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lokisnow

Bakker LVI: the Rectum of Creation

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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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2 minutes ago, .H. said:

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

Because Bakker wanted to show how badass Conphas was, and didn't give things like strategy or evolving war trends much thought. 

2 minutes ago, .H. said:

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. 

Causation as a matter of prediction doesn't matter, any more than me going to page 10 of the forum changes what's written here, now. As far as the gods are concerned, all of this is ancient history. And when there are errors, like with the No-God, they simply ignore it. 

The end is written in a manner the gods can see. The end, however, just happens to be wrong. That doesn't change the nature of how the gods 'predict' things (they don't). Nor does it make the world's inhabitants more dull because the gods can predict things (which they can't). 

2 minutes ago, .H. said:

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. 

The gods are bound by the end of their time, which they believe to be the end of all things (but isn't). Because of that, and because of weird things like things that are actually outside what they believe is everything, they're wrong - and when those things connect, that's where they cannot predict things accurately. Everywhere else, however, they're entirely 100% on. The WLW doesn't screw up at all until meeting Kelmomas, after all; prior to that, he works and thinks in perfect, predetermined fashion - because again, all of this has already happened. 

What changes the words in the book in that case is something outside of the book. The gods are contained in the book as well, they just have the ability to read it - but they also have the conceit that the book is all that exists. 

2 minutes ago, .H. said:

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.

If that were the case, Kellhus could never have been killed by the WLW regardless of Kelmomas. But that's not the case at all, and he was moments away (twice) of being killed, and was only saved because the WLW saw something that they didn't know existed. But Kellhus - despite all of his weird things and abilities, was entirely predicted by the Gods, down to coming back to save Esmi in the nick of time from the earthquake that the gods knew was going to happen. 

Events in Earwa ARE deterministic, and point of fact they are all pretty much determined. Including Kelmomas as the No God and Mimara as having the Judging Eye. Only the No-God does not belong, and is a weird anomaly, a typo in the book they've read a thousand times again and again. 

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1 minute ago, Kalbear said:

Because Bakker wanted to show how badass Conphas was, and didn't give things like strategy or evolving war trends much thought.

That explanation only proves that Conphas was an exception, which is exactly what I surmise it takes to buck the heavy deterministic cause-and-effect nature of Earwa.

3 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

The gods are bound by the end of their time, which they believe to be the end of all things (but isn't). Because of that, and because of weird things like things that are actually outside what they believe is everything, they're wrong - and when those things connect, that's where they cannot predict things accurately. Everywhere else, however, they're entirely 100% on. The WLW doesn't screw up at all until meeting Kelmomas, after all; prior to that, he works and thinks in perfect, predetermined fashion - because again, all of this has already happened. 

What changes the words in the book in that case is something outside of the book. The gods are contained in the book as well, they just have the ability to read it - but they also have the conceit that the book is all that exists.

Sure, but that doesn't stand to basic reason.  If the book can and does change, than the book isn't actually written, it only appears to be so.  So all of this already happened, except that parts that didn't.  If there are things outside the book, that change the book, then from the full perspective of all actual time, than it is not written.  Because if the Hundred really were at all times, they would be, and see, the point at which things are different.  It makes no logical sense that they could be eternal and see all of time at all times yet not see that it is different.  Because if that were true that all events in time are already written, there would never be a time where things are different.  But there is.  It only perceptually seems that way to the gods.

9 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

If that were the case, Kellhus could never have been killed by the WLW regardless of Kelmomas. But that's not the case at all, and he was moments away (twice) of being killed, and was only saved because the WLW saw something that they didn't know existed. But Kellhus - despite all of his weird things and abilities, was entirely predicted by the Gods, down to coming back to save Esmi in the nick of time from the earthquake that the gods knew was going to happen. 

Events in Earwa ARE deterministic, and point of fact they are all pretty much determined. Including Kelmomas as the No God and Mimara as having the Judging Eye. Only the No-God does not belong, and is a weird anomaly, a typo in the book they've read a thousand times again and again.

If that was a typo in the book, then they would have seen it, because that would have existed from all time, the book has already been written and they have read it.  But again, it can't be the case that the gods see the whole book, they just perceive what they do see as the whole book.  Since the book actually contains the failure of the WLW, how do they see the WLW succeed?  It would not be written, by your own point, because the book must contain Kelmomas and the WLW's failure.  The only plausible answer I can conceive of is that they did not see it, they perceived it.  And that perception is flawed to follow lines of causation, to reach the end.  Those lines are not the book.  They are something like the book, but they cannot be the book.

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13 minutes ago, .H. said:

That explanation only proves that Conphas was an exception, which is exactly what I surmise it takes to buck the heavy deterministic cause-and-effect nature of Earwa. 

But again, Conphas' behaviors were predicted as well. Hell, Kellhus ripping the food sources away from the gods was part of the plan, too. There are lots of examples of those so-called self moving souls that are special and different being entirely predicted by the gods. 

The ONLY person who doesn't show this - is Kelmomas.

Quote

Sure, but that doesn't stand to basic reason.  If the book can and does change, than the book isn't actually written, it only appears to be so.  So all of this already happened, except that parts that didn't.  If there are things outside the book, that change the book, then from the full perspective of all actual time, than it is not written.  Because if the Hundred really were at all times, they would be, and see, the point at which things are different.  It makes no logical sense that they could be eternal and see all of time at all times yet not see that it is different.  Because if that were true that all events in time are already written, there would never be a time where things are different.  But there is.  It only perceptually seems that way to the gods. 

Right - but your point was that Earwa is deterministic because it is simple, and that makes it easier to predict for the gods. My point is that how simple it is has nothing to do with how predictable it is to the gods, because the gods don't predict a single thing - they simply read ahead to the important bit that (they think) is accurate to that point. 

I agree - all of time isn't determined, at least as far as the gods can tell. But the parts that are, well, have already happened as far as the gods are concerned. 

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If that was a typo in the book, then they would have seen it, because that would have existed from all time, the book has already been written and they have read it.  But again, it can't be the case that the gods see the whole book, they just perceive what they do see as the whole book.  Since the book actually contains the failure of the WLW, how do they see the WLW succeed? 

The book doesn't contain the failure of the WLW. 

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It would not be written, by your own point, because the book must contain Kelmomas and the WLW's failure. 

The book does not. 

Another way to think of it is as a program. Earwa is programmed from beginning to end, in a closed system. The gods are part of that system, and they can also see (but not manipulate) the code. They can therefore effectively determine based on the starting values what the ending values would be, just like anyone else could. So they have this code that they think is all that there is, and they say 'see, when I put WLW in, Kellhus dies'. 

But the actual world has a weird thing in it that isn't part of the original code. And while it doesn't throw everything off, it does throw off little things (like Kellhus dying). 

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The only plausible answer I can conceive of is that they did not see it, they perceived it.  And that perception is flawed to follow lines of causation, to reach the end.  Those lines are not the book.  They are something like the book, but they cannot be the book.

That's fine if you want to refer to 'the book' as the 'actual reality' - that's not what I was doing. But the point is still that things in Earwa aren't easily deterministic and therefore the Gods predict them easily. 

Edited by Kalbear

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2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

But again, Conphas' behaviors were predicted as well. Hell, Kellhus ripping the food sources away from the gods was part of the plan, too. There are lots of examples of those so-called self moving souls that are special and different being entirely predicted by the gods. 

The ONLY person who doesn't show this - is Kelmomas.

That's a fair point.  Perhaps being self-moving is irrelevant, or only barely relevant.  Perhaps the more important thing is how confounded you are with things outside of the paradigm, that is, the Ark and Tekne things.

3 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Right - but your point was that Earwa is deterministic because it is simple, and that makes it easier to predict for the gods. My point is that how simple it is has nothing to do with how predictable it is to the gods, because the gods don't predict a single thing - they simply read ahead to the important bit that (they think) is accurate to that point. 

I agree - all of time isn't determined, at least as far as the gods can tell. But the parts that are, well, have already happened as far as the gods are concerned.

Well, I wasn't aiming at it being simple, it just is a place where cause equals effect and in this manner the gods can intuit all of time, by "reading" along those chains.  The gods only "see" what things adhere to the their predetermined understanding of the "rules."  So, they "see" Kellhus dying, because he should have, by the rules.  But he didn't, because that isn't what happened.  So, the gods don't actually see in the sensory way, the intuit, perceptually what should happen.  And they are wrong when something happens outside of the causal chains they intuit should exist.

3 hours ago, Kalbear said:

The book does not. 

Another way to think of it is as a program. Earwa is programmed from beginning to end, in a closed system. The gods are part of that system, and they can also see (but not manipulate) the code. They can therefore effectively determine based on the starting values what the ending values would be, just like anyone else could. So they have this code that they think is all that there is, and they say 'see, when I put WLW in, Kellhus dies'. 

But the actual world has a weird thing in it that isn't part of the original code. And while it doesn't throw everything off, it does throw off little things (like Kellhus dying). 

I'm not really seeing this as being representative of what we are given in the books though.  I don't see it as code, because it is presented as they essentially watching a movie, one already filled and they are just move along the timeline of it at will.  Since they are timeless, it doesn't really stand to my understanding that they are putting in code and seeing how it turns out.  Rather, they do what they always did and "read" the result, as it would always be.

3 hours ago, Kalbear said:

That's fine if you want to refer to 'the book' as the 'actual reality' - that's not what I was doing. But the point is still that things in Earwa aren't easily deterministic and therefore the Gods predict them easily.

OK, well, if "the book" isn't actual reality, then I don't understand what "the book" would be.  The book is what happens, in actual fact, in the series.  The gods think they can read it, but they can't.  They can only read the parts that issue forth from their own paradigm, basically like an actor who can only see a movie from their own perspective.  Except the gods perspective is far wider than one person, it is still limited but deluded to think it sees the part as the whole.  They are more like the viewer of a movie, who sees a much wider perspective than any actor, yet, still had no access to that which happens out of the frame.

The whole of time, the whole book is written, just not in a manner the gods can see.  The gods don't "see" "all of time" because if they did, they'd see Kelmomas.  Rather, it must be the case that they perceive the causal chain for events and imagine this the whole of everything.

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2 minutes ago, .H. said:

OK, well, if "the book" isn't actual reality, then I don't understand what "the book" would be.  The book is what happens, in actual fact, in the series.  The gods think they can read it, but they can't.  They can only read the parts that issue forth from their own paradigm, basically like an actor who can only see a movie from their own perspective.  Except the gods perspective is far wider than one person, it is still limited but deluded to think it sees the part as the whole.  They are more like the viewer of a movie, who sees a much wider perspective than any actor, yet, still had no access to that which happens out of the frame.

Ah, gotcha. This is a misunderstanding. My implication about the book is that the book is simply the conceit that the gods have about their viewpoint. They believe that the book is all that there is, and that because they can flip from page to page and understand everything in it, they are missing nothing. The gods are tied into the original plan of the beginning and end of the universe, are intrinsically linked to that plan, and can see everything as part of that plan - but cannot see anything outside of that plan. That's the analogy of the book. It doesn't mean that everything is predestined, only that everything was supposed to be predestined. Everything was supposed to be part of that plan. 

And the only thing that is outside of that plan is, well, the No-God. The No-God can manipulate the book the same way someone can inartfully scribble in a book with a pen, but the pen isn't part of the book, it just effects the book. The pen still exists on its own, long past when the book is done. 

2 minutes ago, .H. said:

The whole of time, the whole book is written, just not in a manner the gods can see.  The gods don't "see" "all of time" because if they did, they'd see Kelmomas.  Rather, it must be the case that they perceive the causal chain for events and imagine this the whole of everything.

The gods see all of the time that they exist in. They cannot see anything that exists beyond that time, which is apparently the No-God. And I don't know why they have to see the causal chain of events; they simply see events. It doesn't violate causal chains when Mimara sees how many stones Koringhus has thrown, even though that would require causality to be broken, because it's already done. Again, we get a lot of 'this has already happened' and 'you always say this'. None of that makes sense if they can simply follow causal chains to a natural conclusion; it means that they can actually see the parts along any timeline as if it's already happened.

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9 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Ah, gotcha. This is a misunderstanding. My implication about the book is that the book is simply the conceit that the gods have about their viewpoint. They believe that the book is all that there is, and that because they can flip from page to page and understand everything in it, they are missing nothing. The gods are tied into the original plan of the beginning and end of the universe, are intrinsically linked to that plan, and can see everything as part of that plan - but cannot see anything outside of that plan. That's the analogy of the book. It doesn't mean that everything is predestined, only that everything was supposed to be predestined. Everything was supposed to be part of that plan. 

And the only thing that is outside of that plan is, well, the No-God. The No-God can manipulate the book the same way someone can inartfully scribble in a book with a pen, but the pen isn't part of the book, it just effects the book. The pen still exists on its own, long past when the book is done. 

Right, "flipping through the pages" is exactly what I mean by being able to "read" according to the causal chain of events.  That is, page one leads to page 2, then 3 and so on.  I don't think they can actually view the whole book, because if they did, they would actually see it change and there isn't really any way they would not know that the end is different then.  But they just "see" the progression of pages and perceive this as "everything."

In reality. not only is the No-God not part of those pages, but neither is the Ark, which is why Ajokli can't see into it, without Kellhus bringing him in there.  It is actually as if there was a "movie" about "everything."  The gods can watch this movie, going frame to frame and seeing it all.  But someone else filmed a movie too and in places, that movie pops up in the background, intersecting the movie the gods can see, but they cannot follow those intersections, in fact, they can't really even see clearly what intersects, because it is unprecedented in their own movie.  That is, it has not proceeded from any frame they have available.  Since this basically equates to a "blind spot" the gods simply fill that in with whatever should logically be there, just like our own brain does with our visual blind spot.  This leaves the question open as, do the gods "see" all of time, but perceptually cannot fathom some aspects of it, like us seeing reality, but not perceiving, say, infra-red light.  Or, do they not actually "see," relying only on perception of the extrapolation of their own paradigm?

What that seems to mean though is, one, there is a "meta" book or movie, that contains every actual thing, which the gods can't actually access.  This might simply be the domain of the God-of-gods, or something even more prototypical than this (whatever that would be, The Cubit, or whatever).  Two, that the gods don't actually see all of time, because that is what the meta-movie or meta-book would be.  To me, this signifies that the gods only see that which proceeds directly from their own paradigm, that is, the paradigm that gave rise to them.  That the Ark and the No-God issued forth from a totally different paradigm, means they are unprecedented in what the gods can "see" and therefor are not a part of what they can fathom.  In fact, this leads me to doubt this is actual "seeing" as I'd imagine it, rather it is intuitive, implicit understanding of their own paradigm.  That is, they don't see "all of time" because that would be the meta-movie or meta-book.  Rather, they implicitly understand their own existence, which is why they can't fathom their end or their beginning.  For the gods, their own existence is "all of time" and "all things" because they cannot fathom anything outside of these concepts.  We know, by the No-God and by the Ark that there are is a "time beyond the god's time" and "objects outside the god's understanding."

10 hours ago, Kalbear said:

The gods see all of the time that they exist in. They cannot see anything that exists beyond that time, which is apparently the No-God. And I don't know why they have to see the causal chain of events; they simply see events. It doesn't violate causal chains when Mimara sees how many stones Koringhus has thrown, even though that would require causality to be broken, because it's already done. Again, we get a lot of 'this has already happened' and 'you always say this'. None of that makes sense if they can simply follow causal chains to a natural conclusion; it means that they can actually see the parts along any timeline as if it's already happened.

Well, like I talk about above, it does not stand to reason though that the gods can see "all time they exist in."  Because they certainly do exist at the same time as Kelmomas, yet they do not see him or his actions, in the time which they act.  So, Kel's distruption takes place simultaneously with Yatwer's time.  So, where Yatwer follows the causal line of events around the WLW, she doesn't actually see what will happen.  Because she didn't actually see all of time, because little Kel is part of "all time."

The problem is that we need to reconcile the No-God being outside the god's perceptual time, while simultaneously being inside of it as well.  Again, the only way that makes sense to me is if the god's perceptual time is not a literal seeing of all time.  Rather, it is an implicit understanding of time-as-it-was-then-so-shall-it-be.  So, in this sense, the WLW was fated to kill Kellhus by all causal chains of events that Yatwer could access.  Except that isn't everything.  Little Kel was there, was always going to be there and will always have been there.  Only Yatwer could not perceive of, or conceive of, his existence, so she couldn't have and wouldn't have ever surmised his involvement.  To me, this directly belies that what Yatwer is doing is not actually seeing the future, because the future contains little Kel's disruption of the WLW, rather Yatwer simply fathoms what has been and so what should be.

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To be clear, Ark and inchoroi aren't invisible the way the no God is. Otherwise ajokli wouldn't be able to crush one of the dunsult the way it does. It can perceive the skin spies. It can perceive the dunsult. 

But it can't perceive kelmomas. 

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3 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

To be clear, Ark and inchoroi aren't invisible the way the no God is. Otherwise ajokli wouldn't be able to crush one of the dunsult the way it does. It can perceive the skin spies. It can perceive the dunsult. 

But it can't perceive kelmomas. 

Well, in Inchoroi are souled, so yes, like the Dunyain, they can be "seen."  But the Ark itself was just a blind-spot to them, not exactly the same as the No-God, but similar.  Once in there though, I think Ajokli can easy "see" with Kellhus' eyes.  I think the word "see" is somewhat problematic though, because Yatwer and Ajokli and the rest of the gods don't really have eyes in the same sense as living things do.

If it were the case though, that the Consult (and Golgotterath) was as "visible" as anyone else though, why would Ajokli need Kellhus?  Part of the whole problem is that the Ark is an absence in the "sight" of the Gods and so what which goes on within it is also generally invisible to the gods.

I think it is related to why the Hundred, during the First Apocalypse, just blamed humans for everything that was going on.  Not because they didn't literally "see" Sranc and all that, but because Sranc are not things in their paradigm and so they just don't even understand what they are, let alone what they mean.  In other words, the "movie" that the gods perceive is "all time" doesn't have Sranc in the script.  So when they appear, they are more like nonsense gibberish, or just objects bereft of context.  The gods perceive the script as everything and don't bother/can't fathom anything could or would be meaningful outside the script (basically Sranc are akin to rocks, likely).  That is, until Ajokli realized there was something missing and that missing space was Ark and everything issuing forth from it.

It's a lot less about literally visible, as in seeing with eyes, and more about absent from the "script," that is, the "movie," that is the "book," that the gods perceive time as being and therefor not being a part of what the gods can identify as meaningful to the "story of what happens."  The gods can't fathom that things that are meaningful would be outside the script, so they don't bother perceiving meaningless things and their perception is such that they can't, generally (minus Ajokli of late), realize that there are actually meaningful things from outside their script intersecting in places.

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My recollection was that Gods need an anchor to do anything in the real world, or risk spreading themselves too thin across the universe. We dont see gods manifest except through proxies throughout - the wlw, psatma, cnaiur, and kellhus. They need someone with intellect in the world to act, I think is what is said by the dunsult. 

The problem isn't that ark is invisible or gibberish. The problem is that without the context of the no God they dont see it or the consult as an actual threat. They can't see how it results in their end. Even when the no God rises, ajokli isn't pissed about it or anything else other than being fucked over by kellhus. 

Note also that during the apocalypse the gods only blamed humans when the no God was running around. Prior to that there's no indication that they didn't act as usual. I think bakker said they had metaphysical alzheimers?

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