king of nowhere

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king of nowhere last won the day on September 23 2013

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  1. why not? we know detecting someone in a coppercloud is only a matter of power. and we can be pretty sure a massive spaceship will have much more power than a bird, no matter how magical
  2. actually, it's more of a sexual innuendo variety. like saying underwear should be banned. how did the teacher react?
  3. when you want to recover silver after an experiment with silver nitrate, out of a vague feeling that silver is important... but when you think of "uses for silver", the first thing that comes to mind is "wards against shades".
  4. well, not exactly. sure, those two arguments were used to justify a lot of evil. but a lot more evil was justified on stuff like "god wants it", "they are a lesser race", "they are enemies", "they started it", "it's us or them". "for the country/clan/family/whatever affiliation" is a personal favourite because it's so often argued like it was right. A lot of arguments in the "lirin hate thread" devolve around "lirin should support his son, even if he disagrees with him". Do we want to talk about how many times prioritizing one's family or clan enabled crimes? heck, it's the whole foundation of the mafia. and yet a lot of people aare arguing it like it was perfectly right to ignore murder (as seen from lirin's perspective) just because it's your son committing it. more to the point, though, the opposite argument "the greater good does not justify evil" has also been used countless times to turn a blind eye on evil. I may point out how the nazis were allowed to grow strong because everybody thought attacking them would be bad? and furthermore, it's not even clear what are the ends and what are the means. you can have the same argument on both sides. Take the contemporary covid lockdowns: proponents of lockdown would say that "protecting personal freedoms (the greater good) does not justify letting more people die of epidemics (the evil means)". On the opposite side, opponents of the lockdown would say that "reducing the death toll (the greater good) does not justify restricting personal freedoms (the evil means)". so which one is the evil done for the greater good? If you analyze it closely enough, the whole motto about not justifying the means loses meaning. ultimately, it's about not compromising your ideals for what seems like an easier gain. Well, szeth was all about not compromising. nale was about not compromising look where it brought them. and if morality was as easy as quoting a few meaningful sentences, it wouldn't be a hot topic. actually, the best argument against taravangian, and the one that also works most for the real world, is the one of ignorance, brought out by dalinar at some point. you don't know that doing this will help. you don't know that we'll fail. you don't know that you'll win, or that you winning would help. and you are undermining everyone else's effort on the long shot that you may be correct. when in doubt, better be safe. it's not an argument of lofty ideals. it's an argument about unforseen consequences. and evil actions are much more likely to have evil unforeseen consequences than good actions. now, back on taravangian, i don't believe him to be right. but i'm still calling him morally grey, for the simple reason that, unlike many proponents of his morality, he actually wants to help, and he is actually self-sacrificing more than many other more heroic character. and this is a hallmark of good. "will sacrifice himself for others". "will put the well being of strangers in front of his own". taravangian fits those completely. having him just be evil would completely undermine the characterization.
  5. To further expand on the point of "brandon would not write a bad book, it would get stopped in the revision process", I point out this is exactly what happened with apocalypse guard. brandon set out to write a book. the book wasn't good. brandon did not publish it. that's all. worst thing to happen would be something like calamity, the end was somewhat unsatisfying but it was still a good book. in any case, one bad book would not impact the quality of every other book brandon has written. they wouldn't magically become bad just because of a bad sequel. At worst we'll see something like the indiana jones trilogy, where the fans insist it's a trilogy despite evidence to the contrary. I can see the meme on the internet "brandon is dead and was substituted by a lookalike".
  6. yep. it could be mediocre, but there's too many people involved in the revision process to pass a genuinely bad book.
  7. he does not mention the wheel of time tv adaptation in any way. as he wrote the last 3 books, i was hoping he'd be sharing some info on them
  8. I disagree. odium is bad for all of roshar, singers included. he will destroy them too in the long run. dalinar and kaladin are probably good for all of roshar, they would try to help the singers too. that said, indeed, we don't know much about cultivation and we have no reason to assume she's altruistic. she may well be aiming to simply divert odium away from her.
  9. yes. on the other hand, cultivation had planned hard to get this outcome. unless cultivation is a dumbass (which, given how she manipulated the situation, we can safely assess she's not) then we can assume that she sees some gain on taravangian as odium. actually, the reason i like taravangian is that he's a different take on the whole "do evil for a good cause" concept. always in the past i've seen the concept thrown away to pass a cheap morale, or to make a villain more hateable. i'd hate for the same to happen here. brandon can do better than this
  10. ah, but this is perhaps the main reason i can be mildly optimistic. the whole "does evil for a good cause" has been done to death. and in every instance i can remember, at some point the villain showed that he didn't really care and it was all just an excuse. and it feels wrong to me. it undermines the characterization to try to force an aesop. "see, this thing is not really right, because this guy was never good to start with". Yes, but what if he actually was? brandon does not reuse old archetypes like this. he twists them. he sees a thing done in a way, and wants to lead it somewhere different. so taravangian may well be his take on "what if the guy doing evil for a good cause does not turn out to be a hypocrite and is, indeed, genuinely trying to do good?". indeed, all the way taravangian was characterized would be completely undermined if he now just started plotting for power. furthermore, brandon also said that making strawman enemies to pass an aesop undermines the whole aesop. again, making taravangian suddenly selfish just to "prove" that doing evil for good reason is bad would be a cheap move, and it wouldn't actually prove anything - except perhaps that you can't make a compelling argument against an opponent who has not been weakened. brandon said that he tries to give the best representation to those with whom he disagrees, and he certainly would disagree strongly with taravangian. so, i assume his intent to portray mr T as positively as possible in the circumstance will continue. on the other hand, the main reason i can be pessimistic is that there are still 6 stormlight books, and if the main opponent was removed just like this, the remaining books would be too easy for the protagonists. unless brandon has some other more powerful villain hidden somewhere - he did that in most books, but it's hard to imagine a villain more powerful than the shard of odium - then i expect taravangian to succumb to his shard. as an outcome, i believe having taravangian setting up some plan to make himself fail, then being consumed by his shard intent, then being the major villain for the next part of the cosmere, until eventually being defeated for good, in the climax, party thanks to the plotting he himself started while he wass still in control, would be the best way to handle him. to keep his characterization as someone genuinely trying to do good, while letting him be a villain. he can also fully be a villain while trying to serve the greater good. perhaps he set up the attack on scadrial to make himself fail, to be destroied by harmony. and perhaps he miscalculated and will actually win. even if he loses like he wants, he'd still create incredible damage. having him show that his real heart was black all the time, carefully hidden even inside his own pows, would be infinitely less satisfying.
  11. i still don't know how to feel about it. on one hand, taravangian as odium has the potential to be even more dangerous than his predecessor. but on the other, he's still in control of himself, and he will be for at least a few years; and he has genuinely good intentions, and he even states himself that he has to plot to protect the people from himself and his shard's intent. victory for the good guys should be easier in this light. random thought: what if odium attack on scadrial is because taravangian wants to ultimately merge shards so odium won't exhist anymore? it will certainly keep with his theme of doing bad stuff with good intentions
  12. you mean, in the same way that kaladin could have escaped from the battle of the tower with his bridge crew, but choose to stay and help dalinar? and that led to three of his comrades dead at the battle, and many others dead later by szeth or other means. all because kaladin is putting the best interest of his crew second to him playing hero. or when kaladin led his squad against a shardbearer, getting them killed in the process. in fact, i'd argue that putting the well-being of foreigners before your loved ones is what defines a hero. putting yourself and your clan above others is the mark of a petty man. thieving, corruption, bullying is justified by "my family comes first". the most common excuse you hear out of corrupted politicians or mafia henchmen is "i have family"; as in, "if i was stealing for myself it would be bad, but since i'm stealing for my wife and sons, then it's all right. it's all right to steal from someone else's children, because they are not mine". Being a teacher, i've seen countless kids ruined because their parents protected them from the consequences of misbehavior, because they were their sons. Overprotectiveness is not good, and arguing that one should put his family before strangers like this is a berserker button for me. when the same sentiment is applied to national level, it leads to xenophobia, aggression, and strife. Nope. being a hero does not work this way. behaving this way does not make the world any better. Lirin is a hero exactly because he puts the well being of his town above his own. Proof required. Do we have indication that kaladin was favored - besides being given lessons in surgery, which of course are needed for his job, while tien was being trained in carpentry by someone else, because lirin can't teach carpentry? do we have any indication that tien was treated unfavorably? that tien got no attention? Do we have any real indication of lirin acting out of ego? Unless you count "doing your best to help others" as nothing but a big attempt at ego stroking. in which case, kaladin would still be much worse than his father. so, now lirin is a monster for missing an obscure passage of the law. i guess if he really cared about his family, he should have been a lawyer after all. let me ask, how would you - exactly - plan to apprentice your son who can't stand the sight of blood as a surgeon? are you planning to do it as a facade? your son is never going to actually work as a surgeon, but you'll put it in paper so he'll be protected by conscription. so your son will know no job and will live all his life sheltered like this? what happens when you die of old age and he has no job? and all this because of a remote possibility of conscription; when tien got apprenticed as carpenter, it was several years earlier. shame on lirin for not predicting the future too. And it's strange, but I was under the impression that tien being conscripted was roshone's fault. a revenge for failing to save roshone's son. You, as reader, know this is the literal war of armageddon, with enemy forces led by a hostile god bent on destruction. Lirin, on the other hand, knows nothing of this. what Lirin actually knows is that a people that has always been enslaved managed to rebel, and they are treating everyone more fairly than anyone would have expected given the premise - and better than most brightlords. under that premise, it makes full sense to not resist the invasion. your terrorists are out freedom fighters, after all. it's easy to sort out right and wrong in hindsight. so, first lirin directly caused tien's death, and now he even "directly killed" him? And he also caused kaladin's depression, no less! all this sounds like you have already condemned lirin from the start, and your are reading everything he did - or didn't - in the worst possible light to justify the outcome. but above that, this sounds so much like what kaladin thinks when depressed. if we boil it down, your accusation has the following arguments - lirin helped people out of pride, not altruism - lirin meddling made worse the lives of those he was trying to protect - lirin failed at protecting tien, for his fault, for not trying hard enough that's exactly what kaladin thinks when depressed. he thinks he tries to help just because he can't admit defeat, and that all those people whom he failed to protect are his personal responsibility for not being strong enough. that his attempts to protect caused the death of those he was trying to protect, and he should just give up. and we all know those arguments are faulty, we should not apply them to someone else.
  13. I think it has to do with a certain part of our culture being related to war and combat, and equating bravery with guns. it reminds me of the battle of hacksaw ridge, where the protagonist is a military medic who wants to go in battle unarmed, and he is dubbed a coward by his mates. only after he runs out from cover amid the bullets and explosion to help wounded they realize he is the most brave of them all. in my opinion lirin is getting the same kind of flak. he won't fight, so he's coward. never mind that he's willingly putting himself in more danger by his actions.
  14. i'm talking way back in way of kings, when jasnah brought her out by night with the street thugs, and shallan thinks she can summon a blade. i doubt her bond with pattern had progressed enough by then
  15. the thing about lirin is, in any other circumstance he's right. for all his life he's seen useless wars between the highprinces, with empty excuses. the lighteyes were playing risk with the lives of men. not wanting to have anything to do with it is right. it's the only correct recourse. then the singers take over. and they actually administer more fairly than the lighteyes. why would you ever possibly want to fight to reinstate the corrupt leaders? it makes no sense. it does not make the world any better, even if you win. now, lirin is missing that those singers are controlled by an evil god whose long term plan involves killing everyone. in this specific case, he's wrong. but he's seen the same pattern all his life. and his take on it was spot on. can you blame him for not seeing him at first, the one time he was actually wrong? as for the "you're not my son", this is not some corrupt ceo disgruntled because his son decided to leave everything and become an artist instead of inheriting the family business. no, lirin son had just killed a person, and endangered others. and not even particularly for protection; teft was going to be taken prisoner, and no harm was being done to him. as far as kaladin and lirin knew, teft was in no danger. yes, in retrospect kaladin was right, but there was no way to know it in advance. from lirin's perspective, kaladin had shown, time and again, that when presented with problems, killing people is one of his first resorts. we are used to reading stories where there is a clearly good and clearly bad side. sure, there is some moral greyness, the people on the good side are not perfect and the people on the bad side are misguided, or have understandable motivations, but ultimately, there is a clear distinction between right and wrong. so we are used to the answer, fighting is the right option. the real world is rarely so clear-cut. it had been on occasions, like when the free world fought the nazis, but it's generally more grey. and perhaps more important, violence is not the only solution, and often it's not the best solution. think of batman; he built an expensive high tech suit and used his vast resources to fight crime, and it works; but if he'd spent the same money and resources to improve lives in the slums and solve social issues, he'd have prevented crimes even more effectively. only in fiction the first resort to anything must be violence. now go back to lirin. he's been ruled by tyrants all his life. now he's invaded by some new people, nothing new there, just those new people have marbled skin, and sometimes carapace. can you blame lirin for assuming that those people were no worse than the previous leaders? for thinking that peaceful cooperation was more likely to do good than fighting to the last? had the singers done any worse in conquering alethkar than the kholins did when they conquered it? no, in fact they did considerably better; then should we not get mad at kaladin for joining amaram's army instead of mounting a resistance against the kholins, warlords and conquerors? Finally, I am astonished that anyone would call lirin a coward. he could escape, get away from problems, but he remained every time to protect the people. deliberately choosing to not fight back, to put yourself at the mercy of others because you refuse to do violence, takes more bravery than fighting. kaladin is an amazing combatant and keeps winning; it doesn't take much bravery to bring out a weapon and fight when you know you're the best. it's easy. facing an armed opponent and trying to calm him down, giving up on defending yourself, that entails a much greater risk.