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Topics - What Came Before

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General Earwa / Earwa as different from other worlds
« on: June 04, 2013, 07:22:17 pm »
Quote from: Church
Given what Scott's said about one of the major themes of TSA, namely it being a metaphysical whodunnit, I wonder what people would think about this question: is it implied that Earwa is the only world where sorcery can happen? I think the places this idea from was ------ SPOILER ALERT-------- TTT. In the appendix to TTT it seems to state pretty clearly that the Inchoroi used 'Weapons of Light', not sorcery, in their first war against the Nonmen. Given how powerful sorcery is it would seem implausible for a race as obsessed with destruction as the Inchoroi not to have some ability in this, unless it hadn't been a possibility on whatever other worlds they had travelled from, and they hadn't had sufficient time to genetically graft it into themselves since their arrival on Earwa. This seems to fit fairly well into the apparently unique nature of Earwa, and the apparently close relationship of sorcery and damnation. Would be interested to know what others think, and I hope I haven't just stated the obvious here!

General Earwa / Prince of Nothing Graphic Novel Project
« on: June 04, 2013, 07:20:57 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Prince of Nothing Graphic Novel Grok!Studio

How come I've never heard about this before?

General Misc. / Tribal Wives
« on: June 04, 2013, 07:20:17 pm »
Quote from: Callan S.
I didn't intend to watch this - was flicking around the channels as you do.

I'd like to prime you about the male/female roles. But I think it's probably more neutral to watch the doco.

The thing that strikes me is how a couple of the men are interviewed and how they might be from some tribal village in the back of beyond, but they already have the relativist moral bargaining down pat "Oh, maybe this lady comes and thinks our culture is ugly, but if we go to her culture, we'd think that's ugly too"

The thing that really hits me as bullshit is actually the 'our' in 'our culture'.

I mean sure, in western society you get discrepancies - from the minute, like men don't wear skirts, to larger ones. These end up making a male culture and a female culture. But if you think as the two cultures as circles, I'd like to think they largely overlap each other. More to the point, men are prepared to face, to atleast some degree, the female culture. Making it not as particular a female culture, in the process.

Here, exactly how much of the female culture are these men willing to face themselves? To go get the damn water from the dirty pond. To stir the porridge while, say, females for a change tell them how they are doin' it wrong. Etc, etc.

You have no fucking shared culture! You have two, one preditory/parasitic to the other. You have no 'our' culture!

And if 'our' was supposed to refer strictly to the male culture, well you aint got shit really without your women. It's not (just) that you're ugly, it's that you're pathetic without them (dead, even). Atleast acknowledge how pathetic you are (if you're going to continue), as you enact all that paternalistic bullshit. But I guess it'd take the balls out of the paternalism, to own up to being pathetic. You can't handle what your women face, nor can you actually handle life without your women.

Just pissed off and needed to formulate a responce. They are totally going to walk down to the watering hole and use their wireless laptops and read this... ...

Literature / Reading list?
« on: June 04, 2013, 07:17:48 pm »
Quote from: Twooars
Considering the sheer number of themes and ideas that TSA explores, I think a reading list is in order? I keep hearing references to other other authors on TPB that are relevant to ideas in the series, but I think it might be worth listing all of them in one place, for new readers as well as re-readers like me? :)

I would obviously list Tolkien and the Dune series as required reading material, but I am sure others can add more, especially the philosophical works that influenced RSB (obviously Nietzsche, by his own admission) or books that explore similar themes?

And other speculative fiction works that are similar?

General Earwa / Who Are You Rooting For? [SPOILERS]
« on: June 04, 2013, 07:12:30 pm »
Quote from: Jorge
This is regarding the Second Apocalypse.

Who do you find yourself rooting for? What is 'right' and 'wrong' on Earwa, and how will Scott reconcile it with reader and genre expectation at the conclusion of the trilogy?

Scott has stated various times that he wants to put the reader in a tough place by cutting against assumptions, particularly those regarding what is moral. Here's how I see it:

Kellhus- Kellhus represents the mirror-image of Nietzsche's ubermench; searching for meaninglessness in a meaningful world. Kellhus, to the moral sensibilities of most people, is utterly despicable. He manipulates others for his own ends, has no problem tying a person's will to his own, only to dispose of them later, and has yoked the entire Three Seas into what is starting to look like a death trap. One might be tempted to root for Kellhus though, because he is possibly the only person strong enough to fight/destroy the Inchoroi and Mog-Pharau. Which brings us to...

The Consult- If Kellhus is despicable, the Consult is vileness incarnate. Where Kellhus possesses, the Consult rapes. They are responsible for tremendous amounts of war, plague and suffering on Earwa, and have committed genocide against the Nonmen. They want the world to end. However, one might be tempted to root for them because if one takes their goal at face value, all they are trying to do is stop eternal suffering caused by Damnation.

The Gods of Earwa- The source of life and death, the (kinda) polytheistic pantheon of Earwa includes a Lovecraftian menagerie of deities that are little better than Ciphrang themselves. Much like the ancient Greek gods, who elicit little modern sympathy for their willingness to ruin mortal lives for amusement, the Gods of Earwa are so cruel as to be repugnant. One might be tempted to root for them because they are infinitely more likeable than the Inchoroi, less amoral than Kellhus, and the source of life on Earwa.

The Nonmen- A race of vicious slavers, the Nonmen elicit little sympathy despite being the victims of the Inchoroi. One could root for them due to their heroic resilience and mysterious nature (Scott has emphasized their 'otherness' multiple times in the narrative) any victory they have will be indefinitely marred by the fact that they are essentially already dead, thanks to the Womb-Plague.

Achamian- A half-mad wizard, doomed to eternal torment for his countless sins... Achamian is the easiest character for me to root for. But what is he really? A tool of Kellhus, manipulated through Esmenet's daughter? A deceived skeptic, hoping to show Kellhus's true nature only to find divinity behind the Aspect-Emperor?

Bonus: if you've read "The False Sun", what do you think it implies about the reality of Damnation and the mark of sorcery?

General Misc. / VD: Sole Interpretor
« on: June 04, 2013, 07:09:06 pm »
Quote from: Callan S.
As in Vox Day. What VD were you thinking of?  :lol:

Yeah, I want to raise this undead carcass and try and get a lesson from me. To me, it seemed to come down to what I call 'the sole interpretor'. It's a bit like playing sport against another team - yet finding the other team is also the referee, and the referee's word is final.

Any ambiguity in english wording (and heck, past technical writing, would most people agree english can be embiguous?) and this type of person snatches up the referee/judgement hat and keeps it for themselves, making them the sole interpretor of whatever they saw. And they start building all sorts of elaborate ideas off an interpretation which is only their own (often putting words in the other parties mouth in doing so, since they are so sure what X or Y means).

The simple test is whether they would hand you sole interpretor rights - like hell they would! You can just ask for it, but are they going to sit and just accept your interpretation absolutely? Not at all. Are they happy to hand over the jugement hat to you even just to hear your interpretation? No. The person who does say "Well, okay, so what do you see when you read it?/what do you think it says?/what are you trying to say?", they are not a sole interpretor. Indeed, if they ask any questions at all (rather than just telling you over and over what any text means), it's a indication they are unlikely to be a sole interpretor. One of the keys here is actually using some sort of external metric as referee, to determine if they are not (the quoted questions above and similar are a fairly emperical test) - otherwise you'd end up being sole interpretor as well!   :shock: :o  :D

Just an identification I'm putting out there if it's of use. Just seems a very simple verbal parlour trick on the part of some to keep dropping interpretations as if they were objective, over and over.

General Earwa / Space Whale
« on: June 04, 2013, 07:06:29 pm »
Quote from: Callan S.
I can't remember the details of the Inchies ship ultra well. But I've just recently thought of it as being, as it was organic, rather like a whale and there a hitchhikers guide to the galaxy reference in the PON series????

General Earwa / Fate is a spire?
« on: June 04, 2013, 07:05:18 pm »
Quote from: SkiesOfAzel
Scott recently brought to light something that has been bothering me since my first reading of the JE, that fact that the world conspires. From the beginning of the series, there were too many coincidences to be explained by luck (or lazy writing ;)) but with the AE books we can see a clearer pattern emerge. Events tend to repeat themselves.

  The parallels with the first apocalypse are hard to miss, The human emperor (an Anasurimbur) , the great Ordeal, a new Seswatha (Akka) etc. We can also observe that events keep repeating themselves faster and faster with the Cnaiur-Serwe Moengus-Serwa parallel.

  But every repetition also introduces changes, thus fate seems to twist reality in the shape of a spire. The most important deviation from the first apocalypse seems to me that is the absence of Nau Cayuti, the man that most probably became the NoGod. There was no child between Esmi and Akka. Still, Mimara (in WLW If I am not mistaken) thinks that she will bring Akka’s and her mother’s baby into the world, the symbolism is hard to miss.

  So if we take into account that Akka’s journey (and probably the last 20 years of his life) were conditioned by Kellhus, we can draw some interesting conclusions. The most immediate one is that Kellhus wanted that child to be conceived. Further proof that the child is very important is given by Aurang when he mentions that there is a prophecy connected to it. Akka’s dream in the beginning of the WLW also seems to hint that the purpose of the journey is to carry the child to the NoGod. Another juicy fact is that while Akka’s journey is conditioned, little Kel was the one that drove Mimara away, so Kellhus must have known about and conditioned his son as well.

  But what is Kell’s purpose? I believe that Kellhus is very much aware of Anage’s (which means need in Greek btw) role in the shaping of the universe. It seems to me that the TFT, similar to the Golden Path, is a sequence of actions that can nudge the spire of history to where he wants it to lead. It’s also safe to assume that he has chosen the path of least resistance as the safest path (thus the Empire, the Ordeal etc). But since history does repeat itself, Kell (Celmomas) seems destined to die with the Great Ordeal and Akka (Seswatha) destined to become the new leader of Men that will save the world. The talks between him and Proyas in WLW support this point, as Kell seems to be preparing Proyas for a future that doesn’t include him, but includes Akka.

  On the other hand, why would a completely immoral (and as damned as it gets) ubermench simply follow fate to the end and die? What if he intends to bolt from Anage’s path the last possible moment? And why does he want a modern version of Nau Cayuti? Does he intend to use the NoGod like an instrument? To what end?
Discuss :)

General Earwa / Mimara and the Celmonian prophecy?
« on: June 04, 2013, 07:04:39 pm »
Quote from: SkiesOfAzel
We know that due to his difference in genetics Kellhus can only have children with Esmi. We also know that Kellhus has NonMan blood. So it’s reasonable to conclude that Esmi shares that trait, but the only half-man half-nonman that we know of is an Anasurimbor. What if Esmi is also a descendant of this line? Wouldn’t that make Mimara and her child candidates for the Celmonian prophecy? We already know that her pregnancy was prophesized according to mr Aurang.

 My crackpot theory is that Nau Cayuti (who I believe was a part of the No-God at the time) was talking about the child, which is destined to become the seed for the new/resurrected No-God. What do you see errm think?

General Earwa / The inward and the world between.
« on: June 04, 2013, 07:03:44 pm »
Quote from: Curethan
The cishurim percieve the world between via the third sight. 
This is (according to the EG):
The world as is exists "between" our perceptions of it, or "in itself".
Clearly this differs somewhat from seeing outside of the world, because the outside is comprised by meanings generated by perception.
E.G. There is a great danger when Akka and Xin walk the shadow ways - not the outside, yet outside of the perceptions of normal men. 
The Cishies themselves (and those well proportioned in the recollection of the onta) shine in the third sight and cast some kind of light via their perception there.
The False Sun mentions the Inward and describes Tirtirga as an Insinger.
There seems to be the suggestion that Tirtiga is directing his sorcery via the world between rather than onto the onta, thus his strange mark. 
Further speculation or other interpretations?

General Earwa / PoN themes & philosophy
« on: June 04, 2013, 07:02:12 pm »
Quote from: solzenietzsche
Ok, noticed there is an absence of such a topic, so I venture to do it. If i'm wrong, please do inform me.

From my point of view the very central theme of the pon trilogy seems to be causality. This is quite obvious, what with
the darkness that comes before and all that. Causality is a subject traditionally belonging to metaphysics, which also makes
its appearance frequently. What I find interesting is that the causality theme is extended to include and connect fatherhood, conditioning, teaching and
homosexual relationships. Numerous references of people acting like fathers or sons, portrayal of real father-son relationships, people teaching/conditioning and being taught/conditioned and also moenghus coming-before khellus literally and metaphorically. Also, the relationship between akka and inrau, moenghus and cnaiur, which is a teaching-fathering-conditioning and a sexual relationship.

Apart from that, I think there is also a deeper theme, which concerns the possibility of a subject (in the philosophical sense).
The possibility that a human mind can be autonomous from the rest of the world. Obviously the dunyain are trying to achieve this, but i feel it is a big concern of Mr. Bakker. Not only people who are trying to do this are present at center stage, but also their very existence is the threat to the autonomy of the rest of the individuals of Earwa.

Cnaiur and Akka manage to become a bit autonomous, and it is interesting that they both manage to do it via heartbreak.
Mr. Bakker seems to be implying that the way to the autonomous subject is linked to love. Interestingly enough this is also the view of Alain Badiou, a contemporary philosopher. Other contemporary philosophers like Agamben and Zizek are also interested in a new understanding of the subject. So I find that these books take part in the contemporary debate concerning the possibility of a subject.

So, how about you? Any thoughts?

General Earwa / Scraps from the old forums
« on: June 04, 2013, 06:59:40 pm »
Quote from: Philippe
There was a lot of great discussion, speculation, and even inside information from Mr. Bakker himself over at the old Three Seas forums. I just tried going back there to see if I could find any grist for discussion, but it seems that the spam-riddled threads have been entirely wiped. Does anyone have any particularly interesting threads saved (that we could perhaps "reboot" with our new perspective from the AE books)? Or should I try looking for threads over at Westeros? (I've never really been involved with those forums but I wasn't sure if anything from the old forums had been copied over to there)

General Earwa / The World Conspires
« on: June 04, 2013, 06:54:41 pm »
Quote from: sciborg2
"As crazy as it sounds, fantasy is also founded on that loss. With Descartes, remember, it is God that assures the integrity of nature’s message. The world is a kind of communication. Of course, everything will ‘make sense,’ or ‘turn out for the best,’ because we are living a kind of story, one where punishment and reward will be dispensed according to the villainy or heroism or our role. The death of God, Nietzsche points out, forces us to abandon all such assurances, to acknowledge that the world makes no narrative, or moral, sense whatsoever.

And that those who insist that it does are probably living in a fantasy world…"

From one of Bakker's blog posts. Now, Scott has said numerous times that the world of Earwa conspires.

I've taken that to mean that the world sets up narrative arcs, the clever coincidences such as when Cnauir manages to find Kellhus. But this quote makes me wonder, if the people of Earwa are living in a kind of story, does this mean there will be punishment and reward but this will be absurd by our modern moral standards?

Or perhaps Lil' Moe is right, and his adopted father has apprehended the God. Could Kellhus actually be a Messiah, but then why the conversations with Proyas?

General Earwa / Emwama
« on: June 04, 2013, 06:52:57 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
I'm a bit curious about the human slaves of the Nonmen, who apparently were aboriginal to Eärwa. What do we know about them?

Did they get slaughtered by the human newcomers from Eänna along with the Nonmen? I get that impression, although it doesn't say so in the books. Most of the Emwama slaves on the surface (who apparently never rebelled against their masters) seem to have been wiped out, leaving them only in the underground Cil-Aujas and Ishterebinth. The former place kept Emwama mine-slaves even at the time of the Apocalypse. Since I can't imagine any Nonmen doing menial work, there must still be Emwama around in Ishterebinth.

(Am I the only one who imagines Nonman society like the Hindu caste system? With the human slaves as Sudras, the Ishroi as the Ksatriya warrior-caste, and the Quya as the respected Brahmin priestly caste.)

What role did the Emwama generally have? Apart from being domestic slaves, we also know they were used as soldiers in very ancient times (the watch around the Ark were mainly humans, IIRC). Basically, the same role as slaves in a human society. However, in the mines of Cil-Aujas, it obviously went beyond that - they were used in pretty inhuman conditions (bred as livestock, held inside cages in a dark pit, and so on) that created a topos.

How did they look like, and how are they different from Three Seas humans?

Feel free to speculate.

General Misc. / Text based browser game musings
« on: June 04, 2013, 06:49:39 pm »
Quote from: Callan S.
Yes, musings!

Anyway, I was thinking in terms of a browser game, have it set around the scalpoi era/area, but not just instantly bashing monsters/Sranc, but trying to track down a small mob first, then building a pit trap and finally baiting them (then comes combat with whatever gets past the pit). Just there's alot of games where you just bash on a monster instantly and...kinda jaded on that idea. If anyone is familiar with text based browser games and has some method for the gameplay of tracking down appropriate mobs of Sranc, pitch it to me. I think at the start you deal with the 'scraps', ie, the weakling sranc who are far out from the main horde. The real nasty and strong Sranc are to be found latter.

Thinking of there being fighters and scouts (ranged). Schoolmen are just too rare to just choose - I'm thinking maybe if you level a regular class enough, it unlocks the ability to play a schoolman. But if the schoolman dies, he perma dies (so you have to play a regular class again to unlock another schoolman).

In terms of tracking, I'm thinking players develop 'patches' areas they are tracking down Sranc within. But other players can poach these areas. I want to have ways players can be petty to each other and thieve from each other (not that they have to, but after someones stolen your patch for the ninth time, your probably tempted to...). Bring it down to a grubbier level.

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