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Cu'jara Cinmoi Author of Prince of Nothing | joined 26 January 2004 | 836 posts


Do You Play Any MMRPG's? posted 27 August 2004 in Author Q & ADo You Play Any MMRPG's? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Ah, Diplomacy! Hands down my favourite wargame period: I've just never been able to find enough regulars to play it (and it's got to be face to face - the lying and cheating (the 'diplomacy' part) are the heart of the game).

I have a bunch of bookcase games in my basement. My favourite, hands down, is Pacific War, which my brother and I wasted an entire summer on once. I royally kicked his ass, and as the Japanese no less!

As it stands, all I allow myself is a little Close Combat (I find III to be the best) skirmish now and anon... Like I said, games are like morphine to me. view post


Are Kellus/the dunyain not as "enslaved" as anyone posted 27 August 2004 in Author Q & AAre Kellus/the dunyain not as "enslaved" as anyone by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Welcome to the board, Andrew! All good questions, though best posed later in the story! The philosophy of the Dunyain, and Kellhus's elaboration of that philosophy, are actually integral to the plot.

In all honesty, I would have answered this a couple of months ago, but that was before I realized just how crafty you buggers are! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


What is your position on science vs philosophy? posted 27 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWhat is your position on science vs philosophy? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I share your Quinean proclivities, Andrew. All theory, no matter what it's stripe, is bound to be underdetermined if your criterion is absolute truth, (which I don't think anyone takes seriously anymore). But when it comes to say, the 'production of reliable truth claims,' it remains the only game in town - it certainly makes philosophy look like an undependable blowhard! view post


Curious: What's the strangest fan request you've received? posted 27 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ACurious: What's the strangest fan request you've received? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

No real kooks that I can think of... I've been propositioned (but I think that's VERY rational <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> ), and I've run into a couple of people who I think had difficulty reading the book and for some reason needed me to know that it was my fault and not theirs (but they're anti-fans, not fans). view post


WINNERS OF THE FREE BOOK CONTEST posted 28 August 2004 in Author AnnouncementsWINNERS OF THE FREE BOOK CONTEST by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

So we got some winners. I just want to thank everyone who participated – you made the decisions pretty damn difficult! I have no doubt my choices will strike many as arbitrary – this is pretty much inescapable – so in an effort to make sense of just how and why I chose the entries I did, I thought I’d explain the process a little.

First off, I’m afraid I had no choice but to disqualify those entries (and there were several) that ran over the specified one paragraph. This was a drag because some of them, I thought, deserved to be winners. Otherwise, I divided the entries into three different categories: those that made me laugh, those that made me ponder, and those that used the book. I then went through all the entries from each category, choosing three comic answers, three philosophical answers, and one textual answer (because they were fewer entries of this type).

Because what makes me laugh isn’t necessarily what makes others laugh, and because what I find thought-provoking isn’t what others find thought-provoking, my choices may not ring true for quite a few of you, but since all I had were my (admittedly distorted) sensibilities to go by, this simply couldn’t be helped. That said, I’m very curious to hear your responses – feel free to post your gripes and observations!

So here are my choices, followed by a couple of honourable mentions. Once again, thank you all for participating! For the winners, an email asking for mailing instructions is forthcoming…

What is the darkness that comes before?

COMIC RESPONSES

Mike: It's that special time in a little boy's life when he goes over the edge of the event horizon of a black hole. Unfortunately he didn't listen to his mother's sage warnings not to play near the edge of the black hole in the first place, but ah well that's neither here nor
there. Anyhow it's said that time stretches out towards infinity and slows down to nothing as one approaches a black hole, so we hope that said little boy listened to his mother when she said A) Always wear clean underwear, and to his B) to go to the bathroom before you leave home because we're not going to stop before we get there.

eg h: What is the darkness that comes before? According to ancient and modern scholars, it means many things under different contexts. It is that feeling of despair that you get when you realize that you are a little too late and are about to make a wonderful mess in your pants as you are hurriedly running to the bathroom, according to John Latrine, bathroom scholar. Kay Nyne, a scholar of all things dog, claims that the darkness is that warning smell that blows into your home before your faithful pet comes home after a wonderful day at playing with the neighborhood skunks.According to Cupid Amour, who has studied relationships in excruciating detail, it is that feeling men of all ages get just before asking the most beautiful woman in the room for a date, a dance, or the time. Sometimes, the darkness comes in the form of fainting. This is not to be mistaken for "the darkness that comes after," which one feels after asking the woman for a kiss and gets slapped so hard that he sees stars. Other scholars say that "the darkness" is that phenomenon that occurs to people watching a particularly boring movie, or a particulary bad book just before they perform another strange phenomenon called "waking up". Others simply prefer to call it "sleeping." Indeed, "the darkness that comes before" is expressed in many ways, and the scholars throughout the centuries had barely begun to scratch the surface. We may yet research this phrase for another million years before we can come to a satisfying conclusion to this question.

TaskmasterJack: The agony of ravenous longing awakens and drives me, unseeing, through the blackness. Foresight of the inevitable regret forces my reaching grasp to hesitate, even as a primal hunger inches my hand forward. Surrender breeds disappointment even as it brings relief. Temptation is satisfied and wisdom ignored in the darkness that comes before I open the door... and the refrigerator light comes on.


Honourable mention…

Mana: BY DARYA JAKEED, for Associated Press

SOMERVILLE, Ma. The winds of fortune are shifting for infamous cult favorites The Darkness That Comes Before.

For nearly a decade the heavy rock group has churned out a deafening mixture of hardcore metal and pretentious lyrics to audiences mostly either too drunk to enjoy the subtleties of songs like ‘Wittgenstein’s Bladder’ or too high to catch the appropriation of Pythagorean scales in ‘Heraclitoris.’

The off-kilter savagery of percussionist Mana Kia has permanently damaged all but one band member’s hearing, and the group’s frontman, Seth ‘Breath of Death’ Young, is known to indulge in self-mutilation while exhorting audiences to holy war against Oflaccid Enlightenment positivisms.

No, their fan-base has not been large. For starters, there¹s the name, which their tiny coterie of acolytes usually shorten to TDT. But what’s in a name? History and everything, say the linguistically inclined, and for once, they might be right.

In the blink of an eye, R. Scott Bakker’s 2003 epic fantasy hit ‘The Darkness That Comes Before’ has brought The Darkness That Comes Before, well, out of obscurity and into the limelight. Hits on the their website have quadrupled over the last six months.

I recently telephoned Seth Young and Mana Kia at their Somerville apartment to see about rumors of a trademark infringement suit against mild-mannered Canadian author Bakker.

DARYA JAKEED: Is this a good time for our call?

SETH YOUNG: Sure, I’m just finishing up screwing this severed headSno, just kidding.

MANA KIA: Sure, yeah.

JAKEED: OK, first tell me about the name. Where did it come from? Or I guess I should ask: what is the darkness that comes before?

YOUNG: It’s the before everything, man, the primordial sea and the amniotic sea. I mean, there is no light in the belly. Thunderbolt steers all things.

KIA: We wanted a name that was even more primordial than primordial, that would split the origin, you know? We’re, like, after and according to Black Sabbath, but we’re even more primordial than them.

JAKEED: What of the rumors of a lawsuit against Scott Bakker?

YOUNG: He totally ripped us off! We’ve been toiling for ten f***ing years, and this guy just comes in and steals our name.

JAKEED: Are you optimistic about winning a case against him?

KIA: Totally. And if we don’t, then we¹re just going to change our name to The Darkness That Comes Before The Darkness That Comes Before.

YOUNG: Oh, yeah, baby, that’s heavy.


PHILOSOPHICAL RESPONSES

Daniel: The darkness that comes before is Life. Life, compared to the enlightenment that death brings, can only be described as darkness.

[Short, I know, but for some reason, this one scared the bejesus out of me…]

Atan: If all our actions and thoughts, if all our decisions are caused by, and therefore, by their nature add to and enrich the complex web of predestination, then the darkness that comes before is not just the past. The darkness that comes before is not that which has come before, it is the world itself: what it has been made and what it will make. The darkness surrounds us, it is that which counsels and comforts us, it is Locke's locked room and the choice not to try and open the door. In that we are nothing more than the logical extension of the past, we also make the past: our choices will force others' hands and their hands will force our choices. The darkness is our unbreakable covenant with the past, and we have made the past. We are the darkness, and it is the world, for each makes each. In this way the world and man are one and the same.

[I just love that ‘unbreakable covenant with the past’ line…]

Jamie: During thought, as humans, we drive to arrive at a certainty with our choices and our actions used to carry about said choices. However, there is a lapse of time between the making of a decision and the action taken to pursue this decision. This is “The Darkness That Comes Before”. As humans, we tend to question our choices and to never been 100% certain, this is because we are fallible, we make mistakes, we question so we can have a fleeting glimpse of pure certainty. During this questioning period however, everything is dark, we know no answers, there is no guiding light, our uncertainty before our actions and after our thoughts is our “Darkness That Comes Before”. During this period we question, rethink, question again, all in hopes of evading the Darkness and being 100% purely certain in our decision, which is a near impossibility, because to be human is to be fallible, to make mistakes, so therefore, no matter how hard we try, we can never elude to Darkness, but our eyes can adjust.

[I’d never really thought that much (and I obsessively think and rethink these things) about equating the ‘darkness’ with doubt, but given the themes I try to explore, I think this really works]

Honourable mention…

Ryan: The darkness that comes before represents the death that delivers life. Before anything truly great can be born, an annhilation of the good must occur, and the true macrocosm of this can be seen in the human culture. As we fill our lonely, vacant existences with things like Jessica Simpson, Hummer H2s, and the Atkins diet, the light radiating from the human spirit slowly dies. Hate, apathy, banality, and avarice reduce our lives to preordained, preprogrammed paths and rob us of the vibrance that once made life pulse. But, as the old spirit dies, a revolution brews just beneath the surface. And when we grow tired of all this and all the stupidity is dead and gone, light will shine through the darkness and we'll be free again. The clear blue always lies beyond the gray sky.

[For not sharing my pessimism!]


TEXTUAL RESPONSES

Terry: In answering the question "What is the Darkness?" we have to ask "The Darkness that comes before what?" Light is what follows darkness and so we must now ask what the nature of this light might be since the darkness will be inevitably in opposition to it. I believe there is a crucial clue to be found in The Warrior Prophet. Achamian and Proyas are in conversation and Achamian says to Proyas, "What if the choice isn't between certainties, between this faith and that, but between faith and doubt? Between renouncing the mystery and embracing it?" Surely, this is the real choice we all face. But Proyas cannot accept this truth. He responds, "But doubt is weakness! Faith is strength! Strength!" Here Proyas speaks from the tenacious grip of the darkness. He is, by choice, blind to the truth and, like so many of us, he is willing to kill wantonly and even to die himself to protect his blindness. The "light" is the understanding that Achamian offers Proyas and the "darkness" is the ignore-ance of this truth; an ignorance that leads inevitably to war and the unfathomable suffering that follows from it. An ignorance borne of faith. Faith gives rise to and perpetuates the darkness. In The Warrior Prophet an important object of faith emerges. Anasurimbor Kellus is that object. Throughout TWP Kellus increasingly inspires faith and in so doing he, himself, becomes a potent source of darkness. In as much as the cause of a thing is the thing itself, Anasurimbor Kellus is The Darkness That Comes Before.

[Another example of why I’ve become so paranoid answering questions on this board!]

Honourable mention…

Jean: 'I could ramble on forever and ever about this, but I'll get to my answer. I tend to think in a linear fashion when not urged in another direction while reading, so I'll say that the darkness that comes before is the innocence/ignorance of the principle players in the story that comes before the burning light of revelation. Achamian lives in confusion as to whether or not The Consult still exists, and by stories end he is given confirmation. The Men of the Tusk believe that the Holy War is a pure and unstoppable thing, when it is truly directed by more subtle masters and will face peril as they've never known. The Scylvendi are unaware of how advanced everyone else has become, until they are crushed by a more brilliant tactician. Kellhus is both ignorant of how the world works in all ways until he learns to dominate it, and everyone else is ignorant of the fact that a man who will come to be known as the 'Warrior-Prophet' walks amongst them.'



There they are. My thanks again. view post


On the subject of Chorae posted 29 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOn the subject of Chorae by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Welcome to the board, Tellner!

The Chorae are actually sorcerous artifacts (of something called the 'Aporos'), manufactured prior to the Cuno-Inchoroi Wars (by Quya defectors) as a way for the Inchoroi to counter the sorcery of the Nonmen. The script inscribed across each embodies a contradiction that unravels the semantics of all known Cants - even those of the Aporos! view post


What is your position on science vs philosophy? posted 29 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWhat is your position on science vs philosophy? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

That's precisely the problem. Science has nothing to say about value, except to imply there's no such thing - which is quite terrifying when you realize that it's the most powerful instrument of discovery in the history of the human race.

I think you're right that many people overestimate science, but far, far more people underestimate it. When I take classroom polls, the ratio seems to be about 10 to 1.

Why do you say no one takes absolute truth seriously anymore?


I meant in the philosophical community. Personally, I'm not even sure I can come to a coherent understanding what an 'absolute' anything would look like, let alone an 'absolute truth.' I don't even know what 'truth' is (nor does anyone else), though I think I can more or less distinguish between claims that are more or less true. view post


Ayn Rand posted 29 August 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionAyn Rand by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

My appraisal exactly. It's one reason why I think her position is so pernicious: it caters directly to our cognitive shortcomings - our hardwired yen for flattery, simplicity, and certainty.

She's THE apologist for the pseudo-individualism that has become our dominant ideology. view post


On the subject of Chorae posted 01 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AOn the subject of Chorae by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'm afraid you've touched world-building bottom with that one, Andrew! view post


Concerning Chapter Quotes posted 01 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AConcerning Chapter Quotes by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Do you not think that using citations from Achamian's post-Holy War history gives too much away in general. Not that the reader is expecting the Consult to triumph, but this would seem to rule out certain possibilities, most notably, Achamian's death.


I actually discussed this at some length with my original editor at Penguin. Certainly it allows one to infer that Achamian survives, which places his character out of mortal danger, but there's many characters, and we came to the conclusion that the benefits (dealing with 'information managing,' foreshadowing, concretizing the connection between the epigraphic world and story world, as well as some more arcane thematic concerns of mine regarding the 'already narrated past') were, despite being less immediate and tangible, well worth the cost.

I'm not sure what you can infer beyond the fact that Achamian survives the 'First Holy War'... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

in relation to your portrayal of women (and any controversy thereof), it seems to me that the demands of the (Kellhus-centric) plot rather the constraints of gender roles in pre-modern societies have dictated your choice of weaker, more needy female types over stronger ones. Would you say that this was the case?


Not at all. I've always thought that sanitizing gender relations in ancient worlds comes very close to 'selling out.' The only real editorial pressure I received to make the book more commercially palatable was to make it more 'female friendly' - they even wanted me to change Conphas into a woman at one point! Apparently the male share of the fantasy book market is dropping quickly (because of weed and video games, I suspect).

Once you decide to portray a repressive patriarchal society, then character becomes the place to explore the inevitable distortions that result. I actually think of Esmenet as quite strong, though in a conflicted (which is to say, unsentimental) fashion.

Besides, if anything, you would think that out and out strong characters would provide the better foil for Kellhus and his abilities. view post


Concerning Chapter Quotes posted 03 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AConcerning Chapter Quotes by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Well I think you're both wrong, and conversely, both right! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

What you're doing is akin to arguing historical periodization. Arguing similarities and dissimilarities, accidental or essential, is bound to be plagued by interpretative underdetermination. It's always better I think, just to take the 'family resemblances' tack and to try to stipulate rather than to assert. There's no authority on which association-sets are canonical and which are not (as you yourself agreed in a previous discussion, I think, Aiturahim).

Personally, for me the family resemblance that works the best is 'Medieval Mediterranean,' but even that could be plausibly contested. It's a mishmash.

As for your original questions Aiturahim, yes, I thought about the change, but only because I try to give due consideration to all my editors' suggestions, even if I disagree with their motivations on principal, as I did in this case. The longer I thought about it, however, the worse the suggestion became.

Otherwise, I'm afraid I don't share your historicist tack when it comes to questions of gender, which I'm very interested in exploring, and try to approach as self-consciously as possible. I think it follows that I'm not saying anything about women in general by having both of them fall under Kellhus's spell. In narrative terms, Kellhus simply gets what he wants, and he wanted both of them. In thematic terms, my quarry is actually contemporary society, not the 'nature of femininity.'

As far as paralleling the First Crusade goes, I'm curious as to why you think this is a problem. I've had a couple of people complain to me about this, but I've been unable to make any sense of their explanations. Certainly you don't want to suggest that historical parallels, even when thematically motivated, have no place in fiction, do you? view post


Written Language posted 03 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWritten Language by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Hopefully I'll have time to pull something workable together for the encyclopaedic glossary (which is in TTT) - but no promises! view post


Concerning Chapter Quotes posted 05 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AConcerning Chapter Quotes by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Yes, rampant originality has its limits, but I think that world-building efforts are usually diminished rather than enhanced by excessive overt paralells. It seems to me that fantasy reaches its highest form when it reads like convincing history but we can't immediately pigeon-hole it. But this, admittedly, is an opinion.


So I'm guessing you're not a fan of Guy Kay! I agree that this is an issue of taste more than anything else - and even then, I would suspect that the criteria would vary from case to case. Imagine someone dismissing McCarthy's Blood Meridian on these grounds. To do so is to entirely miss the point, and I think a similar argument can be made for PoN.

The 'too historical, therefore too predictable' criticisms I've encountered previously seem more opportunistically motivated than anything else: an excuse to show-off how much one knows, rather than say anything meaningful about the work. I would think it's obvious that I'm up to something, as opposed to being lazy or derivative or whatever. Your question, Aiturahim, is the decisive one, I think: Why the parallel?

I see, and have always seen, the parallel with the First Crusade as one of the thematic keels of the book, but I'm inclined to let others puzzle that out. There just seems something disingenuous about an author decoding too much of his own work. To answer your other question, the world started congealing several years before the story.

And I agree with you as well, Damaen: though the Holy War parallels the First Crusade, there remain some significant differences - enough to render the outcome entirely undecidable. I don't think I give any guarantees - especially since the Keebler Elves have yet to show their foul hand... view post


Autographed editions posted 06 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AAutographed editions by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

If I had in fact cancelled, I might have felt a twinge of guilt. Might... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

Otherwise, I get the feeling that Penguin might be sending me cross country for TTT - in which case, it shouldn't be a problem. I'm not too keen on receiving and returning books, mostly because I suffer administrative dyslexia, monomania, and chronic boneheadinitis.

Besides, doing it in person would make it more 'real' - don't you think? view post


Concerning Chapter Quotes posted 06 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AConcerning Chapter Quotes by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Stay away from that WoW stuff, Damaen - it'll be the death of your attention span! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

Again, I think you guys are locking horns on an irresolvable issue, though I think you might be overinterpreting (a bit) on your end, Damaen. I'm not sure that Aiturahim is saying that TTT has been 'spoiled' so much as he's staking out and justifying his own tastes - as well as describing some common generic liabilities. (Since I'm in fact trying to embrace many of those liabilities (how else can you explore their significance?), I'm always keen to hear peoples' responses - particularly since I'm not sure I'm happy with some of my 'hugs'!)

For my part, Aiturahim, I'm wondering how you would approach a book like Blood Meridian. Wouldn't your tastes in this regard actually interfere with your ability to appreciate what McCarthy is doing (in fact, this question is very apropriate when it comes to McCarthy, because so many find the book unreadable because of the violence (as opposed to the historical parallels, which as far as I know, have never been seriously raised as a criticism)).


Also, there are plenty of other reasons to dislike TPoN.


Ayuh. This touches on something that's puzzled me over the past months: I've actually been expecting - perhaps even hoping - to receive some trenchant criticisms on the question of religion. So far nada... Only stuff that strikes me as spurious (like, 'tries too hard to be GRRM,' 'is misogynistic'), or stuff I'm more or less willing to bite the bullet on. view post


question about the Schools posted 06 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; Aquestion about the Schools by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Another bump and grind answer is all I can give, I'm afraid. Every detail in its season! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Is the idea of a &quot;god&quot; inherent in our minds? posted 06 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a &quot;god&quot; inherent in our minds? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I do not see that our minds are predisposed to believe in a God.


It's not that we're predisposed to believe in God, it's that we're predisposed to comprehend the world in intentional (purposive and normative) terms. This is just a fancy way to say that we're hardwired to ascribe objective agency to the world - to think things happen for reasons. We anthropomorphize. Since we're also hardwired to generally prefer simplicity, the notion of some 'agent of agents' begins to seem like an inevitability. view post


Battleground God posted 06 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Yeah, this thing has been around for quite some time now. I hope everyone realizes that it's unconscionably deceptive in that it literally depends on several false dilemmas (and if I remember correctly, one or two equivocations) in order to generate what it calls 'hits.' In other words, it literally uses fallacies to force you into 'contradictions' - as it has to in order to stuff a debate as sophisticated and nuanced as the 'existence of God' into an algorthm. view post


Concerning Chapter Quotes posted 06 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AConcerning Chapter Quotes by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

There's certainly an important distinction between opining (where you list your likes and dislikes) and evaluating (where you analyze successes and failures), and there's plenty of things I've read that I think are works of genius, even though I don't particularly enjoy reading them. Jane Austen's works are a good example.

The distinction between these two tacks can be pretty murky though.

If anything, I'm amazed that as many people like the books as they do. I really saw myself writing to a very narrow set of tastes. You'd have to dig pretty hard to freak me out. Other than that, I don't think there's much reason to worry about 'ruining' it for others.

Like any used good car salesman, I stand by my work! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Concerning Chapter Quotes posted 07 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AConcerning Chapter Quotes by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

That's a perfect example because it shows just how opining and evaluating break down into two separate questions (there's actually more, but I think this illustrates the difference clearly):

1) What was your personal response?

2) What was the author trying to accomplish (in narrative terms, thematic terms, etc.)? Did he or she succeed?

Note that with (2), what any author tries to accomplish will be relative to a certain 'ideal audience' (in this case, those who enjoy historical narratives). view post


Is the idea of a &quot;god&quot; inherent in our minds? posted 07 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a &quot;god&quot; inherent in our minds? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Know the exact configuration of the universe at any one instant of time, and you can calculate its exact state at any other time.


This is the old Laplacian thesis (which as far as I know, has been thoroughly discredited by modern physics), isn't it? In principle, there's no way of knowing the exact state of any part of the universe at any given time.


I believe things do happen for a reason.


I thought you tended to nihilism, Grantaire. A change of heart? <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Battleground God posted 07 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

You make it sound like they own up to the deception on the site. Did I miss something? view post


Concerning Chapter Quotes posted 07 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; AConcerning Chapter Quotes by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Well that's the thing, if you are not a part of that audience, would a critism be valid?


So long as you qualify, certainly. As you say, you need to present both justifications and caveats - which can be a pain in the ass. Still, it builds big strong brains... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Battleground God posted 07 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I think you write off contradiction a little too quickly, Replay, but I certainly agree with the spirit of what you're saying. Contradiction is a useful tool, not the foundation. And as I say, they knowingly use false dilemmas to generate contradictions, which is why I think the primary point of the site is manipulation rather than provocation or education. They would have owned up to their own bullets otherwise.

The philosophy of mathematics is as controversial and divisive as any other philosophical field. And lately, with the sophistication of proofs going through the roof, it's starting to seem more and more interpretative. view post


question about the Schools posted 08 September 2004 in Author Q &amp; Aquestion about the Schools by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I think there's a thread kicking around somewhere on the constructive uses of frustration in storytelling... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Is the idea of a &quot;god&quot; inherent in our minds? posted 08 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionIs the idea of a &quot;god&quot; inherent in our minds? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Total faith in science is actually very unscientific, which is what, ironically, has made science - far, far and away - more successful than any other truth-claim generating institution in the history of humanity: it's capacity for self-correction in the light of new evidence. The 'weakness' you refer to AJ, is actually science's greatest strength.

Otherwise, it's been my experience that people are far more likely to underestimate than overestimate the power of science. I poll my classes on this question every year, and I'm always dismayed by how skeptical students are of science, and how credible they are of other institutional modes of claim-making. view post


Battleground God posted 08 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

What makes you say that? My point wasn't necessarily to defend their contradictions or errors, but rather to point out that not too many people could do better, as there is no way to make a universally identically comprehended description of something as clearly subjective as god.


Communicative misfire. My point had to do with the deceptiveness of the site, and your response (that it was obviously so) made me think I'd overlooked something. I actually don't think the deceptiveness is obvious at all. If anything, they seem at pains to conceal it with a patina of 'Hey, it's just rational man.' view post


Battleground God posted 08 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Something has 'meaning' when it has a 'point,' which is to say, when it's purposive.

My question to you, Larry, would be, What, in this day and age, is the point of traditional ritual? If it's simply 'comfort' or 'social bonding' why not take ecstasy and go to a rave? If the point is to give life a point, why should we look to tradition, when it all it offers is a plethora of unsubstantiated and incompatible options?

My question to you, Grantaire, would be, Given that you see yourself living a pointless life in a world where value and meaning are illusory, how do you reconcile this with your own arguments, which continually appeal to epistemic values, and presumably have the point of providing the best conclusions? view post


Battleground God posted 08 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I think you might be trading off two different senses of tradition to make your point, Larry: tradition as the collection of social habits that makes societies possible, and tradition as something that gives life meaning. It seems to me that you're using the inevitability of the former to anchor the latter. I'm not sure the social neccessity of custom warrants any inference to the adequacy of traditional accounts of meaningfulness (religion), which is the very question at issue. What warrants a return to tradition in the attempt to comprehend the 'point of it all'? view post


Battleground God posted 08 September 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionBattleground God by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

If I were a positivist I'd accuse you of succumbing to the genetic fallacy, Larry! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

Instead, I'm inclined to accuse you of obfuscation, of throwing up a semantic smoke screen to avoid answering my question! But that wouldn't be charitable, so let me rephrase your point to make sure I understand what you're saying.

Any attempt to answer the question of meaningfulness will depend in some respect on past socio-cultural attempts to answer that same question, and in this respect, tradition is an ineliminable part of the debate.

I agree with this, if this is what you're saying, but now I think you're succumbing to the process/product ambiguity: just because the process of determining 'the point of it all' inevitably engages tradition, doesn't mean that the product - namely, the conclusion - will be 'traditional.'

My original question - 'Why should we trust tradition to give us an answer considering its dismal track record?' - still stands, I think. view post


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