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aeromancer posted a topic in Mistborn“What they do not realize—and what you must realize—is that manipulating others is something that all people do. In fact, manipulation is at the core of our social interaction.” -Lord Breeze Ladrian. Ah, Breeze, you wonderful manipulator. Obviously the best in the Mistborn series. Except for, you know, Kelsier, who riled up the population of an entire city into rebellion. And, maybe the Lord Ruler who managed to beat the skaa down in the first place and control the world for a thousand years through the nobility. Also, the First Citizen, who controlled a city by being a dictator. Elend should probably be somewhere above you as well, you know, having created a stable political system (for an entire year!) that had classes formerly attempting to kill each other getting along. And, um, Allrianne Cett, for obvious reasons. (Maybe Straff? Nah, he's just a run-of-the-mill warlord.) You can probably see where I’m going with this. Breeze isn’t a good manipulator. He is, at best, a mediocre one who is bolstered to ‘passable’ by being an expert with playing with emotions. Which, by the way, is cheating and I say ‘passable’ comparing him to non-magical manipulators, like, say, politicians. Breeze’s claim to fame is being able to convince a dozen men of a hundred to rebel, and while that’s all and good (earning several thousand troops over the course of a year), he’s still pretty bad. I’ll explain why, but first, I’ll take out two counterpoints. Counterpoint 1: The Soothing Stations. Yes, there were Soothing stations. But, that didn’t stop Kelsier, and Breeze has emotional alomancy himself to level the playing field. Remember, even though Breeze can only Soothe, he himself claims that you can achieve the same effects by both Pushing and Pulling. Meaning, Breeze at that point is only on his own talents, and he’s mediocre at best. (And if he’s wrong about Soothing being able to work as well as Rioting, that’s a strike against him.) Counterpoint 2: Breeze doesn’t use dark manipulation. (Because there’s nothing morally wrong with adjusting emotions, whatsoever.) Yes, Breeze doesn’t use threat, for the most part, or anything more questionable, and he considers emotional alomancy no different from a set of powerful teeth (false!) or a charismatic personality (which he doesn’t have). Yes, I’ll give Breeze half a morality point for that. Half a morality point doesn’t make him a good manipulator, though. So, why do I say Breeze isn’t a good manipulator? Because Breeze uses the equivalent of whacking nails to get people to agree with him. He tells people to do things, and expects them to do it. Like with Spook, for example. Or, he’ll subtly nudge you to the point where you agree with him. Now, is this manipulation? Yes. It achieves it goals. But it’s not good manipulation. Because, it doesn’t last and isn’t flexible. Why do you think people like Bilg happened? Because of Breeze’s incompetence. So, what’s real manipulation? Real manipulation isn’t changing people’s emotions, or riling them up, or playing mental games until they give up and do what you want (cough Ham cough). Real manipulation is changing the way people think. This is achieved through behavior reinforcement, false information, propaganda. Someone’s who is a capable manipulator will change how you think and view things. This can be done by sparking emotions. This can be done through the spread of information. Or, through social interactions. Painting yourself in a different light. Breeze doesn’t do these things at all. Kelsier does a lot of them, but Breeze does nearly none, and he’s scared of his power, to an extent, which could be why he doesn’t do that. Why post this? Two reasons. One, because I don’t think Breeze is that good of a manipulator, and I want to hear opinions. Two, because I thought about this, realized it brought up points on manipulation that everyone should know, and decided that would kill two birds with one coin. So, read through this and tell me what you think. Please, disagree. And, secretly wonder if I'm attempting to manipulate you to do so. Or, actually I'm trying to get you to not argue. Heh.
Goatborn posted a topic in Cosmere DiscussionI'm not sure if this is the right subset of the forum to bring this up, but I generally get really bored on long drives and start turning over theories, such as Scooby Doo being set in a dystopian society where antisocial behaviour is severely punished. (Jail time for dressing as a ghost?) Alas, I digress. My latest thought centers around the elusive concept of "Identity" and the reference to storing it in Feruchemy. My idea centers around the most powerful domination of identity on Scadrial - the control of hemalurgists/spiked creatures by an allomancer. I think that while emotional allomancy pushes and pulls on specific emotions, I think that it tampers with one's identity on different levels. The stronger one's identity, the less susceptible they would be to Soothers and Rioters. There are specific examples in Mistborn of individuals resisting/detecting emotional allomancy through training or sheer force of will. This thought originally came about surrounding the kandra and the fact that their identity was gifted to them through Hemalurgy. It is also the point where I could use some input. Kandra are noted to be immune to standard emotional allomancy, and only a duralumin burn will crack that shell to allow another mind in. This is different to when a duralumin + brass burn is used on a human, like with Straff Venture - Vin was not able to suddenly control him, just deadened him completely. So Hemalurgy is providing protection as well as a weakness? Or is the mistwraith nature of kandra protective, while Hemalurgy provides the weakness? The follow up to that is the koloss - they are hemalurgically spiked humans, which combines the two examples above. One could argue that their identity has been diluted by having multiple human spikes driven into them, hence making it easier to control them en masse. In my mind, a Feruchemist storing Identity would be far more susceptible than normal to soothing and rioting, while one that is tapping Identity would be nearly impossible to influence. I also feel it is important to mention that Identity is not something only gained through magical means, just as one does not have to burn/tap pewter to be strong. I believe that there will be individuals who will be extremely resistant to emotional allomancy just through their own confidence/knowledge of themselves - such as a shardholder or Hoid (possibly - how does having so many identities affect his identity?). The next installment shall appear upon my next 4 hour drive! (16 hours - oh! Allomancy! - of driving seems to have an inhibiting affect on theorising)