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The conditioning of Kellhus posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q & AThe conditioning of Kellhus by Replay, Auditor

Theres an old saying that goes something like "When you understand yourself, you understand others". This would certainly be true for Kellhus who, having spent time observing his own mind in action, would come to understand how others minds work as well (though it is over exaggerated a little in the book).

Deep down humans are all pretty much the same, and all our thoughts spring from the same roots (it is only the individual thoughts which are different). Once you have observed and understood them for yourself, it is easy to see how they affect others actions. So, just because the Dunyain have not been in contact with anyone for a while, it does not mean they would not understand them. The only thing they would be a bit puzzled at at first would be the other land's culture. But with a bit of observation that would soon change (as i believe it does in the book)

My only problem with Kellhus is that i dont really believe he has understood these roots all that well (if he had, he would not be acting the way he is). Plus, while i understand where the author was coming from when he talking about that which comes before, if Kellhus had really understood himself, he would have had at least an idea of that which truely comes before. But hey, hes only a character in a story (and one of the best i have ever read), so these things are not really that important. view post


Hello to the author and everyone... posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q & AHello to the author and everyone... by Replay, Auditor

Zen and the art of motocycle maintenance is not so much a walkthrough of philosophical thinking, as it is an attack on it (well, on commonly held philosophy anyway).

It really is a great book though, and is in easy to understand language (Prisig uses his motocycle and the relationship of its parts to explain some points, which works well). It should interest anyone wanting to learn more about philosophy, or certainly those who wish to know more about value/morality, or perhaps just life in general.

I would advise reading it with an open mind though (and that also means not just accepting everything he says). Also remember that even though it is a very nice picture that he paints, it is still only a picture.

p.s. If you dont want to buy it, you can find it online in many places such as [url=http://bonigv.tripod.com/toc.htm:1wracemr]here[/url:1wracemr] view post


The conditioning of Kellhus posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q & AThe conditioning of Kellhus by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Welcome, both of you! I think you've both hit upon important nerves. The problem you mention, Euron - that of Kellhus being 'too outside' to effectively gain the power he does - was one that concerned me quite a bit in TDTCB - in fact you might say the entire prologue is concerned with it (though whether it does the job or not is a different matter). Remember that Kellhus 'suffered' emotions as a child, and that he uses his perfect recollections of these as the basis of his study of the trapper, who ends up being his first world-born test case.

As far as adequately understanding the roots, Replay, I think you're right. But I'll have to let Kellhus answer that one... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Hello to the author and everyone... posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AHello to the author and everyone... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I absolutely loved the book, but I actually don't think Pirsig is that well versed in western philosophy - which is probably a good thing for the story! It really allowed the WONDER of questioning to come through - something which I think is lost in most philosophical meanderings. I thought the sequel, Lila, was horrible. Since he was arguing against as much as searching for, it screamed for a more philosophically nuanced approach. But from what I remember, it seemed that he hadn't actually read all that much. It's been awhile though. view post


The conditioning of Kellhus posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThe conditioning of Kellhus by Replay, Auditor

Yes, i can understand how you'd be concerned with that. I have been working on the idea for a series over the past couple of years (its about all layed out, i just dont have the skills to write it yet), and have come across a similar problem. It has a character who, much like Kellhus, has spent years training himself and has come to certain understandings, yet has misunderstood some vital points. The question becomes how to make that misunderstanding believable (as once a person reaches a certain point in self examination, it is almost impossible for them to act in certain ways).

I think that i may have worked that out for the most part, but have taken some liberties with it. After all, its is a fantasy book.

p.s. Forgot to mention it before, but congratulations on such a great first book. I don't read all that much fantasy, but when i do i like it to be of very high quality, and the TDTCB certainly has that. view post


Hello to the author and everyone... posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AHello to the author and everyone... by Replay, Auditor

In Lila he did seem to go against what he was arguing for in the first book (not defining it, which i think he should have stuck with (though can understand why he did)).

Have you checked out any of the stuff on [url=http&#58;//www&#46;moq&#46;org:t4lvz6ak]MOQ[/url:t4lvz6ak]? Its been a while since i last looked there, but there was some interesting stuff presented. view post


Hello to the author and everyone... posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AHello to the author and everyone... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Very interesting... Though I'm not much on the metaphysics of things - apart from the sorcerous Schools that is! view post


The conditioning of Kellhus posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThe conditioning of Kellhus by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

There's the rub: belief (with desire) forms the basis of action, so even if it is a fantasy, you need some kind of consistency between what your characters believe and what they do - especially when their actions are extreme.

I should qualify: it depends on what your goals as a writer are. For me, epic fantasy is - in an important respect - about awe (or the memory of it), and an important condition of awe is believability. If your goal is, say, the exploration of a certain 'possibility space,' then these rules need not apply.

What's the founding premise? view post


The conditioning of Kellhus posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThe conditioning of Kellhus by Euron, Commoner

Thanks for the replies. Interesting stuff.

Thinking about the prologue, I reckon it definitely works as an illustration of how Kellhus learns to apply his skills to men of the outside world. And, of course, a lot of time passes before we see him again, during which he crosses half a continent and gathers a massive band of followers. So this would certainly give him loads of experience of handling men of the world.

I wonder how much of his ability to dominate others would rely on understanding universal human emotions and their signals, and how much would rely on the context? Quite often Kellhus seems to manipulate others by knowing what it is they most desire. And I suppose this would require him to understand at least something of the culture he is working in (which will obviously change as he travels to different lands). I think this is portrayed consistently in the book, as Kellhus certainly observes and learns about cultures as he goes, and he admits that Cnaiur is still useful to him as he knows more of the world etc. view post


Ad Astra convention posted 31 March 2004 in Tour and Signing InformationAd Astra convention by Wil, Head Moderator

This weekend Scott Bakker will be attending the Ad Astra convention at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Toronto. He will be doing some panals and reading some of The Warrior Prophet, he will also be signing.

If you have time or are in the area, stop by. view post


The conditioning of Kellhus posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThe conditioning of Kellhus by Replay, Auditor

I agree that believability plays a big part in what makes an epic fantasy great, and it is also one of the reasons that i do not read all that much in the genre. There is nearly always some dark lord who has lived for millenia, yet never changes and continues to act evily just for the sake of acting evily.

I guess its a common problem with the fantasy genre, in that the writers can get so caught up in the great freedom they are allowed when creating their worlds and characters, that they often overlook just how believable what they have created really is.

The genre can be pretty forgiving though, esepcially if you have believability in other areas. Steven Eriksons books are a good example of this, where he has created such a vivid world and history, that you can overlook the fact that some his characters are hundreds of thousands of years old yet still act like spoilt teenagers (Kallor for example).

As for myself, the series i have been planning will be as real as i can make it in every single area. Even what you would call the magic can be considered in the realm of possibility. Of course, readers will still have to suspend belief while they consider the possibilites presented in the book, but i think thats a good thing as it is often where the wonder and awe of the world/story you have created seeps through. view post


My Book - A Faceless Shadow posted 02 April 2004 in Member Written WorksMy Book - A Faceless Shadow by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

All right. Thanks. I am enjoying your story, btw. view post


A few questions posted 02 April 2004 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions by Harren, Commoner

First of all, I want to thank you for writing this. I really love TDTCB, the world and the characters, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next book.
I have a few questions:
1)For some reason, I am always interested in the far, distant places; on the map of Earwa, we see Zeum, west of Kian, and Eanna, east of the Kayarsus-mountains. Will we see/hear more about them later on?
Do there live people in Eanna? I assume they do in Zeum, as the Xerius mentioned being visited by a Zeumi two years ago.
2) On the excerpts on the 'prince of nothing'-website, there was an old Kuniuri poem about Men, Nonmen and Sranc, above the second prologue, but it was left out of the book; was this for any particular reason?

Thank you! view post


Now Reading... posted 05 April 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Anonymous, Subdidact

I have Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds, The Gunslinger by Stephen King and Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay on the way from Amazon.ca.

Like you, Edge, I was trying to decide between a Reynolds book and Illium. Heard a lot of good things about it but decided to go with Reynolds as Revelation Space was amazing.

Also currently rereading the Return of the King. Love seeing how Jackson threw in so many lines from the book, and even gave them to different characters if the original character didn't make it to the big screen. Definitely shows that Jackson and his crew were faithful to the books even if they couldn't adapt it scene for scene. view post


Now Reading... posted 05 April 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by LooseCannon, Peralogue

Err that was me. Looks like I am yet another victim of the dreaded log-in curse <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Iceman, Candidate

Quote: &quot;Replay&quot;:2atrdf2f
I guess you could say that is what the whole survival of the fittest is about (though perhaps a better name would be survival of the best, or even survival of the highest value).[/quote:2atrdf2f]

This is a common mistake. The survival of the fittest is just that, survival of the fittest not survival of the “best”. It does not assign a value to those that survives or doesn’t survive. Survival is a consequence of the shifting environment. What was best in one environment might be lethal in another environment.

This is my first post in this forum, and I didn’t expect it to be on this subject, but…

Personally, I’m an atheist. I don’t think there is a God or a Supreme Being out there, not because I haven’t seen any evidence on that, but because, based on our current knowledge of science, I fail to see the reason why there should be.

I don’t have any problem with the fact that something is moral to some people are morally wrong to others. To me there is no ultimate right or wrong, but there are things that I consider being right or wrong based on my own moral concept.

Morality is relative. The morality of a society is the average of the individual morality of the members of that society, and will shift over time. It’s not that long ago that ‘racial hygiene’ and measures to improve that were considered as morally right. I’m not talking about just the Nazis, but the entire western world. In my country forced sterilisation of people with ‘undesired genetics’ (usually people belonging to the travelling people) continued for decades after WWII. Some of the strongest supporters of this policy were also among the most ardent adversaries of Nazism. view post


A few questions posted 05 April 2004 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Welcome aboard Harren, and thanks for the kind words! With regards to your questions: yes, both Zeum and Eanna are inhabited, and both have roles to play in the darkness that comes after (forgive me - I couldn't resist!) - Zeum moreso. The excerpt on the website (which I hope to replace with something from TWP shortly, BTW - my webguy's gone working as a cybercrime detective for the RCMP and I'm ramping up to teach myself Frontpage) is actually from the Canadian edition of TDTCB. My original British editor, Darren Nash, asked for several changes, including splitting the Prologue in two, and getting rid of the nursery rhyme to avoid 'name overload' at the beginning of the book. To be honest, I'm not sure which version I like better... view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

So if you're right, and rightness and wrongness is just 'personal,' you're only right because... you personally choose to be? Isn't that incoherent?

I've always loved the following quote:

"Guilt? It's this mechanism we use to control people. It's a kind of social control mechanism - and it's VERY unhealthy." --Ted Bundy view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Anonymous, Subdidact

Morality is a social construct. It’s a necessity for the continued survival of that society. The morality of an individual is usually based on the ‘inherited’ morality of the society, adjusted for personal experience. If your individual morality is too far from the moral of the society, like with Ted Bundy, you end up in conflict with that society. Sometimes you manage to convince everybody (or enough) that you are right and they are wrong (i.e. the US Civil Rights Movement) but mostly you end up dead, in jail or excluded from that society.

So ‘rightness’ and ‘wrongness’ is not just personal, but influenced by the rest of society. When you judge that something is right or wrong, whether it’s something done by yourself or your neighbour, or someone in another time/place/culture, you do that based on your personal moral which in turn is influenced by the morality of your society.

If you personally believe that killing someone because they irritate you is acceptable, it would be hypocritical of you to say that that doing so is wrong just because everyone else thinks so. You might choose not to kill people irritating you because you know that otherwise you’ll end up punished by the society. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t do it because it’s ‘wrong’, but because it’s ‘inconvenient’ to do so. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Iceman, Candidate

That was my reply above. Didn't realise I was logged out. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

What is the fittest if not the best able to survive?

As for morals/value being a social contsruct, well your free to believe that if you want-- i doubt anything i say will change your way of thinking. All i would ask is for you to have an open mind and try an experiment: put your hand in a fire, and then keep repeating that there is no value.

Of course, youll probably come up with an answer to that that fits into your world view, the logical mind is clever like that (and also why it should never be relied on). view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Iceman, Candidate

It’s true that what is fittest is best able to survive, but only in any given environment. If the environment changes so does the ability to survive, and the environment is constantly changing.

What has the fire experiment to do with morals/value? Doesn’t seem like it comes from someone with an open mind. I believe that morals are a social construct, and can’t see anything wrong with that. You can’t reject something just because it’s a social construct. view post


The Title posted 05 April 2004 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Title by Iceman, Candidate

I really feels that this ought to be up to that poor guy who's actually writing the books <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

But I do prefer TTT (apparently like everyone else that has voiced their oppinion) view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

"Morality is a social construct. It&#8217;s a necessity for the continued survival of that society."

In other words, morality is (as Bundy says) just a control mechanism, an illusion society uses to conserve its inherited structures of power. It's not that murder is wrong, it's just that - given the murder-averse society we happen to live in - it's pretty stupid, unless your goal happens to be incarceration or execution. In other words, morality is just window-dressing for power - which is to say, a version of nihilism.

Kellhus would approve! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

But there's a more difficult question: What makes YOUR argument right or wrong, Iceman? In order for you to be right, it seems to me that rightness and wrongness must be absolutes of some kind. But that simply contradicts your initial thesis, doesn't it? view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 05 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Replay, Auditor

First off, want to apologize for my comment about the logical mind. I wanted to make a point about logic but it came out totally wrong, and in the end turned out to be more an attack than anything (which it shouldnt be, as i know i am just as susceptible to falling into its traps).

Secondly, you asked what does that experiment have to do with value? Well, i would have thought it has everything to do with it. If there was no value, you could keep your hand there and let it burn. Of course, that would not happen--you would remove your hand without even thinking about it. Why? Because your hand is more useful (more valuable) if is able to operate properly (which it couldnt if it was burnt to a crisp).

The pain sensors in your body were developed for this, so that the body would know when it is being damaged and be able to do something about it; so that it could continue to operate better (value again) than it could if injured.

In a way though, your right--morality is kind of a social construct (well a certain type of morality anyway). It is a way of behaving that makes a society better. But it is not the individual rules made up by society that are so important (though they are in a way), as these are sometimes open to change. It is the "makes a society better" part that is important. Because if there is no value, why bother making a society better? Because if there is no value, how is it even possible to make a society better? (especially since better just about equals value).

I could say alot more but im not sure if it would be good to do so. Its a very hard topic to discuss (you can get too caught up arguing over the individual manifestations of it, and end up ingnoring the source) and im certainly no expert on it. It might be worth you reading Zen and the Art of Motocycle Maintenance, as the author of that has a good outlook on value and morality (though i often felt there was something he was missing) and he explains it really well. If you dont want to buy the book, theres a link to an online version of it in another thread on this board. view post


OS's and Browsers posted 06 April 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionOS's and Browsers by Clarkesworld Books, Peralogue

Mozilla (or whatever it's name is this month) is definitely worth using over IE if for nothing more than tabbed browsing. I go nuts switching back to IE at work.

-Neil view post


Visiting the US? posted 06 April 2004 in Tour and Signing InformationVisiting the US? by Clarkesworld Books, Peralogue

Any chance that there will be some visits to the US when the hardcover edition is published here?

-Neil view post


A few questions posted 06 April 2004 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions by Malarion, Candidate

Dear god, they're trying to dumb-down the British edition!
I thought that was an American thing.
Glad I had my copy shipped across the Atlantic now (plus the cover design etc is much better in the Canadian release). As I'm getting done with book 2. Got to keep things consistant. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 06 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Iceman, Candidate

I think there might be some misunderstanding here.

I never claimed that there were no values; of course there are values out there. I only said that there were no intrinsic values in evolution. You can’t say that a lion is better than a Tyrannosaurus Rex just because the lion exist today while the T Rex is extinct. They were adapted to completely different environments. But to go from “there are no values in evolution” to “there’s no values period” is a bit of a stretch.

Are you confusing ‘social construct’ with ‘social constrain’. That would make your apparent disgust about morality being a social construct meaning. But in case you don’t and actually think that the idea of morality as a social construct is repulsing, let me ask you a few questions. Do you consider culture to be repulsive? I don’t mean a specific culture, but the concept of cultures. Cultures are clearly a social construct. (If you don’t agree with this statement please feel free to explain how you believe cultures came around.) True, there are cultures out there that we might find wrong or repulsive. Cannibalism or human sacrifice has been part of several cultures. I think we can all agree that these practices are wrong, and that cultures with these traits are ‘bad’ as long as they continue with these practices. (I’m here excluding cannibalism as a last resort for survival in extreme cases, since this is open for discussion.) But the concept of cultures can’t be wrong; otherwise we would never have this discussion. If cultures as a social construct are OK, why is morality as a social construct so bad?

I have a few more points to argue, but this post is long enough as it is so I better get back to those later. view post


On The Warrior Prophet posted 06 April 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionOn The Warrior Prophet by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Is the latter part of this a reply to me, Iceman? The question of constraints makes me think so, but the 'apparent disgust' comment makes me unsure. Maybe it was the Bundy example? Bringing that up was a bad teacher habit, I'm afraid: I like collecting outrageous and interesting examples to shock my students.

When it comes to questions in moral philosophy, I take the old bumper sticker as my slogan: 'I used to be disgusted, now I'm just amused.'

Otherwise, before answering your questions, I'd ask that you answer my question from before first (here quoted): "What makes YOUR argument right or wrong, Iceman? In order for you to be right, it seems to me that rightness and wrongness must be absolutes of some kind. But that simply contradicts your initial thesis, doesn't it?"

Quid pro quo! <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> view post


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