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Bakker LVI: the Rectum of Creation

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On 11/21/2018 at 5:45 PM, Kalbear said:

Sure, but without sorcery they're almost certainly hosed. And they definitely go out of their way to learn sorcery later, so they at least thought they needed that edge, especially since most of them died doing that. 

Right, I mean, I am not trying to make the case that sorcery isn't powerful.  It is demonstrably more powerful than most "conventional" weapons.  I'm just saying I don't see it being something that a fully functional Ark couldn't overcome by Tekne means, without having to resort to deducing and using sorcery itself.  Which, mind you, isn't a bad idea at all, just one that probably wouldn't be immediately necessary.

It's only since Ark is dead, most of the Tekne is lost, misunderstood or not understood at all, the Bios is only barely understood, and whatever process "makes" Inchoroi is gone, that the remaining Inchoroi find themselves in very dire straits.  At the point where only a couple hundred Inchoroi are left, I think A&A likely make the correct call that trying to gain sorcery is a good idea, but it likely came at too high a cost at that point anyway.

On 11/21/2018 at 5:45 PM, Kalbear said:

Right, but they don't even talk about it as a concept. Not only are they not trying to awake the thing, they don't appear to even comprehend what it is or what it does. Their first plan for success had absolutely nothing to do with the No-God, after all - it had to do with the womb plague. As far as the Inchoroi were concerned, all they were supposed to do was wipe out species. That's it. 

The Inchoroi, as far as I can tell, had not even an inkling that the No-God was key to this. 

Well, I mean, we don't know what was going on in their minds during the initial struggles of the Cûno-Inchoroi Wars, in regards to the "ultimate plan."  But I don't think they really understood at all what the whole plan was.  I think this is mainly because they really were just hammers and nails, where Ark was the "brain" of the whole operation.  So, Sil just decides that in lieu of knowing what to do, just do what they always did.  Then, once he is dead and they realize that the plan really isn't working does Aurang take over and it starts to dawn on them what was actually supposed to happen.  However, since they aren't really that smart, they crudely approximate what the No-God was supposed to do, thinking it would help.  I still stick with my idea that the Womb-Plague was really an attempt to recruit Nonmen.  That is, give them no real options for their future and so hopefully some would come over and help the Inchoroi.  In fact, it kind of worked...

On 11/21/2018 at 5:45 PM, Kalbear said:

I think you're wrong, because the Inchoroi did do this. From the above logic we see that the Inchoroi don't understand that they need the No-God  active; they only understand that they have to reduce populations. (This is also inferred by CAPSLOCK DRAGON talking about reducing world after world). We also vaguely know that they did use the bombs early on in their war against the nonmen, which means that they both knew how to use them and didn't have any prohibitions on using them beyond 'don't fuck up the planet too much'. Therefore, bomb use is perfectly fine provided the No-God is active.

That is plausible, like so many other things, we simply don't know enough about those bombs to know why they weren't used more extensively.  But it could be the case that they were used before but that Ark being dead means they simply couldn't really make more.

On 11/21/2018 at 5:45 PM, Kalbear said:

I get that - but that's the explanation used for why the progenitors didn't ever experience the Outside or anything like it before. But then they invented the Inverse Fire. My personal view is that if you can invent something that shows the literal damnation that your soul has forever experienced in hell via the Outside, you can also invent something to see the Onta. I could be wrong, and that's fine, but it's certainly not clear, and it's not obvious.

It is plausible, but since we don't really know how the Inverse Fire works, it's hard to say whether that really would lead directly to the Onta or not.  Like we discussed earlier, the Onta, the Mark and Damnation are different things.  So, just because they see Damnation, doesn't mean they have access to the Onta.  Especially if there is something of an "interaction" between anarcane ground and the Onta, that is, a lack of interaction.  We just don't know, again, like so much else.

On 11/21/2018 at 5:45 PM, Kalbear said:

Yeah, Ark crashing and dying is something that really should be explained as to why. Even if it's a throwaway line, something about how the noncausal drives they use being based on an actual (unknown to them) arcane principle that failed immediately when going to a place with a lot of arcane value, it should be explicitly stated.

Yeah, it would be neat to know.  Heck, Ark might even have been "powered" by "souls" of the Progenitors and somehow these got all fucked up in the different metaphysics of arcane ground...

On 11/21/2018 at 6:01 PM, Kalbear said:

First they tried wiping everyone out with normal weapons. That didn't work. So they were all 'huh, well, we had this No-God thing that stopped births before, so maybe we have to stop births too' and created the womb plague. And then THAT didn't work. 

They were fucking cargo culting it the whole time. That makes so much more sense. Why didn't they wait out the womb plague, or why did they do it? Because as far as they knew they had to in order to make things work, because they had no understanding of what to do. They first knew they had to reduce the population, and then they knew that when they had the No-God, births stopped, so they tried that another way. So yeah, they were the fucking phone sanitary techs of the universe.

Well, yes.  But even Bakker extra-textually told us that the Womb Plauge was initially devised as a way to "save" their Nonman allies.  In other words, they aimed to make the Nonmen over in Inchoroi image, that is, to recruit them.  There is a bit of a porblem with waiting though, which was that, because Sil was such an idiot, attacking so quickly out-of-hand, that they were at war.  Not only that, but Ark was not fully secure.  Again, were Ark alive and so likely much more secure, I think waiting is a better idea.  But with things as they were, so poorly understood, you have just given immortality to people who now want nothing more than to kill you.

It was a gambit, but one they likely felt they had no choice but to take.  It did not work out so great, because they ended up making a lot more enemies than they did allies.  But the Inchoroi were really getting down low in the very limited bag of tricks they could think of.  Again, because they weren't made to solve highly nuanced and complex tasks, they were made to kill things and not ask too many questions.

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Wasn't there a thing about the Inchoroi filling the "wells of the aborted" with their own dead during the Cuno-Inchoroi wars? I thought that was their first attempt at awakening the No-God on Earwa? Or was it just about grafting the ability to see the onta?

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31 minutes ago, Hello World said:

Wasn't there a thing about the Inchoroi filling the "wells of the aborted" with their own dead during the Cuno-Inchoroi wars? I thought that was their first attempt at awakening the No-God on Earwa? Or was it just about grafting the ability to see the onta?

To see the Onta.

It was said extra-textually by Bakker:

Quote

Is Aurang special amongst the Inchoroi in his ability to use Sorcery? Or were all Inchoroi, his brother included, amongst the Few? 

The Inchoroi only possessed the Tekne when they arrived in Eärwa. All of the Inchoroi are the products of successive Graftings, species-wide rewrites of their genotype, meant to enhance various abilities and capacities, such as the ability to elicit certain sexual responses from their victims (via pheromone locks), or the capacity to ‘tune sensations’ and so explore the vagaries and vicissitudes of carnal pleasure. The addition of anthropomorphic vocal apparatuses is perhaps the most famous of these enhancements.

The Grafting that produced Aurang and Aurax was also devised during the age-long C no-Inchoroi Wars, one of many failed attempts to biologically redesign themselves to overcome the Nonmen. But they had been outrun by their debauchery by this time, and had lost any comprehensive understanding of the Tekne. The Graftings had become a matter of guesswork, more likely to kill than enhance those who received them. The Inchoroi filled the Wells of the Aborted with their own in those days.

Aurang and Aurax are two of six who survived the attempt to Graft the ability to see the onta.

It's actually not ever mentioned in the books.  At least, not that I could find...

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34 minutes ago, Hello World said:

Wasn't there a thing about the Inchoroi filling the "wells of the aborted" with their own dead during the Cuno-Inchoroi wars? I thought that was their first attempt at awakening the No-God on Earwa? Or was it just about grafting the ability to see the onta?

I believe Bakker mentioned it in an interview. From context it seemed like the Inchoroi depleted their numbers by attempting various grafts which included but weren't limited to the grafts used to see the Onta.

So it's likely the Progenitors never apprehended the Onta in the way Earwan magi do. Even if they did perceive it via their scientific instruments they probably thought of it as a field of some sort rather than the path to a magic they don't believe in.

edit: ah you found the quote above, nice.

Edited by Sci-2

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55 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

edit: ah you found the quote above, nice.

I'm old, it takes a while to dredge the Well of My Pitiful Brain in these days.

55 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

So it's likely the Progenitors never apprehended the Onta in the way Earwan magi do. Even if they did perceive it via their scientific instruments they probably thought of it as a field of some sort rather than the path to a magic they don't believe in.

Right.  The Onta is just “Creation as created.”  It's not even really clear to me what that means, outside the context of sorcery.  But in absence of sorcery, all of creation is creation as created.  I guess it's more about being able to see it as Serwa describes it (in chapter 7 of TGO).  That is, everything as "Unreal" and only the sort of self-moving things as Real.  That doesn't really answer if the Progenitors could have scientifically discovered the phenomina.  I mean, perhaps the problem is that even if they did, they couldn't use it for sorcery, since only Eärwa is arcane ground.  So, maybe they knew of it, but as far as they could have experimentally determined, it was unchangeable.

Edited by .H.

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On 11/19/2018 at 7:14 AM, .H. said:

.  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.

Inca lived geographically in extremely steep mountains and thus all their roads were built as stairs with 60 degree grades. Wheels, in this society and culture and facing these geographical and human engineering constraints generally have _negative_ utility if used in the way that other societies used them for transport.

but beasts of burden that can navigate steps like that, llama llama, have extremely high utility. 

Its sort of like asking why Bedouin only use camels and not a lots of big wheeled carts to navigate loose sand deserts. No one asks that question because it’s ridiculous on its face. But the same understanding is not applied to the Incan mountains. supporting a narrative of the technological failures of native south Americans helps us feel better about the extermination of those peoples, they were lesser (didn’t even know about the wheel, practically monkeys really!) and therefore sort of deserved to be wiped out and replaced by us the wheel using deserving ones.

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And as I understand it things like China having such good porcelain that they didn't really develop glass - so they didn't develop lenses, telescopes and begin observing other planets in closer detail. Depends which tech tree you go down. And whether there seems to be any other path to take.

*pulls twig out of sandal*

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21 hours ago, lokisnow said:

Inca lived geographically in extremely steep mountains and thus all their roads were built as stairs with 60 degree grades. Wheels, in this society and culture and facing these geographical and human engineering constraints generally have _negative_ utility if used in the way that other societies used them for transport.

but beasts of burden that can navigate steps like that, llama llama, have extremely high utility. 

Its sort of like asking why Bedouin only use camels and not a lots of big wheeled carts to navigate loose sand deserts. No one asks that question because it’s ridiculous on its face. But the same understanding is not applied to the Incan mountains. supporting a narrative of the technological failures of native south Americans helps us feel better about the extermination of those peoples, they were lesser (didn’t even know about the wheel, practically monkeys really!) and therefore sort of deserved to be wiped out and replaced by us the wheel using deserving ones.

Yeah, I know that.  I mean, you only just proved exactly what I was pointing out.  That in the absence of a definite need there is no impetus to develop things.  I don't support any such ideas that anyone was "lesser" or that Western actions in these places was at all "justified."  If you consider the words I actually used and the context in which I did, I am saying that a wheel SEEMS like an obvious next step and all you did was point out how that SEEMING is not ACTUALLY a logical next step, for several key reasons.  I am not spinning some racist yarn.  In fact, just the opposite.  I am pointing out that our "western" idea of "progress" is mostly bull-shit.

The same idea could be seen in the Antikythera mechanism, which demonstrates that some ideas, techniques, technology can exist yet never disseminate or find "practical use."  So, where it would appear logical for our modern minds that if such a thing did exist, it could and should have been developed further and advanced upon.  In reality, that isn't how things likely worked in pre-modern times.

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2 hours ago, .H. said:

Yeah, I know that.  I mean, you only just proved exactly what I was pointing out.  That in the absence of a definite need there is no impetus to develop things.  I don't support any such ideas that anyone was "lesser" or that Western actions in these places was at all "justified."  If you consider the words I actually used and the context in which I did, I am saying that a wheel SEEMS like an obvious next step and all you did was point out how that SEEMING is not ACTUALLY a logical next step, for several key reasons.  I am not spinning some racist yarn.  In fact, just the opposite.  I am pointing out that our "western" idea of "progress" is mostly bull-shit.

The same idea could be seen in the Antikythera mechanism, which demonstrates that some ideas, techniques, technology can exist yet never disseminate or find "practical use."  So, where it would appear logical for our modern minds that if such a thing did exist, it could and should have been developed further and advanced upon.  In reality, that isn't how things likely worked in pre-modern times.

I’m not accusing anyone specifically, that would be absurd. I was speaking broadly about the common sense cultural assumptions underpinning western society which is why we have popular automatic myths/memes about incans and wheels (et al) that are deployed ad infinitum.

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1 minute ago, lokisnow said:

I’m not accusing anyone specifically, that would be absurd. I was speaking broadly about the common sense cultural assumptions underpinning western society which is why we have popular automatic myths/memes about incans and wheels (et al) that are deployed ad infinitum.

OK, well, my bad.

Yes, though, Western ideals tend to presuppose the primacy of "Western ideals."  In fact, part of that is the ideal that the "ideals" even exist, that is, are ideal.  In fact, there are plenty of reasonable ways to live in the world, none of which are necessarily better than others (except plausibly ones "better" at making it easier to justify forcing ideologies on others in the name of "progress").

So, again, my point was that in presuming that they should use Sorcery to make roads presupposes that more roads were necessarily needed and so they were dumb to not apply sorcerous knowledge to engineering.  In fact, nothing really tells us that those possessing sorcery cared much about roads, or civil engineering for that matter.  It's plausible that the Scarlet Spires could have gone that direction, but having ready access to a very bust port, it's also plausible that they saw no real need to make an extensive road network that would require the use for sorcery.  Not to mention, would the Spires, who were already rich and generally considered themselves superior to everyone, lower themselves to civil servants?  Why would the Mandate want to make roads for everyone?  I think the Imerial Saik is largely viewed as "dogs on a very short leash" so "elevating" them to the role of engineers seems unlikely and again, presumes the Empire had a need for more roads anyway.

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And Bakker said he was interested in a story where “the roads ran out” which is why kellhus didn’t have roads built beyond sarkarpus but did have other infrastructure like granaries built.

earwa doesn’t really have much in the way of complicated economics like Game of Thrones because Bakker isn’t that interested in economics. Thus sorcery is driven by what Bakker finds interesting, philosophical wanking, and is immune from market forces.

which creates a plot hole because the mandate have bartered education with the conriyans in exchange for political support, which indicates there is an existing market schools are willing to  participate in, but like a lot of the other world building, Bakker ignores the implications of bits of throwaway detail like that because developing details like that would interfere with the philosophy details.

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Well, it's not really news to consider that the economics of Eärwa is under explored though.  As is logistics among many other things.  I brought that up to Bakker something like 15 years ago and his answer was exactly that it simply wasn't something he was really aiming at.

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Th question for me would be when sorcery was first discovered why would it be powerful enough for sorcerers to form nations? At some point in antiquity there would be the early developments with rudimentary magic like Continual Light Spells, Burning Hands, etc. How would this not be used for economic, labor-reducing means?

One answer is that the sorcerer was a Shaman, and thus seen as a spiritual guide rather than a utility to be used....one that was eventually pushed aside due to the Cults of the Hundred.

The other version is the Shaman was Singing the God's Song in God's Own Voice....I think that's how Akka puts it to Esmi when she tries to stop him from teaching sorcery to Kellhus. Perhaps the original magic users were better than even the invention of the Gnosis, and it may be the case that both the Psukhe and Sorcery are trying to recover a lost art....

This might imply the Hundred did walk the world, that Earwa was in Mythic Space. Where that leaves the Nonmen is open to questioning...

Edited by Sci-2

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55 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

Perhaps the original magic users were better than even the invention of the Gnosis, and it may be the case that both the Psukhe and Sorcery are trying to recover a lost art....

I don't know about this.  I think the reason the Gnosis is so powerful, is because of how specifically cognitive it is.  Likely, Shamans were powerful, but probably less so.  Even though, Bakker has implied that the "ceiling" of the Psûhke likely has not been found by the Cishaurim.

57 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

This might imply the Hundred did walk the world, that Earwa was in Mythic Space. Where that leaves the Nonmen is open to questioning...

I'm not too sure about this, although it is plausible to me that in a less conscious era, the Hundred were able to influence more...

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3 minutes ago, .H. said:

I don't know about this.  I think the reason the Gnosis is so powerful, is because of how specifically cognitive it is.  Likely, Shamans were powerful, but probably less so.  Even though, Bakker has implied that the "ceiling" of the Psûhke likely has not been found by the Cishaurim.

At least the way Akka describes it a Shaman seems to be someone who can speak great sorcery without leaving a Mark. Apparently Shamans were legendary figures.

It's possible they simply had their Markless exploits exaggerated, [Or] that these were actually the Hundred taking near complete control over a human and possessing them. Like what Yatwer did with Psatama in that cave.

Edited by Sci-2

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12 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

It's possible they simply had their Markless exploits exaggerated, [Or] that these were actually the Hundred taking near complete control over a human and possessing them. Like what Yatwer did with Psatama in that cave.

Well, I think the Psûkhe is largely under-explored by even the Cishaurim, so we don't know what Shamans could have done.  But I also don't discount that people were apt be possessed like that back then too.  Although there doesn't seem to be any real reason why the two should be mutually exclusive.

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5 hours ago, .H. said:

  It's plausible that the Scarlet Spires could have gone that direction, but having ready access to a very bust port, it's also plausible that they saw no real need to make an extensive road network that would require the use for sorcery.  

A port is only good if it leads to other places. Having roads from ports is one of the oldest city planning things we see throughout the world, in every single continent and culture, because it's an obvious thing. Having better roads even moreso. 

A better question isn't why the Mandate would do roads and other civic engineering or useful things like communication, but why wouldn't the nonmen do it? Why aren't there scads of old roads linking the various mansions? The nonmen didn't have the weird hangups of sorcery and being separated from the rest of the tribe, after all, and they were far more united in scope and scale than men were. And flying chariots aside, we know they march and travel as well. 

I still think it would have made more sense for the Mandate to be the ones who act as communicators between cities. It would position them to be in many cities, looking for the Consult, while providing massive support and logistical value with realtime communication. But that one, at least, I can buy that none of the Mandate thought of, despite, ya know, Seswatha basically doing that as his job. 

Mostly, on the Inca thing - while the wheel and other technological blind spots (re: steam engines in Greece vs. slavery), the drawback here is that for the last 2000 years the Mandate has been actively fighting real wars against the Consult, and the various nations of Men have been fighting a whole lot of wars against each other. I'm willing to believe one of those groups didn't advance much; I'm not willing to believe that all of them stayed basically the same as they were thousands of years ago, because trying new things (both good and bad) is what humans throughout the world do. Not doing that makes them, well, not humans. You'd not only have effective things that are better, you'd have cultural blindspots based on weird concepts like chivalry or landed nobles being the only ones to own horses or only certain castes being allowed to use bows. You'd have reactionaries bristling against newfangled tactics like massed spears or composite bows or gunpowder and refusing to use them due to honor. 

 

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1 minute ago, Kalbear said:

A port is only good if it leads to other places. Having roads from ports is one of the oldest city planning things we see throughout the world, in every single continent and culture, because it's an obvious thing. Having better roads even moreso.

Sure, it's better if it's an entrepôt, but it doesn't necessarily have to be.  In fact, we don't know that they were keen on imports and exports at all, although it is plausible they were to some degree.  They might not have wanted boarder crossings though, for one reason or another.

5 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

A better question isn't why the Mandate would do roads and other civic engineering or useful things like communication, but why wouldn't the nonmen do it? Why aren't there scads of old roads linking the various mansions? The nonmen didn't have the weird hangups of sorcery and being separated from the rest of the tribe, after all, and they were far more united in scope and scale than men were. And flying chariots aside, we know they march and travel as well. 

I still think it would have made more sense for the Mandate to be the ones who act as communicators between cities. It would position them to be in many cities, looking for the Consult, while providing massive support and logistical value with realtime communication. But that one, at least, I can buy that none of the Mandate thought of, despite, ya know, Seswatha basically doing that as his job.

Well, we don't know much about Nonman society.  They certainly seemed to want to build far apart from each other which could suggest they preferred isolation from other bigger Mansions.  That being said, yeah, you'd think they wanted some roads at some point, but who knows.

6 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I still think it would have made more sense for the Mandate to be the ones who act as communicators between cities. It would position them to be in many cities, looking for the Consult, while providing massive support and logistical value with realtime communication. But that one, at least, I can buy that none of the Mandate thought of, despite, ya know, Seswatha basically doing that as his job.

Well, I think the Mandate actually mostly had their heads up their asses.  They should have done that, but instead preached what everyone figured was nonsense and discredited themselves.  It would have been far better to continue something of a Shadow War, while being couselors to the rest of the Three Seas.  This would have put them in fantastic position to observe everyone for signs of the Consult.  But, like the Inverse Fire, the Dreams do not really lead to logical, rational decisions, likely on purpose.

8 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Mostly, on the Inca thing - while the wheel and other technological blind spots (re: steam engines in Greece vs. slavery), the drawback here is that for the last 2000 years the Mandate has been actively fighting real wars against the Consult, and the various nations of Men have been fighting a whole lot of wars against each other. I'm willing to believe one of those groups didn't advance much; I'm not willing to believe that all of them stayed basically the same as they were thousands of years ago, because trying new things (both good and bad) is what humans throughout the world do. Not doing that makes them, well, not humans. You'd not only have effective things that are better, you'd have cultural blindspots based on weird concepts like chivalry or landed nobles being the only ones to own horses or only certain castes being allowed to use bows. You'd have reactionaries bristling against newfangled tactics like massed spears or composite bows or gunpowder and refusing to use them due to honor.

Sure, this is true.  But unlike the real world, in Eärwa, things are very deterministic.  So where in the real world, people are various shades of liberal, there really isn't any such thing in Eärwa.  So, it would make sense that the Scylvendi wouldn't be doing battle in the same manner as they did while the No-God was active, but they were.  This is what makes the characters we are presented with "special" in Eärwa.  They are "self-moving souls."  This is likely why Eärwa in general is predictable to the Hundred.  Because they are what came before, so they can determine what comes after.  It's when Kellhus "moves himself," or the members of the Consult, who are moved by things outside the Hundred's influence, that things get messed up.

It's not realistic in the sense of modeling reality, it's realistic in modeling what people imagine was real (and what philosophical points Bakker is looking to make).

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2 minutes ago, .H. said:

Sure, this is true.  But unlike the real world, in Eärwa, things are very deterministic.  So where in the real world, people are various shades of liberal, there really isn't any such thing in Eärwa.  So, it would make sense that the Scylvendi wouldn't be doing battle in the same manner as they did while the No-God was active, but they were.  This is what makes the characters we are presented with "special" in Eärwa.  They are "self-moving souls."  This is likely why Eärwa in general is predictable to the Hundred.  Because they are what came before, so they can determine what comes after.  It's when Kellhus "moves himself," or the members of the Consult, who are moved by things outside the Hundred's influence, that things get messed up.

It's not realistic in the sense of modeling reality, it's realistic in modeling what people imagine was real (and what philosophical points Bakker is looking to make).

Eh. That kind of wankery doesn't work on the Good Place, and it doesn't work here. 

Furthermore, we literally have an example of you being wrong about this from the very first book - where Conphas, armed with knowledge about how the Scylvendi think, tricks them and obliterates them with new tactics. Which by your logic is also determined. 

And the Hundred aren't working on guesswork; they're seeing what already has happened. It's not predictable because it's boring any more than reading ahead in a book is predictable. It already happened. Causation is immaterial when you're talking about history already written. The weirdness only happens when you think you have all the book memorized and it turns out that you don't, or you can't. But the Hundred live at all points from the beginning of time to the end of the existence of their world, and see all of it. 

 

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1 minute ago, Kalbear said:

Eh. That kind of wankery doesn't work on the Good Place, and it doesn't work here. 

Furthermore, we literally have an example of you being wrong about this from the very first book - where Conphas, armed with knowledge about how the Scylvendi think, tricks them and obliterates them with new tactics. Which by your logic is also determined.

Right, but why hadn't anyone done that in the numerous, numerous years before?

1 minute ago, Kalbear said:

And the Hundred aren't working on guesswork; they're seeing what already has happened. It's not predictable because it's boring any more than reading ahead in a book is predictable. It already happened. Causation is immaterial when you're talking about history already written. The weirdness only happens when you think you have all the book memorized and it turns out that you don't, or you can't. But the Hundred live at all points from the beginning of time to the end of the existence of their world, and see all of it. 

It's not really guesswork.  They see cause and read effect.  Or, more likely, read cause and read effect.  I don't see how you surmise that causation is immaterial, when there is still cause and effect from an atemporal perspective of temporal space.  If there wasn't, there would only be two states, beginning and end.  But the gods can see chains of events happening or as they are to happen, but what they see isn't fixed, because we know it isn't, lest Kellhus be dead numerous times over.  So, the end isn't actually written in a manner the gods can see.  Which means it isn't actually written, they just perceive it as such.

If you saw the whole book, that is, can see the whole book because you are not bound by time, how could you see it wrong?  It's already written.  If there is no causation, why is anything different?  What changes the words in the book in that case?  Why do you presume that it's a memory issue?  Why would a god need memory when it is atemporal and can see all of time and live at all times, at all times?  Sure, I am likely wrong on points, but your explanation doesn't really explain anything to me.

Events in Eärwa are relatively deterministic, unless influenced by one of the few things that can change the chain of cause and effect.  Those things seem to me to be "self-moving souls" or things outside of the initial causal chain of events on Eärwa, i.e. the Ark and subsequent things.

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