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About Aleph-Naught

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    Public Defender
  • Birthday January 3

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    The vertices of Seattle, Austin and Spokane
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    In no particular order: philosophy (jurisprudence, metaethics, mathematical logic, moral theory, Plato, Hume...), cognitive psychology (memory, problem solving and decision making, abnormal psychology), math, music (guitar and piano), reading, games, researching all of the aforementioned.

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  1. To keep the metaphor going, you'd be surprised: to most people inside a prison, it is their whole world--it may as well be an entire planet--and it definitely has an impassable "storm" barrier, of guards and automatic weapons.
  2. Most jails/prisons have telephones.
  3. I don't think it's Mercy. The Coppermind entry on Trell lays it out: (emphasis added) I feel assured that the shard laying siege to Scadrial is Autonomy, with help from TOdium (since Wax and Wayne takes place after Stormlight 5).
  4. Unless something changed dramatically on Braize in the intervening 8 years after this flashback takes place (such as, as this thread's hypothesis posits, another Herald shows up on Braize after being killed), the following exchange between Ulim and Venli seems to be pretty solid evidence that Taln did not break, and that the Everstorm was created to circumvent the Oathpact out of a concern that Taln would never break: -Rhythm of War, Chapter 73, "Which Master To Follow"
  5. Legally, if you are manipulated into entering a contract, then the contract is almost certainly not binding. There are numerous defenses to contract formation, especially if you have been manipulated into entering it; a contract doesn't have to specify that coercion isn't allowed, just like how a contract doesn't have to specify that you're not supposed to break the law to perform it--being coerced into signing a contract specifically would fall under the defense of entering into a contract under duress. Your example about parents threatening to disown their children if they don't enter into a contract may not, necessarily, be illegal--it's kind of ambiguous--but it almost certainly wouldn't be a valid contract. Source: I am a lawyer.
  6. I have really disliked the theory of children champions as well--and more generally Taravangian exploiting some kind of loophole. Some good reasons why, that allows us to escape accusations of being superficially critical, revolve around the hypothesis that the Cosmere seems to follow rules of contract law that are analogous to what we have in the English Common Law. ROdium makes an oblique reference in RoW about agreements made by Shards following the spirit of the contract rather than a strict reading of it; this coincides with the legal concept that a contract cannot be valid if there was no "meeting of the minds." Similarly there is the concept that a contract cannot be valid if some intervening event has made performance of the contract impossible or impractical to one of the parties, e.g. by having TOdium springing a surprise child champion on Dalinar. It seems to me that TOdium would be making a grave error by trying to monkey around with the agreement due to some imperfect wording because it should, theoretically, allow Dalinar to void the contract entirely and expose TOdium to an attack (ROdium says that any broken agreement would leave him vulnerable to being killed by a strike from Cultivation). Another well-known concept in contract law is that minors lack the capacity to make a contract; a minor who signs a contract can either honor the deal or void the contract. So I see no way for Oroden or Gavinor to be a part of any agreement, that wouldn't just involve them unceremoniously canceling the contract. There is some nuance to this: a minor can void a contract for lack of capacity only while still under the age of majority, but I don't see such a exception playing any serious part in the Stormlight Archive--it would be ludicrously anti-climactic. An old philosophy professor of mine used to say this: "You elect Utilitarians, you do business with Kantians (Deontologists), and you date Virtue Ethicists."
  7. Squatter's don't take property unjustly though--they "adversely possess" land that was abandoned, disused, underutilized, etc. through a ridiculous and convoluted legal process. The "right of conquest", and underlying notions of "sovereignty" or "discovery" that comes with it, is also fraught with difficulties for reasons that have required entire dissertations; see, for example, John Thomas Juricek, English Claims in North America to 1660: A Study in Legal and Constitutional History, Ph.D. thesis, University of Chicago, 1970.
  8. My money is on Autonomy, with the runner-up being an unbound, but vessel-less/splintered shard of Odium.
  9. Thank you everyone, for that WoB! It's ridiculous, but I feel a palpable sense of relief knowing that the number of dawnshards is, definitively, four.
  10. The direction of my thoughts, as laid out in the post below, are that Cultivation's influence on Taravangian--even as he holds the shard of Odium--endures and probably insulates her from any attack on her that he may be plotting:
  11. Do you mean to say that we know Hoid was at the Shattering and it's possible that Frost was as well? This is something that gets said over and over again, but as far as I know Mr. Sanderson has deliberately avoided confirming the number of dawnshards. See, for example the following exchange: We know that the Sleepless think there are four dawnshards, and there is a very neat symmetry to the number of them being four--particularly with the way the mural is depicted--and the sixteen shards, but relying on that kind of elegance feels like a trap. So until I see a WoB definitively confirming the number of dawnshards as four, my sanity would really appreciate it if everyone would stop treating that number as definitive.
  12. My dad's side of the family is LDS, my mom's side is Catholic, my wife is Lutheran, but I've always identified with the following quote: I joke that, "I'm an atheist, but I'm not an asshole about it."
  13. My unsubstantiated hunch is that Cultivation regrets the Shattering and is working to remedy it in some way--Rayse as the vessel of Odium would have always been an impediment to that goal; revenge just strikes me as too narrow when it comes to someone of her vision.