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Bakker XLVI: Make Eärwa Great Again


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On 2/18/2017 at 2:11 PM, Triskan said:

Do you think that comes across as Bakker telling the reader that this is how it works or just a Dunyain theory that could be completely wrong? 

I bet it's just a nod to some kind of dualism/monism philosophic stuff, encouraging us to ask that precise question, chimpy.

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14 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

I bet it's just a nod to some kind of dualism/monism philosophic stuff, encouraging us to ask that precise question, chimpy.

Also, could be something of a "chicken or an egg" proposition.  Do Sranc not have souls because of their physiology, or does the soul beget that physiology?

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On 2/18/2017 at 1:11 PM, Triskan said:

Do you think that comes across as Bakker telling the reader that this is how it works or just a Dunyain theory that could be completely wrong? 

Kind of reminds me of Django Unchained where the slave owner is talking about how a certain indentation in the skull causes black people to be lesser humans and why they make good slaves.

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5 minutes ago, aceluby said:

Kind of reminds me of Django Unchained where the slave owner is talking about how a certain indentation in the skull causes black people to be lesser humans and why they make good slaves.

Ah, yes, good ol' phrenology.  It certainly stands to reason that the Dunyain went looking for something and so found it, regardless of if it was really there or not.  The skin-spy who gained a soul is certainly a strike against a soul being contingent upon a certain structure of the brain.

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3 minutes ago, Triskan said:

And while I'm not necessarily signing on to this, if it is contingent on a certain part of the brain could it be an Inchoroi graft or other kind of experiment?  

Surely the Skin Spy within the Mandate had to be one of the most valued Skin Spy positions for the Consult.

Definitely would be quite the prize, but considering it's "unprecedented" nature combined with the fact that Bakker has even alluded to the idea that sometimes things (like animals) can simply garner a soul after the fact, I think it is doubtful that the souled skin-spy was actually made by the Consult.  Something presumably happened that granted it a soul, outside the Tekne (most probably).

Another (improbable, but still possible) option is that Moe's "interrogation" (experiment?) somehow yielded a souled skin-spy he turned back out, knowing it would end up in the Mandate (part of the Thousandfold Thought?).

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On 2/18/2017 at 5:07 AM, Gasp of Many Reeds said:

Also forgot interesting note given in the GTO that the Dunyain identify the soul with  a specific part of the white matter of the brain, and that this is lacking in Sranc. 

That's definitely an important passage. "Causal closure" in Earwa might be something that gets further unpacked in TUC-- the Zero God chapter, on its surface about mysticism triumphing over science, is actually all about this. Per Koringhus, sorcery "merely complicates the metaphysics of cause", and the Judging Eye, which he initially thinks is an "absolute impossibility", just turns out to be related to the mathematical topology of the universe, lol.

One of my theories for a while has been that the Consult's killer app is ultimately Sheonanra's discovery that the "enchantment" of Earwa is due to nothing other than alternative physics. The No-God for example could be the result of black hole physics applied to "souls" (whatever those turn out to be).

If the universe were enchanted, it would be necessary to disenchant it.

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18 minutes ago, WEWLAD said:

If the universe were enchanted, it would be necessary to disenchant it.

I think something along these lines is a key to understanding how the story will end.

By Bakker's likening, Kellhus is searching for meaninglessness in a meaningful world.  Also, there is little doubt in my mind that the Second Apocalypse is a Semantic Apocalypse, in other words, an End of Meaning.  The thing I have struggled with for years though is making heads or tails for what that really means by way of what Kellhus will do.

One option is to go the Consult route and cut off the Outside.  No gods means no sin, which means acts are meaningless.

Another is to supplant god.  So, if Kellhus is god, then damnation is at his whim, sin is whatever he interprets it as.

The only other thing I can think of is that Kellhus actually kills the gods, or reunifies them.  I don't know that this eliminates meaning though, maybe only removes the consequence of it.

Although I have faith that I have, at least in part, set up the equation correctly, my primitive monkey brain cannot figure what the final answer would be.

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Quote

Also, there is little doubt in my mind that the Second Apocalypse is a Semantic Apocalypse

Ah, but what if, going by that Algorithmic Eärwa piece, the SA is in fact a second-as-interval-of-time apocalypse, and it's the end of time, rather than meaning? If Eärwa's supernatural aspects are actually the result of anomalies in time/space (which, again, is all that powers the Judging Eye if we take Koringhus seriously), then all that's needed to end damnation is a little cosmic housekeeping?

Or, failing that, introducing an event horizon that stops predation by extra-chronal entities via funneling souls into a critical mass?

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7 hours ago, .H. said:

Also, could be something of a "chicken or an egg" proposition.  Do Sranc not have souls because of their physiology, or does the soul beget that physiology?

I think the more important bit is that the missing sranc brain matter is discussed in the context of their being unable to capture a cunoroi and make a comparison to them--which is implying to the reader that nonmen who look a lot like sranc, may also lack a soul. Which is intriguing.

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1 hour ago, WEWLAD said:

That's definitely an important passage. "Causal closure" in Earwa might be something that gets further unpacked in TUC-- the Zero God chapter, on its surface about mysticism triumphing over science, is actually all about this. Per Koringhus, sorcery "merely complicates the metaphysics of cause", and the Judging Eye, which he initially thinks is an "absolute impossibility", just turns out to be related to the mathematical topology of the universe, lol.

One of my theories for a while has been that the Consult's killer app is ultimately Sheonanra's discovery that the "enchantment" of Earwa is due to nothing other than alternative physics. The No-God for example could be the result of black hole physics applied to "souls" (whatever those turn out to be).

If the universe were enchanted, it would be necessary to disenchant it.

"Black holes" reminds me that we/I discussed that chorae were possibly singularities, but I can't remember why

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10 hours ago, .H. said:

Ah, yes, good ol' phrenology.  It certainly stands to reason that the Dunyain went looking for something and so found it, regardless of if it was really there or not.  The skin-spy who gained a soul is certainly a strike against a soul being contingent upon a certain structure of the brain.

I suspect the consult can simply decide whether a soul is present or not in skin spies when they are grown. Since their goal is to reduce the souled population, they generally choose not to.

I think the 'certain structure' might be some kind of 'aerial' arrangement, especially with the Dunyain referring to it being a part of a greater mechanism. Some philosophy is like that - with the brain kind of 'receiving signals' from the soul via the aerial.

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13 hours ago, WEWLAD said:

Ah, but what if, going by that Algorithmic Eärwa piece, the SA is in fact a second-as-interval-of-time apocalypse, and it's the end of time, rather than meaning? If Eärwa's supernatural aspects are actually the result of anomalies in time/space (which, again, is all that powers the Judging Eye if we take Koringhus seriously), then all that's needed to end damnation is a little cosmic housekeeping?

Or, failing that, introducing an event horizon that stops predation by extra-chronal entities via funneling souls into a critical mass?

I have a hard enough time trying to understand an end of meaning, an end of time is even more confusing to me.  Does that mean that "this has happened before" will no longer be true?  I'm unsure what that would mean by way of damnation though.

13 hours ago, lokisnow said:

I think the more important bit is that the missing sranc brain matter is discussed in the context of their being unable to capture a cunoroi and make a comparison to them--which is implying to the reader that nonmen who look a lot like sranc, may also lack a soul. Which is intriguing.

I think you might be misrembering, that part doesn't really mention Nonmen at all.  Instead, it is Koringhus thinking about how Akka will probably kill him, the line of thought ending it a point about how: "Where the Dûnyain reached for infinity, the Shriekers embodied zero."

7 hours ago, Callan S. said:

I suspect the consult can simply decide whether a soul is present or not in skin spies when they are grown. Since their goal is to reduce the souled population, they generally choose not to.

I think the 'certain structure' might be some kind of 'aerial' arrangement, especially with the Dunyain referring to it being a part of a greater mechanism. Some philosophy is like that - with the brain kind of 'receiving signals' from the soul via the aerial.

That's an interesting question, one which would go to the heart of the "chicken or the egg" problem, if they can engineer a soul to be present or not.  It would seem they could, but if so, why not have all sorts of souled skin-spies?  Or at least more than one?

7 hours ago, Callan S. said:

Also it's old news, but was there ever any talk about why Akka was able to survive being in the clutches of a Ciphrang, many books ago?

I think our general consensus was that his skin-wards were just enough, paired with the Ciphrang dying (it is bleeding out, as fire), so it picks him up hoping to drop him to drown in the sea.  It simply discorporates before it can actually execute the whole plan, so Akka just ends up on the beach.

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4 hours ago, .H. said:

if they can engineer a soul to be present or not.  It would seem they could, but if so, why not have all sorts of souled skin-spies?

When Maithanet exposes Simas, he conjectures that the creation of a skinspy with a soul (and thus able to perform sorcery) was an accident, which the consult haven't been able to repeat. 

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On 2/14/2017 at 7:18 PM, Kalbear said:

I don't think that Kellhus grasped the principle that Koringhus did. However, much like @Happy Ent said a while back, I think that at the moment of the Circumfix he was closer to becoming part of the Zero-God than he ever had, and this allowed him to do weird-ass things like grab Serwe's heart from his own chest and become one with everything. I don't think he understands it like Koringhus did; in particular I think he's too wedded to the notion that causality matters. But he was still able to experience it, and now believes that the God and the No-God talk with him, and that he is one of the most holy because he sees so much further. 

He went mad because he got so close to the Zero-God, but he has interpreted that madness completely wrong going forward. He believes it is all, still, part of his being the most powerful self.

Hey, long time, intermittent lurker here. I actually hold the complete opposite view from you; how on earth can Koringhus be more right than Kellhus ? One has had twenty years to research and build his model of reality, the other had like two days and he was, by his own admission, mad when it happened. Any contingency or error that occurs to us must have occurred and been dismissed by Kellhus a million times over.

 

I mean yes, at the end of the day i know Kellhus will be wrong about something and that will be his undoing; but that's only because the narrative demands it, by all rights everything should go exactly as he intends it. But i certainly can't see mad Koringhus or blind Moe having a more accurate model of reality.

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18 minutes ago, Sheep the Evicted said:

Hey, long time, intermittent lurker here. I actually hold the complete opposite view from you; how on earth can Koringhus be more right than Kellhus ? One has had twenty years to research and build his model of reality, the other had like two days and he was, by his own admission, mad when it happened. Any contingency or error that occurs to us must have occurred and been dismissed by Kellhus a million times over.

Then how could Kellhus be more right than Moe? By your logic, Moe has had far more time to develop his worldview compared to Kellhus - 20 years vs. 1 year. 

The answer is that Kellhus - and Koringhus - are privy to new information and evidence that others lack. The easiest explanation is that Kellhus never fully experienced what Mimara could do or see, whereas Koringhus did. 

Also, Koringhus has had a bit more than a couple days to shape his worldview - he's had years. Years of torture, of horrible existence, of intense pain, of bizarre instinct like attempting to save a child he knew he should not. And he found out that all of this was done because of Kellhus and Moe. That shaped him, too.

18 minutes ago, Sheep the Evicted said:

I mean yes, at the end of the day i know Kellhus will be wrong about something and that will be his undoing; but that's only because the narrative demands it, by all rights everything should go exactly as he intends it. But i certainly can't see mad Koringhus or blind Moe having a more accurate model of reality.

Then what's the point of the Koringhus chapters?

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