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Bakker LVI: the Rectum of Creation

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4 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

 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.

The other possibility is that men were taught the gnosis the way you might teach a preschooler the quadratic formula. You can make them memorize it all you want, and even possibly plug in the numbers - but they may never understand where the formula comes from or why it is the way it is, and after a while they may never even think to ask that question (and then later, they never have the ability to do so). 

Also note that the Inchoroi could apparently learn the Gnosis as well, and who knows how fucked up their brains are. It's probably not a type of cognition, then. 

That all being said, it's incredibly weird that Akka spends most of his time studying and talking about philosophy and not, say, magical theory, given where his power comes from. I mean, I talk philosophy too, but I spend far more of my time talking about programming, even with people who aren't fluent in it, because it's something I do on a day to day basis regularly. It's odd that Akka doesn't do this, even with other Mandati. And he barely does it with Kellhus; he essentially teaches him the words, but not a whole lot of the theory behind it. 

Also, note that Shae didn't invent calculus; he simply figured out an application of a spell to defeat another. If anyone invented calculus it was Emilidis, and he did it like 800 years before. 

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

That all being said, it's incredibly weird that Akka spends most of his time studying and talking about philosophy and not, say, magical theory, given where his power comes from.

I actually think Philosophy is where his power comes from. Think about the long-winded metaphysical texts that most us get bored with - Varied schemes that have no scientific proof and won't change scientific progress either way.

Those are the what the inutterals involve, I suspect.

OTOH, given the philosophers Akka mentions seem to be available for public consumption....why can't the Scarlet Spires figure that shit out? Why I suspect some level of abstract mathematics is in play, or at the least the kind of metaphysics philosophers only come up with after being exposed to advanced concrete realizations.

And if you get really, really good at both metaphysics and science you can invent a No-God...

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2 hours ago, Sci-2 said:

I actually think Philosophy is where his power comes from. Think about the long-winded metaphysical texts that most us get bored with - Varied schemes that have no scientific proof and won't change scientific progress either way.

Those are the what the inutterals involve, I suspect.

 

From what he briefly discusses with Kellhus in TTT, this doesn't seem to be the case at all. There's a specific description of at least one of them in TTT, and IIRC it doesn't have anything to do with philosophy. 

Also, given that it's in a dead language and it is the same spell as done by the nonmen, I don't get how Ajencis or Memgowa's philosophical musings would help much. 

2 hours ago, Sci-2 said:

OTOH, given the philosophers Akka mentions seem to be available for public consumption....why can't the Scarlet Spires figure that shit out? Why I suspect some level of abstract mathematics is in play, or at the least the kind of metaphysics philosophers only come up with after being exposed to advanced concrete realizations.

Or, again, it's just rote repetition without understanding, and that's why things haven't advanced for 4000 years.

 

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

From what he briefly discusses with Kellhus in TTT, this doesn't seem to be the case at all. There's a specific description of at least one of them in TTT, and IIRC it doesn't have anything to do with philosophy. 

Also, given that it's in a dead language and it is the same spell as done by the nonmen, I don't get how Ajencis or Memgowa's philosophical musings would help much. 

Or, again, it's just rote repetition without understanding, and that's why things haven't advanced for 4000 years.

But then why are Mandati called Philosopher Magi?

Yeah I doubt it's Ajencis or Memgowa's musings, it likely has something to do with Nonmen philosophy. After all they had to come up with the Gnosis, though I suppose they might've been given insight via their god.

Reason I don't think it's just rote is the whole thing about meaning, and the strength of Gnosis lying in direct description of reality as opposed to the Anagnosis.

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3 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

But then why are Mandati called Philosopher Magi? 

Why are the Scylvendi called the people of war? Most of the time they lost, after all. Probably they're called that because their primary way of gaining patronage isn't through owning a country - it's through acting as royal tutors and teachers. 

3 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

Yeah I doubt it's Ajencis or Memgowa's musings, it likely has something to do with Nonmen philosophy. After all they had to come up with the Gnosis, though I suppose they might've been given insight via their god.

Reason I don't think it's just rote is the whole thing about meaning, and the strength of Gnosis lying in direct description of reality as opposed to the Anagnosis.

I'd buy that more if it had changed in 4000+ years. That spells are basically identical from the ones that Cleric uses means to me that almost nothing has changed at all. 

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I do think both comment on the destructive nature of toxic masculinity though.

Yes. Very true. Especially in the case of Cnaiur. I don't think Guts would have issues of homosexuality/bisexuality though. 

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2 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Oh the new one is hysterical in an entirely unintentional way. Apparently showing a demonically possessed horse trying to rape a bound woman is okay...but said woman's nipples have to be digitally removed, lest innocent eyes be corrupted. Note, I didn't say covered up or shadowed, I said removed. Apparently they also made Casca super white in some of the early flashbacks, but I didn't stick with it long enough to see if they changed that.

Yeah I skipped around as it didn't seem worth it to watch all the way through - it was kinda cool to see some things animated like the journey to Quipploth. And they might be going back to traditional animation, which will be nice for Fantasia.

I wonder if there could ever be a Bakkerverse anime. Perhaps a story set in the times of the Ark-Fall, ending with the rise of the No-God the first time around.

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39 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

I wonder if there could ever be a Bakkerverse anime. Perhaps a story set in the times of the Ark-Fall, ending with the rise of the No-God the first time around.

There is too much stigma (mostly from Bakker himself) around something being animated to have that happen, although I think it would be pretty neat to "see" Nonman Gnosis in action among other things, like Wracu, the Tall (while still sane), Ishterebinth before it was ruined, along with stuff like the Breaking of the Gates and Siöl itself.

It really is a massively lost opportunity.

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2 hours ago, .H. said:

There is too much stigma (mostly from Bakker himself)

Source? I mean the trailer uses basic animation?

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4 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Did they ever wind up doing the Lost Children arc? I really couldn't bring myself to watch another episode of that anime after the first two, the animation and pacing were just too bad. And I say this as somebody who rabidly defended the Golden Age movie trilogy and the old 90s anime, both of which were riddled by some pretty sloppy effects. But anyway, yeah, curious if they ever did Lost Children. That remains my favorite arc, and quite frankly dark fantasy at its absolute finest.

I'm convinced animation is the only way Bakker could ever really be adapted to the screen, big or small.

Pretty sure they never went back to it.

But agreed animation seems the best route...the Inchoroi scream refugees-from-some-hentai after all...

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Animation could make both the sorcery and the Dunyain thinking process look amazing, in a way that would be really hard to do in live-action. 

On 11/19/2018 at 8:16 PM, Kalbear said:

I'd buy that more if it had changed in 4000+ years. That spells are basically identical from the ones that Cleric uses means to me that almost nothing has changed at all. 

Why would it necessarily change? They got it from the Nonmen, who presumably had spent millennia working out virtually all the possibilities of gnostic sorcery. Maybe they're just at the point where creating new gnostic spells would be extremely difficult to impossible for regular Mandate Schoolmen, taking either millennia of practice and experience (as with the surviving Quya), or a very rare mind. We only know of one non-Dunyain or Dunyain-descended person who can even do metagnostic spells. 

Meanwhile, the Glossary does show innovation in Anagogic sorcery.  

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1 minute ago, Winter Bass said:

Why would it necessarily change? They got it from the Nonmen, who presumably had spent millennia working out virtually all the possibilities of gnostic sorcery.

Because Kellhus changes it in like 3 weeks. It's clearly not the limits of gnostic sorcery. Furthermore, we see other innovators like Emilidis and Titirga who showcase more interesting aspects of spells as well. 

1 minute ago, Winter Bass said:

Maybe they're just at the point where creating new gnostic spells would be extremely difficult to impossible for regular Mandate Schoolmen, taking either millennia of practice and experience (as with the surviving Quya), or a very rare mind. We only know of one non-Dunyain or Dunyain-descended person who can even do metagnostic spells. 

Maybe, sure. But 4000 years when your entire life is devoted to doing nothing but spellcasting and war with zero innovation is, well, pretty odd. Even if the spells don't change, the tactics of using them, the tactics of using spellcasters together in various ways, the strategies of multiple arcs of fire and whatnot - these things should also be developed.

But for the most part we don't see that either. We see occasional dueling between mages where clever tricks are done, mostly around the environment (Akka dropping the building on chorae users, Titirga's pit trap silliness) but we never see coordinated attacks or communication even among Kellhus' squad. 

But really, 4000 years where there is absolutely no development and then there's immediate development because Kellhus? Sorry, don't buy it. Newton was really, really smart, but calculus wasn't something that came right out of the blue, and there was a lot of math that preceded it that backed it up. That is, of course, assuming that it's a mathematical or scientific thing, which is what I've been saying it might as well not have been for the Mandate. They know as much about how the gnosis works as a mechanic knows about the programming that runs the computer of the car they're working on. 

1 minute ago, Winter Bass said:

Meanwhile, the Glossary does show innovation in Anagogic sorcery.  

What was that?

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A possible retort to all of that:

Mightn't it be possible that there are thresholds that are difficult to cross?  And might the 2nd inutteral be an example of crossing a threshold? 

I was watching yet another one of those TED talks on youtube (hilarious how likely it is that some of y'all have watched these even though we haven't discussed it), and they get into the Drake equation and the steps that are so difficult to cross.  Like, how hard is it for microbial life to begin?  How hard is it for modern tech to develop?  How hard is it to survive modern tech possibly destroying the world?  How hard is it to achieve interstellar space travel even for a society that crosses all of these?  Which of these is the Great Barrier? 

Maybe there was a phenomenal accomplishment in the achievement the Nonmen and the Sohonc in developing and refining the Gnosis but they largely hit a threshold / barrier, and it took an Einstein (Kellhus) to advance it from that point.  

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20 minutes ago, Triskele said:

Maybe there was a phenomenal accomplishment in the achievement the Nonmen and the Sohonc in developing and refining the Gnosis but they largely hit a threshold / barrier, and it took an Einstein (Kellhus) to advance it from that point.  

Maybe? I'm pretty skeptical of that given that Akka actually knows about the possibility of a second inutteral but thought it was just impossible. There's a difference between discovery and engineering, and the latter requires, well, practice more than eureka. 

Mostly, I don't see evidence of them even really trying to experiment or refine even around the knowledge they have. As an example, swords were in relatively common use for thousands of years, shields even longer, and spears longer still - but the phalanx was a combination of those concepts that required no major advances in tech, just advances in use of that tech (and coordination and training). I'm surprised, for instance, that there are not ways for sorcerers to combine powers to overwhelm wards in a synergistic way beyond just all of them casting spells against the person. Or for sorcerers to be able to combine to cause effectively natural disasters or massive damage beyond just casting a lot of fireballs at once. We've talked about not using sorcerers as engineers and diggers and how stupid that is, but even more stupid is schools spending their time fighting wars for the most part and those wars not really resulting in actual tacticians, nor were actual generals particularly good at deploying their wizards. 

What's even more bizarre to me is that despite their absurd knowledge of the metaphysical, going so far as to allow machines to interface with the Outside and display results to users in real time, the Inchoroi had basically zero grasp of magic until it was taught to them by the nonmen and they had their idiot servants graft it into their bodies. I realize they came from a world that was supposedly anarcane ground, but they didn't stay there, and their discovery of the Inverse Fire came after they traveled away from their own world and discovered the problems. 

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11 hours ago, Callan S. said:

Source? I mean the trailer uses basic animation?

I only have it on third-hand knowledge, but it's something he has repeated to a couple people over the years.

Of course the trailer uses animation, it's the only real way to do this.  And of course it makes little sense that Bakker is dead set against animation as a medium, much in the same way that he is largely categorically against any sort of merch.  Although, from the new site, there actually is some merch.  So, who knows, maybe he might actually change his mind...

5 hours ago, Kalbear said:

What's even more bizarre to me is that despite their absurd knowledge of the metaphysical, going so far as to allow machines to interface with the Outside and display results to users in real time, the Inchoroi had basically zero grasp of magic until it was taught to them by the nonmen and they had their idiot servants graft it into their bodies. I realize they came from a world that was supposedly anarcane ground, but they didn't stay there, and their discovery of the Inverse Fire came after they traveled away from their own world and discovered the problems. 

I don't think the Inverse Fire post-dates the Progenitors building Ark though.  The Inchoroi though, do post-date the Inverse Fire:

Quote

“They were a warrior-caste,” the burnt one continued, “bred to lust and to hunger for all forms of trespass, to heap such damnation upon themselves that the merest glimpse of the Inverse Fire would reignite their ardour.”

I don't recall anything that suggests that the Progenitors only created the Inverse Fire after the Ark though.

Quote

In their curious, collective manner, the Mutilated told how the Tekne so transformed the problems faced by the progenitors that all the old ways became impossible. It raised them from their traditions, struck the shackles of custom from their intellects, until only their common animality constrained them. They worshipped themselves as the measure of all significance, gave themselves over to wanton gluttony. Nothing was forbidden them, short the obstruction of others and their desires. Justice became the calculation of competing appetites. Logos became the principle of their entire civilization.
“By imperceptible increments,” the one-eyed Dûnyain said, his face strange and glaring, “the Tekne unfettered their desires, allowed them to plumb ever deeper perversions.”
The Tekne. Yes. The Tekne lay at the root of their argument.
“They began moulding themselves the way potter’s mould clay,” the unscathed one said.
The Tekne and the transformations wrought by its bottomless potency ...
“They stood upon the very brink of the Absolute,” the teeth-baring Dûnyain called. “It pricked their fingers, it was so near!”
How, in relieving the Inchoroi of want and deprivation, it had stripped them of everything sacred ...
“There was only one riddle they could not solve,” the lone unscarred Dûnyain said, “one ancient enigma the Tekne could not fathom ...”
“The soul,” his teeth-baring brother gasped.
Three heartbeats of silence followed—silence and tumbling revelation.
“It became their Mystery of Mysteries, the focus of their most cunning intellects.”
It no longer mattered who spoke—for the Mutilated did not lie, and the Truth spoke with but one soul.
“And when the soul at last yielded its secrets to their scrutiny ...”
And there he was, a beehive head slung from the Aspect-Emperor’s imperial reflection. How? How had he found himself in such wretched straits?
“They discovered their entire race damned.”

I'd think that last step was the discovery (invention) of the Inverse Fire.  I'd think that somehow through the Inverse Fire they managed to see two things.  One, that they were indeed damned no matter where they went.  And two, that there was a place where it was possible to "close" this off.  That is, somewhere that meaning was malleable.  (I have no real clue how or why they'd have been able to figure that out, but I'm just guessing that the most likely one is that somehow they saw back out of the Outside through the Inverse Fire, or something.)

Of course this means that they could have predicted sorcery.  Indeed, they probably should have.  But the Progenitors themselves were likely well and "dead" if they ever were on Ark and the crude tool of the Inchoroi simply weren't generally apt to consider novel problems without defaulting to their go-to of simply murdering everyone bare-handed.  As Wuttëat tells us, it worked on countless other worlds.  Honestly, if Ark hasn't crashed and died, it's likely Sorcery wouldn't have mattered in the long run, just would have been something of a speed-bump.  Heck, if Sil wasn't such a hot-head (which isn't possible, he existed solely to be a hot-head, but still) things likely go much smoother.

It's only because the "plan" went to shit from the moment they entered the Eärwan system that really any of the clear flaws in whole endeavor became real issues.  Mostly centered on the fact that Ark was likely the key to the whole thing.  I think it's likely the Ark was the architect, Inchoroi and everything else were merely tools.  So, when Ark died, it's like a bunch of hammers, saws, and screwdrivers were left to try to build something rather complex on their own.  If Ark had lived, it probably would have deduced sorcery rather quickly, have devised Grafts and incorporated them into new Inchoroi in a short matter of time.  Not to mention, Ark probably could have furnished more Heron Spears and who knows what else as weapons.

In reality, the biggest flaw in the plan was how instrumental to the whole thing Ark was.  The gap between what the Inchoroi collectively knew and what Ark knew was just far too great.  This might have been partly done for reasons of keeping the Inchoroi under "control" or simply because the Progenitors were dumb enough to think that Ark could not die, so why bother giving it's henchmen information they'd never need.

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1 hour ago, .H. said:

Although, from the new site, there actually is some merch. 

I didn't know there was a new site... I guess https://www.rscottbakker.com/ is just going to remain stuck in WLW times indefinitely. :dunno: The new site looks pretty cool though.

Edited by Hello World

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1 hour ago, Hello World said:

I didn't know there was a new site... I guess https://www.rscottbakker.com/ is just going to remain stuck in WLW times indefinitely. :dunno: The new site looks pretty cool though.

I "stealth" linked in here a while back, but I should have posted it more explicitly.

https://secondapocalypse.ca/

Pretty sure it was made by Bakker's brother and possibly others.  Not sure is Jason was involved in actually building it, but certainly he knew of it since it's his art all over it.  Plausibly Jason is the only one who could convince Bakker of what could be done with animation, but again, it is likely a lost cause for irrational reasons.

But yeah, I think that old is a dead letter, which, like almost everything else, makes no sense, but who are we?

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7 hours ago, .H. said:

I don't think the Inverse Fire post-dates the Progenitors building Ark though.  The Inchoroi though, do post-date the Inverse Fire:

I wasn't saying that they did. I was saying both postdate the Progenitors leaving their anarcane world, which presumably would block even basic study of nonobjective manipulation of reality. The basic timeline is something like:

basic mastery of physical editing and mental editing -> space exploration -> discovery of inverse fire principles -> creation of ark/inchoroi

7 hours ago, .H. said:

I'd think that last step was the discovery (invention) of the Inverse Fire.  I'd think that somehow through the Inverse Fire they managed to see two things.  One, that they were indeed damned no matter where they went.  And two, that there was a place where it was possible to "close" this off.  That is, somewhere that meaning was malleable.  (I have no real clue how or why they'd have been able to figure that out, but I'm just guessing that the most likely one is that somehow they saw back out of the Outside through the Inverse Fire, or something.)

Right. They somehow were able to prove that hell exists, damnation is real and they're really, really fucked. And then they created Ark to attempt to obliterate the universal damnation. 

(an aside: I still don't understand why immortal beings would care about damnation. Another place Good Place gets right with the existential crisis episode; it's hard to care about ethics when you're immortal)

7 hours ago, .H. said:

Of course this means that they could have predicted sorcery.  Indeed, they probably should have.  But the Progenitors themselves were likely well and "dead" if they ever were on Ark and the crude tool of the Inchoroi simply weren't generally apt to consider novel problems without defaulting to their go-to of simply murdering everyone bare-handed.  As Wuttëat tells us, it worked on countless other worlds.  Honestly, if Ark hasn't crashed and died, it's likely Sorcery wouldn't have mattered in the long run, just would have been something of a speed-bump.  Heck, if Sil wasn't such a hot-head (which isn't possible, he existed solely to be a hot-head, but still) things likely go much smoother. 

Given how important sorcery was to beating them, I'm gonna call shenanigans on this. You can say that they shouldn't have invented lasers or nuclear weapons either by that token, and could have simply overwhelmed worlds with ecologically pure terror creatures (like the Chthorr) instead of relying on presumably fairly scarce radioactives and other exotic materials. Ain't like carbon is going away. 

7 hours ago, .H. said:

It's only because the "plan" went to shit from the moment they entered the Eärwan system that really any of the clear flaws in whole endeavor became real issues.  Mostly centered on the fact that Ark was likely the key to the whole thing.  I think it's likely the Ark was the architect, Inchoroi and everything else were merely tools.  So, when Ark died, it's like a bunch of hammers, saws, and screwdrivers were left to try to build something rather complex on their own.  If Ark had lived, it probably would have deduced sorcery rather quickly, have devised Grafts and incorporated them into new Inchoroi in a short matter of time.  Not to mention, Ark probably could have furnished more Heron Spears and who knows what else as weapons. 

In reality, the biggest flaw in the plan was how instrumental to the whole thing Ark was.  The gap between what the Inchoroi collectively knew and what Ark knew was just far too great.  This might have been partly done for reasons of keeping the Inchoroi under "control" or simply because the Progenitors were dumb enough to think that Ark could not die, so why bother giving it's henchmen information they'd never need.

Again, that shouldn't mean that magic should be some kind of weird alien thing to them. For instance, even if  they aren't wanting to use sorcery as a weapon for whatever  reason there is absolutely no reason that the Inchoroi shouldn't all be of the Few and be able to see the Onta, because it gives everyone an advantage who has it. 

I don't have a problem with Inchoroi struggling to discover magic and graft it; I have a problem with them not having it already. 

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