I actually was looking for something just like this and had to join in and make a new account! That means I cant post links tho . I think I have 2 interesting things to add to the context of this discussion and to Hegel's philosophical ideas. First, Sanderson has taken some history of philosophy classes (as you can see if you search philosophy in his blog) most likely including Hegel; similar to your critical theory class, Firerust. I think this is evidence Brandon knows about Hegel and likely Marx as well. Second, in Hegelian philosophy, there is a concept of a geist, (or ghost in English) which is used as a metaphor by Hegel to understand history. He uses the terms zeitgeist to refer to "the spirit of the age" and Weltgeist to refer to "the world spirit". I think that a single shard on a world could be thought of as a Weltgeist, and maybe Ruin and Preservation are zeitgeists as part of the dialectic.