king of nowhere

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king of nowhere last won the day on September 23 2013

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  1. i would ignore the prologue if i were you. many fans love it, but i always found it too confusing for a first read. it makes sense after you're past book 3. you need to pay attention to the characters mentioned. the festival and everything is not particularly important, though if you don't like to dabble a bit into the various cultures of the world, then perhaps you should not get into the wheel of time. as for the larger worldbuilding, it will be unfolded with time.
  2. +1. it is a downside of stories about people with superpowers, at some point those who lack said powers are just useless. i prefer when normal people can contribute too.
  3. no idea, but i guess he'll at least want to finish the last draft before releasing chapters
  4. not that i remember. keep in mind, though, that most people subsist on plants and little else because meat is more expensive. but i doubt that's what you were asking about.
  5. you know, this reminds me of the wheel of time, and rand coming to cahirien the first time and getting involved in politics without doing anything, because even that is a political move. Brandon: "does nothing" fanbase: "oh, by his lack of action, he is clearly expressing his lack of support for ..." Brandon: "facepalm"
  6. I'm not particularly familiar with american conservatives, but i don't think most of them are racist. I think a lot of them would be more along the lines of "yes, it's a tragedy that a guy was killed by the police like that, and the guilty policemen should and will be punished according to the law. but look from the other side, how many policemen get killed because they play it nice? because they don't put the knee on the suspect's neck and the suspect take the chance to pull a knife on them when he's close? or they get shot because they hesitate to shoot first? we must not remove the police's capacity to defend themselves" which is not a bad argument. as a rule of thumb, most people aren't that stupid, if a large % of the population holds an opinion, they must have some good reason. they aren't necessarily right, but it's unlikely they are totally in the wrong. also, most people aren't particularly evil, some may upheld oppression because they profit from it, but most would not, if they were given an honest alternative. which is pretty much the point; people will rarely pick clear evil over clear good, but they will easily pick evil against what they perceive as a greater evil. conservatives are rarely blind against social injustices. they merely see greater evil in the alternatives. in this case, they may think that making the police more nice will get more policemen shot. or that giving money to help the poor will take away money from the more productive parts of society, resulting in economic collapse for all. or even yet, they may think that if people make a riot, and we give them money, that would only encourage them to riot worse. or they may even think, we already run programs to fight racism, isn't that enough? why would we need even more? all those are reasonable concerns that need to be addressed if you want to win minds. you can often get people to your side - if not to agree with you, at least to accept that you have a fair point - if you listen to their concerns. if you try to understand why they don't agree with you - under the premise that they are neither stupid nor evil - and then you show them good answers for their concerns (of course, you need to actually have good answers to their concerns). attack them, accuse them of being stupid or evil, and they will go all defensive, even if they may agree with you at some point. most people are not evil. most people do evil when they see no better options. give people better options, and most often they will stop doing evil. those who still misbehave are the truly bad ones, and you can focus your attention on them. if a few people misbehave, they are probably evil, and should be repressed. but if large portions of society misbehave, they probably don't see good options, and you should try to help them.
  7. I see. interesting approach. i knew of brandon's political stances from reading his commentaries, back in the time when he still wrote them. in particular stuff like trying to give every opinion a fair representation. also, all the charity auctions he takes, that were occasionally advertised on his site. this tipped me that, regardless of other political views, brandon is a good guy (be careful to equate conservative with oppressive; there are many good conservative values). that came only from reading the front page of his site, so i assumed it was more common knowledge than it actually was. yes, that's something that's difficult to understand from my perspective (italian, by the way, not polish). in europe we are facing a recrudescence of racism tied to the great migration wave of the last decade, but it's racism linked to social problems, not really to race. millions of immigrants went to europe without speaking the language of the new country, without having the qualifications to work, during a time when the economy had a hard time providing jobs even to the natives, so of course a lot of those immigrants turned to crime, or were recruited by the mafia. or came to live on charity, or on social service money. and of course there are the cultural issues, especially regarding women's rights, for most immigrants come from countries where those topics are... let's say, not particularly progressive. and not all are willing to adapt. and so of course the population is suspicious of racial minorities. but our problem with racism is all there. nobody thinks that immigrants are worse because of race. you hear people giving racist-sounding speeches in pubs, but if you confront them about their african coworker, or the arab guy at the kebab kiosk, or the chinese waitress, and they say "oh, but those guys are ok, they work for a living and respect our laws. it's not with them that i have a problem". i saw a youtube video of an afroamerican exchange student commenting on it, and she said that racism is the wrong concept, it's more xenophobia - which is not completely injustified, since it stems from actual social problems. Hence why i'm saying that those immigrant's children will be the measure of our success or failure in handling the whole immigration issue. I know that in some places in america it's different, that there's people who actually say "those guys work for a living and respect our laws, but i still have a problem with them, because race". it's hard to understand, though. my first instinct to deal with racism is still to consider it a social problem of disadvantaged people living in the ghettos, and treat it accordingly. which, anyway, shouldn't hurt.
  8. on the other hand, brandon's concern that celebrities will sway opinions in ignorance is also well founded. I can speak my mind freely and if i happen to say something stupid about things i don't understand, there's nothing wrong with it, i'll just be ignored. but someone like sanderson saying something stupid because he does not understand a topic will have people pick it up and resonate. seeing it from outside, i don't know what's it really like and i am surprised about phrases like "legitimize the demands" and "protect the protestors". I mean, the protestors are asking that the police stop killing random people because some officer is too trigger-happy or he had a bad day and is venting out on some poor fellow. what's there to legitimize? there shouldn't be any question about it. especially not in a country that is proud of a long democratic tradition and that is still strongly influenced by its origin as a rebel colony against an oppressive empire. You even have the constitution declaring that everyone has a right to bear arms, because the people must be able to rebel against the government if the government turns oppressive. I would expect one such country would be extremely jealous of individual rights; that in such a country the police can stop people and beat them up for no real reason, and mostly get away with it, is a living contradiction. seen from the outside world, the president supporting the protests in hong kong and then shouting LAW AND ORDER and deploying the army for the protests in his country, the whole business looks like a joke. it would look like a joke, if people hadn't died for it. on the other hand, the police also cannot be blamed entirely, because their lives are on the line. many policemen are shot because they try to be nice and the other guy pulls a gun - a downside of having weapons sold freely because of the right of revolt. From my outsider perspective, the real problem in usa is social inequality. no help for people in need. no perspective of better future for those who live in the ghettos. america spends a pittance on social help compared to european countries. it stems from the fierce indepentent spirit of the country; my life, my problems, his life, his problems. And i actually like that ideal. I clean up my own mess, and I hate that I also have to clean up someone else's because they did something stupid. I worked hard to do something with my life and i hate that other people would not work hard and i have to work harder to provide for them. Unfortunately, this way of thinking does not work, because everything is interconnected. if your neighbor drop off school because he was too lazy, that's his problem, and you may not want to help. but if he can't find a job and he breaks into your house to rob you, it's become your problem. and if he robs me, it's become my problem, even though I had nothing to do with the whole business in the first place. worse, the whole "i worked hard and they didn't" is not as accurate as we like to think. some research shows poor people often work harder, and get rewarded less. ultimately, people who grow up in the ghettos stay ignorant because they can't afford the fancy schools, so then they can't afford the fancy jobs and stay poor, and their children will also live in the ghettos, and the cycle goes on. Some people will manage, individually, to break it, but not enough to really change things. incidentally, lots of black people live in ghettos, because their parents lived there, and their parent's parents, all the way back since they were discriminated by the law. if more black people had a chance to move upwards in society, less of them would turn to crime, and it would also help with racism. in europe we spend more money on social policies, we have less inequality, and less crime. and while this means some people will just idle their lives off the work of someone else, most of those people recovered from the ghettos actually become good contributing citizens. like in bridge 4, you got to rescue people like rock and sigzil, even though you got one moash amid the group. though the real test for europe will be how well we'll handle the current wave of immigrants, if in 30 years their children will be well-integrated or they will be living in ghettos and making troubles. everything is interconnected. my neighboor problem is my problem; not because i like my neighboor or because i am charitable, but because if his problem is not solved, then eventually, somehow, it will find a way to reach me. and america has a hard time with this idea because it stinks of communism, and americans spent 50 years opposing the "dirty commies". but perhaps once you take away the dictatorship and police state and gulag system, perhaps there's something there's worth salvaging. perhaps you can take the best of both world. else, you are forced to close off your undesirables in reserves, and have an army to keep them in. and perhaps i don't know social issues enough and i am saying something stupid, but I'm not a celebrity, I don't have fans and followers hanging on my lips ready to do something stupid if i give the wrong word, so i can afford to speak my mind and perhaps make mistakes. brandon cannot.
  9. i am surprised you could take brandon's silence for lack of support, as all his books show his faith in humanity, and specifically in the lowly. take bridge 4, where the people who were discarded by society are turned into an elite unit. take elantris, where you have a savage society turned into an utopia. think of marasi, with her "social reforms prevent crime more than the police" and "if you have to stop a criminal by shooting at him, society already failed". does the guy who writes this strikes you as a white suprematist?
  10. in my experience, this is a very free community. i've been in several discussions touching on politics, some got pretty heated, but they were also civil and productive. in fact, this is the one forum where i feel safe enough discussing about heated topics. the mods closing an occasional thread every once in a while is not enough for me to revise this opinion. i would like to comment on the tone of the locked thread (which i missed, by the way), but i am afraid that would only result in moving the discussion to a new place, so i will refrain. Though frankly i am surprised that a statement against racism is needed, i mean, it would be like having to officially declare that water is wet, but then again, given events that happen, perhaps there is actually the need but just to reiterate: this forum is not censored, and it is very good place to discuss heated topics. i've been here for over 5 years, and i never found a reason to complain about the mods once.
  11. I'm actually referring to a more recent comment
  12. last update we had, brandon said he was on good track to finish the current revision by the end of may, or even earlier. any news about it?
  13. I wouldn't know about that. Sure, there's plenty of people in this forum who are fellow mormons from utah, but brandon's got millions of fans worldwide, they can't be all mormons from utah. admittedly, i don't have any idea about the demography of brandon's average fanbase, but i assume it should be quite differentiated. furthermore, brandon already made clear that he writes what he wants to write and he does not chase the public. he made a lot of speeches about it, that if you write what you think the public will want instead, you won't have passion in your writing, and the quality of it will drop. he mentioned a point in his life when he tried to write a grimdark novel because they were the fashion at the time, and it didn't work at all, and he decided afterwards that he would write for his own sake, and if he never got published for it, that was fine. He's also pretty rich by this point, so if he were to alienate half of his fanbase - with a subsequent drop in sales - it wouldn't impact him. no, brandon often writes stuff because he wants to try it. he may want to try a gay male protagonist at some point, or he may not. i'm pretty sure pressure from the fanbase either way won't factor hugely in his decision.
  14. when one of your students apologizes for not having made the exercices, and your first thought is "no apologies. Boots!" unfortunately, none of my students read sanderson (in italy he's not very famous among the main public), so he would not understand.
  15. just a random thought struck me: if the supremacy frowns so much on violence, and everyone is so strongly against violence and can't stomach it, then what kind of entertainment do they have? what movies, stories, games? no action movies. ewww, all that violence. appalling. not even slapstick cartoons. trying to portray violence in a funny way to make it appealing to children. horrible. in fact, no movies, books or anything that involves any kind of aggression. no contact sports. can you imagine those guys trying to play football? the ball rolls in an empty area of the playing field. two varvax from different teams run to take it. they notice each other, and they stop on their tracks "sorry, i didn't see you wanted to catch the ball. please, do take it" "no, no, you take it. i almost run the risk of trampling you in my recklessness. I'm coming to enjoy aggression too much, I should visit a psycologist" no war games. no strategic games, either real time or turn-based. no first person shooters or third person shooters. no stealth-based games. no 90% of adventure games. all stuff way more violent than any respectable sapient of first intelligence can stomach. probably not even monopoly, trying to bankrupt your opponent is already pretty edgy. chess and related games should still be on the table, if we change some of the terminology that betray their origin as war simulations. some comedies would be ok, and romance too. pinball. athletics, which pretty much groups all the sports where you don't directly compete against anyone. and i can't think of anything else what kind of life would that be? is it as bleak as it seems? now that I think of it, I'm not picturing all those superiority races spending their days watching porn, because that (excepting a few extreme subcategories) has no aggression and would be one of the few things still allowed. P.S. some may retort that probably they have our same entertainment because we also would not want to actually fight a war, but that's different. we don't want to engage in violence because it hurts people, us included, but we actually like violence. we like the thrill, the adrenaline rush, and that's why we found so many ways to simulate violence, so that we can get that rush without any of the drawbacks. but as far as i can see of the superiority, most people living there actively finds violence repulsive, they do not enjoy adrenaline rush (or whatever equivalent hormone is secreted by their alien bodies) and they find the whole experience taxing or sickening. the pilots remotely controlling krell ships were basically playing a videogame, and they were in the state of mind of exterminating pest, and yet even then they would only last a few months on the job before retiring for the stress.