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Nasrudin's Shadow Candidate | joined 31 December 2005 | 26 posts


You should be ashamed... Very, very, ashamed. posted 01 January 2006 in Author Q & AYou should be ashamed... Very, very, ashamed. by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

It seems to me that in instances where "important" reviewers are not bound by another's agenda, they are often chained to their own. Crossing the boundaries of genre literature and real, serious, impress-your-stodgy-old-professor-by-adding-an-"esque"-to-it-literature is, as you've already pointed out, done in books, not in Izzy Asper's parlour or in marketing meetings. Here, on these pages and on similar message boards, are books and music and films being put to the test. People can talk much more loudly than they ever could before. While this has, sadly, led to a noisier world, it has also lead to an environment where consumers and appreciators of art can direct their own search for new and challenging works.

On a different note, I think epic fantasy is the closest "sort" of writing there is to the essence of literature. As with any genre, of course, it's benefits are it's drawbacks, but the discerning writer always knows how much to show, yes?

Anyway, I should get back to reading the Warrior Prophet, so I can enjoy these discussions without fear of spoilers. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 01 January 2006 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Even 'critical thinking' is framed as a way to gain advantage on that tricky, tricky world. Ambition is the only trait worth rewarding in our society, as it's fruits are the only thing we are qualified to measure. How hard must I fight for that elusive, magical advantage that will validate my existence and make me truly happy? How high up the ladder must I be before I see my name on the Happiness 500 list?

How many people would bother to fight if they knew what all of their fighting would actually win them? It seems to me that neuroeconomics is the product of some clever, ambitious minds who want to gain an advantage over me. I don't take it personally. I'm sure Robert Oppenheimer was a stand up guy. And who can blame a Nazi guard for doing his job? He had a family to feed and a promotion to chase (sorry for playing the Nazi card, it just seems apt).

Corporatism, like all of the other forces vying to control us, feasts on our complacency. view post


Now listening to... posted 01 January 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Nico's "Chelsea Girl"

Such a strange and mesmerizing voice, such wonderful arrangements. view post


What happens when your soul leaves your body? posted 03 January 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionWhat happens when your soul leaves your body? by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

It's true. That's why I keep my soul chained up in my colon. view post


Bad, bad book. BAAAD. posted 03 January 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionBad, bad book. BAAAD. by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

It's a funny thing about the WOT--I gave up on it around book 8, I think, but I still kind of wonder how things will turn out. Even though I could probably guess:

1. Rand, Perrin and Mat will continue to have girl problems, and we will continue to hear about them ad naseum.
2. Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve will continue to have boy problems, and we will hear about them a lot also.
3. Rand will eventually get around to defeating the Dark One, once the readership has dwindled to a size deemed too financially weak to prolong this dreadful monster of a series.

When did I become such a sourpuss? Regardless, had I not thought that the WOT was THE ABSOLUTE COOLEST THING I'd EVER read when I was younger, I'd likely not have been drawn to Kay, Martin, Erikson and, now, Bakker. Then I'd hardly even be me, you know?

So, I can't really say I regret reading it. I tend to just drop books that I am not enjoying. A very good English Professor once suggested this to me. Life is short and there's already too much to read, yes? view post


George RR Martin will appear at CBC Studio 1 in Vancouver posted 06 January 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionGeorge RR Martin will appear at CBC Studio 1 in Vancouver by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

at 4pm next Friday (the 13th of January), doing an interview with North by Northwest's Sheryl McKay. The interview is taped with a live (sometimes interactive) studio audience. All you GRRM fans in Vancouver should find out from the CBC how to get tickets, so I'm not the only one there! view post


Tears of God posted 13 January 2006 in Author Q & ATears of God by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

So, those who would dominate us (those who have the most to gain from maintaining the status quo) always ally themselves with strong 'belief systems' and most loudly praise those of us with the most apparent faith. It is like the 'American Dream' (though it has probably become the Canadian dream just as thoroughly by now)--if you believe hard enough, you can accomplish anything. That way, the poor can believe in a country that needs them to stay where they are. Run, Forrest, run! view post


Tears of God posted 13 January 2006 in Author Q & ATears of God by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Ahh, yes. Best not to spill anything on the Cowboy at the end of the bar... view post


George RR Martin will appear at CBC Studio 1 in Vancouver posted 01 February 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionGeorge RR Martin will appear at CBC Studio 1 in Vancouver by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Through the magic of the internet, you can hear the interview here:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.cbc.ca/nxnw/">http://www.cbc.ca/nxnw/</a><!-- m --> view post


Free Speech and Tact posted 05 February 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Speech and Tact by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

I think that any limits to freedom of speech destroy the whole notion. As to whether freedom of speech is desirable is another question...
The real question, to me, is:

When sufficient damage has been done, will the guilty parties take responsibility? Will they even realize their guilt? view post


What philosopher suits you most? posted 05 February 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionWhat philosopher suits you most? by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

So, is Lao Tzu winning? Amazing. And he hasn't even lifted a finger in his own cause... view post


Books that have induced a mindfuck posted 05 February 2006 in Literature DiscussionBooks that have induced a mindfuck by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Oh sure, people bandy Kafka's name about for no good reason, but The Trial is a serious mindfuck, as are many of his short stories.

Also, Martin Amis' Time's Arrow threw me for a loop for a while.

And Idries Shaw's The Magic Monastery. view post


a question posted 08 February 2006 in Off-Topic Discussiona question by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Responsibility?

You are a ripper of larynxes! You are a hurler of bodies! People may grumble this or that, but no one will make you pay. Who would dare?

And, assuming that there were witnesses to your fearsome (but justifiable, surely) outburst, yet none of them will point the finger at you, you must not be responsible. view post


State of Canadian literary culture posted 08 February 2006 in Author Q &amp; AState of Canadian literary culture by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Agreed. Although I think that it is as much the fault of people as it is the fault of the education system itself. It seems likely that genre fiction will be considered 'lesser' literature so long as people are absurdly proud of their own educations.

As for corporations (although I love to blame them for stuff) involved in the world of publishing, I would say that they might even be discouraging this divide. Their bias is predictable--so long as genre fiction is profitable, they do not seem to resist. Given this, many excellent writers are predictably being drawn towards various kinds of genre fiction. As status makes people more saleable, there is no reason to think that corporations would see benefit in maintaining such an artifact.

It is possible that Canada's literary stagnation is largely due to its seemingly overwhelming urge to establish, and protect, an identity for itself. Literary movements in Canada happen much more slowly because we tend towards reinforcement rather than progression. Despite the fact that it is no longer really relevant, we are still very much defined by the "garrison" mentality--we are socialists, community-builders, protectors of our neighbours. We seek to strengthen what already exists before all else. In the realm of art and literature, this is manifested in predictable ways. view post


Free Speech and Tact posted 09 February 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Speech and Tact by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Quote: &quot;Rellion&quot;:3l4z0zh3
The answer I come to each time I ask myself the question is discomforting, and as a rational adult, I am forced to believe more and more of the stereotypes of the average Muslim are true.

...

As a Christian, I disagree with the statements expressed by the 'Face of Jesus' rendition of the drawing. I can, as a rational adult, also understand where the sentiment comes from, view it as the criticism it is, and move on with my life. There is not sense of outrage and hate, and I am glad of that. I do not think that this makes me superior (it's my devilish good looks and charm that do! <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> ), but instead marks me as a rational adult human being.

...

I will ask one question before ending this ramble which has gone on far too long. Does this mean that the middle eastern cultures we see today attempt to undermine the rational thought of their citizenry in an effort to fuel their own agendas? Or is this simply the fate of the organized religion of Islam and how it teaches its disciples to think - irrationally?[/url][/quote:3l4z0zh3]

Clearly you believe that you already possess the 'tool(s)' you need for the 'job' of passing judgment on this situation, but what if it is more complex than this? What if it is too complex for a rational adult to understand on his own? view post


Free Speech and Tact posted 09 February 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Speech and Tact by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

What if FEAR forms your opinions and chooses your beliefs, and you rationalize them later? What if PRIDE or VANITY controls you? What if the MEDIA influences you? Or your upbringing? Or your FINANCIAL situation? What about ENVIRONMENT, or FAITH, or CHEMICAL IMBALANCE? How could you deny the influence of your DIET? The NEED to PROTECT your children? You must LUST? Surely, sometimes, because you are smart, or charitable, or neighbourly, you feel you deserve a little MORE than certain other people, don't you?

What if your neighbours--hated or not--were invaded and occupied for control of their only valuable resource? One in which your country was also rich?

Likewise, what if these same things influence people in the Middle East? And add CONSTANT CONFLICT, a long history of Western political and economic INTERFERENCE, POLITICAL INSTABILITY.

Show one culture to the other through a biased media, THEN what is true?
THEN what questions remain?

All the questions, I think.

Why do you think that EVERYONE who comes out against other cultures mentions some co-worker or acquaintance who is a member of said culture and is different? Nice? Relatable? It is because being around someone reminds us of our human bond, comforts us through real feelings of brotherhood.

It is far easier to feel, indeed almost impossible not to feel, only how different we are from far off cultures. This is why we are so very good at making war, and so very bad at making peace. Our FEARFUL NATURE used to keep us alive, but now it just keeps us killing one another. And these feelings are exploited by the people who lead us into war with the 'other'--the people who have something to gain from their defeat.

Anyway, I'm starting to lose my righteous zeal. I just think your questions are too simple. view post


Free Speech and Tact posted 10 February 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Speech and Tact by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Quote: &quot;Peter&quot;:2eod5mi1
What if FEAR forms your opinions and chooses your beliefs, and you rationalize them later? What if PRIDE or VANITY controls you? What if the MEDIA influences you? Or your upbringing? Or your FINANCIAL situation? What about ENVIRONMENT, or FAITH, or CHEMICAL IMBALANCE? How could you deny the influence of your DIET? The NEED to PROTECT your children? You must LUST? Surely, sometimes, because you are smart, or charitable, or neighbourly, you feel you deserve a little MORE than certain other people, don't you?


What if fear forms our opinions and stops us from realising it? What if our evolutionary upbringing makes us think we have good reasons for something, but in fact all there is behind that opinion is evolutionary necessity?

This last may sound sarcastic, but it really isn't meant that way, it is a serious point. Essentially, there are a great number of things, possibly an infinite number, which can claim that the reasons we think we act are not the reasons for why do in fact act the way we do. BUT, in the end, the only faculty we have which can hope to tell us that we are not acting for the reasons we think we are, the only faculty that can spot this, is reason. Therefore, the best faculty we can use to try (note try, not succeed) to avoid being determined by fear etc. etc., is a self-critical reason. So, when someone is being reasonable (not just thinks they are) then they have a better chance of knowing the reasons behind their actions (namely practical reason).

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to determine the Truth amidst all these various influences.

*************************************************************

Why do you think that EVERYONE who comes out against other cultures mentions some co-worker or acquaintance who is a member of said culture and is different? Nice? Relatable? It is because being around someone reminds us of our human bond, comforts us through real feelings of brotherhood.


On the one hand, so depressingly true, but on the other proximity is not always decisive. In terms of proximity the Jews in Poland lived cheek by jowl with the non-Jewish Poles and yet there was found some of the most rabid anti-semitism this world has seen. Proximity helps, but community is more of a glue and far better at excluding people and creating "the enemy" and "the other". Consider how most Britons view Austrailia vs how they view France. I think Freud said something about no difference being so small we cannot use it to discriminate against people based on it.

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Saying that, in proximity, humans are capable of 'bonding' is not the same as saying that humans will necessarily relate to one another given these circumstances. I've been to high school. My point was that without actual human contact, any sense of kinship between people is theoretical and, so, more easily overlooked.

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This is why I find myself becoming more and more negative with regards to the notion of community in general. Wouldn't the world be so much better if we stopped regarding ourselves as &lt;insert nationality/race/religion etc.&gt; and regarding others as &lt;insert nationality/race/religion etc.&gt; and instead just saw each other as people (which the theory of ethics I follow values as an end in itself and worthy of absolute respect). Sigh, forward cosmopolitanism (which is why I like the EU and the UN, the closest we have ever got to these sentiments).[/quote:2eod5mi1]

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Well said.

Edit: Upon posting this thread, I realised that, probably due to my own ineptitude, my responses appear inside my quotes, so I put my text in bold and separated it via these stylish *'s. view post


Free Speech and Tact posted 10 February 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Speech and Tact by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Intuition is a tricky topic...I am not sure why I brought it into the discussion, as I have nothing to say about it. I like the idea that some things are ineffable--but maybe that is just me rationalizing my ignorance <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> .

As for Sophie's Choice...well, the question of responsibility is difficult. I think that responsibility (and therefore blame) is rarely absolute. People should always try to consider all possibilities before assigning responsibility/blame, but, as my previous posts indicate, these possibilities could be nearly endless. Obviously, a line needs to be drawn, and this is where I believe reason may be most useful. I refuse to believe (for the sake of my own sanity) that people are completely out of control and helpless. Just because choices are difficult does not absolve a person of responsibility for his or her actions.

On a related note: have you ever read Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz? It is a powerful read, and very much concerned with these issues. In it, the most detestable characters were the Jewish prisoners who collaborated with the Nazis. In return for their 'help' in the running of the camps, the collaborators were given slightly better treatment. Reading it I wondered how anyone could betray others in their same position in such a situation. The more I thought about it, the more I believed that these sorts of betrayals are commonplace, it is the gravity of the situation that is different. Who can say how powerful the instinct to survive and improve one's miserable position really is?

::sigh::

This is kind of depressing, isn't it? view post


Your favourite character? posted 16 February 2006 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeYour favourite character? by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

My feelings about the characters changed quite a bit throughout the series. My favourite character at the END of TDTCB is Kellhus (because he is so powerful, mysterious and intriguing), and the one I most identified with is... I don't know, actually. Certainly NOT Kellhus (I don't think that I am at all powerful, mysterious and/or intriguing). Most of the characters in the series are revealed pretty slowly; by the end of TDTCB I was still not very close to any of the characters. view post


Free Speech and Tact posted 16 February 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionFree Speech and Tact by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Quote: &quot;Peter&quot;:3l8sw6cr


Not sure I agree with you though in thinking that the betrayal of the Jewish collaborator's is the same as the petty betrayals we find now. Context is very important in ethics (or at least I think so) and whether betrayal is a small thing which will only cause small hurt, or whether it involves turning your back on your very humanity is surely significantly different.

[/quote:3l8sw6cr]

I did not say that they were the same. I suggested that they might share the same basic impulse. This connection then caused me to wonder at the powerful influence of self-preservation and what anyone might be capable of doing in such horrifying conditions. view post


Mindless Amusement: Type your Username with your elbows posted 23 March 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionMindless Amusement: Type your Username with your elbows by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

n mazsrtfujdfiunm'ds sxhgazdcolw

Man I have fat elbows view post


Mindless Amusement: Type your Username with your elbows posted 24 March 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionMindless Amusement: Type your Username with your elbows by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Shhh, Xray! I'm still a Shadow here! view post


BOREDOM!!! shoot me or write another book! please! posted 24 March 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionBOREDOM!!! shoot me or write another book! please! by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

I would wholeheartedly suggest the life of a professional musician, except I barely make any money at all and I certainly don't need any competition. view post


The Tour Dust Settles... posted 24 March 2006 in Tour and Signing InformationThe Tour Dust Settles... by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Scott: I just wanted to say it was cool meeting you. It sucks that so few people came out in Vancouver. I am ashamed of my city.

*slaps Vancouver on the wrist*

I am sure that your next stop here will be so crowded that I can't get a seat. view post


Mindless Amusement: Type your Username with your elbows posted 26 March 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionMindless Amusement: Type your Username with your elbows by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Quote: &quot;Xray the Enforcer&quot;:138djbr6


One with fat elbows...[/quote:138djbr6]

Aye. A fat-elbowed shadow.

*sighs* view post


ASOIAF board names posted 17 May 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionASOIAF board names by Nasrudin's Shadow, Candidate

Xray: why change after so long? What would Mr. X do? I think you should keep it. Your's is one of the first names I remember from Ran's board.

I'm always Nasrudin's something-or-other there. view post


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