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  1. I don't think we know, but since the Sranc genome is based off Nonmen and since the Inoculation had to be systematically given to each, I don't think Sranc would be immortal. However, even before the Inoculation, Nonmen had long lifespans. So, plausibly Sranc lifespans are probably greater than human ones, although maybe not vastly so. I think though, because we are presented with Kellhus' "overwhelming" competence is some areas, we are apt of overestimate his capabilities. I don't really think he'd be able to fashion some biological agent to kill only Sranc, at least not without a huge amount of time and resources that simply wouldn't have really been available. It would also seem plausible that by the time Kellhus could get back to Ishuäl, it was already under siege by the Consult. I don't know that he would have been prepared for such a large-scale conflict at that point. Again, we are apt to overestimate Kellhus' power-level, because it's much higher than anyone else's, but millions of Sranc and thousands of Bashrags, along with a bevy of Nonman sorcerers, could wear him down. We don't often see it, but Kellhus does have limits.
  2. I mean, it's possible that it could be some amalgam of the two. I mean, who knows? I am fully prepared to be, and mostly expect to be, wrong on everything. But Bakker did say he usually writes with a copy of Blood Meridian and a copy of the Bible with him, so I couldn't help but offer the idea of a parallel.
  3. Well, I don't know by any stretch of the imagination. I don't have access to any information not public. That was just my summation of a hunch I had, inarticulately put. I'd actually think that the idea of the story would be something of an answer to the question: what happens to a formally untrained Dûnyain in the wild. If we (correctly or incorrectly, I don't know, I am not smart enough to actually be a literary critic) view Blood Meridian as a bildungsroman, then we could imagine that Bakker's version, set against the seeming parallel of a brutal, harsh, violent Eärwan North and the brutal, harsh, violent American West. I don't think violence or rape is the story, nor it's effect on "people" but rather what does little Crabby-boy make of all of it. Not to mention, Blood Meridian is nearly (I think) as much about The Judge as it is about the Boy. Who takes that role? I don't know, or if there even would be one (I'd think there has to be). Is that a good idea? Do I know something you guys don't know? Not at all, I could be 100% wrong on all of this and in all probability, I am.
  4. I had my wording slightly off, but the quote of his quote was, "He said at Zaudunyanicon straight up that if he wrote it after the other two or more books of TNG that people would think it a cheap add-on so he wants to do it first." Which spurred my thought that it would be an Eärwa version of Blood Meridian and that the crab-handed boy is not a savior or a hero, but rather, another survivor trying to survive. Just like the nameless kid in Blood Meridian, he wouldn't be a traditional hero or anything, but rather an exposition of the world and the trials he goes through, people he meets. I could easily be wrong, but my idea would be that this is why it would be written first, so that it doesn't seem like some random "extra" content tacked onto the end. I mean, it might in any case anyway, but that was just my take-away.
  5. Yeah, they were all "supposed" to only be two books in the initial outline. None ever stayed that contained. Considering that Bakker said that he wanted to do a book on the fate of the nameless, crab-handed boy and that this was something he wanted to write first, so as to not seem like a pointless addendum to TNG itself, I can't imagine there being any less than 3 books forthcoming, but more likely, 4.
  6. Well, I probably misrepresented my position. I am not actually against doing any of what you proposed. I am just saying that I think there is a logical reason to be somewhat pessimistic about what would actually be done with such technology. And I think that is the real point of the idea of a "Crash Space," something where we become disjointed from the ecologies that brought us here. So we just don't know what the "long-term" or the unintended consequences of those actions would be. I think that is what Bakker is getting at when he says things like, "we are under Golgotterath right now." We are at the point where we can (and will) start doing things that we simply have no (or little) idea about the consequences of, in the same way that Kellhus enters the Golden Room. He has a plan, he has objectives, but he can't actually know what would happen. I think that is Bakker's "caution" in a sense, that for all Kellhus knows about the world and metaphysics and so on, he is still just as vulnerable, if not more so, than anyone else. We are in something of the same boat, psychologically, for all we know of the world we know comparatively little about ourselves. We are out the change the system, but without a full understanding of the system. That's risky, is all I am saying. That's not to say don't do it. But rather, do it with caution.
  7. Bakker certainly is a pessimist, no doubt. I share a bit of the pessimism, because I have doubts that, in taking control of a system we don't fully understand, there won't be a catch in "simply" doling out "good stuff." I mean, maybe rewiring the brain for greater compassion is a universal good, I don't know, my meager psychology knowledge isn't apt to deduce the larger implications there, but I can't help but have a suspicion that there would be at least some unintended consequences to such action. Consider, if you made it so that people felt, lets just say, unfettered compassion, how does that effect their daily life? Do we have the mental resources to attend to such compassion while still doing what we need to? That's not a rhetorical question, I honestly have no idea. When suffering comes, say a major natural disaster, what happens to people who had their "compassion meter" set to "100?" Would they be overwhelmed? Could you eat, with the guilt of knowing that thousands are starving elsewhere? Again, I have no idea. I'm not sure if we could know what would happen. If we surmise though that we can't keep the "compassion meter" at 100 all the time, because we simply wouldn't get anything done, when we add the dial, we get into some sticky places though. What happens when we can control it? When do we turn it up? When do we turn it down? Why? Then we have a whole ecology to solve about when to have it at 100 and then to have it a zero. What happens when people start turning it to zero? Do they do depraved things? Do they ever turn it back up? Again, I am not pretending to know what the answer here is and I don't know that anyone can know the broad effects of such a thing. It goes further though. If we have such great compassion for everyone, what becomes of the feelings we have for those closest to us? Again, if the meter is set to 100, do we have the same feelings for strangers as, say, our spouse? In that case, what kind of actions do we take with respect to them? Are they still "special" to us? Is "romantic love" completely separate from the same kind of feelings as compassion? Again, I don't know if we know. Even if they are separate, if compassion brings us the most happiness, why would we bother with anything else? If we use your example to construct a crude hypothetical case: Compassion is the greatest long-term happiness. We can increase compassion. We can then engage in actions to leverage that increased compassion capacity and therefor experience greater happiness. We then decrease actions that don't leverage that compassion, because they simply aren't worth it, so there would seem to be a risk of becoming "compassion junkies." Again, I don't know this. But I can imagine it might happen. We'd need compassion dials and if we had a dial, who knows what we'd do with "full control." Sure, it might be used for good, but how long until someone realizes they can use it for "bad?" If providing our own psychological needs is anything like providing for our dietary needs, we might end up doing a very poor job indeed. I need food, but I want the worst kind for me. Are our psychological needs along the same lines? Again, I don't know. I was going to add more about how the Semantic Apocalypse is more about meaning but I think I pretty knee-deep right now...
  8. Well, everyone else pretty much answered that first question. Here are the "talking points" from each of the three parts Homo Deus is divided into. Part 1: Homo sapiens Conquers the World Part 2: Homo Sapiens Gives Meaning to the World Part 3: Homo Sapiens Loses Control Each part addresses a question in a chapter. If those seem like something you'd be interested in reading about, it's probably a book for you. Keep in mind, Harari's writing is far, far more readable than Bakker's philosophy stuff.
  9. I read it. Not sure if I am just not smart enough or what, but I don't know that I gained much insight into anything from tSA. It is however, a good, "more practical" view of what Bakker is usually talking about with the "Semantic Apocalypse." I'd recommend, if you really are interested in Homo Deus, to read his first book, Sapiens, which is definitely a good introduction to his general premise.
  10. Having reached the proscribed former topic length, I made a new one. Obvious placeholder title is obvious. Throw out some crafty suggestions for a good one. Not sure what we are talking about, perhaps Blood Meridian still?
  11. ***Contains spoilers from THE UNHOLY CONSULT**** __-----_ This is the perpetual thread devoted to the works of R. Scott Bakker, primarily the books in The Second Apocalypse series, the first novel is The Darkness that Comes Before, the seventh novel was published on July 4, 2017 and is The Unholy Consult. It is currently available for purchase. This thread is for the series through The Unholy Consult and contains spoilers through that novel. The series is called The Second Apocalypse and is currently comprised of two sub-series, a trilogy and a quartet. Potentially, there will be a third series, although the author has stated that the quartet completes his original vision for the story. The first trilogy of books is subtitled The Prince of Nothing these three books are: The Darkness that Comes Before The Warrior Prophet The Thousandfold Thought The second quartet of books is subtitled The Aspect Emperor, these four books are: The Judging Eye The White-Luck Warrior The Great Ordeal The Unholy Consult There is a third set of books presumably planned subtitled The No God. The Unholy Consult also includes an expanded Appendix/Encyclopedic Glossary. The original Glossary exists currently only at the end of the third book, The Thousandfold Thought. Additionally, Bakker has published three short stories, The False Sun and The Four Revelations of Cinial'jin on Bakker's Blog Three Pound Brain(and now also as appendices in The Unholy Consult) and The Knife of Many Hands, which is available for purchase. There is also another short story, The Carathayan, available for purchase in this anthology (along with a introduction by Bakker)This thread contains spoilers for these publications. The False Sun is the most discussed work of these three shorts. Since Bakker's writing uses layers of revelation, newcomers are strongly advised to finish the books before coming here; otherwise the spoilers will rot your soul. Eternally. Of potential interest, Bakker did stop by the board shortly after the release of The Great Ordeal and did answer several questions. That discussion can be found here.. Most denizens of this thread have also read Bakker's non-fantasy novels Neuropath and Disciple of the Dog, but the spoiler policy is unclear. You are advised to hide crucial plot points in those novels. Thanks to Happy Ent for the intro to the thread.
  12. Sure, I'm willing to buy that as the most probable. Maybe we see Akka as a sort-of Seswatha, an off camera presence to the story of whatever it is. Perhaps Mimara too. I can buy their role in the narrative ending, but I still feel like, at least, Mimara still has a role to play in what happens next because she is pretty unique in having the Judging Eye. Perhaps she too would be outside the actual narrative though.
  13. Good point. When he says arc, I think he just means the direction of their narrative not them literally being in the narrative. It's a confusing way to talk about it, but that's just par for Bakker comments...
  14. I don't know if that what he really meant though. Perhaps he meant their story arcs are ended, because what they were after simply does not matter any more. Akka's need to prove Kellhus false: doesn't matter, Kellhus is dead. Mimara's task to view Kellhus: doesn't matter, Kellhus is dead. Esmenet's fight to be out from under Kellhus thumb: doesn't matter, Kellhus is dead. I don't know if that means we don't see those characters again, or if we see them again in undertaking new roles in the post-No-God world.
  15. IIRC both The Road and No Country for Old Men have even less closure than Blood Meridian, for whatever that's worth (i.e. nothing), and I feel reasonably certain that he's probably read those too. I am the first to admit that the whole SA series is incredibly hard to sell in general though. And proof positive that Bakker is his own worst publicist. In fact, I'm ready to say that perhaps no publicity is better than what Bakker does for himself.