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RevCasy Candidate | joined 03 February 2005 | 22 posts

The No-God posted 03 February 2005 in The Warrior ProphetThe No-God by RevCasy, Candidate

I don't think the No-God represents the animal, or the body, or the carnal, as Satan does in Christian mythology.

Mr. Bakker's theme doesn't seem to be that the animal is evil and the intellect is good. Rather, I think I detect the idea that self-awareness and *intergration* of the animal and the intellect is (like the Buddah's middle path) the best way. And this seems very sensible to me.

Thus, the No-God would represent the *negation* of the animal (which urge is, after all, life and reproduction), and simultaneously the *negation* of the intellect (which finds no reason in nihilism and death). In short, the No-God is the negation of the human, of both our natures.

Can there be any more profound definition of evil? view post

Another Maithanet Theory (possible spoiler) posted 03 February 2005 in The Warrior ProphetAnother Maithanet Theory (possible spoiler) by RevCasy, Candidate

I think you have found a clever explanation for Maithanet's actions given the information we have so far. And you may very well be correct.

However, the problem remains. Why would Maithanet help Achamian? Achamian is a member of the Mandate. A group in opposition to the Consult. He is not neccessarily a strong ally of the Holy War. He only cares about preventing the Second Apocolypse. How does this serve Maithanet's goal if Maithanet is, as you suggest, seeking vengance on Moenghus?

Maybe Maithanet was indeed manipulated by Moenghus. Only, he has never seen through the manipulation as Cnaiur has. Maybe he is simply what Moenghus made him. view post

First Word that Comes to Mind posted 08 February 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by RevCasy, Candidate

cry view post

the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 10 February 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by RevCasy, Candidate

I don't see why Kellhus wouldn't "rat out" all the skin spies. He and the Consult are pretty much at war now, and revealing the skin spies also strengthens his position in the Holy War.

And though I admit I am not Dunyain, I can't think of a reason to leave any skin spies alive. view post

Sex posted 11 February 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionSex by RevCasy, Candidate


At one time I would have said the high male:female ratio was simply a reflection of the gender disparity on the internet in general *laugh*. However, I'm pretty sure women outnumber men online nowadays.

I think it's probably partly the genre and (as has already been said) partly the book itself. view post

History posted 14 February 2005 in Writing TipsHistory by RevCasy, Candidate

History begins with Geography. Start with a good map. And by "good" I mean a map that makes physical sense. You don't have to be an expert on plate techtonics, but you do need to understand, for example, that mountains or cold ocean currents create deserts.

History can and will flow logically from there.

Now, unless you are far more intelligent than I am (which is a possibility that I don't deny), you are probably going to have to rely on parallels from the real world to make things easier on yourself. An example of this would be in setting up your continent like Eurasia, with a huge expanse of steppe to the east, and a more mountainous and varied geography to the west, with corresponding folk movements from east to west, ect. view post

What area of writing are you good at? posted 14 February 2005 in Writing TipsWhat area of writing are you good at? by RevCasy, Candidate

Well, I think I'm good at characterization and dialogue, and weaker at plotting. Who knows though.

I'm not a professional writer, though I do play around a bit.

On the other hand, I know that my personality tends toward analysis and the love of complexity, so I'm probably good at those things, though I'm not sure how that manifests itself with writing fiction. view post

Getting the words down. posted 14 February 2005 in Writing TipsGetting the words down. by RevCasy, Candidate

For some reason, sleep deprivation gets my creative juices flowing, although most of the time those juices are rancid and quite unusable by the next morning (forcing a revision).

Oddly enough, sleep deprivation sometimes helps me when writing as well. This is particularly true of poetry.

I have a hypothesis about why this is true.

If I think of myself as a writer at all, then it is as a fiction writer. However I produce far more poetry than fiction. So, I have some experience with writing in a poetic way. I've been struggling (and mostly failing) to write poetry for 15 or so years!

From what I can tell, writing poetry (in a poem's initial stages anyway) requires a person to connect meaning with language in a novel way. This is much easier to accomplish with intuition and a wandering mind than it is to "reason" one's way into. In fact, it may be impossible to reason one's way into poetry.

A sleeping or sleep-deprived mind is better at connecting things that would not ordinarily be connected. One need only experience strange thoughts as one lies in bed on the edge of sleep to see what I mean by this. And dreams are theorized to be nothing more than one's mind making up stories to fit around the irrational connections made by the random firing of nuerons in a sleeping brain.

Or to put it another way, lack of sleep, or a close approach to sleep makes it easier for one to temporarily abandon reason, and to make irrational connections while intuiting a possible novel link between them.

To give a hackneyed example, "love is a rose." Huh? To say that the painful emotion commonly referred to as love is the same as the reproductive system of a plant is, in a word, irrational. Only the poet's intuition (or in this case, our long experience with the cliche) allows the connection to be made.

So, maybe being sleepy makes one more poetic?

In any case, I wouldn't recommend editing while sleep deprived, as that is a whole other can of worms. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

Edited: new and improved. view post

Fight Scenes? posted 14 February 2005 in Writing TipsFight Scenes? by RevCasy, Candidate

Well, you can try to walk a reader through your fight like a dance instructor trying to explain the waltz step by step. Probably this won't be very interesting though.

Alternatively you can tell your reader just enough so that their imagination fills in the rest. Believe it or not, as intellectually lazy as people are, they mostly like to use their imagination. When you, as a writer, fill in every detail of what happens in a fight, you are hogging all the fun. That is bad.

Usually, what happens when a writer writes too much detail is that the reader starts to skim over it. This is because detail is boring. It is too dense; it has to be rationed carefully. Readers only want so much information, and if a writer persist in giving them too much, they simply don't read it.

So mention a few of the juiciest, most interesting details, and leave the fun part (imagining the fight) to the reader.. view post

Cnair posted 15 February 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtCnair by RevCasy, Candidate

the only good is innocence. Serwe is good. With knowledge comes competition, desire, and evil. Ikurei Conphas is evil.

I disagree with that definition of good and evil. First of all, you seem to be equating innocence with ignorance. I don't think they are one and the same, though they sometimes go together.

Secondly, I don't think desire comes with knowledge. Babies, for example, are ignorant (and innocent) but they are also supremely selfish and they definitely have desires.

Thirdly, I don't think knowledge of the world, desires for various things, or a competitive nature makes one evil. It *can* be argued that Ikurei Conphas is evil, but I don't think it is for those reasons. Also, though you say Serwe was innocent and good, she *did* have desires, very strong ones. Another example, Mahatma Gandhi had a great deal of knowledge of the world (enough that he figured out how to drive the British Empire out of India), but I wouldn't say that he was evil.

It is how a person uses their knowledge, how they treat their desires, and how they manifests a competitive nature (among other things) that makes that person good or evil. view post

Cnair posted 17 February 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtCnair by RevCasy, Candidate

in respect of the evilness of babies, i'm not really sold on that - selfishness is not per se bad or wrong. it depends on the context - the 'selfishness' of a baby flows (at first anyway) from its obliviousness to what is going on around it and its lack of comprehension that something other than itself really exists. In a world with no other people, selfishness wouldn't be good or bad, it would be neutral

Oh, I didn't mean to imply that babies are evil, though that is a rather amusing thought. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> Rather, I was attempting to point out that it isn't knowledge of the world that leads to desire, but that desire is inherent in human beings. Babies are ignorant, but have desires anyway. You see?

Also, I agree that babies are essentially neutral with regard to good or evil. One can't make moral choices when one has no knowledge of right or wrong. (As an aside, on a forum where so many people are interested in philosophy, that last sentence feels like a risky statement to me, but I'll make it anyway.)

This is getting rather off topic though isn't it? I appologize for hijacking the thread. view post

Tally of Evil Acts posted 17 February 2005 in The Warrior ProphetTally of Evil Acts by RevCasy, Candidate

I was thinking about this recently. Which characters have done the most bad things? And I don't mean which characters do you think of as "villains", or which characters have been talked up as being the most evil. I am refering to specifically to the character who has commited the most acts that might be considered morally wrong.

We should probably leave the No-God out of this. Who can compete with a god, afterall?

There are many other umm... bad people that we've heard of, but I suspect that (as far as our knowledge goes) Kellhus holds the title. How many people has he lied to? How many people has he killed? How many people have died because of him? How many people has he destroyed or betrayed?

So, I am left in the surprising and unique (for me) position of having as my favorite, the evilest character.

On the other hand, a case can be made for Cnaiur, the Emperor, and others. What do you think? view post

Origin of Morality posted 17 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionOrigin of Morality by RevCasy, Candidate

However, evolution isn't geared toward survival, but toward reproduction. Infidelity may spread disease, though there was very little communicable disease until very recently from an evolutionary standpoint (it is only with "civilization" that the world has got crowded enough for them to become a problem). However, infidelity also spreads your genes.

Murder might secure a place for your offspring in the tribe.

Theft might help your children to survive to reproductive age.

I think that empathy and selfishness are competing motivations that create a dynamic tension in individuals, and that evolution has shaped us to listen to the one, in any given situation, that makes it most likely for us to pass on our genes.

Law, of course, is a different matter. Law is designed to maintain the status quo. Laws are created by those in power and designed, at least in part, to keep them in power. And obviously it benefits others most if you listen to your empathy rather than your selfishness (regardless of the outcome for you).

So, the origin of morality IMHO, is that motivation of what I call empathy. That societal instinct. One side of the coin. view post

Origin of Morality posted 18 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionOrigin of Morality by RevCasy, Candidate

Well, just to derail this thread a bit more... (Now that I think of it, are there degrees of derailed? Or is that like saying someone is "a little" pregnant?)

I said evolution was geared not toward survival, but toward reproduction. I should have been more precise. Evolution is geared toward the continued existance of a particular set of DNA, that is to say the continued existance of a particular highly complex organic compound. That is all. To say that reproduction is "designed" for anything at all is to anthropomorphise (my 10 cent word for the day) a very simple process and thereby attach all sorts of connotations and implications to that process which do not exist in the real world.

Also in regard to communicable disease, places like Sodom and Gammorah and "the village" only began to exist with the advent of "civilization". From the perspective of an evolutionary timescale, civilization is a very recent, very unusual blip. Recently, the date of the first modern humans to evolve in Africa was pushed back to ~195,000 years ago, whereas people have had enough dense population centers to support widespread communicable disease for, what 6,000 years (at most)? In addition, before the rise of modern humans, our evolutionary history, beginning with the first ancestral ape, goes back for hundreds of million of years.

So, the idea that we evolved a moral sense even partly in response to communicable disease doesn't (IMO) hold much water.

What was once the common cold that wiped out the village (colds being spread through mucus transfer, ergo proximity, ergo human interaction, ergo boinking) has evolved into the guerilla STDs et al that seem so rampant among the less discreet of our kind

By that logic, not covering your mouth when you sneeze should be considered among the most evil acts that a person can commit. <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P --> view post

A few questions . . . posted 18 February 2005 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions . . . by RevCasy, Candidate

If that is evil, Tolkein was diabolical. As I'm absolutely sure you know Scott, he changed his mind constantly, even after something was in print. Good company to be in, eh? view post

First Word that Comes to Mind posted 21 February 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by RevCasy, Candidate

steam engine view post

the emperor Ikurai Xerius III posted 21 February 2005 in The Warrior Prophetthe emperor Ikurai Xerius III by RevCasy, Candidate

As I said, I'm not Dunyain, but apparently 'H' is. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

Those are both excellent points H, and ones which I hadn't thought of.

On the other hand, the Consult now know for certain that Kellhus can detect skin spies. Even if he leaves some alive in the ranks of the Holy War, might the Consult not be suspicious of his motives for doing so? In fact, wouldn't they look for a new, undetectable, way of infiltrating and spying regardless? view post

Stephen Erikson's Books posted 21 February 2005 in Literature DiscussionStephen Erikson's Books by RevCasy, Candidate

This is off topic, but I've seen questions like this many many times on other forums. And I understand the desire to find something good to read, because good fantasy is rare.

The sad thing is that I have stopped asking the question myself, because I came to realization that the well is dry. After 25 years, I've read all the really good fantasy that has ever been written (and a lot of the less good stuff too).

Now my only choice is to read in other genres that I haven't exhausted and wait for new books to be published.


It makes me sad to think this way. view post

kellhus == good guy?? posted 22 February 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by RevCasy, Candidate

I still maintain that the reader empathizes with him as a 'good' character (at least in TDTCB).

I'm a reader and I didn't empathize with him as a good character. I identified with him as a protagonist, and because the character fascinated me, but I never stopped being troubled by him and thinking of him as, if not evil, not-good.

I've never been the type to root for the villains either. Kellhus is a little like Dirty Harry (without the redeeming quasi-moral crusade against crime), you like him because he is strong and hard, not because he is nice, or even good. However, I suppose that it is easier to avoid thinking about the troubling aspect of Dirty Harry (precisely because Harry justifies himself with that quasi-morality) than it is to ignore Kellhus' amoral manipulations.

If Kellhus had died I would have been dissappointed, and I suppose that reaches to the heart of my loyalties, doesn't it? But I would rather, over the course of the series, that Kellhus would become... more than he is now. Because, as he is now, I can imagine the possibility of being glad if he died at the end of PoN. view post

Now Reading... posted 25 February 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by RevCasy, Candidate

sukoudo, the good news is that you can stop reading those RJ books after book 6, because they all suck from there on out. Seriously.

I'm currently reading William Gibson's Pattern Recognition, a book I resisted reading for a long time because it wasn't science fiction. However, much to my amazement, it is shaping up to be Gibson's best book. view post

Can someone clarify Postmodernism for me? posted 09 March 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionCan someone clarify Postmodernism for me? by RevCasy, Candidate

I've always associated post-modernism (in the wider sense) with self-consciousness. It seems to me that this is the defining characteristic of post-modern art, literature, ect.

I also think that the obsessive concern with self-awarness or self-analysis, with second-guessing in other words, largely destroyed the ability of the post-modernist to function intuitively or spontaneously. Thus the common sense that post-modernism is dry, or is pure, dead intellectualism, without feeling or only with the feelings arising from self-consciousness (i.e. angst). view post

Another Maithanet Theory (possible spoiler) posted 14 March 2005 in The Warrior ProphetAnother Maithanet Theory (possible spoiler) by RevCasy, Candidate

That is the best all-around explanation of Moenghus' motivation and plan that I have seen thus far. Good job Brady.

This theory would imply that Maithanet, who set the Holy War in motion to begin with, is either an informed ally or an unwilling tool of Moenghus (or some combination thereof). I don't think there is enough evidence, at this point, to decide which. view post


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