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Callan S. Auditor | joined 10 June 2006 | 88 posts


My mini review/feedback to Mr. Bakker-minor ending spoilers posted 02 August 2008 in NeuropathMy mini review/feedback to Mr. Bakker-minor ending spoilers by Callan S., Auditor

Neil refers to himself as a neuronaut - just the once though, so it's easy to miss.

As for the ending - well, some people were annoyed with the Trueman show, that they didn't show him hooking up with the love interest in the real world (though it was pretty obvious they would). Are you like that - you want the ends to be wrapped up, rather than imagined?

Personally I think both the Trueman show and Neuropath end on a question - "What would YOU do at that point?". There's more than just watching the author do his thing and finish - I think it's an interesting question where would you go with the story if you were stuck in that position? view post


And another thing :) Emotion is 'just' a process? posted 04 August 2008 in NeuropathAnd another thing :) Emotion is 'just' a process? by Callan S., Auditor

I bet you thought I was going to argue it's more than that! Oddly, I'm just going to argue about it being judged in a negative way.

There's a few points where I would say emotive language is used to describe emotions as being 'just' a process. I think the word 'just' was used at some point (if pressed, I'll go check).

There's a sort of blind spot in describing emotions as just a process, and that is it's done with a dismissive attitude. A dismissive attitude would be another emotion - so it's an emotion process scowling and stamping its feet that other emotions are a process. If the other emotions are meaningless, then being dismissive of them is also a meaningless act - why go against them when to look down on them is just to vaunt the emotion process of derision above all other emotion processes? I'm thinking perhaps Scott is in that blindspot, looking down on an emotion even as that looking down is just another emotion, and so the character Neil is written to operate under that blindspot too - Neil is actually acting out a passion (disdain for mere process) while supposedly removing such illusionous emotion processes. (Kelhus too, me thinks, but that's another post).

Then again perhaps it's just trying to interrogate the idea your supposed to be spiritually beyond such processes (and some emotive language slipped in). But in that case - well, anyone who thinks in terms of spirituality accepts that if you die, you spirit isn't involved anymore. What's the difference between having say (sorry to be grisly) having all your head blown off, and having just a certain connector in your head broken? Doesn't that kill you just as much - like the guy in the book who can't recognise faces - what he was died? Aren't you spiritually beyond process if damage disconnects the true you just as much as death disconnects the true you from the body?

Sure, what's left might say 'Hey, it's still me!'. And...well, lets put it this way - if you wrote down a bunch of goals and were achieving them, then took the mental structural damage, then went on living saying 'It's me!' but checked the list and found you were just not doing all the goals you did before - you might recognise that your not the same person. Or you might like to put it that your only part of the spirit you were before - only part of that spirit you previously were is channeled through your mind. And maybe also a new type of spirit is also being channeled now - a mix of old and something new. That'd keep the idea of spirit intact.

Or you might not recognise it, but that doesn't make much difference. Plenty of people don't recognise they have gambling or drinking problems, but you don't assume they have lost the spirit you normally attribute to them. Just because someone wouldn't recognise they are not meeting the goals of their old selves, doesn't mean the spirit world you normally attribute to them is gone. Changed, perhaps, but that's life.

Am I covering the books main issues, or am I rushing in with a rationalisation like the book says people do? view post


My mini review/feedback to Mr. Bakker-minor ending spoilers posted 06 August 2008 in NeuropathMy mini review/feedback to Mr. Bakker-minor ending spoilers by Callan S., Auditor

I dunno. I don't read alot of thrillers, so I was comparing the structure to the VI Washowski books by Sara Paretski. In those often solid blocks are devoted to either contemplating the killers motives, VI's past or some other characters past. In neuropath, the arguement is both motive, the protagonists past and the antagonists past.

However, it's not really put into practical terms for the characters (and thus, it isn't put directly into practical terms for the reader). Indeed, I thought the conversations were unrealistic in how people would just sit and listen to Bible, for the most part. People don't - and it's in their protestations of "What the hell has that got to do with me?", etc that an author can mix in the practical low down of how it affects characters, and thus we, the readers, can see those boilerplates blend in. Scott once said he'd been 'institutionalised', as in being too used to being in an institution. I think he's a bit too used to people sitting quietly and putting effort into making some practical sense of what he says, rather than speaking and having to make his arguement earn its supper, so to speak, right from the very first words and all the way through to the end.

But even so, I think they were intrinsic to the story - they aren't disconnected philosophical trivia, they are the motive itself - even the modus operandi, to an extent. Scott could have blended them in better, but the science exposition would still be there - it'd just blend in more. The science exposition isn't a fault, IMO, it's the blending that faultered. But frankly in just about all authors I usually see a fault I forgive, in order to better grasp what their getting at. But that may be my own preferance, as the authors communication is in the end, most important with me. So as long as that communication happens, a few lumps and bumps along the way are forgiven (like you might forgive my spelling! <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> ). view post


The problem of evil posted 17 August 2008 in Philosophy DiscussionThe problem of evil by Callan S., Auditor

Well, if you think of good and evil relative to the practical survival of your species, then good and evil are not abstract. If there was only good - then you could go along, being good, until the last of your species dies. Just because you think a certain lifestyle is good and you never think of there being anything else (ie, never think of the idea of evil), doesn't mean extinction doesn't exist.

In practical terms, evil is a hypothesis of the acts which lead to doom. This is not invented by men - extincition exists, regardless of whether we think evil exists or not.

What might seperate man from beast is that beasts simply strive to be what they are - relying on death to prove that striving correct or not. While men contemplate their potential doom and do not wish to rely on actual death to tell them if they were wrong (instead they contemplate potential death, rather than simply strive forward to potentially meet it). Not all the time of course - men stride onto the battlefield, for example, with absolute certainty of surviving and winning - the animal striving to be what they are and only death will argue them out of that certainty. Also I know I call it 'animal striving' but thats not to be dismissive - as one contemplates potential doom, one realises even such contemplation itself might be a doom and animal striving perhaps the enlightened path (sometimes...hopefully not always). Indeed, to only ever contemplate would be striving like the animal does - simply rushing forward with its practice, letting situation decide if it was correct/lets you survive.

Probably the deepest philisophical moments lead to absolute action - where contemplation considers rejecting itself, the man neither strives like a beast, nor strives to continually contemplate - he is neither beast nor contemplative man.

Well, it was fun to type! Don't look at me too weird! <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> If you like the books you must like an occasional wild tangent at the very least <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post


A meaningful life... posted 17 August 2008 in Philosophy DiscussionA meaningful life... by Callan S., Auditor

What currently makes it unmeaningful? Or what potentially makes it unmeaningful?

Search into what makes it unmeaningful and that should also make clear would would stop making it unmeaningful and instead become meaningful. view post


U.S. Cover art posted 02 September 2008 in NeuropathU.S. Cover art by Callan S., Auditor

I don't get it - to me, it looks like two academics in full on academic gowns, running on a running track inside a gym. The 'caution - slow' hints its actually a road, but first impression is a school gym. It almost makes sense since the protagonist and antagonist have strong academic links. Bloody hell, look out, it's academics in my mind!!!

A killer who will get inside your gym....literally!

In terms of that line, I don't think its terribly hokey. Though I can't help but think of another version &quot;A killer who will get inside your head. Figuratively.&quot; Just one different word makes it so incredibly weaksauce, hehe! <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> view post


Why was Khellus.... posted 02 September 2008 in Author Q &amp; AWhy was Khellus.... by Callan S., Auditor

Quote: &quot;Chirios&quot;:1a1t2fdx
Able to b*tch-slap the Nonman so thoroughly? I get that he's supposed to have these reflexes and whatever, but the Nonmen evolved on a completely different line than humans; shouldn't they be able to do some stuff that humans can't? So, shouldn't the Nonman have had some skill that Khellus (who had never before encountered another sentient species) couldn't defend against?[/quote:1a1t2fdx]
Well, dunyain don't practice skill, or atleast ideally they don't, they evaluate each circumstance and decide the shortest path to their goal. I think that's what Scott refers to when at some point he says they are always new - they never repeat a certain practice or skill, they only ever choose and choose and choose.

It's not his range of skill that matters, it's his range of choice that matters. If he hadn't had enough choices he would have retreated from the begining (or possibly died, if he estimated he had more choices than he had - which is what happened in terms of magic - he thought he had choices where magic denied those choices. He almost died/failed mission because of that false estimate). view post


What if I told you, that nothing is real? posted 29 November 2008 in Philosophy DiscussionWhat if I told you, that nothing is real? by Callan S., Auditor

Quote: &quot;Trinket&quot;:2m5ad39n
It could be said that, if you choose not to perceive any of the above mentioned, then for you, they cease to exist.[/quote:2m5ad39n]
It could also be said it's possible not to percieve those things, and yet it neither proves nor disproves those things still in some way exist. Being able to shut down your senses doesn't really prove anything one way or another.

Mmmm, doubt! view post


Why was Khellus.... posted 29 November 2008 in Author Q &amp; AWhy was Khellus.... by Callan S., Auditor

I'm curious what Kellhus would have done had he known the nonmen was capable of sorcery (or even if he knew sorcery existed to begin with). Cut out the tongue? It's still possible to get information that way...

He lost the fight because of the perpetuated lie his order had embraced for some as yet unexplained reason. And Akka is supposed to be finding that orders home in the new books *shudder*. Still, that means a 'nuke' is heading toward them... view post


Kellhus vs Whiteluck -&lt;SPOILERS&gt;- posted 05 February 2009 in The Judging EyeKellhus vs Whiteluck -&lt;SPOILERS&gt;- by Callan S., Auditor

Quote: &quot;Curethan&quot;:n332wnce
Quote: &quot;anor277&quot;:n332wnce
It was my impression that the demon heads Kellhus sports on his belt were those of skin spies. Certainly the skin spies are absolutely terrifying (Kellhus no doubt animates them) but they are not demonic.[/quote:n332wnce]

No, they are specificaly referred to as 'Ciphrang heads'.[/quote:n332wnce]
Who refers to them as such? Sometimes Scott switches between describing the world as author and describing the world as seen by a character, without much differentiation in between. view post


SPOILERS: Translocation posted 05 February 2009 in The Judging EyeSPOILERS: Translocation by Callan S., Auditor

I'm not sure if he was exhausted by it, or faking it. Remember latter on he fakes being exhausted after a long talk with Esme*

* I can never remember how to spell the names... view post


Damnation (spoilers) posted 05 February 2009 in The Judging EyeDamnation (spoilers) by Callan S., Auditor

I'm not sure I'm really into the idea of damnation. I'll say that when Mimara looked at Akka with the judging eye and saw him withered and everything, it snapped into place that it wasn't figurative damnation, but some sort of actual state.

But as much as it snapped in, it snapped out again.

How to describe it? If it's something that can be seen, why should I call it damnation?

It was the idea of damnation before but then bang, she can see damnation..my gosh its not an idea anymore, it's real, it's real and...waitaminute! So she would call it damnation - why should I?

I think Scott wanted to get at a world where the subjective idea of good and evil is actual objective truth. But I wonder if he'll be probing the idea of intellect pressed against that - something that finds no inherent truth in someone elses mere assertion? I mean, even more than he has/might have already done, hehe! view post


Damnation (spoilers) posted 16 February 2009 in The Judging EyeDamnation (spoilers) by Callan S., Auditor

It looks like damnation? What does damnation actually look like? If you got one hundred people to independently draw a picture of a damned person, would they all draw the same thing?

Also that seems a terrible dycotomy - I either believe what I first see it as, or I enter some great deciever loop. So therefore I must believe that what I think something is, is what it is.

I remember an example Richard Dawkins gave of, as a child, seeing a terrible, baneful face in a window...but upon closer inspection it was just a twist in the curtains.

Also after writing this, I considered how Mimara looked through a trinket and saw something completely opposite from the void most schoolmen feel. I'm wondering if in future books she'll look at Akka, see through him and see something completely opposite... view post


Consensus so far? posted 24 February 2009 in The Judging EyeConsensus so far? by Callan S., Auditor

Quote: &quot;skafadi&quot;:29vkoytx
It's definitely up to the standard of PoN, but I do hope the next books in the series are stronger. JE was very much a setup book-introducing characters, blah de blah, and thats fine, but two of the three story arcs went nowhere. I'm really hoping for some good old fashioned action in the next one. In addition, I'm getting a wee bit tired of the constant mopey soul-searching every single character engages in. It's like everyone in Earwa majored in Philosophy and Drama. Hopefully it'll grow on me on re-reads.[/quote:29vkoytx]
Wow, that's like complaining there's a steak on your plate next to the sprig of parsley you ordered. Rather than thinking the steak is supposed to be the meal and the parsley is mere garnish. view post


*Spoilers* The gods must be crazy posted 24 February 2009 in The Judging Eye*Spoilers* The gods must be crazy by Callan S., Auditor

Psatma hasn't done anything amazingly horrible as far as I recall. Esmi does/orders far worse.

Quote: &quot;Chirios&quot;:1f07zmxt
I'm not sure if Minara can actually see the damnation though. I think it would be more accurate to say that she see's the warp; that she can feel the fact that sorcery is unnatural. Scott has taken great lengths to show that moral absolutism is inherently stupid, so why would he create a system that proves that moral absolutivism is right?[/quote:1f07zmxt]
I think he was quoted somewhere as being excited about exploring a world where the moral point actuall was absolute and true.

Whether that's possible for us to really explore as readers, is an interesting question. view post


Spoiler: Kelmonas' Voice posted 17 March 2009 in The Judging EyeSpoiler: Kelmonas' Voice by Callan S., Auditor

Quote: &quot;Curethan&quot;:1qzjnexp
Erm, the way compulsions work wouldn't result in a voice like that imo. I think 'the voice' is simply a more forceful version of the secondary mental voice we all share[/quote:1qzjnexp]
I think so too. A dunyain intellect in a half world born body is like looking at a v8 engine running in a tiny car.

It's funny though - the flashbacks to the dunyain base (Ishmael? I can never remember the names). The flashback had the children there laughing as they tried to hit an instructor with their sticks. They seemed relatively functional in terms of being children, and before the final brainwash Kelhus seemed to be a boy with girl bits on his mind, as you might expect. Still quite human. On the other hand it horribly occured to me that the dunyain might put down dozens of babies before they get a proper one, so it might not be the case that Dunyain have normal children. Maithanet might have been the normal one to be spared after many prior 'failed' babies.

But out and out I suspect that the gods of fertility have simply cursed Kelhus to this 'fertility'. Especially since the white luck warrior seems to be connected with sex magic.

That's another odd thing about the book, the magic level is really ramped up. I had assumed from the first three that this was always going to be a godless set of books, with schoolmen being the only supernatural element. It really seemed like it was about men dealing with things in a godless universe, but that's changed. view post


Who Am I? posted 17 March 2009 in Philosophy DiscussionWho Am I? by Callan S., Auditor

If your familiar with programming, you might have come across the idea of self modifying code. Usually argued against by programmers cause it can go so wrong, oh so quickly.

Looking at the question and the word 'am', that's more a question of current state. A certain set up. But if you ARE self modifying code, then 'I' means your self modifying code.

Code that self modifies changes what it is - it's never in a fixed state.


With self modifying code, 'am' and 'I' are contradictory terms. It's like asking for a sample of non existance. view post


The eye in the Pick's heart *spoilers* posted 17 March 2009 in The Judging EyeThe eye in the Pick's heart *spoilers* by Callan S., Auditor

Akka also explains that in some places, the distance between desire and how things actually are, is shortened. That place leaked in and that desire was...to have eyeballs in hearts. Or maybe it didn't get everything it wanted...

And I suspect the pick actually killed the woman or atleast severed her arm when she was resisting somehow. The reassuring words he chatters would fit where compassion for and bloody violence against a loved one, lose distinction. view post


Spoiler: Kelmonas' Voice posted 18 May 2009 in The Judging EyeSpoiler: Kelmonas' Voice by Callan S., Auditor

Quote: &quot;ThePrinceofNothing&quot;:2x6200no
I believe that Kelmomas' &quot;voice&quot; is actually Samarmas' intellect. At some point, either at birth or during their forced &quot;separation (it was described how they could not look away from each other or be apart from each other),&quot; the combined superior Dunyain intellect did not split properly between each body. Bakker continually describes how Samarmas is much more &quot;simple&quot; and naive than Kelmomas. I believe that Kelmomas has the combined Dunyain intellect.[/quote:2x6200no]
I'm not too keen to jump into spiritual speculation, since how it works is kind of up to the author and this is a bit of a leap. But that sounds like a good idea on what could be happening, regardless! view post


Consensus so far? posted 18 May 2009 in The Judging EyeConsensus so far? by Callan S., Auditor

I'm pretty sure Sorweel is there to represent us and what it'd be like to be dumped into it all. If you start thinking of him as being from our age, he becomes alot more fleshed out. view post


I don't understand how the word 'will' is being used posted 18 May 2009 in NeuropathI don't understand how the word 'will' is being used by Callan S., Auditor

Quote: &quot;Thorsten&quot;:1nlkryyk
He starts with the assumption that what he does works in establishing truth, then applies vastly different standards in judging evidence which confirms what he thinks is true as compared to evidence that contradicts what he thinks is true, and as a result he gets out what he puts in.[/quote:1nlkryyk]
What did he say as being true?

I can't really remember him saying anything to be true - sure, lots of hinting as to stuff like hell houses being bad for children, or maybe stuff like saying the solid part of an atom is like a fly in a football field. Perhaps darwininsm? But your probably not refering to that stuff?

What things did he say are true? view post


Countering the Argument posted 03 July 2009 in NeuropathCountering the Argument by Callan S., Auditor

In terms of free will and decision making (and taking it your summing up of the arguement is roughly on target - it's been awhile since I read it), I think the utterly deterministic model is a self forfilling prophesy. Essentially the human mind (probably alot moreso than any other animal) can to a degree, observe itself. This creates a powerful feedback loop. Maybe someones addicted to cigarettes. But unlike an animal, they can see the hunger in them - they can forceably try and block it. Sure, maybe they'll cave in latter. But an animal would just go smoke a cigarette - they are that deterministic. A human looks at themselves working and their actions aren't soley on the animal level - their actions are affected by that self reflection.

Is that self reflection deterministic? Essentially yes, but it's a far more bloody complicated determinism. Because the system isn't just operating on stimuli from the outside world, it's operating on stimuli from the inner world, which is affected by the outside world, which is affected by the inner world, which is...and so on. No doubt for some things a single feedback loop could even go on for years. Bloody complicated - to just call us a deterministic machine is to indulge in a world simplifying illusion itself - like the illusion of 'solid' objects, when objects aren't solid, they are mostly empty. To see it as determinism is a simplification illusion, rather than a reason to think the human mind operates like simple clockwork. Objects appear solid. The processes of the mind appears to be clockwork. These are the illusions. view post


Losing the Argument is actually a Win? posted 03 July 2009 in NeuropathLosing the Argument is actually a Win? by Callan S., Auditor

Edit out negative emotions? And which ones are those? Somehow, with godlike clarity, people will know for sure that some are negative, and exactly which ones are negative? view post


I don't understand how the word 'will' is being used posted 03 July 2009 in NeuropathI don't understand how the word 'will' is being used by Callan S., Auditor

I'm rather skeptical that the question requires lengthy essays to answer it. I'll keep it in mind that it might, but for now I'll treat it as if it doesn't and the whole lengthy essay thing as just a distraction. view post


Scott bakker interview posted 03 July 2009 in Author Q &amp; AScott bakker interview by Callan S., Auditor

Thanks!

Heh, at the end of one he says certainty is a crock of shit.

He's certain that certainty is a crock of shit?

Heh, I'd love to chew that one over with him, though it might just have been a miss placement of words. view post


Thank You posted 03 July 2009 in Author Q &amp; AThank You by Callan S., Auditor

I think that's answered in a thread here somewhere - that area of the book got alot of rewriting, so things are kind of odd for that reason. I think it was serwe's, but the ambiguity left (both deliberately and because of the rewrite) lets you kind of feel what it would be like for other people to see him pull his own heart from his chest. And squeeze it like a stress ball...just joking <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post


The eye in the Pick's heart *spoilers* posted 03 July 2009 in The Judging EyeThe eye in the Pick's heart *spoilers* by Callan S., Auditor

For some reason the humourous idea comes to mind that plenty of times before in his life Akka has asked people to cut open and take out dead mens hearts - but all the other times they were normal and he's like &quot;Uh, okay, no reason...lets keep walking&quot; like it was a pythonesque social fopah and it's just a tad embaressing to have, like, asked someone to be cut open for a bit of a gawk at their heart. view post


No-God theory, or another theory posted 05 September 2009 in The Great Ordeal [supposed]No-God theory, or another theory by Callan S., Auditor

I think Cnaiur is probably alive, but his story is ended/dead. The nay(say)er is gone... <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->

With the no god, I'm thinking it's some sort of inverse to the spirit world that Kelhus talks about each soul being an extension of. Taking it as actually existing (Kelhus tends to use the truth as his leverage point) view post


Is God Flawed??? posted 31 October 2009 in Philosophy DiscussionIs God Flawed??? by Callan S., Auditor

It's judgement that ascribes things as flawed.

The source of flaws is judgement. view post


Does Scott have an agent that takes mail for him? posted 12 November 2009 in Author Q &amp; ADoes Scott have an agent that takes mail for him? by Callan S., Auditor

Does Scott have an agent atleast, that you can send mail through to him by? Once again I've found [url=http&#58;//speculativeheresy&#46;wordpress&#46;com/2008/11/26/the-semantic-apocalypse/:34kvjnzo]something[/url:34kvjnzo]by him and it prompts me to discuss it with him, or atleast try and launch mail in his general direction! Except I don't even have a general direction! <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( --> view post


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