. “See, Mama?” she would cry, “Look-look! None of it is real!” Sometimes she would even dance and traipse, singing, “Everything is False! Everything! Only! Seems!”

[...] It had been unfathomable then, The Unreality, more an ethereal assemblage of inkling and intuition than anything explicable. A certainty of breakneck plummets across flat ground. An intimation of perspectives hidden in the creases of what could be perceived. A profound incompleteness in the warp and weft of whatness, making smoke of the ground, paper of the sky, lazy scarves of whole horizons. It would strike her in the gleam of things in particular, the wires of white that looped about everything illuminated: the pools of shining marble beneath the sun wells, the afternoon radiance that dazzled their dinners on the Postern Terrace throughout the summer. The glint of reflections while bathing.

I've heard posters vaguely reference "The Simulation Theory" numerous times but I've never heard the theory in detail. After my last re-read on the Slog, I've noticed small fragments here and there that might have suggested it's true, that Earwa and its universe exists inside of a computer simulation. But the opening passage of Chapter Seven quoted above made me feel like it's all but been confirmed.

Her description of their being threads of white behind everything reminded me of portrayals of VR simulations in other media, such as Neo seeing green computer characters as code behind objects/people in the Matrix. The wording specifically recalled the Animus from Assassin's Creed, a device that uses your genetic memory to place you in a simulation of the past:


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Her mother, young Serwa had realized, was not real. She acted for reasons she knew not, spoke words she did not understand, pursuing ends that she could neither fathom nor bear. The mother she had loved (as far as she could love) quite simply did not exist. That mother, Serwa realized, was a puppet of something larger, darker, something that merely manufactured scruple to prosecute its base demands.

The Empress did not change because she could not change: she had borne too many injuries to learn from any one of them. She chided and struck her children the way she always had. But never again would Serwa—or her siblings (for they shared everything)—suffer her affliction. They knew her the way an old miller might know an even older mill: as a mechanism grinding the same grains in the same ways. Understanding her particular Unreality had allowed them to rule her as profoundly as Father had ruled her—even more!

The way she describes her mother sounds like the the darkness that comes before but it also sounds like something carrying out the functions of a computer program. The fact that she was just describing objects in a similar way, not just people, suggests that this is all a part of one larger recognition about the whole of the Ground.

There's obviously a bigger thread about the rest of the series but generally Sorcerers are known as those who recall the truth, who can see the impetus behind things, or the onta. It's put in metaphysical terms of meaning and purpose because those are the concepts by which they can define it but it sounds like the world exists because it was intentionally built to carry out a simulation.

From the metaphysics discussion between Kellhus and Achamian in the Thousandfold Thought:

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Achamian swallowed, tried to recover himself in his knowledge. “The Nonmen once believed it was the language that made sorcery possible. But when Men began reproducing their Cants in bastard tongues, it became clear this wasn’t so …”

To me, the Anagogic sorcerers are using a graphical user interface or something simple to use sorcery. They are limited to using analogies because they can only create something based on what is already there and it's nowhere near as powerful as the Gnosis. Gnostic sorcerers are true computer programmers themselves, writing their own algorithms and geometry to cut and tear through the world. They use their programming language to create shapes like a graphics artist rendering 3D objects.

The Inchoroi maybe just stumbled on a function wherein if the population drops below 144,000 conscious/sentient beings, the simulation ends.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 08:34:10 pm by Bolivar »

Wilshire

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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2016, 07:20:55 pm »
Sounds pretty out there, man. Simulation theory is a fun one to think about, IRL, but as for Earwa, I'd be pretty pissed off if we get a Men In Black ending where somone kicks open a door in the Ark and you see the inside of some larger room filled with aliens...

Pretty good theory though as far as you have laid it out - though I'd say the Psukari are the programmers, writing in God's own language. The gnosi would just have access to a better GUI than the anagogi. Or, maybe, they're just better able to use the same tools. Either way, Anagogic vs Gnosis turns on principles of superior intellect and superior use of the language, whereas the Psukhe is fundamentally different.

The Inchoroi maybe just stumbled on a function wherein if the population drops below 144,000 conscious/sentient beings, the simulation ends.
Not ends, but rather locks out the programs from being able to edit the program. Makes the Earwa sim relegated to a read-only background process.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 07:22:30 pm by Wilshire »
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Jackehehe

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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2016, 07:35:19 pm »
I would personally burn all my Bakker books on a pyre if it turns out that Earwa is just a computer simulation. In fact, it would be even more stupid than the ending of  Ender's game.

spacemost

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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2016, 08:29:20 pm »
Could be related to the Dyadic Theory that Ajencis talks about.

From the wiki/glossary:
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Ajencis argues that it is the relation between subject and object, desire and reality, that underwrites the structure of existence. The World, he argues, is simply the point of maximal objectivity, the plane where the desires of individual souls are helpless before circumstance (because it is fixed by the desire of the God of Gods).

Perhaps she's seeing glimpses of the God of Gods' desire as it shapes reality.

Madness

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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2016, 04:11:05 pm »
There seems to be something fairly interesting buried in Serwa's POVs. I'm just not sure I can tease it out yet - I need a reread. Lol.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2016, 04:20:35 pm »
I would personally burn all my Bakker books on a pyre if it turns out that Earwa is just a computer simulation. In fact, it would be even more stupid than the ending of  Ender's game.
Loved the ending of Ender's game. One of the best ever, IMO :) .

 I would not be pleased if TSA ends up being a matrix analogue.
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Mandos

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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2016, 03:36:59 am »
I actually thought that Ishual itself was a simulation, after reading TDTCB:
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Though forests below Ishual had been much the same, Kellhus found himself unsettled for some reason. [...] The water he drew to his lips was more replenishing, more sweet, than any water he had tasted before. But how could water taste sweet? How could sunlight, broken across the back of rushing waters, be so beautiful?

To me that read as Kellhus leaving the simulation of Ishual and surrounding areas, and somehow gaining physical presence in the actual world, hence enhanced stimuli.

But yes, I read Serwa's "threads of white" as lines delineating pixels of the simulation.  :)

Titan

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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2016, 04:41:16 am »
I would personally burn all my Bakker books on a pyre if it turns out that Earwa is just a computer simulation. In fact, it would be even more stupid than the ending of  Ender's game.

It doesn't have to be exactly that - a computer simulation. But the objective reality of our universe (or lack thereof) is something philosophers have argued about for thousands of years, all the way back to Plato and beyond. That our world might be a ... shared hallucination? Not the right word... But an agreed upon frame of reference, some sort of shared consciousness dream that manifests our reality.

Now I happen to think that is hogwash for our reality  :D, but I agree with Bolivar... Serwa's chapters do offer hints in that direction, for the universe of the books. We already know that their reality is malleable through sorcery - already defined in the books as language that alters reality.

Sorcerers are simply hacking the Matrix! (Ducks and runs!)  ;D
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 04:46:53 am by Titan »

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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2016, 12:37:02 pm »
Scott often discusses the D&D influences, especially those of the effect that DMing had on the formation of the series.  I wonder now, about how the gods might be connected, in a way, to the role a DM (and maybe other players) would have upon the world.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . 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

Madness

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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2016, 07:15:08 pm »
Scott often discusses the D&D influences, especially those of the effect that DMing had on the formation of the series.  I wonder now, about how the gods might be connected, in a way, to the role a DM (and maybe other players) would have upon the world.

In the Grim Tidings podcast, he mentions that he never played and considered himself "some kind of Dark God" of their gaming worlds...

Hold on to your hats, boys and girls. I have a feeling we yet have darker places to go :o .
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2016, 02:17:16 pm »
In the Grim Tidings podcast, he mentions that he never played and considered himself "some kind of Dark God" of their gaming worlds...

Hold on to your hats, boys and girls. I have a feeling we yet have darker places to go :o .

Ajolki?  That is the only God ever refereed to as "evil" in the books.

Consider, if this is all yarn spun out by Ajolki, perhaps as revenge for them making him something of an outlaw, a pariah, so far as to call him The Fool.  While Kel thinks Ajolki the guide to kill Kellhus, the joke (The Laughing God) is on him, Kelmomas is there to save Kellhus.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . 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