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.H.

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  1. .H.

    Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

    Wasn't that Sciborg's eternal question? I think Bakker answered it somewhere, maybe Reddit or the thread here. It was actually at TSA: They do sure still hold their own anyway, for the most part, without chorae.
  2. .H.

    HBO's Westworld VII: Abort?.Retry.Fail

    Yes, although, also in a way it's a return to the natural state. Or the primordial state. Or the correct state, if you will. He is convinced he is in the wrong world, the wrong state, so his default reaction is to try to return to the correct one. What does he think will happen? Well, he thinks things will be right again. He doesn't need a plan then, if he returns to the right world things will be as they should be and his instincts will be sufficient. That is, he will return to his "normal" life, that is, the original life he remembers. It's a modern spin on an archetypal story though, it doesn't need a heap of rationality to help it really.
  3. .H.

    Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

    Right, the Logos and the passion that is key to the Psûkhe are pretty much diametrically opposed. Kellhus already tells us that Dûnyain are still afflicted with "vestigial passions" and so it's not really surprising that Moë can still use the Water in some capacity. However he can't, because he is still a true and devoted disciple of the Logos, unleash the kind of Water that, say, Meppa can. I think you are right, in that this is a direct thematic relation to the "problem" of the Mutilated. The Mutilated, as "disciples" or I would liken "slaves" to the Logos and so are fairly easily "prey" for the Inverse Fire and so Shae and the Consult.
  4. .H.

    Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

    TGO and TUC really take them a bit too far. That is why you are supposed to have an actual editor...
  5. .H.

    Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

    Right, it was in an old interview at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist. However, it was mentioned in TGO, just not directly:
  6. .H.

    Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

    Right, I mean, I can't help but agree there. However, even despite that, I do actually find value in thinking about the "meaningless" details, for the same reason why there is "meaning" in looking at ink blots. It's not going to arrive at any "objective truth" but only at "subjective truth" which doesn't seem valueless to me. Honestly, this is the only series I've ever really bothering to take a deep look at, so it's not surprising I'd have missed that. I never did find Martin's background anywhere near as interesting as what Bakker offered, but again, there is no accounting for taste. Bakker's need to offer no payoffs though is annoying, but not enough to make me not want to read the books, or not think about them. I guess it's just some defiency in me, that I really am not bothered by a lack of closure or meaning, or whatever. Well, it was like that, but not really what I meant. It's more like, you make a thing and people derive meaning from the thing. That meaning may be the same or different than what you intended when making the thing, but some amount of meaning (possibly even zero) comes out in the end. Functionally then, there is little difference then between making something objectively "meaningless" and making something objectively "meaningful" when the generative experiential component is (necessarily) subjective and can independently ascribe any amount of meaning. In other words, an observer can overlay whatever meaning or lack there-of onto anything. I don't think that is violence to the idea of meaning, rather more a hard-line practical approach to the problem of examining "objective" meaning through a "subjective" process. So, from a practical standpoint of asking the question, "is there meaning?" the answer of "yes, objective" or "yes, subjective" are both still affirmative. Not to say they are the "same thing," the point is that they are both "things."
  7. .H.

    Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

    I can follow that line of thought intellectually, but I can't quite wrap my head around it from a practical standpoint. If the books were literal Rorschach tests, then I can see we can take the line that there is no inherent meaning by intention. Instead, it would seem to me that these books offer only something of broad narrative meaning and the detail based, "world-building" level meaning is only presented as we discussed before, to "flesh-out" the setting. The problem, it would seem to me, is sussing out which is which. That does seem probable. I don't think we get to far in "discovery" by examining most (if not all) the details, many of which are going to be dead ends. But I do still think that the overall themes have a purpose that could be examined. Well, I was never much of a student of philosophy, just coming upon it as I go. I didn't mean to present it as a defense of what Bakker chose to do, or praise for that matter. Rather, just to understand, in my own way, what it is we have here with these books. I think Bakker said in the AMA something of the same sort of thing, something about the ending being "true to life" or something. I don't recall the exact quote and I'm really not keen on attempting to visit Reddit... Hmm, I think a commonality that ends up running through a lot of this is how Bakker doesn't really do very well in explaining what he is doing. And he somehow manages to do less well at promoting any of it. It's actually rather remarkable, in how sad it is. It would seem that there is some real problems in writing a thematically-meaningful, detail-meaningless series though. I mean, maybe that is actually a fatal flaw and a reason why no one else really does it. Considering though that the whole end of TUC seems to "deal with" matters of the Subject and Objective, I can't help but feel that it was all done intentionally, mixing objective "truth" with subjective interpretation and ending up with something of a big jumble. I'm not sure what you mean.
  8. .H.

    Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

    Hmm, in thinking about this it has my admittedly feeble mind in a bit of a paradox. I'm not sure I can articulate it intelligibly, but I'll try and your superior intellect might be able to see what I mean. Basically, if we proceed as such that the series has no "inherent" meaning, and so is only imitative of meaning through the presence of seemingly meaningful clues, isn't that basically the same thing as "actual" meaning from a practical standpoint? So, then what we are really looking at is a lack of "definitive" or "canonical" meaning? The meaning of the series then, so to speak, is only "user-generative" in the sense of what you say above, in (of?) the readers experience of meaning. When then, in my mind, opens a whole Pandora's box of problems then with what can we call "objective meaning" and "subjective meaning" then, the biggest of which might be the issue of how can we sort out the objective meaning without confounding experiential (subjective) meaning clouding things? Perhaps then a thematic element is the question then, "is there such a thing as (truly) objective meaning?" And perhaps further, "even if there is, does it matter, since we can only experience it subjectively?" Hmm, interesting. What then Bakker lacks is the wisdom of McCarthy in not drawing back the veil at all. In other words, the veil of meaning is such that, even if the meaning doesn't exist, we must proceed as if it does because that is what generates it. So, to admit that some of it is meaningless disrupts the generative paradigm, which is the only paradigm we can have, because we simply cannot take on an objective position, since we are subjective beings that at best do not (and possibly can not) know the boundaries of our subjective nature to completely eliminate it. This rabbit hole though, I might not be smart enough to dissect the lines here properly though...
  9. .H.

    Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

    OK, I mean, that's the point but if that's the label you want to use, I guess it makes sense. Well, that's a very literal interpretation to take, but OK. I mean, Eärwa is modeled after something... Fair point, because now I'm a bit hard pressed to come up with some. Although it puts my in a difficult position to sift what would be details from thematic aspects. And of course, then possibly fall into the trap of labeling all dead ends details and open ends as thematic, or vice versa. Off the top of my head, the detail of it being Nau-Cayûti as the first insertant seems to have ended up being important. As did the hinting around of Ajokli being "present" in various parts of the story. Much of the Nonman backstory sets us up to understand the implications of the revelation that Cleric is Nil'giccas, although he could have been anyone and I'd guess it still works. But, again, we can just write those off as thematic aspects and keep the theory intact. The other problem, of course, is that we still aren't at an "end" of the story. So, we just don't know what might end up being relevant. As of TUC, sure, Mimara having the the Judging Eye only had some relatively small effects on the story, but where does that go? Does Akka's Dreams come in handy post-TUC? We just don't know. I'll concede the point though, that nearly all the detail could well be meaningless, even if I still have some doubts that they actually all are.
  10. .H.

    Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

    That is, in and of itself, a thematic meaning though. I'm not quite sure what else Bakker could have done to "create a world where it was like what the people 2000 years ago thought it was actually like" besides include historical parallels and Biblical parallels. Sure, there were certainly parts that could have been fleshed out more and parts that are essentially dead ends, but the parallels are still part of the thematic role of Eärwa itself. To reduce Biblical parallels to just "shitty parables" is probably somewhat unfair though. Right, I don't contest that some elements are simply present to draw a parallel that doesn't go any further than to simply just be a parallel. So, reducing the world is a theme of "the Apocalypse" but what number isn't particularly salient to the greater plot. That is a missed opportunity, I think, in the grand scheme of things. However, my hunch is that even though some details are essentially dead ends, to say that then all details are dead ends would be about as wrong as saying none of them are.
  11. .H.

    Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

    I say "certainly some of it is" because you pointed out that Bakker has already said that some of it is there to "imply depth." I think you might have misunderstood what I said, mostly because I worded it poorly. My point was that I understand that some of the background is there is imply depth, I just contest that all of it is there to imply depth with no depth being present. Indeed, I'd even surmise that the implied depth is actually a sort of depth too. Even if the Abraham-Angeshraël-Kellhus "connection" is only a red herring thrown in there for the sake of giving us a ball of yarn to play with, the question then is, why that ball of yarn? Why do we take away depth from that, if it has no meaning? Why does it's inclusion imply depth? Why do we even want to play with that ball of yarn? It isn't that I think that any "Biblical connections" in the series are going to give us deep understanding of the plot, or insight into the metaphysics of the setting. But I do think that some are there for some reason, thematically, aside from just fleshing out the background and implying depth. Not that I can often make heads or tales of Bakker's blog, but I do think he is interested in the sort of thematic "questions" asked in the Second Apocalypse series. As such, I do think that the books are, in some way, trying to present an argument, ask a question, pose a problem or some combination of those. In that manner, I do feel that some of the biblical connections might be tied to the thematic elements of the series.
  12. .H.

    Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

    Well, I don't think it would be the case that all of it is out to "imply depth" and yet, certainly some of it is. I think more so the "historical" parts of Eärwa, rather than the more thematic aspects, but no doubt that doesn't hold up in every case. I just feel like Biblical connections such as this are an unexplored aspect of the series, although I have no idea how much such analysis is "pertinent" or not...
  13. .H.

    Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

    Plausible that he might not have, although given that the results were exactly as he wanted, I'm inclined to believe he probably did. Right, it's not that the content of the Tusk is flase, with the exception of those edits, it's that the whole Tusk and so then the aim of Breaking the Gates is/was most assuredly an Inchoroi plan. So, Angeshraël's "call to sacrifice" was not divine in origin, it was most probably his own idea, as you say, to prove he was devoted to the whole plan. Indeed, this would be another piece along the lines of what Kellhus tells Proyas, that "prophets" bring the word of man to god, not the reverse. Why does this matter? Well, it's drawing to the overall theme of why Kellhus "fails." We know that Kellhus dies because little Kel's presence in the Golden Room is simply unable to be accounted for and the No-God rises, because Kellhus failed to correctly sacrifice him. Bakker tells us that what happens to Kellhus is that, for all his intellect, he is still as blind to himself as anyone else is to themselves. For all the intellectual prowess, he is still spiritually deficient. And in the face of the illogical and incomprehensible, intellect is not sufficient, even as it sees itself as being so. His missing of the "call to sacrifice" is just the biggest example of his over-reliance on intellect and logic. Angeshraël isn't divinely inspired to sacrifice, he is practically motivated (somehow) but was most probably not some kind of supreme intellect. So, how did he achieve such a "grand" result? He makes a massively dramatic move, an "illogical" one, that is, one that is only justified by it's effect, not by any of it's causes. Kellhus simply refuses to do such a thing, seeing no logic in killing little Kel and alienating Esmenet further. Angeshraël makes this move though, probably in no small part because he does not possess the intellectual power of Kellhus. So, there is no alternative for the likes of an ancient prophet like him. He must take the "spiritual" path, because there is no other option. Kellhus has the option and, as a creature of the Logos, he stays slaved to the Logos. And he pays dearly for it.
  14. .H.

    Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

    A bit of a vague question, but one I don't know I've seen us explore for the most part, but considering that the two books Bakker uses as primary inspiration, The Bible and Blood Merridian, I think we have under-explored the influences of the former and possibly even that latter. Now, I am certainly not well versed on the Bible, honestly only barely versed, if that. Anyone with some thought on some of the implications here? My current thinking is aligned with the Angeshraël-Abraham parallels (or, perhaps we should say inspiration?) and so then the ensuing Kellhus-Angeshraël parallel, considering Kellhus does not "sacrifice" his youngest and pays dearly for it. This is not a 1:1 map of Abraham, certainly not if you consider that the Tusk is forged, so the chances that Angeshraël actually met with a god is essentially zero. But the framework of the story is still there. I'm probably rambling a bit here, but the idea is relatively fresh in my mind...
  15. .H.

    The Answer is (allegedly) Sex Robots

    It might well be a symptom of what happens when you feed people a shitty diet of Postmodernism, mixed with the rest of the cultural garbage that gets pushed out, but again, who knows what I am even talking about here (I doubt I even do). I guess I am not really surprised that people who have no ideals and are disenfranchised (for one reason or another) come up with gross ways to cope with living in a society that overly sexualizes numerous things. It's not just porn, I think that is facile to blame as a root, although I am not saying it isn't part of it. No, I think it is deeper than that, these are very poorly socialized people who are trying to cope living in a world where they simply have no ability to interact with other humans in a positive and productive manner, but still crave interaction none-the-less. Of course it is frustrating to them and they lack the introspective ability to be able to understand why everything goes so wrong. I think that makes some sense but maybe I just don't have any idea what I'm talking about from my armchair here. I lived through a good number of frustrating years like that, but maybe that kind of anecdote only confuses my understanding more.
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