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Messages - solipsisticurge

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General Misc. / Re: World War IV
« on: August 22, 2017, 06:51:26 am »

And, I've answered this question multiple times already, so excuse my irritation. When Obama pulled out the majority of our troops after him being elected, it caused a vacuum which gave rise to ISIS. Mind you, against the wishes of our highest military officers. It was only done because that's what he ran his campaign on. If those troops weren't pulled out and we have the Iraqi government more time to stabilize and become confident in there military and police force, ISIS wouldn't be what they are today. It was a mistake, a huge one. Iraqi officials felt betrayed because of the pullout and knew and told what was going to happen. Their military wasn't trained enough or established for that matter. Thats why we've sent more troops back over to there and Afghanistan, to try and get back the territory we ceded when we pulled out. ISIS, the Taliban were licking their chops when Obama was announcing the pullout of troops, all they had to do was wait.

ETA: and you keep insisting ISIS is worse, how so? Sadaam killed millions of his own people, mass genocide by chemical weapons over decades. No difference between the two in my mind. And, as I stated above, if we didn't pullout so quickly, ISIS wouldn't be as huge as a problem as they are now.

Fair enough. I disagree with the troop withdrawal leading directly to ISIS; I feel they were inevitable once Hussein was ousted, and our presence merely slowed, not halted, their inception. One thing about Hussein - though his methods were brutal and abhorrent, he was spectacularly good at keeping the religious and cultural tensions within Iraq from boiling over. In his absence, decades-suppressed animosity stretching back centuries was bound to flare up. Whether or not they were inevitable is largely a matter of opinion at this point, though, so we'll have to reconcile ourselves to alternate camps in the future alternative history forum wars.

As to ISIS being worse, my reasons for believing so are their fundamentalist religious doctrine (Hussein was largely a secular ruler), and their much larger tendency toward attacking outside their own borders. Hussein was no saint in this regard either, but didn't have the entire western world and middle east in fear over his next move. Again, a matter of opinion, largely.

My overriding opinion, on this and other post-WW2 military interventions by America, is that they cause more harm than good in the long run. Not because America is inherently evil, but just because culture and politics are insanely complicated, especially in regions of the world which have been pressure points for centuries on, and short-term interests and cultural bias tend to overwhelm long-term strategic thinking in foreign military action (especially when economic incentives take the wheel). We can mean the best, but when we prioritize our economic agenda and demand the situation be, above all else, convenient and easily comprehended, we take embers which have been smoldering for generations and create bonfires of international catastrophe.

General Misc. / Re: New titles?
« on: August 22, 2017, 06:18:40 am »
If you haven't read Blood Meridian, I would do so ASAP.

This. Very different from Bakker in prose style, but the two are soul mates when it comes to interpreting a world. Blood Meridian is one of the greatest novels ever written.

...though I do wish the bastard would use goddamn quotation marks.

Just finished Blindsight - Peter Watts. Very much can see the similarities between Bakker's TDTCB and Watts opening sequence. Rough and mysterious in the same style.

Will need to check this out.

10 years ago I had not heard of Bakker, or Hyperion. I still thought RA Salvatore and the Forgotten Realms were the best fantasy ever(!), lol

I discovered Bakker after largely abandoning fantasy, having grown tired of the trite worlds of Salvatore, Weis & Hickman, etc., and seeing series such as Wheel of Time degenerating into endless money-printing doorstops waging a war against the need for a plot to have momentum so long as each volume hits the bestseller list. Whatever review/recommendation I found framed it as Nietzsche and Frank Herbert offering their version of Lord of the Rings, which seemed right up my alley. Reinvigorated my faith in the genre's potential. (I forget exactly when I found the series. It was after TTT was published, but not by long, I believe. Would have been '05-'06 based on where I was living at the time.)

I forget how or when I stumbled onto Hyperion, but it was some time ago.

...I need to find more new books.

The Unholy Consult / Re: Who actually liked TUC?
« on: August 21, 2017, 07:00:29 am »

Where you fall as fodder, I descend as hunger -- which put into full perspective the dialogues in the Great Ordeal about fodder and harvest, I presume it was Kellhus debating / discussing / making a pact with Ajoklis. Awesome stuff.

I had remembered that line from earlier books, but not well enough to draw the parallel there. Nice!

General Misc. / Re: World War IV
« on: August 21, 2017, 06:57:59 am »
Quote ISIS is better than Hussein?

Not at all, did I ever say so? Syria is a totally different animal with so many countries involved and half the time nobody knows who's fighting who. ISIS has integrated into the general public, hiding and shielding themselves. So, just bombing would result in loss of alot of innocent lives. A mistake I don't think anyone wants to repeat and one the military brass has taking into consideration heavily since Iraq and Afghanistan. Tensions between us and Russia could escalate to a global scale. But, I don't need to tell you any of this, your asking me dumb questions you already know the answer to.

You proclaim the killing of Hussein (which directly led, amongst other causes, to ISIS' standing as a formidable regional power)  a good thing. I'm asking if you legitimately feel ousting and killing a tyrant is inherently good if the power vacuum it creates results in a worse person/group in power (ISIS kills its own "citizens" just as routinely and horrifically, and attacks outside its borders far more prevalently and without U.S. support, and is far more interested in spreading theocracy, so I judge them worse). This seems a simple example of "doing good" filtered through piss-poor comprehension of the region or its demographics resulting in a demonstrably worse situation, which is a fairly good summation of almost all U.S. military action post-WW2.

Despite 1. knowing Hussein's ouster facilitated the rise of ISIS, and 2. knowing ISIS is worse, you repeatedly refer to Hussein's ouster as an inherently good thing. I asked a rhetorical question to elicit your reasons as to why.

The Unholy Consult / Re: The thing we're all missing
« on: August 21, 2017, 06:44:20 am »
I've been pondering this for a few days, and I have a theory. It goes like this:
The original Dunyain were composed of an Anasurimbor, and some "refugees". Who were these refugees? My theory is that they were agents of the Consult, whose mission was to protect the Anasurimbor until such a time as the Consult were strong enough to resurrect the No God. Since they were able to activate the sarcophagus with Nau Cayuti, they believed one of his descendants would be able to do the same. Some or all of the refugees/Dunyain have been working with the Consult the whole time, communicating with them via sorcery. This was why sorcery was considered blasphemous by the Dunyain - so the Anasurimbor would never be able to work out that the communication was taking place.

This would appear to answer both points above, namely that the extra brainpower was coming from the Dunyain, and the Dunyain were taken to the Ark not as prisoners but as comrades. We found out right at the end of TUC that at least one of the Dunyain possessed sorcery, which was already implied anyway by the fact that Kellhus considered them any kind of a threat. Maybe they knew sorcery all along?

Any thoughts on this theory? Any other theories? I have one big hole in mine that I can't fill: At the end of one of the books (the WLW?) the Consult are torturing people to try to find out what the Dunyain are. It appears they genuinely don't know of their existence.

1. The Dunyain stumble upon Ishual, and thusly the last bastard Anasurimbor. Kind of strange the Consult would have knowledge of the redoubt (though possible, I suppose.) If they did, why not just have the Anasurimbor brought to them if they're concerned with the bloodline? Even in Ishual, a random earthquake, fire or plague could annihilate their best known chance at resurrecting the No-God. Why not lock him away in the Ark and keep cloning/Tekne-breeding him until needed?

2. Bakker said (in the AMA I believe) that the Dunyain were refugees, angry at irrationality and magic for destroying their lives. I see no reason to question this.

3. The Mutilated are heavily scarred and ruined from the fighting at Ishual, and, as pointed out above, Koringhus makes no comment concerning traitors in their midst. Ergo, they were wounded severely fighting Sranc and Ishroi, which makes little sense if they were secret allies.

All that said, I could be wrong - wouldn't be the first time where this series is concerned! But I think our boat lies elsewhere. (Though I do wonder at a canon version of the Dunyain's pre-Ishual origins... perhaps a future Atrocity Tale, if it isn't pertinent to TNG?)

The Unholy Consult / Re: Who actually liked TUC?
« on: August 21, 2017, 05:57:25 am »
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It has its faults, but is a fitting end to the series so far. It subverts the Epic Fantasy Grand Finale just as well as the characters and story have so far subverted every trope and cliche in fantasy writing.

What I will say is, TUC suffers far more being the second half of a split novel than TGO suffered being the first half. You can positively feel the absence in places. (Probably less impactful if you've read TGO obsessively numerous times, or had opportunity for a re-read shortly before TUC's release.) The one ridiculously long novel would have been better, financial realities of modern publishing be damned.

Would have liked a bit more time with the New Consult, Kellhus and the Mutilated waxing philosophical about their opposing agendas, rather than a curt, "Whatcha gonna do? Gnosis goes one way, Tekne the other!" analysis of the differences. Though I suppose it is in character; I doubt Dunyain waste much breath in debate with no likely resolution.

The carnal violence did little to phase me. Bakker's gonna Bakker, and I have a thick skin where such matters are concerned. (Please don't overanalyze or misinterpret "thick skin" there.)

General Earwa / Re: [TUC Spoilers] Nascenti of Zaudunyanicon
« on: August 21, 2017, 05:47:23 am »
So if the stories are mirrors of each other, maybe Crabicus will encounter some kind of sect in the middle of the Apocalypse as his young forefather did all those years ago...

"As long as men live, there are crimes!"
"No, child," the severed head spoke with wonder, salted Emperor falling from its lips. "Only so long as men serve Likaro."

General Misc. / Re: World War IV
« on: August 21, 2017, 05:41:39 am »
Well, we'll just stay out of international affairs then tell me if you think the world is a better place. I find it extremely amusing. I don't claim that we don't do dirty, we do. But, we do a whole lot of good too. ISIS is better than Hussein?

General Misc. / Re: World War IV
« on: August 19, 2017, 04:57:32 pm »
To serve our interests, sure. But, our we calling for the deaths of all infidels? Have we sent out calls for terrorist acts on unsuspecting, innocent people? Your comparing apples to oranges.

And ISIS are engaged in military/espionage activity to serve their own interests. I'm not arguing the two are absolutely equal in subjective moral terms - a world controlled by the U.S. would be a far nicer one to live in than one controlled by ISIS - but no nation, group or ideology can claim that violent action taken "in their own interests" holds any moral superiority to violent action taken by anyone else, barring self-defense. Hell, half the reason the Middle East is such an international issue is due to culturally ignorant meddling by the US and UK post-WWI. (I laugh my ass off whenever some idiot says we need to bomb Iran into democracy. What, and erase the great job we did of overthrowing the one they had, but that wouldn't bend over to serve western economic interests?)

The word "terrorism," as distinct from "war," simply means "war carried out by individuals or groups not diplomatically recognized as sovereign." The specific targeting of civilian populations is abhorrent, but plenty of noncombatants have managed so somehow die, terrified, in sanctioned, non-"terror" military action as well.

General Misc. / Re: New titles?
« on: August 19, 2017, 01:31:10 am »
About as far from Bakker as one can go, but the Books of Babel by Josiah Bancroft. (Senlin Ascends and Arm of the Sphinx, with a third volume on the way.) A quite original steampunk-ish fantasy, though utterly without Bakker's ruminations on philosophy, humanity, etc. Great lighter reading. I had abandoned the second book partway through (due to time constraints and other desires, not lack of quality), restarted it when summoned to jury duty Wednesday, and am thoroughly hooked again. The main character carries many shades of Achamian in his Legion.

EDIT: Upon reflection, not utterly without said rumination, just at much lower volume and frequency, with a much different take at times.

The Hyperion Cantos remains my favorite scifi.

I really, really need to read this again. Been probably ten years at this point. Where does the time go?

The Unholy Consult / Re: Zaudunyanicon Q&A
« on: August 19, 2017, 01:20:30 am »
The Dune-yain is how I've always pronounced it internally.

And tleilaxu, the probability trance and hyperintellect are pure Mentat, so you have to throw them in the mix, as well.

General Earwa / Re: [TUC Spoilers] Nascenti of Zaudunyanicon
« on: August 19, 2017, 01:10:33 am »
It seems that "The Crabiqiad" would send our mighty hero Crabby far away of the theatre of the rest of events. Maybe Crabby is going to Zeüm, curse Likaro.
If not, why don't put Crabby and the rest together as in TAE series? why separate them at all?

As Zeum will have an important role to play, and Crabicus will apparently not, this seems contradictory.

More likely to my mind he bolts toward Eanna, which got a RAFO but no firm statement of importance to the next series. It would also be the most logical direction if one wished to fuck off and avoid the whole Apocalypse travail, which seems to be Crabby's basic take on strategy at this point.

General Earwa / Re: [TUC Spoilers] Nascenti of Zaudunyanicon
« on: August 18, 2017, 09:51:02 pm »
    Bakker actually said the other reason he wants to make Crabiqiad the first book is how much it will piss off people who are waiting for a follow-up to the ending of TUC.

Possibly the most Bakker thing ever, though I do agree that putting his tale at the end of the series if he plays no crucial role in the resolution of the Second Apocalypse would render it an afterthought. Perhaps an "interquel" within the series, so as not to give the finger to fans who've slogged this far?

General Earwa / Re: [TUC Spoilers] Nascenti of Zaudunyanicon
« on: August 18, 2017, 09:48:35 pm »
Perhaps Kellhus' interest in the Psukhe liesi n breaking it apart and analyzing it more so than directly wielding it, knowing the inherent Dunyain limitations with it. It's entirely possible that Fane stumbled upon a sorcery approved of by the gods through feeling, despite his intellectual analysis of the World's metaphysics failing to hit the mark.

Given Bakker's comment that the World is conscious and the Outside unconscious, and comments elsewhere that the Gods despise premeditation (seemingly favoring going with emotion rather than rationality in any pursuit), it wouldn't surprise me that the Psukhe, based on feeling, harbors some truth of the Outside independent of Fane's rational, thought-out doctrine concerning it. Kellhus could well have been exploring a way to subvert this, to hide thought as emotion or some such, and needed to pick apart the Psukhe to see precisely when in its process it is either hidden from or approved by the divine.

Could it also be more timey-wimey bullshit? Does the Water, or emotion itself, somehow lie outside of eternity as perceived by the Gods? (The latter I consider less likely, as the Gods are far from blind to motivations and emotional states. "Judge us according to our temptations," and all that.)

All of this would require Kellhus to give a damn about damnation, which remains to be seen.

The Unholy Consult / Re: Zaudunyanicon 2017 Poster/Patch Giveaway!
« on: August 16, 2017, 06:11:47 am »
Despite the World's salvation, the Cunoroi will be no more by the series' end.

Also, Likaro will be an absolute badass, renowned for millennia in Achamian's much-revered historical account of the (near) end of the world.

Also, please let me win this. My (one year old) daughter will be absolutely heartbroken if she can't have a SA poster autographed by Bakker.

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