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91
The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by Wilshire on May 17, 2021, 05:55:22 pm »
Its hard to square much of what Bakker says out of text vs. what's actually in the books. I'm of the opinion that Q/A answers that contradict the text like this are purposefully misleading, therefore don't mean what they appear to mean. I also often feel like the world that Bakker created isn't what he intended to create - and doesn't work the way he expects (as he spent too much time/energy trying to keep things obfuscated and created something else entirely).

If not, then the metaphysics and mystery within Earwa cannot be unwound or derived from the text we have about Earwa.

Look at Bakker's quote again with new bold text:
Another interpretation turns on the way morality is intrinsic to the ontology of the World. If you look at Chorae as 'logic bombs' designed to obliterate violations of code, then you can chart antipathies to Chorae according to different kinds of violations. Thus the difference between Schoolmen and Cishaurim. Wracu are not simply Inchoroi abominations, they are Inchoroi abominations possessing souls. Like the Cishaurim, they do not so much violate the 'letter' as the 'spirit' of natural law. Chorae are 'ontological stressors' in the latter instance. 
In summary: Another interpretation... If... Then... Thus...

He doesn't say that what follows after the bold is actually true, nor that it is his interpretation or whether or not he agrees with it. He is simply saying that some people might interpret the text in this way - without confirming at all that this is how it actually work. Therefore there is no new information in his response, just a simple slight of hand. He only tells us that some people speculate this way, not that this is correct.

So to me Bakker either doesn't know (worldbuilding bottom), or refuses to say for reasons that are his own (RAFO, etc.), but since he has an audience here he does a little cantrip as much for his own enjoyment as for those watching.

The Inchoroi being able to create beings with souls really breaks the majority of the worldbuilding that we have. If they could do that, then they'd have legions of sranc sorcerers, skin-spy schoolman armies, and Wracu that spit wards and powerful Gnostic warcants. There'd be no Second Apocalypse since the first time around they would have been successful.
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I think probably "portion of god" and/or Third Sight seems something closer to Intellect than Soul. Why else would Moenghus shine so brightly. Also, this explains why Skin Spies wouldn't necessarily jump out in the Third Sight.

The Cish don't see souls, but something else entirely.
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General Earwa / Re: (Spoilers All) (Srancpost) The Solitary God
« Last post by H on May 14, 2021, 12:45:56 pm »
Yeah, that was what I was going for - like God has already thought Cause/Effect relations out and while He mentally sustains these relations He is not immanent in the world.

Right, which leads right to what the Glossary entry has the Inrithi asking, "are not functions part of the greater whole?"

In a way, it is getting at, I think, something like the following: the Fanim says the Solitary God is separate from the universe, as higher order functioning, or something like it.  The Inrithi ask how that could actually be separate and not just a [the?] greater whole.

I have to admit, that I am rather sympathetic to the Inrithi point there.  However, the Fanim make several other key critiques of the Inrthi position though, notably the critical role that transcendental universals would seem to play even in Inrithi thought.
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Do you agree with Madness that perhaps Big Moe just let Kellhus yammer on about discrepancies in voices while in truth the Cish easily rooted out the skin-spies?

Well, even Kellhus temper's his conjecture there:

Quote
Then, about twelve years ago, you discovered the first of the Consult skin-spies—probably through discrepancies in their voices.

I don't think Kellhus really fully understands the Third Sight at this point (in fact, he might never really, since he couldn't ever experience it himself).

I think in line with what you are saying here is that what the Cish see has, to them, always correlated with souls. They perhaps see souls as entities with passions, intellect, etc. And before they never had reason to doubt this correlation.

Perhaps it's also the case that because they felt they could still see "souls" in the skin-spies they insisted that these were not biological machinery but magical artifacts made by the Scarlet Spires?

Well, I think that the Cishaurim leadership likely already had "reason" to suspect or be worried about the Scarlet Spires.  The only other group they'd likely suspect more would be the Imperial Saik and they likely had little reason to think they could pull off such a feat, simply because the Diamos is far more mysterious, in-world, as to what it might be able to do.  Being so beyond what the "usual" Anagogis could do, they are likely right in worrying about if it could well pull a soul from something.

In the end, I suspect this actually is a slight plot hole, but one easily hand-waved away.  It was the case that pre-"twelve years ago" the Consult rarely had reason to install skin-spies in Fanim lands, so there wasn't really much reason for concern by either party.  When Moe arrives though, his curiosity and general thoroughness means removal reaches a fever pitch, raising things to a new level for both the Cishaurim and the Consult.

I think since each of these tidbits are extra-textual it's easy enough to massage them into fitting the logic of the plot.

OTOH with a "metaphysical whodunnit" one does need some consistency to chart out the metaphysics...a few short stories would help standardize the canon in that regard...
95
Do you agree with Madness that perhaps Big Moe just let Kellhus yammer on about discrepancies in voices while in truth the Cish easily rooted out the skin-spies?

Well, even Kellhus temper's his conjecture there:

Quote
Then, about twelve years ago, you discovered the first of the Consult skin-spies—probably through discrepancies in their voices.

I don't think Kellhus really fully understands the Third Sight at this point (in fact, he might never really, since he couldn't ever experience it himself).

I think in line with what you are saying here is that what the Cish see has, to them, always correlated with souls. They perhaps see souls as entities with passions, intellect, etc. And before they never had reason to doubt this correlation.

Perhaps it's also the case that because they felt they could still see "souls" in the skin-spies they insisted that these were not biological machinery but magical artifacts made by the Scarlet Spires?

Well, I think that the Cishaurim leadership likely already had "reason" to suspect or be worried about the Scarlet Spires.  The only other group they'd likely suspect more would be the Imperial Saik and they likely had little reason to think they could pull off such a feat, simply because the Diamos is far more mysterious, in-world, as to what it might be able to do.  Being so beyond what the "usual" Anagogis could do, they are likely right in worrying about if it could well pull a soul from something.

In the end, I suspect this actually is a slight plot hole, but one easily hand-waved away.  It was the case that pre-"twelve years ago" the Consult rarely had reason to install skin-spies in Fanim lands, so there wasn't really much reason for concern by either party.  When Moe arrives though, his curiosity and general thoroughness means removal reaches a fever pitch, raising things to a new level for both the Cishaurim and the Consult.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by H on May 12, 2021, 08:32:21 pm »
Might be why they were so obsessed with "cunny" as well....

Indeed, in fact all the more so, since they are likely in possession of part or some of the engineering that makes Inchoroi drawn toward those Damnable desires yet shackled to bodily forms that likely completely preclude even the possibility of acting on such desires.

Then again, given the seeming divergence of forms that Wracu seemed to have taken, each might have been "new" attempts at achieving a manufacturable design.  Or maybe it simply is that there was that they lacked an understanding sufficient to merge the Inchroi and Wutteät genomes in anything but a haphazard manner, achieving differing results each time.

Skarfa at least seems more articulate than Skuthula, but we really don't know much of of the rest of them to say just how divergent they might have been.  I'd still guess that what they were doing was attempting mash-ups of genomes they had on hand and enhancing them with "cybernetics" or at least reinforced skeletons/scales.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by sciborg2 on May 12, 2021, 06:21:34 am »
...and yet ->

Mike mentioned this on TPB as the 'question of questions,' but I'm sure this in the books somewhere. Wracu find them painful, for reasons that are hotly contested. One interpretation involves the fact that it's not just places where atrocity wears thin the fabric of the onta. As Wutteat shows, it's beings as well. Wracu, some argue, are demonic in some respect.

Another interpretation turns on the way morality is intrinsic to the ontology of the World. If you look at Chorae as 'logic bombs' designed to obliterate violations of code, then you can chart antipathies to Chorae according to different kinds of violations. Thus the difference between Schoolmen and Cishaurim. Wracu are not simply Inchoroi abominations, they are Inchoroi abominations possessing souls. Like the Cishaurim, they do not so much violate the 'letter' as the 'spirit' of natural law. Chorae are 'ontological stressors' in the latter instance. 

I actually, at times, have wondered if they somehow went and "mixed" actual Inchoroi genomes and whatever genome Wutteät is/was in an attempt to manufacture Wracu.  Which might explain why they all are somewhat different than each other, each was some new experiment on how to combine Inchoroi DNA with Wutteät DNA and graft that onto cybernetic parts.  In other words, it was a makeshift process, using what tech they still had available, not wholesale "new" creations (which likely could not be souled because they lacked the understanding of how to imbue that "part").

Not that we could prove any of that one way or the other.

Might be why they were so obsessed with "cunny" as well....
98
Also, isn't it weird that despite the Dunyain reflecting a proper proportion of the God they are spiritually weak?

I don't follow what "proportion of the God" is really supposed to mean.  I just read that as a soul being the "portion" of the God that is tied to a given individual.  Dunyain don't lack souls, they lack the manner of Spirit (read: Geist, as Mind) that reflects into itself in a manner we could notionally call "spirituality."

Their "religion" is rather the Logos, which chains them to a differential conception of self-consciousness and so a different sort of expression of mind (and the role it should play).  One that leaves them far "superior" in conscious ability but weaker to the unconscious forces that are still at play.  They are still fully "souled," still self-conscious, still portions of the God, where Tekne creations are not at all.  Dunyain are fully continuous/contiguous with "natural" reality, where Tekne things are not.

Do you agree with Madness that perhaps Big Moe just let Kellhus yammer on about discrepancies in voices while in truth the Cish easily rooted out the skin-spies?

I think in line with what you are saying here is that what the Cish see has, to them, always correlated with souls. They perhaps see souls as entities with passions, intellect, etc. And before they never had reason to doubt this correlation.

Perhaps it's also the case that because they felt they could still see "souls" in the skin-spies they insisted that these were not biological machinery but magical artifacts made by the Scarlet Spires?
99
General Earwa / Re: (Spoilers All) (Srancpost) The Solitary God
« Last post by sciborg2 on May 12, 2021, 06:16:47 am »
"Function" is definitely the tricky word here, as otherwise it could be a Classical Theism God who is apart from creation but also creation's concurrent cause.

Maybe the Divine Function is meant to be a matter of what outputs are produced by what inputs, sort of like a Relation that precedes Relata?

Is that sort of like a Platonic form of Relation?

Yeah, that was what I was going for - like God has already thought Cause/Effect relations out and while He mentally sustains these relations He is not immanent in the world.

100
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by Wilshire on May 12, 2021, 02:38:13 am »
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (18)

I struggle to explain why I like this book so much. The dialogue is quirky at best, but is satisfying despite itself. The setting/worldbuilding is honestly a pretty confused mess with a bit of scifi, fantasy, detective/noir/whodunit, horror, yet it somehow manages to mesh together in a way that makes me want more. The plot of Gideon itself is mostly straightforward, but the opening kind of places you somewhere strange and the ending transports you away from the story entire into something new - yet it manages to feel cohesive.

Its weird, but its great, and I had great fun reading it a second time. Muir achieves something fantastic in her first published book, which in itself is impressive, yet her 2nd book manages to outclass and raise up this first one.

... Great things. I expect great things from Tamsyn Muir, and will await her future novels with no small amount of anticipation.
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