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Bakker LVI: the Rectum of Creation

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Just now, Sci-2 said:

The original anime is good but from what I've seen of the newer one you're liable to miss some of the character beats that are found in the illustration.

Really the manga is best to really grasp the telling - the androgyny of Griffith's beauty, for example, isn't conveyed as well in the animation whereas the original art really does make me wonder if he is a false or true Messiah.

Yeah, I remember reading about how the original show really failed to grasp a lot of the subtle things done in the manga when I had watched it way back then.

Honestly, I prefer reading things to watching things anyway.  My reading comprehension is definitely better than my listening comprehension, at least generally.  Not to mention I don't really have time to watch many things...

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45 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

I’m starting to suspect The Good Place is actually a stealth prequel to TSA

No, it's far more internally consistent, significantly better women, and has more thought about the metaphysics of the universe.

AND SHIRTLESS CHIDI OMG

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10 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

No, it's far more internally consistent, significantly better women, and has more thought about the metaphysics of the universe.

AND SHIRTLESS CHIDI OMG

I don't know if the metaphysics are better - I don't think I could construct/apply any metaphysics to The Good Place in the way I could find a metaphysics like Monadology that seems to largely fit the Bakkerverse.

OTOH Beserk flat out gives us the metaphysical scheme which are kinda cool - the same Theosophist perspective the influenced D&D and thus likely influenced Bakker to some degree.

Edited by Sci-2

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14 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

No, it's far more internally consistent, significantly better women, and has more thought about the metaphysics of the universe.

AND SHIRTLESS CHIDI OMG

The Trolly Problem ep is legit the hardest I have ever laughed at any tv show, ever.

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11 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

I don't know if the metaphysics are better - I don't think I could construct/apply any metaphysics to The Good Place in the way I could find a metaphysics like Monadology that seems to largely fit the Bakkerverse.

I suspect you probably could, you've just not tried. The metaphysics are largely pretty simple, anyway; you have omniscience, with specific cost/benefit relations, you have certain beings able to summon pretty much whatever they want within certain areas (and are completely vulnerable outside of them). We have described ways of travel between Earth and the Outside, described ways of destroying the demons, described ways of destroying Janets...there's a lot. 

 

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

I suspect you probably could, you've just not tried. The metaphysics are largely pretty simple, anyway; you have omniscience, with specific cost/benefit relations, you have certain beings able to summon pretty much whatever they want within certain areas (and are completely vulnerable outside of them). We have described ways of travel between Earth and the Outside, described ways of destroying the demons, described ways of destroying Janets...there's a lot.

But how does one construct a unifying metaphysics out of the details?

I can argue for Idealism of Monads for the Bakkerverse b/c it fits descriptions of the text. It doesn't mean I'm right about Bakker's actual thoughts but there's textual support for how Monadology could provide an explanation for why we have PoVs that are disembodied, for the relationship between God and the Individual, for how the Progenitors could reach then pass by the Singularity and only then after so much scientific achievement realize they're Damned.

I can list facts about Good Place but I don't see how the text genuinely enables a coherent metaphysics? Which is fine, we don't have the metaphysics of its inspiration No Exit but that doesn't stop the play from being a great work of literature.

Edited by Sci-2

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On 11/14/2018 at 8:56 PM, karaddin said:

I'm definitely in the camp that interpreted all sorcery as utilising an inutteral but I think I'm conceptualising them a bit differently. I actually thought the gnosis does involve formula as part of the spell - I didn't think it was coincidental that he describes parabolas of light etc. I think it's something along the lines of the utteral is "x thousand joules of energy coursing along the described path" and the inutteral is "the path is described by the equation y=z^2 with the 0 point anchored at my target, the x axis is parallel to the ground oriented north/south, the y axis is perpendicular to the ground, and the z axis is parallel to the ground oriented east/west". By contrast the anagogic would be "a vast torrent of fire, burning as hot as magma from the earth, erupting from the gaping maw of the beast" and "the beast is a fearsome dragon who lifts his head in the span before my hands, the light from the sun glints off his bronzed scales and fury spins in his eyes and churns in his belly"

I also like the idea of the Gnosis being mathematical, and I swear to Zero-as-One Bakker said this, but I do think there's a problem.

If the Gnosis requires knowledge of mathematics/physics, why aren't the Mandati producing interesting mechanical developments?

Edited by Sci-2

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I dont think it does based on the false sun. Mek- one of the oldest practitioners of the gnosis - couldn't figure out the concept shae did, and it was a simple spell which ended up working. To me this implies basic mathematical principles like geometry are not constants in their thought. 

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I'm the only one I know who uses a Berserk avatar on either of the forums. Yes, I'm a Berserk fan and I DID wonder if Bakker had Berserk influences.

I think the difference though is that Berserk includes some pretty savage vengeance as a theme. And that person isn't quite like Cnaiur. 

Now though, it's up in the air. As for Griffith, it's been argued that he is what humanity in general actually wants. Problem is that it's off the souls of the many in the Vortex of souls. Will people IN Griffith's real care about that? Remains to be seen.

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14 hours ago, Dora Vee said:

I'm the only one I know who uses a Berserk avatar on either of the forums. Yes, I'm a Berserk fan and I DID wonder if Bakker had Berserk influences.

I think the difference though is that Berserk includes some pretty savage vengeance as a theme. And that person isn't quite like Cnaiur. 

Now though, it's up in the air. As for Griffith, it's been argued that he is what humanity in general actually wants. Problem is that it's off the souls of the many in the Vortex of souls. Will people IN Griffith's real care about that? Remains to be seen.

Yeah the parallels of the blood-stained Messiah in both Berserk and the Bakkerverse are interesting. I kinda wish Kellhus had been "wreathed in Glory" or at least possessed of an ambiguity un-resolvable by the Judging Eye.

I'd say Guts is more Akka than Cnaiur, or perhaps a mix between the two. 

And of course we may have to wait 20 years for either series to conclude....if ever...

 

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15 hours ago, Kalbear said:

I dont think it does based on the false sun. Mek- one of the oldest practitioners of the gnosis - couldn't figure out the concept shae did, and it was a simple spell which ended up working. To me this implies basic mathematical principles like geometry are not constants in their thought. 

Didn't Shae use infinitesimal deltas, basically inventing Calculus to solve the problem?

If the Gnosis is divorced from math...it does feel a bit odd that the Gnosis is expressed in geometry [arcs and bars of light] - perhaps their knowledge concerns Geometry and their education is akin to Plato's Academy. They deal in Forms, and this is what the inutteral consists of though with enough additions/improvments thanks to the Nonmen that almost no human can come up with it.

Non-men don't see paintings after all, this may affect/improve their grasp of metaphysics.

Edited by Sci-2

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On 11/17/2018 at 3:31 PM, Sci-2 said:

I also like the idea of the Gnosis being mathematical, and I swear to Zero-as-One Bakker said this, but I do think there's a problem.

If the Gnosis requires knowledge of mathematics/physics, why aren't the Mandati producing interesting mechanical developments?

I think the answer to that question is in how Akka describes the schools refusing to use sorcery for practical civil projects like roads, construction, etc.  They trade in warfare, not industry.  

What seems strange to me in the second trilogy is that Kellhus doesn't give the gnosis to all of the Few or force them to use their powers for logistical efforts.  Is his coalition really that weakly held together?  We see a bit of this in that he had to fight the unification wars but that's it.  

 

Also, count me in the (apparently cannonically wrong) camp who was under the impression that only the Gnosis involved inuterrals.

Edited by larrytheimp

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I've wondered if the judging eye doesn't just open at random...instead it actually didn't want to look at Kellhus. For being unable to figure him out.

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7 hours ago, Sci-2 said:

Non-men don't see paintings after all, this may affect/improve their grasp of metaphysics.

This is an interesting point, its hard to imagine what impact their sensory differences from humans would have on their impact of the world and mathematics.

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6 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

I think the answer to that question is in how Akka describes the schools refusing to use sorcery for practical civil projects like roads, construction, etc.  They trade in warfare, not industry.  

What seems strange to me in the second trilogy is that Kellhus doesn't give the gnosis to all of the Few or force them to use their powers for logistical efforts.  Is his coalition really that weakly held together?  We see a bit of this in that he had to fight the unification wars but that's it. 

I don't mean using Gnosis for making roads, I mean if the Mandati know enough physics and calculus why aren't they engineering things? You'd think they could bring Proyas' lands into the (early?) Renaissance or at least closer to that level of tech?

Re: Sorcery and "Menial" work like building roads TBH just like dragons & chorae I'm not convinced Bakker really thought out how magic would affect economics/engineering/etc until later.

Even if the Spires and the Mandati refused b/c of their prestige would the Saik and the lesser schools be able to do so? One of the schools is literally just in it for $$$ so it seems hard to believe they never just "slummed" it.

And, as you say, after Kellhus took over at the very least the School he founded, the Witches, plus the School he was the Prophet for - the Mandati - should've used magic for logistical purposes.

4 hours ago, karaddin said:

This is an interesting point, its hard to imagine what impact their sensory differences from humans would have on their impact of the world and mathematics.

I figure it's either that or some kind of advanced thinking the Nonmen developed over the ages - Mathematics is the easiest parallel b/c if the Gnosis turns on certain abstract mathematics we could see how the Scarlet Spires just won't get there and probably aren't at a tech level to think about it.

Also, if it's Number Theory or Discrete Mathematics one can see how the Mandati could learn it but never grasp its application. Calculus, OTOH, seems easy to "grok" in how it can be applied to the world via engineering? Or maybe that's just me looking back w/ hindsight?

6 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

You know I may be mistaken, but I believe the Beserk writer stated he doesn’t intend to stop writing it til he’s dead so I imagine Bakker will probably finish first.

Well Berserk is supposedly 2/3 done. We don't have that much farther to go though I feel like Miura might sidetrack into the origin of the Godhand...not 100% sure about that as he may just hint at their origins like he did w/ Void & the Skull Knight...

Edited by Sci-2

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The Mandate is obsessed with pursuing the consult. Too busy to make a really good bridge, savin' the world.

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On 11/17/2018 at 10:58 PM, Dora Vee said:

I'm the only one I know who uses a Berserk avatar on either of the forums.

Someone had a behelit as an avatar before.  I think it was Let's Get Kraken here, but I might be misremembering.  Someone did though.

6 hours ago, Sci-2 said:

I don't mean using Gnosis for making roads, I mean if the Mandati know enough physics and calculus why aren't they engineering things?

Well,  I agree with you in general, that I don't think Bakker really thought through the economic implications of Sorcery.  That being said, while the Gnosis certainly relies on "Abstractions" as opposed to the Anagogis' "Analogies" and that these things often appear "mathematical" there are two things that could plausibly explain why they never got to "calculus" or the like.  One, is that we don't really know that the inutteral "Abstractions" actually rise to the level of conscious, explicit knowledge.  And two, even if they did, somewhat, it doesn't preclude that anyone bothered to think too much further, having already gained a huge lever on power.  I mean, it seems like an obvious next step, but so would, say, the Inca having used wheels.  They seem to have known of them conceptually, but seemingly they didn't see the use in them, so never bothered to develop them.

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8 hours ago, .H. said:

Well,  I agree with you in general, that I don't think Bakker really thought through the economic implications of Sorcery.  That being said, while the Gnosis certainly relies on "Abstractions" as opposed to the Anagogis' "Analogies" and that these things often appear "mathematical" there are two things that could plausibly explain why they never got to "calculus" or the like.  One, is that we don't really know that the inutteral "Abstractions" actually rise to the level of conscious, explicit knowledge.  And two, even if they did, somewhat, it doesn't preclude that anyone bothered to think too much further, having already gained a huge lever on power.  I mean, it seems like an obvious next step, but so would, say, the Inca having used wheels.  They seem to have known of them conceptually, but seemingly they didn't see the use in them, so never bothered to develop them.

I'd say the inutterals are conscious, explicit knowledge for the most part, given they leave a Mark. Basing this on Bakker noting it's the discrepancy been Sorcerous Intent/Will/Cognition and reality that results in the Mark. (As Graham Harman would say, we never get to the true Being (Zero Person Perspective) of any Thing let alone any Person...including ourselves....)

Also I can see a challenge in trying to apply calculus to economic considerations like Marginal Rate of Return...but does someone get to Calculus through pure abstraction and no observation of the physical world? That seems hard to do, and even if one did manage to go from Trig + Algebra + Functions all the way to Calculus wouldn't they ever look at the world and think "Maybe we can do useful things with derivative here". 

All that said, I suspect the mathematics/metaphysics of the Gnosis turns on Geometry and questions that concerned Plato and the successors who live in his footnotes. My guess is the Gnosis involves certain mathematical and metaphysical concepts that are aided by Nonmen cognition but can be taught to humans. It might be the case that we, as moderns, could figure out the Gnosis from hearing the utterals but the concepts require an advanced civilization to develop - like the one the Nonmen had long before Men appeared.

And, of course, Men were also once more advanced than they are now...the First Apocalypse diminished them back to a medieval state that cut out much of the Nonmen tutelage.

OTOH, one thing I'd raise as a potential defense as to why intellectual ability didn't lead to technological ability is the difference Eric Weiss notes between Perspectival Space and Mythical Space.

Quote

A definition of dream space

1.     Let us imagine that we could collect and catalog all possible dreams[7].  These dreams would differ from each other along a large number of parameters.  Some dreams would be very concrete, some very abstract.  Some dreams would be very close to waking life, some would be very bizarre.  Some dreams would be terrifying, some would be sublime, and so forth.  We could imagine some kind of catalog system that would let us assign a value to each dream along each of this infinite set of parameters.

2.     Now, suppose that we want to orient ourselves in this dream space.  It will be nice to have some kind of zero point or reference point around which we can construct our order.  Let us, then, stipulate that the center of this space is roughly defined by our experience of waking life.  In this way of arranging dreams, those dreams that are most concrete, most literal, most like our waking life in all respects are those that are closest to the center.  Those dreams that are more intense, more abstract, more bizarre, etc. than our waking life are arranged at greater and greater distances from the center.

3.     This space of all possible dreams, oriented around a general center point resembling waking, physical life, is what I want to call dream space[8].

vs:

Quote

For us moderns, the causal forces that operate in physical space are automatic structuring factors that move in geometrical forms.  In mythic space, the causal factors are animate presences (Devas, Spirits, Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Souls . . .).  With the expectation that the forces structuring events are animate, human or superhuman I will notice entirely different categories of events than I will notice if I assume that the causal forces are dead and automatic.  In modern space, we are hyperconscious of things and their measurable interactions.  In mythic space, we are primarily conscious of situations and transactions that we can capture with stories of purpose and intent.

Quote

The problem of motion in physical space had, of course, always been somewhat interesting.  People in the pre-modern world were involved in trade, in war, in construction, and all of these activities involved problems of motion.  But prior to modern times, the problem of motion held no deep theoretical interest.  In pre-modern times, deep thinkers thought about the divine.  Only the riff-raff bothered themselves with the trivialities of measuring motion.  But when human beings, like Alice in her looking glass world, woke up within the perspectival painting, surrounded by naked objects emerging against a metrical background, all of a sudden measurement took on a new significance.  Now deep thinkers suddenly had a common interest with craftsmen, with traders, with soldiers.  It is in perspectival space that the military-industrial complex is born.

Forgoing the question of whether this is a correct account of our world's history, one can see how residents of Earwa in a Bakkerverse with an Outside that seems to erupt Inside might not ever think to measure motion via Calculus regardless of other mathematical acheivements. OTOH, the anarcane world of the Progenitors leads to an opposite situation - philosophy is demphasized since it yields no practical challenge to Science.

Edited by Sci-2

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