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Michael Seswatha Jordan

Bakker XLII: If you do not post with the people, then you are not of the people!

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2 hours ago, Lyanna Stark said:

Indeed. If you are dead set on not seeing the issues then of course, you won't see any. You admit yourself that you never consider when reading a book whether it is problematic or not. What then makes you a good judge of whether it has a problematic take on women, or not? Why are you in a better position to make this call than people who did look for issues? Why is your wife? Does she also read novels without considering these issues? In that case I'd say you are perhaps neither of you in a very good place to claim that there are no issues with the treatment of female characters in the Bakker-verse.

It did not strike you as even a little tiny bit strange that the only female characters in any sort of speaking role are a prostitute, a sex slave and an incestous, sex craze abusive stereotypical harridan? It didn't strike you as odd that Kellhus had a random threesome with Esmie and Serwe? Not even a tiny little teeny bit? It didn't strike you as odd that neither of the female characters ever reflect upon their subordination, but just take that as a given?

Bakker's works are interesting from certain standpoints, and aim at adding something new. However, when it comes to treatment of female characters, it is extremely reactionary. Lots of novels are. It's nothing *strange*, but also nothing to get worked up about. A lot of people like their novels with a good helping of old fashioned sexism. Just roll with it.

I am not dead set on not seeing the issue, tbh. I see it and there is good discussion in it surely. I was pointing my posts to DRII who offer nothing on the books or feminism, just little quips every two or three pages about Bakker's feminism issues and how we are all fan boys.

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16 minutes ago, .H. said:

Haven't we plumbed these depths time and time again?

Is there a case to be made for issues with the way that women are depicted?  Yes.  Do I wish he had handled it differently?  Yes.  Am I on board with all of Scott's ideas, from "feminism" to philosophy?  No.

Does that invalidate the series are readable though?  Or, dare I say it, possibly enjoyable, despite there being flaws? 

No doubt I am part of DRII's fan-boy allusion, but in all my time here I really can't recall anyone says that Baker is perfect or that he reinvented anything.  I felt like he wrought a fairly enjoyable fantasy series.  I like some elements.  Other's bother me to varying degrees.

I guess that the implication is that those of us who enjoyed  the series are just sexist and enjoy sexism?  If we don't view Scott as a "terrible person" then we are not objective and just fan-boys?

The bolded:

a. As I pointed out in my post, the series is interesting for other reasons. Its treatment of women has lots of issues, however. Pretty plainly put, I think, so I am unsure how you can construct a strawman out of it.

b. The point made was that if you cannot see any issues with the treatment of women and find it totally cool, then you probably enjoy a bit of sexism in your literature.

But by all means, don't let me destroy your whingeing and moaning at strawmen if it makes you feel good and proper victimised.

If you, on the other hand, have issues with what I actually stated, then that is a different thing all together.

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8 minutes ago, sologdin said:

it's fallacious to assume that an author is sexist just because a text has bad gender ideology on display.  it's also fallacious to assume that the text is not sexist because the author disavows sexism personally.  ROH always threw authors under the bus immediately upon detection of bad gender ideology; that's as asinine as arguing that there's no bad race politics in tolkien just because the author said he hates NSDAP race doctrine.  i.e., there's an equivalence between fanboys and ROH at the level of literary theory error--the magical identification of text and author that merges them together in some sort of grotesque mess, whereas text and author are separate things.

the average fan falls into error by making assumption that flow in the opposite direction:  you have accused the text of having bad gender ideology so therefore you have accused me of liking a text with bad gender ideology, liking bad gender ideology as such, of holding same ideology personally.  it might well be that undergraduates make this set of hasty associations, but it's not worth getting exercised about it.  probably better for the reasonable fan to examine the claim regarding bad gender ideology through the lens of critical gender theory, rather than through the received gender ideology that will render the text's defects undetectable and perhaps natural.

Ha, I have always loved your babble. 

 

I still think you're a bot buried in the board somewhere.  I refuse to accept that you're an actual living person. 

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1 minute ago, peterbound said:

Holy shit, did I just get accused of being an SJW?  You apparently don't know me very well. 

 

I /do/ look out for the good in all human beings, my whole life has been dedicated to that, that's why I have such a hard time letting Bakker's bullshit when it comes to women go.  It's there man, and i'm sure it's awesome to be able to read books for just the kewl factor you get from it, but I need more.  You claim to 'not read it as a simpleton' yet you do nothing but say how you only want to enjoy the work.  Great.  Good for you.  I just can't support the books (while they are good, they are hardly earth shattering) of someone with that odd of a world view. I think it also says a lot about you, that you are so dismissive of the acts, and try so hard to defend the man. 

But I madnit clear I do not defend the man Bakker. Cherry picking, another Westeros staple. I made it clear that what Bakker does or his views are of zero consequence to me. Try again.

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1 minute ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

t Bakker's feminism issues and how we are all fan boys.

And how is he wrong in that observation?

 

 Just because he doesn't lay out paragraphs of text to attack you, doesn't mean there's not a point being made. 

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Just now, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

But I madnit clear I do not defend the man Bakker. Cherry picking, another Westeros staple. I made it clear that what Bakker does or his views are of zero consequence to me. Try again.

And that seems to be your problem, the inability to see that there is an issue with that.  Fuck man, I'm not cherry picking, I'm attacking your entire position.  

 

Lack of comprehension, a Micheal Seswatha Jordan staple. 

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1 minute ago, peterbound said:

And how is he wrong in that observation?

 

 Just because he doesn't lay out paragraphs of text to attack you, doesn't mean there's not a point being made. 

Ok Peterbound, being a troll is always good insight. What a joke. 

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1 minute ago, peterbound said:

Holy shit, did I just get accused of being an SJW?  You apparently don't know me very well.

Welcome to the fold, my good man. :P

 

8 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

@peterbound, i ddo not read the books as a simpleton. You are another who seems to think you Grace us with your presence. DRII, doesn't even add anything to the discussion of feminism in the books. All we ever get is his unwitty one-liners and such. And as I said before not until it was brought to my attention did I care or take time to see the feminism thrown about in the book. I see that its there, it just does nothing for me. I find it so fucking amusing how many so-called feminists and SJW's we have gracing this board. FFS, can't you just be a person that looks out for the good of all human beings, we're all treated equally? The HIGH AND MIGHTY of Westeros have spoken.

 

I am unsure what feminism are thrown about in the books, if any. And what sort of feminism do you see in there? Why does it (whatever "it" is) do nothing for you?

I would also think that if you are actually interested in a serious discussion, you might want to lay off the name-calling. If you cannot say something to someone's face, then don't say it here.

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2 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Ok Peterbound, being a troll is always good insight. What a joke. 

Say what you will, but antagonism, when properly applied can spur growth, discussion, and change.  Don't downplay it.  

 

And just because someone disagrees with your position, doesn't mean they are a 'troll'.  You need to figure that out. 

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Yeah during a re-read some evidence was unearthed that the Emperors mother was replaced before the series started. The Emperor's adviser was replaced during the series.

Not sue what the evidence was she was replaced mid-series is but since it seems a hinge for an argument would be good to see it presented.

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1 minute ago, Lyanna Stark said:

Welcome to the fold, my good man. :P

 

 

I am unsure what feminism are thrown about in the books, if any. And what sort of feminism do you see in there? Why does it (whatever "it" is) do nothing for you?

Sexism, and it does nothing for me because it's a fantasy series and I don't ponder that type of thing. I mean it's and evil place with all type of different evils. Seriously, more than anything I am open to any conversation with an open mind. But, when it's a constant stream of one liners by the same poster over and over that offers absolutely zero to the discussion I've had my fill. And see you and PeterBound have offered things to discuss. DRII offers absolutely nothing, zero, zilch. Find a better hobby than little one liners in a thread of a man he clearly does not like. 

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8 minutes ago, Lyanna Stark said:

The bolded:

a. As I pointed out in my post, the series is interesting for other reasons. Its treatment of women has lots of issues, however. Pretty plainly put, I think, so I am unsure how you can construct a strawman out of it.

b. The point made was that if you cannot see any issues with the treatment of women and find it totally cool, then you probably enjoy a bit of sexism in your literature.

But by all means, don't let me destroy your whingeing and moaning at strawmen if it makes you feel good and proper victimised.

If you, on the other hand, have issues with what I actually stated, then that is a different thing all together.

I wasn't really responding to you.  It was more a general question, but if directed, was actually at DRII. What was it I complain about though?  What strawman did I construct?  DRII actually said those things just a few posts ago.

Where did I place myself as a victim?  I don't get it.  We are all talking at each other at this point though.

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21 hours ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:
23 hours ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

@themerchant yea I've never understood it either. @Sci-2, has had some of the best post on the books here and at SA. Wether he like Bakker as a human being is of zero consequence. For that matter, what does it matter what anyone thinks of Bakker? We are discussing his books. And sci always had good insight into them. It blows my mind that so many worry what opinions Bakker has. I've been told I like Bakker a little too much. What? Seriously, what Bakker does in his life and his opinions on feminism mean absolutely nothing to me. I just want the books, which are some of the best fantasy I've read. But, you know, some are on internet crusades and all that. 

 

21 hours ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Dude I don't give on damn red cent about his views on feminism. Until, it was brought to my attention about all the Woman vs Bakker stuff, it never even crossed my mind. I don't read books and think oh that's sexist or what have you. My wife has just finished PoN and has never said anything about it. Its only those that look for it, that seem to have a problem with it. It has never made me think less of the book. Treatment of woman? What about the treatment of men in the series? Its a dark world there is no hope. I could care less about Bakker's views. Why is that so hard for you to understand? I don't give two shots about the agendas so many want to push on this forum. I simply enjoy the books.

 

20 hours ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

I'm sure his views on feminism play into his books and have been discussed here as nauseam. It just isn't a worry of mine is what I meant. I like the books for the story itself. It wasn't directed to you.

 

@Michael Seswatha Jordan Sorry for the broken multiquote.

To respond to your latest post that you feel you are being accused of being a fanboy since you defend Bakker, that is not the case. People are disagreeing with you because of the above. You posted here that you couldn't see anything wrong with the treatment of female characters in Bakker-land until it was pointed out to you, that it doesn't matter to you at all for your enjoyment, that it doesn't factor into how you value your enjoyment (meaning treatment of female characters is something you do not take into account when judging a work of literature) and that because your wife read it, it cannot contain sexist treatment of female characters.
 

How you think "the story itself" can be completely divorced from the treatment of its own characters, I am baffled by. This bafflement seems to be shared by others, for instance Darth Richard. It would be like reading Lovecraft and be utterly surprised after the fact that he harboured a lot of racist views and that you can find these views in his writings. You can of course enjoy reading the novels anyway, but willful blindness is not necessary for that. It is possible to recongise the flaws in something and still appreciate it for its other qualities.

 

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11 hours ago, peterbound said:

Actually, discussing the author's intent, and worldview when writing the books adds a /shit ton/ to the conversation. 

I'm ignorant of literary analysis but i've seen an argument for "death of an author" presented which would encourage eschewing the above, and it was described as "established literary theory"in the context of viewing Bakker's work.

Interesting that there are two contradicting systems of literary criticism employed.

 

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@Lyanna Stark, when I read the book I obviously recognised that the treatment of woman was harsh, sure. What I was meaning, and sorry to not be clearer, has to do with the whole Bakker vs Woman deal. All of the online stuff, Bakker saying that he was a feminist and so on. I don't want to get into all of that, and Bakker clearly out his foot in his mouth with all of that. What my gripe was towards DRII. Always having lol quips with absolutely zero substance. I am not saying DRII needs to like Bakker, but when he posts on would be nice and not annoying if he posted something we could talk about. Something about the books or he'll even Bakker's views on feminism. 

Now, that being said, men and woman are both treated like shit in TSA. Maybe Bakker messed up when he said he was trying to make TSA a book about feminism. I just know that none of that takes anything away from my enjoyment of the books. And the books are not even finished. He'll Esme is a queen. Mimara probably is who the book hinges upon. So, all of the earlier treatment could be a set up for redemption of the earlier treatment.

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25 minutes ago, themerchant said:

I'm ignorant of literary analysis but i've seen an argument for "death of an author" presented which would encourage eschewing the above, and it was described as "established literary theory"in the context of viewing Bakker's work.

Interesting that there are two contradicting systems of literary criticism employed.

 

that's why literary theory is better than literary works themselves.

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1 hour ago, themerchant said:

I'm ignorant of literary analysis but i've seen an argument for "death of an author" presented which would encourage eschewing the above, and it was described as "established literary theory"in the context of viewing Bakker's work.

Interesting that there are two contradicting systems of literary criticism employed.

Is this a correct interpretation of "death of the author"?  I always thought that was specifically referring to post-facto author statements about the book, such as JK Rowling saying Dumbledore is gay or Voldemort was a virgin.  If you deny Rowling to be the authority on this subject, then you are invoking "death of the author".  Those statements are not in the text, and therefore are not fact.

Does "death of the author" extend to interpretations of the text based on the author's statements?  I feel like if I were to write an essay about the politics within Ender's Game, I would have to include some discussion of OSC's public statements, and how those influence our understanding of the book.  Failure to do so would be frankly rather strange, and would be like ignoring a valuable source of information.  Although I suppose with a strict interpretation of "death of the author" that would be necessary (or at least defensible).

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12 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Is this a correct interpretation of "death of the author"?  I always thought that was specifically referring to post-facto author statements about the book, such as JK Rowling saying Dumbledore is gay or Voldemort was a virgin.  If you deny Rowling to be the authority on this subject, then you are invoking "death of the author".  Those statements are not in the text, and therefore are not fact.

Does "death of the author" extend to interpretations of the text based on the author's statements?  I feel like if I were to write an essay about the politics within Ender's Game, I would have to include some discussion of OSC's public statements, and how those influence our understanding of the book.  Failure to do so would be frankly rather strange, and would be like ignoring a valuable source of information.  Although I suppose with a strict interpretation of "death of the author" that would be necessary (or at least defensible).

No idea, as i say I'm ignorant of the rules governing all this. So any interpretation by me will be suspect. I don't use it I've just seen it invoked in Bakker discussions.

It certainly doesn't seem an exact science.

 

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death of the author is the post-structuralist way to think of the old US formalist idea of the 'intentional fallacy,' which stands for the proposition that the text and writer are not identical; that we have neither access to the author's 'intended' significance of a writing nor do we need it; that the meaning of a text is limited to the signifiers therein.  in barthes, the author is a sort of deity (and dies like god dies for nietzsche) whose death removes the scriptural components of the writing, opening it up to democratic reading.

fuck. i had a great recitation of this stuff a few years back in another thread.  may have even been an RSB thread.  seems to be gone now.

anyway, both concepts include the interpretation of a text by reference to anything about the purported author's biography or extratextual statements otherwise, inclusive of drafts of the text itself.

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For the record I don't think I ever said I hated Bakker. In fact IIRC little in my private messages to Kalbear were different from my public disagreements with Bakker on his blog or elsewhere. Again my memory could be off but they were actually nicer than later heated debate with Bakker?

I'll also note that I did defend him on Tor, on Pat's blog, and on Larry's blog  where I felt the criticism was unfair. 

Anyway little interest in reviving those debates, I'm not even sure I could recall the exact substance of disagreement and admittedly it hasn't been on my radar for the last few years. Certainly not in latter 2015 to now.

As for commenting in general I was planning on getting deeper into Schelling and seeing how that might help us understand the metaphysics of Earwa but got caught up with Whitehead & Bergson type stuff as that seems to be more relevant to the crux of the debates in philosophy of science.

I do think Weiss' Whiteheadian take on Embodiment & Post-Mortem Personality Survival could be relevant, save that from my recollection of his comments Bakker didn't read Whitehead before writing/conceiving of Earwa. (As always, important to note the philosophy Bakker used for his fantasy novels is not necessarily something he would agree with.)

Those caveats in mind, there's a general panexperiential foundation to Weiss' ideas (not necessarily limited to that paper) that in combination with the idea of Subtle Worlds that seems to fit. God incarnates as reality in a kind of Pandeism (God-as-Universe), with a teleological goal of Panentheism (God-encompasses-transcends-Universe).

Under this perspective Mimara might be seen as God's growing realization that everything is a dream.

Similarly the concept of subtle worlds fits well, in that Weiss thinks there are Material, Vital, and Mental worlds. Humans occupy all three levels of reality, with distance being a result of contrasts that largely vanish in the Mental level. (Think of Kellhus's miracles having to do with space, and his sermon to Akka about there being "Only here".)

Additionally reality becomes more pliable to the mental/emotional as one rise from Material to Vital to Mental.

However, there are things that I don't think fit. For example Weiss accepts "hylozoism", the sense that matter is alive. I feel like Earwa might be within God's dream, but the quality of life doesn't extend to all matter. For one we know animals lack souls, which cuts out the relevance of the Vital world, and we also know there are beings capable of Mental characteristics without souls (Sranc, Skin Spies).

I also feel Weiss' believes the farther you go from the Material realm the closer you are to God's consciousness, yet Bakker has inverted this in that the world, and further the anarcanic ground within in, is where God seems to dream most lucidly. (Although it seems magic may only work on Earwa...yet that leads us again to the question of how Wutteat breathes actual fire & WHY DON'T DRAGONS USE CHORAE?!?!?!)

Additionally, if matter was alive and responsive to consciousness across the universe one would think the Inchies might've had some reason to retreat from their transhumanist journey toward damnation. OTOH, the exact nature of matter in the Bakkerverse is unclear, as is how the Inverse Fire works. How did a species that, like us, seems largely limited to scientific exploration/transformation of reality manage to discover the truth of their own damnation? Did topoi begin to appear because their atrocities exceeded anything else in their recorded history? Possible but it seems unlikely? Then again perhaps the Inchies did have paranormal stuff happening but it was too scattered and too intertwined with religious mumbo jumbo to notice.

Anyway, for a more down to earth take of ideas similar to Weiss' I'd suggest Gregg Rosenberg's "Liberal Naturalism", as described in A Place for Consciousness: Probing the Deep Structure of the Natural World.

Also Smolin & Unger's A Singular Universe and the Reality of Time, now offered for free on Unger's site.

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